December 10, 2013
Perhaps you are frustrated that your competitors are regularly featured in the media and want to tackle them head on.
Public relations is a great tool for businesses to stand out from their competitors through telling their story, building their profile and reputation, and communicating with their target audience.
Here are some public relations tactics which you can use to give your business a competitive edge.
Monitor your competition
The first step to stay ahead of your competition is to understand who your competitors are, what they are offering and what type of media coverage they are achieving.
An effective method to keep up to date with your competition is to monitor their media and social media activities through Google Alerts or other media monitoring services.
Google Alerts are free notifications that are sent to you when Google finds new results matching your keyword search terms. Include your competitors in your Google Alert keywords to receive regular updates on their activities. (When you set up Google Alerts make sure you do them for yourself as well.)
There are also several paid media monitoring tools which will monitor all mentions across TV, radio, print and online including social media channels.
Write expert articles
Writing articles is an excellent way to establish yourself as an expert in your particular field and give you an edge against your competition.
Your articles must be relevant, engaging and valuable for your target audience. Articles can be pitched to media outlets, such as newspapers, magazines or blogs, and can result in media coverage for your business.
Provide commentary to the media
The media is always on the lookout for new story angles, expert opinions and advice. Providing commentary to the media is an excellent way to get your business’ name in the media, and demonstrate your own expertise and knowledge in your topic area. This could be as simple as offering a response to an article or pitching yourself to a publication for an interview.
Make the most of speaking opportunities
Speaking at a conference or event is an excellent way to position yourself as an expert with your target audience, build your profile and credibility, and generate brand awareness.
In today’s competitive business market, being positioned as an expert in your field can lead to new business opportunities and an increase in sales and new customers or clients.
Use case studies to your advantage
Case studies describe a project or client your business has worked with. Using case studies gives potential customers or clients an insight into how your business operates, and how they can benefit from what your business has to offer. People are more likely to choose a particular business over another when they can see previous results.
Engage on social media
Social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook offer a direct way to engage with current and potential customers. Begin by researching which social media channels your target audience use and create a profile on these channels.
It is important to encourage dialogue with your followers, which can be achieved by posting interesting content, sharing newsworthy stories about your industry, asking questions and responding to queries.
The power of public relations ultimately lies in its ability to set a business apart. Through establishing credibility, enhancing reputation and building brand awareness, public relations can help your business get ahead of your competitors.
Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more tips see our website http://www.cpcommunications.com.au/
December 3, 2013
Thought leaders are informed opinion leaders and go-to people in their field of expertise. Being positioned as a thought leader in your industry helps your business gain credibility and visibility, and builds your personal brand.
Becoming a thought leader builds trust in your business, and helps you build a strong reputation and relationship with existing and potential clients or customers.
Here are some tips for becoming a thought leader.
Be well informed in your niche area
The first step to becoming a thought leader is to define the niche topic you are passionate about and already have expertise in. The topic must be relevant to your industry, your business proposition, your experience and your target audience.
It is important to understand all aspects of your chosen topic. Stay across the latest trends by reading key publications, research and blogs.
Provide expert commentary in the media
The media is always on the lookout for a great story supported by expert opinions and advice. Providing commentary to the media in an interview is an excellent way of demonstrating your knowledge and expertise in your topic area.
Speak at events
A great way to demonstrate your expertise on your topic and gain exposure with your target audience is to speak at events and conferences. Consider where your expertise lies and select a speaking topic that fits with your niche and will engage your target audience.
Write a blog
Blogs are a great way to share your knowledge and position yourself as a thought leader in your field of expertise. You can either start your own business blog or become a guest blogger on other relevant industry blogs.
It is important to post regularly and engage with your readers by encouraging discussions and sharing experiences, ideas and any other relevant information.
Network on social media
Social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook provide an avenue to demonstrate your expertise to a large, captive audience.
You can connect with people in your industry, post relevant, insightful and interesting commentary, or share articles that relate to your field. Building your social capital will go a long way to helping you become a thought leader.
Write expert content
One of the best ways to establish yourself as an expert in a particular field is to produce interesting and relevant content. Engage with your audience through expert articles, social media posts, eBooks, fact sheets, blog posts or guides. Your target audience appreciate quality content that provides value.
Thought leadership is about leading the conversation and challenging your target audience to think about the trends and issues in your industry. By developing and sharing your knowledge you can become a leading expert in your field.
Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more tips see our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.
