Top Insider Tips to Pitch National Broadcast Shows

September 29th, 2014
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Top Insider Tips to Pitch to National Broadcast Shows BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Alfred Cox media outreach media pitching media monitoring

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by Alfred Cox*

Have someone you want to be a guest on a nationally-broadcast television show? Then there are a lot of things to keep in mind when you’re pitching producers. Last week I attended PRSA-NY’s Meet the Media: National Broadcast event that brought together four producers of national broadcast programs to give their advice to public relations pros.

The panelists were:

Tommy Crudup, senior talent executive at Rachael Ray

Todd Polkes, coordinating producer at The Meredith Vieira Show

Shira Sky, host and executive producer at HuffPost Live

Cheryl Strick, director of talent relations at Talk Stoop

Here are some highlights from the event.

On how they’d like to be pitched

All panelists agreed that they want to be pitched by email. Crudup said no phone follow-ups – they won’t respond at all. Polkes wants email pitches that include links and/or clips of potential guests on shows of similar formats, and Sky requested that the most pertinent info go in the subject line as well as a bio and links to interviews.

The panelists also discussed some no-nos: don’t, said Crudup, send a three-page pitch, and don’t tell producers what they should talk about; that’s their decision. Sky doesn’t want to have to ask to describe what you’re trying to pitch, and if she has to Google, she’s not a happy camper. Strick doesn’t want to hear just about what a guest is doing now, she wants to hear what they’ve done in the past.

Perhaps most important is that you know the show and their audience. Know the kinds of guests the show has had in the past, and stay up-to-date with what they’re doing.

On exclusives

Crudup says since they’re a new show, they are looking to book exclusive guests, but their most important criteria is that a guest is fun. On the other hand, Sky says they don’t like exclusives and that they want people who resonate with their audience and have a lot of talent. For taped shows, exclusives aren’t always an optin, Strick acknowledges, but the guest must be someone big or represent something big.

On paid spokespersons

Of the panelists, only Strick’s show accepts paid integration, but she stressed it must be organic and related to Talk Stoop. Sky said they have no regulations about paid spokespersons, but they do have a “resource wall” where they will plug websites or links you bring, but they will not post products.

Crudup and Polkes both said no to paid spokespersons, though Polkes said they will mention a campaign but not a product, as that’s too much advertising.

On social media

All panelists agreed that social media is an integral part of the show’s success, and that it’s just as crucial for guests to be active social media participants as well. Sky says that community and fan engagement is huge for their show, so a guest with a large and/or devoted following is a huge bonus. Crudup wants guests with about two million social media followers and they expect the guest to tweet about the upcoming appearance.

Strick says they will personally tweet before the guest comes on, and Polkes says they can’t have a great show without social media and that tweets are essential to their ratings. So when you’re pitching, be sure to include how active a potential guest is on social media and highlight their influence and following in the initial pitch.

*******

Bio: Alfred Cox is a rare commodity of a performer who combines a relentless drive to succeed with the ability to provide “first-person” touch to his clients, creating loyalty and repeat business. He has a hard-nosed work ethic in a results- driven environment and he is often called the “Network King.” Alfred has been in the PR industry for the past 18+ years and joined the BurrellesLuce team in 2011. Connect with him on Twitter: @shantikcox Facebook: BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: Alfred Cox

 

Measurement Week Interviews: Mark Stouse

September 26th, 2014
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Measurement Week Interview Mark Weiner BurrellesLuce Media Monitoring PR Software Public Relations Media Measurement Press clipping

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Last week was AMEC’s International Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati. We got such an enthusiastic response that we’re extending our celebration to include all their answers. We’ll be running their answers all this week, and be sure to check out our latest newsletter for measurement insights from 11 other experts in the field.

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, Mark Stouse, creator of the Influence Scoring System.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused?

My “measurement moment” happened in 1992 when I left the profession and agency life, a departure I assumed at the time was forever. I moved into a series of business roles, including sales, product development, and ultimately leader of a new business that I created in the defense sector.

Looking back, it is clear to me that this decision to join the business was the best investment I ever made in my marketing and communications career. Its impact on me has proven as indelible as any tattoo.

