PR Tip: Using Your Media to Land More Media

iStock_000024056137XSmallTo launch an effective public relations campaign, use your TV and radio appearances and magazine and newspaper articles to interest other media and to more firmly establish yourself online and in your various social media outlets.  Make copies of articles and send them out, have links to your various interviews, articles and stories that people can readily access.  Place those links on your press releases, on your website and on all of the various social media platforms.

Take a page from the film industry.  They don’t simply mention that a film has been reviewed or featured in a particular media outlet.  They take the most flattering quotes they can find, highlight them and then put the media outlet under the specific quote.

Use that same strategy.

Use your media exposure to further establish you as a thoughtful leader and as an expert in your field.  Don’t simple list the media that you’ve been in, but pull specific quotes that establish you in the best light.  Try to find quotes that you can pull that focus on various different aspects of you and your expertise.

Now use those media quotes when pitching outer media outlets.  You want to be a bit judicious here.  For example you don’t want to pitch the Today Show with a quote from Good Morning America, but you get my basic drift.

The media wants to know that you’re news and news worthy.  Use your current media to make that crystal clear.

Work your press coverage, utilize your public relations efforts and more media will follow.

Copyright © Anthony Mora Communications 2013

 

Working Your PR

Meet the pressA few years ago, we worked with a client who had landed some media before starting with us.  I asked her if she could bring some of the articles and TV interviews she had been featured in.  As it turned out she didn’t have any.  She had not kept one.  From her perspective, the media coverage was nice, but she didn’t consider what a powerful tool it would be for her down the line.  So in a sense, media-wise, we were starting from scratch.  Which was a shame; we didn’t need to be.

That was pre internet.  Now you have a shot at finding some of the media you’ve been featured in, but not all.  And if you’ve been featured in a newspaper or a magazine, you want the link, but you also want a hardcopy.  Whether you’ve launched a media campaign in the past, or have been fortunate to have a print article or TV segment come to you, all of your media coverage is a part of your PR and marketing arsenal.

Each media placement is a tool.  You want to be media savvy and utilize it.

There are people who have garnered a great deal of press coverage, but have done nothing with it.  They didn’t incorporate their public relations in their promotions, or make it a part of their overall marketing strategy.  They didn’t use their PR in their ads, or direct marketing material or in their social media outreach.

That’s like sticking money under your mattress and never taking it out.

If you use it correctly, media not only begets media, it also enhances all of your other marketing efforts, from social media and online marketing, to traditional advertising to direct marketing.

Throughout the next few weeks, I’ll be posting some tips and tricks of the trade on how to successfully utilize your PR efforts and media coverage.

Stay tuned!

Copyright © Anthony Mora Communications 2013

 

PR’s #1 Success Secret Part 2

Success Thumb Up SignHaving worked as a journalist and as an editor, I can tell you that facts and information do not sell a story.  When I had PR consultants or publicists call me and pitch me story ideas by reading off a list of facts and information about their clients, my response was to say thank you and promptly hang up.  Facts do not a story make.  When a publicist called me with a story that included his or her client I’d listen and if that story related to my reader’s interests, I’d really listen.  Without a narrative, I was being pitched an ad, not a possible article.

I’m not alone in that, every journalist, editor and producer looks for the same elements.  They look for a story that will interest their readers, viewers or listeners.

Let’s say for example, you’re a plastic surgeon and you have your PR company pitch the media a list of the procedures you offer.  Boring.  Anyone can do that.  Once again, you have your firm pitching an ad, a commercial, not a news story.  But, if you find a patient who is willing to speak to the media, who is having a unique procedure which can be videotaped, you now have the makings of a story.  We did that a while back and landed a spot on a national daytime talk show.

Or, say you’re a producer and have finished your new film, and want to get the word out, not only to the public, but also to distributors and possible investors for your upcoming projects.   You can have your firm send out a press release saying you’ve finished your new film and hope that the media somehow finds that compelling, Chances are 99% that they won’t.  Or you can come up with a story about the behind the scenes making of the film, create an event where you’ll show the film, or tie the film in with some foundation or charity,

Or let’s say you run a cosmetics company, again you can have your PR representative send out a release on the new products you have.  Who knows you might land some coverage, or you can get creative and come up with an actual story.  A company that we worked with sold a concealer product, we launched a campaign targeted towards the women’s and bride’s publications on women who used the concealer to cover up their tattoos.  The company found women who were willing to take before and after photos and tell their stories.   There was a story.  The media loved it.

