PR Tips | Become an earned media darling

We undertake dozens of PR campaigns on behalf of our clients every year. Each campaign — and each client — has a different goal. One may want to change lawmakers’ views on a certain policy issue; another may be looking to get reporters to attend an event that he or she is hosting.

But all clients are looking for one thing to achieve their goals — media coverage. They want to get their spokespeople into the paper or on TV — and to brand those folks as experts in their chosen fields in the process.

Here are three ways to ensure that your media campaign can work for you.

1. Make sure that you have a good story to tell. Reporters and editors are looking for stories that are newsworthy and… READ MORE


More isn’t always better, or is it?

Recently, I had a conversation with an SEO expert who told us we needed 1,000 words on a web page in order to optimize our site for search engines.  He was specifically looking at our website that has a clean, open feel — without a lot of text. When building the site, our goal  was to convey our product and message to users quickly, so they didn’t have to wade through mountains of content to get a feel for who we are and what we offer.

So, we were faced with a choice — either take the advice of the SEO guru and add a lot more text to the site, or keep the current site that is focused on messaging and user experience. We opted to stick to our guns and leave the site… READ MORE


What do these guys expect for $10,000 per month?

“What do these guys expect? They’re paying us only $10,000 per month.” Those are the words I heard from an executive at a large PR firm complaining about his difficult client.

In essence, the client felt like he wasn’t getting any solid results. And the executive felt like the client wasn’t worth his time.

I was at a PR conference and our company was brand new and tiny. My first reaction was shock:

Wow. Here’s an executive who looks at a $10,000/month contract as an annoyance — a distraction from his mega clients.

My next reaction was wonder and amazement:

How had this PR firm become so successful that it could charge its clients five times what I was charging while delivering inferior service?


Copy Editor’s Corner | Comma Wars

Whether you call it a serial comma or the Oxford comma, mentioning it is bound to stir up a debate – and since Chicago Manual of Style recommends that extra comma in a series and the AP Stylebook does not, the sides often break into book editors vs. newspaper and magazine editors.

Why does it matter? Why can’t we just pick one and stick with it? As simple as that seems, there are instances where one solution really is better.

This is a classic example pro-Oxford folks use:

The most influential people in my life have been my parents, the Pope and Indira Gandhi.

Wow! Your parents are the Pope and Indira Gandhi? Wait – the Pope has children? The silly thing about this example, of course, is that everyone knows the Pope and Indira… READ MORE


PR Tips | Op-eds: The perfect meeting collateral

Congratulations! Your op-ed was published in today’s Gotham Daily Planet. Now what?

An op-ed’s impact doesn’t have to end the day after it’s published. In fact, you can make an op-ed hit a component of your standard sales pitch — whether you’re selling products or ideas.

An op-ed hit establishes your credentials as an expert. So put that newspaper validation to work!

Say that your firm makes wireless heart monitors. Including in your sales packet a reprint of your op-ed on how to best fight heart disease can show a potential client that you’re actively participating in the national conversation on cardiac care — and lend additional credibility to your pitch.

The same is true if you’re trying to influence public policy. Whether you’re lobbying a city councilman for more affordable housing in your community… READ MORE


What’s in a bucket of ice water?

A month ago, few Americans knew anything about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — commonly called “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” Even fewer would have imagined they’d soon be dousing themselves with freezing water.

But then the ALS Ice Bucket challenge happened. The campaign went viral on social media. Ordinary citizens and celebrities alike joined in on the action. The ALS Association received $70 million in donations in the past month. Compare that to their $2.5 million haul last August — a 2700 percent increase.

The challenge wasn’t dreamt up by any crafty PR specialist at the ALS Association — it started organically as a social media fad. But savvy PR professionals can still take away valuable lessons from the campaign’s success.

1) Peer pressure works. Most people who took the ice bucket challenge have no personal connection to the disease… READ MORE


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