Thursday, October 11, 2007

The New "Relations" in Interactive PR

The umbrella term of "public relations" (PR) has always covered a number of specialties: media relations (primarily), investor relations, analyst relations, community relations, even employee relations. The social networking of Web 2.0 and interactive PR has added two new "relations" to the mix—let's call them market relations and blogger relations.

Market relations is the practice of writing news releases (not press releases) that are targeted directly at your prospects rather than journalists (though media folks may pick up on these as well). This is a central concept of David Meerman Scott's recent book, The New Rules of Marketing & PR (reviewed here). While press releases are about you—you've released a new product, or hit a milestone, or signed a new partner alliance for example—news releases are about the interests of your market. They aren't designed to promote your product or service directly, but rather to position your company as a thought leader.

News release topics include new white papers you've produced (the findings, not the white paper itself), relevant commentary on recent news, results of studies you've done in the course of business, new ideas, how-to content posted to your site or blog—in short, any content that is relevant to your industry, of interest to your prospects, and that positions your company as experts in your field.

Distribution is also different: while press releases are dispersed via major newswires and directly to journalists, market-focused news releases are sent to targeted bloggers and through online distribution services such as PRWeb.

Blogger relations is similar to media relations, but requires a different approach as it must appeal to non-professional journalists who are often writing more out of passion than for money.
I've written previously here about blogger outreach, following up on two excellent guest posts by PR guru-ess Cece Lee (who also incidentally recently posted my comments on the topic of "sincerity"). Appeals to bloggers need to be direct, personal, relevant and transparent.

Used properly, the social media tools of Web 2.0 give forward-thinking PR professionals new ways to build awareness and corporate credibility through market relations and blogger relations.


Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom


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