Today, many of the methods PR professionals have long relied on to pitch the media aren’t as effective as they once were, thanks to an industry that has dramatically changed over the last few years and that continues to evolve into unknown territory. In my last post I discussed how PR professionals must tailor the way they reach out to journalists as newsrooms are operating on fewer and fewer people, but there’s another major development that has changed the face of PR: the rise of blogging.
Soon after I began working in PR, I repeatedly started hearing that pitching bloggers required a different approach than pitching professional journalists. People said that in order to form relationships with bloggers, you had to work harder to gain their trust and prove that you genuinely had an interest in their work and that you were familiar with what they covered. It wasn’t until I began my own blog, though, that I realized just how true this was. I soon found myself being pitched many times per day and began developing a clearer understanding of what it was like to be on “the other side.”
Internet Explorer 6 (IE6), from Microsoft, has been around for more than eight years. For most of its life, IE6 has been one of the most popular browsers used to access the web. That is, until Google’s YouTube announced in mid-July, that they would soon stop supporting the aging browser. Once IE6 users discovered that one of the most visited websites on the planet would no longer support their browser, usage of IE6 dropped like a rock.
You could be an excellent writer but if you fail to drive traffic to your written page then the end result becomes pointless. The title of your page is the entry point to your site, much like the store front for your business. A poorly done store front can actually push people away from your business, and your page’s title can do the same if you aren’t careful.
For clients that want stories on television our advice is always – get video. Television is a visual experience so if you want your story covered it helps immensely to have video. Often that requires you to hire a professional to shoot your B-roll footage, something that is an added expense and impossible for many small local organizations to get.
But that’s changing.
In the last few weeks I’ve noticed FOX Chicago increasingly using YouTube clips as an alternative to the traditional B-Roll footage they’ve typically used to highlight stories. To be clear, television has been using YouTube for quite a while, but not in this way.
Since YouTube’s launch, news organizations have been featuring skateboarding dogs and water skiing squirrels to show the lighter side of life. It took a while but eventually news organizations began realizing the value of YouTube. Citizen journalists were the first on the scene for earthquakes, riots, wars and other major events where news corps didn’t have cameras.
|Battle of the Titans
Branding Versus SEO
Good branding practices and good search engine optimization (SEO) practices make strange bedfellows.
While both are intended to advance the interests of an organization, they don’t always get along.
As marketers, we take it as a given that good branding is built on the foundation of well-defined positioning. The typical branding exercise is to define a few key positioning planks that a brand will own. For example, a brand definition might be: High-Quality; Good for the Environment; and Easy to Do Business With.
The hope is that we’ll create a branding platform that is attractive to our customer targets and that has some white space around it, with strong differentiation from the branding of the competition.
With these positioning elements in place, we then operationalize the brand, making sure that every customer and stakeholder touchpoint appropriately promotes our positioning.
Consistency in messaging is key. We want everyone in the organization preaching from the same hymn sheet. To ensure consistency, we marketers will often create blurbs of text that have the official “Marketing Department Stamp of Approval”.