January 7, 2014
With the New Year upon us, now is an important time to start planning your PR and social media strategy for 2014. Taking the time to re-evaluate your strategy and making a consistent effort to improve will help your business keep up with the changing trends in the PR and social media world.
Here are some tips on how to create a successful PR and social media strategy for 2014 which embraces the latest trends.
Re-evaluate your strategy
Begin the New Year by re-evaluating your PR and social media strategy from last year. This will help you to discover the challenges and successes you experienced in 2013 and reveal how you can improve.
Take some time to think about how you want your business to be positioned in 2014 and how best to get information to your target audience.
Look at the media coverage and social media exposure you received last year and determine where you would like to see your business featured this year.
By understanding and evaluating what worked and what didn’t and thinking about where you would like to see your business venture this year, you can create a stronger PR and social media strategy for 2014.
Explore other social media platforms
Social media plays an enormous role in how businesses interact with their target audience, which will not slow down over 2014.
Whilst your business may have a Facebook and Twitter account, there is a vast array of social media platforms available.
Find out which social networks your target audience are using and join them there. Each platform offers different and exciting ways to communicate and exchange information.
Adopt paid social media marketing
The days of social media being ‘free’ marketing for companies is set to change throughout 2014.
Businesses looking to reach their fans and potential customers via major social media platforms should consider employing an integrated strategy which includes paid social media marketing.
Businesses will find that getting the attention of customers in social media will become increasingly competitive. Sponsoring posts is one way to cut through the noise online.
Embrace content marketing
Content marketing has been on the hot list of buzzwords throughout 2013, with this trend expected to only increase throughout 2014.
The aim of content marketing is to attract and retain customers by creating and curating relevant and valuable content across multiple platforms.
This approach contends that if businesses consistently deliver valuable information to potential and current customers they will be rewarded with more business and improved customer loyalty.
While the term content marketing may be relatively new, the foundations of the strategy are not. Good PR and social media strategies have always relied on creating great content.
Begin the New Year by thinking about how you can create valuable content such as articles, videos, blog posts, social media posts and case studies to help achieve your PR and social media goals.
Engage in storytelling
One aspect of content marketing which has gained renewed popularity recently is storytelling. Storytelling has long been at the heart of public relations and is a powerful way to engage your target audience.
Every business has a story to tell which deserves to be heard. The art of storytelling inspires conversation and builds relationships with your target audience. Tell your stories in the media, through writing articles or engaging on social media.
2014 has the potential to be the best year yet for promoting your business. By evaluating your current PR and social media strategy, finding room for improvement and leveraging the latest trends, your business will be in the best possible position for a successful 2014.
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.
December 17, 2013
It is important businesses not overlook their PR and social media activities throughout the holiday season.
With a good strategy in place and the right preparation your business can still gain media coverage and engage your target audience on social media throughout this period.
Here are some tips to help maintain your PR and social media presence during the festive season.
It is important to plan ahead to ensure that your PR and social media activities don’t stop over the holidays. An action plan is an excellent tool to help prepare your business for the New Year and the weeks following.
Your action plan may include looking into speaking opportunities for the New Year, upcoming awards, features in publications to pitch to or new angles for articles.
Don’t Stop Pitching
Many media publications don’t shut down throughout the festive season, and with less ‘news’ to write about, journalists are often looking for newsworthy stories.
A great way to get ahead of your competitors is to take advantage of this opportunity and pitch your ideas to gain media coverage for your business.
Keep posting to your social media channels
Social media users are online more frequently during the Christmas holidays, and businesses can leverage this to increase their engagement.
It is important to keep contributing to your social media channels to continue to engage your audience and attract new followers that fit your target demographic.
Use a content calendar
Content calendars are a useful way of planning your business’ social media content. Planning the content for your social media platforms in advance will ensure that you always have something to post. This is particularly important over the holidays as it will free up your time.
