Tuesday, December 27, 2011

20 Things PR Clients Should Know

Want to be a good PR client? Here are 20 things every PR client should know.
By Elizabeth Friedland | Posted from PRDaily: December 21, 2011

Refill the cup of coffee, take a deep breath, and know you're not alone.

1. No, we don’t know every journalist everywhere across the universe—not that it matters. Even journalists whose weddings we were in will turn down our pitches occasionally. 

2. A good publicist doesn’t have to be based in New York or Los Angeles to be effective. Ever heard of this crazy thing called email? 

3. Few things actually warrant a press release … 

4. … And a creative PR professional can still brainstorm ways to achieve your goals without one. 

5. Stop insisting we call the media. Most of them hate this and specifically request we contact them exclusively via email. 

6. PR is not free advertising. PR is not free (or cheap), period. 

7. Don’t ask us to pitch an idea and then not be available for an interview. If you want the press, we need you to be ready to talk to the media at a moment’s notice. 

8. What matters most to you may be totally irrelevant to a journalist. Remember that it’s what they—not you—think is important that matters in the end. 

9. Publicists cannot control the end product. It is unethical for us to ask, to see, or to proof a copy of the story beforehand, or to dictate what the reporter can and can’t say. Doing so will backfire—trust me. 

10. Social media is more than Facebook and Twitter. 

11. If you insist on running all tweets and posts past your legal department, don’t expect results from your social media strategy. 

12. If a journalist says he or she is not interested in a story, that person means it. Reaching out again will further annoy the reporter and guarantee you’ll be ignored the next time. 

13. Don’t measure your PR results in ad equivalency rates. Do you want to know you had $500,000 of ad equivalent value in negative press, or would you rather know 80 percent of the press you received was positive in tone and accurate in its messages? 

14. No, we’re not writing any more “…pleased to announce...” ledes. 

15. Ditto for “We’re so excited/thrilled/happy” CEO quotes. Pretend you’re explaining the story to a friend over drinks, and then give us that quote. 

16. There’s no need for a logo and boilerplate for anyone who so much as breathed in a room where the project was discussed. 

17. PR is a process. You know who hits it big overnight with a story on the “Today” show? Criminals, naughty celebrities, and shark-attack victims. Do you want to be one of them? 

18. You can’t “make” something go viral. That’s why it’s called “going viral.” 

19. An ethical PR pro is not a spin doctor. Do not ask us to lie, spin the truth, evade the press, or hide your dirty laundry. 

20. We love you. You’re our favorite client. You’re the only one we work on all day. 

Elizabeth Friedland is a senior public relations manager at Bandy Carroll Hellige in Indianapolis. She also blogs for Talent Zoo Media, where a version of this story first appeared. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

C. Hope Clark: If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster

C. Hope Clark: "If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster." - Clint Eastwood.

I love Clint Eastwood. Tell me he directed a movie, and I'm there. There's something about his self-assurance. Even at 81 years old, he's a presence. If you read anything about him,you realize he liked to take a stand and strike out firmly with it. He makes a goal and pours 110 percent into it. Most writers fear doing so, in need of guarantees or assurances that their attempt will reap reward. Risk isn't in their genes.

You may say that Clint Eastwood can afford to take risks. Once up on a time he couldn't afford it. And he's a huge believer in instincts and being true to yourself. I actually got caught up in his bio, because it showed quotes from him along with many of his beliefs, again, demonstrating a man of substance.

People love it when those in the limelight take a tasteful stand on subjects, admitting who they are, without walking on the heads of those without the same opinion. As I stated earlier this week, it's a Live and Let Live attitude - knowing who you are while accepting who others are.

But taking stands can be pricey. You may commit to a vampire novel, because you have this unique take on the breed like they hover or can read weak minds yet not strong ones or can swim underwater during the daylight and be protected from the sun. Or they run for President, or form a union, or run the largest international bank which impacts the entire global economy. However, when you mention it's a vampire book, you instantly receive winces, because the character has been done so many times in so many ways.

