Ken McGaffin is a writer, speaker and trainer in online marketing. He provides webinar and video training in link building, online PR and content marketing. When it comes to sending out a press release or PR shots to a newspaper there’s not much that Ken doesn’t know. I was therefore thrilled when Ken accepted my invitation to present one of my 5TopTips on online PR and although I normally restrict my videos to just five tips Ken threw in a bonus tip at the end.
Tip 1. Read as much about your industry as you possibly can online, and that includes trade journals, trade press, but also the general press. It is very important to look at what the quality press write in a general sense about your industry. And of course do not forget bloggers in your industry, whether they are in the UK or the USA. They can be a tremendous source of coverage for you. And when I say read, I do not mean scan the way most of us do at the moment, I mean really read in depth, so when you see a story about your industry read it carefully, notice what the points were, see what you can learn from it and see how you can emulate that.
Tip 2. Start building a list of target publications as soon as you can. Collect details of outlets, journalists and bloggers who are in your industry and find their contact details. It is not hard to do so by searching online and then once you’ve found those details start interacting with them. If they are on Twitter follow them on Twitter, retweet their stories, even make comments on the stories that are published, so that when you do come to pitch those journalists or bloggers they may have some vague recollection of your name and therefore be more likely to write about you.
Tip 3. Now a lot of people think that PR is free. Well it is in the sense that no money changes hands but certainly there is a value exchange going on. If you want to get free PR you cannot expect it by right, you have got to work hard for it. That means you have got to spend time creating a newsworthy story. If you do not do that you are very unlikely to get any coverage at all. So invest in creating your story and then you will get some free PR after that.
Tip 4. Companies often under estimate the news stories that are actually in their company and round about them in their industry, as a result they don’t exploit those. So think creatively about all the things that are going on in your company. I do it in three ways. Think about industry events you can piggyback on. Think about company anniversaries which are set in stone that you can celebrate and the third part, which is my favourite, is creating events for those months that are free. So that is where you can put your creative work to great use and create an event so that when you send out your press release it will attract TV, radio, online and newspaper coverage.
Tip 5. Remember this is a global opportunity. Online PR lets you contact a newspaper like the San Francisco Chronicle in the same way as you can contact the Sunday Herald or any other newspaper in the UK. It breaks down barriers and if you are a small company or a medium sized company interested in exporting this is tremendous. You can build a presence in your export market just by working from your own desk here at home in the UK.
Bonus Tip 6. Find yourself a freelance journalist, someone who is working locally, and employ them to come in and interview you and then write up a story. What that will give you is practice in understanding and answering a reporter’s questions and then you will see the end result in terms of the article that they write. And that can be valuable promotion in itself. You will also be supporting a local journalist and building a relationship that will stand you in good stead in the future.
You can find Ken McGaffin at http://www.mcgaffin.com or for further articles from Ken visit or http://www.wordtracker.com/authors/ken-mcgaffin
For 3 successful online PR case studies see http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2014/04/22/3-successful-online-pr-case-studies/
Watch Ken McGaffin’s 5TopTips on online PR here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c1LnDml-4s
Online PR, PR, PR shots, press release, newspaper PR, newspaper, 5TopTipsTV