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public relations

Need positive exposure for your company but don't know where to begin? Public relations (PR) is a big job, but even fledgling startups can find resources to help generate buzz, such as these to help you get started. They include background materials, media lists, tools, tips, and much more. 

Last updated 01.15.02

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>> PR Practices & Techniques

Maximizing PR Efforts: Faced with a shoestring budget, marketing inexperience, a product or service that's sometimes difficult to explain, and a lot of noise in the marketplace, how can startups maximize their PR efforts? In this transcript of a Netpreneur event, entrepreneurs had an opportunity to ask the experts for tips and pointers. Panelists included a VP of PR, a VP of Sales & Marketing, and two business journalists. Free, registration required.

Newsapalooza: Another Netpreneur event featuring a conversation with leading journalists on how startups can get more coverage. Free, registration required.

The Top 10 Lessons of PR: Veteran entrepreneur and founder Guy Kawasaki came to this Netpreneur event to discuss The Top Lies of Entrepreneurs, then stayed for two more presentations, including this one on making PR work for you. Free

The Scoop: An online newsletter published by LexisNexis that includes media relations tips, insights, and opportunities for technology, finance, and healthcare. Free

>> Beefing Up Your Press Releases

Ten Elements of an Effective Press Release: Good public relations is much more than writing press releases, but a good press release will get you a much better chance of coverage than a bad one. Here's a summary of key elements of an effective release presented with an annotated sample so you can see the results. Free

More than anything else, reporters want a good story, and tying that story to trends, independent analysis, or expert commentary can make the story more compelling. Here are some resources to help you add hooks to your announcements.

[ Netpreneur's Research Desk ]

Netpreneur's selective list of sources for finding statistics, experts, demographics, market analysis, and more. See the section on Industry analysts particularly, which can provide useful contacts for research and trend data, and can be good sources for useful quotes in your press release. Free

Electronic Library: Pose a question in plain English and launch a comprehensive, simultaneous search through more than 150 full-text newspapers, hundreds of full-text magazines, two international news wires, classic books, maps, photographs and major works of literature and art. $$$

FACSNET: Targeted to journalists, FACSNET has databases of qualified sources and background material on a range of public policy issues. Free

Yearbook of Experts, Authorities & Spokespersons: Online database version of the Yearbook, the encyclopedia of sources used by thousands of journalists. Free

>> Media Lists & Reporter Contacts

After personal relationships, knowing the right reporters to contact for certain kinds of stories and announcements is the most important tool for effective PR. Here are some sources for getting journalist contact information and building your own distribution lists.

[ Netpreneur's Reporters & Media Contacts ]

Netpreneur maintains this list of reporters and other media contacts which you can access as a registered user of this website. Free

MediaMap: Provides software and information services for PR professionals, including its media directory databases that contain information on target market publications, reporters/editors and editorial calendars. Media Map also provides other services such as links to PR Newswire and Bacon’s Clipping Service from its software. $$$

Gebbie Press: The US All Media E-Mail Directory, includes more than 22,000 email addresses for key editors, columnists, correspondents and executives in magazines, newspapers, radio, TV, and news syndicates across the US and Canada. The directory is organized by the type of media and by subject for targeting PR efforts. $$$

Parrot Media Network: Publishes a line of media contact directories used by publicists and ad buyers. The site has a wealth of media email addresses, but be prepared to dig deep to find them. Good resource for local media coverage. $$$

The following sites can help you find the Web pages for print and electronic media outlets.

[ Netpreneur's News Sources ]

Netpreneur maintains this list of reporters and other media contacts which you can access as a registered user of this website. Free

AJR NewsLink: The American Journalism Review maintains an extensive site which includes links to the Web sites of media outlets throughout the world, including newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV stations. Free

Ecola: Provides links to over 4,700 paper-printed publications, both computer and non-computer related. Free

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>> Distribution & Wire Services

Wire and distribution services can be a good way to get your news out to a wide variety of reporters, especially when you don't have an extensive press list in house. Fees will be based on how wide or selective an audience you choose. Companies offer different plans that let you select reporters who cover different industries, beats, or in certain geographic regions. BusinessWire and PRNewswire are by far the two largest wire services, offering the most sophisticated services and especially prominent in traditional media newsrooms. Other distribution services can sometimes specialize in certain types of announcements or in reaching non-traditional journalists, such as editors of online or electronic newsletters.

Business Wire: An international press release wire distribution service. The majority of the world’s publications receive direct feeds from the Business Wire. BW also offers a variety of other services, including customized news topic searches for delivery via fax or email. $$$

PR Newswire: Provides a variety of traditional and new media public relations and investor relations services, including: delivery of news releases and photos to a broad or targeted audience; creation of online investor information; production of video news releases; and interactive connection between experts and the media. $$$

Reuters: Delivers information and multimedia news to financial, professional and media markets, and specializes in material with a financial slant. $$$

Press Release Network: An electronic release and website announcement service that claims over 10,000 opt-in media contacts worldwide.  $$$

Internet Wire: Distributes direct company news, including press releases, financial announcements, graphics, audio and video files, and other business materials. $$$

Internet News Bureau: Enables customers to distribute press releases via email to members of the online media community. News is distributed only to subscribing journalists. $$$

Bacon's: Provides a range of media services for anyone wanting to contact the media with news about their company, product, service, or special event. Services include press release distribution, media directories, mail lists, and an article clipping service. $$$

>> Other PR Tools

Press Access: Provides current editorial calendars for a variety of publications as well as other services including press release distribution via email and fax. Cost: $$$ 

Virtual Press Office: An online news service offering access to thousands of press kits from tradeshows around the world.  VPO enables companies to house their press materials virtually.  Editors can log into the site and download "virtual kits."  Cost: $$$

Vocus: Technology company that offers a Web-based public relations automation platform, with clients that include PR agencies, corporations, associations, and government agencies. The product automates daily PR tasks and provides a central online location to manage all PR activities. Visit Vocus' site and download their free report, Ten Essential Elements of an Online Newsroom, for tips on making your website "journalist friendly." $$$

>> Tracking Your Press Coverage

For a subscription fee, clipping services monitor a variety of media sources for mentions of a company, product, person, or other names. Many press release distribution companies offer article clipping services as well.

BurrellesLuce: The leader in media relations planning, monitoring and measurement, BurrellesLuce provides integrated online services to help you maximize your media relations results. Cost: $$$.

CompetitivEdge: CompetitivEdge is an electronic clipping service that searches over 12 million articles per month from over 3500 sources. $$$

>> Professional Groups & Directories

Public Relations Society of American (PRSA): Headquartered in New York City, PRSA is the world's largest organization for public relations professionals. Members represent business and industry, counseling firms, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms, and nonprofit organizations.

National Capital Chapter PRSA: The Greater Washington, DC Chapter of PRSA.

PRSA Technology Section: PRSA's Technology Section is an organization of communications professionals who develop, implement and counsel regarding PR or marketing communications for technology companies, as well as practitioners who work at technology organizations.

Directory of Public Relations Agencies and Resources on the Web: A directory of public relations firms from Impulse Research Corp.

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