Startup Blog

Should I Use Free Press Release Services to Promote Blog Articles?

Posted Mike Volpe on 11/9/10 12:01 PM

marketing Q AI got this question by email:

Inbound Marketing and SEO for Travel and Tourism Public Relations (PR) - PRSA 2009

Posted Mike Volpe on 5/6/09 3:50 PM

I presented at the PRSA Travel and Tourism Conference today on inbound marketing and especially search engine optimization specifically for PR (public relations) in the travel and tourism industry.

Download PPT presentation.


  • PR should include creating more content for the company, and not "we won an award" press releases, but interesting stories about the destinations, services and people who travel 
  • Optimize your press releases using Press Release Grader
  • PR should help generate more links back to the client website since more links help power your SEO



3 Big Mistakes You Make When Talking to Reporters

Posted Mike Volpe on 2/27/09 1:09 PM

I just had a chat with a very sharp reporter from the New York Times.  I do an OK job of things like this, but I don't do it often enough or practice enough to be an expert.  But, from some media training, experience and talking to a couple experts, here are a few things I think most people get wrong when talking to the media.

3 Biggest Mistakes When Talking to the Media

  1. Try to be their best friend.  Everyone wants to be a useful resource to an influential reporter.  Most of the time people in the media are super time pressured.  While they might be the only New York Times reporter you are talking to this month, they are talking to another 5 people just like you today.  They don't need a friend, they need information and quotes.  Keep the chit chat to a minimum.
  2. Talk in long, detailed thoughts.  We all think we are really smart, and each of our thoughts need to have an introduction, body and conclusion.  The reality is that anything you say needs to be in bite size format to make it into an article.  Talk in soundbites, prepare a list of them if you have to.  Decide what 1-2 quotes you want in the article, write them out so that they look short enough to actually make it into the article, then repeat them each 2-3 times in the conversation.  Stick to your script, and you might have a shot at getting quoted.
  3. Send too much follow-up information.  Once the conversation was over, you probably mentioned 1-2 things that you should email to the reporter as a link.  But keep it just to that.  It is SO TEMPTING to send a laundry list of reasons why your company deserves to be on the home page, or other quotes for other potential future stories.  But, doing that is like calling someone 2 hours after your first date and planning your next 5 dates.  Scary... Too much, too soon.  Keep it on topic, and then re-approach in a couple months once you have something new to talk about.

What mistakes do you think people make when talking to reporters?

Word Cloud Shows Little Difference in Obama vs. Bush Inaguration Speeches

Posted Mike Volpe on 1/22/09 9:59 AM

[I am not a political person.  I am not an Obama groupie (it feels like 90% of Bostonians and 90% of Internet users are blind Obama groupies).  I look forward to seeing real results, not talk, from our new president.]

But I am fascinated by marketing, language and messaging.  So, after getting an idea from an article by David Meerman Scott, I took the text from the Bush and Obama inauguration speeches and made word clouds.

What is noticeable to me is the lack of significant difference.  What do you see?  Leave a comment.

Bush Inauguration Speech Word Cloud
Obama Inauguration Speech Word Cloud  

What is the Role of a PR Firm in a Social Media World?

Posted Mike Volpe on 8/13/08 9:08 PM

There has been a bunch of discussion in the blogosphere today about the right role for a PR Firm in the age of social media.

See my blog article about the Role of a PR Firm in a Social Media World, and you can also watch this video from the blog


Press Release Grader

Posted Mike Volpe on 5/29/08 4:41 PM

HubSpot has just launched a new PR tool called Press Release Grader, a tool that evaluates your press release and provides a nifty report about what is good and bad about it.  Some of the cool features that get me excited are:

  1. Gobbeldygook Word Analysis - The tool automatically sans your press release for the meaningless terms that are overused in press releases everywhere.
  2. Word Cloud - I think this is a really neat tool to see what your press release is REALLY about, not what you think it is about.
  3. Link Analysis - One of the most under-utilized parts of press releases is the value of linking back to your own website for SEO purposes, this tool gives a nifty analysis of the links in your press release.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

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