Weekly Roundup: Posts from the PR World [8/29/08]

29 08 2008

It’s definitely been a busy week around here for me.  I was finally able to launch my new blog focusing on cooking, grilling, techniques/tips, recipes, etc.  If you are a foodie then check out Prime Cuts and let me know what you think.  Since I didn’t get a chance to post a weekly roundup for last week, this week will include some of my favorite posts from the past two weeks.

Today’s weekly roundup of books include a couple of books which are a couple years old but are ones that I have definitely added to my wishlist and I’d suggest you also check them out.

Weekly Roundup – Books

Branding Unbound: The Future of Advertising, Sales and the Brand Experience in the Wireless Age

Author(s): Rick Mathieson
Published: August 19, 2005
Summary: Mathieson takes a look at wireless technology and the future of mobile advertising.  He provides a thorough analysis of the various technologies and possible uses of this technology for marketing your brand.  Mathieson also discusses some of the problems associated with mobile marketing such as, for example, privacy issues.

Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking

Author(s): Andy Sernovitz and Guy Kawasaki
Published: November 1, 2006
Summary: Sernovitz and Kawaski explain the essential steps that make word of mouth marketing work and how to use them.  They also explain the importance and purpose of blogs, viral marketing, buzz and online communities.  This is an excellent book for anyone looking to attract the most important customers, those that have been referred by someone that’s already happy with your products or services.

Weekly Roundup – PR/Marketing/Social Media Posts

Weekly Roundup – Other Interesting Posts and Random Musings

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Want Press? Check Your Inbox

27 08 2008

Are you an expert at something?  We all are, right?  Have you ever wondered how you could be that expert that’s featured in various news stories across the country?  Some choose to start a blog to showcase this expertise.  But, what if you could have a list of queries from reporters emailed to you every day which you could skim though and pick ones that are in your expertise to respond to?  Sound too good to be true?  Well, it’s real and available to you for free!

The service I’m talking about is called Help A Reporter Out which is the creation of Peter Shankman, founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc., a marketing and PR agency in New York City.  The service is free and only takes a few seconds to sign up for.  After signing up and confirming your email address you will begin to receive up to three emails per day with a list of stories which reporters are seeking help on.  The only rule of the service is that you only respond to the journalist query if and only if you think that you can really help that reporter out.

About a month ago I had read about the service from Tiffany Monhollon.  I found it interesting but quickly forgot about it with a rush of pressing tasks that needed to get done.  A few days ago I remembered that I wanted to check it out and decided to sign up.  A couple hours later I received my first email query.  I anxiously scrolled through to see what this was going to be like.  Guess what?  I found a story to respond to!  I emailed the reporter, set up a time to talk the following day and viola….she is going to use some of that conversation in her article. 🙂

Everyone won’t have the same initial experience that I did of course but I encourage you to sign up.  This is a great way to help you gain some traditional media exposure and further develop yourself as an expert in your field!

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The New Rules of Press Releases

25 08 2008

In case you haven’t noticed, press releases are changing. The way they’re written, the way they’re distributed, and the way they’re used has evolved.In the “old days,” press releases were sent to, well, the press. They piled up on reporters desks (because they were physically mailed to them; no email back then!) and occasionally one got pulled from the pile and printed in the newspaper.

Today, we have email, Internet, and SEO to throw into the mix. Press releases use all these elements, and are no longer  held captive by a few key editors. Now bloggers and consumers are the targets of releases.

In his book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR , David Meerman Scott explains the “new rules of press releases:”

  • Don’t just send news releases when “big news” is happening; find good reasons to send them all the time
  • Instead of just targeting a handful of journalists, create news releases that appeal directly to your buyers.
  • Write releases that are replete with keyword-rich copy.
  • Include offers that compel consumers to respond to your release in some way.
  • Place links in releases to deliver potential customers to landing pages on your Web site.
  • Optimize news release delivery for searching and browsing.
  • Add social media tags for Technorati, DIGG, and del.icio.us so your release will be found.
  • Drive people into the sales process with news releases.

How are you using press releases? Are you still stuck in the “old days,” or have you evolved along with the process?

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Tips from an Internet Marketing Expert

22 08 2008

Earlier this week I had the chance to sit down with Mike Volpe, Vice President of Marketing at HubSpot.  We talked about the differences between inbound and outbound marketing strategies as well as the importance of using internet PR and social media.

Mike will be a part of a top-notch group of presenters at the upcoming Inbound Marketing Summit on September 8th in Cambridge, MA.  As of the last time I checked in with Mike, there were only about 20 tickets left so get over to their site and sign-up.  Let me know if you’re going to be attending as I’ll be there as well.

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Social Media Explained Through a Prism

20 08 2008

“If a conversation takes place online and you’re not there to hear or see it, did it actually happen?”

This is the question that PR expert Brian Solis, principal of FutureWorks, asked when introducing his latest creation, the Conversation Prism.

