Posts Tagged ‘Media Relations’


How to Get Your Product in a Magazine’s Holiday Gift Guide

Monday, March 31st, 2014

How to Get Your Product in a Magazine’s Holiday Gift Guide Ellis Friedman Colleen Flood BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas PRSANY Meet the MediaHow can you pitch magazine editors to get your product in their yearly holiday gift guide? Being featured can not only give product sales a boost, but it can elevate your brand as well. But in-book gift guides are shrinking, meaning fewer slots overall, and each publication has different themes and price points, narrowing the field significantly.

Last week our VP of Agency Relations, Colleen Flood, attended PRSA-NY’s Meet the Media: Holiday Gift Guide Editors , where five panelists, all magazine editors, gave their input on how to make the cut in their 2014 gift guides, as well as general tips for pitching them year-round. Colleen brought back useful, detailed information that the editors shared during the panel.

The event’s moderator was Nicole Chismar, account supervisor of Media Relations at MSL Group. The evening’s five panelists were:

Allyson Dickman, associate lifestyle editor at Every Day with Rachael Ray

Caylin Harris, associate lifestyle editor at Parents

Irene Chang Kwon, associate editor at Working Mother

Catherine Peridis, fashion editor at Natural Health/Fit Pregnancy

Jessica Torres, beauty and lifestyle editor at Siempre Mujer

All the editors agreed that color scheme is a decision-making factor, and it helps if your product stands out or fits in with the scheme. Items should fall within the publication’s price specifications, and if it’s not a luxury magazine, they cap may be $100.

The product should also be nationally available, and when the product is shared with the media, it should look exactly how it will look when it’s on shelves. Know what types of gifts the publication features. Finally, submit early; most gift guides are finalized by early September.

Here are some of the publication-specific tips from the editorial panel.

Start early and know the theme

Torres explained that the Siempre Mujer gift guide encompasses gifts for him, her, home and kids. Siempre Mujer starts their holiday guide in July, does a run-through in mid-August, and closes in early September. (The magazine also does annual gift guides for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.)

Natural Health starts looking for gift guide items in June. At Working Mother, they start looking in July and wrap it up by the beginning of September. It’s a five-page guide that will be a mix of products for everyone, but the magazine strives to simplify the working mom’s shopping list and can include housewares, toys, and fashion products.

Parents and Everyday with Rachael Ray start looking for gift guide items in May. At Parents, Harris says they’ll call in samples in July and final submissions are due in the first week of August. Last year the six-page gift guide was organized by price. But Parents’ guide does not include gifts for children – it’s a gift guide for everyone else.

At Everyday with Rachael Ray, Dickman says it’s a four- to six-page guide, and final submissions are due by the first week of August. She says the guide is not gifts for parenting or kids, and it’s best to pitch by the sections in their magazines.

Know the criteria

At Siempre Mujer, products featured in the gift guide must be in the $5 to $500 price range. Since Hispanic culture also has King’s Day (also known as Epiphany or Dia de los Reyes), items can also be applicable for that holiday. But keep in mind that if your gift guide submission is anything written (like a book) or a movie, it must be in Spanish.

Natural Health loves charitable gifts and experiences tied to a gift. Kwon says that at Working Mother, gifts in the guide must make financial sense. At Parents, editors try to keep prices reasonable, and ask themselves how much a reader would realistically spend on a gift. They like products that look expensive, says Harris, and no gift cards or experiences.

At Everyday with Rachael Ray, budget is very important; the cap is $100, and Dickman says most gifts fall under $50. The gifts must be sophisticated but fun, and fit in with Ray’s personality.

Get picked

Editors from Rachael Ray trend spot at events, and constantly have their eyes and ears out looking for products to feature. Harris says that at Parents press kits accompanying products are incredibly important, and it helps your chances if the editors have product info readily available. Working Mother finds most of their products at events, and at Siempre Mujer, Torres says about 90 percent of their products come from pitches or look books, though the occasionally seek out products themselves.

Pitching tips

Siempre Mujer prefers deskside pitches with hi-res images, and Torres says she’s more likely to remember someone if she speaks with them in person. Fit Pregnancy/Natural Health prefers email pitches with all pertinent information, like images and cost, included in the email. Working Mother prefers both email and deskside pitches, as does Parents, though Harris says not to call. Rachael Ray will only do a deskside if there’s an actual product brought in – not a USB, as those get lost – and if the pitch is emailed, it must include a picture.

