Posts By: KrisRuby
Social Media Expert Kris Ruby on Fox & Friends discussing social media etiquette in the work place.
Social Media Expert Kris Ruby was recently on Fox & Friends Weekend discussing the latest entertainment and tech stories of the week.
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!