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5 Things You Must Know About PR If You Are a Newbie

Public Relations (PR) is a complex field where one wrong move can get you into hot water. From knowing exactly what public relations is, to being aware of how it is different from advertising, there are several nuances to PR that every newbie ought to know of. There will be no shortage of opportunities for a PR professional with the right set of skills, resources, and knowledge base.

Here are 5 things that newbies need to know about the PR industry.

5 Things You Must Know About PR If You Are a Newbie

Great PR is All About Action

It’s possible to have a perfectly passable PR campaign that does nothing more than talk a good game. It is how many businesses operate in the beginning and for others talk may be the entirety of their plan. But for those who truly want to build lasting customer relationships, great PR will be all about concrete action.

Consumers are far more advertising savvy than they once were. They know that companies are more than willing to promise everything under the sun. They are also conscious of the fact that actions speak far more effectively to the true motivations and values of a company that platitudes.

Great PR is All About Action

PR on the Web: 4 Easy Steps for a Great Reputation

In the world of online business, reputation is everything. Whether you have a successful blog or an online store, consumers only know you by the presence you have online. Below are four PR tips you’ll need to keep a positive reputation on the internet.

1. Acknowledge, Don’t Bury

If you make your living online, you should simply assume you have no secrets. While it’s understandable that you will want to keep your private life private, there’s simply no use in ignoring a scandal. If something that will reflect negatively upon you happens, be the first to acknowledge it. This lets you stop the spin and, perhaps more importantly, stops rumors from spreading and hurting your reputation.

PR on the Web: 4 Easy Steps for a Great Reputation

How to React When Your Brand Name is Tarnished Online

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest.  We live in an age of social media networks. For marketers, ignoring the shift from brands telling a story to consumers, to consumers telling a brand’s story is dangerous.

The worlds of public relations and marketing have merged. Now, the story brands tell on websites and social media networks garner the attention of the public. Reporters turn to Twitter to find the latest topics of conversation. Consumers turn to peers on social media networks to find more information about a brand name, product, or service.

How to React When Your Brands Name is Tarnished Online

The upside to this social shift is easier, more expansive reach online. The downside? Your brand name is in jeopardy of slander because of one bad experience. Marketers often don’t have warning or control over this. As the face of the brand on social media networks, marketers are the first to see the damage “ and the first to react.

The way you react to public criticism online is more important than what’s actually said. If you see your brand name getting tarnished online, here is a quick lesson in crisis communication. With these tips in mind, you can do fast damage control and minimize the negative impact bad comments on social media have on your brand.

10 Posts to Help You Write a Press Release

I’ve blogged a lot about press releases here, so I thought I’d condense a list of some of the most useful posts. Whether you’re writing your first press release or want some help connecting with the media, you’ll find help here.

10 Posts to Help You Write a Press Release

10 Ways PR Has Changed in the Past 10 Years

First, let’s start with a retrospective. If you’ve only just started using PR, you’ll be shocked to know that we once  mailed — as in snail mail — our press releases to the media! None of this instant publish stuff back then.

Why a Press Release is a Small Biz Owners Secret Weapon

Not convinced you need press releases? This post will sway you. Press releases remain one of the most effective ways to spread the word about your brand. Read more.

How to Pitch the Media

You’ve written a  press release about your latest company news. It’s been published online, but you’re looking for a bit more media coverage. Now it’s time to go to the next level of PR: learning how to pitch the media.

Essentially, you want to connect with journalists who might be interested in writing about your news. It takes some legwork (and ideally, you begin this process long before you have news to share), but it can pay off in huge ways.

Step 1: Connect with the Right Journalists

Start by researching who’s writing about your industry. You’re interested in journalists and bloggers who write for local newspapers and magazines, as well as medium and larger publications. You’ll have better luck with the former, but it’s always good to shoot for the stars, as long as your expectations are realistic. Your chances of getting coverage in the Wall Street Journal are very slim, but if you build up coverage in local and smaller publications, you just might get their attention.

Public Relations Roundup

If you're DIYing your own press releases and PR, make sure to download my Kindle book (I can send it in PDF if you prefer), DIY Press Releases: Your Guide to Becoming Your Own PR Consultant. Then, read the posts from this roundup.

Why a Press Release is a Small Biz Owner’s Secret Weapon

You’ve tried social media. You’ve written blog posts. You’re generating a modest amount of traffic back to your company’s website, but you want more.

Why a Press Release is a Small Biz Owner's Secret Weapon

Have You Considered Press Releases?

They’re great for creating backlinks to your site, boosting SEO (though there is debate on that), and generally creating interest in your company.

You Don’t Need Big Guns if You’re Armed Properly

You might think only giant corporations use press releases. While they’re a part of most big companies’ marketing and PR strategies, press releases aren’t restricted to brands with bigger budgets and branding than yours. Many small businesses aren’t using press releases to drive traffic, and therein lies the benefit to you.  If your competitors aren’t reading this post, you’re one step ahead of them.

The Tuesday to Thursday Rule

If you’ve ever wondered if there was a  best time to send a press release, you’d be right. Although experts argue about when exactly that is, here’s what I’ve discovered in my own experience.

The Tuesday to Thursday Rule

I’ve been using what I call the Tuesday to Thursday rule for years when it comes to distributing and pitching press releases and sending emails. Essentially, people are bombarded with emails on Monday (why do we get so many work-related emails on the weekend??) and on Friday their minds are elsewhere, if not their bodies. So studies have proven that the best time to interact is Tuesdays through Thursdays.

10 Ways PR Has Changed in the Past 10 Years

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.

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