Posts tagged with “Media Relations”
What My Rabbit Taught Me About PR
By: Emily Clever
Rabbits are prey animals, and they’re hardwired to be elusive. Bonding with a pet rabbit takes intent, patience, energy and a handful of great ideas.
I’m not trying to degrade the wonderful men and women who follow their hearts as journalists by comparing the two, but regardless of species, building trust and a positive, fruitful relationship looks the same: Be purposeful. Be patient, yet dogged. Stay upbeat. Persevere. Think outside the box, which is an ironic statement intrinsically because it’s so clichéd.
I’ve had my rabbit, Moose, for only a few short months, but she has already managed to teach me so much about the world – and the world of PR. She’s taught me how to think like her (and that hiding behind the couch is not always an option). She’s taught me how far a good meal can go. She’s taught me the importance of being expressive, earnest, curious and respectful.
In this industry, when we reach out to media, we tend to sometimes forget these should-be guiding principles. It’s easy to default into the role of “pushy PR exec with an agenda.” It’s harder to engage, to listen, to ask the right questions, to consider what that journalist is working on or trying to accomplish, to actually be a source – a wellspring – of good ideas instead of a “me too”-type burden.
It’s also easy to chase the rabbit around the apartment and try to force it to like me, whereas it’s harder to learn to appreciate the rabbit and meet it on its level.
“I like to imagine my view of the world is always obscured by a tinted box,” writes Nathan Pyle in what I think is the most brilliant Buzzfeed article of all time. “I can’t see clearly because of this box. It is my own self-interest. Additionally, all of my experiences are like filters that fall into place and further obscure my vision. Everything I view is seen through this very unique set of filters.”
Of course, this is true of everyone … and every creature, too.
Next time you find yourself talking with someone – regardless of whether they’re a journalist, a business partner, a long-time friend, your spouse or your dog – try to see the world from their perspective just for a moment. You’ll be amazed at the results.
By: Alex Buchart
It is projected that in 2015, 93% of job recruiters will screen potential candidates’ social media profiles. That’s right, 93% of job recruiters. This means that almost every job you will apply to, a potential employer will be Googling you to see how you present yourself to the world. Additionally, 69% of potential employers have rejected a potential candidate because of what they saw on a social networking site.
Here is some food for thought, why not use social media to brand yourself as the perfect candidate for the job rather than as a liability? In fact, 68% of potential employers have hired a candidate because of what they saw on a social networking site.
We hear about how businesses try to create their own unique brands all the time, but what about people branding themselves? Ever found an Instagram or Twitter user you love to follow because they have so many interesting things to say? Well, that is an excellent example of someone branding themself to be a social media success.
Let me give you two examples of successful “branders,” so to speak, that I have observed on Instagram.
One of the users I follow, a woman named Kino MacGregor , posts detailed yoga poses for each day accompanied by an inspirational caption. Her captions typically involve a message about how much diligence and hard work it has taken her to reach her level of strength – at times even a decade! With 498,000 followers, I began to analyze her success. It’s not just her ability to put her feet behind her head that is fascinating, it is also her ability to bare her vulnerabilities to her followers that ultimately makes her such an inspirational person to follow. She manages to showcase her talents while reminding her followers that it is continuously striving for success after facing failure that makes you stronger.
The other user I follow is named Courtney Kerr , who uses bright photos and clever captions to capture the interests of her followers. Courtney’s posts are a little more lighthearted, yet she is similar to Kino in that she showcases pieces of herself as well. Typically these pieces are brightly colored jackets and bedazzling jewels, but it is the way she pairs these together that gives her followers a taste for her personality, interests and fears without even truly knowing her. Courtney also uses quotes, moments of sadness as well as joy that give her followers the feeling that she is a real person who has important attributes to show the world.
A few of my takeaways from these Instagram personalities are that in order to brand yourself you must showcase what you love in a clever, tasteful, soul-baring way. These are not just photos of a woman doing yoga on the beach or another posing in a hounds-tooth coat; they are windows into the lives of other people.
I have used these women as inspiration to advertise what I love in a manner of self-expression. In fact, my Instagram is full of dishes I have tried, places I have been and hobbies I love. These past few months I have begun using my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as a complete reflection of my resume. Anything and everything I have put in my resume, I have attempted to showcase in some form on my social media. Not only does this prove to employers you are not lying, but it also serves as a portfolio to show my potential employers what I am capable of.
Social media is a wonderful way to brand yourself as a cooking connoisseur, a culture junkie or even a music enthusiast. Let your social media accounts be another voice that speaks truths about who you are as a person and what you can accomplish. Harness the things you care about and put them out there in a way that show your potential employers what you love too!
I recently saw a respected, up-and-coming technology company use a news release distributed via PRNewswire to announce its new TV ad campaign, which featured social media calls to action…
I laughed out loud as I read the self-promoting introductory paragraph riddled with the clichés the PR industry has made journalists loathe.
I would love to know the thought process behind this “strategy.”
The news release clearly wasn’t intended for pick up by the news media: If you have a TV ad, they’d generally prefer you pay them for airtime. Nor was it intended for the general consumer, who doesn’t subscribe to news wires. My only guess is that the goal was loosely based on SEO goals. The only trouble is, Google doesn’t index press releases in Google News, and even if it did, the release wasn’t written with any particularly strong keyword appeal.
Were they trying to drive people to watch the ads on YouTube? Seems like social sharing has more intrigue than four paragraphs telling me why I should watch this video about the company that makes this product.
