small business pr

How to Get Heaping Buckets of Free PR in Less Than 5 Minutes a Day

Would some free PR help you get more clients? You bet!

But you’re not getting the PR you’d like to have for one simple reason…you don’t know how to get it…you don’t know what to say…and you don’t know who to talk to (OK that’s three reasons).

There’s plenty of information out there (according to Google there are a mere 314 million webpages that will help you). The problem is knowing what actually works.

Most of the popular advice is garbage. For example:

  • Submit online press releases
  • Be an expert at something
  • Friend reporters on Facebook
  • Host events for local charities
  • Be real (yes there is an actual article that suggests the key to getting press is to “be real”)
  • Develop relationships with reporters
  • Create a captivating media kit

Honestly, do you have time to write a press release once or twice a week on the chance that it’ll catch a reporter’s eye? Of course not!

If you had the time, you’d already be doing it.

The problem with all of these approaches is that they force you to chase cold media leads. That’s no good…you want red hot reporters, writing on a topic where you can add value to their audience and most importantly…on deadline!

The problem is how to find them…

Well, I’ve got a solution for you. But before I share it I need your commitment (without commitment these tips will not work for you).

Your Marketing Commitment

Repeat after me: “I (state your name) will devote 5 minutes of my day to finding free PR for my business.”

That’s it. Can you do it?

Red Hot Media Leads Delivered to Your Inbox Four Times A Day

I’m going to share with you my secret source for getting lots of free PR opportunities. In the last 30 days I’ve been interviewed twice and have another in the works. Not a bad month considering it took just five minutes a day…and only on weekdays.

OK, here’s the secret…subscribe to two reporter “matchmaking services” (both are free):

1. Help A Reporter Out - HARO, as it’s affectionately called, is a connector of reporters looking for experts and experts looking for interviews. It’s free to register as an expert. When you do, you’ll receive 3 emails a day (morning, noon and evening). Each email includes dozens of press requests organized by topic. Each listing has all of the information you need to respond to the opportunity. You’ll see requests from the Wall Street Journal next to requests from small blog sites.

2. Reporter Connection - Like HARO, Reporter Connection links reporters and experts. When you register for free you’ll get one email each day with listings. As with HARO, the details of the request and the contact information for the reporter are right in each email. This is especially convenient…I’ve responded to some requests right from my iPhone.

That’s four lists of reporters looking for experts like you, five days a week. I know you can make hay with that!

The key is to read list shortly after it arrives. I get them on my iPhone and triage them during those few minutes between other activities. Each email takes just 30 seconds to scan for gold nuggets of PR. If you find something on topic click the link to view the full listing (further down in the same email).

Be sure to note the deadline (occasionally you’ll see one due that same day). If you’ve got a relevant response set aside some time later that day or the next to write your “pitch.”

Unlike writing press releases, your pitches to these reporters must be brief. I landed one last week and the reporter required all responses be less than 500 characters (not 500 words).

That’s great…you’re busy, the reporter’s busy so cut to the chase.

You’ll probably be a bit nervous when you send in your first pitch. Don’t worry about it, just respond.

I’ve found the key to getting media consistently is to respond through HARO and Reporter Connection regularly. Do your best, but focus on persistence, not perfection. As you land more interviews you’ll get better at crafting winning pitches. Give yourself time to get good.

How to Use HARO and Reporter Connection To Get More Clients

HARO and Reporter Connection are great for finding PR for your business. But if you stop there you’re cheating yourself.

Do you think your prospects and clients might like some free press for their business too? You bet!

Don’t just read those daily emails with your business in mind…look for opportunities to get your prospects and clients some press too.

My goal is to find one opportunity a day for someone in my network. Then I just forward them the email and tell them how to respond if they want to. I don’t know how many respond, but I do know that I am a much more valuable resource to my prospects, clients and network because they know I can connect them with press opportunities. They tell me so.

The truth is, I’d do it even if it didn’t help me attract clients because it just makes me feel good…and it’ll make you feel good too.

And remember so far you’ve invested 5 minutes of time and zero dollars.

But I’m A Local Business, Why Do I Want Press From Somewhere Else?

That’s a fair question…here’s a better than fair answer.

You want all the press you can get. Even if it’s in the Timbuktu Times. Here’s why…

It validates your business in the eyes of your prospects and clients.

If the media is turning to you on a regular basis because of your expertise your position in the minds of your prospects and clients will be elevated to expert status…and then celebrity expert status.

“But my prospects don’t read the Timbuktu Times!”

That’s OK, they don’t need to…You’re going to tell them about the interview.

The best example I’ve ever seen of this technique is at Five Guys Burgers. Find one near you, go get a burger, and while you’re standing in line, or standing in the restroom or walking in the hall to the restroom or sitting at your table…or…or…all you see are newspaper and magazine clips from all over the country talking about the burgers.

The burgers don’t have to be that great…but you’ll believe they are that great. It’s right there in print. It must be true!

They have done a masterful job of showing social proof to validate your decision to eat there. And they’ve shown you that Five Guys is a place people are talking about. The suggestion is “you should be talking about them too.”

And I’ll bet you will.

Being in the news is newsworthy. Tell your customers like Five Guys does or send them the clip of the article in the mail. Email a link to your email list…post it on Facebook…tweet it…link it on LinkedIn and put it on your website.

Every time you’re featured in the press it’s an excuse to talk to your prospects, customers and referral alliances. You’d be crazy not to use the excuse to stay in front of them.

This marketing strategy is easy, free and it works. So stop wasting time trying to get business through social media and start getting exposure in actual media.

One of my favorite quotes from Donald Trump is “Be somebody and be somewhere.” Being talked about in the press positions you as “somebody.”

Go sign up for HARO and Reporter Connection and then post a comment to let me know!