This past week has seen some interesting conversations about press releases/newswires, how to conduct social media campaigns and the relationship with customers. Enjoy this last issue before the President’s Weekend Holiday. You can click on the Weekly Articles tag for previous issues or subscribe to the Weekly Articles Feed.
The Power of News Wires – Read/WriteWeb has an interesting post about how BusinessWire’s influence and ability to be a top Techmeme source. If newswires are able to gain this much influence for a press release, does this mean PR folks will be “lazier” in getting placements for press releases?
When a Release is Not a Release – B.L. Ochman highlights her experience with PR Web’s decision not to post a release because it didn’t satisfy their standard of a press release. The release was a funny announcement for procrastinators on Valentine’s Day. The tone was perfect for this type of announcement, yet PR Web insisted that B.L. make some changes. Frankly, who’s to decide what is and isn’t a release. I could understand profanity but because it wasn’t written in the third person? Puh-lease!
Blogs are the Music to My Ears – Mack Collier writes about how blogs have contributed more to music sales than MySpace. Need I say more?
Valentine’s Day Special: It’s About the Relationship -Toby Bloomberg of Diva Marketing Blog put together a special post for Valentine’s Day. She lists 62 responses to how to create great business relationships. Tons of great tips from all walks of life and industries. I like #4, #7, #12, #27, #34 (this one is tough for me.. ask my husband =), #62. My tip? Be humble and admit that you don’t know everything.
Successful Customer Case Studies - Jeremiah Owyang is on a roll. He’s providing great insight as an analyst that should help every PR person out there. This week’s nugget of wisdom, creating successful customer case studies.
SMRs in the Real World – Brian Solis posts an email from Steve Kayser who has outlined his experience using SMRs in the real world. Very informative regarding what to be aware of as one proceeds down this avenue.
Social Campaigning… Not! – Paul Dunay of Buzz Marketing for Technology highlights a good point about Social Media. Social media can’t be considered a campaign as a campaign eventually ends. It require diligent work and commitment. Only then can you see reap the rewards of entering the social media world.
Measurement Makes Your Executives Care – Dave Fleet reminds us that measurement is key for executive support and understanding. Like Social Media, it can’t be an one-time project. It has to be monitored constantly. I previously wrote about the PR measurements I track. It’s quick, easy and can be maintained weekly. Leave a comment if you’re interested in learning more.
Six Deadly Sins of Social Media
It’s that time of year to reflect back on the year and make your resolutions for the New Year. I gave up resolutions a long time ago – how can you ask a chocolate lover give up chocolate for a whole year? Sorry – just can’t do it.
So instead of resolutions, here are the top posts from 2007:
- Let the 2008 Trends Lists Begin
- Many of you were curious about me
- You liked the compilation of How to Pitch Bloggers list
- And like me, online reputation management was a concern
- SEOing press releases was another top post
Paul Dunay of Buzz Marketing for Technology interviewed me a few weeks ago on how new media is impacting PR. Check out the podcast here. Even in these short few weeks, I’ve learned so much more from everyone, such as Jeremiah Owyang, Todd Defren, CK, Mack Collier and others. Update: Bad me, I forgot Tom Pick!
Let me know what you think of the podcast.
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The Blog Bubble? – R. Scott Raynovich of Light Reading has an interesting post on Internet Revolution. Raynovich believes that there will be a crash in blogs in terms of how one can make money and continue drawing an audience. If he’s correct, then those blogs that provide truly interesting content and insight will continue to stay above the noise. I think we may also see the rise of more blog-lomerates (blogging conglomerates) list GigaOm, TechCrunch, VentureBeat and others.
What Millennials Don’t Know – Advertising Age highlights ten marketing myths and their implications for marketers. Sorry Mellennials, the world doesn’t revolve around you!
Hallelujah – The Truth About PR “Relationships” – I read a few PR agency blogs and inmedia is one of the best. In a recent post, inmedia highlight the myth about media relationships resulting in media coverage. As the post concludes: Bottom line: The only thing that has any currency in a newsroom, the only thing any journalist cares about, is the news value of the story. Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn’t understand the news business
Marketing In is Better Than Out – Brian Hulligan of HubSpot wrote this interesting post about how company websites can become better “hubs” for industry information. In this way, your prospective customers can better find you on search engines, blogs and social networks.
Spammers Get Sneaky – I had paid scant attention to what seems to be a security hole in WordPress. Wired highlighted a recent sneak attack on Al Gore’s website. I’m assuming this doesn’t impact the freely hosted WordPress, right?
Consumer Stats for Pitching – MediaPost’s Online Spin blog summarized some interesting data points that were published in Time magazine. Great fodder for those 2008 pitches or for those guys prepping for CES already!
