Head a business no one knows about? Own a startup that is shouting out for customers but not reaching the right people?
While you service/product/offering may be unique, undoubtedly, there will be some competition out there in a space littered with thousands of new startups each day, making it easier to be lost in the milieu unless you reach the audience first.
Yes, in today’s harsh competitive landscape, you can be easily overrun if not backed by a strong advertising strategy. On the bright side, even new kids on the block can singlehandedly take down stalwarts by adopting a cleverly researched and meticulously implemented PR and advertising strategy.
PR remains a great way to introduce your brand to the world. However, it needn’t be done the old way.
So, what strategy do you have in place for promoting your startup? How do you plan to generate PR for your soon-to-be launched or just launched venture? To take your PR strategy one step forward, today I will share 10 tools and services for generating PR for your company, regardless of the nature or size of your company.
Lets start with this lesser known tool offered by Google, free. Most people use Google Alerts to receive copies of clips and mentions regarding their company or product.
However, very few have tapped the potential of Google Alerts for generating PR. Setting up alerts for relevant news will ensure you receive instant updates anytime a news related to your niche is published. While you may not be a part of the news, responding to it with a thoughtful comment can make you very much a part of the conversation and turn the spotlight on you.
If you have a relevant blog in relation to the topic in news, you can always post a back-link to the blog to continue the engagement.
Another potential benefit is discovering reporters who could be a part of your media list; if they have covered the topic for your competitor, they might as well be a part of your media list.
HARO or Help A Reporter Out is a platform that lets you take the matter in your own hands – yes – instead of waiting for reporters to find you, HARO lets you share your insights on a platform where journalists discover hundreds of stories everyday.
Sign up on HARO to receive source requests three times a day, Monday to Friday, and identify source requests relevant to your niche or expertise.
Now simply follow the directions, throw in a stellar pitch, include a bio and shoot with your contact information enclosed.
If a journalist likes your gig or what you want to share, they will contact you with the relevant details. Could it get any simpler than this?
Here, I would like to share a piece of advice. HARO is a large community with over 475,000 users and it will only help your case to simply perfect the pitch you are sharing. Once a journalist picks your story, your name and company will be listed in the article generating the much-required PR.
PRWeb is an online press release distribution service offering several packages to suit your pocket and share your crafted message with a large audience.
But how can you leverage PRWeb to boost your business’s visibility? First, write an engaging topic that journalists and the audience will find interesting. From here, let PRWeb take over to take your message to the media and, from thereon, the audience.
PRWeb is as easy to use as 1,2,3… Yep. 1) Create content; 2) Share your press release and, wait for it, 3) Track your press release!
Apart from taking your news release to a large number of media contacts through its mass distribution channel, the service also allows you to track the performance of your news release.
With the tracking feature you can receive search engine data to know how people found you out; how many people read your news release; and know how many media contacts received your content.
Indeed, quite a lot of useful stuff on offer if you are ready to pay the price. Packages start at $199.
Creating powerful PRs with Duct Tape Marketing
As with any process, there are different stages of operation and when it comes to generating PR, the first step obviously entails creating powerful news releases.
But does it really take a pro to write those eye grabbing news pieces?
Not so anymore. With Duct Tape Marketing to your rescue, simply register, fill in the requested information for creating ‘the perfect’ PR and voila! Your perfectly formatted Press Release is ready to be shared with the world. You will also receive an email copy to quickly share with your media contacts.
Pssstttt. It’s free!
So now that your news release is ready, what do you do next? I’d say you use the following two handy tools to find relevant media contacts and share your release!
Cold emailing is a trick of the past. Instead of waiting for divine intervention after you have sent the last of your cold emails, check out Muck Rack to find and get in touch with journalists interested in your work.
- Find – Muck Rack helps you find journalists, bloggers and freelancers across the world and also offers sophisticated searches to know what they are writing and sharing, helping you identify journalists who will take your story to the world.
- Track – Now you can easily track whenever your company or competition is mentioned in the news! Muck Rack will also alert you any time a journalist is looking for a source and every time a story you cannot afford to miss is published.
- Media lists – Create custom media lists of journalists based on any particular subject to increase your work efficiency. The lists can be exported to PDF and Excel as well.
With Muck Rack, getting in touch is easy. Create a perfect pitch, find a journalist in Muck Rack and click ‘send pitch’ to bowl them over!
Anewstip is a database of over 1 million media contacts and lets you identify relevant media contacts by allowing you to review millions of articles and tweets written by them.
The process is fast, efficient and very easy. Here’s what you need to do:
- Simply type in your search term and find thousands of results that can be further filtered according to ‘News articles, Tweets, Journalist profile and Outlet profile’.
- Advanced search options such as date, time and country can be used for results that are more intuitive.
- Finally, if you like what you see and decide to contact a journalist, choose ‘Pitch by email’ option or ‘View email option’ and send your perfect pitch across.
Tip: Use Anewstip better by creating an alert to monitor tweets and news articles from your media contacts everytime they mention your keyword.
Now that you have created and shared your news release, what do you do next? I suggest you track your performance and know who’s talking about you and your competitors with the next tool on this list, Mention.
“Scour the web, social media, and more for powerful market insights” with Mention, a service that lets you track your product and competitors online. After registering for your free account, simply input your company’s name, an influencer’s name or any specific websites you want to monitor and receive an email or mobile alert everytime your product/brand/company is mentioned.
* For efficiency, I’d suggest a bonus tool – Coverage Book – that you can use to save and present all your media mentions in one place conveniently. And if you are ready to go all out, take some time to learn about Cision, the most powerful PR software on the block with one of the largest databases of journalists and media contacts and a full-fledged range of features including advanced distribution, tracking and analyzing of your press releases.
While no list can ever be exhaustive, I have shared with you some of the most powerful services and tools to generate PR for your company and create a long-term PR and advertising strategy.
If you want to share any other service you have used and loved the results, do leave a word in the comment section below; it is always best to share and build on our knowledge.
While at it, also tap into the power of high quality content to take your brand forward. Here are 6 steps to write an awesome blog you can benefit from.