Tag Archives: PR

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:

Untitled 

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.

 

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.

Your company should have a blog – really it should.

Blog

I know you’ve heard it before and you can find plenty of articles telling you that your company should have a blog.  It’s like telling people they should eat fruits and vegetables and cut down on fatty foods, sweets and salty snacks. Hey it’s simple – just do it.  But it sounds a lot easier than it is.

A company blog lets you do a number of things:

·       Talk to a targeted audience

·       Show off your expertise

·       Build credibility and reputation

·       Sell products and services

The list could go on, but you get the idea.  Simply put, it’s a great long-term sales tool that resulted from the evolution of the Internet and social media.  Look at it this way, back in the day, if you wanted to reach the masses you had to use direct mail, public relations or advertising. That meant that you had to rely on someone else’s already developed infrastructure and their mailing or subscribers lists. In many cases it was expensive and in the case of public relations you didn’t have total control over the message.

The internet changed so many things in our lives that it’s impossible to come up with a definitive list.  But the one way that it did change our lives that I think is often overlooked by business people is that it made all of us potential publishers and editors.  It gave us the opportunity to write, edit and publish (online) anything we wanted.  We don’t have to look to a magazine for its subscription list or a newspaper reporter to write a story.  We can write our own story and publish it ourselves.  That’s pretty powerful stuff. So why aren’t more companies doing it?  The truth is a lot are doing it, they just aren’t doing it very well or they start strong and fade fast, so their efforts end up in the digital graveyard with all the other welling meaning, but failed attempts at online communication/marketing. 

How do you avoid becoming another statistic, another social media casualty buried in the deep recesses of the Internet?  It comes down to one thing – a steady stream of relevant content. Again, much, much easier said than done. It’s like the old adage “no pain, no gain.”  Well, content creation is the “pain” part of the blog equation.  But, the gain part can be worth it for a lot of companies.   I’ve seen businesses that put together blogs with strong consistent content drive more traffic to their blog site than their already establish websites within a matter of several months. 

It makes sense. We know that people respond to a series of short informational articles faster and more strongly than they do to an advertisement.  And that is exactly what your blog posts should be – informational articles about topics related to your industry, business and services.  They need to be non-commercial (remember this is a soft sell) and they need to contain information your customers/clients can use. 

Companies that blog 15 times per month get 5 times more traffic to their websites then those that don’t.  That means you have to average more than three blogs a week. It’s ambitious and it can seem overwhelming, so why not set a goal to start off a little slower. Going from zero blogs to 15 per month is a good way to set yourself up for failure.  Start with one blog a week (most social media experts agree it’s the minimum to increase traffic and recognition) and build from there.  And get everyone involved – from the chief executive officer to the intern.  Everyone has something to contribute.  Spreading the blog load around makes it seem less onerous for everyone and it can make it fun. Employees/staff get a chance to shine a little light on what they do for the company and why it’s important. But again, remember, no chest pounding.

One of the best ways to get consistent content for your blog is to make it someone’s job. That is hire an editor for your blog.  It doesn’t have to be a full-time position and it can easily be outsourced to a public relations agency or a freelancer.   Whoever takes it on has to know how to write non-commercial journalistic style articles (that means your nephew, Arnold, who took a creative writing class in community college, might not be up to the task). The agency or freelancer can interview company staff/employees and write articles from those interviews or edit submitted articles to smooth out grammar and syntax and keep a consistent style.  It also becomes their/his/her job to keep the blogs coming.  So, there’s where you get your strong, consistent content that’s the key to a successful blog. It doesn’t have to make a huge dent in your marketing budget and the time commitment can be kept to a minimum.

In marketing we all know that social media has changed everything and it keeps changing it at what seems like an exponential rate. People want information and advertisements and direct mail just don’t get the attention they once did.  Having a blog makes you look like a thought leader, an expert and someone who has knowledge worth sharing.

Guerrilla Marketing: Do YOU Deserve to Die?

Guerrilla marketing often aims to offend people in order to gain their attention.  It’s not for every organization, but it can work.  Officials at the Lung Cancer Alliance seem to have a good understanding of the concept.  The group recently launched a campaign that includes posters saying things like: “The tattooed deserve to die” and “Cat lovers deserve to die.”

What the..? Hey! I love cats!

 

Upon visiting the group’s website, you see a countdown clock until the big reveal of a mysterious disease that doesn’t discriminate: lung cancer.  The clock has been removed and replaced with:

“Many people believe that if you have lung cancer you did something to deserve it. It sounds absurd, but it’s true. Lung cancer doesn’t discriminate and neither should you.  Help put an end to the stigma and the disease.”

