Data Analytics and the Role They Play in PR

(About a 3 min read)

Understanding trends in your business can give you the opportunity to create conversions. These conversions can be the start of growing and expanding your business.  Data and analytics are the windows into the wants and needs of your customers, consumers and audience. There are many sources for data and analytic readings, one of the most popular is Google Analytics. This site allows you to peer into every aspect of your business, where you are succeeding as well where you are lacking. 

When viewing your data and analytics you can peer into your audience and categorize them into various segmentations. Segmenting your audience allows you to identify your target audience and provide product and or services to best meet their needs. There are four main kinds of segmentation when looking at your business’s data and analytics. These are, demographic, psychographic, geographic and behavioral. 

Demographic Segmentation

The first type of segmenting is demographic segmentation. This type of segmentation looks at the things you can observe when identifying a person. Their age group, gender, ethnicity, etc. This form of identification allows you to make observations without characterizing the person.

Psychographic Segmentation

The second form of segmenting is psychographic segmentation. This allows you to make inferences on who they are as a person and what they like to do. This could be defined as their preferred hobbies, attitudes towards certain topics as well as their core values and beliefs. This form of segmenting allows you to begin to piece together who this person is and what they hold dear.

Geographic Segmentation

The third form of segmentation is geographic segmentation. Where a person is from can shape the person they are whether they grew up with a strong sense of culture or lack thereof where a person is from, resides and calls home can say alot about them. This form of segmenting allows marketers as well as other levels of business to know where to promote their products and services.

Behavioral Segmentation

The last form of segmentation is behavioral segmentation. This looks into the patterns of an individual when online shopping, researching and browsing the internet. This allows businesses an indepth look on how their website is performing amongst their audience as well as potential new conversions. 

Benefits of Data in PR

How does knowing this information benefit your business from a promotional PR standpoint? 

Knowing your audience and how they fall when looking at segmentation allows you to develop goods and services that will benefit them and fulfill a pain point or a need they are seeking. This allows your company, brand or business to create long lasting conversions and relationships with their customers. 

FinTech Companies Often Make These 5 PR Mistakes

The best fintechs maximize their chances for long-term success by approaching their various business challenges in a structured and disciplined way. This applies to such key components of the enterprise as product development, business development, funding and staffing.

Public relations needs to be managed the same way. 

Whether they have an in-house PR operation or tap the services of an outside agency, fintech executives should approach their strategic communications work in a thorough and rigorous manner. 

But what if they don’t? 

What types of mistakes typically occur when fintechs fail to take an orderly and strategic approach to public relations? Here are five common errors:

Number one: Failure to convene a dedicated message development session early on:

Message development is essential as the first phase of any public relations campaign. A PR initiative without messages is a rudderless ship, floating unguided from one random point on the water to another. 

Watch “Meet the Press” or “Face the Nation” any Sunday morning and you will watch a succession of well-prepared guests engaging in world-class message delivery. There’s nothing spontaneous or off-the-cuff about the messages viewers hear. Each is the result of much preparation and practice. Fintechs should emulate this essential and time-honored PR technique.

Fintechs that skip this step are likely to sabotage their media relations program. Spokespeople are left out there on their own, grasping for ways to articulate what’s special about the company. Better to equip spokespeople with a clear checklist of messages and proof points, all approved and embraced by a consensus of senior leadership. 

The best way to measure the value of a media placement is to judge whether it has successfully delivered company messages. Unless a fintech has established and embraced its messages, it won’t really know how well its PR program is doing.

Number two: Failure to create and implement a structured media relations program:

The company’s relationships with key media should never be driven by a spirit of spontaneity, reactivity and opportunism. The PR team needs to be proactive — and take a conscious and structured attitude toward media relations. The spontaneity can come later.

One useful approach is to make a list of the ten or fifteen most-important targets in the firm’s media landscape, and then scrupulously proceed down the list, one by one, perhaps over the course of two or three weeks. 

On a systematic basis, reach out to each target with the goal of setting up a get-acquainted (or get reacquainted) call. Create the basis for a relationship. 

Systematically kindling a relationship with everyone on the target list — or at least trying to do so — provides the opportunity to establish a vital baseline of context and familiarity between company and journalist. That way, when a reason arises for a CEO to contact a reporter, the call won’t be coming “out of nowhere” from, basically, a stranger. A foundation will exist. There will be context.  

