Author Archives: Niki

Pitching Smarter: Gaining the Media Coverage You Want

I recently listened in on a webinar hosted by Michael Smart, an independent communications trainer. Michael works with PR professionals to help them land media coverage. Here are his tips and tricks for successfully pitching the media.

1) Frame Boring Content
Chances are your clients aren’t going to have a new product or “earth- shattering news,” every month, but you’re still going to be expected to get them media coverage. This is where framing comes in. You make the clients’ “boring” coverage interesting and relevant. One way to do that is to exploit pop culture. Even if your clients are B2B you can still draw parallels between what their business is doing and what is relevant in pop culture. Another way to frame content is simply to change the format. Think about what format works best for page views. Generally these are articles that incorporate lists, photos or GIFs. Tip: When creating your content try to get a link back to your client’s homepage. This is the best way to get SEO from your site.

2) Apply the 80/20 Principle to Your Media List
One of the biggest hurdles PR professionals face is time. We feel like we don’t have enough time to customize our pitches for each editor in our media list. Michael recommends spending 80 percent of your time pitching the top 20 percent of your media list. Focus most of your time on the 5-10 absolutely crucial influencers. Make sure your pitches are customized to meet the needs of the editor and publication. For the next 30 percent, do your best to briefly customize your pitches. You can send the same pitch to the last 50 percent of editors. You might ask yourself, “How do I know who the top 20 percent are?” All media relations should drive revenue and drive valuation. When determining who the top 20 percent are, think about which publications will have the biggest influence on driving revenue and valuation. Those publications are your top 20 percent.

3) Specific Formulas to Pitch Your Email
Once you have identified your 20 percent it’s time to do your homework. Be sure to reference the editor’s earlier work. Make sure to be as specific as possible. You want to let the editor know what you’ve actually read his or her past articles. Then tie in how your pitch relates. When tailoring your pitch makes sure it is short, specific and sincere. Even if the editor comes back with a “no,” showing editors you’ve done your research will help put you on their radar.

After your top 20 percent start using your database for the next 30 percent. Open with, “I know you cover…” Still try to be specific though. For example, if you are tying to pitch a tech story don’t simply say, “I know you cover tech.” Say something more specific like, “I know you cover start-up tech companies is San Francisco.” For the last 50 percent you can make the pitch very broad depending on the amount of time you have.

Tip: Snail mail editors’ pitches, content or products to get their attention and then follow up with an email. Also, don’t pitch via Twitter. Use Twitter as a way to build a relationship with editors. If they do happen to follow you back you may consider pitching them through direct message, but pitching on Twitter is too public. Many editors don’t want to pitches to be seen by competing publications.

 

Fighting Content Failure and Fatigue

I’ve been away from the blog for a few weeks so I thought this topic would be perfect, because it is something we all struggle with. You create an editorial calendar for your blog. You agonize over what to write about. You give it a withy title and pack it full of insightful content. You spend time rereading and editing it. You think it’s perfect, and you are sure that everyone is going to want to read it. You post it online and…nothing. The blog gets a handful of views and maybe a spam comment or two. How can this be? You were sure this post was going to be a hit. What I am describing is called content failure and fatigue, and it happens to the best of us.

It’s Not Your Fault
Millions of great blog posts, tweets and websites go unnoticed everyday. It’s not a content problem. It’s an audience problem. There is just an abundance of content on the Internet. Sadly, great content goes unread.

The Facts
Every minute:
• 571 websites are launched
• 350,000 tweets are tweeted
• 48 hours of YouTube videos are uploaded
• 3,800 blog posts are written and published

What can you and your brand do?
I’ve said this in almost all of my blogs, but it is about quality not quantity. Quality doesn’t just apply to your content. It’s also about your promotion. Brands can step down content production and step up promotion and distribution to get better results.

The solution is content promotion. Identify the key influencers in your industry, pitch them, get coverage and promote the coverage. You can promote it through social media or a content marketing strategy- like a newsletter campaign. You can also pay for sponsored ads or to get placed in the “Recommended News Articles.” These are sponsored links at the bottom of most news articles that are selected for you based on your search history.

Whatever method you chose to promote with just make sure you are being consistent and putting out useful, quality content your readers will enjoy. 

Keep Tweeting During the Holidays

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Merry Christmahanakwanza…Twitter?

With the holidays in full swing it’s easy to put your business social media accounts on the back burner. However, understanding how to engage with your Twitter audience during the holidays can be of great use to your business.