I got a very intense education in what it means to be in business. For example, I gained a new appreciation for what it meant to make quota, not just in the conventional sales sense, but also as a leader who had to make payroll. My vision of things became significantly enlarged. I began to understand how hard it is for a CEO to balance everything that a business is, particularly all of those often zero-sum investment choices that must be made in a rapidly growing enterprise.

I began to see life through the eyes of a business leader, because that’s what I had become. Today, that perspective still is very present in my conversations with CEOs and other leaders, even though I earned it years ago in a much smaller company.

I sold the company in 1999, and I re-entered the profession on the agency side. But I had changed dramatically. From that point forward, I operated as a business leader who happened to specialize in marketing and communications. The result was a completely different approach, one that focused – above all things – on connecting marketing and communications investment to business drivers.

Today, I’m pleased to say that we’ve done it.   We have a proven methodology, manifested in a cloud-based platform that correlates investment in Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned (PESO) channels to both functional outcomes and business impact, including revenue, margin and cash flow. But to be honest, I doubt very much that I would have pursued those connections to business impact if I had not first discovered what it means to be in business instead of just being in a business.

What is your proudest measurement moment?

In 2008, it became clear that the Influence Scoring System (ISS) actually worked, not just at the marketing and communications level but with the CxOs that was designed for in the first place. The system showed for the first time that it could tie investment in both Earned and Shared programs to both functional outcomes and CFO-certified business impact.

It didn’t take long for ISS to start receiving tangible recognition. Based on its data, we received large increases in our budgets during the depths of the recession. Later, it won a BMC Innovation Award – it was the first time that anything outside of the company’s product line had won the award. In 2014, ISS was recognized as the Innovation of the Year in Marketing and Communications, and then it received the Holmes Report Diamond SABRE Award this past May in New York City. We had come a long, long way.

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

There are several important pieces of advice. First, start with the business KPIs and drill down into your function. Anything else is classic “inside-out” thinking and will not get you where you need to go.

Second, remember that the C-suite only cares about the past if that data strongly suggests what’s going to happen next. If it doesn’t do that, you’re wasting their time and yours too. Third, get clear on what ROI is and is not. By definition, ROI is a cash-on-cash number, so it applies to business metrics like revenue, margin and cash flow. The number of impressions you racked up last quarter is not the ROI on the investment you made to get them.

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?  

Reporting out again and again and again on metrics and KPIs that business leaders don’t care about. When they see that you actually use them to run your function, it dawns on them just how disconnected you are from everything about the business. That’s why you have no “seat at the table” during normal business hours.

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your company from metrics to KPIs.

I joined BMC Software in early 2006 to lead Communications. The team was the “tail on the dog” inside the company. We were order takers and the last people in the company to know anything. The team’s only metric was a quarterly clip book, and even that was not exactly anything to brag about.

Soon after, however, we replaced the incumbent agency with Waggener Edstrom, and we immediately began to publish a standard report of coverage and the common metrics we all know so well: volume, tone, reach, share of voice, etc.

In early 2007, I presented my thinking about a new system to the executive team, one that would begin to connect the dots and demonstrate progressively stronger correlations between their investment in Comms and our business impact. They gave it the thumbs up, though even they didn’t see how it could be actually implemented.

But by the end of 2008, we had moved well past the retrospective view into the ability to accurately forecast of our future performance. We also showed an ability to understand, calibrate and manage our opportunity cost, ensuring that a lot more of the money we were spending “ended up on the screen,” as they say in Hollywood.

As the data rigor in the system began to deepen and strengthen, our conversation with the C-suite and the sales teams began to change rather dramatically. By 2009, we were launching nascent connections between ISS and sales data. Our first success was in demonstrating how, why and to what extent we were helping to drive faster sales velocity. Everyone looked at the logic path and the data connections and said “Wow!” Actually, it was more colorful and emphatic than that, but you get the point.

And from that point forward, we were off to the races.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?

It sounds like a simplistic answer, but we have too many people in marketing and PR who chose the profession because they were not good at math. We spend time asking “Is the PR profession creative enough?” when we should be asking, “Do you understand how your business makes money?”

