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How to Develop Strong Media Relations

Establishing a relationship with media and influencers is essential in the field of public relations. A close relationship will work in your benefit when you are trying to pitch your story. If you know exactly who to pitch to and what will catch their eye, your story will get a lot more publicity.

Here are on few tips to help you build successful connections with the media and influencers:

  1. Build relationships, not individual opportunities. If you make meaningful connections with the media, you may find that they are more receptive to your pitching down the line. You may also find they take interest in what is happening with your brand and reach out to you.
  2. Let the media get to know you. Provide opportunities for the media to get to know you. If you are launching a new brand, they will not know you at all, so you need to accessible. Invite them to media events you are holding, build a downloadable media kit, and be active on social media.
  3. Get to know the media. Using a blanket approach where you pitch every media contact you can think of is not a great idea. Thoughtfully build a list and get to know who your media and influencers are. What do they write about? What stories seem to grab them the most? And most importantly, what is the connection between your pitch and them?
  4. Anticipate the media’s needs. You have to be able to identify what the media may need to write a great story on your pitch. Be sure to include background information, high resolution images, and spokesperson/expert availability when you send your story.
  5. Be clear about what you want. Whether you are asking for coverage, event attendance, or an interview make it easy as possible for the media to evaluate whether or not they want to be involved.
  6. Keep your promises. If you say you are going to provide your contact with information by a certain deadline, then do it. Also, if you promise an exclusive to one publication, do not do the same to another. It breaks down trust, and they will likely delete your email next time you try to pitch them.

Winning Strategies for Father’s Day PR

Father’s Day is this Sunday! In addition to spoiling your favorite dad figures in your life while you grill-n-chill this weekend, keep in mind that Father’s Day can be a viable opportunity for success at work, too. According to the National Retail Federation, Father’s Day spending is expected to reach a record of $14.3 billion this year. If you’re a marketing and/or public relations professional, get ready to make use of the holiday in your PR efforts this weekend.

Here are some tips for winning PR for dad’s big day:

  • Use real-life people in your campaigns. Stories that feature real people not only win our hearts and minds, but they are more likely to earn coverage. Make real-life fathers and families the centerpiece of your Father’s Day publicity efforts.
  • Get emotional. It’s no surprise that emotional stories tend to be shared more frequently. Pulling at the heartstrings is not just a winning strategy when it comes to Mother’s Day – we know all dads have a soft spot deep down when it comes to their kids!
  • Be clever with hashtags. Using hashtags encourages social sharing, but make sure they reflect an equally clever idea. Last year, a home goods retailer used the hashtag #jokesfromdad, which generated a great deal of funny tweets and viral videos.
  • Don’t ignore gift guides. Just because a gift guide is predictable does not meant that it should be neglected. Top publications will share recommendations for gifts for dad. If your company produces a product for mass or male consumption, it is worth pitching the right targets.

 

East Village High School to Host Recruitment Event

 

East Village High School, formerly San Diego Early/Middle College, is hosting a Fall Recruitment and Student Showcase event on Wednesday, June 15th from 4:00 PM-7:00 PM at, 1405 Park Blvd, San Diego. East Village High School welcomes the community and prospective 9th-12th grade students and their families to this free event, which will include campus tours led by current East Village High School students, student artwork showcase, food and live music, and teachers and City College counselors on site to answer any questions.

East Village High School is for students who are motivated to go to college. Their partnership with San Diego City College allows them to offer students a chance to earn up 52 college credits while earning their high school diploma, for free! This unique, personalized education provides students with rigorous, college-focused courses in a small-classroom environment, to help them succeed in college and in their future career.

For more information, please visit their website at www.sandiegounified.org/eastvillage or view the event flyer at HY16196-MAILER-8.5X14-press.pdf

5 Indications Your Startup Is Ready to Dive Into PR

Starting a company is an exciting yet scary time. One of the critical decisions you have to make is knowing when your company is ready to start its initial media outreach. If you jump too soon, you will likely end up not getting any media coverage. Even worse, you might get unfavorable coverage, which could be hard to recover from.

