What is PR today? Public Relations Key Takeaways From DGS3

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Watch a replay of the Public Relations Panelists at Digital Growth Summit:

[su_youtube_advanced url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE6AbhDcXME" width="800" controls="alt" showinfo="no" rel="no" fs="no" https="yes"] Serena Ehrlich, Moderator - Heather Wong, Sprint - Janette Rizk, Phelps Agency - Bob Gold, Bob Gold & Associates


What is PR today?

While the fundamentals of PR are the same, the practice has changed tremendously. –@Serena

Initially, PR was about broadcasting a company message to the widest audience possible. Then we began to seek out ways to express the tone of voice of the executives and company. Today we are less about broadcasting a message to the widest array possible, and more about creating a voice for companies in “dark media,” or the private areas of the web where we communicate, like closed Facebook groups, Snapchat, Vine, InMail in LinkedIn. - Bob Gold

Earned media was and is exposure that the company does not pay for, so that definition has not changed. What has changed are the platforms that are now available for companies to utilize in order to communicate their message. - Janette Rizk

PR has moved beyond Press Releases. Now blogging, infographics and images are all important. –@HeatherhWong

PR has moved beyond Press Releases. Now blogging, infographics and images are all important. Having the social platforms to share this content is great. In the end, though, the foundation of PR is building and protecting your company’s reputation and brand. - Heather Wong

The definition of PR can be boiled down to “the launchpad of activity.” PR is the ability to create something that drives third parties to move. - Serena Ehrlich


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How have digital platforms changed how you do PR?

A recent poll showed that 65% of Facebook users and 65% of Twitter users say that they have used those platforms as a source for news. These sources run in addition to press release generated, local news. - Heather Wong

There's benefit to becoming specific in our media outreach and getting to know journalists and influencers. –@JRizk

Traditional local media is still very important for outreach, however the additional layers of social media are emerging as another way to engage. - Janette Rizk

There is benefit to becoming very specific in our media outreach, and getting to know journalists and influencers in the arena for your business through their social media presence. - Janette Rizk

The news release is still a vital tool for journalists and influencers. It is critical to establish the conversation and to give the journalists a crib sheet to move forward with a meeting or interview. - Bob Gold

PR is about ROI. What are you going to do to drive sales? –@BobGoldinLA

PR is about ROI. What are you going to do to drive sales? At some level, in PR we lack a currency that expresses how our activities, either in traditional or new media “moves the needle” in sales. - Bob Gold

Use the Google URL builder to track the activities of visitors to your site from social media. This will help document ROI from engagement on social channels, with information such as frequency of visit and path. - Serena Ehrlich


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How do you create relationships with media using digital platforms?

Even if you choose not to use social channels to pitch ideas to journalists, using social channels to build relationships through research on reporters and influencers who may be interested in your content is an excellent tool. - Janette Rizk

Don’t forget to share your coverage. Reporters are now goaled on inbound traffic. –@Serena

Don’t forget to share your coverage. Reporters are now goaled on inbound traffic. So, if you get a media placement, be sure to assist them by sharing their story on social media. - Serena Ehrlich

A new and exciting use for social channels by PR people is the opportunity to amplify the coverage that we have worked so hard to get. - Janette Rizk

Build a list of 8-10 core writers who cover topics related to your business and connect with them in every way possible. Many reporters are inundated with hundreds of emails per day. Use every method of communication available to you. - Bob Gold

In terms of building relationships with media, email isn’t dead yet, but I prefer to pick up the phone and call. Face to face meeting for local reporters can be crucial as well. - Heather Wong

Remain tuned in to the activities of reporters and assist them by sharing what they write. –@HeatherhWong

Remaining tuned in to the activities of reporters who write in your space and assisting them by sharing what they write will encourage them to look at your brand. - Heather Wong

Send an email with sample messages to your friends and co-workers asking them to amplify the message from your media coverage as well. When Editorial content is shared by a 3rd party, 84% of people trust that information. - Serena Ehrlich

Journalists also sometimes appreciate pre-written tweets or posts. –@JRizk

Journalists also sometimes appreciate pre-written tweets or posts. - Janette Rizk

If you are a startup, you should have a friends and family email distribution list for any media coverage that you might receive. - Serena Ehrlich


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What are trends in video that help PR?