Solis, along with Jesse Thomas of JESS3, developed the Conversation Prism to be a “living, breathing representation of Social Media [that] will evolve as services and conversation channels emerge, fuse, and dissipate.”  This representation of social media is interesting because it helps you to visualize how many networks and categories of networks (i.e. social bookmarks) actually exist.  If Twitter or Facebook isn’t right for you, then maybe Plurk or BrightKite might interest you more.  The idea isn’t to necessarily be a member of every social network but instead to pick a few which help you to network or share your brand with those that are interested.  For instance, MySpace probably isn’t going to help you more than being a purely social medium unless you’re involved in the music industry, club scene, or other similar spaces.  For those people or companies, MySpace has been critical in exposing their music or events to a much larger audience that would otherwise be out of their reach (possibly).

But using social networks is a waste of company time! Many companies block social media because of the “wasted” time and money of employees spending hours per day updating their profiles.  However, what if a prospective customer doing a Google search on your company came across that employees profile and saw a bulletin they posted about an upcoming product launch or about how much they love working for the company?  Would that still be a waste of company time?  I don’t think so.  I understand that many companies are scared because of not being able to control the message that is being posted.  I would argue that the employee is going to use the social network whether at work or at home so why not embrace it and encourage them to post positive things about the company while they’re at it.

How does this relate to internet press releases? The Conversation Prism and use of social media only further solidifies the positive reasons why you should be using internet press releases to convey and distribute company messages.  In fact, the term “internet press release” is interchangeable with “social media press release”.  A PR that is distributed via a reputable internet service can be picked up by interested users of sites like Digg, StumbleUpon and reddit.  The PR then might be saved for future use on a social bookmarking site like delicious.  Also, a blogger might see the release and then decide to write about it on their WordPress, tumblr, BlogSpot, Blogger or TypePad blog.

The idea here is that using social media in conjunction with internet press releases to convey company messages, updates, product launches, etc. can help to improve your online reputation management as well as the chances of your next prospective customer finding you the next time they don’t know they need your service.

Social Media in Plain English:

For more information on Social Media, download Solis’ Social Media Manifesto and The Essential Guide to Social Media.  Also, stay tuned as I will have an interview with Brian later this week!

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Newsforce Gives Your PR Access to a Premium News Network

18 08 2008

Recently, Newsforce released a new product which is a paid placement network for press releases.  The new service, being called the Premium News Network, takes your press release and guarantees placement on major news sites.

To accomplish this, Newsforce purchases ad spots on the major news media sites and then displays their clients’ press releases within that advertisement space.  When a visitor clicks on the PR it brings them to a hosted article page which can include videos, photos, links, etc.  The Newsforce team then sends you weekly reports showing you how the PR is doing and allows you to tweak your headline or content whenever you want.  Each PR runs for 30 days at which time it can be renewed or you can submit a new press release.  Their pricing structure is based on the number of headline impressions you are targeting for your campaign.

Newsforce has already partnered with several media sites such as: Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Boston Herald, and a bunch more.  They also continue to add more partners each week.

What interests me about this service is that it’s not like anything that’s out there right now, at least not that I’m aware of.  Internet PR distribution companies typically take your press release and push it out through the news-wires and other services and then rely on these sites to pick up on the release.  Newsforce is taking this same press release and placing it onto the major news sites.  As you can see from the example on the right, Newsforce had purchased the top advertising block on the Los Angeles Times Health section and had 3 press releases displaying along with a short description of each and a link back to the full release.

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Weekly Roundup: Posts from the PR World [8/15/08]

15 08 2008

Wow, what a week around the PR blogosphere!  I’m not going to explain it all again as many others have commented on it.  Some of the links below are just a few of the many posts but you’ll be able to get a good overview by following the links on those articles as well.  Another busy week for me putting together the concept for another blog as well as planning some new interviews for this blog.

Weekly Roundup – Books

Saving the World at Work: What Companies and Individuals Can Do to Go Beyond Making a Profit to Making a Difference

Author(s): Tim Sanders
Published: September 16, 2008
Summary: Sanders believes that companies need to make a difference through their products, manufacturing methods, environmental efforts and community outreach.  We are no longer casual consumers, according to Sanders, but instead are mindful consumers who look beyond the bottom line price to judge which companies we will purchase from.

PR 2.0: New Media, New Tools, New Audiences

Author(s): Deirdre Breakenridge
Published: April 2008
Summary: Breakenridge teaches her reader a host of new PR best practices including how to utilize blogs, social networks, RSS technology, podcasts, visual and social media in releases, using analytic tools, as well as several other new ways of reaching your target audience(s).  Breakenrdige also includes interviews with some of the A-list PR 2.0 practicioners including Brian Solis who posted an excellent review on the book on his blog, most appropriately named, PR 2.0.

Weekly Roundup – PR/Marketing/Social Media Posts

Weekly Roundup – Other Interesting Posts and Random Musings

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