Posts Tagged ‘social media relations’
Public relations (PR) or media relations has long been treated as its own world, separate from marketing. It was viewed as being about name recognition and industry credibility, not something as mundane as lead generation.
But as the world has shifted from marketing brochures and printed trade publications to everything online, the connections between PR and marketing have become more apparent; that white paper may be a lead generation asset, but it can also be used to pitch a bylined article. An online ad may be marketing, but the credibility built through PR makes prospective buyers more likely to click on it. A news release may be designed to get media coverage, but it can also create valuable backlinks for SEO.
In the online realm, PR, search engine optimization (SEO), social, advertising and marcom are all vital and intertwined elements of web presence optimization, and as such need to be measured and managed to coordinate efforts for maximum online visibility.
So how exactly does PR support SEO efforts? How can media relations skills be leveraged in social media? What do PR pros need to do differently to support online journalism? What are today’s best practices for B2B PR?
Find the answers to those questions and more here in seven recent expert guides to social and online PR.
8 Steps to Leveraging PR for SEO by iMedia Connection
Noting that news releases incorporate three elements that search engines love—trusted backlinks, social sharing, and fresh content—Krista LaRiviere provides a brief but helpful eight-step guide to improving rank and traffic to optimized content through the proper use of news releases.
7 secrets of a master digital storyteller by Get in Front Communications
Susan Young explains the concept of brand journalism, which “allows your company to tell its own story in an engaging way that we’ve never experienced before,” then reveals seven “secrets” of master brand storytellers such as “a master storyteller weaves images, video, audio, graphics, and other social tools to make stories pop and impact people.”
Why PR Should Take Social Media Seriously by jeffbullas.com
After advising PR professionals to take social media seriously due to its believability, efficiency and leverage, Jeff Bullas outlines eight major social media channels and contrasts their level of influence with the waning reach of old media. He ends with a discussion of PR values of new media, including Twitter, where “you are able to listen and to respond to what people are saying about your brand in the market place within seconds with worldwide reach.”
10 Simple Strategies To Boost Your B2B PR Campaign by Marx Communications
Wendy Marx offers 10 tips for amplifying hard-earned media coverage, such as promoting your press in your blog, spreading the word via social media, linking to your news from appropriate LinkedIn groups, and “Rework(ing) an article to function as an abstract for a speaking proposal.”
PR Pros Not Keeping Up with What Journalists Want by Spin Sucks
Gini Dietrich reports on recent research showing that “Eighty percent of journalists you’re working with in your media relations efforts want images and nearly that many also want video,” yet among PR professionals, “only four percent (believe images are) important to journalists and just a little more than half (56 percent) routinely add images to their media relations efforts.” And even among Fortune 500 firms, “Only 24 percent of the company sites offer images and 22 percent offer videos.”
Best Practices In B2B PR by Fast Company
Wendy Marx interviews Brian Kardon, CMO at Lattice Engines and formerly with Eloqua and Forrester Research, about PR and its integration with B2B marketing, social media and lead generation efforts. Among Brian’s recommendations are that B2B companies should partner with their outside PR and marketing agencies (“get to know them as people”) and should “Be generous to your influencers. Give them credit. Compliment them. Never shill for your company or products. Be helpful and genuine.”
12 Perspectives on How B2B SEO Can Better Support PR & Communications by Search Engine Watch
Derek Edmond shares guidance from a dozen PR experts including Stacey Acevero (it’s “essential for B2B PR, marketing and communications teams to have a concrete understanding of SEO elements – it results in a much more harmonious process”) and Elizabeth Sosnow (“You may not be a Sherlock Holmes fan, but you probably know that he couldn’t make it very far without his loyal wingman, Watson. B2B PR folks really need SEOs to help them solve mysteries for their clients”).
One of the first precepts aspiring writers learn is to “write for your readers.” A technical audience is different from a business one. C-level executives respond to different messages than do mid-level management. Every industry and profession has its own “language.”
The challenge in social media is to be able to consider the needs of multiple audiences at once, because even though you may be aiming a tweet, blog post or Facebook update at a particular group, everyone can see it. Here are five audiences to keep in mind when posting any content or engaging in social media interactions.
Prospective Customers: the most obvious audience. What kind of content will attract them? Think “smart and helpful.” Listen for their problems. Develop content that shows (in a not-too-self-promotional manner) you know how to solve them. Interact and engage with them in their preferred social media venue.
Current Customers: it’s not just customer service. Customer want to know about new developments at your firm, new uses for your products, and successes other customers have achieved. Even more important in the social media realm, however, they want the opportunity to have input. Give them ways to share their ideas, ask questions and express their opinions. Engage them. Your current customers aren’t always interested in what you have to say to prospects, but the reverse is certainly true: prospects will investigate what your customers are saying about you, and watch you interact through social media with them. Make it good.
The Media: more than 75% of journalists say they use social media to research stories. Media and public relations activities are no longer separate from social media marketing. Journalists will look at your content when seeking industry experts to quote. More importantly, they’ll be looking at what your customers are saying about you—and how you respond—when writing about industry trends and developments. If you’re telling journalists about the wonderful benefits your new product delivers, your customers had better be backing up that story.
Other Industry Influencers: bloggers and other social media influencers don’t have the same motivations as journalists and shouldn’t be approached the same way (a point that an awful lot of PR firms have yet to figure out, judging by most of the pitches I see). They will share and amplify your content, if it is interesting and useful. Press releases very rarely meet that standard. Instead, provide shareable resources: how-to blog posts, online tools, infographics, industry-specific glossaries, useful lists, video—any content that has value and is creative.
