Tag Archives: Public relations

Get Your Business in the News

We’re hosting a free 45-minute informational webinar to help you earn media coverage.

If you’re working in public relations or running a business or nonprofit, our workshop is perfect for you.

The webinar is on December 16, 2013 at 11:30 AM EST.

You can register here.

We hope to see you on Dec. 16!

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Filed under Branding, Investor Relations, Marketing, Media Relations, Press Release, Public Relations, Publicity, Social Media

How media savvy are you?

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Pencils up! Find out how media savvy you are with the short, fun quiz below:

1. In order to earn media coverage for your organization, you should:
(a) Start your own TV station
(b) Conduct a publicity stunt
(c) Offer real news

2. The best way to earn credibility with the media is to:
(a) Return calls promptly
(b) Provide accurate information
(c) Deliver great sound bites
(d) All of the above
(e) None of the above

3. Which of the following can help you evaluate whether your story idea is newsworthy:
(a) If your boss gives you the thumbs up to issue a news release
(b) If a reporter hangs up on you during your story pitch
(c) A Newsworthiness Score from My News Wizard
(d) Both (b) and (c)

Answers: 1 (c); 2 (d); 3 (d)For more information. go to our website and check out our new, patent-pending technology that gives you a “Newsworthiness Score” for your story idea, plus recommendations to improve your Score.

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Filed under Marketing, Media Relations, My News Wizard Proprietary Technology, Press Release, Public Relations, Publicity, Technology

Street smarts or book smarts?

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Many public relations students and new professionals ponder the question, “Should I go to graduate school or get more work experience?”

Essentially, the answer comes down to this: Which is more valuable?

The fact is, both are crucial to success. Let’s start with street smarts. PR, like journalism, is a deadline-driven environment. Public relations professionals often work in a fast-paced environment. On any given day, they are posting comments on their company’s social media sites, fielding questions from the news media, updating their website, and performing many other tasks.

In PR, sometimes you have to react quickly to events of the day. The more experience you have, the better your instincts for finding PR opportunities, as well as managing risks to your company’s reputation.

Experience prepares you to survive and thrive in this fast-paced environment. It gives you the wisdom, judgment and intuition needed to know when – and how – to react to events of the day.

Book smarts, or education, is equally important. In order to thrive in PR, you need both higher-order thinking and technical skills. By that we mean you need to develop the critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed to analyze a situation, think through alternatives, and make sound decisions.

You also must develop specific technical skills, such as multimedia storytelling and writing for various types of platforms (i.e., the web, newsletters, etc.). A good education can help you become a better writer and editor, and help you learn to write for different audiences.

Education can also expose you to some of the best thinking in your profession.

The bottom line: PR and communications are constantly evolving. Both education and experience can play a huge role in your success.

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Filed under Entry Level PR, Media Relations, Public Relations, Social Media

Do you need a policy on media relations?

You may think that only larger organizations need to have a formal policy on media relations. But in reality, even smaller businesses and nonprofits can benefit from having a policy.

First, a policy clarifies procedures for working with the media. It specifies the contact person at your organization for the press, as well as who should serve as spokesperson for your organization in interviews.

For example, the contact person could be in marketing and the spokesperson could be the CEO. Or, one person could serve as both the main contact and the spokesperson.

We recommend having one point of contact so journalists or bloggers know whom to contact if they would like to speak with someone from your organization.

Second, a policy offers consistency. It helps ensure that people within your organization deliver a consistent message during media interviews. Having two people within the same organization provide a journalist with different answers in response to the same question gives an inconsistent message and shows a lack of coordination.

No matter what size your organization is, taking some time to develop a media policy is well worth the effort. It can help you develop a stronger brand in the long run, and prepare you for media coverage as your organization grows.

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Filed under DIY PR, Media Relations, Public Relations, Publicity

Are you a good spokesperson for your business?