Do you continue with your project, taking a gamble? Or do you follow through, fearless that you will make this formula work?

Other un-guaranteed moves as a writer:...[visit her blog post for more]

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Study: LinkedIn top social media site for journalists

By Kristin Piombino - editorial assistant for Ragan.com

When 92 percent of journalists have a LinkedIn account, there has to be a good reason. There is, and business leaders, representatives and PR pros should pay attention.

A new survey from Arketi Group found that the percent of journalists on LinkedIn has increased from 85 percent in 2009. Why? LinkedIn provides an easy way for reporters to connect with sources.

Read the full article at Ragan.com

Kristin Piombino is the editorial assistant for Ragan.com. Before joining Ragan Kristin briefly worked for Liberty Suburban Newspapers, Glancer Magazine, the Chicago Children’s Museum and a public relations firm. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Journalism and a minor in French. She is also an avid baker, and likes chocolate chip cookie dough more than the actual cookies. Follow her on Twitter @KristinPiombino.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Author Tip: Up Your Book Sales Before Publishing

You want your book to be a bestseller. Maybe you have an agent, even a publisher, but how to help your book or ebook reach the top of a bestseller list?

There are tons of books, blogs and web sites with articles on marketing strategies, using the correct marketing mix, tips on writing, and, well, you get the idea.

Here is one tip:
Get feedback from people for whom the book is written!
No, your book is not for everyone. Who are your prospective readers? Women, mothers, men, men in the military? Whether you write sci-fi, non-fiction, fiction, young adult, your manuscript must appeal to the readers in that market.

The only opinion that really matters is the opinion of your prospective reader. Not your family, not your editor - your reader. Don't be so busy writing you don't take the time to get feedback.

What are your best tips to market your book or finding your audience?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

6 Tips on What Your Social Media Marketing Specialist Should Be Doing for You

Often I am asked "What should my Social Media VA be doing for me?"

Here is a short and I hope useful answer to that question

The classic social media responsibilities are:

1. Creating a voice that represents the brand

2. Monitoring trends and competitors

3. Participating in Twitter conversations

4. Maintain client social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and key platforms.

5. Write and post regular updates to the social media accounts. (Client and VA need to determine what regular means!)

6. Work with client to determine optimal content to post.

In any event, be sure to agree on the duties, actions and reports you want your VA to provide.

Hope this helps!

Like to hear what your tips are!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hope Clark Shares Important Info for Writers on Social Media Use and Groups


Great advice from Hope Clark for writers (and business owners.) Hope's newsletter is a useful tool for writers.

"I was online recently when a writer said she was starting
a group that would help writers to stay organized in their
profession. I raised both eyebrows, recognizing someone who
most likely enjoyed the feeling of bring a writer, but not
the actual writing. I expressed non-interest, reminding
her that too many groups, while fun, are subtle enemies
of your writing.

A string of memberships does not a writer make. I don't
care if they are MWA, RWA, SFWA, SCBWI, or any other
alphabet organization. When I see someone who belongs to
a long list of groups, I wonder how much time they write.

That's part of the reason that writing conferences rotate
their organizers. Takes a rare breed to annually organize a
conference and still take writing seriously. While we need
those organizers, they are sacrificing their writing in
order to help other writers. Noble, but disabling for the
actual writing effort.

Same goes for Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and so on. Yes,
social networking is a necessity. Yes, they can consume
your writing time. It's a careful balance. You need the
network, but you also need to write. What's a network if
you can't get words on paper, much less polish them

I've been known to join a group, try it out, and not
renew. If the group benefits me, rejuvenates me, and doesn't
suck the life out of me, I'll stick around. I also will
allow no more than one group to be a priority for me.