The American Lung Association has always been the top dog when it comes raising awareness/funding for lung cancer research.  But this guerilla marketing campaign really put the small Lung Cancer Alliance on the map.  I had honestly never heard of the group until recently.  Many angry comments posted across social media sites prompted me to check it out.

Well done.  I see what you did there, Lung Cancer Alliance.  You let the ticked off people do your dirty work for you.  Here are some excerpts from the Lung Cancer Alliance Facebook page:

 

Some would argue for the end of this campaign. It’s certainly not appropriate for all issues or groups.  But for a small, cash-strapped non-profit trying to raise awareness about a deadly disease, I applaud the effort.

 

@saraalisia

 

PR: There’s an App for That

Almost everyone has a smart phone, most likely compete with tons of downloaded apps.  I recently sat in on a discussion about which mobile apps are most useful for PR industry pros from Cision.  Here is the top ten list:

1.     Bump

Bump is like a virtual business card that allows you to swap info with people just by launching the app and then physically “bumping” your phones together.  It’s perfect if you’re on a time crunch and want to make a quick connection.

2.     CardMunch

This app allows you to take pictures of business cards and convert them into contacts right into your address book. The top perk to this app is that it will also show you LinkedIn profile information as well as any connections you have in common.

3.     Dropbox

This is a very popular and free service that lets you store/access your photos, docs and videos anywhere and share them easily. It’s so convenient to pull files your Dropbox account from your phone and share with others on the go.

 4.     Evernote

The Evernote app helps you remember your ideas, projects and experiences across all the computers, phones and tablet platforms you may use.  It captures text, photos and audio and then synchs it via the cloud.  These files can then be shared, edited and used to collaborate with your co-workers.

5.     TweetDeck and HootSuite

Either of these two apps are a great way to keep track of journalists’ feeds and also handy when you need to manage your Twitter/Facebook presence while travelling.  As far as layouts go, it’s really a Coke vs. Pepsi thing.

6.     Yammer

Yammer is an enterprise social network service and is used for private communication within organizations and pre-designated groups. This is a private way to collaborate with your co-workers and send them messages.

7.     Google Analytics (mobile)

This app gives you instant, mobile access to your Google Analytics.  It’s perfect if you’re travelling but still need to report back to the office about how a post is doing.

8.     Word Press

This app is compatible with almost every operating system.  For this reason, it’s a great way to update any blog on the go.  This is awesome if you are blogging from a trade show and want to share timely updates.

 9.     Tripit

If you travel frequently, this app is a lifesaver.  It basically takes and organizes all of your trip details (flight, car rental, reservations and anticipated weather) and puts them in one place where you can share those details with others and print out your tickets.

10.  Media Database Apps

If you need to look up a media contact and you aren’t by a computer, it’s helpful if the media database service you use has a downloadable app.   MyMediaInfo, CisionPoint and Vocus are among those that have them. Great for a last-minute pitch.

Do you have any good apps to add to this list?

Follow me @saraalisia

 

 

 

Stop the Madness: Spray and Pray


As a general rule, before I pick up the phone to pitch a media contact, I know their name, have researched the outlet, skimmed through recent stories the journalist has written and have an idea of why they would want to hear my pitch in the first place.  This ladies and gentlemen, is the art of romancing the media.

It’s surprising how many PR professionals still operate with the old “spray and pray” method, thinking that quantity pitching rules over quality pitching.

In fact, I just read a great white paper by Cision When in Doubt that outlines the very reasons why we PR pros shouldn’t do that.  The most important lesson you can learn in this industry is to research everything you possibly can about the outlet/beat of the person you’re pitching.  In all honesty, those that skip this huge step really do damage to themselves and the company they represent. They also do big disservice to industry as a whole.

It just gives PR a bad name. We want the media to see us as a valuable resource, not as annoying spammers.  I’m sure it would be maddening for a real estate reporter to continuously get pitched to cover the latest beauty product.

Researching the details is more time consuming, but the paybacks are better quality and even quantity coverage.

Aside from doing research before you send anything to or contact the media I have a couple of suggestions I’ve picked up from my experiences for when I pitch and follow up on the phone:

  • Check out editorial calendars.  These can be a gold mine.  Even if they aren’t interested in covering your news now, it could be perfect for them at a later date.  Follow up.
  • When you call to follow up, instead of going straight to your pitch, introduce yourself and ask what they are working on. It could be in connection to what you’re pitching. Use your discretion if they sound hurried. By being natural, conversational and not just pushing your pitch, you earn their ear and respect.
  • But be ready to deliver the main points of your pitch in less than 20 seconds.   More often than not you will run into an editor that has no time for nonsense.  Prepare for that.

