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!

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.

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…

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 to this day…

May 25, 2009

I posted this at the start of 2009, as we were entering the uncertainty of global recession and economic depression. A friend had emailed it to me over the Christmas holidays.

Having reviewed it, I thought it would be relevant to re-visit the words. It ties in with PR, as I think all truly effective PR is in the moment, calling upon the very best responses to the News agendas of the day. Observation and reportage without spin. Perfect.

Is your PR as pure and undiluted as this?

‘Look to this day,

For it is life,

The very life of life.

In its brief course lies all

The realities and verities of existence,

The bliss of growth,

The splendour of action,

The glory of power –

For yesterday is but a dream,

And tomorrow is only a vision,

But today, well lived,

Makes every yesterday a dream

of happiness

And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day.’

– Kalidasa, Indian poet & playwright, Fourth century A.D.

…at least, according to this comment.

A thought-provoking post from Adam Tinworth on his excellent blog which highlights the old-school thinking of some journalists who may believe they are entitled to an audience, by right of their position of relative editorial power in the media maze.

Not so, of course, and with the advent of social media and citizen journalism, combined with a significant cut in the numbers of trained journalists conducting newsgathering activities, it has fallen upon contemporary audiences to take their news where they can find it. That and the fact that news consumers want information more rapidly now, and in a way which suits them, not the out-dated production and distribution models favoured by the larger newspaper and magazine publishers.

Good PRs also know that the way they deliver their client news to the Press has to change – and rapidly. What’s next?

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!

It appears that the upturn in the economy has not been noted by the PR team which produced this clanger, as pointed out by the excellent Guardian’s Media Monkey this week. Another poorly-constructed, unimaginative spin on the recession angle. Yawn.

Is your PR as lazy as this? If you’re still riding the economic downturn wave, it is likely that you’re going to have switched off the Press before you even click ‘send’ so do yourself – and the Media – a favour, and get creative with your press releases…

Nothing irritates editors more than a lazy, dubious piece of PR spin, such as a ‘survey’ which highlights nothing more than the lack of editorial talent in a PR team’s weekly brainstorming session.

Coming from a newsroom background, I was always of the understanding that a good PR creates and delivers new angles, exclusive information, and real value to my readerships – not dross. Ok, so this is a rant, but a recession-angled ‘Britons turn to curry to beat the economic blues’ is just so wrong!

Please, please, please make sure you create imaginative, exciting and original press releases for your target Media.

According to this report from the Guardian, its happened and we can thank Queensland Tourism Board for it.

It’s a great stunt, and generating more than – allegedly – $50 million in publicity is undeniably impressive. But, to be fair, those figures came from the PRs delivering the stunt.

More importantly, what sales will the stunt deliver? Clients demand more than like-for-like ROI these days…maybe I am just a cynical Hack at heart, but my journalistic training fails to let me be impressed with the various claims of many PR Agencies.

Products selling out from effective PR, that’s what makes the majority of Clients buzz in my experience. Well, mostly…

Reading this story today regarding the rise and rise of Apple, largely through their iPhone sales, got me thinking about the power of differentiators and innovation as drivers for effective PR, irrespective of the economic climate.

Think about what you do, sell, offer or whatever, which is different to your competitors. Do you provide anything, via services, products or consultancy,  which is different, unique, exciting? Yes? Good, harness it and promote it ruthlessly.

Look at the results for Apple: 3.79 million iPhones sold to date across 81 countries. Customers love the experience of using an iPhone. It is unique, fun, different, exciting and rewarding.

Do you offer this experience? If you don’t, why not? It all comes back to people buying into the experience.

Ask yourself this potentially-difficult question: how would you define the experience of doing business with you? Can you define it? Are you happy with it? Do you provide added-value, uniquely over-and-above that of your competitors?

Testimonials count! Look at these examples: they talk about the experience of doing business, not just the positive results also gained. The message here? Before you PR your business, discover the ‘iPhone differentiator’ and use it.