- Be helpful to the media. Offer yourself as a resource to local reporters who cover your industry. If you don't know who covers your topic, find out by calling the newspaper. Ask them to join you for lunch or coffee.
- Get to know local newspaper columnists. They always need fresh ideas.
- Share clippings from your trade publications, reports, story ideas and news tips with reporters. Let them know about trends you are seeing in your business.
- Write opinion columns and letters to the editor. Take a stand on hot, controversial issues, or comment on stories that already have been printed, particularly if you want to add a point or two that wasn't mentioned.
- Write "how-to" articles like this one for newsletters, newspapers, magazines and trade publications and for on-line newsletters. They build instant credibility.
- Offer to be a guest on radio talk shows in your community. Be willing to offer lots of free advice to listeners. If you're selling a book or other product, ask your host if it's OK to discuss them on the air, and be sure to mention the phone number people can call to place orders.
- Produce your own cable TV show on the local public access channel. A dog training business can show people how to train their dogs. A day care center can demonstrate creative games for children.
This piece was submitted By Joan Stewart, a publicity expert, workshop presenter and publisher of The Publicity Hound, a bi-monthly subscription newsletter on how to get free publicity. She can be reached at . Or visit her on the web at http://www.publicityhound.com where you can find more publicity tips, topics covered in all her back issues and information on how to order a sample copy of The Publicity Hound.