Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Pimp my PR

Simple digital tactics which add that little extra ‘oomph’ to your traditional PR campaign

1) Disseminate press releases on free news wires

Free online press wires can prove to be a handy tool to reach out to target audiences. These distribution services offer a simple solution to generate coverage online.

A brief registration process and few hours of wait is all it takes to publish your release directly on to these platforms. The wonder of push button publishing ensures that the process is relatively hassle-free and 99% confirmed.

Most free PR wires have a respectable web reach with updates searchable on Google, Blog searches, Yahoo and other search engines along with certain blogs and websites which mirror this content. Also it can be used to increase traffic to a website by search engine optimization (SEO).

Some of the popular PR wires are IndiaPRwire, 24-7 press release,, Sane PR, Newswire Today , etc.

2) Create SMS channels

Social networking has hopped, skipped, jumped and landed on to the dazzling mobile phone. Services such as SMS Gupshup and Google SMS Channels allow you to create a SMS stream catering to a specific topic, sector or company.

So by creating an ‘IPL updates’ group or channel open to subscription, one can forward messages to every constituency of stakeholders with a mobile phone like journalists, analysts, important influencers, etc.

For instance, a day before a major press conference one can just type in the details on the platform online and send it to the entire community which subscribes to the channel as an SMS. Most journalists would gladly be a part of such groups.

3) Video / Photo uploads

This is the often repeated, much abused advice that any social media user will offer in order to increase brand awareness – “Upload your damn videos on YouTube!!”

Now the tricky part is to choose videos you want to put out there, in line with the corporate identity, open to scrutiny and acidic comments within a social eco system.

The same can be done on photo sharing websites such as Flickr, Picasa, etc.

4) Share documents

A journalist or an analyst will forever be indebted if you took up the job of managing client documents for him/ her.

Online document sharing platforms such as DocStoc, SlideShare, Scribd, etc. can act as a repository of documents, a one stop shop for press releases, backgrounders, boiler plates, profiles, etc. for a corporate or individual.

Content sharing is many times done on the corporate website itself, but web 2.0 platforms provide the added advantage of a community and a social network for user comments, feedback.

5) Cross promote links by e-mails

Most conversations which amount to an activity between an urban PR professional and a journalist or an analyst takes place through e-mail. Attaching a client dossier to every email will not only overload the journalist’s mailbox but also, and most importantly, irritate him or maybe hurt his much cherished ego.

So instead of a heavy file, paste a link to documents, pictures and videos from any of the above platforms so that they can be accessed from any location and without much load on the mailbox. This ensures that the endless wait due to limited bandwidth or document size is evaded.

These are just the basic steps that one can take to added a bit of digital pizzazz to traditional PR practices. The digital medium is limitless and the possibilities endless. The only real barrier is initiative…

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