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…


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

According to this, the time is nigh.

Great inputs and observations from Martin Belam, on how social media techniques are being used by major publishers – his article also has implications for publishers, businesses, marketers, and of course PR providers.

With the advance of social media like a tidal wave upon us all, the sharp and the savvy PR deliverers are advocating their clients take a ride on the wave and enjoy it. New media tools and techniques are giving clients unheard of levels of control, exposure, measurement and feedback on their promotional efforts – and on a global basis too.

No wonder, then, that the traditional PRs are looking worried: their bleatings of ‘we-do-long-lunches-with-editors’ are no longer cutting the mustard with contemporary clients looking for greater value, better exposure, more customer inputs, and less cost.

I advocate clients utilising every tool in their communications arsenal to further promote themselves effectively, speedily, and on a cost-conscious basis. This undoubtedly includes new media tools.

Traditional PR providers, however, prefer the command-and-control model they grew up with and observed in the newspapers and magazines of old. Those days are long gone. Audiences have gained more control over the media process than ever before.

Is it time, then, to write an obituary for traditional PR? Partly yes, partly no.

My tuppence to the old-school PR luvvies? Either integrate, or move over quickly to die. The new media wave is here.

Look no further – here it is.

Which does not necessarily justify this today, either in PR measurement terms, consumer tracking terms, or indeed even in human rights terms.

The news that ad specialists Phorm have acquired £15M investment funds to continue trials of technologies ot track internet users movements via their ISPs is good news for the marketers, but could lead to serious infringements, of course.

In PR terms, being able to identify exactly where a consumer sector are going, staying, re-visiting, entering sites and exiting, is great news in relation to spotting trends and pitching brand messages accordingly.

Not that, in reality, many UK PR firms are this switched on to the realities and opportunities represented within the internet: the perceived cost of measuring and managing influence online is keeping many PR agencies and clients firmly locked into print options only. Whilst a sea of customers drift past them, accompanied by hordes of potential online customers.

The issues in terms of privacy are something else, and this will remain a thorny subject.

As PRs are forced to consider online technologies rather than lunch with yet another Editor, the above could well prove important in leading new customers to their clients’ doors. Measurement is, after all, everything – especially online.

It appears that American PRs are facing a challenge for corporate work from journalists, according to this today.

With many more thousands of US media being forced to leave the newsrooms than ever before, the post by David Walker highlights interesting developments for the Press there; and also for British journalism, if old-school print English hacks are willing to follow the lead of our entrepreneurial American media cousins. Journalists make excellent PRs, as we have seen.

The loss of journalism jobs, as in purely editorially-based jobs, has been immense and devastating in the USA: in recent months, the effects of global recession have hit the USA’s media far harder and quicker than anywhere else. Many have moved into PR.

But the speed of enterprise and sourcing alternative work has also been staggering, as Walker’s post highlights. Journalists are moving into corporate-land, producing content, films and blogs, delivering outstanding editorial to the Media on behalf of Mr CEO. Our redundant British journalists could learn a lesson from this. And it will wake up our fluffy London-centric PRs.

Whilst corporate comms has been seen as a no-go area for a trained journalist, it represents rich pickings: as Brian Storm, founder of US-based MediaStorm, points out: “A PR message has no authenticity. It won’t go viral. Organizations are looking for a new way to get their message out, and journalists can play a role in that.”

I know if I was looking to work in a stable, financially-rewarding and challenging commercial environment, the choice of an over-worked, under-paid, massively non-appreciated media firm would hold far less appeal than a contemporary, profitable and engaging boardroom scenario for me. That would be the case for either an experienced PR or a journalist, I imagine.

Testing times ahead for PRs and those looking to deliver PR for themselves, according to this today.

If advertisers are reducing and cutting their spend across significant numbers of newspapers and magazines, where do you place your clients’ PR? After all, if advertisers are down, readers are down, hence the value of distributed PR to your client to these channels would also then be less.

Maybe traditional PRs don’t care – or they aren’t giving the full range of media channels to their clients because they don’t want to invest resources in fully understanding the awesome potential of online and digital PR for contemporary clients.

PRs, and those delivering their own PR, need to urgently consider the media relations aspect of their comms efforts right now: the way digital media and online interest is continuing to move, the smart PRs will invest in digital PR and online media relations, to give clients more value, reach and exposure.

The old-school brigade will continue to talk about their fabulous relationship with the soon-to-be redundant section editor at any given National newspaper, no doubt. Yes, it’s part of the mix, but the move towards online PR must, must, must be included.

Smart PR? Get online, get digital and get a measurable return on your PR investment. It’s all about online content, folks.

Get out there: set up a blog with planned content and posts, utilise industry forums, post comments on News sites on relevant issues, contact online editors of your preferred newspapers and magazines. Make the changes, before your PR becomes redundant.

According to today’s Media Guardian, the tweeting phenomena is most definitely changing the comms landscape rather than just being another media fad – although, of course, Twitter may well be replaced by the latest contender in another 18 months or so.

Time will tell.

The interesting point about the article, for me at least, is the way in which journalists are slowly – very slowly – coming to terms with the fact that great news leads can be obtained by simply following the pubic timeline of tweets on any given day.

And the same can be said of PRs too: most traditional PR firms are scared witless by such media tools: the long-standing approach is ‘if the client can measure it as easily as we could, don’t give it to them – maintain the “Dark Arts/We have All the Press contacts/For the love of God, don’t empower the Client” party line, which is a real shame.

A shame for client. A shame for positive PR. And a shame for the most important element – the audiences.

Then again, when was the last time a traditional/old-school PR agency really cared about the audience?

Exposed here, as reported in the Guardian and surrounding the decision of Neal’s Yard Remedies’ (NYR) PR team not to engage in an online discussion and debate, having previously committed to it.

PRs doing U-turns? Nightmare.

As a business contact of mine once said…If you’re doing what you say you will, when you say you will do it, and on the agreed budget, you’re already doing better than 80% of businesses in the UK…how those words ring true around this U-turn today.

After all, if NYR are claiming their green credentials as a major selling point, the PRs there should answer questions from consumers around these claims. Excellent points were made on the subject by both Max Clifford and Mark Borkowski.

It is always easier to defend a strong, solid position than attempt to re-negotiate a stumbling, lost point with the Press.

Even with the depressed state of the Nation, we still need, want and demand News. And the Media still needs to be supplied with excellent content and images to feed their readerships. So how can you guarantee you’re hitting the headlines? Try these tips:

1. Get inside your business and uncover newsworthy stories. Don’t make stuff up, or create spin. Uncover the people news.

2. Make sure you get your content professionally written and supplied to the Media with professional images taken by a professional photographer – note the word ‘professional’ in there? that’s because you need to give a professional representation of your business to the Press. saving money and cutting corners sends out the wrong messages to your target Press.

3. Research your target newspapers, magazines and online sites throughly – you need to know who is writing what, where and when before you try to sell them your PR. Anything less is nothing short of media relations suicide.

4. Be persistent – you may well need to contact, re-contact and re-re-contact before you get the result you’re after.

5. Respect deadlines – always, always, always ask a journalist if they are on deadline BEFORE you launch into a pitch.

6. Give them whay they want, and within the hour. Trust is built with the Press by delivering the goods on deadline.

Even if you maintain the above Tips only, you’ll go a long way to building great media relationships. Try it!