Leverage the festive season to create interesting content
The holidays generate excitement which is something that can be leveraged to benefit your social media content. Events that occur every year, such as Christmas and New Years Eve are ‘evergreen stories’, which are considered interesting and newsworthy every time they come around.
Creating social media posts about these events increases engagement with your users. The content of posts could be as simple as wishing everyone ‘Merry Christmas’, ‘Happy New Year’ or asking questions, such as ‘What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2014?’
The holidays are also an excellent time to take advantage of the impact of visual content on social media. Update your cover photos, background photos and profile pictures to reflect the spirit of the season.
Use scheduling tools
It is important to remember that your website and social media platforms are available 24/7 to your customers and clients. Businesses need to ensure that their channels are updated with fresh and relevant content to keep their audience engaged.
If you are going away for the holidays or don’t have access to your social media accounts, scheduling tools such as TweetDeck and Hootsuite allow you to schedule your posts in advance. TweetDeck, for example, allows you to create your tweets and choose different times to automatically post them during the day. Facebook also allows you to schedule posts straight from your profile page in advance.
The holidays can be a great time to engage your target audience through PR and social media. It is important to remember that consumers and clients are still accessing the same publications and social media channels during the holidays. This is a great opportunity for businesses to engage with their audience and participate in the festive fun.
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/.
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/
November 26, 2013
However, when it comes to agencies, bigger doesn’t always mean better.
Hiring a small PR agency can deliver just as much compelling exposure in both traditional and online media as a larger firm. Smaller PR companies are often comprised of a close knit group of individuals who are all focused on meeting their clients PR objectives.
Here are some things to consider when deciding which PR agency is suitable for your business.
You are the focus
Smaller PR agencies often have fewer clients, which means they can place a greater focus on your business. They may also have more time to spend on achieving your PR objectives and creating a relationship with you.
What you see is what you get
When meeting with a large PR agency for the first time they will often send their senior managers and executives to discuss your account. However, once you have hired the PR agency junior staff members will be assigned to work day-to-day on your account.
At smaller agencies generally what you see is what you get. The team you initially meet during the planning phase will more than likely be the same team you continue to work with throughout your partnership. This gives you the ability to foster a strong working relationship with your PR agency. You also have more access to senior executives when using a smaller agency.
Get your money’s worth
Businesses should ensure they are receiving the best results possible for the money they are spending. Smaller agencies are more likely to be competitive on price as they have less overheads then larger companies. However, when choosing a PR agency you need to consider more than just the price. Look at what areas they specialise in, what their company culture is like, what results they have achieved, how transparent they are and what their customer service is like.
The most important thing is for your business to be able to work effectively with your PR agency to achieve the best results.
Smaller agencies work in an intimate environment which encourages team members to share ideas and support each other. Even though one or two PR professionals are working on your account the whole agency may still be involved by providing their ideas and advice. Smaller agencies can often focus more time and energy on each individual client in order to provide excellent service and maximise their client’s budget.
It is important for a public relations agency to regularly sit down with you and learn about your businesses strengths and unique points of difference, anything that can give you a competitive edge over others in the industry.
Hiring a PR agency
It’s important to conduct research into PR agencies to determine if they are suitable for your business. Often small agencies have the ability to specialise in certain areas which allows them to create and maintain close relationships with the journalists in these areas.
Once you have found a suitable PR agency schedule a meeting with them to discuss your PR objectives. It’s important to choose the right agency that can help you achieve your PR goals.
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 29, 2013
Achieving media coverage is a good way to build your profile, increase your reputation and communicate a message to your target audience.
Instead of just filing away your article, you can implement further PR strategies to increase the reach of the media coverage and make the most of the opportunity. This can help more people to see you in the media and build your profile as an expert in your field.
Here are some strategies you can use to make the most of your media coverage.
Include a link on your website
You can publicise your article on your website such as on your home page, media page or about us page. You can write a brief summary of the media coverage to include on your website with a link back to the original coverage online. If your coverage is in print you won’t be able to link to it. When posting about your media coverage online, be conscious of copyright laws. For instance, it may be illegal to scan a copy of the article and post this image to your website.
