PRWeek Goes Monthly

 

PRWeek has just announced that that it will soon be a monthly magazine. This was part of a slew of announcements about revamps of the online edition, e-newsletter, and blogs.prweeklogo1

 

See the full announcement here:
 

http://www.prweekus.com/PRWeek-announces-weekly-online-edition/article/130669/

 
This move makes sense to me, especially combined with the online changes and additions. 

 
What are your thoughts on PRWeek and other PR industry publications? Are they still near the top of your reading stack? Or have you already seen most of the content online by the time it arrives? 

Social Media Experts or Hammer Gurus?

  

 

Self-described Social Media Experts beware!

 

If you call yourself a social media expert, the rest of us will soon see that you’re saying nothing.

 

 

Social media is just…media…channels…tools. It’s a means to deliver your message to your audience. This is true whether you’re a PR person for a coffee shop, a salesperson for an office supply chain, or a fund-raiser for a local charity.
 

Carpenters are carpenters, not Hammer Gurus. Cowboys are cowboys, not rope & fence kings. Drummers are drummers, not drumstick and cymbal experts. Sure, they know a lot about those tools of their trade, but tool expertise alone won’t make get them hired or help their client. The quality of the work they produce with those tools will.

  

Thanks to Albert Maruggi and Kevin Dugan for listening to my rant earlier this week on this topic! 

 

Is PR Recession-Proof? A farm boy asks…

For horse owners, spring means expanding your network of resources to hay suppliers, stables, and farmers who still have hay stocked up and are willing to part with it. Last Saturday, we were fortunate enough to find a farmer in Northern Illinois with plenty to sell. The guy’s son would even help load the truck.

Profit, the horse who sparked the conversation
Profit, the horse who sparked the conversation

  

As we were loading bails of hay, the kid asked me if I worked with horses for a living. “No,” I said, “just one day a week, I guess. On the other six days, I’m in public relations in Chicago.”
 
I had expected the typical questions like “What does that mean?” or “Do you know anyone famous?” Instead he asked, “Is public relations recession-proof?”

 

This shocked me. Why was that his first and only question about PR? He was thinking about career choices and the most important thing to him is an industry’s position in the current economic climate. The source of this thought could have been TV network and cable news. But wait, this was a high school guy and they don’t watch TV news. My conclusion is that on whatever social media sites this kid tapped in to, the recession is being discussed along with PS3 games.

 

I gave him my standard answer: “Is anything really recession-proof?” He answered, “Yeah, I guess not, except for certain aspects of the entertainment industry and the mob.” Okay, so this kid knows his Sopranos quotes too.
 

I told him “despite the recession, we’re doing all right. In fact, it’s going to be a great year for PR. More companies will need to use PR to get their messages to consumers. When they see the costs of PR and the results they get compared to advertising, it’s a no-brainer.”

 

He seemed to get it! He even asked more about the return on investment of PR versus traditional advertising! Maybe this kid will be interested in a PR career. Though he might want to consider following his Dad into the hay business…demand is high, prices are up 25% over last year, and no one is Tweeting about lay-offs.

 

 

 

Media Outreach via Twitter

 

In March 2008, the Dow was over 12,000 and just a handful of early-adapting journalists and PR folks were using Twitter on a regular basis. What a difference 12 months make! The growth of Twitter has created an amazing and somewhat frightening channel to PR pro’s to converse with the media.

 

I would like to hear your stories and comments about experiences connecting with journalists in recent months.

 

  

  • How has your media outreach via Twitter been received?

 

  • Any negative feedback from journalists?

 

  • Overall, has Tweeting journalists been effective for you?

 

  • What would help improve this method of engagement?

  

Please comment below or send your tales to me at jmonson@enr-corp.com

 

 

Tips for Driving Business via Local PR from Webinar

 

On Tuesday, February 10th, I had the pleasure of moderating a webinar discussing “How to Drive Business Though Local PR.”

 

Our participants, Nicole Rivard, Editor of the Norwalk Citizen-News and Matt Gentile, Director of PR and Brand Communications at Century 21, offered tips from both sides of the news release for successfully reaching targeted audiences in community publications.

 

Nicole Rivard first discussed the types of stories of most interest to an editor at a weekly community newspaper. These included news about local companies (or more likely, national brands with local branches, outlets, or franchisees) with the following content:

 

  • Giving back to the community
  • Participating with local schools
  • Opening a new business, location
  • Reaching a milestone
  • Growing the business

 

Matt Gentile spoke about Century 21’s efforts in reaching consumers and potential franchisees via news on the local level. Some of the most successful releases have positioned local agents and brokers as industry experts to whom the local media can turn for trend-related stories.

 

Century 21 not only targets various local markets from corporate headquarters, but also empowers regional offices and up to 4,000 brokers with a tool to easily and quickly send press releases to their own local media. The application they use, PR Studio, was developed by Grassroots PR.

 

Here is an overview of things to remember when pitching local media:

 

ü ONLY pitch stories that have a true local connection, such as a physical presence in the market, connection to a local businessperson, or event taking place

    

ü READ content from the publication prior to engaging to see if your story is a good fit for what is happening locally
 

ü BE AWARE of deadlines and printing schedules for weekly publications

 

ü EMAIL releases directly to journalists as opposed to relying on wires, social media, or other methods better suited toward national outreach

 

 

 

MatchPoint Launches

We’ve all played the target & hope game of using a media database:
1. Target journalist in database

2. Hope he or she still works at that outlet, covers that same beat, and has any interest in your topic

 

This week, MatchPoint is changing the game. MatchPoint is offering a 10 Day Free Trial to check out this innovative new way to match your press release or other pitching materials with relevant journalists and bloggers.

 

Here’s a link to the free trial sign-up:

 

http://www.prmatchpoint.com/register.asp