Exposure in media is crucial for every business to build credibility and trust among the target audience. Bill Gates once said that “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” This quote summarizes the importance of media coverage in building successful ventures. Gaining the trust through paid advertising is hard. This is why many tech startups prefer to invest in public relations at the beginning rather than paid advertising to position themselves in the market and build a customer base.
Although many business owners understand the value of Public Relations, they don’t go for it due to the high investments required to hire a skilled PR professional or a PR firm. However, many marketers have used free resources on the internet to spearhead their public relations campaign. Of course, to take advantage of these resources, you need to invest some time in mastering the skill of getting the massive coverage.
Here are four ways to get media exposure without spending a fortune:
1. Use Boutique Sites
Mainstream media is expensive. Their journalists are too busy to pay attention to every news piece. Therefore, it is hard for a startup or an SME to get coverage in traditional publications without hiring professional help. However, not all businesses require coverage in the mainstream media, particularly in the initial stage of their PR campaign. Another disadvantage of coverage in mainstream media is that there content is developed for mass consumption.
A business with a niche audience should ideally begin with boutique publications which cover a particular industry. Thus, choose niche publishers who cater to your target audience. Since they have a highly targeted reader base, you will get visibility among a precise audience which can become your customers. Using Google, you can find relevant publishers that work specifically in your industry. You can also use PressFarm to know the contact details of journalists who write about your industry.
To begin with here are some sites that you can choose based on your product or services:
- Gear Patrol
- Before connecting
- The Needs
- In Stash
- The Awesomer
- Gear Hungry
- Cool Hunting
- Cool Material
- The Manual
These sites have a significant user base. They constantly look for stories which are useful for their readers. Approaching such sites will be far easier than connecting with huge publications. Also, many of their stories are syndicated to other popular blogs and sites. Thus, if your story is creative, the bigger guys can also pick it up from there.
Once you get published on four to five sites, getting coverage on other publications becomes easier. Start sending links to previously published news or editorial items along with a compelling message to new sites owners and the chances of success will increase further.
2. Use Social Communities to your Advantage
There are many, product, service and industry-based social communities with a large number of members who actively participate in group discussions. I am not talking about Facebook or LinkedIn groups, although these groups may also be helpful. The platforms such as HackerNews, ProductHunt, and Reddit Communities have a highly-engaged audience. The users submit their products or services and other members provide their feedback.
Send your products with detailed description and ask for community members' feedback or suggestions. You need to be persistent and creative to be successful on these platforms.
Quora is another great community where you can answer relevant questions and can get immense exposure. Selection of right questions and answering them tactically is crucial to succeeding on Quora. If you are creative and master the art of answering questions, your profile may get featured in top writers on the platform. The top writers on Quora get extensive exposure in mainstream media. Popular publications often pick up the interesting answers and feature them with appropriate credit to the author.
3. Submit Free Press Release
Submitting free press releases is not just helpful in SEO, but it can also help you in PR. There are some sites which have an excellent news distribution network. If you submit a well-written press release to these sites, you may get a significant exposure. Some paid PR submission sites such as PRWeb and PRNewswire provide even more exposure in the mainstream media for a fee. If you have a newsworthy product, service or a scoop, you can even use Mashable Submit News feature to send the news item to Mashable. The success of Free submission sites depends on your creativity and presentation.
Here are some free press release sites which have a decent traction regarding the distribution of news:
- Express-Press- Release.com
- Free-Press- Release.com
4. Write Guest Posts
Contributing to popular blogs in your industry is a win-win situation for both the parties –the contributor as well as the blog owners. Search for the top blogs in your industry on Google. Write a custom message to each site owner. Include your background and a brief outline of the subject which you want to write about. The message must be short, crisp and clear. Once your title gets approved, write a content which is relevant for the site's audience. If your guest blog gets a good response, the blog owners also publicize it through the email newsletter and their social media platforms. Great blog posts can lead to not only great exposure but also hundreds of leads.
So, how you will get massive coverage from these activities?
These steps will help you make enough noise on the internet. Once you have created sufficient visibility, a lot of publishers would love to cover you. Many influencers and bloggers will show interest in covering your brand. It will ultimately result in a Snowball effect. Things will start to snowball and a lot of publishers and journalists who cover your industry may ask you for your expertise and opinion. Now, it will be up to you on how to turn it to your advantage.