As a small business, you may think that PR is out of your reach, that it’s a luxury only afforded to bigger companies who can hire agencies to do the work for them.

Wrong! PR is all about building relationships, and isn’t that what you do with potential and existing customers every day? It’s not so different, it’s just that you are creating a relationship with the media instead of direct with your customers.

There are similar aspects, for example, you try and give your customers what they need, right? Same for journalists. They need expert opinions and help with stories, and if you give them interesting content that they can use, that’s the basis for a good relationship.

So how can you start getting your name out there, getting your opinions heard and becoming the go-to person that journalists seek out? Here are some tips to help you build your brand without breaking the bank.

Use what’s already out there. Big media events such as the Olympics or a new film release already have the interest of journalists. So use that to your advantage. Think about how you can do something associated with that event to leverage your media presence. Whatever you do, it has to be different and unusual. It also has to link naturally with your brand. For example, if you launch a toothbrush with a picture of James Bond on it, what’s the news, what’s the link? Tenuous, a gimmick that journalists will see through. However, if you are an image consultant, and you launch a package which enables men to get the Bond look in time for the film’s release, now that’s newsworthy.

Stunts. These can work really well, and don’t have to cost the earth. But you have to get it right. The objective here is to create buzz for your brand. Again, you shouldn’t be doing something for the sake of it, but if you are launching something new, then you might want to do something different to help generate media coverage. For example, wanted to promote its ‘Bark in the Park’ events (kind of speed-dating for dog owners), so it produced dog food scented posters and put them up in areas where the events were going to take place. Great idea, it linked with what they wanted to promote and no-one had done anything like it before. So that’s the kind of thing you want to do.

Use calendar hooks. Piggyback on the times of the year that generate media interest. For example, using events such as the Budget, or end of tax year will mean that journalists are looking for commentators who can offer opinions and advice. If you go against the grain or say something controversial, then that helps to get noticed, but again, don’t do it for the sake of it. Another calendar hook that can work well is April Fool’s Day, brands always try to create a story around this date, and there’s no reason why you couldn’t too, you can let your imagination run riot on this one!

So there are ways to get your name into the media without spending a lot of money, you just have to be creative, and then give it a go. Too many companies don’t try something, because they’re scared it won’t work, but it you don’t try it, how will you know if it doesn’t work? And if it doesn’t, what’s the worst that can happen?

If you’d like some advice or support on how to build your media presence on a budget, then you can get in touch with me on 07968 104695, or email