Tag Archives: TechCrunch

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

[tweetmeme]

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.