Hyperlocal News Domination – The Process for Posting PR for Value
The “Hyperlocal PR & News” Journey – By Jon Burgess – Redlands, CA
We (RedFusion Media) have run 100s of sites and 1,000s of campaigns. And, over 20 years of digital campaigns and Google tactics, we have some simple truths to share with you. So, if you do PR and want your stories to win, we have tactics for you to dominate with.
The idea of winning online, in search engines results, and on social media platforms, is hard for the average site, and often has stumbling blocks for the creator of the content. However, the secret to winning at posting content is straightforward and an uncomplicated process.
You just need to follow a few steps.
What is the Goal of your Content?
The goal of content should be simple – it needs to be an authoritative piece on something of value.
- Content MUST to be authoritative
- It should fit your site’s content topics and focus
- You must curate content for better performance
- BONUS – it should be sharable
The goal is to make sure you are communicating to a live audience – a real reader. Write content that an 11th grade teacher would give you an A on. That’s the best barometer for determining if you are in the ballpark.
What is NOT good content
- Short length
- A coupon, ad, pitch, or blatant commercialism
- Content that is stolen, copied, mirrored
- Is about everything, not just one thing
- An event listing
The days of ads is long gone. I call it “adverting,” not advertising. You cannot trick Google into believing an advertisement can pass for useful content.
The basics of Okay Digital PR
Creating okay PR assumes you have a goal of useful content to start and you are applying the most basic of tactics. The three basic requirements for stories should be:
- 250+ words.
- A photo. Horizontal. I’ll say it again, Horizontal!!!
- Links to your site.
But you don’t want to be Okay. You’re a Winner!
The title to this story is domination. So, I hope the reason you are reading this is to grab the few golden tips that have helped my content dominate.
To get a B in class you need to up your game.
Expert content – You need to tell your teacher (or Google), that you didn’t just make up the story. I often read flowery or dreamy content and just move on – total crap. This is not creative writing. This is writing for authority.
Authoritative or expert content needs to be cited. Ph.D.’s can ramble and proselytize from their podium in your 101 classes, but if they want to get published in a journal, they must cite the sources that help form their argument. Your foundation should be the same, cite great content to build your authority
- As a press release, cite your content in the body, with links.
- As a blog post, long form, or whitepaper article, we find that citations at the end of your article in footnotes have performed better than just in the body.
- You also need to write more than 250 words, I push towards 1,200 with content being broken up with bullets, lists, images and data.
To Get an A in your Class
Don’t just accept being listed in Google Search.
Google is great. I love getting into Google. But, when Google Search overpowers your business, you are not presenting a mature marketing mix. I’m talking about when you get 80% or more of your traffic from Google. I don’t want 80% of anything, that breaks the Pareto principle (80/20 rule) of good business and of appropriate content.
Our marketing-mature sites get less than 50% of traffic from Google. That’s good for business, and it is by design.
The first place to get other traffic is Google News, and at times we get 10% of our traffic from Google News. Google News is NOT Google search – though it acts the same in many ways.
Key differences between Google Search & Google News
- Google News feeds are exclusive to high valued news outlets; thus, you should understand whose feed’s are the most powerful.
- Time. Yes, time is a key part to the listing.
Google News is its own subject, (More to Come)
It is also important to be listed in other places, Yahoo News, Bing, etc. We still see very valuable traffic outside of Google. Often, Yahoo users spend more time on your page, because they are using Yahoo a bit more as a news source than Google.
To get an A+ and Dominate!!!
Three key tactics:
Distribution is a trip-wire that can cause the whole event to fail. There are key issues to distribution that must be addressed to really win.
Strength – The first thing I do is to post PR on the strongest site. So, this is an advanced and powerful process – and as a PR professional, you should build a list of your PR outlets, noting which media sources are powerful. Who has the most traffic? Who has the strongest feeds?
Staggering Your Release – You must release your PR in stages, the powerful should be exclusive and later the weak can be blasted. As a publisher, I often skip emails that have carbon copy addresses. I often publish personalized PR, because those emails make me feel important. The real key is that you need to know who is powerful, who you should cater to, and who is weak and should be blasted the PR.
First to Press. I said “Time” was important to Google News, and it can be the difference between winning and losing. “First to press” should be used as an exclusive, and granted to the most powerful outlet.
Posting your PR to your site first. Instant F on PR distribution! If you post first, you win – which effectively prevents media from winning. Thus, why would you send out PR? I tend to want to win on my own content, but that content is not PR. When I do PR, I want to reach those outside of my normal traffic network. It is ok to post to your site after you have run your story in the media – noting you may not receive as much SEO value.
I have very strong opinions on Social Media. (More to come)
The simple explanation is that your PR or “PUBLIC – RELATIONSHIPS” should have real social connections. Posting to your owned feeds is not the point.
To be social, you need certain amount social-ness included in your PR. When I post a story to InlandEmpire.US, I tweet and post it. My goal isn’t to fill my own feeds with stories. My goal is to “Pat the Back” of those who are mentioned in the story. That means you must include your social media outlets in your own PR. You should include any key person’s public accounts.
- We find that our Social efforts drive 1% of our social referrals.
- 99% of the social referrals come from the sharing of social content by real people and organizations.
Therefore, when an organization gives an award to a person. You should tag the organization, the person, etc. The viralness comes when a person is featured, thus friends and family share.
The key to high performing press releases or great social media viralness, generally comes from you. Once you have a story in the news, what do you do to promote that?
Internally we call this “3rd party” content. That is, we wrote the content for the public. The public posts it and promotes it. We then act as if it was 3rd party content, and promote it back to our own customer base and social media feeds. Something as easy as “Did you see Jon in the News?” This allows you to push your existing relationships to positive stories that are not on your site, but are your owned content.
Selfishly, there is nothing worse to me, as a publisher, when I work to get you the win and you don’t promote your own story. Are you simply using me? Or are you going to build a relationship with me?
How many of you reading this have received an email from my team when we post your content to InlandEmpire.US? If we post your story, we tell you. And if you open the email, if you click the link, we know. What you don’t know is that we are working hard to get to know you; to improve our product for you and for the greater market.
How do you know that you got an A+?
I look to hard numbers like traffic, referrals, sales, etc. Our hard data decisions make our business run, so you should have real tracking details on your content efforts.
Links to your post. You know that you have won if you get cited by other sites. You’ve won if you can find your content if you select about 10 words from your story that are unique and simply Google it.
Now, go out and win at your digital PR.