I Can’t Use National Media

I Can’t Use National Media

Don’t limit your PR horizons. Remember, nothing impresses the media more than media. National media establishes you as an expert. Now you’re national news and you’re in a position to garner local news.

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The Trump Nonstop PR Effect & Why He’s the Most Important Candidate in the GOP Presidential Race

The Trump Nonstop PR Effect & Why He’s the Most Important Candidate in the GOP Presidential Race

The initial GOP debate is days away. A new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll has Donald Trump as the first choice with 19 percent of GOP primary voters, while Scott Walker has 15, Jeb Bush 14 Ben Carson 10. A year ago, I doubt anyone would have put their money on Trump being in the lead going into the first debate, but Trump is not your run-of-the-mil Republican candidate. No one in the field understands how to grab media attention like he does.

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The 8 Must-know PR Secrets

The 8 Must-know PR Secrets

To start, no form of marketing reaches your target market and adds to your credibility, validation or trust factor like PR. That said, what are the real secrets of launching an effective PR campaign? The main secrets that people generally ignore are: 1) PR is a cumulative process. An effective campaign can literally change your life and your business, but it is not a fire sale and seldom happens overnight. It takes time, consistency, creativity and work. 2) Sending out press releases is not comprised of simply sending out press releases and waiting. 3) Effective PR is effective storytelling. Simply announcing a new product or new service is not a story. Announcing that you’re opening a new store is an important story to you, but not necessarily for the media. That said, before a press release is written or pitches or sent, or the media is called you need to figure out your message, your story and your call to action. 4) Knowing you want media coverage isn’t enough. Why do you want media coverage? What are your objectives? What are the media outlets that can best help you reach those objectives? The media outlets best reach your target market(s)? If you don’t start by answering those basic questions, you’re in trouble from the start. 5) Remember you might not have one target market but several. If that’s the case you’re going to need to discover which media outlets reach those various target markets and then write pitches that address each one. There is seldom a one-size-fits-all PR campaign. You need to strategize and come up with appropriate pitches... read more
Does a Social Media Campaign = A PR Campaign?

Does a Social Media Campaign = A PR Campaign?

The internet has changed public relations, just as it’s changed just about every other industry, but what has not changed is what journalists are looking for. They want a story, a narrative, something compelling that is going to grab the attention of their readers or viewers or listeners. A traditional public relations campaign includes the legacy media, but it also includes online publications and bloggers. Whereas you don’t approach a blogger in the same way you would the editor of a newspaper, your presentation still needs to include the same basic compelling elements. You still need a story and a compelling narrative. Yes connecting and conversing are important in the blogosphere, but don’t think those make up for the lack of a good story. And while we’re on the topic, do not confuse social media outreach with a public relations campaign. Do they overlap? Yes. Are they both important? Definitely. But, by launching a social media campaign are you simultaneously launching a PR campaign? Not by a long shot. They are both forms of marketing and they can (and actually should) overlap, but they are not the same animal. I was speaking to a client the other day. I knew he had interviewed quite a few PR firms before he signed with us and I asked him what steered him in our direction. One of the points that stood out was that he said most of the other firms focused their concentration almost solely on online marketing. He was looking for the validation and credibility that comes from being featured on TV, radio as well as in magazines and... read more
The 7 Deadly (PR) Sins

The 7 Deadly (PR) Sins

PR is becoming more and more a necessity and less a marketing luxury. Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that public relations is not for them or that social media and online marketing are now enough to promote them and their company, or that it’s fine to do a media outreach for one month and then stop. The first assumption is generally wrong. Unless you work for the CIA and want to keep your identity under wraps, it is almost assured that you can benefit from a comprehensive PR campaign. The second assumption is also off base. With all of the noise on social media and online, it is more important than ever to separate yourself from the competition. The most effective way to do so is by being featured in magazines, newspapers, TV and on radio. You are now the news. Now you can effectively utilize social media, what you will be sharing and posting won’t be simply your thoughts or ideas, or a sales pitch, but links to news stories on you and your company. You now are separating yourself from the competition and establishing yourself as an expert in your field. Only media relations offers you the validation and credibility of being in the news. And the third assumption is also way off the mark. Starting a campaign only to stop it in one month is like stopping a plane just as it’s about to take off. So, with that in mind, below are the 4 deadly PR sins many business owners and entrepreneurs make. They are made every day, but are simple to... read more
The Truth About Press Releases

The Truth About Press Releases

I’m going to let you in on a secret. PR companies primarily write press releases for their clients, not for the media. Clients want to know their PR firms are diligently working and seeing that their representatives are writing press releases assures them that something is happening. But, what exactly is happening? Press releases are being written and sent out. Okay, that much we know. Okay, but how effective are those press releases? If they’re simply being sent out without concerted email follow ups and follow up calls, probably not very effective at all. When I worked as a journalist, and particularly when I worked as the editor, I was not a big fan of press releases. I especially loathed releases that exceeded a page in length. I wouldn’t read them. I didn’t have time. What I did like, and greatly appreciated, were short concise pitches that told a story. Article suggestions with a strong narrative were not only appreciated, they were anticipated The world moves at a faster clip than it did when I was an editor. Now short, concise effective pitches are even more appreciated by writers, producers and editors. Press releases definitely have their uses. They are great for giving journalists follow up material once they’re interested in a story. Online, press releases can help with SEO, but that is very different from helping you land actual media coverage. As the first point of contact, sending out a press release is not necessarily the best approach. This is particularly true if you or your company are new in a particular field, if you’re launching a new... read more
How To Effectively Communicate With The Media

