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Does Free Pr Work?


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28 replies to this topic

#1 Jill

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 12:53 AM

So you spend time talking to reporters, answering their questions for some article they're writing. A few months later, there's your name in print!

It's pretty cool, and usually worth the time spent with the reporter, but does it bring you any business?

I've found that it depends on the publication, and also the quote or quotes they happen to use.

So many times I'd talk to a report for a half hour, and they'd inevitably pick the ONE dumb thing I said and print that. Those things don't usually get you any business! The more you talk to reporters, the easier it is to remember hard not to say the dumb things for them to use as a sound bite. Always keep it in the back of your head that everything you say can be printed, so watch out!

If you do manage to get quoted in a major publication, you can definitely get business out of it. My phone rang off the hook after my quotes in the Wall Street Journal, and I did sign some deals. Nothing like the WSJ for instant credibility!

Anyone else have any experiences to share on this topic? I have a few good resources, which I'll post a bit later.

Jill

#2 Matt B

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 11:12 AM

Here's a question - what rights do you have if you are quoted in an article that is published online, but it is only available by subscription?

I was quoted in a LA Business Journal article and they haven't answered my email request to publish the story on our site. However, I did get a hard-copy subscription - woo hoo!.

Should I go ahead and post it until I hear otherwise? (then delete this post so I can plead ignorance)

How do you handle that? I noticed that you had excerpts in your blog, Jill. Was that the kosher way to handle it?

#3 Jill

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 11:37 AM

Matt, I believe they own the copyright and you can't reprint it without permission.

They often try to sell it (as with the online subscription). For instance, the WSJ called me and tried to sell me reprints! But minimally would have been like $800. No thanks.

What I did do, and I don't know if it's kosher, was paste MY part of the article...my quotes, into my blog. Not the whole article though.

Jill

#4 Matt B

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 02:04 PM

We ordered reprints of the WSJ article - we sent them to all of our clients. They loved it, and we got some business from it. So, Jill, your article helped me get some additional $$.

If we have any left over, would you like some? I can bring them to San Jose.

#5 Jill

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Posted 26 July 2003 - 01:59 PM

Yeah, definitely, a few at least would be nice for posterity. I have the original hard copy, but the reprint of the article would be nice too.

Funny that you could use it to your advantage. I really couldn't think of what I would even do with them if I ordered them!

J

#6 Matt B

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Posted 27 July 2003 - 01:00 PM

Funny that you could use it to your advantage.  I really couldn't think of what I would even do with them if I ordered them!

Good information is good information - no matter the source. It was good just to send out an article from the WSJ to our clients as a way to back-up and reinforce everything we've been telling them for the past couple of years.

#7 Brenda

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 08:55 PM

Free PR definitely works- especially if the article is in an objective publication- newspapers, industry journals, etc. People and colleagues read these to keep informed of the latest and greatest. If you are fortunate enough to be quoted in an article- presto- immediate credibility.

Sometimes my clients are given enough notice to carefully "craft" their input. Nothing seems to unnerve a professional like asking his/her opinion. I've ghostwritten several quotes keeping the following in mind:

Give facts/percentages whenever possible.
Leave all negativity out.
Don't toot your own company horn- let your "assumed" credibility speak for itself- readers will assume you're an "expert" if the media do.

Sometimes the hardest part is to get noticed by the press. Recently a real estate brokerage client was not mentioned in a featured article about lake community. I simply emailed the reporter- provided the numbers proving my client sold the majority of homes in that area and asked we be included in future articles.

The response- not only did my client receive the appropriate area recognition, but now the reporter contacts these agents when she needs ANY type of real estate opinion!

It pays to be nice and more importantly- FREE PR pays!

Brenda

#8 Jill

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 10:46 PM

Welcome, Brenda! :aloha:

Good post. You definitely can't beat free PR...afterall...it's FREE!

In fact sometimes even talking to reporters about stuff that isn't your generally area of expertise can sometimes lead to other articles or business.

