PR Fuel - Public Relations News & PR Tips http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel PR Fuel: PR News, Views, & Stews Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:30:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.1 Communication A Key Ingredient to a Healthy PR Pro – Client Relationship http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/communication-key-ingredient-healthy-pr-pro-client-relationship/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/communication-key-ingredient-healthy-pr-pro-client-relationship/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 10:30:46 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10618 Communication…it’s paramount to any working relationship. Whether we’re talking about a husband and wife, or employee and employer, if there isn’t good communication you can count on there being a breakdown. And when it comes to a PR professional and their client, well, it’s no different. The truth is that a client can find the […]

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Communication…it’s paramount to any working relationship. Whether we’re talking about a husband and wife, or employee and employer, if there isn’t good communication you can count on there being a breakdown. And when it comes to a PR professional and their client, well, it’s no different.

SpeakThe truth is that a client can find the best PR pro available, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the relationship will prove successful. That being said, here are a few tips to make sure the communication lines are open and the relationship is mutually beneficial.

A PR Pro Needs Immediate Access to the Product or Service

First and foremost, a PR pro needs to become intimately familiar with the product or service his client sells. That means, as a client, you need to make sure you hold nothing back. Open the doors, so to speak, and let them see what you have to offer. You also need to be open to any critiquing that may follow.

On the other hand, the PR pro must make sure to thoroughly experience the product, and provide any feedback they deem necessary. Be honest—you can’t be afraid to hurt feelings. Although, if you have something negative to say, make sure you do it in as gentle a way as possible.

Frequent Status Updates Are a Necessity

For communication to truly be open, it’s going to take a plan. Random phone calls here and there are not going to cut it, as one party is sure to not make contact as often as the other would like. With that in mind, make sure you schedule:

  • Weekly phone calls—Email is not enough. Sometimes there won’t be anything to talk about, but it’s important to touch base verbally to keep the lines open. It also gives you a chance to get to know one another. Weekly sound like too much? Consider every other week, at the very least.
  • Email updates—While communication should not be restricted to email, regular documentation is important. PR pros should provide monthly reports/updates to clients in their inbox. On the other hand, clients need to make sure to read them in full. This is the best way for the client to understand what direction their PR pro is taking. It also lets them see that their money is being put to good use.

Clients, Make Sure You Hand Over the Info Needed

If you want your PR professional to do the best job possible, you need to make sure you are providing what they need. This could include:

  • Access—As mentioned earlier, you need to be an open book to them.
  • Content—This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re writing the content, but at least provide bullet points for ideas as you think of them.
  • Feedback—Think they are doing a good job? Know what they could do better? They won’t know unless you tell them.

Remember, communication is a two-way street. Whether you are the PR pro trying to get media exposure for your client, or the client hoping their PR pro can get them in the limelight…either way you have to make sure you are doing what you can to make the other party successful. And you can’t do that without frequent, open communication.

What other tips do you have for the PR professional – client relationship? Please share with us in the comments section!

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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What Your PR Team and Sales Team Should Be Doing for Each Other http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/pr-team-sales-team/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/pr-team-sales-team/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 10:30:12 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10606 Many companies fail to take advantage of internal relationships that could help build their brand and further sales. Case in point—the PR team and the sales team. In many cases, they act like two separate families living in the same town. Maybe they see each other from time to time in passing, but they aren’t […]

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Many companies fail to take advantage of internal relationships that could help build their brand and further sales. Case in point—the PR team and the sales team. In many cases, they act like two separate families living in the same town. Maybe they see each other from time to time in passing, but they aren’t related in any way.

HandshakeHowever, these departments instead should be behaving as family members living under the same roof, because there are certain benefits to working together. By forging a relationship between these two very different departments, you can forward company goals, better your brand, and increase sales.

So let’s take a look at what each team’s duty should be in respect to the other.

Your PR Team’s Duty to Your Sales Team

The truth is that much of the relationship between the PR team and the sales team is the PR team’s responsibility. The sales team has a primary focus—to sell the product and to sell it well. They are busy trying to achieve their sales targets and don’t have time to wonder what’s going on with the PR team.

That being said, the primary responsibility of the PR team is communication. That means:

  • The PR team should be setting up monthly meetings with the sales team. This is the cornerstone of keeping lines of communication open.
  • Ask the right questions. Don’t assume the sales team knows what you need. It’s your job to request the right info which you can then use to the company’s advantage.
  • Discuss the trends with them. Give them the data they need to be successful.
  • Provide them with materials and thought leadership pieces. Help them know what current best thinking and best practices might be.
  • Get good data in their hands. Remember, they often have a one track mind, as they should. Any info outside of their narrow scope that you can provide—do it.

