Instagram Collab posts have become increasingly popular since their unveiling back in 2021, and they’re probably one of the simplest ways to increase your reach on Instagram. Collab posts give users the opportunity to multiply their reach and engagement by adding a co-author to the post. If you’re not incorporating this trending feature into your current social media strategy, you’re missing out on potential customers.
How do Instagram Collabs benefit your brand?
While originally intended to be a way for creators to maximize branded content, Collabs have proven to double as a sure fire way for brands to increase their reach and appear in the feeds of potential customers too. Collabs have also become a great way to beat the ever changing Instagram algorithm by showing up in two different feeds – your own and the feed of the account you’re collabing with. Brands now have the opportunity to insert themselves directly into the feeds of their target audience – be it through influencers, partnerships, or other relevant accounts.
Additionally, Collabs have the ability to increase Instagram engagement. When utitlizing the feature, the post will not only appear in the brand’s feed but also the feed of the account they are collabing with. Likely, the collab account will have a different variety of followers, giving brands the opportunity to further build their communities.
How to use Instagram Collabs
Creating an Instagram Collab post is incredibly simple to do, however, it can be hard to find the feature if you’ve never used it before. Here’s a step-by-step process on how to invite a collaborator to your post.
Begin by starting a new post. You’ll need to do this directly within the Instagram app, rather than on a third party scheduling platform.
Once you’ve added your media, caption, and hashtags, click on ‘Tag people’ beneath the post.
Click on ‘Invite collaborator’ and begin typing in the handle of the account you would like to invite as a collaborator.
Publish your post.
The collaborator will then receive a notification to accept your invitation to the collab post.
Once the collaborator has accepted, their handle will appear on the post within your feed and show in their feed as well.
Use all platform features to your advantage
While the Instagram collabs feature is a surefire way to increase your reach on Instagram, it’s essential to make sure you’re utilizing all of Instagram’s features in order to round out your efforts. Are you using Reels and Stories? Do you create polls and use the Question Box within your Stories? Are you incorporating Carousel posts into your content plan? Using all of Instagram’s features will not only maximize your chances of getting in front of potential customers but also increase your engagement as a whole. In today’s digital media landscape,you can no longer get away with posting a single image on social media.
Need help maximizing your Instagram strategy? When we work together, your brand does more than show up. It shows up with a story, a purpose, a unique reason for being – and it makes an impact. At Segal Communications, we become an extension of your team – we work fast to become brand experts and make sure we’re keeping your company relevant on social media. Connect with us – [email protected]
Last year, I came across an interesting article written by a lifestyle entrepreneur detailing how they saved “thousands” in not hiring a qualified PR agency. In herBusiness Insider article, she outlines her four strategies for success.
She writes, “I quickly realized that any time my business was mentioned in media coverage, my website traffic increased dramatically (I tracked this using Google Analytics). I decided to spend two hours a week trying to get more press mentions and tapped into the bit of PR knowledge I had from working in the industry for one year.”
So, should you do your own PR?
Here are my professional thoughts on the suggestions she outlined
Spending an hour a day on PR
1. She recommends setting up “Google alerts on topics, themes, competitors, and key phrases that are relevant to your business or industry” and drafting a pitch based on the trends and themes surfacing that week. She recommends allocating 1 hour to this undertaking. In theory, this is not a bad strategy – it’s something we do for our clients but it’s not how I would recommend a founder allocating their time. The role of a founder is to be the visionary for the company. Delegation is the key to success, not working in the weeds. While a PR agency is an investment, yes, if you believe in what you are doing, it will be an investment that will certainly pay off over time.
Not all press opportunities are worth your time
2. Next up, she says to post yourself as a source on reporter sourcing platforms – reporters will post call-outs for the expertise they are seeking. The couple she mentions are certainly used, but one of the two is also filled with a ton of junk that would not be worth the time. An agency has institutional knowledge that can help weed out the “opportunities” that are a waste of your time. Agencies also have many other resources that are not mentioned that are far better in finding quality placements.
3. Take a class in PR. Sure, you can do this, but it’s the equivalent of being a DIY home improvement person. You will never get the results that someone with 10 thousand hours of experience will. You may have a new tile floor, but really won’t you have to redo it in a few years when the grout starts to crack?
