Tagged: PR tips

B2B Marketing Podcast: How to Develop a PR Plan

b2b marketing podcast Kris Ruby

 

B2B PUBLIC RELATIONS: HOW DO I GET MEDIA EXPOSURE FOR MY COMPANY?

Are you interested in building out a thought leadership PR strategy? I was recently a guest on the Predictable B2B Success Podcast with Vinay Koshy. The Predictable B2B Success podcast is a marketing podcast for B2B marketers and public relations professionals. During the podcast, we discussed:

  • Best practices in B2B Public Relations
  • How to create a B2B PR Plan
  • Modern PR
  • Brand Positioning

Kris Ruby, CEO and founder of Ruby Media Group, shares how to drive your B2B marketing results with a powerful PR plan.

Listen to the podcast to learn:

  • The best way to approach setting up a PR plan that drives B2B and healthcare marketing results
  • Where a healthcare PR plan fits into your broader B2B marketing strategy
  • How to make sure your PR strategy succeeds with defined KPI’s & ROI
  • PR plan templates to track and monitor the progress of your campaign
  • The 5 ways to ensure your PR plan enhances your brand positioning
  • How to reach your target audience through PR in digital platforms
  • How to maximize SEO value from PR related content and media coverage
  • Why personal branding is critical to getting your future partners and audience to pay attention to your business and practice
  • The significance of video in your PR plan and strategy

PLUS: How to distribute your content and press placements after coverage has been secured.

Listen to the full episode here:

What is B2B PR?

Business-to-business (B2B) public relations targets a specific business audience, whereas business-to-consumer (B2C) public relations targets a general audience. With B2B PR, you are selling from one business to another. With B2C PR, you are reaching the public at large. Consumer PR and B2B PR are different fields within the public relations industry. A B2B PR campaign can help a business owner reach a target audience of C-suite executives through earned media coverage in trade publications or business verticals. A B2B public relations campaign can give your business a significant competitive advantage over your competitors through earned brand awareness. PR has tremendous value for mid-size and large companies that need to build up trust as a competitive asset.

B2B PR is ideal for:

  • Generating awareness among key decision-makers
  • Changing public perception of your company
  • Aiding in lead generation (but not responsible for lead gen)

Every business has goals they want to achieve and PR can be a useful tool for solving certain business problems. For example, maybe you need more revenue or need traction and name recognition for a startup brand, PR is a valuable solution to fix the business problem. As a PR practitioner, I help solve unique business challenges with the expertise of 12 years of PR experience in Public Relations.

How important is B2B marketing?

There are several benefits of B2B PR campaigns for executives and business leaders. B2B marketing and PR can:

  • Enhance your digital authority
  • Build your online reputation as a trusted advisor
  • Increase trust and credibility with prospects
  • Close your sales cycle faster
  • Generate more qualified leads

Do you come across as a trusted advisor or a spammy salesman on social media?

Does your content help your prospective clients and patients evaluate your expertise and industry insight?

Does your content address the problems and pain points of your target audience?  Or is it always about you? (Yikes!)

Quality thought leadership content leads to more informed decision making on B2B purchasing decisions.

It is not enough to be an expert. You must learn to become a visible expert in a digitally-driven economy. This must be highly specialized expertise.  Google is the new storefront. You must carefully think about what you are displaying.

The perception of your thought leadership expertise must match the reality of it.

Don’t have time to listen to the full interview? Read the expanded interview transcript below:

BEST PRACTICES IN B2B PUBLIC RELATIONS

Vinay Koshy: Pleasure to have you, Kris. I’m curious, you’ve got a string of accomplishments under your belt. What would you say is your personal area of strength?

Kris Ruby: My personal area of professional strength is combining public relations and personal branding. I like to figure out how I can take people and turn them into brands and create brand equity around their value in the market.

Vinay Koshy: What in that area of strength is something that businesses don’t know about public relations, but should?

Kris Ruby: PR can move the needle more-so than traditional marketing if executed properly.  For example, having your business featured on the cover of a trade publication can help your business development efforts way more than a traditional advertisement ever could. However, in order to get the maximum benefit out of PR, you need to create a B2B PR strategy first before you delve into tactics.

I see so many business owners today that want to jump at the next shiny marketing trend or offer. Whenever someone tells them that “this is what you need,” they go for it and try and get it. I don’t think that is necessarily a great public relations strategy for their business.

Instead, what you need to do is open up Microsoft Word and take the time to figure out:

  • What are my business goals?
  • What are my marketing objectives?
  • Where do I want to be in the next five years?

Only then after you have done that work, do you say, here’s how I’m going to plug in PR to the equation. Here’s how my personal brand plugs into that. Here’s how digital marketing plugs into that. But no one actually takes the time to do that work. Instead, they just say my competitors are doing social media, so I need to do it too.

MODERN PR: THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS

Vinay Koshy: You have a lot of experience in PR.  What would you say modern PR looks like?

Kris Ruby: Traditional PR has changed so much. With traditional public relations, you had all of these media gatekeepers that made it significantly harder to get press coverage unless you had a massive PR firm and it was more challenging to get featured in mainstream publications. Now what we’re seeing is that so many of these media outlets are being rolled up and acquired, so the market is shrinking as well as the number of traditional media publications that exist. This has led to the rise of digital PR, which is a field in and of itself. For example, a lot of executives that approach me don’t want traditional PR placements in print media because the opportunity for links doesn’t exist with traditional PR.  One of the greatest benefits of digital PR is the integration of SEO and content marketing into your B2B public relations strategy. All of this working in unison can be a powerful weapon for propelling your B2B thought leadership marketing strategy forward.

B2B PR PLAN: HOW DO YOU DEVELOP A PR STRATEGY?

Vinay Koshy: When it comes to PR, as you said, people get it wrong or can be confused. What would you say is the best way to approach setting up a PR plan that drives B2B marketing results? You’ve already alluded to the fact that executives should have a broad business strategy. But is there a place for a PR plan as well?

Kris Ruby: You should always have a PR plan before you start working with a B2B PR firm. For example, during the first two months we start working with a new client, we create a PR plan for the company that includes a fact sheet, a brand story, a new ‘about us,’ a new boilerplate that can be used in press releases (if applicable) etc.  We need time to gather collateral that we give to reporters. We also create a vision for corporate photography that we can use for new hi-res, headshots, revised executive bios etc.  We do this work to help our clients tell the right stories to the right audiences in a consistent, compelling and authentic manner.

It takes time to create a brand vision first before you ever pitch the media during the B2B public relations strategic phase. It’s not as simple as just saying “pitch the media” if you have no strategic plan behind it.

personal branding pr quote

 

As part of that B2B PR plan, you want to work with your public relations firm to determine:

What are our high-level public relations goals?

  • Are you interested in regional, national or trade press?

Here is a PR secret: business trade publications are a great resource for B2B PR because reporters are more likely to write a full profile on you than a consumer-facing outlet.

Examples of B2B PR goals include:

  • Introducing the company to trade focused media
  • Increasing credibility with industry influencers through an earned media campaign
  • Securing media coverage for a new product launch
  • Increasing visibility for the company through a media relations strategy
  • Strengthening the position of the company to the target audience you are selling to through press coverage

PR FOR STARTUPS: WHY DO STARTUPS NEED PR?

Vinay Koshy: With the PR plan, where does it fit into the broader B2B marketing strategy? Should you look at it once you’ve reached a certain level in your business? Or is it something that a startup could use straight off the bat?

Kris Ruby: It depends on the business and the startups’ PR goals. Startups can leverage PR if they have the funding to do it. I always tell startup CEOs that you only have one opportunity to get it right with the media when you launch a new business or product. That opportunity doesn’t come around again five years later. You only have one launch. You should promote the press release for a new business when you’re still new. If you miss that opportunity, you can’t come to us and say, “Can you put this out?”  No.  You launched five years ago. That is no longer newsworthy. Again, all of this starts with having a solid PR strategy for your startup. PR can be a great tool for startups to help build brand awareness, increase funding and round out pitch decks for investor relations. If you want to know more about how to get media coverage as a startup, this PR for Startup’s webinar is a helpful resource.

PR PITCHING: HOW DO YOU PITCH THE MEDIA?

Vinay Koshy: It’s more about the story that would capture the interest of the media and journalists, as well as their audience. Would that be correct?

Kris Ruby: Correct. It’s always about the story. And we can talk about best practices with B2B media relations, too. How do you create a good story? There are different layers of who a story may be of interest to.  For example, your story could be of interest to a reporter, but it still may not be of interest to that reporter’s editor or to the audience of that publication. There’s always several different audiences and layers at any given time when you’re pitching a story to a journalist.

Before clicking send, you have to think about: who will be most interested in this news?

It’s not enough for a reporter to love what you’re pitching.  Their audience and their editor also have to love what you’re pitching.  I wrote a media relations guide and it has a lot of helpful tips for your listeners where I include tips from former journalists. One of the interesting statistics is that the ratio is so skewed right now of public relations professionals to journalists– six to one. Just imagine that. Those odds are stacked against you whether you have a PR firm or not. You have so many more PR professionals, and so many fewer journalists, which is making it that much more challenging to get your pitch or story picked up in the media today.

What can you do to differentiate your brand or business? That is what you should be focused on, not Googling how you can do your own PR.  Today, there are so many DIY PR courses.  I often talk about what I call PR corporate negligence and malpractice because I think that telling a business owner to do their own media outreach can cause long term collateral damage.

FREE PR AND DIY PR: WHY IT’S A MISTAKE

Vinay Koshy: What sort of damage could people expect with DIY PR strategies?

Kris Ruby: Oftentimes, C-suite executives that try to do their own PR and media outreach without formal media training do not understand the intricacies of how the media works. For example, these are the people who read some free e-book online or spent $99 on a course think they’re ready to go and these are the same people that speak to the media and say, “Oh, this may or may not be off the record.” They’re floundering around and then a story comes out and they want it fixed. And they don’t understand that they can’t get it fixed because it’s not a paid advertisement. They don’t actually understand the difference between public relations and advertising from the start.

PR VS. ADVERTISING

PR is a storyline that you put out that you lack any control of. Advertising is something that you pay for. It’s a story you put out with graphics and creative, but you control it.  PR and advertising are very different communication channels. One is earned, and the other is paid for.

ROI OF PUBLIC RELATIONS: HOW DO YOU MEASURE PR SUCCESS?

Vinay Koshy: What about ensuring that the story actually drives your business objectives? Because you can have a great piece of content that people love, but say, “Oh, that was great,” and move on, as opposed to taking some action. Can you speak to how that drives the ROI of a particular B2B PR campaign?

Kris Ruby: You’re touching on a really interesting topic, which is the value of PR for the sake of PR without a strategy. You could secure a top-tier press placement in a national newspaper, but if it’s a story of you talking about something that has nothing to do with your long-term business objectives, then was it still valuable, and what is the ROI of that? And the ROI of that may not be what you’d expect if it has nothing to do with your business.

I always tell people, “It’s not about the ROI of any one individual press placement. It’s about the ROI of all of these press placements together over many years.”

That’s why you’ll see that most PR firms will require six-month agreements or twelve-month contracts. No one’s really doing a one-month agreement in PR. And ideally, you should be working with a PR firm for many years. The reason I say that is not just so that they can keep you on retainer and have your business for eternity. It’s so that they can represent you to reporters and develop relationships with them over a long period of time, because maybe that PR firm will pitch you right now and the reporter can’t use you as a source. But they could use you a year from now or two years from now. That’s why I think it helps the client in the long run.

As far as the ROI of public relations, there are many ways to evaluate and measure it.

First, you want to look at Google Search Console and then analytics on the back end and take a look at:

  • What web traffic did this article or this press placement drive?
  • What is the conversion rate of the traffic?

You can also look at:

  • Increase in inbound links
  • Referral traffic from press coverage
  • Branded search traffic (has the traffic increased for your CEO’s name?)

Some measurement questions to consider:

  • Did the press coverage in a national business publication increase web traffic by X sessions or visits?
  • Did a blog post generated by the PR team result in X shares on social media?
  • What is the year over year increase in business press coverage?
  • How many new reporters at top-tier outlets have been exposed to your company?
  • What is the conversion rate of pitching to placements?
  • Is there a particular article mention or op-ed that is sending consistent, referral traffic to your web site?

Metrics-driven marketers often fail to see the value in PR.

Often, the results of PR are intangible. Just because you can’t immediately see something or measure it the same way does not mean it is not valuable.

MAXIMIZING PRESS COVERAGE: HOW TO AMPLIFY & LEVERAGE EARNED MEDIA  

Kris Ruby: PR for the sake of PR means nothing if you’re not doing anything with the press coverage you have secured. It’s not just that you record a podcast interview or you get featured in a magazine.  You have to take that coverage and put it on your web site.  You have to take it and keep a list or a log of all of the press placements that you’ve done so that it becomes impressive to a producer, journalist, podcaster or reporter when they are searching for your brand name online. You also want to leverage your press coverage for your sales process as well.  One mistake I see people making is that they do all of these incredible interviews with the media.  They get these amazing national hits, and they do nothing with it.

And I bang my head against the wall and wonder why are they even doing it? Because if you don’t organize that content for people (the media or their audience), then it becomes less impressive. The onus is on you to do that, not your PR agency.  That’s actually a separate service that most PR firms don’t offer.

If you really want to take your PR campaign to the next level and build a brand, you have to package that content together to build your personal brand. This is where branding comes in and personal branding is not the same thing as traditional public relations.