What Your Sales Team Should Be Doing for Your PR Team

When reading the duties of the PR team, it seems as if the ball is solely in their court. And while I have purposely made it sound that way, that does not mean that the sales team has no responsibility to the PR team, because they do. In short, the sales team’s primary responsibility is to be forthright with information. This should include:

  • Customers wants and needs
  • Why customers have chosen the company instead of a competitor
  • Customer success stories

You see, the PR team can ask all the right questions, they can provide all the right tools, but if the sales team doesn’t see the value in partnering with the PR team, then the interaction will prove fruitless. On the other hand, should the sales team handle interactions with a certain zeal…well, good things will come of the partnership.

 

Does your PR team work with your sales team? Tell us about the interaction (or the lack thereof) in the replies section!

 

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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Know Your Message before Talking to the Media http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/know-message-talking-media/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/know-message-talking-media/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 10:30:31 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10594 Your PR team works hard to earn media opportunities for your brand. When those precious opportunities do present themselves, it’s imperative that you’re ready to capitalize on them. You have to be ready to talk to the media and to get your message across as clearly and effectively as possible. When you talk to a […]

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Your PR team works hard to earn media opportunities for your brand. When those precious opportunities do present themselves, it’s imperative that you’re ready to capitalize on them. You have to be ready to talk to the media and to get your message across as clearly and effectively as possible. When you talk to a reporter, every word counts, and every word that comes out of your mouth is the difference between success and a PR blunder. That’s why it’s so important that you take the time to truly define and commit your message to memory before ever talking to the media.

business meeting conference journalism microphonesThe old adage, “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail,” is 100% true when it comes to media interviews. Just because you’re a good talker doesn’t mean you can go into an interview without preparing. If you’re just spouting responses off the top of your head, your messages will probably be all over the place, making it hard for a reporter to truly grasp the point you’re trying to get across. Or even worse, you could say something dumb that will negatively affect your brand.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: Before every interview, come up with a list of the three main messages you want to get across. Boil each message down to its simplest form. Memorize those three key messages until they become second nature to you.

Once you’ve identified those three key messages, it’s your job during the interview to make sure your responses point back to those messages. Your answers need to support these messages and narrative. Try to deliver short, memorable sound bites that a reporter can easily pull and quote for the story. When possible, use facts and hard numbers to support your message as this will add credibility to your words and make them more compelling.

Simply put, it all comes down to preparedness when doing press interviews. The more prepared you are, the better your chances of a successful outcome.

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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Hiring a PR Firm Doesn’t Free You from PR Duties http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/hiring-pr-firm-doesnt-free-pr-duties/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/hiring-pr-firm-doesnt-free-pr-duties/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:30:43 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10582 One of the greatest misconceptions business owners have about hiring a PR firm is that it means they’ll no longer have to spend time on PR. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Make no mistake – hiring a PR firm does NOT free you from PR duties. In fact, it’s quite possible that you […]

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One of the greatest misconceptions business owners have about hiring a PR firm is that it means they’ll no longer have to spend time on PR. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Make no mistake – hiring a PR firm does NOT free you from PR duties. In fact, it’s quite possible that you could be spending more time than ever on PR related activities.

Latex Glove For Cleaning on hand.I know what you’re thinking – “Why would I have to spend more time on PR if I’m paying an agency to handle my PR work?”

It’s simple, really. If a PR agency is doing its job properly, you’ll be spending more time talking to the media and otherwise speaking on behalf of your company. It might be an interview on your local TV news, an email exchange with a blogger covering your company, or interaction on social media. The point is you should expect to spend a decent percentage of your time representing your company to the public.

You’ll also be spending time working with your PR agency to develop your overall goals and your strategy for achieving these goals. And you’ll need to take part in weekly phone calls and frequent email updates on your PR campaigns so you can see how things are going, provide feedback/direction, and enable your PR team to better do their job.

What will the PR agency be doing for you? Your PR firm will be responsible for finding and analyzing new PR opportunities that are relevant to your overall goals. They’ll be finding ways to get your message out to your target audience.

