Top ten PR tips for small businesses

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

Public Relations  |  Media Relations  |  Best Practices

Last week I participated on a call with John Jantsch who asked me to share my top ten PR tips for small businesses with his audience. John is the author of Duct Tape Marketing: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide and he writes the very popular Duct Tape Marketing blog.

I had to take the call from my room in the Beverly Hilton because I was speaking at The Milken Institute Global Conference. OK, I'll admit that I didn't prepare for the call (sorry John) and just banged out ten tips a few minutes before we spoke.

After the call, I realized that sometimes there is value to top-of-mind ideas. Nuggets of value may be lost when you obsess over getting every detail perfect. So I thought I'd share the list with you. No, it is not comprehensive - given time I would choose different things for the list and re-order what's here:

1. The old ways to get noticed were to buy expensive advertising and beg the media to write about you and your products. The best way to get noticed today is to publish great content online.

2. Don't talk about what your products and services do. Instead talk about how you solve problems for your customers.

3. Be enthusiastic and have fun. People want to do business with people they like.

4. Don't rely on spamming the media with your press releases and PR pitches.

5. Use press releases to reach buyers directly.

6. Comment on blogs, forums and chat rooms (but don't talk about your products and services).

7. Read the popular books in your market and write a review on Amazon. Use your real name and affiliation.

8. Shoot a short video and put it up onto YouTube

9. Know what search terms people are using to find products and services like yours and create content that search engines will reward with high search engine rankings.

10. Don't be egotistical. Nobody cares about you and your products. Your buyers care about themselves and solving their problems.