A branding consultant is skilled at taking your entire body of work and packaging it together in a way that differentiates you in the market, whereas a publicist is skilled at securing interviews for you with the media. They are in two different fields.

Vinay Koshy: So, it makes sense, therefore, to have some sort of spreadsheet to track all the stories and PR releases that you’ve done over the years. Does it also make sense to have some sort of PR template that you could use to build out your plans as they evolve over time?

Kris Ruby: That’s another document you can save in Word or Google Drive where you can keep periodically updating it.  For example, when I first started out, I was more of a generalist. I became more of a specialist in healthcare PR and corporate communications. If I were creating a PR plan today, that plan would be different than when I first started my company in 2009. Today, I would want to do more targeted outreach geared towards getting on the radar of healthcare reporters or journalists in that space, so I could reach the audience in that area, as opposed to doing more general media outreach, which isn’t going to reach that audience. That not only changes your PR plan, it also changes any advertising dollars you’re spending too.

B2B MARKETING STRATEGIES: BRAND POSITIONING & PR

Vinay Koshy: I would presume that laying out your brand positioning goals is also a key part of that B2B PR plan?

Kris Ruby: In B2B PR, it’s not about being everywhere. It’s about being somewhere and targeting the ideal person or end user that you want to target. For example, let’s look at a comparison. Option A could be a national talk show. Option B could be a podcast that’s b2b like this one where it’s highly specialized. Which is more valuable to you? If your goal is to say that you got national media coverage, you could choose option A for the talk show. But if your goal is to actually get more clients and conversions for what you do, where you have an opportunity to talk about what you do and educate your prospective audience, it is option B. I think that that’s something that people don’t understand.

There’s still this allure, which I think is a fallacy, of national media.  “National media!” “We want that!” and it’s challenging for me to understand as a PR practitioner because I look at what’s happened with the fragmentation of media and I think there are so many great opportunities to get your message out to a highly specialized audience today. That audience may be smaller, and you may think it’s not worth your time and you’re dead wrong because something smaller and specialized is way better than something that reaches the whole country that may not be who you want to be reaching or want to do business with.

Vinay Koshy: Certainly, and we can bring this back to brand positioning. I would imagine that really identifying and clarifying your unique selling proposition (USP) would be a key factor. Is there anything else that we need to keep in mind?

Kris Ruby: In terms of brand positioning, in the media relations guide I talk about the five W’s as well. Why now? Is this time-sensitive? For example, let’s say you are a physician, and you’re a specialist within the field. What do you want to be known for? Because there are a ton of cardiologists. What makes you different? Do you have a specialty? And then I keep going further.  You have to really niche down and keep going deeper and deeper into that and what that looks like.  Because just saying, for example, that you are a doctor in this field- that’s not having a brand or a strong value proposition.

A personal brand that is primed for the media is when a reporter can go to you and know that you are the subject matter expert in that specific vertical. That doesn’t only happen because of the PR firm you hire.  The onus is on you to do the work and to make that happen.

People make this mistake where they think, “I’m going to hire a PR firm and they can do that work for me.” No, they can’t. All of these people have one thing in common, whether they work with me or another PR firm, they’re still subject matter experts and key opinion leaders in their field. The difference is that they don’t know how to translate that subject matter expertise in digital platforms. And that’s where I come in as a PR professional. However, their authority and offline influence still exist with or without us. If you think that you can hire a PR firm and they’re going to create that for you, think again.

No one can create that for you. No one can join the organizations that you need to join to show that you’re involved in your industry. No one can publish op-ed articles for you. No one can publish in trade journals for you. You have to do the heavy lifting. And then it’s the PR firms’ job to take that and package it. But you have to understand that you need to give someone something to work with. And just saying, “I’ve arrived” is not enough.

People don’t realize that they have to round out their brands offline before their branding package is complete online. Your brand has to be malleable, and you must be open to constructive criticism, feedback and change if you hire a personal branding firm or PR consultant. Many times, I make recommendations on what someone needs to modify before I can start pitching them to the media.

If you ignore these suggestions, your success rate is going to be limited in the coverage you get.

PR CLIENT ONBOARDING: WHY THE DISCOVERY PROCESS IS CRITICAL

Vinay Koshy: Do you find a bit of an educational process with new PR clients before they’re even ready to be taken on as a client?

Kris Ruby: Yes, it’s a steep learning curve. I know another PR practitioner who says, “I always ask how many other firms have you worked with?” And I say, well, why do you ask that? And he says, “Well if I’m the first firm, I won’t do it. Because the learning curve is that steep.” And then there are so many questions that first time PR clients have. For example, if you give interview answers – your answers may not be used.  Someone who is new to the world of PR and journalism doesn’t understand that. They think, “I gave the answers, so what happened to them?” Well, remember, let’s bring up that six to one ratio because anytime I’m pitching, a reporter is getting hundreds of other answers too from other experts.  And then there’s also teaching people how to write better interview answers to increase their likelihood of getting quoted in media interviews. There are so many nuances and layers to media relations and media training that are critical for B2B marketing success.

We have a proven process for showcasing your expertise through 3 pillars: content marketing, social media and public relations. Want to find out more? Contact us today.

MEDIA OUTREACH STRATEGY: HOW DO YOU PROMOTE A B2B COMPANY IN THE PRESS?

Vinay Koshy: How would you identify the best media outlets to reach your target audience through a B2B PR plan? I mean, I would assume that if you’re not engaging with a PR firm for the first time, you would have some idea. But are there other ways to start refining where your audience hangs out? Whether it be in terms of journals or other places online or offline?

Kris Ruby: Everyone typically has an idea of who their target audience is and how they want to reach them. If you start talking to an executive, they will typically say, “oh, well, we’ve advertised in this publication.”  That can be a clue when you’re putting together the PR & Marketing history in the onboarding stage of where someone has previously been featured in, although that history may not actually be indicative of where they should be going, but it helps you understand what they have done from a marketing perspective, and what was most successful (or not).

When you are creating a PR strategy for a B2B company, you want to spend the time to identify their business goals and objectives and understand the key answer to why are we doing this? The answer is not because they believe something is newsworthy.  There is a problem in the PR industry where a client will say, “this is newsworthy and put it out.”

More PR practitioners need to push back and say, “No, it’s not.”  They have to provide that lens of the reporter. If you look at PR firms or publicists and if there’s one line of how you could differentiate them, there are the ones that push back with clients and there are the ones that don’t. And the ones that push back, I would argue, get more media coverage for clients, because they’re thinking like reporters. And that’s why you see so many people in the PR industry today who are former producers and journalists who have a deep understanding of how a newsroom works.

I wrote for Observer for over two years. As a columnist, I understood the internal process of what it took to write for a digital publication after being on the other end of receiving pitches. That’s an invaluable experience for me to have as a publicist. I have also done over 100 national TV segments and have first-hand experience in a breaking newsroom environment. I understand how quickly TV news works, the pace that it works at, and how those pitches look from the other end regarding what producers are looking for when they’re looking for guests. And that’s just an invaluable experience that is relevant. I think more PR professionals need to have boots on the ground training and real-world experience to provide the best guidance to their clients.

Vinay Koshy: I’ve noticed that a lot of PR firms hire content managers or editors with a news or journalism background. Would you say that could potentially double as the experience and the need to know for a potential PR opportunity?

Kris Ruby: There is definitely some overlap there. It’s great to hire former writers and journalists to spearhead the content marketing and PR division. However, the challenge that I’ve seen with that is that someone who is a great writer may not necessarily be thinking about the best SEO strategy for your web site.  And someone who is also a great writer may not be thinking about your SEO goals or what content will rank and how that ties into your PR strategy. If you have great content that doesn’t pertain to the words that people are using to find you on search engines and have no opportunity of ranking on the search pages and snippets, that’s a problem.

What’s happening today is that you have business owners who are hiring all these consultants who are working in a silo and none of them are communicating with each other.  You’re paying people for marketing and PR jobs, but there’s no high-level strategy going on. All of these things are being done and no one is communicating with each other, so you are not getting as much value out of the activities or engagement as you could be.  It’s not just about having one skillset. It has to be an overlapping set of skill sets and you need to have someone that’s driving that overall public relations strategy and managing that.

To make the most out of your investment, you need to integrate your public relations program with your B2B marketing campaign for the greatest chance of success.

Collaboration across all verticals and teams is critical for the success of the PR program.  This includes sales, marketing, public relations, content, social media and external agency partners. Additionally, when you treat your agency like a vendor and don’t give them the respect of sharing the high-level strategy that you are doing across all verticals, it will wear on them over time, and it will hurt the long-term agency relationship. Mutual respect is critical, especially as lines become blurred across marketing divisions.

PUBLIC RELATIONS & CONTENT MARKETING: HOW DO YOU GET PUBLICITY?

Vinay Koshy: In terms of creating the type of content that you would use for PR in conjunction with anything else that might already be going on, blog posts or other educational informational pieces that they’d be putting out, how does a PR practitioner need to coordinate with the in-house team to develop and coordinate the publishing of content?

Kris Ruby: Our clients spend a lot of time answering interview questions, but not all of those answers will get picked up by the media for a number of different reasons. We keep track of the interview answers in a master document. If a placement doesn’t run, sometimes their answers are so good, actually, that I hope that may not be used so they can be used as a blog post on their site. So that process starts where if that happens, we have a separate service now, which is a blog writing service where we will take that as the backbones and the skeleton of a possible new post for them, and then integrate with the director of content or SEO and optimize it. But what’s great is that the writing is already done by the client. Any writing that’s done on someone’s blog should come from them. I don’t believe in ghostwriting, I believe in editing and optimizing.

I don’t believe in writing on behalf of a client. And perhaps that’s because I work with a lot of doctors in the medical field, but I think it needs to come from them. I know there’s some debate about that in the content marketing community where people think, “Oh, I’m going to hire a service and they understand medicine, they can do it for me,” and I just think well, then how are you really a subject matter expert? Your personal brand that I’m putting out there, or anyone’s putting out there for you is supposed to be because you are the go-to authority. It’s challenging to trust that someone is a go-to authority if someone else is writing on their behalf.  No one knows what’s inside your head, only you do. You have to take that knowledge, put it on paper, and then let someone edit it and optimize it. That’s how PR and B2B thought leadership programs need to work together.

Vinay Koshy: Is there an element of planning together as they create that PR plan, in terms of content that will be put out or produced?

Kris Ruby: At a larger PR agency, you’re going to see more of that. For smaller PR firms, unfortunately, I think you don’t see that and it’s separate. But it really depends on the size of the client, the PR agency and resource allocation for the campaign.

Vinay Koshy: Once you have a rough piece that you think has the potential to be used as a PR pitch, how much more needs to go into developing it to make it pitch worthy?

Kris Ruby: For blog posts, you’re looking at hours and hours of work to optimize that content. And you also need to keep doing Google searches to see what other questions people are asking to optimize that content.  PR pitches are different. So that work is going to be more about formatting it properly, making sure you’re answering any questions that a reporter has.

b2b marketing pr plan kris ruby podcast

HARO: WHAT IS HARO? HOW TO GENERATE FREE PUBLICITY 

Kris Ruby: HARO is a great tool but, like any tool, it can be useful or dangerous. Professionals use HARO to find opportunities for their clients but, too often, people who don’t know how to work with the media dive in and probably do more harm than good for their brands.

Some people use HARO, help a reporter out, as a free service. Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to use HARO properly. And again, it’s a free PR tool, but what they do is they don’t actually answer the questions. HARO is about answering questions at the end of the day. That’s literally what it’s about.  HARO is about helping a reporter out. That’s what it means. It means they’re on deadline. They need you to help them now. Drop what you’re doing and answer them.  It doesn’t mean help them ten hours from now.  It doesn’t mean help them tomorrow. It means help them NOW.

So right off the bat understanding that is really critical if you want to increase your success rate with HARO. But the next is, are you actually answering the questions? It doesn’t mean answering only the ones you want and skipping the rest or taking questions out. It means answering them. And then the third component of that is giving lengthy answers.  Give a reporter a lot that they can pull from. If you give someone one sentence, it’s not usable.

I saw that from the other end when I was writing for Observer and working on two different roundup articles.  The sources that gave you exactly what you wanted and where you didn’t have to go back and forth with the publicist ten times were the people who got quoted. Why? Because they answered the questions and supply you with the requested information and make it easier to file a story and move on to the next article. One thing that would help people increase their PR success rate is creating their own podcast or blog and quoting other influencers within their industry.  The more you start to do that, the more you understand what’s really required, and how to make it easier for other people to give them what they need.  At the end of the day, that’s what PR is about.

Moral of the story: it may seem tempting to try to do your own PR with tools like HARO, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. There is an art and craft to responding to queries that PR practitioners are trained in. This is why you should leave it to the pros instead of trying to do it yourself and hearing crickets back. Also, HARO is not a PR strategy, it is only one tool.

PR TIPS: SCORE MORE INK WITH THESE B2B PUBLIC RELATIONS TIPS

Vinay Koshy: Is there anything else that we should be aware of when crafting public relations pitches for particular business-focused trade journals?

Kris Ruby: When crafting pitches, the first thing you want to do is research the writer, look at their beat and look at other things they’ve written about. And don’t just say, I saw that you wrote about this story, and you left me out. Can you add me? Also, if they previously covered it, they’re most likely not going to write the same exact article again. Take a look at broad strokes, what they write about and then say, “I read these other things that you wrote and I have something that I wanted to add.  If you’re working on anything else in this vertical in the future, please reach out.”

