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REVISED AND UPDATED FOR 2007!Author’s note to the second edition.When I first released the ebook that you are now reading by posting it on my site and myblog and sending a press release out about it in mid-January 2006, I thought I might get afew thousand downloads. Imagine my surprise when the ebook was downloaded morethan 15,000 times in just the first week!Since then, I have been happily watching the wave of interest from this effort and amamazed by the metrics. When I first put it out, there was precisely one hit on Google forthe phrase “new rules of pr.” The last time I checked there were over 9,000 Google hitsbecause hundreds of bloggers and online media outlets have written about the ebook andthousands of readers have commented on my blog and others. As I write this, it is nearlya year since the release of the first edition and some 150,000 people have downloaded it(so far). Thank you for your enthusiasm.David McInnis was among the very first people to download the ebook, write about it onhis blog, and help push the viral marketing buzz. David suggested doing a second editionof the ebook and I am pleased that he has not only written a foreword for it, but alsocontributed a series of newsmarketer tips. David and the team at PRWeb have pioneeredsocial media tools for press releases such as tagging and trackbacks, so he is the idealperson to put his stamp on this new and improved edition.If you read the first edition, welcome back! If you are reading The New Rules of PR forthe first time, prepare to learn about a new way to get your organization noticed on theWeb. 2006 - 2007 by David Meerman ScottSecond Edition, January 2007Copyright holder is licensing this under the Creative Commons License, Attribution nk you to Mark Alan Effinger, for the e-book design. Thecartoon is by the talented Dan Rosandich. To have Dan make a custom cartoon for you,contact him at: www.danscartoons.comAuthor photo by Bruce Rogovin feel free to post this on your blog or email it to whomever you believewould benefit from reading it. Thank you. 2007 The New Rules of PR David Meerman Scott Newsmarketer Tips - David McInnis, Founder & CEO, a Vocus Service- Page 2 -

Coming in June 2007 — the long awaited hardcover book by David Meerman ScottThe New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to use news releases, blogs, podcasts,viral marketing and online media to reach your buyers directlyTold with over 50 compelling caseexamples, the book is a practical guide tothe new reality of PR and marketing onthe Web.“The Internet is not so much abouttechnology as it is about people. DavidMeerman Scott, in his remarkable ‘The NewRules of Marketing and PR,’ goes farbeyond technology and explores theramifications of the Web as it pertains topeople. He sets down a body of rules whichshow you how to negotiate thoseramifications with maximum effectiveness.And he does it with real-life case historiesand an engaging style.”Jay Conrad LevinsonThe Father of Guerrila MarketingAuthor, "Guerrilla Marketing" series ofbooks“’The New Rules of Marketing & PR’ teaches readers how to launch a thoughtleadership campaign by using the far-reaching, long-lasting tools of social media. It is aninvaluable guide for anyone who wants to make a name for themselves, their ideas, andtheir organization.”Mark LevyCo-author of How to Persuade People Who Don’t Want to be Persuaded and founderof Levy Innovation: A Marketing Strategy FirmCloth – ISBN 0-470-11345 – 240 pagesUS 24.95 / CAN 29.99 / UK 15.99Available June 2007 from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2007 The New Rules of PR David Meerman Scott Newsmarketer Tips - David McInnis, Founder & CEO, a Vocus Service- Page 3 -