November 19, 2013
In today’s competitive market being positioned as an expert in your field can lead to new business opportunities and an increase in sales and new customers.
The benefit of speaking opportunities
Speaking at conferences and events is a great way to get in front of your target audience to communicate your message and build brand awareness. It’s a good idea to speak at conferences or events your target audience is likely to attend as it may result in new customers or clients.
Speaking at an event gives you automatic credibility on your subject matter and helps to position you as an expert in your industry. When your customers or clients see you as an expert they are more likely to consider doing business with you.
When speaking at an event there are many promotional opportunities you can take advantage of to build your brand awareness. For example, you can include pamphlets or business cards in the gift bags or hand them out at the door. You also have the opportunity to publicise your involvement in the event by promoting it on your website, social media profiles and eNewsletter.
The more events you speak at the better your presentation skills will become. By speaking at many events you can increase your profile, which may lead to more speaking events in the future.
Tips to get the most out of speaking opportunities
All About Public Relations has offered some excellent tips on how to get the most out of speaking opportunities.
Instead of waiting for a speaking opportunity to come to you be proactive and research upcoming events or conferences you can speak at. You can then pitch yourself to the event organisers and tell them why you would be a great speaker for their event.
When you do gain a speaking opportunity here are some tips to help you make the most of it:
- Don’t use your presentation as an opportunity to do the hard sell. A good speaker adds value and shares insights, but doesn’t overtly sell their wares.
- Target your presentation at the audiences’ level. Conduct some research into the level of knowledge the audience is likely to have. For example, if your audience has never used social media before, your presentation about social media will need to be at a very basic level and without using social media jargon.
- It’s important to know what the audience is looking for in order to tailor your presentation to their needs. When researching the audience think about how your presentation can answer any questions they may have about your area of expertise.
- Make your presentation engaging. The use of presentation slides or video equipment can assist in transferring the information to the audience in an interesting way.
- Every opportunity to speak at an event is a chance to learn, grow and refine your presentation skills. Practice your presentation and seek honest feedback in order to improve.
- Bring a colleague to the event in order to take advantage of networking opportunities.
Things to remember
- You don’t need to be a professional public speaker to present at an event. However, you do need to have expert knowledge of your area of expertise, the ability to speak clearly and engage with the audience.
- If you’re nervous before a presentation use relaxation techniques such as controlled breathing to help calm your nerves.
- Remember to make eye contact with your audience and to speak clearly.
- Make sure to prepare your presentation well in advance and allow yourself time to practice.
- If you connect with your audience early in the presentation you have a better chance of successfully communicating your message. Think about using humour or hand gestures to aid with engagement.
Gaining speaking opportunities is a great way to increase your business’ exposure to its target audience and position yourself as an expert in your industry.
Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more tips see our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.
November 5, 2013
Today is the Melbourne Cup, the race that stops the nation every year. With Christmas and New Year just around the corner, it’s a good reminder of the many great story ideas businesses can develop from these annual events. These stories are called evergreen stories.
Evergreen stories are kind of like ground hog day. They come around every year and from a media perspective, they remain interesting and newsworthy every year.
Your business can take advantage of annual events to gain media coverage, by developing a new angle on the same old story and pitching it to a relevant journalist. Most journalists will publish stories about upcoming annual events and are always looking for a fresh angle.
For example, evergreen stories around Melbourne Cup can include, gambling, social etiquette, winning, fashion and horses. You can develop fresh angles around these topics which relate to your business, for instance, don’t gamble on the wrong business and race to be the best in your industry.
Here is a list of other annual events you can use for evergreen stories:
- Annual events: The Melbourne Cup, End of Financial Year, Clean Up Australia Day.
- Holidays: Easter, Christmas, New Years, ANZAC Day, Queen’s Birthday, Chinese New Year, Australia Day.
- Special days: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, International Women’s Day.
- Special Weeks: NSW Seniors Week, Australia’s Healthy Weight Week.
There are many annual events you can take advantage of here is a link to more.
A good tip is to create a calendar of annual events relevant to your business. You can then create content around these events for your PR strategy, social media profiles and blog. This is a great way to help you plan and organise your content.
Take advantage of annual events to gain media coverage for your business and start thinking about fresh angles for Christmas and New Year now.
Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more tips see our website http://www.cpcommunications.com.au/.
October 22, 2013
When a journalist calls to interview you it’s a great opportunity to boost your profile in the media and build your business’ brand.
