The meaning of earned media exposure

COVID has certainly played havoc with the media landscape.

Magazine titles have been shut down, local radio and TV programs are now networked from other locations and newspapers have been shut down or moved their content online (often with a paywall).

It’s devastating on so many levels, the job losses, the loss of quality content and from a PR perspective the breadth of opportunities we could once offer our clients.

Which is why NOW more than ever, the relationships many PRs have formed with media contacts is really worth its weight in gold.

Public relations has often been positioned as the best way to secure “free exposure”, but as we all know, nothing in this life is FREE.

It’s earned. So what is earned media – from a PR perspective?

It’s networking with those media contacts, time spent with these professionals, finding out what content they want, what’s going to resonate with their readers /viewers /listeners. It’s constantly monitoring a multitude of media outlets to stay on top of trends for clients – potential and existing.

Earned media is staying in touch with those media contacts when we don’t have something relevant to say, but strengthening the relationship.

It’s equally important to stay in touch with those who have been made redundant to check on their wellbeing and to see what exciting possibilities they are pursuing and explore collaborative opportunities.

Earned media doesn’t happen overnight. It’s based on relationships and skillsets, both of which take time to develop.

However, we (the PR industry) have now been offered a brilliant chance to (yes, I’m going to use *that* word…) PIVOT from the perception of “free exposure”.

It’s an opportunity to almost “peacock” and show our multitude of colours and talents and really wow our customers.

It is the PR industry’s chance to put the value back into “earned media”.

Zoom take-aways part 2

In our next series of tips about Zoom sessions we look at three more essential areas when hosting meetings on Zoom.

We’re all missing the interaction of being in the office with our “work friends” and this first tip should help with this!

Tip one: If you’re having a team meeting, start with something fun. Don’t just start the meeting (unless it’s an urgent issue /crisis management meeting!)

Whatever you decide, remember, it doesn’t have to take long, something as quick and fun such as one round of Pictionary. Email a colleague with one or two pictures they have to draw and then get everyone else to try and guess.

Another quick and fun game is two truths and a lie, someone has to tell two things that have happened to them that are true and the third is a lie. Everyone has to guess which one is a lie!

It’s a great way to have colleagues connect and start with a bit of a laugh – which gets the endorphins going!

Tip two: Have an agenda, it’s so easy to get off-topic on Zoom, just as it is in face-to-face meetings. Make sure everyone who is required to speak, knows when they’re required to do so and how much time they have allocated to them.

Ensure the agenda is sent at least a few hours before the meeting is due to start (ideally the day before) so if there are any changes to be made, they can be done in time prior to the meeting starting.

If you find you’re going overtime, stop the meeting, check everyone’s schedules and if you can wrap it up quickly in the next 5 – 10 minutes.

Tip three: Note-taking is critical. Encourage people to take notes during meetings, but it’s just as important to ensure that someone is appointed at note-taker (or minute keeper for more official meetings).

If you’re leading the meeting, organise to check-in with the person taking the notes, and cover-off everything later the same day, so notes /important information can be sent to other team members ASAP.

If you’d like assistance with online events or coordinating large meetings online, please get in touch. Pursuit Communications can assist with online event management.

Anatomy of a media release

I was recently asked on Twitter how easy it was to write a media release.

It’s never 100% easy, no matter how many times you’ve written a media release.

Sure, it becomes EASIER, but it’s never “EASY”.

In today’s post I thought I’d give you a bit of an insight into some of the steps involved when writing a media release.

Now, assuming we’re working with a client for the first time, I like to do research beforehand on their topic area, and make sure my contacts in their “space” (i.e. education writers for an educational product) are up-to-date and aware of the work we’re doing!

So once initial research and contact has been made with media, it’s on to step one. The angle of the release, during a consult with the client I work on a strategy and what (collectively) we’d like to achieve from this release.

With this in mind, it’s back to the research desk, and it’s time to start writing with the help of any exisiting material from the client.

I then create a “skeleton release, send this to the client for their input.

Pending deadlines, this can sit with a client anywhere between 24-48 hours, but generally I don’t like to leave it any longer than this.

Once I have the first lot of feedback and inputs from the client, I then give the release some shape, make sure the language is easy to understand and remove any “industry talk” that has the potential to be lost in translation.

Then it’s back to the client for the final lot of inputs, again this may sit with them for another 24 hours this time, absolute maximum.

Once I give this version a final lick and polish and send it to the client for their sign off it’s onto media engagement time.