The same is true whether you’re a video game designer, a painter, an attorney, a musician or… you get the idea.  The same is true no matter what you do.  No matter how fascinating you think what you do is- nine times out of ten, pitching what you do is not going to be enough to interest the media.  You need to come up with stories to pitch.  Sometimes they are going to feel forced, it’s not going to feel like what you do.  But your objective here isn’t to show the media a day in the life or a day at the office, the point is to give the media a good story.

I’m not suggesting that you to turn yourself inside out, be inauthentic or present yourself as something you’re not.  But I am telling you that if you want your PR campaign to be truly effective, you need to get creative, which means getting involved, which often means getting out of your comfort zone.  Work as a team with your PR firm.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

How To Successfully Present Your PR Pitch to the Media

TV-InterviewWhen pitching the media, or your target market, generally the harder you sell, the quicker you lose them.  I don’t know of an editor or producer who likes a hard sell.  When launching a PR campaign, or sending out a press release, the hard sales approach is never going to serve your purpose.  Sell and you lose.  You don’t want to come off sounding like a promotional brochure or an advertisement.  Talk about unique selling points and chances are you’ll hear the click of a phone as they hang up on you.  If you have features you want to get across, find a creative way to communicate them.  Whether the benefits you’re hoping to get across are reduced costs, better health, more efficiency, or increased wealth, you need to relate your message in a concise and interesting manner.  You’re not holding a fire sale, you’re telling a compelling story.

Before you tell your story, you need to understand who your story is aimed at; who you are telling it to and for and what action you want the reader to take when he or she reads your story. We live in the age of content marketing which when it comes down to it is basically marketing via effective storytelling.  It’s about creating compelling, persuasive and believable stories.  It’s about narratives that grab your reader’s attention.

First figure out how you’re going to tell your story.  It could be a written press release, a whitepaper, a video, images with infographics, a teleseminar or webinars, etc.  Once you’ve figured out how you’re going to tell your story and tailored it toward your particular market, focus on the story itself.  Create the content.

If you’re launching a public relations campaign and are pitching an editor or producer the action you want them to take is to do an article or segment on you, your company or your product.  If you’re going directly to consumers, your aim could be to raise awareness, educate, inform or change perception.  Here, depending on your needs, you’ll have a different call to action. Your goal could be to get your reader to purchase your product, or to share your content.  Regardless of the call to action, the intent remains the same, to build trust and relationships by offering relevant and useful, compelling information.   In other words, you succeed by telling a concise and compelling story.  So, forget the hard sell.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

The Daily Muse. “Talk Show/ PR Image.” Photo. Mashable. 19, Dec. 2012. 28, Feb. 2013. <http://mashable.com/2012/12/19/tips-for-hiring-pr-agency/>

PR Tip of the day: 3 Various Ways to Present Your PR Pitch

what-is-the-future-of-pr-find-out-at-mashable-connect-1730ec194fWhen launching your PR or media relations campaign, review and breakdown the various ways you can present a topic.  Make a list of how you can present your expertise in different ways.   How can you refine your pitch to target different markets and age groups?  How does the topic you’re discussing impacts women, men, children, seniors, etc.?  For example, if you’re a skincare expert, chances are you could come up with a number of different pitches targeted various target markets. You could develop a traditional beauty pitch for the women’s magazines, a story on men’s skincare for the male-oriented media outlets, a pitch on aging skin for the baby boomers and a pitch on protecting children’s skin from sun and wind damage.    When developing your public relations pitches, work on how you can present the topic in different ways and to different audiences.  You’ll have a much greater opportunity to garner media coverage as an expert in your field.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

As The Election Looms: Is the Electoral College Bad PR For the Country?