FundsforWriters networking is my number one. I hope to
join Mystery Writers of America once my suspense is published.
Thank goodness my publisher is a recognized name in their
ranks. I belong to two critique groups. Past that, I'm a
back-of-the-room member of anything else. No, I'm not
lazy. Quite the contrary. I know myself. I'd be in the thick
of things wanting to be a mover and shaker. So I limit myself.

Watch the reaching out. It's needed for networking, but all
too often you forget to retreat long enough to get your
best writing done."

Hope Clark

THE BLOG - http://www.hopeclark.blogspot.com
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/hopeclark
FACEBOOK - http://www.facebook.com/chopeclark
ABOUT.ME - http://about.me/hopeclark

Love to hear from you. How do you manage your groups?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Why Isn't My Book Selling?

You're a writer. You worked hard on your manuscript. Hopefully you have engaged an editor, your cover is unique and a real grabber, as is your title. The finished book actually looks like a traditionally published one and you have taken the time to get some reviews before you rushed to print.

You thought writing the book was tough. Well get ready...

When it comes to marketing, there is no silver bullet, no magic wand, no cure-all pill. It takes work. Let's assume for a moment you have written a good book. It is vital to understand that all the PR, advertising, promotions, web sites, social networking, book signings and talks won't guarantee you a bestseller. But if the following elements are not in place, it is a sure-fire bet the chances of your book selling beyond some of your family and friends is slim.

To improve your chance for success make sure you have these key elements in place:

1. A Budget
2. A Marketing Plan for the Book
3. A Publicity Plan for the Book
4. A Web Site for the Book
5. An Effective Web Site
6. The book is listed on Amazon and Amazon Kindle
7. Have a message your readers can relate to. What is the WIIFM? (What's In It For Me) This is the benefit that will drive the reader to purchase your book.

There are many books, seminars, workshops, and blogs that have useful information, but none are in lieu of having the above in place.

What successful actions have you taken to increase the sales of your book?

Monday, July 11, 2011

How to Get Your Book Top-Rated on Amazon

Lee Kessler’s popular novels White King Rising and White King and the Doctor hit #1 and #4 on Amazon Kindle top-rated political fiction list ahead of Vince Flynn, George Orwell and Tolstoy.

Here are 2 tips you can use!

1. Have as many people as possible purchase your book on the same day and hour. Rankings on Amazon are influenced by the number of purchases made during a given hour. This takes a coordinated effort as well as lots of friends and fans.

2. Encourage folks who have purchased or read your book write a review and post it on Amazon as well as give the book a 5-star rating if they find your book deserving. A 5-star rating is the best and it carries a lot of weight.

Read the press release here.

What are your best tips for book promotion?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

10 PR Trends That Are Always in Vogue

Be professional and be personable if you want your story to be printable.
By Susan Young

Trends come and go. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about cars, TV shows, haircuts or plug-ins. 
Public relations is no different. Elements of a strong news story rarely change. The medium and technology through which the story or message is delivered can change, but not the core of what constitutes a good story. The importance of relationships with reporters has also stood the test of time. 
With 26 years of news, PR and
here are 10 PR trends
that are always in style.  
1. Thank the reporter for listening. Even if they are rude or rushed, say thank you. Chances are you’ll have to reach out to them again. Remember, you don’t know what you may have interrupted on their side. If you saw all the irrelevant and lousy pitches reporters get hit with day after day, you’d want to stick a fork in your eye. 
2. Know your pitch inside and out. If you’re not fully prepared to answer minutiae questions about your story, and all the elements it encompasses, you’re not ready to pitch it. Keep doing your homework. 
3. Communicate a succinct message. Whether it’s a voicemail, e-mail pitch, Tweet or press release, make your point with the fewest words or characters possible. Oh, you’ll have to be compelling and punchy, too. Choose every single word with absolute care. Perfect your writing skills. Consider yourself a wordsmith.
4. Find the human factor. Statistics are powerful, but the emotional connection we experience as human beings is key to any good story. News is about people, and people love great stories.
5. Respect the clock. Deadlines are gospel in newsrooms. Avoid reaching out to daily print reporters late in the afternoons. Don’t call TV assignment desks and radio newsrooms as they are preparing to go on the air (top of the hour).
6Love your story. It doesn’t matter if you’re pitching a novice blogger or CNN. If you don’t love your story, they won’t either. 
7. Build rapport with them. Reporters and news decision makers are people, too. In fact, they were people before they began working in news and social media. Don’t ask for favors and help all the time; ask how you can be of assistance to them with resources, a fresh angle or interview. Give more than you take.    
8. Offer an exclusive. Everyone likes to feel special.
9. Deliver what you promise. Whether it’s details to follow-up your lead in a press release, or sticking to the interview you’ve arranged, keep your word. 
10Make yourself available. From black, clunky rotary phones that were attached to the wall to mobile phones with snappy apps and ringtones, the news does not exist in the 9–5 vacuum. When reporters reach out to you, it’s all about them.  
Let me know if I missed something.
Susan Young is President of Get in Front Communications, Inc. She's a news, PR, and communications expert who works with organizations to increase their publicity, credibility, and revenues. Susan also works with people who want to improve their communication skills and self-confidence.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Six Writers Tell All About Covers and Blurbs

