I would also make the case for learning how to do PR yourself. There is definitely a learning curve, but one of the best things about online content is that it doesn’t get old as quickly as a short film with a small festival run because most of your content only ever lives online where anyone can access it for a pretty long time.
The timeline you have to work with is therefore pretty forgiving, and you can play around with different press angles and contact websites and publications over several weeks or months instead of hoping for some kind of press blitz.
The first question I would ask myself is what are the elements of your project that make it unique OR what are the elements of your project that appeal to small niche audiences? Do you work with an actor who has a small following and has received press coverage in an outlet in the past? Is your show about a topic that doesn’t often get a lot of coverage?
From there you can look up sample press releases and craft one based on those samples. (I’d be happy to send one along!)
And then it’s just a matter of using your own network and research skills to get emails to relevant journalists or sites and try to reach out on your own.
Sometimes a personal message works better for your show than a boilerplate email from a publicist would!
Of course, the exception is if you do happen to find a publicist who already has relationships built in the specific niches you want to reach, but you want to be sure your publicist’s connections and your goals overlap before you spend $$ on it!