High-Impact PR on a Small Budget: Shannon McGuirkRead Time: 3 minutes

Your PR budget can be $0 — and you can still find PR strategy successes.

Shannon McGuirk explains how the right approach to PR can make a little go a long way. As head of PR and Content at Aira, she has built successful campaigns with everyone from major brand names to small businesses. On this episode, she explains what makes digital PR different and what stories to pitch to journalists for better engagement.


We’re all familiar with traditional PR, which builds brand awareness through media coverage. Digital PR brings in the added impact of SEO. This PR strategy encourages journalists to connect that content back to your companies site to increase organic traffic.


“It’s so important that small businesses invest the time in coming up with a digital PR and marketing strategy because you don’t need much money to do it,” advises Shannon. “Your budget can be tiny. It’s just your time as a business owner.”

PR strategies can seem challenging, but it simply requires a consistent time investment. Shannon takes a deeper look at PR strategies in her recent guest post, How to do Great Digital PR on a Limited Budget.

Shannon offers a specific tactic for a daily digital PR strategy example:

Think about the publications that your audiences are reading. Spend 5 minutes a day reading those publications. Get to know what the stories and themes those journalists are covering. Then, you can work backward to determine what you can add that conversation. Whenever you pitch an idea, you will be in-line with the publication already.


Shannon has seen lots of pitches and knows which ones get picked up and which ones get ignored. Using one of these three types of stories will increase the likelihood of media coverage.

1. Stats and Data-Based PR

Stories with research and numbers do well. You can’t argue with numbers! If you have a budget, you can contract a professional external survey for this data. If you don’t have a budget, you can create your own research through online survey tools and crowdsource your data.

2. Expertise/Tips-Based PR

Actionable content gets picked up. Lists, of course, are a popular format for sharing expertise. For example, an HR firm may prepare a ‘Top 10 interview tips’ content pitch.

3. Awareness Days-Based PR

There are awareness days all throughout the year, and journalists will be looking for content to cover them. For example, in the UK, there is a Small Business Saturday. As this day approaches, there will be buzz around it in the media and a need for content. Figure out how you can add to the conversation and be timely in your outreach to take advantage.


  • Digital PR combines traditional PR with the added strategy of SEO.
  • You don’t have to invest money in your PR. Invest your time.
  • The top 3 PR pitches are: research, tips, and awareness days.


  • Digital PR isn’t a dark art. A lot of it comes down to timeliness with the media.
  • Don’t let a tiny PR budget stop you from starting your PR strategy.
  • Have a positive attitude. The first few times aren’t easy, but it gets easier with time.


Shannon does a deep dive into personal PR strategies on her special guest post. Learn more from her PR expertise on the Sure Oak blog.  In addition, check out our SEO PR service guide with Dmitry Dragilev.

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