Monitoring and evaluation: An essential part of a public relations strategy

Monitoring and Evaluation: An essential part of a public relations strategyIt is important that every public relations agency, or department, has a variety of monitoring tactics in place to ensure that they are able to measure the success of their public relations strategy.

Unfortunately, the effectiveness of public relations tactics often cannot be measured empirically and as a result, many public relations practitioners fail to effectively monitor and evaluate the implementation of their tactics.

It is important to implement even the most basic procedures to ensure that practitioners understand what works and what doesn’t. Here are some ways to monitor:

Publicity clippings
The most basic and well-known technique is clipping publicity for clients. This ensures that not only the client has a hard-copy of the publicity generated for them by the public relations agency; it also acts as a way of monitoring the client’s media coverage through a variety of media outlets.

Clippings are a useful way to demonstrate the wide range of publicity generated through diverse media outlets such as television, online and print.

Measuring public opinion
Measuring public opinion before and after a public relations tactic has been implemented is an effective way to show clients the improvements made to their profile or brand awareness. This technique allows you to see what tactic has had a great effect and which tactic has not worked.

Public relations practitioners may not always get it right the first time, but by implementing focus groups or customer surveys, this can offer before and after distinctions that are essentially critical when researching if a tactic has reached your objectives.

Social media evaluation
With many companies now using social media to reach a wider audience, it is important to evaluate the effectiveness of your social media platforms. It is important to remember that social media is not about the numbers. You may have only 400 followers on Twitter and this number may seem small in comparison to other Twitter users however, social media should be evaluated in terms of interaction.

Your public relations strategy may only be targeted at a niche market, so 400 followers may be just what you want. Social media is a platform to communicate so instead of counting the number of likes and followers your company has received evaluate the amount of interaction your social media platforms are allowing you to stimulate.

With new media becoming more popular, perhaps it is time for public relations practitioners to apply fresh monitoring procedures.

It’s important that public relations practitioners are using some forms of evaluation in order to comprehend the full extent of their public relations strategy.

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How to use an eBook to promote your business

A great way to promote your business is by writing your own eBook and distributing it to customers, clients or potential new business contacts.

An eBook is a digital book, which is available online and on electronic devices such as an iPad or Kindle.

eBooks are a great way to raise your business’ profile by showcasing your professional knowledge and expertise. By distributing the eBook you can attract new potential customers to your business, raise your brand awareness, promote your business’ expertise and engage with your customers.

Writing an eBook will give you instant credibility and allow you to position yourself as an expert in your field, giving you an edge over competitors and giving clients a compelling reason to do business with you.

You can even sell the ebook as a product of your business and increase your income.

Benefits of writing an eBook

  • They don’t have to be long, you can write as much or as little as you like
  • They are inexpensive to produce and distribute globally
  • Customers can easily access them online, instead of needing to go to a bookshop
  • Reach new potential customers and raise their brand awareness of your business
  • With more and more people using iPads, eReaders or SmartPhones to read books, creating content for these is a good strategy to get your information to your audiences
  • It’s a great way to start a relationship with customers and potential customers
  • You can ask for people’s contact details in order to download the ebook from your website. These details can then used for developing new business or to add to your marketing database

What to write about?

When considering the topic of your ebook think about your business’ area of expertise. If you are a marketing business for example, you could write a helpful eBook about online marketing. Your topic should relate to your business so when customers read the ebook they will come to you for more information or to work with you.

You also need to think about your target audience and write about something they would be interested in. The eBook should provide valuable information to your target audience, solve a problem they have or help them do something. If you don’t write for your target audience then they may not read your ebook.

Promoting the ebook

Here are some ways you can distribute your eBook:

  • Use it as a free gift to existing and potential customers to generate good will
  • Publish it on your blog
  • Promote it on social media and email it to customers who ask for it
  • Use it internally to train and inform new employees
  • Email it to people you have met while networking
  • Offer it as a product for people to buy from your business

Depending on your objectives you may decide to sell it or give it out for free.

eBooks are a valuable tool for your business because they are inexpensive and fairly easy to produce. They help you to attract potential clients, build your business’ brand and increase your profile as an expert.

Once you have your own eBook you will wonder what you ever did without it.

Have you thought about writing your own eBook?

Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. We have three great eBooks available to download for free at bitly.com/ebookscpc.  For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.

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Tips to create the perfect elevator statement

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An elevator statement is a quick summary you can use in a situation where you need to explain your role and profession in a clear and concise way.

It’s called an elevator statement because you should be able to deliver the statement in the time it takes to travel from the ground floor to the top floor in an elevator – approximately 10 – 30 seconds.

The pitch is an overview of who you are, what you do and how you can help the listener. Since the statement is delivered verbally it needs to be punchy and memorable to make a good impression with the listener.

Having a well practised statement will help you be seen as more confident and increase your chance of making a good first impression.

