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.

 

 

Thank You – the most important tool in your PR toolkit

‘At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.’ – Maya Angelou

We’re told as children to remember our manners, “Please” and “Thank-You”, yet when as we get older the intent behind them seems to disappear.

Whenever I meet with a Journalist, Editor, supplier, or client (new, potential or exisiting) I always start by saying thank you for your time. Taking time out to meet with anyone should be acknowledged.

It’s the organisation that goes into being prepared for that meeting that should be acknowledged, along with the time out of their day.

I go a step beyond and send thank-you cards to potential clients, to let them know how much I appreciate them taking the time to hear my ideas and consider my PR services for their company.

It’s all about making that person feel valued and appreciated.

Other ways I say “Thank-you”:

  • Letting my media contacts know about stories that they may not be aware of – outside of my scope of works
  • Taking someone out for coffee /lunch
  • Recommending their business to others
  • Shout-outs on social media (including liking their posts or sharing their content)

So for now, I’d like to say thank-you to YOU. For reading this, you could have quite easily clicked somewhere else, decided to read another blog post or news site.

 

Three things you can do before Christmas

It’s little over a month until Christmas Day… You may be thinking, “What else can I do to capitalise on the Christmas rush?”, or you may be thinking – “Eeep, I’ve left it too late, what can I do?”

Never fear… we have three easy to achieve activities for you to get some cut-though before the big day!

ONE: Thank your customers for their patronage this year. If you’re an online store, send a discount code to your email database as a token of gratitude.

Keep your message festive, short, sharp and ensure you include any terms and conditions with your discount code. Now is NOT the time you want to get caught up in any legal matters.

TWO: If you have a bricks and mortar store, have candy canes at reception or at the service counter for your customers. You may also want to reward your customers who visit in December with complimentary services or bonus items.

THREE: Keep in mind people’s budgets. If you’re noticing a lack in sales, don’t panic. Remember there’s always the January sales period, start thinking about what discounts you can offer (now’s a good time to get a head start on stocktake).

If sales are exceeding expectations, why not tell your local press? Get the word out there about what you’ve achieved.

BONUS: Why not offer a percentage of profits to farmers in need or a local charity? You’ll be able to promote your donation once you’ve finalised the total. Think about a cause that’s close to your heart and get started now.

Our favourite productivity app

Since discovering this app, I make sure I use it AT LEAST twice a day. Why? Because it keeps me focused.

Which when you’re running two businesses and have a tendency to pick up your phone more times than is acceptable in an hour, anything that will keep me on task is worth its weight in gold.

Enter Bear Focus Timer.

I pop the timer on for the set amount of time I want to focus on a specific task (or series of tasks) and get to it.

Every time I lift my phone the bear’s face turns grumpy, a good incentive to keep going with what I should be doing and not getting distracted by my phone.

To get your paws on the Bear Focus Timer search the app store of your device.

Now get to work!

Photo by krisna iv on Unsplash

Thinking outside the box for success

If you’ve found this post via our Instagram, you’ll know that Pursuit Communications has been working with Generator Property Management for a number of years now.

Generator Property Management is the caretaker of the former Munmorah Power Station site on the NSW Central Coast.

Pursuit’s tasks include traditional PR services, issues management advice and services and general media /consultative advice.

The project has been an eye-opening experience and one that the Pursuit team has loved working on.

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Through this project, we’ve been able to work with a team that are industry leaders and share our own expertise to achieve some pretty unreal results.

As an example; one of the last demolition activities saw the news story go NATIONAL. The video footage was provided to television stations in Sydney. The story was aired on all commercial television networks news bulletins the evening of the event. Exceeding our client’s goals.

Pursuit actively monitors the media across a variety of topics for our client so they’re more than aware of what’s happening in the media landscape within their industry.

If you’d like to have a chat about your business and how Pursuit can assist, shoot us an email.

We work within your budgets, tell you what’s achievable and create a plan to not only achieve your goals, but we work hard to exceed them!

Send us a message now. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image: Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

An (overdue) update

If you’ve missed our posts on Instagram and Facebook and indeed our blog posts here there’s been a very good reason.

Our Founder, Brooke was ill (we’ll spare you the horrid details!) and after presenting at her doctor’s clinic with a RESTING heart rate of 175, it was in an ambulance to Gosford hospital.

After two days of examinations, ultrasounds and what felt like millions of questions, Brooke was diagnosed with a kidney infection (which was remedied quickly with antibiotics) and a thyroid condition called Graves Disease.

So, why are we being transparent about this? Especially on a business platform?

A few reasons.

  1. To explain the absence and the fact that as much as Brooke would have liked to have been on an island sipping cocktails, this simply wasn’t the case
  2. To praise the nurses in Gosford Hospital – Brooke has said on numerous times since coming home, it was the nurses care that got her through her hospital stay.
  3. Finally, to let you all know – that there are some exciting developments that Brooke will be releasing in the second half of 2019.

Thank you to our clients for your understanding during this time and to those who are yet to join us, we look forward to sharing with you the next phase of Pursuit Communications.

 

Two PR Courses coming SOON!

