PR Fuel - Public Relations News & PR Tips http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel PR Fuel: PR News, Views, & Stews Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:30:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.1 3 Steps to a Great Viral Video http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/3-steps-great-viral-video/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/3-steps-great-viral-video/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:30:21 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10378 Ok, the title is a little misleading. “Go make me a viral video” is the call of the CEO these days. To their defense it seems so easy – make a crazy or controversial video and get spread across the Internet. Why doesn’t everyone do it? That’s because often it’s the luck of the draw […]

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Ok, the title is a little misleading. “Go make me a viral video” is the call of the CEO these days. To their defense it seems so easy – make a crazy or controversial video and get spread across the Internet. Why doesn’t everyone do it?

That’s because often it’s the luck of the draw that makes a viral video. However, you can increase your chances by following the tips below. You may not have the next Gangnam Style, but you could at least have a Chocolate Rain or Charlie the Unicorn on your hands. 

Keeping it Simple 

video_presentationTry to keep in mind your viewers have short attention spans. This isn’t an insult – it’s the truth. Imagine if this blog was 5,000 words rather than 500. Would you read through the whole thing? You might say yes to pad my ego, which I appreciate, but in truth you would probably end up clicking the way in the middle of a post to find something else more bite-sized.

So rather than aim for the YouTube version of War & Peace, keep it simple. Each video should have one central idea or focus. If it gets to be too complicated, cut it down to a couple different videos. Keep the running time down, too, though be sure don’t make it too short, as it’s hard to get some real meat across in just a few seconds. There’ a reason we haven’t had the great viral 7-second Vine video yet…

Be Funny, Be Terrifying, Be Interesting, Be Something 

Literally the worst thing you can do when making a video you hope to go viral is to be a bore. If you want your video to sit at the dreaded “10 viewers” mark forever then you should be dull, lifeless, and scared to try anything crazy. That will surely scare everyone – but not in a good way.

There are zillions of videos on the web. You have to put yourself in your viewers’ shoes. Why would they take the time to watch your video over all the others? Not only that, but why would they watch it again and again and then share it with their family and friends? If you can’t think of a single reason why someone would watch it twice, you’re in trouble.

Strive to be funny, or scary, or weird – something! If not, there’s no reason why even your own family will watch it.

Make It Remixable 

The first time I actually heard about Gangnam Style was through one of the (then) hundreds of parody videos. In fact, it was only after a few months did I actually watch the original video as I had already experienced the whole thing through the “remixes.”

One of the big traits of a viral video is their ability to be teased and parodied. People enjoy having their own brush with fame so they make their own videos which generate their own buzz. Remember the Dramatic Gopher video? That one even made it onto South Park.

Try to have a few key moments in your viral video that are easily copied and parodied. It may be what ultimately gets the original video across the web in front of excited fans.

What’s your favorite viral video?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/7cheaptactics.html

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Press Releases You Should Never Write http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/press-releases-never-write/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/press-releases-never-write/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:30:19 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10369 While press releases are still a great way to gain exposure through traditional media, sometimes PR pros take them a little too far. In fact, it’s easy to make even the toughest editor (or an intern) weep when they see yet another press release that should’ve never been written, much less actually sent out.  Before […]

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While press releases are still a great way to gain exposure through traditional media, sometimes PR pros take them a little too far. In fact, it’s easy to make even the toughest editor (or an intern) weep when they see yet another press release that should’ve never been written, much less actually sent out. 

PlanningBefore you waste your time writing something that will never see the day, it’s important to consider if what you want to send out is actually news. Yes, everything about your company is important news to YOU – but it’s not to everyone else, I’m afraid. Most events that happen with your company are just not interesting to the average reader so you’re better off waiting until something major comes along.

Company Shuffling 

Did one executive move to another department? When the CEO left did someone below step up or did they bring in somebody else? Did a long time employee finally make it to the esteemed title of Assistant to the Regional Manager?

