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Be visible Make it easier for a journalist to come to you than to your competitors. If your posts in newsgroups and forums are smart and helpful, you can create a reputation for yourself as an expert. And journalists want to talk to experts.
Find names of editorial directors of major Web sites, editors of e-zines and Online newsletters and analysts and address your pitches directly to these people.
The traditional press release is dead Journalists almost universally express disdain for traditional press release. The vast majority of releases are formulaic, rambling and if they have a story to tell it is usually boring as hell and lost amidst superlatives and marketing babble.
Want to win coverage? Start by throwing out tattered old print press release. Write like you have 10 seconds to make a point. Because online, you do.
The new message for new media Ten well-constructed story suggestions will do work of 10,000 press releases.
Stories have to be individually tailored to specific outlets. The expectation of blandness, poor writing and bias is so ingrained in journalistic culture that form of press release has become entirely devalued.
Moderators of forums, newsgroups, Mail Lists and web sites have no use for traditional press release. When you practice Reality PR you will learn format they do need.
The Internet has rendered traditional made-for-print press releases obsolete.
Don't SPAM Media While it is perfectly acceptable for pitches to be unsolicited, you need to observe a number of courtesies.
Relevance is key. Read publication, watch or listen to show BEFORE you pitch. Better yet, study several editions. Learn its point of view and type of stories it features. Identify writers who cover your sector.
Give away your knowledge Write articles for online publications. Volunteer to be an on-call exert for a major web site. Make a genuine effort to help people who participate in forums, mail lists and newsgroups. Skip bluster and bluff.
There is more to PR than publicity. If you're Number One in a field that affects millions of consumers, media will seek you out. At least, they will listen when you call or read release you send because a story about your industry wouldn't be complete if you aren't included. Approximately 100 companies in United States fall into this category.
If your company is small to mid-sized, not publicly traded, new on block or a behind-the-scenes business you'll have to learn other skills for spreading word about your virtues.
B.L. Ochman BLOchman@whatsnextonline.com Internet marketing strategist, journalist and speaker is the author of a new e-book on Reality PR ™ http://www.whatsnextonline.com