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Publicity Strategies for Small Businesses

The following tactics can help entrepreneurs stimulate publicity for their companies:

Write an article or blog that will interest your customers or potential customers. A monthly column for the local newspaper on timely topics can help you pull out the publicity stunt very effectively. Not only do the articles would help you build your credibility as an expert, but they would also attract new customers to your business.

Publish a newsletter. With a personal computer and desktop publishing software, anyone can publish a professional newsletter. Freelancers can offer design and editing advice. Use the newsletter to reach present and potential customers.

Sponsor an event. Few small businesses can manage to pay for celebrities as spokespersons for their companies. Some companies have discovered other ways to get celebrities to promote their products, however.

Offer or sponsor a seminar. Teaching people about a subject you know a great deal about builds confidence and goodwill among potential customers.

Contact local television and radio stations and offer to be interviewed. Many local news or talk shows are looking for guests to talk about topics of interest to their audiences. Even local shows can reach new customers.

Volunteer to serve on community and industry boards and committees. You can make your town a better place to live and work and raise your company’s visibility at the same time.

Contact local business and civic organizations and offer to speak to them. A powerful, informative presentation can win new business.

Write news releases and fax or e-mail them to the media. The key to having a news release picked up and printed is finding a unique angle on your business or industry that would interest an editor. Keep it short, simple, and interesting. E-mail press releases should be shorter than printed ones—typically four or five paragraphs rather than one or two pages—and they should include a link to the company’s Web site.

Promote a cause. By engaging in cause marketing, entrepreneurs can support a worthy cause that is important to them and generate publicity and goodwill for their companies at the same time. The key is choosing a cause that is important to your customers.

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