50 of the Best Public Relations Tips

From the acclaimed author The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur Michael Michalowicz “The 54 Best PR Tips for Entrepreneurs”. Here is a comprehensive list of tips that will take your public relations marketing efforts to the next level. Here is the original post here.

  1. Contact your local cable company to get your own FREE Cable TV show! They provide you with the set, the crew and the airtime –ALL FREE– you just have to produce your own show. Thanks to Melanie Heywood of Listasaurus.com.
  2. TPE means Totally Pumped Entrepreneurs. Here is a tip from Derrick Hayes of Encouragement Speaker. Convert the person’s or company’s name into a motivating acronym. It get’s positive responses almost all the time.
  3. The media loves drama! Write letters to the editor that are bold, emotional, engaging and even shows a controversial viewpoint. Thanks to Michele Harris of Smarti Solutions.
  4. Know the reporters at your local newspapers who report on your industry and build a relationship. Obvious, but effective. Thank you to Andrea Johnson of Ideas to Words for this back to basics tip.
  5. Don’t randomly pursue exposure for exposure’s sake, but ensure your PR is consistent with your company message. Thanks to Luke Cushman of Cushman Amberg Communications.
  6. Form a “strategic PR alliance” with your local college. Host an event at their location. You bring a newsworthy event and they bring a credible venue. A PR win-win. Thanks to Don Liimatainen of Ablaze Custom Cleaning.
  7. Here’s a good one from Traci Bisson of Bisson Barcelona. Create a media room on your website or blog that contains valuable information that the media can use for stories and features. Include tips, advice, resources and a list of topics you have expertise about. Find a good hook in current events – for example, an insurance broker could talk about fire risk mitigation (a/k/a insurance) or a contractor about fire suppression systems after a big fire. Thanks to Casey Quinlan of Mighty Mouth.
  8. Run a simple sweepstakes. Encourage entrants to go viral with the promotion by offering extra entries for telling friends. Ensure the rules follow state and federal regulations. Make the drawing public and invite the local media (TV, radio, newspapers & magazines) to report on the festivities. Thanks to Carolyn Wilman of Contest Queen.
  9. Do something giving for those who have lost or are about to lose their jobs. Provide your coaching tips, career assistance or even stress reduction assistance. Tell the news what you are doing. Thanks to Maria Marsala of Elevating Your Business for this go-giver tip.
  10. Aruni Gunasegaram from Babble Soft suggests engaging with well known bloggers and build a relationship by commenting on their blogs. When the time comes to mention a promotion you are working on, they might be more inclined to mention it.
  11. Read the section or watch the television show you plan to pitch (at least three past articles/shows) so that  you can present your story idea with knowledge of the media outlet’s format. Thanks to Gail Sideman of PUBLISIDE.
  12. Contact your favorite bloggers that have posts relevant to your line of business and ask them to back link to  your site or profile your company, product or service. Never underestimate the power of the blogisphere. Thanks for this tip to Chelly Jones of Kendall Jai Creative.
  13. Volunteer to be a guest speaker at your local Rotary Club dinner. Tell the press you will be there! Thanks to Joyce Schwarz of JCOM.
  14. Christine Pietryla of Pietryla Enterprises has this tip. Add your news releases to your OWN website. Often forgotten, this is the most effective way to your get information to people who are seeking it out.
  15. Conduct an online survey and publicize it. Reporters love data and if you can provide information that no  one else has, you can score big placements in both trade and national publications. Give people a “heads up” by distributing the data in a press release. Thanks to Andrew Lavin from Lavin Communications for this tip.
  16. Call reporters in the morning. Most deadlines are in the afternoon causing reporters to be very stressed and short-tempered when it comes to an unplanned phone call, says Kirsty Dunphey of Kirstydunphey.com.
  17. So, this one is just funny, but maybe it will get you thinking out of the box. Have your company’s name  printed by a Nigerian scam on bogus checks that get sent all over the US. Then when the customers’ call to  see if the checks are real, tell them they aren’t but would they like to buy a motorcycle/ATV/dirtbike/snow  blower from you. Thanks for the laugh to Rachael Young from, you guessed it, Summit Honda.
