Reporting

Reporting

Try not to be a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value – Albert Einstein

Some PR professionals try to show their worth by how many “hits” they secured in the press. How many times their client’s story (or theirs) was written about in the news. There is value to that. Because to spend on advertising in those same publications would amount to many dollars and an unbiased opinion of the advertiser.

But, when written about by the media, there is an assumption that there is a third party who is credible and editorializes about what your client or you have to offer and the cost is free, not including the cost to have your PR pro pitch the journalist. But… 

Good PR can be bad PR.

Why? Well, it can have no value. Just getting your name in the news or in feature stories may not amount to anything of importance to your business even those “hits” are not strategically aligned with your business and marketing objectives.

In this week’s series we’ll cover how to develop an effective reporting process from start to finish.

Tools

Tools

If you get stuck, draw with a different pen. Change your tools; it may free your thinking. – Paul Arden

There are a ton of tools that public relations professionals can use to be more effective, more productive, and more collaborative. The challenge is that our clients already use a ton of tools. Many are already on Slack, Trello, Basecamp, Messengers, Email, Text, among others. But, we’re not talking about tools for your company or clients. In this series, we’ll be talking about tools for your PR team.

And, not just any tools.

It’s one thing to make a list of the top 100 tools for public relations professionals, but we’re not going for quantity (or SEO value) in these posts. We’re hoping to deliver quality insight to help your public relations teams excel with your content. Tools that we will cover this week include:

Tools to help research journalists and what they write about

Tools that help you build media databases

Tools to help you organize your media coverage

News

News

EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT

There was a time when big news broke on the cover of newspapers. Today, turn on the TV, and everything seems to breaking news. The challenge for startups is how to identify if they have news and what kind it is. There are many different forms of news. Type include: 

Hard News – Immediate short blurb with “have to know” information, such as a funding announcement, unique survey data, acquisition of a startup or acquiring another company, prominent new hire, etc.

Soft News – Announcing the opening of a new office, product update or release, awards, partnership, new hires, or marketing integration 

Routine News – Information about business momentum from the previous quarter of a privately held startup, speaking at a conference, etc.

Feature Stories – News on executives, emerging trends, sectors, etc.

How can a startup identify a news headline within their own organization? How can it be formatted to attract news coverage? Which type of news media is the best for your startup’s news? These questions and more will be addressed in our series on news this week.

Press Releases

Press Releases

Setting an example, a press release example.

A press release is a news announcement. That has to be said. Why? Because today so many public relations professionals distribute press releases with no news. The name itself connotes that the document will inherently “release” something of interest to the “press.”

What’s the best way to write a press release? Where do you even begin? You begin with a formula. There’s an established format for how a press release is presented, even if it contains images, video, and links to content. 

But of course, every press release cannot be “picked up” and “covered” by the press. Writing a press release that is succinct, newsworthy, and informative is a skill. Most startups hack the press release – like with an axe – because they either think they have too much to say or don’t say enough. In this series we will explore best practices for writing a press release.

Pitches

Pitches

Pitches

How Do You Get A Journalist Interested In Your Story?

You write a pitch. In public relations, a pitch is a brief that a public relations professional will send to a reporter to prompt their interest to follow up, ask for more information, and agree to write a story or include you or your client in a story that is already slated to be written. 

Not surprisingly, reporters can get hundreds of pitches per day. You may not get a second chance to pitch your story. It’s critical that your style, tone, content, and delivery are crafted in a way that speaks best to whom you’re pitching.

While you will not get a journalist to bite on every one of your pitches, there is an approach that you can use to get better at pitching and increase the probability that you will get a journalist interested in your story. In this week’s series, I will be covering how to style and write pitches which get attention and press coverage.