Understanding the dos and don’ts when pitching reporters
4. Her final recommendation is to identify ten reporters who cover your industry and warm them up to receiving your pitches by being social with them on their feeds – liking and sharing, etc. Great advice if you have the bandwidth but don’t expect reporters to respond to your pitches. Reporters’ inboxes are overwhelming by most accounts and not always receptive to individuals pitching themselves because their lack of understanding about the journalistic process makes them more of a headache than a help. PR professionals have a well-oiled understanding of reporters’ needs and will bend over backward for their clients. If you don’t know the drill, you may burn a bridge before you even make headlines.
So, should you do your own PR?
In short, when you are thinking about tackling PR yourself, just remember Beyonce probably never did her own. Instead, she focused on creating her awe-inspiring performances because she believed in her brand and hired a publicist.
Let us take your brand’s visibility to the next level. We’re here, ready to help your company showcase your “why” and share it with millions of people.
Does your company website have a press page? If not, you’re not alone. Many of our clients come to us without one. But you definitely need one — ASAP.
Why you need a press page
Reporters work on tight deadlines, and the last thing they have time for is searching your site for contact information. At the very least, your press page should have a dedicated press email that goes to your media relations team. But why stop there?
Think of your press page as an advertisement for your company aimed at a very specific audience — the media. Use it to position your company as an industry leader with a unique message and deep expertise. Putting some time into building an awesome press page increases your chances of being found — and contacted — by reporters working on relevant stories.
Everything you need to build a press page
While press pages vary across different industries, standard sections include the following:
Contact Information – Here’s where you list your dedicated email, which can be as simple as [email protected] Some companies use fill forms, but we advise against it as they can be difficult to complete on mobile devices and deter media from reaching out. If possible, include a phone number as well.
In the News – This is where you show off all your media hits. It should include images or logos of publications, article headlines, and brief descriptions of the editorial placement. This section needs to be updated in real-time. Some brands will “pin” highlights (the most notable coverage) to the top of this page with reputable news logos showcased in the creative.
Press Releases – This section should include all past company press releases organized by year, with the most recent first, and be searchable. Collecting all your press releases in one place helps strengthen your company narrative.
News Feed – Consider integrating a social feed into your press page to show your brand personality and how you interact with consumers. Choose the social platform you update most frequently.
Media Kit – A media kit provides reporters with all the information they need, so they don’t have to spend time asking you for it. In addition to standard logos, company boilerplate, and images, consider including video (b-roll), executive headshots, fast facts, a company timeline, and/or honors and awards the company has received. Make sure your media kit is downloadable!
How much does a PR agency cost? It’s a question that every potential client wants to ask on the first call but rarely ever does, so here’s a look into my truth as the owner of a midsize PR agency.
A boutique agency has the ability to be flexible with pricing
While some agencies won’t take clients for anything less than $25,000 a month, the boutique agency pricing is slightly different. This is because:
We’re growing, so we’re eager to land interesting clients that help grow our reputation.
We generally don’t have the overhead of a large agency — people who are not “billable” like a CFO, CIO, and Head of People, so we can be more flexible with pricing.
We usually don’t report to a board or investors, so we can choose to work with brands we believe in.
That said, boutique agencies also don’t have the financial buffer that larger agencies have. Meaning clients coming and going matter more.
By being flexible, we help our clients balance their desired results with their budgets.
What is the average retainer at Segal Communications?
At Segal, we have three main practice areas – consumer, tech, and executive visibility. We provide media relations, influencer programs, social media management, and creative campaigns for each of these.
Our clients fall into one of six categories:
Industry Specific Technology with 100-1,000 employees, focused on growth
Emerging Industry Technology start-ups that are investing in public relations to build awareness
Trusted Consumer Brands with 100-1,000 employees, focused on omni-channel purchasing (online and brick-and-mortar)
Growing Consumer Brands with great products that need to get into the hands of those who influence
Informers and Educators who have logged their ten thousand hours of expertise and then some and are working to share their experience and knowledge with a larger public audience
Passionate Founders with a product or service that warrants staning
Most Segal Communications baseline retainers currently hover between $6,000-$12,000, but there are exceptions to that rule. The exceptions include being a longtime client who has been with us from the start, someone or something too cool to pass up, or a mission-driven organization working on something for the greater good.
On the lower end of the price range are consumer clients that have a desirable product that we can get into the hands of influencers and media. On the higher end are B2B clients with unique audiences and customers.
