Social Media Expert Kris Ruby was recently on Fox & Friends Weekend discussing the latest entertainment and tech stories of the week.
Posts By: KrisRuby
Social Media Expert Kris Ruby was recently on Fox Business with Bo Dietl on “Making Money with Charles Payne” discussing the recent on-air shooting.
Social Media Expert Kris Ruby was recently on Fox Business Risk & Reward with Deirdre Bolton. Click below to watch the full segment!
When you wrote your business plan, you probably set a variety of goals, but did you set goals for your public relations campaignWhat are your PR goals? Do you want to be on the cover of Time Magazine? Do you want to be a guest on The View? Do you want to have a million Twitter followers? Do you want your product to be mentioned on Ellen? Write down what you want to accomplish in your public relations campaign. Now, it’s time to break down those goals even further.
For example, in one year, you may want to double your profits, open a second location or triple your clientele list. In order to achieve these goals, you need to break this down into tactical steps such as developing a targeted media list, pitching trades and leveraging social media influencer relationships.
Goals keep you focused and motivated. Earlier this year, Staples released the results of their small business survey, showing that the leaders they surveyed are also focused on getting results and setting goals. Those goals included increasing revenue, driving profits and gaining more customers. To achieve those goals, 46% of those surveyed said wanted to use promotional marketing techniques to meet these goals.
Not only should you have business goals, but your public relations campaign should also have goals. Running an entire campaign can be extremely overwhelming, but breaking it up into smaller goals makes it more manageable. Most importantly, these goals should be SMART, which means that they are:
- Time specific.
Let’s say that you are a doctor and your goal is to double your practice and appear on the cover of your local newspaper. Your public relations goals for this month might look like this:
- Create a Contest: Give away a healthcare makeover to a community member. Entrants will submit essays telling their stories and what they would do if they achieved optimal health.
- Contact the Media: The media love feel good stories. Write a press release and announce your contest. Offer the media a chance to follow the winner from before to the ‘after’.
- Organize a Big Reveal: Create an event to announce the winner and invite the media to attend. Create another event for the big reveal.
- Network: Attend a local Chamber event each month where you offer to speak, provide tips, or be a guest on a local radio show.
- Tweet, Instagram or Facebook. Get on social media and let people know who you are. Give out tips, share links to healthcare advice and post before and after pictures of the contest winner (with consent of course). If you can’t do all of this yourself, your goal this month should be to hire someone who can.
Celebrate Your Success
If you’ve accomplished your PR campaign goals, the community should begin to chatter about the contest and entries should come pouring in. The media will hopefully contact you for an article and you may even land a feature in the local newspaper. Finally, after seeing the transformation in the winner, potential patients will call to book a consultation with you- showing a direct lead conversion. Make sure that what you’re doing each month pushes you toward accomplishing your continued goals.
How to make sure your story gets picked up
Making connections with broadcast and print media is vital to the success of your public relations campaign, but as the old saying goes, ‘you only have one chance to make a first impression.’ Just because you have what you think is a great pitch doesn’t mean that you are ready to start pitching the media. Before you do so, there are several steps you should take to make sure that you maximize your chance at scoring coverage.
Get the name right: It sounds simple, but editors move around frequently and you could be pitching an editor who moved on to another publication six months ago. Take a few minutes to call the newspaper or TV station and make sure that the journalist is still on staff and that you have the right spelling of his or her name. While you’re at it, ask if you have the right gender too. Does “Kelly” want to be called a Mr. or Ms.? Is Charlie a man or is it short for Charlene?
Title confusion: You want to start pitching the media a great segment about your newest product, but the name on your list is actually the name of the entertainment editor. Make sure that you have the right person for your pitch and their correct email address. Do not assume that the entertainment editor will send the pitch on for you. On the other hand, sending a blanket pitch out to everyone on staff is a bad idea. Make sure that your pitch is targeted to the right editor.
Watch and read: Pitching The View? Make sure you’ve watched a few episodes. Pitching The New York Times travel editor? Read the section before pitching. Refer back to previous articles written.
