Posts Tagged ‘Debbie Friez’


Pitching the Media – The 2014 Edition

Thursday, October 16th, 2014
Pitching the Media BurrellesLuce Public Relations PR Software Media Monitoring news clipping

L to R: Hammerand, Drew, Putz, Lebens. Schwartz, Ojeda-Zapata and moderator Rachanda Hall. Photo by Debbie Friez

by Debbie Friez*

Your pitch needs to be a great relevant headline in the subject of your email. (“Yes, I know,” I think as I listen to yet another media panel. But, do I always follow this advice?) So, I continue to listen to the panel of six journalists for this combined Minnesota PRSA, NIRI Twin Cities and Business Wire event. The 2014 edition of this annual event turned out to be one of the best media panels I’ve attended.

Let’s get it out there. Do I call, email, tweet, Facebook, Google Plus message or text a journalist? They all agreed, email is the best option. Duchesne Drew, managing editor for operations, Star Tribune, reminded the audience you can usually find reporter’s emails on the publication’s website, and getting to the right reporter will make all the difference.

The follow-up call to see if they received the press release, on the other hand, is usually annoying. (And all PR folks hate that call!) But, several panelists agreed, they are extremely busy with very full email boxes, so reaching out via different means (even a phone call) is not a bad idea if you don’t get a response in a few days. Andy Putz, executive editor at MinnPost, says you can call him, but avoid calling him in the morning. Julio Ojeda-Zapata, a technology writer for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, is actually quite active on Google Plus, and, if you follow him on Twitter, he’ll follow you back, so you can direct message, if needed. Other panelists said it is OK to find them on social media and text (yes, text!) them if you have a relationship and their cell phone number.

As young PR novices, we learned we should take reporters out for an informational coffee to develop a relationship for future stories. It seems the practice is still worthwhile for most reporters working a beat. Jim Hammerand, digital editor at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, says his day is very busy, so he finds breakfasts or happy hours work better for him.

Embargoed releases are fine, if the reporter has agreed to it ahead of time. (Wow! I’m thinking about all the times I’ve seen these go out blindly!) But Ojeda-Zapata says he doesn’t have a problem with embargoes.

The sportscaster of the group, Dave Scwartz, KARE-TV, doesn’t usually use bloggers for sources. In the sports world, he finds most are just big fans. He also assured us that sports guys do wear pants. (I’m not sure we found that information relevant?)

The actual hard deadline is less relevant in the 24/7 newsroom, although some still exist. Hammerand commented on the need to fill the Business Journal’s 3 p.m. daily email and the paper edition needs information one to one-and-a-half weeks in advance. Nancy Lebens, editor for Minnesota Public Radio News, has about 30 newscasts to fill, so she is always looking for stories at all times of the day.

Reminders from the panel for your own organization’s website media room:

  • Include complete contact information (not the generic media@domain.com) on their organization’s website.
  • If you don’t want your mobile number on your website, be sure to have it in your voice-mail.
  • Remember to post press releases as you send them out, so they can confirm information.
  • If your company has a product, post easy-to-find and downloadable images and background information.
  • Don’t make your media room password protected, where the reporter is required to sign-in. They may not do it.

Even in this digital age, reporters and PR folks still need each other, and we can continue to learn from each other. Happy pitching!

*****

Debbie Friez serves as tech editor for the Capitol Communicator and is also a consultant. Previously, she worked as Vice President, Major Accounts for BurrellesLuce. She originally joined BurrellesLuce at their Minnesota Clipping Service affiliate.

Friez was a senior account director for West Glen Communications, a broadcast PR services company. While at West Glen Communications, she was a frequent contributor to the DC Communicator newsletter.

She has a broad understanding of the technologies that are transforming the marketing and communications profession. She serves on the advisory board for the Capitol Communicator, the membership committee for the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, the national marketing committee for the Association of Women in Communications, and is a member and past president of Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR).

 

 

PR Job Hunting Skills: Tips from the Recruiters

Monday, February 17th, 2014
flickr user photologue_np under CC BY license

flickr user photologue_np under CC BY license

Professional skills are important for landing a job interview, but Kathryn Duncan of CLICK Talent says when it comes down to it, you need to be a good fit for the organization’s culture. Agencies are looking for people who are professionally smart, not just people with a long list of skills.

