When it comes to distribution and media outlets, PR has changed dramatically. Mailing used to be the standard way of sending out information (actually it’s not a bad approach nowadays, since everyone is getting so adept at hitting their keyboard delete button). But on the whole, mailing in many ways has become archaic. The number of media outlets and what defines a media outlet has also shifted. Yet the basics of PR, which include defining your objectives, defining your stories, learning how to present your stories, defining your target market(s), and creating a media contact list that reaches your target market(s), remain the same. Although the distribution channels have changed, and the Internet has redefined who and what the media actually is, the public relations basics remain constant.

This truly is a situation where the more things change, the more they remain the same. You still want to reach your prospective customers, you want to tell a compelling story, you want to give a call to action, and you want to demonstrate your value. None of that has changed. That is all as it always has been. Yet, while the core basics remain the same, it’s true that just about everything else has changed. Mailing a release to editors and producers and making follow up calls is no longer the sole name of the game. It is still a part of the process, but only a part, the media relations terrain is constantly evolving and the changes have made the process more intricate, not less. Placing a press release on one of the paid wire services is not going to meet your public relations objectives. Anyone can write what they consider to be a press release and send it out to a number of contacts and place it on a wire service. The trouble is just about anyone does, so most of those releases remain totally ignored. They might end up on some websites, but most of the time, little more than that will happen.

Many business owners think because there are the paid wires, blogs and social media sites that they can now effectively launch their own campaigns. That sounds good in theory, but a do it yourself approach generally backfires. Your best bet is to hire a company or a consultant who knows the terrain and can run your campaign for you. In a sense this truly is the Wild West when it comes to PR. There are those marketing experts who will tell you that they know exactly where PR is heading, but they’re all making educated guesses. It’s a rapidly changing world. Whereas social media and blogging have actually made traditional PR more important than ever, and as the Internet and new communication devices evolve, the process of media relations itself is continually changing and evolving.

For example where you still want to pitch mainstream media in the traditional way, the following is an approach that would have been impossible only a few years ago. Many high profile media outlets have added a box on their site that reports on various blog posts to the site. One approach is to write a blog referencing a specific article from one of the magazines or newspapers that you’re interested in getting coverage in; then link your blog using a trackback link. A trackback is a way of request notification when somebody links to one of your blog posts. You can then submit it to Technorati.com. Technorati will report it and the publication will link to you. That was not a possibility a few years ago. Whereas that can be valuable, and worth a shot, keep in mind it’s not the same as being interviewed by or featured in said publication.

In the world of PR 2.0, the Internet has revolutionized how media and publicity campaigns are run. The most effective PR approach is one that includes traditional public relations, blogging and social media. The media world is no longer as clearly defined as it once was. Social media sites and blogs have become as important as newspapers and TV outlets. Make sure that you don’t confuse social media with online marketing. Social media facilitates communications and conversations between people – it is not the practice of social marketing.

By understanding the new media world and combining your social media strategy and blogging with a traditional PR campaign you can create a powerful three-pronged 2.0 approach which results in more followers, more buzz, more customers and more business.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2011

Author's Bio: 

Anthony Mora Communications, Inc. is a Los Angeles-based public relations company that has placed clients in: Time, Newsweek, 60 Minutes, CNN, USA Today, Oprah,The New York Times, Vogue, and other media. Anthony has been featured in: USA Today, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The BBC, CNN, Fox News, and other media outlets.