Timing is everything: At most, you should confine your pitching to the media to once or twice a week, but make sure that day is Tuesday-Thursday . Friday night emails will get pushed down by all the other emails that will come in during the weekend.
Pitch perfect: Make sure that you actually have a newsworthy pitch. Sending an email to a producer asking if they want to do a segment about your company will have the producer pressing the delete button before you’ve had your morning cup of coffee. Your pitch should include a specific idea and everything the producer will need, including quotes, photos, background information, etc. In other words, make sure your press kit is ready to go when an editor or producer comes calling.
Don’t oversell: When pitching the media, leave out the jargon and, whatever you do, do not tell a journalist that you’re the first company to ever do so-and-so unless you can back it up.
Write a great headline: Editors won’t click on emails unless the subject line interests them, so make sure you create a compelling one. Oprah Winfrey reportedly received 15,000 emails a day from people pitching various products and ideas. That’s a lot of emails! Make sure your story idea stands out.
Social media snafu: Facebook and Twitter are great tools to promote your hits, but not to pitch editors. Mikal Belicove of Forbes says that pitching him through Twitter isn’t ‘cool.’ Instead, he says in this article, pitch him privately.
Lead time: A Mother’s Day story idea shouldn’t be pitched the week before the big day. Newspapers and broadcast media need a few weeks of lead time while magazines work even further ahead. Plan your pitch calendar accordingly.
Call me, maybe: In the past, public relations professionals were encouraged to follow up with a phone call to the media to see if their pitch garnered any interest, but today, thanks to technology, editors are so bombarded with calls and emails that the protocol has changed. It’s okay to send one follow-up email, but if you do not hear from the journalist, assume that they are not interested or that they will get back in touch with you if they are.
Should your business have a blog? Of course it should. A blog is a great way to connect with your clients, increase search engine optimization (SEO) results and get your content found by key prospects. According to Inside View, research shows that B2B marketers who use blogs generate 67% more leads than those that do not. Other research shows that business websites that have a blog with more than 20 posts per month get five times more traffic than those who blog significantly less (less than four times per month). Blogging should be a critical part of your ongoing communications strategy.
Companies such as Whole Foods, IHG, Turkey Hill, Starbucks and even YouTube have blogs. Their content is consistent with the brands’ key messaging and includes thoughts from the CEO, recipes, and even tips on packing like a pro.
The goal of your blog should be to draw potential customers to your website and keep them interacting with your content.
Here are 10 more tips to creating a successful blog for your business:
- Create an editorial schedule: Don’t just wing it. A schedule of topics and deadlines will keep you focused and allow you to build up momentum and followers.
- Know your audience: Who are you trying to appeal to? Write for that audience. If you’re trying to reach customers, do not use the blog to talk about employees or company news. Write only about what is important to your prospects and what they want to read.
- Link your blog. Discussing key trends in your industry? Link back to previous article you wrote on the trend. Be sure to link articles, discussion posts, and tweets to your blog to increase traffic to the site.
- Create a blog roll: Add relevant industry blogs to a blog roll on your site to direct users to other viewpoints on the topics you are writing about. Add these blogs to the “blog roll” to show strategic alliance and to get on the radar of the bloggers you want to impress.
- Invite a guest: A blog serves as a personalized expression of your brand and will serve as a platform for the company. You can encourage employees and members to contribute to blog content. In turn, they will often help to promote their content and, as a result, bring more readers to your blog. You can also invite experts in your industry to guest blog. This is great for increasing backlinks and positive link juice!
- Share helpful information: Maintain a balance between posting unique content and sharing content from related blogs to your industry. All of your content should address the pain points of your target audience.
- Update frequently: Your blog should be updated at least several times a week and should continually include tips, articles, industry news, etc. For example, if you design office spaces, then post inspirational ideas and create a contest for a customer. Readers will repost and re-tweet contest information and provide feedback on the ideas.
