The Timelines Are A Changin': How New Facebook Business Pages Will Affect You

Shhh…quiet. If you listen closely, you’ll hear the collective groans, sighs, huffs, and puffs among Facebook users as they go through the umpteenth change implemented by the social network today: The Facebook Timeline. C’est la vie. If you’re unfamiliar with this update, buckle up because it’s a big one. Continue reading

The Real "Mad Men"

I’m interested in seeing the sneak preview on April 8 of a new reality show, “The Pitch.”

In case you haven’t heard, each episode will feature two advertising agencies as they go head-to-head to pitch a campaign to a real client. It’s somewhat contrived, as the show’s producers secured the clients, then got the agencies to sign on to participate. (If only new business was that easy.) And there’s no guarantee that the client will actually use the winner’s work. Continue reading

It All Began With a Television Set

I’m not going to make excuses for my addiction to television. I love it. I have a picture in my office of a black and white TV set from 1949 with the caption: It All Began with a Television Set. That pretty much sums it up for me. I got into this business in the first place because of my lifelong affair with TV. It’s really the TV characters and their backstories that I love.

Digging into the backstories of TV characters such as Rob Petrie, Don Draper, Mary Richards, Nurse Jackie, Archie Bunker, Andy Sipowitz, Murphy Brown and George Costanza have consumed hundreds of hours of my life and I wouldn’t trade a second of it. For me, it’s always been about who are these characters, where did they come from and, why do they act like that and say the things they do? Flawed, heroic, charming or strange. Give me a good backstory and I’ll watch it play out. Continue reading

Making the Most of Media Relations Success

You’ve done your homework. The appropriate outlets and reporters have been researched, the pitch has been drafted and customized according to the reporters’ beats, and follow-up has been conducted. All of these efforts have secured your client positive coverage in multiple publications; a feat that is worth a high-five or two, or maybe even three. But now that the publications have posted and printed the stories, what happens next?

There are many activities companies can do to extend the life of positive news coverage. The most important thing to remember is that timeliness is vital for news relevancy, so be sure to complete these tasks in close alignment with the coverage so that the information is still relevant to those who would be interested in the news. Below is a checklist that companies can use to make sure that they get the most out of their media relations success.

[] Follow up with the reporter. Effective media relations is all about mutually beneficial relationships with reporters and editors. You provide a useful resource to help them write a quality article, and in return your company receives coverage. Don’t forget about the reporter(s) you work with. Sending a thank you email and encouraging them to reach out if they ever need additional information around the topic serves as an appropriate follow up. Also, don’t only reach out to reporters when you need to pitch them. That is self-serving and they’ll know what you’re up to. If they cover a beat, forward them information that they may find useful, even if it has nothing to do with your client/company. Continue to be that helpful resource and not just someone who pops up when something is needed.

[] Post to news/press/media pages on the company website. If the company website doesn’t have a page devoted to organizational news, press coverage, or media, then it would be important to create one. Posting news coverage to these pages ensures that even though the coverage may not always be viewable on the outlets’ sites, it remains engraved on yours when posting on a dedicated page. If the publications include an image or video associated with the article, it would be a good idea to talk with the publication about securing rights to use those items on your company’s site.

[] Post news coverage to appropriate social channels. Being social means talking with people and not only about yourself. However, posting a story and link from time to time about coverage the company receives is appropriate and encouraged because it shows that the company is looked at as being a valuable resource in its industry/community. There’s no shame in promoting that, but there is a line when it becomes too much. Tread carefully and don’t always focus on self-promotion.

[] Write a blog post that expands on the coverage topic. You can be sure that there’s more to the article(s) that your client/company appeared in than what was published. As knowledgeable professionals, you’re host to a plethora of information that can shine a brighter light on the topic. If there were certain areas in the articles that could be expanded upon; for example, not discussing an industry regulation as in-depth as possible, a post on your company’s blog that links to the article could provide more substance and context to the issue.

[] Email the coverage directly to those who would find the information useful/interesting. Not every single person in a market or industry is going to read your articles. But chances are that there is a select group of people who should. If the articles contain information that is important to particular customers, partners, or vendors, then it is a good idea to send the link in a personal email telling them about the article. This isn’t a time to brag, but to showcase key points that they should be aware of.

[] Include links to the coverage in your company’s email newsletter. Like the section above, this isn’t meant to serve as a bragging platform, but as a way to draw attention to the main points of the article(s). Instead of saying, “Look who made the paper,” show them why you made the paper: You were talking about Topic X, which is related to your newsletter recipients because of Reason A.

It’s important to remember that media relations is only one arrow in a quiver of tactics that can be used to complete communication strategies and objectives. This checklist provides examples on how this tactic can be tied together with others, showing that there is life beyond simply appearing in an article. If integrated into communication strategies properly, media relations efforts can live an extended life and achieve a greater reach.