1. Find a creative angle that makes you worthy of being in the news or at least appear unique.
See what other companies are doing in your space or how media like the New York Times, CNN and top blogs portray companies like yours.
2. Do your homework.
- Research who the journalists and bloggers are in your industry.
- Search Google News to see what stories are currently hot
- When you feel you have a really strong angle, submit to niche journalists and bloggers to get more in depth coverage
- You can also buy contact lists of journalists
3. Write a press release and distribute it to some of the free sites below to get a feel for the process.
If you need to get started quickly, write a release about hiring a new employee, a new service, product offering or an upcoming event. This may not go viral but it will still generate much needed backlinks and give you a feel for the process. Google likes to see regular mentions of you, so this should be done monthly if possible.
A few sites that have free versions:
Since times change quickly, if there are no longer free versions at these links, deeperclicks.com will keep you updated.
4. Participate in social media.
Twitter, has spread stories in such places as Iran when no other outlets were allowing stories through. Facebook groups can be a great way to get involved in discussions about niche topics and you might be able to hook up with journalist there and on Linked in if you have something worth sharing.
5. Timing is everything.
Make sure your best ideas launch when people will be searching or the topic will be on people minds.
6. Remember that Blogs are the new trade press!
You may find a top blog can produce more traffic and general coverage than CNN or the New York Times so treat the bloggers nicely and give them something informative or unique not a bunch of market hype.
7. Photos that appear in search results next to a press release, due to universal search may increase click though rates.
An example of a site offering the ability to add multimedia to your PR is www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/pr/multimedia/
8. A good press release should have the following
- A headline that says exactly what the story is about (use keywords not just marketing lingo)
- A great summary paragraph (Keywords from the headline should be repeated iespecially in the first paragraph.)
- A link to your site that when possible uses keywords in the clickable part of the link
- Contact details
ROI and PR
In the old days it was all about how many press clippings you could make into a large collage to show off that PR was working. In today’s world of highly trackable internet advertising your PR also needs to be more trackable. Make sure you have a way to determine what amount of visitors came from each link from a release and then what actions (such as buying products or filling out a form) were taken. When you not only have nice clippings and good coverage but you can also say with no question how much sales were produced from your efforts, you know you have landed on the shores of the new world.
A nice way to show how the PR campaigns are impacting SEO is to check the amount of PR related backlinks you have generated. You should also see a spike in Visitors via a tool like Google Analytics if you have significant success. Set up a Google Alert to ping you when another site mentions the phrases in your releases and or your company name to get a feel for the viral benefit, which Google has no doubt been taking into account when judging if you deserve to be to ranked.
A few good sites to check out
- www.marketwire.com Marketwire
- (edit 9/10/2012: dead link removed) Institute for Public Relations
- www.prsa.org Public Relations Society of America
- www.iabc.com International Association of Business Communicators
- www.prnewswire.com/mediainsider Media Insider
- www.odwyerpr.com O’Dwyer’s PR Market Place
- www.infocomgroup.com InfoCom Group – Bulldog Reporter
- www.prnewswire.com PR NewsWire
- www.businesswire.com Business Wire
- www.newspapers.com Newspapers.com
- www.customscoop.com Custom Scoop
- www.prweek.com PR Week
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