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Bridging the Gap: PR and Small Biz Lessons from Peter Shankman

PR and social media fans fainted all over their TweetDecks to get a chance to participate in a Twitter chat with Peter Shankman, the mastermind behind Help a Reporter Out and hear his take on establishing relationships with an audience you may be trying to pitch. Here’s what happened in case you missed our #prwebchat:

Acevero: Q1 What are some of the most common mistakes you see in pitches?

Shankman: Some of the biggest mistakes are not personalizing your pitches, not knowing or researching your reporter personally, and making the pitches too long. Target, and BE BRIEF!

Acevero: Q2 How do you create relationships with the media? Your first book talked about a “karma” email. Do you still use that?

Shankman: Think of pitching reporters as HELPING them first, PITCHING them second. HELPING generates RELATIONSHIPS.

Acevero: Solid advice. Q3 Speaking of books, loved your first book about PR stunts. What’s in the next book and when does it come out?

Shankman: Thanks! Next book is Customer Service in a Social Enabled World, and comes out in January.

Acevero: Being constantly available in SM with outstanding customer service is a huge deal nowadays for sure. Q4 How do you build customer loyalty, trust, and credibility online?

Shankman: Start by being transparent. If you screw up, admit it first. Know how your customer likes to receive information and give it that way. Be brief, and finally, offer more info than you request from them. I.e., offer helpful info – not just requests to buy.

Acevero: Q5 What are some tips for engaging and creating relationships online through social media? (Etiquette?)

Shankman: Social media makes it easy to know what journalists look for and want, long before you pitch them. There’s no excuse to not do your homework. A lot of this is definitely common sense – Be smart, be helpful, be proactive, don’t make it all about you.

Acevero: Q6 What’s next for you now that Vocus has required HARO? Any new projects?

Shankman: Still running HARO for a while longer, Angel investing, speaking overseas a lot, and advising new startups… Having fun. 🙂

What was this #prwebchat’s moral? Do your homework–be helpful–be transparent—and be brief!

The next #prwebchat features PR pro Deirdre Breakenridge (@dbreakenridge) of Mango! on Thursday, November 18 from 2-2:30pm EST. We’ll be chatting about the evolution of PR. Have a question you’d like to ask Deirdre? Email it to me: sacevero(at)vocus(dot)com. Follow in real time, join the conversation, see stats and view transcripts of all #prwebchat tweets here.

About Cision Contributor

This post was written by a guest Cision contributor.

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