Bolstering press releases, social media tips, and more

"Including search engine optimization and multimedia elements in your press release can generate more interaction with your target audience and make your release 'stickier' in news portals," says Paolina Milana, VP of marketing at Marketwire.

Press releases
What can I do to expand the reach for my press release?
“Including search engine optimization and multimedia elements in your press release can generate more interaction with your target audience and make your release ‘stickier' in news portals,” says Paolina Milana, VP of marketing at Marketwire.

For example, video and audio clips are unbeatable tools for bringing content to life when issuing broadcast and online stories. “They can enhance the message you are delivering and also expose your content to a whole new audience online,” she explains.

Linking SEO keywords and hyperlinks to supportive documents and Web sites will help make your content easier to find online and help ensure your story ranks at the top of search engine results, adds Milana.

“In addition, adding social bookmarking tags so readers can share your stories, photos, and video with social media networks will allow your news to become viral,” she advises.

Celebrity spokespeople

Should we stay away from celebrity spokespersons who might not be perfect role models?
“When a company signs a celebrity spokesperson... the personality and characteristics of the star... need to match the brand,” says Rita Tateel, president of The Celebrity Source.

“Sometimes ‘bad' is a good thing,” she suggests, adding that in some cases a tarnished past might actually add to the brand's image. “Sometimes it's a good idea to bypass the typical role-model image in favor of celebs with an edge, as long as the match is still perceived as genuine and credible.”

Thorough research remains key to making the right matches, but it's still important to find out what the media has said about the celebrity and what the celebrity has said to the media.

“This will help you gain a better picture of their personality to make sure that it's a good fit with the values your target audience embraces,” Tateel says.

Social media
How can I help my clients best use social media?
“To many traditional PR practitioners, the concept of social media seems like a pill too large to swallow, but it needs to be part of your PR toolbox,” advises Chris Bonner, SVP of digital strategy at Stratacomm.

The key is to go one step at a time and make social media a fun and efficient part of your personal life. You'll soon see that it has PR applications, too, he adds.

Blogs are a great place to start since online conversations are already happening for virtually any topic you're interested in, Bonner explains. Subscribe to the ones that interest you with a tool like Google Reader, which aggregates all of your blogs in one place.

“As you become more comfortable, search for topics of interest, such as your clients' names, on other social media sites like YouTube, Flickr, and Twitter,” he says.

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