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10 free media relations tools

Low cost PR
Low cost PR

I often get asked what free tools are available to those who are setting up a press office function in their organisation. Here are some of my favourite free tools for PR:

1. Journalisted.com

Journalisted is a great for getting some insight into the kind of stories a named journalist has published recently. I find this really useful when planning what national/freelance journalists might be interested in stories and deciding what angle to pitch.

2. News media

The local media works database (part of the News Media Association), is useful for finding regional papers in a particular location and also provides a demographic profile of that area too. Read more

PR strategy explained

What’s your strategy?
What’s your strategy?

Everyone seems to have a strategy these days.  In the public relations industry, it is one of the most over used terms and many of the courses that I’m asked to run involve some element to helping PR’s be more strategic in the creation of communications campaigns and planning.

But what is a PR strategy?  And why the obsession with it now? Read more

How to talk to the media

Have PR’s forgotten to how to speak to journalists?  The digital era means that many of us over rely on the keyboard for communication – sending emails, texts and tweets.  So is it any surprise that anyone entering the industry has to learn how to talk to the media? I’m often asked to media train press officers and junior executives and here are some of the tips that work:

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The 5 w questions revisited

At its heart, good PR is storytelling.  But PR’s who rigidly follow the ‘5 w’  inverted pyramid approach for writing press releases can end up putting their organisation’s story into a straightjacket. The structure is too regimented.  And it can restrain the writer, leaving the story nowhere to go.

Why are PR’s encouraged to write news releases by highlighting the key who, what, where, why, when (and sometimes how) questions in the lead paragraph? This practice was born in an era when a release could be printed and cut from the bottom if space was limited.

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Storytelling through PR video

The PR world can get too obsessed with using the written word as a communication tool. A good PR video is what gets me excited.

I agree with Steve Olenski that “Mr. & Mrs. Brand, prefer to ‘see’ rather than ‘read’ when it comes to the deluge of information they are bombarded with,” so learning how to story tell through video is an important skill for today’s PR’s.  But how long should a PR video be?

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