Old habits die hard. This is what sprung to mind while I was recently talking to David Meerman Scott, PR guru, author, and consultant who more than anyone has helped PR evolve in the 21st century.
While everyone’s business has had to change in this 24/7 always-on, mobile world, we as PR practioners (and here I am as guilty as anyone!) often release news according to our schedule and timing, not that of the media. Like gladhanding politicians, we knock on journalists’ virtual door fronts with our campaign literature (that is news releases) in hand, asking the media to endorse us by writing our story–not their story.
Scott asks a basic but also profound question: What if you reverse the equation? What if instead of reaching out to journalists on your schedule, you get them to find you? Fortunately, digital devices, including mobile, have made it easy for reporters to find sources. And that source might as well be you. One of the best ways to do that is to mash up mobile with social media to concoct a timely, enticing brew that will be quaffed by journalists. Or as Scott calls it, you can “newsjack,” commenting on a breaking story in a way that journalists will find you.
“It’s really a matter of understanding that we live in a 24-hour real-time world,” says Scott. “Reporters can be working at home, on the road, on their iPhone when they are at a baseball game. You can reach them any time. You need to create content optimized for their devices so that reporters will find that when they are writing a story.”
Here are 5 ways Scott recommends doing just that:
- Write for mobile. Index your site for the mobile search engines so people can find your content on their mobile devices. Make your content visible on the small screen.
- Monitor keywords and phrases on Twitter so you are on top of the news and trends in your industry.
- Spot regulatory changes in your industry so you can comment in real time on Twitter about those changes.
- Create content and comment in real time via a blog, media alert and/or Twitter when news is breaking so media will find you .
- Construct today’s version of the that old standby, the press kit–a mobile app with a feed of content optimized in an application for reporters that includes press releases, blog posts, video, and Twitter feeds. Here is a link to David’s app.
Since no good list is complete without a “NOT to DO,” piece of advice, here is one caveat:
Don’t use all the new technology as an invitation to spam reporters on their mobile phone or Twitter feed. Don’t send that uninvited text message. It will likely backfire.
We, as PR practitioners, need to be as nimble and quick as a reporter or blogger on deadline and be anywhere they are likely to find you–on mobile, on social media, on a blog, on video. All you need to do is seize the opportunity. How are you adapting PR for a mobile world?