Guest Post: The Sixth Essential Marketing Tool

Stories keep rolling in from clients and readers about the item in our newsletter of a few weeks ago—"The 5 Essential Marketing Tools to Grow Your Business", for those who missed it. First Alan Allard, with a great tie-in story about Thomas Edison; now a terrific addition from Susan Harkavy, PR consultant and proponent of Guerrilla Marketing for Designers:

I just want to add tool #6, publicity (editorial coverage). Third party testimonials from the media go far in establishing credibility and prestige for small businesses. And as you start to build up a stash of clippings, which you might be emailing around, posting on your site, mounting in a portfolio or including in your press kits and new business packages, your reputation is undeniably enhanced. 

How do you get that ink?  Generating press uses the same techniques as generating sales.  You start with a compelling product or service, define your audience, consider what that audience is most likely to read, and then put yourself in situations where you will be visible to the appropriate media. 

The most basic actions are contacting journalists directly through mailings and phone calls, participating in trade shows, pro bono and advocacy work, attending or speaking at conferences, entering or jurying competitions, and attending or hosting events. All provide opportunities to meet members of the media and talk about your business. As with sales, results come through the relationships you build with journalists over the long term.

Thanks, Susan, both for pointing the omission and all the great tips. Anyone else have a "must" marketing tool I "missed"?