Posts Tagged ‘Alfred Cox’


Top Insider Tips to Pitch National Broadcast Shows

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

flickr user A DeVigal under CC BY

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.

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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

 

PR Team Building at PRSA-NY’s Scavenger Hunt

Monday, June 16th, 2014
L to R: Athina Koutsoumadi and Josephine Lau of Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP; Colleen Flood and Alfred Cox of BurrellesLuce

L to R: Athina Koutsoumadi and Josephine Lau of Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP; Colleen Flood and Alfred Cox of BurrellesLuce

by Athina Koutsoumadi*
On Thursday evening June 5th, 12 teams from PR firms participated in the PRSA-NY Annual Summer Social: Amazing Race 2014, sponsored by Anchin, Block and Anchin LLP. Our team, “The Analytics,” consisted of Anchin’s Josephine Lau and Athina Koutsoumadi, as well as BurrellesLuce‘s Alfred Cox and Colleen Flood. The race started at Stitch Bar & Lounge, located on West 37th Street. Our team was very eager to conquer the world but we were more in line with “Pinky and The Brain” as we managed to finish in third place…from the bottom!

 

All in good fun, we enjoyed running around the streets of Manhattan, starting from Midtown West, Times Square, circling a few blocks around, taking pictures of strangers, borrowing magazines (GQ w/ Channing Tatum – seriously) for a “celebrity” picture, getting yelled at by a school teacher while attempting to take a picture of a student holding a camcorder, handing over my iPhone to strangers to take a picture followed by a threatening line “If you run with my phone, we’ll catch you!”

 

Lau, Cox, Koutsoumadi, and Flood posing with Channing Tatum

Lau, Cox, Koutsoumadi, and Flood posing with Channing Tatum

We made it to the East Side while pretending to be Superman around the globe in the Daily News building, only to scare the life out of a lady who helped us with a group picture. It’s amazing to see how New Yorkers bond when they see you running, sweat dripping down your forehead, holding your hips as you feel they will dislocate and you ask them to take a picture. An elderly couple stepped up to the challenge of taking a group picture in the Fox News building, waiting patiently for the ticker to show “Fox News”… If only they had realized that our ticker was ticking as time was of the essence!

 

Koutsoumadi, Lau, Flood, and Cox in front of the Fox building

L to R: Athina Koutsoumadi, Josephine Lau, Colleen Flood, Alfred Cox

We took pride in not using public transportation, which gave us consolation as to our place in the race. Walking the streets allowed Josephine to find electronic stores to take pictures of tape recorders (who really uses those anymore?) and Colleen to use Google Maps for New York buildings. Ah!…. The joy of the iPhone app ScanQuest! As only one person on each team had to download the app and control the challenges and pictures, we faced a different type of challenge! Running and looking at challenges simultaneously, I held onto my phone “for dear life,” and also tried to control Alfred who loved leading the way, only for Colleen having to call him to find him! These unforgettable moments between the two firms have set the stage for next year’s team (only with a better name) and created a strong bond. We are going to be “The Incredible 4”, with the costumes to go with it. This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship! It doesn’t get any better than that!

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Athina Koutsoumadi Anchin bio

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?

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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

Using Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine for Visual Storytelling

Thursday, October 31st, 2013
Using Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine for Visual Storytelling BurrellesLuceby Alfred Cox*

No matter your brand’s industry, you can still leverage the marketing power of visual social media platforms like Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest. Visual storytelling is applicable to every kind of organization, and at the Digital PR Summit in October, three panelists shared their strategies to spot opportunities for visual storytelling, as well as create campaigns, tell your brand’s story, and be inspirational in order to drive views back to your brand page.

The three panelists were:

Amanda Junker, digital director at Shape Magazine

Allison Robins, director of global public relations for Zumba Fitness

Doug Simon, president and CEO of D S Simon Productions

For Junker, using these platforms is all about engaging with your fans and fostering community. She says that Pinterest is central to their digital strategy, which Shape uses to both tell the brand story and increase site traffic. In one promotion, for users to participate in a contest, they had to follow Shape on Pinterest and pin one promotional item to their personal boards. According to Junker, it was red hot, with 2.9 million social impressions, 3,900 entrants, and 11,000 new followers.