Do book blurbs and cover art matter? 
Yes, a lot. They can turn a book into a bestseller. Endorsements should be sought many months before creative work on the cover begins. The cover should be eye-catching and illustrative of the book's topic. Take my word for it, and take the words of six authors who spoke to The Awl and revealed the truth about blurbs, cover art, dealing with publishers, and who decides what. 

Thanks to Steve Harrison for the link to Mathew Galloway's article in The Awl.
"Writers by definition spend a lot of time on the inside of books, which is why what happens on the outside—namely, cover art and blurbs—can feel precarious and daunting. Often these elements are beyond an author’s control or expertise, which can be painful to admit, particularly when the "expertise" of graphic designers and marketers seems so subjective or at odds with an author’s “vision” for a book.
To get some advice on navigating these issues, we [The AWL] asked a handful of writers—including Kate Christensen, Bennett Madison, Stefanie Pintoff, Mark Jude Poirier and Tom Scocca—who have been through the process these questions: read more ...
What are your thoughts??

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Don’t Fear the Feedback: Social Media Can be Powerful PR Tool

I welcome Terrie's insights and share them with you. Terrie Mavros is electronic marketing specialist at the $332 million Bellwether Community Credit Union in Manchester, N.H.

Don’t Fear the Feedback: Social Media Can be Powerful PR Tool

Is the fear of negative comments keeping you from social media endeavors? Are you concerned that if you put your brand “out there”, you might have feedback that is less than stellar, for all to see? If you already have a page or two, are you quick to delete anything that could be perceived as negative, because you are worried that others will see it?
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn? Fear not! Look at these as opportunities to not only tout your brand, but to engage in conversation with members, embrace opportunities to serve, and show the world how you make your members a priority and solve their problems.
Here’s an example of how a negative comment could actually work in your favor. We recently encountered a member post on our Facebook page. The member had waited for what he perceived to be too long for a new ATM card. He posted his displeasure on our Facebook page on Thanksgiving Day, and I (thankfully!) happened to check the page that afternoon.
I immediately responded that I understood and would be lost without my own card, and that I'd have someone from our contact center get in touch with him first thing Friday a.m. I made sure that happened, and they got him a new card right away. Well, he came back and re-posted on the page how great we took care of him and that he was “all set”. So- every single person that "likes" our page got to see how we made a member a top priority and solved his problem to his satisfaction. PRICELESS PR!
Social media is about having conversations, establishing your business as “the” expert in its field, and getting yourself in front of new, potential customers. But it can also be an opportunity to show how much you care about your current members. It is not only a marketing tool, it is a chance for you to learn what is important to those members and perhaps even learn about areas in which you can improve.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

5 Key Customer Loyalty Trends for 2011

Here are a few insights from Mark Johnson, CEO of Cincinnati-based Loyalty 360—The Loyalty Marketer’s Association for how best to engage customers in the coming year. He wrote 11 here are five.

