Sunday, November 6, 2016
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Whatever your business is, it’s time to start working on a year-end press release to be distributed in mid- to late December.
Think you don’t have anything to say? Think again.
Newspapers, radio and television stations, and bloggers are all doing stories on the economy in late December and early January. Experts with views on national and global outlooks are plentiful. Experts on the economy in your community or your industry tend to be few and far between. They aren’t listed in the telephone directory – or almost any other directory – either, making it hard for reporters to identify them.
You are, however, an expert on how your business is doing. Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking about possible press releases:
- · Do you sell office supplies? How has the past year year been, and what are you expecting for next year? You have valid personal observations on what you are seeing in your business.
- · Do you repair appliances or cars or just about anything else? Are more people keeping their older appliances longer? Or are more people likely to buy a new appliance rather than make major repairs?
- · Are you a medical professional? Are your patients having to make larger out-of-pocket payments as their employers cut back on health insurance? Are you seeing more patients who no longer have group policies? How is this impacting you – and them?
- · What products and services to you offer? Which ones are showing sales increases and why?
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
I didn’t until I attended a webinar given by consultant Katie Paine and sponsored by Business Wire.
So what is the message in this? I find two.
First, people are self-selecting the media they want to see, and they’re doing it online. If you are relying only on traditional media, you aren’t reaching enough people.
Second, most content is boring. People want entertainment or facts they can use immediately.
You may not have a story that is as entertaining as My Drunk Kitchen. But in this day of rapidly expanding websites and busy schedules, you need to be sure that your story is available whenever people are ready to read it. And most people are going to look for the facts they want on Google. A good public relations program will stress both traditional and online media.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
I heard this point emphasized by Oliver Theil, director of public relations, San Francisco Symphony, at a recent meeting of the Public Relations Round Table of San Francisco, and I couldn’t agree more. They apply to almost every business or organization.
Among the relevant points that Theil made are these:
• The number of traditional media outlets is diminishing.
• Those that exist all have suffered from staff cutbacks in recent years, diminishing the opportunity for coverage.
• Because of this, it is important for the symphony to engage its community of 104 musicians, 1,500 volunteers, subscribers and other friends to tell its story. “We need to give them the content to help us.” Another quote from Oliver: “It is critical to deal with our patrons directly.”
• Word-of-mouth recommendations in social media from symphony supporters are more persuasive than recommendations from the media.
• The community of friends, i.e., social media subscribers, is not primarily interested in factual information such as upcoming programs. Instead they want tidbits giving them a personal connection with performers, such as an interview with a violin player or a YouTube interview with a visiting artist as he arrives to rehearse. These are the things that people share with their friends.
It’s good advice for everyone.
Disclosure note: I’m proud to say that I’m a former board member of the Round Table, founded in 1939 for senior-level public relations practitioners.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
That’s question I often hear. The answer is this: It can be even more important to have a written press release when you know reporters will be present.
It’s very hard for a reporter (or anyone else) to listen to a speech, much less a panel discussion or question-and-answer session with multiple speakers, and take notes with 100 percent accuracy.
If you put the important facts in writing, you know the reporter will have an accurate record of any numbers and your most important comments. If the reporter is called away to another breaking story before it’s your turn to speak, the reporter will at least know what you had to say.
Issuing a press release, of course, in no way obligates a reporter to use it. The media gets to decide what is published and what is left out.
Good reporters want to get the facts right. A well-written press release makes it easy for them to do so. The easier you make it for a reporter to cover you accurately, the more likely it is to happen.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
A front-page story in the newspaper or a good story on the evening television news obviously is still valuable today. But the first page of Google results is probably more valuable over the months ahead.
The front-page story is gone tomorrow. Google, in contrast, is like the yellow pages. It’s there when people need the information, whether it’s right now or a year from now.
If you aren’t distributing your press releases electronically (and optimizing them for search engines as well), you’re not taking full advantage of today’s technology.