National Daily, WSJ or eNewsletter. Take your Pick.

Let's say you are a non publicly traded HR supplier (with no plans of going public anytime soon) and you are given a choice to get press in one of the following: a national daily newspaper, the Wall Street Journal or an HR industry eNewsletter.

What do you take?

Did you pick the newspaper? No! Hands down the HR eNewsletter is your best choice.

Why? Let me explain my position. And as always, opposing viewpoints are welcomed - just post a comment.

I realize that the "right" answer is partially dependent on what kind of placement you'll receive. But the realities for most non publicly traded HR suppliers is the following:

1.National Daily Newspaper: Your placement will likely be limited a few lines within an article covering an employment/workforce topic. Your web address will not be provided, the placement will do little for your search-engine rankings and the story will be read by a regional audience with only a very small percentage being your target buyer.

2. Wall Street Journal: Again, your placement will likely be limited to a few lines at best within an article covering an employment/workforce topic or trend. While the audience is national, a small percentage of the readership is likely to be your target buyer.

3. HR industry eNewsletter: Your coverage is likely to be several sentences or a full paragraph, there is a high probability a direct link to your web site or press release is included (thus helping with your search-engine rankings, site traffic and leads - especially if the news that led to your coverage was related to a white paper or other content offer), more than 50% of readership is likely to be your target buyer and the shelf life of the coverage is prolonged with the story being placed in the eNewletter "archives" online. Additionally, many HR eNewsletters often run daily giving you more opportunities for coverage. Lastly, there are no long editorial lags so a release sent to an eNewsletter Monday can likely be included in Tuesday's or Wednesday’s issue.

To get REGULAR coverage in a national daily newspaper or WSJ (10+ placements per year) you will likely pay a lot in retainer public relations fees. When you pay monthly PR retainers of $7,000+ per month you are often buying the relationships these large agencies have with major media. There is nothing wrong with that for many companies but more often than not for mid-size non publicly traded HR suppliers the return on this coverage will not pay for itself, and not be measurable.

I believe this to be true from both personal and professional experience. My personal experience is with a B2C web site I own called - a site for people caring for aging loved ones. I get a fair amount of national media coverage for this site and each time a story runs (the latest being in the Chicago Tribune), I see very little spikes in site traffic. However, a mention of the site in a niche eNewsletter within the "senior care" marketplace drives considerable traffic and new memberships (it's a free service).

On the professional side, our HRmarketer PR Services team has had success in placing clients in the major daily newspapers and leading business periodicals. But we usually argue against this strategy and instead try and convince our clients to focus on online marketing and PR that drives publicity, web site traffic, sales leads, and higher search engine rankings. Thankfully, most clients buy-in to this strategy - a strategy that ironically is less expensive to execute and easier to measure than traditional PR.

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