Posts by Industry Expert:
- Email is still the best way to contact them, but don’t have an intern follow-up with a call 40 minutes later. A phone call may be appropriate if the pitch is time-sensitive.
- Don’t be afraid to help them put the links together for a story and suggest other people to interview or places to gather more information.
- Speed is important, so have a good subject line.
- Do not let multiple members of the team pitch the same story to them. Only one pitch is needed.
- If using a mail merge program to blast email press releases or pitches, check them first. It is annoying to see their name in all caps, spelled wrong or missing and inserted with an outlet name.
- Exclusives are still important and will help you win the pitch.
- Press conferences are useful for sharing thought leadership, Walker says. Terkel suggested outlining why she should attend in a pitch email.
- Don’t shy away from pitching a small blog to get an exclusive review and then use that post for pitching a larger media outlet.
What will be the next big “game changer” for communicators? And, how do we use it and interact with it correctly? These a few other questions were on the minds of the attendees to the first xPotomac conference on February 25.
Several presenters discussed Google and the newly announced Google Glass, and how the innovation will allow users to get their heads up. Keynote Vanessa Fox, CEO Nine by Blue, started the discussion with our habit of using Google, and how hard habits are to break. Geoff Livingston, author, marketer and xPotomac founder, along with Patrick Ashamalla, founder, A Brand New Way, said we are getting better at our Google habit. They noted one trick for Google Plus is to put your head-up to engage it. But, it will need to get smarter and begin to understand context to be truly useful. The more things are digitized, the less we are thinking. Display ads will be problematic, and the current model will need to change, especially as voice search expands.
There’s a flaw in our logic in asking Google the best way to drive traffic, because they say, “use Google.” What if Google is not the answer? Ken Yarmosh, CEO, Savvy Apps, says this came out of asking about using Bloggr vs other sites, and agrees attention + influence is what’s next . He believes the looking at other traffic over the speed of indexing is more important.
Dino Dogan, founder, Triberr, believes the next big problem is the getting distribution power away from the big media outlets like the Huffington Post. There is a movement to take back the conversation. What’s next? Dogan says it is attention + influence. He says the ground swell of peer to peer influence is taking hold. He says the noise is not coming from us; it’s coming from the big media companies.
Moving into the visual revolution, Jenifer Consalvo, co-founder and COO, TechCocktail, discussed the use of the new Twitter video service, Vine, and how many companies are actually showing some restraint and waiting for a strategy before using it. She encouraged us to look at the many how-to videos available and think of new ways to use the service. But, she reminded us to have a consistent message across all platforms. Visuals, in general, gain more engagement. Imagery is one of the biggest drivers of numbers for many platforms.
What do you think is the next big think in digital? Are you using any new technologies you can share with the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers?
Understand who you are pitching and the beat or beats the cover. Like past panels, this year’s Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) Media Roundtable wanted to get across that message. The panel exchanged best practices and ways to gain better understanding of both positions from the perspective of those pitching and those being pitched.
The panel moderated by WWPR president Tina Beaty included: Amanda Terkel, senior political reporter and politics managing editor, The Huffington Post, Melissa Romero, staff writer for the Washingtonian, as well as health and wellness writer for the Washingtonian’s blog Well+Being, Molly Walker, editor, for trade publication FierceMarkets’ Enterprise IT group, writing regularly for FierceMobileGovernment, FierceGovernmentIT and FierceContentManagement, Amy Harder, energy and environment correspondent, National Journal.
Social media plays a large role in promoting stories, says Terkel. She says to think about how a headline will look in 140 characters. The panel was not in favor of social media pitches, though. They were open to sharing information via Twitter if a relationship has already been established. Romero commented on using Twitter direct message to share email addresses, when the PR person does not have her address.
Media Relations Tips from the WWPR Roundtable Panel
The panel turned to discussing the future of print media. All panelists agreed they do not want to see print go away, but added they all work on the digital side. They feel being able link to other stories and information adds credibility to their work. Digital media makes it easy to add information or make corrections to a story.
I’ve previously posted media relations tips from the Washington, DC assignment editors on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas. You can check it out here. What other tips would you add? How are you working with digital media journalists?
This post first appeared on Capitol Communicator 11.9.12 and is cross-posted with permission.
Pinterest has always been open to the public. You could not hide any of your “pins” from particular people or limit them to only your followers – until now… Pinterest users are receiving emails announcing the roll-out of secret boards.
According to the email from Pinterest, “Secret boards give you a place for things you’re not quite ready to share yet, like a surprise party, special gift ideas, or even planning for a new baby. We’re testing out the feature by giving everyone 3 secret boards. You’ll find them at the bottom of your profile. We can’t wait to hear what you think!”