Agencies offer the most comprehensive range of services
The baseline retainers are just that — baseline. Most clients want more than PR; they want social media, blog writing, bylines, sample campaigns, and creative. All of these elements have additional pricing structures. Working with an agency is valuable because we are a one-stop shop for all of your communications needs. We provide our clients with a fluid ecosystem of communications services that can ebb and flow with the needs of the business. By being flexible, we help our clients balance their desired results with their budgets.
Let us take your brand’s visibility to the next level. We’re here, ready to help your company showcase your “why” and share it with millions of people.
The fast-paced nature of the internet has created a consumer demand for Google search results to be delivered instantly and precisely. A survey found 60 percent of mobile users were very likely to click on the first two to three search results they saw, and more than 90 percent were likely to click on the first set of results.
Leveraging search engine optimization (SEO) to boost your visibility online has become a highly valued and sought-after strategy for companies. Traditionally, SEO has been a marketing practice but this is no longer the case. The ever-changing nature of today’s digital landscape offers new possibilities for PR pros to incorporate SEO tactics in their work to strengthen their clients’ presence in search results.
The Relationship Between SEO and PR
SEO and PR can work cohesively to increase brand recognition. They are reliant on one another, often more than we think. How effective can PR efforts be if consumers cannot find your company on Google? There is little content and opportunity for SEO to grow organically without PR.
Including SEO tactics in your PR strategy can differentiate between how you and your competitors stand in search rankings, ultimately deciding which sites both new and returning consumers choose to visit. PR pros can incorporate two components in their daily practices to achieve optimal SEO for their clients:keywords and backlinking.
Keywords and backlinking are essential in the relationship between SEO and PR as they are easily manipulated and offer significant influence when utilized correctly.
Identifying the Keywords You Want to Rank For
Keywords are phrases included in your content that make it possible for search engines to list your company as a reliable and accurate result. This is where most will look to start in their SEO journey.
You first will want to audit the keywords your company is already ranking for. This builds your foundational understanding of which keywords are influencing your ranking. You are likely to see your company rank highly for obvious keywords relative to your company, like your name, service, or product. An audit can provide insight into what phrases are commonly addressed in already published content and help in identifying new opportunities to focus on in the future to target those infrequently used keywords.
It’s crucial to note keyword selections are not set in stone. They can be adjusted to cater to new product offerings or different PR campaigns, but be careful in selecting which ones and how many you want to monitor. The best practice is to start basic and simple before expanding to longer, more complex keywords.
Optimizing Earned and Owned Coverage Through Backlinks
Your search ranking is also determined by the number and quality of outside websites that link back to your website within their published content. Backlinks from credible and trustworthy sites positively influence your SEO ranking, making earning digital media placements one of the most beneficial SEO-boosting tactics. These placements work to increase your brand’s searchability, ultimately enhancing the quality and quantity of website traffic you receive. To ensure a published story results in an SEO-boosting backlink, your PR rep can ask a journalist to include a link to your company’s website along with including relevant links in their pitch for the journalist to reference and embed.
Owned media, which includes things like press releases and blog posts, also presents opportunities for PR pros to help you drive your SEO rankings. Linking to other relevant content you own within a piece of media on your website can increase domain authority and traffic to other landing pages. Overall, we see this as a win-win!
Your SEO ranking determines your accessibility, affecting how both new and returning customers can find you. Working with the right team of PR professionals can ensure your company ranks for relevant search terms and generates a healthy stream of backlinks to achieve maximum visibility.
At Segal Communications, we’re here to help your business reach its full SEO potential. Ready for a custom audit to identify your business’s optimal keywords and assess backlink health?
15 ways to inspire journalists to attend — and hopefully write about — your launch, product, or service.
It’s been a rough two years for all of us, and the world of PR is no exception. Publicists who once relied on in-person events to help introduce journalists to brands had to find alternate ways to connect. And while Zoom events were fun, in-person events are back.
As we’re actively planning the rest of the year, we’re also collectively gearing up for launches and events. Before you start planning your next big media lunch or cocktail party, have a read through some of our best tips on how to get media to attend your event.
1. Make the invitation stand out
Whether you plan on sending out an engraved note with hand calligraphy or prefer an email blast, spend some time thinking about your message. What’s your event for? What or who are you promoting? Whether you’re planning a launch of a new diet or a one-on-one with an A-lister, the invitation mood should match your event. Whether it’s punny or extremely serious, create a design to match the wording. Make sure your contact information is updated and everyone’s names are spelled correctly. Always include contact information and an option for feedback. While you’re at it, include teasers. If you plan on giving away a trip to Hawaii, make it clear, especially if attendees must be present for the drawing.
