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New PR and Trust Agents. Oh, and a cartoon!

Posted by The Marketing Intern on September 23, 2009

Been reading Chris Brogan’s book Trust Agent. It made me think about PR in pictures. I’m not sure if this is an unintended side effect of Brogan’s literature, but Chris, if you’re out there, I think your book might make people think about PR in pictures. I’ve got the FDA’s phone number if you need it.

My therapist suggested I share the  pictures with people to purge them from my mind. Enjoy.

This is You.

This is you.

Your Network

This is your network.

Extended Network

This is your extended network.

The Media

And this is the media. Still with me? Good.

Old PR

This is how old PR works. You (1) send press releases to the media, who (2) publish it and make it available to their readership. The problem with this is twofold. First, what about the people in your immediate network? There’s no guarantee that they’ll ever read that story about you. (In fact, there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever see that story about you.) Not so good for trust-building. So how do you fix this situation?

Well, you could send your press releases directly to  your network and let them share it with others. Problem is, traditional press releases are no good for social sharing. They’re long, often boring, and usually pitch-y. People don’t want to read them, much less share them. So this doesn’t work. That’s where New PR comes in.

New PR 1

This is the first part of New PR. You create a miniature news release, more reminiscent of a blog post than a true press release. Short, punchy, loaded with pictures and/or video. Then you post it somewhere (I use PressKit’n to post this kind of thing) and share it through email, blog and social media with your network. If the news is interesting enough, and if it is punchy enough, and if all the elements that make good content are in place (elements which rarely have anything in common with traditional press releases), then it will be shared. Thus:

New PR 2

Part 2, your network shares your content with your extended network. If you’re keeping track of where your links are going, this means that you  have the opportunity to expand your immediate network by making connections with these “new” people. (Who may or may not be new at all. In fact, most of them have been around for at least 25 years. Some even longer!)

So is this considered PR if the Press never gets involved? Maybe not. But New PR has you covered.

New PR 3

See, referrals over time create buzz. Coming from a journalism background, I can honestly tell you that journalists have stopped paying much attention to press releases. They pay attention to the blogs, keep their ears to the ground in social media-land, and — gasp! — make phone calls. But journalists have always been a skeptical bunch, and they tend to trust buzz more than they trust you. Fortunately, that’s not true of your relationship with the people in your network, nor is it true of their relationships with their respective networks. That’s a good thing. That’s your buzz machine. A thousand personal recommendations gets more people talking than an article that reaches 10,000 people.

You know, looking back over that last graphic, it looks a little cult-y. Maybe this problem is a little more serious than anticipated.

Don’t buy Trust Agents, though, until further notice. I’ll give you a doctor’s note when I’m feeling better.


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