Getting your company’s stories and views in the news is one of the best ways to quickly and freely get a high and positive PR profile.
But chief reporters and news editors can be a fickle and gruff bunch especially with stories they see as ‘just a free ad’ or PR for your business.
So how do you get past the gatekeepers with ‘news’ stories that are essentially PR or advertising? …read more>>
Just a quick post to let people know that we have a client testimonial page on the site now to give more details of the work we do and the results we get. You can find it here: http://www.facttactic.co.nz/testimonials.html
Following on from our previous post on PR measurement, here’s a great piece from 2009 from American PR guy Don Bartholomew on five things to forget and five things to learn when measuring PR work.
Didn’t make the just-completed PRINZ annual conference this year, but this conference take-out is a useful reference: Six golden rules for media and PR measurement.
A huge sign on a hill shouting out Wellington’s high-standing in the movie industry seems a good idea but the slang word chosen — ‘Wellywood’ — has long been a slightly juvenile, throw-away and ironic term that has somehow crept into the mainstream.
And as a PR opportunity for the capital’s undoubted world-class skills and success in international move-making, the Miramar hill is a great site for incoming tourist flights, but Wellywood is an opportunity wasted. It may be familiar and humorous to some ‘in the know’ but I’m siding with the growing number of voices calling it tacky.
But at Facttactic we’re not in the business of criticising things without offering positive solutions so it was great to see the guys at online-design outfit Skull and Bones with their interactive Wellywood Sign Generator. Type in your own word or phrase and see what it looks like on the side of the hill!
With blogs fast becoming authoritative sources of news in their own right, the avenues you need to reach to get comprehensive publicity coverage can sometimes appear infinite. But you do need to communicate with far more than just traditional media outlets.
Spend a bit of time online researching who is writing the most authoritative and informed blogs on topics relevant to your business. You will easily be able to find the blogs you should be talking to.
People in your industry will be aware of leading blogs. The Technorati website shows who the most popular global blog sites are. Google’s Blog Search works well if you type ‘New Zealand’ after whatever topic search you are after.
What is news on a blog?
How does news develop and grow in the online age, where blogs are taking on papers in the news-breaking game and often winning? American journalist and new media expert Jeff Jarvis defines it as “product versus process journalism.”
“Newspaper people see their articles as finished products of their work. Bloggers see their posts as part of the process of learning.”
The way blogs work include “collaboration, transparency, letting readers into the process, and trying to say what we don’t know when we publish – as caveats – rather than afterward – as corrections,” Jarvis says.
Traditional news outlets like to project the impression that their story is the definitive version .
Whereas, as the Irish Independent reports, journalism – as practised by bloggers – exposes the workings of a scoop. “[High-profile technology blog] TechCrunch, for instance, publishes the beginnings of a story that may only be a rumour. The responses to that rumour, often from reliable sources, generate updates to the story, which is polished with the help of readers to get closer to the whole truth.”
“This is journalism as beta,” Jarvis writes. “Every time Google releases a beta, it is saying that the product is incomplete and imperfect. It’s a call to collaborate.”
And that call to collaborate is drawing millions of blog readers and comment writers. If you want your company to be where the word-of-mouth action is, you need to be noticed in the blogosphere.
… And, lastly, just to add to the proliferation of news sources you need to pay attention to: Is Twitter the news outlet for the 21st century?
iPhone and computer company Apple has made an art out of getting huge publicity by saying nothing at all. Where others work their butt off to get their business noticed in the media, Apple has the silent, cool guy role down perfectly, getting non-stop media that other companies can only dream about.
One of the standard rules of PR is to fill an information void with your own messages before others fill it with their version of what your message might be. Apple’s skill is in embracing the void and letting PR messages find their own path.
It helps, of course, that they have absolutely world-beating products such as the iPod and iPhone; and when they do decide to advertise something their messages are as well-crafted as any-one’s; but we like them for their confidence to take on the market by saying nothing at all.
Unconventional approaches to PR can only be good in a hugely crowded market place.
The other unconventional approach to PR that we have enjoyed this year is the Unites States food-PR guy who lets the media actually choose if they want to receive information from him, rather than hammering with them with press releases and phone calls. Like Apple, he has enough confidence in his offering that he reasons people will come to him to find out more.
Could you publicise your product or service by saying … nothing at all about it?!
Former, high-profile, newspaper gossip columnist Bridget Saunders appeared on a TV current affairs show recently expressing surprise that comments she had made earlier to other journos, off-the-record she thought, were broadcast – putting her in a pretty unflattering light.
So, if a hard-bitten and experienced hack can’t sort out what’s on- or off-the-record, then maybe it’s not as simple as it seems. But, really, it is: If you don’t want the media to publish/broadcast something – don’t tell them it! Easy.
Having said that if you are not generally in the media glare, journos will likely give you a bit of leeway, if the issue is not major. But if you are regularly in the media commenting on stuff, you’re ‘fair game’. Reporters are talking to you to get a story not to make friends!
Last night’s Media 7 show had four senior journalists on the panel discussing what is off- and on-the-record. It’s invaluable watching for all people and companies wanting to understand the nuances of dealing with reporters. Find the Media 7 show here.
I often get asked, “how would you spin that?” Both by clients wanting advice and people simply having a conversation when they find out what I do for a living.
But, rather than being a spin doctor, any good PR person knows that the best results for clients lie in helping people to more clearly and transparently understand a client’s business. Knowledge = power, for everyone. Spin simply confuses and obscures.
Below is a doctor of another kind, who definitely understands that honesty is the best marketing/PR policy. His marketing of his ‘Heart Attack Grill’ leaves no sacred cow – food-wise – untouched and he is pulling in the customers because of it.
You may find cynical the grill’s apparent mocking of obesity health issues, but it is simply a burger joint that makes no attempt to pass off its regular burger joint food as other than what it is … and, yes, warning: high-fat content!
For many years New Zealand news website Scoop has provided a free service for anyone to post media releases online, now the National Business Review has started offering a similar service – the Horse’s Mouth – for corporate and political party releases.
The good thing about both services is that the media releases go online unedited letting your message reach the world as you intended it to. Both sites also have good search engine visibility, so your media release gets a good headstart for people searching online.
NBR publisher Barry Colman said the move would allow a free ﬂow of information from which readers could draw their own conclusions. “Some of these releases would otherwise head straight for the can in a newsroom, or be edited down,” he said.
After my earlier post this week about News Corporation deciding to restrict access to their news websites unless people pay to view them, it’s great to see initiatives in New Zealand that are promoting greater freedom of online information.
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