More SEO Tips for Press Releases – Lee Odden of Online Marketing Blog has some useful tips for press release optimization. Lee has advice from some of the leading press release wires. Also check out my previous post about how to select keywords for your press release.
Oh My – You Can Be Fired for CARING Too Much – I’ve just started reading Alec Saunders’ blog. Alec usually covers VoIP and VON related issues, but occasionally brings up issues in his native Canada. This recent post about a customer service rep who is concerned about being fired because she spends time with customers. Sorry Sears, you’re getting the “I Hate Customers” award.
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In my previous post, Search and Find – SEO Your Press Release, I mentioned how keywords play an integral role in your press releases. Since that post, I’ve learned more about how to find these keywords and determine the effectiveness of these keywords for PR.
There are several tools out there to help research keywords. Since we use Wordtracker, I’m going to show the steps from this software.
1. Research Seed Words: To build a relevant set of keywords, start with a general list of seed words. These are general terms that you think are relevant from a search perspective. For example, I did a search on “public relations,” getting 100 results with the most searched terms at top. Though the public relations term came back with a healthy number of results, some searches may yield little or no results. When this happens, continue to expand your universe of seed words until you come back with a healthy return.
2. Review the Results: Review the list of words to determine the number of current searches and predicted number of searches on that term per day. If the results are too vague, you can begin narrowing the search term to variations of the word, such as PR, media relations, etc. However, be careful of narrowing your search too much as you may limit the possibilities.
3. Competition for Keywords: Once you have one set of terms,you’ll want to know how many pages compete for these words on Google, Yahoo and MSN. For example, using public relations would be very competitive with over 111 million pages. However, “health public relations” yields only 13,500 pages.
4. Research, Evaluate, Research: As with everything I’m learning about SEO/SEM, it’s all about research, evaluate and research again.
And for you tech pr folk out there, “technology public relations” was not in the top 100 searches for “public relations.” Something to think about for those technology PR agencies out there. Will I find you if I need a tech agency?
Many companies have RSS feeds for company updates, as this provides people another way to stay up-to-date on your company news and press releases without having to come to the website every other day. Though it’s important to syndicate/distribute news via RSS, you also have to track RSS feeds this as well.
Why? Because if you’re successful in having people subscribe to the feeds, theoretically the site traffic numbers may decrease. From a marketing perspective, if you experience a dip in traffic, you need to demonstrate that subscriptions to your feeds were increasing. Furthermore, this provides you feedback on what content resonates with your audience.
Researching this intriguing question, here is what I found out - some are more laborous than others:
1. Check the server logs: If a request is made, then this is logged on the server. However, RSS feeds are not representative of a person requesting the information , but rather how you set up the feeds to refresh the information. So this may skew the information even if you didn’t look at your feed for weeks.
2. Request an email: You can request an email to track the RSS feed. Though you can track who is subscribing, I believe that anonymity is key for incorporating RSS feeds.
3. Give each subscriber an unique identifier: There are different ways to track unique users but I recommend reading posts on Ask Leo and ongoing as they provide in-depth information on the various ways. Much better than I can.
4. Use an RSS Aggregator: In the end, I like the idea of using FeedBurner to track RSS feeds. It provides a convenient way to view all of your feeds, site numbers and additional options for optimizing your feeds for SEO.
I’m still learning about FeedBurner and will provide a follow-up post on how to best set up the RSS feed. Please leave me a comment if you have any advice/tips & tricks for optimizing RSS feeds.
Press releases are an important component of PR. Typically, I focus on writing the right headline to catch a reporter’s attention, while crafting intelligent quotes for my spokesperson. But sometimes, a catchy headline and eloquent phrasing may fall short of helping your client from a marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) perspective.
2) Title Tags: This is the description that appears when you navigate to a web page. Many search engines weigh title tags heavily for ranking the content of the site. By understanding your client’s general key word groupings, you can craft a title tag that a) includes these keywords and b) accurately describes the content of the press release.
3) Header, subhead, first paragraph: These three elements of your release are important for search engines to evaluate the content of your release. Balance the use of keywords with your client’s messages. Though keyword density (the number of times a keyword appears in the release) is important, don’t overdue as it may be seen as trying to game the search engines.
4) News Wires: If you client is incorporating SEO, then consider paying extra money to SEO your press release. Why? Since the release is distributed to various sites, this can increase the number of links pointing to your client’s website. Since the boilerplate is included in every release, the boilerplate is a great way to incorporate keywords and appropriate links for SEO.
Cece Salomon-Lee is director of marketing for ACTIVE Network, Business Solutions division, and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.
This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.
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