How to Get Your Business Featured in Westchester Magazines

PR Tips to Gain Exposure in Print

Westchester PR firm shares how to get published in westchester magazines

Wondering how to get published in print publications, but not sure how to go about it without insider advice and connections? Then be sure to follow RMG’s top 12 tips on how to create media magic inside the pages of your favorite print publications.

As experts in public relations, we have secured numerous editorial placements for clients. Below, we boiled down years of pitching and securing print placements to give you our top advice on how to get your story told and featured in the print magazines you love most.

12 Tips on How to Get Published in Print

1. Create a spectacular image-driven website. Lifestyle journalists and editors will go to your website first when considering covering your business in the pages of their glossy magazine. Not only are they looking to vet you as a credible business, but they are also looking with an art director’s eye at your corporate imagery. Does your company have at least a handful of drop dead gorgeous high-res images ready to go that are fresh and on trend? Be certain you use the “show, don’t tell” motto when it comes to brand imagery. Luckily, there are simple programs available to you today, so you don’t need to understand code to design an attractive site.

2. Produce your own media. A common mistake that entrepreneurs make is forgetting to create their own media before, during and after a client engagement. Capturing multimedia (images, videos, memes and even livestreams) is more important than ever when it comes to digital marketing. All of these assets can provide valuable social proof to an editor from a third party perspective on why you are the best at what you do. So, make certain to discuss the possibility of “capturing media” with your clients before you start your next project so you can leverage it in the pitching process.

3. Hire a photographer. Want to woo a magazine editor with your images? Look inside the publication you most covet and check out the photo credits. Is there an award-winning photographer the magazine uses over and over? Hire the photographer for your next post-project photo shoot. Then, leverage the images and share them with the media the next time they are considering covering you.

4. Send images in the correct format: Jpeg? Tiff file? High res? Low res? No, this isn’t a foreign language; just standard formats for sending images. High-resolution images are required for print publication, but the huge files can clog—or crash—an editor’s inbox, so consider sending images via Dropbox or other cloud sharing sites.

5. Do your media research and pitch accordingly. Targeting media correctly is an art. And it takes a lot of time and pinpointed research. Conduct detailed background research of other local, regional and blog outlets that you want your business to appear in. Remember to focus on your niche market and find the publication that best covers your areas of expertise.

6. Determine the correct editor and use email. Score! You have the list of publications you want to appear in ready to go. Next, it is time to determine which writers and editors at each magazine would cover your story. The goal is to find the golden egg: their email address. While this may sound easy, editors are especially adept at keeping their email addresses private. This is why PR firms pay big bucks to have instant access to media research and aggregation services (such as Cision). Plus, editors are notoriously busy and don’t have time to read every press release and pitch that comes their way. Publicists are great at crafting detailed, yet short email subject lines that get the attention of the top editors.

7. What about exclusivity? It’s an unwritten media ‘no-no’ to pitch the same story to multiple outlets. Two competing magazines don’t want to showcase your business using the same story angle. So, offer your story idea and accompanying media gallery as an exclusive first. If you get a polite ‘no thank you,’ then move onto the next publication’s editorial team while continuing to refine your pitch each time.

8. Don’t skip entering contests. While entering a professional contest may seem time- consuming and trivial, don’t pass on the opportunity. Design awards and professional award opportunities come with the bonus of free publicity if you win. And, even if you don’t win the award, editors keep a list of up-and-coming professionals on their minds for future story considerations.

9. Separation of church and state. Don’t confuse advertising with editorial. Most of the time (except when it comes to advertorial), advertising and editorial are complexly different departments within each publication.

10. Social media and content integration. Use the multimedia you create with your projects for a consistent pipeline of brand messaging and consumer engagement via your social media channels, blogs and web site. Regional editors are constantly viewing what’s happening on social media, so be certain to always include locally-used hashtags and engage in online conversations with other local business people, influencers and media outlets.

11. What about Westchester? Remember, editors cover “beats” or locations. If your business is outside the greater Westchester region, then you may be wasting the editor’s time if you pitch them a story that is way outside of their coverage area. Be certain the editor immediately knows that your business is located within the publication’s editorial “map.” You can get a better idea of a publication’s coverage area by requesting a “media kit” from their advertising department. Usually found buried inside a publication’s website (and downloadable as a PDF), a magazine’s media kit includes eye-opening information on readership demographics, advertising space details and the all-important editorial calendar.

