Thanks to Today's Chiropractic for permission to reproduce this article!
The shoestring budgetmost
entrepreneurs know it all too well. But even if you dont have much to
spend, take heart: Theres 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 youre looking
for some advice, here are a few guidelines that should help you determine where
to spend your PR money and energy.
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.
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.
Write, write, write.
Write how-to or advice articles for your weekly and daily newspapers, local
business magazines, professional publications, and print and electronic
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 youre willing to discuss
the challenges youre facing in your practice. Position yourself as
a helpful source.
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
dont have to pay for printing or postage. If you have a web site,
be sure to link the newsletter to it.
Build strategic alliances.
Introduce yourself to other businesspeople who dont compete with you
but who market to the same target audience. Offer to promote them if they
promote you. Make sure theyre people you like and trust.
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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