October 22, 2015
/ by Katie Gaab
Students have gone back to school, but they aren’t the only ones with homework to do.
New technology continues to emerge and digital tools change constantly, affecting how we communicate and get our work done. Consequently, today’s industry is not what it was six months ago, and certainly not what it was six years ago.
Before diving into this year’s goals, professionals must sharpen their basic PR skills. Here are five aspects of PR worth reviewing in order to succeed in this digital age.
No matter which press release distribution service your brand uses, the skills needed to write a press release remain the same. All press releases should include a timely news announcement. Headlines should reflect this by grabbing a reader’s attention in 70 characters or less. Start the release with your news, then build out your announcement with more details. Include quotes from a company spokesperson, a boilerplate or “about” section and include up-to-date contact information.
To get the most out of your press releases, you’ll want to share them with your target media outlets and influencer audience. Today, media databases, like the one offered by Cision, provide a smarter way to research who to add to your list. Use social media listening to see who your audience listens to, topics they talk about and communities they’re a part of – then use those answers to build out your list. Be sure to review and update your list often – media outlets change, as do influencers’ and reporters’ topics of interest.
Want to strengthen your skill set even more? Get our free “PR Starter Kit” today!
Use your media database to look at which social media channels your target influencers and reporters are on so you can build rapport and establish trust with them before sending a pitch. If writing an email pitch, use a clear, concise subject line, keep your copy to a maximum of five sentences and be sure to use links, not attachments. Track your pitches to measure your success and improve your pitching strategy for future stories.
If you want your brand’s messaging to travel far, be sure to build a community and invite fans to become brand advocates. People join communities because of the experience, so focus on making your fans feel like they belong to keep them engaged and interested in what your brand is doing. Furthermore, not everyone prefers the same social media channel. Repurpose your content to reach out in varying ways, ask others to share their stories or feedback and always be sure to thank those who support your brand.
First, find out what your audience needs, what reporters and influencers are looking for and what makes the most sense for your brand. Put your newsroom front and center on your website. Include videos and graphics for your visually-focused audience and list contact information for those interested in reaching out for more information. Finally, be sure to promote new content on your social media channels and include links in your pitches to direct reporters back to your newsroom.
Images: English106, rumpleteaser, Susanne Nilsson (Creative Commons)
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