foot is sliding into the new digital landscape: excited, nervous, learning,
kicking, and screaming.Despite the changes in the industry, PR pros
must remember the basics.The following 20 items and links will serve as
reminders and resources.1. Grab a reporter or blogger’s attention
with your words. Words wield power. Choose them carefully. Be relevant.
• How to pitch Mashable
• 3 tips to pitching your story to The Wall Street Journal
• How to effectively communicate with the media
2. Email a three-line
pitch. Target your pitches, and understand what each reporter is looking
for. Sum up how your pitch/story will benefit his or her audience.
3. Use social media monitoring tools. Make
use of Google Alerts, trending topics, and other tools to keep an eye on hot
issues, competition, and your own name.
• 5 social media measurement tools for PR pros
• How Google’s SEO algorithm is changing the web
4. Pitch, arrange, and
attend an interview for a client. Know the process from beginning to end.
Hold your client’s hand as you prepare them for an interview you’ve arranged. Be
there for them when they need you. Equally as important: Know when to step back
and simply listen.
5. Stand up to a client or reporter in a
firm yet polite way. Like your clients or managers, journalists can be
testy, abrupt, and downright rude.
6. Generate valuable content on a regular
basis. Identify trends and lessons that can benefit others. Be a constant
source of solid information that people trust and respect.
7. Coach your clients or executives on interview
techniques. Prep them prior to interviews so they feel comfortable with
being on camera or using a microphone.
8. Train top management in crisis
communications. Have in place a complete and current written plan that
• Preparing and executing a crisis communications plan
• 4 steps for effective crisis communications
9. Use a Flip cam.
It’s important to know how to record a short interview or breaking news
story, but it’s essential to grasp how technology helps you disseminate
it to the masses. Think Twitter. News breaks there first. Know some basic video
10. Ask good questions.
Quality questions bring you quality information. Get people thinking,
feeling, and reacting.
with others. Don’t view people in ancillary departments like marketing,
advertising, branding, and HR as the enemy. Go for integration, not silos.
12. Use traditional and
social media press releases. I don’t see press releases going out of style
anytime soon. Do you?
13. Use keywords, links, and SEO to give your
press releases legs. Do your homework on keywords and search engine
rankings. It might make or break your website and blog—and maybe even your
analytics. Understand measurement tools and what they mean to your overall
strategy and daily activities (tactics).
Listen to a speech, podcast, webinar, or press conference. Be able to pull
out three sound bites from a five-minute presentation or 30-minute rant. This
one skill alone will benefit you in public speaking, sales, business, and
networking. Summarizing something complex with a punchy quote that brings out
the essence of a conversation is priceless these days.
16. Repurpose content. Reformatting
and tweaking a press release, article, interview, or blog post will save you
lots of time and energy.
17. Build an online newsroom.
Learn the elements of a quality online newsroom so journalists, bloggers,
and others can trust you as a credible, engaging resource that has current
the subject line of an email pitch in fewer than eight words. Clarity rules.
• Anatomy of a successful email pitch
19. Follow chats, forums, and lists to
build relationships with reporters and bloggers. It’s good to watch, hover,
and observe online to learn personalities and styles before jumping in. Weave
your way into a conversation without a pitch. That will come down the road.
• Passion+ Community = Success
• Howto create targeted media lists and build relationships
and upload a blog post. Be sure you can do this from beginning to end in
less than 30 minutes. That means without the help of tech support.