media (2) media Archives - Page 2 of 2 - CarsonPR

What to do to make it right with the media

Editorial is "priceless". That’s what we are told in the publicity industry.

But how do you get publicity for clients, or for yourself. You need to understand what the media want and what they don’t want.

Too many times, eager pr people are trying to sell their idea and forget to put in perspective what their job really is.

It is to make the reporter, publisher, or editor’s job easier by supplying compelling information about a product or service that their readers will enjoy (benefit from).

One of the things to do is attend your industry’s trade shows. If you can only afford to attend one, or two, select the ones that will make the most impact.

Then do your homework. Just like knowing the buyers of that industry, you should know the media. Know about each publication that interests you, making sure these are the right fit for your company.

Then put together a press kit. The kit should contain a fact sheet, a bio on key personnel, and several releases. If possible, include a company brochure or a product brochure. Don’t put a catalog in the kit. Too much sales information will only get your press kit tossed out!

Assemble information that can be worthwhile to a reporter. Such as industry trends, statistics on your product and how it compares to competitors, new technology, techniques and useful advice. Whenever possible attach a letter, or fact sheet from the CEO, or president of the company describing the outlook of your industry…not your company’s outlook, but the industry.

If you schedule it correctly, invite several press in your booth, or at designated room to hold a small press conference. Make sure you have something worthy to say, or it will haunt you forever.

Also, never assume the reporters know about you, or your industry. I don’t mean that you bring the level of conversation to a 3rd grade. But if the media is diverse in your market, give them some credit, but don’t make them feel foolish by using a lot of abbreviated terms that only you or the "in" people of the industry use.

Last point. The reporter you talk to today just might be that publisher or editor tomorrow at a major publication. So treat all the media with high respect and it will pay off.

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Apr 212006

Use the shows for positive PR

A month ago we had several clients attend a Natural Products Expo. This show exhibits natural products, for food we eat, to cleaning solvents that are natural, to natural dog and cat food. Yes, even the animals get healthy stuff.

One of our clients was Prime Choice Foods. They produce Organic Snack Foods. The show was held at the Anaheim Convention Center and was in three of the major halls.

Trade shows are an excellent time to get positive publicity and meet the press one-on-one.

This being one of the major shows for my client, we created the booth graphics and carried that image into the brochures for the show to hand to buyers.

In addition, we created a press kit, with several press releases inside describing the new items the client was presenting at the show.

I was able to meet with a few of the media reporters and publishers. At these meetings I presented our clients products and the features they offer in comparison to what already exists.

Being prepared is important. You want to spend your time wisely and not make it a sales pitch but a fact finding for the reporters. Their time is limited and you need to understand that when arranging a meeting with them.

So the next time your client attends a trade show, get the press kit together, any published articles about your company, and samples (if possible) to give to the media. Make use of trade shows, it might be your only opportunity to meet-the-press.

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Apr 102006

Radio is a good medium for publicity

Getting your message out can be done using a variety of media. Newspaper, magazines, TV and radio. And of course the Internet.

Whenever possible, try to get yourself, or a representative from your company have a radio interview. This is an excellent media. It is done live, and the questions asked by the Host can provide you the opportunity to explain more about a new service or product than someone reading about it in a press release.

These types of interviews can be done. It takes more than one or two letters or phone call to the radio station. You need to be pushy, without being a pest.

But before you start making those calls, the interview needs to be planned. What I mean is that the subject you want to discuss should be relevant to the listeners of that station. And that the subject is of interest to the station as well. Otherwise, you’re wasting everyone’s time, and building a poor reputation for your company with non-relevant topics, or issues.

Radio can enhance any publicity campaign. It should be used as a media to help ignite your campaign. Another important thing to consider.

If you want to get an interview on the radio, make sure that you have been sending publicity releases prior to them and other media. It helps to have published releases, or an article written about the company, or yourself (if you are promoting you) before you make those calls. This adds to the credibility and name recognition.

