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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

5 Marketing Lessons to Learn from Oatly’s Outside the Box Approach

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Have you heard of Oatly?

I’ve been an admirer of the Swedish oat milk brand for a while now. No, I’m not a customer of theirs, but I appreciate how they do things differently.

Oatly has been both praised and criticized for its approach to advertising and marketing. It must be doing something right, with sales up 106% in 2020 – and it was named to the 2021 Time 100 Most Influential List. The company is now worth $12.5 billion after its initial public offering in May.

Even though Oatly is newer to American consumers, the company is nearly 30 years old (its founders invented oat milk in 1994). So when CEO Toni Petersson joined the company in 2014, he rebranded it and decided to market Oatly in the U.S. With the plant-based milk market growing here, it turned out to be a good bet.

Oatly is an example of how sometimes marching to the beat of your own drummer can set you apart – in a good way.

How Oatly Is Finding Success by Marching to the Beat of Its Own Drummer

Continue reading 5 Marketing Lessons to Learn from Oatly’s Outside the Box Approach

Is PR For Sale?

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There’s an unsettling trend in the PR industry that’s causing frustration for PR pros AND clients alike.

PR appears to be for sale.

Publications selling articles. Organizations hawking awards. Broadcast media peddling placements.

Public relations pros are shaking their heads. As if it weren’t already hard enough to explain what we do, now we have to explain that true earned media isn’t for sale.

True Earned Media Never Comes with a Guarantee

Continue reading Is PR For Sale?

Proactive PR Versus Reactive PR: Which Should You Focus On?

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Public relations is enjoying a bit of a resurgence. As businesses strive to stand out in a noisy digital environment, they’re turning to PR to help achieve those goals.

Why is PR seeing a spike in popularity? “The rising need to gain competitive advantage is driving the public relations market,” says a survey published by Wise Guy Reports. The report says the market is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 7% from 2021, reaching $117.8 billion in 2023.

As PR pros everywhere will probably tell you, while this is good news, it’s not without its challenges. More competition for the attention of journalists makes it tougher to land earned media coverage for clients.

On that note, more than 42% of journalists reported receiving 11 to 100 pitches a day, and almost 5% receive 100+ email pitches per day, according to research conducted by Fractl.

As public relations pros, we have to discover which methods are most effective at catching a reporter’s eye. A solid media relations strategy should encompass proactive and reactive approaches to increase a client’s visibility. Let’s take a closer look at each, specifically as it pertains to media outreach. Continue reading Proactive PR Versus Reactive PR: Which Should You Focus On?

5 Things You Should Never Hear a PR Person Say

PR pros, stop saying these 5 things

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