Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
How to avoid that “OMG – I didn’t know the iPhone 5S was coming out today!” panic moment
To quote USA Today’s Jon Swartz, we’ve got an “epic week in store,” as Apple gears up to reveal its new iPhone at 1:00 p.m. ET. For many technology reporters today – and even in the coming few days – it’s going to be all Apple, all the time. And getting in front of them with your company’s news and perspectives will be really, really tough. That is, unless you’re Apple.
But does it matter for other businesses with news to release? Here are five questions to ask yourself to help make the call:
An article headline yesterday stopped me in my tracks: “Did Google Just Kill PR Agencies?” In this piece, veteran reporter Tom Foremski discusses new rules issued by Google about links and keywords in press releases. These new mandates are intended to limit any “manipulation” of search rankings. You can read Google’s full explanation here.
Google is not killing off PR agencies though. PR existed before Google and it will exist long after these rules are in place for one important reason. PR is about telling stories, not manipulating search results. Press releases, too, existed before Google. As Foremski wrote, press releases are tools PR people use to interest reporters in writing about the news and we believe that is how they should be used (see our post with nine tips here).
Last week, the press release took center stage on a PR Newswire Webinar that I joined to present some of our experiences with press releases that people actually read. Two of my favorite tips were these:
- Keep headlines to 100 characters or fewer (they are more social and more optimized for SEO)
- Don’t assume the news is over on launch day. According to Sarah Skerik at PR Newswire, today half of your views come in the first 4 days, but the other half don’t come until 4 months following the release (just five years ago you got the majority of your results in just 48 hours). See her post for more details.
Michael Morisy of the Boston Globe’s Hive Talks Journalism, PR and Innovation – in 140 characters or Less
Between Michael Morisy’s day job as a writer and producer for the Boston Globe’s tech blog the Hive and his side gig as the founder of startup MuckRock News (which is housed inside the Globe’s offices), he truly eats, sleeps and breathes journalism.
So he was the perfect choice to kick off InkHouse’s Twitter interviews with the media, which we’ll do on a regular basis moving forward. Yes, it’s probably easier to pick up the phone and do an interview the old-fashioned way. But answering questions via Twitter forces people to be creative and quick with their answers – plus it’s fun.
I was thrilled that Morisy took the time to answer my questions about public relations, the challenges of both print and digital journalism and what types of stories he’s most interested in covering. Morisy gave me some truly interesting answers, including the fact that he says he rarely gets a bad PR pitch!
At the White House correspondents’ dinner, President Obama said, “I remember when BuzzFeed was just something I did in college after 2 a.m.”
Indeed, while the website founded by MIT grad and Huffington Post co-founder Jonah Peretti is 7-years old, until recent months, BuzzFeed might have been something only college students were reading at 2 a.m., searching for LOL cats and photo bombs that they could share on Facebook.
But all that is changing and it feels as if suddenly, BuzzFeed has all the media buzz.
- Propelled by high-profile news events such as the Newtown shooting and Boston Marathon bombings, the site seemed to intuit exactly what readers wanted during and after the crisis and its content was even more viral than usual. In January, the site had about 30 million unique visitors. In April, that number had spiked to 65 million uniques. The New York Times’ website has nearly 29 million monthly uniques.
Like all business owners in Boston, when I saw news about the explosions yesterday, I instantly began working to make sure everyone was okay. Last night at 6 p.m., I received the last and most anxiously awaited email. The subject line was “I’m safe” and it was from an InkHouse employee who was running the marathon.
As I listen to the reports of the injured and lost today, my heart breaks all over again with each painful detail. And today, I came in to an InkHouse team that was sad, but strong. Seeing the sorrow on their faces has been hard, but being in their company has been a comfort and a privilege on this hard day.
I’ve been working in PR for over two decades and, even to this day, nothing makes me happier than when I land a great piece of media coverage for a client. To me, this joyful moment happens when three elements come together in unison: a great pitch, a solid relationship with a reporter, and the right timing.
Once upon a time, great media relationships were built over lunches, press conferences, phone calls and in-person media tours. But times have changed and so has PR. Today, while phone calls still matter a great deal, in-person meetings are rare. The good news is that we now have Twitter and it’s a huge and, I think, untapped, asset for building relationships with reporters.
Not all of us can make it to South by Southwest (SXSW), one of the hippest conferences of the year and a top convergence for original music and independent films, as well as a premier destination for innovation and emerging technologies.
For those of us who want to follow along virtually, we put together the following guide. First, Screen Geek has compiled a list of must-follow folks on Twitter, and a great SXSW Vine list and Spotify Playlist. If you can’t join them, you can certainly listen to mood music while scanning through the photos and videos. Check out Mashable’s “8 Vines to Follow During SXSW” for a sampling. SXSW’s Pinterest page is also full of fun visuals.