2. Don’t muddle the message
If your goal is to connect with journalists, set up a smaller event so you can have more one-on-one time. If your goal is to introduce writers to your client in person, create a series of conversation starters so that writers find a reason to engage with your client. If your goal is to launch a product, make that front and center of your invitation, event and follow-up. Offer enough cues and incentives to make it easy and inviting to write about whatever it is you’re promoting.
3. Swag matters
Speaking of winning, try to make everyone attending feel like they won something simply for showing up. Create memorable giveaways and try to be plentiful about them. Not to sound jaded, but many journalists receive a lot of useless swag. Don’t just slap your client’s logo on an unidentifiable tech accessory, try to make your giveaways (plural is always better) match your product, client messaging and writer’s beat when at all possible. And if at all possible, co-brand an advance gift. In this way, you’re already creating a positive association with the reporter and your client.
4. Plan a fun activity
The best events are on some level interactive in service of the product or client being feted. I once made dessert with a former chef for the royal family. Another time I learned how to create cocktails using a kitchen torch. Years later, I still remember the brands that went above and beyond to ensure that not only was their brand or product highlighted, but the event was so much fun that it stuck out in my mind. I still talk about the best events I’ve attended. And believe it or not, the best events have multiple attractions and activities to keep all types interested.
5. Make it easy for guests to get there
…and leave. Despite the fact that you’ve spent months planning your event, not all journalists will plan to be there for the whole thing. Be gracious if they pop in and have to go. Arrange transportation when possible, and don’t pout if they leave before the presentation. Budget for a car service through ride-share apps. Better yet, arrange the cars to make them feel even more pampered.
6. Have a great venue
While every single element matters, the venue is crucial – and so is decorating your space. While having a step and repeat feels like a no-brainer, it isn’t always appealing. If possible, bring in a designer to help you create a look that highlights your client’s aesthetic and then display the product accordingly. And as sad as it sounds, have some people around just to keep an eye on the swag bags and other items of value to make sure they don’t disappear.
7. Feel free to show off
I once attended the 20th anniversary of an online jewelry brand, and they held the event in a room filled with sparkly things, including rings with 20-carat diamonds. Even more fun, we were free to try everything on and play dress-up for a while. If your client has an incredible product, show it off in as many ways as possible. Tactile works well at an event since even shy journalists can find reasons to chat with team members.
8. Keep your room well staffed
If you’re expecting a crowd, make sure that you have enough team members there to personally greet guests and give them a walk-through when possible. And while you’re at it, have two-tiers of staffers- some with name tags or other identifiable details, and some that blend into the crowd and act as conversation starters.
9. Be a great host
We all know how stressful it can be to host an event, but if you’re the one inviting someone, don’t ignore them when they show up. After check-in, assign a few people to be unofficial greeters and lead guests in, and point you out. Or give them a VIP list not of the A-Listers, but rather of the people you really want to speak to!
10. Present an alternative option to attending in person
Not everyone is going to feel comfortable showing up to your event and that’s fine. Create an option for people to attend via Zoom or the video conferencing software of your choice. And don’t make them feel guilty if they can’t make it. Consider sending gift cards so you can treat them to a snack while they virtually socialize at your event.
11. Plan a great menu
Whether it’s branded cocktails or doughnuts with your corporate colors, try to ensure that there are subtle branding reminders throughout. Unlike a personal or family gathering, the point here is to find a way to do business together.
12. Send out reminders
Make it easy for journalists to remember your event. Send calendar invitations and remind them a few days before your event and again that morning. Despite people’s best intentions, it’s sometimes easy to totally miss an event. Be friendly, not annoying when you send out the reminders, and try to include one previously not shared details. Maybe it’s a celebrity visit or a crazy cocktail.
13. Don’t disappoint your guests
I once attended an event since I was curious about interviewing an A-List celebrity with a new movie out. You can imagine my disappointment when they rolled out a screen with a previously recorded message.
14. Follow up in a fun way
Maybe you have pictures from a photo booth or a personalized trinket, but don’t only follow up to ask about their plans for coverage.
15. Make your client available for follow-up interviews
There’s nothing as frustrating as being pitched a story or source only to be told they’re not available for an interview.
And don’t ever do this:
Don’t CC everyone on your random media lists in the hope that someone will show up. Spend time curating your guest lists so that you’ll have an appreciative and hopefully interesting crowd.