12. Ask for the publication’s editorial calendar. Every year, magazines release a new upcoming editorial calendar, which highlights the specific features they will be covering in editorial as well as specific advertising features. Be sure to time your pitch to something they are already covering if you want an editor to feature your business. This calendar describes the theme of each issue and is a good way to strategize your brand campaigns and pitches.

For more advice on PR, contact kruby@rubymediagroup.com to secure a copy of our new e-book How to Strategically Increase Media Exposure.

Follow us on Twitter @rubymediagroup and @sparklingruby

©Ruby Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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How to Score Local Publicity in Westchester County

westchester PR firm owner shares publicity tips for your small business

Photo credit: Lauren Kallen

When it comes to maximizing your publicity efforts, scoring a national media hit is usually a major goal, but if you are a small business, you may only need hyper-local publicity placements. For example, you’re a Westchester County doctor or owner of a small coffee shop and only want to establish a strong presence in your local community.

Here are ideas on how to get your business in the newspaper:

  1. Pitch trends: Are there new trends in the area or is the community undergoing a revitalization? Pitch a local business editor an article or segment about the revival. Ask other local businesses to participate and provide sources to interview.
  2. Give back: The media loves feel good stories. Raise funds for a local non-profit. At the event, take photos of the actual donation and invite the media to cover the event.
  3. Show me the money: Speaking of money, has your company saved by converting to energy-efficient light bulbs or using a technique that is environmentally friendly? The money or environmental editor of the might be interested in an article or segment.
  4. Cook it up: At holiday time, pitch recipes, ideas and cooking tips or tricks. For example, if you own a small coffee shop, pair the best foods and wine or share ideas on specialized coffees that you can give.
  5. Look around: What are other local businesses doing? For example, The Cecil in Harlem recently had an event with Esquire Magazine where they hosted a large party with top editors, who were able to taste their food and get to know and understand the restaurant’s concept. It was followed by a brunch with a DJ. Guests took photos and posted them to Instagram with specific hashtags.
  6. Pitch an employee: Maybe an employee has achieved something spectacular, so pitch them to the features section for a profile. You could also pitch them for relevant award nominations and submissions.

Here are ideas on how to get your business in regional broadcast media:

  1. Visualize the story. Pitching Westchester broadcast media is very different than pitching traditional Westchester print media. What will make your story stand out are your visuals. Think about how you can visually bring the story to life for television. 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.
  2. Tie it in. Give the producer a compelling reason to run the story now. For example, your pitch has a strong tie-in to a Westchester calendar event. For example, Ruby Media Group, a leading public relations and social media agency in Westchester, NY and the New York metropolitan area 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 participate in all weekend. By mentioning the fact that hundreds of county residents also do this, the appeal of the segment suddenly became a lot larger.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Don’t forget the 5 Ws. 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.
  6. 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, it is good to have accompanied 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.

Most importantly, get to know your local reporters and what beat they cover. By building a relationship, you will score more media hits because the journalists will remember who you are and include you in their next article or segment.

Like this post and follow me to read more posts like this one.

For more information, visit www.rubymediagroup.com or www.krisruby.com and follow me on Twitter: @sparklingruby and @rubymediagroup 

©2016 Ruby Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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How to Stay Relevant to the Media

westchester PR firm ruby media group

PR Tips: Insider Secrets for Securing Earned Media Coverage

Making The News: How to Get Press Attention

As a publicist for over 12 years, I know how to secure massive media coverage. Here are some of my top PR secrets and tips to scoring big earned media wins with journalists.

How do I get national press coverage?

Everyone wants to be featured in national media. But it is not always the best approach when it comes to PR. Why?

If you are a regional outlet, you may want to get more press coverage in local media outlets that can convert readers to new customers/ patients/ clients.

My PR secret for clients? The power of trade publications.

Trade publications are more likely to run a full feature story than national media or local media. Never underestimate the power of trade outlets when putting together a PR strategy.

How can I increase my media coverage?

Step 1: Identify Target Media Outlets 

What magazines and newspapers do you want to write about your business? Do you want to see your business featured in Forbes or Wired, or is your local newspaper the best place to reach your audience? Do you dream of being on The View or hope that, one day, your restaurant will be profiled on The Food Network? Before you can audit your PR campaign, you need to decide who your target media outlets are and, then, how to stay relevant and get their attention.

Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience

You daydream of being on the cover of Dr. Oz Magazine, but is that the best publication to reach your target audience? Does it establish you as a leader in your industry? To determine this, you first need to know who your target audience is. For example, your ideal customer is male 20-somethings, so ideally you want to be featured in a magazine such as Men’s Health, but if you are trying to reach a more upscale gentleman, your target audience would be more along the lines of Esquire.

Step 3: Pitch the media 

Now that you have identified target outlets, start pitching the media! Identify relevant story angles and timely topics that tie into the news cycle. We are not fans of DIY PR, so we suggest hiring a NY PR Firm to assist with the pitching process. Pitching the media involves a lot of details, short deadlines and superb writing skills.

How do I get sustained press coverage after I have already been interviewed?

Stay Relevant

In order for your business to succeed, you need steady media exposure. To do this, it’s important to stay relevant. One hit wonders in PR do nothing for your long-term brand equity. This is why we only work with people for a minimum of 6-month or 1 year agreements. PR is a commitment from the agencies side and the client side as well. It is important to stay in touch with what is currently going on in the media and utilize that to create new, timely angles and ideas to pitch to journalists and producers.

Conduct a PR Audit 

One of the biggest challenges people face with their long-term PR firms is that they struggle to come up with new pitch worthy ideas, or their creative ideas may go stale. You hear about businesses conducting accounting audits and even SEO audits, but you never hear about a business conducting a PR audit. We think that should change. When we start working with clients who have engaged numerous PR firms, the first thing we do is to conduct a PR audit. We look at all of the previous press placements they have received, and look for new opportunities for earned media coverage. It’s best to review and update your media campaign to make sure it is not outdated. A PR audit will help to secure more press placements in the media and, ultimately, achieve your goal of increasing business exposure.

Public Relations Audit Checklist

Use these 7 tips and strategies to conduct a thorough PR audit of your media relations campaign 

1.    Measure PR Results.  What have your PR results accomplished? Has your business been featured before? If so, why was the media interested and what angles resonated best? What media success have you already had? In publicity, history can repeat itself, because if a publication was interested in your business once, chances are that with a more current angle, they may be interested in featuring you again.

2.    Personal Branding PR. Are you establishing yourself as a thought leader? Do you have a blog and are you consistently providing content for your customers? Journalists and producers often scroll through blogs for ideas and to look for expert interview sources, so providing valuable content can draw media attention fast.

3.    Meet The Media. Have you met the media? Do you know the local business editor at a regional newspaper? Have you been in contact with the local news producers? Do local bloggers know about your business? If possible, arrange a media event at your business to meet the media. For example, a restaurant can open the doors for a media dinner to promote the launch of a new head chef. A winery can offer media wine tasting days, while a country club can offer the media passes to try out the new golf course and learn about what’s new at the club.

4.    Consider Sponsorship/advertising opportunities. In today’s publishing world, sponsors are important. Many local outlets have become pay-to-play. What does that mean? To secure earned media, you need to be a paid advertiser. Sure, every publications will say its not true, but anyone who has worked in the trenches from both sides of PR and Advertising, knows it is very true indeed! Once you commit to a sponsorship, your company could receive perks including advertorials and article placements. Yes, you’re paying for a feature, but it does open doors, and sponsored content provides targeted metrics to measure against.

5.    Influencer Marketing. Not only can you leverage influencers to attract your target customers, but other bloggers can draw attention to your business too. For example, if you are a fashion business, reach out to fashion bloggers to talk about your new product or clothing line. If you’re the author of a young adult book, there are a wide variety of young adult book bloggers with tens of thousands of followers. Approach them in a respectable, professional manner and pitch them the same way you would pitch to the editor of O or Esquire. Make sure your target audience matches the readership of the blog.

6.    PR Monthly Meetings. Every month, evaluate where your target market is and what topic you need to write about to secure earned media attention (and results!). For example, if you are a lawyer and are pitching an article idea to a journalist about the legal ramifications of deflategate on the NFL, it’s best to either tie it into the Super Bowl’s anniversary or when another similar incident happens. Any other time and the pitch just isn’t relevant.

7.    Spread the word. Once you secure earned media coverage, make sure you spread the word on social media so that other publications, bloggers and producers hear about it. If your subject is timely, stop posting about it when it looks like it might be out of date.

