Articles on Media Matters:
Powerful Press Release Distribution Tips
While press release writing is important, press release distribution plays an equally important role in your return on ínvestment (ROI) with this marketing / public relations tool. Because without targeted distribution, many prospects, clients and other interested parties may not even read your latest announcement or hear about it via other channels; TV, radio, print publications, etc.
In order to bring your news to light with more of your targeted audience, try some of these tips for a more successful distribution:
Media Líst Management
Start a folder on your computer and in hard copy form for media lists in order to keep a líst of contacts readily available and updated. Identify media outlets - both online and off - in your targeted industries; for example: Business and Marketing. Add local, regional, national and International channels to cover television, radio, newspapers, magazines, online publications, newswire and other services.
A targeted media líst is an invaluable tool for most businesses. The best way to build your líst is to carefully watch, read and listen, then track media publications and shows, and to identify reporters and producers who would be interested in your story. Contact the media outlets as needed for their most recent contact name, email address, telephone and fax number, before sending your information.
Tip: Using contact management software program such as ACT! or Maximizer for this purpose can help you build and maintain relationships with the media. Even using Excel to create your own spreadsheets helps with organization.
There are several sources online that will help you build your media líst; however, keep in mind that not all of these sources will have up-to-date media information.
Newswires distribute your press release directly to editors, other media outlets like Reuters and they also publish the press releases on their website. Many journalists rely on newswire sites for information and story ideas. Wires are often used by largër companies and non-profít organizations. They have the advantage of immediately reaching a broad range of media outlets across the country. The cost is usually $275 - $600 to send a single release, with pricing based on the number of words in your release (a minimum word count will usually apply.)
Mail, Fax, or Email
You can send the news release directly to the media yourself, using the mail, fax, or email. When in doubt about the best option, ask the journalists you will be sending your release to. This can have the advantage of creating a more personal connection with the people you send the release to. It can also be a more cost-effective option if you are targeting a small líst of journalists.
Newswires offër a fast way to send your press release to a large number of editors. However, you can also build your own líst of media contacts using any of a number of media databases. Most charge either a monthly, annual or per use subscription fee. Search online for "media databases" and "media lists."
It is best to send your news release early in the day and you will have a better chance of getting your story noticed if your release is not sent on a busy news day. For example, sending a news release out as a major strike or natural disaster was taking place would not be good timing. Mondays and Tuesdays are usually busy news days and by Friday most assignments have been handed out as journalists get ready for the weekend.
1. Don't send email press releases with attachments - they will be deleted immediately upon receipt.
2. If sending an email release, make sure to write the release within the body of the message.
3. Don't bug editors. Editors receive hundreds of press releases on a daily basis. Chances are you will irritate most editors by making a second contact to ask if they received your press release.
4. Know deadlines of editors. If you are sending a time-sensitive release, don't expect a magazine editor to cover your event scheduled for next week. Find out what the appropriate "lead time" is to send your press release for possible distribution in their media.
5. If writing about a web site, make sure the site is updated before you send your release. Editors will visit the site if they have an interest in your product/service.
6. For further assistance and other helpful information visit PRWeb.com .
Here are some handy resources to help with your press releases:
- Chëck out Jack Humphrey's Content Desk and Content Propulsion Lab, for "Do It Yourself" companies who would love the benefits of easy step-by-step content site building, monetizing and promoting systems for the best ROI, and high-end Public Relations firms with low-end budgets, online at ContentLabInfo.com and ContentDeskInfo.com .
- For a super profít system, head to SEO (search engine optimization) expert Keith Baxter's Easy Net Marketing (EAN) Profít System at BPlanSite.com . The program has only about a one- to two-hour learning curve to get all set up and going. Articles, content and more -all-in-one.
- Learn how to write with good correspondence courses like those offered by the American Writers & Artists Institute; many are described here: PressSuccess.com .
So when you focus on getting your press releases out, focus on distribution, too. Try some of the tips above to íncrease success with your promotions, and keep a copy of the these tips around for handy reference!
11 May 2007
Diana Barnum, president of MovingAheadCommunications.com at: (614) 529-9459 (EST). Grab her freebies, tips and help at: http://presssuccess.com/bookstore .
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Using Social Media Marketing to Promote Your Specialist Information Website
Before I get started, it is worth defining social media. It has become a widely used and abused term that means different things to different people.
My definition of social media is:
'online technologies and practices that people use to share their opinions, insights and experiences with each other. Information can be shared as text, images, audio or video via blogs, message boards, wikis, RSS, podcasts and social networking sites'.
At the heart of social media is the ability of individuals to interact with other people so that they feel involved and part of a community. A big part of this phenomenon is the activity of finding, sharing and recommending products, services, events and experiences to like-minded people. This is where social media crosses over with marketing.
