Tagged: PR agency

Instagram for Business: 5 Ways to Make Your Next Brand Activation More Instagrammable

When it comes to showcasing your business in the community, you want to make sure you stand out from the clutter and have something that is Instagrammable. If you can’t hire a professional Westchester Public Relations firm to create press worthy activations, steal these tricks from us to make your corporate brand activation Insta Worthy:

 

Leverage social media for corporate event ideas – If you have already chosen an event theme but need more ideas bringing the activation to life, search under relevant hashtags on social media. For example, search “Corporate Event” on Pinterest, #CorporateEvent on Instagram or the full phrase on Facebook. If you are going with a unicorn theme, try searching under #unicornparty and create a mood board of everything you find to pull inspiration from.

Make it experiential – Think about how you can make the event more Instagrammable with user-generated content. Turn the brand activation into an experience that people want to share on social media. Add visual elements to make the activation pop, such as a flower wall, a balloon wall or even a colored background. People crave shareable social experiences, so think about how you can create this for them.

Create a custom hashtag – One way to capture photos is to create a custom hashtag that attendees can use on social media. Be sure to make the hashtag visible with signage at the event. You can follow the hashtag on Instagram to keep up with all of the tagged images so people can view the images post-event.

Don’t forget the swag – The best part of any PR event is always the swag bag. You can create your own custom swag bags and include branded items with the name/details of the event. For example, if you are planning a corporate event, you can give guests custom branded cookies with your logo on it. If you don’t have graphic design skills, you can have these custom-made for you.

Think visually – Sometimes the greatest ideas come from visual elements that are popular in pop culture. For example, we recently did an activation for Crowne Plaza White Plains for ‘Best of Westchester’ which included a pop-up bar and over 3,000 unicorn drink floaties. We promoted the drink floaties on social media before the event and during the event. Everyone wanted photos with the unicorn floaties and they were the hit of the event! Plus, people kept them after the event for pool parties which was an added bonus! Think about how you can create a branded visual item that people will want to put on their own Instagram feed, and that they will want to keep long after the event has ended.


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.


NY PR Firm Owner Kris Ruby of Ruby Media Group in Huffington Post

NY PR Firm Owner Kris Ruby of Ruby Media Group was recently featured in The Huffington Post describing her top entrepreneurial tips and journey over the past ten years in business. To read the full interview, click here 

“PR agencies that only offer traditional public relations will soon become obsolete. You need to diversify your offering to remain competitive.” -Kris Ruby/ Ruby Media Group

I had the pleasure to interview Kris Ruby, CEO of Ruby Media Group, a Leading New York Public Relations Firm and NYC Social Media Marketing Agency. Ruby is a sought after social media marketing strategist and PR consultant with 10+ years building successful brands. The New York PR Firm handles PR and social media for some of the top doctors in the tristate area. In addition to running a thriving social media & PR firm, Kris Ruby is also a trusted media source and frequent on-air commentator on social media marketing on the nation’s top TV shows.

Yitzi: Thank you so much for your time, Kris. I know that you are a very busy person. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

I went to Boston University’s College of Communication and majored in Public Relations. By the time I graduated, I had 13 internships in all different facets of the communications industry. I was also fortunate to have one of these internships lined up for full time work upon graduation. Within a few weeks, I realized I would never be able to work for anyone else and launched my own company. Ten years later, I never looked back. I will never understand corporate America or what it is like to have a steady paycheck, company covered health insurance or any of the perks of having stability of a “regular” job. However, I feel I would suffocate and not be able to do my best work if I ever worked full time in an organization. I love the freedom and flexibility to create that comes with being an entrepreneur. I don’t believe being an entrepreneur is a choice. It is fundamentally who you are, and ingrained in your personality. The concept of entrepreneurship is trendy right now, but it is not something to take lightly. It comes with massive responsibility and a lot of uncertainty. It can also come at the expense of other aspects of your life like a social life or a long-term relationship. For many people, the idea of constantly being in survival mode is extremely off putting. For me, I thrive under it and can’t imagine any other way.

Yitzi: How did you get involved in the PR industry?

I started Ruby Media Group in Westchester County, NY as a social media marketing agency. When I started the agency several years ago, social media was still new and most business owners needed assistance with how to leverage it to build their business. One of my social media clients, a retail store in Rye, NY, asked me to do PR for the launch of their new store. So, I basically had to teach myself PR and do it by trial and error. Other than what I knew from PR textbooks at BU and internship experience, the rest was on me to learn. The launch was a huge success, and we ended up receiving recognition and awards for the work my agency did. Word of mouth started to spread that we could offer public relations, and gradually our business shifted to incorporate a heavy amount of “social PR” in addition to regular social media marketing. Today, I think businesses really need a nice mixture of both in order to have the maximum reach in digital platforms.

Yitzi: What do you wish someone told you when you started?

I wish someone told me how important “soft skills” are in addition to having premium knowledge in your field. A breakdown in communications can lead to a “break up” in the agency client relationship. This was very difficult for me to learn because I always thought that knowledge was enough, and that soft skills were more critical in larger corporate environments. I tend to operate at 150 miles per hour and expect everyone around me to be at the same pace. I have had to learn the hard way to slow down a bit and that people have other things going on in their life besides their PR campaigns. Today, I now believe management skills are critical for everyone to learn- from solopreneur to the owner of a Fortune 500 company. A mistake I made and that many entrepreneurs make is that they don’t invest in these skills and instead opt to invest in things more critical like new technology to service clients. You can have the best technology in the world, but if there are breakdowns in communication, you will have no one to use the technology on. Turnover is not profitable, and neither is the cost of acquiring and training new talent. Effectively learning how to communicate is an essential skill for any agency owner or entrepreneur.