Finally, keep at it. To stay relevant, you have to stay on top of media trends as well as trends in your business and your competitor’s business. By doing so, you’ll be able to spot the right time to pitch the media about a timely topic, and you just might score the most successful media placement possible.

Have you hit a wall with PR results? You’re not alone! Contact Us for a Public Relations Audit of your press placements to date. Clients see an immediate revitalization of stale PR campaigns after PR Audits with our Agency. Call today to start increasing exposure for your business with fresh, creative PR ideas!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Kris Ruby is a trusted media source and on-air contributor and frequently appears on Fox News to discuss digital trends and breaking news. Having appeared on 100+ national TV segments, she knows what is newsworthy enough to make it on air. By leveraging her media experience, Ruby crafts pitches that garner media coverage and establish personal brand authority in the market.

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How to Avoid Deplorable Post Election Social Media Behavior

Westchester PR Exec Kris Ruby recently shared how to avoid deplorable post election social media behavior with The Obsever. For the full article, click here. 

 

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How can you open up a dialogue on social media without offending everyone you know? Follow these tips:

1. Be mindful of what you are saying. Whether you love President-elect Donald Trump or hate him, do not put out sweeping generalizations such as “If you voted for Trump you are an idiot and please unfriend me.” Many of us have been on Facebook and Twitter for so long that it’s hard to remember who we are are friends with (clients, colleagues, etc) and statements like this can’t be taken back.

2. If you are going to write a politically-charged post, be prepared to defend it. Chances are, if you write a strongly opinionated political post, half of your friends will attack you. If you do this, you aren’t allowed to get upset when your friends go to war against you. Instead, be prepared to defend yourself with facts—and to be sucked into a never-ending online fight that will drain you for hours.

3. Remember who your connections are. To the first tip, many are posting severe knee-jerk reactions without being mindful of who their connections are. When you have over 3000 “friends,” chances are some of them are valuable business aquaintences. Think very carefully before you post, because you will most likely alienate people you may want to work with down the line. If you absolutely must voice an opinion, consider using Facebook’s “list” feature to limit the content you share with a select group of contacts.

4. Establish a personal social media policy. Make it very clear to Facebook friends that certain words, derogatory phrases and general misconduct will not be allowed on your page. Put that out as a disclaimer before opening up a political conversation. If your friends continue to violate these guidelines, consider warning them and then ultimately unfriending them.

5. Weed out the trolls. Some people are going to argue with you regardless of what you write. Value your time and energy. If you are Facebook friends with these trolls, it may be time to unfriend them.

6. Don’t continue to engage. A political post is meant to open up a conversation between friends of varying view points. However, this does not mean you need to defend yourself against single negative comment that comes your way. Let your community engage in the discourse as well. A big mistake people make is feeling like they need to respond to every comment, even if its not directed toward them, because the content is on their page.

7. Delete derogatory comments. This may seem controversial, but if someone leaves a racist, derogatory, or defamatory comment on your wall or page, you have every right to delete it. Do not feel pressured to keep up something that goes against everything you believe in just for the sake of the authenticity of the conversation. Deleting a derogatory comment is deleting something you ultimately (or hopefully!) do not believe in or want to be associated with in any way.

8. Take a break. Engaging in political debates can bring increased levels of stress and is a major energy suck. Don’t make the mistake of being glued to your phone for the next five hours after you post something. The conversation will continue with or without you. That is the purpose of these networks—intelligent debate.

9. Consider why you are posting. If you are posting to win an argument, or to get the “other side” to see your point of view, chances are you’ll fail. Quit while you’re ahead. Posts that are more neutral seem to do better. Anything that feels slanted or attacking one side will typically draw out very hateful rhetoric (even if that wasn’t your initial intention).

10. Fact check. Unfortunately, a number of fake news stories have been published at a rapid pace after the election. Try fact checking the source of the link you are sharing a few times before posting it. We have all been guilty of posting these links (myself included!) only to find out the next day that the link was false. If you don’t realize it is false, your network will, and that will open up a whole new can of worms.

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How to Respond to Negative Reviews Online

Negative online business reviews are inevitable – even companies with consistent 5-star reviews get a handful of 1-star reviews from time to time. The most common negative reviews concern the topic of poor service, which could translate into complaints like long wait times, dealing with rude employees, or overdue payments (to name a few). With the rise in review websites like Yelp and Trip Advisor, it’s more important than ever for companies to learn how to respond to negative reviews in a proper and timely matter.

