How can we effectively show clients and/or company management the ROI of PR tactics? Inserting anchor text links in traditional press releases and tagging them throughout the copy can be a good way to measure customer activity generated by a specific press release, says Patrick Ward, chief strategic officer at 104 West Partners.
"Anchor text links not only increase a release's ranking in organic search results," he adds, "but [they] also allow clients to measure the online activity the release creates by using specific tags at the end of each link."
Every time a reader links to, downloads, or purchases something from the client or company Web site, the activity is captured and a direct link between a press release and customer interaction can be measured.
"Anchor text links are a simple way to update a traditional PR tool to be relevant in the contemporary, Web-oriented marketing world," Ward notes.
How can spokespeople best prepare for call-in segments on radio programs?
Producers are increasingly carving out half-hour time slots in their programs for call-in segments and asking media representatives to prepare spokespeople to take questions from listeners, says Martha Sharan, operations manager at News Generation.
Frequent topics for this format include consumer tips, scam alerts, health news, legal issues, and investment advice.
"The best way to prepare for this type of interview is for the spokesperson to throw out 'message points' and be the expert that he or she is," Sharan suggests. "Learn to listen, have a practice Q&A session with a media trainer, and answer questions in a focused and simple way so that the average person can understand the issue."
Call-in segments can be used to gain credibility, Sharan adds, as listeners always appreciate someone who can give solid, free advice.
How important is it to develop a good rapport with a publication's editorial assistant?
Industry pros often feel that reaching out to editorial assistants just adds another pitching layer to overcome, says Brian Lustig, founder of Lustig Communications.
"In reality, if a PR pro can get the editorial assistant's attention for a story idea, that person can serve as a key advocate in helping push the story forward to an editor or reporter," he adds. In fact, publications often rely on editorial assistants for print, Web, and blog content.
"Reaching out to a specific reporter or editor is always valuable," Lustig explains. "But buffeting your effort with outreach to the editorial assistant holds value because that person might shoot the pitch off to additional reporters not intuitively considered."
Many editorial assistants go on to become full-time reporters and editors, he notes, so establishing a relationship early can pay dividends for years to come.
Send your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact Beth Krietsch if you are interested in contributing to PR Toolbox or to suggest ideas for future columns.