For new business owners, public relations strategies can seem too time consuming, and even a little intimidating. Where to start? Who to contact? What to say? However, the value of public relations for a young company is exponential as it means people are talking about your product or business with real authenticity. At the most basic level, it helps you get out the message that you exist and are offering products or services that consumers need. Good public relations will boost your credibility, and is important for any business looking to grow their reach.

So what about early stage companies – where should they begin? At this point, your business is still changing a lot and so is your story, meaning this isn’t a good time to sign on a big public relations firm. It is however an ideal time for you to learn the fundamentals of public relations yourself. In a world saturated by content, here are four tips to help you stand apart:

  • Leverage your elevator pitch: Use your brand’s background story and kick off your own media outreach slowly. Use your LinkedIn network to see what connections to editors you may already have. See what works, what doesn’t and bring on professional PR when your business has grown to a steady point.
  • Build a media list: Do this by reading what journalists are covering and finding those that are talking about your industry and competitors. Before you pitch anything really make sure that what you’re sending is relevant to what they write about, their publication and their interests.
  • Customize all pitches: Don’t create a generic press release. Instead work on highly personalized, short email pitches. If you don’t hear back, don’t take it personally. Journalists are busy and sometimes it will take a few different tries before you get that first bite. If one pitch doesn’t work, be patient, wait and try a new angle when you have something truly newsworthy to share again.
  • Build relationships with journalists: It’s important to build a rapport with journalists, so that when they see an email from you, they open it! Building relationships takes time. Be fast to respond to any requests from journalists, offer them timely and personalized information and don’t over pester them with follow-ups and you’ll be on the right track!

See more of our founder’s tips on successful PR approaches for small businesses as featured in Business News Daily.