Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Redefining keywords

The Way You Say It Says It All: Using the 'Right' Keywords can Catapult a Run-of-the-Mill Story to Major Multi-Outlet Coverage, Experts Say
Strategic word selection can catapult an announcement about a study, a product or a "breakthrough" onto the evening news instead of to its usual destination — the spam folder or circular file. "PR people want to invest time in things that are going to get picked up, so they try to put something to the 'who cares?' and 'so what?' test," says Kate Robins, a longtime public relations consultant. "If you say something is first, most, fastest, tallest — that's likely to get attention. If you can use the words like 'money,' 'fat,' 'cancer' or 'sex,' you're likely to get some ink in the general audience media," she said, the International Herald Tribune reports.

In the age of Google News Alerts it is necessary to reexamine what constitutes a keyword. We want our stories to be picked up by editors; but even more, we want our stories to be picked up by readers.

Everywhere I go people tell me that they get most of their technology news from email newsletters and Google News Alerts. If you have right keywords in your relesase, they will read it whether it is on PR Newswire or The Washington Post. Google News Alerts draws no distinction.

What are these key words? Not "breakthrough", or "safe," "easy" "secret," "trick" or any sort of buzz word. The keywords you need have to do with subject matter, such as Sarbanes Oxely, Sox, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), electronically stored information (ESI), or whatever keywords or phrases are relevant to your audience. Nobody is stetting up a search on "breakthough" and using the word sex is a good way to land in the spam filter.

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