Have you ever poured days and dollars into a publicity campaign with an expensive public relations agency -- only to win one or two placements?

It's a familiar story. But here's a secret: You don't need a fancy PR campaign to get publicity.

Last December, the HubSpot team launched a home-produced music video about inbound marketing . We had no PR campaign, and our only strategy was to make our content as available as possible by tweeting, blogging and submitting it to social media sites. Then we pinged a few of our friends , launched it on a Monday morning and waited.

It resulted in 43 blog placements in twelve days, 19 of which were written the day of the video launch .

What can we learn from this?

1) Focus your efforts on making creative content, not an elaborate outreach campaign .

Agencies and public relations professionals spend days hammering out press releases, compiling media lists of targeted verticals and crafting compelling pitches meant to convince journalists and bloggers that their client's story is newsworthy.

Imagine if that same brain power and creativity was put into making something that the client's customers thought was useful, interesting or even funny! It could be in the form of a blog post, a video or even a cartoon. That's the type of content that someone would want on their blog.

2) Ping, don't pitch.

Tell people about your newly-published content, but don't pitch it. The qualities that make your content interesting or useful should allow your content to stand on its own.

The day we launched our video, we pinged a few of our friends to let them know the video was up. There was no "pitch" explaining "why the video was so cool." We let people decide for themselves if the video was good enough to be covered.

3) Quality content and news will spread naturally without a PR campaign.

Far too often, PR agencies are asked to create a publicity campaign around information that isn't newsworthy.

Don't spin your news to "sound cool" when it's not. Instead, spend time thinking of newsworthy things your company can start doing . Real news will spread on its own. 

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Originally published Mar 12, 2009 8:36:00 AM, updated July 28 2017


Public Relations