Startup guide to effective PR

Disclosure: Just so you know, we may sometimes earn a small commission from affiliate links on this site.

Getting great PR for your startup in the media, on social media websites and blogs is crucial to driving enough business to keep you afloat.

There are a range of skills and techniques you must learn in order to use your marketing and PR resources with maximum efficiency.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs tend to have limited budgets to spend on marketing campaigns, so it's important to identify those areas that are most likely to bear fruit early on.

In particular, efforts that create lasting and cumulative benefits such as blogging (for on-site SEO, organic search traffic, authority and PageRank) and building up social contacts (off-site SEO, marketing, business contacts) are important.

It's also important to understand that there is a distinction between content marketing (blogging, articles, etc), which is targeted directly at potential customers, and building relationships or making connections that provide opportunities to market elsewhere.

For example, your blog may initially drive no traffic at all, but a journalist who you have befriended on LinkedIn may write an article on your business that drives enough traffic to keep you afloat for a year.

In this case, the hour or two spent befriending the journalist is going to be far more valuable than the equivalent amount of time spent blogging. So while blogging is important, making contacts and building an online business network is also crucial.

The success of your PR campaign will probably come down to how well you are able to cultivate contacts in the media (this includes bloggers, journalists, news (online and traditional), business leaders, social marketers, and more) and combine that with building up authority and trust through quality content.

For this you need to know how to:

1. Make contacts in the media

Learning how to find and speak to the right people in the media is vital. You generally have only a few seconds of their time to make enough of an impression that they want to know more about what you do.

Check out:

2. Utilize social networks

Almost everything you do can be shared on one or more social network to build up your base of fans, followers and customers.

Social networks are like free marketing once you have a decent following. Sure, it takes a bit of time and effort but it puts you in direct contact with an almost unlimited number of potential customers:

3. Create engaging blog content

When you're not out meeting people (both online and face to face), you should be building up a body of relevant, focused and interesting content in order to drive up your authority, build trust in your brand and business.

4. Intelligence gathering and research

Of course, everything you do should be informed by what you want to achieve and how much you know about getting it.

There are plenty of resources online that can help you discover tools, techniques, people, websites, directories, and anything else you need in order to maximize your ROI (Return on Investment).

5. Analytics and refinement

Once you have started driving traffic and business through to your website or blog, it's time to start looking at how well you are converting traffic into revenue.

For this you need to gather intelligence (usually in the form of analytics) on the traffic that flows through your site. Based on this intelligence you can make improvements to increase your conversion rate and further maximize your ROI.

If you have any more techniques or tips that have worked to drive traffic and business to your startup, please share them in the comments.

University business startup competitions. Pic by tableatny

Starting a business can be a daunting task - often made all the more difficult by a small advertising/marketing budget and an insufficient network of contact

Business plan template

Starting out with a great business plan is especially important for online startups (like blogs, professional sites & eCommerce stores) because

Work from home ideas. Pic by David Martyn Hunt

Coming up with a great online business idea that is quick and easy to start from home, is the first step to making money - but you have to think outside the

home business ideas

Home based & small business ideas provide genuine opportunities to create a sustainable, profitable income for entrepreneurs looking to work from home or

original entrepreneur ideas

"Are you looking for a great entrepreneurial idea to start your new business?" If you are an entrepreneur looking to start a small or home based bus

home business ideas to make money fast

Finding a way to make money quickly is really not as good as finding a way to earn a stable income in the long term - get rich quick schemes tend to be a was

drop shipping introduction

Looking for a great home based startup idea to provide a secondary income (or primary, if it goes well)? Combine an eCommerce website with drop shipping facilities to lower costs and start earning from day one.

Drop shipping is a technique used by many home based and small business owners to fulfil orders and deliver products without having to handle warehousing, packaging and transport.

Instead, a drop shipping company takes care of this aspect of the business (often delivering directly from the factory), allowing you to focus on marketing and growing the store.

Free beginner guides for entrepreneurs. Pic by James Jordan.

It’s hard work trying to find the time to develop a new business idea, create a business plan, build a website, create content, marketing, promotions, networ

Fun ideas to make money

Making money online with a fun sidehustle is a dream for a lot of people even if it isn't as easy to achieve as most of them would like.

Gap in the market startups. Photo by Robert S. Donovan

Being an entrepreneur is one of the best vocations in the world because it encourages you to view everything as an opportunity for innovation.

How to start a business. Pic by Bárbara Fonseca

Starting any new business (big, small, home based, whatever) can exciting and fun; but it does require research, structure, discipline and persisten

Great ideas to help entrepreneurs bootstrap their business

Having a great business idea is only the beginning of the creative journey every entrepreneur goes on when starting a new venture using their own capital (