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Media coverage can generate greater awareness of your business and enhance your credibility (since you are being cited as an industry expert). But when the media calls, who should speak on behalf of your business?

If you have a designated communications person, that’s great. But if you’re running a small business, you probably don’t have someone dedicated just to media relations. And often, the media will want to interview you, the small business owner, anyway.

So, how do you prepare to meet the press? Follow these 3 rules to put your best foot forward:

Rule #1: Know your stuff. Because you own the business, you most likely already possess one of the most important characteristics of a good spokesperson: you know your business – and your industry – inside and out.

Rule #2: Know your audience. To whom are you speaking during the interview? You should know the audience of the media outlet. Is it a local television station that reaches the general public in your geographic region? Or is it an online trade publication that serves a more technical audience? Most importantly, know how the media outlet’s audience matches up with your customer base.

Rule #3: Know your message. What do you want your audience to remember? You should always go into a media interview with three key points that you want to communicate to your audience (and to the journalist). Emphasize those points throughout the interview by repeating them and coming back to them if necessary.

Follow these 3 rules and you should be on your way to representing your business well.

Visit our website and follow us on Twitter @MyNewsWizard.

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Filed under DIY PR, Leadership, Media Relations, Public Relations, Publicity

What would a PR agency do?

If you’ve ever sought media coverage of your organization, but don’t have a big budget to spend on public relations, you could always ask yourself, “What would a PR agency do?”

Well, here’s our answer:

First, they would try to find something about your business that interests a reporter. Something that is newsworthy. For example, they might tie your business to something already in the news, or find something truly interesting about your business.

Second, they would find the right reporter at your local or trade media outlet and send them a press release or an email summarizing the story about your business. They might include a list of people the reporter could interview at your business, or perhaps customers or others who have a relationship with your business.

Next, they would draft up a list of “talking points” for you to use during your interview. These are key messages about your business, product, event, etc. that you want to communicate to your audience.

Last, they might follow up with the reporter to see if he or she needs any further information for the story. So, for all you do-it-yourself business owners and nonprofit leaders out there who wear many hats, what else would you like to know?

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Filed under DIY PR, Entry Level PR, Media Relations, Press Release, Public Relations, Publicity

3 questions to consider before taking that new PR job

Are you an entry-level or early stage communications professional looking to start your career or move to another job?

We’ve gathered our wisdom on a few items you should consider before jumping at that job opportunity. All of these items can affect your day-to-day activities — and your job satisfaction.

1. How does senior management view communication? It helps to know as much as possible about how the top brass views the role of communications. Do they see public relations as playing a strategic role in the organization’s growth and success, or do they see communications as a supporting role in the company’s larger sales or marketing efforts? Similarly, find out as much as you can about how management views media relations and social media. Are they willing to meet the press and put themselves (or the organization) out there on social media? Do they see value in these tools?

2. What is the organizational culture? This is basically the day-to-day environment in which you will work. Does the organization spend a lot of time planning things in advance, or does it act more spontaneously in response to events of the day? There is always an element of spontaneity in public relations — sometimes, you have to react or respond quickly to events. You have to be nimble and seize the right opportunities to obtain media coverage or get your message out to your audience. However, spending all of your time reacting and little time planning can eventually result in burn out — and loss of quality control.

3. What is the communications mix? Does the workload fit well within your skill set, yet still provide growth opportunities? Ideally, you should be familiar with the main communication tools the organization uses to reach its various constituencies. For example, if video production is a key component of the organization’s communications mix, you should be familiar with how to write a solid script and visualize a story. However, you should have opportunities to learn new skills. Along these lines, consider whether you will have a mentor who can help you learn the industry and navigate you through the organization, or if you will be left to your own devices to learn the ropes.

There isn’t any right or wrong answer to any of these questions. How you answer depends on your work style, how you learn on the job, and what makes for a satisfying work experience. Good luck!

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Filed under Entry Level PR, Media Relations, Public Relations, Publicity