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Four Key Findings from the 2014 Top Media Outlets List

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
by flickr user Sean MacEntee under CC BY license

by flickr user Sean MacEntee under CC BY license

What’s the most circulated newspaper? What are the most visited blogs and social media sites? Every year, BurrellesLuce publishes its Top Media Outlets list to show the leading traditional and social media outlets in the U.S. according to circulation, visits, authority, market share, or DMA. Below are the four most notable things we learned from the latest Top Media Outlets list, which was published last week.

Want a copy? It’s free –  download it here.

USA Today takes the top newspaper spot

USA Today displaced The Wall Street Journal as the daily paper with the highest circulation. USA Today made a huge leap, gaining over 1 million subscriptions since our last Top Media Outlets List in June 2013. That large spike may be attributed to the paper’s digital editions, which were not reported last year. However, those digital editions are free of charge, and USA Today reported lower circulation revenue in the third quarter due to hotels moving from paper subscriptions to digital ones.

Blogs are gaining ground – especially BuzzFeed

Though The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed retained their number one and two slots respectively, Buzzfeed narrowed the gap significantly; in November 2013, BuzzFeed had its biggest month ever with 130 million unique visitors, which they attribute in part to Facebook’s algorithm change. Interestingly, every single top blog increased in Technorati Authority, so while marketers may bemoan that the algorithm changes hide their organization’s page updates, the bright side may be that it’s driving more traffic to content.

Google Plus is rising, but it’s still behind

Google Plus had a big year, and it jumped from number seven to number four on this latest Top Media Outlets list, displacing Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Yahoo Answers. That’s a big step for a social network still described as a ghost town. But it’s still below Twitter, and virtually light years away from Facebook and YouTube, social networks numbers one and two respectively. And while some researchers are predicting Facebook’s demise, it still posted an increase in visits share.

Instagram made it to the list

The most notable addition to the top social networks list is that of Instagram, which didn’t make it into the top ten on our last list. The photo-based social media site is not only popular with dedicated selfie takers, but it’s also becoming more of a marketing tool, so it might be time for brands and marketers to consider optimizing and leveraging Instagram.

Click here to download the 2014 Top Media Outlets list.

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This Week’s Shot of Fresh: Quarantine Your Influenzers, Retail Gets Pinteresting, and Media Relations Doesn’t Change With the Times

Friday, January 24th, 2014
flickr user Sheila Sund - docoverachiever

flickr user Sheila Sund - docoverachiever

Shot of Fresh: our roundup of this week’s Fresh Ideas content.

Jargonology Episode 2: Influenzer

It might be the peak of influenza season, but bad sharing has no season. What’s worse, there’s no vaccine. Check out the second video in our series as we doff our caps to the maligned corporate lexicon and coin a few useful terms of our own.

Follow the Money, Follow the Pins: How Pinterest-ing Should You Be?

Target takes Pinterest into the tactile world with e-Pins on physical shelves. Even if you don’t have store shelves, it’s time to make your site more Pinterest-friendly and create a path from online inspiration to monetary purchase.

Media Relations: Back to the Basics

Has the digital age really changed media relations? Maybe not so much. It’s still about putting in the time, thought, and quality necessary to stay relevant. Is it a move back to the basics, or is it that the best way to do something hasn’t changed?

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Connect Content Marketing to the Bottom Line

Friday, December 20th, 2013
flickr user photosteve101

flickr user photosteve101

by Sharon Miller*

Content marketing is a hot topic in the PR community, but plenty of organizations are still trying to figure it out. Last week, I attended the PRNews Media Relations Next Practices Conference in Washington, D.C. and attended the session “Show & Tell: Examples of Content Marketing That Connects to the Bottom Line.”

The sessions presenters were Doug Simon, president and CEO of D S Simon Productions; Julie Craven, VP of corporate communications at Hormel Foods; and Blair Austin, marketing director at ILMO Products.

Simon began with his five-step process for content marketing and what he calls “PRketing,” which goes far beyond brand journalism. The steps are:

1. Identify the behavior you’re trying to change

2. Identify the people who you’re trying to reach and where they consume content

3. Create content that will effectively change their behavior

4. Place the content where they’ll find, view, and share it

5. Measure, assess, and revise

Simon used the American College of Physicians as an example. The college created an iTunes channel for its members, allowing them to download important news on studies in a digestible, user-friendly format. So they not only identified a new channel in which their members consumed content, but changed the way they delivered information they deemed important for members.