Robins of Zumba recommends promotional partnerships; one particularly successful partnership for Zumba was with Billboard, which Robins says was great to promote the fitness method as well as the stars participating. She also advocates for live-Tweeting events for maximum exposure. For brands working with a PR agency, Robins stresses that the agency must get your story out on all social media platforms; diversifying social media usage and maximizing audience contact is key to growing an substantial fan base.

Visual must come first, advises Simon, who stressed that visuals are more important to users than ever before. When it comes to video, he surveys web influencers to determine how they are using video, and advises PR pros learn how to create content and video for Instagram. He also converts broadcast video from media promotion tours into Instagram-compatible video, with the added benefit that the video is high quality. He also emphasizes that production value isn’t limited to visuals alone; the audio must also be excellent, and the overall production value must equal the brand.

How does your organization use visual and video social media to tell its story?

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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

How Public Relations Fits in With Content Marketing

Friday, October 25th, 2013

How Public Relations Fits in With Content Marketing

by Alfred Cox*

The growing influence of content marketing turns every company into a media company, and with content marketing’s growing influence in marketing and PR, it’s time for every PR professional to learn how to create and implement a viable content marketing strategy.

I attended the Digital PR Summit in New York on October 16 and sat in on the session “Content Marketing Clinic: PR’s Role in Content Creation.” The two speakers were Simon Bradley, VP of marketing, North America for Virgin Atlantic Airways; and Albe Zakes, global VP of communication at TerraCycle.

Know thy audience

As with any marketing or PR campaign, one of the most important things in a content marketing strategy is to know your audience and what they want. Bradley encourages PR pros to figure out what it is the audience wants to read to help draw them to your content. Come at it from an angle of empathy with your audience, suggests Bradley. Empathizing puts you in their shoes and allows you to craft the content they seek.

Have a plot

Bradley and Zakes both emphasize the need to tell a story: your organization’s story and your product or client’s story. Content marketing strategy isn’t about throwing words onto a web page; it’s about crafting a story that targets your audience and draws them in. Sometimes you have to look for stories, which is why Bradley adds that you must also know how to generate great stories. But you can also generate stories by engaging with your audience, another key principle in successful content marketing.

Know what’s going on around you

It’s crucial to look at what your competitors are producing, says Zakes, so you know the playing field’s topography. Also look at third-party blogs and columns to get a sense of what the (more) unbiased segment is saying and feeling about your industry or organization.  Zakes suggest monitoring media by subscribing to newsletters, creating an RSS feed, and using BurrellesLuce to track your media coverage.

Use TV as a resource

Zakes recommends using television as a source for generating stories and content. It’s also an excellent way to get broadcasters to act as quality spokespersons. Check national programming and evaluate what would be the best fit to get your brand out, then start pitching.

Spread your narrative

Virgin Atlantic created video content, then ran it on in-flight screens on their flight to get their message out. While your organization may not have such a captive audience, consider whether there are ways to spread video content more directly, like a video newsletter or a PSA.

Work from your own narrative

Zakes recommends telling the story of your company then going beyond your own story; Bradley advises focusing on what you do best and amplifying. Both pieces of advice are two sides of the same coin – start from your organization’s narrative and build from there. Zakes advises mining your supply chain for content ideas and storylines and ultimately tying it in with your organization.

As Bradley says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” So it’s crucial to explain why your organization does what it does.

Provide free content

The goal of content marketing is to grow your organization’s media output, Zakes points out. The point of media output is to get people to read it and grow the brand, so don’t put your content behind a paywall or a paid subscription where your target audience isn’t likely to see it. Provide free, informative, how-to’s applicable to real life, and focus on the niche in which you want to be known.

Devising a viable long-term strategy, adapting that strategy to social media developments, and providing consistent content are three pillars of successful content marketing that will help turn your business into a driving force in content marketing.

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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