Question: How can I get positive publicity and free press for my small business or startup?
Sponsor Local Events
"The best way to get your business name out in the world is to put it in front of a lot of people. Sponsoring local events like 5Ks or festivals can make you visible. Better yet, you can often contribute with products instead of cash, so not only do you get noticed, but you get people actually using or experiencing your business' product. That's a lot of exposure without a cash investment."
"If you want people to know who you are, the best way to do that is to create and share great content. It could consist of blog posts, YouTube videos, or even a press release or two; it could offer anything from entertainment to education. Draft up a mission statement -- what sort of content will resonate with your audience and the desired outcome -- and get cracking."
Get Others to Promote for You
"Find the time to do a lunchtime talk at a college or speak at events where the attendees will tweet quotes and post pictures that serve as press for you. Host events, sponsor competitions or do whatever is relevant and helpful to your customer base so that people see you are trying to do something great for the community and will graciously advocate for you and your business."
Perfect Your Pitch and Targeting
"Perfect a one-sentence pitch that will quickly let journalists, bloggers and entrepreneurs know about your startup first. You'll save a lot of time down the road by effectively describing what you do differently. I also recommend being very selective about where and to whom you pitch. No matter your technique or platform, it always pays to prepare your message and choose recipients carefully."
Do Something Worth Writing About
"There is always a need for content and people are scrambling to find something interesting to publish. Make their life easy and do something worth writing about, then tell them about it. Find a unique angle and share it. Tie into a broader theme that is popular. Stop thinking about your needs and think about theirs. The rest flows naturally."