new media pr

Digital PR Pitching Etiquette: 3 Critical Rules for Online Public Relations Outreach

Online PR rules for more effective link building, guest blog pitching and moreOver the course of my online marketing career, I’ve had the opportunity to participate on both sides of the online PR outreach process, pitching publications on behalf of clients as well as receiving them as a search and social industry journalist. In the course of performing outreach for clients and receiving hundreds of pitches from other PR professionals and in-house marketers, a few important rules became crystal clear.

Companies use online PR in a number of different ways, depending on the desired outcome. You might pitch mainstream media to offer a company executive up as an expert source on a breaking news story, in order to build your company’s credibility. Where the goal is to earn links back to your website, you may offer guest posts or interviews to industry bloggers or digital magazines. Your focus might be increased exposure in your target market, in order to increase sales of a certain product or service.

Pull PR – Combining SEO and Public Relations


Many companies narrowly define PR activities online solely as blogger relations when in reality, online public relations is so much more. To me, internet based public and media relations encompasses gaining editorial exposure on the web with sites like blogs of course, but it also leverages web based technologies, networks and platforms for developing and maintaining more efficient communication with the media. And by “media” I mean traditional media with an online presence as well as other influencers – be they bloggers, power social news users or social networkers.

Communication efforts might happen online, but the media exposure outcomes may be in print or the web. The question arises, if the connections are made and maintained online using online PR and social media tools, but the exposure is offline, is it still online PR? I say yes.

PRSA Conference: Social Media for PR Practitioners


I just returned from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) International conference being held in Philadelphia where I participated on a panel, “Social Media, What Every PR Practitioner Needs to Know” with Rob Key of Converseon, Nicco Mele of echoditto and Peter Himler of Flatiron Communications who handled moderation duties.

Lee Odden Peter Himler Nicco Mele Rob Key

Fifteen minutes before the session, the room was packed with people eventually standing against the back wall and it was clear that both the room and the topic of social media were going to be hot.

PR and Social Media Crowd PR and Social Media Crowd

Why Use Social Media With Your Press Release?

Social Media News Release – Separating Fact From Fiction

Of the many motivating factors for the use of social media press releases, there are two driving forces that stand out: The changing needs of the end consumer and increasing ease of use for the media.


Due to the increasingly social and sharing nature of the web and the increasing importance of press releases as direct to consumer communication tools, it is important for marketers and public relations professionals to adjust their message format and delivery to correspond with the needs of today’s web savvy audience.

Online Public Relations and Blogs

Later today I’ll be presenting here at DMA-06 on a panel called, Blogs, RSS and Podcasting with Amanda Watlington from Searching for Profit and Stephan Spencer from Netconcepts. Basically, my presentation will cover how blogs can be used as public relations tools in the context of “Push and Pull PR”. The presentation is broken up into:

  • Opportunity
  • Push and Pull PR
  • Blog Optimization & PR
  • Blogger Relations
  • Case Study

The “opportunity” section explains how many journalists are ignoring the noise of getting pitched by so many PR firms and company PR staff. Whether it’s a pitch by phone or email, many members of the media go online (98%) to find news sources (76%), story ideas (92%), experts and to research press releases (73%). The percentages come from a study done by Middleburg/Ross.

Blogger Relations 101

As blogs become more important sources of information and competition for users’ time and attention against mainstream media, many marketers and public relations practitioners continue to stumble about the blogosphere like a bull in a china shop.

Online Marketing Blog gets about 5-10 pitches per week on average, which provides more than enough of a sample on how blogs are getting pitched these days. What’s the verdict? It doesn’t look good.

A few of these pitches are right on or just lucky. Many are simply crap. Some come from friends but never make it to a post. Some are from complete strangers, but are very relevant and get in. Some are borderline where I’m interested, yet I never hear from that company again.

Resources for New Media and Social Media PR

There’s a growing amount of buzz about social media lately, but specifically of interest is social media press releases. As we fold the new media press release, press room and media relations tactics into our PR strategy, I’ve been monitoring a number of resources on the topic of new media PR and the hRelease or social media news release and offer some of those links here.

New Media Release Group – A Google group started to discuss the new media release format with participants ranging from independent PR consultants to PR Newswire and Market Wire.

New PR – Constantin Basturea’s “Digg style” site for new media public relations news.

Workspace for Social Media Press Release (hRelease) – hRelease is a community effort to define a new format for press releases via a community standard microformat