Public Relations Tactics

Proactive public relations via purpose-built publishing

December 1, 2011

When Steve Jobs died on Oct. 5, digital media outlets published instant tributes to the man who changed how people consume media and software.

Every major news source covered his death; tech gurus like The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg wrote essays, the President issued a statement and millions of social media users posted their respects.

Wired magazine took one of the more interesting approaches, publishing an eBook about Jobs two days after his passing and weeks before Simon and Schuster’s Jobs biography arrived in print.

The magazine, having reported on Jobs and Apple through the years, assembled a greatest-hits package of their articles. The magazine’s editors added a new essay and quickly published it in iBook, Kindle and Nook formats.

Meanwhile, National Geographic used a similar approach in anticipation of the world’s seven-billionth citizen, publishing its “7 Billion” global demographics iPad app.

The free app is an excellent example of content marketing, showcasing the publication’s editorial while promoting magazine subscriptions and fee-based apps.

These are the new realities of digital publishing. Of course, quality is important, but being the first can be the difference between profit and loss.

Purpose-built publishing generates real-time attachment to topics that organizations can associate with their value proposition. Blogs and other social media naturally support it and more tools continue to reach the market.

Broadcast appeal

Purpose-built publishing isn’t limited to the written word. It includes audio and video broadcasts as well. Creativity, regardless of format, best distinguishes success. secured a keynote speaking opportunity for CEO Mark Benioff at this year’s OracleWorld conference this past October. But when competitive sparring between him and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison prompted Oracle to cancel the engagement, Salesforce found accommodations across the street and offered a livecast of Benioff’s speech on Facebook that they later posted on YouTube.

The workaround drew media and analysts away from Oracle’s event during prime time, and an online audience of thousands watched Benioff de-position Ellison’s views, hours before his own keynote.

Format variety

Audio alone can be effective when applied in a timely manner. Hal Bringman, president of the Los Angeles-based NVPR, used Spreaker, a free online app that the agency represents, to broadcast commentary from the TechCruch Disrupt conference in Beijing on Oct. 31-Nov. 1.

According to Bringman, Spreaker does for audio what Twitter does for text and  what  YouTube does for video, making it easy to broadcast live radio from your mobile device to Facebook and other platforms.

Regardless of which format that you choose, you must have content that can be shared in more meaningful ways with digital communications.

To start, consider what you can repurpose from seasonal or trending perspectives. I write a “12 days of  Tactics” blog post in December summarizing and linking to my Digital Dialogue columns from the year.

What content do you have that you recast? We’d love to hear (or see) them. Send a note to the email address below.

Ryan Zuk, APR
Ryan Zuk, APR, is a media and analyst relations professional, Phoenix PRSA Chapter member and Sage North America representative. Zuk can be reached @ryanzuk on Twitter. He also blogs at
Email: ryanzuk at gmail dot com


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