I see a lot of people in marketing and communications today who are real scared of measurement and the accountability that goes with it. This aversion to data and the language of the business world is the single most destructive thing in our profession today. It’s time to do what is necessary to get over that fear.

There’s been a lot of work done at the tactical end of things to try to standardize marketing and communications metrics. But the only standards that are determinant here are the standards of the business. Several years ago, a really famous tech CEO said to me: “Your colleagues need to understand that we (business leaders) expect marketing and communications to understand our standard of proof and meet it, not develop their own.”

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job?

I’m an innovator. I’ve been one all my life. My 8th grade teacher wrote “Innovator = Big Helper” next to my name in the yearbook, and that’s really how I think about it.

One day, I’d like to apply that bent – and all I’ve learned about how to innovate – in the service of humanity. For that reason, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has a very special attraction for me. Not only for the work they do, but for the way they have disrupted philanthropy by driving a very strong tie between their investment and real impact on the ground.

When I look at what they’ve accomplished, it pushes all of my buttons.

 

Measurement Week Interviews: Roxane Papagiannopoulos

September 25th, 2014
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Measurement Week Roxane Papagiannopoulos Frank Ovaitt BurrellesLuce Public Relations PR Institute for Public Relations Media Measurement Media Monitoring Press Clipping

flickr user Pink Sherbet Photography under CC BY

Last week was AMEC’s International Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati. We got such an enthusiastic response that we’re extending our celebration to include all their answers. We’ll be running their answers all this week, and be sure to check out our latest newsletter for measurement insights from 11 other experts in the field.

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, Roxane Papagiannopoulos, President at RMP Analysis.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused?

Assomeone who always wants to know the answer to the ‘Why?”/ “How?” question it was inevitable that I ended up where I am. While I was employed by Vocus one of my clients challenged me with how to wring more out of that software. The goal was to provide data to the PR team that they could use to improve their tactics and performance. Once I walked through that door I found my zone and have never looked back.

What is your proudest measurement moment?

My proudest moment was the decision to start my own business. The experience has opened up more opportunities to service customers individually.

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

Getting started in a new measurement effort or starting one where none existed is stressful. Find a vendor partner who is going to work with you to uncover the reality versus what will make the vendor or you just look good. Ask to see some of their work and explain how it will relate and can translate to your industry/business efforts.

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?

Valuing counts over insights. All too often PRs look at number of mentions as a measure of success “Look at how many outlets picked up this story!” – so what? As well as impressions multipliers (painful).

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your client from metrics to KPIs.

My client was in a crisis situation and the news stream was completely negative toward the company. Internally there was a debate on the process of how to handle crisis situations. On one side we, along with several of the PR team, were advocating the customer put out a statement and address the issue at hand to end the news cycle and allow customers to focus on the positive company efforts.

On the other side the stalwarts were advocating to be quiet and it will go away (really shocking, but this is how crisis were handled for a long period of time.) Using metrics we were able to demonstrate the news cycle would be curbed or ended if the company simply addressed the issue. This allowed us to gain support to present the evaluation of qualitative outcomes tied to reputation change, deposit volumes and product sales.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?

The question indicates that measurement has made progress, however that is the challenge in my opinion in the PR/Corp Comm space. The industry is very slow to implement measurement practices.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job?

You hear people say “I wouldn’t quit my job” all the time when asked this question. The truth? I would quit, not because I don’t love what I do but there is a cause that would benefit more from the lottery winnings that would require 100 percent of my time. My dream job would be to set up a honeybee sanctuary in as many states as possible (I’m a beekeeper). Don’t doubt it…metrics would be an integral part of the effort. Ask me in person sometime and I’ll talk your ear off.

 

Measurement Week Interviews: Margot Sinclair Savell

September 24th, 2014
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Measurement Week AMEC Margot Savell Richard Bagnall BurrellesLuce Public Relations PR Measurement news clipping media monitoring

flickr user Randen Pedersen under CC BY

Last week was AMEC’s International Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati. We got such an enthusiastic response that we’re extending our celebration to include all their answers. We’ll be running their answers all this week, and be sure to check out our latest newsletter for measurement insights from 11 other experts in the field.

