Is your public relations campaign getting results you want? If you're still counting on traditional press releases to spread word about your business, answer is probably no.
There's only a small amount of space available in traditional media, and there's tremendous competition for that coverage. The Internet provides a host of tools that let you have direct contact with customers and potential customers yet most businesses are still ignoring them.
There's more to media than press. Today, media is a collective term for producers of content for mass consumption. Newspapers, radio and TV each are powerful mediums, but they are no longer only - or necessarily even best - outlet for news about your company or product.
Web sites, e-zines, newsletters, Mail Lists, Online forums, newsgroups, Blogs, reputation management sites and e-mail also are all powerful mediums created by Internet. They can have as much or more influence than press. In fact, journalists troll these mediums for stories.
Think like a wired journalist To get publicity now you must think like a wired journalist and realize that fact your company exists is not news. You must understand what journalists' audience wants to read and what they, by virtue of this, want to write.
And you need to learn where wired journalists look for news so you can be there. Understanding this perspective is basis of a system I call Reality PR TM. Here are principles upon which system is based.
Do not bullshit Pride yourself on your ability to make complex topics simple by unburdening them of jargon and MBA-speak. The more you stick to answering questions instead of spewing mission statement rhetoric, more likely you are to be sought out for your opinion. At least make pretense of maintaining an impartial perspective.
Write an elevator pitch Write down your story idea in one sentence. Explain it in plain English way you would tell it to a friend during an elevator ride. Get it down to 30 seconds.
Before you write a press release ask yourself where you have seen an article published like one you want to write. If it's a release about your new Web site, your first anniversary or company president's speech, chances are - unless your company is large and publicly traded - answer is nowhere.
Write tight Writing short and tight is hard. Keep your press pitches to an absolute maximum of 300 words including contact information and headlines. Keep your posts in mail lists and forums short and pointed.
Think vertical The Internet has created a new demand for vertical content that covers niche subject areas and smaller industries. Look not only at traditional media but also at specialized newsletters, e-zines, forums and newsgroups where your information can be of value.