January 28, 2011

Are Free Press Release Sites Worth The Effort?

With so many budget cuts over the past few years, many PR professionals are forced to use all the free resources they can. I recently had a discussion with a local professional over the value of free press release sites. Here's how the conversation went:
She: Do you get much "benefit" from using the free press release sites? I wonder if my professional organization shouldn't take advantage of these, but I also wonder whether it's worthwhile to do?
Me: I have found great value in the free press sites. With one free upload, I saw over 600 hits on the free platform alone, generated three separate media interviews and propagated prime time television coverage.
There are different levels of "free" and even by paying a small amount, you are able to increase your visibility. In the past with the free uploads, I have seen an increase in SEO through using specific long-tail key words within the post and tags. I also frequently upload to local media calendars when the release is specific to an event. Of course, the more places I share the article and information, the more traffic it potentially generates. I send my media list the news release as well.
She: I was thinking submissions would probably get lost in the abyss, but it sounds like you've had good results with those sites so I won't discount them!
Newsletter content, community calendar information, social media updates and physical mailings are all valuable in public relations. Though every channel may not get the same amount of attention, each view the potential to generate more word of mouth.

One lone effort isn't going to get you the results you want. Instead, think of the acronym "RIG":
  • Re-purpose your content - don't let one article die alone, use it for several different things. Small edits can make a whole new opportunity for your content.
  • Integrate your efforts - online, offline and in person. All communication channels are valuable
  • Generate interest - spice up your content. Give value to your offer.
How do you make the integration of new media work for you? What are your favorite free release sites? I'd love to hear your feedback.

~Angela Frizell, PRSA Member

January 27, 2011

Monthly meeting schedule survey

As I mentioned at the January meeting, the board has discussed the possibility of changing the day/time monthly meetings are held if such a change allows more people to attend or to attend more often. We would like to have a larger sample size to base our decision on, since roughly 50 percent weighed in on the question earlier.

There is a five-question survey online I hope you will respond to before the board meets next on Feb. 3. It will not take more than a minute of your time. Really.

Thanks in advance for your input and if there is anything on your mind concerning the chapter, please feel free to let me or another board member know.

January 26, 2011

Hyper Alerts - the notifications Facebook doesn't provide

For all it's benefits for organizations, Facebook lacks function to notify page admins when someone posts to a "fan" page. I came across a Facebook post from Social:IRL linking to a Hubspot blog post about Hyper Alerts, a free service that sends these missing e-mail notifications.

Note: Apparently, because of its popularity, the "ASAP" option on e-mails is temporarily suspended while they move to a new server. But, once it's back functioning, won't that be nice?

January 24, 2011

Mark your calendars for Feb. 8!

The Sarah Evans Social Marketing Boot Camp is just a few weeks away!

A couple of quick updates for you from Ben Smith, Social: IRL:

We created a Facebook Event for the boot camp. Please take a moment to RSVP as attending. It's a great way to connect with other attendees, and connecting with your fellow attendees to create a shared learning experience is something we really encourage. You can also use the Facebook event to invite others you think might be interested. You can find the event here: http://on.fb.me/SarahEvansSGF

We are pleased to welcome two new sponsors for the event - Klout and mBlast. Klout are internationally recognized as leaders in measuring online influence. mBlast recently launched a new product, mPact, a specialized tool for marketers. Both Klout and mBlast and major national names and bring some real national level focus to Springfield. You can learn more about each of these sponsors at: http://klout.com/ and http://www.mblast.com/mpact/.

Finally, if you are interested you can visit http://www.socialirl.com/ to view notes from the event I held earlier this week with Brian Solis and Jason Falls in Wichita KS. Included are links to blog posts from a number of attendees. These might give you an insight in to the type of event we create and the buzz we try to generate among attendees. You'll see from the posts those attendees wrote that they left with a lot of new knowledge they were anxious to go and apply. You'll also see the event attendees were very engaged with each other, including real time Twitter conversations during the event which continued well after the event and are still continuing now. Just the day of the event and following day, we tracked 1,446 Twitter updates about the event. We hope to see a similar engagement in Springfield. If you aren't on Twitter yet I'd encourage you to sign up and be part of the online conversation that takes place between attendees.

