About a year and a half ago, I wrote about a new battle that few people saw coming – the battle over content creation. I was amazed that the post was viewed by 70,000 people. Why? It obviously struck a chord. (Read that post).
Google quietly announced some pretty big changes to its search algorithm that could have big implications on the PR industry, especially those that focus on SEO tactics. The key piece of the Google webmaster document change that has people sweating bullets has to do with the inclusion of links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites. You know, those press releases that are chock full of hyperlinks pointing back to web content generated by a particular brand.
When I first released PitchEngine back in 2008, I was sure that I was going to change PR in a single swoop. I soon learned that it would take everything I had to “convince and convert” – as my friend Jay Baer would put it. I spent those first few years blogging like crazy and traveling to speak just about anywhere people would listen. PitchEngine grew, no doubt. And, by 2011, more than 35,000 brands worldwide were using it to create better content. You see, we’ve been a content marketing platform from day one, there just wasn’t a definition for it back in those days.
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Disrupting a century-old model isn’t easy. The majority of the Public Relations industry, including the companies that thrive there, are still stuck in cruise control. Just like the advertising industry of old, PR companies still think that impressions are the end goal for their clients and brands. How do I know this? Because PR wire services like Business Wire, PR Newswire, PRWeb and Market Wire still charge hundreds to distribute press releases to a blanket list of email contacts (or post your release on a third-party website with no traffic). But this model, just like the distribution models that preceded it, won’t be sustained forever. (ie. music, newspaper, etc.,)
PR is Not a Process
If your idea of PR is writing press releases, then you have some catching up to do. The most effective PR pros and agencies are no longer press release generators. If you are a company who is paying someone specifically for the press releases they write – you should rethink your goals and expense.
Coopetition with Social Collaboration
A little coopetition can go a long way. Small businesses have limited resources, and, if you’re a solopreneur, there are even less. That’s why Pitchengine and Tracky have teamed up to give you a better way to maximize your media efforts, while minimizing time. Following our guide to Building a Team of Social Collaborators you can expect to:
Four years ago, when I launched PitchEngine, the world of public relations and marketing was still in the Word doc era. There was simply no way to easily create and publish branded, digital assets. In fact, most companies were satisfied spamming press releases out to a mailing list of journalists via a traditional PR wire service.
It’s been a few weeks since we turned on our Pinterest integration, which enables PitchEngine users and their readers to pin their favorite pitches. I really like how people have kicked-up the engagement and taken a little extra time to create better content. You can check out pitches from multiple authors as they are pinned here.
I like the Pinterest tie-in for a variety of reasons:
Yesterday, we activated our Pinterest integration by adding the “pin-it” button to pitches. Because Pinterest grabs photos, we had to do some actual legwork to get the pitches to play nicely with or without images. Anyway, the integration got me thinking…
My last post (A New Battle Emerges) about the future of public relations and content creation seriously struck a chord. For some, it came as a shocker – Journalists might actually replace me?! For others, it provided reassurance that they were on the right track.
Everyone in public relations or journalism knows it. It’s a love/hate relationship. In many cases, we make friends and contacts that mutually benefit each other’s careers. In other cases, we do what we gotta do to make our client or managing editor happy. Some PR pros are better than others, while some journalists are easier to work with than others – it’s just the name of the game.
This week, I sat down via Skype with John Lucchetti of Backstage Business – A Behind the Scenes Community for Digital Media Entrepreneurs. Here’s what we discussed:
I’ve been a vocal proponent for steering PR pros away from using the standard, AP-style press release exclusively. I think good writing is still critical, but the stale template makes us lazy as communicators.