Techmeme’s Superb Media Relations Advice

by PR Coach on November 3, 2011

Techmeme‘s blog recently featured some excellent advice for media and blogger relations specialists.

If you don’t know Techmeme, you’re not likely in technology or doing PR in the high-tech sector. The prominent curator and aggregator of technology news is a daily must-read for geeks from Silicon Alley to Silicon Valley.

The post Revealed: Why Techmeme links to them instead of you! was aimed at publishers hoping to be featured on its technology news pages. It inadvertently contained some of the best media relations advice I’ve seen in some time. The advice also works for bloggers and other social media channels too.

Here’s a quick summary of Techmeme‘s “mission” and seven suggestions to take to heart:

  • Understand our mission. In other words, do your research.
  • We aim broader than most tech news sites. But not too broad.
  • Avoid evergreen how-tos or advice pieces, instead focusing on what’s changed, or shifting, or different, i.e. “news.” There’s that key word – news. Remember that.
  • We try to be comprehensive.
  • We aim to be fast.
  • We also try to be highly scannable. As in, lucid, detail-rich headlines.
  • Finally, we want the stories we link to be satisfying for our busy readers. Clear, well-written, correct in any factual claims, succinct where possible, and supported by links where appropriate.

It would be difficult to find a better, more concise explanation of how to do media and blogger relations right.

The post then talked about how to appear in Techmeme including breaking an exclusive story, “well-conveyed”; a huge non-exclusive story, “exceptionally conveyed”; or an interesting, “yet not so (obviously) huge story.”

Other “dos”? Write your very best take on your press release and highlight what’s important and most interesting. Be early or even better, be first. Have a clear headline with critical details. Link generously to other sites. Say what you’re going to say early in your post or article. Tip Techmeme via Twitter. Include relevant images and video. And there’s much more.

Effective media relations is so simple when it’s expressed so clearly. Why don’t more PR pros follow this approach?

The “don’ts” are equally clear. Write enigmatic headlines with no details. Avoid links and failed to update. Be late with a post even though it’s thoughtful or be first when it’s “crappier” than everyone else. Arcane, old news, factual errors and grammatical mistakes won’t cut it either.

Again, how much simpler can blogger and media relations be?

While these tips were aimed at publishers they rang so true for public relations pros, I had to share them.

Thanks Techmeme for the advice. This is a meme I hope will proliferate and will encourage all PR people to do much better at giving media real news in the future. And Techmeme? If you want to link to my post, that’s fine by me.

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