Since our company’s start in 1997, we have consistently delivered powerful results through strategies that reflect our unparalleled connections and industry insights. For years, we have been recognized for our strategic thinking and...
Roxanne Leone, director, marketing & communications I grow businesses by developing and implementing public relations and marketing initiatives each measured by ROI. I’ve learned a few tricks and tips and hard knock lessons that I want to share with you. For example, it’s always best to leverage core messaging, resources and creative assets to get the most mileage out of any communication plan. One of my former clients was challenged to show steady growth with its investors. Before joining the team, it was pre-determined that the company would take its limited budget and jump into pay-per-click advertising with the hopes of converting leads into customers in 3-6 months. The majority of leads generated were early in the buying cycle, were not properly set up for nurturing in a CRM system and sales representatives didn’t have the patience to walk leads through the buyer’s journey. Therefore, conversions remained flat, there was high employee turn-over and investors were losing interest. For this young organization, engaging with a public relations agency would have been the more cost-effective solution to raise brand awareness, draw in more educated prospects, and satisfy investors with a solid pipeline. If you’re operating like a start-up, consider a public relations campaign to lay a solid foundation for a more successful marketing program to follow. Choose public relations over marketing when you want to: Elevate your reputation and brand: If you wish to improve your reputation and drive brand awareness with key audiences, public relations will help you build credibility through earned media placements, awards and speaking opportunities.
Generate newsworthy content: Your marketing team may take the lead on messaging and funnel it into your PR department, but the way you communicate your story through a sales team is much different than the way you tell your story to journalists. PR professionals understand the needs of journalists and seek to dive deeper into supporting statistics and case studies to pitch a newsworthy story to the media to secure press.
Improve investor buy-in: By earning positive media coverage investors see organizations as more established and aligned to meet audience needs. This helps pave the way for a sensible timeline to plan and incorporate an integrated marketing campaign, gather leads, close new business and keep current customers informed.
Raise stakeholder awareness: Communicating internally is just as critical as managing your reputation with the media and your prospects. When your staff at every level of the organization speaks to the same message, the organization is positioned for success. It’s in the best interest of your staff to understand what you’re doing and why, and to give them the right tools to leverage correctly. In a 2017 study by USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, 47% of public relations professionals and more than 60% of marketers surveyed felt that the two disciplines will become more closely aligned with each other within the next five years. So, why are there still internal battles to secure budgets and leverage content and creative assets? At Bob Gold & Associates, we are a public relations firm first and foremost, but we have the talent and expertise to know when and how to leverage marketing to get the most out of your investment. Reduce frustration and seek the advice of a full-service PR agency. Contact us today for a free consultation. We want to hear your story.
Did I Say THAT? Three Reasons Why Executives Need Media Training
Getting a client’s key executive on the phone with a key member of the media or analyst firm always seems to happen in a rush: schedules are jammed with team meetings, global travel and hey, everyone has a personal life. But while the meeting is the goal, no one should forget the strategy session going into the interview. A good PR professional will be focused on WHAT the exec is going to say, not just on getting the opportunity to say it. Why should the spokesman have media training? Here are our three top reasons: The reporter has a goal in mind, and it might not be the same as yours: Reporters are not there to sing the praises of your latest product or service: they are tracking trends and looking for inside information. PR professionals talk to reporters in advance of a call to determine the goal of the call and can provide executives messaging points that match both the reporter’s goal and that of the executive.
The executive may be too close to the company’s own story: The executive may be dealing daily with the development of a new product and service, the reporter is not. The PR professional is there to distill the messaging points for today’s story and make sure the executive actually relates them to a journalist! This seems obvious but we’ve all had those “I didn’t say that?” moments in reviewing the one-on-one interaction.
Keep it short and to the point: We all have brilliant clients who can speed extemporaneously, and at length, on salient points affecting their companies and their industries. Our advice: don’t. Reporting staffs are small and getting smaller, and deadlines fall every hour. Work with your PR professional to distill the messages into easy-to-remember, relatable sound bites: if the reporter has time for you to expand upon the message, he or she will ask. The end goal of any interview is to be quoted with the right message. In addition, a good quip is more likely to get you featured in a multi-source trend story. Media training is essential for even the most seasoned executive and will help secure earned media.
By Christopher D. Huppertz Whether you’re the designated Facebook pundit of your office or a laggard who’s just sent their first tweet, it’s inevitable as a PR professional that you’ll need to know your way around the wonderful world of social media. Of course the act of sending a single post is simple – you create your content and click the button which says “post” – but once you begin to juggle numerous accounts across the myriad of different social networks, even those who consider themselves “wizards” of social media find themselves lost from time to time. Fortunately for both you and I, there are a plethora of tools across the web designed specifically for the job. Before you start your next social media campaign, or even if you’re midway through one now, take a look at these six social media tools; you may be surprised by how much easier your job has become.
Hootsuite is our go-to tool for managing social media on a large scale. If you’re not already familiar, Hootsuite allows users – free of charge – to manage several accounts across varying social networks, all in one place. Need to schedule a post to go out later today, tomorrow, next week or next month? Hootsuite has you covered. The platform also provides analytical reports, among other nice benefits, to its paying users. 2. Bit.ly
Bit.ly is a great tool for anyone sharing links online. This free instrument goes beyond allowing users to create their own custom short links – it also provides in depth analytics, allowing you to track and analyze how and when your audience is engaging with your posts.
If you’re in need of advice on how to improve your company Facebook page then look no further. LikeAlyzer is a simple to use tool from Meltwater, which generates free reports identifying the strongest and weakest points of your Facebook page. It even offers suggestions on the next steps to take for further improvement.
Similar to LikeAlyzer, Tweriod is another free tool offering analytics for twitter. The tool measures the level of engagement from your audience, determining the best time and day for you to post.