No matter what you sit down and write for the press release it always helps to stop and think: “Would I read this in the paper over breakfast?” If the answer is anything less than “absolutely!” than you’re better off waiting for something else.

Employees moving around is in that area. Did a huge celebrity just take over the company, or does the new executive mean to drastically take the company in a new direction? If so, write about it. Otherwise readers, outside of the most specialized industry publications, probably will not care.

Moving Locations 

Has a customer ever visited your location since you set up shop? If you sell items from your store or have a regular flow of people through your doors who aren’t direct customers (like a brewery, perhaps) then you may want to make an announcement.

Everyone else, though, should stay away. I’ve seen ecommerce shops try to announce a move before. What’s the point? Nobody cares because they’ve never gone there and they never will. Editors will just roll their eyes and put another local robbery or inspiring high school age resident doing good story in its place. Again, if it doesn’t directly affect the readers, they will just pass it over.

Attacks 

It’s fun to take digs at our rivals – almost cathartic. However, when it comes to your press releases, this is not something you want to get involved with. Not only does it come off as petty, you could end up sparking an increasingly negative series of press releases that will end up hurting your brand in the long run.

Besides, press releases have a fairly strict form. Get all the relevant info you can in there, spice it up a bit, and send it out. Throwing in digs about your competitors doesn’t really go in there. If the editor even allows the press release to go into the paper that section could be edited out anyway.

Besides, everyone knows taking digs at your competition is perfect fodder for a white paper!

Prove us wrong. Have you ever made one of these press release topics work for you?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/beginnersguide.html

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Press Releases During PR Disasters http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/press-releases-pr-disasters/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/press-releases-pr-disasters/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:30:10 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10357 You sit down to write your next press release for your company. Just as you start writing your first sentence, you see on the news that your CEO has said something ridiculous and gotten into a ton of trouble over it. The news is reporting it on a constant loop. You realize your press release […]

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You sit down to write your next press release for your company. Just as you start writing your first sentence, you see on the news that your CEO has said something ridiculous and gotten into a ton of trouble over it. The news is reporting it on a constant loop. You realize your press release job just got that much tougher. 

key with recovery text on laptop keyboard buttonSo how are you supposed to proceed? You can’t just power forward and keep writing the press release about your new product now. It would just be seen as garish and unfeeling. You have to make amends with the public about the CEO’s remarks.

It’s All About Recovery 

Nothing matters right now except what happened with your CEO. If you tried to send out a press release about your new product, not only will it get ignored, it might be taken in the wrong way by the public. You have to concentrate on recovering from the wound your CEO exposed first and foremost.

Of course the apology is the #1 thing to get out there. But there’s more – you can’t just apologize for the CEO’s remarks and assume everyone will be fine. Sure, some will be ok with it, but the rest want more. That’s why you have to say what you plan on doing going forward.

This is why you can’t push forward with the press release you planned on writing before. The public doesn’t care about your new product, they care what the company will do to amend what happened with your CEO. Set things right before you even consider anything else.

How Long to Wait? 

You still need to announce to the public that you’re releasing a new product. Your company still needs to move forward even in the face of what happened. But how long do you have to wait before revising that original press release? Is there a good time to move on and assume customers will be ok?

Naturally a lot of that is feeling out your audience. One way is to monitor your social media channels to see how often people respond with negative comments. If you post an innocuous comment hoping everyone has a good day and you get death threats, it may be time to wait. Eventually these will die down and you’ll get more positive comments than bad ones.

Are you in a time crunch? Some press releases can’t wait as they’re time sensitive – maybe there’s no stopping that product release. In this case, you have to pull double duty. One tactic here is to incorporate both messages into one.

Try working the “moving forward” message into the release by offering a deal or coupon for the new product. If the PR disaster is bad enough, you may want to instead donate a portion of sales of the new product to a charity. For example, if the CEO said something outrageous about children, a donation to a local children’s charity might help offset the awful remark.