Introduce yourself, let them know you are a source. Also, if you’ve published an article in a trade journal, share it with them. You never know if they could add it to what they are working on.  Journalists, reporters, and producers always want to have a great Rolodex of sources that they can go to and quote.

It’s not just about getting your pitch picked up. It’s also about letting someone know you’re a source so that when they need you, you’re available.

Vinay Koshy: I’m curious, what would you do in instances where, let’s say you have an editor for a journal or magazine or some sort, but you’d like to be featured in, but they aren’t necessarily producing content themselves that get featured in that journal or magazine? How would you approach someone like that?

Kris Ruby: I would propose the idea before writing the article because you don’t know if they’re going to approve the idea. Then I would say, this is something I’d be interested in writing for your site.

PERSONAL BRANDING VS. PUBLIC RELATIONS

Vinay Koshy: How would you stand out when pitching the media? Most editors get hundreds, if not more, by way of pitches, how would you aim to stand out when you know very little about the actual editor and the interests other than what is published in the magazine?

Kris Ruby: One way to stand out is with a personal branding package where you put together a list of the other links and places you’ve been featured in, and maybe your own writing and your blog where they can see what that looks like. However, I’d also caution people away from the guest posting strategy that once reigned supreme in the digital marketing world. I know everyone still wants to do it to say that they were featured in Forbes or Inc. etc.. The problem is that you lose a little bit of SEO value when you give away your best content to these other sites because every site needs content, but you know, whose site also needs content, your own.  People are thinking so much about a PR benefit of being on these other sites to be able to say “As seen on Forbes,” but what they don’t understand is that a lot of these links are no-follow links. Google recently just made some changes with no-follow and maybe it’s going to count. Maybe it won’t.

The point is that some of this will turn into duplicate content if you take it and then put it directly on your site. And again, that’s a whole other debate about, is duplicate content of it. I don’t think it is; some people do. That’s another podcast discussion. You should keep your best writing for your web site. If you want to do this other strategy where you write content and you know that you get a follow link fine. I don’t think that you should do it for a bunch of no-follow links. I don’t think that most PR practitioners are having this conversation with their clients. And again, I think it’s negligent. It is important to understand this because you can’t ask a client to put out their best thought leadership content for a no-follow link and not understand what that means. You can’t work in digital PR and have zero understanding of SEO or what that entails in your broader digital marketing strategy. And so much of the traditional PR industry is still operating with their head in the sand about that. And I think that they need to have those skill sets work together as a fundamental component of your B2B content marketing strategy.

Vinay Koshy: I would assume that if you’re going down that route, then developing a PR distribution plan would also be important for your content, once it gets published, and if you’re not accepted there, then another potential publication would pick it up.

Kris Ruby: Sure. If you’re going down that route, you could do that and have a list of media outlets you want to pitch.

Vinay Koshy: So this would primarily go back to the original PR plan itself and the places that you’d like to be featured in. You would just focus on that and just distribute a potential story or a piece of content to those specific places. Would that be right?

PROACTIVE VS. REACTIVE PR: HOW CAN I INCREASE MY MEDIA COVERAGE?

Kris Ruby: Let’s discuss the fundamental strategies for increasing your media coverage. There are two different types of PR approaches: proactive and reactive PR. I’m a specialist in reactive PR, and what you’re asking about is proactive PR. Proactive PR is about coming up with a plan and saying, “I want to reach out to these people,” and then you pitch them. Reactive PR is when you’re reacting to journalists who are already working on a story and saying, “I need a subject matter expert.” I have found that the success rate is significantly higher with a reactive PR approach because you’re giving someone what they already need when they’re working on it, as opposed to shooting in the dark and hoping that maybe someday they’re going to write something. A reactive PR approach is dictated by what a reporter is writing about at that moment versus who you ideally want to be pitching for a larger feature story.

Vinay Koshy: That’s interesting. So, with a reactive PR approach, you have a library of perspectives and content that you can pull from?

Kris Ruby: There’s no library because all the questions are new and different every time depending on the story or segment.   The library has to exist in your head. You have to really understand the breaking news in your industry to be able to meet the needs of journalists if you’re going to do reactive PR because they’re going to ask you, “can you comment on this?” and if you don’t know what they’re talking about, then you’re going to lose with reactive PR.

The best thing you can do is follow the news in your industry every day so that you are ahead of the curve when a reporter says, “Instagram is removing the follow feature,” and you know what they’re talking about.  Because if I go to a client and say, “what do you think about this story?” and they say, “what are you talking about?” we’re going to lose that opportunity. But if that client is already following the news, they’re going to be able to give me an answer in two seconds. Part of a reactive PR approach is that you have to dedicate at least an hour every day to reading the news.

Vinay Koshy: And I’m assuming that you would very much be using social listening and tools in that space to keep track of all that’s going on, especially with the media.

Kris Ruby: There’s new technology that’s being created as we speak. Something like a HARO 3.0 that will bridge the gap with social media and what reporters are working on. We’re seeing some of that technology come out right now, which is an exciting time for the PR industry. I hope the whole industry shifts in that direction. And one area that doesn’t exist in is TV and getting guests for TV. I would like to see something like that happen in broadcast too- it would be interesting for the industry. I don’t know if it will ever happen, but it would be cool if it did.

Vinay Koshy: Taking that same thought and applying it to social media because even news clips and things of that nature can be viewed on social media. What other tools that allow for that engagement with like podcast hosts or live TV, live video streaming, hosts and things of that nature?

Kris Ruby: There are podcast aggregation sites where you can find podcast guests and a lot of the resources are paid at this point. Cision is also a paid service. As an agency, we spend thousands of dollars every year on paid media query services. That’s part of the value you get when you work with a PR firm.  One of the benefits of working with a PR agency is that they’re covering the cost of all of that for you. Similarly, if you work with an SEO firm, you’re assuming that they’re paying for all of those tools, too.

B2B PR THOUGHT LEADERSHIP: WHY IT MATTERS FOR THE C-SUITE 

Vinay Koshy: How important would you say video marketing is even if you’re not being featured on other channels, whether it be a major distribution network or a TV station on say, channels, we’re talking B2B here. So, let’s say LinkedIn.

Kris Ruby: Video is a critical component of your B2B PR strategy. LinkedIn is practically giving away organic views right now.  In terms of organic video reach, the views are off the charts compared to Facebook. It is what Facebook was many years ago in terms of getting people to see that content right now. If you are a corporate executive, you need to be creating video in between your press placements and media interviews as an integral component of your thought leadership public relations program. LinkedIn is the best way to reach key decision-makers in the C-Suite.

However, there is one major problem that I want to address. If you were to create a chart of an executive creating a critical mass of media coverage in a very short amount of time, their content has to back up their PR. It can’t just be that you’ve gotten featured in 20 places but you’re not publishing content to support the subject matter expertise behind that, or else it looks like the PR firm did all this great work, but where is the content to back it up? This is what I call strategic PR.

Most PR professionals don’t get involved in this component of it, because their job is to get the client hits.  They get the hits and they think their job is done. I disagree. I think it’s not. You need to guide a client with a holistic PR approach to what is best for their entire business. Because if you get a bunch of press placements in all of these media outlets in a really short amount of time, that can almost damage your credibility, because suddenly you came out of the woodwork.  “Where did this person come from?” is what people start to wonder, and if you’re not putting out content on a business blog to back that up, it can negatively impact your PR campaign. You need to do all of this in a very integrated fashion.

With media fragmentation and so many live streaming and digital options right now, people still say, “I only want to be on traditional television broadcast channels.” Look at the success of Cheddar TV or some of those other digital media outlets. Those are great PR opportunities for coverage that you shouldn’t pass up, as long as you can obtain HD video links from the national TV appearances.

Vinay Koshy: For someone uncomfortable with putting themselves on screen, what would you say would be a good place to start and start thinking about content that they could use or create around the video and place on channels like LinkedIn?

Kris Ruby: Everyone is great at doing what makes them most comfortable. If you are uncomfortable in front of a camera, it’s hard for me to say that you should definitely be doing video or live TV, even if the market dictates that you have to do video right now as part of your social media marketing or PR strategy.  I can’t necessarily say you should do it. However, you may be more comfortable doing something like a podcast, and therefore that may make more sense for you. You should do what you shine in.

You shouldn’t just do everything because a social media or PR consultant tells you that you have to be everywhere. Do the thing that you’re best at. For example, there are people who are conference speakers and they’re on the circuit and that’s their thing. Those same people may not shine on-air, just like someone who is on-air may not shine being in a conference around a bunch of people because they’re more introverted. You have to know your strengths, and then let someone else know what they are and develop a plan around that. But don’t develop a plan around your insecurities or doing something that you don’t like or you’re not comfortable with because a PR practitioner tells you to.

Vinay Koshy: So play to your strengths.

Kris Ruby: Yes, you know why? Because your content is going to be better.  I’ll give you a great example. A woman who wears a dress and they’re not comfortable in it. People always say, well, you shouldn’t wear that. Wear what you’re comfortable in. Because then you’re not thinking about your dress. You’re thinking about what you’re saying- it’s the same logic here.

B2B MARKETING SUCCESS: FINAL THOUGHTS

Vinay Koshy: What would you say is your top tip in creating predictable B2B marketing success?

Kris Ruby: My top tip in creating predictable B2B marketing success is to understand that public relations is not going to be a one-off approach.  You have to be doing content marketing, PR, personal branding, digital marketing, plus social media all in unity.  You can determine at any time where you want to increase the level of x percentage on each one of those areas. But it’s not going to be something where you just decide not to do any one of those areas for any extended length of time.

I see executives who achieve amazing results with any one of those areas, and once they get results, they rest on their laurels. Unfortunately, that is not a way to have predictable B2B marketing success. You want to understand what’s changing in B2B marketing and public relations so that you don’t feel like a dinosaur.  I started my company as an entrepreneur when I graduated from Boston University’s College of Communications at 21. I’m 33 and now and I can still feel like a dinosaur at my age too! I like to share that with people because a dinosaur doesn’t have to do with age, it has to do with the amount of time you have in any given industry, and what changes that industry has had over that length of time. If I were still practicing like I did when I was 21, I’d be out of business.  You have to keep innovating and stay in the game.

****

B2B PR TIPS

Final tips for developing a B2B Thought Leadership Marketing & Public Relations Strategy:

  • Develop original and unique perspectives as a business leader
  • Showcase POV on emerging trends
  • Post a Speaking Engagement on YouTube
  • Share a Conference Presentation on SlideShare
  • Post a blog on trending industry Issues or the latest research
  • Share key insights on LinkedIn. What is the future of your industry?
  • How can you display forward-thinking subject matter expertise to show you are on the pulse?
  • Analyze emerging industry trends.
  • Share a unique perspective or POV that has not been regurgitated.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

B2B PUBLIC RELATIONS CONSULTANT- KRIS RUBY

Kris is the CEO of Ruby Media Group, an award-winning NY public relations marketing agency that helps companies leverage the power of content marketing to increase exposure. Over the past decade, she has consulted with small to large scale businesses, including Equinox and IHG hotels to name a few. Kris is a seasoned social media strategist with 10 plus years of building successful brands. Kris Ruby has led public relations programs for B2B clients and Fortune 500 companies as well as private NY medical practices. She’s a sought-after digital media strategist and PR consultant who delivers high impact social media training programs for executives, and she is a trusted media source and frequent on a commentator on social media tech trends and crisis communications, and often speaks on Fox News, CNBC and Good Morning America, among other TV networks. 

ABOUT THE PREDICTABLE B2B SUCCESS PODCAST

The predictable B2B success podcast is a show that helps business owners, marketing and sales executives achieve predictable growth by expanding their influence. Each episode features an interview with a founder, sales or marketing executive or thought leader in the B2B space discussing topics like marketing strategy, sales strategy, strategic partnerships, customer success, customer experience, people experience, hiring, social media, content creation and marketing, podcasting, video marketing, influencer marketing, agile marketing and much more.  The show features well-known authors or hosts of popular podcasts but most importantly you’ll hear from those who have hands-on experience in creating predictable B2B success. Through each episode, the show will help you explore the best ways to create predictable B2B success in your business. This podcast will make you a better B2B publicist and marketer!

PUBLICITY PROGRAMS FOR B2B MARKETING/ B2B PR AGENCY SERVICES

B2B Marketing to Doctors– Medical Practice PR 

Elevate your B2B marketing plan with PR services and reach new customers and key constituents with a public relations strategy. As an award-winning B2B public relations agency, we have secured B2B PR results for companies including feature stories in business trade publications and even cover stories in trade-focused verticals. To see our B2B PR portfolio, reach out.  RMG specializes in developing publicity programs that work in conjunction with B2B marketing plans to drive increased visibility, leads, sales and earned media coverage. For a complimentary audit and to learn more about our B2B marketing services, contact us today.

Do you have a marketing podcast for B2B marketers and publicists? If you are interested in having our CEO on as a guest on your podcast, contact us here.

For more digital marketing advice, read our next article:

Thought Leadership Marketing: How to raise your media profile as a CEO 

All content on this web site is owned by Ruby Media Group Inc. © Content may not be reproduced in any form without Ruby Media Group’s written consent.  Ruby Media Group Inc. will file a formal DMCA Takedown notice if any copy has been lifted from this web site. This site is protected by Copyscape. If you would like to reproduce any portion of this podcast episode (a direct quote or audio snippet), please submit a written request. Permission is not granted for the reproduction of this episode without written authorization. This includes quotes, audio, visual, graphics from this podcast episode or transcript. 


