We are thrilled to welcome Perry Krasnove as a Media Relations Consultant at Ruby Media Group. With more than 20 years of industry experience as a PR strategiest, media specialist and media trainer, Perry has some great tips to share with you on how to increase exposure for your business.
What is your philosophy about PR?
Using public relations to help build brands and establish industry thought leaders is a necessity, not a luxury. People consume their media through so many different avenues so they can avoid the clutter that comes from various forms of advertising. PR on the other hand, is a natural part of their consumption. When organically consumed, PR is one of the most influential forms of delivering a message. PR is about honesty and integrity. I always ask potential clients if they’d rather hear about the accolades of a product through a segment with Al Roker or on a commercial in an embellished setting. 9 times out of 10 the client wants to be validated through the words of Al Roker vs through a traditional ad.
Why is PR so important for emerging thought leaders?
Through PR, thought leaders can cut through the clutter and be heard or seen the way they want to be heard or seen. My philosophy about thought leaders is simple: don’t drink the Kool-Aid. A thought leader is most successful when they come across as an expert in their industry, not an expert in what they are selling. I’ve had success utilizing this tactic. For example, I previously worked with a Life Settlement CEO whose company buys life insurance policies from active adults. It is a part of the economic landscape that reporters, anchors and editors never want to talk about. I media trained him to become a retirement specialist and an expert. It turned out he knew the financial industry quite well. He ditched the life settlement “speak” and went on to do interviews with the goal of giving the audience a wide range of options. I pitched and earned him an interview on a national business outlet and he hit a home run. He was then invited to come back on the show for three consecutive months. He was then invited to be a part of “The Company” where he would be on the entire show as their “resident CEO.” I worked with him on the various subject matters that were going to be discussed. He became a sounding board on gun control, healthcare and Apple. Inquiries into his company spiked as viewers were able to watch him and saw him as more than a life settlement specialist or a CEO. They saw him as a human being they could relate to. PR at it’s finest. Thought leaders can have a huge impact on anything they choose to touch.
How has your background in news shaped your ability to craft stories as a publicist?
I spent so many years in the news industry at MSNBC that I look at media placements as news stories. I always ask, “What’s in it for me?” before I pitch any story and try to see it from the producers side. Once I find the answer, I can move forward because the producer, reporter, anchor or editor is asking himself or herself the very same question. My job is to not only make my client happy but to make my contacts in the media happy as well. If they are happy then their bosses are happy. Now I know I can go back to them again and again. Speaking engagements go the same way. You don’t want a “one off.” It’s not beneficial to anyone if no one comes out looking good. Every media placement and speaking engagement secured needs to be a long-term brand building experience. There is no top of the peak. There is always the next rung in the ladder. Continue to build equity with your base. I want to sell the speaker and the event planner on what the next speaking engagement can do for them two or three speeches down the road. It’s why I have been able to keep my contacts for the last decade. I can email them out of the blue and know they will get back to me despite receiving thousands of pitches a day. I also believe anyone can copy and paste a sample target media outlet list and tell you they are “targeting a comprehensive list of media outlets, including but not limited to…” but it takes a truly gifted publicist to move and flow with the client in a freeform manner. This is what creates strong working relationships between a publicist and their client. It’s what separates me from everyone else.
Any media relations tips?
You have to look at media contacts as people with lives and interests. Your basic tech reporter doesn’t just want the latest iphone; they like a wine or spirit, a customized pillow or the most innovative luggage. Those pieces that come out of product exchanges turn into some of the best placements because the reporter puts full heart and soul into the story. It’s personal!
Best way to build relationships with media?
I don’t like taking a cookie-cutter approach with the media and they can see when you have. Sometimes you have to work “the long road.” It’s where I introduce a spokesperson or a product without any intention of a true pitch in that moment. The idea is to put my client in their heads so they file it for future reference. Sometimes they come to me with a need, other times I come back with a pitch that’s not so out of leftfield now. But the one thing my contacts all have in common is this: they want it all on a silver platter for them. The less they have to do, the better. If you can make their job easier for them, you will become a valued source.
What are some critical elements to include in ongoing media relations to keep your business top of mind?
How much media can I secure? How impactful can this campaign be? Is this going to be as good as I think it will be? Will it make me want to do it again because it was so good? Anyway you slice it you are all in for “The Big Play.” Here are my top tips on scoring major ink:
Ongoing News Announcements- Post a steady stream of news such as new services, executive appointments, awards, etc. These sorts of activities should help keep your business in the media, demonstrating its significance as the most sought after firm.
Business Profiles- Editors at major business and trade publications are interested in interviewing key executives and writing stories about the company. I also recommend letting journalists and editors know that members of the management team are available for comment for trend stories.
Trend Stories- I recommend issuing pitch letters that capitalize on current trends and news items. This can help lead to inclusion in round-up and trend pieces.
Media– In addition to pitching print publications and broadcast outlets, increase your digital presence through blogs, websites and social media outlets.
Television Outreach- To secure broadcast exposure, pitch your CEO as a thought leader on business shows discussing trends in the industry, and any relevant hot topic that they could comment on.
LinkedIN Publishing- set up profile and publish your own content. Be sure to share on social media.
Contributed Columns-– become a regular columnist, Forbes contributor or secure a regular running piece in Huffington Post
Published Research Findings- A well-timed, content driven survey is time consuming and costs a lot of money but when done the right way, it can generate a massive amount of press.
Speaking Engagements– Speakers bureau – TED talk, Fast Company, Arianna Huffington events.