Posts Tagged ‘Washington Women in Public Relations’

WWPR Media Round Table: Digital Media Experts Dish on Working with PR

Friday, November 16th, 2012

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

  • 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.

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?

#PR, #Google+, #SocialMedia, #Measurement, #MediaRelations….Summer Reading Part 1

Monday, August 8th, 2011

What are you reading this summer? Has your Internet browser taken to you to some interesting ideas? Here are some of my favorites articles:

Public Relations

PR Measurement

Do you have any PR summer reads to share with the Fresh Ideas readers?

Crisis Communications in a Social Media World

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

wwpr-logoSome see social media as helping to create communications crisis situations. But effectively using it to get your messages out ahead of the story is the key to surviving a media maelstrom or crisis; this was the focus of a Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) panel on May 26. The panelists included:

Raj Aggarwal, president, PROVOC
Greg Kihlström, CEO, Carousel30
John Hellerman, partner and co-Founder, Hellerman Baretz Communications
Roz Lemieux, partner, Fission Strategy
Derede McAlpin, vice president, Levick Communications

Moderator: Rachel Henderson, account director, Public Affairs Group, Ogilvy PR

Monitoring The Media for mentions of your company or client and competitors allows you to have an early warning system, says McAlpin. If you start to see a lot of stories or posts coming in, there may be a problem. Lemieux added having a good relationship with your online community and constituents will help any organization to be a step-ahead of a crisis.

The panel offered several tips for social media crisis communications:


Personal Connections: Key to Professional Success

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Last week, Valerie Simon interviewed me for her BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas post, “Maximizing the Value of an Event.” In advance of #PRStudChat Twitter chat, where I was one of the special guests, I got to offer a few tips for enhancing your networking experience at industry events.

On the subject of networking, I’d like to dive in a little further….

My husband is currently looking for a job, so he has had to ramp-up his networking. It seems he’s not alone. Often at networking events, you will find a lot of job seekers. But, why wait until you need to network? Why not do it all the time? This way, when the need arises, you are already connected with many people who can help you. You can use networking to help you find mentors, collaborators, partners, and future colleagues. Remember, if you help someone, they are more willing to help you.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Lauren Lawson-Zilai, media relations manager, Goodwill Industries International. In the video below, she describes the many ways she has used networking to help her professionally.

There are many places you can network with other professionals—

  • Professional organization events
  • Conferences
  • Tweetups
  • Award events
  • Meals out with other professionals
  • Happy hour events
  • Places you volunteer

Once you’re there, here are a few tips:

  • Mingle often and don’t spend too much time with any one person or group of people.
  • Bring cards and be sure to ask for cards from the people you meet.
  • Write notes on the back of the card (if culturally appropriate) about the people you meet.
  • Follow-up! Keep the connection going by sending them a note and inviting them to connect with you via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Plaxo or another social media channel. (Note: you can connect your LinkedIn and Plaxo accounts, so you don’t have to send two invites.)

The same night as the #PRStudChat, I attended a Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) Speed Networking event, where I had a chance to meet several people in a short period of time. The next day, I had several emails from attendees about volunteering and working together. I was really impressed with the great follow-up!

Do you have any advice for other readers? What helps you expand your network?

It’s Public Relations Award Season!

Monday, May 17th, 2010
Flickr Image: Mags_cat

Flickr Image: Mags_cat

My email inbox, probably not unlike yours, is full of calls to enter local PR awards.  For instance, the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) DC Metro’s Silver Inkwell entries are due June 10. Entries for the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA-NCC) Thoth Awards are due June 18. To top it off, Washington Women in Public Relations’ (WWPR) next professional development lunch is on writing successful PR award entries.  And that is just the regional events. Nationally, PRSA, IABC, the Association for Women in Communications (AWC), PR News, PRWeek, and others have awards programs too.

Although entering takes time and cash, winning one of these awards helps prove the value of your hard work throughout the year. “Whether you’re an internal communicator, media relations specialist, work in interactive communications, or any other communication discipline, there is nothing like being acknowledged by your peers, so I urge my communication colleagues to enter. It’s a terrific way to showcase your work, as well as advance the profession,” says Shonali Burke, ABC, president, IABC-DC Metro.

Recently I asked Lindsey Rose, senior counselor, Carmichael Lynch Spong (a client of BurrellesLuce) why she thought it was important for industry professionals to submit to these types of awards. She explains how PR industry awards offer several perks for your clients, your agency and you, as a practitioner:

Your clients: Awards give them recognition for their accomplishments and help raise visibility and drive excitement for their programs. Awards solidify clients’ achievements in their industry and help bring their stories to life. Award summaries also often help clients merchandise their communications efforts/case studies within their internal organization.

Your agency: Awards showcase your leadership through best practices outlined in your submissions. Awards celebrate your relationship with your client and reinforce the client/agency partnership (and oftentimes further reinforce clients’ ongoing investment in your work). Winning awards can also open doors and help bring your agency to the table for new business opportunities.

You: As a practitioner, awards showcase your strategic capabilities from research and planning to execution and generating results. Compiling awards is great practice for any PR practitioner – no matter what your level. Winning awards is even more rewarding.

You can get hints and tips for preparing your awards entries on many of your local and national professional organization’s websites. Some great resources include:

  1. PRSA offers advice on preparing their Silver Anvil Awards on their website.
  2. IABC has a webinar on entering the Gold Quill Awards.

Personally, from having judged several awards programs and chaired a judging committee, I know the key to winning is evaluation and measurement from beginning to end of the project or campaign. The best well-written press release will not win an award without showing how the release had impact. The key is to start early, ideally from the beginning of your project or campaign, and continue to document and save information throughout the program.

So now that PR awards season is well underway, how are you preparing? Are there any suggestions you can add for making the most out of your submission?