How to Do PR Outreach on a Tight Budget

Timothy Carter
January 1, 2023

So, you want to get your business’s name out there. More importantly, you want to get it in front of key decision-makers in your industry.

But what if your business is relatively small and you’re on a tight marketing budget? How do you make the right connections and get good brand mentions?

The answer is public relations (PR). Though PR may seem like something only for big brands, this isn’t true. Even small businesses can take advantage of PR strategies, and fortunately, they don’t require big marketing budgets. 

In this article, we’ll go over what PR means and our top tips for improving your PR outreach at a minimal cost. Let’s get started!

What is PR?

PR refers to managing and maintaining a positive public image of your brand. Typically, this is done by seeking out positive exposure on media platforms that your target audience follows.

For example, PR could involve reaching out to a news outlet to do a story about your business, publishing a press release for a new product launch, pitching a story to an industry magazine, or featuring as a guest on an industry-relevant podcast. There are many ways to approach PR.

That said, PR is not to be confused with marketing. Both are concerned with building your business, but marketing is ultimately focused on boosting your bottom line by increasing revenue, whereas PR is primarily concerned with cultivating a good business reputation.

What is PR?


Now that you know what PR is, here are some tips to improve your PR outreach:

1. Polish your online presence

Before you start reaching out to media outlets, make sure your business has a good online presence. This means going over your business website, social media profiles, and other online accounts to make sure they look clean and professional.

Get rid of any broken pages or links on your website and make sure you have a professional photo on your social media accounts and that you actively use them. There’s nothing that says your business is out of touch more than an outdated website or an unused social media account.

Another way to improve your online presence is to create a professional media kit. This is a small document that includes information about you and your company such as a bio and a professional photo. By including your media kit every time, you pitch a media outlet, you make it easy for journalists to cite and feature you.

2. Identify who you want to reach

Next, determine who you want your PR efforts to reach. In other words, who is your target audience and what media outlets do they follow most?

For example, if you own a fintech company, you may want to target business owners by pitching a news outlet like Forbes or Fast Company. Or if you own a real estate business, you might aim for a feature in Inman or Housingwire.

The goal is to find out where your target market hangs out and get your company name talked about in those circles. If you’re not sure where your target market is, consider surveying your existing customers to find out.

Also, keep in mind that the definition of media is expanding. In addition to getting featured in traditional publications like the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) or the New York Times (NYT), you may want to target various social media platforms, blogs, and independent publications.

Whatever you do, make sure the outlets you reach out to serve your target market and cover what your business is about.

3. Set realistic PR goals

If some of the news outlets mentioned so far sound out of reach, that’s okay. You don’t have to start by pitching top newspapers. In fact, you probably shouldn’t. It takes time to cultivate good PR.

Instead, set realistic and manageable PR goals. Start by pitching smaller publications and then gradually work your way up to pitching bigger ones. You’re more likely to get in with bigger outlets if you already have some smaller media mentions.

Once you’ve established some realistic PR goals, you can work them into a long-term PR strategy.

4. Share your expertise

Another way to get your company name out there is to share your expertise online. This could mean publishing free content on your business’s blog or on social media.

For example, if you run a wealth management firm, you could post your top tips on how millennials can save for retirement. Or if you own a personal injury law firm, you might post about ways to win a car accident lawsuit.

The idea is to become a thought leader in your industry niche. That way, media outlets will be more inclined to feature you (because you already have a following), and in some cases, they may even reach out to you.

5. Pitch compelling stories

When it comes to actually pitching media outlets, make sure you have a newsworthy story to tell with a unique angle. Media companies get pitched stories all the time, so yours needs to stand out to get their attention.

Focus on what makes your company unique but don’t forget to pitch a story that will be useful to the publication. Research their audience and what types of content they have published in the past. This will give you a clue as to what they’re looking for.

That said, almost everything is a potential story, so dig deep. Company milestones, corporate events, or industry insights can all make for good stories if you know how to tell them right.

6. Take advantage of PR resources

Help a Reporter Out HARO

If you’re having trouble finding media outlets to reach out to, there are many PR resources out there that can help. Here are just a few:

  • Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a platform that connects journalists with industry experts. You can sign up to get alerts anytime a journalist is looking for a source on a specific subject. If you’re a good fit, you can offer to be interviewed on the topic and get your brand featured in an article.
  • Newswire services like PRWeb and PR Newswire help spread company press releases across the internet. This can be a great way to announce new product releases, changes in company leadership, or a new merger or acquisition event.
  • Social media, believe it or not, circulates a lot of requests for article sources. Journalists use it as a tool to solicit quotes from industry experts. By following the right users, you may be able to get your brand featured in an article.

7. Leverage social media

On top of using social media to connect with journalists, you can use it to identify and build relationships with industry leaders. For example, you can use it to connect with influencers who may agree to advocate for your brand or sponsor one of your products.

The beauty of using social media for PR is that it’s free. You don’t have to spend any money to get into the right circles. However, you will need to dedicate time and effort to being active on the platform. That’s true whether you’re using Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

8. Share brand mentions

Whenever you do get featured in the media, it’s important to share it. For example, if you’re a guest on a podcast, share the link to the episode across social media. Or if your brand is featured in a news article, share it online and tag the outlet and journalist.

This not only helps spread your brand name online but helps strengthens your relationships with media outlets and journalists, who may then tap your shoulder for future features.

9. Focus on building relationships

If you haven’t been able to tell already, relationships are the foundation of good PR. Without them, getting good press will be extremely difficult.

One way to improve your media relationships is to start building them early. Don’t wait until you get a feature in an article or podcast. Begin getting to know the right people now by offering your help and expertise. Take a value-first approach, where you give, give, give, and only ask once you have a reason to expect something in return. That way, you’re more likely to get the media features you’re after.

Another way to build good relationships is to get involved in community events and charities. This helps you get to know different people you may not otherwise meet and can lead to good PR opportunities.

10. Measure results

Lastly, there’s no point in investing in PR if you don’t track your results. As the late Peter Drucker said, “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.”How do you measure PR results? Start by following the news and social media to see when your company name gets mentioned. Many platforms like Twitter allow you to track different keywords or hashtags, for example.

Another easy way to do this is to set up a Google Alert. This lets you collect online mentions of different keywords, such as your company name or industry, via daily or weekly emails.

Google Alert


The point is to track how often your brand is mentioned so you can see what is working in your PR strategy and what isn’t and then adapt.

Need help? Partner with

If this all sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. PR outreach can be challenging, especially when you’re just starting out. What you don’t want to do is blast as many pitches to as many outlets as you can think of. There are better ways.

To take your brand recognition to the next level, consider partnering with We have established relationships with some of the internet’s top publications, and we can help get your company’s name featured in them in no time. Contact us today to learn more! We look forward to learning more about you and all your PR needs.


Timothy Carter

Chief Revenue Officer

Timothy Carter is a digital marketing industry veteran and the Chief Revenue Officer at Marketer. With an illustrious career spanning over two decades in the dynamic realms of SEO and digital marketing, Tim is a driving force behind Marketer's revenue strategies. With a flair for the written word, Tim has graced the pages of renowned publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, and ReadWrite, among others. His insightful contributions to the digital marketing landscape have earned him a reputation as a trusted authority in the field. Beyond his professional pursuits, Tim finds solace in the simple pleasures of life, whether it's mastering the art of disc golf, pounding the pavement on his morning run, or basking in the sun-kissed shores of Hawaii with his beloved wife and family.