Public Relations on a Shoestring Budget
 
   

Public Relations on a Shoestring Budget

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
Send all comments or additions to:
   Frankp@chiro.org
 
   

Thanks to Today's Chiropractic for permission to reproduce this article!


The shoestring budget—most entrepreneurs know it all too well. But even if you don’t have much to spend, take heart: There’s no rule of thumb on how much capital you should allocate to your public relations efforts. Besides, you can more than make up for a shortage of cash by promoting yourself creatively. If you’re looking for some advice, here are a few guidelines that should help you determine where to spend your PR money and energy.

  1. Marketing material basics. Buy good-quality business cards, letterhead and a marketing piece such as a brochure. The brochure should concentrate more on how you can help people than on the specific tasks you perform.

  2. Speak, speak, speak. Speak for free to audiences who are part of your target market. That could include community and national clubs, chambers of commerce, senior living communities or religious organizations. Public speaking engagements give you instant credibility.

  3. Write, write, write. Write how-to or advice articles for your weekly and daily newspapers, local business magazines, professional publications, and print and electronic newsletters.

  4. Do media interviews. Call local reporters who write for publications read by your target audience. Invite them to call on you when they need background, commentary or story ideas about your profession. Tell reporters you’re willing to discuss the challenges you’re facing in your practice. Position yourself as a helpful source.

  5. Start a newsletter. Publish an email newsletter and pack it with helpful information and special offers. This is much cheaper than a paper-and-ink newsletter because you don’t have to pay for printing or postage. If you have a web site, be sure to link the newsletter to it.

  6. Build strategic alliances. Introduce yourself to other businesspeople who don’t compete with you but who market to the same target audience. Offer to promote them if they promote you. Make sure they’re people you like and trust.

  7. Do pro bono work. Offer your services free to an influential nonprofit group. It will give you a chance to get in front of their board members, who may be in a position to hire you for their own companies.



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