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Stop Struggling to Get Publicity

John W. Hayes is a marketing strategist at Vocus. 

As the lines between advertising, marketing and PR continue to blur, many marketers find themselves in uncharted territories.

Content marketing is of course causing a big stir with many marketers (finally) being forced to take their first steps into the world of blogging and PR.

PR = Profitable Relationships

Blogging is easy. You create something which has value to your target market, you publish it, you share it, it drives traffic back to your site and generates interest. Most marketers I meet understand blogging. A few are actually quite good at it.

PR* is slightly different. You create something which has value to your target market, you give to someone else who may or may not publish some or all of it, liberally adding their opinion, which may or may not be aligned with your interests, it is shared and it has the potential to make or break your reputation. Many marketers I speak to struggle with their PR activity.

This very often comes down to three simple reasons:

  1. They are not very good at creating value and instead just pitch, pitch, pitch.
  2. They don’t know who to pitch to and as a result adopt a spray and prey approach to press release distribution.
  3. They are not very good at forming relationships with journalists and bloggers (who probably hate you because you just pitch, pitch, pitch).

Building solid relationships with journalists and bloggers should therefore be seen as a vital component in any content marketing strategy. As with all relationships, this requires a bit of thought and a little work beyond the ubiquitous untargeted press release.

So how do journalists and bloggers like their potential news sources to engage with them? Who better to ask than the journalists and bloggers themselves?

Vocus UK will be hosting a special webinar on Monday, January 13, at 10 a.m. ET, where we will put this question to an expert panel of journalists and bloggers.

Joining me on the session will be Ben Davis, content and community producer at eConsultancy, Chris Dawson, co-founder and publisher of Tamebay, San Sharma, digital manager at small-business community Enterprise Nation and Ardi Kolah, PR expert and author at Guru in a Bottle.

To register for this very special event and put your questions to our expert panel click here!

*We understand that PR is a much wider discipline. For the purpose of this blog post and webinar, we will focus on creating, publishing and distributing news releases, providing journalists with quotes, contributing comments, and writing guest posts and byline articles.

Image: ContactMe Blog (Creative Commons)

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