ForewordThe New PR RevolutionHistorically, business has relied on the media to tell its story. But what happens if thereare more stories than the media has time to tell? The answer is simple: Each day, thecompelling stories from thousands of organizations fall into that black hole of PR, barredby the journalists who have established themselves as the gatekeepers of information.Until now.In 1997, PRWeb began a quiet revolution to alter how we think about the modern pressrelease and direct-to-consumer communication. The movement caught on. We now livein an exciting world of "media bypass" where the socially-networked consumer gets todecide what is newsworthy and salient.How did PRWeb do it? By paying attention to online consumer behavior and positioningclient press releases where they would get noticed, PRWeb essentially became the firstonline press release marketing company. The old days of crossing your fingers to see ifyou press release moves the needle are coming to an end. We now have more tools at ourdisposal as PR professionals and marketers than ever before.David Merman Scott is someone that "truly gets it” when it comes to this new space.David has established himself as one of the foremost Internet content experts with a deepunderstanding of the importance of online content in building brand awareness and onlinetraffic. In the first edition of this eBook, The New Rules of PR, he became the firstperson to develop a discussion framework around PRWeb's direct-to-consumer pressrelease model.Are you ready to try something new? As you read this new edition you will be able toidentify new ways that your press releases can work for you. David Meerman Scottpresents some concepts here that are guaranteed to have an impact on your bottom line asan agency or online marketer. As you learn to develop new PR strategies around theseconcepts, your agency or business will flourish. Ignore his discussion at your own risk.Welcome to the exciting new era in content distribution where public relations andmarketing converge.David McInnisFounder & CEOPRWeb, A Vocus Service 2007 The New Rules of PR David Meerman Scott Newsmarketer Tips - David McInnis, Founder & CEO, a Vocus Service- Page 4 -

The new rules of PR in a Web 2.0 WorldHow to create a press release strategy for reaching buyers directlyThe Web has changed the rules for press releases. The thing is, most old-line PRprofessionals just don’t know it yet.Because the rules for relating to the public have changed so slowly over the pastten years (since the Web has allowed people to read press releases directly),practitioners who learned based on the old rules have been equally slow to change.In fact, most old-school experts have refused to change altogether. It is time to stepit up and consider the promise Web 2.0 public relations holds. Do you want to reach your buyers directly? Do you want to drive traffic to your Web site? Do you want to achieve high rankings on the search engines? Do you want to attract buyers who are looking for what you have tooffer? Do you want to move people into and through the sales process? Do you want to compete more effectively?Then read on.But be prepared to alter the way you think about press releases. 2007 The New Rules of PR David Meerman Scott Newsmarketer Tips - David McInnis, Founder & CEO, a Vocus Service- Page 5 -

The old rules of press releasesIn the old days, a press release was – -shockingly – actually a release to the press.Before the Web, everybody knew that the only reason you issued a press releasewas to get the media to write about you.Ye Olde Press Release Rules Nobody saw the actual press release except a handful of reportersand editors. You had to have significant news before you were allowed to writea press release. A release had to include quotes from third parties, such ascustomers, analysts and experts. The only way your buyers would learn about the press release'scontent was if the media wrote a story about it. The only way to measure the effectiveness of press releases wasthrough “clip books," which collected every time the mediadeigned to pick up your release.No More.The Web has transformed the rules and you must transform your releases to makethe most of the Web-enabled marketplace of ideas. 2007 The New Rules of PR David Meerman Scott Newsmarketer Tips - David McInnis, Founder & CEO, a Vocus Service- Page 6 -

Why you need to learn the new rulesToday, savvy marketing professionals use press releases to reach buyers directly.While many marketing and PR people understand that press releases sent over thewires appear in near real-time on services like Google News, very few understandthe implications for how they must dramatically alter their press release strategy inorder to maximize the effectiveness of the press release as a direct consumercommunication channel.The media has been disintermediated. The Web has changed the rules. Buyers readyour press releases directly and you need to be talking their language.This is not to suggest that media relations are no longer important; mainstreammedia and the trade press must be part of an overall communications strategy. Insome businesses, mainstream media and the trade press remain critically importantand, of course, the media still derives some of its content from press releases.But your primary audience is no longer just a handful of journalists. Your audienceis millions of people with Internet connections and access to search engines, RSSreaders and social bookmarking services. 2007 The New Rules of PR David Meerman Scott Newsmarketer Tips - David McInnis, Founder & CEO, a Vocus Service- Page 7 -

