Tagged: media relations

5 Misconceptions About Publicists & Public Relations

A publicist is responsible for generating exposure for your company/brand. Publicists help define your corporate public “persona” by crafting story angles, pitching stories to the media, coordinating interviews with journalists, writing fact sheets and electronic press kits, keeping updated media lists and monitoring your public image. Additionally, they help to craft that image and pitch strategic messages and storylines on behalf of you and your company.

However, there are many misconceptions about what publicists do and how they do it. Here are the top 5 misconceptions people need to understand about PR professionals:

MISCONCEPTION  # 1

Publicists have a….

MAGIC ROLODEX.  Clients believe that their publicists have a magic rolodex that they scroll through. While the traditional rolodex has been replaced with email lists and texting, the theory still remains the same. Publicists cannot email, call or text an editor and automatically get a story placed. That isn’t how real PR or journalism work. The publicist may have a very close relationship with a journalist, but if the story has no legs, there is breaking news, or the journalist simply doesn’t like the story idea, it’s not getting placed, and it doesn’t matter if you hired a Park Avenue PR firm or if you pitched the story on your own. The newsworthiness value of the story is all that matters. Breaking news dictates the storylines, and publicists pitch stories that tie into the news cycle. It is not the other way around. The media dictates what is covered- publicists do not.

MISCONCEPTION # 2

Publicists live a….

‘SEX & THE CITY’ LIFESTYLE. Another misconception is that publicists go out every night to events and are surrounded by glitterati and a Sex and the City lifestyle. As a publicist, I spend the majority of time in front of my computer writing, editing, pitching and communicating with clients and the media. Every time I am at a networking event, I could be missing an important email from a journalist who may be requesting an interview with my client or needs answers to their questions within the hour. This public perception of publicists going to glamorous events every night is outdated and unrealistic. Perhaps it is true in entertainment PR where red carpet events still reign supreme. But corporate and healthcare PR? Not so much.

MISCONCEPTION #3

Publicists… 

CONTROL THE STORY.  After you are interviewed by a journalist from a print outlet, the interview is done. Sometimes the media will have follow up questions and you can go back and forth several times. However, you cannot take back what you said, so be sure to think carefully before you shoot off a quick email or provide a sound bite.  As a general media relations rule of thumb to live by, when in doubt, keep it out!  Publicists can’t take your quotes off the record.   If you say something to a reporter that should have been off the record (or not said at all), we can’t fix it unless we are close with a reporter and even then there’s no guarantee. If you don’t want something in print — don’t say it. This is why media training is so important. Additionally, please don’t ask your publicist to ask the reporter to see a copy of your quote before it runs. This is not standard practice and the answer is most likely a resounding no. Earned media is not the same as paid media. You have to earn it for a reason.  When you pay for media, you control the narrative. When you earn media, you do not control the narrative, and neither does your publicist. They can certainly pitch an angle, but after you speak to a reporter, it is up to the journalists discretion on what the story is. Remember, it is their story, not yours! You are a source that adds subject matter expertise to something they are reporting on.

MISCONCEPTION #4

Publicists can…

FIX  REPORTING ERRORS. Occasionally, articles are published with a source’s name spelled wrong or some other minor error. You may think, “If my publicist was any good, they could get the reporter to fix the spelling of my name!” That’s not always the case. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  If the print edition has already gone to press, nothing can be done except for a correction that will run in a future issue. Any time I have asked a reporter to fix the spelling of a client’s name in a digital article, the request ends up annoying the reporter. In the old days of journalism, everything was fact-checked several times before it was published. Today that is unfortunately no longer the case with the rapid pace of digital journalism and the increased demand for content. So yes, while some publicists may be able to get the spelling of your name corrected, it is not guaranteed. It depends on the outlet and their editorial policy with corrections, not on your publicist’s ability.

MISCONCEPTION #5

Publicists can…

CONTROL GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS. People often ask if we can change Google search results for their company or personal brand. Perhaps one bad story or review tanked their corporate reputation, and they now want a publicist to fix it. A public relations program that incorporates organic earned media coverage does have the ability to alter search results. However, this is a long-term effort, and it is never guaranteed because it depends on so many outside factors including the domain authority of the sites that new coverage is secured on, and most importantly, the domain authority of the sites that the bad press is written on. Often, if those sites are ranked high, it becomes very difficult to lower the results, regardless of how many earned media placements you secure. Additionally, a digital advertising campaign and paid media would have to complement the PR efforts as part of the long term reputation management campaign to alter search results. Publicists can make a valiant effort at getting more positive coverage for you, but the one surefire way to change search results is through Google directly (or with the help of a good attorney that specializes in defamation).

 


How To Pitch The Media Taught by Kris Ruby

Ruby Media Group Founder Kris Ruby recently taught the CSU Long Beach Department of Public Relations & Journalism students Media Relations Fundamentals. During the interactive Facebook Live teaching, students learned how to create a newsworthy pitch, how to secure press coverage and how to break into the Public Relations industry. Click here to watch the full media relations training. 


10 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Chance Of Media Coverage

How to Get Media Coverage For Your Business

 

Securing press coverage for your business is a continual process. Pitching can take months before the media picks up your story. Often, business owners can be caught off guard when the media is interested in writing about them. Many DIY public relations guides teach businesses how to get their pitch picked up. But that is only half of the equation. If you don’t have the proper assets to give to the media when they are ready to interview you, you may be sabotaging your golden opportunity for coverage. Here are the top 10 ways I see founders sabotage themselves, along with how to prepare should the media come knocking.