Need help getting started? When we work together, you and your brand do more than show up. You show up with a story, a purpose, a unique reason for being – and you make an impact. At Segal Communications, we become an extension of your team – we work fast to get to know you and your brand and make sure we’re keeping you and your company relevant on social media.
As a professional journalist, I spend a good portion of my work week reading pitches from hopeful publicists. While some of the pitches I receive are on-target and incredibly useful, the majority, sadly, are not. And so instead of being able to work on a story or find a useful source, I waste far too much time wading through off-topic or wholly incomprehensible pitches.
While many publicists learn key techniques during their studies or internships, there are some basics that aren’t included. The so-called soft skills that involve building and maintaining relationships instead of randomly peppering people with pitches in the hopes that one will be on target.
Here’s the thing, really great publicists understand how to connect their clients with the right journalists. They also understand that creating an ongoing relationship with the right reporter could prove more valuable than a single PR hit. And really great publicists also connect with journalists to understand both their likes and pet peeves.
In no particular order, here are some tips on how to better work with reporters while pitching or relationship building. We’ll be adding more advice in upcoming posts as well.
1. Make your message matter.
You have a limited number of words – and the writer you’re contacting has a limited amount of patience. While it can seem abrupt to get to the point immediately, try not to use so much flowery language and exposition, that the journalists you’re pitching stop reading mid-greeting. Be polite. Be friendly, and get to the point before they tune out.
2. Don’t make them figure out what you’re saying.
I can’t tell you how many pitches I receive that make absolutely no sense to me. Don’t assume that the journalist you’re pitching has any understanding of your client’s mission or messaging. In fact, assume that they’ve never heard of your client before. Try to offer a bit of background, or at the very least clarify what it is that you’re pitching.
3. Keep relevant information easy to find.
Oh, joy! Your pitch is on target and timely and the writer you’re pitching really wants to find out more about the company you mentioned. Only you forgot to include a link to their website and left out the CEO’s name and otherwise neglected to include the critical information that allows a reporter to do a bit of a deeper dive into your client.
4. Personalize or individualize your pitch.
While you’re busy and likely feeling pressure from your client or boss, that shouldn’t come across in your pitch. Take the time to include the reporter’s first name and spell it correctly. There are few things that cause me to tune out immediately like an email that begins: Dear [WRITER].
5. Skip the hearts and flowers.
Unless you know each other well and have professed our undying friendship, don’t start with an affectionate greeting or end with anything too personal. And while you’re at it, skip the x’s and o’s on pitches to total strangers.
6. Create a fantastic subject line.
Challenge yourself to pique the interest of the journalist in question. Try to set your pitch apart from the get-go by creating a subject line that’s almost irresistible. I receive hundreds of unsolicited pitches daily, when doing a quick scan through my inbox I inevitably read the emails that sound interesting.
7. Create a relationship, not a one off.
When pitching a reporter, understand that as well researched as your pitch is, it might not be relevant. But the next one might. By creating an ongoing relationship with a writer you sometimes bypass the crowd and they might come to you first for sources or pay more attention to your pitches the next time around.
8. Feedback is your friend.
For some reason many publicists bristle when being told their pitch is off-topic or irrelevant. If a writer is taking time to respond, it’s possible that something about your pitch did catch their interest. Pay attention to their feedback and fine-tune your next pitch.
9. Don’t underestimate freelancers.
Back in the day, publicists would prioritize pitches so staffers at print magazines were their first choice. While things have changed drastically— especially with the growth of digital journalism — some publicists still haven’t quite figured out how to work with freelancers. Depending on how many outlets the freelancer in question contributes to, you could be pitching a dozen publications instead of just one.
10. Do your homework.
It is not a journalist’s job to educate you on who they write for and what they write about. It also is a huge turnoff to be pitched a topic they haven’t written about in years. Look up their profile on Muckrack or a similar site to have an idea of what their recent stories are about and who they’re writing for before pitching. Or check out their social media profiles to see if they’re posting recent stories which will give you a bit more intel as well.
11. Don’t keep asking when a story will run.
Writers spend a good portion of their day, well, writing. In addition to that, they network with editors and other writers, research their stories, edit their stories, find sources, interview sources, promote their work on social media and more. If a reporter tells you that they don’t know when a story will run, trust them on it. Sending follow-up emails won’t magically make a run date appear. It will annoy them though.
