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Guest

14 Dos and Don’ts for Guest Blogs

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In the midst of all this talk of Google’s “crackdown” on blog spammers, it’s the perfect time for us to feature a guest post from Serena Ehrlichdirector social and evolving media with Business Wire, on how to make the most of your blog entries.

For years, Google’s webmaster, Matt Cutts, has been dropping hints that the days of guest blogging as a link strategy were ending. Once a safe, approved way to increase awareness and drive relevant inbound traffic, guest blogging became a top practice for link-building spammers who stuffed guest blogs so full of keywords and links that the blogs themselves were almost unreadable.

So what about legitimate guest blogs? What about those valuable op-ed pieces placed on leading industry sites? How does Google’s latest warning affect legitimate guest blogs and their authors?

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3 Ways to Keep Your 2014 PR Resolutions

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We’ll close out the first full week of 2014 with a guest post by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases

Remember December of 2012? You had tons of ideas you wanted to implement for your business in 2013, and you probably turned these plans into public relations resolutions for the coming year. Looking back, how many of those resolutions did you actually keep?

While it’s natural for business owners and comms pros to slip once in a while, failing to succeed at any of your resolutions is a real problem. Instead of looking back in shame, however, it’s time to learn how to keep your resolutions by making them more realistic for you company.

Find a Better Middle Ground

There are two totally different problems business owners run into when making new goals or resolutions. They either go way too big or way too small. Both can be detrimental to actually accomplishing everything you want to in the New Year.

As far as going too big, you want to keep your resolutions in the realm of reality. It may be a great lofty goal to take over your entire state in 2014, but is it actually feasible? Could your business even sustain that level of growth?

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Happy National Word Nerd Day! Are YOU a Word Nerd?

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Given our recent focus on bad buzzwords and e-mail linguistics, we almost forgot that today is National Word Nerd Day! (Some may tell you it was yesterday. Don’t listen to them.)

And here’s a related guest post from Karen Martwick. Martwick is editor/content strategist at Travel Portland, the destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau for Portland, Ore. She’s also a member of the executive committee of the American Copy Editors Society.

WORD NERDS AND UNDERCOVER EDITORS, UNITE!

Happy National Word Nerd Day! (That’s Jan. 9, if you’re wondering, but you probably already knew that if you happen to be a word nerd).

Some clues: You love to read. You have at least one “Word a Day” calendar, app or e-mail subscription. You can’t look past spelling and punctuation errors on signs and restaurant menus. You may or may not carry a red pen on your person to correct egregious errors on the fly. If you don’t already own these grammar correction stickers, you just added them to your wish list. Last but not least, no one will play Word With Friends with you.

If you recognized yourself in any of the descriptions above, congratulations, you’re a word nerd!

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6 Journalists Talk About What ‘Good PR’ Means to Them

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This guest post comes to you courtesy of Caitlin Epstein, senior associate at Eastwick.

Stalkers. Hagglers. Pests. As a public relations professional who is paid to understand public perception, I’m well aware of the reputation of our profession.

The age-old rivalry between journalists and PR is one we hear about often, whether it’s through a dreaded “PR pet peeve” article, tweets from reporters or even inquiries from clients. I, however, find the rivalry a bit petty and feel that the public misses out on part of the story—a big part of the story. Regardless of arguments to the contrary, reporters rely on PR people and most are not afraid to admit it. Our profession was created to facilitate the rapport between companies and media, and the majority of the time, we do just that.

There are times when we screw up, of course: you may have seen the recent New York Times article criticizing a PR agency for its poor handling of a client’s announcement, and DigiDay also recently published a list of PR habits that drive reporters nuts. Every time one of these articles goes viral, the Eastwick office is abuzz with conversation on the nuances of PR. At this point, we have a pretty good idea of what to avoid in order to keep the peace. However, I’m always left wondering what the other side of the equation is—how and when does PR help reporters?

That question in mind, we decided to reach out to some of the journalists we’ve worked with over the years to hear their tips, tricks and examples of how PR can serve as a resource instead of a pain.

Here are some of our favorites:

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5 Things PR Does That Piss Off the Media

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They’re waiting for your press release…

Here’s a guest listicle (“guesticle?”) from Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases or the online leader in affordable PR distribution since 1998. You can follow them on Google+PinterestFacebook and Twitter and download a free copy of their handbook LinkedIn for Business.

The press can be your best friend, but drive them crazy enough and your future press releases will end up in a (virtual) drawer or the trash folder. What can you do to incur their wrath, and what can you do to avoid it?

1. Send too many press releases

Media outlets get roughly a billion press releases in an average day. If you overload them, how are the unpaid interns supposed to find a relevant and newsworthy story amongst the mess?

