5 Questions You Should Ask When Selecting a PR Agency

You've put in all the time and effort building your company. You know that your technology and brand story is a major differentiator, and that having the right PR agency partner will raise your awareness and credibility, catapult you to the next level, help get your story out, earn you positive media raves, and compel your prospects to buy from you and partner with you.

You know the timing is right to bring on board a trusted PR agency. But how do you choose the agency that’s right for you? Asking the following five questions might just get you closer to your ideal agency!

 

1. What is Their Track Record for Helping Companies Like Yours?

Finding a PR firm that has helped companies like yours is helpful. Look at companies that the agency has on their past and present roster. Are they from your or related industries? Are they startups or Fortune 500s? If you are an AI startup, agencies with applicable AI experience will understand your offerings and ramp up more quickly, but equally important, it means that your team will have relationships with reporters at the media outlets where you want to be featured. Treat the agency’s track record like a portfolio and prediction of how the agency will work with your company.

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Topics: PR Strategies, PR Partner, PR Agencies

8 Tips for Creating Newsworthy Content

 

 

"Sorry, that's not news." Have you ever stumbled when a journalist tells you what you have to offer isn't newsworthy enough? You gulp. Here you are, with an exciting piece of news or scintillating insight, ready to strut your stuff, but they decide "it's not newsworthy" and don't give you a clue on what makes them tick. 

Well, we can't generalize for all media, but in our many years of working with hundreds, if not thousands of them, we have developed a good sense of the types of news and information that companies can create and package to pique the media's interest, earn their trust, and get written up in their news stories.

Here are 8 tips for creating newsworthy content:

1. Dazzle with Facts & Figures

Journalists love hard data. And that's a fact! Shining the spotlight on facts and figures, preferably with announcements about reports that shed light on industry trends, can entice a reporter to write about your organization as part of a larger trend story or even lead them to creating news just on your content. Survey data works great. When ACUHO-I's Annual State of ResNet Report was published earlier this year, media outlets picked up the story based on the strength of the numbers and infographic provided. One outlet, Campus Technology, even used the report in not one, but two articles, drawing from various newsy aspects of the report to cover multiple angles.

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Topics: PR Strategies, Content Creation, Media, Product Launch, PR Launch, Reputation, Newsworthiness, Newsworthy

5 Tips for Getting into Holiday Gift Guides

It's summer! While some of us are dipping our toes into warm sand on a sunny beach, did you know that magazine editors are already thinking of gifts under a Christmas tree? While it feels like the holidays are coming sooner every year, companies know that an early start to marketing their products is crucial for holiday sales. The National Retail Federation reported that winter holiday sales topped almost $700 billion in 2017, and a good chunk of that money was spent on products recommended in holiday gift guides - targeted lists of top products curated by journalists.

For companies looking to sell toy robots, fun gadgets, and Barbie drones, inclusion in gift guides is likely some of the most valuable coverage you can get. Many major magazines, like Wired and Entrepreneur, are already mapping out their guides, with blogs and news websites following in their wake. You could wait until holiday carols are playing non-stop on the radio to pitch, (last-minute gift guides accept until the week before), but then you might miss out on some great opportunities.

To prepare for the 2018 winter holiday season, here are five tips for getting into holiday gift guides:

1. Sniff Out Who to Contact

Finding the exact editor in charge of holiday gift guides can be a bit tricky, as they change all the time. A few of the largest daily newspapers and many smaller blogs will have the same person reviewing products for gift guides, but for many editors, it’s a one-time job. Your PR partner and tools like Cision have updated databases and lists of potential contacts so when you're building out your media list be sure to reach out so you know that you're contacting the right person. Sending your pitch and product to an editor who no longer in charge means you could miss your shot as your pitch gets lost in the shuffle.

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Topics: Public Relations, Media Event, Reputation, Pitching, Holiday Gift Guides

5 Ways to Turn Publicity Into Profits

It is remarkable how publicity -- high-profile media coverage, speaking opportunities, and awards --- leads to bigger share of mind, and a bigger piece of the market. Public relations builds buzz and triggers people to talk about you in ways that you can never buy through advertising. But once you get the publicity, how do you really make money from it?

Here are 5 ways to turn publicity into profits:

1. Shout it on Your Turf

Your company and insightful quotes from your CTO have just been included in a cover story in your most coveted industry media outlet -- one all your prospective customers read. Wait. They have given you an award too! Besides popping the champagne and doing the victory dance with your colleagues, what else should you do? Well, let's make sure you shout it! Broadcast it to everyone at the office, frame the media coverage, decorate your lobby with plaques and awards, bind the stories into books, and display them prominently -- lobbies, conference rooms, and office walls. Open your treasure chest and let your credentials shine loud and clear.

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Topics: Public Relations, Growing Business, Reputation, Publicity

The 8 Must-Haves of a Great Media Pitch

Great media coverage starts with a great email pitch. It introduces and excites the journalist to various facets of your company -- be it your products, your founders, your unique proposition for a changing industry, your customer successes and/or your insights or predictions about the future. A pitch needs to be short and sweet, informative but not overwhelming, but what does it actually look like? For our post today, we've whipped up an imaginary pitch to aid our discussion, and broken it down into the 8 must-haves of a great media pitch:

1. Make Them Feel Special

When it comes to pitching, personalization comes in two parts. First, while it may save time to list all your contacts in bcc and send one email, journalists find mass email blasts to be impersonal and often delete such emails without even looking at them. Avoid the bcc line and you'll avoid the spam folder. Second, make sure you use the name of the contact you are trying to reach. A vague "To whom it may concern" or (heaven forbid) the wrong name tells a contact that you haven't put in the time or effort to get to know who you're emailing. Let them know that you care by taking the time to personalize your email.