Last month, Minnesota PRSA sponsored a panel of recruiters to demystify the recruiter/PR professional relationship. The panel, which also included Gillian Gabriel of Gillian Gabriel & Associates, Elizabeth Laukka of Elizabeth Laukka Recruiting, and was moderated by Rebecca Martin of Beehive PR, emphasized that job hunters need not be afraid to engage a recruiter. Recruiters are paid by the employer, and are always looking to increase the pool of recruits. It is best to engage a recruiter before you actually need one.

Here are some recruiter tips for creating a resume:

  • Demonstrate how you moved the business forward.
  • Articulate how you are a thought leader and a strategic thinker; don’t just say you can do strategy.
  • Show what impact you made; don’t just create list of tactics.
  • Remember to include your clients’ names.
  • Be sure to emphasize and illustrate high-demand skills like measurement and SEO.

Remember to be nice and build relationships with hiring managers and recruiters. It is still important to write thank you notes.

All the recruiters use LinkedIn extensively, so be sure to have a profile and keep it fresh and complete. If you list your LinkedIn and Twitter pages on your resume or business card, be sure to post professionally. All panelists agreed Facebook is not a professional recruiting tool.

Use common sense and don’t:

  • Chew gum at an interview
  • Counter a job offer with a text – call!
  • Use your phone at the interview
  • Wear flip flops – wear a suit and professional shoes

Have patience. Employers are cautious with hiring and will tend to wait until they find the perfect person, says Gabriel. As with all of PR, finding a new position and networking is about relationship building, so to the best of your ability, remain patient, optimistic, and don’t neglect your networking.

Debbie Friez BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Blog Debbie Friez serves as tech editor for the Capitol Communicator and is also a consultant. Previously, she worked as Vice President, Major Accounts for BurrellesLuce. She originally joined BurrellesLuce at their Minnesota Clipping Service affiliate.

Friez was a senior account director for West Glen Communications, a broadcast PR services company. While at West Glen Communications, she was a frequent contributor to the DC Communicator newsletter.

She has a broad understanding of the technologies that are transforming the marketing and communications profession. She serves on the advisory board for the Capitol Communicator, the membership committee for the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, the national marketing committee for the Association of Women in Communications, and is a member and past president of Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR).

Friez is a graduate of the University of North Dakota. She lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband Paul Croteau, their two cats, Smokey and the Bandit, and Gus, the dog.

LinkedIn: dfriez Twitter: @dfriez

Social Media Case Studies: The Candy and Jerky Stories

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
by flickr user jessdamen

by flickr user jessdamen

The real value of content (the fuel of online media) is gaining the attention of the reader. This was one of the insights from David Witt, Mid-West leader at WCG, former Director of Global and Digital Marketing and Brand Public Relations at Hershey, and former Senior Manager of Consumer Engagement and Brand PR at General Mills. Witt spoke at the Minneapolis St. Paul Social Media Breakfast on November 15. Kathleen Petersen, media director at Space150, also spoke about her work on a campaign for Jack Link’s Beef Jerky jerky. The session focused on social media campaign case studies.

Promoting the Candy in Orange

When starting to work on the Reese’s brand for Hershey, Witt’s team began by looking at the analytics. He said he needed to understand where the conversation was happening on social media. They discovered 40 percent of the conversation was around recipes, so his team promoted user generated content (photos and recipes) on Facebook. One cake post generated 172,499 likes and over 5 million impressions.

The brand did not have a blog, but helped to promote Reese’s recipes and ideas on other blogs. They also started a Twitter account, which worked to extend the reach of the other posts.

Because people congregate around their passion, Reese’s partnered with the NCAA 2013 basketball championship for the #LetsGoReeces campaign. Their website traffic increase five times with the help of social media.

Summer is a slow time for candy, so the Hershey team created the “Summer of Love” campaign with lots of fun art around summer and the image of the peanut butter cup, and included a Facebook contest. The images were promoted via their social media properties with engagement increasing by 150 percent.

A Bigfoot Halloween

Jack Link’s Beef Jerky chose the Space150 team to lead their social media shortly before Halloween. Petersen says they were looking to increase fans, quickly.

The Space150 creative team was sent into the woods with 10 props, three creatives, one Sasquatch and one iPhone to shoot video and photos to be used in a Sasquatch Trick or Treat promotion.

The premise: fans sent a message via Twitter or Facebook to Jack Link’s letting them know if wanted to #tricksasquatch or #treatsasquatch. To extend their reach, Jack Link’s sent email messages to a fan list and a purchased email list.  The Space150 team created fun responses, including photos (utilizing the consumer’s avatar when possible) or video replies and posted them to the @me_sasquatch Twitter handle or the Facebook fan page.