When to use an elevator pitch
An elevator pitch is not only useful for salespeople who need to pitch their products and services. You can use an elevator pitch to:

  • Tell people about what you do for a living.
  • Introduce your organisation to potential clients or customers.
  • Sell new ideas to the director or CEO of your organisation.
  • Tell people about an initiative you are leading.

Here are some tips to use when crafting the perfect elevator statement.

Identify your objectives
Start by thinking about the objective of your elevator statement. You need to understand the purpose of your elevator pitch, as well as identifying who you would be talking to.

Think about:

  • What value do you provide?
  • How do you provide this value?
  • What is unique about your offer?
  • What is your target market?

Explain what you do
Start your elevator statement by describing what your organisation does. Focus on the problems you solve and how you help people. Identify what makes you, your organisation or your business idea unique.

Keep in mind your elevator pitch should be exciting and memorable. Think about using visual language to describe your role and organisation.

Develop a call to action
It is important to make the most of the opportunity you have when delivering an elevator pitch by including a call to action at the end of your statement.

Brainstorm 10-20 action statements you could include in your elevator statement. This could focus on building new business connections, winning a new client or introducing yourself for a job position.

Practice your statement
It is important to practice your elevator statement so you can recall it in any situation and help you feel comfortable saying it. Write it down and practice in front of people who already have some understanding of what you do; such as colleagues, friends and family. Their feedback can also help you make any changes.

Adapt to change
There is always room for improvement to make your elevator pitch more clear and powerful. As you, your business, your goals or your product and services change, you will need to adapt your elevator pitch to reflect these changes.

Having an elevator statement prepared will help prevent you from feeling tongue tied and will encourage you to make a good first impression in front of prospective clients or business leads.

Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au or download our free PR eBook http://bit.ly/ebookprcpc.

How to create a winning bio

smallA great bio is a critical tool for thought leaders to sell themselves to their target audience. If you are a spokesperson for your business, provide commentary in the media or speak at events, you need a winning bio.

An expert bio showcases your expertise, experience and qualifications in a genuine way. It is not simply a resume.

As a short introduction to who you are and what you’re an expert in, a great bio provides a foundation for securing opportunities to demonstrate and build thought leadership.

Having an up-to-date bio on hand to share with key stakeholders can be the difference between securing or losing an opportunity. You will need a bio when pitching yourself as a speaker to event organisers, when publications are looking to publish an article you have written or when journalists want to learn more about you.

Your bio should include:

  • Your name and job title or role
  • Your area of expertise
  • Your background and experience
  • Examples to demonstrate you as a thought leader i.e. media coverage, speaking roles, award wins, publications or articles you have written.
  • Your qualifications
  • An image (optional)

Here are some considerations to keep in mind when writing a powerful bio.

Sell yourself authentically
An overly sales focused bio will appear inauthentic and false. The goal of a bio is to convince the reader that you are an expert and the best way to do this is by adopting a genuine, credible and authentic tone. Write your bio in the third person.

Lead with the most important information
Include the most important information at the start and the least important information at the end. Most people tend to only read the first few paragraphs and ignore or scan over the rest. It is important your readers recognise you’re an expert quickly.

Tailor your bio to your audience
Your bio must be tailored and written with your target audience in mind. Think about who you will be sharing your bio with, for example you might share your bio on your website, with the media, business associates or conference organisers.

Take some time to consider what the audience needs to know about you. A good bio will convince the reader early that you are the right fit for the opportunity.

Create multiple versions of your bio
Depending on the opportunity, your bio will need to vary in length. For example, the information a journalist needs to know about you will be quite different to what an event organiser needs.

Create a short bio (100 words), a longer bio (one page) and a very short bio (one or two sentences).

Make it easy for people to contact you
Always include contact information such as your phone number and email address. At a minimum you should always include your website.

Keep your bio up-to-date
Your bio needs to be consistently updated to include the latest information about you. This may include the most recent speaking opportunities, award wins, media coverage, business milestones or new qualifications. Add a reminder to your diary to go back to your bio every couple of months at a minimum.

A great bio will open doors for you to develop as a thought leader. Make sure you invest the time to create a winning bio as it will be one of the most important tools you will draw on in your thought leadership journey.

Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au or download our free PR eBook http://bit.ly/ebookprcpc.

 

The PR and social media trends to include in your strategy in 2014

Lightglobe_small 2With 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.

 

Tips to maintain your PR and social media presence during the festive season

christmas tree small 3The Christmas holidays are fast approaching which for many businesses means closing down for the year.

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.

Plan ahead
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/.

 

How to use PR to get ahead of your competitors

PR communicate in crowd (4)Are you looking for ways to get ahead of your competitors?

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/

 

The benefits of hiring a small PR agency

Best agency crossword_smallHiring a PR agency is a great strategy for businesses who want to stand out from their competitors, tell their story, build their profile and reputation and communicate with their target audience.

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.

Building relationships
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.

 

 

How to use annual events in your PR strategy

shutterstock_55479049Today 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/.

Make the most of your media coverage

News on many mediumsWhen you achieve a great media article what do you do? Do you take note of it and then file it away?

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. 

Social it
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.

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