This is one of the posts based on the Small Business Trends list I’ll be blogging about this year.
When you’re submersed in new and ever-changing technology, you often don’t look back to reflect on how much has changed in your industry. Today I want to look back at public relations and reflect on the changes and improvements (and even the challenges) that have come as a result of social media and internet tools. Here’s how I’ve seen that PR has changed.
1. We don’t mail press releases. I’ll never forget a former boss telling me how they’d mail every single press release to the same editors, wasting a ton in postage in the hopes of getting just one mention. And this was back in 2005, when I thought it couldn’t get any better than PRNewswire (not to knock the service, but even it’s evolved since then).
2. PR is affordable. Sure you still have to pay a PR staff member or consulting firm like Egg, but without the cost of printing and postage, and the heavy use of email and social media, your costs are a lot lower than they used to be.
3. PR is instantaneous. Got news right now? You can alert journalists right now and get coverage online immediately. You don’t even have to wait for a newspaper to go to print.
4. PR is casual. There used to be this huge separation between journalists and public relations professionals. Now we interact, follow one another on Twitter, and are able to help one another in mutually beneficial ways.
5. PR is flexible. The old rules are out, but the new rules are still in the making. Or rather, there are no rules. You can use social media, email or the phone to reach a journalist. It’s up to you. But pay attention to how the journalist wants to be contacted.
6. Press Releases are evolving. I need to write a post about how awesome the new interface on PRWeb is, but I’m happy to see the whole social media release thing being integrated into what we’re already doing. Add a photo or video to your release. Put your company’s Twitter and Facebook profile on there. Share your release. It’s all super easy and increases the value of any news.
7. Bloggers are part of PR. 10 years ago no one knew what a blogger is. Now they get media status at conferences (and the free pass that comes with it). A large part of what Egg does is reach out to bloggers to get them engaged with our client’s news. They’re today’s reporters, and they don’t come with the attitude (yet) that so many busy journalists have toward PR pros.
8. There’s more than 1 way to skin a PR cat. A good PR strategy involves getting a release on PRWeb or another distribution site, reaching out to traditional media and connecting with bloggers. It’s also key to share the release through social media. All these add up to smart PR.
9. The space is getting bigger. Everyone moved away from PR to become social media experts. Boy, I’m glad I didn’t, because now people need companies that understand press releases and media relations.
10. Tools make PR easier. Tracking web traffic, now a key component of PR, is easy with sites like Google Alerts. You can measure your results exactly. And PRWeb does a fantastic job of offering analytics on releases.
Ready to start writing press releases? DIY Press Releases: Your Guide to Becoming Your Own PR Consultant can help. For just $2.99, you can get the instant Kindle download and learn how to write a press release, how to distribute it, and how to get journalists to write about your brand. Download now!