To make the most of this opportunity you need to make sure you are prepared for the interview. You can do this by asking the journalist a few specific questions to gain a better idea of what they are looking for.
Here are some tips on what you can do when a journalist calls for an interview.
Try to not do the interview straight away
The key is to prepare for an interview, so try not to do the interview then and there. If they are on deadline, obviously you will need to do the interview quickly. In this case, even two minutes will you give you time to prepare.
Ask for their deadline
You should always ask a journalist what their deadline is for the interview to ensure you are available. If their deadline is in a few weeks then you can give yourself more time to prepare and book the interview for another day. If their deadline is in a few hours then you need to make sure you are available as soon as possible.
Get their contact details
Ask for the journalist’s name, publication, email address and phone number because these details will help you arrange the interview. You can also add their details to your media database and pitch them other story ideas in the future.
What will the interview be about?
Ask the journalist what the main topic of the interview will be. This will help you prepare for the interview by writing down some key points to discuss. You can also conduct some extra research if they bring up an issue you are not too familiar with.
If a journalist wants to interview you on a topic which isn’t in your area of expertise then think carefully about doing the interview. For example if you run a construction business and the interview is on fashion trends in Paris you should probably decline unless you are a fashion expert (and don’t want to become a fashion expert).
How will the interview be conducted?
There are numerous ways an interview can be conducted including over the phone, in person, via video call, emailed questions, live radio or on camera. You need to know how a journalist will be interviewing you to ensure you are prepared. For example an interview on live radio is very different to an interview for a print journalist because everything you say on live radio will be broadcast straight away.
If you want to be more prepared for when a journalist calls then you should hire a PR agency. A PR agency will handle the initial call from a journalist, organise the best time for your interview and help you prepare the best points to discuss.
Tell us about any media interviews you’ve done?
August 6, 2013
By getting to know journalists and what they write about, you can improve your chances of successfully pitching to them. When a journalist is familiar with your business and what you are an expert in, they are more likely to come to you with a media opportunity.
Most journalists are now on social media and use this channel to share their work and comment on issues of interest. By looking at a journalist’s social media profiles and posts, you can get to know what the journalist is interested in. You can also see when journalists post media call-outs which increass your chances of gaining a media opportunity.
Journalists are often hard to contact by phone or email and some of them may be more responsive on social media then other channels. You can start conversations with journalists on social media to raise their awareness of your business and help them to get to know you.
Here are some tips for building a relationship with journalists on social media.
Follow key journalists
Start by following key journalists in your industry on key social media channels including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.
LinkedIn is also a good channel to connect, though most journalists will only accept your invitation to connect if they already know you or can see how you will benefit them. Therefore, when sending a LinkedIn invitation to connect you need to remind the journalist of your previous contact or give them a compelling reason to connect with you.
Follow media outlets
Many media publications will have their own social media profiles, such as Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian. It’s a good idea to follow or like media publications in your industry. This is a great way to keep up to date on the latest news as well as see the types of stories they cover.
Twitter allows you to organise your followers into separate lists. This can make it easier to view recent tweets from particular followers. It’s a good idea to create a list of journalists to help you monitor their tweets and look for media opportunities. If you only look through the normal Twitter feed you may miss some tweets.
Comment or like journalists’ posts
Commenting or liking a journalist’s post is a great way to start a conversation with them. Your comments should be relevant and add value to their post. You can also consider asking them a question to start a conversation. If you comment too often or don’t post useful information, the journalist may become annoyed, which can damage your reputation. Make sure what you have to say is valuable and appropriate.
Quick response time
If a journalist communicates with you on social media they will expect a quick response. If you don’t respond as soon as possible you may miss out on a media opportunity. Showing the journalist you can be easily contacted and are willing to help them with an issue is a great way to build a relationship with them. This means you need to regularly monitor your social media accounts and respond promptly as required.
Share media coverage
By sharing media coverage you will help raise the profile of your business and of the journalist. Journalists are grateful when their work is recognised and shared. If a journalist has posted a link to an article they’ve written about your business you can share it on your social media profile. You also have the option of posting the media coverage yourself and tagging the journalist or media publication. Your post will then be visible on the journalist’s profile, which increases the reach of the post.
Maintain good manners
Remember to always be polite and respectful on social media no matter who you are communicating with. Don’t write rude or negative comments even if a journalist wrote a less then favourable story about you. By maintaining good manners on social media you can build a great reputation for your business and help to create a good relationship with journalists.
