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How Social Media Can Help Your PR Efforts
The emergence of social media has been a game-changer for newspapers and
magazines. On the one hand, they have seen their print numbers continue to
drop as more and more people turn to the internet to get their news and
information. On the other hand, they (the smart ones) have seen that by
embracing social media and leveraging the different opportunities it offers,
they can drive more traffic to their sites, engage in open dialogues and
react quicker. So what does this mean for you? More opportunities than ever
for you to build relationships and get publicity. Here are a few things to
keep in mind when trying to leverage social media for PR purposes — and
that’s PR as in public relations, not PageRank!
Many times when people think about getting publicity for their business,
their wishlist goes something like this:
- I want to be featured in Forbes
- I want an interview in Inc Magazine
- I want to sit down with Donny Deutsch on the "Big Idea"
Having lofty goals is great, but it’s not always possible. Many times,
it’s much more realistic (and effective) to start smaller. Think about all
of the blogs that are out there. Find out which ones your potential
customers read on a daily basis? Determine the ones that reporters for those
bigger publications use (Who are they quoting? Who are they linking to
online?). Start there. Most times, it will be easier to get featured on a
smaller blog than a major publication. You can then use this coverage later
on when you pitch bigger publications.
Hang Out In All The Right Places
Social media has made it so much easier to build relationships with
people and get noticed. A great place to start for this is right on Twitter.
Use one of the Twitter search engines or directories (I really like
Twellow) to find reporters who are in
your space. Simple searches —
like this one for "reporter" — can be really helpful. Connect with
them. See what types of things they are looking for. Become an
invaluable resource to them.
When you have somewhat of a relationship built up, connect further
through places like Facebook and LinkedIn. It’s all about building those
relationships. Once you have a relationship with someone, they are much more
likely to want to write about you or your company. But don’t forget, just
like everyone always preaches good content, the same is true here. If your
products or services aren’t really that good, you’re not going to get too
Traffic Is Noticed
Let’s say you’ve now built some relationships and received some initial
press coverage. Promote that content just like you would promote something
from your own site. Do you have strong accounts in social networks? Get it
out in StumbleUpon. Get it on Digg. Share it with everyone. This will have a
First, it will get more coverage for you. The more people who see it, the
Second, newspapers, magazines, TV stations and other media outlets are
all thirsty for traffic. Many of them look very carefully at what articles
are most viewed for the day (more views = more ad revenues). And many times
this trickles down to the reporter. Do you think he or she would probably
want to write about you again, if they got a big pat on the back from their
boss? Of course they would….
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.