Tag Archives: Media

I Wrote This Blog and You’ll Never Believe What Happens Next…

By: Dallas J. Short

Working in public relations, I’m a bit of word nerd and am constantly writing. There is a new version of Merriam-Webster’s unabridged dictionary and 1,700 words have been included, along with 3,200 new examples to add context. After this, all I can do is SMH at WTF and NSFW being added. The one that bothers me the most though is clickbait, not because I disagree with it being a word, but I disagree with even having clickbait (as what it is) exist.

Clickbait (noun): something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest.

There are two mains reasons.

The first, it’s lazy journalism, which is very unprofessional and should not even be labelled as journalism. If you can’t judge a book by its cover, you should definitely still be able to know what a story is about by its headline. Integrity is extremely important to me and has seemed to fall by the way side, as people are more focused on getting clicks so they can pad their traffic stats and get more money for advertisements. It’s lying and disrespectful. It might sound crazy, but when you actually create quality content for your audience, they will not only trust and respect you more, but your positive engagement will increase. While some people will always be bored and out to troll, the majority of comments on a “news” story should not be outrage because of the author’s misrepresentation of facts and details.

The second, the internet and the world in general are fast-moving and unfortunately there are some people who just read headlines and form their own stories, without taking the time out to read the whole thing, put it in context or do research. Ah yes, ignorance is bliss and we should be a more educated society, but putting nonsense out into the world is part of the problem, not the solution. These misleading titles can also cause people to be upset and spread hate, as well as misinformation. Writers understand that words are weapons and a quick Spiderman refresher “with great power comes great responsibility.” Readers deserve better.

Clickbait has become a bad game of follow the leader, it works/worked to increase the number of page clicks and so more and more people keep doing it. Online publications do rely on advertising money, so they do want more clicks and that is understandable. There are other ways to go about it and it comes down to knowing your audience and writing in ways that appeal to them. It could be through intelligence, wit, sarcasm, actual satire or other styles.

In PR, your reputation is everything. I like my news delivered to me clever and honest, how about you? As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read, please be social and share.

Using Twitter For Business

By: MJ Pedone

So the chatter continues about social media and more specifically twitter and how it helps businesses grow. I can have this conversation for hours and my best advise is to tell people to give it a few months and leave it to the pros. Here are my twitter tips that I use to grow my business and what has been extremely helpful for me.

1. I present my company, Indra Public Relations, which is my brand, to the twitter community and make sure it has the same look and feel as my other online tools. This builds consistency and trust with your community.

2. I share photographs in my tweets as people love pictures and add video to my twitter timeline. Video is another powerful way to tell people about your business.

3. I follow other people I.e. clients, potential clients, vendors, professional organizations, competitors and other businesses of interest.

4. I post on twitter daily, reply to direct messages and share other useful information. I have conversations on topics designed to draw in potential clients and I always publish my tweets during the times where the twitter traffic is the heaviest.

5. I organize my followers into conversation lists which allows me to separate the twitter accounts I follow into groups. A list allows me to see the tweets from the list members as a separate Twitter timeline. This distinguishes them from the crowd so I can pay attention to what these people say. Everybody’s lists are based on their industry and goals but certainly a great thing to do.

6. I expand my audience with Hashtags. Most people’s Twitter experience is limited to the people they follow. It’s always a good idea to keep looking for new, fresh voices to follow to keep expanding your online conversations. Hashtags appear in tweets to identify a common topic or theme and usually something that is trending.

Although I would like to consider myself a master of twitter, I do rely on social media analytics to see how my Twitter strategies as well as my clients, have been perceived by my audience.

What are some of your strategies to build your business on twitter? Do you use any online tools to assist with this? As always, I welcome all comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

Charities in Need of Media Attention

By: MJ Pedone

When I first founded Indra Public Relations, I listened to the needs of my clients and heard them loud and clear on why they wanted to hire a firm that offers everything needed to grow a business and that is why we offer a wide variety of in house services that includes, PR, nonprofit management, event planning and production, branding and celebrity integration.
Early on, I had many of my nonprofit clients come to me who were misinformed about earning press and didn’t understand why other organizations were front and center in the media. I had to explain that those other organizations have outstanding PR and marketing firms, but the ones that don’t, aren’t in the running for growing their funds as competitively as others that do.

