SourceBottle, a free, online resource for journalists, bloggers and PR professionals, announced yesterday that it is expanding its services to North America. While SourceBottle enables journalists and bloggers to efficiently find knowledgeable sources, conversely, it provides PR professionals with publicity opportunities that make sense for the products and services they represent.
Grant’s recent blog post “The Art of StorySelling (Part One)” reminded me of the value of case studies and application stories as they are often called in the business-to-business marketing world. Case studies offer a great example of StorySelling in action. They can provide powerful proof of benefit claims about a company’s products or services and demonstrate firsthand how you offer solutions to customers’ challenges. Continue reading
YES! Your media contacts can benefit greatly from a press room (a.k.a. news room) – managed by your PR team – to keep them abreast of your company’s latest endeavors, innovations, accomplishments and much more.
Press Room Contents
The best way to make use of an online press room is to make it an easy-to-find and user-friendly “asset” management tool for your media contacts. A place they can go to easily access information, images or videos about your company, its spokespersons and products/services.
In a typical press room, the media will appreciate the following information and materials:
|Media Relations Contacts
Current Annual Report
– Annual Report Archive
Image & Video Library
– Executive Headshots
– Facility Interior and Exterior Shots
– Product Beauty Shots
– Product Application Shots
– Videos (by type)
|Company & Product Fact Sheets
Recent News Releases
– Archive of Past News Releases
– Technical Papers
– Research Reports
– Company History
– White Papers
Ultimately your press room should be tailored to suit the specific needs of your media contacts, your business and your PR/marketing objectives.
Publicity Placement Archive
For your company’s own benefit, you’ll also want to maintain a page within the press room that provides a detailed list of publicity placements (name of media outlet, title of placement, publish date, type of placement, author) along with a link to each placement (a PDF copy of the placement or link to the media outlet’s archived version of the article/video/audio placement).
Your Press Room’s Home
When communicating with your media contacts, you’ll frequently and consistently point them to your online press room to access information, images, etc. In electronic communications, you’ll include a hotlink (hyperlink) that takes your media contact directly to your press room.
But don’t stop there. Any great resource to the media becomes accessible day or night. You never know when a story idea will hit an editor, and if your press room is useful and memorable, he or she may just firm-up their story idea by taking a look at the information you’ve made easily available online. So, make sure that the URL of your press room is short, sweet and makes total sense. For example, “WidgetsUSA.com/pressroom.” Or, “WidgetsUSAPressRoom.com.”
Of course, you’ll make sure your press room pages comply with all of the basic search engine optimization best practices so that when a reporter searches Google for “Widget USA annual report” she’ll be a click away from your press room.
Finally, you’ll want to make your press room easily available from your site’s Home Page and About Us section. Intuitively, the media will look for a Press Room link on these pages.
For public relations counsel, press room development guidance or media relations support, get in touch with the PR pros at Johnson Direct today.
How personal notes pay-off, plus a few valuable tips for your next PR pitch.
Let’s take a ride down memory lane for a moment, shall we?
Now, think back to the birthday parties of your younger years. No, farther back—the ones we didn’t try to avoid.
After the presents were unwrapped, the cake has been eaten and the guests have left, what was one of the first things your parents pushed you to do? If you grew up in my house, the next step was to write a personal thank you note to the gift givers (even if all you got was a creepy troll-like doll when what you really wanted was a Teddy Ruxpin). Regardless of your enthusiasm (or lack thereof) for said gift, you probably ended up writing a quick note to show your appreciation.
In an age of automation and impersonalization for the sake of saving time, the small act of even a quick, personalized note goes a long way in leaving a good impression. At Johnson Direct we regularly employ this tactic in a public relations outreach, generating impressive results.
Recently, one of Johnson Direct’s clients, Badger Meter–a manufacturer and marketer of flow control products for utilities, municipalities and industrial customers worldwide— was announcing the expansion of one of their product lines. Through our research, we knew that companies similar to Badger Meter are frequently announcing product changes, additions and upgrades. These announcements are targeted at a core group of publications. Thus, we wanted to make sure the Badger Meter release stood out from the competition. It wasn’t enough to have a well-written release; we realized we needed to go a step beyond.