If you are unsure whether you are allowed to post media coverage on your website, ask the publication for permission first.
Include a link in your eNewsletter
If you have a regular eNewsletter you can mention the media coverage in it. You may consider writing a few sentences about the coverage and including a link to it online. If the coverage is in print you can tell people where to buy it. This is a great way to ensure your customers and clients see the media coverage.
Email your database
You can tell everyone in your email database about your media coverage including clients, customers, stakeholders and employees. You can create an email which summarises the media coverage and has a link back to your website to read more. You can also show them why this media coverage is of benefit to them and what they can learn from it. This is a great way to build your reputation as an expert in your field.
Email new business
If you are negotiating with potential customers or clients you can help get them across the line by sending them a link to your media coverage online. In this email you can explain why the coverage is useful or informative to them. For example, the media coverage may help to explain how your company works or what results you can achieve. If your coverage is in print you can mark the page and send them a copy of the magazine. This is a great way to build your credibility and show potential customers or clients you are industry experts.
You can post your media coverage on your business’ social media profiles. If your spokesperson or CEO is quoted in the coverage they can post it on their personal social media profiles as well. This will help to increase the reach of the coverage as well as build your reputation.
By posting it on social media it also allows your followers to start a conversation with you about the coverage.
Write a blog
If you have a company blog you can use your media coverage as inspiration for your next blog post. Your blog post can elaborate on the advice you shared in the media coverage and direct readers to the coverage to read more.
Gaining media coverage is a great way to build your reputation. Make the most of this opportunity by implementing some of these simple strategies.
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?
October 15, 2013
We’ve been working with Macquarie University’s Faculty of Business and Economics for several years and have achieved some great results with PR.
During this time we have developed many great PR tactics and tips we’d like to share. These tactics can also be applied to businesses, especially those in the education and training space to build their profile and communicate with their target audience.
Promote key staff
University’s offer a wealth of talented professors who are experts in their fields, who can be pitched to relevant media as experts to interview. When looking at your own organisation think about the key staff members, who specialise in certain areas, who can be pitched to the media as a spokesperson.
It’s a good idea to gain an understanding of what each staff member can discuss so you can gain the right media opportunities. You can also monitor the media for these key topics and pitch your spokesperson to comment on them.
Use good content
University professors often produce research papers which provide great content for media pitches, media releases or speaking opportunities. Think about the white papers, research projects or statistics your organisation produces and how they can be used for media opportunities.
For example, a professor’s research paper can be adapted into an expert article and pitched to relevant media. You can also ask key staff members to write expert articles on their area of expertise for specific publications.
Case studies are a great way to show a real example of what your business has to offer. For example, we used current and former students to discuss their experiences at university and pitched these to careers publications.
This strategy can also be applied to your organisation by providing the media with opportunities to interview happy customers or clients about their experiences with the business.
It’s a good idea to be aware of any newsworthy stories within your business. For instance we used the announcement of new courses and senior level staff appointments as topics for media releases. In your organisation you may have newsworthy stories about a new award win, new staff appointments, new client win and more.
Many professors have experience in public speaking by running lectures at the University. Think about the key staff members in your organisation who have public speaking skills and how you can best leverage this. You can pitch these key staff members as experts to speak at conferences and events relevant to their area of expertise.
To learn more about our work with Macquarie University’s Faculty of Business and Economics read this case study.
October 8, 2013
Newspapers, radio, television, magazines and websites in your town or suburb all count on good local news content. If you’re not providing that news, who is? Your competitors!
Why go local?
The difference between your local media outlets and those who broadcast or distribute nationally is that their niche is your geographic area. They cover news items affecting the community, its residents and its businesses. If you live or operate your business (or both) locally, they want to hear from you.