  18. Adopt a local nonprofit or charitable organization in the community that is overlooked by the bigger  businesses, and join forces to create a Public Service Announcement or viral video. Thanks to Christine Scioli of Zan Media.
  19. Be prepared for more than just the pitch. Be prepared to see the conversation through and to provide  supplemental materials and to be interviewed on a moments notice. Thanks to Erica Dublin of Mortar Agency.
  20. Here is a gutsy one suggested by Dan Brown of Mulberry Marketing Communications. There is one day of  the year you can get away with lying outright to the media – April Fool’s Day. Come up with an outrageous, yet somewhat feasible, story and send it out as a press release on March 31st with the note ‘Embargoed until April 1st’ at the top, which means the journalists can use the story on April 1st but not before. Make sure to send out a media advisory the afternoon of April 1st confirming it was an April Fool’s joke.
  21. Sponsor a fundraising event for a non-profit organization. Thanks to Bonnie Friedman of Grapevine Productions.
  22. Susan Gayle from New Behavior Institute suggests that you have a weekly press release sharing new  knowledge. It and your name will get around.
  23. Offer to be a speaker at your local service organization meetings, at your library and at community events. The better speaker you are (with relevant information, not a sales pitch) will get you more speaking  opportunities, thus promoting your business. Thanks for this idea to Jean Palmer-Heck of Real-Impact.
  24. Unless it is urgent or time sensitive, never pitch journalists on a Monday or a Friday. They are trying to start and end their week just like you are and it is more effective to let them do so without a pitch or a follow-up. Thanks to Hannah Huffines of Concentrics Restaurants for this solid tip.
  25. Talk about simple, but 80% of the world doesn’t do it: Don’t forget to follow-up! Thanks to Mary Beth Huffman of IMPACT Marketing and Public Relations.
  26. Sign up for Google Alerts. Select keywords specific to your area of interest or expertise. Each day Google  will send you links to websites and blogs where people are writing about those topics. This enables you to  respond to blogs, creating powerful links back to your website. Your natural search engine rankings will go  up and up. Thanks for this tip to Melissa Wadsworth.
  27. Ray Young of Halldin Public Relations suggests the following. Understand What is News and What is Not … If you would tell your spouse or friends an interesting story, perhaps that’s news to your local press. If you  wouldn’t, it probably isn’t news worthy.
  28. Make your pitch “media-centric” not “ego-centric”. Use facts, not fireworks for better media acceptance and  subsequent exposure. Thanks to Todd Brabender of Spread The News PR.
  29. The best way to get coverage is to pitch a story about the people served by your company. Use a single person or family and tell their story. Include what their problems were and how they were solved. It doesn’t  and shouldn’t be all about your company. Thanks to Angela Moore of Starfish P.R.
  30. Ford Kanzler of PR Savvy has this idea. Doing something others are not doing will aid in gaining media  attention. Business as usual gets you no where.
  31. Spend some time getting to know your local reporters – take them out to lunch, drinks, whatever. They will  appreciate a little special attention – especially on a reporter’s salary. And the next time you call to pitch a story, they’re more likely to remember you and return the favor. Thanks for this idea to Kim Wilder-Lee of The PR Maven.
  32. Be interesting not selling – it’s all about interesting stories, not marketing material! Whatever you do, be  respectful of the writer’s time. Thanks to Ben Bradley of Benbradley.net.
  33. Play the fame game, and get notable names to endorse you. This could be the local beauty queen or news  anchor. If you want to reach big name try a membership with whorepresents.com, you’ll be able to contact  managers and publicists directly. Thanks to Joy Donnell of 720PR.
  34. Jenn Hoffman of Get Some Media has this tip for you. Start small. A press release in your local hometown newspaper can get picked up by national outlets.
