Some of you may know I had a business before this one. It was an online marketplace that promoted charitable products. Because Facebook and Twitter were just getting started, I couldn’t rely on social media, ads or the strategies for list-building that weren’t being taught yet. So I did the only thing I knew I could do: promote and grow my business using the media.

I knew why I wanted and needed PR: to get the message out how charitable shopping could change lives for the better and to target conscious buyers to come to my website.

I knew I was positioned for PR—that my message and story were front and center for any potential customers and press looking to feature me on my website, because you only have four seconds to grab them before they move on.

I knew I had a great story (hint: it wasn’t that I opened a biz. The media doesn’t care about that.) that reporters would want to write about and that their audience would want to read about.

I knew how the press operated—what they looked for, how to interact with them, how to get their attention, how not to get blacklisted (yes, this is still a thing), etc.

I knew how to pitch the media—exactly what to say and what not to say, and how to get the press to open my email out of the hundreds they get a day.

I knew how to find the media—where to get any journalist’s email so it went to the exact person it should versus having to send my pitch through a contact form.

I knew how to leverage the press opportunities I had to get more visibility and connect with influencers and celebrities in the industry.

I knew how to network to get speaking gigs, bring attention to causes I cared about and raise funds, get my business promoted and featured in retail products from huge companies, invites for book deals, interns wanting to work for me for free and so much more.

And the results from doing this? National press interview within three weeks of inception.

Over 100 media features in the first two years.

30,000 unique visitors to my website every month (from almost every country on Earth).

Connected to CEOs and founders of some of the largest companies and organizations in the country.

An incredibly successful intern program (for unpaid interns who rocked it).

Multiple retail products created in my company’s name by influencers and celebrities in the industry.

And thousands of dollars raised for nonprofits around the world.

No ads. No social media. No courses on how to grow your list. It was all PR and media.