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|I'm big on getting maximum marketing exposure at the lowest cost possible. After all, most small business owners don't have huge marketing budgets, so finding inexpensive ways to market is a necessity.
Recently I was able to get free marketing exposure for my business to 100,000 people. It was something that took an hour or two of my time and the payoff was huge. And you can do it for your business, too.
It's called Public Relations
And it's simpler than you might think. If you follow a few basic rules, you can get great exposure for your business, product or service without having to pay for it. Here's all I did. See if this might apply to your business.
I sent out a press release announcing the launch of my 10stepmarketing System to two local business publications. While it did not take a lot of time to write and send the release, there were a few key steps I took that you also must take to be successful with your PR efforts.
A few key steps
First, I found several publications that were targeted to the same type of people I am targeting with 10stepmarketing: small business owners. Once I had identified these publications, I did some research to find out the names of the staff writers who cover marketing.
I identified a "hook" to make the story relevant to the publications and I made sure the content of my release provided clear benefits to their readers.
I emailed the release with a note saying I would follow up in a day or two to answer any questions. I followed up with a phone call, speaking directly to one writer and leaving a voice message for the other.
A few days later, I received a phone call from the writer I had left the message for, and spent 20 minutes on the phone answering her questions and helping her understand more clearly how my system could help her readers. I even arranged for her to receive a copy of my product for review.
About a week later, both stories hit. One publication ran my press release verbatim and the other covered all the content in my release and added quotes and information from her phone interview with me.
PR isn't hard when you follow these 6 basic rules:
(1) Identify news outlets that reach YOUR target audience
(2) Send news that is important to, and includes a clear BENEFIT for the publication's audience
(3) Send your release to the APPROPRIATE writer or editor
(4) Include a "HOOK" or something that makes it more interesting or relevant to the publication and their audience (in my case, since the writers covered the local advertising community, I led with the fact that I am a local ad agency veteran)
(5) Follow up with a phone call
(6) Make yourself available to do an interview, answer questions or provide additional information
While I didn't expect a whole lot to happen as a result of this release being published (my objective was simply to announce the launch of my business and to pave the way for future news. I know it usually takes multiple message exposures to generate significant results), the short-term results were amazing.
Not only did it generate sales, I also received an invitation to speak as a result of the stories.
What news could you share about your business? What news outlets reach your prospects? Consider newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations, websites, and any other form of media you can think of.
What "hook" could you use? I challenge you to consider how you could use PR to market your business. It really is easier than you think and the results can be amazing!
To see the press release I sent out (Agency Veteran Launches Marketing Training Program) and PDFs of the resulting articles, visit http://www.10stepmarketing.com/news.htm
(C) 2005 Debbie LaChusa
About the author:
20-year marketing veteran Debbie LaChusa created The 10stepmarketing System to help small business owners successfully market their business, themselves without spending a fortune on marketing. To learn more about this simple, step-by-step program and to sign up for her FREE audio class and FREE weekly ezine featuring how-to articles, tips and advice, visit http://www.10stepmarketing.com
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