ENTREPRENEURSHIP / JAN. 05, 2015
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How to Get PR for Your Business Start-up

As a start-up entrepreneur, you know you have this great new product or service -- now you just need to find some people interested in sharing your idea with the world. The public relations campaign for your new startup should be part of your overall advertising and marketing strategy -- meaning you’ll use a combination of online marketing tools as well as good old-fashioned hand-shaking to get the word out about what you and your company have to offer. 

Pack some patience in your PR toolkit, however, since it could take some time for the public to really take notice of what you’re all about. 

Host an event

Whether it’s an opening gala, a block party or any other public event, offering free food and drinks -- and even prizes or other fun stuff -- can be a great way to get reporters, who are often underpaid and underfed, in the door. Send the reporters on the business beat as well as any other beats related to your industry, such as computers or technology, for example, a personal note inviting them to the event.

Create a blog about your industry

It’s one thing to blog about what’s happening at your start-up, and quite another to create one focused on the wider industry you’re in. When you do the latter, you’re opening your audience up a lot wider. Your blog can still mention your own products or services, but you’ll draw in readers -- and possibly media people -- more by offering news, tips, surveys or other information related to your industry. 

Write on other people’s blogs

Public relations is all about networking, and the key to networking is knowing the right people. Join industry groups, networking groups or your local chamber of commerce and network with people who might be interested in you posting information on their websites, offering you both a chance to market to a new group of people. Also look to associations or clubs in your industry, where you might be able to post information about your upcoming launch. 

Make yourself a pundit

Similar to the blog idea, find ways to get yourself quoted as an industry expert. One way to do that is to check out Help a Reporter Out, or HARO, where reporters and industry pundits go to connect. Reporters post information about quotes or information they need, and then professionals in the industry offer their services. You can also do a similar thing with your local news media, sending them an information sheet about you and the other professionals in your start-up, and how you’re available for interviews or information about stories related to your industry. 

Participate in the Twittersphere

Keep your ear to the ground of what other companies and start-ups are doing -- as well as what reporters and news agencies are talking about -- by starting a Twitter feed for your business, and then participating on a regular basis. 

Send well-timed email blasts and press releases

Speak directly to reporters and news agencies when you have something interesting going on by drafting press releases and email newsletters. You don’t want to overwhelm them with too much correspondence, but one release every few months will keep you on the media’s radar. 

As you get your start-up off the ground, you’ll need to take advantage of all of these tactics -- and more -- to help you get the best press possible. 

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