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How to Get More PR Results

How to Get More PR ResultsDo you want to generate more publicity results for your media relations investment? You’re not alone – every public relations professional working in media relations wants to generate more publicity. We’ve all had to deal with the client or boss that complains about the lack of coverage, or worse, marches into your office with a recent article and asks why we weren’t in it. Ever notice they rarely march into your office with the story you were included in?

It’s not easy to score publicity. Media relations is difficult, thankless job. Unless you’re fortunate enough to work for a brand everyone wants to write about all the time. Media relations requires a lot of hard work, and a lot of long hours – with no guarantee of success, no matter how good the pitch is or how much effort one puts into the work. We stick with it though, because on those rare days when we land the cover story, or the story everyone has been hoping for, and it’s all worth it for a couple of hours.

NOTE: Before you read on, you should know that I sometimes have a tendency to write long blog posts. This is a subject that merits the additional length. If you read on, I promise you will find a thorough overview of how to get more coverage for the stories you’re pitching. Consider yourself warned… [Read more…]

Getting Coverage for Your News Should Be Easy

If you work in media relations today, and you’re having a hard time getting coverage for your news, you’re doing something wrong. Journalists exist to write about news. If you have a legitimate news story, you shouldn’t have a hard time getting coverage. When I reflect on the 15 years I’ve been doing some aspect of media relations as part of my job, I can’t think of a single instance where I had a hard time getting coverage for news.

When I’ve had problems getting coverage – while I didn’t realize it at the time – it was because the story wasn’t actually newsworthy, or I was talking to the wrong journalists. The purpose of this post is to help you figure this stuff out much sooner than the 15 year mark in your career.

First, Are You Talking to the Right Journalists?

Who covers your news? Which reporters write the most about the topics related to what you do? You should know who they are off the top of your head. If you don’t, start there. Subscribe to the publications they write for. Read the stuff they write. It only takes a couple of minutes a day to do this, and you’ll quickly find that you know exactly who to talk to when news bubbles to the surface in your organization. [Read more…]

Smile and Dial

Smile and dial gets a bad rep. I rarely hear the term used positively. You should know by now that I’m against annoying journalists, whether through PR spam or telemarkety phone pitches. If you’ve got a good story to pitch, and you need to score some coverage fast, the phone is the only way to go.

“But wait…” you say, “Don’t journalists prefer phone as their #1 method of contact?” Yes, journalists want to be pitched by email more than 80% of the time. Well of course they do. Most journalists view PR people as telemarketers, and the rest are lying. It’s much easier to click delete than reject somebody in person.

Most media relations pros assume working the phones isn’t worth the effort. There’s a reason you get those calls during dinner – the phone works better than email. Here are some tips for making the most of working the phones: [Read more…]

Think Like a Reporter for More PR Wins

For three years I worked at The Oregonian—a top 25 newspaper. While there, I saw major news break: September 11, U.S. troops invading Iraq, the Bush/Gore election snafus, to name a few. It was an exciting first “real” job to have out of college – and I learned a lot. My editor called it “baptism by fire.”

Not to generalize, but one of the many things I learned during that experience is that reporters often have similar personalities and ways of processing information. Having been on the “inside”, and now working in a PR role, I feel I am better prepared to successfully pitch a story on behalf of my clients.

Here are 4 Ways You Can Think Like a Reporter and Create More PR Wins: [Read more…]

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The holidays are now behind us. It might be depressing for some, but for media relations professionals, it’s a good thing. The most wonderful time of the year in PR is one of the worst times of the year to generate results for most clients (unless you work for Apple or Amazon).

Each year organizations, corporations and non-profits alike try to generate media coverage for their holiday initiative. Reporters are bombarded with options. While it is always a good idea to try to attach your initiative to a news-of-the-day story, it is very competitive and difficult to place stories about holiday initiatives this time of year.

For future reference, here are some suggestions for working around busy times for journalists: [Read more…]

Facebook for PR Launches

I wrote about Facebook for Public Relations back in January and provided a few suggestions for how public relations professionals can use Facebook as part of the PR tool set. Facebook must have really enjoyed the post, because now they have launched a new Facebook for PR Page dedicated to “Best practices and conversations around using Facebook for PR.” I love it.

Facebook is the perfect example of an organization that understands modern day public relations and the importance of integrated social media. Don’t discount the effectiveness of Facebook’s public relations efforts and assume they have some sort of unfair advantage being the world’s largest social network. Facebook uses its own services to extend its brand and earn the loyalty of fans the same way you and I do. That impresses me.

Think of the statement Facebook makes with creating a Page dedicated to talking about how you can use Facebook for PR? The medium supports the message Facebook is trying to get across. Maybe I’m a little over the top here, but the company is doing a lot of things right (remember “How to Build a Better Online Newsroom“?).

Other social networks should take note of this move by Facebook (side note: I’m surprised LinkedIn didn’t do this already, since they’ve had LinkedIn for Journalists for a few years now) . The PR community serves as one of the largest influencer segments online and offline. We advise our clients on the best communications strategies and tactics to use. By strengthening its relationships with public relations professionals, and showing us the right ways to leverage Facebook for PR, the company is making great strides at getting us all to ‘Like’ them more.

The company’s official position on the creation of the Facebook for PR page is to create a forum where it can (I’m paraphrasing) share its learnings about creating social content, promoting events, optimizing Pages and integrating with tools off of Facebook.

I’m on board. Learn more about the effort and join the conversation here.

What do you think? Do you think Facebook for PR is a useful resource for PR professionals? Do you use Facebook for your PR efforts on a daily basis?

(Image Credit: Facebook for PR Page)

Journalists Find Some News Releases Useful

75 percent of journalists find well-targeted news releases with high-quality content useful, according to a new survey of 750 journalists conducted by Oriella PR Network, an alliance of 15 PR agencies around the world.

Surveys like this drive me crazy. Out of all the press releases journalists receive, they find the well-written, relevant ones most useful. Really? Do they want to receive news releases? Do they find news releases the best source of information for finding story ideas? No and no.

While the news release isn’t going away anytime soon, I can’t believe how many people still think it’s an effective form of communication (especially if you’re trying to interest a journalist in writing about you). Take a break from this blog post and head over to one of the news wire services to read today’s headlines. Let me know when you find a release you’d like to write about if you were a journalist. [Read more…]

Dating Advice for PR Pros

I was joking with some friends recently that media relations is a lot like dating. Like most things in life, there is a right and a wrong way to do everything.

While the conversation was good for a few laughs, there is an element of truth to the comparison. With that, here is my first installment of dating advice for media relations professionals. [Read more…]

Is There a ‘Best Time’ to Reach Journalists?

This has been a popular question from our blog readers. Several of you have asked “What’s the best time to reach a journalist?” The honest answer is there is no “best time” and every journalist is different. That said, there are some general rules of engagement you can use to get through when you need to, and to avoid being hung up on. [Read more…]

70 Percent of Journalists Use Social Networks to Assist in Reporting

According to a new survey from Middleberg Communications and the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR), as reported in PRWeek , 70 percent of journalists said they use social networks to assist in reporting (compared to 41 percent last year). This is a huge spike in one year, though it shouldn’t surprise any of us with all the lists of journalists using Twitter and other social networks.

The survey also found that 69 percent of respondents go to company websites to assist in their reporting, while 66 percent use blogs, 51 percent use Wikipedia (wow), 48 percent go to online videos (double wow), and 47 percent use Twitter and other microblogging services (would have guessed higher on this one). [Read more…]