PR Fuel: PR News, Views, & Stews

Public Relations Research Tools on the Web

December 17 2008

Research obviously plays an important role when it comes to public relations. Yet it’s surprising how many folks who work in the PR industry seem unfamiliar with the most effective web-based research tools. The following is a list of a few general research tools, some better known than others, that are your best bet if you’re looking for information about a person, company, business sector, product, or competitor. Think of them as the basic online research tools in your public relations toolkit. Read More

PR and Entrepreneurs: The Perils of Personality PR

December 16 2008

Public relations professionals working with entrepreneurs often find themselves in a bind. Do you pitch the idea or the person behind the idea? It’s easy to see an entrepreneur’s backstory as a ready-made angle when it comes to drumming up publicity. But a public persona can quickly become tarnished, and personality PR can often lead to avoidable headaches. Read More

Public Relations and Blogs: Controlling the Message

December 15 2008

An era when data can be sent and received outside of traditional media outlets–via blogs, email, instant messaging, text messaging, camera phones, etc.–has created an atmosphere where truth is the prize. Those in the public relations industry must delicately balance the public’s right to know and a client’s right to direct its own message. And yes, there are ways to walk this internet-era tightrope successfully. Read More

Crisis Management Can Help Avoid PR Nightmares

December 15 2008

When the phone rang at midnight, I knew something was wrong. The caller was a spokesperson for a large, public technology company based in Silicon Valley: “We’re filing for bankruptcy in the morning. I wanted to let you know. We’re announcing it at 7:00 AM EST. Get the word out.” I quickly wrote up a story for my web site and tipped off Reuters and the Associated Press that the announcement was coming. By the time the company announced its bankruptcy, the news was already on the wire, and something bigger was going down in the sector. A public relations nightmare had been averted, but how? Read More

Using Plain Language in Public Relations

December 12 2008

Using plain language to communicate with journalists is not considered bland but effective. Whether your public relations campaign targets community or business publications, it is unlikely that reporters reviewing your press kit will be familiar with specific industry jargon. Providing them with information in plain language is the surest way to get your point across, significantly improving your chances for media coverage. Read More

Story Proposals: Customizing A Press Release For Reporters

December 11 2008

Who says a press release is the only way to court the media? Story proposals can sometimes be more effective when approaching your personal “A list” of journalists, presenting customized pitches that match their sensibilities and the news beat they cover. Read More

Building PR Goodwill Through Community Equity

December 11 2008

Facing a potentially damaging newspaper investigation, a Fortune 500 company fully expected to be forced to relocate one of its primary facilities. The story turned out to be just as bad as everybody had feared. But the outcome did not. The community rallied in support of the company, vilifying the newspaper in letters to the editor, public meetings, and canceled subscriptions. The facility is still in its original location today. So how did this company survive a public relations crisis that threatened to turn into something far more serious? Read More

Preparing a Press Release? Think Global, Look Local

December 10 2008

While today’s small businesses and small public relations firms have a number of economical means to reach national and international media–e-mail, on-line press kits, and press release delivery services, such as eReleases–the pitch will still need to be as good as the product to achieve results. Assuming merit exists for media coverage halfway across the world, crafting a press release around a hometown perspective can detract from a its news value. Even for editors in surrounding towns and cities, success stories about your immediate business community will be of little interest. Read More

PR Basics: Taking the Mystery Out of Community Relations

December 10 2008

Of all the subsets of public relations, community relations is perhaps the most perplexing. That’s because the term encompasses so many different types of activities. When budgeting for public relations, how should you decide where to focus your community relations dollars and energies? By going back to the basic steps of planning any public relations effort. Read More

‘Tis the Season for Internal Public Relations

December 09 2008

The economic news is ugly and workers are being laid off at record rates. The mood at holiday parties, if they haven’t been canceled yet, is grim. Now more than ever, public relations professionals must develop an internal public relations strategy, in concert with management, designed to raise the morale of employees. Read More