July marks the midpoint of the year, when many businesses assess budgets and begin forecasting expenditures for the remaining months as they start to plan for 2015. In the spirit of budgeting, today’s blog post focuses on tips to help you save money on your PR efforts.
You may not realize that there are free resources out there to take advantage of. Of course, there are some lower cost paid options, as well, if you have some budget but don’t want to break the bank.
Here are five categories of helpful PR resources, many of them free, to assist you with your efforts:
1) For reporter queries: Here are three resources you can sign up for free that send out email daily with reporter queries (reporters looking for people to interview). Anyone may respond, as long as the guidelines are followed:
- HARO: Everyone’s an expert at something. Sharing your expertise may land you that big media opportunity you’ve been looking for. http://www.helpareporter.com/
- Pitchrate: Simply register as an expert, and then when you see a request that’s appropriate for your expertise, “make a pitch.” That will send your pitch to the journalist making the request. http://www.pitchrate.com/
- SourceBottle: Exclusively focused on topics around women’s interests, including beauty, business, home and lifestyle, health, parenting and relationships. http://www.thesourcebottle.com/us-can/
2) For awards and speaking opportunities: IT Memos: This service provides a complimentary subset of award and speaking opportunities geared toward the IT industry (the paid service provides even more opportunities): http://itdatabase.com
3) For research: Take advantage of Google. Use it to research to see which reporters and publications are writing about your competitors and your industry. Also use it to research publications that might be a fit and then check editorial calendars for opportunities.
4) Press release services: Issue press releases free via these wire services. There are many, but these are the two I use most often:
- PR.com, http://www.pr.com/. This one gets the news on the search engines; note there’s a 24-36 hour lag time on the release actually being posted, so plan ahead.
- PRLog.com, http://www.prlog.org/. This one allows you to add a photo and/or video at no charge. You can choose to issue the release instantly or set a date/time.
And, if you have the budget, here are three services that charge to issue press releases:
- PRWeb: Most cost-effective of the three, http://www.prweb.com/
- Businesswire: Great service but expensive—use sparingly to announce major news, http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/
- PRNewswire: Some prefer to Businesswire, perhaps better for B-to-C, but also pricey, http://www.prnewswire.com/
5) For editorial calendar opportunities: To find editorial calendar opportunities, here’s a free resource:
You may also visit each publication’s site. Many list their editorial calendar online (sometimes it can be found under “Advertising” or “Media Kit”), so it’s possible to build your own calendar of opportunities that may be a fit for free. Paid services are also available such as MyEdCals, http://www.mymediainfo.com/myedcals.html.