Posts Tagged ‘public relations’

giving is good business

Three Public Relations Hacks No One Tells You About (and they always work)

What if doing a good business turn, expecting nothing in return, and doing it because it’s the right thing, brings in new business?

Everyone preaches about being grateful during the holidays. While all of that is good and well, the truth is that it can stretch us to the limit to give “yet more and more and more time and with heart” to whatever cause(s) are planted firmly in front of us.

But what if giving is good business? What if doing a good business turn, expecting nothing in return, and doing it because it’s the right thing, brings in new business?

Science now shows that doing “free business,” when it feels right, can generate future profits for you and your agency. Here are three true examples of doing work for others, when there doesn’t initially seem to be much point (except that it’s taking time and resources from my own business) – paid off.

It does not matter that these three examples are purely public relations and marketing “gifts.” The concept plays out across all industries. You’ll know how to translate these examples into your own agencies.

1. Free Public Relations Because Your Product is Exceptional

A local, very small brewery makes some of the best tasting beer in a state that is renowned for world-wide, award-winning craft beers. There are too many breweries (if there can be too many breweries) in Colorado – yet here they are – two brothers, one a musician, the other a forced-to-retire geophysicist – now both brew beer for a living.

They stumbled into making “gluten removed” beer while they were crafting excellent tasting beer. Anyone who has celiac disease, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or any other gluten sensitivity has had to kiss beer good-bye or drink awful tasting beer. Except these brothers craft over a dozen exceptional-tasting beers.

I arranged a radio interview for them, guided them on how to “social media it to death,” and then introduced them to a celebrity chef-owned Colorado restaurant owner.

I expect nothing in return, not because I’m Mother Teresa or exceptionally generous. I just felt like doing it and their hard work and excellent product warrant the leg-up.  

How did it or will it pay off? It just feels right. That’s the pay off.

2. Sometimes You Just Want to Be Part of a Very Good Thing

I sit on the board of The Chanda Plan Foundation because I cannot resist the extraordinary CEO who happens to be a quadriplegic.

The Chanda Plan affords all spinal cord injured people free health and wellness services that have proven to dramatically improve their lives. The services include nutrition, massage, chiropractic and primary care physicians.

The clients pay nothing. Some of them go on to become fully mobile. All touched by The Chanda Plan live better lives; the results, after a dozen years, prove it.

CCPR dedicates free public relations and services to The Chanda Plan because it is the right thing to do. It cannot be explained in a spread sheet, but it somehow feeds Capital City Public Relations.

3. Scratching Each Other’s Backs Breeds Wonderful Friendships

CCPR does free public relations and marketing for a neighborhood hairdresser; our coifs look all the better for it. Another writer needs contributions to her literary anthology and she’s getting one from me.

She’s one of the best editors in the business and my copy reads better because of it. CCPR gave another paying public relations client extra services over the past few months because the boost will likely catapult that business into another realm.

Where’s the business sense in all of this? Where does the spreadsheet demonstrate how the return on investment works?

There isn’t one. Like the successful CEO that last week let me pick his brain over coffee, when he is already working a 60-hour work week to keep his two businesses running in the black, it just is because it feels right.

Perhaps your business can go the extra mile, do a good turn, contribute to the community in a new way. Perhaps you’ll never realize a dime in the action and perhaps it will even cost you.

But the truth is that these business relationships are truly friendships. And the other truth is that it always pays off. Maybe it isn’t measured on the calculator or within any traditional return-on-investment calculation.

It does not matter if it cannot be laid out exactly, in numbers, how giving pays off. It’s simply enough to know, in one’s soul, that it does.

Advertising vs Public Relations

Advertising Versus Public Relations

When you or your clients see information about a product or service, do you know if the information is provided as advertising, or is it considered public relations? Knowing the differences can help you decide what might work best in your marketing efforts.

Advertising

Advertising is described as a paid, non-personal, one-way public communication that draws public communication towards a product, service, company, or any other thing through various communication channels, to inform, influence and instigate the target audience to respond in the manner desired by the advertiser.

Advertising can be done through print ads, radio or television ads, billboards, flyers, commercials, internet banner ads, direct mail, etc. Social media platforms are now a major source of advertising.  The advertiser has exclusive control over what, how and when the ad will be aired or published. Moreover, the ad will run as long as the advertiser’s budget allows or determines it is effective.

As advertising is a prominent marketing tool, it is always present, no matter if people are aware of it or not.

Public Relations

Public Relations is a strategic communication tool that uses different channels, to cultivate favorable relations for the company. It is a practice of building a positive image or reputation of the company in the eyes of the public by telling or displaying the company’s products or services, in the form of featured stories or articles through print or broadcast media. It aims at building a trust-based relationship between the brand and its customer, mainly through media exposure and coverage.

Public Relations can be called as non-paid publicity earned by the company through its goodwill, word of mouth, etc. (It is often referred to as “earned media”).  The tactics used in public relations are publicity, social media, press releases, press conferences, interviews, crisis management, featured stories, speeches, news releases.

Key Differences Between Advertising and Public Relations

Adverting draws public attention to products or services through paid announcements. Public Relations uses strategic communication to build a mutually beneficial relationship between the public and the company or organization.