According to an article in the New York Times, “In 2008 voter turnout in the fifteen states that received the candidates’ attention was 67 percent.  In the remaining 35 states it was six points lower.”   In other words, those voters who felt they were being actively engaged by the Presidential candidates were more likely to participate in the political process.  In the 1960s candidates would cross the country addressing the needs of the nation and reaching out to a large swath of voters.  This was particularly true in the tightly contested 1960 election between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon.  Between the two candidates every one of the 50 states was visited by at least one of the candidates.  Fast forward to 2012.  Since the political conventions the candidates have only campaigned in 10 states.  There are small cities in swing states that have had more attention from Obama and Romney than the entire west coast.   Now that we have red states and blue states, areas that the candidates feel sure that they’re either the strong favorite, or odds on to lose.  In a tight election such as this our candidates chose to ignore those states.  Because most states chose to deliver their electoral votes on a winner-take-all basis, there is no impetus for the candidates to reach out to states that seem decided.  As we saw in the 2004 election, it’s possible that one candidate wins the popular vote, while another wins the Electoral College.

There are various plans out there seeking to address the issue, one is the National Popular Vote plan.  It is a voter initiative proposed by John R. Koza.  According to Mr. Koza, it can be implemented without a federal constitutional amendment.  The actual elimination of the Electoral College would require one; but, as with the constant plans being offered to change the tax code, chances are slim that any change will come about.  Still, many of the voters around the country feel like they’re watching on the sidlines as the voters in Ohio, Florida and Virginia are courted by both candidates.  Each person wants to feel that his or her vote matters.  When voters feel taken for granted, they lose interest.  That’s bad PR for our political system.  When voters feel excluded they tend not to participate, not the best thing for a democracy.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012

Heuer, Jennifer. “American Flag”. Photo. The New York Times.  03 Nov 2012. 05 Nov 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/sunday-review/the-vanishing-electoral-battleground.html?_r=0>

From Perception To Reality: How to Win the Presidential Race

The Republicans had Akin, a hurricane, and Eastwood’s empty chair performance to distract them from their core message.  Initially the Democrats seemed to have smooth sailing.  The general consensus is that the Democrats held a more successful, on-point convention, buoyed by President Clinton who raised the bar and delivered the most effective speech of either convention.  He did a credible job of explaining how Obama inherited a mess that took years to create and that no president could have effectively cleaned up in four years.  The convention ended on a high note, but a high that was short lived.  Soon after the convention wrapped up and the last of the confetti hit the floor, the employment report was released, letting the air out of all of the collective balloons in the auditorium.  The news was not good.

So whereas the Republicans were hit hard on the front end of their campaign with the Akins story and the hurricane taking away much of the media’s coverage, the Democrats had basically smooth sailing until the campaign wrapped and the unemployment figures were released.

Obama is once again having to run delivering a message of hope and faith that a change is coming.  It’s a message that tries to move our attention from the present to the future.  That’s a great message for a candidate, but a much harder message for an incumbent.  Just as the Republicans have done their best to steer clear of memories of the George W. Bush administration and keep the focus away from the mess that the administration left the country in, the Obama administration is going to have a tough time running on future promises as opposed to past performance and present conditions.  Again, Clinton best articulated Obama’s strongest talking points, but the current administration needs to be the one to deliver that message if it’s to resonate with the voting public.

Both parties are choosing to steer clear from how they’ve either brought on the problem or have ineffectively dealt with it.  They are also both choosing to avoid specifics as to what concrete steps they’d take to effect change.  Both are big on generalities and grand pronouncements.   Both are offering vague platforms leaving it to the voters to fill in the gaps.  That is certainly an approach that has worked in the past, but in a race that is this close, it could be a mistake.

Voters are weary.  It’s been a rough few years.  People don’t want platitudes and general concepts, they want concrete plans.  They want bold moves.  It very well could be that the candidate who steps out of the political comfort zone, takes on some of the controversial issues and clearly outlines what he intends to do to help the country change course,  will be the candidate who wins.

It is not only in the worlds of PR and media relations that perception becomes reality.  Life works that way as well.  That’s precisely why Barak Obama is the president today.  The public perceived him as the agent of change following a low point in our history.  In this current presidential race, perception may well be what will tip the scales.  The presidential candidate that chooses to get in front of the issues and who outlines his plan in a concrete and compelling manner could well be the candidate that will be perceived as the best choice and will be sitting in the White House come 2013.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012

Marshall, Andrew G. “Bill Clinto, Barak Obama, and the politics of public relations.” Photo. The Market Oracle. 10 Sept. 2012. 10 Sept. 2012. <http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article36433.html>

