Archive for the ‘PR for Small Business’ Category
Thursday, April 4th, 2013
I’m a big believer in press releases. I think they can be very effective in getting a new business enough publicity to get off to a good start. Even for established businesses, they can give you a boost that revitalizes the business and create new enthusiasm among the staff.
However, I have seen many businesses use press releases as SEO tools rather than as publicity tools. This is a sure way to defeat yourself.
It’s not that a good press release can’t add a new link to your website and help you achieve better rankings, but if that’s the reason you want a press release, then I think you’ll be disappointed in the results.
Google Panda virtually killed article directories. Press release distribution sites are directories for press releases. As such, they suffer from some of the same weaknesses – weaknesses that killed the article directories after Google rolled out Panda. Some of those article directories bounced back, but not all of them.
I’m surprised we didn’t hear a big kerfuffle at the time about press release distribution sites. One reason could be that Panda affected them but not as badly as it did article directories.
Link building is good. So are press releases. I’d advise you to send out your press releases to a list of media professionals directly. Then, if you want to add a few press release distribution sites on top of that, go right ahead. Just make sure your press release is a good PR tool first.
Monday, March 25th, 2013
Press releases are just as effective online as they are off line, but there is one major difference. Your online press release has to be well-optimized for search. Otherwise, it won’t be as effective for your online promotions. Otherwise, online press releases are just like traditional press releases.
Here are the 5 essential elements that every online press release should have to be effective in promoting your business:
- Optimized Headline - News stories have headlines. So do press releases. Make sure your press release is short and succinctly states what the release is about. Also, it needs to grab your reader’s attention, so make it interesting. Give it some impact. And use your primary keyword in the headline as well.
- Lead paragraph - In addition to being optimized for search, your lead paragraph needs to provide the essential information. It needs to provide the who, what, when, where, why, and how of your news story.
- Press release body content – The best press releases are structured like news stories. That means putting the most essential information at the top and the least important at the bottom. Journalists call this “the inverted pyramid” structure. It’s the structure of all news stories, and it should be the structure of all your press releases.
- Quotes – Quotes add flavor to press releases. Provide at least one quote, preferably two, from a credible source that backs up the information in your press release.
- Contact information – You need to provide your contact information so that journalists who want to run a story can reach you. Sometimes news sources just run your press release as is. More often than not, however, journalists will contact you for an interview. Make it easy for them. Provide your contact information and the contact information for your public relations firm.
If you ensure that all of your press releases contain this basic structure, then your online promotions will be a lot more successful.
Monday, May 7th, 2012
You need killer content to survive! I bet you have read that a hundred times. What exactly is killer content? If you can create content that catches the attention of the masses to the point that it is shared, then you’ve produced killer content. That content could text based, videos, images, or the latest fad, an infographic. So why publish killer content? Here are five reasons to consider:
- Social - killer content will be shared and in so doing, will help to build the number of people following you.
- Branding – the more often your content is viewed, the more it exposes your brand.
- Sales – the more visitors you receive to your website, the greater the opportunity to build sales.
- SEO - killer content gets shared, and the more often it is shared, the more inbound links you are likely to receive.
- Trust – when your content is shared, it’s similar to a recommendation. This can help to build your reputation and that all important trust factor.
You don’t need to publish killer content everyday. Timing is important – as one piece of killer content starts to wane in popularity, that’s when you publish the next piece. This keeps your business and your brand in front of people’s eyes. It also has people talking about you for an extended period of time.
Creating killer content isn’t always easy and it should be created as part of your overall online marketing plan. If you have the marketing dollars, you can always outsource your contents creation. Most businesses outsource video productions, and it makes sense to do the same if you have an idea for an infographic. There’s no reason why you can’t have text based content outsourced as well if you don’t feel confident in your own writing skills. Produce that killer content and you business will reap huge rewards.
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
Mikal Belicove makes a good point when he says that not all publicity is good publicity.
