A Key Component to PR Success: An Online Media Kit

Client PR clips

Public relations (PR) services help businesses communicate their message to media outlets. PR keeps your company in the public eye, and if your company is in need of public recognition, consider creating an online media kit that will enhance its PR efforts. An online media kit will help media professionals learn about your company, and they may subsequently choose to contact you for a potential feature story or mention in a publication.

An online media kit is a pre-packaged set of promotional materials about your company/service that is intended for the media to review. It should feature facts, news, and updated contact information. The kit will allow reporters, editors, and bloggers to get a “sneak peak” of your company that may lead to an interview. However, following up with reporters dramatically increases your chances of getting featured.  Furthermore, a media kit is a professional way to quickly present stimulating information about your company/services.

Below is a list of information that is essential for your company’s online media kit: Continue reading “A Key Component to PR Success: An Online Media Kit”

5 Tips for Writing Effective Press Releases

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A press release is a form of written communication that is meant to bridge the gap between an organization and the media. They are meant to announce newsworthy stories, special events, upcoming promotions or contests and any other interesting and timely content. Using the information from press releases, members of the media can then choose whether to publicize the story. When written and distributed properly, press releases will attract the attention of members of the media and encourage positive publicity for your organization.

Press releases are a vital component of any organization’s public relations and communications efforts. This article will provide you with five essential tips for writing effective press releases.

  1. Start with a Captivating Title — The title and first paragraph of your press release are two of the most important elements. Since most newsrooms receive dozens of press releases a day, including a strong title and opening paragraph can help yours stand out. When crafting a title and subject line, decide on something that is newsworthy, informative and straight to the point. Your title should hook the reader as quickly as possible and give them a reason to invest their time into reading the rest of the content. Also, make sure that your opening paragraph includes the essential five W’s: Who, What, Where, When and Why.
  2. Don’t Oversell — The goal of a press release is to educate your audience about a newsworthy event, person or organization, not to overtly advertise and promote the product or service. This can damage your credibility. Be honest when presenting the information to your audience and let them decide what to make of it. The content or news that you’ve highlighted in your press release should be able to sell itself.
  3. Be Concise — Never ramble on just for the sake of having your press release appear longer. Ideally, press releases should be one page in length. Since the goal of a press release is to spark the interest of reporters, you don’t want to bore them with a text-heavy piece. Include only what is necessary to the story and do so in a concise, well-written manner. Visually, your press release should also be easy to read. Choose a simple, clear font and an appropriate size and line spacing.
  4. Include Contact Information — What’s the use of a press release if it fails to provide a clear way to get in touch? Always include an accurate business name, phone number, fax number, mailing address, email address and any other information for the public relations contact person or agency.
  5. Proofread All Content before Publication — Take the time to proofread and fact-check all content that your business publishes, most importantly press releases. Before you send your press release out, check for grammatical or spelling errors and make sure that all numbers, facts and names are correct. For more information on the importance of proofreading and flawless writing, please read our series of articles, “Proofreading — The First in a Series of Three Articles,” “Write Like You Mean It: 5 Ways to Use Better Grammar” and “Words Mean Things: 5 Tips to Avoid Spelling Errors.”

For more information about effective press releases, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com. You can also visit our blog for more valuable articles, advertising spotlights and more.

An Overview of Google Business Solutions – The First in a Series of Three Articles

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With its wide variety of cost-effective business tools, it’s no wonder why Google has secured its position as a global superpower on the Web. Google Business Solutions are a collection of services that are specifically directed at businesses and webmasters. Google offers tools to meet the needs of organizations and businesses of all sizes and boasts over 30,000 search and 3,000,000 Google Apps customers worldwide. This article, the first in a three-part series, will provide you with an overview of Gmail, Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google AdSense, Google Chrome, Google Places and Google+. It will be followed by “An In-depth Look at Google AdWords” and then an article on “5 Additional Innovative Business Tools from Google,” which will focus on Google Offers, Google Engage and more.

Productivity

Gmail — With dozens of email providers to choose from, deciding on Gmail should be a no-brainer. This user-friendly email provider allows you to communicate and collaborate with reliable and secure Web-based tools. Gmail provides you with more than enough free storage space, significantly less spam, built-in text, voice or video chat and much more. You can also access Gmail from any phone, regardless of which device you use, to access your email on the go. For businesses, another comforting feature is that Gmail is entirely safe to use. Gmail uses HTTPS encryption to keep your mail and information secure.

