Famous Last Words: Doing Your Own PR
"Public relations is the business of letting people in on what you are doing," counseled Evelyn Lawson, my first mentor in the business. And Michael Levine's new guide, "Guerilla PR 2.0: Wage an Effective Publicity Campaign Without Going Broke" (ISBN 978-0-06-143852-3, Collins paperback, 354 pages, $14.95), will put you and your team in the mind-set-and give you the basics-of professional PR. Even if you have a PR department or an outside agency on retainer, here is the inside dope that will enable you to know whether your PR is being done right or not.
For example, how do you let people in on what you are doing? You might start with a press release, says Levine, whose stable of blue-ribbon clients includes Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Bill O'Reilly, David Bowie, Demi Moore and Jon Stewart. Levine writes:
"A Wall Street Journal report that explained the paper's editorial philosophy and practices noted that 90 percent of its coverage originates with companies making their own announcements. Most of the time, those announcements begin with a press release."
In 25 information-packed pages, Levine gives you the nuts and bolts of creating and sending out a professional press release that will be picked up. Included are sample press releases along with details of how to create "The Perfect Press Kit" (print and video); stage press conferences, parties and magnet events; deal with newspapers, magazines and broadcasters; and make the most out of trade shows.
The Blurred Lines of PR and SEO/SEM
Recently, I attended a half-day seminar on search engine marketing and search engine optimization put on by Network Solutions. This was all about getting yourself and your company noticed on the Internet by getting listed on Google and Yahoo. It turns out, digital spiders crawl all over the Web and vacuum up new stuff to add to the exponentially expanding olio. If a new Web site shows up, the spiders will appear every three days looking for more. If they find nothing new, they come back every 10 days. If the site is static, they stop coming.