Gaining some good publicity for your business in the media is a great way to enhance your reputation. In turn, it should help you to drum up new business.
The more exposure you can get for your name and that of your company, the more you can start to be seen as an industry expert. The good news is that you needn’t pay out for the help of an expensive PR agency to get started, although of course you may eventually decide that the coverage they might achieve is worth a share of your marketing budget.
Here are three methods you can use to get your name “out there” and into the eyes of your target market.
If your MSP business concentrates on the local market, then your local newspaper(s) should be your first port of call.
Try to make some editorial contacts and make it clear to them that you’re willing to advise on technical issues and be quoted as part of any related features. Even better, volunteer to write a regular technical column or Q&A section – many local papers have a technical piece in each issue.
If they agree to this idea, you’re guaranteed the chance to become a known “industry face” in your area and benefit from free advertising as part of your column.
Use social networking channels
Social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, give you the opportunity to network with people across the IT sector, and it takes only a little effort to get noticed.
As an example, each time you enjoy success with a software product, consider sending a “tweet” to the software vendor about your positive experience. Before you know it, you may find yourself being “retweeted” to thousands of the vendor’s followers.
Another way to use social networks to reach the media is to follow hashtags such as “#journorequest,” which journalists use to find industry experts for media features. If you’re quick to respond to such a request, you could end up with a quote and a mention on an industry website, or perhaps even in a national newspaper.
Sign up to “help a reporter”
The “Help a Reporter” website from PR specialists Vocus, is another great way to take advantage of media opportunities.
All you need to do is sign up, and you will be send a twice-daily email listing journalist queries about a whole range of subjects, many of which relate to technology and business.
While some of these queries are from unnamed freelance journalists, the service is also used by household names such as The New York Times and ABC News. All you need to do is quickly scan the lists for topics in which you have proven expertise, and you could be the person the journalist quotes – and hopefully you’ll get a free plug for your company as part of the deal.
Companies of all sizes use PR to further their brand reputation. However small your MSP business is, you can make a start at doing the same – and it needn’t cost a penny.