What’s the most difficult press release you’ve had to write?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 8 Shocking Secrets Press Release Distribution Firms Don’t Want You to Know here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/8shockingsecrets.html

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Why PR Works So Well Online http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/pr-works-well-online/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/pr-works-well-online/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 10:30:37 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10345 The field of public relations existed well before the World Wide Web came into being, and was even around before the Internet appeared. However, it’s pretty safe to say that the online world has taken what the masters of PR did in previous decades and expanded it into regions before unknown. Now even the tiniest […]

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The field of public relations existed well before the World Wide Web came into being, and was even around before the Internet appeared. However, it’s pretty safe to say that the online world has taken what the masters of PR did in previous decades and expanded it into regions before unknown. Now even the tiniest mom & pop store can reach a worldwide audience for cheap or free. 

Businessman typing on keyboardWhy is this, though? At a base level, why does online PR work so well? Understanding this phenomenon can help you better focus your public relations efforts online and beyond. Here are some reasons why online works so well.

Everybody Loves Something

The potential for your audience is huge, as pointed out above. You can sit in your living room in Indiana and sell items to someone in Italy or South Africa. More than that, though, is the ability to find people who like exactly what you’re selling.

For example, you could sell obscure pinball figurines from the 1960s. Not only will you find customers who love those figurines, you will find them from every corner of the Earth. You also have the chance to do the same with pinball fans or even people who love 1960s nostalgia.

Everybody on the web loves something. And somebody is likely selling that “something” in some capacity. Those fans also are willing to go and talk about with other people online.

Instant Communication 

Speaking of which, the fact people love to talk and tell others about the stuff they like is another reason why PR is so strong. You can sell an item to someone in Iceland and when they post on their “Pinball Fans” blog about it you could get orders from all over the planet. Just from them talking about how cool the item is!

You can also take advantage of this fact by including “Facebook this!” and “Tweet this!” type buttons on your checkout page. This way as soon as the customer buys something they can tell their friends and family about it. Simply offering this choice gives your PR efforts a chance to succeed in ways the first hard-working PR pros could never imagine.

Translates to Offline

Strangely enough, online PR can easily help your offline PR campaigns. No matter where you live or operate your business, the people around you are also online. They’re probably even on websites or Facebook groups talking about the local community. If you visit them and talk to them, they’ll be more likely to come visit you when you hold an offline event.

Working in tandem, offline and online PR can mean give you a much bigger audience, even if your campaign is mainly focused on the local area. Those same locals who respond to your offline PR efforts could easily go online and tell their friends and family around the world about the great company in their community. Gathering them together on a Facebook page or message forum keeps everyone together and your business on their minds.

What are some other reasons why you think PR is so effective online?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/beginnersguide.html

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Modern Press Release Problems Only Found in the Digital Age http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/modern-press-release-problems-found-digital-age/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/modern-press-release-problems-found-digital-age/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 10:30:48 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10330  Press releases have always been a tough sell. Several rounds of “gatekeepers” will read your press release and any one of them has the chance to stuff your release in the circular file. If it’s not practically perfect you have a slim chance of getting the attention you think you deserve.  The more things chance […]

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 Press releases have always been a tough sell. Several rounds of “gatekeepers” will read your press release and any one of them has the chance to stuff your release in the circular file. If it’s not practically perfect you have a slim chance of getting the attention you think you deserve. 

businessman hand holding magnifier over tablet pcThe more things chance the more they stay the same. The online world has offered a ton more opportunities for every PR pro out there – but at the same time, you’re forced to comply with the same old perfection rules. If it’s not amazing, nobody cares, even if you self-publish the press release.

Modern, digital age PR pros face a few problems that our counterparts in the golden age of print never had to deal with, however:

Bigger Expectations

The simple fact that your press release is online means that anyone viewing it will expect your piece to be “bigger” than ones found offline. If there isn’t something unique about it, there’s a chance people won’t care.