The new rules of press releases Don't just send press releases when “big news” is happening; find goodreasons to send them all the time. Instead of just targeting a handful of journalists, create press releasesthat appeal directly to your buyers. Write releases replete with keyword-rich copy. Create links in releases to deliver potential customers to landing pageson your Web site. Optimize press release delivery for searching and browsing. Drive people into the sales process with press releases.OK, now that you know the new rules, you need change the fundamental way thatyou use press releases. Throughout the rest of this e-book, I’ll share with you somespecific strategies for leveraging the once lowly press release into one of the mostimportant direct marketing tools at your disposal and, in the process, teach youhow to drive buyers straight to your company’s products and services. 2007 The New Rules of PR David Meerman Scott Newsmarketer Tips - David McInnis, Founder & CEO, a Vocus Service- Page 8 -

Let the world know about your expertiseEvery organization possesses particular expertise that has value in the new emarketplace of ideas. The Web has made it easy for organizations to publish thatexpertise in various forms, including press releases, which allows companies,institutions, and non-profits to function much like traditional publishers.Organizations gain credibility and loyalty with customers, employees, investors,and suppliers through content, and smart Web marketers now think and act likepublishers in order to create and deliver content targeted directly at their audience.As organizations of all types begin to behave like publishers, many are adapting tothe rigors of the publishing business and learning the editorial process. At the sametime, new rules are emerging as online publishing continues to mature.In an increasingly competitive marketplace, all organizations are searching for theelusive key to success. Well, look no further: Content, even in the form of a"mere" press release, will unlock success in almost any product category, even inhighly competitive industries where smaller players are beset upon by larger,better-funded competitors.A June 2006 study by Outsell, reported in TrendAlert: 2006 User Update –Information Managers Challenged To Supply Time-Saving Solutions, MoreEfficient Search (, found that corporateand government sectors have increasingly turned to press releases for information,surpassing trade publications. The report cited developments such as Google NewsAlerts and RSS as contributing factors to the rise in popularity of press releases inbusiness research. 2007 The New Rules of PR David Meerman Scott Newsmarketer Tips - David McInnis, Founder & CEO, a Vocus Service- Page 9 -

Let me tell you a storyI speak regularly at conferences and seminars. In the Fall of 2005, I was preparinga keynote speech called “Shorten your sales cycle: Marketing programs thatdeliver more revenue faster” for the Software Marketing Perspectives Conference& Expo. To be honest, I was kind of procrastinating. Facing a blank PowerPointfile, I decided to hit on Google in search of inspiration.I entered the phrase “accelerate sales cycle” to see if there was anythinginteresting I could use in my presentation. The highest ranked listings for thisphrase on Google were from WebEx , a company that provides onlinecollaboration services. What was most interesting was that the links pointed topress releases on the WebEx site. One of the press releases was about a newproduct:WebEx Launches WebEx Sales Center: Leader Expands Suite ofReal-Time Collaborative ApplicationsEnhance Team Selling Process, Engage Prospects ThroughoutSales Cycle, and Enable Managers to Monitor and Measure WebSales OperationsSAN JOSE, Calif., September 20, 2004 — WebEx Communications,Inc. (Nasdaq: WEBX), the leading provider of on-demandcollaborative applications, today launched WebEx Sales Center, anew service that helps companies accelerate sales cycles, increasewin rates, and close more deals by leveraging online sales calls. 2007 The New Rules of PR David Meerman Scott Newsmarketer Tips - David McInnis, Founder & CEO, a Vocus Service- Page 10 -

