Even those PR pros who are experts at researching a particular journalist’s beat and outlet and successfully land an interview for their company’s lead spokesperson—say, a CEO—can aggravate time-strapped journalists if that spokesperson is ill-prepared or has a defensive attitude.
Stories by Steve Goldstein
Finding and developing content stars among a brand’s employees and customers is something Southwest Airlines knows a little bit about. Brooks Thomas, who plays a key role in Southwest’s social content strategy, will be sharing how-to’s and some case study examples of his brand’s star-making process in his keynote presentation on June 6, 2016, at PR News’ Digital PR & Marketing Conference in Miami Beach. He offers some quick Southwest-style tips here to help you develop your own cast of content stars.
Efforts to base public relations activity in sound measurement concepts could use a little extra PR. The originators of the Barcelona Principles have long hoped that their work would take root among communicators struggling to provide the organizational value of their work. So, what’s better PR than a shareable infographic?
Behind the scenes, certain heroes have been meeting and debating about the standardization of PR measurement practices, and putting these practices to work and doing, yes, PR, for these practices. At PR News’ annual Measurement Conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., we inducted a few of these heroes into PR News’ Measurement Hall of Fame.
Going off script with journalists, in front of a live audience or on social media works just fine if, say, you’re a celebrity or politician (or both) who is expected to go off script and wing it, and you routinely benefit from making outrageous and provocative statements. How many senior executives, midlevel employees and new hires at brands fall into that category? One or two people, maybe, in the whole country. Everybody else needs media training in the workplace.
Google’s search algorithm rewards websites that are focused on improving the user experience and that publish quality content, and punishes those sites that do neither. You know what kind of punishment this entails—your content will be buried under your competitors’ content in Google searches that use the keywords tied thematically to whatever product or service you sell. That’s the strategic side of SEO—here are some tactical tips.
Conversing one-on-one is like writing by hand—they’re both modes of communication that have been eroded by the electronic screens that are perpetually in front of our faces. There’s an important distinction to be made between these two modes. Poor penmanship is not likely to hurt your career, but poor conversational skills likely will hurt your career, particularly if you classify yourself as a professional communicator.
Instagram isn’t just for companies with visually appealing products. Every brand—even B2B, nonprofits and associations—can use this optically intense platform. It’s an established fact that visual storytelling yields the highest rate of engagement, and there’s no better place to do it than Instagram. These tips can help you shift some of your brand communications away from text and toward visuals.
Media relations experts often tell PR pros to “think like a reporter” when pitching story ideas or news. Perhaps a more useful and specific recommendation would be to take great care with each word, sentence and paragraph. This checklist of questions to ask before sending email pitches should help you do just that.
Let’s not pretend—there are no surefire or guaranteed ways to win at the game of media relations. But there are definitely ways to improve your chances. First tip: Don’t use exclamation points in a pitch to a reporter unless you’re announcing a cure for cancer.