Tag Archive | "college pr"

5 PR Lessons We Can Learn From Star Trek

Okay, I have to admit, I’ve been watching a fair amount of Star Trek lately. Every time a new movie comes out, I get inspired to go back and watch some of my favorite episodes in the original series, the Next Generation, and Voyager. Call me a throwback, but there are some really great stories in those old TV series, and some valuable PR lessons as well. Hopefully some of my fellow Trekkies (or is it Trekkers?) can relate:

1. Do your homework before you get started

Every time the Enterprise’s crew comes up against an enemy that’s an especially tough one, it’s because they didn’t know enough about them before the encounter. As a PR professional, the same lesson holds true: know your target audience and know them well. If you don’t, you risk alienating them from your message.

2. Celebrate the diversity of your audience

One of the first things that struck me about Star Trek when I was a kid was the crew’s willingness to learn about and accept alien species with totally different customs from their own. Similarly, one of the most important things to remember in PR is that in most cases, the audience you are attempting to reach is culturally, ethnically, and racially different. Take time to learn about other cultures before you dismiss them from your target market.


3. Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd

The Borg are one of the most dangerous and frightening villains in the Star Trek series, partly because they act as one giant entity rather than individuals. A lot of people look at companies like they do the Borg; big, scary, single-minded behemoths who can’t identify with them. As a PR professional, you should make it your mission to stand out from the crowd and capture your audience’s attention.

4. Hold yourself to a higher standard

If you’ve ever watched Star Trek, you know about the “Prime Directive” which forbids Star Fleet’s Crew from interfering with the development of alien societies. This binding rule holds Star Fleet’s members to a high standard of integrity and excellence, and keeps their intentions clear. If you’re in PR, you’ve probably met a few people with a high level of integrity like this, and some who lack it. Make a commitment to yourself and your employer that you will be honest and you’re more likely to be happy in your career.


5. Remember that technology could fail you at any time

Sometimes it’s a bit of a weak plot device, but on a ship the size of Enterprise, it makes sense that there would be some mechanical and technical failures. The same can happen at any time in your PR career, so don’t rely too much on untested or uncertain technological crazes. Just look at all the people who jumped on the SEO-optimized anchor text bandwagon who are now getting burned by Google’s latest updates. It’s best to always have a backup plan.

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Reaching College Students Through Press Releases

College students are an important market for advertisers and public relations professionals. They are forming habits and relationships with brands that will continue throughout their lives, and even though many of them are relatively poor now, they’re likely to make more than $1 million more than those who stop their education at high school.

Because college students are such a highly sought demographic, they tend to get bombarded with ads almost all the time. It’s difficult to walk around a major college campus without seeing dozens of posters, banners, promoters, and coupons attempting to lure college students into giving their brand a shot.

Content Helps You Cut Through the Noise

Fortunately, there are ways to get in front of students and grab their attention without adding to the noise, and one of the best ways is through press releases. College newspapers are still a major source of entertainment and information for students, and at some schools their daily print circulation might be in the tens of thousands.

Getting a story in just two or three major college newspapers or a couple college blogs can be an invaluable way to create a buzz around your product or service. Plus, with the advent of the internet, your message that starts at one school can easily spread its way virally around the world. It’s easy to see the advantages to getting a story published, but the better question is how can you do it?

Getting Student Journalists to Read Your Release

There are a few things that you can do to instantly boost the credibility of your release, whether you’re using UWIRE or a similar press release service:

1. Use a trusted source – Sending a release from your company or personal email address can work, especially if you’re just trying to reach a few college campuses. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to reach hundreds of campuses quickly unless you have an established relationship to begin with. Sending your release from a trusted source will ensure that

2. Be genuine – One of the biggest mistakes we see in press releases for students is a lack of honesty. You’re a real person writing a release to reach other real people, right? Treat them as such.

3. Offer links, quotes, and follow-up information – Sending a release that leaves the reader with more questions than answers is probably a bad idea. While good journalists will certainly double-check any information you include in your release, they appreciate being given as complete of a picture as possible.

4. Don’t forget online news – With over half of students using a smartphone every day and nearly all of them in possession of a personal computer or laptop, it’s hard to deny the role of online media in their daily lives. If you only get in front of print journalists, you’re missing a massive share of the market for student written news.

If you’re a PR professional who’s had success reaching students, we’d love to hear your story! Just email info@uwire.com for details.


Photo by NS Newsflash on flickr.com

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