So if you’re planning on hiring a PR agency because you think it’s going to let you spend less time on PR, you need to seriously adjust your expectations and reassess your priorities. Hiring a PR firm won’t free you from PR duties. It will only open the door to more PR opportunities.

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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Establish Your Brand’s Identity Before Wasting Your Time with PR http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/establish-brands-identity-wasting-time-pr/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/establish-brands-identity-wasting-time-pr/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 10:30:46 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10570 I’ve had people ask me more than once if PR was really a just a big waste of time. They’re often shocked when my immediate response is not simply an outraged “of course not!” Because the truth is, for some people, at certain times PR can be a waste of their time (and money). These […]

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I’ve had people ask me more than once if PR was really a just a big waste of time. They’re often shocked when my immediate response is not simply an outraged “of course not!” Because the truth is, for some people, at certain times PR can be a waste of their time (and money). These are people who, as my mom used to say, don’t have their ducks in a row.

who are you questionAs the title of this post says, PR will be a waste of your time if you have not yet established an identity for your brand. How can you push something to the public when you aren’t even sure what that something is? The dangers are obvious—you risk sending a mixed message which could do permanent, irreversible damage to your company.

Of course, figuring out exactly who you are isn’t always easy. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you try to find your brand’s identity:

1. Figure out what makes you different. Very rarely does a business pop up that is the only one in its niche. That said, there is likely at least one competitor out there. And much of your brand’s identity is lies in whatever makes you different from them. Is it your commitment to lower prices? Highest quality products? Better customer service? Figure out what it is and latch on.

2. What is your company culture like? Your company’s culture comprises two things: the values of your group and the practices of your organization. Figuring out exactly what your culture is forces you to take a hard look at both you and your employees. Begin by looking at company practices. What do you do? Your actions will then give you a window in what you value.

Don’t like what you see? It’s never too late to change your practices. But you need to be honest with yourself and make sure the practices line up with what you say you value.  For example, don’t try to kid yourself and say you value family if you bicker with your employees about sick days and guilt them into not taking them. The practice says the opposite of what you claim your values to be in this scenario.

3. Ask your employees to contribute. Like I said earlier, it’s not always easy to figure out who you are. You have a narrow view of who you are and quite frankly the average person isn’t self-aware. Knowing that, it’s important to get other viewpoints. Ask people in different departments what they think. You might be surprised to hear the different answers. You might consider asking your existing customer base as well.

Be careful not to discount any answers. Instead, record and sort all of them in Excel. Look for trends to get a real idea of what you’re all about.

Remember, launching a PR campaign before you know who you are can result in wasted time, loss of investment, and damage to your brand. Decide who you are first, then invest in PR.

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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Does Your Press Release Contain Hard Facts? http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/press-release-contain-hard-facts/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/press-release-contain-hard-facts/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 10:30:34 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10558 Writing a press release seems easy enough. You have a news item you want to get across to the media, so you give a quick summary and send it off. That’s how it goes, right? Well, sort of. I’d argue that press release writing is simultaneously one of the easiest and one of the hardest […]

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Writing a press release seems easy enough. You have a news item you want to get across to the media, so you give a quick summary and send it off. That’s how it goes, right? Well, sort of.

I’d argue that press release writing is simultaneously one of the easiest and one of the hardest types of writing. Here’s what I mean:

  • Get the facts keyboard key fingerThe easy—They’re concise. No time for fluff. You get right to the point. Get in and get out. No need to be a BS master or craft brilliant metaphors here.
  • The difficult—No BS. Yes, I realize that’s also what makes them easy to write. But you have to make sure you write them in a no nonsense way that follows all the rules, or else no reporter will give it the time of day.

A common thread you’ll see is the No BS talk. Why? Well, normal readers often have time for a bit of it. They will listen to your little lead up stories and your opinions and your analogies. However, reporters have no time or patience for it. They want to see:

  • That there’s  something they can craft into a legit story
  • The outline for the story
  • The hard facts

And they want to see all of that without having to search for it. If they have to search…well, they won’t.

Sticking to the Facts

By sticking to the facts as you write, you’ll accomplish all the other things I talk about. There’s no room for BS when you are only providing hard data. And your press release certainly won’t drag on if that’s what you’re offering.

While this makes the press release shorter, it doesn’t always make it easier to write. Why? Because you have to work hard to dig up the right facts to support your story.

