In our last blog we told you about a couple of tools to keep your eye on in 2016. Along those lines, we now want to share some tips that could help you grow your business this year.

We recently read an article that listed resources available to entrepreneurs. While most were geared toward making it easier for a small business to operate on a day-to-day basis (like Asana and Google Drive), some of them stood out because they promise to help businesses do something that used to be left to experts: obtaining media coverage.

In the “old days” (which weren’t that long ago) getting media coverage of your company was a cut and dried affair. You would sign with a public relations firm, which would write and distribute a press release to the local newspaper and television stations. A reporter or someone from the assignment desk would call to arrange an interview or, if the story warranted it, reporters would gather for a press conference.

As it did with most aspects of society, technology changed all that. Now, “media coverage” can still include newspapers and TV stations, but it also encompasses websites, blogs, Tweets and postings on Facebook. While press releases still exist, they’re no longer a central means of disseminating your message.

That’s why those resources caught our attention. Here’s a look at them, and ways they can be valuable to a small business.

The website Help a Reporter Out (HARO) use the tagline “A Source for Every Story” and brags it reaches more than 475,000 sources and 35,000 journalists. The site sends out emails several times a day, with requests from reporters looking for sources for their stories. The site says, “This can turn into free publicity for your company. Be sure to respond ASAP, as some requests can get competitive.” HARO says it has helped firms get coverage in outlets like The Wall Street Journal, CNBC and Better Homes and Gardens.

PressPass offers a directory of journalists and other media types, organized by the outlets they work for and the beats they cover. The site covers people and publications in the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Ireland and breaks down their interests into categories, like politics, health, religion and education. The site says it helps ordinary people get their message out to the public and raise awareness for a cause, helping them “discover reporters interested in your message so that they can help you get the work out.”

In a similar vein, JustReachOut targets companies looking for journalists to cover them. The site offers directories that let companies search for journalists by beat or region. They say they are the “easiest way for startups to do their own PR without spending a lot money.” JustReachOut says that more than 1,300 articles have been pitched and published using their site.

If your business is looking to connect with bloggers to help you get your message out, BlogDash offers the opportunity to connect with “bloggers in your specific niche to review products, sponsor blog giveaways or build relationships.” The site says it’s helped brands and bloggers connect since 2011, harnessing the huge outreach bloggers have with companies looking to get their message out using non-traditional P.R. methods.

Whether you want to use new methods, go the old school route or use both, contact On Advertising to help your company get its message out. We understand data-driven digital marketing and would love to put our expertise to work for you.

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