For example, you can have an amazing piece of writing telling the world about your new video game. It would get printed in the local newspaper in no time flat. But online, people want something else. They want links to other materials like videos, websites, blogs, or some other material. They want graphics and a video trailer showing what your video game is all about.

Online users are savvy enough to know that press releases are much bigger and more interactive on the web. If they don’t get it, they’ll move on. A recent example is the new Mortal Kombat fighting game announcement. The video trailer included with the launch announcement had gamers talking for days.

Selling Versus Talking 

Go poke around some of your favorite websites. Even if you have an ad blocker on, how many products are thrown in your face? Whether it’s a blog post talking about a new release, or a pop-up ad that your ad blocker doesn’t catch, or even Facebook posts that are designed to trick you into thinking they’re legitimately from friends and family, ads are everywhere.

Your customers are the same way. They get “pitched” to all the time, no matter where they go on the web. If you’re just another company trying to get their money, they’re not going to pay attention to you.

This is why making your online presence a friendly, open one is so important. Knowing the humans behind the company are interested in their opinions and thoughts is much better than seeing yet another ad from yet another company.

Your press releases go a long way towards building this presence. If they’re less “go buy this thing” and more “we think this is cool and we think you will too,” that inspires conversation they can continue on social media and other PR efforts like your blog.

What other problems have you faced as an online press release writer?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/prchecklist.html

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Why Being a Guest on a Podcast is a Huge Deal http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/guest-podcast-huge-deal/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/guest-podcast-huge-deal/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 10:30:24 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10321 Do you listen to podcasts on the way to the office, on the train, while exercising, or any other place? It’s quickly became the thing to do when you have time to do something repetitive but don’t have hands available, and the podcast marketplace has exploded. Some podcasts, like Nerdist and the Adam Carolla Show […]

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Do you listen to podcasts on the way to the office, on the train, while exercising, or any other place? It’s quickly became the thing to do when you have time to do something repetitive but don’t have hands available, and the podcast marketplace has exploded. Some podcasts, like Nerdist and the Adam Carolla Show network, have even become empires. 

mic_on_the_airOf course not every podcast is that huge, so you might think the market size is very small. This may have put you off attempting to become a guest on some of your favorite podcasts or even some local ones. But getting to be a guest on any podcast is a huge deal, and you should take every opportunity seriously.

YOU Listen to It 

Before you discount any of the podcasts you listen to for having a small audience, think of this small fact: YOU enjoy it. Every time a new episode pops on iTunes or whatever you download it immediately and can’t wait to listen to it on the way to work. So why don’t you think others are doing the same thing?

I remember when I first started listening to this one parenting podcast. I thought it was niche enough that the audience would be severely limited. But it was funny, I related to their stories, and that was enough for me. It didn’t matter if there were hardly any other listeners.

As you may have guessed, it turns out tons of people loved it. I remember being a little jealous when the guests started to pile up – I wanted to be on there, too! You just never know what audiences will respond to, and that includes podcasts.

Every Person Counts 

Discounting a local podcast or niche podcast becomes the audience might be “too small” is how small-minded businesses think. They apply this to other aspects of their business – is this customer too “small” to help with their problem? Should I worry about building up a Twitter profile because I believe the audience there would be too small?

Every person counts with your business, especially if you’re starting out. You want to reach everyone you can who might be interested in your business. If that includes going on a local podcast that has maybe 50 listeners…that’s 50 people who might check you out and buy something from you. Those 50 could also tell 5 of their friends, who tell their friends, and so on.

Straight Deal 

It’s not often you get the real deal straight from the horse’s mouth. You can write blog posts all day and post on Facebook, but there’s just something special about hearing someone talk about something they are passionate about.

