Posts

Traditional Public Relations as a Foundation for Online PR

building-foundation

Online public relations has become like a shiny object attracting PR practitioners and companies alike, yet it must be built on a solid foundation. That’s why it’s preferable to seek out public relations professionals with a background in traditional PR before the online revolution began.

You can tell a prospect to visit your website until you’re blue in the face, but you’re never sure if they really will.

A background in traditional PR provides the skills required to fully take advantage of online opportunities. Some formats such as online press releases and content provision articles rely on knowledge and background in their traditional cousins. Moreover,  a company needs a solid base in traditional marketing before expanding into online opportunities.

For example, a focus on website development without background written marketing materials is a poor strategy for promotional efforts. You can tell a prospect to visit your website until you’re blue in the face, but you’re never sure if they really will. However, if you hand them a leave-behind such as a tri-fold brochure at a sit-down meeting, well, they’ll probably at least glance at it on its way to the trash.

Other major components of foundational public relations rely on items such as media list. Media research provides a long-term deliverable for your client, including contact information and the best beat reporters to contact for your target market.

Only after creating a tri-fold brochure and a media list should you proceed to the next step, creating an optimized website to create an entirely independent flow of revenue.

Using a Media List

newspaper dispenser
 

Despite the turmoil created by the online expansion of public relations, researching a media list remains fundamental to the practice. A media should consist of the key publicity outlets to pitch with a press release from your client, and it should include trade journals, daily newspapers, local business journals and online sites.

Dedicated public relations directories, especially Bacon’s, can be founded in almost every major library, and the PR pro should use it to research appropriate reporters, contact information, circulation and other pertinent information. Generally, you can approach the editor-in-chief directly for publications with a circulation less than 50K, while a beat reporter may be more appropriate for a larger journal.

Despite what reporters say, it is always a good idea to give them a call first and ask for permission to send a press release.

Despite what reporters say, it is always a good idea to give them a call first and ask for permission to send a press release. This will make your release stand out from the daily bombardment these reporters experience every day.

Read more