Have fun with your posts 
Since it is the holidays you can have more fun with your tweets. Post pictures of your office holiday party or what you are excited about for the New Year. This helps show your followers your business’/ brand’s personality. Use the hashtag #happyholidays to promote your brand with a trending hashtag. A Crimson Hexagon study showed that twitter holiday influence continues to increase until Christmas Eve. Also, try to relate your industry to the holidays. Many businesses continue right on through the holidays. Tweeting about having a happy holiday season is a great opportunity to include a link about your products and services.

Fewer tweets means more attention.
It’s true that a lot of people take off the last couple weeks December, but not everyone. Many professionals continue to work and check their social media accounts throughout the holidays. Fewer people tweeting means that your posts will get more attention. Also, work tends to slow down giving people have more time to give their social media accounts the due diligence they deserve. 

Scheduling your posts
Even is you’re out of the office for the holidays you can still keep up with your social media accounts. Use a platform like HootSuite to schedule holiday tweets before you leave. It’s a great way to promote your business and/or brand while still being able to enjoy your holiday vacation. 

-NP

Content Marketing: It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint

How PR Pros Converge Media and Content Marketing

Content marketing is a term that’s appeared many times on our blogs. We use content marketing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday when we put out our DW Security Update headlines. Despite content marketing being a trending topic in the PR world, many PR pros are hesitant to implement it into their PR strategy. Why you may ask? Marketing. The word marketing throws PR pros off. We aren’t marketers and we aren’t sales people so why should we handle content marketing?

In its simplest form content marketing is building relationships and trust with your audience. You create helpful content for current and potential clients and in turn they see you as someone they can turn to when they need help or information on your industry. This is exactly what PR is.

Why it “Fails”
Content marketing has a reputation of “failing.” The truth is content marketing isn’t failing. You’re just thinking about it wrong. When most people think of content marking they have this general outline in their heads:

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Just because someone reads your content doesn’t mean they are going to buy – just yet. Content marketing is a much longer process. It starts with making interesting, usable content. The hope is people will click on it. If they like what you’ve posted then they’ll remember you. You start to build trust and relations with people. You want to show them that you are someone they can trust –whether it be in the product or service you are selling or simply the information you can provide them. When they are ready to buy they will remember you and select your product or service.

It’s Not All About Sales
Content marketing is not about selling. Of course sales are vital to the growth of your business, but it has to be in the back of your mind. It is about building trust and telling a story. When you are writing content ask yourself these two questions: Why does you audience care about this? And, is this news just about your business? If this is just news about your business consider packaging it as an office memo instead of a press release or blog post. Your primary focus is being an expert and helping potential customers and clients do better in their businesses.

 

Common PR Myths

 

Myth

As a small business you want to promote your company in the easiest and most cost- effective manner possible. While we can’t all foot the bill for a PR firm be weary of these common PR myths.

1.Any press is good press

This age old saying only applies if you are celebrity. While Miley Cyrus’s career may be benefiting from bad publicity, your business won’t. Arguably an unknown, small business may see a slight increase in sales after a bout of bad publicity, but this is a losing strategy. You want to focus on putting out the best product and the best content for your business. Good press is good press.

2.All you need is a press release service

It is easy, albeit expensive, to put your press release on a wire service and watch it get coverage, but that doesn’t mean you are necessarily getting the right coverage. Even though you can customize who gets your release through services like PR Newswire of BusinessWire, the best coverage comes from pounding the pavement. Find out who the key influencers are in your industry and pick up the phone or send an email to get coverage for your business.

3.You don’t need social media

It is hard to measure social media ROI, which can deter companies from putting in the time and effort to grow their social media channels. Social media is a great way to gain exposure, increase traffic to your site and improve your website’s search ranking.

4.You don’t need to advertise.

PR is earned media, which means you aren’t directly paying for it. Advertising is still a great way to bring in new customers. Advertising is also a good way to build better relations with editors when it comes time to implement your PR strategy.

5.Good products don’t need PR

Just because a product is good doesn’t mean you should publicize it. PR can help expand the reach our your product whether it be in a niche market or a preexisting one. If you truly have a good product, the more people know about it, the more they will buy it.

It is also important to note that the cost of a publication plan designed and implemented by professionals often pays for itself. Choose an agency that will become a real partner, get to know you business and help you reach new targeted audiences.

We’re Hiring! Do you have what it takes?

Daum Weigle is searching for an outgoing and driven individual currently living in San Diego to work as a full-time Media Relations Specialist.

