Archive for October, 2010

Brand Your Business for Stand Out PR

Getting publicity for your business, your book, your cause or yourself is easier when you present a unique brand.

Here’s some great advice from publicity expert Drew Gerber:

A Little PR Can Go a Long Way

By L. Drew Gerber

Hiring a publicist or doing your own PR isn’t something most small business owners or entrepreneurs really want to do. You’re busy running the day-to-day operations that keep the doors to your business open and investing the little time and money you may have just doesn’t seem feasible or realistic.  Sound familiar?   But think about this. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for a few years, media exposure is valuable to your success — just a little work on your PR campaign a day can produce tremendous results.

At the very least you have to have a strong brand and message. They’re what define you, and what will help differentiate you from your competition. When creating your brand and message, look to combine what makes you a) unique and b) valuable to your target market. Valuable and unique messages produce great PR campaigns and will attract better and more loyal customers.

After you’ve created your brand and message it’s important to employ consistency into all aspects of your business. You have to give the same message(s) over and over again through interviews, your pitches and your press materials, so be consistent and make your message your mantra. A repeatable and unique message is what will make you stand out from the crowd, forcing people to remember you and your product.

Your logos have to be a direct reflection of your branding and messaging too, along with all the little things like your voicemail message, how you answer your phone, your website design, etc. Think about it: If you’re branding your business as a fun and carefree company and your voicemail is dull and unenthusiastic, you’re not really holding true to your brand.

The thing about PR is that it’s in everything you do. It’s not just about landing interviews on television, it’s about how you interact with the public — how you deliver your message to make yourself stand out from the crowd.

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L. Drew Gerber is CEO of www.PublicityResults.com and creator of www.PitchRate.com, a free media connection service for journalists, experts, and publicists.  Sign up now for free publicity advice including a free online marketing course. Gerber’s business practices and staffing innovations have been revered by PR Week, Good Morning America and the Christian Science Monitor. His companies handle international PR campaigns and his staff develops online press kits for authors, speakers and companies with Online PressKit 24/7, a technology he developed (www.PressKit247.com). Contact L. Drew Gerber at: AskDrew@PublicityResults.com or call him at 828-749-3548.

Controlling the Media Message

I don't write about politics or political speech in this blog but this quote from Senate candidate Sharron Angle from several months ago got my attention:

"We needed to have the press be our friend … We wanted them to ask the questions we want to answer so that they report the news the way we want it to be reported." –Sharron Angle, during an interview with Fox News Channel's Carl Cameron, Aug. 2, 2010

Some people seem to get "friendlier" treatment from the media than others and when you build a relationship with a reporter and do a bunch of interviews over time, it may feel like a friendship, but keep in mind, this is a professional association and you both have a job to do.

Don't try to control the media. The only person you can control is YOU.  Media training is meant to give you strategies to be more poised and polished in your dealings with media people, but not to learn to manipulate them. 

If you're involved in hard news like running for office or do expert interviews where you take a stand on a controversial issue, you should expect tough questions and be ready for them

You may want to control the message, but don't be surprised if the media won't play along.

 

Tell Your Story with Social Media

Photo Credit: © Sergey Novikov | Dreamstime.com

Are your pitches falling flat?  Are you putting in the time and effort to craft a good story pitch yet getting no takers?  When approaching the media, you can do everything right and still not get a reporter to want your story.  It’s discouraging but it happens to everyone.

That’s why it helps publicity-seekers to find ways to tell their own story directly to the people they want to reach.  Social Media is one arena that is easy to enter and can be a valuable addition to your personal publicity plan.  Journalists are looking there for expert sources, and story leads, like never before.  Don’t give up on traditional pitches but with social media, you may get reporters to come to you!

How can you get your story out?  Follow journalists online and engage them in conversations. (do Internet searches such as “find journalists on Twitter” or “find journalists on Facebook,” etc.) Build relationships.

Develop a strong presence online, so when a reporter gets interested and checks you out with a search, you’re easy to find. Start a blog, put up a Facebook fan page, get active on Twitter, circulate online press releases, create and post simple videos on your own YouTube channel and other video distribution sites, host an online radio show or podcast, produce a web TV show, or be a guest expert on someone else’s blog or online show.