Next, Craven explained that we’re competing against everyone now on social media, and that means our messages must be on target or we won’t get any time with our target consumers. Craven advocates developing a hub-and-spoke model to drive awareness and conversion via branded content. This model requires setting a goal and defining what you’re trying to accomplish, and using content, set in the middle and connecting to every goal, to push toward that goal.

Craven stressed that hub content must be concise, graphically driven, and shareable. And of course, that content must be channel specific to provide utility and drive conversion.

Finally, Austin spoke about how to get attention with little money. She used a case study with ILMO, a medical, industrial, and laboratory gas provider. Their challenge was not only budgetary, but also that their industry doesn’t support marketing. The company’s goal was to generate national media attention with its 100th anniversary, and share that media attention on its existing channels to encourage its core audience and position ILMO as an industry leader in marketing and communications.

So, when the company turned 100 years old, it created an event: The organization gave each of its 100 employees $100 on the 100th day of the year.  They fostered engagement by driving it to social media channels and spread brand awareness all on its small budget.

What content marketing strategies do you use to drive engagement? What new models have you developed to reach your target segment?

*Bio: Sharon Miller has been with BurrellesLuce for 25 years, and is currently the VP of Enterprise Solutions. She has Bachelor of Arts degrees in psychology and social work from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She did her graduate work at Drexel University in Pennsylvania, and currently resides in Ohio. Facebook: BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: Sharon Miller

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How to Engage Journalists and Influencers on Social Media

Friday, December 13th, 2013

flickr user Rosaura Ochoa

flickr user Rosaura Ochoa

by Alfred Cox*

Yesterday I attended the PRNews Media Relations Next Practices Conference in Washington, D.C., at which BurrellesLuce was also a sponsor. Some of the most persistent questions in media relations center on reaching out to journalists in the most efficient and effective manner.  I attended the session “Find and Engage With the Right Journalists and Influencers on Social Media,” which addressed these issues and more.

The sessions guest speakers were Kathy Grannis, senior director of media relations at National Retail Federation; David Ringer, director of media relations at National Audubon Society; and David Wescott, director of digital strategy at APCO Worldwide.

Grannis started out with her suggestions, and emphasized the importance of building relationships with journalists and influencers; she recommended keeping in touch through Twitter, to reach out and congratulate a journalist when they move organizations and positions. Such communication not only sustains a relationship but helps you stay on top-of-mind. Of course, communicating is key, but Grannis stressed that learning how to communicate correctly requires full-time dedication.

When it comes to relevant conversations on social platforms, Grannis recommends contributing transparently, positioning your brand as an expert on the subject matter. But Twitter is also about more than your message; Grannis point out you should be using Twitter to keep up with your competitors and what they’re tweeting, as well as what they’re publishing on other social media sites.

Finally, she advocated blogging. Content marketing has become integral to marketing, PR, and media relations strategies, but Grannis also pointed out that blogs are a tremendous source for getting your statement out there, and even stated getting your message out in your blog is just as important as getting your statement in The New York Times.

Ringer offered his insights next, and pointed out that too much email is boring. He said that Twitter is the best tool to interact with journalists, and that it’s important to find and engage with the right journalists and influencers on social media platforms. He strongly suggested following new journalists right away, and thinking of Twitter not as your personal account, but as your new Rolodex. The list-making function is a great organizational tool to make that happen.

Ringer suggested that once you’ve selected those key journalists and influencers, you should care about what they care about, even their more personal tweets, and interacting with those more personal tweets, and retweeting their tweets, helps build a relationship. But he also pointed out that everyone likes a name check on Twitter, so be sure to credit people for their work by @ing them.  And don’t limit yourself to interacting with well-known, established media figures; befriend those bright new media stars, too.

Wescott followed with his observations, saying that Twitter is the best tool for PR people, and that they must have a presence. Something else that enhances your presence is having Twitter public conversations as well as private conversations, which also helps build relationships that will get new business.

Wescott advised that Twitter and blogging are excellent tools for presenting yourself as a thought leader and a bridge builder between PR pros. He also advocated for citing sources with @s, as well as using hashtags for context and engagement. Wescott recommended finding journalists not just on Twitter, but also on sites like LinkedIn and Muck Rack.

What other social media strategies do you have for engaging journalists and influencers?

***

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

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