- Integrate SEO keywords: You want your blog to make its way up the Google rankings. To do that, you need to insert Search Engine Optimization (SEO) words into the copy. Learn what keywords you want to rank for and optimize accordingly.
- Promote your blog: Tweet a link to your blog post, talk about it on Twitter, send out a teaser in your newsletter, mention it when you do interviews and put your blog address in your e-mail signature line.
- Keep tabs on your progress: Programs such as Google Analytics will provide key insight into click throughs, who is reading the blog, and what posts are most popular. This is vitally important when you are planning an editorial calendar. For example, if you are writing for a 30-50 year old audience, but the majority of readers are in their 20s, you may need to alter your content. If you are spending a ton of time writing content that isn’t getting high traffic, you may need to alter your content calendar accordingly. Remember, you are writing for your audience and the content that they want to read, not that you want to read.
Looking to secure a strong local hit in Westchester media? Here are my top tips!
- Visualize the story. Pitching Westchester broadcast media is very different then pitching Westchester print media. If you want to make your story stand out, think about how you can visually bring the story to life for television. What visuals do you have that will make the story pop? Go out of your way to make your story aesthetically appealing to a producer. You can even add some props, such as a stunning table display if you think it will add to the story.
- Tie it In. Give the producer a compelling reason to run the story now. There should be a strong tie in to a calendar event to give a compelling reason why the story should run. For example, is there a specific time of year you do an annual family tradition that is happening this weekend?
- Larger Trend. How does your story tie into the larger trend in the community? For example, this weekend RMG pitched and secured a story on The Cooking Realtors Tomato Sauce. It was the featured package on News 12 Westchester on Saturday at 5 pm. The larger trend was that this was a behind-the-scenes peek into one Westchester resident’s annual tradition that hundreds of Westchester residents actually do all weekend. By mentioning the fact that hundreds of county residents also do this, the appeal of the segment suddenly became a lot larger.
- Walk the Producers through the process. After you’ve secured a segment, walk the producers through it. For example, we stirred the tomatoes and let the producer taste the sauce. We also had b-roll opportunities available to show the entire process from beginning to end to visually walk the viewer through it.
- Provide Sources. Producers like when you have additional sources available. If you are hosting an event, have other attendees or sources available to talk to the press. Are there other Westchester residents attending the event that can provide commentary on the annual tradition in their own family? If so, have them available for commentary for the media to provide an outside perspective.
- Don’t forget the 5 W’s. This goes without saying, but if you want Westchester media to show up, be sure to provide them all of the relevant details in one condensed email: who, what, where, when and why. Also, provide correct spellings up front for all town names, resident IDs and interview names. The address of the location shoot and a phone number of a point of contact are also critical.
- Graphics. Be sure to capture tons of graphics before, during and after the event. Many of these graphics can be used to promote the segment on social media (a must!) and to include in a post-event release for extended coverage. If you want to re-pitch the same segment when the event takes place next year, and to do a post event release for extended coverage. If you want to re pitch the segment idea next year, it is good to have accompany graphics to help show what the finished product will look like. Get super creative with your graphics by combining screenshots of the press coverage with photos of the displays you created. We recommend using some of our favorite apps to create these pieces: PIP Camera, Photo Mirror, FotoFus, InstaMag. Enjoy!
To watch the full segment, click here
Social Media Expert Kris Ruby Weighs In
Kim Kardashian West received a stern warning from FDA officials stating that her social media post was misleading and failed to communicate any risk information. Whether is a drug label of social media, FDA rules apply if it is the manufacturer who is paying the celebrity for endorsement. The post was since taken down.
“By omitting the risks associated with Diclegis, the social media post misleadingly fails to provide material information about the consequences that may result from the use of the drug and suggests that it is safer than has been demonstrated,” the warning letter reads.
This Instagram marketing fiasco brings up a larger issue in healthcare marketing- do the FTC’s guidelines concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising adequately address social media promotion today?
The Legal Facts- what you need to know
The FDA previously issued guidelines about celeb endorsements stating that they must be bona fide users of the product and disclose any financial information. On a TV commercial, that makes sense and has been accepted, but in social media, it is still a fairly new concept.