Here are 3 reasons why your charity DOES NOT wins press coverage:

1. Those who benefit from your charity’s work are not in front of media enough. Most of the media opportunities you get should feature people your work helps. The best stories and those that drive donations to a charity, are the ones that tugs at people’s heartstrings. You need to bring a human element to the story to impact your charity’s work.

2. Your charity does too few public events. From a PR perspective, events are a key way to build relationships with the media and broader public. People (including media) like events, and there is no doubt that charity events generally have a feel-good vibe and are a nice counterpoint for journalists, because “news” is usually bad news.

3. Your leadership is not committed to raising the organization’s profile in the media. Like anything in business, very little is going to happen without real commitment from senior leaders. If your charity wants to take PR to the next level, you better have a leader at the top that understands the relationship between earned media and the bottom line.

If you want to let the world know about your amazing mission, then you need to have an experienced team of experts get the word out there for you. At Indra Public Relations, we are available to grow your business and meet your goals. http://www.indrapr.com

As always, I welcome all comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

Four Great Ways to Generate Publicity

By: Jenifer Wetterau

One of the big challenges in PR is making your client’s brand perpetually relevant. It can be quite tough to come up with fresh ideas to pitch and post at those inevitable times the company finds itself in a newsworthy content drought. Touting the same product or service day after day will only serve to turn customers off – exactly what you DON’T want to happen. So what do power publicists do to earn media mentions? Here are a few ideas:

Make the most of every event</strong
Many brands are great at building buzz before events, but the most successful ones continue to generate publicity during, and long after the guests go home. Make the most of all the hard work you put into the event by live-streaming it with a top-tier broadcaster, allowing online viewers to act as voyeurs. Create a unique hashtag and tease it out a few weeks prior to, and during, the event. You should also record footage for multiple follow up posts and to tease your next event. Great, sharable visuals will always boost your brand image. The last thing you may want during a stressful event is to give yourself more work, but this will pay off infinitely. Offer your audience multiple ways to interact with the event and they will generate news for you. Keep the conversation going and the content from your event will continue to spread throughout the interwebs.

Talk about what people are talking about, when they are talking. To practice real time marketing communication, identify a hot, trending topic and jump on it. Give your opinion on something that’s relevant to the brand and adds value to the story. Very easy, and since both Twitter and Facebook’s display real time trending topics, it’s a no-brainer when you’re in a pinch. The key is time is of the utmost essence. You don’t want to be late to the party, posting content on a topic that’s been long-exhausted.

Tap into tastemakers
Not every brand has a large budget to hire a celebrity to endorse their products. The next best thing? Your customers. They are appealing because they speak authentically and offer credible, unbiased reviews. People are more likely to believe a peer more than polished marketing and PR content. How do you tap into this resource? Give influential members a sneak peek into your service, offer a demo to select people, or send your product to key influencers. Your brand ambassadors will do the rest! Everyone loves to be asked for their opinion. Make sure to monitor and engage with their feedback.

Get involved with a charity
Tying your brand to a charitable organization not only demonstrates the altruistic nature of your company, but also offers additional media opportunities. Whenever the charity is in the news, you will most likely be mentioned as well. Give your time, product, and use your staff and resources to do something exciting and different to help the charity.

Your turn. What are your favorite strategies to hold the media and public’s attention for your clients? I’m interested in what has worked for you.

As always, if you like what you read, be social and share.

Long Lead vs. Short Lead

By: Gina Mason

Timing is everything in PR and in order to score that big media placement your timing must be right on or else you may lose the opportunity. One common misconception is that getting media placements in those nationwide publications can be done right away. Often times, new clients will say to us “I want to be featured in next month’s edition of GQ magazine, can you make that happen?” As much as we would love to deliver on our client’s request, pitching those publications can be very time sensitive and can require planning months in advance.

In order to see results from your pitch, you must be cognizant of the writer’s editorial calendar, time and deadlines. There are different types of publications (print & digital) and each has different deadlines in terms of pitching. As PR professionals, we distinguish those publications and our pitches as long and short leads.

Long Lead
Long lead outlets are primarily print magazines and those reporters are usually working on stories anywhere from 3-6 months in advance. National magazine like Allure and Men’s Health take a long time to create, edit and publish so they work months in advance so they have plenty of time to make any changes before going to print. Many of these long lead outlets also follow an editorial calendar or publishing schedule which usually maps out what each edition of the magazine is going to feature for the year (i.e. the July edition of Food & Wine may feature 4th of July BBQ recipes).

Every publication has a different calendar, so be sure to check it out on their website prior to pitching.

