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Aneya Fernando

How to Fix Your Brand’s Bad Reputation

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So your brand has made a huge blunder. How can you remedy the situation — and fast — to avoid losing your loyal customers?

One of the most important things you can do is to stay ahead of any potential negative stories on social media or cyberspace. Companies can achieve this by setting up Google alerts or even by simply using the Google search bar’s Autocomplete feature.

And if you find that the flub has gone public, it’s essential to have a well-conceived damage-control plan in place before taking that next step.

Sometimes the best fix to a problem is not to respond to the problem at all. Look to see if the offending website that hosts the negative comments about you will gain popularity by the rebuttals from the company or person trying to defend himself — if the site performs on other people’s comments it may be a good idea not to respond at all. Do not feed the fire. Some say the only three laws for reputation management are authority, authority, authority. The more authority you have, the easier it is to make a big difference in where the stories will rank on the search page results. One way to establish authority is through Google Authorship. Any complaints you respond to or original stories you create will appear higher in search.

To hear more tips on how to help repair your brand’s reputation, including how to handle customer complaints, read: 12 Tips on Fixing Your Brand’s Bad Reputation.

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.

How Mike Soltys Went From Intern to Top Exec at ESPN

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In the fourth week of Mediabistro’s Profit From Your Passion series, we talked to three industry veterans on what it takes to make in the world of sports PR. All of them agreed on one thing: scoring an internship is crucial.

PR pro Mike Soltys has an incredible story. He began his career in the early days of ESPN — as a lowly intern. And he’s been there ever since. Of course these days his title, vice president of communications, is a little more prestigious.

[Soltys] isn’t just a seasoned professional with more than 20 years in sports PR — he also happens to be the first intern hired by the biggest name in sports media. His 34-years-and-counting career started due to “a chance meeting” with ESPN co-founder Bill Rasmussen, who brought him on as an intern the summer before his senior year at the University of Connecticut. Tobias says that internships are “actually more important than they were 20 or 30 years ago” and that “getting one now is often as challenging as getting full-time employment” was in the past.

To hear more about how to kick off a sports communications career, read: How to Score an Internship and Launch A Career in Sports PR.

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.

Jackie Stone, Marketing Maverick, on the Early Days of the Internet

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Marketing exec Jackie Stone has been working in digital media since 1995, which means she’s seen firsthand just how much the Internet has transformed the way we share content and connect with people. Stone got her start as an account supervisor for the Promotion Development Group, one of the first companies to use the web to help market its clients’ brands. Today Stone is the senior vice president of marketing for Spanfeller Media Group, which publishes The Daily Meal and The Active Times.

In the second week of Mediabistro’s Profit From Your Passion series, Stone discusses the early days of the Web: “We built the first websites for Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s… We were just beginning to understand the power of what this was going to be.”

Check out the video below for more from Stone, including her advice for aspiring marketing professionals.

To watch more mediabistroTV videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV.

The CEO of Blue Fountain Media On Creating a Successful Digital Agency

GabrielShaoolianGabriel Shaoolian has come a long way from his humble beginnings. The CEO of Blue Fountain Media was a web designer armed with a laptop and not much else when he arrived in the Big Apple in 2001.

Now, 12 years later, that digital agency has over 200 employees and is raking in $2 billion in revenue with clients like AOL and AT&T. In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s Hey, How’d You Do That?, Shaoolian talks about his journey to success:

You say the site you planned and designed for AT&T does about $100,000 per second. And the site you did for the Green Bay Packers did $200 million in four days. When you started your company, having no idea how successful it would become, did you have any doubts?
There was a point when I was starting out when my friend was doing really well in real estate, and I was struggling to meet my month-to-month expenses. I told him, “Maybe I should do what you do.” He goes, “Well, if you want to come over, we could use someone, but, I see you love what you do. Stick with it.” It was great advice. Do what you love, stick with it. Be patient. I think patience is what’s lacking amongst young people today. Things take time. That’s the best advice that I’ve got. [My company] didn’t happen overnight.

I get emails from LinkedIn all the time from guys that are trying to start businesses… And they’re asking me, how did you do it? What advice do you have for me? I tell them: I constantly invested. I reinvested back into BFM. I led a very humble life for many, many years. And I tell them, look, just do great work. Do good work for your clients.

To hear more from Shaoolian, read: Hey, How’d You Build Profitable Websites For Brands Like AOL and AT&T, Gabriel Shaoolian?

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.

