FREE PR that is…

Here’s some quick ideas for tapping into the power of the press and getting some free publicity for your company.

Case Studies or Project Stories

Chances are you just helped a client with a project, or provided them with a service that assisted their organization in achieving a goal or made worklife better or more productive. Perhaps it was just a helping hand when they needed to resolve an issue that there wasn’t a specific technology, product or service available and you provided insight or a workaround.

These situations can make really great feature stories or how to articles that print and online publishers are hungry for. Good, real-world useful information and problem solving examples that others can use or refer to are really appreciated by editors who often get bombarded with press and news releases that are sometimes a little heavy on the commerical or advertorial side.

When you have a successful outcome with a client, ask them if they would be willing to be interviewed for the creation of an article about their company, the project and the what, when, where and why about it. You will get to mention your company and the item/service that was used by your client of course, but make it clear to your client that you’re not looking for an endorsement, just simply a run down of what happened, the problem, solution and results. When you finish developing your story, provide it to your client for review and approval prior to sending it to any publication and let your customer know that you will be doing this at the very beginning. This goes a long way in getting clients to participate in the process freely and provides that extra level of comfort that they won’t be misquoted or misrepresented.

If you aren’t a strong writer, consider outsourcing this task to a freelance reporter or journalist that works within your industry. Working with someone familiar with your industry and terminology will help in crafting an article that stands a better chance of being accepted for publication since it will present your information in a format that is specifically geared to your target audience and the type of information that is most useful and beneficial to them (note: editors really appreciate this!).

In some cases, you might even get your story written at no cost to you by the publication you are targeting if you can supply one of their staff writers with a story lead, a brief synopsis and help them make contact with your customer. They will have an exclusive on the piece in this case but if it is an important, prominent publication in your industry, it is well worth it.

And, when you get published, ask about reprints and obtaining an electronic version of the story for posting on your website. Don’t be afraid to brag about the fact that you were featured in the press, pass your reprints out, tell as many people as you can.

PR is a side of marketing that takes a little effort but not much money to initiate and can help get you long-term positive visibility and recognition. So, put your thinking caps on and let me know when I can read all about you and your customers in the news.