Social media has fundamentally altered the practice of public relations. And as any blogger can tell you, PR pros understand this, as witnessed by the incredible increase in blogger outreach “pitches” from corporate PR departments and firms over the past two years.
Of course, there’s more to (successful) blogger outreach than just pitching, and there’s more to the new practice of social PR than just blogger outreach. Like what? Read on to learn how social media is changing PR, how pitching bloggers is different from traditional media outreach, how to optimize press releases for search and online distribution, which tools should be in your social PR toolbox and more here in some of the best articles and blog posts on social PR of 2010 so far.
Will Traditional, Social Media Blend? by MediaPost Marketing Daily Commentary
Writing that “The most productive PR path…is a blended approach to social and traditional media,” Len Stein offers a quick but valuable process for obtaining and promoting old and new media coverage using multiple tools like social bookmarking sites, internal company distribution, your own website, marketing emails and more.
Pros & Cons of Applying Social Media to Traditional PR Campaigns by Howell Marketing Strategies
Amy Howell makes the case that “social media DOES NOT REPLACE traditional PR and marketing, but IT IS A WAY TO LEVERAGE what already works” through a series of pro and cons of applying social media stragies in a traditional business environment. For example, “PRO: Twitter gives us a great way to leverage PR. When we help clients generate news in the traditional news publications–both print and online–we will use Twitter to post links to those stories and give our clients a “shout out.” CON: It takes time to post all client news, especially when you have multiple clients (frequently) in the news…(but) It’s worth the extra time and effort and adds extra value on top of what’s already successful.”
How Is PR Changing? by Journalistics
Jeremy Porter writes a thoughtful piece on what hasn’t changed in PR (the need to communicate to and manage relationships with various audiences) and what has (dialog rather than monologue, metrics and measurement technology, the media landscape, etc.), and what PR pros need to do differently to succeed in this new environment.
Trail of Breadcrumbs by PR-Squared
***** 5 stars
Quoting a recent study from Cision and George Washington University, Todd Defren reports that “an overwhelming majority of reporters and editors now depend on social media sources when researching their stories. Specifically, 89% said they turn to blogs for story research, 65% to social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and 52% to microblogging services such as Twitter.” In light of this, Todd views the PR pro’s role as “casting breadcrumbs” through social media for journalists and consumers/buyers to follow back to the PR sources.
Michael Neubarth reacts to a PR Week piece in which Scott Monty details three ways in which PR pros have the opportunity to “shape social media’s future.” After reviewing these three areas, Michael contends that, “In the big picture, it is social media that is shaping the practice of PR more than PR is shaping social media.”
Christina Warren takes “a look at how PR professionals are using social media (such as driving authenticity ad building brand loyalty) to achieve real results when dealing with business-to-business relationships…(and) some of the tools of the trade that PR pros are using to measure the success of their endeavors.” Among the tools noted are Omniture (web and social media analytics), Eloqua (marketing automation / demand generation software) and Twitalyzer (Twitter-specific measurement).
How to Reach Out to Bloggers by Chris Brogan
“Are you hoping to connect with bloggers and get the word out about your product or service?” If so, social media guru Chris Brogan has several helpful tips to make your outreach more successful, such as “Be there before the sale…If you want people to write about you, they should probably know about you first,” or what I term “warm outreach” (as opposed to cold outreach, where the first the blogger ever hears of you is your pitch).
SESNY: 5 Tips To Optimize Press Releases For Search by TopRank Online Marketing Blog
Adam Singer summarizes guidance from Meg Walker of PRWeb on how to search optimize press releases. Her advice includes knowing your audience (so you’re using the right keywords and story angle), incorporating images and video, and optimizing content elements like text links and image alt- tags.
The Top Free Press Release Distribution Sites by BigNews.biz
***** 5 stars
An outstanding list of the top 15 free PR distribution sites based on five criteria: Page Rank, distribution to Google News, Alexa traffic rank, cost of optional services, and rejection rate.
10 Free Social Media Tools Every PR Pro Should Master by Social Media Today
Adam Vincenzini reviews 10 tools that he believes “MUST be part of a modern communicator’s arsenal” including AllTop (for finding the most influential bloggers in any space), Social Mention (social media monitoring tool) and SWiX (an interesting tool though it appears to be no longer free).
10 More Online Tools Every PR Pro Should Master (Part Two) by Social Media Today
Building on his post above, Adam reviews 10 more key tools for PR pros including Addictomatic (social media dashboard), HootSuite (social media management platform) and Twitter Advanced Search, as well as a few worthy but less-known apps.