You know how bloggers have invented a writing subgenre of mocking the PR pitches they get? Recently I saw a lengthy takedown of a PR firm’s effort to publicize what the blogger felt was a hollow startup. The blogger portrayed the PR firm’s pitch as comically superficial. I’ll forego linking to the post because I prefer to avoid boosting ad revenue for crass blogs that bully people. Admittedly, the pitch material was superficial. It went against every principle of clear writing that I teach. All things being equal, the PR firm’s staff should have pushed back on the startup to get more concrete facts about the new company’s goals, what it does and why it’s credible. But that wasn’t the main problem, and it didn’t prevent the startup from ultimately succeeding elsewhere; more on that below. The biggest problem is where the startup’s material landed: in other words, where the material was pitched. Granted, the pitch was directed to a blog that’s well read among the startup’s target market: millennials. But this particular blog also is known for snarky opposition to PR outreach. It was like putting red meat in front of a gaunt, stray dog.
There is no secret recipe that will ensure good press—or even coverage. But executives still want their companies to be written about, so there has to be a way to improve your chances of getting picked up by the media. Media pitching is hard. It takes equal parts knowledge, skill and luck, but there are still new and engaging ways get the kind of coverage that’s sure to make the C-suite salivate.
When House Democrats began their sit-in on June 22 to force a vote on a gun-control bill before the House of Representatives begins a scheduled vacation recess, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) put the legislative body into recess, which meant the cameras and microphones were switched off. Soon afterward, C-SPAN began broadcasting Periscope and Facebook Live feeds of the sit-in shot by various House Democrats.
With the emphasis on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, video and other forms of digital marketing, the basics of writing, editing and media training can get overlooked. In truth, as someone responsible for brand communications, your remit includes all this and more. Being asked to personify the brand you represent by speaking with groups or participating in a one-on-one interview with media, or preparing executives or spokespeople to do so, remain critical to communications. With this in mind, Melissa Baratta, SVP at Affect, a NY-based agency, shares tips for effective interviewing.
It’s telling that, in the war between blog mogul and tech tycoon, the most substantive discussion is taking place in the pages of “The Gray Lady.” The Times, for many, is still the number one place to go to learn the facts or let the facts be known.
We’re not being political—that’s not our role—but we got a good laugh from stories that surfaced late last week about presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump allegedly posing as his own publicist. Since we write about the profession, we were amused.
More and more, brands are realizing that audiences (especially young audiences) are spending a lot of time on YouTube, and that the video platform’s influential content creators are perhaps the best target for their media relations efforts. Consumers aged 13-24 spend more time watching YouTube than TV, it has been reported—the former seems more promising in the ROI department.
Budweiser has long liked to think itself an essential part of the American identity. In recent years the company hasn’t shied from proclaiming itself as such. In a continuation of the beer’s patriotic branding, Anheuser-Busch InBev announced its boldest move yet: Budweiser will be removing the brand name from its cans and bottles, and rebranding the beer simply as “America.”
Many local or purely trade news stories have national hooks. Here is a 10-step method to gaining national exposure for your local story by taking it to Washington, D.C., and perhaps NY City.