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Becoming Your Own Publisher (Content Marketing, Part 2)

April 22, 2014

Content marketing is a form of self-publishing.

Instead of publicizing company news, publishing articles in media or arranging interviews on newsworthy topics, content marketers typically write and post content on a blog, then “amplify” their message by tweeting it, and posting on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and elsewhere.

Blogs are the media and social media are the channels for distributing your news.  An e-blast can serve both purposes.  In either case, you get to control your news, develop your messaging and target your audience as narrowly or as broadly as you’d like.  However, you also have to develop your own audience.

When You Take Your Own Photos, Think Before You Shoot

July 10, 2013

Digital cameras are giving people a false sense of security.

They create the illusion that all you have to do to produce photos for your Web site, your newsletter and other communications is to point and click.

Point and click and you’ll produce a photo, but it’s unlikely to be very good.  Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to improve the quality of your photos.

What’s Your Title?

May 23, 2013

Those who practice law are called lawyers or attorneys.  Those who practice medicine are called doctors or physicians.  Those who cover news are called reporters or journalists.  Those who practice public relations are called … well, there’s really no consistent title.

Are we public relations practitioners, still practicing after all of these years?  Are we public relations specialists or public relations professionals?  Are we publicists or press agents, which implies that all we do is get our clients published?  Are we flacs?

Defining “Public Relations” – Part 2

May 10, 2013

In a recent post, I asked readers to define “public relations” in three words or fewer.

In addition to the comments on my blog, the post has received 75 comments so far on the Public Relations and Communications Professionals LinkedIn Group.  Some of the responses are quite good.  Here are a few examples:

What the Heck Is Public Relations?

February 26, 2013

How would you define public relations?

Do your clients know what it is you do or are supposed to do?

Considering we’re supposed to be communications professionals, those of us in the public industry have done a miserable job defining what we do.

How to Get Your News Ignored

January 8, 2012

Want to make certain that your press releases and pitches get ignored by reporters and editors?  It’s easy.  Here are a few tips:

The reverse pyramid method is so yesterday!  Why not build a little suspense and bury the news in the third paragraph?

Repeat key words frequently.  Your press release will be boring and redundant, but search engines will be more likely to find it.

PR Peeve #4: Wire Services

December 5, 2012

How important are BusinessWire, PR Newswire and other wire services?  Not very.

PR Peeve #3: LET’S CAPITALIZE EVERYTHING!!! The Case Against Upper Case.

December 2, 2012

Too many people are screaming to be heard. In an effort to stand out, they Capitalize Words that should be lower case. Or, worse still, they use ALL CAPS! (the exclamation point is also common, and some even use multiple exclamation points.

The worst offenders though are the associations that try to make certain terms special by not only capitalizing every letter, but registering the name as a trademark. For example, a real estate agent affiliated with the National Real Estate Association is called REALTOR®. This, no doubt, enables the association to charge higher dues than if its members were called realtors.

PR Peeve #2: Press Releases

November 29, 2012

Clients often think that all public relations agencies do is send out press releases.  PR agencies reinforce this notion, because press releases are easy to prepare and agencies can charge lots of money for them.

While press releases should be used to announce breaking news, they are typically the least effective method of publicizing your company.  Unless a press release has news value, no one will run it and few will read it.  A press release is also a great way to ensure that top-tier media will not run your news.  The Wall Street Journal and other top media want exclusivity.  If you send out a press release, it tells them that every other financial media outlet will be getting the same news.

While press releases should be used for breaking news, in most cases they should not be the main focus of your public relations program.

A summary of PR Peeves initially appeared in an article we wrote for the Worcester Business Journal.