After throwing my thoughts on the subject into the arena, there are further valuable hints and tips here on that trickiest of subjects – the winning press release. There are many, many PRs that need to read, digest and utilise the information shared. Enjoy!

Looking for free PR exposure? Try this for starters.

And here’s why. Great article on innovation and creativity from the Times, and it raised a few thoughts from me around PR usage.

Imagine these two scenes:

Scene 1: A traditional PR Agency is representing a client, via the usual uninspiring route of press releases to set media. Standard follow-up, the odd Editor lunch, maybe an event promo or product placement. Bang, job done. Boring. No thought required. The client gains minimal exposure, no building of brand or community, and the PR Agency ticks the same lazy boxes month-end.

Scene 2: A sparky approach, involving placing the same client on facebook, twitter, online news forums, search-optimised articles in the right places (ergo, where customers hang out) alongside exclusive editorial offers to one or two highly-relevant print-based editors. Add a mix of blogging for the client, a bit of viral marketing – and watch the sparks fly. Great result.

If your PR isn’t injected with creativity, what results do you hope to gain? Are you happy to settle for average? Thought not.

The future of PR is here – watch out traditional Ab Fabs!

And here is a great example. Enjoy!

Awful story. Terrible PR – well, to be fair it made into the Telegraph, but that’s no measure of the story’s strength.

The story? Schoolkids here are being given a fiver to..wait for it…put rubbish in bins. Tenuous in the extreme. Who is worse – the PR who pitched the story, or the journalist who wrote up the press release? If your PR is as lazy as this, hire another Agency.

I’ll give a fiver to anybody who can spot the guilty PR party. Hint: the anti-litter scheme is sponsored by Sainsburys. Ahem.

Interesting side-story from this week’s publishing of the 2009 Guardian Media Top 100 here today. It appears that a percentage of the great and the good in medialand making big waves are the marketers and PR gurus delivering¬† top turnovers.

Well, according to some of the financial figures, at least. Congratulations for raising the profile of powerful PR – this benefits us all, but in the light of the frightening advances in digital, and the sloth which much of the mainstream PR fraternity has viewed these online developments, it is interesting to wonder how the old-school PR gurus will cope with Web domination.

And let’s be clear, the Web will dominate. Maybe not today, or tomorrow. But some day soon. Are you/they ready?

This tip is going to annoy all those PR Agencies which try and advocate separate content for all media relations, so they can charge a copyright fee for every new content distribution on behalf of their clients.

And the third tip?

Simple: re-use and re-distribute your PR content as many times as possible and in as many different places (online and offline) as possible. Gain extra exposure, increased content leverage, greater reach for your key messages, and – the main benefit for smaller businesses – added value for the same content across different channels and via re-usage. And no additional copyright fees!

So, how does this work? Again, it’s very simple.

You write a blog post – content position number one. Then consider this: extend it to form a press release for localised News outlets. Position number two. Tweak it slightly so it can then go to trade magazines. Position number three. Throw in some search keywords and push it out across online industry forums. Position number four. And why not also consider using the basis of the content for an email promo to your key clients too? Position number five. If its got wide enough appeal, push it across your Twitter and Friendfeed accounts too. Positions number six and seven.

Hey presto! One piece of content, slightly amended, and used in different formats and giving maximum return.

Of course, you’ll need an expert copywriter, media relations adviser, journalistic professional and clued-up blogger to assist you…but you may well know where to find one. If you’re not sure, email me. Happy to pass on relevant contacts.

It may seem like an obvious point, but…

I recall when working as a business editor on daily newspapers and industry magazines that amongst the plethora of PR submitted for consideration on News and Feature editorials, much of it was sub-standard: too fluffy, no news value, poor angles, too much selling, not relevant to the readerships, awful images, or no accompanying images…to name but a few of the common errors in basic media relations.

You might think that these errors came from untrained, hopeful business owners or marketing directors? No. I am reffering to PR delivered by ‘professionals’ on behalf of clients. Clients who were being mis-sold the promise of effective PR to the Press.

When I use the phrase Press, I mean editors working online, offline and in any media medium which readerships might visit: let’s face it, the days of newspaper dominance are long gone, and any PR who is not advocating to clients utilising a mix of digital PR in their media relations efforts is seriously mis-representing any client in the UK today.

So, to make your PR work harder – as well as introducing SEO copy into your quotes for online PR submissions, also consider the following: industry forums, commentary opportunities on relevant newsfeeds, search engine keywords into your press releases for posting on your blog and online within your networks where relevant. In short, utilise the web. It works if you work it!

What if…when your PR submits content to a journalist – specifically an online journalist – they have given quotes from you the client which include optimised, industry-relevant, search engine-friendly keywords within the quote?

It would be published intact by the Press, as it’s a direct quote adding value to the story or issue to be published. PR which actually does more than a vanity hit in the media. Powerful huh?!

But your PR consultant is probably already advocating this kind of integrated approach to PR and online exposure already…