Of course don’t leave out social media as another avenue for media outreach. It offers valuable insights into what journalists’ are writing about and their interests.

Above all, know that if you continue to spray and pray, it may take a few reporters giving you a piece of their minds before you never again forget to research before you reach out.

@saraalisia

Vancouver Harley Davidson Dealer Rides a Tsunami Toward More Well-Earned Positive PR

Ikuo Yokoyama's Harley motorcycle washed ashore on Vancouver Island. Image: Peter Mark / AP

It’s no secret the Harley Davidson’s marketing team is doing something right – the company has a passionate social media following and passionate customers, but one Harley Davidson dealer on Vancouver Island, British Columbia just earned some well-deserved PR, not as a result of a major media campaign, but because it decided to do something good for someone who had lost almost everything.

A Vancouver Island resident recently came upon an unexpected find washed ashore on a local beach – a damaged, heavily rusted Harley Davidson motorcycle in a Styrofoam-lined storage container.

Japanese writing on the license plate gave clues to the bike’s origin – turns out it had floated over 4,300 miles across the Pacific Ocean – washed out to sea by last year’s devastating tsunami in Japan.

After a bit of research and collaboration between a Harley Davidson dealership in Vancouver and a Harley representative in Japan who saw a television report of the bike’s discovery, the Harley Davidson company hatched a plan. They would restore and return the bike to owner Ikuo Yokoyama, who lost three family members, his home and all his possessions when the tsunami battered Japan’s northeast coast.

Harley Davidson’s decision to restore and return the bike makes for the best possible type of PR – the kind generated by companies that know the value of their product or service, appreciate their customers as people (not just dollars) and most importantly – show good, old-fashioned human kindness; because it’s the right thing to do.

So kudos to Harley Davidson! A company that’s gone out of its way to restore and ship just one motorcycle halfway across the world – you’ve just given the term “earned media” a whole new meaning.

The Great Hashtag Debate

It’s a growing trend in the Twitter world and companies still aren’t catching on – Company announces social media campaign… Company creates hashtag…. Twitter-verse abuses hashtag… Company removes hashtag.

Most recently, McDonald’s created a campaign that intended to highlight the positive, personal stories of its customers. They dubbed the campaign #McDStories on Twitter and let the online community have at it.

And that’s where the campaign went awry.

Like so many others, the hashtag turned into a free-for-all rant from thousands of Twitter users. From jokes to bad experiences, the posts turned a well-intentioned social media campaign into a global laugh track.

But this story is just one of many that raises an important question. Why does this keep happening?

Yes, Twitter and social media are innately volatile and companies will never be able to control every aspect of their plans. But where’s the accountability in the marketing and public relations sector?

Ultimately, this speaks volumes about the current state of the public relations world. While countless companies and industries are taking advantage of the social media boom, very few have public relations managers and directors have the creative savvy and foresight to effectively plan a long term social media campaign.

It takes a special individual to understand not just how social media works, but how each and every type of user will respond to a campaign. Because in a world where everyone has a voice, we now need to be aware of each specific reaction, in addition to the overall response.

-Justin

Who’s to Thank for the Growth of Public Relations

It’s no secret that social media is changing the way the world does business. From new marketing tools like Facebook ads to various outreach platforms like Twitter, industry branding is changing and adapting every day.

But what group is benefitting from this the most?

Public relations professionals are one of the leading groups reaping the rewards of the social media boom. While most industries have seen widespread job loss, PR is the one field that continues to grow.

A recent report shows that PR professionals will experience a starting salary bump of 3.5 percent in 2012. Yet that’s not even the most impressive number.

From November 2009 to May of 2011, there has been a 93 percent increase in PR job listings. This, added to the expected 24 percent growth in PR jobs by 2018, makes for a promising landscape if you’re a PR professional.

Just one minute though!

Before all you PR pros get too comfortable, don’t forget about what brought you here. Social media has been a major player in PR’s growth over the past few years.

As companies scramble to capitalize on the ever-developing social media platforms, CEOs are looking more and more to their PR specialists to teach them they ways of Twitter, Facebook and so much more. This means that while the PR industry is expected to grow, we must develop with it.

So as you kick back and smile about the promising public relations growth numbers, think about what more you can be doing to improve your social media knowledge. What are the latest trends? Where is the newest breakthrough coming from?

Public relations is no longer a conventional industry. The true PR professionals recognize this and are always looking towards the future. Are you?

@Justin_Nunez