Archive for the ‘PR’ Category

Inspire Your Next Campaign with These 6 PR Resources

One important quality top PR leaders share is a passion for learning, experimenting, and growing. Even though the field is timeless, it’s also one that evolves constantly thanks to new social media channels and communication mediums.

As a result, PR leaders have to wade through lots of noise.

Some reporters, for instance, are difficult to reach due to the hundreds of pitches that they’re receiving per day via e-mail and Help a Reporter Out (HARO). What PR leaders need are techniques to stand out and outsmart the accidental mess created by the industry.

This process involves learning and experimentation with new communication, content marketing, and information management tools—more importantly, it involves a paradigm shift in how the PR industry builds connections with the media world.

The time to explore and try new techniques has never been better. Here are 7 resources to help you make the most out of your next brain break.

1 – This TED Talk from Life Coach Tony Robbins

Watch time: 22 minutes

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How to Execute a Winning Campaign Interview With a Publisher

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There are many goals for a content marketing campaign, including to maximize exposure, increase brand awareness, and initiate a conversation with your target audience. Whatever your end goal, an essential element for any successful campaign is a targeted promotions cycle – and the key ingredient in that strategy is earned media. However, a pitch doesn’t always mean an automatic placement: Publishers receive hundreds of pitches and press releases each week, and they only choose to cover a few of them.

The most successful pitches provide only a brief overview of your campaign, so in some cases, a reporter might have additional questions. This is when they’ll ask for an interview – and your answers can determine whether the story gets placed.

These questions can vary significantly: Sometimes a writer wants to learn more about your methodology; other times they want to dig into more sensitive topics. Regardless of the questions, you need to be prepared.

Here, we’ll walk you through a list of common questions, discuss how to answer them, and share the best ways to prepare for your interview:

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The Average Facebook User for 20 Publishers

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Knowing your audience is critical not only for successful content marketing campaigns but also for any form of communication – highly targeted messages are what compel people to share your content. You can also find out a lot about who is sharing your content via social platforms, which is what we did in our latest study.

Partnering with Fractl, BuzzStream analyzed 20 publishers’ active Facebook users via Facebook’s Audience Insights to uncover key characteristics and determine if there were any overlaps or unique differences. We charted demographics such as gender, age, education, and profession and compared them with the average Facebook user to see how these publishers’ audiences align.

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Facebook Audience Insights for NY Times

Here we’ll walk you through four key takeaways you’ll want to consider when pitching your next campaigns to top-tier publishers.

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6 Creative Ways PR Leaders Measure ROI

Let’s cut to the chase.

The PR community is under immense pressure to translate efforts to ROI—a task that often feels daunting, nebulous, and sometimes impossible. While common sense tells us that media outreach and community relations are among the best growth-drivers for our businesses, our spreadsheets are a little less forgiving.

Enter this blog post.

The beauty of data is that ‘success stories’ are often in the eye of the beholder. Because there is no universal tool or formula to measure the success of our efforts, we’re in a strong position to establish our own benchmarks.

We asked 6 PR leaders to share their best tips for measuring and communicating the ROI of their media relations, community-building, and SEO efforts. Here’s what they shared.

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Inbound PR: Why It’s All About Strong Relationships

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There are a lot of differences between “traditional” and “inbound” PR, but at the end of the day they’re both built on the same foundation: relationships. Throw any adjective you want in front of PR, but relationships will always be there.

First, let’s talk about inbound PR in general. What is it? In terms of tools, tactics, and even activities, think of your average “PR 2.0” shpiel. What sets inbound PR apart is the mindset. Instead of focusing on pitching and pushing out content like news releases, the focus is on building relationships. That way you have a network that’s coming to you with inquiries, and you can take your pick of which outlet to give the exclusive to.

“Inbound PR attempts to create as much of a relationship and value with media contacts up front (“what I can do for you”), reversing the traditional relationship of endlessly calling media contacts only when there’s a pitch to be delivered (“what you can do for me”).” – Shift Communications (source)

Inbound PR tactics like link building can work on their own, but not well enough. If you want this stuff to really change your world (or your brand), you need to do some networking. And I’m not talking about shaking hands at a meetup or passing out business cards at a conference.

If your want to bring your PR inbound, you need to build real connections.

In this post, we’re going to talk about:

  • The inbound PR activities that benefit most from strong relationships
  • How to start making connections

1. Link building

In the past, link building has only been reactive: you kept a spreadsheet of already published pages with link opportunities, reached out to the webmaster, and hoped they edited the content.