You Received a Negative Review, Now What?

First off, accept that negative reviews are normal and common. If you don’t deal with your customers on a daily basis, this can be hard to see for the first time, so it’s important to be aware and accept it. Next, you’ll want to put together a plan to respond to negative reviews. Every business should have one of these plans put in place early on in their tenure, and the relevant team members should know how to respond to negative reviews.

Responding to Negative Reviews- Dos and Don’ts

Businesses must acknowledge their customers in order to inspire loyalty. Think of it this way – when a customer invests their time and effort to evaluate a business and they don’t receive a response, you could lose that customer. Be sure to respond in a timely matter – if you don’t, they will take their business elsewhere. Research shows that customer emotions become permanent with time, so it’s best for an effective intervention to take place as close to the experience as possible. Issue a formal statement addressing the complaint(s) and naming the steps you’ll be taking to resolve the issues.

You should never be waiting around for negative reviews to happen. Ideally, you’ll want to address any of these issues and intervene before those online business reviews are published. This allows them to mitigate the negative experiences and amplify the positive ones in the minds of customers. You can do this through your social media channels and your customer service email account, for example. Additionally, be sure to address and remediate poor reviews before launching an aggressive, proactive marketing campaign.

To combat any negative reviews, reach out to your happy customers and ask them to post their own reviews. You could also reach out to bloggers and influencers in your business’ niche and have them write about their experience using your product or working with your business. Lastly, invite those customers with poor experiences to come back when the issue is resolved (this could mean comping their next meal, for example).

It’s important to remember that online reputation management (like responding to negative reviews online) is a Band-Aid approach and not a permanent cure. If your business is proactive in seeking out and acting on your customers’ instant feedback promptly, you’ll not only retain existing customers but also add new ones through positive word-of-mouth.

Removing a Defamatory Review

Most established review websites and social media platforms allow you to request the removal of any defamatory reviews. It’s best to go to the website the review is posted at and look for their policy on the issue (often this can be found in their FAQ or Legal section, but a quick Google search can save the day if this doesn’t yield results). If your negative reviews are indexed in a search engine like Google, you can visit their Legal Removal Request page, which allows you to seek to obtain a judgment from a court declaring the statements in a review to be false, and then present the court order to Google with the goal of having the relevant URL(s) de-indexed from Google.

How to respond to negative reviews

 

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30 Tips to Boost Your Instagram Marketing

30 tips to boost instagram marketing

There are 1 billion active users on Instagram every month, and every day, 4.2 billion photos are liked. With Instagram, the quality of the posts are much more important than the quantity. According to Forrester research, Instagram user interactions with brands is 400 percent higher than on Facebook and Twitter, delivering 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.

The numbers speak for themselves: Instagram is a must for building your personal brand and business if you are looking to appeal to millennials. If you’re new to the platform or looking to increase your engagement, here are 30 tips to help you maximize your Instagram exposure.

30 Instagram Marketing Tips for Business:

1. Create the perfect Instagram username. Make sure your Instagram handle is recognizable and easy to search. Try to avoid using underscores or numbers in Instagram handles.

2. Use Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories are used daily by over 500 million users. Leverage this rising trend and build your audience by showing followers what’s taking place in your business behind-the-scenes. Pin the story highlights to your Instagram profile.  Fun fact: over 2 million advertisers are buying Instagram Story ads across Facebooks properties.

3. Geo-Tag. Be sure to utilize the location feature on each post to increase visibility using geo-tags. Add locations to all of your posts to increase search optimization and geo-targeting.

4. Create a branded hashtag. Create a unique and relevant hashtag for your business that followers can use. But be sure to heavily promote the branded hashtag at events and on marketing materials.  A custom hashtag is worthless if no one is using it.

5. Hold Instagram Takeovers. Utilize local celebrity influencers to drive traffic and engagement through cross-promoting content on both Instagram accounts. Here is an example of a successful Instagram Takeover we did with News 12 Anchor Tara Rosenblum.

6. Utilize user-generated content (UGC). Show appreciation for your followers by featuring them using your products or service. For example, Sharpie powers their Instagram account with fan-submitted doodles created with their products.

