6 Hard Truths About PR

We hear you. The marketplace is brutal. Customers are fickle. Competitors are breathing down your neck. And worse, some prospects have never even heard of you! You need positive press coverage and brand awareness yesterday — there’s simply no time to wait.

We wish we could come in and magically wave a wand to get you some visibility right now. But, unfortunately, public relations doesn’t work this way. PR, like so many other business processes, rewards the companies who approach it with preparation, commitment and time.

Getting rid of misconceptions and myths — and facing these 6 hard truths about PR — will help you gain traction and take advantage of all it has to offer.

 

Truth #1: PR Takes Time

Effective PR takes time. Like the sales process and growing a pipeline, PR is something we can’t do one day and walk away from the next. Companies in the know start by building a solid messaging and story foundation, creating quality content and relevant news angles, and cultivating the right audiences. This takes ongoing commitment and a regular sharing of your story in a variety of interesting ways to achieve PR success. The best results come to the companies who stick with it.

 

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Topics: PR Partner, Public Relations, PR Agencies, Online Presence, Growing Business, Media, Reputation, Pitching, Why PR

14 Reasons Why Companies Embrace PR

When Steve Jobs received his first big investment for the Apple – $250,000 from angel investor Mark Markkula — it was meant for the development of the new Apple II product, the first major Apple product to hit the masses. However, before he started investing in new hardware, Jobs hired the best PR professional in Silicon Valley, Regis McKenna. Jobs knew before he could focus on building the products that would launch his company that he needed to have a PR plan in place.

Jobs embraced PR, and so do Richard Branson and Bill Gates. How about you? In fact, Gates once said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” And these business titans aren’t alone in their fervent faith in PR. Many executives from companies feel the same.

Here are 14 reasons why:

 

1. Master Your Message

If you don't tell your story, others will tell it for you. Avoid negative or misleading press by presenting the best version of yourself with public relations.

2. Differentiate Yourself

With so many products and services out there now, it is far too easy for customers to get overwhelmed. Good PR programs can make you stand out from the pack. As Seth Godin says, “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.”

3. Create Buzz (and Adoration)

Do you have a product coming out? Start building that fan and customer base by influencing the influencers. Stoke that excitement with social media, bloggers, journalists, grant interviews, offer reviews and you’ll see awareness evolve to adoration.

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Topics: Startup PR, Social Media Monitoring, Public Relations, Growing Business, Digital Marketing, Media, Reputation, Trust, Outsourcing, Publicity, Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Thought Leadership, PR reasons, Why PR

4 Reasons for Becoming a Thought Leader

Before the internet was everywhere, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had a vision of selling books, then everything, online. While people were happy with cell phones that were only used to make calls, Apple Founder Steve Jobs had a vision of a phone that was much smarter. And Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg had a vision for women in the workplace to “lean in” and take charge of their careers.

Bezos, Jobs and Sandberg…not only did they forge new paths, they were inspiring teachers and extraordinary thinkers. And they’ve made an imprint. They’re leaders that others most want to meet, learn from and emulate.

They are thought leaders.

Just telling people you are a thought leader doesn’t make you one. Thought leaders are people who have visions and strong degrees of expertise in particular subjects, topics, or issues. But more than that, they have publicly and relentlessly demonstrated their bona-fides over time by taking a stance, having a perspective, and voicing their views and opinions.

Being a thought leader takes time and effort. But by embarking on a strategic thought leadership program that integrates public relations and digital marketing, all the time and effort will be worth it, and here are 4 reasons why:

1) Become Well-Known by Those Who Matter

Imagine you are a startup and you’re trying to sell a new type of software that you believe will change how people interact with computers. Now imagine you’re the CEO well-known in this industry, speaking at events, being sought out by reporters and those seeking to learn more from you. How much easier will it be to have business opportunities come your way? Peer recommendations are still the most trusted across ages and countries, so having a foot in the door with your thought leadership is a great way to take advantage of that.

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Topics: Startup PR, Public Relations, Media, Reputation, Thought Leadership

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 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

5 Ways to Build Reputation

What separates the haves from the have-nots in the business world? The simple answer is "reputation," an intangible that fortunately isn't unattainable. Chances are you already have most of the components to build your company's identity and reputation. One thing is for sure, no matter how good your product or service, you don't stand a chance in the business world without a solid reputation.

Here Are Five Ways To Build Reputation:

1. Know Thyself

Laser-focus on the niche that gives your company its competitive advantage. Knowing where you stand in the competitive landscape is the first step to developing your company's key messages and a larger strategy for building your company's identity and reputation.

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Topics: PR Strategies, Social Media, Growing Business, Media, Presenter, Customer Care, Reputation, Corporate Culture

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