Profiting With PR Power, Part IV:
Your PR Advantage On The Internet
Isn't it nice to know that there are multiple ways for your company to
get more media coverage? Can you sense the increased confidence of your
prospects due to the credibility of favorable reviews and other positive
press? How might your weekly, monthly, or quarterly sales benefit from the
The public relations (PR) game has changed with the Internet. Don't
think that PR is just about traditional media, like magazines and
newspapers. You can use it to communicate information to the media
specifically, use it to speak directly to your distribution channels, or,
if you wish, directly to your customers.
An effective, comprehensive PR strategy must include several different
approaches to getting maximum leverage from the 'Net. Let's take a look at
advantages to be gained when you use the Internet as part of your own
powerful PR machine.
Using search engines, you can identify all the media outlets you could
ever want. Build a list of Web sites, e-mail newsletters, and even
off-line publications that you want to cover you. Start and build
relationships with publishers, producers, and columnists that specialize
in covering your product area.
Your products or expertise can be featured in Internet articles or
newsletters with little hassle. Simply search for Internet-based
publications using a search engine. Find their editorial calendars and
match up their content schedule with your services, and send your press
releases to their attention.
Once you've identified where you want PR, you can connect with media
sources around the world in seconds for pennies. E-mail alone gives you
the ability to quickly and affordably communicate via press releases and
article submissions to multiple publications and media venues in your
industry niche or in the general mass media.
You can spend thousands of dollars to get one article placed in a
popular business or technology magazine when using PR agencies' services.
There are times when this is viable or appropriate, like during an intense
media blitz for a product launch. However, if you're a start-up or just
cost conscious with a tight budget, your own media efforts shouldn't
require such expense.
The Internet originated as a text-based medium. The most powerful
aspect of the 'Net remains with the text. Words transmit the most
information. With e-mail alone, you can easily connect with media centers
of influence to get your message out. Of course, your Web site backs up
your claims and give reporters a place to get more detailed information
and pictures, once you've piqued their interest.
The speed of the Internet means you can react quickly to opportunities
that suddenly arise: you can edit existing content as you offer new
versions of your product, and you can reach a global market instantly, if
you desire. You publish information to the media and your customers the
moment you want it known.
Even better for you is the fact that Internet-based publications turn
around a press release or story within days -- maybe even hours. Print
publications, especially magazines, have lead times from one month to six
months. An online magazine can get an article via e-mail and post it that
Ability To Self-Publish
The Internet is a self-publishing dream tool! Anyone posting a Web site is
a publisher and accesses the entire globe of Internet traffic. This is the
good news. The bad news is that everyone has the same ability. This
creates a lot of noise, and your message can get lost or go totally
unnoticed. You can't ignore the need to differentiate yourself from the
crowd. And, don't forget that a third-party review by a columnist is more
powerful for your credibility than a self-published piece on your Web
Even Playing Field
A company of any size, or even an individual, can leverage the Internet.
You may have seen a comic illustration that shows one dog, who is sitting
in front of and apparently working on his computer, speaking to another
dog. He says, "On the Internet, they don't know you're a dog."
This is especially helpful to start-ups and smaller competitors of larger
organizations with big budgets. The Internet helps make the actual
information and facts the focus, rather than the size of the company or
the location of your office, which can give the impression of better
quality or advantage.
Many companies spend lots of money with PR agencies or publicists to
get that one magazine cover or feature article in a newspaper. If you're
successful, it's printed and then the next day or month, it's discarded or
shelved. However, on the Web, you can keep the piece 'alive' in the
archives of the Web magazine and hopefully in your sites' archives too.
Many times a company receives coverage in a print publication and does
little with it. Some frame a copy and hang it in their office for visitors
to see. Nice. Others spend some money by ordering reprints from the
publisher and mailing them out (hopefully not just to their existing
customer base but to fresh prospects). This is good. Even better is making
the article part of your Web site. Of course, you must respect copyright
privileges. Magazines may allow you to post their covers because it's
marketing their publications. A hyperlink back to their site from that
graphic is an enticement you might offer.
Once you have learned how to get covered in one Internet-based
publication, the process is something that you can duplicate with ease.
Send your press releases to your media e-mail database list. Use the same
material off-line that you do online, for print opportunities.
More Frequent Publication Schedules
The nature of the Internet requires new information or data at
break-neck speed. Why? Web site publishers want people to revisit their
site continually. Moreover, Web publications, like portals or magazines,
need quality content for their Web pages on a regular basis. For some,
it's daily! You can help them fill the void that exists between their
advertising and serve their readers' desire for quality information.
There is nothing like leverage for squeezing more profits from every
effort you make to sell your products and services. PR has always been a
cost-effective and practical tool for getting increased recognition and
credibility. However, by using the Internet you can easily crank up your
media exposure without incurring much, if any, additional costs to your
more traditional media campaigns and PR activities. So, at less cost with
faster results, why wouldn't you start your Internet PR plan today?
Martin Wales, The Customer Catcher™, helps technology companies
generate easy, profitable sales by "Skipping the Selling and Getting
to the Sales™." Learn more from the audiotape series, Profit
from PR Power: How to Successfully Sell Any Technology Using Affordable,
Effective & Powerful Media Promotion. Hear PR pros reveal their
step-by-step systems for building brand awareness, using affordable
strategies and tactics. E-mail us today at [email protected]
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