PR on a shoestring 

When you are just starting your business there are some really inexpensive ways to create a public presence for your product or organization. This also works if you are trying to convince upper management to allocate funding for a PR budget.

Begin by simply clipping articles and web mentions for your organization. Make sure you include a masthead or name plate. I recommend removing the date so that you can use them for years to come. Package them in a PDF and have them ready to send out when someone requests information about you.

Use interns. They work cheap. Are enthusiastic. They typically have lots of ideas. Make sure you outline their duties and give them real work. Not only are you assisting with preparing the next generation of communicators, you are paying it forward by sharing your skill and interest. Most interns will work unpaid if necessary for class credit. However, if you can arrange a “bonus” at the end of their time, they will go back to school talking about how great you treated them and that sets up the next batch of interns to come.

Can’t find interns, utilize services like FiverrYou can find great people who will build your logo and help with just about any digital application for just a few bucks. 

Network with your peers. We all know about acquiring (aka borrowing or stealing) ideas. If you have a group of peers who you respect, work smarter together. Share ideas. Adapt something that worked for someone else. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

Sponsor a workshop. Invite people to come learn about you while giving them something that makes it a benefit to them. This sets you up as an expert in your area and gives you a front place in line when they actually need to hire someone to get the work done.

Work smarter not harder. It’s a waste of time to use a speech just once. Repurpose it for new groups. Format it into a newsletter or article. Turn it into a workshop.

Write for publications. Getting articles published online or in print gives you instant credibility. Ask your favorite reads for an editorial calendar. Tailor your ideas to fit their format. The most common articles are how to, and top 10 lists. The editorial pages in local newspaper are one of the most read sections and also one that takes local contributions. Editorials aren’t just about politics. You’ll find business and community concerns there too. Build your following locally, then branch out.

You don’t have to invest big bucks when you are just starting out to generate positive results. Try implementing just a few of these ideas and watch your impact soar.

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