Online public relations has come a long way, baby. The frustrated publicist of yesterday was under tight control by the journalist, the editor, the reporter – the publicity gatekeepers! Pitching a press release (ok sometime even begging and pleading) for an interview was just par for the course. A typical day in the life of a PR pro meant ignored emails, endless voice mails and barely any attention! All just to get a valuable news story published, a worthy story that readers would embrace!
Slightly dramatic, but hints of truth.
PR power and online newsrooms
Freedom and independence comes to today’s publicists through the power of online newsrooms; a place where every good story gets published because today the companies can be their own publisher.
A frequent frustration whispered through the PR circles, however, is figuring out how to generate content for online newsrooms especially when the well of ideas goes dry.
Here are some places where you can get find ideas for content.
Ask your customers – Customers who love your products and services are often only too willing to give you a shout out! Contact current clients and ask for testimonials and stories. Well-written blurbs about how your product or services helped a customer out of a jam are perfect PR campaigns.
Talk to your business partners – Many times suppliers and business associates are users of your wares. Ask them for sound bytes on how your company has helped them. Post these stories in your online newsroom and ask your partners to link to it from their websites.
Survey your departments – You don’t have to go far from home for great stories. Survey your employees in human resources, research and development, IT, and sales for information about what’s going on in the company. Collect and use stories that highlight your company’s goals, culture, and commitment to the community.
Check social and search trends – Social media sites like Twitter often have their fingers on the pulse of what’s popular online. Check trending topics, the feeds of people you are following, and social media tracking sites like Mashable. Search engines like Google and Yahoo also have services that provide information about popular searches.
Analyze analytics – Religiously
check your Google Analytics to see what people are searching for to get to your site. This can be
found in the Referrer or Source area and then search under Keywords in Search Engine. The best place to get inspiration for content is your website’s analytics program. These programs tell you what people are searching for and are the easiest way to give customers what they want.
Curate content – The content trend is to curate items from other sources. Link to articles and other media by experts in your industry that is relevant to your business. Readers will appreciate being introduced to useful content and you can keep your business top of mind by linking the info to what’s happening at your company.
Repurpose, reuse and recycle – Don’t be afraid to reuse content created for one venue on another. If the CEO speaks at a conference, for example, upload a transcript or video to your newsroom. You could even break up the content into smaller pieces for easy social sharing.
Talk to experts – Readers always appreciate the insight of subject-matter experts. Talk to people who have in-depth knowledge of your industry and can speak intelligently on subjects of interest to your clients.
Add virtual news clippings – Whenever your business lands in the spotlight, add links to news stories, press clippings, and other medial to your online newsroom. Restaurant.com and CIGNA do a great job of this content generating tactic with the help of online newsroom technology from TekGroup.
Social network with journalists – More and more journalists are using social media to get information for stories. Follow both journalists and well-respected bloggers and see what kind of questions they are asking.
Listening channels – One common leadership trait is the ability to listen. Set up listening channels using social media sites and then create content around what you hear. If you notice a lot of people asking the same questions, for instance, set up a FAQ on your site answering them.
Yesterday’s socially frustrated publicists can be today’s most satisfied publishers with the right content strategy.
Get to the source!
Steve Momorella owner and founder, TEKGROUP International, has more than 17 years of direct Internet experience ranging from programming to high-level design and consulting for numerous large corporations including IBM, AOL and Ford Motor Company. Currently, Steve is responsible for the sales and marketing of TEKGROUP’s Online Newsroom Solution, used by well-known brands including Toyota, Starbucks, Prudential, Walgreens, Lowes, Dunkin’ Donuts, Ford, Sprint, and many of the Fortune 500 companies. As the head of sales and marketing for TEKGROUP, Steve stays on top of the latest news and events by working with industry experts to conduct research surveys, producing reports on topics such as online newsrooms, social media news, and digital communications. Steve has presented at the Public Relations Society of America, Bulldog Reporter Media Relations Summit, Major League Baseball winter meetings, and at the University of Virginia and Western Kentucky University.