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Given the dismal state of the economy, it's no surprise that budgets are shrinking and big-ticket items like a splashy ad on a local TV station is a memory.
But operating on a budget doesn't mean you have to halt all publicity efforts. Getting your company spotlighted can be as easy and inexpensive as putting together a press kit. Here are 10 things you need to do to whet the appetite of the media or a potential client:
Short and sweet
Journalists are always facing deadlines. Don't waste their time with long sentences and a winding setup. Get to the point as cleverly as you can. Keep in mind, says media consultant Alex Carroll, that print journalists "are in the story business and broadcast journalists are in showbiz." When pitching to broadcast reporters and producers, think and write in bullet points. Draft sample questions to showcase how you would answer them.
For a sales pitch, the press kit needs a different tone and focus. Each piece has to play a part in convincing potential customers that you are an investment, not an expense, says Annie Jennings, CEO of Annie Jennings PR. "So you want a high-quality presentation," she says. "No cutting corners with the quality of the paper and design. Color-coordinate so it's pleasing to the eye. You want to be as professional as possible."Whoever your target, make sure your kit has essentials like the bio, fact sheet on the business, list of services, how you will deliver results and what you can do for them. Most important, try to limit yourself to one page each.