That, in summary, is the process of writing a media release.

If you’d like Pursuit Communications to assist with writing a media release for your business, contact me to arrange a time to meet over Zoom or FaceTime.

Think the closure of News Corp’s Papers local papers doesn’t affect you? Think again!

Last week News Corp announced dramatic changes to their local papers, after what has been called “a comprehensive review of its assets and observed consumers shifting to online news sources” .

Over 100 of News Corp’s regional and community titles will no longer produce print editions and instead move to digital-only formats. In addition, 14 titles will cease to exist.

You may be reading this post thinking, “yeah, well, I didn’t read the local “rag” anyway”…

Think about the bigger picture just for a minute.

These papers supported local journalists, local photographers, editors and in some instances welcomed high-school or university students for work-experience.

They were the institutions that shared the results of local sporting teams, listed local garage sales and classified listings.

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Collection of News Corp’s local papers (Image: Google)

It was also a FANTASTIC avenue for public relations consultants (like me) to generate exposure for clients on a local level. Having the support of the local community is critical to the success for businesses, especially in regional areas.

While a large portion of titles will move online, stories will likely be behind a paywall, while it’s not confirmed if a digital replica edition will be available on certain days of the week for any of these papers.

If your local paper is transitioning to a digital edition, I encourage you to continue to support those local journalists and provide them with your stories, (if you need assistance with this, we can help!) and achievements. They will, with your input keep our communities educated and informed.

 

 

Instagram Shopping – A new feature

We know you’ve been able to “shop” via Instagram for a while now, but the ability to set up a shop via Instagram is now available (for those that sell physical goods at least!)

There are several boxes you need to tick before you can set up shop, so to speak, including having a linked Facebook page and ensuring your Instagram account is a business account and not a personal account. To read the other requirements click here. 

So, what does this mean for the marketplace?

Well, Facebook /Instagram Shops will also allow small businesses to sell products through Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, and Messenger, and tag products during live broadcasts! Talk about engaging directly with your customers!

Shops are free and easy to create and, most importantly, they’re integrated across Facebook’s many apps, meaning once you’ve set up your shop, it’s going to be available on your Facebook Page and your Instagram profile (and accessible from stories and ads).

It’s the perfect tool for businesses to pivot online, and during a time when that’s needed more than ever, Facebook /Instagram have delivered a solution that helps.

The good news? It’s available in Australia right now, to see where else the service is available, click here.

If you’d like assistance setting up your shop, content for your social media or any other PR or social media service, please get in touch.

 

 

Service highlight: Getting ahead of the curve – What to do in post Coronavirus world… NOW?

As I’ve been progressing through the isolation period, one very important question has been front of mind for me.

What’s next?

It’s a question that can’t be answered on many fronts, however, there are some aspects that CAN be answered.

In the “Getting ahead of the curve” consulting service, there are many aspects that are considered for businesses interested in participating.

We look at:

*Previous activities carried out across advertising, marketing, public relations and social media

*Planned activities prior to COVID-19

*The new goals for your business in a “post-COVID-19” world

*Refining the best channels for communicating your message to get the maximum return on investment for your business

*How to best execute using these channels in plan format (an outline)

PLUS MORE!

But the question remains, why should I do this now when so much remains unknown?

The simple answer is because it’s VITAL to keep planning and forecasting.

Even if these plans have to change, a plan, in any case, is better than no plan at all.

If you’re interested in this one-hour session click here, choose COVID-19 services and the option will be the first one in the list, proceed to fill in your details and you’re booked in!

Now more than ever we need to communicate

I’ve blogged in the past about the importance of saying “thank you” and whenever I meet a potential client (or an exisiting one) we discuss the importance of a variety of communications channels to get their message across to the public.

In this time of COVID-19, NOW more than ever we need to communicate. Staying silent isn’t an option.

That’s not to say that you should be “taking up airspace” online for the sake of it. What you’re saying needs to be planned, it needs to be considerate of your customers and their needs /wants and ultimately it needs to be informative.

Now’s the time to consider an auto-reply in your inbox, stating if you’re operating to regular hours or have adjusted your schedule due to the conditions. You’ll also want to share updates on your social media pages, including the best way customers can reach you.

You should communicate to your customers, suppliers and business contacts any changes to your operating hours and letting them know of any new services /products you have. Communication is key, you never know who you know who might need something your have in stock or that you provide as a service.

