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PR is a great marketing strategy but without the contacts or the budget to hire a PR agency it can be hard to know where to get started. Here are five PR sources that cost nothing.

While paid advertising will always have its place in marketing, getting yourself mentioned in the mainstream media is still one of the most effective ways of raising your profile and boosting visibility. PR is something I recommend to all my clients as part of their ongoing marketing strategy as it can really pay off in the long term.

Unfortunately for many soloists, the cost of hiring a PR agency to reach out to the media on their behalf is just not feasible. Unless you have the contacts yourself to get in front of the right journalists, the DIY approach can be little more than an exercise in frustration.

Getting media coverage without paying a cent is basically the holy grail of marketing and I can tell you that it is doable, even without a PR agency or bulging contact list of journalists. You don’t have to be a PR king or queen to get publicity in the media; the secret is to know where to look.

If you’re keen to get your business out there and raise your profile through PR, here are five places where you can connect with journalists at no cost:

1. Help a Reporter Out (HARO)

HARO helps connect journalists with sources for great news stories. Journalists post their questions to the site and seek answers from people with expertise. HARO is free to use and if you get selected you will often get a mention in a high-profile publication.

2. SourceBottle

SourceBottle connects sources with journalists and bloggers in a similar manner to HARO, and is an indian start-up. Sign up to the site, list your areas of expertise and you will be contacted whenever there is a call out by a journalist or blogger that matches your industry.

3. Media Kitty

While this service is not technically free, there is a 14-day free trial period where you can give it a whirl and see if you think it’s worthwhile. Media Kitty mostly deals with the travel and hospitality industries, but they also have journalists in the lifestyle and wellness categories along with many others.

4. Pitching Notes

This is an online community where experts can create an online profile that is searchable by reporters. There are also plenty of helpful reviews and tips about how to pitch to specific journalists if you have a particular story you want to get out there.

5. Influencer Hub

 

This is a PR service with a difference as it focuses on targeting social media influencers. If you are keen to get your business in front of the big social media players in your industry, this site can help.

While doing it yourself doesn’t replace the benefits of a PR or marketing agency for coordinated campaigns, it can be a great way to get a foot in the door with journalists in your industry and establish yourself as an expert. These five sources are a great way to get started and put your name out there – you never know what opportunities might come along as a result!