Then I went over to Google News and checked out the same phrase – “acceleratesales cycle” – and sure enough, WebEx also had the number one listing with a veryrecent press release dated September 28, 2005: “Application Integration IndustryLeader Optimizes Marketing and Sales Processes with WebEx Application Suite.”The press release, about a WebEx customer, had been sent through PRNewswireand had a direct Web link to the WebEx site to provide additional information.There’s more. WebEx also provided links in some press releases directly to freetrial offers of their services. How cool is that?WebEx provided me with a great example of a company that had optimized thecontent of press releases to include relevant terms such as the one I entered,“accelerate sales cycle.” The company's press release body copy includedadditional terms such as “sales process” and “marketing business process” alongwith other excellent examples of keyword usage.After reading the WebEx press releases, I decided to incorporate some of theinformation I learned into my keynote speech for the Software MarketingPerspectives Conference & Expo. Now I frequently use WebEx as an example inother presentations I give (not to mention here in this e-book).Imagine the number of times this press release content has benefited WebEx justfrom one person that the company reached – me. I'll present this WebEx case studybefore thousands of people on the speaking circuit in 2007. And if the last e-book Ipublished (a free preview of my book Cashing in with Content: How innovativemarketers use digital information to turn browsers into buyers) is any guide, morethan ten thousand people will read about this WebEx example in these pages in thecoming months. But I am just one person – imagine how many other peopleentered similar words and phrases as I did and saw WebEx press releases.This is a terrific – and real – example of the new rules of press releases in action. 2007 The New Rules of PR David Meerman Scott Newsmarketer Tips - David McInnis, Founder & CEO, a Vocus Service- Page 11 -

Reach your buyers directlyUnder the old rules, the only way to get “published” was to have your pressrelease “picked up” by the media.We’ve come a long way. The Web has turned all kinds of companies, non-profits,and even rock bands and political campaigners into just-in-time and just-rightpublishers. Organizations – the new publishers – create press releases that deliveruseful information directly onto the screens of their buyers.Until recently, nobody ever thought of companies as publishers; newspapers andmagazines published the news. But that’s all changing. Self-publishing Web-stylehas moved into the mainstream and organizations large and small are doing thepublishing via press releases.As you are making this fundamental shift, what should you write press releasesabout? Big news is great, but don't wait. Write about just about anything that yourorganization is doing: CEO speaking at a conference? Write a release. Win an award? Write a release. Have a new take on an old problem? Write a release. Add a product feature? Write a release. Win a new customer? Write a release. Publish a white paper? Write a release. Get out of bed this morning? Okay, maybe not but you are thinkingthe right way now! 2007 The New Rules of PR David Meerman Scott Newsmarketer Tips - David McInnis, Founder & CEO, a Vocus Service- Page 12 -

To bypass the media, think like they doNewsmarketer Tip: WhereIn order to implement a successful press releasea genuine link can be made,try to tie your press release tocurrent news events. Do notforce it.Only attempt thiswhen a logical link can bemade. If you pull it off youmay see your news associatedwith current news on the frontpage of sites like GoogleNews. Even if your releasedoes not make it on GoogleNews’ front page it will hit onthose same search terms forthe Google News Alert system.strategy, think like a publisher. Marketers at themost enlightened organizations recognize thefact that they are now purveyors of informationand they manage content as a valuable assetwith the care a publishing company does.One of the most important things thatpublishers do is start with a content strategyand then focus on the mechanics and design ofdelivering that content. Publishers carefullyidentify and define target audiences andconsider what content is required in order tomeet their needs. Publishers consider questionslike: Who are my readers? How do I reach them? What are their motivations?What are the problems I can help them solve? How can I entertain them andinform them at the same time? What content will compel them to purchase what Ihave to offer?Publish your press releases through a distribution servicePublishers also recognize that simply creating compelling content is not enough; ithas to reach interested readers. The best way to publish press releases is tosimultaneously post a release to your own Web site and send it to one of the pressrelease wires.There are a number of options for wire distribution of press releases. The benefitof using a press release distribution service is that your release will be sent to theonline news services such as Yahoo!, Google, Lycos, and many others. Many press 2007 The New Rules of PR David Meerman Scott Newsmarketer Tips - David McInnis, Founder & CEO, a Vocus Service- Page 13 -

