10 Feb VOCUS in Focus!
Let’s examine the work-intensive Public Relations process. Professionals know that word-of-mouth and search engine visibility are incredibly valuable in growing a professional service business today. “Getting the word out” about your firm and getting to the top of Google for your key words is a huge challenge for most of us and could get expensive.
One way to reach your target audience cost-effectively is to write and distribute regular press releases that communicate news about your practice, your successes, and the accomplishments of your associates. Regular communications with the media can be the best way to keep the name of your firm at the forefront of the minds of clients, referral sources and prospects. Respected journalists who write and publish about your industry or practice area and the relevant hot topics can lend a great deal of credibility and authority to your firm when they pick up and publish one of your releases. Plus, the search engine visibility that results can ultimately generate a regular stream of visitors to your website and hopefully, lots of qualified leads.
But the PR process can be cumbersome. Writing the release is just the first step. Distributing that release to relevant and current media contacts can be daunting at best. Who are they? How do I get their email addresses? What if the contact information changes? And if you send the release out one email at a time, how time-consuming is that? If you are attaching photos, be sure to budget more time.
Do we need a solution? Enter VOCUS®! It’s billed as “on demand software for public relations management,” and after viewing the demo today, I think it’s a gem! If you are a PR firm, delete that media contact file, get rid of the rolodex. Vocus keeps your media contact lists current for you. You’ll be impressed with the slickness of the contact management and automated distribution pieces of this solution.
But that’s not really what blew me away. It was the integration with PR Web that was most impressive to me and that takes this solution to the next level in terms of slickness. Once you’ve distributed your press release to the media list you create using Vocus, adding PR Web ensures that anyone who Googles the topic or keywords relevant to your news release will see your release at the top of the page in Google. Click on it and your release appears as a professional html email message in website format, with a full view of your website visible at the bottom of the message. As a result, and in-effect, your PR or word-of- mouth marketing strategy goes into hyperdrive! The software is priced on a annual subscription basis and may be pricey for the sole practitioner, but if PR is an important marketing strategy for your firm, you might want to sign up for the demo and check it out.