You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Make a Splash With Less Effort By Using These 7 Pro PR Tips There are greater opportunities beyond press releases for gaining attention for your startup.

By Matthew Toren

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Having a great PR strategy is something that can feel daunting to many entrepreneurs when they're just getting started. Does it have to just be a press release? What if the things your startup is doing aren't really press worthy? How can you still leverage the important channels of media outreach to gain more support and eyes for your business?

Related: 5 PR Strategies for the Busy Entrepreneur

I had the opportunity to interview Zoe Weisburg Coady, the entrepreneurial co-founder of BrandStyle Communications in New York, to ask her how she feels entrepreneurs can leverage other opportunities for press outside of the traditional press release. She shared her seven best tips from her years of vast expertise helping brands make a big splash in the media.

1. Tune into the right channel

Determine the right social-media channels for your company and establish a consistent tone and personality on each of them. The best Instagram pages I've seen from companies are not blatantly promotional but organically present the "lifestyle" of the brand. Make sure your brand voice comes through in all your outlets of media, even if they're social media facing.

2. Do your homework on competition

Track and analyze your competitors' press coverage and be sure to connect and establish relationships with the media yourself in any way you can. A relationship with a journalist is a two-way street. Establish yourself as an authentic and credible source and regularly update your press contacts on market trends and industry news.

Don't just get in touch when you want them to cover your brand. That's a pretty transparent relationship and journalists don't like it any more than you would.

3. Who's your dream team?

Identify your dream media outlets and the story you want to tell. If you want a business profile on your company in a national newspaper, what's the story you need to tell to get you there? Very rarely do you see "evergreen" articles on companies -- there's always a relevant news hook. You should constantly ask, "Why should media cover this now vs. three months from now?" That can help you with formulating a newsworthy angle.

Related: Why You Should Rethink Using a PR Firm

4. You have to talk

You get the most business done by picking up the phone or meeting face to face. Email, professional networking sites, social media, etc., are all great, but those should only serve to get you the phone calls or face time you need with media sources. You'll find you accomplish a lot more and get better, critical feedback by talking.

5. Get your pitch down pat

You have no excuse for not knowing your "elevator pitch" perfectly. If you can't clearly and simply explain what your company does in two sentences, you need to modify your message, because the press won't be able to explain your story either. Your clients won't either for that matter!

6. Go offline

Attending the right conferences can be invaluable for networking opportunities. Be selective with what you attend and familiarize yourself with panelist, attendees and event sponsors before you go so you're prepared to connect onsite. Post-conference follow-up is also critical. Contacts are more likely to connect after meeting in person, so work your contacts after you meet and in a timely, authentic manner.

7. Know what PR is and does

Understand the role and value of PR. PR is different from marketing and advertising and it delivers different results. The companies that get the most out of working with a PR firm fully understand the function and role PR plays in the big-picture communications strategy. Think quality vs. quantity when targeting media -- the most personalized, relevant approach always wins.

There are many PR activities that play a key role in meaningful campaigns -- pitches and press releases are one example but there are many others -- influencer initiatives, partnerships, thought-leadership platforms, charitable programs, brand activations, special events, etc., that should be taking place to set your company apart.

Related: How to Get PR for Your Startup

Matthew Toren

Serial Entrepreneur, Mentor and co-founder of

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Side Hustle

He Took His Side Hustle Full-Time After Being Laid Off From Meta in 2023 — Now He Earns About $200,000 a Year: 'Sweet, Sweet Irony'

When Scott Goodfriend moved from Los Angeles to New York City, he became "obsessed" with the city's culinary offerings — and saw a business opportunity.

Personal Finance

How to Get a Lifetime of Investing Experience in Only One Year

Plus, how day traders can learn a lesson from pilots.


94% of Customers Say a Bad Review Made Them Avoid Buying From a Brand. Try These 4 Techniques to Protect Your Brand Reputation.

Maintaining a good reputation is key for any business today. With so many people's lives and shopping happening online, what is said about a company on the internet can greatly influence its success.


Save on Business Travel with Matt's Flight's Premium, Only $80 for Life

This premium plan features customized flight deal alerts and one-on-one planning with Matt himself.

Science & Technology

Here's One Reason Urban Transportation Won't Look the Same in a Decade

Micro-EVs may very well be the future of city driving. Here's why, and how investors can get ahead of it.


I Got Over 225,000 Views in Just 3 Months With Short-Form Video — Here's Why It's the New Era of Marketing

Thanks to our new short-form video content strategy, we've amassed over 225,000 video views in just three months. Learn how to increase brand awareness through short-form video content.