12 May 2017 Bec Derrington

PR is a crucial part of any business marketing strategy, but as you probably already know, hiring a professional publicist can come with a hefty price tag.

Because of this, many businesses have no choice but to do their own PR. It may be daunting to start with, but with the right approach (and a few tips and tricks) you can become a PR whizz, even without any previous experience.

You might think that do-it-yourself PR takes hours upon hours every day, but it doesn't have to.

You can create an effective PR strategy that gets results for your business in just 15 minutes a day. Here's how.

Sign up to SourceBottle

SourceBottle is the perfect tool for the time-strapped business owner. Once you've signed up, you will receive emails up to twice daily notifying you of relevant source requests from journalists and bloggers.

If you see a call out that you can answer, SourceBottle lets you reply quickly and easily so you can take advantage of the opportunity to get mentioned. This will save you a lot of time researching and contacting publications and journalists to find someone who might be interested in your story.

You can even create your own Expert Profile on SourceBottle that is then pitched (on your behalf) to relevant journalists and bloggers who search using the same 'keywords' as you have in your profile. All in all, this is a cheap and easy way to get SourceBottle to do some of the heavy lifting for you.

Build a network of media connections

It is always a good idea to create and maintain an up-to-date database of journalists and other media connections that are relevant to you. Just a few minutes a week spent on research will let you build up a solid collection of names and email addresses in a very short space of time.

When you find a journalist you want to build a connection with, reach out to them on social media. Share their content wherever possible and mention them when you do. This will help you get on their radar and means that when you contact them with a pitch they are more likely to pay attention.

Of course, there are also great services that do this for you and can distribute your media release or help you build your list and hold your hand along the way.

Create Google alerts for relevant industry keywords

This is another very simple strategy that can really pay off once it's up and running. Take a few minutes to set up Google news alerts for mentions of industry-related keywords and then spend a couple of minutes every day reviewing them. This is a great way to find media contacts who are writing about your industry, along with ideas for pitches and relevant stories that will appeal to your audience.

Perfect your pitching style

In a bid to save time, DIY public relations beginners often take the approach of pitching their story to as many journalists as possible. Unfortunately this method can be counterproductive, as you'll end up spending a lot of time emailing people who just aren't interested in what you have to offer.

Your time is better spent creating a tailored pitch to one or two journalists whose work is relevant to your story and who will be more likely to respond positively.

Once you spend some time working out your business' story and get a basic template for a pitch together, you won't have to spend hours slaving away over each individual pitch.

Create a media kit that you can send to journalists

It might take a bit of time to get a media kit together, but once you've created it, you'll have an excellent promotional tool that you can send out quickly and easily.

A media kit should include everything a journalist needs to write a story about your business, including your bio, links to relevant publications and your brand's social media profiles. Having all this information to hand means that you can act quickly when you get a positive response to a pitch and you won't have to spend time getting it all together each time. (Or you can just link to your Expert Profile, which performs the same function as well.)

Oh and you can also view a host of free downloadable media kit templates here - thanks to Template.Net.

DIY public relations doesn't need to be time consuming. When you consider the potential benefits for your business, it is well worth putting aside 15 minutes a day to work on your PR.