Posted tagged ‘Marketing’

4 Tips to Building a Better Relationship with the Media

September 26, 2011

Relationships are key in our daily lives. For those of us who have chosen PR as our career, building relationships with the media is our lifeblood. Positive inclusions in a newspaper, magazine or on a key industry blog can help put our clients name on the map, as well as increase their revenue. As PR professionals, it is our job to make this happen.

But, you need to understand that generating positive coverage for your client isn’t about blasting mass emails, press releases or untargeted pitches out aimlessly. In reality, most journalists will tell you that there is nothing more frustrating than finding their inboxes filled with irrelevant pitches from PR professionals. To avoid this, don’t repeatedly spam them with information they can’t use. You need to be a reference that they can come to for help and to make this happen, you need to build a strong, ongoing relationship.

Here are four tips from my experience in working with journalists that will help you to succeed in building a strong relationship with the media:

Be Sure You Understand Their Outlet

Before developing your pitch, you need to first understand the outlet you’re pitching. As I mentioned before, nothing can be more irritating to journalist than to receive off-base pitches while they are under the pressure of meeting a tight deadline. As PR professionals, we must understand each of the outlets that we work with, as well as how they are structured and their timelines for story development. Take the time necessary to familiarize yourself with the outlets and stories that your targeted journalist typically covers to ensure that your client is relevant. Fully understanding who and what they cover will go a long way towards building a long-term relationship.

Always Personalize Your Pitches

No one likes impersonal communication. Make sure that you take that extra couple of minutes with every encounter you have with them to personalize your interaction. I highly recommend that you read up on what the journalist has recently covered and incorporate this you’re your pitch or general follow up. Keeping your pitch personal will let the journalist know that you understand their coverage area and is key to building a relationship. Also, every interaction doesn’t need to be a pitch. I’ve found that just checking in with a journalist to let them know that they recently wrote an interesting article can be very beneficial in the relationship building process.

Don’t Bait and Switch

Journalists are always on deadline and they don’t have time to play games. If you pitch a story, or source, that they are interested in, be sure you can deliver. Nothing can sour a relationship with a journalist faster than failing to meet their expectations by promising an interview with your clients CEO and then having a marketing director on the call. The same goes for story pitching. If a journalist goes into a call expecting one thing, and you turn around and talk about something completely different, chances are you might not get a second opportunity with the journalist.

Saying Thank You Goes a Long Way

After a story featuring your client appears, don’t forget to say thank you. This doesn’t have to be a long-winded, gushing letter. It could be a sentence or two that lets the journalist know that you appreciate the time and effort he or she put into the piece. This simple act of appreciation can be the difference between continued coverage with a journalist or not. Whenever a journalist covers one of my clients, I always send a short note thanking them for their time and offering the client up as a source for future pieces. This shows appreciation for their hard work and I for one know that it’s nice to be acknowledged.  I’m sure they do too.

Those are a few recommendations that I have from my personal experience. Do you have any other tips that work for you? How do you build strong relationships with the media? Please leave your thoughts below.

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New Voice for the Aflac Duck

April 26, 2011

…and no it’s not Ben Affleck! It’s Dan McKeague, a 36-year-old father of three from suburban Minneapolis.

I’ll definitely miss Gilbert Gottfried and his voice. We’ll see if McKeague can fill his shoes!

From CNN Money:

McKeague, a sales manager at a local radio station with some experience doing voice overs, was one of the many hopeful celebrities, voice over artists and average Joes that submitted over 12,500 live and online auditions to provide the distinctive voice of the Aflac Duck.

In a video posted Tuesday on YouTube, the CEO of the Georgia-based company, Daniel Amos, and two other senior executives are shown offering the job to McKeague over the phone. McKeague, wearing a dark suit and tie, gratefully accepts the job from what appears to be his home.

Another Look at “New Journalism” and an Introduction to Tackable

February 17, 2011

My colleague at McGrath/Power Public Relations has an interesting post up today which takes another look at the so-called “New Journalism” and Tackable, a social journalism platform launching in partnership with the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune and 31 other newspapers across the San Francisco Bay Area.

Please check it out at the link below. Good stuff!

From Pass the Mic:

Pitched recently by a former co-worker and journalist Luke Stangel at an SVNewTech Meetup, Tackable epitomizes citizen journalism.  And based on the response they are getting from the likes of the Mercury News and other top tier news outlets, there seems to be some real promise here.  By their own words, Tackable is designed to give you a live look at everything happening in your city, right now. Connect instantly with people witnessing what you’re interested in. News organizations use the platform to write better articles, faster.

A Perspective On Facebook’s Sponsored Stories

February 15, 2011

A very interesting blog post by my colleague Katie Peterson at McGrath/Power Public Relations today surrounding changes to Facebook policies affecting both business advertisements and personal accounts.

Please follow this link for more information.

From Pass the Mic:

Facebook is turning our Facebook status, personal opinions, and information into advertisements. While I understand there is controversy around the subject because there is no user “opt out” option, and some claim that it is an invasion of privacy, from the business perspective, Facebook’s latest marketing tool is ingenious.  In my opinion, and one that may not match that of my colleagues, I think the sponsored stories are actually very beneficial.

How to Deal With “Trolls”

February 11, 2011

Trolls can be a websites worst enemy (or at least to some it can feel that way). But it’s relatively easy to keep the harm done by their incursions to a minimum.

You have to develop a thick skin, learn to distinguish overly passionate fans from genuine troublemakers and use positive reinforcement to reward more-productive members of your community.

“Keep in mind, trolls feed off your tasty community-manager tears,” Caroline Chen writes.

I’ve heard the term “troll” a lot recently…and a lot of people mention it surrounding the Casey Anthony case. Those who go from site to site causing trouble. I don’t mind having discussions. But let’s remember to keep it clean everyone, OK 😛

From ClickZ:

Don’t let them see you cry. Many a troll has kept a novice community manager up at night, tears brimming and soul wounded at the sight of caps-locked, multi-exclamation-pointed freak-outs. (“WHOEVER DID THIS CAMPAIGN SHOULD BE FIRED!!!!!!!!”) But keep in mind, trolls feed off your tasty community-manager tears. Thicken that skin, screen-grab, and collect in a folder (Desktop > Trollsville) to laugh at later. Seriously. Community management can be an emotional battlefield, and sometimes the best thing you can do is control your own sanity by not reacting.

Troll fights happen. Sometimes, you’ll be blessed with the spectacle of a troll fight. Trolls will try to out-negative one another in the same thread. Do allow this to happen. They only serve to illegitimize the trolls and make your job easier. They’re also highly entertaining.

If Everyone Gets a Chance…

February 10, 2011

…could you please click on this link to check out my latest blog post.

It’s not necessarily what you might be used to reading from me,  but I’d really appreciate it if you could just click the link and if you have any thoughts on the content, please leave a comment. 🙂

Thanks!

Do You Know Trailer Choir?

May 12, 2010

If you don’t, you should!

It’s a Wednesday morning and I just feel the need for playing some Trailer Choir.

One of my all time favorite bands and they’ll be within two hours of here this weekend! King City, California!!!

Be sure to check them out on Twitter at @TrailerChoir