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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Foremski’

Now Is Apparently the Time for PR to Take on Advertising

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That’s according to Tom Foremski of ZDNET, who previously told us that Google doesn’t really want to kill all our press releases—it just wants to help us improve them.

His argument is that the PR industry has a “huge window of opportunity” in 2014 as the ad business splinters, traditional campaigns lose more of their power to convince and large-scale consolidation moves forward, further concentrating the talent pool and (arguably) smothering the creative urge beneath endless layers of bureaucracy.

Sounds familiar…

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Google Doesn’t Really Want to Kill Your Press Release

In case you missed it, the PR world agrees to disagree with ZDNet’s click bait freakout headline “Did Google just kill PR agencies?

OK, so what did the big guys’ changes to webmaster rules on links and keywords do? They forced PR pros to change their SEO press release strategies—and this is not a bad thing.

See, Google really doesn’t like what they call “link manipulation schemes” which provide “unnatural boost[s] to the popularity of a piece of content” via tactics like the dubious repetition of certain hyperlinked keywords/phrases which all go back to the same client’s address as well as the placement of press releases on numerous sites to improve search placement and “game [Google’s] algorithm.” According to ZDNet’s Tom Foremski, Google sees these PR practices as the equivalent of the “keyword stuffing” tricks that they hate so very much.

Their warning to publicists pushing clients’ content: If you continue doing this, your client company may well be penalized or even blacklisted.

Bad news, right? Not really…

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The Press Release is Dead, Again

Hey look: someone else decided that the press release is officially “dead.” This time, it’s Advertising Age media columnist Simon Dumenco, who says Twitter is the killer:

The long-suffering, much-maligned press release, I’d argue, finally died this summer, thanks particularly to JetBlue and BP, with a little moral support from Kanye West and just about every other celebrity with thumbs. (Of course, press releases will probably continue to stumble along, zombie-like, for years to come, because too many PR folks are still heavily invested in grinding them out.)

Tom Foremski, a former Financial Times reporter who now covers tech and media for his own site Silicon Valley Watcher, wrote a widely circulated post calling for the death of the press release four years ago, and just this past Spring admitted that we’ve gotten nowhere. The old beast still alive and kicking. Read Dumenco’s full story here.

How Much Does Google’s Disdain for Marketing and PR Hurt Its Products?

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PRNewser has already noted that Google’s engineering culture disdains PR and marketing. But how much is this stance hurt their products?

Silicon Valley Watcher’s Tom Foremski thinks it’s a big factor, and cites many Google product launches that have failed.

“Company culture is very difficult to change and it changes slowly and that’s why Google will continue to launch new services, and it will continue to fail because it doesn’t understand the need for follow up marketing and PR,” he said recently.

To top it off, Foremski, a well-known blogger in the Bay Area and former Financial Times reporter, says that he has “never been contacted by any PR companies, or Google corporate comms people to talk about a new Google service or product.”

How big of a mistake is this on Google’s part?

Social Media Press Release? We’ll Settle For Some Links

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PRNewser has been covering the ancient PR tool — the press release — for quite some time.

In the latest update to his famous “Die! Press release! Die! Die! Die!,” post, which he penned more than four years ago, SiliconValleyWatcher blogger Tom Foremski says we’ve gotten nowhere:

Forget the ‘social media release’ and the work we did on trying to create a microformats for news releases — at the end of the day all I want is some links in the copy!

Foremski is rightfully annoyed that in this day and age, he receives press releases, pitch letters and guest posts from PR pros with no links in them. The same thing happens here at PRNewser.

Interestingly, in a survey conducted one year ago by press release wire service BusinessWire, an astonishing 11% of PR people answered “weeks” when asked how long it takes them to write and get approval for a press release.

If you’re spending “weeks” working on your releases, please devote some of that time to adding links and multimedia content.

Have You Offered To “Drive Traffic” To A Story When Pitching A Reporter?

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We haven’t yet seen a pitch like this cross our inbox, but tech reporter Tom Foremski wonders if PR pitches will begin to include statements such as, “…and we will drive traffic to that story.”

For example, a well known publicist such as Brian Solis can drive more traffic to a story via his blog, Facebook and Twitter than many journalists. For bloggers and other online journalists paid by the page view, this can be an enticing addition to a story pitch.

Of course there are a number of of ethical issues around this, namely:

1) PR people will only promote stories that show their client in a favorable light. Those “promoted” stories could end up on popular news aggregators, thus skewing news. This happens anyway – every reporter should understand that PR will circulate “positive” stories – but it could be magnified moving forward.

2) The bigger issue, as Foremski notes, is “When pageviews are a surrogate for payments, driving traffic then becomes a proxy for a payment to the writer.”

Breaking news and “scoops” will always trump a little “PR boost” in terms of getting attention, but we’re still curious as to the effects of this. Have you offered to “drive traffic” to a story you pitched? How did the reporter react?

Looking at PR Bloggers Who Have Bigger Audiences Than The Media They Pitch

Former Financial Times reporter and current Silicon Valley Watcher blogger Tom Foremski asks an interesting question: What happens when PR people have more traffic than the reporters they’re pitching?

He cites some of the big PR bloggers and since PR is more comfortable with self promotion, these folks often have larger audiences than many reporters. However, it’s not just about audience size, it’s about credibility. As Formeski pointed out, “having someone else write a story about your client, on a third-party site, where there has been no exchange of money, conveys far higher value to the story.”

Also, as Advertising Age‘s Ken Wheaton stated, it’s about who is in the audience. “Yeah, but that traffic’s mostly other PR people/ business insiders. Journalists have ‘consumers’ (and crazy old people),” he said.

[Ed note: At the request of Mr. Wheaton, we added the content of his entire Tweet.]

NewComm Forum: Thoughts Are “Way Ahead of the Normal 101 ‘Same-Same’ Discussion”

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[Brian Solis, Tom Foremski, Richard Brewer-Hay, Bryan Rhoads, David Gelles at NewComm Forum 2009 (CC) Brian Solis. www.briansolis.com.]

One of the most highly regarded communications events – at least from what we hear – the New Communications Forum took place in San Francisco this week. PRNewser was unable to attend, but we did ask two attendees, Brian Solis, PR 2.0 blogger and FutureWorks PR principal and Paull Young, Conversion strategist and Young PR blogger for their key take-aways.

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