Speaking, Presentation and Media Training Tips

Whether you’re doing a TV interview, giving a seminar or making a presentation, it’s important to be prepared.  Although from your perspective you might feel your main objective is to inform, in truth your primary goal is to engage with your audience, whether it be an audience of one or (via traditional media or social media) an audience of millions.  If you’ve launched a public relations or media relations campaign, you need to be prepared before doing that phone interview or appearing on a TV segment.  If you’re speaking at an event, again, you need to do your homework and be ready before stepping up to the microphone.  With that in mind, before you start your speech, presentation or interview, study the following:

1) WARM UP.  It takes most people at least ten minutes to warm up, but you might not always have that luxury, so practice.    Picture that this is you, sitting around after a dinner party telling a great story to good friends.  This is the “you” that will make a great interview.  Practice with your associates, in the car, at the studio.  Just talking and laughing with people, and especially putting others at ease, will do it.

2) IT’S YOUR MESSAGE Imagine reframing the interview in your mind, to where you have invited these people in order to educate, inform, and entertain them.  Your job is not to sell, but to communicate and engage.  This will add vitality, power, and energy as you deliver your message.

3) PASSION.  Why are you there?  Because you want to make money, sell books, land clients?  Probably.  That’s important.  But try this motivator instead:  you’ve got a great story, secrets to share, tips to impart, solutions to offer and you want everyone to know about it.  You REALLY BELIEVE what you’re saying, you’ve got the answers, and it’s fun and rewarding to enlighten others.  You have a mission and you’re passionate about your mission.  You want the public to know the truth.  Passion will make you come across like a dynamic expert who has the answers, rather than simply a talking head.

4) LOOK TO THE PROBLEM.  If you need a hint as to how to make your communication more vital and exciting, ask yourself – what problems did you (or your profession) solve in order to develop that approach, write that book, or create that program?  Give your story a narrative, with a beginning, middle and an end.   Explain how bad the problem was, how you solved it and how happy your clients are now that it’s solved.

5) BELIEVE IN YOUR MESSAGE.  If you’re shy and you have trouble speaking in public, focus on your ability to help, inform and educate; believe in your story, or your product, or your message.  Can you help people?  Can you make their lives better?  The answer is yes!  Believe in your message.

Remember the best PR or media relations campaign will fall flat if you don’t believe in and effectively deliver your message.  So work on your delivery and presentation.  Pump up your passion.  Enthusiasm can be infectious.    When it comes to your business and your brand, you are the message.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012

eHow Contributor. “Prepare for a Television Interview.” Photo. eHow. 16 July 2012. <http://www.ehow.com/how_2065941_prepare-television-interview.html>

Isn’t Public Relations Only For National Exposure?

Screen shot 2013-05-13 at 5.42.20 PMMy general rule of thumb is to never use the word only when referring to public relations.  For example, statements such as: public relations is only for celebrities, or PR is only for major corporations, or PR is only for national exposure are all incorrect statements.  Yet, most people have a tendency to think about PR in that type of only perspective.  Which is why there are so many misconceptions around what PR is and how media relations works.  Those type of onlys tend to shut people down and often lead business owners and entrepreneurs to make the wrong marketing decisions.

So they miss out on finding new ways to establish their business, bring in more clients, make more money and build their brand.  For example let’s take the statement that PR is only for national exposure.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  There are a number of ways businesses can local marketing exposure for national companies is one of the most overlooked areas of opportunity. Local exposure for businesses that provide products and services only in a designated local geographical area generally have an abundance of exposure opportunities available to them.

The truth is that PR, like a car, can be used for a multiple of reasons.  If you’d never bought a car and you heard that they were only for celebrities, or only for professional race car drivers, or only for the owners of large corporations, you’d think twice before buying, but think of what you’d be missing. There are myriad reasons that people buy cars. Some drivers only want a car for local transportation, others cover long distances, some carry equipment and are used for work, others are high end or turbo charged; it all depends on the driver and his or her needs.  And the same is true when it comes to launching a public relations campaign.  Your primary focus might be local or national, or a blend of the two; your aim might be to build your business, or bring in more clients, or establish yourself as an expert in your field, or establish your brand.  All of those are legitimate goals that can be accomplished via PR, publicity and media relations.

PR is perfect for start ups, small businesses, huge corporations, artists, celebrities, physicians… you can pretty much fill in the blank.  It is a form of marketing that you can utilize to meet your particular business and marketing needs.