Often, news releases are sent out in a mass-type email to a variety of contacts and publications. Although this does tend to save time, in the long run it may not generate the type of attention it deserves. Editors are used to receiving these types of generic releases; they probably get hundreds in their inbox each month.
To make this one stand out more, we wrote a personal note that pointed out the relevance of the release to each editor. Within the note, we included why we thought the release would be of interest to their readers and in what particular section (if applicable) the release may best fit.
Within just days, placement commitments from the many of our key media contacts were confirmed.
One placement in WaterWorld, a leading industry trade publication, featured our release in its PRODUCT FOCUS section, AND gave it the coveted front cover mention. We also received thank you notes from a few other editors who even requested we keep them in the loop for future releases.
From our experience, we have found personalized notes, letters and emails have garnered favorable and more timely responses. Here are a few key ideas to keep in mind during your next PR effort:
- Do your research. Spend some time getting a good feel for the outlet you are contacting. Know its readers and know its editorial departments. This will let them know you have done your research and feel confident that the information you are sending them will be a value-add to their publication.
- Make it personal, but make it short. Just because you are personalizing a note to someone does not mean you need to write a book. The more concisely you can get your point across, the better. Hit all your main ideas, then lead them to your release.
- Make it easy on them. Provide your contact with all the information they will need to publish a complete story on your topic. We have found that both attaching the release and all other necessary information (e.g. photos, brief versions, etc.) in a zipped document as well as pasting the actual release below your note is helpful. This gives them multiple options as to how they get the information and also ensures they will receive the main release if for some reason they are unable to access the attachment.
- Keep them happy. At the end of your short, personalized note, thank them for their time then ask them how they would like to receive information from you in the future. This lets them know you will be contact them again, helping to keep the lines of communication open.
This level of personal attention requires proactive planning and diligence. It isn’t easy, and it takes time and resources. However, in the end, IT DOES PAY OFF. You don’t have to go at it alone. Your PR partners at Johnson Direct provide decades of proven media relations experience and PR prowess that makes headlines in print, on the air and online. Plan ahead. Give us a call now to help you manage, finesse, promote and build your brand image.
Has anyone out there watched the TV show called Undercover Boss on CBS? I caught the first episode featuring the CEO of Waste Management after the Super Bowl. I finally had the chance to sit down and watch the episode featuring the CEO of the Hooters restaurant chain. I know what you’re thinking. It had nothing to do with catching a glimpse of the scantily clad waitresses. I read in February that Hooters wasn’t doing well financially due to the recession and was shopping itself to a number of private-equity firms.
I’m sure the recession has some bearing on the financials of Hooters but after watching the episode I think Hooters suffers from what Don Libey affectionately calls “Idiot Son Syndrome!” While his late father started and successfully built up Hooters, the second generation son who took over the chain, obviously born with a silver spoon in his mouth, seemed clueless about the obvious reasons why the chain was having not just sales issues, but major morale issues with its people.
I could not believe how clueless the CEO was about the day-to-day operations of his business. For example, in one undercover assignment he worked at one of the company’s packaging plants and stated to one of the managers that he hadn’t set foot in the place since he was 17. The manager told him most of the people in the plant have never seen the new CEO and don’t even realize it’s the son! The son has to be in his mid to late 40’s. Where has he been the past 25 years? Collecting a pay check and playing with his toys instead of making himself visible….obviously.
In another segment of the show the CEO participates in a street promotion-handing out coupons to a new restaurant that just opened in Dallas-with two Hooters gals at his side. Doing this he hears positive but mostly negative feelings people have towards the restaurant chain. The CEO seemed concerned and rather surprised to hear these remarks. He must have ear muffs on for the past 10 years sheltering him from the feminist cries! Again clueless!
In today’s economic climate, CEOs and business leaders have to be visionaries and at the same time not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get to know all the facets of the business they are in charge of.
I’ll be placing a call into Hooters pronto. They could definitely use Johnson Direct’s PR Services!
Director of Business Development