Highlight Your Clients in Sports Illustrated For Kids

SIKidsSports Illustrated For Kids is the perfect mag for showcasing products, people or places to the young sports fan.

The pub has plenty of sections ripe for PR pitching, including the “Gotta Get It Guide,” which features sports equipment and other paraphernalia. The mag is also keen to get special access to high-profile athletes. More about the pub:

Sports Illustrated for Kids, launched in 1989, is turning 25 in January 2014. The little brother to Sports Illustrated serves mostly boys (65 percent of its readership) ages 7 to 14, “the age when you’re the most passionate as a sports fan,” says managing editor and publisher Bob DerSI Kids does more than appeal to young sports enthusiasts with cool pictures of their baseball and football idols, pull-out posters, sports cards and games — it also encourages kids to read.

For more pitching advice and editors contact info, read: How To Pitch: Sports Illustrated For Kids.

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.

Pitch Your Beauty Clients to YouBeauty.com

YouBeautyYouBeauty.com, the science-based beauty site co-founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz, is open to PR pitches.

For publicists, the pitching opportunities are endless: Makeup, hair and skin products are always in demand. As the editors explain, publicists need to show that they understand the site’s mission and content:

YouBeauty features daily editorial content that reviews the most recently published studies and trending health topics that have the web buzzing. There’s also a group of quizzes based on real, scientific scales that are licensed from universities and research institutions. When readers take a quiz (that determines stress level, for example), they are given feedback on their results and are then routed to corresponding articles. It’s a strategic approach to delivering personalized, science-backed and beauty-based content that differentiates YouBeauty from other health and wellness publications.

To hear more about the site, including editors contact info, read: How To Pitch: YouBeauty.com.

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.

7 Holiday Pitching Tips for PR Pros

HolidayPRPitchThe holidays are the perfect time of year for PR pros to showcase a new product to the world. Members of the media are compiling their holiday wish lists, Black Friday is around the corner and consumers are hungry to hear about the hottest new trends.

So how can you be sure your product is seen (and most importantly, bought)? One of the first steps publicists need to take is a journalistic one: Do some research.

Most marketing companies sell media databases that have a list of beats, pitching tips and full contact information. In addition, there are free resources, including using LinkedIn and Twitter to find journalist information. (You’ll also find editor email addresses within Mediabistro’s own Mastheads database and How To Pitch articles.) Some of the most successful publicists have long-standing relationships with media outlets and social influencers because they took the time to research which department or journalist is responsible for that section.

To hear more tips on how to pitch during the holidays, including how to use social media to your advantage, read: 7 Holiday Pitching Tips For PR Pros.

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.

Feature Your Clients In This PR-Friendly Parenting Pub

AmericanBabyAmerican Baby‘s target demographic are millennial moms and the mag’s goal is to try and assess her wants and needs. It’s the perfect place to showcase your clients, whether they be products, people or places.

Jessica HartshornAmerican Baby’s lifestyle director, says the pub is always open to pitches from PR professionals. Everything from celebrities to nursery furniture is fair game. Here are some topics ripe for pitching:

Specific PR-friendly sections of the magazine include ”Baby Booty” (products), “Nesting” (nursery) and “Baby Best” (a roundup of best-in-show of one type of item, such as car seats). Sending a great picture of the product with a pitch is pretty standard, but if you’re super-eager, feel free to cold-mail a sample of your product to American Baby’s offices. Hartshorn notes that seeing an item face to face for the first time can be advantageous over an email, but be advised that editors are unable to return samples.

To learn more about PR pitching, including editors contact info, read: How To Pitch: American Baby.

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.

 

Showcase Your Clients In This Latina-Driven Mag

CosmopolitanLatinasCosmopolitan for Latinas, an off-shoot of Cosmopolitan magazine, bills itself as ‘the spirit of Cosmo with a Latina sensibility and the Latina voice.’ This quarterly pub has plenty of room for publicist pitches. The sections that are open to hearing from PR pros include: “En Vivo”, which is all about entertainment; “Divertida”, which focuses on anything lifestyle related and “Beauty.” Some additional pitching etiquette:

 The best way for PR pros to pitch is through email with links (if no links are available, sending samples is a good idea), and editors will follow up with an email or phone call if they think something is a good fit. If you don’t hear back in two weeks, it’s OK to follow up with a phone call. The mag is published quarterly, and if you want to give your pitch the best chance, managing editor Jessica Rodriguez advised pitching right after an issue closing — not during.

For editors’ contact info and more, read: How To Pitch: Cosmopolitan for Latinas.

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.