MTN Ezine subscribers received this article on June 28 . . . now it's posted here for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
Whether you want to reach journalists who'll write your story for you or you want to bypass them and go directly to your clients or consumers, this article will tell you how to choose the right PR path
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For almost one hundred years, the only way to get your name in the news was to write a press release, send it to a media outlet and cross your fingers that your story would be newsworthy. That’s not the case anymore. Today, you can write your story in a news release your consumers or clients can find on the Web. Read this article to find out which PR route is right for you: journalists or consumers. Don’t be surprised if you want to go both ways. You’ll learn how to do that, too.
Reaching journalists with press releases is getting harder are harder. As media outlets merge and reduce the number of reporters, the opportunity to connect with a reporter personally is challenging – but not impossible.
In fact, having a close relationship with a reporter is your best chance of getting your story covered. How do you do that? Correspond with them. Email or comment on their blog when you agree or even disagree on their coverage. Calling them, especially when they’re on deadline, isn’t always welcome. They’d rather read than talk – unless they’re interviewing you. Remember to send a thank you note when they write a favorable story.
The personal approach works at the local level and even with larger media outlets that have blogs. Comment a few times on a reporter’s blog and you may become one of their favorite sources. You can also reach journalists by distributing your release via an online distribution service. Keep in mind your story will be one of thousands that cross their desk each week. That’s why you’ll want to release at least one news item every few weeks. Use the same distribution channels or mix them up to see which service gives you the best results. Don’t expect journalists to contact you right away with your first online release.
The advantage of having a journalist cover your story is twofold: their story is an objective, implied endorsement that reaches the media outlet’s market and there is no cost to you for the coverage. A story in The Wall Street Journal saves tens of thousands in ad dollars, but more importantly gives your priceless credibility that ad dollars can never buy.
Targeting your clients or consumers is much easier: all you do is prepare the story and release it online via a distribution service that automatically sends out your story where your clients can find you. For example, many services allow you to optimize your release with keywords and even guarantee that you’ll show up on page one of Google News and Yahoo! News. While seeing your story rank 5/92,000 news results can be very exciting, the effect wears off after about a month. Yes, your story will show up in search engine results, but most likely you won’t be on page one.
Pay for placement fees often include access to statistical reports that show you search terms, downloads and even the geographic location of the readers. When you release your news this way, you’ll reach the best of both worlds: journalists and consumers.
About the author . . .
An in-demand publicist, professional speaker and marketing communications consultant since 1990, Barbara Rozgonyi is grounded, edgy and prophetic. "Panoramic PR," Barbara's latest project, compresses everything she knows into an affordable, manageable course that teaches small business owners, entrepreneurs, authors, experts, coaches and anyone else who wants more free publicity how to get completely covered by being fully exposed. Claim a free report and get automatic articles like this one at http://www.powerprsecrets.com. Visit CoryWest Media.