For example, say you are making a claim about increased sales for the quarter, hoping to attract new investors. Well, simply claiming it and gushing over yourself won’t turn heads. But if you provide sales figures from previous periods coupled with this quarter, well then you have solid proof—and suddenly your claim is more compelling than ever.

Remember, Opinions Are Like…

This isn’t your blog. Reporters don’t want to read how awesome you think your sales quarter was. Or how great your new product is. Those are all personal biased opinions. Of course you think your new product is great. You’re trying to sell it. Instead, maybe give hard facts on what the product can do that others can’t. Or perhaps give quantitative data from a study you did that shows how this product is going to change a particular industry. See the difference?

Don’t Forget the Quotes

When you can provide quotes, do so. Here you can be a little bit more lenient with the opinions, as they are more personal. However, still be careful that the quotes continue with the overall story. Don’t just add a flowery quote for the sake of doing so.

For the Love of God, Don’t Forget to Fact Check

Of course, adding facts can also turn around and bite you in the rear…should those facts turn out to be wrong. That being said, please don’t forget to fact check. Nothing will make you look like more of an ass than for a reporter to call you out on bogus claims. Or worse yet—for the story to run only for there to be an online backlash about your bogus claims. Talk about damage to your brand!

Are you packing your press release with hard facts? Share any tips you may have!

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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Why You Should Be Using Long-tail Keywords in Your Press Releases http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/using-long-tail-keywords-press-releases/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/using-long-tail-keywords-press-releases/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 10:30:14 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10537 It’s true, if you’re using press releases simply for search engine optimization, you’re “in them” for all the wrong reasons. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t want to use best SEO standard practices when composing them. And in this day and age, that means using long-tail keywords. Why? Here’s a quick discussion to answer exactly […]

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It’s true, if you’re using press releases simply for search engine optimization, you’re “in them” for all the wrong reasons. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t want to use best SEO standard practices when composing them. And in this day and age, that means using long-tail keywords. Why? Here’s a quick discussion to answer exactly that.

Keyword_buttonLong-tail Keywords Are Easier to Rank For

Long-tail keywords are way more specific than the usual keywords. For example, rather than using the keyword “bike store” in a release for a new mom and pop that opened in town, a long-tail version might be something like “affordable bike shop in (location)” or “bike shop that sells (type of bike).”

As you can imagine, the keyword “bike store” probably has huge competition. Why? A lot of people search for such a general term, and such an all-encompassing term has a lot of businesses fighting over it.

However, longer, more specific keywords are not as highly sought after because there is less search traffic for them. Less competition means you’ll rank for those terms much quicker and with less effort. But is it really beneficial to rank high for search terms with less traffic? Well…

Long-tail Traffic is More Targeted Traffic

Sure, fewer people are searching for these long-tail terms, but you’ve got to look at the flipside of the coin. The long-tail searches usually generate better matches. In other words, if you rank high for “bike shop,” but most of your business is done locally, that’s not going to help you out very much.

However, if someone is searching for a specific long-tail phrase and are brought to you, well, they’re more likely to use whatever it is you’re offering. So basically, you’re cutting out all the useless traffic and concentrating on traffic that can generate you real business. Isn’t that what we want, anyway?


If You Use Long-tail Keywords in Your Press Releases, Those Who Cover Your News Will Too

Now, I realize that you aren’t necessarily trying to get your press releases to rank high. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be inserting these long-tail terms into your releases. One great reason for this is to guide the people who will be using your press release. The bloggers, reporters, etc.

See, it’s only natural that they will look to your press release for the proper terminology to use when writing about your news. That means that many of your long-tail keywords will end up in their articles. This in turn will help people find those articles written about you, which will inevitably lead to traffic coming your way. So the means justify the end, so to speak.

 

Remember, It’s Not the Same As Keyword Stuffing

Nothing reads crappier than a keyword stuffed release. Talk about spam. But luckily, long-tail keywords flow nicely. In fact, half the time you don’t even have to think about them when writing. If you’re writing naturally about your product or event, the long-tail keywords typically write themselves. Just make sure you don’t overdo them!

Do you include long-tail keywords in your press releases? Tell us about it in the replies!

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 Scheduling Your Social Media Updates is Risky http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/scheduling-social-media-updates-risky/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/scheduling-social-media-updates-risky/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 10:30:43 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10528 According to Gleanster, 84% of top companies are either automating their social media efforts or are considering doing so in the near future. With numbers like that, it’s hard to imagine why you wouldn’t want to start scheduling out your tweets, Facebook updates, etc. However, the truth is that doing so can prove a bit […]

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According to Gleanster, 84% of top companies are either automating their social media efforts or are considering doing so in the near future. With numbers like that, it’s hard to imagine why you wouldn’t want to start scheduling out your tweets, Facebook updates, etc. However, the truth is that doing so can prove a bit risky.

