How much emphasis should be placed on editorial, speaking, and award outreach versus other proactive PR activities?
"In PR, the road to results is paved by laying down major groundwork, which requires lots of research and market insight," explains Brent Papson, national account director at PRSourceCode. "But if you focus too heavily on back-end research, valuable time for activities like proactive pitching or developing speaking [opportunities] may be lost. In turn, results may suffer."
It is important to first determine the breakout of your current activities, and then compare it to where you'd like to be, Papson suggests. And because a lot of time is often underutilized and wasted in the quagmire of back-end research, he adds, consider outsourcing this work.
"This allows staff to spend more time on proactive activities that lead directly to results like increased coverage, speakers placed, and awards won," he concludes.
How can we get more Web "hits" from press releases?
"Applying two simple optimizations - the addition of keywords to the press release and an RSS feed of your news - will allow you to reach more journalists and customers," says Joanna Kulesa, president of Kulesa Public Relations and founder of the PR Cafe.
Studies have shown that placing a keyword phrase at the beginning of a sentence or paragraph, and within headings and sub-headings, will contribute to improved search engine ranking.
"Remember to carefully choose words that match how your customers and journalists look for information," she advises. Kulesa adds that it's wise to offer the ability for people to subscribe to an RSS feed for your press releases, so that when one is posted, it will automatically reach those interested in your company.
"These actions can expand your reach and propel your company to appear larger than it is," Kulesa says.
Is there any way to get a DJ to talk about my client's product without paying endorsement fees?
As part of a larger advertising buy, marketers frequently pay an additional fee to radio talent so they'll endorse their products in taped or live commercials. Often dubbed "personality radio," it is a proven method to motivate listeners to buy certain brands because they trust their favorite radio personalities' recommendations, says Sheila Burke, GM at Win Win Radio.
Remember though, that it is possible to create what sounds like an endorsement for a shorter time period without paying. "Work with the show producer or promotions manager to create a listener giveaway where you provide the prizes, as well as a conversational script for the DJ," Burke notes.
A cleverly crafted script can sound very close to an endorsement, explains Burke, who adds that it's always helpful to send the product in advance to the DJ.