Although most Gmail features are free, businesses can purchase a flexible plan of $5 per month to access a variety of premium features that include Google Docs and Google Calendar. Google Docs allows you to securely store all Web-based documents, spreadsheets, drawings and presentations online. This feature also provides real-time collaboration, which allows users to edit these files at any time, so you will always have the latest version. Google Calendar is a Web-based calendar application that allows businesses to manage meetings online and minimize costs. You can send event invitations, share your calendars company-wide or between specific co-workers, invite guests on mobile devices and much more.

Google Chrome — Google Chrome is a Web browser that combines a minimal, user-friendly design with sophisticated technology to make browsing the Web faster, safer and easier. Most people use their Web browser more than any other feature on their computer for searching for information, shopping, reading the news, watching videos and more. Therefore, it is essential to have a high level of security, speed and stability, which Google Chrome has mastered. Google Chrome is designed to be as fast as possible, up-to-date with the latest security updates and simple to use. Best of all, this Web browser is completely free to download on any computer.

Web Marketing

Google Analytics — This powerful Web monitoring tool provides users with rich insights into their website traffic and Web marketing effectiveness. Using Google Analytics, you can analyze data and determine which ads, keywords and other factors are most effective in driving traffic to your website and optimizing your Web presence. By consistently monitoring the information provided by Google Analytics, businesses can adapt based on what works and what doesn’t. Ultimately, this tool will help you create higher converting websites and strengthen your online marketing efforts.

Google AdWords — Google AdWords lets you create and run ads for your business with a custom budget. Ads are displayed under “Sponsored Links” alongside the search results when someone searches on Google using one of your chosen keywords. This tool is so effective for businesses because you are advertising to an audience who is already interested in what you have to offer. In addition to text ads, you can run display and click-to-play video ads on Google AdWords. For more information on how to use Google AdWords, please read our article, “A Beginner’s Guide to Google AdWords.” Look out for our next article, which will include a more in-depth look at the features and options available for businesses on Google AdWords.

Google AdSense — Google AdSense is a free platform that places AdWords ads on non-Google websites. AdSense allows Web publishers to earn revenue online by displaying ads on site search results, websites, mobile Web pages and mobile apps. By simply allowing others to place targeted Google ads on your website, your business can earn money. While displaying these Google ads, AdSense also lets you provide a Google search bar to your site users. By placing this search box on your site, visitors can search the Web directly from your website. Also, you will receive a “Top Queries” report that shows you what your visitors are searching for on your site. By reviewing the 25 most common searches conducted through this Google search box, you can identify additional topics, keywords or information to add to your site, based on what your customers or clients are searching for.

Google Places — Google Places is an excellent tool for allowing businesses to get found on Google for free. Since 97% of consumers search for local businesses online, it is essential for your business to be found in search results. Over 90% of the local business Web pages on Google have not been claimed. Claiming your business page will put you at an advantage since local business results appear at the top of search results on Google when someone searches, using a certain location. By simply registering your business with Google Business Center, you can help potential customers find you on Google Places. On your Google Places page, you can include your location, contact information, photos, videos and any other information that you would like to communicate to your audience. Customers or clients can also leave reviews on your Google Places page.

Social Media

Google+ — Now open to all users, Google+ is a relatively new social media giant that has taken the Internet by storm by reaching 10 million users in its first 16 days, from June 28 to July 14. Google+ improves upon the features of existing social media outlets. Like Facebook, you can create a profile, complete with personal information and photo albums, comment on other users’ content and share posts. Google+’s “+1” button also works the same as Facebook’s “Like” icon. Like Twitter, anyone can follow you and you may follow any user by adding them to your “circles,” no matter who they may be. The “Circles” feature allows users to organize contacts in specific groups. For example, you may have a circle specifically for friends and then one only for business contacts. Google+ also has many other unique features such as Hangouts, Sparks and Huddles. The Hangouts feature allows users to engage in live, face-to-face chats involving multiple people at a time. Sparks delivers popular content from across the Internet on any topic you choose. Huddles, available on Google+ Mobile, is a unique group messaging feature that allows multiple people to chat in one place.