7. Switch to a free Instagram business account. Convert your personal account to a business account. This will enable you to track insights and analytics that regular profiles don’t have.

8. Use Instagram planning apps. To win at Instagram, you must be very creative and good with graphic design. Consider using an app like preview or Plann to lay out all of your upcoming posts in a grid before you click post.

9. Include a call-to-action. Tell people what you want them to do. This may seem simple, but it is often overlooked! If you are looking to increase sales using Instagram, consider running Instagram ads or boosted posts and include a CTA in any Instagram ads.

10. Weekday Hashtags. Use popular hashtags every day of the week to make it easier to get found in hashtag searches. These include #motivationmonday, #transformationtuesday, #wisdomwednesday, #tbt and #flashbackfriday.

11. Regram. Search for people who are mentioning your brand and use the Repost app to regram any brand mentions. Be sure to tag them and mention any associated Instagram handles in your posts.

12. Tag brands. Tag Instagram users and locations in posts to make your brand easier for new users to find. Also tag other influencers in your Instagram posts to get found in their tagged photos, but be careful not to spam!

13. Aspirational Instagram Marketing. Think of Instagram as a vision board for your business. Post photos that will inspire your prospective customers to be part of the lifestyle brand that is associated with your company.

14. Like and comment daily. An easy way to increase visibility is by liking and commenting on prospective customers photos. Through this Instagram marketing strategy, people will check out your account and are more likely to follow you back. Leave a comment on at least one photo per day to create a digital footprint.

15. Offer exclusive content. If you’re launching a new product or service on Instagram, try creating an exclusive promo and offer followers a unique code to track how effective the promotion was. Consider creating an Instagram carousel post to highlight the new content.

16. Run a photo contest. Use all images—even those that don’t win—as fresh content to help promote the brand. Make sure any contests adhere to legal rules by avoiding social media legal mistakes that can get you sued.

17. Focus on the story behind the post. The image may be the star and the hashtags may offer context, but the caption tells a specific story, highlights subject matter expertise, and gives insight into the context of the photo. Make sure it is formatted properly and use emoji’s sparingly.

18. Download editing apps. Use apps such as Afterlight, VSCO, Whitagram, Pic Stitch, Aviary, Hyperlapse, Quick, Bokehful, and Snapseed to edit photos. Studies have shown that photos using Mayfair, Inkwell, Amaro, Walden and Lo-Fi filters to get more likes and enhance your images.

19. Social Listening. Follow and monitor top trends to grow your brand’s awareness and stay on top of industry trends through a newsjacking strategy. Use social listening tools such as Mention or Google Alerts to monitor for brand Latergram, HootSuite or TweetDeck can also help with this process.

20. Analyze new followers. Get to know your followers to make posts more relevant to them. When someone follows you, follow them back and then analyze what your followers are interested in and what hashtags they use.

21. Run contests. Have an incentive for your Instagram community to share content and promote your brand with the use of prizes and giveaways. For example, National Geographic hosted a #MyAWAY Contest where users could upload photos of places that, to them, are an escape. On Instagram, they would tag the photos with #MyAWAY and at the end of the contest period, one lucky fan wins a digital camera plus goodies from NatGeo and Go RVing.

22. Reward your followers. Create lasting relationships with followers by using discount codes. Reach out and connect with influencers one-on-one. Brands that go the extra mile by rewarding their Instagram followers see better success rates.

23. Create a compelling visual aesthetic. Post photos that show the lifestyle of your customers, while staying relevant to your brand. Your account should be a balance of fun pictures and branded, promotional business photos. Make sure all images share the same aesthetic.

24.Do not over post. “Feed speed” is a critical factor of your brand’s Instagram success. There’s a fine line between agitating your followers by clogging their newsfeed and posting so infrequently that your followers forget you exist. Create a posting schedule and editorial content calendar that allows you to track what works and then decide which direction to take.

25. Post at peak times. According to a study by TrackMaven, the most effective days to post are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Another study found that posting at 5 PM EST yields a higher engagement rate.

26. Leverage video. Use diverse visual formatting, such as 15 seconds of video or a cinemagraph (still photographs in which a repeated movement occurs.) Also consider leveraging Instagram TV (IGTV) for longer form video content.

