How can blogs reach Generation-Yers?
"With more than 60 million blogs online as of last month, they are an increasingly key outlet to the '20-something' generation," says Mike Schaffer of Zcomm. In fact, on average, bloggers update at a dizzying rate of 18 new posts per second.
Though immense, the blogosphere is manageable. "Blogs should be part of a comprehensive PR plan," he says. "But Gen-Y bloggers are not reporters and tend to respond more to an informal personalized e-mail than to a news release."
Working with blogs can extend a story's shelf life, if handled properly. "Most bloggers post several times a day, so the morning's top stories may be old news by lunch," Schaffer explains. "Sending out new bits of information every few days should help keep the story near the top of the page."
Blog selection is also key. "When working with newspapers or TV stations, you should develop a media list that attracts the right audience," he advises. "The same principle applies to blogging. Read recent posts of target blogs to see if your story truly fits the style and content of the blog. You should also read the comments to gauge reader involvement."
Audio news releases
Does using traditional pitching combined with guaranteed airings systems for audio news releases provide results?
"To help continue to get the message out, the use of guaranteed airings has become an attractive option for clients," says Christopher Sweet of VNR-1 Communications. "As always, you must work with clients to conceptualize and produce an ANR highlighting company news. Then the finished product can be marketed to a list of radio stations across the US."
The new twist comes in the form of partnerships with radio networks, he adds. "Spot time is purchased, but the ANR airs in its entirety during a prime-time news segment. The result is an airing which is sufficiently embedded in news programming and garners all the potential audience numbers the network of choice has to offer."
Broadcast PR vendors with strong radio-network relationships can give you the best options for finding a guaranteed airings system that suits your concept and budget, says Sweet. These vendors can generally work with you on the production and implementation of the guaranteed airings and traditional pitching and outreach.
How can infographics improve new product development?
"An information artist's job is to make complex ideas easier to understand and more compelling," says Lori Wilson of Funnel Inc. "Infographics can improve communication during new product development."
There are numerous areas where communication can break down, she notes. Researchers struggle to make sense of data findings. Decision-makers are overloaded by yet another 40-page text-heavy report. And, the transition of information from various disciplines often lacks continuity.
"Incorporating information design into this process early helps clarify concepts, makes data more engaging, and ensures that all involved are on the same page until the launch," Wilson says. "A consistency of message, strategy, and project details can make all the difference in a new product introduction that lives up to its brand promise."
A well-designed infographic respects its audience, which could also be key in differentiating a new product from competitors. "We all know how frustrating poorly-designed instructions are," she concludes. "Making information more user-friendly goes far in enhancing a brand experience."