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What are some ways to get free publicity in my city?

I live in Austin and have a financial services bidding startup that is off to a great start, but we need some publicity to help accelerate our efforts and spread the word.

12 Replies

Michael Meinberg
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Michael Meinberg Entrepreneur
Teacher (iOS Development) at The Mobile Makers Academy (A Hack Reactor School)
Mention it on Twitter, Facebook, PR, good Google ranking.
Chris A. Keadle
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Chris A. Keadle Entrepreneur
Business Development Manager at Covestic
Reach out to local media outlets, Newspapers, Television, Blogs, Magazines etc.

What makes what you are doing unique and how does it stand out from other start ups in Austin? Sometimes the story around the technology/company other times the intriguing story surrounds the founders.

If you have funds you can engage a PR company or if you have friends in that industry reach out to them to discuss their ideas over lunch. Usually a good place to start.
Sedaria Williams
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Sedaria Williams Entrepreneur
CEO, Airades Public Relations
You can try to partner with a non-profit organization or charity in order to build momentum. But make sure the charity and what you do are somehow tied together/linked or else it will not work. Always look for causes that will catch the public's eye.
Tom Oswald
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Tom Oswald Entrepreneur
CEO at Videscape
Do you have a budget? The World's Highest paying streaming site: www.videscape.com Tel: +44 [removed to protect privacy]
Jim Monroe
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Jim Monroe Advisor
Founder at OTT Age Industries
You say you're off to a great start - that means you must have customers. Work with one of them to create a story of how you accomplished something great - brought in new customers, had an amazing conversion rate, helped to breath new life into an old product - then pitch that story to the trade press in your industry. The story needs to be compelling, and it should talk not only about your product but also the broader industry trends that your product represents.

Trade publications are often shoestring operations, and you may find them receptive to the story because it can be an easy way for them to add new content to their sites or newsletters. You may want to pick the most influential trade publication and give them the story exclusively order to get their attention.

If you successfully get the story picked up, your sales team should immediately take it to their prospects and use it to get meetings and orders.
Daniel Delson
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Daniel Delson Entrepreneur
Senior Vice President
Hi Adam. I am an independent communications consultant with experience doing startup brand publicity. I would be happy to schedule a call with you to discuss your needs. Best - Daniel Delson / [removed to protect privacy] / [removed to protect privacy]
Steve Everhard
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Steve Everhard Advisor
All Things Startup
Lady Godiva utilised a white horse. I'm sure you could borrow one. How about earning publicity? If you are providing a great service encourage your users to talk about it. Perhaps provide incentives for introductions. If you have bored relatives they could always twirl hand-made signs at road junctions. Maybe what you really need is a PR strategy. They are never free if they deliver value. Maybe this is the time to invest rather than looking for free?
Dax Hamman
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Dax Hamman Entrepreneur • Advisor
Interested in hearing about exciting opportunities
If I remember the story rightly, we can all learn something from Ashley Madison. The story goes that they bought up all the local ad space in a town (benches, papers, radio etc) then had a PR person call the locals and tell them they were a site about having affairs. All the ads got pulled for decency reasons, the local press wrote about it all the time, and they didn't have to buy the ad space!

Very specific to them, but a case to learn from about free publicity.
Steve Everhard
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Steve Everhard Advisor
All Things Startup
@Dax what was free about that story exactly? I'm certain I'm missing something but buying up ad space and employing a PR person doesn't sound like free publicity to me.
Dax Hamman
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Dax Hamman Entrepreneur • Advisor
Interested in hearing about exciting opportunities
Fair point, I didn't make it very clear. They booked space, knowing that it would be cancelled once the local press realized it was 'immoral' business that they didn't want plastered all over their town. The PR cost them I suppose, but the publicity about their business ended up being free.
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