Published October 10, 2008

Get Free Publicity: Small Business Publicity Marketing

Take Advantage of Your Local Media - Press Releases

Let's begin with one of the best small business publicity marketing tools available to you via your local media - television, radio, and newspaper. Of course, media people bristle at the idea of giving businesses "free" advertising.

That would be cutting into their profits.

However, most don't have a problem providing a small business with free publicity - if it's presented in the right context. In fact, the media is always looking for newsworthy events to include in their paper or in their daily broadcast.

So, why don't you give them something they'll happily include in tomorrow's edition?

Once you put your thinking cap on, you'll easily come up with hundreds of ideas for press releases. It really just boils down to "publicity marketing".

Here are a couple of "newsworthy" ideas to get you started!

  • Many newspapers have a business section. Write a press release introducing the opening, or expansion, of your business
  • Welcome a new employee
  • Announce an award received by your business or employee
  • Do something unique. If you're a pizza business, for instance, have a "pizza eating contest"
  • Do something for kids, if your business lends itself to such an activity. Give a class of students an opportunity to get a "behind the scenes" look at your business' operation
  • Participate in a community service project. Donate goods or services to a local homeless shelter, for example
  • Do you have some ideas or tips to offer people? If you're a dry cleaner, for instance, perhaps you can write a small weekly column, or do a 15-second spot on the local radio or television stations offering tips on how to care for fine clothing.

Tips for Writing a Press Release

Now, that the wheels of creativity have been primed, how do you go about writing a press release that won't get tossed in the dreaded circular file as soon as it hits the editor's desk?

Editors will generally rewrite press releases, or develop more in-depth stories based on an interesting story idea presented in a press release.

So, writing a good press release won't require a tremendous amount of journalistic skills. However, there are just a few simple tips to follow:

  • Write a catchy headline
  • Your lead paragraph should include the 4 "W"s and an "H" ~ Who, What, When, Where and How
  • Be as concise and as informative in your writing as possible. Don't include a lot of fluff, and watch out for typos
  • For the best coverage, give the media as much notice of your event as possible.

Free Publicity Marketing Opportunities Reign on the Web

For the entrepreneur willing to take the time and apply the effort, the Internet can be considered their "free publicity" oyster.

The process is quite simple, but rather time-consuming.

Take a look at some of these ideas for free publicity:

  • Every business needs a website. You can find free or inexpensive website hosting at sites like GoDaddy. In addition, they offer tools to help you set up your own website, for free.
  • Join forums - lots of them. Chat with other surfers, giving advice on your area of expertise. Be sure to link your website every time you make a comment.
  • Post short informational articles featuring specific, Search Engine Optimized (SEO) keywords related to your business on your website. If you're a carpet cleaner and a surfer types in "tips for removing coffee stains from carpet", for example, it's possible that they will be offered a link to your website.

Getting free publicity marketing isn't easy, but it can be done. If you own a small business, publicity marketing is an essential part of your marketing arsenal.