Public Relations Podcast: Inbound PR Success

Inbound PR Kris Ruby podcast

 

Listen to the Inbound Success podcast interview I recorded to learn more about public relations and how you can leverage PR as part of your inbound marketing strategy.

“It’s so interesting to me that somebody from the PR world so intuitively gets what it means to do inbound marketing correctly.  There’s a lot of practical information here for any marketer who has ever considered using PR as part of their strategy.”-Kathleen Booth, Inbound Success Podcast Host

Inbound Success Podcast

“Ruby Media Group CEO Kristen Ruby breaks down the top myths surrounding PR and inbound marketing. In this podcast, Ruby gets into detail about who should consider using PR, when to use it, how much you should expect to pay, and what kinds of results you should expect when you hire a PR firm.”

In addition, we cover the difference between PR for brand building and PR for SEO, as well as the difference between reactive and proactive PR.

Listen to the full PR podcast episode here 

INBOUND PR PODCAST HIGHLIGHTS

Highlights from the Inbound Success Podcast Interview: 

  • A PR specialist is different than a media relations specialist.
  • PR can encompass anything in a communications and marketing plan, whereas media relations is specifically about interaction with the media.
  • PR is a great strategy for any business or healthcare practice that is looking to build a long-term, sustainable funnel of leads.  It is also great for building your personal brand.
  • One of the key benefits of PR is that it can contribute to building your domain authority, which is helpful for SEO.
  • In terms of setting expectations for a PR engagement, the results you can achieve are very dependent upon the news cycle and what journalists and reporters are interested in covering.
  • You should expect to commit to working with your PR firm for at least one hour each day.
  • When it comes to inbound PR, it’s important to build up online authority so that the media sees you as a credible source. Building this authority starts with what you are doing offline. The key is to translate that offline authority into digital platforms.
  • For doctors looking to get started with healthcare PR, publish content that is aligned with your media coverage goals. This content can be published on your website, LinkedIn profile, etc.
  • The cost of PR can vary widely depending upon the scope of services, the type of media coverage that you’re looking for and the size of the NY public relations firm you want to work with.
  • If you want to be on national TV as part of your PR plan, it is worth investing in media training as part of your public relations campaign.  This will prepare you to be on camera and to learn how to field difficult questions from TV anchors, reporters, and journalists.
  • There’s a difference between reactive and proactive PR. Kristen specializes in reactive PR, which entails responding to reporters’ requests for sources, as opposed to proactive PR, which she says is going out to the media and spamming them with unsolicited pitches.
PR quotes kris ruby PR podcast

Listen to the Inbound Success podcast to learn more about public relations and how you can leverage it as part of your inbound marketing strategy.

In an exclusive 45-minute PR podcast interview, you will learn the answers to your most pressing questions about PR and inbound marketing including:

  • What is inbound public relations?
  • The difference between PR and media relations
  • How we built a client’s Domain Authority to 32 only using PR (and no paid advertising!)
  • Why media coverage success rates are significantly higher when you practice reactive PR
  • Why Twitter is critical for your public relations strategy
  • PR for brand building vs. PR for SEO
  • Why content marketing and Inbound marketing must work together for a successful Inbound PR strategy

PLUS 

  • What makes for a newsworthy story?

 

ABOUT THE PR PODCAST GUEST

Kris Ruby specializes in strategic Public Relations and Media Relations and has over 12 years of experience. To view a full list of Kris Ruby’s podcast appearances, click here. 

Podcast hosts: Do you have a podcast about PR? Are you looking for Public Relations Execs to share key insights? If you are interested in having Kris Ruby, CEO of Ruby Media Group, on your podcast to discuss all things PR, drop us a line.

P.S: We are passionate about educating people on how to leverage PR to increase media exposure. If you have a B2B or Healthcare marketing podcast and you are looking for a guest to educate your listeners about public relations, I am happy to share PR tips with your audience.

Plus, we always promote PR podcast appearances on social media if the information is valuable for our audience and people can learn key takeaways from the interview.

For interview and media requests, contact us here.

inbound pr podcast kris ruby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, Ruby Media Group Founder Kristen Ruby breaks down the myths surrounding PR and inbound marketing. In this podcast episode, she goes into detail about who should consider using PR, when to use PR for your business, how much you should expect to pay for PR, and what kinds of results you should expect if you hire a PR firm.

In addition, Kristen covers the difference between PR for brand building and PR for SEO, as well as reactive vs. proactive PR.

There is a lot of practical information here for any marketer who has ever considered using PR as part of their strategy.

Highlights from my conversation with Kristen Ruby include:

  • A PR specialist is different than a media relations specialist. Kris specializes in strategic Public Relations and Media Relations.
  • PR can encompass anything in a communications plan and marketing plan, whereas media relations is specifically about interaction with the media.
  • PR is a good strategy for any business that is looking to build a long-term, sustainable funnel of leads, as well as to build their brand.
  • One of the big benefits of PR is that it can contribute to building your domain authority, which is great for SEO.
  • In terms of setting expectations for a PR engagement, Kristen says that the results you can get are very dependent upon the news cycle and what journalists are interested in covering.
  • Kristen says you should expect to commit to working with your PR firm at least one hour each day.
  • There’s a difference between reactive and proactive PR. Kristen specializes in reactive PR, which entails responding to reporters’ requests for sources, as opposed to proactive PR, which she states is going out to the media and spamming them with unsolicited pitches.
  • When it comes to PR, it’s important to build up online (and offline) authority so that the media sees you as a credible source.
  • For clients looking to get started with PR, Kristen recommends that they begin by publishing content that is aligned with what they are hoping to get coverage about. This can be published on their website, LinkedIn profile, etc.
  • The cost of a PR engagement can vary widely depending upon the scope of services and the type of media coverage that you’re looking for and then the size of the firm you want to work with.
  • If you plan to be on TV as part of your PR plan, Kris says it could be worth investing in media training as part of your PR package, as it will prepare you to be on camera.

Listen to the podcast to learn more about public relations and how you can use it as part of your inbound marketing strategy.

ENHANCED TRANSCRIPT WITH BONUS MATERIAL:

Kathleen Booth (Host): Welcome back to the Inbound Success Podcast. Today, my guest is Kristen Ruby who is the CEO of Ruby Media Group. Welcome Kristen.

Kristen Ruby (Guest): Hi, thank you so much for having me.

Kathleen: I’m so happy to have you here. You are in the field of PR and we don’t get to talk about PR a lot on the podcast so I’m really excited to dig into it with you, but before we do can you just tell my listeners a little bit more about yourself, and about your company, and what you do?

Kristen Ruby:  My company is Ruby Media Group. I have been a public relations consultant for over a decade now. I work with clients and businesses of all sizes from small to midsize companies to Fortune 500 companies. I also do PR campaigns for medical practices and doctors.

I help companies with brand building, content creation, social media, public relations, and more.  My mission is to help people get found online through integrated digital PR strategies. I am great at taking people’s offline thought-leadership and translating that online into digital platforms.

INBOUND PR: PUBLIC RELATIONS AND INBOUND MARKETING

Kathleen:  This podcast is all about inbound marketing and people have mixed opinions about where public relations fits within that mix as an inbound marketer. I think there’s also a lot of misconceptions about what public relations is, especially today as the field has evolved over time.

You had some really interesting viewpoints on that and I wanted to start by having you explain what you see as what PR is, and the different uses of it, because there’s PR for SEO, and then there are other types of PR.

PUBLIC RELATIONS VS. MEDIA RELATIONS

What is the difference between PR and Media Relations?

Kristen Ruby: There is a difference between PR and media relations, so I want to also explain that first to your listeners.

PR can encompass anything in your communications and marketing plan, whereas media relations is specifically about interactions with the media.

I do a lot of media relations work, whereas some public relations practitioners focus on community outreach, partnership outreach, or sponsorship activations.  These areas fall under a larger umbrella of PR and communications. So, PR can encompass many different areas of outreach, whereas media relations specifically focuses on communications with the media.

What does a publicist do?

A publicist will help you navigate through your interactions with the media and will get your brand message and story out there to the public. A publicist will also handle media inquiries and manage interview requests and talking point coordination on behalf of your company.

HIRING A PR FIRM: WHEN SHOULD YOU INVEST IN PR FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

How to measure the value of PR.

Kathleen:  What do you see as the value of PR for the companies that invest in public relations? Who is it right for? When should you engage a PR firm for PR services?

Is PR worth it?

Kristen Ruby:  With PR, it depends on what stage you’re at in your business. For example, let’s say you’re a medical practice and a doctor, and you’ve been around for ten years, you already have a waiting list of patients, but at this point, you have other strategic business goals.

Maybe you want to become a paid speaker. Maybe you want to write a book and you want a publisher, and you need a social media following for that.  Or maybe you’re at a different level in your medical career where now you want to focus on putting out educational content to reach the masses because your time is limited, and you can only see a certain number of patients a day.

For that type of medical practitioner, I think PR is ideal because it fits in the brand building bucket.

If you’re someone that is saying, “I need more patients in the door tomorrow, and I’ve just launched a practice,” I would say traditional marketing would make sense for that, including direct marketing and digital advertising.

When is the best time to hire a PR agency?

Kristen Ruby: You have to evaluate, “Are you looking for sales and leads tomorrow out of this, or can you have a longer sales funnel with what you’re doing?”

Kathleen: Yeah, that’s a good point. I often hear about PR a lot from startups, especially B2B technology startups. There seems to be this assumption that in the beginning, PR is something that you should invest in almost before marketing. I think part of it is this desire as a startup to plant your flag in the ground in the marketplace and get your name out there.

But then, the other part of it is also, from my perspective as a marketer, about building domain authority. That goes back to PR for SEO, so I wonder if you could talk about that.

PR FOR BRAND BUILDING VS. PR FOR SEO

Kristen Ruby: I have a great case study of PR for SEO. We worked with a health care client and we launched their personal branding campaign from scratch with a new website and an in-depth strategic deck.  We had not done any direct marketing, and we’ve only done PR for them.

Their Domain Authority ranking now is 32 and that’s all from public relations. So, all of that authority and they have not done any paid advertising. It’s all backlinks from PR articles that I’ve gotten them.

Now, again, that was never even a primary goal of why we did PR for this brand, but I think one of the amazing things about that campaign is that it can happen when you’re not even trying for it.

With traditional public relations practitioners, there’s often a disconnect with SEO and PR because they’re so focused on getting the press coverage, and working with producers and journalists that they don’t realize they are building someone’s backlink profile and Domain Authority while they are executing a PR campaign.

Of course, you can never guarantee any press placements, and we could talk about that as well, but if you get backlinks it can be great, especially if you are securing press coverage for a client in a third-party national media outlet, and that outlet has very high Domain Authority, you’re benefiting from that.

Kathleen:  It is tremendous potential if you have a well-known media entity. Those backlinks can be worth a lot.

Kristen Ruby: Yes.

PR FIRM EXPECTATION SETTING

What should you expect from a PR firm?

Kathleen: I want to talk about expectation setting when you work with a PR firm because that can seem very alluring, and I’m sure you have clients who come to you and say, “Get me mentioned in The Wall Street Journal, or on TV, etc.,” so can you talk me through when you first start working with a new PR client how do you determine what’s possible and how do you set expectations around that?

What should I look for when hiring a PR firm?

Kristen Ruby:  The first thing that we ask a prospect who is interested in hiring Ruby Media Group for public relations services is, “What does PR success look like to you? How are you going to evaluate the PR engagement and what do those metrics and KPI’s look like?”

For example, if they say, “We want to be on The Today Show within a month.” Obviously, that’s going to be an unrealistic expectation. If they say, “We’re looking for around three or four press placements and digital mentions a month.” That’s a realistic expectation with my PR firm. I’m not sure if it is with every firm, but for us, I know that I can deliver that.

If they say, “I want you to guarantee a set amount of media bookings whether that’s on radio, or television, or any outlet.” That’s something that’s not realistic because no PR firm that’s worth their salt is going to be able to give those media guarantees.

The reason for that is because we are working with the media. The media dictates what they want to use and what they don’t want to use. Our main deliverable is very much dependent on a third-party variable at any given time: the media.

What should a PR firm do for you?

Kristen Ruby: The problem is that people hire publicists and think that the publicist has much more power than they do. I don’t know if that’s because public relations practitioners misrepresent what they can do to try and close a deal, but it’s just not realistic. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about public relations.

For example, if you look at any given week in the news cycle there’s a lot of political news happening, such as the Trump impeachment hearing. What if you had a PR client that’s booked on TV this week? That segment will most likely be canceled because of the news cycle.

Kathleen: And if it wasn’t canceled no one would probably pay attention anyway because everyone’s attention is diverted somewhere else I would think.

How does a PR firm work?

Kristen: This is why it’s so important if you’re hiring a PR firm to understand this.  The news cycle and breaking news dictate what’s being covered. It’s not your client that dictates it.

So, if you can come up with some great tie-in to the news, or if your client’s a political expert and they can comment on what’s happening, it adds value to the breaking news peg.

That lends itself back to your original question, which is how to determine if someone’s going to be a good PR client.

In this heavy political news climate, a lot of PR practitioners will gravitate towards prospective clients that can comment on those areas because they know that they can get them booked on TV for media interviews.

We go through an internal checklist about who’s going to be a good fit. It has to do with expectations. Are they realistic?

The next question is: do you have at least one hour daily to work with your PR firm if you hire an agency? People make the mistake of hiring a PR firm and then they don’t give them what they need to do their job effectively. You have to supply content to your PR firm so that they can get you out there. That content is the backbone of what they are pitching to reporters.

