PR in practice: The how of self-publishing
May 12th, 2009
Last week I wrote about the benefits of self-publishing, especially in an environment where there are fewer trade publications and everybody is shouting into the press release cacaphony.
Many organizations don’t think they have the content to publish their own e-newsletters, community sites or print publications, but there are many sources of information under their own roofs (or extended roofs). The best sources are often your own engineers and developers, who with good editing can communicate directly and effectively as peers to your customers.
Here are some outlets for generating content:
- Adapting existing content, especially new product releases and application stories (if these contain puffery, excise it ruthlessly).
- Tailoring other content from the Internet and strategic partners.
- Converting technical material and white papers into articles.
- Presenting profiles of prominent customers and company programmers.
- Writing editorials on themes of interest to customers and potential customers, including your vision for the marketplace, defining company positions, and relating your technology to bigger industry movements.
- Establishing forums for exchanging information and answering questions.
- Providing an outlet for blogs from product managers and technical staff.
This content can be aggregated and presented in many different ways. It could take the form of monthy or bimonthy e-newsletters linked to a company web site. It could be part of a community site or a company blog section on your web site. The best content could be assembled in a 4-color magazine sent quarterly or twice annually to your best customers.
If you don’t think you can generate content yourself or hire an editor to do so, see if there is an existing community site that might be open for purchase. In this arrangement, you could provide editorial autonomy and funding for the community site to its editors, while generating leads from advertising and promotions running on the site.
There are many possibilities that are cost-effective for generating sales leads and deepening an organization’s relationship with the community. But to begin exploring them, you have to get past one evil word: “can’t.”