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”.

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.

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Zoom take-aways

Like all of us, I’ve been on my fair share of Zoom meetings, webinars and training sessions since the COVID pandemic hit.

I’ve contemplated writing this list for a while and I’ve narrowed my list to a top three takeaways if you’re presenting (or co-presenting) online.

  1. Have a back-up plan if your power fails /tech fails

Okay,  the catchphrase of 2020 might just be “you’re on mute” (or variations) of this! Once you’ve created your presentation, make sure you have a back-up plan if anything goes wrong at any point. You may want to have some notes in the margin if something fails at a particular point (especially if you have a guest presenter).

If there is a worst-case scenario, please appoint someone to communicate with attendees, or to take over. If you’re in the unfortunate position where your internet or power goes out, make sure your laptop and mobile have enough “juice” (power AND data) to get you through the presentation.

 

2. Send the presentation recording ASAP, and include a link for feedback

I can’t stress this enough, a recording of your presentation is GOLD. Not only for the attendees who chimed in for the first half (or second half) or perhaps missed it completely but for YOU!

When you have some time, watch it back, take notes, look for areas where can you improve.

Speaking of improvement, ask the attendees for their thoughts. This is GOLD. They’ll tell you exactly what they want and you can deliver it TO THEM! You’re meeting a need and you may even find that you have a new service /product offering or indeed a lead /new connection!

3. It’s not about YOU – it’s about the content you have to offer

I can’t stress this enough, please don’t spend any longer than 3-5 minutes MAX on introducing yourself. We get it, you’ve achieved a lot (and well done!) but we’re here to listen to your expertise and learn. There’s nothing worse than spending time you’ve allocated listening to someone chest-beating.

Again, this is where a presentation plan /notes will come in handy. Keep it short and sweet and let people connect with you in LinkedIn.

If you’d like to learn more tips like this, I’m hosting a LIVE Q&A on Instagram THIS THURSDAY.  I’d love to see you there!

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What you can learn from COVID’s biggest advertisers

Earlier this month a report was released into the numbers relating to businesses and organisations that advertised during initial and lock-down stage of COVID-19.

It’s not surprising to read that Government campaigns topped ad spend growth, up 67% in April.

Given the need to inform the community through adverts such as this one, the Government definitely needed to be “seen” and visible across a variety of platforms.

What may surprise you is the number of automotive adverts.

Why?

At a time when we were asked to stay at home, only go out for essential services, why would this industry continue its advertising spend?

There are a number of reasons but one of the most important, is to remain top of mind with customers for the impending “recovery” stage.

The need to get to work safely, avoiding public transport and looking further ahead, the ability to travel within the state are just some of the reasons why the automotive industry was right to continue their advertising during COVID 19.

 

So, what can you learn from these advertisers?

  1. Staying front of mind is CRITICAL
  2. If you’re in a position of influence, educate and inform your community as soon as possible. Make this easy to understand and digest
  3. A well thought out campaign will return dividends in the long run. Advertising should be a part of the campaign, it should also include PR, social media and creative marketing solutions.

If you’d like to explore PR options for your business, contact us today for an obligation free chat.

 

 

 

 

Link to the report mentioned in the start of the blog post can be found here

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.

The lessons from 2019

I’m writing this on a Sunday morning leading up to Christmas – thinking about everything this year has taught me. What a teacher of the year 2019 has been for me.

2019 was very much the year of priorities – and the major priority for me this year was my health.

I heard a podcast this year that used the saying “Your health is your wealth” and that really resonated with me.

In case you missed it (or you’re new to the blog) I had a few health issues this year that made me hit the “pause” button on both businesses for a substantial amount of time. (You can read more here)

The benefit of this?

I realised where my priorities needed to lie with both businesses. It was in taking a step back, I was actually taking a step forward. It wasn’t easy, as someone who is happiest when her laptop is open, keys tapping away, radio /music playing softly in the background and the cat is purring away on “her” chair, resting and listening to my body was a huge lesson for me.

But it’s enabled me to make some changes and plans for the next 12 months and I’m excited about that.

The next priority lesson I learned was in relation to my time. While I was resting and recovering knowing that I had to let this process take its time. It was on its own schedule and I had to adhere to it.

I’m now working on building a better “timetable” which allows me to focus equally on both businesses, while also giving myself the much-needed rest my body still needs.

Finally, the priority of people in your life. Notifying my clients immediately what was going on and being completely transparent really did help build stronger relationships with them.

My family supported me, cared for me and got me through what was a rollercoaster of a year and I can’t thank them enough.

My friends – you know who you are – your support, words of encouragement and visits were appreciated beyond belief.

So, here’s to a better year in 2020, using these lessons from 2019 and creating more success for my clients, my business, and most importantly a happy and healthy life.

Branding 101

As part of our PR Intermediate course, we dive into the elements that should comprise of a comprehensive business plan.

We know only too well that budgets can be tight, so how do you start?

In this blog post I share some of the key elements of what should be part of your product inventory (and therefore included in your business plan!)

You start with a style guide and keeping it consistent EVERYWHERE. (Sorry for the caps, but it was needed!) What’s a style guide? Well in simple terms, it’s the fonts you’ll use for your business, the size of your logo… all that sort of “stuff”.

If you’re a physical store, does the feel of your store reflect what you’re sharing on socials?

What about your menus-  if you’re a cafe? Do you have details of your socials on there? You want people to share the word right? A little reminder at the bottom is a must.

How about receipts? Invoices? Flyers? Do they all have best contact details for your business, return policy details (if needed), your logo?

If you’re a service-based business, does the tone of your email reflect the nature of your business? Do you have the luxury to communicate in a relaxed tone? Make sure it’s consistent with your business.

Then there are the logos of your business, the business “theme” colours, the way your logos are to be used and oh-so-much more.

Need help with this? Give us a call, we’re happy to have a coffee (face to face or virtually!) and share some more ideas that will specifically help your business reach its goals.

Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash