Summary: Online PR Strategies on #SEOchat

What things need to be fleshed out before you begin putting together your online pr strategy?

@shuey03: Well, I start by first determining what my message is going to be. I try to define what’s different about my company, what is my expertise, why am i better than my competitors, and what is my USP.

You should probably figure out if your strategy is to attract local or national coverage as well. Obviously reaching people at a national level will be harder than a local level & the strategy to reach them will be different.

I also like to build a nice list of all the places I want coverage. For example, I want newspaper coverage, to land in some trade journals, or get in with some high profile bloggers.

@WriterChanelle: The reason you’re conducting a campaign. The overall goal. The return you’re expecting.

@dan_patterson: I’ll just throw this out there, but you should make sure you’re only sharing actual news, something interesting, not just fluff.

@Bebabz: I think it’s also important to think about the things your company is already be doing. Are you green, do you donate? One good PR tactic is to host a blogger event. Give a group of bloggers a back doors tour of your factory, restaurant, store front etc. & show them how you operate.

@bloomreachinc: Who are you (your company)? Who are you trying to reach? And most important, what can you add of value?

@ResponseMine: After figuring out your message, decide your audience, then pick media outlets that cater to that target.

When putting together a news release, what should it include & how should it be written for maximum effectiveness?

@ashbuckles: I like to read releases that tell me about a company’s offering and/or changes. I read press releases to learn what companies are trying to tell me. It’s always different than a marketing guide, blog, etc.

@bloomreachinc: Focus on the tangible stories that illustrate what you do. Help the readers get their heads around it with examples.

@tannerpetroff: It should include real news about what you’re doing that is totally different. Don’t like reading ‘same ol’ all the time.
@Bebabz: I agree. Press Releases should also include a CTA with more info to drive traffic back to your site.

@shuey03: News releases shouldn’t be written like articles/blog posts. Are there any guides out there that lays out how to write a release?
@Bebabz: More on press release- http://www.seo.com/blog/secret-potion-seo-dos-donts-writing-seo-press-releases/
@OptimizePrime:: Here’s a good guide for PR ;) http://bit.ly/a9fC0D

@OptimizePrime: Include (and title it with) the main focus, be specific, be excited, and include what it means for customers AND the co.

@bloomreachinc: How heavily do you load your releases with links back to your site?
@shuey03: I think 2-3 links is probably sufficient. You should also make sure you link out to other relevant resources, not just your or your clients site.
@tannerpetroff: Depending on size of release. 2-3 seems like max. Sometimes we release PRs with just 1 link.
@ashbuckles: It’s always a good idea to see what’s acceptable in your industry too. Normally 1-2 links.

After you have your news story ready, where should you start when building media lists to perform outreach to?

@ashbuckles: Some press have their own list of journalists, the NYT http://nyti.ms/NpUQWp. There’s also community lists like: http://bit.ly/OB2G3T. And Muck Rack. Anybody used this? http://muckrack.com/. Sometimes, we SEOs forget that we’re just building relationships. Just reach out, stand out, and bring value to journalists.

@Bebabz: Start with your industry. Then your location.

@shuey03: What do you do to find names and contact info?
@Bebabz: research!! What are the big publications in your industry? Certainly you can find an e-mail on the site, or cold call.

@tannerpetroff: Don’t forget to maintain relationships from previous HARO successes – Great press to be had there.

@shuey03: Has anyone ever used Bulldog Reporter? http://bit.ly/NpVq6G. I’ve also heard that MEDIAtlas works well: http://bit.ly/OB3Kou.

@bloomreachinc: Who you know or has covered you before. PR agencies can obviously be helpful. And of course… Twitter.

@shuey03: What kind of things should you know about those you are doing outreach to? What will help you win them over?
@tannerpetroff: Always helps to know what they typically publish and actually care about. Keep in mind who their audience is.
@shuey03: I think the obvious is, make sure you know what kind of things the reporter likes to write about.
@Bebabz: Pitch it to me sets you up with bloggers who review products- http://pitchit.ning.com/. Journalists are always looking for stories to write about. How can you pitch your product/service in an interesting way?
@ashbuckles: Not sure it’s about knowing the journalists personally but more so providing information to help them hit deadline.
@stevebitter: Check their pub’s editorial calendar. Might be worth saving the story a month or 2.

What components should outreach emails include for maximum effectiveness?

@ashbuckles: I think most people put more time into their release then their outreach message. Write it for action. Also, I think people expect one email to get through. On a cold contact, you need to send several emails with varied messages.

@shuey03: Even though it is cheesy, i think an email to a publisher with a “nice job” on your last piece goes a long way. You don’t want to half ass the “nice job” email or make it generic. Make sure you know what their last piece was about and really pat them on the back. Subject line is crucial! What should you include or exclude when crafting your subject? Older post, but still very relevant from @copyblogger: Email Subject Lines that Won’t be Ignored: http://bit.ly/b8aI4b.

@stevebitter: Personalization. Writers want to feel the story is meant or THEM. Mention their previous work, connect the dots for them.

When submitting news releases, where do you like to go? Vocus? PRNewswire? Reuters? Any others? And why?

@Bebabz: PRN tries to up sell you for everything: social buttons, multi-media etc. I like Vocus for national out reach.

@tannerpetroff: Vocus is our go-to. Always worked, but never really tried much else. Could be something better out there and I’d have no idea.

@stevebitter: Been using PRN. I hear ppl really like @pitchengine.

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