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.

Laptop with Pursuit Communications website on screen

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!

Laptop with Pursuit Communications website on screen