Are you still sending out press releases to every online source you find? You might want to rethink that strategy. Reputation matters and if you get associated with low quality spam sites, that will be a hard reputation to shake. It could stay with you for the rest of your online life.
Mr. Belicove mentions four specific ways that bad PR can hurt your business:
- Promoting to audiences not likely to become your customers.
- You could drive traffic away from your website with bad PR practices.
- Placing your news article or press release on bad sites with unfocused content, cheap PPC ads, or other issues.
- You could benefit the other site more than you benefit your own.
These are all valid concerns. You don’t want to take on the practice of just publishing anywhere you can get a byline. Rather, you want to examine and analyze every website you find to determine whether or not that website is a good place for you. Don’t publish content anywhere it could hurt your business.
In an age of online content marketing, public relations is not all good. Some can hurt you long term.
Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
Do you have an online media kit? Do you need one?
I think, if you are an expert in your niche and you have a website, then you should have a section of your website that is set aside just for the media. Call it a media kit, or call it what you want. But you should have it. I have one and I call it a media kit.
Your media kit can be as basic as providing a bio and publishing your press releases to something more dynamic that involves video and multimedia presentations. No matter how you do it, you should present information that media professionals, journalists and reporters, and potential publication editors would be interested in as background information on you.
Amy Lynn Andrews does a good job of telling you how to put together a media kit for your small business. And I agree with her that you should keep it simple.
I think another important aspect to a media kit is highlighting your successes. If you look at my media kit, you’ll see that I do quite a bit of that. It’s not bragging. OK, maybe it is, but it’s bragging with a purpose. Successful media campaigns tell the world that you are an expert in your niche more than any other tool. If other media professionals think you’re an expert, then shouldn’t the one that you are pitching to right now?
It takes a little time to put together a good media kit, but it’s well worth the effort.
Saturday, June 18th, 2011
2K Games hired a PR firm to seek out reviews of its new game Duke Nukem Forever. The reviews weren’t so good so the PR firm representative tweeted his frustration. He lost his job too.
James Redner isn’t the first person ever to be disappointed with a negative review. He won’t be the last. And he wasn’t the first to challenge reviewers publicly over them, nor will he be the last. But what he did was inappropriate for a PR firm.
That aside, however, are bad reviews good? Can they be? My contention is that, yes, bad reviews can often be good. Maybe even most of the time.
The purpose of seeking reviews is to get your product or service in front of consumers. It’s free publicity. That said, even if you get a bad review of your product or service, you’ve still achieved the goal. People know about your offering. And some people will buy your product or service just to see if they agree with the reviewer.
What Should You Do If You Get A Bad Review?
If you do get a bad review, try to learn from it. What didn’t the reviewer like, and why? When you make your next product, try to keep those things in mind and build off of your previous successes.
Of course, reviewers can be wrong. There have been plenty of successful products, movies, books, etc. that reviewers hated yet the consumer public really loved. So don’t just rely on professional reviewer opinions.
Bad reviews are going to happen. Don’t sweat them. If you feel you must challenge them publicly, be respectful and explain why you think the reviewer is wrong. Offer a public discussion and not an angry tirade. You may even get the reviewer to change his or her opinion.
Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
One of the biggest mistakes online marketers make is the overuse of jargon, or phrases that don’t mean anything to journalists. This is actually more prevalent than you may think, and it is avoidable.
Jargon can be anything from industry speak to catch phrases like “touch base.” Do you include these types of phrases in your press releases and other public relations documents, either online or off line? If so, then I’d encourage you to rewrite those releases and documents.
Jargon has a tendency to put you on the inside while your audience is stuck on the outside. Why alienate the very people you are trying to reach?
And I’m not necessarily talking about journalists. Though, to be honest, journalists should be considered when crafting your public relations pieces. Any journalist that reads your press release full of jargon will have to decide whether or not to use it and foist it upon their audience. Chances are, if it is off-putting to the journalist, then the journalist isn’t going to use it, thinking it will be off-putting to his audience. So it’s important to cut out the jargon and make your public relations efforts appeal to as broad an audience as possible.