1. Not having high-resolution photos: It perplexes me how many people pitch media and do not have a simple high-resolution photo. This is an absolute must if you are pitching a personal branding angle or if you are trying to secure a column as a contributor. If you don’t have a high-res photo, you can delay the entire process. You also need to have branded lifestyle photography for feature articles or human interest stories. If you are pitching an entrepreneurial angle, an editor will want to see you in action, meeting with clients or doing what you say you do best. Newsrooms are severely understaffed, so don’t expect them to send a photographer to your office.

2. Wearing clothing that clashes on camera: If a producer wants to book you for a segment, they will want you in the studio within a few hours. Finding television friendly attire that looks good on camera can be time-consuming. Start looking for outfits well before you are ever booked for a segment. For men, this can be as simple as a nice suit. For women, bright-colored dresses with short sleeves or three-quarter sleeves work well. Make sure you have tried on the dress sitting down to see how long it will appear on screen.

3. Using an outdated executive bio: Do you have a recently updated executive bio that can accompany all of your outbound pitches? If not, start working on this now. You should have a few different variations of your bio: one for trade publications, one for consumer pitching and a different version for bylines.

4. Missing contact information: This sounds simple, yet so many people skip this obvious step. They pitch to the media and do not include an email address or a cell phone number to reach them on their website. Journalists don’t want to spend time submitting lengthy contact forms to reach you. Make your contact information visible in the footer of your site to increase your chances of visibility.

5. Missing media collateral: If you are pitching a human interest story, journalists will want to see some basic information. This makes their lives significantly easier so they can review this while working on the story. It may also spark new angles they may not have thought of. Include FAQs about the “why” of your business. Try to answer all of the questions you think they may have so they can pull in relevant details from the Q&A or fact sheet. You can do this in Microsoft Word. Avoid sending them a PDF.

6. Including photos without image names: Journalists work on several different stories at a time and speak with different sources. If they request photos, make sure each photo has a file name instead of the regular “DSC20107.” Naming the image file will also give you an added SEO boost if they decide to run them. Think about the search terms you want to rank for when considering what to name each file.

7. Not having additional sources on file: If you are a doctor who is pitching a broadcast segment about a new epidemic, make sure you have other sources lined up to support the claim. You sitting alone in a dark room discussing the story is not a complete segment. The media may want to speak with someone who was impacted by the epidemic, a professor on the epidemic and provide your medical expertise on the story. They are also going to want b-roll footage as part of the package.

8. Using expired Dropbox links: Set up a Dropbox account before pitching. There is nothing more frustrating than having to email back and forth waiting to get the story assets you need, especially because of something like an expired link.

9. Missing major newsworthy talking points: If you are pitching yourself as an expert, you must be frequently consuming the news. A journalist doesn’t want to hear that you have never heard of the story they are working on. They will seriously question your credibility. I set up Google alerts for my industry so that I am always well-versed to comment on breaking news.

10. Lacking knowledge of what the media likes: If you want to be quoted in the media, educate yourself on what journalists are looking for. You can search on Twitter under the #PRFail hashtag to see what journalists hate. If a journalist asks your opinion, they aren’t looking for a one-line response. If you give them a one-liner, they are less likely to quote you. It is better to give more for them to pull from than less. Give them what they want, how they want it, when they want it and in the preferred format they want it in.

Not following these public relations tips could reduce the likelihood of being included in a story.

Ruby Media Group is an award-winning NY Public Relations Firm and NYC Social Media Marketing Agency.  The New York PR Firm specializes in healthcare marketing, healthcare PR and medical practice marketing.  Ruby Media Group helps companies increase their exposure through leveraging social media and digital PR. RMG conducts a thorough deep dive into an organizations brand identity, and then creates a digital footprint and comprehensive strategy to execute against. Specialties include content creation, strategic planning, social media management, and digital public relations. RMG helps clients shine in the digital space by extracting their strengths, developing story ideas, and crafting compelling news angles to ensure journalists go to their clients first as story sources and thought leaders. Ruby Media Group creates strategic, creative, measurable targeted campaigns to achieve your organizations strategic business growth objectives.


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.

Top 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

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


How to Stay Relevant to the Media

westchester PR firm ruby media group

In order for your business to succeed, you need steady media exposure. To do this, it’s important to stay relevant. 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. It’s best to review and update your media campaign to make sure it is not outdated. This audit will help to secure more placements in the media and, ultimately, achieve your goal of increasing business exposure.

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 magazine 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 campaign, you need to decide who your target media outlets are and, then, how to best stay relevant and get their attention.

Target Audience

You daydream of being on the cover of Widget 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 magazine.

Now that you know your customer and your target media, it’s time to see what you can do to stay relevant in the media’s eyes.

1.    What are you doing right now and what has it accomplished? Has your business been featured before? If so, why was the media interested? What 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.    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 blogs for ideas, so reaching out with valuable, educated content can draw attention to the media.

3.    Have you met the media? Do you know the local business editor? 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 site 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.    Propose relevant sponsorship/advertising opportunities. In today’s publishing world, sponsors are important. 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.

5.    Don’t dismiss blog power. Not only can your blog attract your 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 YA book, there are a wide variety of YA book bloggers with tens of thousands of followers. Approach them in a respectable, professional manner and pitch to them the same way you would pitch to the editor of O or Esquire magazine. Again, however, make sure your target audience matches the blog.

6.    Hold monthly topic meetings. Every month, evaluate where your market is and what topic you need to write about to get attention. 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 get a placement, make sure you spread the word about it so that other publications, bloggers and producers can hear about you. If your subject is timely, make sure to 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 placement possible.

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.


Pitch Perfect: Pitching the Media

How to make sure your story gets picked up

pitching the media

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.

nyc media relations

nyc media relations


How to Maximize National Media Exposure

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.

socialtv

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.

social tv stats social tv best practices