There are many benefits to being a part of your local Chamber of Commerce, but did you know that it is also a source of free publicity? Effectively promoting your business can be tricky and expensive- especially if you are just starting out.
But, if you know how to leverage your Chamber membership, you can take advantage of lots of excellent publicity for your business. Here are just five ways you can turn your involvement with your local Chamber of Commerce into free, high quality PR.
1. Let the Chamber of Commerce sponsor your grand opening or reopening.
Chambers of Commerce love to show up for grand openings. It is great publicity for the Chamber and for the new business. Be sure to contact your local Chamber of Commerce when planning your grand opening or reopening and let them enlist their strong network of local influencers to talk about, advertise, and show up at your event.
2. Get in front of the Chamber's camera.
What helps make great news? Pictures. That is why you can bet your Chamber of Commerce will have a camera at every function. Get in front of that camera! Get your picture standing with other Chamber members. Smile. Look like the engaging, friendly guy everyone would want to network with. The Chamber will post your picture, name and business name throughout the media they share with the community, thus dramatically boosting public awareness of your company.
3. Submit news.
Chambers are eager to fill their websites and newsletters with business news and events, particularly that which comes from their members. Don't forget to submit your press releases to your local Chamber just as you would to the local media.
4. Volunteer to serve.
Anyone who serves on a committee or helps out at a special Chamber event, even if for one day, typically gets their name listed on the advertising and other media that promotes the event. Not only is volunteering to serve the Chamber a great way to get your name in print for free, but it is always a great networking opportunity and chance to be part of a meaningful civic endeavor.
5. Give a presentation.
Here is how to get the Chamber to advertise your business just for showing up and telling everyone about what you do! Your Chamber of Commerce will have lots of opportunities for members to talk about their expertise or business. Whether you are the featured speaker at the early bird networking meetings, a featured speaker at a luncheon, or an expert participant in a coaching seminar or educational series, the Chamber will advertise and promote you in their various print and online forums.
In short, as you go about developing your business and its brand, make sure you don't overlook the great resources and outlets available in your own backyard... and for free!
The official site for the U.S. Chambers of Commerce provides resources for locating and working with your local Chamber of Commerce.