Social media can be a great way to have your website promoted by word-of-mouth.
If you can get people to talk about and recommend your services to their peers, it is more powerful than any marketing you can buy. So how can you get started?
How Can You Make Social Media Work for You?
The good news is it is easy to start the process of using social media to promote your website.
1) Create a MySpace Page
MySpace (www.myspace.com) is the largest and best-known social network. Individuals create profiles about themselves and then invite similarly minded people to become their online friends. When someone becomes a friend, you can communicate with them and subtly direct them towards your own website.
Setting up your own page is simple and frëe. Go to www.myspace.com and follow the instructions. Put up a brief description about yourself and a link to a more detailed biography page on your own website. Remember, the goal of this page is to drive people to your own site so make sure you get plenty of links included without overtly promoting your website.
Spend an hour every week developing your site and building your líst of friends. Invite relevant people to comment about your website.
2) Add Bookmarking Links to Your Article Pages
A big part of the social web is the ability for people to build lísts of their favourite sites or articles. People with similar interests can then share their lísts and benefit from other people's recommendations. If your website has frëe content, you should make these articles easy to bookmark or add to favourites lísts. There are a lot of internet sites that now host and share bookmarks. You can add links to these sites to your article pages.
There are two ways of doing this. You can go to each of the leading bookmarking sites and download their code and links onto your site. The ones that you should include are:
Digg - www.digg.com
Technorati – www.technorati.com
Del.icio.us – del.icio.us
Reddit – www.reddit.com
However, if you go this route it can be time consuming and you will omit many of the potential bookmarking sites. The alternative is to put a link to AddThis.com on the foot of each page. This gives your users access to over 30 bookmarking sites.
3) Add an RSS Feed
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Syndication, depending on who you ask. RSS allows people to be notified every time new articles are added to your website so they can keep up to date with your content.
Ask your developer to create some RSS code for your website and then put a link on all of your pages to the RSS code page. The link should be a small orange rectangle with the letters RSS in white.
Publish your RSS feeds at Feedburner to encourage distribution and interest.
4) Email to a Friend
Enabling people to easily email an article to a friend is not typically bundled under the heading of social media marketing, but in my view it is another way to encourage people to share and recommend your content. Add an 'Email a Friend' link to all of your content pages.
5) Add a Forum
Having a Forum on your website is a great way of building a community around your subject area. Monitoring the forum will both give you a chance to understand what people are discussing and promote your expertise by adding your own comments.
The downside of a forum is it does need to be carefully managed. You need to allow people to make negative comments so they don't feel they are being censored, but you have to stamp out aggressive behaviour, personal insults, sp@m and meaningless rubbish. This can be time-consuming work, so don't bother with a forum unless you have the time to do it properly.
Non-technical people can pay to use vBulletin. More technical people can use a frëe opensource solution such as PHPBB.
You can register your forum with BoardTracker to make it easier for people to find.
6) Create How-To or Product Review Videos
It has nevër been easier to create short videos that can demonstrate your expertise. How-to videos are very popular. For example, if your website is about Making Monëy on eBay, you could create a short video on "How to Take Perfect Photos for Your eBay Listings". Make sure you have your website URL on the opening and closing sequence of your video to promote your website.
Post your videos on YouTube and Google Videos. Give it a catchy title and teaser to get people interested. Also link to the videos from your own website.
7) Share Your Photos
If you have photos related to your subject area, post them on photo sharing websites such as Flikr and PhotoBucket. For example, if your website is about steam trains, take a camera to your next steam train show and post the pictures on these sites. People searching for steam train images are likely to try these sites. They can then follow the link on the photo to your website. P.S. Remember to include links back to your own site from the images.
8) Create a Blog
Blogs are very simple content sites where short articles are listed one after the other on the home page. They are usually used to write about current events or comment on news.
Some successful content websites are blogs. Some are much more like magazines with feature articles. If your site is more feature-based, consider starting a separate blog that can be more informal and brief. Update the blog every day even if it is with just one- or two-sentence comments. Blogs that are infrequently updated quickly löse their audience.
Use the blog to drive traffíc to your main website.
You can get basic blogging software for frëe. Try Wordpress or Blogger. For a managed service, try Typepad.
In many ways, today's social media technologies are still fairly primitive, but I can say with confidence that the phenomenon that they have created - of customers taking control of the buying process – is here to stay. Customers will continue to get stronger, so publishers, manufacturers and anyone else with customers better start listening to what they are saying.
One last point before I finish. It's really a word of warning. Once you adopt the social media marketing techniques, you are inviting people to comment about your service. You must be ready for negative as well as positive feedback. Good companies listen to the feedback and make positive changes. Poor companies ignore it or worse still, call their lawyers to fight it. If you jump into the social media world, be ready to participate, listen, learn and take action.
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