Last and just as important. If your story you want to tell on the radio isn’t of a timely manner, then be patient and make follow up calls. If you have a subject that is critical to the timing, make this known. Just remember, broadcast media is a timely industry. News happens immediately, so sometimes your interview may get pushed back a week due to current events. That’s why it is best to discuss a topic that isn’t as timely but has a lot to offer the listeners.

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Writing a press release for the media

This same old problem still exists. No matter how many articles or blogs or books you read, people still forget the basics to writing a good press release for the media. The focus is the "media".

I’ve seen pr people say that there are 10 tips, some say there are 7 tips, publishers will write an entire book with lots of tips. So who’s right?

Everyone. What makes a good release is that you first make sure it has news value…newsworthy, to the reader.
If you feel this is what you have then you need to identify your media. Trade publications should be identified differently than consumer, or general media. You need to write the release differently, not just the opening statement.

Now, rather than give you 7 top points, which is how Joan Stewart describes her point of writing a release (and I am not commenting in a negative way, she has good points), I will give you the brief version.

Make the release accurate with all the information. This includes your contact information should the reporter or editor want to contact you for further information.

Keep the release short, not more than two pages. And keep the "sell" out of the release. This is to be an informative writing, not a sales letter or sell sheet.

Now you need to distribute the release. This can be done via email, traditional mail, and/or fax (if it is high priority and needs immediate attention). Keep in mind the reporter, or editor reading the release is a person who has a lot to read to decide if YOUR information is something of value to their readers.

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Make Your Web Site Newsworthy

Many companies are posting their press releases inside their web site. Few are including a complete press kit for reporters to download.

Is this what you are doing? If not, maybe it’s time to re-think how you communicate with the press.

Technology has changed how we interact with the media. The positive to this, it becomes easier and faster to update your media information and to post a new release about the company.

Bill Stoller, a publisher, wrote an article about this topic. He points out that although the "printed" press kit has not died, it is important to put the material online for reporters to download. But where to put your link to this information is up to you. Some believe it is best to have a link visible on the main page; others will create an entire section within the site for all press media to view and download.

The choice is yours.

Mr. Stoller gives a few tips on the Do’s and Don’ts about letting the press know about your pressroom site.

One of the most important parts to the article is what you need to put into this newsroom. The obvious, which is the contact info, press releases, and executive bios/photos. But what companies neglect to add is the "search tool". The worst thing a reporter hates is getting lost inside your site, not knowing how to get back, or find what they were just reading.

For those who are proactive in getting a pressroom online, Mr. Stoller provided these web sites as examples of how to build your pressroom:

Effective Publicity programs

Clients are always looking for better ways to reach their target audience. And let’s not forget, at a lesser cost.

For example, we (as consumers) are constantly being sold to. Usually with direct mailers. That’s because advertisers believe by using direct mail they are reaching the specific audience and can tell them how great their product is. Many times, you receive an incentive if you react quickly to their program.

But stop and think for a minute. Direct mail is good, but it is also very costly. Postage is always increasing, as is the printing of postcards, letters, etc.

What is the alternate solution? Mix your ad program with a Publicity Campaign. Think of it, trying to reach 100,000 or 500,000 potential customers with a direct mailer is expensive. But you can reach these same people, and a lot more with a well planned publicity campaign. And that published article is more credible than a self-promo mailer.

A Publicity Campaign should include several elements. A press kit, a series of releases, an article for submission, and above all, a blog site.

Yes, today the RSS technology is making excellent inroads to the media, and your customer base. Whether you are selling B2B, or directly to consumers, a blog site should be part of your media mix.

When planned and executed properly, a publicity campaign can out perform a controlled media ad campaign. Plus you will be reaping the positive rewards from the media much longer than the dollars you paid for that magazine or broadcast ad.

Now is the time to get smarter and leaner, get a publicity campaign together. At worst it can only improve your image!

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