  35. Listen to your local talk radio and when you hear the “lines are open”, quickly fax your press release or pitch. The likelihood of them checking it out because they are looking for inbound activity. Thanks to Robert Smith of Champion Media Worldwide.
  36. Email a reporter in advance with quotes from your business to give a local and personal angle to a national  story the minute you hear about the story, that way your quotes are ready to insert as filler, or possibly to  turn a national story with a local angle into a local story with a national angle. Thanks to Dave Greenbaum of DoctorDave Computer Repair.
  37. Package your businesses story angles (yes, more than one!) in a unique and distinctive (un-ignorable) container, then deliver to your local journalists. For example, if you own a salon, put your press release in an  empty shampoo bottle with a note tied around the bottle that says something like: “At Janie’s Salon, we’re  more than a haircut and a wash… look inside to see what we mean.” Thanks to Dave Racine of Mindspike
  38. Twitter your way to the top! What you can say in 120 characters can make a huge impact? The media is  listening. Thanks to Jocelyn Brandeis of JBLH Communications.
  39. There are all sorts of crazy holidays listed online. Find one that works around your service or product. For example, September is “Update Your Resume” month. Do an event in honor of the holiday and send out  lots of press releases and notices weeks in advance. If there isn’t a holiday already in existence, then create  one! Thanks to Lauren Milligan of ResuMAYDAY.com. Contact your alma maters and get featured in their newsletters. Thanks to Dr. Nancy Irwin.
  40. Don’t be afraid to give something away for free. Write an article that educates or informs your target market. A simple link to your site in the byline is all the marketing you need. Thanks to Alyice Edrich of The Dabbling Mum Press.
  41. Many reporters START with an internet search. Do everything you can to make sure that your company’s  websites and blog(s) are in the top natural search results on Google and Yahoo. Thanks to Shaun Dakin of The National Political Do Not Contact Registry.
  42. Read regularly. When a story genuinely relates to you and possibly your product, reach out and give them a genuine thanks. They just may keep your name for the next go around. Thanks to Moschel Kadokura of Timely Matters.
  43. Send thank you notes to reporters that have your photo on them and contact information inside. Thank them for good articles that you have enjoyed. They rarely get a thanks, so that alone is a nice thing… plus you never know. Thanks to Judy Wright of Auntie Artichoke.
  44. Miriam Silverberg is to thank for this tip. On television the weatherman or woman is the forgotten person. Send him something and you stand a good chance of having it mentioned on television.
  45. Use the free press release sites that include, Freepressrelease.com, PR.com, or PRleap.com. Bloggers and  reporters often pick them up. Thanks to Marvin Dejean of POWERi Technologies.
  46. Offer to write a monthly column for your local newspaper. Thanks to Kelly Quintanilla of CUSO Development Company.
  47. Sit on the board of a non-profit and become the spokes person. Not only are you doing good things, but you  will be referenced in anything related to the non-profit. Thanks to Shonika Proctor of Teen Entrepreneur Success Secrets.
  48. Be a source for reporters. When you meet them, simply offer to be a source to get them in front of other contacts. When you make good introductions, they’ll remember. And when they need someone like you, they’ll call YOU. Thanks to Teajai Kimsey of IdeasThatWork.net.
  49. Develop a character for your business and have a small plush version of it made to give away to prospects, customers and even radio and TV station on air personalities. It is amazing what you can get for a small investment. Thanks for this tip from GL Hoffman of Whatwoulddadsay.com.
  50. Internet press releases with a podcast or video attached increases the likelihood that the release will  perform well and be picked up by more channels. Thanks to Bill Balderaz of Webbed Marketing.
  51. Contact journalists for your industry’s media outlets and ask outright if they would like to receive your media  releases. This opens the door to communication; you can then address the reporter / editor by name and make your releases more personal. Thanks to Ariane Griffiths of FreshPow.ca.
  52. And here is a tip from me, Mike Michalowicz of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, sign up for Help A Reporter Out (HARO). Hands down it is the best way to get on topic media attention, day in and day out.