release distribution services reach trade and industry Web sites as well. In fact, youcan reach hundreds of Web sites with a single press release. Take a look at thevarious services and compare them yourself. A Selection of the Larger PressRelease Distribution Services Market Wire - PrimeNewswire - Billboard Publicity Wire http://billboard.prweb.comIn order to get your press releases to appear on the online news services, you justhave to get your release onto a basic press release “circuit” offered by a pressrelease distribution service. The services also have many value-added options foryou to consider. Compare options and in making your choice, remember that whenyour goal of sending press releases is search engine marketing. Thus, thenewsroom and geographical reach offered by a service is less important thanensuring that your releases are included on major online news sites.The 28-Day News CycleWith the introduction of Google News we saw the birth of the 28-day news cycle.Once a story is 28 days old you will no longer see it appear in news SERPS(search engine result pages). This makes perfect sense if you think about it. Thelast thing you would want as a consumer is to have to plow through news archivesto find current news stories. For this reason, while getting a press release intoGoogle News and Yahoo News is important, perhaps of more importance to yourlong term online marketing and brand building objectives are the Web searchcomponents of Google and Yahoo since this is where most users go whileconducting research outside of the 28-day news cycle. 2007 The New Rules of PR David Meerman Scott Newsmarketer Tips - David McInnis, Founder & CEO, a Vocus Service- Page 14 -

What does this mean? If you want to maintain top of mind awareness andvisibility in the News SERPS you should distribute press releases a few times amonth at a minimum.RSS feeds from online news sites display your press release contentN e w s m a r ke t e rTip:When selecting a wire servicefor search engine marketing,consider the length of timeMany press release distribution services alsooffer RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds oftheir press releases, which they make available toother sites, blogs and individuals. What thisyour press release will remainmeans is that each time you publish a pressin the search engines.release with them, the press release is seen s) service and PRWebmake your news available tosearch engines far beyondthe 28-day news cycle. Otherthousands of people who have subscribed to theRSS content feeds. And online news servicessuch as Google News have RSS feed capabilitytoo, allowing people to receive feeds based onkeywords and phrases. So each time your releaseservices currently limit yourincludes a word or phrase of importance, peoplevisibility to six months.will receive your press releases directly and innear real-time.As a marketer or PR professional you do not really need to know how to create,publicize or manage an RSS feed. Services like PRWeb and Business Wire’s EONprovide individualized feed management for your press releases. Each time yousubmit a press release through one of these services your feed will be updated withthe newest press releases automatically.Simultaneously, publish your press releases to your Web sitePost your press releases to an appropriate and readily findable section of your Website. Many organizations have a media room or press section of their Web site, 2007 The New Rules of PR David Meerman Scott Newsmarketer Tips - David McInnis, Founder & CEO, a Vocus Service- Page 15 -

which is ideal. The press release should be kept live for as long as thecontent is appropriate, perhaps for years. For many organizations, the pressrelease section of the Web site is one of the mostN e w s m a r ke t e rTip:Content freshness is animportant SEO strategybecause search enginespiders love sites that areproviding new content on aregular basis. Make room forthe headline and summary ofyour latest press releases inyour online media room and /or on the home page of yoursite. In the process you willbe continuously adding newcontent to your front page andincreasing your site“freshness” in search engines.frequently visited parts of the site. Check outyour Web site statistics. You may be amazed athow many visitors are already reading yourpress releases.When the press release is posted on your site,search engine crawlers will find the content,index it, and rank it based on words and phrasesand other factors. To achieve high rankings, payattention not only to the words and phrases, butalso to other search engine optimization factorssuch as the URL used, the words in the headlineand first paragraph of the release, the title tag,and metatags. Don’t use image files for text, asthe words cannot be read by search engine crawlers. You should also create yourown RSS feeds of your news stories on your site. Use a standard off-the-shelf RSSfeed generator so that interested visitors will be able to subscribe to your pressrelease feed directly.[For much more detailed information on the specifics of search engine marketingtechniques, check out Search Engine Watch.]Optimize your press releases for searching and for browsingAt the broadest level, there are two ways to use and deploy content on the Weband smart organizations understand both angles and optimize press releasesaccordingly. The first way that people use content is to answer questions (throughsearch engines), thus organizations must optimize content to be found bysearchers. This will attract people who are looking for what your organization has 2007 The New Rules of PR David Meerman Scott Newsmarketer Tips - David McInnis, Founder & CEO, a Vocus Service- Page 16 -

