You're The Bomb

Be a Source

Do you have a stellar rolodex? Use it to everyone's advantage. As I began getting calls from the media, I always made sure I offered several other possible sources for quotes. Suddenly, I wasn't just a subject for one story-I was a valuable resource to the media, and I began getting calls and e-mails several times a week. Sometimes, I'd get a call from a journalist who wasn't even considering me as a source for a quote, and after I made several referrals, the journalist changed the focus of his or her article to be a profile about my company.

How else do you drum up media interest in your company without the pricetag of a publicist? Skriloff adds: "Send a press release with good news-for example: 1) you've launched your company; 2) you won an award; or 3) you won new business. Send a press release with expert information and seasonal tips that showcase your knowledge, and offer readers a free how-to brochure or tipsheet. Conduct a survey and release the results."

I must confess that the biggest mistake I repeated many times over as my company received press was not capitalizing on each media hit. As an overloaded entrepreneur, I made every excuse for not sending a press clip to other media, always citing a lack of time. The solution would have been to hire a PR firm or a publicist, but then there was the issue of no PR budget.

Today, I look back and realize that I should have spent the money, charged up that last bit on my credit card, anything to get someone else on the case with the publicity for my company. One good press clip leads to another, but only when someone is behind it, following up with the journalists and keeping your company name fresh in reporters' minds.

Although there are many ways to get yourself noticed on the cheap, you should plan your PR and marketing budget now-or you may soon discover that your business is starving and neglected as you're endlessly feeding the hungry beast of media attention.

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Aliza Sherman is a web pioneer, e-entrepreneur and author of eight books, including

PowerTools for Women in Business.

Her work can be found at mediaegg.com.

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This article was originally published in the June 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: You're The Bomb.

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