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While companies have more ways than ever to distribute important announcements at little or no cost, the formal press release is still alive and well.
The reason? A good press release is still capable of driving earned media.
We receive a lot of press releases and pitches from PRs on the content team. And, I'll be honest, 90% are ignored or deleted.
There is simply too much noise and the shame is that the sheer volume means that some useful approaches may be overlooked.
In this post, I want to explain what we look for and provide a few tips for PRs approaching us...
The practise of blogger or influencer "engagement" is one of the most widely-used tactics in marketing these days, done by almost everyone, from PR agencies to SEOs, social marketers to spammers.
It's also one of the most commonly derided amongst the recipients and much-debated amongst bloggers and professionals - but rarely addressed by marketers themselves.
If you're doing it well, why share the secrets with your competitors? Sadly, a lot of marketers are doing it very badly indeed, and something needs to be done about it...
The press release, the original tool of the PR pro, is broken.
It happened in stages. First there came email, prior to which press releases had been faxed or posted to editors, the laboriousness of the task forcing PR people to choose their targets with appropriate care and attention.
But with email, you can grab a list and not think twice about bunging it out to all and sundry. The result was laziness leading to abuse.
Then came the SEO industry. The press release’s power for generating link juice was spotted. Stick a press release on a wire and regardless of its quality or newsworthiness, its content and links will get replicated across the web, even on some authoritative domains.
Once again, the result was laziness leading to abuse.
In general PRs and journalists have a decent working relationship, or at least I like to think we do.
But new research by Pressfeed highlights the fact that we have differing opinions over what should be included in a press release.
Almost half (45%) of the PRs polled said that visual elements with a news story are not important at all to journalists, while 39% said it wasn’t necessary to add images, videos or graphics to a news release.
But 80% of the journalists included in the survey said it was important or very important to have access to photographs and visual images and 75% wanted video content.
We get hundreds of press releases at Econsultancy, some good, some not so good.
So here’s 11 friendly tips on how PRs can make their press releases more effective, and more likely to be opened and read...
What happens when a journalist comes to your web site and tries to find information? Can they easily find what they need or instead, do they click off, and visit one of your competitors to get the info they need?
Your online press room should be an important component of your PR, sales and marketing plans. Your press room is open and working for you 24/7. Editors and writers often work late at night, on the weekends and holidays when your PR and marketing teams are not available. Your website and its press room have to be able to provide all the info needed.
It’s an age old question for content marketers: what’s the recipe for ideal content that will be read, linked, tweeted and otherwise disseminated around the web?
We have an informal motto when it comes to online content: for something to be worth your time, it has to be either Useful or Amusing.
I'm not a big fan of the press release as a method of reaching out to journalists for the first time, but they remain the staple diet of most PR campaigns.
I receive a lot of press releases, some more relevant than others, but I'd be lying if I said I read them all. I don't. Many emailed press releases aren't even opened, largely because the subject line doesn't inspire me to look at them.
So what can you do to make your press release more effective? What will make writers more inclined to open and read them?
As I was going through my RSS reader earlier today, I came across an post on paidContent detailing the launch of Sharecare, a new online health and wellness website that is set to launch in 2010.
I was intrigued because of the number, and identity, of the co-founders: celebrity doctor Dr. Mehmet Oz, WebMD founder Jeff Arnold, Discovery Communications, Harpo Productions (Oprah!), Sony Pictures Television and HSW International. Wow, I thought, this must be good.
After reading about the Brody PR fail I thought I’d compile a list of common issues experienced by journalists when dealing with PR people.
A good PR makes things easy for journalists. They coordinate things behind the scenes. They follow up promptly on requests for further information or interviews. The understand the subject matter and how the journalist / publication plays a part in communicating news to a wider audience. And they do not try to pull the wool of your eyes.
A bad PR can be ill-informed, demanding, haughty, deceptive, intrusive, and sometimes plain idiotic.
So if you work in PR and want to improve your game then try to avoid any of the following. Any of these things will harm your personal reputation, and damage the chances of gaining coverage for your client.
Press releases. Love 'em or hate 'em, entrepreneurs and companies spend large sums of money sending them out every year. Some have to because they're publicly-traded and others do so because they believe that a press release is a crucial part of 'spreading the word' about their products and services.
If I had $100 for every entrepreneur I've met who expected a press release to do big things for his or her new business, I'd probably own my own bank in Antigua.