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June 30, 2010
PR's Gotten Personal
Successful public relations always hinged on regard between reporters and PR people, and it still does. But the instrumentality for getting contacts started was the press release. Now relationship building needs to be more direct. Public relations, in short, is getting increasingly personal. You've got to know who the influencers are, and how best to influence them.

Two blog posts today brought these thoughts to mind. Matt Keegan on Search Engine Journal warns against relying on press releases sent out as informational sprays  They're bound to hit someone who might be interested, right? Not really. (Keegan calls them "generalized press releases," though their content can be quite specific. It's how they're aimed that matters.)

"Never assume," he writes, "that your news will get read or shared if you're too lazy to connect with key influencers. Anything less is considered spam."

Who are the key influencers these days? Less people in the print media and more with online blogs. 

"Speaking of influencers," Keegan advises, "some PR folks simply don’t understand that niche-dominating bloggers often carry much more weight and influence than traditional media journalists. Bloggers share the news quickly, invite comments from readers and can help make a story go viral within minutes. New media is hot, old media is not…both should be used and respected for what they can deliver."

Who are some of these key, blogging influencers? You probably know a couple already. However, Sangeeta Haindl in an ecademy post names some: Chris Brogan, Diana Adams, Brian Solis, and Guy Kawasaki. If you have other favorite key Web influencers, we invite you to share them as comments on this post.

Social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are also places for PR people to hang out to become know as individuals with interests and standards of their own, not simply "flacks."

Yes, PR has gotten personal, and that makes the craft more stimulating and challenging then ever. 

Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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