Do-It-Yourself Public Relations
by Bonnie Jo Davis

"Advertising is what you pay for. Publicity is what you pray 

What is a small business owner to do? You have dozens, hundreds 
or even thousands of competitors around the world. How do you 
make yourself known amid all the noise and confusion? One thing 
is for certain. You may or may not have a budget for marketing 
and promotion, but you want to get the most bang for your buck. 

Stretch your budget by developing a low cost public relations 
campaign that you can handle in house. Publicity is a much more 
powerful tool than advertising and a successful campaign lends 
credibility to you and your company.

Use the following tips to take advantage of the many 
opportunities to make yourself known in the on-line and off-line 
world. Think creatively and you'll come up with even more ideas 
to propel your public relations campaign ahead.

1) Write articles such as customer case studies, book reviews, 
how to advice, editorials, etc. and develop a snazzy by-line 
that drives readers to your web site. Submit your articles to 
directories, newsgroups, e-zines, web sites and off-line 
newsletters and magazines. You'll be astonished at how far one 
article can reach and how it can convert readers to loyal, long-
term clients. If you need guidance with this technique consider 
signing up for the "Expert Articles" teleclass held by Dr. 
Rachna D. Jain. E-mail Dr. Jain at Coach6-46006@autocontactor.
com for more information.

2) Speak for free at your local Chamber of Commerce, trade 
associations and clubs. Ask the sponsoring organization to hand 
out your business cards and brochures to all attendees prior to 
the event. Collect business cards and hold a prize drawing at 
the end of your speech. Use the business cards to send out 
"thank you for attending" e-mails after the event and ask for 
permission to add the recipient to your newsletter list. Build 
this list and communicate regularly.

3) Approach local and national radio shows covering your target 
audience and offer to appear as a guest. You will need to craft 
a pitch letter that can be sent via e-mail to the producer of 
the show. Make your pitch exciting and spend a great deal of 
time on the benefits listeners will derive from your segment. To 
find radio stations search the brs web-radio site at

4) Write a free e-book on a topic of use to your potential 
clients. People have become accustomed to receiving free 
information that is nicely formatted and easy to read. You can 
advertise your products and services in your free e-book and 
sell or swap advertising with other related businesses. Tip 
e-books (101 ways to... ) and article compilations are very 
popular. Promote your free e-book at http://www.ebookdirectory.
com/ and Make your e-book viral by 
authorizing readers to freely distribute copies.

5) A well written and intriguing press release can lead to 
stories in the press that increase sales, enhance credibility 
and give your company a competitive advantage. For free 
distribution use PR Web at PR Web 
maintains a database of over 60,000 media contacts who receive 
daily e-mail listings of press releases which match their topic 
criteria. If you need help creating and formatting your press 
releases consider purchasing software such as Press Release O-
Matic at

6) Sponsor events and contests. Grand openings of shopping 
centers, businesses, car dealerships, etc. are some events you 
may want to sponsor along with fairs, festivals, open houses and 
community events. You can locate on-line contests to sponsor at They offer a very good searchable directory of 
contests at Be sure to publicize 
your sponsorship on your web site and mention it in your 
newsletter and in your press releases.

7) Solicit testimonials and use them. Request a testimonial 
from every past and current client. Offer sample testimonials or 
an outline to those clients who are reluctant writers. Send out 
testimonials to prospects, include them in your marketing 
materials, add them to your web site and e-mail signature block, 
add one to each press release and put them on the back of your 
business cards.

8) Frequent the newsgroups, topical lists and on-line boards 
that cater to your profession or your target audience. Offer 
free advice, URLs of helpful articles or web sites and your 
opinion. Don't overtly promote. Be wise and helpful while 
showing your expertise and your reputation as someone to be 
trusted will grow. Marcia Yudkin of has 
done this very successfully for years. Now she's known near and 
far for her marketing expertise and her opinion is very well 

Building your public relations presence is an ongoing process 
that is most effectively achieved when you employ multiple 
strategies. Develop a plan, think creatively, promote 
consistently and your business will stand out from the crowd!

Bonnie Jo Davis is an experienced shoestring marketer who 
specializes in article submission for fun and for profit! Sign-
up for her FREE "Solving The Article Submission Puzzle" e-course 
by visiting

(c) 2003, Davis Virtual Assistance. All rights reserved.