27. Resize Graphics. Make sure all of your graphics are consistent using a graphic design software such as canva.com. Be sure to use Canva’s “magic resize” tool to resize images to spec to fit the Instagram specs.

28. Promote your Instagram handle. Connect your Instagram account to your website using social plugins and link your Instagram handle in your email signature to expand your reach. This creates an avenue for traffic for each social media site. Also consider making your Instagram account visible on Facebook.

29. Reverse engineer. If you’re trying to get prospects who may be interested in your services, think about their hobbies and demographic profile. Search for hashtags that align with their hobbies, such as #yachting #countryclub or #hamptons. From there, like and comment on their photos and follow them directly. They may even follow you back.

30. Measure. Observe when your followers are online and review performance metrics. What images and posts do your followers respond best to? Where are your new followers coming from? Is your brand growing or shrinking on Instagram? To refine your Instagram marketing strategy, it’s important to know what resonates best with your audience.

 

Finally, be sure to repost images that show your product or service in use, while also using hashtags where your optimal follower can be found. Also remember to respond in real-time to the latest trending content. If you receive a sales lead through Instagram Direct Messaging but respond four weeks later, the lead will be gone. Try to keep your followers entertained and engaged with educational and informative content.

By following these tips, you will maximize your Instagram exposure and, as a result, increase your brand awareness (and sales!).  Need help with developing your Instagram marketing strategy? Contact us today to learn more about our social media marketing services.

Curious to know how much Instagram marketing costs if you hire a social media marketing agency?

We break it down for you here.

 

Instagram Marketing Resources

5 Ways to Make Your Corporate Event More Instagrammable 

5 Reasons Your Social Media Campaign Bombed 

Instagram Marketing for Medical Practices 

 

 

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How to Maximize National Media Exposure

social media agency expert kris ruby fox news

 

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 tweet: 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 frequent On-Air Commentator, 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 segment?” “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? Get 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 engage with your audience to publicize it even more.

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Top 5 Reasons to Hire a PR Agency in 2016

westchester pr agency

Why Public Relations Is Important For Your Business

No matter how small or large your company is, public relations is an important tool for your business. An effective public relations campaign can help to get your name, and your company, in the media. A well-focused public relations campaign can establish you as an expert or thought-leader in your field by making you a go-to resource for journalists and broadcasters. It can also put your products right in front of the consumers who you are trying to reach.

There are many aspects to running a business, so it’s important to leave the public relations responsibilities to the experts. If you are a doctor, you should focus on being the best doctor in your field. If you are an entrepreneur, you should be the best CEO in your industry. Let a public relations expert handle your publicity. Here’s why:

Why you should hire a public relations expert instead of going the DIY PR route:

PR is time-consuming: Your time should be focused on being a doctor, CEO or entrepreneur and let the public relations expert focus on getting publicity for your business. PR requires a lot of work and back and forth with journalists. Your time should be spent doing what you do best, not pitching yourself to reporters and learning the ropes of media relations.

PR firms have media contacts: Do you know who the local newspaper editor is? Or how to reach local bloggers who will write about your business? Probably not, and even if you tried to learn them, do you really want to spend time negotiating influencer marketing contracts? Public relations experts know who to contact and how to best contact them. Additionally, publicists will know the best angles to pitch them will have developed ongoing relationships with them.

PR firms know how to package stories: According to this article, the average American attention span in 2013 was 8 seconds. Public relations experts know how to develop content that will reach your audience quickly and keep them engaged, whether it’s for six seconds (the length of a Vine video), 8 seconds or 30 minutes.

Publicists are experts at crisis control: All it takes is one disgruntled employee who tweets something negative about your business or uploads a detrimental video to YouTube (and it goes viral) before your business is on the receiving end of a major public relations crisis. Before you even have time to react, your public relations firm will decide on a course of action and respond appropriately, making sure that you come out looking much better in the end.

Public relations campaigns are cost effective: Bill Gates once said, “If I only had a dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” There are public relations campaigns for every budget, whether you are a startup business or you have been around for decades. The first step to creating a PR campaign is to identify your goals and then develop a plan for reaching those objectives. A public relations specialist can do this for you. Earned media coverage is always worth exponentially more than the ad equivalency of paid media.