Winner signToday, I’m going to examine what you stand to lose by automating your social media. Keep in mind, I’m not saying you shouldn’t. But before you go all out, it’s crucial that you understand exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

What Could Go Wrong?

While there are some pretty strong reasons to start scheduling things out, there are some potential bumps in the road. Here are the main ones off the top of my head:

1. You may miss out on more pertinent, timely information. The beauty of sites like Twitter is that you can gain and share news faster than ever. Of course, that can be a negative as well. If you aren’t on top of things, fresh news becomes old news and gets buried in your followers’ fast moving timelines.

That means you have to be on the ball, ready to share new info at a moment’s notice. The problem is, if you’re scheduling out your tweets at the beginning of the week, you’re going to miss out on all those things that are happening throughout the week.

Was there an industry redefining moment on Thursday? Well, you won’t be talking about it until Monday, and your customers may have already moved on. Worse yet, they may see you as not being on the cutting edge. Is that what you want your public perception to be? To be on top of the latest happenings, you have to be involved.

 

2. You risk coming off as insensitive should a tragedy occur. The media feeds on tragedy. Think about it. How much of the reported news is positive versus how much is negative? It’s not even close. That means if something bad happens somewhere, you better believe your customer base is going to know about it.

That being said, what happens when one of these tragedies directly conflicts with a social media update you’ve already scheduled? And what if you forget all about it and run the update anyway?

For example, imagine, God forbid, there’s another school shooting. And let’s further imagine that directly following initial reports of the shooting, you run an update that seems completely insensitive. You know, something harmless that is totally wrong place, wrong time kind of stuff. Guess what-there’s no taking it back once it’s out there. Even if you delete it, you better believe it’s been screenshotted and shared.

 

3. It doesn’t always seem…REAL. I have a few people I follow on Twitter who obviously have things scheduled out. You know how I know?

  • They tweet way too often.
  • They tweet at odd hours.
  • Nothing seems very personal.

Too often these automated tweets seem like a bot is running them. As a result, your social accounts cease to seem real. In return, people can’t connect because they won’t feel anything for a robot.

 

Are the Risks Worth It?

The good news is, all of the above risks can be mitigated. You can fix all of them with careful planning. But here’s what it requires:

  • Careful planning—You can’t afford to “mail it in” with your scheduling. You really need to think things out before you schedule.
  • Monitoring—Make sure you check in with your scheduled shares. You can always intervene to make certain you aren’t sending the wrong message at the wrong time. In other words, opt for incomplete automation as opposed to complete automation.
  • Stay involved—Just because you schedule things out doesn’t mean you can’t stay involved. Use your automated shares as your base. Then monitor news and make sure you’re still commenting and sharing things in a timely manner…on top of what you’ve scheduled out.

Do you automate your social media updates? Tell us about your process in the comments section!

 

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab three ebooks, including My Facebook Formula, a free report on Facebook and why you should be using the largest social network for your business, here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/freebooks.html

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How to Keep Your Press Release Tight and Lean http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/keep-press-release-tight-lean/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/keep-press-release-tight-lean/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 10:30:24 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10513 You’d be surprised to know how often I still get questions about target word counts for press releases. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but I still have a hard time believing this line of thinking hasn’t fallen by the wayside. I guess the old school SEO idea that you need 500-plus words or whatever […]

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You’d be surprised to know how often I still get questions about target word counts for press releases. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but I still have a hard time believing this line of thinking hasn’t fallen by the wayside. I guess the old school SEO idea that you need 500-plus words or whatever is a hard one to shake for many people.

dieta ditoni piedi bilanciaBut here’s the deal (and I wish I could get this through EVERYONES’ heads). Press releases aren’t about word counts. We aren’t trying to hit that 400 or 500 word mark to get Google to “take our content seriously.” Quite the contrary, actually.

See, the idea here is to worry about Google last. That’s right. You shouldn’t be writing your releases for Google. You’re writing for bloggers, reporters, and so on. You know, people who will read your content and use it to reproduce their own original content. People who will give you free press.