Your fans want to hear from you. Going on a podcast as a guest is a great way for them to get that experience. It’s also even better than a regular video or message since it’s a real conversation (if the host is good anyway). This allows the talk to go in areas you might not expect.

This type of openness can further endear your fans to you and your business. They get a real sense of what you’re about and what you and your company represents. As long as you make that a positive thing your work on the podcast is accomplished.

If you could visit any podcast, which one would you be a guest on?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download How to Get Your Company Covered on Top Blogs here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/blogs.html

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Sprucing Up Your Google Plus Profile http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/sprucing-google-plus-profile/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/sprucing-google-plus-profile/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:30:40 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10312 Still using Google Plus? While the social media service didn’t take off like Google thought it would, there is still a strong following clinging to it in hopes it stands the test of time. Many companies have also adopted the site as a great way to connect with their customers and fans. If you’re one […]

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Still using Google Plus? While the social media service didn’t take off like Google thought it would, there is still a strong following clinging to it in hopes it stands the test of time. Many companies have also adopted the site as a great way to connect with their customers and fans.

Businessman using social networkingIf you’re one of these companies, you may want to consider sprucing the place up a bit. It is spring after all, and your Google Plus profile can get a little dusty quickly if you’re not too careful. For businesses this can mean you’ll be “uncircled” in a hurry, so try these ideas on for size.

New Banner Picture

If you want to give a physical room a brand new look in a hurry, a paint job is sure to do the trick. Trying out a brand new color can open things up in a whole new way or give the whole place a new feeling entirely. As soon as it’s done you feel like you’re in a brand new place.

The same could be said for your banner picture on your G+ profile. Starting over from scratch can breathe all new life into your entire page, especially since it’s the first thing your customers and fans see.

Try to imagine your company in a whole new light and approach it from that perspective. For instance, you may have made your initial banner before your company moved into a new direction. Instead of the staunch, business minded company you were before, now you’re more open and fun. The color scheme and design should reflect this so visitors know what to expect.

Tagline 

When people visit your G+ page (or any other social media site), what are they going to remember? Will they recall the amazing link you shared, the witty banter back and forth? Perhaps, but those are all up in the air. A surer bet would be to spend some quality time coming up with a solid tagline.

This could tie in with your banner image, in fact. You can either create the image around the new slogan or vice versa. One example would be to incorporate the word “fresh” into your new banner image full of green, healthy vegetables if you’re a grocer.

Figure Out a Strong Theme 

Honestly, more than Facebook or any other social media site “theme” is strong on G+. If you don’t have an idea of what to post and just fly by the seat of your pants, your profile is going to fill up and look a little silly quickly. Many companies make this mistake and you can look through some debacles right this minute.

Do you want to share information? Talk to people? What about? What’s the main message you want to get across? Some of this can get lost in translation if you just post stuff left and right with no theme. It doesn’t necessarily have to be all links or conversation starter – but if you’re a hair salon that posts about make-up and fashion on top of hair tips, are your fans really getting the idea across what you’re about? Take some time to look over your G+ profile as a whole and make sure your fans are getting the message you intend for them.

How many times a week do you update your G+ profile?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 8 Shocking Secrets Press Release Distribution Firms Don’t Want You to Know here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/8shockingsecrets.html

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Should You Try to Incorporate National News to Your Social Media Posts? http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/try-incorporate-national-news-social-media-posts/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/try-incorporate-national-news-social-media-posts/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:30:49 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10300 Your clothing store has been looking for a way to get back into the public’s eye, and an opportunity seems to drop into your lap one day. One of the big trends on Twitter that day is posting about clothes and “simple fashion.” The trend was inspired by a piece on the news that day […]

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Your clothing store has been looking for a way to get back into the public’s eye, and an opportunity seems to drop into your lap one day. One of the big trends on Twitter that day is posting about clothes and “simple fashion.” The trend was inspired by a piece on the news that day about how the unemployed are striving to find decent clothes for job interviews. 

local search targetingSo you sit at your computer attempting to craft some tweets to go along with it – but something stops you every time you go to hit “Tweet.” Is this a good idea? Should you even try and incorporate this piece into your social media, or could it backfire?

