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Posts Tagged ‘Tips and tools’

5 Facts PR Pros Should Know About Social Media


Yeah CNN. This isn’t breaking news either.

And yet, while everyone in public relations understands that social media is here to stay, it is still being fought by the old curmudgeons in the corner office. Why? Because it’s too newfangled for them to comprehend so it must be a passing fad.

Uh, not so much, boss person.

Nonetheless, there are still some facts about social media that escape even the most learned “guru,” “expert,” or “ninja.” And that was the muse for this helpful listicle: the 5 facts PR professionals should know about social media … but may not.


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5 Secrets Every PR Pro Should Know About Reporters

old reporter guy

For starters, they don’t all look like this because technicolor is a thing.

In the fabled world of public relations, it amazes — well, really, disheartens — me how few flacks take time to get to know reporters. Forget the national ones who are on everyone’s bucket list. I’m talking the general assignment reporter in their own backyard.

These are the people that can make or break your effectiveness as a PR professional and not once is there an attempt to humanize these folks. I should know. As I have shared a few times in this blog, I’m a proud hack-turned-flack. I have good friends in the media, and I suppose that is why I can understand the jitters when pitching a reporter who answers the phone (intentionally) like a brash horse’s patoot, “NEWS!”

For that, I offer this list for you: 5 secrets every PR pro should know about reporters. Enjoy and share with your team.

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4 Tips for Writing Email Pitches That Reporters Will Read


In case you’re just a little bored with “how to pitch” stories…here’s another one!

Confession: we know how frustrating the process can be. We also know that being a good writer does not always make one a good pitcher.

Mattan Griffel, CEO of app launch service One Month Rails, wrote a great Medium piece on emails that busy people might actually read—and while he wasn’t specifically writing about pitches or addressing PRs, his points still apply.

We’ve adapted them after the jump.

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Trouble Promoting Your Startup? Don’t Blame Your Agency

shutterstock_137747492Here’s a must-read for anyone in tech PR: Medium writer Amy Westervelt tells struggling startups that agencies and journalists are rarely to blame for their inability to dominate headlines. One question she gets far too often:

“Can we review and edit quotes before the piece is published?”

That quote alone tells us that the solution to the “blame PR” problem is to get to know a little better what it is, exactly, that your hacks and flacks do.

Click through for some choice quotes from Westervelt’s list:

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Twitter Nixes New ‘Direct Messaging to Non-Followers’ Feature

Last month we asked whether PR should pitch journalists on Twitter with direct messages in response to a new feature that allowed users to DM others who don’t follow them. The question may be a little less relevant today as the service has apparently filed that one under “failed experiments.”

The post itself went up in September, and it doesn’t tell us a whole lot except that Twitter’s standard response to service questions is “talk to the press release.”

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The Top 5 Ways to Get More Out of Google Search for PR

Google-search-tips-and-tricksWhelp, thanks to our fearless editor, it’s Google day. Here’s another in that line of topical opining:

The Interweb has become a cornucopia of websites, apps, blogs, Wikis and other things you pray your seven-year-old daughter never accidentally falls upon while typing “Barbie.” (A horrifying true story that has placed me on a nationwide manhunt. Oy vey!)

Anywho, while listicles on searching abound for geeks, dweebs, nerds, dorks, Trekkies and other people who adore “The Big Bang Theory” (me included), few of those search tip lists benefit the flack.

Sure, we try to click on images for “reverse search,” get a wildcard suggestion through Autocomplete (always a good party trick) or even use Google as a dictionary by typing “define: ANY WORD” (yeah, yeah, I’m the only one you AP lovers out there), but what search tips can actually benefit the PR profession other than rudimentary research?

Here are five, just for you flacks. Enjoy:

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Worst Press Release of the Week? Oh Yeah.


“One customer, Bryce Stave of ___, TX says, ‘My wife and I are ecstatic with our new garage door opener.  We put the baby to bed and don’t have to worry about waking him up when we head out to the bar.’”

OK, but what about when you and the wife stumble in after a round or three…or ten? And how many had you downed before you gave us that gem of a quote?

Brace yourselves, dear readers: you will be shocked to learn that the great state of Texas does not count “Bryce Stave” as a resident.

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5 Ways to Host a Successful Holiday Party for Your Clients

Oh, Shutterstock. Never change.

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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Should PR Pitch Journalists on Twitter with Direct Messages?


One of the big updates Twitter made this month allows users to receive direct messages from any of their followers—even if they don’t follow back. On first glance, this is good news for reporters who want to contact sources and terrible news for Justin Bieber. But what about PR? Is it a great new way to get journalists to notice your pitches or another media relations no-no?

We should note that the “receive DMs from any follower” setting is optional and that it’s not available to everyone yet—for example, we can use it on our company feed but not our personal feed. Yet some big-name journalists took to it immediately:

The natural conclusion is that if journalists enable their DM option then it’s fair game for PR. And direct messages are, in a way, harder to ignore than emails.

Here are our first thoughts on the issue:

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Where Does PR Fit Into Content Marketing?

Content production unit.

A recent study answered the question “How often does content marketing really work?” with “almost never”. We were intrigued because the company behind the study was software maker InboundWriterso last week we spoke with CEO Skip Besthoff to help answer an alternate question: how can we make content marketing work?

We’ve covered InboundWriter in the past because the purpose of its “predictive analytics” software is to assist in the optimization and placement of content for clients via established best practices. InboundWriter’s tools help estimate how well each specific piece of original content will perform in terms of traffic and search results, and Besthoff’s recently released update comes primarily in response to Google’s recent algorithm changes:

“Google wants original, authoritative content that improves user experience for people searching for information. So in the marketing industry, there’s an increasing focus on high-quality content.”

So why should PR be interested? InboundWriter’s rep Natasha Grach explains:

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