Leading with Paid versus Earned Media

Many businesses get caught up in turning to paid media first before exploring other options because they truly do not understand the power of PR. Many companies pile PR, Marketing, Advertising, etc. into the same thing and many jobs are given a half effort. Some news outlets will tell companies that they will write more about them and give them more attention if they advertise. Guess what—that’s actually not the way to go. Most times that’s not even the case. In fact, paid media should be the last resort.

 

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Lead with PR

If your company has news that’s newsworthy, you shouldn’t lead with an advertisement. We absolutely recommend leading with Public Relations in addition to earned media. This is important because PR companies are known for having connections, and those connections will usually run good news for free. Good news brings in traffic to the outlet’s website, so it’s basically a trade of service transaction. It’s crucial to understand that once the news is out there, it is highly unlikely that that specific outlet will run or cover the news more than one time. This reason alone is why it is so important to use the connections and earned media first before relying on going straight to the advertorial opportunities. A few hints to implementing this are:

1.    Make sure you pitch the news to editorial contacts, not account executives. Most of the time the accounts execs will lead you right down the paid ad road instead of providing the free and/or more affordable options.

2.    Push out company news such as new hires, award recognition, promotions, etc. This will do a good job bringing more visitors to the website.

3.    Be more diligent by following up with your editorial contacts. One follow-up is not going to cut it and can sometimes seem a little insulting to the contact.

4.    Pitch for a feature, but be okay settling for a brief. When you aim high and seem willing to come down off of your high horse, most of the time the other person will too. This in turn could result in a free brief.

 

Exhaust All Avenues

Once all options and PR efforts have been exhausted, then it’s time to explore the paid opportunities, meaning ads. It’s important to save this option for last because many outlets will shy away from writing an actual article about the news because it has already appeared—because you paid for it.

 

One thing to keep in mind with paid advertisements is that your target audience, and most people in fact, tend to scroll right passed ads. They would much rather see a news article or story featuring your company and what the executives think about you. It’s rare, but when you’ve got a good story, paying for coverage can actually hurt your story. Not to mention the fees and costs start building up. In our opinion, paid media should not be a huge part of a PR firm’s strategy. Understanding how journalists and editors communicate and run their businesses is the bread and butter for PR companies.

We can help you understand this better. Click here to schedule a Complimentary Brand Consultation. 

How to Increase Engagement on Social Media

The online digital marketing world is ever increasing and that includes tactics to increase engagement on social media platforms. Social media, being a free source of publicity, is a huge asset when promoting and getting your business in front of consumers. Even if your engagement is pretty good right now, there is always room for improvement. Here are some ways to ramp up your engagement on social media.

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Inspiration

Brands and companies have so much potential to be inspirational, but it starts with what personally inspires you as a company. Focus on posting things that are meaningful and impactful to the brand and company as a whole. In turn, this maneuver will attract an audience that resonates and identifies with the brand itself. What sparks creativity? What motivates and pushes the company to work harder and be better for the clients? Who is a prominent leader or impact player in your industry? Posting these things not only motivates you, but relates to your followers.

 

Tools that Make Life Easier

Something that everyone appreciates is “hacking” everyday activities or work tasks. We’ve all heard of “life hacks”, so why not post about different tools and other things that help make interior design life easier? It can be anything from your favorite calendar app, to a special chair that makes desk life more comfortable. How about your online tools that help make business smoother and more efficient? Yes, we know everyone is different, but your followers and future clients want to know and understand that you care about getting things done quickly and correctly.

 

Other’s Materials

We’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t reinvent the wheel”. When it comes to social media, that’s ultimately the same motto that all platforms take on. Yes, people want to see some unique posts, but not everything has to be completely new. If a company you follow or value posts an amazing photo or article, why not share it with your followers. This not only shows that you support your competitors and other similar businesses, but their followers will see you and want to know more about your business. It’s a win-win.

 

Ask Away

People love to engage with questions, you want to know why? People love talking about themselves and their experiences. Start getting curious about what is going on in your industry. The inquiry doesn’t necessarily have to be about your business or work specifically. Check in with the community that you are connected with on social media and see what their thoughts are on different issues or events happening. Ask about favorite books, magazines, blog topics, etc. This can help immensely when attempting to choose topics for website articles.

 

Self-Promote

The best part about keeping an updated portfolio is having consistent material to post on social media. Photos are becoming the new tweet, and people love seeing a good remodel/redesign. Start using your own content along with other cool things in your business to promote your services. This can be many things like picking up an old blog from a year ago and re-sharing it for the newest followers to get their hands on, or letting your audience know that your business is looking to take on one more client for the month/year. Things like these help your followers get to know you and want to be a part of your growing brand, not to mention posts like these get shared and commented on more so than just a random text post. Nurture that connection with like-minded people who love following your business.

If you want to understand this more, click here to schedule a Complimentary Brand Consultation. 

Top Public Relation Mistakes

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What is the main goal of public relations? Ultimately, the goal is to help portray a business in the best light possible. From getting established as a new company to tending to a tough situation, PR is a big deal when it comes to maintaining a reputation. Let’s not forget how PR and advertising differs when it comes to media space. Advertising means paying for space, PR helps convince and persuade media to take an interest in the business and push out business activities. Unfortunately, many public relations teams make some of the most common PR mistakes. Here are the top ten in our book.

 

Bad Timing

In life and in business, timing is EVERYTHING! More often than not, whoever is responsible for public relations does not end up getting a head start. There is lead time for magazines and other types of media, so timing out each task is extra important. Missing a deadline is not a good PR move.

 

Tiny Thinking

It’s hard to get the word out about something when you stick with the same old magazines, radio channels, and online news sites. Think bigger! Utilize as many platforms as possible and stop with the overused press releases. Try using suggestion stories and/or pitch letters to grab the attention of potential customers and clients. This will give them an idea of the brand and have them curious to know more.

 

Bad Follow-up

It’s poor form to release a story and not have all of the facts. Many businesses lose the story because they’re not fully informed. Imagine getting phone calls from people asking questions about the topic and you do not have the answers. It just looks bad, and loses the trust of anyone wanting to know more.

 

Over Hyping

Of course staying positive is a necessity, but overusing superlatives can get overwhelming and frankly arouse suspicion in readers. Try to remember who your target audience is and stay away from the tediousness of words like “Incredible”, “Amazing”, “Fantastic”. This is not to say that you should never use those words, just be strategic when and where they are used. Also remember to avoid generalizations and exaggerations.

 

Bad Grammar

Grammar, especially in the PR and marketing world, is crucial. Bad grammar not only makes your company look uneducated, it shows that you are somewhat careless when pushing out information to the public to see. This can also go for poorly worded sentences, paragraphs that are too long, and leaving important things out. If customers are asking basic questions about something, and the information is not readily available to them on your website, you’ve done a bad job including pertinent details. This could result in loss of interest and even loss of business.

 

Planning Trouble

We have all been in the passenger seat, getting first-hand experience with people who do not seem to have a plan. It’s not the most comfortable situation to be in, so why try winging it as a PR tactic? There needs to be a simple plan of action.

Avoid having problems in Public Relations. Click here to schedule a Complimentary Brand Consultation.