Are You Being Conned By Your PR Agency?
Juergen Steinmetz, president eTN Corporation
eTurboNews is taking the lead for the global travel and tourism media adding a paywall to many press releases received by professional PR agencies. Only readers subscribed to eTN paid services ($3/month) are able to read this content. At the same time, eTurboNews is urging PR Agencies and those circulating media releases to take action and allow eTN to remove this paywall.
“eTN loves to work with qualified PR agencies as partners, and like those agencies who are paid for their services, we need to be paid for our services, too. Looking to eTN to get your message out is brilliant because we are known to provide interesting, fresh, and unique content,” said eTN Publisher Juergen Steinmetz. “95% of our content is not financially supported and also not based on lip service. It’s important for eTN to remain independent, and it takes money to do this.”
In an era of costly digital marketing and fat-cat advertising, some marketing and PR agencies often sell their clients media programs that simply will not produce measurable results. Unfortunately, the client is often the last to know this, finding out the hard way with unsatisfactory value/ROI for their PR budget.
Steinmetz said: “Most press releases are sent to eTN by highly paid agencies, presuming we will simply publish their client media releases without any cost. They base this on the assumption that we need their content. We receive literally hundreds of releases and stories every single day, so no, we are not hungry for content.”
“And no, we could not afford to publish most media release presented without compensation. A PR agency doesn’t provide free services, and neither do legitimate media platforms.”
While a PR agency has written a nice media release, the vast majority of agencies simply churn out the release to its list of media databases, hoping for freebie publication. This is what the industry calls “Earned Media.” On the other hand, “Paid Media” gives those circulating their releases full control over your branding and messaging.
“As a client, you presumably pay your agency handsomely to write and place media releases with strategically sound, highly targeted, media outlets.
“However, that simply does not occur most of the time. It benefits agencies to rely on slip-shod distribution that doesn’t cost them a dime out of their fees from clients. This is precisely where the client con may occur.
“Your marketing budget is being squandered if your agency of record is simply spewing out your media releases to databases or mass distribution systems like PR Newswire or Cision database, relying on so-called Earned Media, without also using your budget for well planned Paid Media insertions into key publications.”
PR Newswire or similar services will produce impressive reports on irrelevant coverage, (Yahoo Financial, contracted linked spots on impossible to find pages at contracted publications). In addition, PR Newswire is trying to charge publications like eTN an additional “license fee” to publish mass content already circulated by them. (more).
Google News, Bing News, Yahoo News, 200+ publications
A simple test on Google News will tell the truth. A Newswire report may have documented 90 million readers, but strangely the only “pick up” in Google Search may be the one from the same wire service. A release addressed in an email as a BCC to “Dear all”, a release already posted on Google Search by the wire service before anyone else has a chance to ‘break the story’ will never get unique and relevant results covered by legitimate media. It may get some secondary duplicate content harmful in the SEO world to the publication posting it.
“We can work cohesively with your agency of record, or your in-house PR team, adding the additional value and layer of substantial expertise with Google keywords and SEO optimization. In addition to having top positioning in our publication and our extended network, expect immediate results in Google News positioning often seen by millions.
“We can also work directly, ensuring optimal targeted distribution using relevant Google-friendly headlines and trigger keywords. Either way, our contributions will ensure a longer shelf life of your news and strategically smart and meaningful brand building within the PR arena.”
Mel Webster, a network partner for TravelMarketingNetwork and president of Bloody Good Stuff said: “With enough attention and budget allocated to Paid Media, your brand building efforts with PR will enable Earned Media (freebies) to occur more frequently. Your brand will grow stronger and you will trigger the buzz for travel companies with a story to tell.”
More information and to learn more about Paid Media, with specific costs, go to www.buzz.travel or specifically to www.buzz.travel/visibility and www.buzz.travel/paid/ or contact us at [email protected]
Steinmetz concluded:” We stand ready to help you drive your PR investment further, with a legitimate targeted distribution of well-crafted media releases and a storyline that will deliver measurable results. We also invite our competitors to join our lead and put an end to free “Earned Media.”