Startup MediaGraph Helps Small Businesses Run In-House PR Campaigns

For most small businesses, paying a PR firm to launch and manage a campaign isn’t an option. With hourly rates often in the hundreds of dollars, small businesses are required to do their own marketing in-house. Since a full-time staff publicist isn’t in the budget, that means business owners are required to deploy publicity campaigns on their own, without the contacts many experienced publicists have.

There has to be an easier way, right?

MediaGraph has an option. Launched by David Batey eight months ago in Dubai, MediaGraph connects small business owners with the journalists and bloggers interested in writing about that subject. MediaGraph collects information about a business, along with the subjects that pertain to that business. This allows small businesses to make connections in the industry without going through an expensive firm, while also providing journalists the experts they need to improve their content.

Many small businesses now use Help a Reporter Out (HARO), a free service that lets journalists post queries. Small businesses offer quotes and insight in response to those queries in exchange for free publicity if their response is chosen. As Batey points out, however, HARO has its limitations.

“The downside to only doing responsive PR if you’re an SME is that you can wait six months for something mildy relevant if your space and target audience and then you’re competing with lots of other similar companies,” Batey says. “To do PR effectively you should be looking to leverage both a proactive approach and a reactive approach.”

Batey also addresses the other option for small businesses–contacting various journalists and taking them to lunch. This, of course, costs money and time–time many small business owners simply don’t have. Batey also points out that publicity often has a global reach these days, so the ability to introduce a small business owner in a small town to a reporter across the world is invaluable. MediaGraph provides that initial introduction without the need to hop a plane and wine and dine journalists.

MediaGraph can connect small business owners with some of the most impressive media outlets in the world, including CNET and Forbes. But the site also works with “influencers”–bloggers and social media members who have large numbers of followers. Having a mention on one of these blogs can help small businesses reach hundreds of thousands of consumers.

MediaGraph prices start at only $19.99 a month, which includes access to the journalist/blogger directory, a list of the for the best journalists/bloggers for your organization, 20 pitches per month, analytics, and a campaign organizer. More advanced plans include “competitor intelligence,” providing information on a business’s competitors, including which media outlets are writing about those competitors.

Each plan comes with a 30-day free trial to give businesses an opportunity to try the service out. No credit card is required during the trial period. To sign up for MediaGraph’s 30-day trial, visit the company’s website.

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Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

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