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, Margot Sinclair Savell, SVP of global measurement at Research+Data Insights, Hill+Knowlton Strategies. Savell also held a Measurement Week webinar with BurrellesLuce; you can listen to it here.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused?

Almost two decades ago, I was the website manager for some major television news stations on the west coast, when I discovered how content placement impacts audience size. That’s when I first understood the value of measurement insights to drive future strategy and increase growth. I was hooked.

What is your proudest measurement moment?

Thankfully, there have been many, but the first one was winning the Cox Interactive Media award for Greatest Audience Growth at one of those TV news websites. A more recent moment was when we moved a client from measuring ad value equivalencies (AVEs) to measuring quality KPIs that reflect the impact of PR. (Details in #5 below)

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

Follow the Barcelona Principles; measurement should always be tied to business and communications goals.

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?

Over the years, I’ve frequently been asked this question: “We just had a really successful campaign; how do I measure it?” We cannot slap on measurement at the end of a campaign because we don’t have a benchmark with baseline findings to track changes over time. A meaningful measurement program should be part of every communications plan — from the beginning — and should inform decisions on a daily basis.

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your client from metrics to KPIs.

Our client knew that ad value equivalencies (AVEs) do not measure the impact of public relations efforts, but her senior leadership insisted on it. We developed a monthly scorecard with several metrics, including AVEs, and also featured a quality score based on KPIs. But each month, we displayed the AVEs metric in progressively smaller font sizes, while the quality score remained larger and highlighted in a different color than the other metrics. The quality score was also accompanied by strategic insights and actionable recommendations. Over time, the senior leadership came to favor the quality score and we eliminated the AVEs.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?

The biggest challenge will be measuring big data, which is very exciting.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job? 

Does retirement count?

Measurement Week Interviews: Katie Paine

September 23rd, 2014
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Measurement Week Katie Paine BurrellesLuce Media Measurement AMEC Public Relations PR media monitoring

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Last week was AMEC’s International Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati. We got such an enthusiastic response that we’re extending our celebration to include all their answers. We’ll be running their answers all this week, and be sure to check out our latest newsletter for measurement insights from 11 other experts in the field.

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, Katie Paine, measurement queen and CEO of Paine Publishing. She has founded two measurement companies and is the author of three books about measurement. Her latest book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit, Using Data to Change the World,won the 2013 Terry McAdam book award.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused?

1,698 Measurement Weeks ago, I did my first research project for Fujitsu Semiconductor. I was 29, an Asian Studies major working in Silicon Valley. I knew nothing about semiconductors, but had to make a key decision about where to spend the budget. I did a cost per lead and cost per impression analysis of competing semiconductor trade magazines, relative to the media coverage they’d given us and the competition.

As a result, I was able to carve $100,000 out of my and put it to better use. My first benchmarking project followed shortly – I interviewed 20 of my peers in Silicon Valley to find out how much of their budget they typically spent on a product launch. – That got me a $3 million advertising and marketing budget for the following year.  I quickly learned that for an ex-journalist Asian History Major working for engineers in Silicon Valley, nothing impressed like data and charts and graphs

What is your proudest measurement moment?

Getting the Social Media Measurement Standards written, approved and published in 18 months

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

Data without insight is just trivia, make sure your measurement report connects the dots, don’t just throw data over the cubicle wall.

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?

Not tying results back to business goals (also known as confusing outputs and outcomes).

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your client from metrics to KPIs.

In the last few years I’ve taken a tourism destination, a major pharma company, an international non-profit, and a bank from AVE hell to integrated outcome metrics that tie their communications activities directly to business goals.  And, as it happens, the tourism destination has used the metrics I created for them to mitigate disasters, save a ton of advertising dollars that were being wasted, and show the direct correlation between PR efforts and intent to visit.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?

Lack of insight, or to put it another way, we need to integrate all the various types of “big data” with the little data such as what was the program, the post, the video that caused that big data to change.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job?

Writing the great American novel from my farm in Durham, New Hampshire.