Many small businesses aren’t getting publicity for the oddest reason: They talk themselves out of it!

Here are 10 common problems I’ve seen with entrepreneurs who want publicity.

1.     You think you don’t have anything newsworthy to say. That’s false because it is up to the reporter to decide what is newsworthy. If you tell yourself there’s nothing newsworthy going on, you could be wrong. It takes a reporter or a PR person to look at your business objectively and find out what is news. Some of my clients think they don’t have anything interesting to talk about. But when I ask them about their business, I can see that they are doing things that no one else is doing. That’s news! And they get coverage by reporters in their business journals who are interested in this information.
2.     You don’t think of yourself as an expert. That’s not true because you have developed a level of expertise by running your business and dealing with customers, suppliers, vendors, bankers and government agencies. You know a lot more than you give yourself credit for. I’ve had many clients who suffer from this. They don’t give themselves credit for all their experiences and obstacles they have overcome. Once I point out how much they know, they can’t wait to tell their stories to the media.

3.     You think that someone else is better qualified to talk to reporters. That may be true, but that doesn’t matter. Reporters will talk to the person who is available right now. If the hotshot expert you are deferring to is on vacation, too busy to talk to reporters or not interested in talking to reporters, then the reporter won’t ever get a chance to speak to you.

4.     You don’t think their news is important. This is also not true. Many publications have columns for small pieces of news from local companies. They want to know what is going on. It might not wind up on the front page, but it very well might wind up in print or on the web.

5.     You don’t know what to say or how to say it. That could be true. That’s why they can hire a media coach to teach them how to say things, or they could hire a PR person who can speak or write on their behalf and make them sound great.

6.     You don’t know how to contact the media. While that might have been a problem years ago, it has never been easier to contact the media. Nearly every reporter can be found on Google and contacted via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+.

7.     You don’t think PR can help them. Very false. Publicity can help build their brands, create instant credibility and provide widespread visibility. For example, we wrote a press release announcing new training programs for the Reiki Institute. The press release was printed in many online media websites and her site was flooded with new visitors who inquired about her programs.

8.     You are afraid of being rejected. Okay. That’s true. But if you don’t try, then you’ve already been rejected.

9.     You don’t have a big budget to hire a PR firm. That could be true since PR firms can charge $30,000 and up for a 6-month contract. However, there are many low cost tools and free tools on the Internet that can help small businesses that want to do their own publicity. Plus, there are many small PR agencies that can take on small projects to help small businesses – and charge affordable rates. We offer the key tools at

10.  You are afraid of success. You wonder how they can deal with all the traffic to their business or website. Well, that’s a good problem to have!

Why you are talking yourself out of getting publicity? You might be passing up a golden opportunity.

Dan Janal works with small businesses in all industries that want to increase their effectiveness and improve profits. He offers a complimentary “Thought Leadership  Strategy Session” that helps you get clear on the tactics and strategies to help your overall marketing program so you can become the thought leader in your market. Contact Dan at or 952-380-9844 or visit