Creative Uses for a News Release
I just finished reading a great article on the blog Public Relations Princess about alternatives for sending out your news release. The gist of the article is that after writing a news release it’s just too easy these days to put a list together and blast out the release via email. The article author, Claire Celsi, says it’s lazy PR. I couldn’t agree more if I tried.
Once upon a time, there wasn’t really another way to do things. Back in the day (wow .. I really sound old) you actually used a fax machine to send the release, but other than that the tactic was the same. You blasted it out, started making phone calls, and hoped for the best. These days, however, we have alternatives to bludgeoning the media with releases. Here’s a look at the list of suggestions from the PR Princess:
- Pitch email (sending a customized email rather than just the release)
- Make a website posting (preferably a blog post)
- Send a Tweet
- Send a Facebook message
- Pick up a phone (call the reporter rather than just sending the release)
- Offer to meet the reporter in person
While I consider one of these a dead or dying PR tactic, I’m in favor of anything that teaches public relations people strategies to avoid creating the news release spam that journalists complain about so frequently.
I’d like to add a few more suggestions to the list:
- You can re-purpose these releases as part of a monthly e-newsletter to your clients and employees. It will let them know what you’re up to.
- Create a custom Facebook landing page (new service EndGame PR is now offering — look for an announcement soon) and list releases there, along with special offers for Facebook “fans”.
- Post on a news release distribution service, and be sure to include a link back to your (or your client’s) website. It’s a great way to spread your release around the web, and it’s good for SEO too.
It’s good to be a PR person in our social media age!
PR Learning to Bypass the Media Filter
Public relations has always included business-to-consumer promotions in its arsenal of tools, but a large portion of the PR business has traditionally involved attempting to get stories placed in the media, in the hope that the consumer will then see those stories. Even highly public promotional stunts were largely, in the end, designed to gain mass media coverage.
But, what happens when the media weakens, and there aren’t enough reporters to cover even the most fascinating stories?
I happened upon two different articles this week that say essentially what I’ve been saying for some time — the answer is to create your OWN media. Blogging, podcasting, web videos, online news release distribution, Tweeting, and Facebooking all can take your message to your customers in an unfiltered way.
Reviving the Traditional Press Release
Brian Solis, a Social Media PR practitioner in California, has written an extremely detailed look at the present and future of the news release. It’s definitely worth carving some time out of your schedule to read it.
From the PR 2.0 Blog: Reviving the Traditional Press Release
10 Newborn PR Tactics
Last week I realized that this is my 10th year in PR. This was a shocking realization. The first thing I thought was that I’m getting old.
As I got over that thought, I started pondering all of the ways that PR has changed since I started in the industry. This pondering led to my post last week, 10 Dead or Dying PR Tactics, about common PR tactics we practiced 10 years ago that aren’t practiced anymore. I decided to write this sequel on common tactics practiced today that weren’t even thought of 10 years ago. If the tactics I wrote about last week are dinosaurs, these are newborns!
Please add your own suggestions in comments!
10 Newborn PR Tactics
10) Reputation Monitoring: I understand this isn’t an entirely new tactic, but who could have imagined the WAY we’re monitoring reputations today?
10 Years Ago: In existence, but in a different form
10 Dead or Dying PR Tactics
This summer I’ll mark the 10th year since I abandoned journalism to become a public relations professional. I was recently thinking about the changes that have taken place since I made that switch, and that led me to think about all of the tactics and tools that we used to use regularly that are now dead or nearly dead. Being a blogger, I had to make a top 10 list! They’re ranked from “alive but perhaps outdated”, to “dinosaur”, to “dead as a doornail”. I’m sure I’m missing a few, so feel free to add your own in comments.
So, at the risk of sounding incredibly old, I present:
10 Dead or Dying PR Tactics:
10) Newspaper-based Media Relations Strategy
Newspapers are dying. Circulation is down. You can’t wrap your media relations strategy solely around trying to get print coverage anymore.
Status: Alive, but poor strategy