Book on Free PR Puts Pitching in the Palm of Your Hand

Book on Free PR Puts Pitching in the Palm of Your Hand

free PR

My latest #SocialPRSecret is a book, a good one. It’s called “Free PR”. The title is enticing, sensational, and revealing. Thought you knew everything about PR? Think again.

Some might say – “Well what do you get for free anyway? You get what you pay for, right?”

No.

You see, you can’t actually “pay” for public relations.

Public relations comes with effort, action, care, and momentum.

Fifteen years ago I was on the brink of leaving the PR industry completely, even though I was good at it and was running a successful PR and branding agency. The problem was nothing had changed in more than 100 years and I was sick of dealing with journalist egos, gatekeepers and competing against all the other PR people who practice spammy tactics and did the “Spray and pray” pitching practices.

Change is in the Air

Fast forward to today, PR has gone through a metamorphosis thanks to technology and digital domains like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and HARO (help a reporter out).

This gave me a new lease on “PR life “with all kinds of new ways to leverage influence, reach, exposure and publicity. A fresh start to what was a very archaic industry. I assumed all PR pros would see this opportunity quickly and it would be like a gold rush to reinvent and adapt.

Nope. Crickets.

It’s been an education process for brands to understand that PR is more than just press releases and pitching. Media outreach happens on Twitter and in the DM today. CEO’s can control their own destiny more than they know. Just look at the recent media frenzy @JeffBezos caused and how quickly his authenticity shut it down. He announced his divorce on Twitter.

Then took to @Medium to expose the National Enquirer and their blackmailing ways.  

Gaining media coverage is ripe with more opportunities and outlets than ever. Optimizing content is a must.

Keeping Your PR Tactics Relevant

Even with the advances in technology and the social media platforms available, some public relations pros and agencies have disregarded these advances and instead still opt for old-fashion PR ways. Too many fail to take the extra step of continued and constant education and evolution in bringing the digital and social into the PR equation.

That’s why I wrote #SocialPRSecrets in 2013, now in its 4th edition, to help educate the agencies, business owners, digital marketing and public relations pros and future public relation pros, socialize, publicize and optimize the PR process.

What Successful PR Looks Like Today

I double down agree with “FREE PR” beginning to end. Just remember nothing in life is free and it requires time, resources and organized efforts to achieve the successful PR outcomes outlined by Cameron and Adrian. The silver bullet is putting it into action.

free PR

Some key PR takeaways from this book that have shifted the way I do PR:

  1. Audience. Have a detailed understanding of your audience – make sure you have fully developed personas of your media and audience
  2. Why Care? If you can’t tell the journalists why they should care about your story then you’re not ready to pitch.
  3. Angles. Create a story angle and focus on a different one each month Getting your story angle right is the most important part of getting a journalist to write about your story.
  4. Relevant Relates. Make your angle relevant
  5. Matchmaker. Customize your angles for different media sources.
  6. Shoot, aim, target. Build a targeted media list.
  7. Headlines Matter. The headline is the most critical part of your press release and essentially the pitch.

Back to PR Basics

Psst…here’s a little #PR101: Write a headline for the pick-up, the retweet or the open. For years, that’s the mentality Cameron Herold and Adrian Salamunovic had, and it paid off. From the Oprah Show and Dr. Phil to The New York Times and WIRED, writing with your target audience in mind has paid off for these two successful entrepreneurs.

Although the changes occurring in the PR industry gave me a jolt of life and sparked my joy for the business again, this book was just another fresh reminder of not only how great the business still remains today, but that the future of it is even brighter. Make sure to grab their book here or check out our Social PR survival guide in the meantime.

Traditional PR is not going anywhere, in fact, it’s here to stay. Crafting that perfect pitch and body of the press release is what’s going to make the difference between securing coverage or a tree falling in the forest, it happened, but no one was aware.

Keep it Real!