Celebrities have been promoting prescription drugs for years with ads that include a long list of safety issues. However, when it comes to social media, the rules are very vague. Here’s why:
Space Issue- Social media has opened up a new world of promotional opportunities. Even through the rules are the same, there is room for only 140 characters on Twitter. What celebrity wants to use that limited amount of space to post all of the potential issues associated with a drug?
Coolness Factor- There is an art to celebrity testimonials on Instagram marketing. It completely takes out the coolness factor when celebrities start posting #PaidForThis or #WarningYouCouldDieFromThisDrug. The art of the celeb endorsement is that it is supposed to seamlessly integrate with the celebrities every day life on social media. The second they start adding these rules/regulations to it, it looks entirely spammy and damages their credibility with their followers.
It is also interesting to note that if Kardashian or any celebrity decides on their own to promote a product that they are not financially tied to, she would not have gotten in trouble.
“We all have first amendment rights and can say whatever we want — but once you are paid by a company it’s the manufacturer who has to make sure the information is accurate and not misleading,” former FDA commissioner Dr. David Kessler told NBC news. “Once you are paid, you are under FDA rules.”
Here’s a suggested Tweet for such a drug: “NoFocus (rememberine HCl) for mild to moderate memory loss-May cause seizures in patients with a seizure disorder www.nofocus.com/risk [134/140]”
While in theory this meets the FTC’s criteria, any social media expert with half a brain advising a client on Instagram marketing or celeb endorsement deals would never encourage their client to post this. It looks entirely spammy and damages their credibility.
Ruby’s Suggestion for Celebs:
Stick to traditional advertising for FDA endorsement deals. If you like a product on social media and want to endorse it to your fans, you are better off promoting it because you actually believe in it rather then being financially tied to it and damaging your credibility.
Score! You just landed a hit on a national TV show. But now you may be wondering, how do I maximize the appearance? The truth is, the most important part of the hit isn’t the actual hit. It is what you DO with the hit before, during, and after. To make the most of it, you have to ramp up your social media efforts and make sure you are creating engaging content.
Don’t wait until after the interview is over to start promoting it and getting your followers involved.
Live tweeting: Start by encouraging fans to live tweet with you before, during and after the show. For example, one tweet might be, “Have any questions for @yourname on @Nameofshow? Tweet them to us before #nameofshow at 8 pm.” According to ExpandedRamblings.com, 47% of people who follow a brand on Twitter are more likely to visit that company’s website, so it’s important to be active.
Use your audience to promote: Simply ask your Twitter followers or newsletter subscribers to help promote the appearance. Fans love to help their favorite thought leader gain more notoriety.
Integrate social media: Be sure to tag and hashtag the media outlet and handles of any interviewers in all tweets mentioning the show. This will show the outlet that you are socially engaged and are interested in moving eyeballs to their network.
Search hashtags: If you really want to see what everyone is saying about you on Twitter, search “all tweets” and search for the hashtag of the show, mentions to the show, mentions with your handle, and any relevant content. Sometimes people will post their thoughts on the segment with the handle of the show directly without mentioning your handle. Remember, that sometimes people will post their thoughts on the segment with the handle of the show directly without mentioning your handle. If you are a TV Star, you may want to purchase a monitoring app, such as Mention, which will aggregate all of the social mentions for you.
Share behind-the-scenes moments: Fans want to see more than what they just see on television, so while you are in the green room, tweet a photo or post one on Instagram. If there are other guests in the room, take photos and share them on your social media or create a Vine. Be sure to tag the people in the photo!
Increase viewer engagement: Until it’s time for your appearance, host a live Twitter chat, answering behind the-scenes questions. This builds an ongoing relationship with your audience.
Ask questions: Questions require answers and that leads to interaction. For example, after the show you can tweet, “What did you think of the appearance?” “Did I wear the right dress?”
