Postings from the Edge

Global PR, new PR, social media and printing ink

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Tips for great international PR

International PR has a reputation for being complicated, time-consuming and expensive. With so many countries and thousands of newspapers, magazines and web sites to target, costs can quickly get out of hand. But the key is to focus on getting the most out of each market – not to cover them all equally. Here’s a few tips to help you get started.

  1. Start by looking at your business objectives and how you can achieve them. This is particularly important with international PR – by focusing only on what’s relevant to your needs, you can cut a long list of potential journalists in half.
  2. Be choosy. Only target the top two or three publications in each business segment. PR is about building awareness, but some publications are more highly regarded than others. Stick to the ones that matter.
  3. Go to the publication’s web site and get hold of its editorial features list. A features list tells you when a magazine will write about a particular topic, use it to plan your communications.
  4. Build a list of key publications – and use it. Make a point of contacting the relevant journalists on a regular basis. You don’t have to send a press release. Often, a short email ‘tip-off’ is enough, or just give them a call.
  5. If you have a news story that is relevant to several different markets, buy a mailing list or have it distributed on a wire service such as PR Newswire. This way your story will be used on Google News, MSN, Yahoo and others. It also means that if someone searches for your company there’s a greater chance they’ll find you.
  6. Use your web site actively. Upload your latest news and make sure it can be found by search engines through the smart use of keywords or by making an RSS feed. You can even ‘blog’ your news and let specific blog search services know when your blog is updated.
  7. Become an expert on your own national market or region. That way, journalists will want to contact you for information!

Monday, 18 June 2007

Problematic 'point and shoot' PR

I'm working for a client at the moment who has dropped all advertising and instead is just concentrating on Google adwords and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO for those in the know). One of my jobs has been to make sure that the keywords and search terms that are proving popular are also reflected in the press release.

Optimising and sending out press releases is a growing trend and there are more and more companies offering to send out a killer press release that'll help boost your search engine ratings.
But as more companies rush into this 'point and shoot' PR, it's worth considering once again who your targets really are. If you are trying to get a double page spread in the local business daily (Børsen, in my case) the benefits of releasing the story on the internet equivalent at the same time is really a waste of time. Journalists want exclusives, or at the least a fair run at beating the competition.

I think PR is developing towards a two-tier approach:

  1. The personal relationships developed with journalists and bloggers that will get the targeted quality coverage. These are the people that can move opinions: they need one-to-one attention not blanket coverage

  2. The ratings battle - getting your release on the right sites and feeds and getting clicks back to the right web site.
Both these are important and if you get the balance right will result in good coverage and good results, which is what PR is all about.