Only send out press releases when something major happens. Before you send it out, pretend that you’re the reader; if you saw it in your feed, would you click? Would you then care? If not, don’t send it. Overload doesn’t help anyone. Speaking of which…

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Showcase Your Clients in This Southern Lifestyle Pub

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Garden & Gun, the bi-monthly pub that strives to capture the “Soul of the South” is the perfect place to promote your client, whoever they may be.

The magazine has features on everything from gallery openings and restaurant reviews to new music and travel destinations. But be warned: G&G won’t accept pitches on your everyday restaurant opening; there must be a special angle to the piece. For example, if the chef takes a classic Southern dish and puts his own unique twist on it. Likewise, avoid pitching a hotel/resort/spa simply because it’s been around for years. The mag’s deputy editor Dave Mezz, has more advice for publicists:

Garden & Gun accepts publicist pitches for a whole range of clients. PR pros can pitch new openings, artists, gallery owners, products, restaurants and chefs. There’s also a “G&G Interview” in every issue, which features a prominent Southern personality. Mezz’s advice to publicists is similar to his advice for writers: “We’re looking for what’s fresh, what hasn’t been written about, what’s surprising about the South… Yes, we’ve written about biscuits and barbeque, but we’re especially interested in going beyond that.”

To hear more about how to get your clients in the mag, read: How To Pitch: Garden & Gun

– Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

TV’s Hottest Chefs Dish On Bacon, Pumpkins and the Best Places to Eat in NYC

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During the recent New York City Wine and Food Festival (which took place October 17-20), TV’s top chefs caught up with Mediabistro to discuss all things food.

In our video interview (Part I of II), Iron Chef and Chopped judge Alex Guarnaschelli had plenty of things to say about bacon (basically, bacon just makes everything better); Restaurant: Impossible‘s Robert Irvine (whose new Food Network show, Restaurant Express, premieres on Nov. 3) shares what we can create with seasonal pumpkin; and the always adventurous Andrew Zimmern (right, host of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods America) reveals his favorite neighborhood joints in New York City.

– Aneya Fernando

5 Ways to Host a Successful Holiday Party for Your Clients

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Today’s guest post comes from Nicolina Cabezal, marketing manager at NYC-based premium paper company JAM Paper & Envelope. JAM is a go-to shop for PR to create media kits and other promotional materials—and they’re on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to start working on clients’ holiday parties. Most of the time the media won’t bother covering an office holiday party, but if it’s done right your employee party can turn into a full-on media event. Here are five simple steps:

1. Start Planning and Promoting Early

Planning – It’s all About the Theme: Planning should be done at least two months in advance, if not sooner. This gives you enough time to brainstorm a clever theme and execute it. The theme is the most important thing because the press isn’t going to care about the generic corporate holiday party. Find a clever way to turn it into a story: for instance, invite members of a reputable charity and make a donation in the company’s name.

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Public Relations: The Journalist’s New Frontier (Part 2)

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Today we bring you the second half of our guest story by  Orbit Media Studios founder and content marketing specialist Andy Crestodina (find him on Twitter and Google+). Click here to read the first half. 

Teaching: The New PR

In September I participated in a panel at Chicago Social Media Week and our moderator, Brian Burkhart of SquarePlanet Presentations, called me the king of “free beer.” While I’m not one to mooch free beers from people (though I do enjoy them), I do believe in giving away your knowledge and content—even your best stuff. That’s how you teach people.

Why give it away?

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Public Relations: The Journalist’s New Frontier (Part 1)

Andy CToday we bring you the first post in a two-part story by Orbit Media Studios founder and content marketing specialist Andy Crestodina (find him on Twitter and Google+). 

It’s inevitable. Every time I speak about content marketing around the city of Chicago, I’ll be approached by a journalist-in-transition who was sitting in the audience. With each passing month, they make up a larger percentage of the crowd.

Honestly, it’s a bit sad. These are, after all, people who chose to pursue a career in news, a noble profession that requires long hours and has never paid all that well. But at least until the last decade, it was one that provided some job security.

Not anymore, reports Holly Regan of Software AdviceSince 2000, newsrooms have laid off 25 percent of their workers, and many have closed entirely. Regan cites some depressing numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts a further drop of 6 percent between 2010 and 2020. That actually sounds optimistic.

According to the American Society of News Editors, there were 40,600 print journalists in 2012, with the number expected to dip below 40,000 this year for the first time since 1978. But there’s hope for erstwhile journalists because, as Regan says, “there is still a large and growing demand for journalism skills.”

After the jump: The Content Marketing Career Explosion

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