Earlier this week I had the opportunity to interview Susan Payton. Susan Payton is the blogger behind The Marketing Eggspert Blog and the owner of Egg Marketing & Public Relations. She helps clients use internet marketing to grow sales and boost web traffic. Susan will also be teaching a course on how to write press releases on September 16th.
How has the use of the internet as a marketing tool changed the way marketing and public relations firms communicate their clients’ messages?
It’s made our jobs easier. We no longer print and physically mail press releases, wasting postage. Press releases and news can reach an audience within seconds. We can reach a larger audience by including bloggers and future customers and no longer relying on a journalist deciding to cover our news.
What are your thoughts on using search-engine-optimized press releases that are distributed on the web versus traditionally distributed press releases?
I’m laughing because for me (a GenXer) SEO releases are “traditionally distributed!” I still send releases directly to targeted editors I think have interest in the release, but I sell the SEO factor to my clients. Even if Oprah doesn’t call you to be on her show (and I’m telling you, don’t hold your breath), you’ll be all over the internet and increase your ranking on search engines with a press release distributed on the web.
How do you think companies should be using social media/networks such as Twitter, Plurk, Facebook, YouTube, etc.?
1. Carefully. Just like everyone, I jumped into all social media sites without knowing what I was doing. Choose the ones that work for you (or that others refer you to).
2. Designate a person to handle this aspect if you have someone to put on it, or specify a limited time to work on it each day/week.
3. Consider your audience. If you don’t sell cute t-shirts or rock bands, MySpace might not be your audience.
4. Plurk? There’s one I don’t know. Great. Another one I have to join!
How important is it for a company to be visible on the internet?
Absolutely necessary. If you don’t have a website, I don’t want to use you (as a consumer) or help you (as a marketing/PR firm…unless we can first design your website!). Being online shows that you at least respect technology, even if you don’t understand it. As a consumer that tells me you’ve invested in reaching me as someone who searches for your company online.
In what ways does your firm help companies to become visible on the internet?
Egg Marketing & Public Relations uses a slew of online marketing tools to increase traffic to our clients’ websites. We use press releases, email marketing, SEO, blog/forum commenting and online advertising. We look to who our clients’ ideal customers are and tailor a solution that fits the way they receive messages.
What do you see in the future for marketing/public relations firms?
Who we work with to spread the word about our clients will keep shifting away from the editors who hold the keys to publishing and popularity. Now we have hundreds of bloggers in a given niche who are clamoring for content. In product marketing, these are the people that readers listen to. They’re the ones giving the thumbs up or down. They’re the one that consumers believe. Consumers don’t want to be advertised to on television, newspaper or billboards. They want to be entertained while having the option to accept advertising messages. Marketing and PR industries have to completely embrace this. It’s starting to happen now, but “old school” marketing is still dominating a lot of areas.