Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Practical PR Advice for Start-ups

This is a repost from an article on Greenhorn Connect, a platform and resource for young rookie entrepreneurs in Boston. The author, Danny Wong, is a 19 year-old, PR rock-star for Blank Label, whose been featured in New York Times, BusinessWeek, ReadWriteWeb.

All startups wish to be featured on MSNBC, the New York Times, Mashable and other huge media outlets, and some really awesome startups do. But how can a new, small startup manage to close media features and mentions without paying a $5000+ monthly retainer? Here’s a few pieces of advice I’ve learned along the way:

4 Ways to do Public Relations Cheap

  1. Target blogs and websites in your niche for press. Getting editorial coverage in smaller or niche media outlets is much easier than getting even an email response from writers at mass media giants like Conde Nast.
  2. Go local! Seriously. Leverage your geographical location for local press. There are lots of great local newspapers and news sites that would love to cover your local business.
  3. Leverage your affiliations and associations. If you’re part of a University alumni or student network, try getting press from your school (in the newspaper, email newsletter, printed pamphlets, etc.). If you’re part of an organization, try to get them to make an announcement about the awesome things you’re doing with your startup.
  4. Network, network, network! Go to events and mingle. Perhaps you might run into a reporter, editor or journalist. Or leverage the power of Social Media and network with writers online via Twitter, Facebook, the comment box of their articles, or email.

Public Relations is definitely a hard practice; that’s why there are professionals out there doing it and charging expensive fees. But as a startup, you probably won’t have enough money for a PR firm, so you’re going to have to make the most with what you have. The above four tips offer practical advice for startups looking to get their name out there without the expense of a large monthly retainer.

Danny Wong is the Lead Evangelist and a PR Expert for Blank Label, a custom dress shirts start-up.