PR Fuel: PR News, Views, & Stews

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

Tips for Organizing Your Public Relations Strategy Online

January 15 2009

As a reporter, I had a recurring nightmare that I was on deadline and working on a huge story, frantically trying to find the public relations person for the company I was writing about. I looked high and low on the company’s web site and could only locate the company’s main office number. I dug up old press releases online, but there was no public relations contact listed. This nightmare has been reality more than once for me. The internet is a standard business tool now, but many public relations departments, large and small, still ignore one of its main purposes: the distribution of information. These are some simple tips that can help companies not only utilize the web effectively, but also help garner some easy publicity. Read More

Little White Lies Can Lead to Big Problems in Public Relations

January 14 2009

In the world of journalism, every so often a reader will send in a tip that is worth a reporter’s time. Usually the reader has uncovered something about a company or individual that isn’t quite right. And that discovery can turn into a public relations nightmare for the company or individual in question, especially if it involves lying. Let the following story be an example an example of how a little white lie can quickly snowball into the worst kind of publicity. Read More

Build a Stronger Relationship Between PR and Journalism

January 13 2009

It’s become a public relations mantra: build relationships with reporters. But journalists don’t want relationships. They deal with dozens of contacts and demanding deadlines each day; they don’t have the time or energy to “do lunch,” especially with public relations people. But it’s not impossible to build relationships with reporters, provided you can meet two or three of their basic conditions. Read More

Extend Your PR Budget via Your Chamber of Commerce

January 13 2009

Many business owners don’t realize how easily and effectively they can self-promote through their local Chamber of Commerce. In fact, only a small percentage of business owners take advantage of their Chamber’s self-promotional possibilities. The following tips offer smart, simple ways of extending your public relations budget with help from your Chamber of Commerce. Read More

The PR Power of Niche Markets

January 12 2009

Consumers who really love your products or services can be thought of as your market’s “niche.” An economic recession should be a cue for companies to start looking at how their customers are changing their buying habits. As product choices continue to expand, consumers become increasingly more sophisticated and demanding. Take the time to review your public relations strategy and pay close attention to your niche markets. Part of your public relations budget can be spent studying and reaching out to your niche markets. Here are some quick reminders about developing niche markets: Read More

Building a More PR-Friendly Online Presence

January 12 2009

The internet is one of the most basic tools in the modern public relations toolkit, but when building your company’s online presence, how do you attract visitors who will virtually sit back and stay awhile, visitors who might possibly even return in the near future? By focusing on the consumer. Frequent users are attracted to the web because they see it as their own personal exploration tool and want to actively contribute to the global discussion and stay ahead of the information curve. They see themselves as being in control and no longer passive. The following are three questions you should ask yourself as you try to emphasize your online presence in your public relations strategy. Read More

Internal PR: Happy Staff = Happy Customers

January 09 2009

Bad customer service is nothing new and faulty products are a given in this era of mass production. But for the small business and large corporations alike, consumer complaints about products or customer service can add up and eventually spell doom. The internet has opened up an entirely new avenue for complaining. Web sites have sprung up around the world for the express purpose of calling out the faults of companies. In the world of public relations, defending your company’s reputation has become that much harder. But in this battle against consumer complaints, there are several weapons at the disposal of any public relations professional, including a few you might not have realized. Read More

Apple’s Public Relations Balancing Act

January 08 2009

Steve Jobs is alive. That much we know. But the health status of the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple, Inc. remains a mystery to many, especially those who believe Jobs and the company’s public relations department are not being completely honest. One thing is clear: Questions about Jobs’ health are not going away anytime soon. Read More