Sending press releases has become much easier with e-mail. With a few simple mouse clicks, a public relations specialist can send tens or thousands of press releases to a targeted group of journalists. This practice, however, has given rise to press release spam, meaning that journalists are more likely to press the delete key before even opening the message. There are some companies who advertise spam-free press release services. These companies claim to have access to reporters and editors at top publications. The company will write and distribute a press release for a fee. Another advance in PR technology is the Web itself.
By building a well-designed Web site, a company, individual or organization can share information that polishes its image and furthers its agenda. Web sites are also an excellent way to get the right information to journalists. Most large organizations and businesses include a media room on their official Web site. This area of the site is used to publish all press releases, company history, executive bios, high-resolution digital photos and even downloadable, digital press kits. Rather than seeking out media attention through mass-e-mailed press releases, a good Web site will draw in journalists by itself.
Any PR Agency would be quick to develop strategies centered around this technology and use it to benefit the industry as a whole. The PR Agency that is taking care of tech companies must also embrace this technological progress in its own field.
PR for tech, using tech
One of the biggest PR challenges posed by technology is the explosion of social media, sometimes called Web 2.0. Social media includes social networking Web sites like Facebook and MySpace, and user-generated content communities like YouTube. But the effect of Web 2.0 is much wider and deeper than a few Web sites. There now exists an entire generation of young people who have grown up online. This Net Generation doesn’t know life without a cell phone and an e-mail account. They’re used to searching for all their information online and are distrustful of official opinions or anything that smells of advertising. Their opinion-makers are bloggers and peers, not paid critics. Sure, it’s possible to e-mail traditional press releases to bloggers, but such transparently promotional messages are likely to ignored. social media represents more of a sociological change than a technical one.
This generation prizes honesty, engagement and transparency over anything else. For a company to get its message to an online community, it must join that community. And not as a spectator, but as a passionate participant which means a real fan. Companies should invest more in community managers, people in charge of tracking and managing a client’s image online. These community managers scour company message boards, read industry blogs and most importantly, communicate with the public. Their responses should reflect the opinions of real people. Consumers like to know there are real people behind businesses, people who have strong opinions and who engage with their public.
PR Agency works with public relations professionals, social media specialists and marketing communicators with a daily news feed. We found ourselves suddenly managing a pretty significant amount of media buying on behalf of our clients in the social space.