PR needs to watch this new media


We are in a fast moving world that sees changes on a daily basis. Once we learn of a new technology, or a new media like blogging, we are quickly discovering another media. This time it is "Viral Marketing’.

As usual this new form has been embraced and popular among young web people. It is the video content that anyone with a cheap video camera and some editing equipment, will post onto a web site. This is not just a fad. Tens of thousands of videos are already in the ultimate Short Attention Span Theatre. These will range from the bizarre of car crashes and Jackass-like stunts to musical performances by classic rockers.

In a business environment, there is gold at the end for them. For example, you are already seeing how this new media is creeping into our homes by the TV commercials from MasterCard. I am sure you noticed their new TV spots that invite consumers to fill-in the blanks on their "Priceless" campaign.

There will soon be more high profile companies using this approach in their ad campaigns.

Another popular viral video that has become one of the hottest is YouTube, based in San Mateo, CA. Last April the YouTube had averaged 6.6 million unique viewers a month. That shows you the power this phenomenon is having. Several other exisit like iFilm. Just type the words into Google and see what comes up.

How does this relate to publicity and your public relations campaign? Well, if you do this right, you can probably get some great publicity for your pr client, or your own company by doing something unique using viral video. I suggest doing something that is legal, otherwise the publicity you get from the press and other media will not be what you hoped for.

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Jun 062006

Photos can make a you look better


When you write a release, or better yet, an article to pitch to the media, it is a good idea to include photos.

Wow, what a great idea, bet this isn’t original! You’re right, but read further to learn what I mean about including photos.

Believe it or not, most pitches are only text that the media receive. Just adding good quality photos can make your story become more interesting to the reporter because now you are providing a visual.

This alone needs to be given careful thought. Just as you want the story you are writing to not look like an ad to the reporter, you need to plan the types of photos to include.

One publicist, Joan Stewart, wrote an article on this subject. She gives you about 11 tips on what to look for when shooting photos to be included in your pitch.

What I like about her article, her advice goes beyond what to take for photos. Joan provides tips on what not to do. Such as groundbreaking, or ribbon ceremonies. These are overdone, and unless you are a major real estate developer, or a high profile company, forget these types of stories and photos.

Your publicity campaign and all your public relations activities should be part of the overall business and marketing plan. There will always be some last minute pr projects that your pr client’s need created immediately. It is the master marketing plan that should set the guidelines for all the publicity. Be sure you have a solid database of the reporters, editors and publications you want to target.

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How to get the most of a PR campaign

GET US FREE PUBLICITY!

These are the words we hear most often from clients. So how Free is it?

Publicity is a powerful method for getting your message to potential customers, but only when you know what you are doing.

Remember, nothing is free. If you have an in-house person, you are paying for that pr director, or manager to spend the time to write, distribute and meet with reporters.

Hiring a publicity firm has basically the same costs.
When you place an ad into a publication, or run a spot on radio or TV, those are controlled forms of media which can become costly for smaller companies.

When you get a release or article published, in comparison, it didn’t cost anything to have that visibilty in that, or those media. The cost was in the preliminary stages of developing the article and getting it to the right media.

Knowing how to write an article, or a press release (these require different writings) is critical of getting something published. Reporters and editors want to publish stories of interest and be informative for their audience.

I spoke about distribution before. This is also important. Shot gun mailing to all media will not do you any good. Targeting specific media will help to control the distribution and makes follow up more productive. Use the Internet news media whenever possible. Here you can modify the press release or articles and use keywords in the body of the information. Using a professional pr firm can help a public relations campaign become more successful, because they have the contacts and knowledge to get these published.

Bottom line. Is publicity free? I guess It all depends on what you consider free.

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Publicity needs to keep up with technology

To keep in this fast pace of publicity, we are always searching for and want to find access to a lot of information. One of the sources to use is the RSS feed.

This stands for Real Simple Syndication. It allows you to access current news about any topic. It is great for those publicity firms or advertising agencies, or pr clients who are in a vertical market.

It seems the more information we have available to access, the more we want. RSS will satisfy your hunger for all the information you desire.

Sometimes I can’t read that days different feeds coming to us. What I usually will do is scan through the news and click onto those that catch my attention.

Public relations people will find this marketing tool very helpful. When you get into a habit of learning how to take advantage of RSS feeds, you will find it a great source for information, as well as a marketing tool for your client’s pr activities.

Many different weblogs are built around RSS feeds. That is one of the reasons how RSS became a solid marketing media for the news industry. Reporters, publishers and broadcast media use these feeds because they can publish and retrieve up-to the minute news.

For those of you who want to learn the history and how RSS became a daily media, I suggest you visit an article called “Dive into XML”, by Mark Pilgrim.

And for those of you who want to get RSS feeds to your web site, this is one place you can get information on how-to, it is FreeNewsFeed.com. There are many others, just type in RSS into Google, or Yahoo and a Billion sites will be there ready to explain more.

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