Tuesday, December 15, 2015

6 Tips for Using the Modern Press Release

1. Press releases should read more like an article. Think story not sales pitch.
2. Think people first - think feature story that appeals directly to readers.
3. Write something interesting that has real value.
4. Include visuals - images, videos and sound bites.
5. With PR distribution services online, your story becomes web content and possibly become news.
6. Have a call to action but not a sales pitch. 

"Journalists are open to outside content if it is well-written, has news value and offers multimedia to enhance and extend the story." - Sally Falkow, Digital PR Strategist 

QWhat is a Social Media News Release?
A. The Social Media News Release (SMNR) is a press release format designed for the online media world. The structure tends to be segmented rather than written traditional narrative style.
The SMPR is not meant to stand alone, but rather to supplement traditional PR collateral with highly shareable, relevant information that is easy to digest and utilize. 

Oh, before I forget, did I mention...

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

How to Pitch the Media

As a publicist and owner of Batson Group Marketing and PR for 25+ years, I offer consultation and implementation services for business owners, authors and artists to help them be well known, well thought of and well-remembered.  @EBatson FB  LI

Successful media outreach is both an art and a skill. While some people seem to be"naturals" at pitching an idea or news story, the reality is - it takes work.

With the advent of technology, the “media” has grown to include a wide variety of channels and with this growth the definition media representative has changed. We’re now no longer limited to newspaper reporters and journalists, television and radio news programs. Now we have social media influencers, industry bloggers, podcasters and many other resources available to pitch.

The tips below offer a few key actions that will set up your pitch campaign for greater success.
1. Know what you want to achieve by identifying your goals. Use the objectives of your business, sales and marketing goals to determine what you can reasonably accomplish through media outreach - drive traffic to your website, increase  engagement on social media, build brand awareness.
2. Know before you go. Determine who you want to pitch and why.Your pitch needs to be created for a specific person.  The more you know about them - what they write about, where their material is published and how they they want to be communicated with are some of the answers you need to know.
3. Be Pitch Perfect. Make sure you let them know why you are pitching them - what you are pitching and what they and their readers/followers have to gain from what you have to offer. Keep it short, simple,grammatically correct and to the point. Apply the tenet "be a professional."
4. Be Prepared. This motto is not just for scouting. Make sure that you’re prepared for the media to come calling. That means a professional website with a tab the media can click on that houses print and web-ready photos and images, videos, tip sheets, biographical material, story ideas and contact info. Don't make the media rep search for what they need.
5. Follow up. If you say that you’re going to follow up with them in a week,do. Keep in mind it can take a few tries before what you are pitching bites. 
6. Be patient - it's a process. Make these actions part of your media outreach system and you’ll get the results you’re seeking.

Q. How do I find the right person to pitch to?
A. Time to be a detective.
While you can always pay to play, not all lists are current. But FREE (or as my friend social media expert Alice Fuller of Sheer Social says Free99) is an option.

1. Find the editor who oversees your story’s beat or a senior, deputy, or associate editor.
2. Pick up the phone! A quick call can get results.
3. Ask your contacts who they know.
4. Read the masthead of the publication.
5. Use Twitter’s search tool.Type in the word “editor” plus @ handle of the publication e.g. 
6. Do a Google search.
7. Search on LinkedIn, Facebook, G+ and other social media platforms.
8. Read the blog or publication you want to appear in for stories that are a match for you. 

Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Role of PR in Performance Management

When we are dealing with others to gain their agreement or cooperation or support for something, we have entered the field of public relations, or PR for short. 

Taking the principle into the realm of performance management, we see how incentives can be employed ensure that activities and outcomes congruent with an organization's objectives.

From an early age, we’re exposed to the basic economic (and behavioral) principle that incentives motivate us to behave in a certain way. “Eat your lima beans and you can have dessert!” While we have all moved past this simple analogy it does prove the point. Perhaps this is why most American companies are in love with incentives; consumers are primed for this tactic, even if they are fully aware of the reason behind the incentive.  And yet, there are a surprising number of marketers who don’t use incentives to their full advantage. [http://www.hbagency.com/the-value-of-incentives/]

What’s your People Performance Management Score? 
Whether you are an entrepreneur, solopreneur, business owner or employee, evidence shows that organizations that employ the following tactics have greater success.   
Does your company engage your associates, employees and customers? The Internal Marketing Best Practices study found the following are keys to engagement: empowerment, two-way communication, a vibrant rewards and incentive program, corporate philanthropy and special events designed specifically for them.  – Give yourself 1 point for each key to engagement you currently implement.
Does senior management buy-in and support incentive programs? Senior management – or you if you are a solopreneur - must be involved in establishing incentives that reward customer referrals, purchases, etc., as well as teamwork of associates/employees in meeting customer or overall organizational needs and goals. – Give yourself 1 point for each incentive awarded over the past 6 months. 
Does your company understand that employees and associates are segment to be marketed to as well as existing customers and the public? While communications should be integrated to ensure everything you’re saying and doing consistently supports the most important company objectives and customer requirements know, that one size of communication doesn’t fit all. Give yourself 1 point for each communication to your different publics over the past 6 months..
Does your company clearly communicate—and deliver on— your Brand Promise? Noted by the Internal Marketing Best Practices study, branding bridges the gap between “promise makers” (marketers) and “promise keepers” (employees). Give yourself 1 point for each incentive awarded over the past 6 months.
1 - 5 points: You are off to a good start but could some help. Individuals have many motivations to do what they do, the trick is figuring out how to unlock that.
6 – 10 points: Going OK. You are working hard  Perhaps the right marketing and PR incentive program can help.
11 - 20 points: Good Job. You are on your way.  
21+ points: Outstanding. Client and employee/associate retention reaping profits and good will. Keep up the good work.
By truly understanding our audience, and who we want our audience to be, we gain understanding of what really motivates their actions. Armed with this knowledge we can provide real incentives that deliver value to both the consumer and the company making the offer.
You can be well known, well thought of and well-remembered!

