Tag Archives: strategy

How to make news for your business…

Television Studio

We have some special advice for our Facebook fans who would like to obtain some favorable coverage of their business in their local news media.

Now that we are in November, several major holidays occur over the next two months. This marks a great time to tie your business – or your product – to the season. Need examples? Here are three:

  • Running a travel business? Call (or email) the features editor at your local newspaper and pitch a story about popular travel destinations for the holidays. Better yet, why not go for something unique and point out a place that’s off-the-beaten-path: the perfect place to go for the couple that wants to get away from it all during the holidays.
  • Selling jewelry? Do you have a unique piece of jewelry that has a story behind it? If so, call or email a business reporter at your local television news and explain why a particular piece of jewelry makes a unique holiday gift. What makes a piece of jewelry unique? Ask yourself these questions: Is there a history to the jewelry that would resonate with people in your region? Are the raw materials environmentally friendly? If none of these apply, is there a particular type of jewelry that is extremely popular right now? Can you explain why? If so, you may have the makings of a good story.
  • Are you a fitness expert, counselor or life coach? New Year’s is just around the corner. Call the health reporter at your local news station or the lifestyles or features editor at your hometown newspaper and pitch a story on New Year’s resolutions. Why do most people not keep them? What can someone do to increase the chances that they will stick to their resolution? What types of things should people be doing to start anew (from a work, family, diet, exercise or social perspective) at the start of a new year?
  • Keep in mind that your story pitch can’t come across as blatantly self-promotional, or else the media won’t be interested. How do you avoid that? Just be other-centered when you pitch the story. That means think about how the story you’d like to see in print, online or on TV affects others in your region. Make sure you explain that connection to a reporter.

    Make this the season to get your business some media coverage and hopefully some new customers. Even if you don’t get coverage, just by sending that email or making a phone call, you’ve put yourself on the radar screen of your local media. Sometime over the next few weeks is a great time to make that connection!

    Find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-News-Wizard/217711711701595.

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    Filed under Branding, DIY PR, Marketing, Media Relations, News Angles, Press Release, Public Relations, Publicity

    3 tips to integrate social media and news media

    socialmedia
    Today, most organizations have a social media presence. Social media allows you to cultivate a group of fans or followers who are truly interested in your organization.

    But if you want to extend your reach to a broader audience or even others in your industry, coverage of your organization in traditional news media can help you do exactly that.

    Here are three tips to help you use social media to gain more coverage in the news media:

    1. Make the right connections… and listen! Many reporters and editors are now using social media. Find journalists in news media outlets that cover your region and industry. Follow their tweets and blog posts, and know what they are writing about. Use social media to learn their interests and the types of stories they cover.

    2. Become a valuable resource. Point out to a reporter if something that’s relevant to your industry or region is generating a great deal of activity on social media. The journalist may want to check it out as a potential story. But make sure the activity affects the journalist’s audience in some way.

    3. Fill the news hole. Today, there are many opportunities to earn news media coverage of your organization – if you know how. Just as cable news ushered in the 24-hour news cycle in the 1990s, social media has ramped up the quantity and pace of news coverage. That means journalists need information and story ideas for their tweets and blogs. On Twitter, follow hashtags on trending topics in your industry, then take the conversation with a journalist offline by sending an email with your take on events. Point reporters to your blog (if you have one) or Facebook fan page, and be a good source of information not just on your business, but on your industry.

    Coverage in the news media can expose your organization – and your message – to others who might want to follow you, purchase your product, or become involved in your effort.

    And, of course, we all know that to be effective you need to reach your audience as many times as possible, using as many communication channels as possible.

    What are your thoughts??

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    Filed under DIY PR, Marketing, Media Relations, Press Release, Public Relations, Publicity, Social Media

    Where does publicity (and PR) fit into the marketing mix?

    Planned Obsolescence - New Product Stands Out
    Marketing is more complicated than ever. From search engine optimization to content marketing and traditional advertising, opportunities to communicate key messages to your target audience abound.

    Where does news media publicity fit into the marketing mix?

    Just like social media, working with the news media is one way of getting your message out. A well-placed feature or news article can increase awareness of your organization or product.

    Like other marketing vehicles, news media coverage can be very broad or segmented, depending on the media outlet.

    In addition, so-called earned media coverage can help you build credibility and develop a strong brand. It doesn’t shout out, “Look at me!” in a way that other forms of promotion might. And media coverage can come at a lower financial cost than advertising, promotions, direct mail, etc.

    But remember that as part of their story about your organization or product, reporters will often call customers or others in your industry for comment. What they say about you can shape the story.

    That’s why good public relations — distinct from publicity — is so important. Ongoing communication with your customers, vendors, suppliers and others (keeping them informed of new developments and responding to their concerns) can help solidify a good reputation and ensure that when a journalist calls, others say positive things about your organization.

    That is one of the best ways to market your organization.

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    Filed under Branding, DIY PR, Marketing, Media Relations, Public Relations, Publicity, Social Media

    Building media relationships…

    building

    For all of you businesspeople, fundraisers, sales and communications professionals out there, you know that in order to be successful you must do one thing really well: Build relationships.

    The same is true in generating media coverage for your organization. It takes time to build relationships with journalists. But when you do, the rewards can be great. Here’s some advice to start building relationships with journalists:

    Learn who covers your industry for your regional and trade media. Local print reporters often have so-called “beats” such as business, health and fitness, arts, sports, and so on. Find out who is writing about your area of expertise and follow their stories.

    While some television stations have beat reporters, most broadcast media rely more on “general assignment” reporters — meaning that one day they may be covering a court room trial and the next they may be covering a fire. Regardless, be familiar who covers what topics in your local media. The same holds true for trade media. Know the major trade media outlets in your industry. Keep an eye out for who covers topics that relate to your business.

