For startups wanting PR but with a limited budget to start the business, what are some ways you can get free or low-budget coverage?
Firstly figure out what your goal is. Do you need to build your brand/credentials to attract investors? Are you trying to get more actual customers? Do you want more hits on your website?
Secondly, research some relevant publications for your business. There are several startup titles (magazines, websites, sections within newspapers) - as well as podcasts. Also research the relevant trade press for your sector. The publication's relevance depends on whom you are trying to reach.
Thirdly, keep your website and company blog up to date. Any journalist will check that before running a story, and if it looks dodgy/amateur/incomplete they may just skip it. Your website needs to be ready for traffic - for public attention - if you're trying to generate publicity.
When you've got these three things ready, you need to figure out what your story is. It needs to be "new, true and interesting". For a startup, this might be:
At this point you can put together a short release or email about your news, and contact a relevant journalist.
Remember that the media outlet is interested in your news, not the mere existence of your company or its products (unless they are doing a "trends" piece which you may be one aspect of). They may also be more interested in hearing from your customers than you, so it's wise to have a loyal customer prepared to speak with them (like a case study).
One useful site may be http://www.sourcebottle.com where journalists put out requests for experts and case studies.
To further qualify your question Miky, 4 to 5 years after the event what difference douse a retrospective on a brand identity's survival make?