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5 Great Tricks to Make Incredible Online PR Campaigns.
08 Oct 2013
Here's the bad news: There is no magic formula to make your awesome content take off into orbit. I wish there was because right now we'd be all sipping margaritas out of coconut shells on a Barbados beach, which is something I know I'm certainly not doing right now. The good news is that using certain methods, you can put your content in the best possible position to get noticed and shared.
Here's the bad news: There is no magic formula to make your awesome content take off into orbit. I wish there was because right now we'd be all sipping margaritas out of coconut shells on a Barbados beach, which is something I know I'm certainly not doing right now.
The good news is however, is that by using certain methods, you can put your content in the best possible position to get noticed and shared.
It's a fact of PR that you can't just create something and cross your digits in the vain hope that someone sees it and shares – you must do everything in your power to spread the word, to cry out about your creation from the top of the tallest tower.
Here are five tricks to help you do that…
5. Use Google Plus for Visual Content
Anyone who has read anything I've written on this site will know that I'm a huge Google Plus fanboy. I go to conventions dressed as the big red logo and I wonder why I have no friends. But seriously, Plus is your friend when it comes to promoting your content, especially if it's video or image-based.
More-so than most other social networks, interesting infographics still do really well on Plus because the platform is primarily about sharing content and the audience is generally more tech-savvy than on Facebook or Twitter.
If you want to know more about how Plus could be great for your business, check out my previous post on the subject.
By the way, if you really want to win at Google Plus you should create content about Google Plus. We fans love that stuff.
4. Have a Targeted Approach
Some people just upload their press release to a large media wire and hope that some journalist somewhere notices and covers it.
Aside from costing you money, this scattergun approach can't be the sole promotion of your awesome content. It's so easy for a journalist to overlook your story that it's likely that your money will be wasted.
Instead, you need a press list of relevant journalists including their emails and phone numbers. News desk contacts won't do – you need to contact the reporter who is right for your story. You will find that your pick-up increases exponentially using this method, plus you're going to make fantastic contacts that you can use again for future content.
It's definitely worth investing in a Gorkana database account if you're serious about increasing your PR visibility.
3. Don't Send Boring Emails
You have your press list and you know exactly who you need to speak to – it's time to make contact. Some journalists prefer an email while some will be fine with a phone call – knowing which likes which takes experience, but let's talk about emails for now.
Do you know how many emails your average reported gets? The last one I spoke to said they usually come in to around 200 in the morning and this generally replenishes by the afternoon. You need to make sure you're going to stand out from the torrent of rubbish they usually receive.
It all starts with the subject. If you're sending a press release then you should be using the release title as your subject as not to lead the journalist on, so make sure you have a snappy title.
If you're contacting about some amazing new content you've made then there are a few things you can do to increase the chance of your email being opened.
- Ask a question – questions pique curiosity and begged to be answered
- Personalise – if they know from the outset that you know their name, you're a shoe in
- Tell them exactly what to expect – journalists don't like their time being wasted - make sure your subject relates directly to what is in your email
In the body of your email don't be afraid to be professional but human. You're not an automaton and neither is the journalist, so it can be refreshing for them to come across someone who doesn't sound like C-3PO.
Also, keep your emails brief. Journalists won't bother reading if your text is the equivalent of The Odyssey.
2. Offer up Options on How to cover your Content
You should never think that your content can only be taken at face value. Say you have carried out a survey into attitudes towards Google Glass. You will have your main press release which will present your findings and (hopefully) be lovely and newsworthy, and you send it along to the media with wide-eyed optimism who then judge whether it's good enough to print as a news story.
Here's your problem. Just providing them with a news release is narrowing their options for them – to cover the piece as news. Instead, you should present them with at least three alternative options about how to cover your story.
Maybe you could suggest a feature about people's attitudes towards new technology in general, or an option to interview the CEO of your tech client about their predictions for Glass in the next five years. Giving options gives the journalist less of a chance of turning down your story.
1. Consult your Demographic
This is a really important point that needs to be considered in the planning stages of your campaign. Market research is all well and good, but if your budget is fairly low then you're not going to be able to afford to get a focus group together in your lounge to munch your biscuits and get progressively tipsier on Jacob's Creek.
It can be just as valuable to talk to friends and contacts in the demographic you are targeting about what they want to see in a campaign. Would your friend find your content valuable? Will they share it?
I've always found it valuable to call up a good journalistic contact and outline the idea to see whether they might be interested and any changes they would make. Of course, here you run the risk of divulging too much information and possibly having your idea stolen, but if they're a good contact that shouldn't happen.