Incorporate New Media into your PR Plan

Posted by: Lindsey Hardegree on Sep 2 2010 / Comments (0)

As more newspapers go out-of-print or change format, the newest challenge organizations are facing is how to approach the press in a way that will get them featured in the few remaining column inches dedicated to the arts.  Bloggers and online newspapers are becoming more prominent, and the traditional press release doesn’t speak to these entities.  It’s time to find a way to incorporate blogging and social media into the press releases that we send out to our new press resources.

Many nonprofits have a page on their website which lists PDFs of their press releases and a downloadable press kit.  This Online Newsroom is a great addition to the website, but it needs to be tailored to the online press who are likely to use it.  Keep in mind that not only will the local papers be likely to use your resources, but bloggers will as well, so new media should be available in several different forms to appeal to these differing press people.

Rather than including static press release PDFs, consider creating an online press release via a new page for each release, or a popup.  You can offer a PDF download as well, but by adding the content to your site directly, you open yourself up to several options:

  • Links: You can save links to your Delicious account that relate to the press release (perhaps it’s a release about a show, and you save all the reviews to Delicious) and tag them with a specific tag.  Then  you can add a link to that tag in your online press release so that other press can see what has been written already.
  • Social Media: If your release is about a new job opening, then you can link to the LinkedIn posting.  If it’s about a special event, you can link to the Facebook event.  Incorporating social media gets much easier when the release is online, especially when you consider that it’s super easy to embed YouTube videos and other multimedia that may not other get in front of the press.
  • Search Engine Optimization: To get really great Google juice, optimize your release’s text to make it super SEO-friendly.  This will not only help press members to find your releases, but it will also help your patrons and audiences to find your releases.  When they’re the ultimate consumers of your release’s information, this just takes one step out of the process and gets the information out faster.

Another great addition to your PR arsenal is PR Newswire.  It’s an online press release distribution and monitoring service.  The annual membership fee of $195 is quite affordable, but they waive the fee for nonprofits, which makes it even nicer!

And if you REALLY want to get into extending your PR plan, take a look at PitchEngine‘s video on the social media release:

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