We have people traveling in to Springfield for the Sarah Evans event from all across the country. I look forward to seeing you there on Tuesday, February 8.

Just a reminder that information such as location, times, and agenda are available at: http://www.socialirl.com/sarah-evans-boot-camp/.

January 19, 2011

Presenters Announced for Jan. 25 Chapter Meeting

Three students from Missouri State University's PRSSA chapter will be the presenters for our Jan. 25 chapter meeting. Giving an overview of the chapter's PR firm, Bear Communications, will be Lindsay Van Quaethem, PRSSA chapter president; Sara McClendon, Bear Communications director; and Jackie Deluca, account executive for the firm. Be sure to attend! RSVP by noon Friday, Jan.21, with Kelly Polonus, kpolonus@greatsouthernbank.com,

January 18, 2011

Keep up!

You've all heard that the zodiac chart changed recently leaving some people with a new astrological identity. Read this Journalistics article that uses this recent discovery as a case study to showcase how quickly news moves and how traditional news stations are being left out.

January 14, 2011

If you don't follow Brian Solis (and I know several do) you should. Here is an eye-opening piece regarding what he terms the Social Compass.

From the article: "Inspired by a moral compass, The Social Compass serves as our value system when defining our program activities. It points a brand in a physical and experiential direction to genuinely and effectively connect with customers, peers, and influencers, where they interact and seek guidance online.

It was designed to guide us from the center outward. However, it can also impact how a business learns and adapts by reversing the process and listening to customers and influencers through each channel from the outside in."

January 10, 2011

McKinsey Study: Companies embracing a Social Media Strategy are finding a positive ROI

Not terribly surprising, but telling nonetheless. One very interesting stat mentioned in the McKinsey article is that “…nearly two-thirds of respondents at companies using Web 2.0 say they will increase future investments in these technologies, compared with just over half in 2009.

January 4, 2011

Opportunities abound to become an expert in your field

Here are two great learning opportunities to kick off the new year!

Explore & Engage

Brian Solis and Jason Falls will be in Wichita for SocialIRL’s “Explore and Engage” event on Jan. 19. There is special package pricing for attending this event and the SocialIRL event with Sarah Evans here in Springfield in early February. If you are interested in the trek to Wichita, please e-mail Melinda Arnold. We’re trying to coordinate a group to share expenses. http://www.socialirl.com/explore-and-engage/

AAF of the Ozarks presents “It’s All Downtown: A Marketing Success Story,” with Rusty Worley, Executive Director of Urban Districts Alliance

When: Wednesday, January 12, 11:30a-1p
Where: University Plaza, 333 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway
Cost: $15 members & first-time guests; $20 repeat guests; $10 students
RSVP: rsvp@aafozarks.org by noon Jan. 10

Thirty years ago, Springfield’s historic business districts were all but abandoned in favor of shopping malls and suburban development. Now, Center City is once again the vibrant hub of retail, entertainment, dining, arts and urban living. Much of this amazing turnaround is due to the work of Urban Districts Alliance and its successful marketing efforts, including the popular “It’s All Downtown” campaign. UDA Executive Director Rusty Worley will show how cooperative branding, advertising and promotions are creating economic vitality in the heart of our community.

This month’s program will also feature brief presentations by nominees for AAF of the Ozarks’ 2010 Jane Meyer Award for best nonprofit advertising/PSA campaign. Nominees include Care to Learn, Springfield Workshop, and Therapeutic Riding of the Ozarks. The audience will have the opportunity to vote for this year’s award winner. Join us in recognizing the contributions of area nonprofits, as well as the creative professionals and media organizations who help to ensure that their messages reach the community.

Start the new year right with AAF, and see how the ad industry promotes positive change. Reserve your space now, and pass the word about this valuable program!