And yes, that works. But you don’t always need to wait for someone to publish a page to ask for a link. You can be proactive and look for future link opportunities when your spreadsheet starts to get a little empty, or work is slower.

You’re writing content that people want to link to. The problem here is, they can only link to it if they’re aware of it. Someone might be writing a post right now where a link to your website would be perfect, but he’s never heard of you.

People can’t link to content if they don’t know it exists. That’s why public relations is so important to all content marketing initiatives. When people need a resource to link to, or to find a stat or quote, they usually have a list of favorite publications they turn to first – you want to be on this list.

By building relationships with your company’s target audience and the publications they read, you’ll be able to better distribute and build links to content. For example, say you email a colleague a link to your latest blog post because you’ve talked with her about the topic before. Down the road, she’s assigned a post on a similar topic. She’ll hopefully remember your post and reference it in her own.

For example, at Mention we have a lot of great “industry friends.” And I’ll frequently be reading one of their posts and follow a link that actually takes me to Mention’s own blog. I didn’t ask them to put it there, and there’s no effort on Mention’s part other than maintaining our relationships.

Here’s an example from a blog post about relationship marketing, published by CoSchedule:

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By building relationships and sending people content that will be helpful to them, you’re adding a proactive layer to your link building strategy.

Best practices:

  • Try to avoid pitching a link to someone you don’t know. Sometimes it’ll be unavoidable, but some name recognition and rapport to go along with your pitch will always improve its chances of being picked up.
  • Track your progress. Take a cue from old school link building and keep track of link opportunities – but from websites you have a relationship with. I’m probably biased, but I like BuzzStream for this.
  • Link it forward. When you’re asking someone for a link, it helps if you’ve linked to them before. Never underestimate someone’s feelings of obligation (just kidding).

2. News coverage

Pitching reporters is still a great way to get more eyes on your latest press release. But the morning that your press release goes live should not be when you email a reporter for the first time.

Why? Your pitch has a much higher chance of being accepted if the reporter already knows you.

First of all, they’ll recognize your name among the dozens (or hundreds!) of emails in their inbox folder for all pitches. But since you also have spoken before, they likely already know a little about your company, making it easier to write about. Finally, a relationship will have built rapport and trust – so a tip coming from you means more than one coming from a stranger.

Take a look at the sample email below. If you were a journalist and received that email (and really had been excited when talking to the PR rep), wouldn’t you figure out a way to move that writing assignment to the top of your to-do list?

Mention Image sample-news-email

Best practices:

  • Read your beat regularly. This way you know which reporters are covering it.
  • Follow reporters. It makes it really easy to keep track of what they’re working on, and gives you the chance to engage with them on social.
  • Add context to pitches. When you do pitch, show you did your research with a line like, “I saw you wrote about Company X’s similar update, so I thought you might be interested in…”

3. Building an earned audience

I mentioned it earlier, but I’ll go into more detail here: the content marketing team needs help from PR. Because content needs an audience, and PR pros are good at finding them.

Inbound PR should support inbound marketing in any way it can. In particular, the PR team should be involved in outreach to promote new pieces of content, as well as any social media campaigns.

For PR pros, relationships (especially with media) are your thing. So if your company has a new infographic it wants to send to a list of target publications, you’re the best person for that.

Why? After all, I’m sure the content’s author can write a pitch. But you’re the one with contacts at media outlets already. And like I said before, a reporter is more likely to accept a pitch from someone they know. It’s also easier for a publication than making them try to keep track of multiple people at one company.

Best practices:

  • Stay close to the marketing team. In order to help them best, you all need to be working closely to make sure you’re all working towards the same goals.
  • Organize it. Not all your contacts will be looking for content. Know what each person in your network wants and needs, in order to pitch them only the most relevant stuff.
  • Plan ahead. While you’re working with marketing, build all outreach and PR into the initial strategy so marketing understands how you’ll be chipping in.

Conclusion

If you’re used to sending out cold pitches, this post might leave you feeling discouraged. “You mean I can’t pitch a reporter unless I know them? Getting to know them first will take so much longer, and we need coverage now.”

I get it. I do. But here’s the quick fix: build relationships before you need them. You know your company and its audience. Start researching outlets and contacts, reaching out, and adding them to your database now. You can set aside a block of time each week to check in with your contacts. That way, the next time you have something to pitch, the rapport is already there.