And guess what? They aren’t concerned about your word count. In fact, chances are they aren’t even going to read your entire press release. They’re going to skim it. And if it’s too long or too difficult to skim through in a timely manner, they’re going to raise the middle finger to your release and move on.

Of course, that’s not what you want, right?

That being said, you need to focus on making your press release tight and lean. Here are a few ways to do it.

  • Don’t even consider word count when you sit down to write. That’s right. Don’t even look down to the bottom left corner of your word doc to see where you’re at. Just write. No fluff. No BS. Just get straight to the point and end it. If you want to look at the word count once it’s all said and done, more power to you.
  • Avoid tired clichés. Look, I know we use them when we blog. That’s because we blog like we speak. And we use these sayings when we speak. But remember the goal for your press release is to get the info across quickly. So phrases like “at the end of the day” and “when it comes to blah blah blah” can be nixed for more direct speech.
  • Skip needless commas. I find that the average person is clueless when it comes to comma rules. The result? They sprinkle them all throughout wherever seems logical in their mind…which leads to overuse. Well, that’s certainly something you don’t want to do in a press release. Remember, a comma is designed to slow a reader down and take a breath. Whether they’re reading it out loud or not, the brain is trained to pause when it detects a comma. Thus, readability drops. For more info on comma use, click here and read the quick, useful tips.
  • Active not passive. Passive sentences full of boring “be” verbs (am, is, are, was, were) lend themselves to wordiness. By flipping those sentences around and making them active, not only do you shorten them, but you get more powerful sentences. For example, instead of “The new product release was announced on Thursday,” you could write “The Company announced the new product release Thursday.”

Remember, you want to get your message out quickly and clearly. No need to waste anyone’s time. Doing so could keep your message from ever being heard.

Any more tips for keeping your press releases lean? Tell us about them!

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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5 Reasons You Should Be Tracking Your Brand Mentions http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/5-reasons-tracking-brand-mentions/ http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/5-reasons-tracking-brand-mentions/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 10:30:33 +0000 http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/?p=10504 Do you know what people are saying about your company online? If not, you really should. Whether there’s a positive or negative buzz (or none at all), the information can prove useful. Let’s take a closer look at why… 1. Now it matters for SEO. Any company involved in internet marketing does their best to […]

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Do you know what people are saying about your company online? If not, you really should. Whether there’s a positive or negative buzz (or none at all), the information can prove useful. Let’s take a closer look at why…


number_51. Now it matters for SEO.
Any company involved in internet marketing does their best to track inbound links, right? Standard practices. Well now with recent Google changes, it’s not just links that matter. A simple brand mention on someone else’s site could give you a bump in rankings.

Why? It’s the newest SEO tool–implied links. Someone mentions your brand, implying support or popularity, and Google picks it up as a vote in your favor. Even though the actual link back to your site isn’t there, it’s implied.

Big change, right? Makes it worth knowing who is talking about you.

2. It could help you put out fires before they get too big. Of course, keeping up with brand mentions can also prove a smart defensive tactic. Look, no matter how good your company is, you’re going to piss someone off along the way. It’s unavoidable. The question is, how big will their negative voice become before you can shut it down?

By keeping track of who is talking about you, you can locate those who are bad mouthing you and try to appease them before they yell too loudly and do damage to your good name. And if you can’t quiet them, at least people will see you making the attempt to make them happy.

3. Get some fresh ideas from your customers. Sometimes the best ideas come from your fans. Why? They’re the ones paying for your products and services. They’re the ones out there in the trenches, using the products and services on a day in and day out basis. So they might have better insight into tweaks or additional services that could prove useful to the end user.

Unfortunately, the average person isn’t going to go out of their way to contact you with those ideas. However, they might be on Twitter or Facebook discussing it with their friends. Who knows—they might have the next big idea that takes your company to the next level.

4. Meet, greet, and connect with brand advocates. I’ve written much on the subject of brand advocates in the past. Those loyal customers who promote you simply because they love you. You’ve connected with them deeply and emotionally. It would behoove you to learn who they are and nurture that relationship. But you can’t do that if you don’t find them…

5. Uncover some great testimonials. Testimonials help sell your product or service. It’s a tried and true method that has stood the test of time. However, sometimes it’s difficult to get those testimonials from your customers.

On the other hand, they could be out there in blogs and social media all across the net. Find them and put them to good use!

Are you tracking your brand mentions? If so, how do you go about it? Tell us in the replies!

 

 

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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