I’d like to speak with you today about the online media room, and the changing face of public relations. A complicated subject I plan on not doing justice to.
As you might have heard, the times they are a changing due to the ……internet
Let’s ask ourselves basic question here:
Why make news?
Some take it for granted that companies which appear in news stories are the most news worthy. I’ve recently been informed that this may not always be the case. In fact, some companies just want the free advertising.
Quick- How did old school PR professionals get reporters to write what the want them to write?
Is it money?
Alcohol? Seems plausible.
Some secret answer that defies common sense and the basic standards of human decency? No
It turns out it’s about….
You had to pick up phone and pitch your story to a reporter or editor, hoping you could convince them that your planned product launch, new hire, or arrogant predictions about the future of your industry would wake them from their cynicism induced catatonic state.
The press release is a long-standing tradition-
First Do some ground work with the relevant publications and reporters Then, you hand your money over to a wire service who will issue the release Finally, roll up your sleeve and let god see that you have put on an extra set of hands for the purpose of prayer.
According to David Meerman Scott, the old rules of public relations are gone and those who cannot adapt are destined to be sad.
So what is new, and how do we use it.
One powerful tool at our disposal comes in the form of the online media room. This is, in theory, a page on which to post newsworthy information for the press on a company’s website. But is that its only use?
Acknowledge and engage customers that are going to be looking at your media room. There’s no one strategy for this, but a general awareness of this dynamic is key
When customers come looking for the most current news about your company, the area of your website they frequently end up looking at is your freshly updated media room.
What else? Reason number two is search engine optimization. And who are we talking about? Google, of course, and they provide higher ranking results for news releases when they are related to other website content.
Best practices: Make it appealing to all. Make it work for all. This includes on the back end using simple tools for non-technical PR folks to update the page, and assessing the needs of the media outlets that you’re trying to reach.
Background information- Help reporters with answers to questions you know they’ll have Browsability- Get people to the page, and make it easy to navigate Multimedia- Put up some video for people who think reading is for chumps
Let’s pull back and look at PR in a broader context.
This is my executive presence, so quit squirming.
First off, this is disgusting…and journalists are not going to like you if you indiscriminately bombard them with what you think is news. In today’s world, it’s almost too easy to get a reporters email address and bombard them with releases.
Some important points on a very nuanced and complicated subject.
Have a great online media room, if you didn’t already pick that up
Reporters cover blogs. Target your media outlets, then target the relevant blogs
In today’s world of open access and information overload, relationships are more important than ever. You’re going to have to reach out with a personalized pitch, and you had better do your homework.
Some things never change. Don’t neglect the relationships that you’re creating.
Put things in context to show their importance
The customization of your pitches has to illustrate your story’s relevance
And make reporters feel important. It’s all they’ve got- they get paid about as much as the paperboy.
Furthermore, don’t be afraid to try and bypass those pesky reporters. This goes back to the online media room and how you can update it with original or linked content to drive traffic. You site can offer news.
Let me wrap this up:
Have a plan- PR needs to fit in the broader communications and marketing strategy, utilize all of your resources
Also-Show some class- Don’t just be another jackass shilling for the man. Let people know you respect them
My son was supposed to dress up and play the part of a reporter for this presentation. But then he informed me that the idea was, “stupid”.
So I’m putting him in anyways. That’ll show him.
New PR, New Newsroom