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Journalists Sound Off on How PR Pros Can Improve Media Pitches

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While we hear PR pros talk about how often their pitches go ignored – we don’t always hear the other side.

Journalists have some REAL complaints about practices public relations practitioners engage in that make their jobs more difficult. Unfortunately, these missteps can also make it tougher for PR pros to develop the relationships they want – and need – to do a better job of landing earned media coverage on behalf of clients.

We know that securing stories is more difficult than ever (the struggle IS real), but sometimes, those who practice public relations can be their own worst enemies.

During a recent Twitter exchange with Ellen Chang, @EllenYChang, a journalist who writes for U.S. News and other national media outlets, I was surprised to learn of behaviors practiced by some PR practitioners that sabotage those relationships.

In the spirit of helping public relations pros improve their relationships with reporters – and in turn, their results for clients – here are some basic PR 101 tips for those who pitch stories, directly from Chang and a few others who offered tips.

Pitching Tips to Help Land Earned Media Coverage

Continue reading Journalists Sound Off on How PR Pros Can Improve Media Pitches

Making 2021 Marketing Plans Knowing That Change Is the Only Constant

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The new year has arrived. But what will it hold? As we make 2021 marketing plans, how can we place bets on the best way to organize those plans when there are still so many questions to be answered?

This time of year, many marketers make predictions on what businesses should focus on as we face the new year. But in this instance, can we even begin to predict what lies ahead?

Instead, let’s take a look at what we do – and don’t – know that can help us construct our best marketing plan.

What We DO Know As We Make 2021 Marketing Plans

Continue reading Making 2021 Marketing Plans Knowing That Change Is the Only Constant

21 Influencers Share Stellar Advice for Digital Marketing in 2021

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As we prepare to enter a new year, we all wonder what lies ahead.

2020 was anything but predictable. But what can we learn and apply to our digital marketing and communications strategies in 2021?

I asked 21 influencers to share their thoughts on this question: What one piece of marketing advice would you offer to brands as we head into the new year?

Here’s what they had to say.

Advice for Digital Marketing in 2021

Continue reading 21 Influencers Share Stellar Advice for Digital Marketing in 2021

Why Small Businesses Need to Invest in Their Digital Presence

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For years, small businesses have asked the question – do we really need a digital presence? The answer is – yes.

Research shows that much of our audience was already online before the pandemic. Studies conducted before March 2020 reported that 70 to 80% of people research a small business online BEFORE visiting the business or making a purchase from it[i]. Yet, according to research conducted in 2019, 40% of small businesses still don’t have a website. Further, 28% say it’s likely they won’t build one in the future.

It’s time for that to change. Continue reading Why Small Businesses Need to Invest in Their Digital Presence

Why Clear Communication Matters Now More Than Ever

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If there’s one thing we can agree on right now, it’s that messaging and communication over the past few months regarding COVID-19 has been anything but consistent.

As a professional communicator, it can make you shake your head.

Let’s take the messaging regarding wearing a mask to prevent the spread of the virus as an example. When all this started back in March, we heard from the CDC that it wasn’t necessary to wear a mask.

Somewhere along the line, that message changed to, “Yes, you SHOULD be wearing a mask when you go out.”

Has this caused confusion? (Yes.) Does everyone understand what they’re supposed to do? (No.) And even if the directive has now changed, does that mean that everyone will adhere to the new guidelines? (Definitely not.) Have some people – because of the confusion and mixed messages – simply given up on even trying to figure out what they’re supposed to do? (Undoubtedly yes.)

What’s the point, you may ask? Continue reading Why Clear Communication Matters Now More Than Ever

How Can Small Businesses Prepare for the Recovery? Nine Marketing Pros Give Their Best Advice

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Marketing during a crisis can be a challenge. As small businesses struggle to get their bearings, many wonder how to market themselves.

More than 60% of small and medium business owners surveyed said they felt their revenues would shrink for the next six months.  Given the shaky economic conditions, they want to retain current customers and appeal to new ones, but how to communicate without sounding opportunistic can be tricky.

So what can they do to market effectively now and as we move forward? To provide some help and direction, I asked nine marketing and communications pros for their best advice.

I asked: “If you could give one piece of advice to small businesses as they prepare for the recovery, what would it be?”

How Can Small Businesses Prepare for the Recovery?

Continue reading How Can Small Businesses Prepare for the Recovery? Nine Marketing Pros Give Their Best Advice

5 Reasons to Over-Communicate With Your Audiences Right Now – and What to Say

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As we catch our breath from the past few weeks of dealing with the coronavirus quarantine, one thing has become apparent – companies are anxious to keep in touch with their audiences. They’re just not sure what to say to them.

With our daily routines as we know them on pause for now, brands are searching for ways to stay in contact with their employees, customers and other stakeholders.

And, some are in doubt about the best way to do this. Should we post on social media? Should we email? Should it be business as usual?

The answers to that question are differ from brand to brand. In this time of uncertainty, no one formula works for everyone.

The worst thing companies can do right now is to stop communicating. If anything, now is a time when you should over-communicate.

5 Reasons You Want to Over-Communicate With Your Audiences

Continue reading 5 Reasons to Over-Communicate With Your Audiences Right Now – and What to Say

12 Ways to Leverage PR to Fill Seats at Your Events

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Events. Each month, there are hundreds, thousands of events taking place locally, regionally and nationally.

It’s clear that event marketing is on the rise. 85 percent of marketers cite event production as “essential” to their marketing strategies, while 41 percent consider event marketing the most crucial channel to achieve their goals[i]. Two-thirds of those surveyed say they plan to increase spending on live events in 2019.

Why are events so popular? They allow face-to-face interaction, which is vital as companies try to build that human connection with their customers and foster a sense of community.

With the uptick in the number of events, why is it that you often hear of them AFTER they happen? Or maybe you never hear about them at all.

Is Your Event a Well-Kept Secret? Continue reading 12 Ways to Leverage PR to Fill Seats at Your Events

How Talking TOO Much Can Create a Crisis Where There is None

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Some people just don’t know when to STOP talking.

Lately, there seems to be no shortage of folks who seem hell-bent on creating a crisis for themselves, simply because they seem not to know when to be quiet.

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen several examples of public figures who would’ve benefitted from talking a little less.

Now they’re are embroiled in crises of their own making.

This phenomenon has many PR pros shaking their heads. A question some of us find ourselves asking: Why create a crisis for yourself? Continue reading How Talking TOO Much Can Create a Crisis Where There is None