So figure out what your marketing goals are.  What is your target market?  Who is your audience?   Who are your clients and customers?  Once you know your objectives you can develop a public relations campaign custom made for you and your business.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012

PR & Marketing Brainstorming Tips – Part 2

To begin, set up a session to review all of your media hooks and possible PR ideas.  They can be obvious, or they can be crazy.  You don’t have to use all of these, but you do want to push yourself, use outside of the box thinking and let your creativity run wild.  Once you’ve created a list of possible ideas, the next step is to review which ideas are your strongest, which have a chance of gaining you and your company media coverage.  Now start thinking like the media.  Let’s say you’re an editor or a producer; which of the stories you’ve come up with would be the most appealing.  How and why will those ideas work?  Now drill down even further, which ideas will work specifically as TV pitches?  TV is a visual medium; you want to present stories that offer more than just a talking head.  When pitching TV, think in terms of the strongest visual stories you can present.  Now think in terms of radio, what type of story ideas would work best there?  Next, do the same type of exercise with print media and social media.

Finally, start segmenting the media.  Different media outlets have different needs.  You need to keep that in mind when pitching and presenting your story ideas.  This is where most stories meet their doom.  You need to not only pitch great story ideas, you need to pitch stories that a particular journalist who writes for a very specific target market understands.  For example you might come up with a great pitch idea that you could present to women’s magazine, men’s magazine and general interest magazines, but how you pitch your story to each particular outlet  is going to decide whether the media is going to cover it or not.  That’s why you want to spend time brainstorming practicing how to build those media bridges.

Remember your PR hooks and media pitches need to meet the needs of the various magazines, newspapers, radio shows, and internet sites that you’re targeting.  You could have a great story, but if you pitch it to the wrong media outlet, it won’t get you very far.  Effective PR comes down to effective story telling. Take time to brainstorm and develop your stories.  It will be time well spent.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012

Brown, Ronald. “Innovation- Idea-Light bulb.” Photo. Mashable. 22 Jun 2012. 25 Jun 2012. <http://mashable.com/2012/06/22/measure-product-viability-agile-time/>

PR Secret: A Good Story Will Get you in the Media Today

With all of the new theories, programs, classes and seminars and master mind groups on how new media and social media are changing the world of PR, one thing remains constant, to be successful in the PR world, you have to have a story – good, compelling story with a strong narrative. All of the newest sites, gadgets, bells and whistles will get you nowhere, if you don’t have that in place.  Not that long ago, when the dot.com explosion firmly set on its head, the fact that AOL was set to swallow up Time Warner, was a story.  It actually should have been placed more in the realm of fiction, or better yet science fiction, but it sure as heck was a story; and one that received non-stop media coverage.  But if your company’s not about to gobble up Facebook, or Google, or Apple, how are you going to interest the media?  Some imagination and creativity on your part are in order.  You need the newest PR secret, which is also the oldest; you need a compelling story!

For example, if you’ve started a new website for your business, a press release announcing that your new site has been launched might get your company some ink in certain trade publications, you have a shot at garnering some online mentions on Yahoo and Google, but is that really what you want?  If you’re intent on launching an effective media relations campaign, you need to offer the media more than the fact you’ve created a new site.   What makes your site unique, special, different, or cutting edge?  What problems does it solve?  What questions does it answer?  How does it make a person’s life easier, happier, or more effective? 

This is no longer a one-story-fits-all world, and it’s imperative that a company develop press releases, hooks and ideas that will compel an editor, writer or producer to want to do a story. Think of the media less as a unified country than a segmented group of islands, each with its own interests, philosophy and needs.

What interests the Wall Street Journal will not necessarily interest USA Today, 60 Minutes, People, Vogue or your local media outlets.  The job of an effective media campaign is to interest each one of those venues.  Depending on  the campaign, the name of the game is to reach either a specifically targeted group or the largest number of consumers.  Each objective has its own strategy, but regardless of the strategy or objective, every campaign comes down to one main component; a good hook.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012

Snow, Shane. “8 Hot Media Trends You Need to Know.” Photo. Mashable. 19 Apr 2012. 20 Apr. 2012. <http://mashable.com/2012/04/19/hot-media-trends/>

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