 

Job qualifications:

 

  • A bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications or a related field
  • 1-2 years of public relations or media experience
  • The ability to develop strong ongoing working relationships with the media
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience with Facebook, Twitter and WordPress
  • Proficient in MS productivity tools
  • Experience working in the media is a plus

Job responsibilities will include:

  • Pitch story ideas to local, national and trade media
  • Develop and maintain a media distribution list using PR contact programs
  • Maintain current editorial calendars
  • Develop strong ongoing relationships with media
  • Write posts for Facebook and Twitter
  • Meet and interact with client contacts
  • Create interview briefing materials for clients
  • Maintain coverage reports
  • Internet research
  • Supervise other team members

Salary

  • Commensurate with experience

Contact

Send your resume with a cover letter to pr@daumweigle.com. Please no calls or faxes. Only those considered will be contacted.

Are you making a fool of your brand on Twitter?

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 11.06.10 AMLast week the Twitter-sphere was a buzz about the “Why I Stayed” hashtag. It went viral after a video surfaced of now suspended NFL running back, Ray Rice, punching his then finance in an elevator. Many people took to Twitter using #WhyIStayed to share their personal stories of domestic abuse. Unfortunately, DiGiorno did not get the message and used the hashtag to promote pizza sales. After much backlash, DiGiorno took down the tweet and later apologized, saying that they did not know the meaning of the hashtag prior to posting. Although this was a large- scale embarrassment that doesn’t happen everyday I think we can all agree that we have been guilty of Twitter blunders. Here are some common mistakes we all make:

1) Improperly using trending hashtags

Sure, you probably haven’t angered everyone on Twitter by making a joke about domestic violence, but companies often attempt to use trending hashtags that have nothing to do with their brand. Just because a hashtag is trending doesn’t mean you have to use it to get noticed. You can customize your Twitter trends based on your location and your industry to get your hashtags noticed by the right people.

2) Not reading what you are retweeting 

Retweeting is key to organically growing your Twitter account. That being said you need to be smart about retweeting. It’s easy to look at your newsfeed and retweet the first headlines that relates to your industry without reading the link. Often companies tweet out self- promotional content disguised as helpful insider tips. While this information may be valuable to your industry and your followers you don’t want to promote your competition.

3) Not planning your tweets

If your tweeting content that isn’t time sensitive plan out your tweets in advanced to insure you’re putting out the best content. You can still leave plenty of room for spontaneity.

4) Not scheduling your tweets

This is similar to number three. Not only do you want to plan out in advanced what you say, you need to plan when you want to say it. You want to be tweet at least three times a day. Tweets are most likely to be seen and retweeted from 1 to 3 p.m. EST. Use a Twitter platform like HootSuite so you can schedule your tweets in advanced. You want to space out your tweets at least an hour apart from each other. The worst thing you can do is put tweets out back to back. People will start to view you as spam.

5) Not adding pictures

Visual culture is crucial in getting noticed. In a sea of texts it’s always refreshing to see a photo. Tweets with photos get 2x the engagement rate than those without.

 

Tips for Building Up Your Business on LinkedIn

linkedin-android-walks

An average of 45 million profiles are viewed on LinkedIn each day.  As a result, LinkedIn has become a key tool to help market your business and professional life. LinkedIn company pages don’t have the accessibility as a personal LinkedIn profile. Joining groups is one of the key ways to put your company’s name and expertise out there as well as gain new connections and opportunities. 

 Tips for LinkedIn Groups

1)    Don’t join too many groups.. Join five to six groups at most  so you will have time to participate, engage and build a strong presence with each of them.

2)    Join Content Niches. Be specific in your posts to find people who have similar interests.

3)    Connect with people who frequently talk/ comment in your groups and conduct private conversations, follow them on Twitter or other forms of social media.

4)    Add “Follow us on LinkedIn” on your company website and email signature.

5)    Don’t just join communications or PR groups. Join groups that relate to your clients interests as well.

6)    Follow the rule of thirds. What’s that in this context? I remember learning about it in photography class

Tips for Company Pages

About 80 percent of LinkedIn members want to connect with company pages. Even though company pages do not have the same accessibility, it is still important to have them.

1)    Brand your page to make it SEO friendly. Google previews will show 156 characters of your description page text. Use industry keywords in your description. Members will find your company page by searching those keywords.