Here is an example of SELF’s editorial calendar:

Notice that the July issue closes on May 1st. That means that your pitches must be submitted at least a month in advance (more like two) before that May 1st so deadline the reporter has enough time to conduct interviews, fact check any information and submit the story to their editor.

Short Lead
Short lead outlets are daily/weekly newspapers & magazine, blogs, and news websites that do not require pitching that far in advance. Depending on the type of outlet, pitches for short lead publications can usually be done around a month in advance (sometimes even less). However, timing is still important to consider when pitching short lead publications since reporters are most likely on a tighter deadline.

Here is an example of a great timeline for pitching typical long and short lead holiday ideas:

• New Year’s Resolution – long lead pitch in September, short lead pitch up to end of December
• Valentine’s Day – long lead pitch in November, short lead pitch up to mid-February
• Easter – long lead pitch in December, short lead pitch up to April
• Christmas – long lead pitch in August, short lead pitch up to end December

Tailoring your pitches for long and short lead publications is extremely important. You should be sure to do your homework on each outlet to ensure that you get the placement you desire and most importantly, to make sure that you aren’t wasting a reporter’s time. Happy Pitching!

As always, I welcome your comments or questions and if you like what you read be social and share.

Volkswagen: Eyes on the Road

By: Eliza Borish

Recently, the car company, Volkswagen, released an interactive PSA called “Eyes on the Road” in a Hong Kong movie theatre to show moviegoers the consequences of texting and driving. Using a first-person perspective of driving a car with only the arms of the driver being visible, the Volkswagen ad uses a location-based service to send a text message to each of the unsuspecting audience members while the video (and the car) continues forward. While the audience digs into their pockets to check the text message they just received, the vehicle on screen crashes, shattering the windows to the car and jolting everyone out of their seats. When the audience finally realizes that the person behind the wheel on screen is representative of them, it becomes clear that their wrongdoing—of texting while driving—causes the car crash. Immediately, in black writing the words “mobile use is now the leading cause of death behind the wheel” appears on a white background bringing forth the significance of the interactive ad that just occurred and the need for changing standards when it comes to mobile use within vehicles.

I’ve watched the video a few times now and every time the audience reaches to see their phone, I brace myself for what’s coming: I know there is about to be a car crash, yet I feel equally as unprepared and shaken when the car crash does in fact occur. So what does this mean for Volkswagen, the company behind the commercial?

Personally, it seems like a brilliant move if you ask me. With this commercial, Volkswagen is essentially killing two birds with one stone. From a marketing standpoint, the ad is an effective and strategic tool. Because of its original view point and its interactive ability, the commercial shows the importance of and highlights Volkswagen’s strong commitment to safe driving while also generating traffic and buzz to the Volkswagen brand itself. From a safety standpoint and using a clever PSA for the specific audience in the video and essentially all viewers of this video, it hones in on the point that texting and driving is plain stupid. Often people believe that bad things won’t happen to them and that they are indestructible and while I pray that no one gets into an accident due to a mobile distraction, the reality is, is that these things do happen. So to put the audience in the scene of the accident (and crime) sends a successful, yet chilling message: if you text and use mobile devices while driving, the person in that car on the screen next time could be you.

Down to the core of it, this commercial is relaying the visual that it is better to be jolted out of your seat in a movie theatre from an unsuspecting car ad than jolted out of the drivers seat from an incoming car or tree or anything that could become a target when your eyes (and mind) wander to a screen instead of focusing on the road. When you are on the road, a simple text message can wait and that’s what Volkswagen is emphasizing in this new commercial.

At the end of the day, this PSA is just an ad and the line between PSA and ad merges. For Volkswagen, however; it is a smart marketing tactic that accomplishes multiple things. Between the audience and the brand, there is a sense of trust and reliability created; it feels as if Volkswagen has the audience and future drivers’ backs by wanting to promote safe driving. Additionally, Volkswagen is evoking brand awareness and promotion by creating a viral, effective and highly regarded ad. Lastly, Volkswagen uses a new feature interaction to accentuate the overall ad experience for both themselves as a brand and their target, the audience. Overall, whether you think this commercial is for the audience or for the brand or you think it’s a PSA alone or an ad alone, there is one thing you can’t deny: it is very effective in all senses and to me, that is a win-win.

What do you think about Volkswagen’s “Eyes on the Road” PSA? Do you think its effective as a marketing ad? What about as a PSA? As always, I welcome your comments and spread the word.