Snapchat has created a new video format: the vertical video. –@BobGoldinLA

Snapchat has created a new video format: the vertical video. This is because that is how people are viewing the content on their phones. - Bob Gold

Periscope and Meerkat are also platforms that are formatted for the vertical video. - Serena Ehrlich

Jun is a small town in Spain that is entirely run on Twitter. - Bob Gold

From 6 am to 4 pm TV news broadcasts are primarily aimed at Lifestyle segments. Over half of those segments are paid “integrated commercials.” This is a tremendous change to the news landscape. - Bob Gold


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How is your PR program changing in terms of content type?

Bite-sized press releases with a video or other visual component are becoming more common. –@JRizk

One current trend is that visual content is becoming much more important, and text content is becoming much more compressed. Bite-sized press releases with a video or other visual component are becoming more common. “Snackable Content” - Janette Rizk

Consider how your audience will want to receive your content, then deliver on it. - Janette Rizk

To effectively promote a product that has a diverse audience of users, take your press release and break it down by why it would matter to each audience, and create a message or update just for that audience. - Serena Ehrlich

For snack-size video content, I have seen GIFs be very effective to share on social media platforms. –@HeatherhWong

Each audience is different. For snack-size video content, I have seen .gif’s be very effective to share on social media platforms. - Heather Wong

To create a .gif file from a video (perfect snack-size content), hit the Share button on YouTube, under the video. A menu will appear, sometimes with a GIF tool to the right. - Serena Ehrlich

When making short video, be sure that your sound is high quality. - Bob Gold


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How are you leveraging your clients reputation in digital media outside of press releases and content?

One new way that I have recently seen is a brand approaching Influencers to guest edit their newsletter. –@JRizk

One new way that I have recently seen is a brand approaching Influencers to guest edit their newsletter, essentially, enlisting others to create user generated content, and providing them with a platform. This allows 3rd parties to become brand ambassadors for you. - Janette Rizk

Creating visuals can also include live demonstrations in addition to video. - Bob Gold

Twitter chats and Twitter parties are gaining in popularity. Consider pairing up your Twitter chat with an Influencer to leverage the reach that they are getting. - Janette Rizk


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Are there any special tips or techniques that you use to get people to share your content online?

We always recommend that you add a Click to Tweet link to your news release. –@Serena

We always recommend that you add a Click to Tweet link to your news release. This free service stores a pre-filled in tweet complete with message and url that, when someone clicks, will send from their twitter account. - Serena Ehrlich

Suggested tweets work well to encourage others to share your message. Be sure to provide several iterations. - Heather Wong

Best practices that you use for your agency?

Bear in mind your audience, find the best platforms for your brand by knowing who you are trying to reach, and what they are needing to know. Stay on strategy to keep your message clear. - Janette Rizk

Testimonials are the holy grail of PR and marketing organizations. –@Serena

Do you use testimonials to build your client base?

Testimonials are the holy grail of PR and marketing organizations. Startups should absolutely collect testimonials. - Serena Ehrlich [su_spacer size="1"]


When pitching it is important to be as transparent as possible. –@BobGoldinLA

If you are using Twitter to pitch a story, which Twitter handle do you use?

When pitching it is important to be as transparent as possible. I use my personal Twitter handle and make sure the journalist knows who my client is. - Bob Gold


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What can be done to help clients to have smaller budgets?

Public Relations Society of America LA does an event every year called Quality Time with PR Minds for nonprofits. This is an excellent source of information. - Bob Gold

Write Op-Eds in your area of expertise, make yourself and expert. Get your executives onto panels and get recognized. Make sure you have your social platform handles in all of your email signatures, especially your CEO’s signature. Join twitter chats. - Serena Ehrlich

How do you find the right Influencers in your area?

Use Google, do your own research, maintain lists. You can use We Follow or other tools, but in the end, you will need to vet them yourself.


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What is the best way to get your press release picked up?

The AP (Associated Press) told Business Wire that having an image with a press release is vital. In a recent survey, not one respondent would look at a press release without an image. - Serena Ehrlich

Have a very good headline and first sentence. - Serena Ehrlich

Don’t try to convert the world with your news release. If your news is only relevant to a certain audience, write the release for that audience. - Serena Ehrlich