You’ve heard me preach that there’s no silver bullet channel or platform that will persist long enough for you to make it your career. But there are two strategies that were effective yesterday and today that will also endure well past your retirement.
Here are some quick reminders of the techniques that were supposed to “change everything” just during my short career:
- 2006 — “Bypass the media,” was the watchcry. You could optimize a news release, and Google News indexed it just the same as an article from a real newspaper! Your audiences would find it when they searched, so why bother with those pesky reporters? Google figured this out, and now they ignore or even penalize links from news releases.
- 2011 — Facebook follower numbers seemed to grow on their own. People were actively looking for Facebook pages to “like.” And Facebook actually showed them your posts! Young Mr. Zuckerberg and his friends kindly shared their platform with us and gave us a free way to take our message directly to our people. Then in 2012 they took the company public and revenue actually mattered. Now, unless you pay to boost, now essentially no one will even see your own posts.
- 2017 — Snapchat went public with a soaring valuation and lots of brands jumped on that bandwagon. And found that some of the very features that make it so popular among young people also make it difficult to use for sharing corporate messages.
I’m not saying that press release SEO, Facebook pages or Snapchat strategies are bad. They can be great tools that contribute to great outcomes. Just remember this history when you’re tempted to go all in on one channel because it seems like it may be an easier road.
A PR “strategy” that relies on a particular channel or platform is not a strategy at all. It is a temporary tactic that will eventually become saturated and dominated by the biggest budgets. And the early-mover advantage has decreased from years to months.
Two strategies that will always endure are:
- Produce content that’s 10 times better than what your target audiences are used to seeing.
- Get your messages shared with your audiences by third-parties they already trust.
That’s hard, you say? That’s the point. Your ability to execute these two strategies makes you rare and valuable in the content-saturated environment of 2019 and beyond.
Master them and you’ll be independent sooner than later.
Michael Smart teaches PR professionals how to dramatically increase their positive media placements. He’s engaged regularly by organizations like General Motors, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Georgia Tech to help their media relations teams reach new levels of success. Get more media pitching knowledge from Michael Smart here.
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