Friend and fellow entrepreneur, Aruni Gunasegaram, got a sweet PR mention this Memorial Day weekend on Fred Wilson’s blog.  Fred’s blog, A VC, has probably 10k daily readers and PageRank of 6.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you should take note because what Aruni did cost her $0 got her some incredibly valuable PR visibility and link juice.  Here’s how she did it:

First, she got the idea to partner with eMailOurMilitary, to offer active service military deployed overseas free use of her product, Baby Insights.  Baby Insights is a service that allows new mothers to track virtually ever detail of a newborn’s life– eating, sleeping, pooping– all on a PDA.  Cool idea and giving it away is a great way to honor our military because the difficulty of being separated from a new baby obviously greatly compounds the sacrifice of service.

Next, she wrote up a press release, posted it on PRWeb, then posted on her blog about it.  Then she announced it on Twitter with a link to her blog post. 

Finally, she sent Fred Wilson a direct message via Twitter saying (paraphrased) “Hey, if you’re going to post on Memorial Day please consider mentioning this partnership,” with a link to her blog post. 

Indeed, Fred wrote a great Memorial Day tribute to the Armed Forces and included a mention at the end of the post, saying “And speaking of military life, here’s a neat example of two women who met on twitter who have teamed up to deliver a service to families separated by military service,” with a link to Aruni’s blog.

Here are a few reasons I think this was a great example of effective DIY PR:

  • Aruni was active on Fred’s blog as a commenter prior to pitching him, so he recognized her, if not had the beginnings of a relationship by that point (this is a perfect example of the conversational PR model Brian Solis wrote about this weekend).
  • Fred has written a lot about Twitter and Aruni’s post mentions that she met the other founder on Twitter, which Fred no doubt liked (and mentions in his post)
  • Timing – her news was timely– she announced a partnership right before Memorial Day, and it dovetailed perfectly with the idea of honoring the military
  • Soft target – it was a slow news day – it was a bit of a gamble that Fred would be posting on Monday, but it paid off because he was likely receiving very few other timely and relevant pitches.

Fred is definitely an A-List blogger, and even if getting coverage on his blog doesn’t necessarily bring lots of Aruni’s target customers to her site, she benefits in several ways:

#1 Her company earns recognition and validation from a respected influencer, #2 her blog gains the all-important link juice, which she can then redirect toward her product pages, and #3 she becomes top of mind in the online baby space for other potential partners.  I know Aruni has been doing a lot of work to raise her site’s visibility, so big congrats!

Jeremy Bencken

Jeremy Bencken co-founded BuzzStream and served as Chairman in our first few years. Before that, he co-founded ApartmentRatings.com, which he grew into the leading global source for ratings and reviews of apartments before selling it to Internet Brands. Currently, Jeremy runs Wordloop, a performance-based content marketing company in Austin, Texas. Jeremy also serves as an advisor to Sparefoot and inHabi, and is a mentor with Capital Factory. You can find Jeremy on Twitter or Google Plus.

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