If you are a daily reader of big time internet marketing blogs such as Moz or SEJ, than you already know that public relations is a huge buzz word being thrown around these days.
Automated link building or building bad links is now a thing of the past. It doesn’t work. There are still a few people claiming that it does, and it might in the short term, but it definitely is not a good long term game plan.
We need to come up with better ideas if we want to rank.
In this post we will do a general overview of how public relations fits into internet marketing and SEO.
Start with making a list. Actually you are going to want to make a number of lists. Make a list of the big companies in your niche, their phone numbers and email addresses of their PR contacts and CEO’s. Make a list of blogs in your niche that might be interested in your topics, services or information. Again, include the contact information of the important people within the organization. The more the better. Don’t just go for the easy wins either, look for smaller companies and blogs as well. Finally, make a list of individuals that might not be attached to a company, that are large influencers within your niche.
Having a good list opens the door to many opportunities. Keep it in your pocket for later.
Develop a Media Kit
Most people already have one of these, but here you will assemble it into a shiny package. Locate or develop the following information:
- An informational letter about your company
- A product/service sheet about what you offer
- Any graphic media such as flyers/tri-folds
- FAQs (printed)
- Mission Statement / Vision
- Press Releases
Develop a Crisis Management Plan
We aren’t talking about what happens if there is a fire in your building. This means figuring out a contingency plan for public relations disasters, such as:
- Someone starts blogging badly about you
- Negative comments on social media outlets
- A former employee slanders you
- Negative comments on other websites
- Bad reviews on review sites
Most SEO’s already know what to do if this happens. Don’t just “have a general idea” of what to do. Write down a plan and have it ready to go in case it happens.
AMA’s or “Ask me Anything’s” have gotten huge within the past year, particularly on reddit. If you are in a unique industry or have someone in your organization that has some interesting accomplishments, consider doing an AMA. This will not only get your company some great press, but will help your employees (or yourself) brand themselves better.
Speaking engagements can be a huge win. Local speaking opportunities are a great way to establish credibility within the community. National speaking engagements can also help establish credibility, but will also grab the attention of reporters and bloggers in your industry. I’m speaking this year at Affiliate Summit East, an affiliate marketing convention in Philadelphia. This has already created some great press for our company, and is an excellent way to gain outreach.
Find creative ways to sponsor events in your industry, or even local events. Elite Strategies is sponsoring the our local Police Departments K9 event this year. We built them a website and exchange are getting a ton of good press about it. As with this example, sponsorship does not always have to include donating money. You can barter with people or offer your services. Find creative ways to sponsor events in your industry, and you will see some great rewards.
This is the fun part that SEO’s like, and that most of you are already familiar with. Take that list that you created in the beginning of the article, and find creative ways of linking up with people in your industry. Do not SPAM them. Find ways that you can help them, or how you can help their blog or publication. Once you’ve found a way that you can help them, you’re in.
Don’t email people asking for a link
Don’t email people out of the blue and ask them if you can publish an article.
If you do want an article or a link from somewhere, come up with a pitch and send it to them. Chances are, they won’t accept it. As a matter of fact, most blogs won’t accept your first submission. Take some time to study the type and quality of posts that you are trying to submit to, an go from there.
Don’t get scared. This doesn’t mean you have to throw down 100k at the Miami convention center. There are a number of different event ideas that you can pull off inexpensively, including:
- open houses – these are great particularly for new businesses. Get some food catered and show your off your office along with your products and services
- hold a panel – find the experts in your industry and hold a public panel where people can ask questions about what you do
- webinars – you can do from your own office, and are super easy to do with Google+ hangouts
This is another easy win. At the very least, you should make 2-3 social media updates per day about what is going on at your company and in your industry. Don’t be selfish. If you make it all about you, people will get board and leave. Post about interesting topics and make things interactive.
Ask questions. Make your questions fun, nothing too complex. Ask questions that people love to answer: about themselves! The more people that interact the more exposure your post will get.
If you’ve got some extra coin, do a PPC campaign for a recent news release or blog post that you’ve done. Make it interesting and above all, make sure it is relevant.
Reporters love writing about facts. Case studies are based off of cold hard facts, so they are great bait for reporters. Case studies are great because they offer something tangible to reporters about what your company provides. Make your case studies easy to read, and include lots of charts, graphs and reports. Ask your clients if you can do a case study on their success. Chances are they will love the idea.
Media monitoring is the act of constantly being on the lookout for mentions of your name in:
- print media
- news releases
Finding this stuff online is super-easy using Google search operators. There are also a number of tools available. One tool we’ve recently found very interesting is Cision’s Media Monitoring tool. This tool monitors all of the items on the above list, and more.
Tackling all of this stuff on your own isn’t easy. If you have a small business chances are you are already handling all of this on your own anyway.
If you do opt to hire your own Public Relations company, make sure they are up to date on the latest social media tools and know their way around a web browser. A lot of PR companies limit themselves to traditional PR and focus on print advertising etc.
Hope you’ve found some of this useful!