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    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.

    So if journalists are going online to find this kind of information, that presents a tremendous opportunity for companies to make it easier for the media to find their news. This introduces the notion of Push and Pull PR.

    Actively going out and contacting the media with story ideas and press releases is the “Push”, not unlike the concept of advertising as “push”. Optimizing messaging across corporate communications (website, blog, press releases, white papers, audio, video, email, case studies, social media, you get the idea) so that this information is easily found, is the “pull”. Working together, a Push and Pull PR program can be very effective, which I will illustrate in the case study.

    Because I only have 10-15 min to speak, I am limiting the “pull PR” tactics to:

    • Keyword Messaging
    • Blog Optimization
    • Blog-Enabled Media Room

    Some of the benefits of keyword messaging across corporate communications includes:

    • Targets audience based on search behavior
    • Enables keyword exposure on multiple channels
    • Builds credibility and affinity with your brand
    • Facilitates perception of thought leadership
    • Attracts visitors most likely to take action

    I will also present some free and paid keyword research tools along with a breif description of building a keyword glossary.

    The blog optimization suggestions pretty much come from a blog marketing tips post I did previously. However, for this presentation I’ve brokend them down into sections:

    • Keywords
    • Blog software template tweaks
    • Build links
    • Publicize
    • Blogging habits
    • Interact
    • Metrics

    There are many benefits to blog optimization including: improved visibility on different types of search engines for blogs, web sites and social media. Optimizing your blog should also improve user experience through use of keywords in categorization and in the posts as well as some functional tweaks that can be made to the blog template. Blog optimization also encourages sharing of content (via RSS) and links, because we all know bloggers love to link to things of interest to them. So how do you get them to do that? Be interesting!

    The last “Pull PR” tactic I’ll present concerns the use of blog software for an online media room. Even as popular as tracking news via RSS is, the vast majority of companies that maintain “press” or “media” content on their web site do not offer an RSS option. Blog software provides a very customizable, search engine friendly and journalist friendly way to aggregate previous coverage, press releases, thoughts from executives as well as different media such as audio interviews, podcasts, webinars and video summaries. What ties this all together is RSS so members of the media can subscribe to the news published about your company on their own terms and without being “pitched”.

    A blog enabled media room also provides a competitive advantage over web sites that do not offer a blog or RSS feed because of additional exposure on blog and RSS search engines. ie, you can’t get in Google’s Blog Search unless you have a feed.

    The next part of the presentation touches on blogger relations and offers tips on finding relevant blogs and considerations for pitching them. Many of those tips are described in this post, “Blogger Relations 101“.

    The presentation ends with a case study involving a company that used: optimization of their web site, optimized press releases, blog enabled media room, traditional PR pitching, email and a direct mail campaign that were all integrating  keyword messaging. Website traffic increased 400% and revenue was up 100% over the previous year.

    If by chance you are at the DMA06 conference and attend this session, please do come up after the presentation and say hello.