Is there any question that the Internet is quickly changing the way we now do business? Smart businesses are capitalizing on the power of the Internet by bringing their services online. Let’s take a look at how the power of the web can change the structure of your Public Relations campaign.The easiest way to get started with an online PR campaign is to utilize the press release; something businesses have taken advantage of in print media for decades. The following are three tips that are essential for the success of an online news release.As with any type of writing, using the correct format is key. The proper formatting of a press release is much like you would write a newspaper article. You want to include the most important information, such as the who, what, where, when, and why, in the beginning of the release and save the less pertinent information for the end. Many refer to this format as the inverted triangle. The exciting information should all be included in the first 250 words so that your reader is enticed to continue to read. This is especially important online in that many times a short summary is displayed on the main page with a link to go read the whole release. The more general information like a company’s history or business focus should be left to the end. This format is not only more attractive to a reader, but to a publisher that may pick up the news release. If they need to cut down the release because of a space constraint, the necessary information is still included.Besides using the right format, it is important to choose the right words for your press release. If they are written properly, they can effectively convey a lot of information as well as provide the necessary keywords to be found by the search engines. Think of what phrase your audience will be searching for in order to find information on your topic. The general rule is to keep the phrase to less than four keywords. Once you have done some research on the best keywords to use, make sure they are cleverly placed throughout the press release, with special emphasis on the heading, subheading, and first 250 words. Do not try to force the keywords though, they must sound natural and read smoothly. In fact using a keyword too many times is also noticed by search engines and can result in lower rankings in a search listing.It is important to have links within your press release that send readers to your website. The most effective link is one that includes anchor text, rather than a straight URL. The text in the anchor should be what your website and press release are about; the more relevant the better your results in search engines. Many of the sites online that distribute your press release will charge extra, usually around $200, to use anchor text in your links but it is definitely worth it. A number of businesses have noticed large gains in their search engine rankings as a result of a good press release.The final tip for a successful press release is to post it in the right places. There are a number of sites designed specifically to announce your news release. Other news sources and websites are constantly looking at these directories for good information to publish. Quite often they will pick up your press release and publish it elsewhere on the web, giving your news release, and website, great publicity. Make sure to publish to a number of the announcement directories; this will increase the chance of it getting picked up by outside sources. Don’t stop there though; publish your announcement on your own website. The press release should be full of quality content that will make the search engines drive more traffic to your site.In all, when done well, online press releases are an effective way to get publicity for your company, to increase your natural search rankings, and can even trigger viral marketing on the social networks such as Digg. The major traffic effects from press releases lasts about 2 months with some product announcements lasting on review sites for years. A good long term strategy to couple with the bursts one gets from press releases is to publish well written articles. A topic to be expanded upon at another time.
Corporate news refers to news which is related to the company or any event which is associated with the company. This news can be related to important events and results of the company which includes meetings, annual reports, facts and figures of sales, appointment, resignations, promotions, changes in policies and every other information which is useful for shareholders, employees and customers. In such a case, it becomes necessary for the management to ensure that their corporate news is reaching their customers and employees – the common question which comes here is how to spread corporate news?There are several ways by which you can spread corporate news:Articles, press releases and Blogs:These are the most common ways to spread corporate news. Articles related to the corporate news, blog posts on the subject and press release announcing the event or launch is often posted in different websites and article directories from where these are circulated. This is one of the most common ways to spread information about news related to the company but the problem was that it did not target the right people.However, with the spread and popularity of social networking sites, corporate news can now be spread among millions of users within seconds of being posted. Businesses usually have their online profiles in such social networks and use their networks to spread such corporate news. Social networks can be used in the following way:Microblogging: If you have an account in micro-blogging sites like Twitter, all you have to do is post the corporate news in one line in such a site. In accounts like Twitter there is a scope of re-tweeting posts which means that all your followers and friends have the power to circulate the news within seconds. It is said that websites like Twitter can circulate news to more than 10000 users in just 5 minutes.Uploading images and videos: Suppose your company has launched a new product through an elaborate event. You can post the images of such an event in your social networking sites – it is known that images and videos are more often clicked than written content. You can even add links to these videos and images to other websites where the information has been posted. This way you have the scope to circulate your corporate news.Update posts: Every social networking site offers an opportunity to update your profile with a status message. Whenever you will login to your account your status message will be displayed. This way, it acts as a reminder to everyone who visits your site or just glances at your profile. You can even post a link as your status message, so that those who are interested can click on such a click to know more.Note: You can post articles and blogs in such social networking sites too, but you have to ensure that the content is interesting and well written. It should not be too lengthy because no one prefers to read lengthy content in social networking sites. It is best if you can post corporate news in points highlighting some keywords for better glimpse.