There are two sides to the coin, and it’s worth taking a closer look.

It Could Go Very Wrong 

Strangely enough, the scenario above isn’t entirely far-fetched. When the Aurora shooting happened in 2012, an online clothing store named Celeb Boutique tweeted out “#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress ;) .” Naturally they received a giant backlash and were forced to quickly apologize.

But that was a social media manager who clearly was not interested in checking out what the origin of the hashtag was. What if you’re careful to do all the homework first? While your chances do go down if you’re more careful, the opportunity is still there to accidentally upset someone.

For example, in the example up top, people could see your PR efforts off a story on the homeless population as a little crass. Even if your intentions are ok and you’re actively contributing to the conversation it might come off as a cheap ploy.

Honestly, if the subject material is controversial or sensitive, it may just be a good idea to stay away. Guaranteed there will be some people who will see any efforts on your part as a cheap grab for attention.

Risking It 

If you do decide to go for it or the story is innocent enough that you feel like it’s ok to jump in with both feet, it’s still best to keep an eye on the “pulse” of the story. Sometimes stories take a turn for the worse and you don’t want to risk getting caught with your pants down…or your tweets scheduled.

For instance, you could read a story about adorable puppies helping out elderly residents in a nursing home. It gains nationwide attention somehow and your adorable line of puppy-themed clothes could do well on social media. So you go about scheduling posts well down the line.

Unfortunately, that story makes a turn for the worst as the puppies were getting the elderly residents sick. You didn’t keep up with the story, so you don’t know that your scheduled post “Our puppy themed clothes will make you feel great, just like the #nursinghomepuppy fans!” is incredibly ill-timed.

In short, be careful, even if you’re convinced it’s a sure thing you won’t cheese anyone off. Monitor the situation as much as possible so that if things change you can adjust accordingly.

Have you tried to incorporate national news into your social media posts in the past?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab three free ebooks, including the Big Press Release Book and Twitter Tactics, here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/freebooks.html

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Is Forcing Your Campaign to Act a Certain Way Harmful? http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/forcing-campaign-act-certain-way-harmful/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/forcing-campaign-act-certain-way-harmful/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 10:30:44 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10288 You’ve got big plans for your PR campaign. You know exactly where it’s going to go, at what times, and how fast it should grow. You even know what kind of people you want to pay attention to your campaign and why they’ll tell all their friends and family about your company because of it.  […]

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You’ve got big plans for your PR campaign. You know exactly where it’s going to go, at what times, and how fast it should grow. You even know what kind of people you want to pay attention to your campaign and why they’ll tell all their friends and family about your company because of it. 

dir2Very quickly, though, you find out that all of your planning was for naught. Your campaign has taken a totally different turn than what you expected and you’re not too happy about it. Right now you have two choices: let it ride or force it to go the way you want.

Which is better? Could actively grabbing the campaign by the ear and dragging it a different way hurt you in the long run? Let’s take a look.

Stay the Path Vs. Redirection 

Let’s say you’re the owner of a puppy-themed calendar maker. You’ve got some great ideas on how to reach a wide variety of people, including a radical plan to turn the Internet’s love into cat/kitten themed memes into a more puppy-focused love. It’s crazy, but it might just work.

Except, interestingly enough, the campaign makes customers flock to your company and demand kitten calendars. They love your puppy calendar idea and buy them up, but the overwhelming message you get back is “go kitten and succeed.” It’s not exactly the message you were looking for, nor was it the direction you wanted to go in.

So now you can decide whether to stay with the puppies or listen to your fanbase and try out the cat angle. Staying the course means not getting that precious cat-lover money. Redirecting your campaign to include the cats means potentially alienating the hardcore dog lovers who hate cats.

