Getting Good Press: Discussion Summary from March 31, 2009

We had a great discussion this week including a group interview of Anita Campbell, the CEO of  She gave us insightful tips on pitching journalists, sending out press releases, and using social media to connect with press (see questions 6 – 9 below).  She also wrote an article on participating in a Tweet chat with a comprehensive how-to for participating in chats like #sbbuzz.
A big thank you to Anita for joining us in the chat this week!
First, a few reminders:
  • Next buzz-up is Tuesday, April7th from 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM Eastern Time.  Join us – we promise you’ll learn something.
  • Help us spread the word! The more voices, the better the conversation.
  • Instructions for participating are at
  • Below is a summary of the most recent discussion. To see the full conversation, go to

sbbuzz: Now on to Q1 – what companies would you like to see on Twitter and why? #sbbuzz

  • desireescales: @sbbuzz Automakers! #sbbuzz (c’mon, someone had to say it!) What automakers are on Twitter? Anyone?
  • mriggen: @sbbuzz Q1: I guess it would depend on what they’re using it for? Some brands do it well (@jetblue, @freshbooks) but some not. #sbbuzz
  • saulcolt: @sbbuzz #sbbuzz I would love to see entertainment properties look for more feedback through twitter and not just to promote
  • deneki: I’d like to see more companies in my industry (fly fishing and travel) – great way to meet new partners. #sbbuzz
  • faybiz: I would like to see more localized small business in general. #sbbuzz
  • nrohrbach: Q1. I’d like to see The Weather Channel Local on twitter, would be kind of nice to get my local forcast/warnings via twitter #sbbuzz
  • nicolasariza: I read a great article today RT @ducttape “All Tweet and No Cattle” explaining why some Biz dont need Twitter
  • jonfollett: #sbbuzz I second the motion for Verizon on Twitter. Stop making me dial through the phone tree and start caring about your customers.
  • scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q1: Companies having a Twitter presence doesn’t guarantee the service through it will be any different than other avenues #sbbuzz
  • nicolasariza: Public service providers (Gas, Electricity, Water….etc) #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q2 What tools are you using to listen to your customers? #sbbuzz
  • MHJohnston: Q2 cotweet, tweetdeck backtweets #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: @sbbuzz Q2 – We are currently sending out surveys after the sale. #sbbuzz
  • jmhillis: @sbbuzz #survey advantage, blog, email mktg #sbbuzz
  • saulcolt: @sbbuzz to listen to your customers you need to be where they are. if they call, answer the phone, if they tweet be there too #sbbuzz
  • nicolasariza: I have a form in my web page (“Under Construction”) and my contact details if they want to send me an e-mail. #sbbuzz
  • mcolacurcio: Q2: The feedback link from our app is very popular. Also use Twitter, phone support, forums, live podcasts + Icerocket. #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: Q2: A lot of my customers are finding me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I also have on my site for real-time chat. #sbbuzz
  • nrohrbach: Q2: I’ve found that polls on a blog, forum, website have gotten more responses for me in product/service feedback #sbbuzz
  • DebInDenver: Q2 techrigy’s sm2, sideline, tweetscan, icerocket, technorati, etc. #sbbuzz
  • mriggen: @sbbuzz Q2: We use Twitter, online forums, blog, user groups, advisory boards, Get Satisfaction (though we may be pulling that) #sbbuzz
  • jonfollett: Q2: Lots and lots of phone time, post-engagement interviews, web questionnaires, in-person reviews – we live mostly on referrals #sbbuzz
  • nicolasariza: I’ve trying a the tool Google Friend connect (expand) adds social feature to your site and you may get feedback #sbbuzz
  • alecjr: all my clients have my cell # and we take calls whenever, wherever from clients, check by e-mail all the time #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: Q3 from @DesireeScales: Is Twitter an effective way to manage your online reputation? #sbbuzz

