PR Peeps Poll: Advertising Equivalencies? Say what? 32% Don’t Know What it Means

August 3, 2009

The July Business Wire PR Peeps poll is in and results reflect an apparent generation gap.  Regarding advertising equivalencies, the controversial method of justifying public relations efforts by equating publicity scored with what that attention would have cost were it paid for as advertising, almost 32% of 411 polled were not even familiar with the concept.

An almost equal number, 33%, professed that, yes, indeed they had used advertising equivalencies in the past.   Almost 24% said they had never used them and 11.4% claimed they “used to, but don’t anymore.”

Advertising equivalencies continue to dog PR pros vexed by bosses and clients insisting, understandably, that PR efforts be justified.  In his blog post, “Advertising Equivalencies Hangin’ Around Like a Bad Smell,” Alan Chumley, Director of Communications Research, Leger Marketing, does a great job capturing the issues associated with advertising equivalencies, such as their tendency to trivialize public relations and the fact that they are not endorsed by a single professional public relations organization.  He also offers four suggestions for what to do INSTEAD of advertising equivalencies.  Check it out.  

Meanwhile, here’s the details from our 411 respondents, culled from Twitter and our webinar polls.


Business Wire PR Peeps Poll for July 2009          

Have you ever used advertising equivalencies to justify PR efforts?

  • 136  said YES-33%
  • 98    said  NO-23.8%
  • 47    said USED TO, BUT DON’T ANYMORE-11.4%

To those who participated, thanks for taking the poll.   And, how about helping with the August Business Wire PR Peeps Poll?  When mistakes happen in a press release, do you care who’s at fault? Please let us know.

411 respondents via Twitter and Business Wire webinar polls.  Poll conducted  July 1 – 31, 2009.

How Long Does it Take to Write a Press Release? “Several days,” said half of those polled

March 30, 2009

Polling results are in for Business Wire’s occasional 1-question poll and to those of us in the press release business, the results are no surprise.  My sense is that PR professionals may want to use these results to justify billable hours spent on press release creation, too.  Here’s a summary:

Almost half of 277 respondents said it takes “several days” to write and get approval for a press release.     Only 3%–nine of the total–were lucky enough to churn out a press release in “an hour.”  About 37%  said they spend “half a day” or “a day” to get press releases together while those poor PR souls who need “weeks” constituted an unenviable 11%.   Details below.

How Long Does it Take to Write a Press Release

Several of you wondered why we didn’t make our poll into two questions–since writing a release and getting approvals are such distinct steps in the process.  The reason: we wanted to find out the total time investment in the release BEFORE it arrives at Business Wire.  We also wanted to keep the poll to one question to encourage participation.

So what are we getting at?  Press Release Optimization.

Anecdotally, clients tell us that they “don’t have time” to optimize their press releases.  Or they don’t know how.  That’s why we built a free tool, Press Release Builder, that walks you through the optimization process.   Thing is, clients aren’t using it because it takes an extra few minutes.   Huh?  

Why would you NOT spend an extra 30 – 45 minutes optimizing your press release for search given that you’ve already invested “several days” getting it to the one-yard line?   Business Wire couldn’t help but wonder.

One obstacle is that clients are not managing press release optimization into their workflow.  Frequently press releases are written and approved, and by the time they arrive at Business Wire, their creators have no no interest in tweaking keywords or rearranging paragraphs that might change the copy and require a return to the meat grinder for more time-consuming approvals.

We understand.  That’s why we encourage you to factor press release optimization into your budget BEFORE you come to Business Wire for distribution.  Even if you work with a digital PR firm or a search engine specialist, it will take time.   You can play around with Press Release Builder at your leisure, FOR FREE, when you’re not on deadline.   Talk to your account executive.  It’s worth the investment.

To those who participated, thanks for taking the poll.  And how about helping with the next one?  Do you optimize your press release for search engines?

Business Wire Occasional 1-Question Poll:

How long does it take to write and get approval for a press release?

an hour–3.2% (9 respondents)
half a day–20.21% (56 respondents)
a day–16.96% (47 respondents)
several days–48.73% (135 respondents)
weeks–10.83% (30 respondents)
277 respondents via Twitter and Business Wire webinar polls.  Poll conducted March, 2009.

Aristotle on Twitter, Mom Knows Best, and Other Lessons from SXSWi 2009

March 23, 2009
Is Aristotle on Twitter

If Aristotle were on Twitter, he'd be a big retweeter.