You have to let your PR firm know if something’s going on that you can comment on, tell them. If there is a link to a news story that you think is interesting, share it with them and explain why. But this notion that you’re going to hire a PR firm, and then you’re not going to talk to them, and they can get you press coverage is very unrealistic.

PR TIPS

What makes a story newsworthy?

Kathleen: Now, someone comes to you, and their expectations are realistic in the sense that they say, “Hey, I would love to get four press mentions this month.”

I’m assuming that there’s some kind of content that’s needed, like you can’t just call up a reporter and say, “Hey cover this company,” full stop, period. There needs to be some kind of a story. So how do you work with clients to determine what that story is and cultivate something that’s newsworthy?

PROACTIVE PR VS. REACTIVE PR

Kristen:  There are two different types of PR. There’s proactive PR and reactive PR. I’m a specialist in reactive PR. Reactive PR is when you’re using different databases, whether it’s HARO, ProfNet or Cision, to reply to reporters queries in real-time.

There are a lot of new platforms coming out where those journalists are saying, “We’re writing this story, do you have an expert to speak on X?” That’s when I plug my clients in to be able to comment on those stories.

Proactive PR is a traditional old-school approach where you’re going out to journalists and spamming them and saying, “I have this great idea, why don’t you cover it?”

But the problem with that approach is that they may or may not be writing about that topic. So, I think the success rates are significantly higher when you practice reactive PR, because you’re giving the media what they want, when they’re already working on that topic and it makes their life easier.

Kathleen: So you really, in that case then, don’t have to necessarily have a breaking news item or a piece of content. It’s really just authority and expertise that you’re pitching?

Kristen: It’s authority and expertise, but it’s also answering a lot of media questions, and usually those questions tie into a breaking news story. If a reporter is working on a vaping story. You could have authority and expertise, but you also need to have expertise in that news area that’s happening with vaping in the country right now. It’s a combination of all of those factors together. But to answer your other question about packaging, I have a motto.

HOW TO BUILD YOUR PERSONAL BRAND

My PR motto is “Package, pitch, promote.” Phase one when I work with a new PR client is, “how can we package this story?” Who are they? What does their brand look like? The first thing I’ll do is do a deep dive on Google. I want to look at their website. Do they have a press-friendly web site for the media? If not, that needs to go up before we even work with them because journalists are going to look for that.

Next, what has been written about them online? Do they have a critical mass of authority online? If they don’t, that needs to be created. Third, who are they? What do they want to be known for?

What is their area of expertise? If there is going to be a lower third for their title tag on television, what would it say? Expert in what? So, we need to figure all that out. Finally, do they have a high-res headshot for the media and do they have an executive bio?

All of that has to be done in the first two months of us working with a PR firm. Even though it sounds simple, most people don’t have all of that ready to go. So, we get that lined up for someone before we start with them, and then next we start putting together an FAQ document in Microsoft Word.

I recently created a helpful media 101 pitching checklist that I can share as well as a media guide too which may be helpful for your listeners.

DIGITAL PR: HOW TO BUILD ONLINE AUTHORITY

Why digital PR is your secret weapon for increasing E-A-T on Google 

Kathleen: Now, I think it was the second thing you mentioned there was they need to have is that after the website, they need to have some sort of critical mass of online authority established. What does that mean? What are you looking for there?

Kristen: I’m looking to see that other reporters and journalists have quoted them. I think that lends itself very nicely to the new Google Quality Rater Guidelines. I wrote an article on what Google is looking for regarding digital authority and E-A-T. It’s very important. It’s all about having authority online.

That’s where PR can help. If you’re trying to increase your E-A-T on Google, you need digital authority. It’s not just about you saying that you’re great. When they look online, they need to see that other people are saying you are great and that you are an expert in what you’re saying you are an expert in.

This is a very interesting time, and this is sort of changing the game in general for PR. You can’t just pivot. You can’t just say that you’re an expert in everything anymore.

You have to become an expert in one thing and it doesn’t matter how many times you say it. This is going to be a major game-changer for PR.

Launching a PR campaign: How to get started with PR for your business

Kathleen: So, if somebody comes to you and they don’t have a lot of mentions online, can you work with them? Can you get them press coverage? How do you start with PR and brand building? What’s that first step?

Kristen: The first step is that we do a brand audit and build that out for a longer period of time before we ever pitch anything to the media.  It all starts with content marketing and strategic management consulting.

If you want to show your expertise, you have to put out consistent content that aligns with that expertise.

The best place to start if you don’t have other people mentioning you is to your web site or LinkedIn where you can show what they know. You can also publish an e-book, or any sort of other inbound marketing campaign, which is important. Having people link back to that content to start building authority is critical even if you have no other outside media coverage to start with.

Why inbound marketing is necessary for PR

Kathleen: That’s helpful because when you think about how inbound marketing and PR go together, I’ve talked to lots of companies that think you start with PR, then you do inbound marketing and then maybe you do PR again.

But if what I’m hearing what you’re saying is correct, it sounds like it does make sense to begin with some inbound marking first so that you have that content already created. You have potentially gotten mentioned, you’re starting to establish some authority. Is that accurate?

Kristen: Yes. You can’t say that you’re an expert and have no content to back that up and expect journalists to write about you.  At that point, you’re just a self-proclaimed expert. If a PR consultant is going to pitch you to the media and that journalist looks you up, and they don’t even see content written by you, how are you an expert? It doesn’t make any sense.

I think that’s a major mistake that a lot of executives make. There are some PR practitioners who skip the content marketing part and that’s not practicing the new method of digital PR. Content marketing and inbound marketing must work in unity with your public relations firm. It should not be separate.

PR PRICING: HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HIRE A PR FIRM?

Kathleen: One of the questions I’m sure that anybody has if they haven’t worked with a PR firm before is, this sounds great but what does it cost? I’m not asking what do you charge, but can you give me a sense of if somebody’s considering doing PR and they’re going to work with a consultant outside of their company to do it, what sort of budget should they have to get started with a PR firm?

What does PR cost? 

Kristen:  The cost of hiring a PR firm depends on so many factors.  A startup, entrepreneur, book author or small business is not going to spend 100k monthly on PR services. So, it is important to understand that many of the numbers you see floating around online for PR services widely differ depending on the vertical, industry and media coverage goals.

Public relations consultants and freelancers will be able to offer more competitive pricing because you aren’t paying for their overhead. If you want to work with a large size PR agency, you will pay for the brand name and may not be working with the senior-level strategists unless you are willing to pay a premium for it.

How much does public relations cost?

Before you can answer, “how much does PR cost?” ask the following:

  • Is your brand ready for PR?
  • What is the budget you have allocated for PR services?
  • Do you want to work with a smaller firm or do you like the appeal saying you work with a large agency?

The scope of services, the type of media coverage that you’re looking for and the size of the PR firm will dictate the answer to the cost of PR services.

Typically, I would say a reasonable range that PR services start at could be anywhere from $5,000 a month and then up from there. For some of the larger NY PR firms, they could be charging $35,000 or $40,000 a month. It depends on the size of the public relations firm and the other ancillary services that the public relations firm is offering.

How much do PR packages cost?

Let’s say the cost of PR services you signed up for is $10,000 per month. It is important to keep in mind that there are outside costs as well that may not be covered in your monthly retainer. This is where understanding a la carte PR pricing is important, plus the outside costs section of the contract you sign with a PR firm.

For example, do you need media training? That’s going to be a separate cost. If you need an electronic press kit (EPK) created for your business, that’s also going to be an outside cost. If you need a personal branding website, that’s going to be another cost.

If you need photography and new headshots, another cost. So, a lot of times those costs are not built into the ongoing retainer for a PR campaign.

Managing scope creep is also very important in PR to understand what the role of a publicist is and what areas are considered a separate wheelhouse.

Can I afford a public relations campaign?

$6,000 monthly may seem like a lot to a small business for PR services, but this fee pales in comparison to the cost of a full-time in-house communications director or chief marketing officer. The question isn’t, can I afford to hire a public relations campaign for my business?

The real question is: can I afford NOT to hire a public relations director for my business?

Interested in PR? Contact us today to learn more about our Public relations packages.

MEDIA TRAINING

What is media training?

Kathleen: Let’s talk about media training for a minute because this actually came up in a conversation that I recently had. Can you explain what happens in a media training session and what are you being trained on?

Kristen: Media training prepares you for live on-camera television interviews in a breaking news environment. How can you answer tough questions from news anchors? How can you learn to not say things like ‘um’ while you’re doing interviews? When I conduct media training with corporate executives, I will record them and we’ll go playback what they sound like. If they do a TV segment, we will rigorously critique that segment, and say, “This is great, but here are all the things you need to do to improve.”

For example, can they maintain eye contact? That’s what we look for or are they looking all over the place? Are they using a lot of transition words? Can they cut back on that? Are they using modifiers like “in my opinion” that can be cut and that do not add value to the interview? Are they talking for way too long? Have they been trained in how to speak in sound bites for media interviews? All of those areas are critical components of media training.

Kathleen: It’s so funny because listening to you describe it, it makes me think of podcasting because I’ve been doing this now… I’m on episode 110, and when I podcast, I always send my audio off to be transcribed and then I have to edit the transcription for the show notes. Reading the written version of what I say is the most horrifying thing in the world.

I have discovered that I start just about every sentence with yeah. My guest says something and I’m like, “Yeah, let’s talk about that,” or, “Yeah, and I have a question.” It’s just so funny and I imagine it’s the same thing with media training when you playback a recording. All of a sudden you’re like, “Wait, I say that, that much? I had no idea.”

Kristen: Yes, exactly. That’s why it can be scary and also why it is so important. For example, in addition to running a PR firm, I’m also a television commentator. I’ve personally been on TV more than a hundred times on Fox News or other outlets, and even if it’s segment 101, I’m still rigorously assessing what I sound like because if I’m not doing that I’m not learning and I’m not getting better. I think that people don’t realize that people that are on-air all the time are doing this very same thing. It’s not just something that you start when you hire a PR firm. You have to keep doing it.

How do I prepare for a media interview? How to handle the tough questions.

Kathleen: How do you advise people to handle it when they don’t want to answer a question from a reporter? Is it, “I don’t comment on that?” Is there a certain way to gracefully avoid answering the question?

Media Training Tips and Techniques

Kristen: There are two media techniques we use for conducting media training that can be helpful with that question. One, I’d call bridging. So, if you don’t necessarily want to answer something or if you’re not sure how, I would bridge it and transition it into something else. You can say, “This is a really interesting question; however, I think this is the larger question.” So that would be bridging. That’s one option.

The second approach is to always be honest. If someone asks you a question and you are not qualified to speak on it, just tell someone that. Say, “That’s a really interesting question, however, I’m not sure I’m the best one to answer this, but if I had to take a stab, here’s what I would say.” You can say something like that as a modifier or you can say, “I’ll get back to you on that one.” You could do what Mark Zuckerberg did at the congressional hearing, where every single question he said, “I’ll have my team get back to you on that.” That’s a perfect way of answering (or dodging) the question.

How does PR work? Which PR opportunities are worth responding to?

Kathleen:  Circling back to PR for SEO and in tandem for inbound marketing backlinks. When you’re pitching and you mentioned that you do reactive PR, how do you screen through which PR opportunities are worth responding to and which ones are not?

Kristen:  The first thing I do is look at the media outlet. Is it a well-known media outlet, or is it a random blog? The back-linking part I don’t look at until the very end when a story is live because you don’t know if they’re going to include a link or not. For me, if I’m going to send something to a client, I’m looking at it to think, is this an anonymous query? If it is, we’re not replying. Is it a large national media outlet that we’ve heard of, which would be great to get a mention in regardless of the backlink? Then yes, I’ll send it to them. Is it worth their time to answer this?

How many questions are on there that they want answered, and do I realistically think the client can answer it by the deadline? All of those things factor into whether or not I think that they should look at that. Again, I look at backlinks as an added bonus of doing PR, but if people come to me and say, “You need to guarantee backlinks,” I tell them, “There’s no way any public relations professional can guarantee backlinks.  Reporters don’t even know if a link is included.”

So, there’s a lot of scams out there right now where people will send you this nice long sheet and go, “Oh for X thousand dollars, for this one-off I’ll get you quoted for this mention.” Well, Google’s changing the game right now, rather, with how all of that’s handled and if you look at the quality rater’s guidelines, they also clearly mention that they can tell and that they’re very aware of those links and that they don’t count for much.

That’s a waste of time and a waste of money. Spend your time and resources doing PR the right way, and if you get links out of it then that’s an added bonus.

Kathleen: You mentioned anonymous queries, and this is something that I’ve always wondered about. I look at HARO all the time and as you said, some of the calls for sources say, “I’m with this particular news outlet,” and then others are anonymous. I’ve always wondered about that because sometimes I think, “Oh, well if they’re anonymous they’re some podunk place.” But then other times I think, “If they’re anonymous maybe they’re someplace big, but they don’t want to let people know that.” I don’t know. What has your experience been with anonymous queries on Haro?

Kristen: It’s a gamble. It’s 50-50. It can go either way. So sometimes it could be a major media outlet, but they have an internal editorial policy, which may state they don’t want someone else scooping up the story or that the reporters can’t use HARO. So that reporter may put it in as anonymous. So technically they’re not using HARO. That’s one option. Another thing is that it really is a much smaller site and they know that no one is going to answer their query if they say, “This is for my hole in the wall blog that no one has ever heard of.” So, it can go either way.

