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Use Timeshifting Technology To Your Benefit

Steve Rubel
Expert Author
Published: 2004-11-26

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If there's one thing that people entering PR field are surprised by it is the sheer amount of preparation that goes into every successful campaign.

The Hall of Fame professionals personally invest hours not only researching clients/companies, customers and industries, but individual media properties and reporters too. This will only become more challenging as the blogosphere emerges as a new medium.

Just as coaches in sports spend countless hours breaking down game film, so must we analyze the press. The more informed we are about who we're targeting and their tendencies, the greater the likelihood we will be successful. This is where timeshifting becomes our best friend.

Timeshifting technologies allow you to consume media when it's convenient for you. For example, TiVo - a descendant of the VCR - aggregates TV shows for when you are ready to watch them. Podcasting timeshifts professional and consumer generated audio and makes it available for you to listen when you're on the go. Last, but not least RSS and feed search tools TiVo news and blog sites so that you can read them in a single sitting. Use these tools effectively, and not only will you be more prepared to pitch your story, but you'll save time as well.

Let's look at how this works in action. Say your client is regularly harping on you to get on the Today Show. TiVo the show everyday and spend a chunk of time each week analyzing the shows without commercials and at 2x speed. Look for patterns. Take notes on the products, companies and stories that make it to air and ask what you can take away and apply.

Similarly, RSS helps you conduct this level of research in the online world. Do you need to crack into David Pogue's New York Times coveted tech column? Then subscribe to his feed and study, study, study. Thanks to this approach, I found in this post on David's blog where he identifies his assistant, Lesa Snider. Lesa helps David with his product round-ups for Times' Circuits tech section. Do you think Lesa's important and influential? Uh huh. Do you think MediaMap has her listed as David's assistant? Nope. But thanks to Google I easily found lots of references about their frequent collaborations. I also found Lesa's personal Web site where I unearthed even richer information that might help me craft a sound pitch - including her email address.

Preparation by no means guarantees PR success, but it sure helps. Tap into timeshifting technology! It's a powerful tool for your PR quiver.

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About the Author:
Steve Rubel is a PR strategist with nearly 16 years of public relations, marketing, journalism and communications experience. He currently serves as a Senior Vice President with Edelman, the largest independent global PR firm.

He authors the Micro Persuasion weblog, which tracks how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the public relations practice.

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