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>>
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.
Here’s a very nifty postal gimmick … great for customising envelopes: the Google Map Envelope.
Simply enter a location in the box and get back an envelope ready to print with a Google map picture of the location you chose. Nice!
What price publicity?! A small UK design firm that has seen about half its staff made redundant recently has encouraged the rest of its staff to go naked in the office, with the managing director reported saying he thought it would be good for business.
Staff say they weren’t forced into it, but — while we can’t deny the publicity success of the stunt — it seems that people who had just seen half their colleagues lose their jobs would be unlikely to say no to the boss!
And group nudity … it gets everyone looking I guess; but 12 years after The Full Monty (and 22 years after NZ’s own Ladies’ Night), it’s about time for a new idea.
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?!
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.
It’s been interesting to read the media furore today over New Zealanders getting antsy with Canadians getting antsy with New Zealanders eating sweets called Eskimos, which are shaped as, well, Eskimos – er, make that Inuits.
Last year Kiwis ate nearly 19 million of them, making the Eskimo one of our most-loved lollies. Some Canadians have called the sweets offensive, saying Eskimo is no longer used as a term and, regardless, eating sweets shaped as Inuits is just not on and carries hints of cannabilism.
NZers have voiced their opinions in the hundreds on web and news sites, largely telling the Canadians to bog off. Email discussions at the client where I have been working this week were busy with with similar sentiment.
Pascalls, the makers of the Eskimo, has been reported saying they don’t plan to change anything.
Makes you wonder, though, what would happen if Canadians started eating lollies shaped as a person in a grass skirt called a Hori.
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