HOW TO FIND PR OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR BUSINESS

How to identify PR opportunities with free tools

Kathleen: For somebody who’s listening and thinking, “I’m not ready to hire a PR firm yet, but I might want to dabble in trying this out for myself.” There’s HARO (Help A Reporter Out), which is a free source that you can read and respond to. Are there any other helpful places that somebody can visit to see what kinds of stories reporters are working on and potentially respond?

HOW TO GET MORE PR: FREE PR IDEAS

Kristen: The best thing that they can do is to read the news. I know that sounds so simple. Yet, so many people don’t do it. Everyone is looking for this cheap quick fix on how they can do something, which is why I’m not really a fan of do-it-yourself PR for a number of reasons, but the main one is that Do-it-yourself PR can actually be quite dangerous. I’ve seen people make major mistakes because they’re not media trained.

They say all sorts of things. They don’t really know what on the record versus off the record even means, and then they want someone else to fix it. And they can’t. Because they read some advice somewhere and told them to try it and then it hurt them, and then their CEO is not happy. You have to be careful.

However, if you’re interested in figuring out, “What is the media really writing about?” So maybe you’re a digital marketer and you want to get quoted in the news. Go into Google and then click news. Then put in digital marketing. That’s the first step I would take.

HOW TO GENERATE PR FOR YOUR BUSINESS

If you don’t want to hire a PR firm, I would set up Google Alerts for the key industry terms and for your name. I would use a site like Mention because a lot of times Google Alerts doesn’t pick up everything it needs to. Then I would start seeing… For example, let’s say I comment on Instagram. I have Google Alerts set up for Instagram.

Or for Trump’s tweets or anything relevant to what I talked about, and then I get… that just becomes part of my day. So maybe you’re a cardiologist and you’re speaking on artificial intelligence and cardiology. I’d set up a Google alert for “AI Cardiology.” That’s more of an inbound approach to PR really because it all comes to you.

Then you start formulating an opinion on that. I would then take that opinion, write content around it, put it on your own site, and then I think what you’re going to start to see is that if its good content and you optimize that content, you can be found for that content by a member of the media.

I will say this, people always say, “How did you get started in television?” I got started in television because of content. I wrote a really cool article on how social media was impacting the world of dating and it was for Jdate.com, and this was like 10 years ago.

I tweeted that article. I did not have a PR firm at that time and I was still more so in social media. A TV producer found my article on Twitter. They found the content, they liked the content, and they said, “This would make for an interesting segment, would you like to come on the show?” That’s literally how I got started in my career in TV—all because of content.

I would urge your listeners to consider that strategy when you’re thinking about how to get there. That’s a do-it-yourself PR approach, but it’s not dangerous because you’re not necessarily reaching out to the media directly. It’s a content-first approach.

Why Twitter is key for your PR strategy

Kathleen: Now do you find that there are certain channels where you can publish your content that make it more likely that you will be found by a reporter?

Kristen: Twitter and LinkedIn. Journalists are the biggest users of Twitter by far. We have clients that say to us, “I don’t want to be on Twitter,” and I say, “You don’t have a choice. You have to be on Twitter because if I’m getting you hits, I need to tweet those hits because reporters want traffic to their articles.” This old school notion that PR is just take, take, take and not give is so antiquated. You can’t expect that someone’s going to write about you and then you’re not going to help push traffic to those articles. Which is why whether it’s a podcast, or it’s a reporter at a different outlet, they want to see that you’re pushing it out too. Social media is an integral part to that process.

Kathleen: Twitter is so incredibly misunderstood. I find that with every client I’ve ever worked with… I was in the agency world for 13 years and almost everyone, including the heads of many agencies would say, “Twitter is a waste of time.  I don’t want to be on Twitter.” It always blew my mind because not only is that where all the reporters are, but it’s the only platform where you can directly reach out to anybody regardless of where you’re connected with them. So, the access on Twitter is unbelievable.

Kristen: If you want to get on the radar of journalists, they are on Twitter. The other thing you can do is create a favorite list and look up some reporters and then add them to a favorite list and start to favorite them for what they’re doing, or replying to them and get on their radar in that way. It’s a great way to use Twitter and strategically hashtag. If you really want to learn how to use PR, go on Twitter and type in #PRfail.

They will actually blast different publicists or do-it-yourself PR practitioners, and you can learn from that. It’s just amazing. They’ll post bad pictures on there. I think there used to be a blog called Bad Pitch Blog. I don’t know if it’s still around, but you learn how to do PR the right way by looking at it the wrong way.

Kathleen: Yeah. See I still say yeah. Even though I try to get myself not to. Now I’ve also heard that YouTube is valuable. Especially for getting picked up for television because that allows people to see your on-camera persona. Have you found that?

Kristen: I think that definitely makes sense more so in the entertainment field. It adds credibility and anytime you do a TV segment you should post it to your YouTube channel. Do I think that I would have gotten discovered from YouTube if I was just doing something on my own? I don’t necessarily think so, no. But entertainment, yes. If you’re a singer, sure! That’s just a whole other area of PR.

LinkedIn for PR: how do I promote my business on LinkedIn?

Kathleen: Interesting. You mentioned LinkedIn. How do you see LinkedIn playing into developing a PR strategy?

How to use LinkedIn for your PR campaign

Kristen Ruby: Publishing articles on LinkedIn is valuable to your PR strategy and using hashtags on LinkedIn can also be very helpful to getting your content found by a larger audience. LinkedIn is at this amazing point right now where they are really almost giving away views in organic traffic, more so than Facebook is at because they want to become more of a social network. So, there’s this massive opportunity, especially with video on LinkedIn right now, if you want people to find what you’re doing. From what we’ve learned with PR clients, video performs the best.

You could put the same video on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and you’re going to see the organic view count is significantly higher on LinkedIn.

Kathleen: Absolutely. I have been testing out LinkedIn video now for several months, and I did a LinkedIn video recently about it because I looked back at all of my posts and the posts that had video in them, almost in every single case got 10x the number of comments and views as a post without video. It was so starkly obvious what a difference it made. I completely agree with you on that.

Kristen Ruby: They want to incentivize users to be doing more videos. So that’s why you can see it. If you look at the analytics, you’ll see that that’s what they’re trying to do.

Kathleen: And it won’t last forever, I’m sure but right now it’s a great opportunity. I want to talk about results. Obviously, you can’t divulge client names, but can you just, in an anonymized sense, give me a sense of what kind of results companies that you’ve worked with have seen from PR?

Kristen Ruby: Sure. For example, one client that we worked with has received over 35,000 visitors in organic search traffic alone over the past year. Again, we’re not doing any paid marketing or any paid advertising. That’s just because of content marketing and PR. That’s all inbound PR referral traffic. Another company is actually ranking in search engine results on page one for specific questions in the snippets, which everyone is trying to rank for right now. This is from content that we created for them years ago that’s ranking in the Snippets now.

That content hasn’t even been historically optimized yet, and it’s still ranking. Why? Because we answered questions. That has to do with our approach that we started on Facebook where we grew that audience from zero to over five thousand engaged fans and used their business fan page as a community and group page. Because of that and because we took the time to answer their questions with an ‘ask the expert’ format, that skyrocketed their search engine results.

That’s something people should be doing. Answering questions is so underrated. People spend so much time on SEO but don’t actually answer questions. If you want to appear in snippets you have to do that. I would also say podcasting has been, for that client, a big part of their PR growth strategy, in terms of being a frequent podcast guest on relevant health shows.

They’ve probably recorded over 900 minutes of time on podcasts and I can see the analytics and conversion rates. I see people’s comments when they say, “I heard you on this podcast. I’m interested in coming to you now.” I see on their social media page where they say, “I read about you in this article.” Well, I know what those articles were because I placed them. So that’s PR. Or, “I read about you. Are you taking on new clients or new patients?”

I can track it from the PR hit to them then going to the social media pages to saying, “Are you taking on new patients?” Or direct messaging that, and then to a new lead going through the contact form, and becoming a patient or a client. So, I would say, again, that’s not any sort of… that’s happened across the board for several clients as a result of our PR work.

Kathleen: It is interesting how it snowballs too, right? You get your name out there and that is almost a self-fulfilling prophecy because you’re building that Domain Authority, which helps you get found more. As you said, the content that you create that lives in the snippets can live forever.

PR IS AN INVESTMENT 

How do you quantify the ROI of PR?

Kathleen: So, it is sort of an investment as opposed to, you think about paid advertising and it’s like a drug. You can’t ever stop. But this is more like an investment.

Kristen Ruby:  Media snowballs into other media. That’s what people have to understand, and I think people that have a short-term approach to PR, then they shouldn’t hire a PR firm. If you’re going to hire a PR firm and you’re thinking, “You know what, I need you to do X, Y, Z by this date, and I need it now to do X.” It’s just not going to happen, and even if it doesn’t happen, it’s the wrong approach because you’re not building a community.

You’re not building anything that has intrinsic value to others. So, you just getting hits is good for you, but how is that good for others. So the clients that I’ve had great success with are… The one thing that they all have in common is they are other-centric, they’re not me-centric. So when you’re other-centric it allows us to do the best job we can for them because they’re building out something larger than themselves and all of it is around education. I always say, “Ego-driven PR is not a sustainable PR strategy.”

It’s important for people to understand that. The PR strategies that we deploy are education-focused, and I think clients get the best results, and again, even if it’s education-focused, that sounds very similar to inbound marketing.

Kathleen: I was just going to say, that’s basically the premise of inbound marketing. It’s a give before you get kind of mentality.

Kristen Ruby: Exactly. What’s so funny is that these people that work with me and hire me, they just really wanted to get great educational content out there into the world and build up their brand. When they’re working with me they’re not necessarily saying, “I need more clients or patients or people in the door,” because they’ve achieved a certain level of success and they want to do other things. The most amazing thing that happens is all of this happens as a result of it. But it’s not because they were even trying to achieve that goal. It’s because they put their users and their audience first, in terms of just giving, and giving, and giving great advice and content.

Kathleen: Right, well that’s so interesting and thank you for explaining all of that. When it comes to inbound marketing, is there a particular company or individual that you think is really killing it and doing it well?

Kristen Ruby: It’s hard for me to say that any one person is doing inbound marketing well because the way I look at this is I look at different attributes of how someone is doing something well. So, I can’t necessarily point to one person.

I can give you all the answers that I think everyone else points to all the time. I could say Gary V, and Gary’s great, right? Of course, Gary Vaynerchuk is doing it. I’m sure every single guest in your show says that, so I want to give you a more unique answer.

Doctors that are taking the time to answer patient’s questions are doing it well. Again, I don’t want to name any specific ones, but I think that in general if you take the approach where you look at the most frequently asked questions that you’re asked all the time and you write them down, and you write content around it, I think it helps you and it helps your patients and it helps your clients.  Anyone that’s doing that gets a gold star in my book.

Kathleen: I’ve always really admired Mayo Clinic for that. They are like the Wikipedia of medicine. It almost doesn’t matter what you Google, they pop up with an educational article on that thing. Causes, symptoms, treatments, etc. Though we cannot name specific doctors, I would say the Mayo Clinic, in general, is an institution has really done a great job and committed heavily to inbound marketing.

Kristen Ruby: I think if people wanted… just a tip for inbound PR is to use the notepad in your phone, and when people ask you questions or if a prospect emails you a question, save that question. That can be a foundation of your content marketing strategy. People spend so much time trying to figure out, what do I write about? Well, just write about what you’re already answering!

Kathleen: Yes. It’s staring all of us in the face, right?

Kristen: Exactly. Also, when you write that, write about how people are… The language that they are using to type into Google when they ask you those questions. But I think something that most people are not doing today is that they’re just missing the boat on optimizing their content for questions. I think that’s something that… The term is called historical optimization, which I think is critical of any PR SEO campaign right now where everyone has to do it.

Refresh older content that you’ve written with historical optimization and use PR to amplify the content. So, if you’ve written a great blog post and maybe you’ve done a podcast, you should include that podcast link into whatever relevant content that you’ve already written around that. So, you’re constantly just adding value to your audience.

Kathleen: Yes. It’s so funny because I 100% agree with everything you just said, and it’s so interesting to me that somebody from the PR world who so intuitively gets what it is to do inbound marketing correctly because that’s really what it is all about.

Kristen Ruby:  I don’t understand how people can practice PR today and not have an understanding of inbound marketing because if you don’t, you’re not helping your clients at maximum capacity. Those clients are setting their money on fire. You cannot be doing all of these marketing/ PR activities and have SEO in a different area and content marketing and inbound marketing in a different area. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t help your business if everything is disjointed.

So, when you’re interviewing a PR firm, you need to make sure that they understand this because what I see is, you could hire a firm and they could get you all these hits, but if you do nothing with the hits then it’s a waste. It’s not just about getting press coverage. It’s about what you do with the press coverage afterward that truly matters.

If you record a podcast and no one hears the podcast, was there any point in doing the podcast? No, there was not. You have to market the press coverage that you get.

Kathleen: Yes. Totally agree. Second question because you are a PR person who clearly understands marketing. The world of digital marketing is changing so quickly. You talked about Google updating its quality rater guidelines. How do you personally stay up to date and current on all of these things?

Kristen Ruby:  I read a lot of different search engine marketing blogs. One is Search Engine Land. I get so many of these different newsletters.