    Once you have identified journalists of interest, read or watch their stories and follow them on Twitter. Keep an eye on the kinds of stories they cover and what topics interest them. This will help you tailor your media outreach efforts toward the right reporter.

    Building relationships in any endeavor takes time. Begin the process with reporters by passing along items of interest, providing information about your industry, and letting them know that you’re willing to offer comment on breaking news in your industry.

    Over time, the journalists you reach out to may call on you to provide context on developments in your industry. In the process, you will not only build relationships, but awareness of your organization and its efforts.

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

    5 steps to get press coverage

    5steps
    Getting media coverage for your business or nonprofit can be difficult. Newsrooms can receive hundreds of press releases per day. How do you make yours stand out? Follow these five steps to help you get that much-coveted coverage.

    1. Pick something you want to promote. Is it a product, event or cause? Is it something happening within your organization or some action you are taking?

    2. Decide if you want press coverage in your local or industry media. Are you selling your product locally, or promoting something that is happening locally? Or does your outreach effort extend beyond your local region? Are you selling to the general public, or to a specialty audience (i.e., electronics manufacturers)? For specialty audiences, you’ll probably want to focus more on trade media outlets.

    3. Find a news angle for your story. That means finding something to interest a journalist in your product, event, issue, etc. – whatever you are trying to publicize. Think about what makes your product or event different. For example, is your product new and does it solve a problem? Are you using some unusual materials or process to make it? Is there an interesting story behind your product? Or, are you hiring new employees (and contributing to the economy in your region)? Are you donating something valuable (including your time) to a community group? (A brief aside: For those wanting more, our main application points you to 17 different news angles – or ways to make news for your organization). When finding a news angle for your story, remember two criteria: First, your news item must be of interest to people in your region (if you want local coverage) or industry (if you want trade press). Second, you should be able to describe the effect or impact of your product, event, issue, action, etc. on your region or industry.

    4. Summarize your story. You can do this in an e-mail (or better yet, a press release). Include what is happening, who is involved, where and when the story takes place, and why it is meaningful.

    5. Send your story to a journalist. Send your summary or press release via e-mail to a journalist at your local or trade media who covers your region or industry. There are lots of media lists out there, but to make things easy, if you have a media outlet in mind (local or trade), look up their website and find the contact information for submitting a story. You can always call the main news desk, tell them what your story is about and ask who you should contact about covering the story. Follow up within a day or so to make sure the journalist received the info.

    Write to us at info@mynewswizard.com and let us know if this helps!

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    Filed under DIY PR, Media Relations, My News Wizard Proprietary Technology, News Angles, Press Release, Public Relations, Publicity

    The Art of the Sound Bite

    press conference

    Being quotable can earn you a top spot on a journalist’s list of go-to sources.

    So, what makes a good sound bite?

    Ideally, it should be something your audience can remember. That’s why making a good comparison or conjuring up a strong visual image can make for a compelling sound bite.

    But you also want to make your point. A good sound bite should deliver your message in a powerful and easy-to-understand way.

    A quick caveat: If you make a comparison, make sure it is a valid and appropriate one. It must apply to the situation — not be too dramatic or overstated, and certainly not something inappropriate to the situation.

    The next time you prepare for that big media interview, here are some tips for mastering the art of the sound bite:

    Keep your responses short. Television news packages can run on average from about 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Within that time, the reporter needs to explain the story and provide reaction. That means your air time may only be 10 seconds or less. Even in print and online, your comments are likely to be given no more than one or two sentences in a story.

    Practice before the interview. Always go into an interview with three key messages that you want to deliver. Write down your messages and then refine what you want to say. Ask a colleague to conduct a mock interview with you so you can practice delivering the responses and thinking on your feet when the reporter asks follow-up questions.

    Don’t talk too fast. Talk slowly enough so that the reporter can get everything down. Longer, complex sentences can be hard for busy print reporters to write down, especially if you continue talking after you’ve expressed the thought. A television audience can miss your point as well if you talk to fast and do not speak clearly.

    The media will return to you for comment if you can provide pithy, succinct quotes that capture the essence of something, and you will be representing your organization well if you are delivering a key message at the same time.

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    Filed under Crisis Communications, Media Relations, Public Relations

    A recipe for getting your message out

    The Daily News

    What is the right mix of social and traditional media to use in public relations outreach?

    Should you forgo news media in favor of communicating through social media? Can a tweet or Facebook post replace a news release?

    The answer comes down to one simple factor: reaching your audience.

    PR, marketing and communications professionals all want to deliver specific messages to their audience. They then want their audience to understand, remember, and act on those messages.

    Will you reach every potential customer, donor, stakeholder, business partner, taxpayer, etc. using just one channel of communications? Probably not.

    Do most organizations have the reach they need on social media to communicate with the constituencies that are important to them? How effectively you reach your audience via social media depends in large part on the size and composition of your following, as well as your ability to get retweets, likes and other interactions. Reaching an audience through social media can be hit or miss, but when you do, social media gives you the ability to interact with your audience online.

    Traditional news media outlets still have the audience and credibility. Look at the number of Twitter followers for CNN Breaking News (over 13 million), The New York Times (more than 9 million), Wall Street Journal (greater than 3 million), and the Washington Post (over 2 million). That does not include the number of people who read these news outlets in print and online.The best communications programs use a mix of vehicles to communicate.

    So the next time you’re looking to get the word out, go ahead and throw some social and traditional media into your communications blender, mix, and serve.

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    Filed under Media Relations, Public Relations, Social Media