One of my personal favorites – Giphy is a must-have for anyone who wants to share GIF images. Not only does Giphy offer a near endless archive of GIF images ready for use, it also offers you the ability to transform any video file into a custom made GIF.
PicMonkey is a great, easy to-use photo manipulation tool which just about anyone can use, without the skill or money required for similar programs such as Photoshop. The essential tools are all free to use, and can turn an “OK” image into something amazing. Try out these tools and let us know what you think. If there’s anything you think we missed, let us know on Facebook or Twitter!
By Michael Kroner The PR industry is constantly shifting like a running back looking up field, and these changes impact every aspect of our job. Staying ahead of the curve can be a scramble to keep up in a changing media landscape. How you build your media lists becomes more challenging. As an account coordinator, one of my main responsibilities is to craft amazing, well-thought-out lists for account executives that leads to great coverage for our clients. Reflecting on my own experiences, I’ve found there are a few tricks and tips that can help anyone craft the perfect media list. Define what is being pitched Whether it’s a new product announcement, original story or an interview with an executive, you need to have a thorough understanding of what it is you’re offering to the media. It’s hard to build a targeted media list without knowing what you intend to pitch. Determine your ultimate target audience Let’s say a client has an amazing new product that allows consumers to watch television anywhere. Who would be interested? Although the answer is likely anyone with a T.V., this demographic is simply too broad. Try refining your audience into smaller subsets like sports fans, college students, frequent travelers and parents on the go. Find a specific outlet Now that you’ve determined a target audience that fits your client’s image and needs, it’s important to select the perfect outlet to receive your pitch. A Google search for publications covering those specific demographics will provide plenty of options to pitch. Most often agencies will have software like Cision or Meltwater that have detailed contact information for each outlet. Know your contact Having found the right outlets means you’re only halfway done, now you need to find the perfect contact to add to your list. When selecting a reporter, take a look at the recent stories this person has written. This is essential in determining whether or not the reporter will be interested in your pitch and can help personalize your pitch. It also shows the contact you took the time to write up something great. Do you have any additional tips on creating an awesome media list for your agency?
PR professionals use a plethora of tactics to get client information to journalists ranging anywhere from one-on-one meetings to press release blasts. Journalists, on the other hand, receive hundreds of requests a day and it is important to stand out among the clutter. The content of a press release is what helps inform and influence decisions the reader makes in requesting more information from you. Everyone has their own style, some better than others when crafting a release which could be why so many go unanswered or are immediately sent to the trash bin. It is important to remain unique in your writing, but it also vital to remember some of the basic guidelines that will bring attention to your hard work. A recent article about crafting catchy press releases was a great refresher on the information that captures a journalist’s attention. Here are a few takeaways: Don’t over think the content When brainstorming for a release, we write down all the ideas that we think will be a homerun with the reader. The fact is that journalists aren’t really as impressed with what you’re pitching as your bosses are. Remembering this forces the writer to strive for an interesting angle for a release. Keep it to one page The body of a release should fit on an 8 ½ by 11 sheet of paper. Although there are endless things we could say about our clients, this is not the place for an essay on the product or event. Think of the release as bait to get a journalist attention and based on the short precise information they will want to call you requesting more information. The headline should be direct Using the clients name and the problem they are solving in the release is the most direct way of saying what your release is about. Journalists and other readers use headlines to determine if they are going invest the time to read more or if they should move on to the next message. Clouding the message with wordplay or witty remarks only delays the moment of realizing what the release is all about. List contact info up top Many writers put their contact information at the bottom of a release thinking it will be seen after the release is read, but if journalists do not fully read the release they will never see that information. Putting contact information at the top lets the journalist know who they are talking to incase a call back is desired and does not force them to search for missing information. These are just a few of the tactics that were mentioned in the article about crafting a better press release. Can you think of any that have helped you get a response from journalists? To read the full story click here:
by Carm Lyman A new year is the perfect time for a fresh start. As you kick off 2014, you have a chance to consider more ways to be successful at your job, providing your company and clients with even better results. Here are four thought-starters to get you going: Consider what the media sees as news, not what your team believes deserves coverage. Although a major product update or an award is a huge win and great accomplishment by your team, it is seldom news. Media and bloggers are not covering every update to every product by every company—unless of course you happen to be Apple, Twitter, Facebook, or otherwise hot enough for near nonstop coverage. Product updates haven’t been news for years in many industries; for some industries, they never were. Give the media what they want and need: trends, stats, or how a product or company is improving our lives and businesses. Something that shapes the world around us is almost always newsworthy. If you present what impact or role a product or company plays, that’s how you’ll make news and gather a faithful following of journalists. Consider how you’re managing a situation, client, executive, or problem. You’re the PR pro—remember that it’s your job to guide the client or your execs. Take a look at 2013. Were you consulting, guiding and providing the strategy for communications? Or were you taking orders on how PR should be done and, as a result, not fulfilling expectations? You know what works. Execute on that, and stick to your guns. You will keep your sanity, your client/exec will thank you (in the end), and the media will respect you. Consider what you’re not considering. We get so busy in the day to day that it’s easy to fall behind on being proactive. What should or would you be thinking about, initiating or doing today if you found free time? Have you checked in with your teammates or client? Are you measuring tangible results to uncover what’s working, or what’s not? Should you be thinking a little harder about what would really make an impact on a campaign or program? What else might you not be considering that you should? Consider others. It’s amazing what insight can be gathered by putting yourself in others’ shoes. Maybe start with a series of questions: How can you make today easier or more successful for your client or boss? Can you do any thinking for them? Take something off their plate? Consider the media when it comes to beat, schedule, and deadlines. Being thoughtful versus unintentionally negligent or distracting will net better relationships and ultimately a more successful venture.