  • mariaduron: @sbbuzz Yes, Twitter is effective if paired with a social platform + interaction tool. It is only 1 leg in a strategy. #sbbuzz
  • jvinchi: Q3: Not sure if it’s an effective tool to manage – but certainly gives you a quick flavor of what’s being said about you #sbbuzz
  • KathyHerrmann: Twitter’s allowing me to reach out to lots of folks I wouldn’t otherwise reach so yes. #sbbuzz
  • adamzais: We firmly believe this is very effective. Have already seen biz happen, and good karma spread. #sbbuzz
  • selahsynergy: @sbbuzz Q3. Twitter is one of several ways to monitor and manage online presence/reputation…quickly becoming essential #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: Q3: Twitter is effective only as far as those who are on Twitter. It is not the end all and be all. #sbbuzz
  • faybiz: Q3- Twitter can only be part of anyone’s reputation- to manage? There are too many other channels to make it wholly effective. #sbbuzz
  • Canvasman: @sbbuzz I think my online reputation suffers because of Twitter sometimes. #sbbuzz
  • mattharrell: Q2 As an organization you have to have PLAN for social media; not just twitter. Someone like helps #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: Q4 How can tech companies better address the needs of small business? #sbbuzz

  • bradfordshimp: Q4: Tech companies can help small biz by making things simple and easy to understand, and making benefits obvious. #sbbuzz
  • saulcolt: @sbbuzz Q4 Give customers what they need and listen closer before setting a product roadmap #sbbuzz
  • KathyHerrmann: Tech co’s need to understand how small biz needs converge & differ from big biz. #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: Q4: Techs need to stay ahead of the curve and find ways to educate their clients in simple language. #sbbuzz
  • faybiz: Q4- many tech offerings using the freemium model seems to help many small biz #sbbuzz
  • mriggen: @sbbuzz Q4: OpenID! API! Single-sign on! Less passwords/accounts to manage. Etc. 🙂 #sbbuzz
  • KathyHerrmann: Having scalable solutions is invaluable. Let small biz start with scaled-back soln but then scale up as they grow. #sbbuzz
  • alecjr: tech co’s need to understand that (most) small biz do not have IT depts #sbbuzz
  • nrohrbach: Q4: They need to keep products affordable for sm biz. Many do, but some still charge us the same price as they do the Fortune 500’s #sbbuzz
  • mindsondesign: Q4 I vote for great support. We don’t have time for phone trees or 5 agent transfers. We need respect for time. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q5 Who is your best resource for understanding all of the new tools available to you as a small biz owner? #sbbuzz

  • burkonsconsult: Q5 I try to figure it out on my own; then I ask someone who has time to figure it out for help. #sbbuzz
  • chelpixie: @sbuzz Web Work Daily is my favorite resource. It keeps me up to date on what’s good and helpful for virtual workers. #sbbuzz
  • nrohrbach: Q5: I like to spend time in the periodicals section at the local bookstore perusing tech/business mags for small biz tools #sbbuzz
  • #sbbuzz not one best source for info, but a ever-changing myriad of sources from WSJ to trade mags to SM to blogs
  • mindsondesign: Q5 Me and all the great content providers in my google reader … Techcrunch, Read/WriteWeb, Web Worker Daily to name a few #sbbuzz
  • mariaduron: @sbbuzz Q5: @garyvee + @danschawbel #sbbuzz
  • KathyHerrmann: Combos of Google, blogs, online communities. #sbbuzz
  • selahsynergy: @sbbuzz Q5 No single source. I follow multiple blogs and biz publications for ideas. sbbuzz is becoming a great source 😉 #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: Q5: Entrepreneur Magazine is a great resource. #sbbuzz
  • saulcolt: @sbbuzz I try to read everything , so I tend to find whatever is new..but @chrisbrogan is an amazing resource to stay in the know #sbbuzz
  • BeckyMcCray: Q5 Twitter friends are my best resource for all the new tools available to small biz! #sbbuzz
  • wtfrak: @kevinrose co-hosts a podcast: Diggnation, which has been a great source for learning new tools… thats how i learned of Twitter #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: @smallbiztrends Q6 from @mcolacurcio Can you share recent pitches that have done a nice job hooking you? #sbbuzz

  • smallbiztrends: Making your pitch information-based is powerful. One company I know sends out proprietary data in a short email, once a month. #sbbuzz
  • mcolacurcio: @smallbiztrends Does the proprietary nature of the data make you more inclined to write or just the data itself? #sbbuzz
  • smallbiztrends: Proprietary nature is important – it’s data that’s not easy to find elsewhere. And it’s convenient – embedded charts right in email #sbbuzz
  • t_s_f: @smallbiztrends Is this approach best for current clients or potential clients? #sbbuzz
  • smallbiztrends: @t_s_f It’s really best for getting press or blogger coverage. #sbbuzz
  • smallbiztrends: Other ideas: if you have a blog, write on your blog about a journalist’s or blogger’s articles to get their attention. #sbbuzz
  • smallbiztrends: Be sure to use their name in your post. Most have Google Alerts set up and will see their name in the Google Alert. #sbbuzz
  • smallbiztrends: In email pitches, personalize it! No mass emails, please. #sbbuzz
  • smallbiztrends: Another email pitch for PR: offer up tips or a ready made topic or article. Not just “interview me,” but “here’s what I can offer” #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: @smallbiztrends Q7 What is the value of putting a press release over a wire service? #sbbuzz

