What Happened to the Business Section? Growing Importance of "Direct to Buyer" Marketing and PR.

The August 2008 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine had a very short article titled Going, Going, Gone? that discusses how increasing numbers of both local and national newspapers are drastically shrinking their business sections - and laying off journalists. And some - like the Cincinnati Enquirer, Denver Post and Orange County Register - have nixed their business sections altogether. Expect more newspapers to follow suit.

The article was so short that it was easy to miss. But my goodness, this should send shock waves through the halls of traditional public relations firms.


Because "disintegrating business sections" means fewer opportunities for businesses looking for print media coverage, making it tough for companies to build relationships with journalists.

The answer?

Online PR.

The article says: "Others are zoning in only on online publications and niche blogs where news is targeted and spreads quickly". As Elizabeth Shea, CEO of PR firm SpeakerBox Communications says, "Online media speaks directly to the [buyer]. [Companies] have a better chance of having that publicity do something for them."

Right on Elizabeth. Welcome to the party. We've blogged extensively about traditional versus media rich press releases and we've written dozens of white papers on the subject.

The decreasing print news opportunities underscores the importance of "direct to buyer" PR. Buyers of human resource products and services are increasingly relying on the Internet when making purchasing decisions; as a result, your online visibility is a key factor in your success. And the best way to increase your online visibility is by leveraging your "content" through the use of direct email marketing and search optimized press releases - as well as social media, social networking and web 2.0 activities like blogging. We call this the MarketingPR Lead Generation Process(SM) (see image this page). Essentially, this three step process works like this:

Step One: Infrastructure
- Design your web site for lead aquisition and search optimize it.

Step Two: Content
- Produce regular timely content such as white papers, articles, research, etc. that addresses your buyer's pain points.

Step Three: Marketing and PR Tactics
- Get the word out about this content by using a combination of traditional and web 2.0 marketing and PR tactics (e.g., search optimized press releases, social networking, etc.).
- Integrate these campaigns with your traditional marketing and PR efforts (trade shows, speaking opportunities, etc.).

The Result = Increased online visibility, web site traffic, sales leads and organic search engine rankings.

For a more detailed read on this process, download (no registration required) our eBook titled How to Reach and Engage Human Resource Buyers and Convert Them to Leads.

And for those of you attending the September IAEWS 2008 Fall Member Congress prior to the Onrec Expo 2008 , I'll be giving a presentation on this very topic.

Hope to see you there.

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