“In today’s crowded marketplace, creating loyal, engaged customers is more important—and more challenging—than ever,” says Johnson. “That is why we are going to see a number of key trends unfold over the next year.”
Here a few key trends he predicts will dominate the loyalty marketing industry in 2011:
1. Focusing on engagement and building long-term relationships. Loyalty is not a program — it is a journey & a strategic business goal. 
2. Loyalty will focus more on emotions rather than on rational, incentive-based initiatives It’s the emotional side of the decision-making process that creates connected, passionate, & engaged customers. Behavioral economists tell us that economic decision-making is 70% emotional & 30 % rational, which is why incentive-based loyalty programs that engage the emotions of your customers will work better than rationale based ones.

3. Relevancy will be a key driving force of customer loyalty and engagement. Today’s customers want loyalty programs to be “about me”—individual, relevant, meaningful, etc. Ipsos Mori and The Logic Group found that 48% of people surveyed said “Personally relevant deals are the second most frequently chosen reason for spending more with a company.” As business owners we need to strategically use the data we collect to show customers we’re listening & give them what they’re asking for.

4. In-the-moment marketing - how best to use all customer touch points, including mobile.  This is certainly not a one-size-fits-all communication channel. The most successful loyalty initiatives will be those that are relevant in terms of both messaging & communication. Take a more strategic, generational look at how you can most effectively use moment marketing, including mobile.
5. Cause-related marketing/corporate social responsibility programs that are aligned with strategic corporate goals will effectively drive loyalty—especially with Millennials.  That marketing segment of 18- to 34-year-olds. According to a recent survey by Cone, interest in cause-related marketing grew among the general population between 2008 & 2010, with social & environmental causes having a significantly greater influence on the purchase decisions of Millennials than any other generation. If marketers are looking for 18-to 34-year-olds’ receptiveness to branding, social and green issues are a good place to start—85% of respondents said they would switch brands because of such marketing, while 73% said it would get them to try a new brand.
KEY TAKE-AWAYS: Focus on...

The goal of customer loyalty initiatives will be to engage customers. With engagement comes loyalty, advocacy, trust, passion—the soft side of the customer relationship that directly impacts the bottom line.

What actions are you taking to create loyal customers?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

10 Marketing Trends for 2011

From geotargeting to mobile apps and social media, here's what you need to consider now.

Susan Gunelius, CEO of KeySplash Creative Inc., an Orlando, Fla.- based marketing communications company, and the author of Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps, shares info on the 
10 marketing trends that small businesses should incorporate now to be positioned for success from the start.

  1. Building reliable brand advocates. The idea that you need tens of thousands of Twitter followers, blog subscribers, LinkedIn connections and Facebook friends to build your business via social media is dead. Quality connections with those who are loyal to the business and the brand are far more helpful to spread your message than large groups of connections who disappear after the first interaction.
  2. Excelling in one area rather than being all things to all people. This will be a year for small businesses to focus on their unique niches and position themselves as the definitive source for information, products and services related to the specific places in the markets where they operate. 
Read the Susan's full article here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/217849

What do you see as top trends?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Before Your Next Speaking Engagement

"How can you immediately connect as a speaker with your audience? Start talking to them - before your speech. Via email, a website poll or in person, ask the meeting planner and event attendees what they want to learn from you. Sometimes I'll create a web survey with SurveyMoney.com and ask the planner to email it to some attendees so I can customize my presentation based on their feedback. One way or another, try to uncover their hot button issues as well as problems and questions they have. Use all that homework to craft your speech and, where appropriate, even name the people who communicated with you. They'll appreciate the compliment."

Thanks to Steve Harrison of the Reporter Connection

What are your best tips??