Yitzi: What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the fact that I have done all of this on my own. I did not have outside investors and started my company with less than $500 in my bank account when I graduated college. I appreciate and recognize the hustle in others who have done the same. I am also proud of the fact that I have built a successful New York PR firm without going the traditional agency route. I believe that if I can do it anyone can do it who wants it badly enough. However, this does mean doing it all on your own, constantly learning new skills and troubleshooting problems.

Yitzi: Do you think the PR profession has changed over the past 30 years? How?

Absolutely! I believe that PR agencies that only offer traditional public relations will soon become obsolete. Securing press coverage is only one part of a comprehensive public relations campaign. I also believe that securing press hits isn’t necessarily what a client needs all the time. The best agencies are able to adapt to the business challenges a client has and offer them solutions around their pain points. Some months, that may mean content marketing, other months it may mean a heavy focus on digital. The one thing that is consistent is that only offering traditional PR will not satisfy a client for an extended period of time. The age-old question of ROI and “So what?” will soon come up, no matter how many national hits you get. That is why you need to diversify your offering to stay competitive. We offer clients a combination of content marketing, social media and digital PR. I also think the rise in so many new media platforms that connect journalists in real time to potential sources has changed the PR landscape. The method of offering journalists what they need in real time vs. pitching them on items they may or may not be working on is an infinitely more effective approach. We believe in “social PR” and optimized content that leads to conversions.

Yitzi: What drives you?

Seeing clients get media coverage! Or seeing a client’s new article perform very well and get hundreds of likes and impressions! For me, there is no greater feeling than that. For example, a plastic surgeon may look at a before and after of a patient and say “Wow, look at the amazing work!” For me, the equivalent of that is going on Google News, googling my clients, and seeing a solid page of national media outlets coming up for their name. Another example would be doing a before and after look at their Instagram grid to see the difference in branding. We have a strong focus in public relations for doctors, medical practices and physicians, so this would be the best analogy. I particularly like helping doctors receive recognition for the work they do in helping patients. The other fun part of all of this for me is that I get to learn medical information while promoting them. I am naturally interested in medicine and healthcare, so I feel very fortunate that I have the opportunity to work with and promote the brightest minds in medicine. It also helps me become a walking encyclopedia of random medical facts, which my family always finds amusing yet helpful at times!

Yitzi:  Based on your personal experience, what advice would you give to young people considering a career in PR?

PR is not glamorous. It is not what you thought it was growing up watching “Sex and the City.” The majority of time, I am behind my computer answering numerous emails and responding to reporter requests. Also, you have to be really comfortable with rejection. If you want to work in an industry where everyone likes you or thinks you’re great, this is the wrong industry. You have to have really thick skin. I would also urge a young person interested in a career in public relations to start branding themselves. Finally, take advantage of internship opportunities to figure out what type of PR you like best. For example, fashion PR may be a better fit for someone who loves events and networking, whereas medical PR may be more ideal for someone who prefers being behind a computer.

Yitzi: You are known as one of the leading social media experts and have been on national television over 35 times. What advice can you give others who want to do the same?

Start local. When I started out, I lived in Westchester, NY and Greenwich,CT before ever doing a national TV hit. For 5 years, I woke up at 3 am and traveled an hour to WTNH in CT to do local TV hits. You need to build a base of television experience before approaching the larger networks. Also, if you want to be on TV, you should be publishing frequently and promoting your content on Twitter. That is how I got discovered and booked for my first TV appearance by a Producer who read my JDate article on why social media changed the dating landscape. I would also urge people to consider what it is they want to get out of being on TV. When people come to me about TV, I always ask why they want to be on. Usually, the response is flimsy, so I urge you to consider what your long-term goals are and how this fits in with it. I love being an on-air commentator and discussing the latest breaking news and how social media fits into it. However, I also have to balance this with being behind the scenes as a publicist.

Yitzi: Which skills do you think are most important to becoming a successful PR professional?

Perseverance and determination. My motto is, “Turn every no into a yes.”

Yitzi:  You are in a position of influence. How have you used your position and skill to bring goodness to the world?

I try to give back by speaking with public relations students at universities. I find this very rewarding and love offering career advice to aspiring publicists. I would love to get more involved with mentoring aspiring publicists- perhaps I will create a program around this.

Yitzi:  Do you believe location matters when starting a social media agency or PR agency?

No, absolutely not. Since staring Ruby Media Group, I have operated out of Westchester, NY, Greenwich, CT and even Wall Street. The most important thing that matters is a wifi connection and communication with the media and clients. I am pretty confident I could be successful running the company from Kentucky just as much as Wall Street. The most important part is to hone your craft and focus on results. Results infinitely trump location. I wish more people knew this before packing up and thinking they need to be in NYC to make it in this industry. It is a myth!

Yitzi: Thank you so much Kris! It has been a pleasure to learn about your entrepreneurial journey in the PR world!

 



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

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