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

10 +1 Press Release Must Haves...

If you are going to write your own news release here are a few key tips.

1. Be newsworthy What makes a story newsworthy?

  • Timing - Current topics
  • Importance - The number of people affected by the story
  • Local - The closer the story to home, the more newsworthy it is
  • Celebrity - Famous people get more coverage just because they are famous
  • Human Interest aka Feature Stories - Human interest stories appeal to emotion and may disregard the firt four points of newsworthiness;
2. Be timely
3. Contain quotes from a customer or company spokesperson
4. Be informative not a sales pitch
5. Have an eye-catching headline 60-100 characters long
6. Answer who, what, when, where, why and how
7. Write to the publication’s style
8. Suggested Structure:
  • Paragraph 1 must capture the essence of your story in two sentences of 25 words or less 
  • Paragraph 2 should give more detailed information
  • Paragraph 3 often contains a quote from a customer or company spokesperson
  • Paragraph 4  is a simple wrap-up that can contain final information such as company website, store location, etc.
9. Contain contact info so reader if public or journalist can get more info if needed
10. Have a resource box at the end about the subject of the release.  See sample:

          About Marilyn Shannon
          Marilyn is an engaging speaker who shares her passion for life, knowledge and expertise as an energizing           meeting facilitator, entertaining international web TV/Radio host, successful mediator and author. Through           her highly regarded private coaching practice she enables her clients to reach their visions, share their               voices and experience a fulfilling life. A loving mom and “gamma”, she shares her life with her husband               Mark, five adult children and grandchildren in Cary, NC.  http://www.marilynshannon.com/

 11. Have a MEDIA tab on your website for your releases, media kits, tip sheets, logos and images.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

6 Reasons to Write an eBook for Your Business

Eileen Batson
As a publicist and owner of Batson Group Marketing and PR for 25+ years, I offer consultation and implementation services for business owners, authors and artists to help them be well known, well thought of and well-remembered. Contact me on Facebook and email me. Here's today's tip:

While there are a variety of reasons to write an eBook, here are six that are proven winners.

1. It can establish you as an expert   By sharing your knowledge you can help others while building your reputation as the ‘go to person’ in your particular niche.  

2. Write it once and it is there forever. You may need to update it from time to time but that's not a difficult task.

3. eReaders provide a movable feast for knowledge and entertainment and the demand is growing. By 2025, e-readers are projected to make up approximately 75 percent of the total market.

4. An eBook is to your email list as plant food is to, well, plants. Make your eBook available to download for sale or as a freebie from your website - to get people to sign up for your newsletter. The buyer needs to enter their name and email address to download it or use it as bait (as a freebie) to get people to sign up for your newsletter.  Either way you have a valuable new contact on your database who may go on to buy your product or service.

5. Increase traffic to your website By promoting your eBook across social media platforms you will drive traffic to your website or blog.  Seed your eBook with a call to action. Include your web address and special offers that direct readers to your site where they may buy more from you.

6. Exposure is a good thing. The more you are seen around the internet the easier it is for you to be seen as an authority – exposure breeds credibility and being able to say you are an author takes you to the next level.

What's your eBook?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How to use meetup to grow your business and have a social life.

How to use meetup to grow your business and have a social life.

Want to extend your reach and visibility?
Have events you want to promote?
Looking to increase sales?
Have fun?
Meetup makes it easy. Here are some tips.. 

1. Join a variety of groups - you'll meet local folks with simliar interests.

2. Include your full name and current photo.

TIP: Include your profession next to your name. Click on your profile menu by your photo in the upper right-hand corner of your screen and select 'Settings' to go to your Account page.

From the 'General' tab, click "EDIT" next to your current name. Enter your profession by your name and click 'Submit.'

2. Fill out your profile so folks (and search engines) will see it.

3. RSVP and visit the meetups you've joined.

4. Offer to speak on topics relevant to the group.

5. Speak well - Practice, time your talk, encourage discussion.

6. Get visible on meetup by commenting and welcoming new folks who join.

7. Get OK from the organizer to promote your personal events on the calendar of groups you belong to. Meetup emails the info out to the group members.
How have you found Meetup useful?

As a publicist and owner of Batson Group Marketing and PR for 25+ years, I consults and work with business owners, authors and artists to help them be well known, well thought of and well-remembered.