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Home > Listen by Topic > PR > Increase Your Audience Reach with Push & Pull Public Relations

Increase Your Audience Reach with Push and Pull Public Relations

  In today’s world of online marketing, it’s easy to forget that people are tuning into multiple channels and it is our job as marketers to make it easy for them to find what they are looking for. Lee Odden of Top Rank Online Marketing explains how using push and pull public relations tactics together can improve your internet marketing.

  Recorded Live December 1, 2006

Reaching Consumers and the Media

Lee explains how the increasing use of online news and social media by consumers as well as the media presents marketers with new opportunities to reach their target audience using Push and Pull PR.

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Using Push Tactics in Online Marketing

There are many ways to “push” a message out to an online audience. It’s a deliberate effort that involves identifying a target as well as distribution channels.

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Using Pull Tactics in Online Marketing

Pull tactics mean making sure your message can be found. Lee explains how to optimize your content for optimum visibility.

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Leveraging & Understanding Your Campaign Results

Leveraging and understanding your Push/Pull PR results are critical to your bottom line. Lee explains how to know when your campaign has been successful or not, and what to do next.

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Increase Your Audience Reach with Push and Pull Public Relations:
Lee Odden Interview Summary

In this show Lee Odden, the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing talks with Cindy Turrietta, Todd Sarouhan and Brooke Schumacher about push and pull PR marketing tactics and how to increase your audience reach.

With over 10 years of online marketing experience, today Lee Odden is recognized by many as an expert in SEO, online PR and social media marketing. He also publishes a popular blog at TopRankBlog.com and contributes to both AllBusiness.com and Business Blog Consulting.

Starting off the interview by talking about the trends that consumers and journalists use for online news, Lee Odden says that right now the second most popular use of the internet is looking up news and information. According to a study by comScore in June, half of all internet users in the US visit a news site. “That’s a tremendous population,” says Odden, as well as “a huge market opportunity.” Its key for people to understand that there is a big opportunity within news searches to actually reach consumers. But consumers aren’t the only ones, journalists and people in the media are also going online and looking for news stories, subject matter experts as well as prior published press releases. Another trend is the use of blog search engines such as digg.com, del.icio.us or netscape.com.

Talking about the difference between push and pull public relations, Lee explains that within public relations, ways of reaching the media typically in the push side would mean writing a press release and distributing it through a wire service. Now, however, your press release is also distributed to various news websites like Google News, Yahoo News, MSNBC and so forth. “This is one method of pushing news out.” Another method would be pitching i.e. researching editors, writers and publications that are relevant to a story and finding out whether they are planning to do a story, or if they have ever written about the topic that you’d like to get attention to.

Pull marketing on the other hand has to do with end consumers and people in the media going out and looking for information. Today, not only are consumers using social media, but journalists are using it as well. The thing that ties all the social media together is RSS. It is easy to subscribe to any channel using RSS to be automatically notified if anything matches what you are looking for. And journalists are doing this to keep track of what’s new and happening out on the web. “As marketers,” Odden says, “we have an opportunity not only to push our message out like we normally would in public relations, but we also have an opportunity to make sure that we are easy to find and allow people in the media as well as consumers to pull themselves to us.” Lee also goes on to state that while Search Engine Optimization is a pull marketing tactic, Pay Per Click advertising is more push PR. “It’s the dichotomy of advertising and public relations and Pay Per Click and SEO.”

Elaborating more about push tactics, Lee says that outside of push being a news release distributed through a wire service; pitching when you’re researching editorial calendars; and finding stories that are planned or journalists who write about the topic you’d like to get some visibility on, you can also use social networks like LinkedIn.com.

Blogging can be both push marketing as well as pull marketing, according to Lee, because you have information that can be pushed out via RSS, but at the same time people are pulling that information as well. Another thing about blogs is that they are inherently very search engine friendly, and can be very effective in your pull marketing as it creates content that’s going to pull people back to you.

Discussing pitching clients’ stories, Lee says that first of all the client has to have a story. After that you need to identify the media opportunities available by using services like Bacons.com, which is an index of media, journalists, and editors. Most journalists actually rely on getting pitched to find their next good story. So you have to come up with a really good pitch and make it easy. You do not only have to pitch to the mainstream media, you can pitch bloggers too and get fantastic results.

Talking about making a press release newsworthy, Lee feels that you can write a press release with the end consumer in mind that does not need to be as newsworthy as the press release you intend on getting to the media. A majority of content in Google News and Yahoo News is press release based, so you can reach these consumers with marketing messages that may not be in a newsworthy category as something you’d like a journalist or publication to get. His advice is to deconstruct the traditional press release and also create bullet points of the most important things a journalist needs to know about that story. A lot of journalists now write stories purely based on quotes and sound bites that they get out of an interview.

Expanding on pull tactics, Lee Odden says that pull tactics are very much synonymous with what people are trying to achieve with SEO, “i.e. to optimize content, so that it is easy for people to find, so it’s easy for search engines to index, categorize and rank.” Some more specific pull examples outside of ranking well on a news search engine might be having your company news rank well on Google, Yahoo, MSN or Ask. In addition to this you can also use social news and bookmark sites as well. “I know quite a few journalists who use del.icio.us as a way to keep track of what’s going on in the blogosphere.” To Lee, Google blog search and Technorati are the best blog search engines today.

Nowadays it is even more difficult to stand out in the crowd, Lee tells listeners, as there are 59 million blogs being tracked by Technorati today. With more competition, “don’t just focus on the push or the pull, use them together.” As this way they can amplify your results.


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