What will you post to your secret boards? I’m thinking it will be a great place for my holiday wish list.
This post first appeared on Capitol Communicator 10.22.12 and is cross-posted with permission.
Most brands have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, but, are they still relevant and the best place for your efforts? Several presenters at the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit in Baltimore on Oct. 18 addressed this question and looked into the alternatives to Facebook.
If you ask author and marketing strategist Geoff Livingston if Facebook is dead, he will say, “It’s loosing it’s cool.” His fellow panelists say it’s still relevant. All did agree, if you want to get your post seen by your fans (or even friends for personal use), you need “pay to play” and promote your post.
During a later panel, Marty Conway, Imre Marketing and Communications, said Facebook isn’t dead, but suggested we should not be thinking about the distribution channel, but about the content. He advocates using more visuals, photos and video.
Although he feels Facebook is still relevant for marketers, Mitch Arnowitz, Tuvel Communications, said many people are tuning-out ads. He feels Facebook will forever suffer a privacy perception problem.
Strategies and Insights
Facebook’s customer targeting is great, said Cary Lawrence, SocialCode. People are self-identifying, allowing for extremely targeted campaigns. She went on to say it is a nurturing platform, so you need to nurture and engage fans to get your EdgeRank score up. (EdgeRank determines whether or not your post will be seen in a news stream on Facebook.) She also noted the community benefits the brand, because fans of a page will convert to customers twice as much as non-fans.
The goal is not to just get followers said Brian Razzaque, SocialToaster. You can concentrate your energy on a different channel, and know you will still get secondary following on Facebook. Although the number of users is smaller, he said Google+ is huge for SEO, and the degree of engagement is quite high.
You need to find your audience, said Katie Roberts, Laureate Education, and she advocates using surveys. She noted her research for serving a new university purchased by Laureate Education, which serves mostly Hispanic students. She learned Hispanics check-in on Foursquare more than any other audience segment. Roberts advocated for experimenting with different platforms. For one of Laureate Education’s schools they created several topic-related Pinterest boards.
You should pick your content home-base (usually your organization’s website) and direct all traffic there. From the home-base, all content and platforms should complement each other.
In looking at your audience segment, Kari Mitchell, HZDG, commented that the older you get the more likely to click on an ad, versus younger users who are more likely to “like” a brand.
You can read the top tweets from the Summit on Storify.
Do you think Facebook is dead or dying?
This post first appeared on the Capitol Communicator blog 10.21.12 and is cross-posted with permission.
Consumers read and interact with content in many different ways and on many different platforms. Marketers need to measure across the various platforms and realize consumers are frequently opting-out of tracking. These trends and many others were discussed at the Oct. 18 Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit in Baltimore, which was attended by more than 300 marketers and communicators.
It is the twilight of the fan. If they aren’t engaging, it doesn’t matter if they are your fan, said Leigh George, R2integrated.
George gave the following take-aways:
1. Plan with the end goal in mind;
2. Don’t mistake a fan for a business metric;
3. Go to where the conversations are;
4. Respect the dark social; and,
5. Create content engineered to be consumed and shared.
Be true to the brand message:
Keynote Steve Sommers, Under Armour (UA), discussed brand messaging. As UA discusses new messages, they ask themselves, is the message true? Do consumers care? Does it make sense coming from your brand? You need to talk with, not talk at consumers said Sommers. UA started a “What is beautiful?” contest to encourage female fans and customers. They discovered the female participants found community and were less interested in the competition.
Karen Zuckerman, HZDG, found sending her daughter to college led to an idea for a new business, Dormify, an online design store for dorm rooms. She outlined their steps for creating a brand and business:
1. Create a brand – find a strong voice needed to connect with the personality;
2. Build a community – find evangelists to generate content;
3. Open an online store;
4. Market and promote it- they were beta testers for a Google catalogue;
5. Figure it out as you go: Since back to school is their Christmas, they created their own holiday – Cyber Monday;
6. Gain earned media – Dormify was often asked to partner with them;
7. Become the niche of our niche – 80% of their designers are in sororities, so they licensed sorority wear.
Consumers pay attention to content relevant to them.
Discussing campaign examples, Fred Jorgenson, Crosby Marketing, detailed how they used a hospital’s website to show emergency wait times. He added the caveat that checking the website is not always the best idea (dial 911, if needed), but it added a new level of interaction, which patients did not expect.
Throughout all the presentations, the speakers encouraged participants to experiment with new platforms and ideas, and always consider the overall business goals.
You can read some of the top tweets from the summit on Storify.