I go to Google News and I look for the terms. I will click Google, I will click news, and then I’ll put in SEO or I’ll put in Google or I’ll put in rankings. I mean, that’s my own approach because I want to see things that are happening by the hour and not everyone is necessarily searching that way. For me, I think it’s important.

The reason I developed that habit is from doing news segments as a national television commentator on social media and tech trends. I could literally be booked to talk about something and then two hours later that story has changed.

It’s one thing to sign up for newsletters, but it’s another when you’re in a breaking news environment and the story has changed.

Kathleen: That’s a really good point for anybody who’s preparing to be interviewed to just do a quick Google news search right before your interview to make sure that nothing has changed.

Kristen Ruby: Yes. Because a lot of the time everything changes. And then you could be watching a teaser and they go, “Coming up, so and so is talking about this.” And you don’t want to be caught off guard by saying, “Who is so and so”?” and they go, “That’s you, and you’re live in two seconds.”  You want to avoid that from happening, which again, goes back to the importance of media training and being prepared. I’d also say don’t check your email right before you go on air because that can really throw you off your game. A very important media training tip!

Kathleen: That’s a great piece of advice. Well, so many good nuggets here Kristen. I really appreciate you sharing this with all of us.

public relations strategy

 


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 coverage 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.


Pitch Perfect: Pitching the Media

How to get Media Coverage: Media Pitching Tips from a PR Pro!

How can you craft the perfect pitch to a reporter? The truth is, pitching the media is an art and a craft. It isn’t as simple as doing just one or two things perfectly. You have to meet a set number of criteria that depend on several different variables at any given time. In this Media Pitching guide, we break down what you need to know to increase the likelihood of your pitch getting picked up by top TV producers, reporters and journalists at your favorite publications, newspapers and magazines!

How do I get the media’s attention?

pitching the media

Think like a reporter. Journalists write about stories that will be helpful to their readers. Producers create segments that are interesting to their viewers. Podcasters create content that is of interest to their listeners. If you want to be covered by any of these media outlets, the key is to think about what is most interesting to their audience.  Develop pitch angles from a journalists perspective, not from your own. It’s not about what is interesting to you, it is about what is interesting to them and their audience.

Solve Problems.  Reporters are always interested in uncovering new solutions to current problems that their readers may be facing. For example, maybe you have a unique take on vaping that hasn’t been covered. Propose a solution instead of saying what the problem is. Anyone can share the problem. Your unique perspective as a practitioner and expert source is what is of interest to a reporter. Journalists want to write about topics that will help their readers. Your pitch should be a solution, instead of a way to brag about your company.

Time your pitch with the news cycle.  Be able to answer the question: Why should a reporter write about this today? For example, if you are pitching a story about boating safety, it is unlikely that a reporter will be interested in covering this in the middle of a hurricane warning. Use common sense!

PR Tips & Tricks:

How do you pitch to the press?

The #1 way to pitch the press is by answering the 4 W’s first! So, what are the 4 w’s?

Before pitching a story idea, always be sure to address the following:

  • Why this?
  • Why now?
  • Why should they care?
  • Why should this be covered in the media?

How do you effectively pitch 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 think you have a great pitch idea doesn’t mean you’re ready to start pitching the media. Before you hit send, here are several steps to ensure that you maximize your chances at scoring national earned media coverage.

HOW TO PITCH THE MEDIA

How do you write a publicity pitch? Follow these tips to learn how to write a PR pitch to editors.

10 tips to maximize your chance of scoring top-tier press coverage.

Write the story you want told. Create a package that journalists can pull directly from complete with high-resolution photos, a bio and a fact sheet.  Reporters want you to write the outline of the story for them so they can pitch it to their editor to see if it would be a good fit. Of course they will rewrite everything you are sending and further flesh out the details, but it helps if you can paint the picture for them of the story you want told.  Use numbers and statistics to strengthen credibility. Most importantly, always provide accurate, factual information. Don’t get blacklisted for providing inaccurate information to a reporter.

PR Tip: Be disruptive. Is your business disrupting the status quo in a specific industry? If so, point that out and show how! 

Pitch the right editor. It sounds simple, but editors and producers move around frequently, and you could be pitching an editor who moved on to another publication six months ago. Take a few minutes to research the newspaper or TV station to make sure that the journalist is still on staff and that you have the right spelling of their name. For example, you’re about to pitch a media outlet a great segment idea about your newest product, but the contact name on your media 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. Also, don’t assume that the entertainment editor will send the pitch to the correct editor for you.

PR Tip: Sending a blanket pitch to everyone on staff is always a bad idea. Make sure your pitch is targeted to the right editor. 

Watch and read the news. Are you pitching The View? Make sure you’ve watched a few episodes. Are you pitching The New York Times travel editor? Read the section before pitching. Refer back to previous articles the journalist has written to make sure your pitch is focused on what they currently cover. Oddly enough, most people who pitch the media make the mistake of never researching them first. Consume the media like it is your full time job. Study the publications that competitors are mentioned in and contact those media outlets first. Your story must have “breaking news” value to it. Evergreen content is great for your web site, but not so great if you are pitching the media.

PR Tip: Watch the news. Read the publications that you want to get coverage in.

Time your pitch. Confine your pitching to the media on the days your pitch is most likely to be opened. The best days for pitching journalists are Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Emails sent on Friday will get pushed down by all the other emails coming in on the weekend.

PR Tip: A recent study showed that most journalists prefer to receive pitches in the morning vs. in the evening.

Include a news peg: Make sure that you actually have a newsworthy pitch. Sending an email to a producer asking if they want to do a story about your company with no compelling news peg will land your pitch in their trash folder. Your pitch should include a specific idea and everything the producer will need, including quotes, photos, background information, etc.

PR Tip: Craft an electronic press kit (EPK) well before you pitch the media so that if an editor or producer reaches out, you can easily send it!

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. Also avoid using industry jargon including popular phrases like cutting edge, breakthrough, top, leading, and any over words that will immediately be cut.

PR Tip: Fact check your own fluff and hype!

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. Make sure your story idea stands out.

PR Tip: Ask yourself, “How can I make sure my pitch is read when someone is receiving 15k emails daily?”

Don’t pitch through social media. Facebook and Twitter are great tools to promote earned media coverage, but they shouldn’t be used 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.

PR Tip: Pitch through e-mail instead of via direct messaging on Twitter.

Give Ample Lead time: A Mother’s Day story idea shouldn’t be pitched the week before the big day if you are pitching a traditional publication. Newspapers need a few weeks of lead time while magazines work even further ahead. However, if you are pitching a broadcast outlet, the segment may be put together the day of with only a few hours’ notice from start to finish. Plan your pitch calendar accordingly.

PR Tip: Learn when newspaper deadlines are. Don’t pitch a story an hour before a reporters deadline. Insider tip- Request an editorial calendar through the advertising department to get a look at what stories will be covered for the year ahead.

Do not call reporters. In the past, public relations professionals were encouraged to follow up with a phone call to the media see if their pitch garnered any interest from reporters. However, 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 don’t hear from the journalist after that, assume they aren’t interested.  The majority of reporters would prefer to be pitched through email. If they want to move forward, they will either email you or call you back to flesh out booking details.

PR Tip: Pick up the phone to pitch reporters after they have expressed interest in your pitch, not before!

What should a media pitch include?

  • Read the last few months of content the reporter has written (search on Muckrack).
  • Check out the reporters Twitter to see what they are currently covering and tweeting about.
  • Understand what the reporter covers, how they cover it and the format they cover it in. For example, don’t pitch a profile piece if they typically write round-up articles.
  • Craft a pitch that mentions their previous work and what your idea is.
  • Tell them why they should cover this idea and how it ties into what they currently write about.
  • Answer the 4 W’s mentioned above.
  • Explain why your pitch is perfect for the publication and why they have to cover it now.
  • Is your pitch time sensitive? Does it to into a breaking news story? Is this an exclusive? Let the media know!
nyc media relations

 

HOW TO GET FREE PR FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Get more media exposure and backlinks using this free PR growth hack

Our guide on how to pitch the media would not be complete if we left out HARO! Keep reading to learn how to pitch reporters using a free service called HARO.

How can I get free publicity for my business?

If you choose not to hire a PR firm, one of the best ways to get free PR for your business is through utilizing HARO.

What is Help A Reporter Out (HARO)?

HARO is a free publicity tool that connects sources with journalists who are working on stories looking for experts to quote.

HARO is ideal for:

  • Brand building
  • Increasing earned media coverage & awareness
  • Link building
  • Forging new relationships with journalists

 How do you use HARO effectively?

Yes, HARO does enable business owners to essentially act as their own PR firm, but that is really an over simplification of what PR agencies do. There are many intricacies that go into writing a pitch and getting it placed.

So, even though technology has made the tools available for free to connect with journalists, it doesn’t mean that every business owner has the skill set to write and craft pitches at a higher level and in a way that will resonate with reporters (and that follows best practices).

In order to use HARO effectively, you need to know how to give the reporter what they are looking for.

After responding to thousands of HARO queries and getting hundreds of media placements through HARO, here are my top tips for writing a successful HARO pitch to gain earned media coverage.

How do you write a successful HARO pitch?

1.  Provide substantive details pertaining to the story they are writing.

2.  Do not ask reporters if they want to see more information.

3.  Give reporters what they are asking for.

4.  Provide contact details of the source.

5.  Answer the questions in a timely fashion (and by deadline!).

6.  Include relevant bullets to break up your pitch.

How to use HARO to get publicity

Ideally, you want to make sure web site visitors from HARO query mentions convert to new leads and customers. The best way to do this is to make sure you are spending time answering the right types of HARO queries versus replying to every PR query in your feed.

How do you respond to HARO queries?

Before replying to a HARO query, ask:

  • Is the query relevant to my industry?
  • Is the query from a high profile site?
    • Hint: Skip anonymous queries.
  • Do you meet all of the writers credential requirements to answer the query? If not, skip it!

Should I answer anonymous queries on HARO?

It’s 50-50 and can really go either way. Sometimes, an anonymous query or “cloaked” query can actually be a major outlet, but they have an internal editorial policy, which may state they don’t want someone else scooping up the story and they prefer that their writers not use HARO. That reporter may post the query as anonymous so that technically it doesn’t look like they are using the service.

Another reason the reporter may post the query as anonymous is because it is from a much smaller site and they know that no one is going to answer their query if they say, “This is for my hole in the wall blog that no one has ever heard of.” It’s really a gamble!

PR-Checklist Before Pitching the Media:

Before you click send, review the following in our 5-step media pitch PR checklist:

  1. Write the story you want told. What is your dream headline? Write it!
  2. Consume the news. Read the publications that you want to get press coverage in.
  3. Time your pitch with the news cycle.
  4. Make sure your pitch is targeted to the right editor.
  5. Proof your pitch in Grammarly and Microsoft Word.

Pro Tip: Want to increase the click through rate on your PR pitches to media? Editors are more likely to open email pitches with subject lines that mention the media outlet and topic because freelance writers work for so many different outlets.  Make sure the subject of the email pitch is relevant to the query and create compelling titles.

WANT MORE PR SECRETS?

DOWNLOAD: THE BEST WAYS TO GET FREE PR FOR YOUR BUSINESS

How To Pitch Journalists

Still curious about how to pitch the media like a PR pro? We understand! PR can be overwhelming and staying up with breaking news is a full-time job! Our PR firm is constantly monitoring the news cycles to look for opportunities to tie our clients into the news so they can just show up and provide quotes! We do the hard work for you. You supply us with the answers to reporters queries and let us work our PR magic and do the rest! Contact us today to learn more about how we can craft successful and engaging media pitches for you to score you massive earned media coverage in regional, national and medical trade publications.

How to Pitch the Media Resources:

Make sure your story gets picked up with these additional resources on pitching the media! 

Media Pitching 101 Webinar

Media Relations Guide

*Date last updated 2019 

Media Relations Guide


How to Maximize National Media Exposure

maximize press coverage

Maximizing Your Media Coverage

How can I get more media exposure for my company?

There is one very simple way to get more media exposure for your company and it starts with using the media you already have!

Media tends to have a snowball effect. Let me explain..

The ultimate goal of a media appearance is not the media appearance in and of itself.

The goal is what you do with it afterwards.

If you conduct an interview with a journalist or producer and no one hears about it or watches it, then was the interview valuable for your business or medical practice? No.

This is the #1 mistake most business owners and doctors make when it comes to public relations.

For example, their PR firm lands them a TV appearance and they assume people will watch the TV segment live. Those days are long gone.

PR Tip: Think about how your future customers and patients will see your TV appearance and how you can use your media coverage to shape your brand for evergreen PR opportunities.  Make it easy for them to watch your previous appearances.

The goal is to use your interviews to develop long-term sustainable PR traction by building your brand over the course of many years.

That starts with you showcasing your earned media coverage on your web site in a highly strategic way.

One great interview in a national media outlet can do wonders for your SEO rankings and your credibility!

How to use Social Media as a PR tool

The truth is, public relations professionals know how to use social media as a powerful PR tool to extend the life of all earned media exposure. This separates the amateurs from the PR pros. Social Media is one of the most powerful PR growth hacking tools, but the majority of people rarely use it properly.   They are so excited about securing the TV appearance that they focus on the appearance, instead of promoting the appearance! This is a total missed opportunity for long-term personal brand equity.

HOW TO LEVERAGE EARNED MEDIA EXPOSURE TO BUILD YOUR BRAND

Score! You just landed a press placement on a national TV show. But now you may be wondering, how do I maximize the TV appearance?

The most important part of the publicity isn’t the actual segment. It is what you do with the segment before, during, and after.

