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7 Public Relations Solutions for Small Businesses

A new business needs to get the word out that they not only exist, but offer services and products consumers need. Even established businesses need to continually market and attract new customers and clients. Some companies have marketing departments or outsource to marketing companies to accomplish this. But for businesses that may not have a large marketing budget, here are 7 do-it-yourself options that can drive your business to new heights.

You don’t need a full-fledged marketing team to launch a successful PR event. Check out Localist, an interactive online calendaring platform that aims to help small businesses with limited marketing resources manage promotional events.

After signing up for an account, you can input planned events, import your current calendar or upload events in bulk. Take advantage of time-saving features like recurring schedules, venue search and automatic event merging to avoid duplicates. To make your event even more successful, Localist also allows you to create an online community where attendees and target audiences can check-in to events, add comments, write reviews and upload photos. The platform is also Google Analytics-friendly, allowing you track conversations about your event, how many shares and follows events have and other valuable insights.

Share your expertise and get free publicity. Help A Reporter Out, commonly referred to as HARO by media folks, gives you direct access to reporters, bloggers and journalists from all types of publications and media properties who are looking for sources with your expertise.

Sign up as a source and HARO will send queries from journalists to your inbox in batches throughout the day.  If any of the queries is a good fit for your expertise and business, pitch your response and qualifications directly to the journalist by email for a possible interview or direct quote.

Find the right journalist and blogger to tell your story or become a source.MuckRack helps businesses search their database of more than 20,000 journalists and media contacts. Features include inbox alerts, direct email pitches to journalists, social sharing data and media list creation and organization.

Sign up as a PR pro or marketer by clicking on the “Find Journalists” button, then choose a subscription plan. Start searching for journalists by name, keywords and phrases, beats, outlets, Twitter accounts, hashtags, media properties and other categories.

Maximize your reach and attract new business online. PRWeb publishes press releases across the web on search engines, blogs, major news sites and websites — no tech or PR skills necessary. Write an effective and engaging press release for your business, announcement or event (PRWeb offers a library of resources to help you do this, including free tutorials and press release examples). Add video, keywords, extra distribution channels and other optional features. Plug your press release into PRWeb’s template and hit ‘Submit.’ PRWeb’s editors will then check your release and you’re good to go.

Reach highly targeted audiences by writing quality guest posts on major blogs. MyBlogGuest connects bloggers with brands and content creators to share their expertise, build links and cross-promote their offerings. Once you have a MyBlogGuest account, you can search for guest blogging opportunities or post an ad in the forums for free. You can also post content directly in the Articles Gallery for blog owners to find (requires a GO PRO account).

Find leads and discover your biggest social media influencers. HootSuite is a social media management tool that lets you manage multiple social media accounts in a single dashboard to help automate social media marketing, while increasing engagement. HootSuite can also help you monitor top content, likes and shares, traffic sources and other metrics with reporting modules like Facebook Insight and Google Analytics. Simply sign in with Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or your email address, then set up “streams” for each social media account.

You don’t need fancy software to track your business’s media placements and mentions — Google Alerts lets you monitor your presence online and find out where you appear on the web, what people are saying about you and how your PR campaigns compare to that of your competitors.

Create an alert by entering a search query — such as the name of your business, competitors, industry and other related keywords — and setting up the frequency and types of alerts you wish to receive. These Google Alerts are then sent directly to your inbox.