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How to get your business noticed - DIY PR

30 March 2016

When you haven’t got much of a marketing budget, or your business is shiny and new, then it is the perfect time to approach the media with your story. Whether you want the ensuing publicity to create awareness of your business, its founders or to attract investor interest, you can never underestimate the power of editorial coverage.

What publicity will bring to your business is credibility. The implied endorsement of an editor or inclusion in an industry magazine or newsletter makes your business seem ‘real’ to the readers. It gives it gravitas, if you will.

And why is PR crucial if you have a small or limited marketing budget? Because it gives you more ‘bang for your buck’ than any other form of marketing. If you do it yourself, you can get the ball rolling with a media release and media contact lists for well under $1000. Then you just send it out and follow up with the media yourself. If you advertise, and you should know that you need to place more than one ad to start to gain awareness, so it can be very expensive. And if you want coverage in the leading business media, then you will need to have deep pockets for any coverage other than editorial. Did you know a ¼ page in the Financial Review will set you back anywhere from $16-21,000 and a ¼ page in Smart Investor costs upwards of $3,000? Ouch!

So if you want to get awareness of your business and money is tight then PR is the way to go. And DIY PR is the most cost effective option.

It’s all about digital in the start up space

When running a PR campaign, you need to understand that the media is changing radically at the moment, with many magazines and newspapers going digital. Digital media is going from strength to strength and will be an important part of your mix. Magazines like Start up Smart, Smart Company, the Daily Edition and even BRW are all online with no ‘hard copy’ editions.

In the start up space, particularly, there are countless bloggers and e-magazines and newsletters that can help you create awareness for your business. And because they are digital, many have a global audience which is great for you! It is easy to find them, just Google ‘start up media’ or ‘entrepreneur media’ to get started.

The other benefit of digital media is how an article can positively impact your SEO. Inbound links are rated highly by Google and therefore, getting an article in one of the NewsLtd sites (The Australian, Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, Courier Mail etc) or Fairfax papers (The Age, SMH, WA Today, Brisbane Times etc) can have a really positive impact on the visitors to your site and how it is ranked by the search engines. The bigger the media outlet, the higher it is ranked.

If your business is an app or a new website or SaaS then digital media is obviously a perfect fit for you! That’s not to say that traditional, hard copy media won’t be a benefit too (and to be honest, most of the traditional media also post the stories onto their websites) but don’t discount the power of digital media for your start up.