To make the most of a national TV appearance to build your brand, you have to ramp up your social media marketing efforts and create engaging content.

Don’t wait until after the interview is over to start promoting it!

Tips for Promoting Your Upcoming TV Appearance on Social Media

Get your social media followers involved before, during and after the segment!  Here’s how..

Create promotional social media graphics. Start promoting your TV appearance before you even set foot in front of the camera. Leading up to your national TV appearance, create a compelling graphic to let fans know you’ll be appearing on-air. Relevant details should include the time, date, show name and station channel. This is a great way to let all of your Facebook friends and Instagram followers know about your upcoming TV appearance. Be sure to tag the show’s social media handles in the graphic after you post it. You can also “check in” at the studio on social media on the day of the appearance to let your followers know you are about to go live!

social tv best practices

 

Live tweet. Encourage your social media fans to live tweet with you before the show. For example, one tweet might be, “Have any questions for @yourname on @Nameofshow? Tweet them to me before @nameofshow at 8 p.m.” Many shows also use customized hashtags such as #betterwithfriends on Fox News, so be sure to incorporate those into your tweets as well.

Tag the TV network. Tag the media outlet and handles of any interviewers and TV anchors in all tweets and Facebook posts mentioning the show. This will show the outlet that you are socially engaged and interested in getting eyes on their network.

Ask questions to increase engagement. Questions require answers, which can lead to direct interaction and increase of followers. Leading up to the TV appearance, ask fans their opinion on the topic you will be discussing on-air to create a two-way dialogue. You can also ask your followers their opinions on the segment topic. For example, you could ask, “Do you agree that this bill should be passed?”

PROMOTE YOUR LIVE TV APPEARANCE DURING THE SHOW

socialtv

Strategically hashtag. If your TV appearance is on a hot news item, be sure to include the hashtags that are trending on Twitter as they pertain to your segment. Sometimes variations of a hashtag will be used to discuss a news story, so be sure to search by volume to see which hashtag has been used the most.

Tag brands. Part of a TV appearance includes wardrobe coordination, so be sure to leverage this for extra social media mileage. Look up the handles of the brands you will be wearing and direct message them prior to the appearance to let them know. Most likely, they will favorite the tweet or even retweet it.

AFTER YOUR TV APPEARANCE

social tv stats

Post behind-the-scenes content. Fans and followers want more than what they see on television, so while you are in the green room, tweet a photo or post a video of the studio set on your Instagram story. If there are other guests in the greenroom, take photos and share them, but make sure you get permission first. Not every TV network is okay with guests taking photos.

Search for brand mentions. If you want to see what everyone is saying about you on Twitter after the TV appearance, search all tweets, mentions about the show, mentions with your handle, and any related replies. Sometimes people will post their thoughts on the TV segment with the handle of the show, 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. You can also set up a Google Alert for your name to get real time updates.

Think before responding. Social media builds relationships with your audience, but one negative response to an angry fan can ruin it. Stay positive and be aware of what you are posting. If something goes wrong, try to take a digital detox. For example, if your segment offended a core part of your audience, think carefully before responding. Remember, there are many layers that go into a successful television appearance.

Don’t engage with Internet trolls. A core part of social media includes responding after you open up 2-way communication. However, replying to every negative tweet you receive can be a big mistake. Not everyone will like your TV segment. In fact, assume at least ten people will hate what you have to say before you ever even tape it. Cyber bullies get a secret thrill out of regularly attacking just about anyone who appears on television. This comes with the territory.  Focus on how to be a good TV guest instead of focusing on replying to everyone who disagrees with your opinion.

Marketing Your Press Coverage: How to Maximize National Media Exposure on Social Media

If you learn how to strategically leverage your press coverage, your three minute TV segment can generate years of credibility, brand awareness and long-term ROI!

Did you know that most of the PR work related to television appearances actually takes place after the segment? Sure, it is VERY difficult to get booked on national TV. But most publicists and self-proclaimed DIY PR pros make the mistake at stopping after getting the segment. If you hire a PR firm to get you booked on TV, it isn’t their job to publicize your TV bookings on social media. It is yours. They won’t do the leg work for you.

Maximize your press coverage 

You must learn how to use social media marketing to turn one-off TV segments into a larger media firestorm for your brand to catapult yourself into the national spotlight. If you don’t, you will just be throwing money down the drain for random TV appearances that do not build a brand and that no one ever sees, except for the people who watch you live on air.

Those returns are diminishing. Most people aren’t watching you live at 6 am. In fact, this is why I have personally stopped telling people to watch me when I will be on-air, because I realize most people will only watch you when it is convenient for them and when you bring the media appearance to them on social media, not the other way around! Make it easy for them to watch!

How turn a national TV appearance into *PR magic* to catapult your personal brand

Always buy the videos of your TV interviews. It still amazes me when people hire a PR firm to get them booked on TV and refuse to pay a few extra dollars to a third-party clipping service to obtain the video of their TV segment after it airs. Do not rely on TV channels for copies of your TV segments! Invest in a video clipping service to purchase all of your segments or else if you don’t they will disappear and it will be like it never happened.

Never rely on TV network links. I have seen so many people make this critical mistake. The network posts a link to your TV segment, and you share that link. But then a few years later, you have a 404 error, and you have no copy of the actual link because you never purchased it.

PUBLICIZING TV APPEARANCES CHECKLIST

Publicizing your TV appearance is often more important than the actual appearance itself.

PR tactics to increase media exposure

How do you promote media appearances?

Follow this PR checklist to maximize exposure from your TV appearances.

  • Post the TV appearance on your website.
  • Keep a running list of all TV appearances in a word document in case media wants to see clips to other appearances.
  • Purchase a copy of the TV segment from a third-party.
  • Keep all of your TV segments in Dropbox so you can create a sizzle reel with them after you have at least 10 clips.
  • Upload the TV segment to YouTube.

PR TIPS KEY TAKEAWAYS: MAKING THE MOST OF A MEDIA APPEARANCE

  • The majority of personal branding work on TV segments takes place after the segment or interview is over.. not before!
  • Remember, media likes other media, so the more you promote your appearances, the greater the likelihood is of getting asked back as a guest.
  • Once the television appearance is over, continue tweeting links and clips, posting photos on Instagram Stories and promoting the clips from the green room.
  • The goal is to convey the message that your company is everywhere. Use social media and PR as a tool to help you achieve that objective.

Remember, reporters like to see that other journalists have quoted you. No one wants to be the first to quote a source. Prominently display your thought leadership and expert credibility on a press page on your personal or corporate web site.

Need help developing a press kit or media relations strategy? Contact us today to book a discovery call.

TV BOOKING RESOURCES

Six Steps to Get Booked on National Television 

six steps to get booked on tv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Date last updated 2019 


Marketing & PR Tips to Gain Exposure: From Editors in Westchester

 

how to get featured in a magazine

 

Do you dream of getting your business or medical practice featured in your favorite magazines, newspapers or blogs?

In my Ultimate Guide to Pitching Magazines, I share how to get your business or medical practice featured in regional media outlets.

How do I Get Featured in a Magazine?

Top 10 Tips to Get Your Medical Practice Featured in a Magazine

  1. Create a website
  2. Research target publications
  3. Secure appropriate releases
  4. Determine the correct editor
  5. Email your pitch
  6. Write concise subject line, including location of business
  7. Send your pitch to only one publication at a time
  8. Consider staging and composition with photography
  9. Send image files in the correct format
  10. Enter contests for wider exposure

How do you pitch to a magazine?

CREATE A BEAUTIFUL WEB SITE BEFORE PITCHING THE MEDIA 

Show, Don’t Tell: Architecture is a visual business and you must have a web presence. There are simple programs available so you don’t need to understand code to design a serviceable and attractive site.

RESEARCH PRESS CONTACTS AND BUILD A MEDIA LIST

To get published, start with doing background research. Get copies of the publications you’d like to appear in and study them. Focus on ones that already publish the type of architecture you specialize in.

Separation of Church and State

DYK: Many people believe that they need to advertise in a publication in order to be featured in it. You don’t. Editorial and advertising are completely separate.

Homeowner Releases

Make sure the homeowners are comfortable with the idea of having their home published in a magazine before you pitch it to an editor.

Meet the Editor

Use emails rather than phone calls for your first contact with an editor. Check the masthead for the correct person to send your info to. Explain the project in the subject line: Pleasantville Mid-century Modern Remodel, Bedford Arts and Crafts Bungalow, Beachfront Contemporary in Rye.

Exclusivity

Do not send multiple pitches to different publications.

Photography 101

While you don’t need to hire an expensive photographer to shoot your project, you do need to send images that show off your project in it’s best light. Editors can use your cell phone photographs as scouting images, and then send their own photographer to shoot your project if it is selected.

PITCHING 101: BEST PRACTICE TIPS

How to Send Images

Jpeg? Tiff file? Hi res? Low? No, this isn’t a foreign language, just standard formats for sending images. Hi res is 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 site; burning images on a CD or copying to a flash drive are also good methods of transferring files.

Getting Award Winning Images

At some point you will want to hire a professional to shoot your work. How to choose one? Again, look at the magazines and see whose work resonates most strongly with you.

Enter Design Contests

Think of it as a good discipline to organize your work with a bonus of free publicity if you win. Even if you don’t win an award, editors keep the designs we like on file for consideration for future stories.

AFTER YOUR BUSINESS IS FEATURED IN A MAGAZINE

How to Leverage Social Media to Build your Business

TOP 10 SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS

  1. Establish a social media strategy
  2. Define your target audience
  3. Figure out what story you want to tell
  4. Stop selling
  5. Create an execution plan
  6. Launch and engage
  7. Publicize availability
  8. Use social media to leverage PR coverage
  9. Measure results
  10. Tweak campaign for maximum results

STRATEGIZE

Social media is an extension of corporate branding. In order to ensure maximum results, your social media strategy should be in alignment with your business objectives. Be able to identify the message you want people to take away from your company in one sentence. The best social media campaigns fit in alignment with an organization’s corporate communication objectives and strategic initiatives.

MICRO-TARGETTING

Who is your ideal target audience? Who are the industry leaders you would like access to? Leverage social media as a PR tool to initiate the conversations within your industry.

TELL BETTER STORIES

Understand your brand’s story and tell it. One of the biggest mistakes brands still make on social media is using social channels as a promotional tool versus a storytelling tool. Understand what story your brand is trying to tell, and use social media as a way to tell the story. Every post every day should be a different way to tell the central story. There is a direct correlation between positive brand story telling and user engagement.

STOP SELLING

Social media is inherently about branding to a focused audience.  It is about the ability to quickly get in front of prospects, current clients and leads, and to establish an online relationship with them and build customer engagement.  Social media marketing differs from traditional marketing in that it does not focus on immediately establishing the value of your services or products, but rather it is about establishing you as an icon and thought leader in the industry—to create an awareness of your name and brand.  It is not a specific advertisement for a given product or service—it is about brand engagement.

READY, SET, GO!

A PR campaign is only as good as its execution plan. For example, lets say you work with your team to develop a strong plan. The team has drafted a content calendar, created a custom media list of influencers and distributed it to reporters. Success! A blogger calls one of your internal employees to ask about the release you just put out. Problem—the person managing the social media account is not the person who is directing marketing. All of this could be avoided with a tactical Social Media Process plan.

SOCIAL MEDIA DRIVEN PR

The best PR campaigns are those that are cohesively integrated between social media and public relations. Social media should be used to complement a PR campaign to drive continued media exposure and interest of editors for your business. Utilize social media to share press placements, connect with bloggers, and get on the radar of editors while executing multi-platform PR campaigns. Use social media such as Twitter to search for and pitch journalist queries in real time and build an ongoing relationship with reporters. One of the best ways to get a journalist to read your pitches is to engage with them on Twitter. Take a vested interest in what they write and re-tweet content that you find useful. Furthermore, use social media to research the beat they cover before you pitch them.

USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO LEVERAGE PRESS COVERAGE 

So you recently secured a major press interview. Now what?

Here are my top tips to maximize the buzz into long term exposure and more press coverage.

  • Share the press link on your company’s social media accounts and web site
  • Thank the writer and outlet and include both handles in your social media posts
  • Create a clipping of the press hit and include in your electronic media kit (EPK)
  • Add the press placement to your company’s web site and press page
  • Order a plaque of the press hit (if it is a feature article) and prominently display in your office
  • Share the press link with clients that may benefit from the content shared in the article
  • Send the article to other media outlets that may want to do a follow up story
  • Pull out the best quotes written about your company by the writer and include in your media kit.

MEASURE

The best way to re-engage fans is to measure what is working, what your fans really connect with. One mistake brands make is getting lost in the editorial content calendar shuffle. They are so obsessed with posting and keeping up with the social media rat race that they forget to actually measure what’s working. Pause. If you are not continually measuring what has the greatest impact with your audience, you will lose followers, and it will ultimately damage the value of the community you are trying to create.

Westchester Social Media and PR

Westchester Magazine teamed up with Murphy Brothers and Ruby Media Group to present a seminar on publishing, advertising, and social media at Westchester Magazine’s Headquarters in Rye, NY. We recently had the opportunity to speak on a panel with some of our favorite editors over at Westchester Magazine and Westchester Home on Social Media and PR tips for increasing exposure. If you are looking to increase exposure for your business or get published, be sure to read some of these great tips we shared on the panel.  Tips provided by Nancy Claus, Halina Sabath and Ana Mantini of Westchester Magazine and Kris Ruby of Ruby Media Group