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How to Maximize Press Hits on Social Media

westchester pr firm social media agency rmg

 

Congratulations, you were interviewed in Oprah’s Magazine “O” or your business was featured on the Yahoo homepage and the article has now gone viral. You’ve secured a huge press hit, but instead of just popping the bubbly and celebrating with your closest friends, get on your social media networks and maximize the buzz! In addition to tweeting out the news, you should follow RMG’s top tips to make sure that you lengthen your moment in the media sun.

Share, share that’s fair: It’s okay to let your customers and your followers know about the hit. Share the press link on your company’s social media networks and with clients that may benefit from the content shared in the article. If you have a email newsletter, be sure to include. However, put more than just the link. Instead, you should also give your followers something they can use from the article. For example, you should tweet “Here is the best tip that John Smith gave to Oprah to make your holidays happy,” not “I was quoted in Oprah!” unless, of course, you’re sending a direct tweet to your mother.

Say thank you: Include both the writer and the outlet’s handles in a tweet and thank them for the coverage. For example, tweet “Thanks @writer and @magazine for the great coverage on my business today @linktoarticle” and post something similar on your Facebook page.

Clip it and add it: Whether it’s one quote or an entire article, you should keep a running tally of what press coverage you have gotten. Clip the article, add it to the list and move it to the top. You should also post the clip on your company’s website. If you do not already have a press section on your website, add one. This builds a platform for you in the media that can lead to additional opportunities. Journalists and producers like to use experts who are trustworthy and have experience in the media. This proves that you are reliable and can provide great quotes.

Quote it: Speaking of quotes, be sure to pull out the best quotes written about your company and include them in your media kit. “O” magazine calls ABC company the ‘best new thing since sliced bread.’ That should be prominently displayed on your website and in your media kit.

Leverage it: Now when you send out press releases on your business, be sure to include “Ann Smith has been interviewed in “O” magazine at the top of the release. Sure, being interviewed in your hometown newspaper or your college alumni magazine means something to you, but when it comes to impressions, a national press hit will make a huge one.

Display it: Imagine walking into your office every day and seeing the “O” article up on the wall. Call it an inspiration, but you will be sure to break into a smile and keep working harder every time you see it. There are companies that turn articles into plaques that you can prominently display on your wall. Also be sure to send the article to other outlets that may want to do a follow-up story.

Move on: Most importantly, as time goes on, you will be judged by the last press hit you scored, so if the press hit in Oprah magazine was five years ago, what have you done since then? If that’s the only press hit you’re using to promote yourself, it will eventually look outdated.

Always be looking for new ways of attracting media attention. Your job here is never done.

Like this post and follow me to read more posts like this one.

For more information, follow me on Twitter: @sparklingruby 

© Ruby Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Six Steps To Get Booked On National Television

kris ruby fox news

Everyone wants to be on TV, but not everyone knows how to position themselves as an expert in order to get booked on TV. Whether you are working with an agency, a publicist, a TV booker or directly with a producer, here are the top things you need to do to maximize your chances of frequent on-air success:

  1. Brand yourself in a specific category. Producers are looking for subject matter experts to comment on breaking news stories, recent studies or trends. They want to work with specific experts as sources who can speak to highly technical content in a specific vertical. Brand yourself as the go-to expert in a niche category.
  2. Stay on top of industry news. Set up Google Alerts on the top keywords associated with your industry. Read the news daily to stay on top of industry trends.
  3. Personalize the news with your unique view. After you have identified a breaking news story you could comment on, write out your hit points on the topic. What is your unique opinion or slant as a subject matter expert on the story? What are the top three points you would want to get across on air if you had the chance to share your view on the story?
  4. Create a custom media list. Identify the producers who are covering your beat. Once you have identified them through Cision, Vocus or even Twitter, create a customized media list in Excel with their contact information. Only target producers who actually cover the type of news you want to speak about.
  5. Watch the shows you pitch. Do your research before pitching. You can be more effective getting booked on TV by watching the shows you pitch by looking for trends and the types of guests that are booked.
  6. Repeat the cycle. Continue to repeat the process as new stories come out in your field. Be persistent. Sometimes, your hit points could be great for a segment but the producer wants to go in a different direction. Other times the producer may love your points but already has someone else booked. If you want to make a name for yourself in the news, you have to be part of the news cycle.

As long as you continue to craft targeted, timely pitches to the right people — and stay on top of the news cycle — you too can start building your brand with TV appearances.

* This article originally appeared in FORBES

©2016 Ruby Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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