10 Tips To Get Reporters Familiar With You

Basic but important

It seems that publicity firms, pr people and some publicity professionals fear calling the media unless they have something to give to them, like a story.

Helpful tips on publicityI’m not saying to just call them and talk about the weather. I feel that publicity people need to contact the press more often to know what they are looking for. Each writer, reporter and publisher of a magazine, has particular interests. Knowing this can further your relationship to have a public relations campaign get more exposure for your pr clients.

Use these 10 tips to get to know the media better:
1- Explain new trends that your pr client is experiencing and how it relates to the industry
2- Inquire about the types of subjects THEY prefer to write about
3- Get to know them, ask what they do during off hours, their hobbies, etc
4- Be sure to give a reporter all your contact information, office number, cell number, email address, even your home number if it is a reporter that might need to contact you during off business hours
5- Don’t be afraid to ask them how else you can be of help to them
6- Always send them a thank you note when something gets published
7- Provide names of people in your company that can be available to answer questions in your absence
8- It is ok to submit stories, but first make sure it is the type of stories they like to publish
9- Become an expert..or get your pr client to be a resource expert by offering them for information
10- Read these again. Then visit the Publicity Hound that adds a few more to this list.

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Is Tracking Ad Networks Good For Publicity?

Know who is seeing you

We are constantly hearing how ad agencies use different tracking methods and use different resources to track the results of an ad campaign. This should also be part of a publicity campaign. All pr clients and publicity firms know that it is important to know how a campaign is doing, and tracking results is one method.

If you are using any ad networks for a marketing or publicity campaign, then you should have the third party be using a tagging or coding process in place.

Using tags properly can help you better understand the results form prospects, potential and existing customers.

One tech author, Pam Stein writes this about tagging: "The network will then generate a tag that the advertiser will implement on the proper landing page(s) of their site. Typically, this is the confirmation page, so that they are able to see transactions produced from the campaign. But it could also be a thank-you page after a consumer registers for a sweepstakes or requests a brochure.

Whatever the goal of the campaign, the page that needs to be tagged is the one that appears once the user has done what you wanted them to do."

She further explains and gives an example of what a typical pixel code will look like when implemented into a page. Working closely with the marketing people and advertising staff in a company will strengthen a publicity campaign. Knowing what each department is doing can further your exposure so as to not duplicate efforts. Remember to allow for changes in a pr campaign. Being flexible is what tracking is about.

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Want To Talk?

Are Chat Rooms good for publicity?

We all know about these little rooms called "chats". Unlike blogging and blog sites, chats were here years before and seem to still be going strong.

Not sure what power the chats have over other forms of communication, but publicity is not in-tune with this media. I am not saying that pr clients, or publicity firms need to get into chat rooms. What needs to be done? A study of these chats in your specific market.

For example, if you are selling Hair products, you might want to know what people are saying about the use or non-use of hair products. Yes, this is marketing, but it relates to publicity as well. How? Glad you asked.

Professional PR agencies can use this information to direct the activity of a campaign. If you find that most hair products are used at a specific time of day, you might market the product when the consumer is NOT using the product to make sure your message is reaching the audience. And you might learn how they are using products. Publicity can then be directed to the places they frequent most to learn about hair products, or you might discover a way to reach these potential consumers when studying these chats. Be careful to not be a sales person in a chat room. Otherwise you might get flagged as a company, not a person in the chat room.

This example can apply to any product just by visiting chat rooms that relate to your market. If you want to know where is a good place to find these different chat rooms, try this link. You’ll be surprised at how many different topics there are. You can also do a search on Google, or any of the search engines as well.

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Choosing a Web Browser

Can a web browser be safe?

We are always wondering who out in the Internet world is the villain. Almost every week we hear about a hacker breaking into a database, or some virus, or now the unsafe browsers that hackers are stealing your valuable information.

