By Jenny Finke
Here are five tips to get you started on using technology to handle your own PR:
Amp up your website. Getting a brilliant website is the first step to being a tech savvy PR person. Your site serves as the billboard for your company so make it work for you. Talk to an SEO expert to make your site keyword energized, and from there be sure to constantly create new and useful content. Have stunning pictures that portray your company in the best light. Your website can also house your blog where you can position yourself as an expert and thought leader in your industry.
Get your research done. We have it so easy these days! Researching (practically anything) is just a few clicks away. Start by researching key reporters and publications you are targeting with your story idea. Find and read past articles and Google reporter’s names to learn more about their backgrounds. This step is so important on the road successful PR outreach. Think about how you can create a story for an outlet, not just a story that benefits you. How can you work together? What is the common tie? It’s key to do your research before pitching anything to anyone.
Know the key online tools. There are so many great online resources to take advantage of when doing your own PR. Here are a few favorites: HelpAReporter.com (HARO) – This service connects reporters looking for sources with individuals looking to be interviewed or featured. It’s a terrific and easy way to find opportunities for PR.HandleYourOwnPR.com (HYOPR) – HYOPR is a do-it-yourself PR service that helps entrepreneurs and small, medium and home-based businesses find success in PR. The site offers free PR tips, low-cost media lists, and press release writing services. PRWeb.com – PR Web is an affordable news release posting site that will push your news to its extensive distribution network of major news sites and search engines so your story gets in front of consumers and journalists. PitchEngine.com – This PR tool invented the Social Media Release and enables users to create and share news and content in an interactive setting. AwardSync.com – The AwardSync tool enables users to search for and identify opportunities to submit themselves and their businesses for awards so someone can get buzz and gain recognition and credibility.
Go social. Facebook , Twitter and other social networking tools are a great way to make your PR interactive online. In the past you needed to place an ad, get PR or send a direct mailing to a prospective customer to get in front of them. Today, technology has enabled companies to market directly to prospects and customers. However, being involved in these sites takes time and know-how. You need to engage visitors, provide useful content and keep your social sites active.
Audio. Video. Action. Uploading video online is so easy these days…and beneficial for you too! Use videos to demo your products, welcome visitors to your website, create interactive customer testimonials or put together your own webinar on a topic in your expertise area (you can use a fantastic program called Camtasia to screencast your webinars). You can even create your own YouTube channel or online podcast!
The DIY PR technology tools and resources available are plentiful – and if used wisely – can be beneficial to promoting your business in an era of technology. Good luck!
Jenny Finke is the U.S. founder of HandleYourOwnPR.com, a media list provider, and founder of Red Jeweled Media, a full-service PR agency specializing in working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. Please find her at www.HandleYourOwnPR.com and www.RedJeweledMedia.com.