Let’s face it, PR isn’t all about sending press releases to anybody with an email addresses (or who likes pizza). Sometimes PR is about how to reach people without the use of media.

I recently sat in on a brainstorm for a client that will be launching a product. We were debating video when the idea of a slide show popped up. I quickly said that would not work. And when asked why, I simply pointed to my mobile device.

Cell phones finding mobile content

I'm wondering how many people read this post on a mobile phone?

The reality is that according to Comscore, 69.6 million mobile users accessed an application on their phone in April 2010, an increase of 28 percent from the previous year. And, it’s my honor to be discussing tactics and techniques for creating messaging that is simple, yet actionable and effective at BlogWorld and New Media Expo 2010 (Affiliate link)!

The future present of media consumption

Mobile is how people consume media. All you have to do is get on any form of public transportation. Look at how many headphones you see. Those people are all consuming media. I frequently receive and send email, tweet and read on my mobile device. The fact that Apple sold 1 million iPads in mere weeks after it launched shows that our society has evolved into one mass of multi-tasking, shape-shifting people constantly on the move.

And publishers must be aware of this. Which also means that as PR pros, we need to be aware of it too. If your website does not detect the version of a browser being used and redirect to a mobile version if necessary, then that is a fail. I have abandoned countless page loads because the site tries to load the full version.

Sure, this still counts as a page view, but just one. If I don’t read your content it is safe to assume I probably won’t be back.

When pitching stories, we need to remember the adage “Brevity is Beautiful.” Here’s some things to consider when pitching to your influencers:

  • Format your mail, press release etc… with a short, tight summary. Call it twit pitch, elevator pitch, escalator pitch or whatever, just keep it short.
  • It’s OK to have longer text, just on a different page. Keep your digital media concise, but make sure product pages are robust, multi-media enabled and complete.

I’m only giving you two. Remember, Brevity is beautiful 😉

How we package our pitches makes a difference. Finding new, innovative ways to will always be at the forefront of “good” PR. What tips do you have for packaging a story for the mobile age? Share in the comments!

And also go register for BlogWorld and New Media Expo 2010.

I gave a talk this weekend at Barcamp Seattle. Well, calling it a talk is being quite glamorous. I made up about 45 minutes worth of loosely jointed opinions and I called it “PR doesn’t suck.”

My alternative title was: PR doesn’t suck. Well, OK, there’s some really shitty PR stunts out there, but YOUR PR doesn’t have to suck.
Barcamp Seattle 2010
I wasn’t trying to convince the attendees that PR as an industry doesn’t suck. But what I did want to convey was that with some simple steps in choosing the proper counsel and setting a clear direction, your PR can not suck.

The client relationship

I started off by asking who had been a client of a PR consultant/firm. Since it was a small group, only a couple of folks had, but the stories we shared quickly became all too common.

Her: They didn’t get it.
Me: What steps did you take to fix it?
Her: We fired them.
Me: What was the WORST part of that experience?

Of course there were some steps in the meantime, but this seems to be a pretty common theme and I’m actually kind of thankful that most people are willing to fire a company that simply isn’t getting it. But  before you scrap the relationship, make sure you’ve gone through the effort to help them “get it.”

I wanted to make sure this session was meaningful, so I thought up five ways to help un-suck your PR:

  • Treat selecting a PR person like selecting a spouse. This person or company will know your deepest, darkest secrets. Interview them, spend time with them and be honest with them.
  • Let your PR person do his/her/their job. You have hired a person to be your communications professional for a reason. Let them have some freedom to be creative, try new ideas and experiment. Trust.
  • Share your passion. Carefully. We feed off the passion and excitement over your products, services or thoughts. But it’s our job to ask you what’s cool, why is this news and why should people care.
  • PR does NOT mean public relations anymore. A press release is not the most important document your communications counsel produces. Fully comprehensive digital and analog plans encompass both media relations, as well as publicly consumable content. (there’s a whole other technical topic here, but we won’t go there)
  • Look in the mirror. If the messaging sucks, maybe you haven’t communicated it well to your communications counsel. It might be time to reassess your goals and objectives.

Barcamp Seattle 2010
You’ll notice in number 4, I switched the language I use. PR is no longer “write press release; write pithy email to editor; profit.” This is an important shift. I think that it embodies the change in dynamic that digital media has caused in this industry.

Say it with me: PR today is about creating a plan that encompasses media, public and consumer relations through the use of multiple channels of communication.

If you want your PR to suck less, there’s a few ways to do it. Tell me how you made your latest campaign suck less in the comments.

Note: All of my photo glory can be found on my Flickr page.