With the new year well underway, many small business owners and freelancers may be looking for ways to streamline projects and squeeze more productivity out of the workday.
As a public relations consultant and freelance writer who sometimes dons a reporter’s hat, I’m always interested in trying out tools that allow me to get more done — but as a solopreneur, I’m also cost-conscious. I’m often asked what my favorite free or low-cost solutions are to accomplish communications-related tasks.
Here, I share 14 of my top picks. Continue reading 14 of the Best Budget-Friendly Tools to Help You Master PR, Content and Social Media
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.
We may be in denial, but the holidays are indeed upon us. With Thanksgiving just over a week away and Christmas coming soon on its heels, we need to be looking at the calendar to make our PR plans.
While timing is always important in public relations, trying to get media coverage at this time of year can be especially challenging. Continue reading Time Your PR Right to Get the Most From It Over the Holidays
Working in public relations, you know you’ll face some challenges. One stumbling block is the preconceived ideas people seem to have about PR practitioners.
Whether this is based on previous experience or simply on the reputation some in PR have as being “spin doctors,” we sometimes battle the stereotypes.
While this can be frustrating to those of us who work hard to ensure we put integrity first, sometimes we have only our fellow public relations people to blame. When they promise what they can’t deliver, it can give us all a bad name. Continue reading 5 Things You Should Never Hear a PR Person Say
Here’s a question I see A LOT in the public relations industry. “Are press releases still necessary?”
Now, if you follow me, you’ll know I’m a fan of press releases. My first guest post ever was for PR Daily on this very subject (Enough with the death of the press release already). So, when I hear talk of their demise, I always feel as if it’s coming from someone who’s just tired of writing press releases.
While I DO believe in the value of press releases and reports of its death are greatly exaggerated, the truth is, you don’t always need to write one whenever you have news to announce, as my recent piece for Muck Rack discusses.
But, even if you don’t really need one, it can be valuable to write one anyway. What do I mean? Let me give you an example. Continue reading You May Not NEED a Press Release – But Here’s Why You May Want to Write One Anyway
If you have a company in the manufacturing or industrial markets, PR may be an element that’s missing from your marketing program. Many companies in these verticals overlook PR because they may feel it won’t be worthwhile for them. They may think, “What in the world do we have to talk to the media about?”
The truth is, a lot! The trick is figuring out the most effective way to leverage PR to make it work for you.
For example, I’ve worked with many companies in these markets who have interesting stories to tell. What they needed help with was unearthing these stories, then figuring out the best channels to use to get them out.
“You need to not only create great content, you need to make sure people see it,” says Jay Scheer of Thomasnet.com. “Too many manufacturing companies seem content waiting and waiting for those prospects to magically find their websites, pick up the phone, and sign on the dotted line.”
Traditionally, manufacturing companies have turned somewhat of a blind eye to marketing and PR. But, “As vendor loyalty erodes in the B2B market, manufacturers find ‘they’re almost having to resell their clients,’” said a recent article in Crain’s Chicago Business.
What PR approaches work for manufacturing businesses?
For manufacturers who want to take advantage of public relations, here are seven ways to get started: Continue reading 7 Ways Manufacturing Companies Can Take Advantage of PR
The holidays are indeed upon us.
While timing is always important in PR, trying to get media coverage at this time of year can be especially challenging.
In talking with clients about their imminent PR plans, the holidays have to be taken into consideration. Not only might our audience be tuned out to our news, but many reporters are also out of the office enjoying holiday time with their loved ones. And, adding yet another hurdle, one reporter I just spoke with mentioned that the holiday changes his newspaper’s production schedule.
Considering your schedule, the reporter or publication’s schedule and your target audience’s schedules, PR timing over the holidays can definitely present a conundrum.
So, if you have news you must pitch over the holidays, what’s a PR pro suggest you do? Continue reading How to Time Your PR Efforts Over the Holidays
You know reporters use social media–but do you know HOW they use it?
Having this insight helps you leverage social platforms to work with journalists more effectively.
Cision’s Global Social Journalism Study, conducted annually, sheds light on how journalists are using social media and how they view its impact on journalistic practices and the profession. Here, we look at some of the findings. Continue reading Can journalists work without social media? Nearly half say no
You have a great idea for a story to pitch a reporter. You decide to call or email the reporter with your idea. He or she responds with interest. Good news, right? But, have you thought through what the reporter may request in addition to your pitch?
Having a strong pitch is, of course, vital to your PR effort. The trouble is, no matter how great the idea is, if you aren’t prepared to provide the elements to back up your story, it may never see the light of the day.
Reporters who do a thorough job will always look deeper and want more than your side of the story. This validates what you’re saying. Because part of PR is to make things as easy as possible for them, before you ever hit send on your pitch, you’ll want to be prepared with information to back up your story.
With that in mind, here’s a helpful guide for what you need to have ready when you contact a reporter:
Continue reading Having these 4 things ready before you contact a reporter will make you more successful
2017 is here. As the New Year begins, resolutions are being made. That includes resolutions for your small business.
But, what if you don’t believe in making resolutions? And even if you do, for some of us, they simply don’t work.
That’s OK. How about we just focus on getting it done this year? If you’ve been thinking about doing some public relations for your small business or startup, there are some simple ways to get the ball rolling.
Here are five ways you can make it happen for your small business when it comes to PR:
Continue reading Forget the resolutions: 5 ways to get started on PR in 2017