How To Effectively Communicate With The Media

The first order of business when beginning a PR Campaign is to figure out your stories.  Study the media and what kinds of stories they cover especially when it is a specific topic in which they interview an expert in that field to bring more credibility to the story.  For example, if the media is discussing a top athlete’s recent injury and they need a doctor or pain specialist to comment on this, you could be that doctor.  Notice which outlets discuss topics that are in your area of expertise.  Once you have an idea of the media you want to pitch, and some stories you’re ready to pitch, you can begin to take the following steps: 1.  Write a press release.  A one pager that shows your knowledge about the topic with a catchy, useful angle for the media. 2.  Build a media list.  This can be tricky if you don’t have access to a database.  Here are some databases to check out: Cision BurrellesLuce 3.  Once you have a list of contacts, begin narrowing them down.  Write a paragraph with a pitch about your story and attach the press release. Send it out! 4.  Then begin Follow-up calls. Check out other posts  and information on how to follow-up with the media here …The PR Follow-Up Etiquette Some helpful tips when pitching: How many people do you know that react well to hard sales techniques? Although hard sells might initially get people to react to them, they’re certainly not the way to forge a long term working relationship.  In fact if you approach people with the used car... read more
The Inspiration of Richard Glatzer

The Inspiration of Richard Glatzer

Julianne Moore concluded her acceptance speech for best actress for her performance in the film “Still Alice” by thanking the filmmakers.   “And finally, to our filmmakers, Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer, who had hoped to be here tonight but they can’t because of Richard’s health. When Richard was diagnosed with ALS, Wash asked him what he wanted to do. Did he want to travel? Did he want to see the world? And he said that he wanted to make movies, and that’s what he did.” Less than three weeks after Moore won her Oscar, Richard Glatzer, who wrote and directed the Julianne Moore film “Still Alice” with his husband, Wash Westmoreland died. Glatzer and Westmoreland adapted the film from the novel by Lisa Genova. Not long before they began work on the film, in 2011, Glatzer was diagnosed with ALS. Although his condition quickly deteriorated, he never missed a day of filming. By the end of the production Glatzer was able to “speak” only by tapping the big toe of his right foot on a specially designed iPad. His condition was not that dissimilar to Stephen Hawkins whose story “The Theory of Everything,” was also an Oscar winning film this year. Glatzer and Westmoreland made “Quinceanera” in 2006, which won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2013 the duo made “The Last of Robin Hood,” which starred Kevin Kline. In a statement, Westmoreland said: I am devastated. Rich was my soulmate, my collaborator, my best friend and my life. Seeing him battle ALS for four years with such grace and courage... read more
How the Oscars and the Film Industry Parted Ways

How the Oscars and the Film Industry Parted Ways

I had planned to write something about the Oscars, but as it turned out, I only watched about ten minutes of the entire program. I had only seen one of the films up for best picture, so, to be frank, I simply wasn’t that interested. Turns out I wasn’t alone. This year’s viewership dropped by 16%. So, what’s happened? Why the disconnect? A trip back to the late 70s offers some significant clues In 1975 the Oscar winner was The Godfather Part II,” other nominees included “Chinatown” and “The Conversation.” In 1976, Best Picture was “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” beating “Dog Day Afternoon” and “Jaws,” among others. In 1977, best picture went to “Annie Hall,” which beat out “Star Wars.” I could go on, but I think it’s clear that in that era, the Hollywood film making machine was involved in the overall process of making commercially viable films, marketing them and in keeping the art of filmmaking alive. I am not comparing the filmmaking merits of this year’s crop of best picture nominees with those listed above, what I’m discussing is how the studios and filmmaking establishment have separated themselves from the process. I’m confident that the films that were up this year are stellar. I congratulate those who had the guts, tenacity and vision to make them. What I bemoan is that they had to do it on their own. What this year lacked wasn’t necessarily the projects, but the muscle of the Hollywood star making machine. The marketing, advertising and public relations campaigns simply weren’t there. Too few people knew about or saw these... read more
Need More Business, More Clients?  Solving “The Genius Dilemma”

Need More Business, More Clients? Solving “The Genius Dilemma”