to offer. The second way that people use content is that they want to be toldsomething that they do not already know. This is why browseability is soimportant; it allows users to “stumble” across useful information they didn’t knowthey were looking for. While many Web savvy marketers understand theimportance of search-engine optimization, they often forget that sites mustbe designed for browsing too. You should deploy site navigational design ina way that provides valuable information visitorsNewsmarketer Tip: Thismight not have thought to ask for in addition tonew strategy is about makingit easier for your customer tofind your story which, oncefound, will lead him down apath to conversion. If yourcontent is written to “game”the search engines andartificially boost your rankings,you will confuse and annoyyour customer. Be sensitive toyour customer’s time andprovide valuable content, thenlink them to appropriatelanding pages within your site.Do not force them into an“Easter egg hunt” on your siteto locate information. Doingwhat is right for your customeris generally a good rule ofthumb for playing nice withsearch engine spiders.answering any questions they may have.To illustrate this concept, consider one of theWeb’s best known sites, Google, which in itspurest form exists only to answer questions.With a site or content product organized onlyaround answering questions, users must alreadyknow what they want before proceeding. Butpeople also look to sites to tell them something.Contrast Google with another famous site,Drudge Report. Drudge Report doesn’t exist toanswer questions; rather, it tells visitors stuffthey didn’t think to ask. While it does providesearch functionality (far down the home page),Drudge Report provides content that’s meant tobe browsed and, when you are creating contentfor your site, you should too.Press release pages are among the most popular parts of many Web sites based onvisitor counts because many people browse these pages as they research topics.Consider organizing your press release section using multiple ways to browse.Maybe create links to releases based on buyer profile (maybe by vertical market orsome other factor appropriate to your organization), by product, by geography, andthe like, in addition to providing a prominent homepage link to a media center or 2007 The New Rules of PR David Meerman Scott Newsmarketer Tips - David McInnis, Founder & CEO, a Vocus Service- Page 17 -

newsroom. You might also divide releases by different “solutions” or markettarget landing pages to help users drill to areas of interest.People who are searching for your releases will still find them by searching withkeywords and phrases, but people who do their own research and consider adecision over a period of time often browse releases to learn about anorganization. They may also need to print them out to present research to others intheir organization, so consider providing easy ways to print releases (in PDFformat as well as HTML).The importance of links in your press releasesParticularly because your releases may be delivered by feeds or on news servicesand various sites other than your own, creating links from your press releases tocontent on your Web site is very important. These links, which might point to aspecific offer or to a landing page with more information, allow your buyers tolink from the press release content into specific Web site content on your site thatwill then drive them into the sales process.However, there is another enormous added benefit to including links in pressreleases. Each time your press release is posted on another site, such as an onlinenews site, the inbound link from the online news site to your Web site helps toincrease the ranking of your site. This is because the search engines use inboundlinks as one of the important criteria for the page ranking algorithms. So whenyour press release has a link to your site, you actually increase the ranking of thepages that you link to – yours. 2007 The New Rules of PR David Meerman Scott Newsmarketer Tips - David McInnis, Founder & CEO, a Vocus Service- Page 18 -

Focus on the keywords and phrases that your buyers useOne thing successful publishers do, which Web marketers should emulate, isunderstanding the audience first and then set about to satisfy theirinformational needs. A great way to start thinkingN e w s m a r ke t e rTip:PRWeb recommends usingno more than one link per 100words of press release bodycopy. In addition to p

Jan 18, 2007 · Title: The New Rules of PR - David Meerman-Scott Author: David Meerman Scott Subject: The New Rules of PR - David Meerman-Scott Keywords: vocus, prweb, david meerman-scott, webinknow,