PR Fuel: PR News, Views, & Stews

When Media Interviews Attack

January 29 2009

A PR Fuel reader writes: “How should a public relations department handle requests for competing media interviews? I had a very newsworthy author earlier this year. I was fortunate that several TV news shows wanted to interview him. But they all wanted to go first.” Read More

Selecting the Right PR Firm for Your Company

January 29 2009

A friend of mine called recently, looking for a public relations firm to handle a new project. He had already interviewed a few potential firms, and he wanted to know if I would sit in with him during a second round of interviews. What we learned should provide entrepreneurs and start-up companies alike with some helpful tips when they decide it’s time to take their public relations strategy to the professional level. Read More

Community Outreach: Using PR to Help Your Neighbors

January 28 2009

The audience was small, just forty or so people. The venue was obscure, the cafeteria of a seniors center. The time was not prime, 7:15 on a Tuesday night. The speaker was an unknown to those in attendance, yours truly. But I was engaging in public relations, reminding myself that PR can mean community outreach as much as working for a big client or company. Read More

Seven Ways to Extend Your Public Relations Budget

January 26 2009

Improving your public relations strategy doesn’t have to be a time- or money-consuming affair. Taking on some easy tasks and implementing some simple ideas can lead directly to generating good publicity and improving your existing public relations efforts. Here are seven tips to get the most out of your public relations budget. Read More

Planning an Event? Better Have a Contingency Plan

January 26 2009

Event planning is a difficult process, whether you’re a layperson or a public relations pro. Schedules need to be coordinated, collateral material needs to be assembled, and presentations need to be prepared. Entertainment and catering services may need to be booked, and guests must be attended to. Securing a site for an event can prove troublesome depending on the budget, and setting an agenda can be a pain when too many people are involved in the planning process. But as I learned recently, sometimes the biggest secret to successful event planning is having a contingency plan. Read More

Telecommuting: the Future of Public Relations?

January 23 2009

I’ve spent the better part of the past ten years working from the comfort of my home. I’ve had offices, and I’ve worked in a newsroom. But more often than not, my own dwelling has doubled as my office. The main reason I’ve been allowed to work from home is that, in general, my work has involved a lot of writing and a lot of phone calls. These are two things that public relations reps spend a considerable amount of time doing. That’s why I feel that companies should allow public relations staffers to telecommute. Read More

Three Public Relations Pitfalls to Avoid

January 20 2009

1. The Friday Afternoon Bad News Press Release

For decades, the White House has used Friday afternoon as a time to release bad news to the media. The rationale is that the media is wrapping up a busy week, Saturday newspaper circulation and readership is lower than any other day of the week, and the public is just plain tired and ready to relax. The linchpin to this strategy has been the newspaper. Times, however, have changed. Read More

Public Relations: the Next Generation?

January 19 2009

Big public relations departments, small companies on tight budgets, and boutiques looking to keep costs down — these are just some of the places that young and inexperienced employees can thrive in the world of public relations. Keeping costs low is important; sometimes that means hiring rookies instead of veterans. But without proper training, a public relations department risks destroying important relationships and endangering opportunities for publicity. Here are some tips for budding public relations reps and the firms that employ them. Read More

Protecting an Embargoed Press Release

January 19 2009

There’s nothing better when a public relations rep sends a journalist a press release that is “under embargo.” This means the reporter can’t publish a word regarding the contents of the press release until the after a certain date and time. But in this day and age, journalists and public relations professionals alike may find that a press embargo isn’t as secure as they might think. Read More

Make Sure Your Press Release Contains “Just the Facts”

January 16 2009

A press release is not an advertisement. A press release is a subtle piece of advertorial: a combination of advertising and editorial content. The point of advertising is to bring a product, service, or cause to the attention of a consumer, voter, volunteer, or contributor. It involves matching the right content with the right audience. A press release is in one sense an advertisement, but in this case your audience is the media. You’re selling them an idea for a story instead of a product or service, though, and it’s crucial you understand what journalists don’t want to hear. Read More