I’d like to let you know about The Genius Dilemma, a free can’t-miss webinar that is coming up – soon. To be exact: next Thursday, February 19th, at 2:00 PST, / 4:00pm CST / 5:00pm EST It’s being given by marketing maven Ann Convery. Ann, who has been featured in the local and national media, is an international speaker, thought leader and business builder. Since it’s called, The Genius Dilemma, you know it’s talking directly to you. Seriously, so many entrepreneurs, coaches, trainers and business owners know that they’re great at what they do, are experts in their field, do amazing work with their clients, but when it’s time to convey their value, worth and expertise, they get in their own way. If you’re struggling to land the clients, contracts or business you’re shooting for, block some time and jump on this webinar. This is not optional. I guarantee you’ll be happy you did. The webinar is: THE GENIUS DILEMMA: WHY YOUR EXPERTISE IS BLOCKING YOUR HIGH-PAYING CLIENTS AND 5 STEPS TO A LUCRATIVE HIGH-END BUSINESS Thursday, February 19th, at 2:00 PST, / 4:00pm CST / 5:00pm EST And you can save your seat here: http://www.speakyourbusiness.com/genius-dilemma-webinar/ The webinar is free, so you can bring a friend, or two. Ann’s results speak for themselves: A Manager at a Fortune 200 sold $8Million in 6 months. A retailer in the U.K. grossed an extra $2Million online. A sales manager made $200K Euros in 24 hours. An attorney went from 10% to a 90% closing rate. A distribution consultant tripled his business in 18 months. A stock trader about to be fired... read more
The Ingenious plan to have Jon Stewart and Brian Williams Switch Roles

The Ingenious plan to have Jon Stewart and Brian Williams Switch Roles

The plan to have Jon Stewart and Brian Williams switch roles has been ingeniously stage managed. Now that news as comedy and comedy as news have so conveniently conjoined, the transition will be a seamless one. Okay, maybe that’s not the plan. But, I think they should give it some thought, if only for the PR value alone. In truth, the Brian Williams saga is not a funny story. The most watched news anchor on TV and the face of NBC News has been suspended without pay for six months and the odds are good that he will not return to his position as nightly news anchor. The suspension was announced by NBC News President Deborah Turness and comes after the fallout from Williams’s exaggerated (to use a kind term) account of his helicopter incident in Iraq. It has also surfaced that Williams also gave a questionable account of his time covering Israel’s war with Hezbollah and another of an account in French Quarter during Hurricane Katrina. In a memo to staff, Turness stated: “While on Nightly News on Friday, January 30, 2015, Brian misrepresented events which occurred while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003. It then became clear that on other occasions Brian had done the same while telling that story in other venues. This was wrong and completely inappropriate for someone in Brian’s position.” She continued,   “We felt it would have been wrong to disregard the good work Brian has done and the special relationship he has forged with our viewers over 22 years. Millions of Americans have turned to him every day, and he... read more
Sam Smith: Keeping the (Overnight) Pop Star Dream Alive

Sam Smith: Keeping the (Overnight) Pop Star Dream Alive

Love him or hate him, Sam Smith won the award for Best New Artist at the 2015 Grammy Awards, yet less than two years ago most people had never heard of him.   His debut album, In the Lonely Hour, was one of only two albums released in 2014 to go platinum, won four Grammys, including Record and Song of the Year. Not a bad night. According to The Guardian, Smith, 22, has soared from scrubbing bathrooms in Limehouse 7 days a week to being the hottest sensation in the music world.  To say his rise was swift, would be to understate it. His first hit came with “Latch” (with Disclosure) followed by “La La La” (with Naughty Boy). But it was the smash “Stay With Me,” that cemented him as a pop star. In the Lonely Hour” has been a Top 10 hit in nearly a dozen countries. According to Rolling Stone, the story goes that Smiths’ first PR exposure came when his mother, a high earning banker at Tullett Prebon, sued the company after being fired for, in part, for working on her son’s pop career on company time. I think she was on to something. Just a couple of years ago, he was playing in small venues with a couple of handful of listeners in the audience, now his packing Madison Square Garden and is the darling at the Grammys. Beck’s “Morning Phase” won Album of the Year, keeping Smith from sweeping the top categories. He arrived with a marketing and public relations juggernaut. “Stay With Me,” has been on the Billboard Hot 100 for over forth... read more
How to PR, Market & Launch Your Book

How to PR, Market & Launch Your Book

To start, keep in mind that marketing your book is different than marketing yourself as an author. A book can be an engine that helps pull the train, but the overall train is your image and brand as a writer. One of the problems I’ve had working with large publishing houses is that they focus solely on marketing the book and often overlook valuable PR and marketing opportunities that can be gained from marketing the writer. My focus is on the author. Still, I understand a publisher’s perspective. They’re going to make their return off the book sales and the author might not be with them a year or two down the line. But as an author, you need to think more long term. Each book is a part of your canon, but no one work defines you. Your marketing, PR and branding focus needs to be on your overall career as an artist. Still, if you do have a book coming out, you’re then working with a specific timeline and need to develop a marketing and PR plan targeting your book release. Write out your plan. Have it include objectives, timeframe, goals, strategies and tactics. Whether you’re self-publishing or working with a traditional publishing house will change your approach. If you’re working with a publisher, they should give you some guidance, but do not expect them to take care of your PR and marketing needs. I’ve worked with authors who have been published by major houses and the promotional and PR efforts were minimal at best. Realize that you are going to have to take charge of your... read more

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