Pitch via social media
Once you have built a relationship with a journalist on social media you may be able to pitch to them via this channel. This may involve sending them a story idea via a direct message on Twitter, LinkedIn or other channels. You can make the pitch more personalised by referring to something they have posted recently, showing them you are interested in what they have to say. You may also choose to tweet them links to relevant research or blog posts for story ideas.
Pitching via social media will be more effective if you know the journalist is regularly active on social media. If the journalist hardly checks their account they are likely to miss your opportunity.
By following these simple tips you can start to build a relationship with journalists on social media and improve the effectiveness of your pitches and PR activities.
July 2, 2013
The reality is of course much happier. Good and ethical public relations is about mutually beneficial partnerships with the media, leading to the sharing of quality content with the public.
So, to what extent is what you read, hear or view in the media the product of public relations tactics?
The complexity of modern public relations makes this a difficult question to answer. Some research has suggested that up to 80 percent of media coverage is influenced by public relations; however, this is very much up for debate.
Here are some factors to consider when examining the influence of public relations on the media.
Collaboration is key
Good public relations involves reciprocal relationships between journalists and public relations practitioners.
Public relations practitioners work collaboratively with journalists on story ideas, facilitate media opportunities, and provide journalists with spokespeople and content. Journalists gain as they have access to more information, sources and background to build a story. Brands gain as they are given the opportunity to tell their story in the media.
When done well, public relations influences what is covered in the media without compromising on journalistic integrity.
Journalism is changing
Journalism has undergone significant change in the last decade. Budget and staff cuts mean there are now less senior journalists and fewer resources. With the growth of online, the demand for information has increased, which means a bigger burden on journalists’ time.
Public relations practitioners support journalists by saving them time, providing access to information and facilitating opportunities.
Journalists are approached by public relations people all the time. It would be impossible and undesirable for every story idea to get covered. Journalists consider each opportunity, the timeliness and newsworthiness, and provide their own perspective.
Social media has changed the media landscape
Social media puts the creation of content in the hands of brands, public relations practitioners and the public. In many cases social media sidesteps journalists, as information can be created and delivered by anyone and everyone.
However, social media also makes the job of a journalist easier. The immediacy of news via social media ensures that journalists always have access to timely information. Stories in the media are also frequently shared via social media by individuals and brands.
In the end, it is clear public relations has considerable influence with the media, but to predict to what extent is difficult and perhaps even unnecessary. The reality is that good and ethical public relations is reciprocal; it’s about productive relationships and shared influence which lead to great stories for the public.
Contact CP Communications today and find out how we build great relationships with journalists to secure media coverage for your business.
June 18, 2013
The growth of online has had a huge impact on the traditional media landscape. Media outlets are now shifting online to meet the demand for faster information, and bloggers have more influence and credibility than ever before. Content is delivered quickly, more frequently and 24 hours a day.
Getting publicity for your business is no longer simply about column inches in a newspaper or magazine, it is also about gaining page views, likes and shares online.
When securing media coverage for your business, you can expect and should aim for it to be across both print and online.
So which is the better medium? Print or online? Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Print is not dead!
There has been much said about the decline of print publications as a result of the growth of online. However, print publications are still here, still widely read and still preferred by many audiences.
When looking to secure media coverage for your business, it is essential you be featured in the media that your target audience reads. For many people this continues to be print media.
Depth of content
Online articles are written specifically for the web and tend to be more concise than print, as it makes it easier to read and scan on a computer screen. Print publications can provide opportunities for longer, more in-depth feature articles. This provides a great opportunity to tell your business’ story in more detail.
People read print and online stories differently
Research shows that people tend to read online content in a different way than print. On the web, the reader is less likely to read an article in full, maybe viewing multiple webpages at once, and can be distracted by links to other stories.
In contrast, readers are more likely to take the time to read print articles in full, and it has been argued that print stories can have a longer lasting impact.
Increase your readership
While it is true many people still read print publications, print readership on a whole is reducing in favour of online. Many readers choose to read their news online exclusively, and it seems this trend will only continue.
Online coverage has greater potential to reach a wider audience than print. Not only does it capture readers who no longer read print media, the accessibility of the web means you can reach a greater pool of people.
Drive traffic to your website
The great thing about online coverage is it can help drive traffic to your business’ website. Readers interested in your business can immediately connect with you, which can lead to increased conversions and sales for your business.
