Tag Archives: pr

Use Storytelling Skills to Transform Your Web Content

Courtesy of PR NEWS.

By Stephen Terlizzi

Traditional PR approaches relied mostly on a well-defined network of contacts to whom you pitched news or an idea and some facts, and the reporter created a story. However, like that famous book about the moving cheese, many PR professionals are asking lately, “Who moved my reporter?”

As the economics of the information age have taken their full toll on the publishing industry, the “well-defined network of contacts” is looking more like a ghost town than a thriving metropolis. What’s key to remember is that these folks didn’t just disappear into thin air. Instead, many of the old school journalists have shifted and are now independent consultants who are writing for their own blogs and the Web sites of others.

The tables also have turned on traditional publications during the past 10 years, and they are now syndicating more content from major online sites. In today’s new ecosystem, a well-placed story in TechCrunch or GigaOM can have significantly more impact than any single article in a major local paper.

This means that if your company isn’t a major industry player, you shouldn’t expect to get much share of mind in a fast-paced digital world where everyone is competing for eyeballs—unless you have an exceptional story to tell.

Becoming the person who knows how to mesh “what will be published” with “writing what will be published” puts you in the perfect position to develop ready-to-go stories that will stand out from the digital noise bombarding online reporters, editors and bloggers. Let’s examine what makes a compelling story and how it translates to digital public relations.

Meet Both Needs
Regardless of the type of story, there are always two people in every story: the author and the reader. The author, or client, has a point to make while the reader wants to learn, be informed, entertained, amused, etc. An effective story meets the desires of both parties, whether it is written for an online audience or traditional media.

In the book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell, the author talks about three types of people that are critical to the success of any word-of-mouth initiative: connectors, mavens and salesmen. As you can image, the connectors connect, the mavens inform and the salesmen convince. I think it is an excellent analogy for the purpose of writing a PR story for a client—a story to promote, a story to envision or a story to validate.

Note the use of the word “or” in the last paragraph. You must write stories that have a single, simple objective and have simple elements, as online writing must be more direct and shorter. So focus on doing one of the three points well as opposed to doing none of them well. In today’s time crunched society, deliver the point succinctly and close the story. We are not writing Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment.

Stephen Terlizzi is the managing partner and head of the social media practice for Tanis Communications.

This article was adapted from PR News’ Digital PR Guidebook, Volume 4. This and other guidebooks can be ordered at the PR News Press online store.


10 Must Have Mobile Apps


Courtesy of PRNewser

It’s been a little while since PRNewser updated our list of favorite mobile apps for PR professionals. At the rapid speed at which the mobile app industry evolves, much has changed since our last update, and yet several apps made the list this time around as well.

We’re skipping the consumer apps that many of us already use: Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, etc. This is a focus on some apps that frequently come in handy when in a bind.

1) Pulse – Pulse is a well-designed news aggregator app commonly compared to Flipboard, the wildly popular iPad app that has not yet made it the iPhone. It lets you add all of your top news sources and displays them in a visually appealing manner.

2) Instapaper – Save articles and content that you know you’ll want to read later. The app saves these articles in a clean format perfect for mobile reading.

3) Tripit – This one didn’t make it in last time, but makes it in this time after a recommendation from Jeremy Pepper. Aggregate all of your travel information in one place, including those must have confirmation numbers. Also, plan out all of your trips. Perfect for the PR pro on the go.

4) Open Table – The best app for booking restaurant reservations on the go. Because you don’t want to get stuck with your big client at a fast food joint.

5) Recorder – This one may be more popular for reporters, but PR pros should also have a recorder app handy when you really want record an interview, a chat with a colleague or client, etc.

6) WordPress – If you do a lot of work on WordPress, this is a must have. Beat others to the punch by having info on your company or client’s blog before anyone else. Or save images and content ideas when you’re on the go.

7) Analytics Agent – Google Analytics on the go. What else do you need to know?

Group texting (GroupMe, Beluga, etc.) – Very useful for teams on the go. We won’t get into making specific recommendations on any one app, but setting up a group texting app for different teams you often work with can speed up communications.

Repeats from last time (these are too good for us to leave out):

9) Evernote — “From creating text and ink notes, to snapshots of whiteboards and wine labels, to clips of webpages, Evernote users can capture anything from their real and digital lives and find it all anytime,” reads Evernote’s description. This is incredibly useful for capturing, researching and organizing content on the go.

10) Dropbox — Never email yourself or lose a file again. Dropbox is an “impressive file sharing service which makes it easy to sync your files across multiple computers and the web,” writes TechCrunch. Great for handling those PowerPoint presentations and other docs while on the road.

How to Write a Social Media Press Release

Back in the day, press releases were the primary means of communication between business enterprises and the media. However, the advancement of the internet has made the traditional format of a press release less effective as journalists, press members and readers crave small chunks of succinct details that incorporate social media, linking and multimedia to make it more digestible and relevant. Compare this to the multi-page press releases that dominated newsroom fax machines in the past and it’s pretty clear that the way information is assembled and received has changed.