Benefits of local media coverage
Local media will go into more personal detail in profiling you or your business than their national counterparts, so it’s a chance to stand out in your community. If the target market for your business is local, then media in your area can actually be better for you than an article in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Creating a local pitch
Remember you are pitching to your local media so you need to craft the message to show why local readers, viewers or listeners will be interested in your story. Make sure to include the local angle prominently.
It’s a good idea to run over your pitch before sending or calling the journalist, asking yourself these questions:
- Is my story newsworthy?
- Is the local angle relevant?
- Is my story different to other stories covered by this media outlet recently?
It also helps to know exactly who to send your pitch to. Read through the newspaper or magazine, listen to the radio and watch the television news to see the sorts of stories these outlets cover and which journalist covers them. Once you have a name it is much easier to make your pitch more personal. If you don’t have the journalist or editor’s name, contact the reception or editorial assistant and ask.
Think about photo opportunities
Pictures often tell the story better than words so consider deadlines and other constraints when planning photo opportunities for local media. And, like all media, your local outlets are often run with the absolute minimum number of staff so if they can’t make it to the event, make sure to provide a great photo to accompany your story. This can sometimes make the difference between being featured and no coverage at all.
Create relationships with the media
When it comes to pitching to the media some things are still the same whether you’re pitching locally or nationally, the main point is to build relationships.
Before you start pitching to any media outlet it pays to build a rapport with the journalist. For example, you could monitor the Facebook or Twitter accounts for local media outlets and respond to posts, or introduce yourself when you meet them at a Chamber of Commerce or business event. Like any relationship it always works better when you’re face-to-face, so offer to do the interview in person as much as possible.
Local story angles
- Fundraiser where your business will donate money, goods or services to a local charity, such as the CEO Sleepout or donating canned food for a can drive
- Your business, or you as the owner, has received an award
- How your business is involved in an awareness day, week or month, for example RSPCA Cupcake Day or Pink Ribbon Month
- Giving a national news story a local angle by suggesting ways it could be followed up using your business as a case study, or your expertise to inform the community on the issue
- An event your business is running or sponsoring locally
- How your nursery business donated vegetable seedlings to the local school for its garden
- How you created a new product or service that will benefit the community and quantify how it helps.
September 24, 2013
Many publications will often publish contributed articles if they are well-written, appropriate, interesting and valuable for their audience.
Getting your article published in the media will increase your credibility and exposure to your target audience. By sharing your professional knowledge people will start to see you as an expert in your industry. This can give you an edge over your competitors and open the door to more media opportunities.
Here are some tips on how to write a great article.
Think about that target audience
Before writing the article think about the audience of the publication that will be reading it. Make sure the article is about a topic that would interest them and try to provide valuable, helpful information. Another good point is to avoid using industry specific jargon if your audience has no knowledge of your industry.
Think about the publication
Before writing an article consider the publication you want to send it to. Most publications have a specific format, which you must adhere to, such as a specific word length or structure for the article. Read other articles in the publication to get an idea of what they are looking for.
Journalists are more interested in articles that provide valuable information to their readers then promotional pieces about your business. When writing an article you need to remain objective and avoid writing in the first person, for instance using the phrases ‘I think’ and ‘my opinion’. Write the article in an informative and entertaining manner and stay on topic.
Proof read it
Always proof read your article and look for spelling and grammar mistakes. Journalists won’t publish an article that is poorly written or has spelling mistakes. Ask a friend or colleague to proof read your article and pick up any mistakes you have missed. This is also a great way to test if your article is effective in communicating to people who are not experts in your area.
Respect the journalist’s deadline
If a journalist has asked you to write an article by a particular deadline then you must sent it to them on or before the deadline. Journalists will need to publish the article by a certain time and most journalists will not wait for you.
Get a professional head shot
Many publications like to include a photo of the author so make sure you have a professional high-resolution head shot of yourself ready to email.
Articles provide you with a great opportunity to share your professional knowledge with your target audience via the media. By getting your articles published in the right media outlets it will increase your exposure and boost your profile. People will also start to see you as an expert in your industry.