  1. Advertising is a purchased media, whereas, public relations is considered earned media.
  2. While advertising is a monologue activity, public relations is a two-way communication process. The company listens and responds to the public.
  3. Advertising is used to promote products or services with the objective to induce the targeted audience to buy. Public Relations aims to maintain a positive image of the company in the media, with an indirect result of those effected becoming customers.
  4. In advertising, the advertiser has full control over the ad, such as when, how and what will be displayed. In public relations, the company pitches the story, but has no control how the media uses or does not use it.
  5. In advertising, the ad placement is guaranteed, but there is no such guarantee of placement with public relations.
  6. In advertising, as long as you are willing to pay for it, the ad will be published or aired. Usually in public relations, the story is only published once, but it might be published in many media.
  7. Credibility is higher in public relations than advertising. This is because customers know it’s an ad and may not believe it easily and be skeptical. For Public Relations, third party validation improves credibility.
  8. Advertising mainly uses paid announcements (ads) to draw public attention to products or services. Public Relations is the use of strategic communication that aims at building a mutually beneficial relationship between the company and the public.

Advertising and Public Relations both use communication channels to inform and influence the general public. While advertising is a highly expensive marketing tool, it can reach a large number of people at the same time. Public Relations is “free of cost” implied endorsement along with validation of the third party.

Relations key to getting your business’s story published

Building solid relationships with the press is the golden ticket to getting that story published. Here are few tips to help you become a trusted member of the media:

Be Mindful of Language Blunders

Spelling counts, as does grammar and professionalism. You’re not sending a text to your best friend, your kid or your mom. One of the biggest pet peeves of journalists is misspellings, text abbreviations (“LMK” in lieu of “Let me know,” for example) and incorrect grammar.

These blunders spell laziness in the mind of a journalist. Take the time to run a spell check; use Grammarly, on online tool that essentially proofreads your copy and alerts you to errors; and read your e-mail, press release or document out loud to ensure that it’s properly structured and flows with ease.

Don’t Pitch the Wrong journalist

You’ve crafted a thoughtfully researched, compelling, error-free pitch and you’re anxious to see the fruits of your labor in print or on a website or blog with a robust, high-traffic readership.

And then you send it off to a journalist who doesn’t write—and will never write—about the topic at hand. It’s imperative to do your research, and that means reading a journalist’s work before you press the “send” button or pick up the phone.

There’s nothing that journalists hate more than receiving useless information. If you’re going to pitch a writer, make sure it’s someone who covers the relevant subject matter.

More important: Make sure your pitch is newsworthy. Another tip: read mastheads of magazines, newspapers and digital sites to determine the beat of their writers. 

Avoid Pitching Stories on Weekends

Unless you know for a fact that the reporter is a weekend writer or editor, avoid sending communication on Saturday and Sunday.

Journalists, like the rest of us, have lives, and it’s important to respect their time off the clock. Weekend pitching has other pitfalls: If you send an-mail on a Saturday, and it’s read, the journalist may well have forgotten it by Monday morning. By then, it’s often buried beneath a deluge of other pitches. Every reporter and publication has different deadlines, but according to a Business Wire Media Blueprint survey of more than 600 members of the media, Tuesday morning is typically the best time to pitch a story.

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3 costly PR pitching mistakes & how to avoid them

Successful public relations is all about relationships.

While securing a story in a prime publication is terrific, building solid relationships with the press is the golden ticket to getting that story published.

Think about it: Journalists receive dozens, if not hundreds, of story pitches every day, most of them mass-produced pitches that end up in a laptop’s trash bin, often unread.

To set yourself apart from every Mary, Marty and Michael that pitches a story, you’ve got to earn and cultivate a trusting relationship with the journalists that cover your beat and your business. To achieve that goal, you’ve got to do your research and ensure that you aren’t making mistakes along the way. Suffice it to say that every detail matters. Here are some ideas to consider as you aim to become a trusted member of the media

7 ways to build better relationships with journalists

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Major news outlets generally get three times the average amount of email in pitches alone. There is a lot of noise, and most of it is irrelevant to the topics that each journalist covers.

7 steps to DIY PR

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Put yourself in the shoes of any busy journalist who gets over a hundred emails a day asking for their time and attention.


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While home prices are rising, buyers are baulking at the price tags and submitting fewer offers because they’re being priced out of the market.

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What’s the best technique for breezing through a media interview? Bridging!

You’ve prepared and done your homework. You’re a natural in front of the camera and a designated spokesperson, and you know your subject inside and out.

All of which begs the question: Why should you worry and sweat when a member of the media shoves a microphone under your chin and starts pelting you with questions?

The interview is moving along smoothly. You’re feeling confident and you’re articulate. You’re using all of the right buzzwords and your colleagues are watching your interview on TV and congratulating your shining moment from afar.

Then wham-bam-boom. The interviewer suddenly poses a question that you want to really, really want to avoid answering. Anything but that question, your brain mutters.

In reality, this scenario happens quite a bit, and it’s all too easy to falter when an interviewer lobs a question your way that you want to evade. What to do?

It’s called bridging—and it works. 

Rather than answering the question that you’re desperate to avoid, you strategically pivot the interview to drive home your message.

In essence, you need a “bridge” to pull the conversation back to the main points that you want to convey. It’s imperative that you stay on track, remain poised and continue to deliver your key points to your captive audience—despite the question.

By staying on topic, it allows you to control the conversation and stick to your agenda.

The key to bridging successfully is always having a pipeline of phrases and words stored away in your head that ensures that you can pivot away from the ick-question and steer the interview back to the points that you want to amplify.

If you need time to think, give yourself a few seconds by initially responding with “That’s a great question—one that I think about often,” and then provide a “bridge” statement that can start with “What’s important to remember…” or “Let’s not forget…” both of which are transitions that allow you to tailor your answer with compelling information that effectively articulates your main points and speaks to your audience. Just remember that everything is on the record and it’s crucial to tell the truth.

How bridging puts your media interview back on track

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A media interview is an important opportunity to speak directly to your audience, but don’t let the interviewer drive the conversation.

The bridging technique – how to get over that bridge

Put simply, the bridging technique allows the interviewee to move the conversation on from a negative or unhelpful question posed by the interviewer.


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