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Marketers remain reticent toward social-networking sites, and the recession isn’t helping. MySpace and Facebook attract more than 100 million unique visitors a month in the U.S., but the ad dollars aren’t following, and 2009 won’t be much better.
Traditional publications, meanwhile, are doing far worse. The Tribune Co. declared bankruptcy. Print ad revenue is down 19.26 percent to $8.2 billion. Online ad revenue is down three percent to $749.8 million. Dell is canceling ad contracts for the back covers of Fortune and The Economist. NPR is laying off 34 staffers after shutting down some shows. And the layoffs go on and on and on.
What can PR departments and agencies do? Befriend the beleaguered staffs of the media organizations that your clients and their customers care about. By “befriend,” I don’t mean, “Send more generic email pitches.” Instead, read their stories, follow them on social networks, comment on their stories, draw attention to their work, add to their conversations, and then — if you have the goods — feed them tips.
It also means working with clients to dig deep and find real stories that real people will really care about. Product launches and platform initiatives are fine. But as staffs and budgets shrink, the reporters, editors, analysts, and bloggers left standing are going to need all the help they can get.
Help them to hang tight.
About Our Fine Weblog
Welcome to Gearheads, the mostly official blog of Sterling Communications. Here, our best looking employees write about the influence of public relations on social media, web design, marketing strategy, and more. No hype allowed.
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Sterling Tweets@sterlingpr: .@larrymagid, from the same poll, 12% of teens don’t know whether their tweets are public or private. 8 hours@sterlingpr: Big line forming for @MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor’s book signing! #ctia13 #MobileWave http://t.co/aE7w7k9Pk4 8 hours@sterlingpr: Jim Donald, former Starbucks CEO, at #MedalliaBPF: Rocket science, brain surgery, nuclear physics—none as tough as dealing with people. 4 days@sterlingpr: RT @kawika: Look what @marianneoconnor found in her desk http://t.co/MM0iX1DkEG as @sterlingpr preps for our office makeover. (via @weswarf… 5 days
Our most prized awards are recommendations from clients, but these are nice too:
- PR SourceCode surveys IT journalists each year to discover the most respected public relations agencies and corporate communication departments. Sterling ranked second in the top 10 PR agencies
- PR News named Sterling Communications one of their ‘Top Place to Work in PR’
- The Business Journal named Sterling Communications one of the “Top 50 largest woman-owned businesses” in Silicon Valley
- The Stevie Awards, dedicated to woman in business, named Sterling Communications’s CEO Marianne O’Connor a finalist for the best entrepreneur in advertising, marketing and public relations
- Sterling Communications has won two SABRE awards for consumer PR campaigns, a Silver Award for the DoveBid campaign and a Certificate of Excellence for a NETGEAR campaign
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