Businesses can also benefit from including the “+1” button on their website and blog. For more information on Google+, read our article “Google+’s Advanced Technology Addresses Facebook’s Shortcomings.”

For more information, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com.

Why You Should Take Advantage of Free Submission Websites

Submitting websites, articles, press releases and upcoming events is a great way to attract publicity for your organization and enhance your search engine rankings. To position yourself as an expert, it is crucial to have high-quality content in as many Web locations as possible so your audience will have no trouble finding you. Maintaining a strong presence on submission websites will build quality backlinks and increase your organization’s Web exposure and authority. Best of all, the majority of these Web services are completely free of charge.

It is essential to make free submission websites a part of your organization’s online marketing strategy. This article will give you an overview of services such as Web directories, article databases, press release directories, event calendars and our own case study.

Web Directories — Listing your organization’s website and blog on free Web directories is a quick way to build your link popularity. When people are browsing through categories that are of interest to them, your organization will show up and they’ll be directed to your website. For example, if someone is looking for a veterinarian, they can simply click on the “Pets” or “Veterinary Services” category of a Web directory and be presented with relevant websites. When submitting your links, make sure to fill out all relevant information and categorize your sites correctly. Websites that are not submitted into the correct category will be removed by administrators.

List of free Web directories:
www.dmoz.org
www.geniusfind.com
www.busybits.com
www.hotfrog.com
www.somuch.com
www.skoobe.biz
www.gimpsy.com
www.exactseek.com
www.clickey.com
www.canlinks.com
www.zeezo.com
www.surfsafely.com

Article Databases — To get maximum exposure for your articles, always submit them to free article databases. Well-written, thought-provoking articles will demonstrate your area of expertise in your industry and portray your organization as a thought leader. When publishing articles online, be sure to adhere to the site’s restrictions or they will not approve your article and you will not have permission to post additional articles. For example, you must categorize each article correctly, adhere to the word limit and follow each site’s unique HTML and link guidelines. Along with posting articles to these databases, it is also a good idea to post them on relevant LinkedIn Groups.

List of free article databases:
www.bpubs.com
www.articlesnatch.com
www.dinosauric.com
www.GetYourContent.com
www.articlecube.com
www.articlesbase.com
www.ezinearticles.com
www.isnare.com
www.articlealley.com
www.articledashboard.com
www.businessknowhow.com
www.buzzle.com

Press Release Directories — Distributing your press releases to a variety of online outlets will help attract website traffic and create buzz about your organization. Press releases, media advisories and media availabilities should be published online each time they are created. When creating press releases for online distribution, it is important to use keyword-rich language used by your audience and include as many relevant links as possible. These links can lead to further information, a specific offer or a landing page on your website. Another tip is to add a photo with your press release if the option is available.

List of free press release directories:
www.openPR.com
www.prLog.com
www.pressmethod.com
www.pr-usa.net
www.PR.com
www.PR9.net
www.pressabout.com
www.PRUrgent.com

Event Calendars — When promoting upcoming events, it is essential to advertise with online event calendars to reach your audience. In this technology-driven society, many people turn to these event calendars when looking for things to do. These calendars are also highly targeted since you can submit your event to certain categories. For example, if you are holding a fundraiser for your non-profit organization, you can ensure that your event will appear in the “non-profit” and “fundraiser” categories. If you’re hosting a book signing, you may categorize your event in “Books.”

List of free event calendars:
www.lipulse.com/calendar (regional)
www.nymetroparents.com (regional)
long-island.newsday.com (regional)
event.gstv.com
www.zvents.com
www.eventful.com

PRMG’s Case Study — At The Public Relations and Marketing Group, we utilize these free posting techniques for our own organization and on behalf of our clients. All of our clients’ websites and blogs have been added to Web directories to generate inbound links and boost search engine rankings. If one of our clients writes an article, we promote it by submitting the article for publication on free article databases. Each time we create a press release on behalf of a client, we send out the release through email distribution lists and publish it on a variety of free press release directory sites. We do the same with media availabilities and media advisories. If one of our clients is promoting an upcoming event, we will add it to popular online event calendars. All of these techniques are cost-effective means of enhancing off-page search engine optimization.