The team discovered the videos took longer to create and approve, so Petersen recommends if you have a limited budget to stick with images only. She also advised working out the approval process with your client ahead of time in order to speed up the turn-around time.

The campaign also targeted a few celebrities who talk about Bigfoot or beef jerky on social media, like pro wrestler James Storm, who replied with a video.

The campaign resulted in 250 personal responses, an 87 percent increase in Facebook comments, 7,500 YouTube views and over 1 million incremental impressions.

What’s one of your most successful social media campaigns?

Debbie Friez BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Blog Debbie Friez serves as tech editor for the Capitol Communicator and is also a consultant. Previously, she worked as Vice President, Major Accounts for BurrellesLuce. She originally joined BurrellesLuce at their Minnesota Clipping Service affiliate.

Friez was a senior account director for West Glen Communications, a broadcast PR services company. While at West Glen Communications, she was a frequent contributor to the DC Communicator newsletter.

She has a broad understanding of the technologies that are transforming the marketing and communications profession. She serves on the advisory board for the Capitol Communicator, the membership committee for the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, the national marketing committee for the Association of Women in Communications, and is a member and past president of Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR).

Friez is a graduate of the University of North Dakota. She lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband Paul Croteau, their two cats, Smokey and the Bandit, and Gus, the dog.

LinkedIn: dfriez Twitter: @dfriez

Old Truths and New Ideas for Pitching the Media

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Old Truths and New Ideas for Pitching the Media BurrellesLuce Fresh IdeasThe opportunity to meet a reporter or blogger you need to pitch and interacting personally is hard to pass up. For this reason, media panels draw PR folks like flies to honey. I attended two such panels this past month. One was hosted by Business Wire and the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) Twin Cities Chapter, and the other by Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (MNPRSA). The NIRI panel focused on business media editors and engaging them in a digital and social world. The MNPRSA focused on blurred media lines and included a non-traditional media panel. Here are some of the key points from each of the panels.

The truths in pitching

  • Use email as your first resource and keep the subject short and to the point.
  • Yes, journalists are all on social media, but it is probably not the best place to pitch them. They are using social media to find story ideas and share their work.
  • Be professional.
  • Don’t send automated emails with “Dear (wrong name or no name).” It’s obvious it’s not a personal email.
  • Find a way to tell them what is different. Give them the story behind the story.
  • Photos can differentiate your pitch, but don’t make them look like an ad.
  • Bullets and lists in your email pitch make it easy to digest.
  • Follow-up calls are annoying, but they often work.

The new and interesting

  • Consider differentiating your pitch to a web publication with a professional video that is not sales oriented.
  • Social media buzz around an ad can lead to media coverage.
  • Missy Berggren, Marketing Mama, says a Tweet to follow-up with her on a pitch is OK with her.
  • Reporters often go around the PR person and use social media to confirm stories. Dirk DeYoung, editor at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, used LinkedIn to confirm layoffs at Target.
  • Most of the bloggers are more open to having you reach out to the editor and various contributors than traditional outlets, because there are fewer full-time staff at the blogs.

David Fondler, business news editor at St. Paul Pioneer Press, reminds folks to own their negative stories, because any employee can confirm it to an editor on Twitter at any time.

Creating good quality content on your corporate or personal blog is a great way to get your message to consumers. Smaller specialty blog posts can lead to attention by larger blogs or mainstream media. MinnPost has the Minnesota Blog Cabin, where they highlight one Minnesota blog with good writing each day.

Need More?

I created a Storify of the NIRI event. Missy Berggen wrote a great post with tips for working with bloggers on her blog.  Plus, check out tips for pitching broadcast media and smart tips for media pitching success.

Debbie Friez BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Blog Debbie Friez serves as tech editor for the Capitol Communicator and is also a consultant. Previously, she worked as Vice President, Major Accounts for BurrellesLuce. She originally joined BurrellesLuce at their Minnesota Clipping Service affiliate.

Friez was a senior account director for West Glen Communications, a broadcast PR services company. While at West Glen Communications, she was a frequent contributor to the DC Communicator newsletter.

She has a broad understanding of the technologies that are transforming the marketing and communications profession. She serves on the advisory board for the Capitol Communicator, the membership committee for the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, the national marketing committee for the Association of Women in Communications, and is a member and past president of Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR).

