Start-ups often work in secret until they're ready to go public. Then, suddenly, it's time to promote what they're doing and some entrepreneurs are stuck. It seems that they should be able to quickly and easily promote themselves — but the reality is that it's often a good idea to get some marketing help.

For those that choose to go it alone, there are several new choices for distributing news and announcements that allow multimedia content and search engine indexing, but won't break a start-up's budget.

PitchEngine founder Jason Kintzler, told me "As I blogged about PR and Social Media, and the feedback I got helped me create the application. It's not a traditional wire service, but it enables entrepreneurs to package content for the social web. Startups are not just trying to reach journalists who they hope will write about them, they can distribute their content to everyone and it's searchable and stays around."

They have 300,000 journalists and bloggers that sign up for their feed and come to their site to look for content. Those users take the content and share it with their audiences who have interest in a specific area.

A few months ago I reviewed Drop.io as an easy content sharing service. It seems many media communications professionals were also using Drop.io to share multimedia with the press, but it was not a full solution. Steve Greenwood, VP of applications for Drop.io told me the feedback from their customers helped them create Presslift.

"This is our attempt to provide a 100% answer for media distribution. We found that most PR professionals want to include multi-media with a press release and many journalists say it's important to access multi-media easily, but only about 10% of press releases contain multi-media. That's because FTP, email attachments, DVDs, and USB drives are expensive and difficult. (Note: I covered how important it is to have good materials for a meeting with a journalist in 5 Tips for How to Promote Your Company to a Reporter.) So we're creating a new category — a place to share related multimedia and provide complete distribution flexibility. We work well with wire services. We also enable distribution of content on Facebook and Twitter." Steve gave me the example of an iPhone application developer, but it could be any kind of product company. For that iPhone app, a text release isn't very useful, but "screen shots, a video demo, related links, and a very searchable release with pictures of the founders of the company as well as quotes is very useful."

"We believe that Presslift offers a very innovative tool for the market, it's extremely impressive technology, and it's obvious they've done their homework about what PR professionals and journalists want," said Susan McPherson, VP of Business Development at PR Newswire.

No one is going to buy your product if they don't know about it. If you have to go it alone, definitely look into these tools that can help your business get the word out. If you have suggestions, we'd love to hear them in the comments.