Stay positive: Social media builds relationships with your audience, but one negative post can ruin it all. Stay positive and be aware of what you are posting. If something does go wrong, learn how to take a digital detox. For example, if you post something questionable – a photo or a tweet – that offends a core part of your audience, remove it. Stay away from social media for a while.
Close the door on drama: Tweeting includes responding, but getting involved with someone else’s drama can be a big mistake. Know when to stop.
Pull in a team: If you will be wearing a special brand, tweet to the brand before the appearance and let them know. Most likely, they will retweet you. This increases the likelihood of them putting out their own tweet or post promoting it that you could then retweet. Ex. ““Love the outfit @InfluencerX is wearing on the segment? Buy it here!”
Once the appearance is over, continue tweeting links and clips, posting photos on Instagram and Facebook or promoting a Vine from the green room. Post the appearance on your blog. Do as much as you can to maximize the appearance and use your audience to publicize it even more.
Looking to make the most out of your new relationship with a Westchester PR agency or NYC Public Relations Agency? Be able to clearly articulate the answers to these questions to your new PR agency before you kick off the new relationship.
- What is PR nirvana to you? What does success look like to you?
- How do you see your company growing? What’s the end goal?
- For some people, it’s a simple 5% increase in customers…for others it’s a feature story in the New York Times or a trade journal. It’s important to know the difference. (You can’t achieve an end goal if you don’t know what it is)
- What makes you unique?
- What specifically do you want to be publicized for?
- Who are you ideally trying to reach?
To set up your relationship with your public relations agency for maximum success, you want to make sure you give them as much data as possible to help them propose the best solutions.
- What tools and platforms are you currently using in your marketing efforts?
- What are your goals? Leads, customers, or revenue?
- What is the lifetime value (LTV) of each customer?
- Do you have customer personas? Who is your ideal client?
- What percentage of your customers is generated through online methods?
- Content audit- what content do you currently have?
- Who on your marketing team will be creating content?
- Who are the influencers and experts in your industry that we need to be familiar with?
You also want to define clear expectations for weekly management:
- Weekly call time?
- Who needs to be on weekly or monthly project status meetings?
- Who is approving work?
Be Prepared for a Change in Scope
If your publicist or management consultant is worth their salt, they may completely change the scope of the engagement after hearing your answers to the PR/Marketing onboarding questions. Many business owners think they need PR to fix their business issues, but what they don’t realize is that they need to actually fix the business issues first to generate any worthwhile exposure long term. “Just get me positive press” may stop the bleeding short term, but it is not a long-term solution.
The only thing that needs to change is everything.
Surprise! You have a business problem. Not a marketing problem.
The below is a standard response from a client:
“We agree with everything you identified. There are certainly issues with conveying a consistent brand identity. The best thing for us to do is review this and discuss this….most definitely we need to increase our attention to those elements because we haven’t really done much with it. I don’t have anything to add other than we need to review it.”
Typically, the client will come back and say they have discussed it internally and what they really need you for is press. Think hard before taking on an engagement where you know you are being led to fail. You are the professional. You need to drive the client engagement. If you know there is an inherent business issue, and you start pitching media to review something that is half-baked, you will only hurt yourself, your media relationships and your reputation.
In an initial deep dive discovery meeting with a client, here is an example of one of their answers for their SWOT analysis.
“Weaknesses would be team, policy and procedure, consistency in food quality, proper training, staff enthusiasm and knowledge. Absence of good marketing, branding, and PR. Customers are unhappy with consistency and very upset with staff being completely unaware of dietary components of food items, like what is gluten free or not. Staff isn’t friendly.”
You CANNOT have good marketing if you have deep rooted organizational issues
In order to be of maximum service to your client and guide them in the right direction, you need to address the organizational issues before you can tackle the PR ones. PR should come LAST, not FIRST, when building a business.
It is my strong belief that the best PR strategists are half management consultants and half practitioners. You can only generate press when there are newsworthy items. The rest of the time you should be focused on the business challenges and how you can solve them. If the client inherently disagrees with this approach, think long and hard before committing to anything, and definitely make sure the revised scope is clearly laid out in writing.