What if We Never Write Another Press Release?


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We talk about that a lot lately. Mostly to reinforce how much PR is changing – and what passed for ‘savvy PR’ doesn’t cut it anymore. On the bright side, many more companies are actively searching for good PR right now. These companies are smarter and more focused. They want something new, even if they can’t quite define what it looks like. That last point – that no one knows what good PR will look like in the next 15 months – is actually great news, because it’s forcing change.

The most interesting conversations right now are about using PR to grow the top-line. That’s revenue, to the rest of us. For most of this year, much more of our work has been about creating fresh content that feeds right into the marketing mix, and reflects the new reality about how prospects get information. That’s just going to increase in 2012.

By the time prospects come to your site, they’ve already pre-qualified you. So how do you get onto their short-list, and once they’re there, prevent them from bouncing out? And once they give you permission to connect – how do you move them through the sales cycle, just a little bit faster?

That’s the new PR. It used to be the domain of marketing. Of course it’s about revenue. And message. And brand. And differentiation. Mostly, it’s about understanding the buyer, and giving them the kind of ‘custom’ insight that gets opened. At the same time, it has to pass the self-serving sniff-test; expertise is a good start in building credibility, but push too hard, or deny the competitive reality, and it’s shot.

On the surface, most of this has nothing to do with releases, or bylines, or awards, or happy chatter about how many visitors a site may receive. (Numbers lie as well as ever; high web traffic is only part of the equation – those numbers have to come from a relevant audience to make a meaningful impact.)

So does the old-guard news release deserve to die? No, not yet, and maybe not for years to come. But it had better be just a small part of the mix, not the main play. Instead, it’s time to bust through the ‘traditional’ ideas of what makes for news – especially if you think about news as something that someone actually doesn’t yet know – but will find meaningful, useful, and worth talking about.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Amy Bermar
Amy Bermar founded Corporate Ink determined to create the kind of PR firm reporters wanted to work with. She spent her first 10 years writing for dailies and knew that good PR makes for great stories 20 years later – she's built one of the tech industry's top boutique firms.


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