I belong to Dan Janal's PR Leads service. I get a whole bunch of leads from various reporters every day. Most of them have nothing to do with SEO, but are on family topics, or just general business topics. The other day, a reporter was looking for small business people who had done work for big business clients. She was wondering what sort of obstacles you can run up against in this situation. Since I have had a lot of experience in this area over the past couple of years, I was a good candidate to talk to her. As it turned out, she had just written another article about Search Engine Marketing for Inc. Magazine, and called me back today to get some quotes for that article.

Article quotes are great for credibility, and I've definitely received lots of business from these sorts of things. Plus, it looks pretty cool on my Press Page! ;)

Jill

#9 dragonlady7

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 07:35 AM

The company I worked for, after 26 years in business, has only just realized that publicity is a good idea. No, no, wait for it-- they hadn't had a sale in THREE YEARS and were wondering why word-of-mouth wasn't going to cut it anymore even though our industry is so squeezed and oversaturated...
We recently began attending trade shows and releasing press releases and, guess what-- advertising!
What's made the biggest splash?
The free giveaway at the trade show. We had a $15 "bouquet" made out of little bear-shaped cookies dressed in industry-appropriate costumes, and we got about a hundred people's business cards for the giveaway raffle.

So spending a lot of money isn't always the way to go, but you *have* to put *some effort* into it, which is what had eluded the company for the last oh, several decades. I don't know how they made it this long but I do know that they won't make it much longer if they don't keep these "radical new ideas" up.
Our press releases keep getting picked up and put into magazines; I don't know why nobody thought of that before.

#10 stephpike

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 08:14 AM

I do seo/web/marketing/advertising work in the woodproducts industry and I have a steady schedule of press releases going out to industry magazines. I get one PR in every publication I send to almost every month. Why? you ask. BAIT. If the advertising department thinks you are going to either start to advertise with them or spend more money they will do anything to keep you happy.

We pull large amounts of inquires from our little press releases and I highly recomend sending them out every month even if you don't see results at first you will eventually squezze your way in.

#11 stockmd@stockdocs.com

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 11:56 AM

Matt, I believe it is totally legit to link to the publication's posting of their article about you on their website. I find it requires monthly moitoring to be sure the story is still there, but doing this helps link popularity plus gives you the option of promoting being the in the publication to your visitors for free, if you link to the story from your press coverage or what's new page. After the link diappears (many pubs have 3 to 5 year archiving policies for major stories), you can still keep the pub name and issue info on your page, even tho it wouldn't be a link anymore, and that will help your credibility, and would not be vioilating anyone's copyright.

Hope this helps!
Carol Abrahamson

#12 dragonlady7

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 01:16 PM

A lot of the magazines that pick up our press releases are also magazines we advertise with, have advertised with, or are going to advertise with. I think the reason they take our press releases and include them is that it's free content for them. They can fill a page with good information about the latest modules coming out from the healthcare software industry, appear to be on top of all the new-technology developments in the field, and get the goodwill and possible advertising dollars of we the manufacturers.
So there are a number of reasons people will pick up and publish press releases, whether you pay for ads or not.

#13 meta

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 04:57 PM

What I did do, and I don't know if it's kosher, was paste MY part of the article...my quotes, into my blog.

That is indeed kosher. As long as you quote only brief passages, that is fair use, and it is allowed under US copyright law.

Meta

#14 Jill

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 06:15 PM

Good to know, thanks, Meta! I thought it was probably okay.

Jill

#15 Minerva

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 12:07 PM

Jill,

Your mention in the Wall St. Journal was a real coup. Did your phone ring off the hook after that?

Another Massachusetts-based consultant was also recently mentioned in the WSJ, although her business was not named and the article had nothing to do with her line of business. She is now offering a teleclass for $49 to tell people how she got the publicity.

This is my first day in the forum, but it looks like it's full of great information. I'm looking forward to reading the previous posts.




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