Getting your business in the news for the right reasons isn’t as difficult as it sounds. There will be scores of news items sitting right under your nose now and taking place in your workplace every day, you just won’t have recognised them.If you go home and tell your family or friends about something that happened in the business that day, this is generally a good yardstick that it’s newsy and worthy of passing onto others – but please draw the line at office gossip!Here are ten suggestions which might apply to your business or be worth considering for future publicity purposes:1. People news – staff promotions, newly-acquired qualifications, internal re-organisations, new arrivals, recruitment drives, staff appointments to professional bodies or local voluntary groups. Staff make your organisation tick and people like reading about other people. These all provide valid news opportunities. Not only that, the majority of staff will be motivated by seeing themselves in the local business pages or mentioned on your website’s news section. It can be a great boost for morale.2. New business – winning a new contract, securing a lengthier deal, working in a new sector or in a new part of the UK or even overseas, all warrant news – if you are in a position to share this information. All will build confidence in your company and spread the word that your business is performing well and strengthening its position.3. CSR news – corporate social responsibility is the new buzz phrase but it’s not to be taken lightly. More and more companies are turning their CSR activities into meaningful and worthwhile exercises – most of which provide excellent news items. A link with charity is the most obvious one which will in itself generate many promotional opportunities. There will be plenty of other activities that should be highlighted and shouted about.4. Business change – expansion, consolidation, moving into new territory, changing premises – again all valid news items which are good to share with others and make people aware of. Don’t presume everyone knows you have a new head office or you’ve just opened another branch 20 miles away – you need to tell them. And on a positive note, all of these activities reflect further investment in your business which is always a good message to put out.5. Awards – many companies shy away from awards. This could be a missed opportunity. Many awards are free to enter and provide perfect opportunities to showcase your company to others within your business sector or, in the case of more general awards, to an even wider audience and potential future customer base. There are scores of awards for both B2B and B2C. The secret is to find the most relevant and effective one in which to promote yourself. And don’t just pin your hopes on winning; use your entry for self-promotion beforehand and follow up afterwards. Best case scenario – you’re a winner; worse case scenario – you don’t win but will still receive comments from judges which you can use to endorse your entry over and over again through your website, in press releases, company brochure, and so on.6. Comment – as an expert in your particular sector your opinion will be as valid as anyone’s. Why not use it? You may have something controversial to say or bring a new view to an existing industry story. Either way, be bold enough to take a stance (providing it doesn’t injure your company’s reputation) and stick by it. By putting yourself forward when there is a topical item in the news, you start to become an ‘expert’ and a reputable commentator in your field. Before you know it, news gatherers will be coming to you for the next comment, before you even have time to send out a release!7. When the chips are down – life in business isn’t always a bed of roses. When times are tough it’s important not to lose face and reputation. Things may not be quite going according to plan behind the scenes but it’s essential that it’s ‘business as usual’ when you’re talking to the external world. Consistent messages in news items and consistent news items, if you do already send out regular material, should be maintained as possible. These will support you through any blips and help keep up your external guard.8. Milestones – don’t miss any opportunity to flag up company anniversaries or special long service awards. Think outside your company too – does the sector you work in have any special ‘national’ theme days or significant diary events you can make use of for your own promotion.9. Piggybacking – don’t be afraid to make use of items already hitting the headlines. A national or international event or news piece may link directly or indirectly to your business. Make sure you use it to gain maximum ‘positive’ publicity locally or within your target audience.10. Surveys and statistics – you will probably have worked this one out for yourselves already, journalists love a good survey, and if it’s got lots of lovely statistics and percentages in too, even better! Take a look within your own organisation, are there any in-house surveys you have to hand you can share with the wider public? Are there any you receive from trade associations and groups within your sector which would make interesting reading? How many of us can’t resist the ‘Did you know…’ articles? The majority of these are borne out of surveys and findings. It just needs a bit of imaginative thinking to turn round the dullest set of figures to provide some startling information and trivia which people will love to read. Indirectly, it’s a chance to get your company name out there again.And if you get into the news for the wrong reasons…Don’t ignore it and pretend it hasn’t happened because you can bet readers or listeners on the receiving end won’t!If the news is inaccurate, you can put the record straight. If the negative message about your company is justified, it may be best to put your hands up, come clean and provide a proper explanation for it and say how you plan to rectify the situation and make things better.Don’t opt for the ‘no comment’ line – it suggests you’re hiding something and does nothing for building customer trust for your brand and reputation. Honesty and openness is key and readers and customers will respect you for telling the truth, even if it is bad news!Top tip: don’t forget, you don’t need to provide a 300-word polished press release, two or three paragraphs will suffice in many cases and if you have a photo to support it, even better. A lot depends on your individual company strategy – but possibly a drip, drip approach (news titbits on a regular basis rather than one big hit) might be the best approach. It’s great for maintaining your profile and keeping in front of your audience.