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Marketing your forum through PR
PR (public relations) is an often overlooked method of marketing a new or growing forum. One way to get new members is to advertise. Advertising is only a single process of the marketing component, but far too often people don't know the difference.
PR is not a form of advertising; it is a form of marketing. With PR, you are relying on third parties to take your message and transmit it (in some cases for free) across their publication platform. This is generally done by distributing a press release to media outlets that would have an interest in your offering.
The direct benefits of a press release are clear, free traffic. The more exposure you have the more likely someone will happen upon your forum. The indirect benefits are an increased sense of expertise. Press releases are very underestimated forms of marketing for small websites and forums. The general opinion of press releases is that only large companies use them, so use this to your advantage. If someone comes across your press release about a new computer support forum, you have already instilled a sense of credibility by having the press release in the first place. After reading your release they will have a better understanding of your expertise, but under the preconceived notion that you already know what you are talking about. Unless the reader's expertise far outweighs your own, you are likely to only improve their image of your community and perhaps interest them enough to sign up.
Another advantage of press releases is inbound link building. Having your press release syndicated across potentially hundreds of feeds is a great way to build hundreds or even thousands of inbound links. You can write press releases on anything you think is newsworthy. Add a new moderator to your forum, a new partnership, etc. Make it interesting, make it newsworthy. The more newsworthy your press release is, the more likely they are to use it.
Link building and traffic are both great reasons to utilize press releases, but perhaps the best reason to use press releases is the exposure it gives you to the reporters themselves. If your forum is small and you don't have the budget to do a lot of marketing, getting your forum in front of reporters can be all you need to secure a strong source of new users. Write your press releases so they draw upon the interesting facts about your forum. Were you featured in a local paper already? Do you give back to the community? What makes you newsworthy? Securing an interview can be what your forum needs to make it to the next level.
Be sure to research your options for promoting your most important press releases so you get the biggest bang for your news. You can publish press releases for free, or pay a fee to have them distributed. Popular online press release sites are: PRWeb.com, PRNewswire.com, PRNewsnow.com, PR.com
Author: Chris Davis
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Link & description: Marketing your forum through PR - Are you taking full advantage of what PR has to offer? Follow these few concepts and get the media on your side.