If you’re used to traditional press release formats its evolution to social media press release (SMPR) won’t be too much of a challenge. Knowing what to include and how to format your SMPR will be a big help in securing media and blogger coverage for your brand’s news and happenings.

The basic SMPR parts are:

2.secondary headline
7.multimedia links
8.relevant links
Each part has been labeled and is featured in a sample SMPR outline to make it easy to follow along.

1. For your headline, state exactly what’s the SMPR is about. This isn’t the place to use jargon or slang. A keyword or two and you’re good to go.

2.The secondary headline isn’t always necessary, but if you want to add a bit more insight and push readers to read the next line then include it. Follow the same guidelines you used in the headline.

Once you’ve built your SMPR you’ll want to distribute it to your media and blog contacts. There are multiple distribution methods for your SMPR. You can email, fax broadcast, post and link on your website or use distribution services. Distribution services typically come in two flavors – paid and free.Services with payment are very costly ranging in prices from $350 to $3500 depending on length, images and circumference, local, regional, national or international. The advantage of a paid service is that media and blog contacts are kept current and you will often receive specific instructions that pertain to how each individual likes to be approached and contacted. Additionally, you receive access to syndicated newswires like the Associated Press, Reuters and others which aren’t typically available through free services. Newswires are the official method of communication used by most to receive news content. If you’re interested in paying for distribution visit PR Newswire or Marketwire to learn more.

Free distribution of your SMPR can take place via a multitude of sites. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, it will be up to you to determine which one is the best outlet for you and your brand. Some of the more popular free distribution sites are PRLog, i-Newswire and Press Release Point. You’ll want to research what’s included in the free distribution service and find out what types of flexibility you have with customizing your distribution list. This will help you get your SMPR into the hands of the right people. For instance, if a site informs you that they distribute to all the major national newspapers you should ask if they have distribution points to journalists that focus on specific content like health, technology or finance.

Also, keep in mind that the SMPR above is a sample only. Feel free to tailor your SMPR to fit your brand’s needs. You many need to go bigger or smaller. It’s entirely up to you.

Courtesy of Social Media Today.

The Most Used Press Release Buzz-Words


This past April, online marketing strategist David Meerman Scott analyzed 711,123 press releases distributed by North American companies in 2008 through Business Wire, Marketwire, GlobeNewswire, and PR Newswire to come up with the most used press release buzzwords.

According to his analysis, “innovate” was the top word used.

Now, Adam Sherk, search and PR strategist for Define Search Strategies, part of The New York Times Company, has taken a look at PRWeb’s archives and come up with the top 75 terms used in releases.

Not surprisingly, “leader” and “leading” are number one and two, respectively. Full list here.

Courtesy of PRNewser.

Leveraging the Next Wave of Social Networks for PR


I don’t often post items about upcoming  seminars or webinars, but this one caught my attention.  Maybe it was the title “Leveraging The Next Wave of Social Networks for PR”.  Anything with the words “next wave” is bound to be worth reporting and repeating!

Join PR News tomorrow, May 13, at 1:30 P.M. EST for the PR News Webinar “Leveraging the Next Wave of Social Networks for Your PR”. We’ll showcase some of the most innovative social media applications below the radar and how you can use them for your PR. This Webinar is geared toward making you the go-to person at your organization when these questions arise – and they will arise.

For more information and to register, go to www.prnewsonline.com/webinars/socialmedia0513.html.

If you have questions, contact webinar coordinator Saun Sayamongkhun at 301-354-1610; saun@accessintel.com. If you’re not available at this time, still register, you’ll have access to the program and materials for 1-year from date of Webinar. Register Now!

PR and Marketing Are Blurring

From March 10, 2010 to March 31, 2010, Vocus surveyed 966 public relations professionals about their perceptions of
integrated communications. Survey participants were provided the following definition:
• In the context of this survey, the term “integrated communications” means a management concept that ties all aspects of
marketing communication, including, but not limited to advertising, search marketing, sales promotion, public relations
and direct marketing, together to function in a unified an comprehensive fashion as opposed to functioning in isolation
or silos.

Key findings include the following:
• The lines between PR and marketing are blurring. Marketing and PR have formalized working relationships,
but data suggests “formal” does not necessarily mean “functional.” 78% of marketing and PR professionals say they report
to the same boss, while 77% of the same group report formal working relationships to create a common communications
strategy. However, 67% hold cross-functional meetings only “sometimes.”
• “Turf battles” still evident. Despite formalized processes or structures, 34% cited “organizational structures,
functional silos, or turf battles” as the single largest barrier to integrated communications. The next largest barrier is budget
shortcomings with 20% of respondents.
• Ownership of social media and blogging still undecided. PR and marketing each have a strong sense of
ownership. 43% of PR professionals feel they should own social media, while 34% of marketers make the same claim.
37% of PR professionals think PR should own the corporate blog versus 23% of marketers expressing the same sentiment.
• Benefits and communication measurement provides common ground. 56% of marketing and PR
professionals say integrated communications increases overall effectiveness of their outreach programs. 48% cite sales
and ROI as the single most important factor in measuring the results of an integrated communications strategy.