According to a report released by comScore, half of all Internet users visited news sites in June 2007. Of the most popular news web sites, Yahoo News is #1 surpassing CNN, MSNBC and AOL News.
There’s also an increase in the use of social media both by end consumers and the media for tracking information that interests them. This includes: blog and news search engines, social news, social bookmarks, podcasts and video. The thing that ties all of this together is RSS. RSS enables people to subscribe to the kinds of content from the channels or formats that they are interested in.
What is important to understand is online PR is effective for direct to consumer communications as well as media relations. The bonus is that adding social media to online PR initiatives can have a multiplying effect.
Enter the notion of push and pull PR.
Push basically means the tactics used to distribute a company’s news including using press releases sent out via wire services, email or fax. It also includes pitching the media on story ideas and contributed articles.
Pull activities are based on the demand consumers have for online news as well as the search activities of people in the media looking for subject matter experts, researching past news coverage and looking for story ideas. Pull PR makes it easy for the media and your intended audience to find and pull themselves to your news.
On a continum, push and pull would be on either end with media coverage in the middle. Achieving media coverage by one or both push and pull allows you to further extend the reach of your news. First, by pulling more readers to your message via the publications that have picked up your story. Second, by using that media coverage as a direct marketing promotion via email or direct mail.
Examples of pull PR:
- News search engine visibility
- Organic search engine visibility
- Social news and bookmark sites
- Blog & RSS search engines
Examples of push PR:
- News release distribution
- Pitching journalists and bloggers with story ideas
- Social Networks/Rolodex
- Paid reviews on blogs (advertorial)