The possibilities for telling your own story and sharing your expertise are relatively easy to pursue and inexpensive.  There’s a ton of opportunity on the web and many tools and resources are completely free.

Of course, like anything else, you’ll want to make a plan.  Don’t try to get a dozen things going at once. Create a social media campaign and take one step at a time.  Or hire someone to create and execute your social media strategies.

The Publicity Hound, Joan Stewart and her business partner, Jeanne Hurlbert, PhD, offer lots of expert advice on their blog My Social Media Solution.

I’ve also added a couple links to related articles below.

Boost Your Online Visibility

Here’s a  guest post from a colleague, PR
expert Drew Gerber, with some steps to turn the Internet into your own powerful PR machine.


Increase Awareness and Boost Exposure
Online

By L. Drew Gerber

It’s no secret that the PR and marketing game is ever
changing and that positioning yourself to be found online is becoming more and
more important. Ninety percent of journalists are finding all their information
and sources online, and your potential clients are doing the same thing. No one
flips through the Yellow Pages anymore. If they have a problem they need
solved, they’re searching the web for a solution. So building a foundation
online should be at the top of your priority list.

Here’s how to start:

Online Press
Kits
— These are key to positioning yourself as the media’s go-to
expert. They can help you reach page one of the search engines. Most
importantly, you’ll be easier to find. Most online press kits offer a platform
where you can store and organize all your materials — your bios, your
headshots, story ideas, media angles, and more — that the media will need when
using you as a source. Like having a resume when you’re on the job hunt, an
online press kit tells the media you’re serious about being chosen.

Article & Press
Release Portals
— These are a great way to start positioning yourself
as an authority figure while building links back to your website to increase
your search rankings. Article and press release portals, most of which are free
to use, allow you to distribute your articles and press releases all over the
Internet. When potential customers and members of the media search keywords
related to your expertise, your article or press release will position you as
an authority on the topic. When writing an article, your best bet is to
identify a problem and provide solutions using your knowledge on the
subject matter. For press releases, share the news and happenings of your business
while highlighting your expertise. Always include a professional bio with
your contact info and links back to your website so readers will get
to know you and be able to get in touch with you.

Media Coverage
Link farms, link sharing sites, video portal sites, article portals, and press
release portals are all legitimate and fairly effective strategies for building
links to optimize your website and help you increase awareness and boost your
exposure. But those sites almost never have the Google Page Rank or website
traffic of a popular news or entertainment website. The truth is, one placement
on a coveted media website can produce more referred traffic and help move you
higher up the search rankings than submitting dozens of videos, articles, or press
releases to online portals. An online placement in a major media outlet can
drive traffic to your site for years and the referred leads from a media
website like CNN are usually already qualified because you’ve gained many of
those visitors’ trust through the implied endorsement of being interviewed as
an expert source. Being featured in the media is instant credibility
because you’ve been chosen for your expertise, and your potential clients can’t
help but want to know more. It’s also great for your search rankings. Top media
outlets have extremely high rankings; so if they’re linking back to your
website, you’re online rankings will increase, making it easier for clients —
and other media outlets — to find you.

Like I said before, the PR and marketing game is always
changing but increasing awareness and boosting exposure should always be your
goals. With technology and the media rapidly evolving, always keep on the
lookout for the next big thing that arises that will help take you and your
business to the next level.

L. Drew Gerber is CEO of www.PublicityResults.com
and creator of www.PitchRate.com, a free media connection
service for journalists, experts, and publicists.  Sign up now for free
publicity advice including a free online marketing course. Gerber’s business
practices and staffing innovations have been revered by PR Week, Good Morning
America and the Christian Science Monitor. His companies handle international
PR campaigns and his staff develops online press kits for authors, speakers and
companies with Online PressKit 24/7, a technology he developed (www.PressKit247.com).
Contact L. Drew Gerber at: AskDrew@PublicityResults.com or call him at 828-749-3548.

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