Friez is a graduate of the University of North Dakota. She lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband Paul Croteau, their two cats, Smokey and the Bandit, and Gus, the dog.

LinkedIn: dfriez Twitter: @dfriez

The Keys to Facebook Campaign Success: Scale, Targeted Reach, and Measurement

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

The Keys to Facebook Campaign Success: Scale, Targeted Reach, and Measurement - BurrellesLuce Fresh IdeasBecause of its size, Facebook allows businesses to scale, or reach full audience objectives, with just one media partner. Speaking to the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) and Minnesota Public Relations Society of America (MNPRSA), Joe Benarroch, manager of corporate communications and international ads at Facebook, invited the audience to think about the intersection of scale (over 1 billion users), targeted reach, and measurement. He says when Facebook speaks with partners (businesses and organizations of all sizes) they emphasize the importance of thinking about the people, process, and technology, which can bring creativity at scale.

“Don’t think in silos,” said Benarroch.  All areas of an organization – PR, marketing, advertising, media, creative, brand, and others – need to work for a common brand message. Facebook conducts “Publishing Garages” with large brands, which bring together all these organizational areas and their agencies to re-engineer the process of creating content. One agency in attendance said the process has been a great success for their client.

We understand Facebook has the scale of users, and it also has the targeted reach. When you combine them, you have the reach of a mass media with the ability to target your primary audience’s demographic(s). You also have the ability to cluster people together.

Benarroch shared some of Facebook’s best practices:

  • Start with business objectives (and not a social metric)
  • Structure for success (include the right people)
  • Art and Science (prove the effectiveness of the campaign)
  • Leveraging @ Scale (you can reach large targeted audiences)
  • Ship & Iterate (Unlike traditional channels, you will get immediate feedback on your content, so you can refine and improve it at any time.)

Think Mobile

Facebook says they are a mobile first company, so companies need to think about how their content will look on mobile. Out of the 128 million U.S. Facebook users, 101 million are active daily mobile users (469 million globally are on mobile daily).  On average, Facebook users check Facebook 14 times per day, and 46 percent will even check it while they are shopping or running errands.  The time spent on the desktop is 320 minutes per month compared to mobile, which is 785 minutes per month. Additional usage stats are available on Tech Crunch.

Because so many people are accessing the Facebook newsfeed via mobile, businesses can still reach them when they are on their summer vacation, which is normally a slow time for other media.

When it comes to content, remember to make it “thumb friendly” or consumable by thumbs (mobile-friendly). The Lay’s Potato Chips “Do Us a Flavor” campaign‘s reviewing of new flavors is a great example. The campaign was easy to share, easy to respond to, and it provided Lay’s with new flavors and a new product to market.

What’s your Facebook strategy? How are you including it in your media mix?

Debbie Friez BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Blog Debbie Friez serves as tech editor for the Capitol Communicator and is also a consultant. Previously, she worked as Vice President, Major Accounts for BurrellesLuce. She originally joined BurrellesLuce at their Minnesota Clipping Service affiliate.

Friez was a senior account director for West Glen Communications, a broadcast PR services company. While at West Glen Communications, she was a frequent contributor to the DC Communicator newsletter.

She has a broad understanding of the technologies that are transforming the marketing and communications profession. She serves on the advisory board for the Capitol Communicator, the membership committee for the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, the national marketing committee for the Association of Women in Communications, and is a member and past president of Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR).

Friez is a graduate of the University of North Dakota. She lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband Paul Croteau, their two cats, Smokey and the Bandit, and Gus, the dog.

LinkedIn: dfriez Twitter: @dfriez

Debbie Friez serves as the Tech Editor for the Capitol Communicator and consultant. Previously, she worked as Vice President, Major Accounts for BurrellesLuce. She originally joined BurrellesLuce at their Minnesota Clipping Service affiliate.

Friez was a senior account director for West Glen Communications, a broadcast PR services company. While at West Glen Communications, she was a frequent contributor to the DC Communicator newsletter.

She has a broad understanding of the technologies that are transforming the marketing and communications profession. She serves on the advisory board for the Capitol Communicator, the membership committee for the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, the national marketing committee for the Association of Women in Communications, and is a member and past president of Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR).

Friez is a graduate of the University of North Dakota. She lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband Paul Croteau, their two cats, Smokey and the Bandit, and Gus, the dog.

LinkedIn: linkedIn.com/in/dfriez Twitter: @dfriez