PR practitioners face significant resource and budgets constraints amid the current economic environment.  Often times the impulse to purchase a media list or outsource to an agency may seem to be the prudent option based on limited internal resources.  Based on years of experience to create solid media lists by hand the old fashioned way, I strongly recommend that you devote the time and effort needed to either create or refresh your strongest component within a successful PR strategy. Media lists can be purchased or outsourced.  However, these are often expensive and more importantly outdated.  In addition, these options rob you ... Read More



It feels like we've discussed this topic before but it continues to present an issue for clients, primarily regarding Enterprise companies.  We're talking about PR content to share best practices without the support of the client.  In this case, a design firm created a dynamic mobile sales tool(app)for the iPad to provide a broad, quick overview of the company, management and product for one-to-one prospect meetings at a high profile industry conference.  The app provided 3 short videos along with a link that could be downloaded for later viewing.  Unbeknownst to the design firm or the client, the app quickly ... Read More



I was recently reading an article in a national PRSA newspaper regarding email guidelines to create content relationships with target media.  In addition to the usual 101 type recommendations, there was one tactic that caught my attention as a Sr media relations specialist with a long time record to build top tier editorial relationships to secure placements.  Using an email campaign service to track  click  through analytics to determine how much time editors read our email pitches, whether or not they forward to a colleague and which if any embedded links are visited.  Obviously these tools have been available for ... Read More



It was 1999' and I had recently been hired as Director of PR for X10.com, the DIY leader for home automation, entertainment and security products.  We had just launched the first remote software for our most popular wireless, color video camera, XCam2.  Prior to joining X10, I had spent almost two years as a member of the Microsoft Small Business PR team at Waggener Edstrom.  During my tenure, I had the opportunity to participate in the launch of a updated version of Small Business Server.  The PR tactics included face-to-face meetings with target press and analysts.  The results were impressive- ... Read More



Erika Napoletano has a great article in the June issue of Entrepreneur magazine regarding the continued use of "buzzspeak" among marketing and PR professionals. Her message is clear.  Use plain language.  Sounds easy.  For most of us at some point in our career, it's sometimes easier said than done.  Erika and I recommend the same formula to create key messages regardless of product or service, business or consumer, SMB or enterprise: 1) Who are you? 2) What do you do? 3) Why you're different? 4) Why they should care? Take for example a release today from Intel: Intel Introduces Cloud-Based Identity Solution for Salesforce and ... Read More



I recently met with a potential client with a familiar challenge; make regulatory content compelling to her clients and the employees who service the accounts.  Let's face it, not all content is compelling on its own merits.  However, there are ways to help target audiences absorb content vital to their positions.  What can make it even more difficult is the fact that in this particular case, email is the primary mode of distribution.  The current content is delivered in the form of monthly important alerts and a quarterly newsletter with more general administrative-related information. Here are some tips to help create ... Read More



For years we've all seen the job announcements seeking a PR person with specific industry experience.  For example, a company specializing in collaborative work spaces requires a media relations person with real estate experience.  I make the following observation as a result of many years of successful media relations across a wide range of industries.  Even with that disclaimer, it will sound antithetical to many recruiters and HR folks. EXPERIENCE IN A VERTICAL DOESN'T ENSURE MEDIA RELATIONS SUCCESS. Take a moment to catch your breath.  Let's examine further.  Consider the following real-life scenario.  I have at least two successful editorial relationships ... Read More



For years, the case study has been a traditional PR tool to share best practices on behalf of satisfied clients and customers.  The format ranged in length from 3-5 pages of details regarding the challenge and solution.  The case study was typically distributed to sales and marketing teams and posted under a tab on the website...boring:) My experience with real-time news and long time editorial contacts is that few people, if any, will be compelled to take time to read more than 2-3 paragraphs to determine whether or not the content is relevant.  That being said, case studies, which have several ... Read More



A colleague recently asked me to submit a proposal to create PR content for case studies and blog posts.  She requested I provide two fee schedules; one for content with topic/research provided and one for content from scratch.  I was provided with some  potential topic and research links as well.  After reviewing the information, it dawned on me how sometimes PR professionals often seek outside content versus the opportunity to leverage internal knowledge.  I recommended to waive the external research for the option to conduct a short phone interview with the PM regarding recent trends, best practices and thought leadership ... Read More



A recent exchange with a colleague could serve as a future litmus test to determine the best option to create PR content utilizing outside resources when needed.  My colleague had requested a "proposal" to write content for a client to include case studies and blog posts.  The work would include a combination of refreshing content, writing content with topic/research provided and writing content from scratch. Content writers as very affordable in the current economic environment.  The question to ask is whether or not the writer has the skills and experience needed to create strategic content. Strategic PR content will build and ... Read More