2)    Post in the morning. This is gives your post a longer shelf life and insures that more people will view and engage with it. Updates with links have a 45 percent higher engagement rate.

3)    Link your website and other social media on your LinkedIn page to ensure that potential clients can easily find you.

 

6 Tips for Email Marketing

email symbol on row of colourful envelopes

Content marketing is one of most important trends in public relations this year. It’s all about promoting your business to followers with useful content. A great way to do that is through email marketing. But, are a few things you should know before you start.

First, think about the direction of your message/content. What type of information do you want subscribers to see?  Is your content beneficial and informative?

Choosing a Platform: Choose an email-marketing platform. This is essential because you do not want your emails to automatically go to spam if you are sending them out to a large group of people.  Email marketing platforms like Constant Contact and MailChimp are an easy and inexpensive way to help build and polish your content and keep it out of the spam folder. Create multiple test emails and send them out before you choose a particular platform. See what you like.

Finding Contacts: You should already have contacts ready to go to start a marketing campaign. However, you want your contact list to expand. Think about who would be interested in the services/ information you have to offer. Do your research and build a good contact mailing list. In addition, make sure it’s easy for potential subscribers to sign up for your email service – whether that be on your website or your social media platforms.

Crafting your Email: Make sure your emails are written and designed so that they are clear and concise, and the design is mainly neutral colors. Emails should be a “readable” length and if they are too long the will more than likely not be read or read all the way. Try to make it so that your reader only has to scroll down one or two times while reading any given email.

Integration: The key to growing your influence is integration. Create a Twitter account, a Facebook page, etc. for your newsletter. Make sure to advertise your social media when the newsletter goes out. Also use your social media sites to tweet or post updates from your newsletter. Post or tweet a link to your newsletter subscribe button as well. 

Tracking your Emails: Many email-marketing platforms will allow you to track your emails. You can see how many people opened it, what links they clicked on, etc. Every week you should be tracking your progress. See who’s opening your emails and what they are doing after that. Are they clicking on your links? What type of links get the most hits? All of this is important in maintaining a successful email marketing campaign. Use the statistics you collect and modify r accordingly. Remember, email marketing is all about what the subscriber wants to see.

Be Consistent: The key to all content marketing is consistency. Plan out which days and approximately times you want your email to go out. When you start your email- marketing campaign write a welcome email to let your subscribers know what they can expect from you.

– Niki Perri

What NOT to do on Social Media

 

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We’ve all seen lists telling us what do to increase your social media influence…but what shouldn’t you do? Knowing what not to do can be just as important as knowing what tactics your company should be using. Here’s what not to do on social media and some simple ways you can fix these common mistakes.

 

  1. Don’t post an irrelevant Facebook status to engage with your audience. Your audience has followed or liked you on social media for a reason and they expect consistency from you. Asking a question or posting a quote that has nothing to do with your business or field confuses followers and hinders engagement.

Fix: Try to engage with your audience by asking questions that are relevant to your field and can also help your business grow.

  1. Only talk about yourself. Sure, you want to grow your business and show your followers all the amazing products/ services you have to offer. However, talking only about your company comes off as egocentric and could keeps you from making connections with other businesses or customers.

Fix: Rule of thirds. One- third of the time post created content. One- third of the time, share content from others. One- third of the time try to have a conversation with your followers (see rule #1).

  1. Spam followers. Followers want updates about your latest project or important news regarding the industry. However, when companies post back- to- back social media posts it can start to annoy your followers.

Fix: Use a social media platform like HootSuite or TweetDeck to schedule your posts. Try to spread them out at least an hour apart.

  1. Post vulgar or inappropriate content. Human error happens. We’ve all seen posts where an employee posted something on their company page when they meant it for their own personal social networks.

Fix: Make sure your employees do not have their personal social networks attached to social media platforms, like HootSuite, where it might be hard to differentiate between accounts.

  1. Don’t have too many social media outlets. It’s great for companies to expand their reach to multiple social media outlets and try to up their SEO. However, if you have too many sites, chances are you aren’t consistent across the board. Someone might stumble upon your dormant Facebook page and think your aren’t serious about social media.

Fix: Limit the amount of social media outlets your have. If you know you can only commit to one or two sites then simply have those one or two site and post content regularly.

  1. Not cross promoting. If you have a large Twitter following but are lacking in Facebook likes you are doing your company an injustice by not promoting the Facebook page on your Twitter account.

Fix: Cross promote your social media sites. You want to have a good number of followers or likes in every outlet, not just one. 

– NP