Moving your PR online opens up a whole world of new adventures. Not only do all the old rules apply, but many new rules are created to ensure that your content can effectively reach your audience.
So far in this series, everything we have discussed has to do with the set-up and creation of your online PR. All of the online elements need to be taken care of before you can push your story out online. Pushing it out before it's ready will lead to a colossal failure. However, how and where you push your message out is just as critical for it's success.
In this final post, we'll look at the details around how you can broadcast your message to get the most value from your audience, search engines and the social sphere.
It's not enough to craft the perfect PR piece, or optimize it to the hilt using your visitors' keywords. Where you push it out to, the tools you use, and how much you allow your visitors to engage with your content are all critical to having a successful online PR campaign.
In the offline world, good PR necessitates a heavy focus on pushing content out to news sources. It also involves creating relationships and currying favor with journalists who may or may not write about your news. Online PR greatly expands the target of your efforts. On the Web, your content needs to appeal to more than just journalists; you're also trying to get the attention of current and potential customers. A submit-it-and-forget-it strategy won't work. You need to submit-it-and-engage-it!
Moving your PR online also means moving beyond the news mentality. Sure, you can get your PR piece noticed by traditional news outlets or have it hit the search engine news sites, but that's just the tip, not the bulk, of the proverbial iceberg.
A well-crafted piece of PR should be able to reach far more people than news searchers. This is where social media comes into play. Sites like Facebook and Twitter, and tools such as RSS and +1 can help you reach well beyond the traditional news borders. These tools not only reach a broader audience, but they encourage engagement, which can improve the socialization aspects of each piece.
There are a number of online PR submission sites that you can use to help build, distribute and track your online PR. Each service has it's own unique features, so do your due diligence, and find the one that has the best bang for the buck.
Figure out what tools you want and need for each piece. You may find that one submission service is handy for some content and another is better for other content. Where it gets distributed can have a substantial impact on the success of each piece.
Tracking each piece is critical to following and understanding it's level of success. You may not be able to fully grasp what success means until you've had a chance to submit and track several pieces and compare the results.
This is where engagement with your online PR becomes critical. You need to use your social media channels and connections to get more eyes on your content. Facebook, Twitter, +1, and other socialize buttons allow your visitors to promote your content into areas you have no way to reach.
The key is making sure your content is "retweetable." Or in other words, it is something worth sharing? Then leverage these options via your company social profiles, and by adding the socialization icons on the page. The idea is to make it as easy and desirable as possible to have your content socialized around the web.
You also want to make sure you engage with anybody that is talking about, asking questions about, or commenting on your content. Don't just sit and relish the tweets and retweets; talk to people, and use this as an opportunity to build relationships. You may find these relationships valuable later on.
One of the drawbacks of active social channels is that, if your content isn't pushed out at just the right time, it will often get missed. Of course, the right time means when each person from your audience is looking at their social stream!
RSS allows you to get your content to people on their own time. If they subscribe to your RSS feed then they can get notified of new content whenever they open up their feed reader. You may be competing with hundreds of other feeds, but at least you know that your content headline will get scanned rather than completely buried.
If you are not familiar with RSS feeds, I suggest you do a little homework on this, and ask your developers how to implement an RSS feed for your content.
Now we're at the big, "So what?" We understand that getting your online PR piece is great for making sure people see our content. But is there anything more here than just getting one piece of content after another published and read?
Well, yeah. There is a much grander purpose to online PR, and this is what makes the online aspects so great. Each piece of content, if incredibly crafted, can serve as an entry point into your website, drawing in new visitors, customers, clients and information seekers.
Your PR piece isn't just about PR. It's about building a more visible website!
Everything you do online should serve one purpose: drive traffic and customers to your website. News for the sake of news is pointless. News with a goal of increasing readers and those engaged with your content is fabulous. News designed to increase profits is even better!
Everything you do all boils down to building, branding and marketing your website. Anything less ultimately falls short of it's potential.
See all posts in this series:
Part 1: Intro / How Print Audience Differs from Web Audience
Part 2: Goals of Online PR
Part 3: Background Research
Part 4a: Crafting the Story p1
Part 4b: Crafting the Story p2
Part 5: Broadcasting the Message / Conclusion
Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.
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