Finally, now’s the time to consider updating your header images for your social media pages. Something that summarises your hours (perhaps text overlayed on an image of your product or a relevant image relating to your services).

If Pursuit Communications can be of assistance to help you communicate your new offerings to the media (and generate hype and awareness through media exposure) then get in touch TODAY.

Learning as you go… The new way forward

I know I’m not alone when I say, this new way forward, for a large majority of us, will see us “winging it” to start with.

The Coronavirus has thrown so many industries into disarray and knowing how to move forward while we wait on details from the Government about funding doesn’t make the process any easier or any of us an expert in what to do!

However, what we do know that with a few simple steps, the process can be a lot easier.

Firstly, take everything one day at a time. The expectations that we are to achieve just as much, if not more than “B-C” (Before Covid-19) isn’t a fair reality.

If you’re fortunate to still have employment, check in with your team, your boss at least once a day, even if it’s via email or text. If you’re feeling anxious, let them know. These are uncertain times we’re facing and if you need support there’s Beyond Blue and Head to Health. 

If you’re running your own business and trying to keep everything afloat, now might be the time to start with lists, we love TRELLO for a good list creation, you can invite others to see what’s due when and create different boards for different components of your business. Remember now is the time to work smarter, not harder!

If you’ve had to close your business, but still want to keep your company front of mind with your customers we have created a series of lists, for download for you to use to hit the ground running, we’ve currently got lists for:

  • General Retail
  • Gardeners
  • Hairdressers
  • Physiotherapists
  • Cleaners
  • Travel Agents
  • Musicians
  • Creatives /Freelancers
  • Podiatrists
  • Early-childhood educators
  • PLUS MORE!

To get your copy of a list that’s applicable to your industry, click here. 

Remember, no one is an expert of how to deal with business during Covid-19, we’re all just doing the best we can. That’s all ANYONE can ask.

If we can be of assistance, in any way, even if it’s just to chat, please contact us. 

How to work from home effectively – from someone who has done it for over 12 years!

 

When I decided to start my own PR agency 12 years ago, the space that was “my office” was a corner of the family dining room with a desk behind a screen for “privacy”.

It was, at the time, sufficient, but I knew it couldn’t be a long term solution. We moved shortly after and I then upgraded the space to a former bar area. (Translation: another corner of a dining room, but slightly larger).

The new space felt more like a “space” and I was determined to make it work and I did, with thanks to my parents. But there were distractions and it wasn’t until I purchased my own place and had a dedicated room to finally close the door on, at the end of the day.

Working from home in whatever space you have can have its challenges beyond the “space” you’ve allocated.

Here I’m sharing my tips, so if you’re required to self-quarantine, you’ll be able to use my experience and lessons for your benefit.

  1. The above anecdote should prove that space is very important. If you have room to dedicate to work, then do this! Even if it is a corner of the dining room with a screen (IKEA has this screen that may do the trick!)
  2. Set up your space appropriately so you’re not slouching over your laptop, make sure the lighting is good and you’re not getting too comfortable, if your only option is working from the lounge. More tips here
  3. Use the time you’d normally commute to read, catch-up on news, exercise (if you’re well enough!) catch up on personal emails. Be productive with this time.
  4. Start at your regular time, just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you should slack off. Show your employer how productive working from home can be!
  5. Dress comfortably but appropriately. I can’t stress this enough on my “at home” days, I still dress my top or bottom half, so if on the odd chance I’m called to a meeting, all I have to do is change into a nice blouse or get out my jeans into a corporate pair of trousers.
  6. If you’re allocated a lunch break (which you should be!) make sure you take it. Do some yoga if that’s your thing, a crossword, again use your time well. Also, don’t become too sedentary, it’s easy to sit and type and get caught in an email vortex and not move for hours on end. Set your alarm to remind you to move (most smart watches do this!)

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7. If you have kids or pets at home you may need to call on some help from family or the dog walker to keep them away for a couple of hours while you get your work done, or if you have to, screen time for the kids can be a good bargaining tool.

8. Check with your employer about any expenses you may incur as a result of working from home (think Internet usage, notebooks, printing etc).

9. Keep in contact with your office colleagues – you may want to have “virtual Friday night drinks” via Skype or FaceTime remember it doesn’t have to be all work and no play.

10. Finally, enjoy working from home, the ability to dive into the cookie jar without judgement, sure the “at home” coffee may not be as good as your local barista, but think of the money you’re saving!