Redirecting could offer you brand new potential. For instance after working with the cats you could discover expanding to a “cute animals line” would work, including sloths, turtles, and baby elephants.

Harmful? 

As mentioned, straying from your original plan could alienate some of your core fanbase. If you set out to make the best puppy calendars on the planet but suddenly switch to cats, sloths, and other animals, your original fans may take issue. They could feel you’ve “sold out” to bring in more customers.

Also, thinking long-term for the health of your business is important. Sure, going with the cat idea seems like a good idea now, but how fickle is the fanbase? Is it actually worth giving up your core campaign idea to pull in some quick cash? If you and your employees won’t be happy with a new direction, there’s no point in doing it. It will kill your business as nobody will be satisfied with their work.

But of course that’s for you to figure out. Every business has that moment where they have to make a big decision if the direction they’ve chosen is the correct one. While a lot of it comes down to numbers and bottom line, a good portion has to be attributed to your gut. If it doesn’t feel right to you, there’s likely a reason.

Have you ever had a campaign suddenly take on a whole new direction?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/7cheaptactics.html

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How to React When Good Intentions Backfire Online http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/react-good-intentions-backfire-online/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/react-good-intentions-backfire-online/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 10:30:33 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10279 You never set out to intentionally offend or irritate someone. Well, that’s assuming a lot, but I’m going to pretend you’re not out to actively derail your own business. Anyway, it’s typically a surprise when something you thought was totally innocuous turns out to be a newsworthy chance for you to rethink your entire life […]

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You never set out to intentionally offend or irritate someone. Well, that’s assuming a lot, but I’m going to pretend you’re not out to actively derail your own business. Anyway, it’s typically a surprise when something you thought was totally innocuous turns out to be a newsworthy chance for you to rethink your entire life up to that point. 

boom01What’s worse than making a “mistake” online is that up until the big backlash happened you thought you were doing the right thing. What’s important now, though, is to react in an appropriate manner. It could make the difference between failing miserably and recovering in a timely fashion.

Assess the Situation 

One of the most important things you can do at this moment is to figure out exactly what happened. The web is filled with stories of businesses that suffered some sort of public outcry and then made matters worse by handling it in the worst possible way.  This often entails assuming the worst and lashing back at the people who just want an explanation for their actions.

So it’s vital to figure out what went wrong. It sounds simple now, but during a crisis your instincts are to do whatever it takes to right the ship. Try to take a second and assess the situation so you’re not simply misunderstanding what’s going on.

For example, you may have thought your last Facebook link was fine. However, you suddenly get a lot of angry messages saying they can’t believe you posted that. It was just a harmless post about something in your industry! What’s the big deal?

Instead of lashing out, though, take a second to figure out the problem. It turns out the link had some inappropriate ads you didn’t see because you have an ad blocker activated. You had no idea, but now you know and can react accordingly. If you had reacted without assessing the situation, you could’ve said something that would have exacerbated the situation.

Always Apologize 

I don’t care who was in the wrong or right, or if you think saying sorry admits guilt for something you didn’t do, or whatever your excuse is. If your company is in the center of controversy, it’s time to apologize, and quickly.

It’s not about accepting guilt, although some customers want you to do that to help them move on. What’s important is the acknowledgement that something is going on and you’re working to correct it.

That’s what most of your outraged customers are looking for. They’re angry and want you to know – and they want to hear straight from you that you’re going to handle it. This simple acknowledgement can go a long way in defusing many situations. If you try to just power through the situation without taking a minute to say “we’re really sorry and working to resolve it,” you could just make things worse. And worse.

Now you can get to actually fixing the problem – like deleting that link and making sure you look at websites “raw” in the future so you don’t make the mistake again!

What seemingly innocuous action got you into hot water with your customers?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download Five (5) Free PR and Press Release eBooks ($67 Value) here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/bundle.html

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