Here are five criteria your startup should meet before you are ready to take the plunge:

  1. You have a working product that is available or coming soon. It is a risky move to announce a product when it is still in the idea or Beta phase. Make sure your product is reliable, functional, and useful before considering a launch. Waiting until your product is ready for market will result in a bigger splash.
  2. You have developed a narrative. Being able to explain what makes your company excellent is the first step toward developing a comprehensive narrative, and it is a key component of a company’s PR strategy. A PR firm can help you fine-tune your messaging and develop it into a comprehensive story arc.
  3. You have the money. PR does not happen overnight. You will need to make a consistent long-term investment in order to see results. You should have enough money to hire a PR firm for at least a few months.
  4. You have realistic expectations. Not seeing results can be frustrating for some. Before investing in PR, make sure you understand that it usually does not have an immediate return on investment. Most firms will track metrics to ensure they’re on the right path toward hitting your goal.
  5. You are willing to make the time. Your PR team needs your help developing key messages and angles that accurately reflect your business. Designated someone to manage outsourced PR, and be sure they are prepared to participate in weekly phone calls and daily email conversations in order to keep things moving.

Beat Summertime Sadness at Your PR Firm

Summertime at any PR agency is different than other seasons because the nice weather can add a distracting feature to the work environment.

Here are four tips to help PR firms beat the summer heat and stay focused, so that they are better prepared for the rest of the year.

  1. Manage vacation schedules early: Vacations are important because they allow employees to relax and clear their mind. Just make sure everyone isn’t taking their hard-earned vacation all at once. For operational continuity, it’s vital for staffers to book in the spring, so there will be no surprises in July and August. Sounds simple, but it requires foresight from the management.
  2. Choose your launch date wisely for maximum impact: Think carefully about conducting big product launches during the beach season. It gets a lot more challenging to reach reporters, analysts, and bloggers about their projects when they’re on vacation.
  3. Start thinking ahead: Although it may be mentally difficult, it’s important to start crafting story angles for the winter holidays to compete with those bigger publications who are already putting together their holiday issues.
  4. Offer summertime work perks: Try offering more free time or an earlier start to the weekends. Some agencies offer “summer Fridays” to employees, meaning that work wraps at about 1 p.m., assuming that client work is wrapped up for the week.

Maintaining privileges such as these helps employees focus on work, rather than dreading work and waiting for the clock to run out.

Memorial Day PR Mishaps

As both a somber holiday and the joyful unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day is the day in which Americans remember those who died in service to the country, while also spending time barbequing with family and friends. It is especially important that PR professionals take this into consideration when planning campaigns or events to avoid what many turn into a PR disaster. PR professionals should thoroughly think through the potential downsides of any campaign, but when coordinating programs around this holiday it is important to be extra cautious.

Drawing from the PR mistakes of other companies over recent years, here are three pitfalls to avoid this (and every) Memorial Day:

  1. Being distasteful or disrespectful. Last Memorial Day, retailer PacSun learned this lesson the hard way. In their store windows, they displayed a black t-shirt featuring an upside-down American flag. Customers took to social media to express how angry they were at the store for being disrespectful on a holiday meant to honor those who died in service to the flag. If freedom of speech or creative expression is a value your company holds, perhaps there are better times to showcase that edginess.
  2. Missing the forest for the trees. The swanky Standard Hotel in New York hurt its reputation last Memorial Day when a bouncer refused entry to a sailor in uniform due to its strict dress code. The sailor’s friends appealed to the managers, and the incident drew the attention of bystanders and the New York tabloids. Denying servicemen and women an evening of leisure any time of year, especially Memorial Day weekend, is not the best PR move. The Standard issued an apology, a public statement, and extended an invitation to the rebuffed sailor to come back anytime.
  3. Losing sight of the occasion. When hosting an event attended by media, it can be tempting to cater to what media want, to make a good impression and attempt to maximize coverage. But journalists covering the event should be held to the same standards of respect as everyone else. CNN host Anderson Cooper got this right when, while covering a commemoration for shooting victims in Canada, he reprimanded another reporter who approached him and asked for a selfie.