I recently started a weekly e-mail to the marketing/PR/events team in my office with three to five articles and resources relating to trends in the field. I decided to use the format of a brief overview of the article, and a question for our team to think about in relation to our organization based on the topic of each piece. All of the articles and blog posts are saved under my Delicious account, but I thought it may be useful to share them here as well in the format described as many of the questions can apply to any organization. If you have ideas, suggestions or additional resources please post them in the comments.
It’s not news that the news industry is suffering. Major newspapers and local papers (i.e. five more metro Detroit papers) are making cuts or shutting down completely. This means more competition for less column inches to promote and recognize our programs and events. How will we continue to reach our audiences and share our message? How can we make our news releases more relevant and effective?
Overview: Since 2000, one in four media jobs have become obsolete according to a 2008 Bureau of Labor Statistics study. In the past, 80% of the time news releases were intended for journalists. Now, with the shift to online news, at least 50% of the audience of a news release is search. (Here is an example of a Social Media Release integrating components mentioned in the article.)
Question: How can we make our releases more search-friendly?
Overview: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the key to cracking the code of achieving high “organic” or natural ranking in search engines such as Google. Though SEO can be confusing and overwhelming, five essentials are outlined emphasizing the importance of a plan of action and measurable components.
Question: What are some keywords that relate to our programs?
Overview: Despite the hype on new media, journalism schools still need to focus on basic reporting, writing and editing skills rather than technical Web-based skills. Teaching students about social media and blogging is important, but writing is still number one.
Question: How can we uphold a high standard for writing while still making it translate to the online community?
PR Tactics and The Strategist Online: Study determines top gobbledygook phrases used in press releases (aka don’t use these words!)