As I racked my brain to figure out why some Marketing or PR leader approved this release, I jotted down these three takeaways:
1. If your TV ad campaign isn’t compelling enough to get people buzzing, perhaps you have the wrong campaign idea.
2. If social buzz is your goal, invest your energy in social strategies rather than trying to add social on to your traditional methods.
3. Limit your use of news releases to when you have actual news.
We want to exceed your expectations. We really do. It’s why we come to work. It’s why we ask so many questions. It’s why we continually harp on seeming buzzwords like “strategic” and “measurable results.” We value you as a client, and we want you to know your investment in us is an investment in your own success.
We promise to do our part, but what can you do to ensure you’re getting the most out of the relationship? Here are a few ideas:
1) Treat us like an extension of your staff.
Our skills are in finding the story, formulating ideas with an outside perspective and coming up with creative ways to engage your stakeholders. We’re not a press release factory. Get the most for your money by involving us in senior level business discussions.
PR shouldn’t be a vertical function within a company; it should be a horizontal function because there are stories all throughout your company that can be leveraged to accomplish your goals. Introduce us to the marketing team, the HR team, the business analysts, the sales reps, the customer service folks…The better we can understand your environment and how it all ticks and ties, the better we can help you craft your message.
2) Work with us up front to identify your measurable goals.
We geek out a bit around here when we get started talking about how communications methods can influence the business bottom line. However, we recognize the complexity of showing how public relations connects to corporate goals. It helps to clearly hone what we’re trying to measure at the beginning of our relationship and again each year – or even each quarter – as it makes sense. We want you to see how your communications programs are making a difference in your business, and to do that, we need to know how exactly you want to move the needle.
3) Trust our expertise – but don’t be afraid to challenge us.
If we tell you something isn’t pitchable, it’s not a cop out. Remember: We want to exceed your expectations. We talk with the media, pitch ideas and analyze what’s working every single day for clients across a broad spectrum of categories. We have a knack for knowing what will and won’t appeal to the media and your stakeholders.
That being said, we don’t mind a challenge! Here’s a case study to prove it. We love to tackle complex problems with creativity.
Clients who collaborate with an agency in these ways tend to see the best results. And results, are what we want to provide!
By Megan Grubbs
As a young professional in the world of PR, I’m constantly faced with questions from my friends and family. Most often, these come in the form of, “What exactly is PR? Why is it important?”
The Public Relations Society of America offers a simple explanation: “public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Easy enough, right? But what does it really mean?
Today’s consumers are constantly plugged in, either watching national broadcast news, thumbing through a local paper, or checking for social media updates from their favorite brands. If someone isn’t out there communicating your message to your desired consumers, your message isn’t being heard.
So why hire a PR agency? Here’s what one can bring to the plate:
• Focus: DIY PR probably seems manageable. Posting a few tweets can be effective in reaching your followers, but your company probably has dozens of ongoing projects at once and proactive PR can often fall by the wayside. Having a dedicated crew, whether a team of one or one hundred, ensures that someone is always communicating with your audience.
• Expertise: When it comes to contacting the media, DIY PR just doesn’t cut it. The execs at your PR agency, though, know the ins and outs of journalism—in fact, many PR pros have a journalism background. We know when, why, and how reporters want to be contacted. Securing that connection is a surefire way to earn media placements and reach your audience in impactful ways.
• Various industry insights: As opposed to the DIY PR approach or utilizing an in-house PR staff, those with experience in an agency culture bring insights to various industries from diverse clients. But even more than that, we’re constantly scanning the marketplace, listening for new trends, ideas and opportunities. It can be easy to fall into routines and run out of in-house ideas; with an agency behind you, your organization can tap into countless ideas, whether you’re simply looking to keep things fresh or even reposition your company as a whole.
• Creativity: PR is a field of creative people. We’re idea people with communication know-how. Because we’re not as involved in the day-to-day processes of your company, we are able to look at the big picture, allowing us to see the major ideas your audience wants and needs to hear. Bringing in our outside opinions ensures you receive the objectivity and originality you need to best communicate your message.
For these reasons and many more, I can assure you that hiring a PR agency is one of the best investments you can make for your organization.
The press release isn’t dead. How do I know? Here are a few reasons:
-- Reporters still ask me for them when we’re discussing a new product, event or program.
-- The news media routinely have to dig for the facts amongst the fluff they receive each day. Last week, a reporter told me over coffee that a true gem in his inbox is a news release written the way he would write it: Interesting, straightforward and free of slant.
-- Journalists still have to file their stories to AP style standards written in inverted pyramid format.
Sure, we all know “news” is evolving. Reporters now write blogs, tweet links and share photos on Instagram. They craft stories about the most popular viral videos of the week and the kid on Vine with a million followers. Traditionally print publications are now producing video for their websites and publishing “From the Web” columns in print. I get it. Times are a-changing.
But, I might argue, that they still write news stories. And if your brand has real news to share, you just might want them to write news stories about you.
I’m a proponent of brand journalism, social media (when strategic) and reinventing the ways we get our messages out. People really do want more video and brief, ‘skimmable’ content.
But to say the press release is dead? That claim can’t be made by anyone who talks to the reporters I talk to.
One more thing: I am a proponent of writing better news releases, ones that are written like a news story, get to the point and leave the brand fluff behind.
Maybe the press release will die, and maybe it will be soon, but for now, let’s not kid ourselves by trying to force journalists to see subpar content as source material.