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Topics: Media Relations, Media, Email, Reputation, Trust, Pitching

5 Reasons Why Companies Outsource PR & Marketing

When you're running a company, trying to handle PR and marketing on top of everything else can be overwhelming. Sure, you know how important reaching out to your audience is, but between product launches, fundraising, sales prospecting, hiring, team building and the myriad of other things on your plate, the time just never appears. As much as you hate to admit it...you're not Superman or Wonderwoman.

We're here to tell you it's okay.

Great leaders know when to ask for help and how to delegate. So stop trying to grow that third shoulder to carry the weight of your company's marketing needs and instead share that load with a PR partner who knows what they're doing.

Here are 5 reasons why you should outsource your PR and marketing:

1. Delegate to Focus

Successful execution of your company's PR/marketing program is no side job. It's demanding work to be planning, strategizing, messaging, shelling out press releases, writing blog posts, case studies, social media, white papers, conducting media pitching and more. If it's not your only priority or even your area of expertise, it can weigh heavily upon your shoulders. Having a partner dedicated to this frees you up so you can focus on your mission-critical tasks.

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Topics: PR Partner, PR Agencies, Outsourcing

4 Foolproof Content Ideas

Building 365, or even 182, days of content can test the most creative and best writers among us. Sometimes, it might feel like no matter what you do, you can't fill the blank spaces on the calendar fast enough. Fret not. Here are some tips to create timely content for your blog, newsletters, contributed articles, infographics, white papers, etc.


1. Celebrate the Holidays!

With built-in themes and dates, holidays are fantastic sources of content inspiration. Centering your content around the anticipated needs of your prospective customers, like including some of your fun gadgets as gift ideas for Mother's Day, is a great way to build content in advance. Some image creators, like Canva, even have holiday templates months ahead of time that you can use for stress-free planning. No big holidays coming up? Look for other opportunities. If you're a security company, you can have a field day with National Cyber Security Awareness Month. 

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Topics: PR Strategies, Marketing, Content Creation, Contributed Articles, Digital Marketing, Newsletter, Blogging

8 Content Types to Boost Your Digital Marketing

Content is the main ingredient when you’re cooking up a luscious digital marketing strategy. Just like how a chef works with different ingredients, you can work with varying types of content to entice your customers.

Here are 8 types of content to boost your digital marketing:

1. Publish a Hearty Blog

Short for “weblog,” blogs function both as a type of content and a channel to publish that content. This makes your company blog an excellent hub for all of your other content. As a channel, a blog is a homemade meal to social media's restaurant. Preparing all of your ingredients seems like a hassle at first, but you get to decide how your blog looks, feels, and tastes to give it a personal touch that serves you and your audience.

2. Send a Sweet Treat E-Newsletter to their Inbox

We've talked before about how newsletters can grow your business, but it's also a great piece of a digital marketing strategy. When paired with other content, like a review of your month's blog posts or promoting your latest e-book, personalized newsletters make for a compelling one-two punch. Newsletters are a place where you can talk directly to one customer instead of having to feed an audience. This makes them intensely personal and a great way to connect.

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Topics: Press Releases, PR Strategies, PR Partner, Lead Generation, Content Creation, Social Media, Contributed Articles, Digital Marketing, Newsletter, Email, Blogging, White Paper, ebook

5 Signs that PR is Meant for You

A wise old woman once said, "There is more to life then meets the eye, including the success of your business. If fame and fortune are what you seek, then perhaps it would be wise to look to the lunar calendar."

Before you consult your friendly neighborhood fengshui master, the answers to a prosperous year may be found in the Chinese zodiac animals of public relations.

Here are five signs that PR is meant for you:

1. When You're Out & About, But Nobody Knows You

Industry trade shows are high-powered affairs where major players are conveniently located under one roof. So you mingle with a mission. But without any buzz about your company, you will most likely be dismissed with the networking kiss of death. "Oh...hum...what's the name of your company again?" These words strike you in the heart as your potential client nods, smiles, and walks away. If you are crying inside because you were branded a "nobody" among your peers, this, my friend, is a sign. Our zodiac advisor says it's time to summon the PR DOG, the best friend of man as well as the best friend of business.

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Topics: PR Strategies, Media Relations, Marketing, PR Partner, Lead Generation, Public Relations, PR Agencies, Digital Marketing

5 Ways To Build Trust

Face it—without trust, nothing gets accomplished. Prospective customers, partners, investors must first be convinced of the credibility of your company and products before they will sign on the dotted line. Wouldn’t it be great if they already know about your company and track record and seek you out even before you approach them? This happens when you build credibility for your organization and it becomes a trusted brand. But how do we build trust?

 

Here are Five Ways to Build Trust:

 

1. Get Ink in the Media

News sites, industry magazines, newspapers, selective blogs and other media are credible independent outlets that regularly mention companies and quote executives in their stories. When you’re quoted in the media, your credibility is enhanced, and your prospects’ trust in you deepens.

 

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Topics: Complimentary Consultation, Ethics, Reputation, Trust

Reenergize Your Business 

Read timely tips for PR and Digital Marketing.

The experts at SKC have decades of experience in promoting and elevating companies to higher levels of visibility and success. Subscribe to get the latest ideas on how to get from where you are today to where you'd like to be tomorrow.

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