12. Don’t pout if your client isn’t featured.
At the end of the day, there’s always an editorial hierarchy. A reporter might love your client’s quote and then have it edited out of the final version. Trying to make a writer feel guilty about it won’t cause them to sneak your client back in, it’ll probably make them avoid you in the future.
At Segal Communications we understand that while we work for our clients, journalists are our partners in the process.
Whether you’re a business vet or you just signed the dotted line for your first LLC, you already know the importance of promotion. Creating buzz for your business is one of the most exciting (yet often daunting) parts of the game. It takes a keen understanding of the shifting media landscape and a watchful eye on communication trends.
For those who live by the motto “work smarter, not harder,” a go-to route is to hire a PR agency or consultant. After all, they’re the ones who can help attract your future clients and customers. While these experts can add value and build momentum at nearly any stage of your business growth, there are essential factors to consider before diving into this meaningful working relationship. To ensure that you maximize your ROI and see better results in less time, we’ve mapped out ten things to keep in mind before beginning a PR program.
1. Determine your high-level goals
As any wise business owner knows, defining specific goals and timeframes around sales, expansion, staffing, etc., is crucial. You should ensure that your PR strategy is specifically tailored to assist in achieving those goals. Especially when you’re outsourcing, sharing your larger goals allows those experts to steer the ship in the right direction and allocate resources appropriately.
2. Define (or refine) your brand identity
This is something that a PR firm can typically assist with from a consulting standpoint. However, it’s essential to engage with branding specialists and designers to ensure your brand identity is beautifully reflected through cohesive design and messaging. With fierce competition and increasingly shortened attention spans, if your brand and image don’t project relevance, authenticity, and a clear identity, media and stakeholders will brush it aside no matter how well-crafted your pitch.
3. Evaluate your distribution
Whether offering a product or service, analyze your existing distribution and growth potential to assess the size and scope of PR required. While demand, of course, drives supply, sometimes it doesn’t make sense to over-promote (or target those top national outlets) if you know you lack the infrastructure to keep up with the resulting orders. A PR program should be designed to drive awareness and sales in a way that best serves your capacity and can be scaled up in line with your business.
4. Gather press-worthy images
While it may seem overly basic and self-explanatory, you’d be shocked to see how often companies execute PR with subpar image assets, even in 2022. These aesthetic tools not only reflect your brand identity and value but can be a ‘make it or break it’ deciding factor when a journalist determines which brand will land the coveted lead spot in an article or round-up.
5. Get social
If you had to choose between having only a website or a social media presence, quite often we’d
recommend the latter (of course, depending on your audience). Not only does it establish a sense of relevance, but it’s perhaps the most organic method to building an audience from scratch, establishing a direct channel of communication, and driving launches and announcements in tandem with traditional media relations. It’s also the first place most potential customers check to vet a new brand.
6. Build a sharp website
Needless to say, this has got to be on point, and you’ll want consistency in style and messaging between the
site and social channels. PR can help you land that feature story or top-tier placement, but if those calls to action lead to a lackluster website or uninspired social feed, you can kiss that potential sale goodbye.
7. Get clear about your audience
This goes back to the importance of defining your brand identity, and you should have a clear idea in your mind about the demographic and psychographic profiles of your target consumers. PR programs should be highly tailored, and the more specific the audience, the more tailored a campaign can be crafted to truly resonate. This can definitely be a conversation with a PR team to perhaps refine or expand the definition of your audience, but it’s important to have a strong existing sense from the jump.
8. Designate a spokesperson
While a PR rep handles 90% of the legwork here, most businesses should also have an internal ‘face’ of the company, who can be trained and leveraged for interview opportunities, press conferences, and other media or public-facing events. Oftentimes this will fall on the CEO, in-house communications director, or perhaps a paid industry spokesperson or celebrity. A PR agency can help determine the best option, but it’s smart to have someone who is ready and willing from the start.
9. Map out your company news
Even if timing isn’t exactly confirmed, it’s important to forecast future events and timeframes in terms of product launches, fundraising, expansion, new hires, etc. The further in advance you have an idea of these developments, the more strategic a PR program can be. Timing is everything, and your team can advise on which announcements will make the greatest impact, and when.
10. Learn to keep an open mind
PR professionals are natural storytellers and diligent planners, which are valuable traits for the job. While they understand that your business is your baby and will do everything in their power to control the narrative, even the best-laid plans will change on a dime. There are many moving parts and uncontrollable factors when dealing with the media, and this is when critical problem-solving skills come into play. You’ll absolutely lose your mind if you don’t learn to trust the process and change direction now and again. Sometimes the new solution ends up even better than the original plan!
