Mobile Academy – DIY PR and PR in the modern world.

Posted on January 2, 2013

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B5 DIY PR Why is it important to figure out your Launch Plan early on? How will it affect the first version of your offering? How can you drive traffic? Get the answers to these ques­tions and learn how to DIY PR. Lisa Devaney 9/10, 8pm (Tues)

Lisa Devaney is an experienced PR expert who has helped a lot of smaller companies,  and is providing some advice on how to run your own PR.

[as ever with these posts the comments in [] are just mine]

First up a look at traditional PR

Publishing to Webwire which is a clearing house for Press Releases.

If you do then make the press release short and sharp, and consider what the reader is going to want to know,  and put it in simple clear and up front.
Use the language of the reader, and start with the most important information, because the journalist or blogger et al are only going to read the first part, due to the vast number of releases published.
Do have a section about the company, because if the Release is going to be taken up ten this background is necessary.
Ensure you have a Purple cow,  make it such that it could form a headline. [this is a reference to Seth Godin’s book on doing your own PR, and of course a Purple Cow would be news worthy, where as another black and white cow would not !]
Use key words in the headline so that the search engines pick them up.
If your not sure of the keywords use Adwords from google as a guidance / source of inspiration.
Consider google alerts for your company and your competitors. [this is a service from google that will send you an email each day with the new stories that have been picked up based on your search query stored]
Consider the right blogs, also consider the new York times, but also giga om, and tech crunch etc.  [its worth spending time getting to know the various blogs and to then target them, as they are your route to your targets be they investors, users, or the general tech audience]
Who are the influencers in your industry.  If you send them a press release,  then include a personalised note,  and don’t use attachments because they will not be opened [to be crystal clear, put the Press Release in the body of the email. Avoid jargon, it will not be understood,  just because a journo/blogger works in the field it does not mean they will know your terms.
If inviting people to visit,  then provide an incentive, even if only a latte. [ why would the blogger/journo want to spend time traveling to you, and back again,  make sure they can see the benefit to their business, I can remember when I was at Vodafone, I had a lot of requests to go see firms/people with emerging tech,  and it can be very disruptive, and you have to say no a lot of the time,  so I can see why it is important not to assume that your interesting enough to warrant a trip]
OK so that was the trad.  what’s the newer way …
PR 2.0
The web is a social place,  honest it is, and there are many tools for people to be participatory, so make use of them.
“Invite your audience into the conversation.” [easier said than done,  but you have to start somewhere]
Use a blog,  you should create your voice ,  and ensure your perspective is in tune with your company.  I will be commented on,  so be ready for this.
Talk about the  product. Create videos, put them up on Youtube and Vimeo etc.  Link to them from other blog posts, in comments (be appropriate) and post on the social networks, too.
Don’t start a Facebook page until you can commit.  If you get more than 100 likes then you can get a dedicated URL.
However do not chase “likes” on facebook or similar because these are meaningless, often just bragging rights for the owners,  and of little value to a startup.
There are 70million blogs so you will need to find a way to communicate to the press that you exist.
If you get bad comments or bad blog posts else where,  then you have to decide what to do. Engage or not.  It may be best to let it be.  However if you do engage then stick to facts and supporting arguments.  Be polite.
Looking on the bright side, if you get positive posts,  then ask if you can leave a comment, or cross post on your blog etc.
[One thing that the modern commerce sites have brought into the social milieu is “recommendations”, think Amazon and the like.  so having the ability to point to positive views will help folks gain a sense of confidence in your company or product]
Press conferences are not really used and more,  so consider a podcast or YouTube, Vimeo is higher res for when that is important.  Howcast is all about “how to” vids,  and so add some details about your product.  [think of this as a way to prevent folks having to travel to come see you and your products.
Use Twitter, not just to tweet, but as a source of information, start to follow journos on twitter,  so you can get to know them a little more, and begin a conversation with them.
Watch what you say with twitter, as it can cause instant brand damage.
You can widen your visibility by commenting on trending subjects, because these are where the eyeballs are at any one time.
In summary how Is PR changing?  well it is moving from a push method, to an online conversation.
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