When most people think of advertising, they immediately think about buying media space -- ads on TV or the radio or in newspapers and magazines. Effective, but expensive.
There are other ways to promote your business that won't cost you much more than a stamp or the time to send a message on your computer or fax machine.
Articles about your business that appear in the media give you something that traditional ads don't -- respectability. When you get quoted on television or in a newspaper, you're suddenly an industry expert. And once relationships are established, writers may call you again for help with future stories.
Even better, customers will turn to your company with new business.
Here are some ideas:
Issue press releases. In clear, descriptive language, describe your company's innovations -- a new service or product -- and send the release to the local newspapers, industry publications and other media. Be careful not to exaggerate because journalists have a knee-jerk, negative reaction to hype. Put a contact person at the top of the release so the reporters can call with additional questions.
Make a point. Keep your eye out for articles or reports related to your industry and write a "letter to the editor" commenting on them. Be sure to include your title and company name. Or, say new legislation has been passed that will affect your business or your clients. Write an article and submit it to newspapers or magazines for publication. If you don't want to do it yourself, ask one of the better writers in your company.
Show your expertise. Write articles for trade journals to show your knowledge of your industry. Or write blog posts to publish on your company website. Alternatively, offer to write columns for industry-related blogs.
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