Just remember there’s a reason inbound PR is also called slow PR – so start early and check in often.

Brittany Berger Headshot Brittany Berger is the Content & PR Manager at Mention, where she reads a lot and writes even more. She likes her   media social and her Netflix nonstop. She’s based in NYC. Connect with her on Twitter at @bberg1010.

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7 Practices That Maximize the ROI of Negative Pitch Replies

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Nobody likes negative feedback. Even if you mask it as “constructive criticism,” it still stings. In promotions, it’s not uncommon to receive a negative response from an editor – some of the worst I’ve received is a simple, “No.” However, what you might not realize is that a negative response isn’t a dead end – it’s an opportunity to continue a conversation with the editor. They’ve opened the door to build a relationship and earn future placements, but the trick is how to get there.

The best response should sound like the beginning of a natural conversation – you want an editor to know that you’re interested in their feedback and are willing to listen to what they have to say. You want to come across as genuine if you want to get the very best feedback from them.

Here, we’ll walk you through seven practices that can improve your ROI for negative pitch replies, increasing the likelihood of future coverage and a mutually beneficial relationship with an editor.

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101 Questions Your Team Needs to Answer Before Pitching a Publisher

101 Questions

A successful content marketing campaign can be broken down into three main stages: ideation, production, and promotion. To maximize your efforts, all three should build off each other by focusing on one common goal—creating content that will inspire your audience and compel them to share.

Here we’ll walk you through the questions you need to ask yourself during the three phases in order to produce a campaign that will reach high levels of social traction.

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4 Psychological Tactics for Influencer Marketing

Why do publishers pick some pitches over others? Basic psychology may play a bigger role than you think.

A bright red dress is more likely to catch your attention over a more neutral option. You’re more likely to take a sip from a drink if a person you’re sitting with drinks first (go ahead, watch this in action at lunch tomorrow). There are a myriad of conscious and subconscious stimuli that affect the decisions we make every day, and that applies to publishers and their pitch choices, too.

BuzzStream and Fractl uncovered several psychological theories that can give you an edge in influencer marketing. These four takeaways can get you inside publishers’ heads – and get your content into their publications.

When it comes to options, less is more.

Publishers are eager for opportunities to collaborate. In a publisher study, 70% of editors and writers said they’d rather be pitched opportunities to work with marketers on stories rather than receive finished assets. Providing choices in your pitch gives influencers more flexibility to craft the story they want to publish and can give your promotion efforts a significant psychological advantage. But don’t overdo it with options; research suggests that too many choices can be overwhelming and cause people to decide to pass on the opportunity altogether.

Paradox of Choice

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Why Link Building Matters

As the internet has become increasingly pervasive, establishing a brand presence and making your content easy to find online has become more important than ever. Consumers have become savvy to – and frequently annoyed by – tactics like mass emails and paid advertising. This means you have to work harder to get your product or service in front of the right consumers, and this is where link building comes into play.

BuzzStream and Fractl have collaborated to review the trends in outbound versus inbound marketing techniques and tell you why link building is essential to your digital strategy. By analyzing reported results, costs, and trends in online marketing, we show you how to judge for yourself whether the ROI is worth the investment for your brand.

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What link building achieves

The most important thing to understand about link building is the results this strategy can achieve, especially in comparison to old PR methods.

Consider this: According to research from Nielsen and GroupM UK, only 6% of search engine users click on paid ads, but 94% click on organic search results. When it comes to earning click-through in organic results, however, ranking has an impact that can’t be understated. 90% of users will click on one of the first three results when searching for branded terms, and 61% will stay within the first three results for non-branded term searches. The average for clicks below the first three results is just 32%, meaning that your content needs to rank highly in order to earn the most traffic from organic search.

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Trend Report: 8 Marketing Patterns to Watch

Web searches are one of the best indicators of public interest. That fact is a basic underpinning of online marketing and SEO tactics – but what can web searches tell us about these very same industries?

Inspired by the year-end Google Trends campaign, we decided to look at some of the most common keywords from our own profession to see what terms are falling and rising in popularity. By using Google Trends to analyze seven years’ worth of data – from January of 2008 to November of 2014 – on 20 words related to online marketing terminology, design, and strategies, we created a review of the evolution of the industry and some predictions for its future. This new marketing trend report gives us a long-term global analysis as well as more recent regional insights.

Public Relations and Press Releases vs. Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing

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