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PR Tips to Help You Land Media Coverage

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As anyone in PR can tell you, earning media coverage these days can be a challenge. With newsrooms shrinking and journalists being asked to do more, getting a pitch to stand out is TOUGH.

Each year, the folks at Muck Rack conduct a survey of journalists to ask about their preferences and how they find ideas and sources for stories. Let’s take a look at the most recent results, which were recently released.

Whether you’re doing your own PR or working with an in-house team, a consultant or an agency, these findings will help you understand how reporters work and what you can do to help increase the odds that your story or news is covered.

What Do Reporters Really Want? 

Here’s the Who, Where, When, What, Why and How to help you perfect your earned media outreach.

Continue reading PR Tips to Help You Land Media Coverage

6 Essential Points to Ponder As You Plan PR and Content Initiatives

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Making plans for marketing initiatives is always a work in progress. What should you focus on in the coming months?

Uncertainty ruled last year, but now, we have a better idea of how things may look as we continue to get our footing in this new environment created by the pandemic.

So, what trends should we be paying attention to as we work toward creating more compelling content and stories and getting the word out through public relations initiatives?

Consider These Six Points In Your PR and Content Planning

Continue reading 6 Essential Points to Ponder As You Plan PR and Content Initiatives

Are You REALLY Ready for a PR Push? 10 Questions to Ask Yourself First

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It’s a noisy environment out there. With EVERY brand competing for a customer’s attention, it isn’t easy to stand out.

Often I talk with prospective clients who think public relations will be the answer to all their visibility challenges. Alas, it’s not a magic potion.

A very important question to ask yourself is: Are you really ready for PR?

Of course, as a PR pro, I want your answer to be yes, because I believe so strongly in the value of public relations as part of a thought leadership effort and digital marketing program. But sometimes, you may think you’re ready….when, in fact, you may not be.

PR can help a company capture a prospective customer’s eye – and it’s more credible than ads. 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads. And digital PR is something every client is interested in.

As the PR market grows (10.2% growth was projected in 2021), it’s reasonable to expect that more companies than ever will consider embarking on a public relations program.

But – it does take some effort to get where you want to be.

10 Questions to Consider to Determine If You’re Ready for PR

Think you’re ready to try a PR push?

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself to determine if you’re truly prepared to start a public relations effort: Continue reading Are You REALLY Ready for a PR Push? 10 Questions to Ask Yourself First

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

Writing for SEO – How Important Is It For Your Small Business?

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Writing for SEO remains somewhat of a mystery to many, despite the number of articles, webinars, Twitter chats and workshops available on the topic. In fact, a study found that one in four businesses say they’re not at all or only vaguely familiar with SEO.

Let’s start by saying that no matter who you listen to, they probably don’t have all the answers. And if you ask a different “expert,” you’ll probably get a different answer.

If you’re paying someone to provide SEO services, the proof is in the pudding. If you’re getting results (i.e., ranking higher), their approach is most likely working.

But, for the rest of us, who may be trying to figure out how to write in a more SEO-friendly way without hiring an SEO expert, what should we be doing to help optimize our copy?

The Truth About Writing for SEO Continue reading Writing for SEO – How Important Is It For Your Small Business?

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

14 of the Best Budget-Friendly Tools to Help You Master PR, Content and Social Media

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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