People often times joke about how you need a license to drive a car but not to be a parent. Sometimes I feel the same way about marketing and PR. Too many people end up in marketing who have no business being in the field. Like any serious discipline, marketing is hard work. It is not a skill you learn once and then switch to autopilot like say, learning to type or riding a bike. Once you learn the principles of marketing you need to keep current with the latest technologies and information that will help you improve your skills. It is hard work and takes a significant time commitment.
A great example of this is the simple task of press release distribution and media relations. Or not so simple task. A marketer recently complained to us that:
As Kevin grossman says, "you can't just put dog poop in a box, strap fireworks to it and light the whole friggin' thing on fire and expect to generate long-term publicity, traffic and leads".
- having to go through long lists of publications to choose journalists to send a press release to is daunting;
- sending out individual emails with personalized "pitches" to journalists takes too much time;
- having to take the extra steps to insert hyperlinks for a search optimized wire release is tedious.
He is right.
As we discussed in our recent article Making Sense of Your PR Distribution Options (see blog here), the simple task of sending out a press release is not so simple anymore - if you want to do it right. What worked in 1995 does not work in 2010.
So yes, you may need to set aside a few hours to properly construct and distribute your news releases. Can't find the time? Try harder or delegate/outsource to someone who can.
Or, you can just continue to blast the same release to thousands of media contacts with no personalization (sorry, but simply inserting a salutation before your release isn't personalization) and then send the same text release with no search-optimization to a wire service.
Go ahead - but don't expect to move the needle on key metrics like online visibility, web site traffic, sales leads and search engine rankings. And don't blame your marketing and PR software when you don't see results.
You can give someone a membership to a health club but you can't give them weight loss. That, they have to earn - and it is hard work.
For those who like to make News Years resolutions and need the help (fortunately, this group is in the minority) how about learning the latest best practices in marketing and PR? We have plenty of free articles and white papers here (and lots more coming in 2010 :-).
Labels: best practices, marketing