By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency
Jerusalem —- March 9, 2010 …. . Classic, professional public relations (PR) is about to go through a revolutionary change. The days of faxing out and or emailing multiple press releases with glossy photos attached to journalists are numbered.
For decades, when one had a special message to deliver to a B2B, B2C, governmental or non-profit market, they would type up a news release, mail it, messenger it and or fax it out. Today, email has become the weapon of choice, unless the news release is especially sensitive and or time dated.
But even these practices will soon become extinct due to social networking, Web 2.0 and SEO optimized new media Blogs and Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, MySpace and Meetup.com.
One of my high tech clients asked me to explain today exactly why he needed to be on Facebook.
I responded: “When TIME Magazine, CNN and FOX News try to contact me – it is no longer through email – they are tracking me down through Facebook or LinkedIn and using Facebook and or LinkedIn mail.”
This speaks volumes for how governments, corporations and non-profits are now contacting the media today. Working in reverse, if one is seeking to get news out, especially with regard to crisis communications management and reputation public relations, online social media has become the potent channel to use with Facebook and LinkedIn leading the pack.
Facebook today has over 350 million members and is climbing fast in reaching up 500 million people from the US, Canada, UK, Australia and France to Israel, Germany, Japan, India and China within the very near future. What once started out as a Website from a Harvard dorm room as a means to meet girls, has grown to become the Web’s number two ranked entity, behind search engine Google.
And Facebook is no longer limited to those under 25. The number of Americans over 35, 45, and 55 on Facebook is growing at a rapid pace. In the last 60 days alone, the number of members over 35 on Facebook has nearly doubled.
The PR professional needs not only to be on Facebook but to learn how Facebook works. He or she needs to spend perhaps months learning Facebook culture and Facebook terms of service. If one does not respect the rules of Facebook, they will find that their Facebook account and the account of their client disabled within days.
One can also get disabled from Facebook by revealing too much information to the masses, giving hackers an opportunity to attack your hard drive or thieves breaking into your office to deactivate or redirect your Facebook, email and or other Web 2.0 accounts pretending to be you.
New media, social networking, Web 2.0 Websites and Blogs are now killing conventional print media with average daily circulation falling more than 10 percent in the April-September 2009 period compared with the same period last year, accelerating a slide that has led to thousands of bankruptcies, closures and cutbacks in newsrooms from New York, Washington and Los Angeles to London, Paris and Tel Aviv.
Average Sunday circulation for 562 US newspapers was down by more than 7.49 percent.
When seeking to reach the masses today through established, accredited media outlets which have online news departments, the new form of public relations or NPR (New Public Relations) is found on social networking sites where one only needs one news release sent out into a viral marketing spin. Rather than advertising an upcoming special event, trade show or exhibition with 3 or 4 news releases, one only needs one SEO – search engine optimization – PR news release to create a group on Facebook, an announcement on LinkedIn, Twitter and a paid announcement on MeetUp.com.
This news release (or PR) should contain all of the 5 w’s – who, what, where, when and how. It should contain as many relevant keywords in it as possible which associates to the event. And one should strive to get this news release placed on Google News as a news release or as a news story. In the hierarchy of Google News – aim for a news story, rather than a news release which is not considered as a prime source.
For those who are seasoned, professional journalists and PR, media consultants, this represents major changes to what you have learned and practiced from the AP Stylebook!
Not all SEO PRs are created equally. There are many inexperienced, so-called SEO PR experts who have nothing more than training in hair dressing, cosmetics or construction who have found SEO as quick and convenient means to make money, as most people and companies do not understand anything about HTML, page titles and META tags. But the truly successful PR professionals today will take their journalism experience, push the envelope and integrate his or her creative writing skills with SEO to reach the largest possible audience.
In addition, you may find a really good PR consultant who has recently taken SEO, new media, social networking, Web 2.0 courses or an SEO consultant who has just spent three months learning creative writing and media placement but they will not always get all they need from an academic course or 2 hour seminar.
Getting the PR message out today demands having a news and or PR channel that was established years ago and has an abundance of back links coming into it. It must have the organic ears and the eyes of Google News and backed-up with paid for Google Adwords and Facebook ads.
Lastly, as soon as that story appears on Google News, the PR pro now needs to push that story out through social media, Web 2.0 outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Blogs. What we are looking at here is integrating professional creative writing with SEO HTML optimized copy with online news aggregators such as Google News, Yahoo News and DIGG.
News distribution, targeting, monitoring and online PR, branding and marketing solutions today demand an ocean of knowledge in several new digital disciplines. Without knowing the new social networking, Web 2.0 forest, one will never find the trees that they are seeking to target.
So how can you tell if your PR news release is truly reaching millions for real estate, politics, entertainment, food, high tech, sports and or reputation crisis communications management rather than just a few dozen people?
Copy and paste the headline of the news release into Google Web and place quotation marks at the beginning and end of the head. Click on search and then count on how many Websites are carrying your story. The higher the number that the PR organization can secure for you becomes the real acid test of which PR SEO firm of 2010 that you want to retain for you and your organization.