jump-start your PR in 2011

As 2010 comes to a close and we look ahead to 2011, I can’t help but reflect on the achievements for my clients, my business and the industry as a whole.  2010 has, without a doubt , been an extremely challenging but rewarding year for the PR industry and it has laid a solid foundation for the work that lies ahead.  In 2011, as I enter my 11th year of business, I will be launching a new  product that will  bring storylinePR clients a blend of  both traditional and  progressive approaches to PR – all powered by relationships.  And here is the best part – it’s local.  A new way to connect Ottawa’s key business people, organizations and media. I am so excited and can’t wait to share more!  I also plan to continue to provide my best tips through this blog, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

In the face of social media PR in 2011, I would like to take this opportunity to jump-start the new year for my loyal readers by sharing a few tips for focused and actionable PR results in 2011.  Happy New Year everyone – in the spirit of anticipation and great things to come!

Plan.  There are many new developments to the world of PR and it is important to include a solid social media strategy to support your communications efforts. This is truly the future of PR and is a necessity to participate in the new world of media. When executed properly, adding the element of social media into your PR plans, in addition to traditional PR, will boost your business to new heights.

Search. It’s amazing to me that more businesses don’t enter for awards and capitalize on speaking opportunities. From a PR perspective, the publicity that awards and speaking engagements can bring are worth their weight in gold.  Research shows that people like to do business with companies connected to the community.  I highly recommend investigating possible award categories and speaking opportunities that are a good fit for your business. You’ll earn valuable exposure as well as enhance your credibility as a solid member of the community from a third-party authority.

Connect. Journalists are using websites in their research, with the majority acquiring information through a company’s website and then transitioning to the company’s blog to get more information on a specific business or person. Connect with the media and your audience by starting a blog.  Creating a blog and contributing content related to your  profession will increase your online presence and position yourself as a potential expert source for media.

Simplify. Create a news room on your website and populate it with content for journalists to obtain everything they need to do a story. Past news releases are nice, but you will want to include individual components found in a traditional media kit to paint a picture and create story about you and your company.

Optimize.  Ensure your online news releases are optimized for SEO, (search engine optimization), so journalists have a greater chance of finding your important announcements.  An optimized news release can be an extremely effective marketing tool and when created with balance in mind. You will not only build traffic and interest from editors, but it also further contribute to your online reputation.

Visualize.  Reporters and editors are using multimedia more and more to support news content and sharing it on their websites, blogs and twitter feeds.  Why not host photos or audio of important announcements on your website or blog. Adding visual elements such as video and photos to your media outreach to help tell your story, and in the end, be more effective to ensure your news is more easily shared.

Socialize.  Coverage often times comes from building a relationship with a journalist, and it’s becoming more frequent in the industry to establish those relationships through social media. Participate in conversations on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Find out where your customers hang out by asking customers if they are active on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. Contribute regularly to other people’s blogs where you can position your company and yourself as an expert and make it easy for journalists to find you.

That’s it for now.  More tips to come in 2011!

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