  • smallbiztrends: Q7: Press releases can get you into Google News or Yahoo News. Keywords can help you get found in search engines. #sbbuzz

  • KathyHerrmann: @smallbiztrends There are free & paid news wire services so something for everyone’s budget. Paid is better. Better placement. #sbbuzz
  • SternalPR: Q7 Wire svcs also enable online journos to pick up release and post as-is many times.
  • mcolacurcio: Using @pitchengine for a social media release (SMR) will ping all the search engines and allow you to post video,etc #sbbuzz
  • mriggen: @smallbiztrends Is it fair to say that bloggers don’t really read press releases to find stories? Worth the $$ to do them then? #sbbuzz
  • smallbiztrends: @mriggen I read a lot of releases. Two kinds of release. 1st type: boring ones that refer too much to companies or product names. #sbbuzz
  • smallbiztrends: 2nd type of press release (the ones I like) tell a bit of a story or have an interesting angle or share data. #sbbuzz
  • smallbiztrends: Resources for writing press releases: @ducttape has one on his website. Will find link later for you. #sbbuzz
  • smallbiztrends: has a pretty interesting questionnaire you can download for composing a press release
  • mcolacurcio: If you are a tech company, enlist a non-techy friend to read all your draft releases. I was shocked how much ‘jargon’ I used. #sbbuzz
  • smallbiztrends: Here’s another way to press: if you have a product, send it to celebrities or well known people to try to get them to use it. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: @smallbiztrends Q8: Should I use Twitter or Facebook instead of an e-mail to contact press? #sbbuzz

  • smallbiztrends: Some people feel Facebook is more personal and may resent the intrusion there. Personally I would not try to reach journalists there
  • Stig: Q8 Both, although try to keep it informative. People unsubscribe from PR-only Twitter accounts. #sbbuzz
  • shortformblog: Q8: Social media is nice, but, as a journo, I know most reporters glaze over their e-mails. Have to do both. #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: Q8: Go where the journalists are and find their personal comfort zone. Each one might be different. #sbbuzz
  • shortformblog: Q8: Also, don’t be intrusive. If you tick off journalists, it’s gonna be harder to get them to do what you want. #sbbuzz
  • Stig: Q8 HARO is a great resource. Use it for ideas… Blog about the topic before the article comes out and you look prescient. #sbbuzz
  • smallbiztrends: Another tip for getting PR: do interviews with blogger friends. Reporters often search blogs and will look for interviewees #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: @smallbiztrends Q9 from @deneki I’d love to hear tips on getting traditional media to engage w/ my business online #sbbuzz

  • smallbiztrends: Many journalists have blogs – find them and comment on them to get their attention for potential interviews. #sbbuzz
  • nrohrbach: As old fashioned and behind the times as my community is, maybe some good PR in the newspaper could get my community into tech… #sbbuzz
  • faybiz: Almost better to fine decentralized or localized weeklies that can publish information- local calendars and what not. #sbbuzz
  • smallbiztrends: Start with whatever PR you can get with bloggers and podcasters. Build online interviews, so when journos search your name comes up. #sbbuzz
  • smallbiztrends: Community weekly papers are looking for interview subjects. Call them with an interesting angle. #sbbuzz
  • Stig: Don’t forget technical journals. A good article on a new trend can lead to leads. Another tip: Teaching at a community college. #sbbuzz
  • smallbiztrends: Closely examine your local paper/mags. What columns & features do they have? Reach out to the reporters who write them. #sbbuzz



Filed under press, small business, summary

3 responses to “Getting Good Press: Discussion Summary from March 31, 2009

  1. Thanks, Pamela and Michelle. I enjoyed answering questions — it was quite a whirlwind.

    This summary is really helpful.

    I’d like to add the link to the press release creation tool on John Jantsch’s Duct Tape Marketing site (he saw the chat references and tweeted the URL to me afterwards):

    — Anita

  2. Pingback: Getting PR for a Small Business - Tweet Chat Summary | Small Business Trends

  3. Pingback: Small Business Center

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