Just today, I read this article titled "New Flaw Hits Internet Explorer and Firefox". Boy, this headline got a lot of attention. I was even curious to see what this was all about. No one wants to feel that surfing with a browser is going to create a problem. And we don’t expect this to be a way hackers can hit us, unlike email.

Especially companies like publicity firms, marketing agencies, or research companies who rely on using the Internet. Even PR Clients are questioning the safeness of this industry, from the use of spamming through email marketing to downloading research documents to registering for a company newsletter, we are all becoming very concerned about our security.

So after reading this "Flaw" article, it basically isn’t as scary as it intended to be. As a matter of fact, it was probably a press release before being a short article. And guess who was the advisory to this…right Symantec. No further comment.

This just shows you the power of publicity and how a press release, or an article can motivate people. Using a professional public relations agency can make things happen for your company. Both positive or negatively. It isn’t necessary to try and have a scary article published like this to get attention. It is always best to find something of positive value to potential clients. This is the best form of pr you can do for your company.

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What To Write About

Make the story interesting and meaningful

Publicity firms are always asked by their clients to "write something about our company that is great!"

To do this you need to make sure what you are going to write is going to have credible information to that publication’s readers. Just because you or your client feels the information is valid, think of whom you are going to pitch the story to. Go through a list of questions:
1- How important is this information to the readers of XYZ publication
2- Does this offer anything that can help or enhance a readers knowledge to improve their life, business, etc?
3- Am I only writing this to get people interested in the product or service? If so, re-think this and re-write it to be lees self-serving.
4- How timely is this information?

These are but a few points to consider when you need to "get the word out" for a client or if you are a company doing pr internally, then re-think your story or release.

The worst thing you can do is submitting non-informative information in the form of a press release or story to reporters, because the industry hears this type of communication. It can cause a negative effect on you, the company you work for and can cause future releases to be less considered when you get this type of reputation.

Make the words count, in more ways than in numbers. It is up to you to put aside the "sell" and write for the good of the potential readers of a publication.

That will position you higher on the list with reporters.

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The Search Race

Publicity needs search engines

If you dig deep enough you can find studies on most any subject, and topic.

That’s the great part of being in this era. Internet searches have helped publicity people contact the media easier, find data about specific subjects, or to gather information to write a better article.

And studies of most recent, are about the search engines. This little survey can help pr companies and clients who are in specific markets know which search engines are the most popular in their field.

This doesn’t mean you should just assume that a particular engine is the one to use, it shows the activity of the different search engines.

For example, a study from Research Brief, titled "Pick Influential Search Engine By Category, But Yahoo! Safe Bet", shows that Yahoo! is the number one overall choice for those making a purchase. But when you see the different categories, the results change. In electronics, Google is #1, followed by Yahoo!, then MSN and 4th is AOL.

To see a completely different order, look at Car/Truck stats. MSN is #1, followed by Yahoo!, then Google, Ask Jeeves and finally AOL.

Doing the proper research in all areas can benefit Pr clients and publicity firms. Make sure when you send your releases to the media, you keep these search engines in mind. They can help your visibility when your site is listed higher with them. Make your pr campaign part of your search engine strategy.

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Marketing Discovers PR, Finally!

After writing my blog this  morning on "PR is a Team Effort", I saw another article that talked about "Who Owns Internal Communications…Marketing?".

I thought this was ironic, because as I had said a few days ago, Marketing is and should be part of Publicity.

Publicity is always part of our business and personal lives. So why is it a surprise to me when I see these articles? Because, I can’t believe that after all these years, people in our industry are finally waking up to what publicity is all about. It’s about everything!

I happened to find this article at the Hill & Knowlton blog site. David Ferrabee wrote the blog. Well, all I can say "I’m glad that more people are realizing the power of PR and where to find it". It just seems odd that our own industry works separately (pr from marketing, from creative, etc) when in fact they should all work as a Team. Hey, wasn’t that the subject of today’s earlier blog by me? Yes, it was!