Today I want to welcome guest blogger, Emily Sidley from Three Girls, a PR firm that specializes in Media Relations. Too often people slap together a few random items and flood the media channels in hopes that someone will pick up the news. Follow these steps and you’ll have a much better chance of being noticed.
Securing media coverage takes time. A lot of consumers think getting coverage is just a matter of calling up a reporter, but in reality it takes a lot more work behind-the-scenes to be ready to contact the media.
Reporters are busy people. They have constant deadlines, and don’t have the time to wait for you to compile info or take photos, so make sure you’re ready before you approach them. Anticipate what they’re going to ask for so you can send it right away when they ask.
For each campaign we put together at Three Girls, we have a checklist of items to prepare prior to press pitching:
- A Virtual Press Kit: This document includes contact information, information about the company in who-what-where format and high-res images. We always recommend posting it online so anyone you’re talking to has 24/7 access to it (see our client page for an example). If you don’t have a place to post a press kit on your site, you should at least have it ready to go in case information or images are requested.
- 3-5 High-Res Images: Although these are included in the Virtual Press Kit, I wanted to go into more detail. It’s important to have several images for the media to choose from. For print publications, they need to be at least 300-dpi and 3×5 in size, although larger is okay too. We also recommend a plain white background so the media outlet’s art department has more options (they can drop it into a collage of products, make the background whatever color/design they want, etc).
- A Sample Letter: This document is most of the same information in the Virtual Press Kit, but limited to one page. We have clients send this one-page information sheet in every single package they send out to provide the journalist with vital information they can reference quickly.
- A Sample Package: Prior to press-pitching, we make sure all our clients have Sample Packages that will really “Wow!” the press. They don’t need to have a lot of bells and whistles, but they do need to be clean, sharp and look professional. Before you contact the media, make sure you have everything you need to ship a few samples, including boxes, tissue paper, packing tape, etc.
- A Fact Sheet: For clients that offer a service as opposed to a product, we create a Fact Sheet to send interested journalists in lieu of a Sample Letter. This is the same information that’s in the Virtual Press Kit as well, but formatted more like a bulleted list that is easy to skim and pull specifics from quickly.
Did I miss anything? What else would you make sure you have ready to go prior to pitching?
By Johanna Stutz
Consider for a moment the speed at which the tech industry evolves. If you are not part of the newest “thing”, then you are behind in your online marketing potential.
The most difficult part of following these trends in not identifying them, but leveraging them for business.
Let us consider the new attention to geolocation sharing sites such as Foursquare and Gowalla. Both sites use GPS to verify their uses location to their “check-in.” Both are claiming tens-of-thousands of new users weekly.
Often referred to as location-based social networking, these sites build off of the use of smartphones, status updates and connecting with people you know by highlighting your current location.
But how do you leverage this behavior in the business world?
Option 1: Your Website
WordPress has already built an inventory of plugins and widgets that can identify the geolocation of the visitors of your site. Web content or ads can be altered depending on the region, city or neighborhood of each viewer.
Option 2: Email Marketing
Automatically segment your email mailing list into geolocation groups and tailor marketing campaigns to the needs of these different groups. How? Through Mail Chimp WordPress plugin.
Option 3: Play the Game
The most enticing aspect of joining these Geolocation sites is the users ability to turn real life into a game. Users earn “badges” for checking-in to specific locations or types of location numerous times. Some businesses give out discounts and other rewards to the current most-frequent visitor (mayor) or individual who have reached a minimum required number. As a participating business you gain valuable information on the demographics of these individuals who have digitally confirmed to the world that they visit your place of business.
There are other possible applications for location-sharing –a travel blog comes to mind.
However, successful marketing with this new service, as with any other, requires that you make it work for your needs.
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It’s a fact. There is nothing more appealing to us than to know that we matter to others. Creative use of web data mining by way of Google Analytics can help you unearth the hidden gold “in them thar hills”. The golden nuggets of information that, when used correctly in good content writing, can make your site visitors feel like the King of the Mountain.
When you meet a new person for the first time, do your eyes glaze over and your ears stop hearing them after a while, when all they can do is to go on and on about themselves? How great their service is, how fantastic their qualifications are… on and on….
You want them to hear about you as well – a give and take of conversation. Well, it’s exactly the same on-line. If your Home Page isn’t focused totally on who your site visitor is, what their concerns and needs are, then they will do the on-line equivalent of the “glazed eyes” which is, to click-off your site and go elsewhere – where they are more appreciated and their concerns heard.
Use of Google Analytics, either on your own, or by using a web analytics consulting company, can make the task of finding out what is going on with your site visitors so much easier. Why keep digging in soil that has no vein of gold? When just a few feet away the proverbial Mother Lode may be waiting for you. Discovery may be as simple as website analysis.
In order to provide your on-line visitor with an experience that makes them feel heard and appreciated, you need to clearly understand who your visitor is – the whole demographic package. Once you have this crucial piece of information you can use that as the foundation for your writing.
Your writing will be totally different if your primary audience is 20 years old, male and going to college verses 45 years old, female and working in a corporate job.
Until next time, Happy Data Mining
Website Content Copy Writer
Let’s face it, the best part of take out is that you don’t have to do the cooking.
Come spend the day in our local Tech Kitchen as we whip up some fantastic web pages with WordPress. We call it “Make it and Take It,” but you can call it a mini miracle, you decide :-)!
I’m not saying that WordPress is easy-peezy-lemon-squeezy, but let’s face it: you’re all intelligent people with a keen eye for what you want in a website. Why let someone else control the wheel? We’ve designed this workshop with beginner and intermediate users in mind. By the end of the day you will have a better understanding of WordPress and sit in the driver’s seat of your own, custom-made site. And the best part is that you won’t have to pay someone else $5,000 every time you need a picture added. (Well, the best part is that you get personalized attention from the best in the Bay Area, but saving money is a close second).
Benefits of the Workshop
- Install WordPress on a web host using FTP
- Select themes, add content & publish
- What are the best WordPress plugins / widgets to install
- Keeping your WordPress website safe and secure from internet hackers
- Controlling spam comments
- Getting the help you need and putting it all Together
All this for only $99 with the discount code “mpthree” ($149 from August 1st to the 18th and $199 at the door, if space is still available.)
Chopsticks are optional.
P.S. Future 2.0 To Go workshops include SEO, design, social media, and content generation. Join our mailing list and you’ll be the first to know!
PPS. For those interested, we will be having one/one trainings for people – $25/15 minutes for either Massimo or Clyde.