If you’ve been following us over on Instagram, then you may have heard that I’m launching not one but TWO – yes TWO PR courses in 2019.

Why?

Because I have a tonne of knowledge and want to share it. Simple as that. If I can help you with your PR activities, then fan-bloody-tastic.

So, what will the courses look like? Well, I’m glad you asked!

There will be a course for beginners, this is for those of you no PR experience whatsoever. Don’t know the definition of PR? Awesome! Don’t know the difference between PR, advertising and marketing? Sit right down.

The beginner’s course will cover the basics of PR and give you that very gentle nudge to start you on your PR adventure.

The second course is set at an intermediate level. So you may have dabbled in PR either with an agency, or by yourself, but the results have been… how can we put this gently… Lackluster? Shambolic? A right mess? Then pull up a chair, because we’ll cover some of the common areas where mistakes can (and often are made). We’ll also dissect a media release in the course to get you ready and raring.

I’m currently putting the finishing touches on both courses.

The beauty of both courses is that they’ll be available face-to-face in solo sessions and groups AND online for individuals and groups!

So, if you’re interested in either course I’m encouraging you to sign up to the relevant mailing list.

Why? Well if you do so now, you’ll receive an early-bird discount and all the details before ANYONE ELSE.

So if you’re interested in the beginner’s course SIGN UP HERE

If you’re interested in the intermediate course SIGN UP HERE

Looking forward to sharing details with you soon!

An intern’s perspective

As we look for a new Intern (click here more details about applying!), we’ve asked Jordyn Rankin our most recent Intern, to reflect on her experience.

 

So Jordyn, what did you expect from your internship & what was the reality of your internship experience?

I honestly didn’t know what to expect from interning with Pursuit Communications, I guess that’s because this was my first ever intern experience. So, I went into this with an open mind and an eagerness to learn, even though I knew it would be challenging, yet it would also be very valuable for my future in the PR industry.  

The PR industry is definitely portrayed in a glamorous light and I thought that I would step into this internship with an abundance of knowledge from everything I have learned at University so far. I was quick to realise that a lot of what we are taught in the classroom plays only a small part in this fast-paced industry.

Jordyn, under 100 words – describe your interning experience… 

The reality of my experience, over the 10 months I was with Pursuit proved that practical experience in the PR industry is so important whilst studying at University. I got to see first hand all the time, effort and hard work that goes into having a PR business in order to be successful. I know I have a lot more to learn, however interning with Pursuit has confirmed my passion for PR!

 

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Jordyn Rankin

 

With this in mind, do you think Intern experiences should count towards university credit points?

I think that every University should encourage more students to undertake internships because the benefits are endless. However, in my opinion, the most important benefit is that it gets your foot in the door, gets your name out there and is a way of networking and forming relationships, which is so important to do.

Real-life experience has personally given me a lot more confidence and motivation to succeed and now I’m able to add an internship on my resume, which is also a huge bonus. Brooke (Founder of Pursuit Communications and Central Coast Chronicle) has been an amazing mentor and from day one, I always felt supported in my work and my ideas. With her help, I can now go into my next internship or job interview with some real industry examples and knowledge that will set me apart from the rest.

Where do you see the PR industry moving in the next three to five years?

This is a very hard one to predict because of how fast the industry is evolving and how much the web and social media revolutionises the way the PR industry operates. Having also studied Marketing at Tafe I can definitely see both PR and Marketing complimenting each other and becoming more integrated. Utilising both of these disciplines is definitely proving the overall success of businesses today in reaching its target markets. As a result, I think there will always be a demand for experienced, result driven PR practitioners.

 

How so?

The PR industry is a lot more than just press releases and getting the word out to journalists. (If you’re still thinking that it’s just media releases, you really need to chat to Pursuit – some of the ideas Brooke comes up with for her clients are absolute “WOW-factor!”)

So following this line of thinking, PR is becoming more popular for businesses (well I think so!) because of the multitude of ways a message can be executed. PR isn’t advertising, nor is it like marketing. It’s all about storytelling and shaping an image of a certain product, service, event, or organisation. Therefore, PR gives businesses an exciting way to stay connected with their customers (both existing and potential) and an opportunity to educate the general public about what it is they do – in (perhaps) an unconventional way. 

Any tips for those considering starting an internship program?

The sooner you start interning the more you will get out of your degree and the more experienced you’ll be entering the workforce after University. You will learn so much more by gaining practical experience, so step out of your comfort zone, ask questions (there are no right or wrong questions) and make your resume stand out above the rest. 

Finally, interning is also a lot more than just showing up and doing what you’ve got to do. It’s about being proactive in the office, anticipating what might be happening and asking if you can help (go above and beyond!) it’s also about getting to know what other PR agencies are out there and what they’re all about so I highly recommend researching, talking to people and attending networking events!! It will hugely benefit you and your future as a PR practitioner during your time at University and also when you step foot into the real world.

Brooke’s note: Jordyn, thank you for what you added to Pursuit and to the launch of Central Coast Chronicle. You were here at a critical time for both businesses and your ability to adapt and “switch gears” from “PC” to “CCC” at a moment’s notice was very much appreciated. I wish you continued success with your studies and entering the workforce.