Posts Tagged ‘WWPR’

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:


The Art of Storytelling

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Communicators need to shift from providing information to showing outcomes in their writing. This was one of the points at a recent Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) professional development lunch to help PR professionals tell their organization’s stories effectively.  

Flickr Image: Jill Clardy

Flickr Image: Jill Clardy

Panelists Cindy Atlee, partner, The Storybranding Group; Nancy Belmont, CEO, Belmont Inc.;  Danny Harris, founder, People’s District, and moderator Donna Savarese, director of communications, Innovative Solutions Group revealed ways to find and craft an effective story. Atlee lead the panel by asking attendees to choose a character from a list (i.e. every person, lover, jester, caregiver, hero, etc.) they felt most like that day and then tell us why. The panelists agreed that offering role names can often encourage people to open-up about their emotions toward a product, place or organization, and you can then find the emotion behind the story.

Harris says stories can have a magical construction, where you don’t realize there is a call to action. He reminded the group every good story has three parts:

  1. Challenge
  2. Struggle
  3. Resolution

Belmont encourages creating and finding deeper connections with your audience. She added we should look for the “like.” The more detail you can get into the story, the likelihood you will find something in common with your audience and the more likely they will like your story. She used the example of her client the U.S. Army. They look to tell the story of the everyday soldier, who we all like, not the war.

Not all organization’s stories seem interesting, so Savarese says she uses case studies to tell her organization’s stories. She always looks to give the resolution meaning to everyday people. She encouraged adding visuals, pictures and video, to help pull the reader into the story.

(In a recent Fresh Ideas post, my BurrellesLuce colleague Tressa Robbins addressed the issue of overloading your press release with too much information, and gave some great tips for crafting a story-based release.)

The panel also encouraged communicators to look outside the communications department, when looking for an organization’s story. Everyone should be involved and recommended several books on effective story telling:

How have you used storytelling to promote your organization or client? What were the challenges? Do you have any advice for BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers?

Maximizing the Value of an Event

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Valerie Simon

Tomorrow, November 18, at 9pm eastern, my BurrellesLuce colleague, Debbie Friez, will be joining the #PRStudChat (PR Student Chat) community on Twitter as part of a special panel of experts who will be discussing events for professionals. Whether she is attending events on behalf of BurrellesLuce or helping to lead them as President of Washington Women in PR (WWPR), Debbie has an innate understanding of how to maximize the value of an event.

Debbie notes that social media offers many opportunities to create awareness and generate enthusiasm for events. “With Debbie Friez_8141WWPR, we try to post information and teasers on the event across many social media platforms, like Facebook fan pages, Facebook events, LinkedIn groups, LinkedIn events, and Twitter,” she shares. “If the speaker(s) have a Twitter handle, we like to promote it and our hashtag #WWPR. And, we encourage live tweeting from the event. We have found several free calendars on the Internet, which we use to promote our events.”

For students, and seasoned media relations and marketing professionals, alike, Debbie offers valuable advice — “In Washington, DC, networking is big, but not always taught in school.” She suggests that attendees looking to maximize learning and relationship building at events:

  1. Make a goal to meet X number of people at each event you attend. And, try to spend only two to five minutes talking to a new person before you move on to meet more new people.
  2. You should always carry business cards, even if you are in school, to help people remember you. After the event, send them a personal note and invite them to connect with you on LinkedIn or other social media.”

Have you found industry events to be an effective means of building new business relationships? What best practices would you recommend? What challenges have you encountered? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of Fresh Ideas.Valerie-Simon-photo

I hope you’ll join Debbie (dfriez) and I (ValerieSimon) Thursday evening for what is certain to be a dynamic conversation that helps bridge the gap between academia and the public relations profession. If you are new to Twitter chats, be sure and download Using Twitter Chat for PR Success available for free in the BurrellesLuce Resource Library.