Public relations are all about the “relations.” Mass e-mailing press releases and other non-personal tactics never work unless there is hard hitting news, i.e. “a hurricane is on the way and here are the shelters that we have set up for people.”
My Red Cross days coming through, I guess…
However, in mainstream and social media who you know counts. A good story can be picked up and go viral quickly if you grease the skids a bit.
If you don’t believe me, listen to Rob LaGesse. Yesterday, I posted about a whiz kid in India that managed to do a very complete content analysis of Engadget.
The work that Yuvi did was exemplary, but without Rob’s third-party endorsement, it might not have taken off as virally as it did.
In an e-mail, Rob explained to me how Yuvi’s star took off and I think that we can all take some PR lessons from it, so I will share it verbatim:
First, I blogged and linked on my site, then commented on Yuvi's. I Digg'd Yuvi's site and noticed Jason Calacanis had just posted his cell number on his blog – looking for people to meet up at a conference. Knowing Jason founded Webblogs, I knew he would be interested in Yuvi's story. I sent him an SMS (I could have used email – but he wouldn't have gotten to that for days – he was poised for SMS messages!)
Next was StumbleUpon – I added it there as well. [Other news: E-Bay bought StumbleUpon today.]
When my blog post went out it hit Twitter (as all my posts do).
I sent Ryan Block of Engadget an e-mail a couple days in advance – letting him know it was coming, then I sent him the link when Yuvi posted. [Ryan posted here]
Finally, I sent the link via IM to a few influential contacts [that shall remain unnamed at Rob’s request].
And that was that! It took off in just 18 minutes. It was found on many major blogs, including Jason's and Scoble's within an hour. It took about 13 hours to hit the front page of Digg.
At one point [yesterday] afternoon Yuvi was getting >300 hits a minute on his newly relocated blog! Heck, there are days I don't get that many!
Amazing how all of these non-standard communication mechanisms worked together!”
And considering that yesterday was a very tech-heavy news day, Yuvi still got amazing traffic and results from his release of the Engadget stats. Usually, in public relations, we realize a busy news day might derail our coverage.
And the business result?
Yuvi got a job offer from Jason Calacanis, founder of Engadget, who announced his new project today, a search engine called Mahalo that uses human “guides” to aggregate information. Of course, what he really needs is a college education first.
Yuvi also got the server space he needed from Rob LaGesse, and hopefully he will get a little money for some custom work for those that want more information about Engadget.
The power of word of mouth, amplified by vehicles on the Internet, can net real results. Today, I have learned a little from Rob and Yuvi about making it happen.
If you think that this information is useful, please Digg It! Hey, it doesn’t hurt to try 😉