Getting attention in a cluttered content universe was just one hot topic at South by Southwest Interactive this year, and the question, “Do you give good URL?” aimed to address the point in a delightful panel of  University of Texas at Austin academics.

Maybe my background as an American Studies graduate from UT predisposed me to this panel, but I found it was one of my favorites in the five-day new media conference of more than 6,000 attendees.

The discussion, “Is Aristotle on Twitter?” revisited the great philosopher and addressed the struggle many of us face online–deciphering style from substance. Giving good URL–that is, supplying readers with useful, relevant content via helpful links–indicates BOTH, say the academics.

Generous, appropriate Link Love not only shows your style, but reflects your judgement.  You wouldn’t knowingly pass along something you didn’t find valuable–would you?

While last year Twitter was oft discussed in the context of the horrendous Sarah Lacy/Mark Zuckerberg interview, in 2009 Twitter tips were ubiquitous, as attendees filled conference halls, laptops opened, Tweetdeck loaded.    Example: Retweeting may be the sincerest form of flattery and is strongly encouraged, say the academics.   “Retweeting creates judgement, while tweeting creates familiarity.” 

Other great takeaways:

1. Every cell phone is a media outlet.
2. Retweeting makes readers see through you; tweeting makes readers see you. Both are important.
3. Social media will provide the data helping determine the five things you SHOULD be doing rather than the 50 things you COULD be doing.
4. “Being better is its own word-of-mouth,” Kathy Sierra.
5. Distinguish the urgent from the important, as in don’t respond to “urgent” emails at the expense of those that are important.
6.  The humble “telephone is one of the best branding tools out there, despite being low-tech,” Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappo’s.
7.  The organization chart of the future will have customers at the top, CEOs at the bottom.
8.  When it comes to social media, it’s just as important to be interested as it is to be interesting.
9.  When hiring, chemistry is MORE IMPORTANT than skills.
10.  When you find yourself in the echo chamber, call your mom for a reality check on ideas. Mom frequently DOES know best.

As a mom, I concur.

“Right Sizing” and Media Layoffs Make for Timely Webinar: From the News Cycle to the Spin Cycle

February 13, 2009

The dreary news just keeps on coming.

News cycle to spin cycle?

“Right sizing” at PR firms,  reporters laid off at most print dailies…could it possibly be true that Seattle may soon become the first U.S. city without a daily print newspaper? My afternoon walk to Starbucks brought me face-to-face with a reporter friend who confided “I’m applying for a PR job.”   She’s not the only one.

Surely we’re facing tough times in the media business.   Our webinar next week, “From the  News Cycle to the Spin Cycle,” will tackle the topic head on.   What happens when reporters move into public relations?

The panel of former journalists–Bill Day of Valero Energy Corp., Lai Ling Jew of Fenton Communications, Lynn Kettleson of Kettleson Group and David Postman of Vulcan–represent a broad cross section of hard working media folks from all three coasts.   They’ve lived to tell tales of crossing the media aisle and finding a satisfying professional life beyond journalism.   Lai Ling Jew, the only woman at NBC embedded with the military during the initial phase of the Iraq war, concentrates her energies these days on promoting the good deeds of nonprofit organizations.   “I feel more like a journalist than ever,” she said in a pre-webinar conference call.

Don’t miss this FREE, timely webinar, which we provide to our clients and colleagues as a public service in understanding.  Registration is free

From the News Cycle to the Spin Cycle:  What I learned on the way to becoming a Public Relations Professional

Thursday, February 19, 2009

10 AM Pacific/Noon Central/1 PM Eastern

Click here to register.

Consumer & Lifestyle Media Panel Recap

November 6, 2007

We recently hosted a live media panel in New York for PR professionals lBusiness Wire Featuresooking to connect with high-profile consumer and lifestyle editors in the industry. Listen to the archived event and find out the latest on what top consumer media editors are covering

The panelists included Darcy Jacobs, articles editor, Family Circle; Kristine Kennedy, east coast editor, Better Homes and Gardens; Susan Avery, senior editor,; Jenifer Braun, weekend entertainment and consumer lifestyle editor, The Star-Ledger; Sharon King Hoge, editor, Verdant; and Tracy Saelinger, lifestyle editor, Every Day with Rachael Ray.

The event covered an array of topics that proved to be insightful and very candid. The panelists addressed some of their own personal stories and offered details on how they prepare for upcoming sections, the latest trends they are monitoring and tips on how to pitch a story for better placement.

PR Week also covered the event (post one) (post two) and offered some handy tips discussed by the panelists.


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