Prospective Partners: social media is great for connecting with collaborators. Make your value clear, be open to partnering, and then (assuming you’ve followed the “smart and helpful” mantra), others looking for what you to offer in order to supplement their own value will find you.
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.
What are some of the best tools for implementing PR 2.0? How do PR, SEO and social media work together to build name recognition and credibility for a company? What are the best (and worst) practices in interactive PR? How should marketers and PR professionals adapt to the decline of traditional publishing and the rapidly increasing influence of social media?
Find the answers to these inquiries and more here in some of the best articles and blog posts about interactive PR from 2008.
Thankful For PR 2.0 by THINKing
Harry Hoover calls out some of his favorite PR 2.0 tools, technology that has made the practice of PR more effective and transparent. Included on his list are Twitter, Peter Shankman’s Help a Reporter Out (HARO), and online social media release service PitchEngine.
Digital PR and SEO Series: Part 3 Social Media Monitoring by Online Marketing Blog
The prolific, mercurial Lee Odden explains how to integrate media relations, SEO and social media to optimize your brand’s online presence, reputation management and engagement with key audiences.
Dirty PR, Sexy Keywords and Outsmarting the Search Engine by PitchEngine
Noting that “there have always been bad PR practices out there, but thanks to this digital era of communications, new methods of PR delivery are making it increasingly tricky for journalists to weed out the good from the bad,” Jason Kintzler explains how PR professionals can use SEO and social media properly—for relationship-building, not trickery.
Steve Rubel on how blogs are changing the face of PR by iMedia Connection
Lori Luechtefeld talks with PR pro and blogger Steve Rubel about the importance of focusing on your audience and message rather than shiny, sparkly new online tools. Among other points, Rubel contends that the press release will evolve rather than disappear, that blogging has permanently altered the media landscape, and that transparency is paramount in building relationships with a broader range of constituencies.
PR Firms: Spend your Money on SEO by Orange Soda
A helpful, if perhaps somewhat controversial, post about what’s dead in PR (e.g., press releases, inviting reporters to lunch) and what’s hot (e.g., blogging and SEO). Some of the points made are spot-on, but as the posts above from Jason Kintzler and Lori Luechtefeld note, the press release is much more likely to evolve with changing practices than to disappear.
Building Relationships is More Important Than Building Links Alone by Search Engine Journal
Blog links have become a valued commodity in the PR world, so much so that popular bloggers receive a constant stream of pitches by email. Loren Baker contends that the best way to generate links is to think beyond the one-off pitch and build relationships with key bloggers in your industry. Following his strategy and the steps he lays out in this post, “one can cut past the boilerplate emails and link requests, and build not only a business relationship with a publisher, but also a long term friendship.”
To Succeed Small Business Marketers Must Unlearn Traditional PR by Content Marketing Today
Newt Barrett expands upon the core idea presented by David Meerman Scott in his invaluable book, The New Rules of Marketing & PR: that PR and marketing professionals need to shift from writing company- or product-centric press releases to customer- and market-centric content that has real value to the company’s prospective clients. In Newt’s words, “if your PR strategy is driven with a customer focus that is backed up by a rich set of customer-centric content, you will generate news.”
Brave New World of Media Pitching: LinkedIn by PR Meets Marketing
PR 2.0 expert Cece Salomon-Lee follows up on her post about Twitter pitching by explaining how LinkedIn can help with PR, such as through forging new connections and researching reporters.
Online PR – Is there any value beyond the links? by Search Engine People
Search marketer Jennifer Osborne answers the provocative question posed in her title with a resounding “Yes!,” detailing six ways to measure the impact of interactive PR, from links and increased traffic to SEO rank and increases in offline inquiries.
Optimizing Press Releases – It All Starts with the Lead by StraightUpSearch
This brief but valuable post offers several simple tricks to help get your news releases not only found but actually read online.
How To Pitch To Bloggers by Pick Me!
The tireless Laura Moncur, author of a half dozen blogs, gives PR practitioners priceless advice on how to effectively pitch bloggers, such as doing some research first, understanding how bloggers differ from traditional journalists, proiding review copies when applicable, and being “prepared for the truth.”
Words to Write By: SEO Tricks for Press Releases by Speak Media Blog
PR strategist Jennifer A. Jones recommends using SEO keyword tools to discover the most popular current keywords when writing news releases. At the time she wrote this post, “sex,” “money,” “secret” and “trick” were among the top attention-getting words (it’s not clear if that means used separately or in combination…hmm) while gobbledegook words like “solutions,” “leading” and “cutting edge” are pretty much worthless.
This is the social media newsroom page for the book How Best to Avoid Dying by Owen Egerton—one of the best and most comprehensive examples of a social media newsroom I’ve seen.
Press Releases and Search Engine Optimization by Search Engine Watch
SEO and web design expert Mark Jackson offers step-by-step guidance on how to maximize the value of press releases for SEO, from writing the release through distribution and publishing.
Brian Solis, principal of Silicon Valley-based PR firm FutureWorks, reviews a presentation by Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and cites the platform as key to online reputation management, noting that “With just a bit of code, Facebook Connect enables seamless integration between Web sites, pages, communities, and networks and the Facebook identity system.”