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Posts Tagged ‘journalists’

ATTN Journalists – is NOT an accurate source

Today I read a press release which grossly understated a websites statistics and referenced as the source. Journalists, please note – this is not a credible source. How do I know the numbers are off? I am the one who actually tracks them for the site mentioned.

I decided to check it out using my blog, and I was encouraged to see that I got over 20,000 visitors in January. The only problem is that I really didn’t get that many visits. At the risk of full disclosure, lets just say, they are (way) off — the site, while growing, did not see even 10,000 visitors in January — or December of February for those that are thinking it may be off by a month.

So what’s the moral of the story? Trying to speculate a site traffic is not a good thing, and I imagine could get you in trouble if you are a journalist.

As for – I don’t think that is a great way to demo analytics software, but that’s just my opinion. If customers notice this kind of discrepancy, it may alter their perception of the paid versions of the software.

NOTE: I regret that I am unable to disclose the exact reference or website due to my relationship with the company.

Why your press releases don’t work

Making the news has been a significant part of corporate marketing strategy; even long before the days of the web. The web has made this component of marketing very easy to execute by using sites such as PR Web, PR Newswire, and the like, but most people still don’t get the expected results.

Why is this? You need to ask yourself who is on your media team. For most small companies, the media team consists of the owner drafting an article, doing his or her best to make it not seem like the advertising and self glorification piece that they want it to be. This is often followed by submitting it to PR Web, paying about $120 for a mid range of services, then sitting back and waiting for a miracle that rarely comes. Why is this? I will give you a few reasons:

1. It usually is only newsworthy to the owner. My sister (a long time media professional) actually looked at one my press releases and said “next time, let me give you a hand… that’s just not a press release”. Hey, I have learned to be humble, and it does help to have family or friends in the business. But if you don’t, make sure you have a writer experienced with writing press releases help you. If what you are saying is truly newsworthy, then it is worth the money. Perhaps that should be your benchmark (would I invest marketing money to get this story out?)

2. Closely related to #1, is not having a team in place. If your team consists of you, your computer, and a web site, I have some news that you may not want to hear. You are better of spending that money driving traffic to your web site through pay per click advertising. It will give you a better return because it will be targeted traffic as opposed to another press release lost in the sea of press releases sent out that day.

So who should be on your team?

1. First, you spin doctor. This person needs to be adept in writing press worthy material. In a perfect world they would come complete with their own media contacts.

2. Media Contacts. These should be specific and not general. Specifically, if you are in the car business, you need to be establishing relationships with journalists that cover the automotive industry. How do you find them? Look everywhere. It doesn’t hurt to try and build a relationship with The Wall Street Journal, and you may just get a call or an email back (I certainly have). I would also try and build a relationship with an Guide that serves your industry.

3. Bloggers. It’s 2007 folks and blogging is here to stay. Every blogger is essentially a journalist or a voice to his or her industry, so why not get in touch with them. Unlike journalists, most are not getting paid to blog, so having someone contact them with a story is a feather in their cap.

I hope that helps you get your next PR blitz out profitably. I am also here to help and while I am currently not taking on new assignments, I can possibly refer you to some good folks that can help you.

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