Help people find you
By getting your content online, you can improve your website’s SEO and help your customers find you. The more links to your website and the more fresh content you feature on your website, the better you will rank on search engines.
Readers can engage with you and share your story
With the rise of social media, readers can now share and recommend your articles and media coverage. This can create a group of advocates for your brand, and extend your readership and network considerably.
Further, giving readers the chance to engage with stories by adding their comments extends the conversation about your brand with the people that matter the most; your customers.
In the end, both print and online are an important part of the public relations mix. Both are an integral part of a good PR strategy and can help you meet your business objectives in different ways.
Contact CP Communications today and find out how we can secure great print and online coverage for your business.
May 2, 2013
One way to gain employee participation is by creating a ‘social associates’ program within the business.
A social associate is an employee who is willing (and able) to promote your business on their own social media sites.
When employees do participate in social media they can become your best advocates by saying great things about you online and recommending you to their friends.
PR News has provided some great tips to help you build a community of employee brand advocates.
Before nominating employees as social associates you need to provide them with social media training.
If employees are inexperienced in social media they may not be able to communicate your messages effectively or may not represent the business correctly.
Here are some tips for what to include in a social associate training session:
- Social media code of conduct: Make sure employees understand how to correctly represent the business on social media. Set down rules they must follow and inform them of the consequences of breaking these rules.
- Social media course: Enroll your employees into a social media course or conduct a training session with them on how to use each platform.
- Content: Prepare lots of approved content such as status updates, discussion topics and links to articles, which employees can post. It may be a good idea to include this information into a content calendar.
- When to post: Instruct employees on how often they can post about the business.
- Tone of voice: Inform employees of the correct tone of voice to use in their posts and how to respond to comments appropriately. This is especially important when employees need to respond to negative comments and resolve the issue effectively.
- Who to report to: It’s a good idea to have one social media manager within the business to organise the social associates and train them.
- Measurement: Instruct employees on how to record the success of their social media activity in order to determine if the social associates program is effective.
Social associates can help your business to reach a wider audience of potential customers and build your brand awareness.
When employees demonstrate their passion for the business online it can help to position you in a positive light and assist with the delivery of key messages to your target audience.
Read the full article here.
Need help training your employees to use social media? Download our free ebook Your Guide to Social Media Success.
April 23, 2013
Journalists are always looking for experts in a particular field to provide professional comments or quotes for their story.
If you have a good knowledge and understanding of your profession or industry then you have the opportunity to become an expert that a journalist will interview.
The first step is to use PR strategies to build up your status as an expert and understand how to offer your professional knowledge to a journalist.
Here are some PR strategies to help you position yourself as an expert.
Speak at conferences and events
You can share your industry knowledge with others by speaking at conferences and events that relate to your industry. Think about a particular topic that you know extremely well and create a presentation around it. Make sure the presentation is informative and interesting to other people.
If you’re not a confident speaker then make sure you get coaching before you start presenting.
You should adapt your presentation to suit your audience, for example do not use technical language when your audience has no knowledge of your topic. Start by attending small conferences and establish yourself as an authority on a particular topic.
Actively look for opportunities to provide expert comment in the media
Many magazines, newspapers and online publications plan in advance the special reports or features that they will write about for the entire year. You can look for a publication’s features list on their website or call them and ask for a copy of their media kit.
When you look at a features list you can find upcoming topics that relate to your business. You can then email that publication and suggest yourself as an expert to discuss this topic.
Make sure you include a media angle or story idea, and outline why you are an expert. Remember to send your information to a journalist with enough time for them to write the article before it needs to be published.
Write a blog
Blogs are a great way of sharing your expert knowledge and positioning yourself as an expert on a particular topic.
The key is to pick a topic, and stick to it. You should post regularly on your blog and aim to spark discussion and share experiences, ideas and relevant information.
To build traffic, read other blogs and comment so that it links back to your own blog. You can also offer to be a guest blogger on other websites to increase your exposure.
Write an article
You can write an article about an important issue in your industry or write about helpful tips and advice. You can then send this article to relevant publications in your industry and explain why it’s a great fit for their publication.
Make sure the article is useful, interesting and easy to understand by others. You should also make sure the article is written in the correct style and format for the publication.
By sharing your professional knowledge you can build up your status as an expert in your industry. This is a great strategy to build your brand, gain media coverage and increase your exposure to the people that matter.