PR firms can be incredibly expensive. For a small business or an entrepreneur, PR can be prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, you do not always have to pay for media coverage. It's called earned media for a reason.
If you have a small budget and little to no time to spend earning media, a company like Publicize (Publicize.co) can help you out by reaching a large audience for a lot less than a traditional PR firm. If you have zero budget but are willing to invest some time, you can earn your own media coverage. The first step is learning to write a press release. We offer a press release template with some of our services, but you can also Google press releases and copy the format of something you like. The press release itself will probably not get you much media, but learning to write it will help you identify the most important parts of your story and create quotable statements about your products, services, or company.
Your press release and the email you send to the editor or author should include a story. DO NOT send a press release if you have nothing to say. A company launch, product launch, large hiring event, etc. are all worth talking about. A sale is not. Email the editor or author directly and tell them who you are, what you do for your company, and why you are cool/important/worth writing about. Then, tell them who your company is, what your company makes, and the current event that is worth writing about. Your press release should be an attachment to your email to provide quotes, more details about your company, and the story you want to tell. Your email should make the writer or editor want to read the details in the attachment.
When you are sending out your emails, start with local publications and smaller trade publications to test out your writing skills, your press release, and the story you offer. Then, update your press release and the emails. As you increase the 'net' that you cast, you should be able to polish your story even more. Try expanding your reach to local radio and television companies or regional publications. As you gain momentum, you will be able to reach a wider audience with each media push. Good luck!