Be your own publicist with free media tools

By Lori

Welcome to Famous in Your Field! Enjoy your free weekly tip to boost your fame factor. (Be sure to sign up in the box on the right to get on The VIP List for free tips and training, delivered straight to your inbox.)

Publicity for your business

It’s hard to be the go-to person in your field when no one knows that you exist or just how you’re different.

C’mon, let’s cast off the scourge of business anonymity with publicity!

Not sure you can afford your own publicist to promote your business?

Boot-strapping business owners take heart: there are free tools you can leverage to boost your professional cred via mentions in the media, including radio, newspapers, magazines and blogs.

Journalists and owners of popular websites race the content-creation treadmill every day – they need more and more ideas, information, stories and “experts” to quote in their publications.

That’s where you come in.

Here are three services that connect journalists and bloggers with the individuals. Best of all, these services are absolutely free!

Free publicity? Yes, please!

1. HARO

The 500-pound gorilla of the source-solicitation services, HARO (Help a Reporter Out) allows people to subscribe to its email digests of journalists seeking sources.

Pros:

  • HARO is the biggest of these source matching services. It boasts 30,000 members of the media and over 200,000 individual members.
  • It’s used by some of the biggest media outlets (a business professional’s dream); Huffington Post, AmEx Open Forum, Inc. magazine, Fox Business and Entrepreneur magazine.
  • It’s robust. With 30k members of the media involved, there are people looking for experts and “main street” commenters of every description. Each category of media query can include 3 to 20 or more queries.

Cons:

  • Managing HARO can be overwhelming. While you can choose your email frequency and the topics you wish to see, HARO is set up to send emails three times per day. And responses aren’t something that you should “sit on.” Your chances of your response being used dwindle with each passing hour.

2. Reporter Connection

The brainchild of publicity experts, Bill and Steve Harrison, users of Reporter Connection can sign up for a daily email digest of media members looking for sources. Reporter Connection is often rife with radio hosts looking for guests, too.

Pros:

  • Reporter Connection’s once daily emails are much easier to manage than HARO. And radio guest spots – whether on internet-based or traditional radio stations – are highly targeted and intense media opportunities. (Interested in radio interviews? Check out my post on sources.)
  • Bloggers also use Reporter Connection to solicit products for reviews and giveaways. If your business includes physical products, you can use RC to create relationships with the bloggers in your target market.

Cons:

  • There are fewer total queries than HARO, usually between 12 and 20 each day. This means a smaller chance that you’ll find a media opportunity that fits.

3. Source Bottle

Founded by independent PR professional Rebecca “Bec” Derrington to create a more efficient way of matching sources directly with media outlets, Source Bottle is focused on the “sheconomy.”

What does that mean? Source Bottle only posts media queries seeking sources on topics relating to women’s interests. Don’t despair; the topic categories are wide-ranging and include: entertainment, food, health & wellbeing, home & lifestyle, leisure & travel, parenting, relationships, style, technology, women in business.  Experts and sources of either gender are welcome to respond.

Pro:

  • Source Bottle is an international service, featuring opportunities from Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the US and Canada. If you’re US or Canadian-based, you can sign up for a filtered list of opportunities.

Con:

  • Much, much more manageable than the firehose that is HARO, like Reporter Connection, Source Bottle users may find that opportunities that fit their expertise are fewer and further between.

Your fame boosting assignment:

This week, pick one of these 3 free publicity sources and sign up for email alerts. When the alert arrives, scan it for any opportunities that match your expertise. Build the habit of reviewing and responding quickly.

BOOM! On your way to business fame. You’ve got this.

 

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