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How to get good (useful) (meaty) reviews of your products without spending an arm and leg or devoting a lifetime to itEditorial has far more credibility than advertising. Effective PR can be done inexpensively and without a tremendous investment of time. It just needs to be done right. At Cayton Communications we have six rules which have consistently produced fine results with minimum investment. Follow these rules and you should see the same.
RULE ONE: TARGET YOUR PRYou target your marketing and sales, why not your PR? My experience is that most PR agencies will do their damndest to reach hundreds of editors (and charge you for it). But if you are like most B to B producers, there will be less than a dozen publications that your users will read, and only a handful of these publications are really important. So why spend your time and money to reach a thousand publications that will influence at most 10% of our business, when you can focus on 10 publications that will influence 90%?
RULE TWO: MAKE YOUR PR KIT STAND OUTEditors receive thousands of press releases. After a while they all look and sound alike. "Widget manufacturing today announced..." I don't mean doing away with your press releases, they are still necessary pieces. But don't just rely on a dry press release. Add something. Make the mailing stand out.
RULE THREE: MOUNT A CAMPAIGNNo army ever won a war with just one shot. Successful generals win with concentrated and overwhelming attacks.
One product can often produce multiple stories. Milk these stories. There is always a story to tell. Tell that story. You must have a story or you wouldn't have released the product or products. With some imagination, many products can become product families, each of which can have a story.
RULE FOUR: MAKE IT EASY FOR THE EDITORUnless the editor is an expert in your very specific product area, he may find it difficult to know what is important and what isn't. Make it easy for the editor to extract the information he needs. And by all means make sure everything is there. Incomplete information results in too many press releases ending up in the garbage. Alternatively, too much disorganized information results in weak stories
RULE FIVE: EDITORS ARE HUMAN. GIVE THEM SOMETHING HUMANHow would you like to read hundreds of dry press releases each and every day? I wouldn't. I'll be honest. Many releases I send out are simple, dry textbook press releases. Nevertheless, when I have a real story or am mounting a campaign, I try to give the editors something more than just press releases. I give them a serious story and also something to entertain them. In one campaign, for example, every month a press release went out, accompanied by a "product memo." (The product memo did double duty, also going out to the field sales force.) Both the press release and the "product memo" told the same story, but the first was dry and factual, the second humorous and entertaining.
RULE SIX: EDITORS HAVE A TOUGH JOB. DON'T MAKE IT TOUGHEREditors have a certain number of blank pages that they have to fill every issue. Their bosses grade them on how well they fill those pages. Their families grade them on how many unpaid overtime hours it takes. If you have a major story, let the editors know. Let them know not just that it is a good story, but why it is a good story. And then don't forget rule four. Make it easy for them to extract the story
Follow these simple rules and you can milk a small PR investment into sales that you will be proud of.
These rules are a shortened form of an article by Brian Cayton on the same subject. For the complete text, or to find out how Cayton Communications can help you with your PR, just send us a note.
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