New Rules of Marketing and PR

Remember the old days where you sent press releases on pieces of paper to specific journalists, and hoped they might mention your company? The internet has made many of those old techniques obsolete. This book provides a great jump start for both large and small businesses on getting the word out for the things you are doing.

One of the most important things mentioned repeatedly in "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" is that press releases are now primarily for your END USER. If you sell widgets, the press release should be written as if the buyer of the widgit is reading it and learning from it. Avoid jargon. Avoid terms like "cutting edge" or "ground breaking" or so on. Be respectful and informative. Provide actual information about how the widget will help THEM, in honest, straightforward terms.

Yes, you send these to journalists too - but journalists are inundated with spam in current times. They will delete your message instantly if it looks like spam! Instead, HELP them. Provide them with a story they can use. If you are selling a DVR, provide stats about how 30% of children are exposed to violence and 40% to sexuality, and then explain how your DVR helps parents manage this problem. Give them a story they can use. The journalists appreciate that assistance. Also, make sure you are sending directly to the RIGHT journalist. If someone covers weather stories, they won't care about your DVR. Figure out who the tech beat person is and send your alert to him, using his name, explaining your value.

All of your press releases should be on your site so your readers can find them in Google and other systems. This is a resource library for your buyers, and the area should also contain testimonials, corporate background and other details. In the past press releases had little to do with the sales cycle. In current times they can often be invaluable, as users peruse this area to get more comfortable with you.

Make sure you use RSS, Twitter and other social networking feeds to get the news out. Again do it in a helpful, not pushy way. Your newsletter shouldn't be full of promotions and coupons. Add in useful information on your topic area.

For reporters and users who are out searching the web, make sure your site is full of content on your topic area. Quality content, not SEO trickery, is what gets you higher rankings in search engines.

In general I find all of this information to be quite valuable, if not necessarily groundbreaking. This is what any book on web content has been saying for many years. I would hope no company is spamming massive lists with PR, angering groups of journalists with their flood.

I did find a few of the book's concepts questionable. David gets upset when he blogs about a company and they don't write him to comment on his blog. That seems very elitist to me, that a blogger would expect direct, personal feedback from every company he happens to mention.

David spends a lot of time praising the apparently super toy called a "pleo" - an animated dinosaur. He extols how the company is poised for world wide success with its awesome techniques. I'd never heard of the Pleo. A glance at Wikipedia says the company went bankrupt in April 2009.

Still, again, his core information is solid, if not revolutionary. Don't publish your email address, that's how spammers find it. Attend networking events. Give podcasts a try. Figure out several ideal visitors for your site - not just one. A college site might want to appeal to prospective students, but also to parents, and also to alumni.

Well recommended.

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