Tag Archives: news

In the Land of Marketing, Publicity is Still King.

jetsonsteleviewerAnyone with an agenda can source one study or another that appears to support their claims about the shifting marketing impact of one or another strategy – advertising, social media, direct  mail, mobile.

But the truth is media news coverage resulting from publicity is still the single most impactful (and efficient) strategy for creating awareness, generating interest, building coalition, driving traffic and more.

According to recent Gallup study, TV is the main source where most Americans still get their news (55%). Another 16% cite print, radio and “other” media (in that order) as the main sources to get their news. Only 21% get their news from the Internet as a main source, and of these, only 2% rely on social media as their main source.

According to a PEW survey, 92% of Americans say they get their news from more than one source. Most – 78% of Americans – say they get their news from TV. Next is the Internet at 61%, followed by radio at 54% and print at 50%.

And here is one other seemingly pointless bit of data from Gallup: 58% of all Americans  still have a VCR in their home.

Human beings are curious creatures of habit.  They love information, particularly new (news) information.  And they will get it however and wherever they can. And where does most of that information originate from? Publicity.

That is to say, companies, institutions, associations and other groups and individuals distributing information to the media (traditional and online) in order to secure news stories for American consumption.

The music is a little more complex than it used to be, but the song remains the same:  In the land of marketing, publicity is still king.

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Tools for Monitoring Chatter on the Web

Want to see what’s going on with your brand or company on the web? How about your competitors? While there are many monitoring systems out there that cost a pretty penny, there are also several free ways you can monitor your industry, company, campaigns, products, etc.! They key is keywords. Check out a few ways we like to monitor:Google Alerts

Google Alerts: Probably the most common and well known alert tool – and for a good reason! Google alerts sends hits that include your keywords and sends them to your email. Get more organized and set up a Google Reader account. Alerts can be organized into folders based on the company, campaign, competitor, etc. that you’re monitoring.

MentionMention: Mention is a dashboard application for your computer or phone that allows you to create alerts for keywords. There is a free version, but opportunities to use an upgrade version for more keywords and searches if you need it. It monitors everything on the web from blogs and news sites to Twitter in real-time. You can make stories that you are not interested in – removing homonyms and spam from their technology that learns from your behavior.

Twitter SearchTwitter: Yes… good ol’ Twitter! Twitter is a great way to capture industry news, competitor news and your own news – even if you’re not tagged in a post. Set up a Twitter search for key terms and industry hashtags. Is your competitor running a Twitter campaign using a special hashtag? Search it and then save the search.

Have a good monitoring tool you would like to share? Leave a comment here or tweet @rachelkaylor on Twitter.


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Forget About the Death of Print Media; News is on Life Support.

Flying back from Atlanta yesterday, I purchased and attempted to read through the September issue of WIRED magazine.

Talk about “57 Channels and Nothin’ On”. I’ve been in the business for more than three decades now and I still had to struggle to figure out where the editorial started and the advertising ended.  And when all was said and done, the advertising was more interesting and more informative than most of the editorial.

Once upon a time in America, news actually had value.  Now everything is pitched as news.  A tweet of Anthony Weiner’s wiener is news.  And the real news is so sensationalized and overhyped, it appears to be a farce.  As I watched Jim Cantore on the Weather Channel last night hunkered at the intersection of Hurricane Isaac and Cheap Ratings Avenue, I couldn’t help but wonder when the world became so… patronized?

It’s probably just me.  I know many people (mostly my age) who live for their daily newspaper and their nightly TV news.  And I know an equal number of people (mostly not my age) who salivate with each news alert that appears on their iPhone and each new Tweet they receive.

But for my taste, it mostly all sucks.

I am ever so grateful to those handful of news resources that continue to fight the good fight.  People like Charlie Rose on PBS who actually understand what a newsworthy story is (even when it is an entertainment story) and deliver it in an engaging format.  Magazines like Fast Company that provide meaningful and interesting insight in a well-designed publication.  And even shows like ABC Nightline that at least attempt to deliver real news in a professional and entertaining manner.

I guess the only good news (pun intended) is that when news is finally taken off of life support and allowed to take its last breath, we won’t know, since no one will be there to report it.

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Respond to Breaking News to Secure Media Coverage

Pitching a new or existing product, company spokesperson or useful tips are all successful ways to secure media coverage for your brand year-round.

But there is one strategy you can use to secure immediate media attention-it just requires vigilance and a bit of strategic thinking. You can successfully secure widely read and relevant media coverage by piggybacking your company’s story with a breaking news event.  Below is a step-by-step approach for taking advantage of timely current events to secure immediate visibility.

1. Lay the groundwork.  Start by setting up news monitoring alerts for key terms that impact your business, industry or customers.  Monitor these incoming news alerts daily.  When a big event occurs, you will know about it immediately.

2. Target the right media.  Now that you know what they are writing about, find out who is writing it.  When it comes to national and impactful news, reporters often write follow up stories expanding their initial coverage of an event or news item.  Add these reporters to your media list, and be sure to develop a very targeted and personalized introduction as to why you are pitching your story to them specifically.

Secondarily, find out what beat these reporters typically cover and use that information to identify media at other publications that will likely be interested in your story.  For example, if environment reporters are covering the breaking news story at a few key outlets, make sure environment reporters from all relevant outlets are on your media list.

3. Provide a new spin.  Do not follow up on a breaking news item pitching the same exact story; you will be a day late and a dollar short.  The key here is to find a new angle to the story that will entice reporters to develop a follow up story.  Examples include: pitch a potential solution to the new problem, play devil’s advocate by warning of hidden dangers, provide insight on how the news item impacts a certain group of people or vital segment of industry, showcase the positive outcomes of a negative situation or vice versa, etc.

4. Provide an expert.  Once you decide on your approach, position a company spokesperson as an expert who can speak to media on this topic as part of your pitch.  Ensure they are knowledgeable and entertaining.  Media will be on the lookout for interesting sound bites and inspirational – or controversial – statements and insight surrounding the situation.

5. Make the connection to your brand.  Ensure your pitch provides a direct connection for media as to why your brand or product is an essential part of this story.  Perhaps your product provides a necessary solution, or maybe your company has done business in the impacted industry for years.  Or your company experienced something similar before, and you understand how consumers will react.  Just be sure to clearly state the connection to validate why your company is a good resource for a follow up story.

6. Conduct follow up.  Media will have already covered the breaking news item by the time your pitch reaches them.  It is key to conduct media follow up calls.  Your goal is to help media understand why this new angle, expert or product is a critical component of the evolving story.  Ultimately, if you can secure coverage for your brand related directly to timely, breaking news, it will be more relevant and interesting to consumers already engaged in the story.

Need help launching a reactive publicity and media relations campaign? Contact me at kayleigh (at) sweeneypr (dot) com or 440.333.0001 ext. 105.

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