Ready to get started with your customized PR program? When we work together, your brand does more than show up. It shows up with a story, a purpose, a unique reason for being – and it makes an impact.
4 Sure-Fire Ways to Make Your Pitches Irresistible
Journalists receive hundreds of pitches daily from publicists eager to tell them about clients, launches, or things they deem newsy. Those pitches can run the gamut from oddly inappropriate, to blessedly on-target, to a whole lot of WTF did I just read?
So, what makes a journalist take the time to read your pitch, much less decide the information is worth sharing with their readers? For one thing, a really great pitch never leaves you guessing. From the subject line to the introduction to the description, all elements shared should fit perfectly together- which come to think of it is a lot like classic Fisher-Price toys.
While there’s nothing juvenile about the PR and journalist relationship, sometimes it helps to go back to the basics.
If you’re trying to make your own pitches stand out from the scrum, consider adding a bit of Fisher-Price inspiration to your approach.
Make it easy to understand.
Fisher-Price toys may have been developed by developmental specialists and engineers, but every single colorful element seems effortless. More than that, they make sense, fit seamlessly with each other and offer a bit of fun in the process before hitting the payoff. And that offers a lot of inspiration for publicists hoping to up their own game.
Before sharing your latest pitches, check for clarity with someone who knows nothing about your product or client. Your pitch shouldn’t be like the New York Times crossword puzzle, taking endless minutes to solve, it has to naturally flow from one piece to the next.
PR pro tips: Reread your pitch from the journalist’s point of view before hitting send.
There is nothing worse than receiving a pitch and having no idea of what you’re being pitched. As a publicist, you may have a clear idea of what you think you’re saying, but it might not make sense to anyone outside of your agency. By making your pitch easy to understand and navigate, you increase your chances of your entire pitch being read. And while you’re at it, you probably still need to cut things down to make it clear and bite-sized.
Don’t make the reader have to plow through endless information for a payoff. And don’t make it so confusing that they give up in the middle. Let your reader know who your client is, why this pitch is relevant or timely.
Make it timely.
Part of the genius of Fisher-Price is the way every toy is geared to a specific age group. Not sure if this is the game for your tot? Read the label and you’ll immediately know if it’s a good fit.
PR pro tips: Make your pitch newsy and timely whenever possible. Just because you’re working with a new client does not mean that it’s relevant or interesting to a journalist. If you can’t find an angle that works exclusively with their beat, find one that works with current events. But since the news cycle moves so quickly, you’ll have to be prepared to hit send quickly to stay relevant.
Do the heavy lifting behind the scenes.
One of the reasons for Fisher-Price’s great success is that they track the many moving parts behind the science of fun. Sure, they create products to dovetail with a baby’s growth and development, but there’s always a deep thought process behind what seems incredibly simple. They also laser focus on who they’re targeting and why and literally build ease of use into the process.
A huge challenge for journalists is keeping editors happy by writing stories that are clickable and organically shareable. As a publicist, you can help by crafting your pitch in a way that shows you’ve not only researched the writer’s outlets or potential angles, but also the way their content is shared or consumed.
PR pro tips:
There’s a fine line between seeming to write the article for a journalist (don’t do that) and offering bite-sized blocks of information, comparisons, or data points illustrating why your pitch matters. Remember, before you can connect with a writer’s outlet, you have to connect with them first. And in case anyone needs reminding, PR stands for public relations.
Don’t build in too many moving parts.
Part of the genius of Fisher-Price toys is that they somehow know just how many block pieces to include before the puzzle is solved. More than that, they create experiences that override frustration for a feeling of satisfaction.
Along those lines, if you fill a pitch with so much useless information that a journalist has to dig around to find basic facts, they’ll simply skip to the next pitch. And they might just avoid your future pitches. Always give a writer the easiest possible way to cover your news.
PR pro tips: Before you spend that extra time pasting images into a PDF, ask yourself if that’s helpful to the journalist your pitching? Instead, offer a quick clickable link with a small image and then offer a high resolution image if requested. In other words, always provide journalists with the easiest possible way for them to cover your news. Segal Communications founder Sarah Segal said she and the team “always put the text of a press release into the body of the email and never as an attachment so that reporters can easily search it and don’t have to open anything.”