Number three: Failure to engage in proactive media outreach when a funding round is raised: 

When it comes to funding rounds, it’s advantageous for a fintech to establish control over the narrative surrounding them. 

Companies should be fully aware of the regulatory framework that guides disclosures relating to these rounds. They should internally agree upon talking points and messages about the round for when the rules allow them to talk publicly about it.

The company should be creating and projecting the funding-related narrative. Never hand that job over to outsiders. The firm would then have lost control of the situation. Important company messages may never get articulated, or get articulated only weakly. The company may be thrown on the defensive.

Don’t let others tell an important story that only your company can tell well and tell accurately. Never fail to implement a proactive media strategy upon completion of a funding round.

Number four: Failure to leverage public relations as a recruitment tool: 

Fintechs can make the error of not leveraging good media coverage to help attract top-notch employees. The public relations program shouldn’t narrowly fixate on, for example, the technical aspects of the company’s business proposition. Where possible, firms should also try to secure coverage about their history, their growth story, and their workplace culture. Articles like this may capture the interest of potential new hires. 

Land media placements that position the firm as a desirable place of employment — and leverage those placements as part of the recruitment effort.

Number five: Failure to capitalize on the founder’s story:

Particularly in the company’s early years, a company’s public relations strategy should aim to showcase the vision and even the personality of the founder. Adding this to the PR mix helps to humanize the brand. It also begins to position the founder as a thought leader.

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Fast-growing fintechs are juggling a lot at once. People are working long hours and have little time to spare. But even so, they need to devote the time necessary to implement a sound and strategic PR program.

If fintechs avoid committing the common mistakes listed here, they’ll reap the dividends.

How Wealth Management Firms Are Building Thought Leadership to Grow Their Business

Wealth management firms can build competitive advantage by establishing themselves as industry “thought leaders.” This takes time and resources. But after working with countless wealth management firms and advisors throughout the past decade, we’ve found the results to be proven.

The first step in any thought leadership initiative is to assemble your executive team and identify a few topmost issues, challenges and trends on the minds of your current and potential clients.  

Zero in on compelling and timely topics — and come up with a point of view, with an analysis, with messages, and with strategic guidance that will help wealth management clients address these challenges. Your analysis can also include predictions for the future.  

This will help maximize your relevance as a newly minted “thought leader.” Your “thoughts” will carry value — because you’ll be tackling the precise problems faced by your clients.  

The Checklist for Thought Leadership in Wealth Management

Once you have a working consensus on your analyses and messages, decide whether the “thought leader” will be the CEO or another designated executive.

Now, your campaign begins. While other strategies exist, here are four proven platforms for establishing thought leadership:

1.  Get yourself “sourced:”  Business reporters often cite industry experts to amplify and add color to their news reports on wealth management and investment trends. These quoted experts are known as “sources.” Getting quoted in this way represents successful “sourcing.”  

How do you qualify yourself as an expert meriting “sourcing?” A good way is for your executive spokesperson to schedule exploratory or get-acquainted coffees, lunches or phone calls with top-tier reporters in your sector.  

These one-on-one, get-acquainted sessions will typically qualify your “thought leader” as a genuine expert — and position them for sourcing.  

2.  Submit bylines on trends and best practices:  This time-honored strategy is key to a thought leadership campaign. The “by” in the word “byline” means that a column is “by” someone. In this case, your column is focused on a current wealth management issue or on three or four “best practices” in the world of investment planning.  

Bylines are pure you. It’s you talking, unfiltered and directly. You can say what you want to say, often at some length. It’s powerful to be speaking analytically, in your own words, on a relevant, investment-related topic in a media outlet or guest blog read by clients and prospective clients.

And bylines are easily “merchandised.” With proper permission, they’re simple to circulate — and they’re LinkedIn-friendly. Solid and well-placed bylines are a pillar of thought leadership.

3.  Underwrite research or surveys:  This advanced strategy only works for companies with adequate resources. 

Firms can commission research, perhaps by a grad school professor, on one of the top-of-mind topics referenced above. Research may take the form of surveys. Generally, survey respondents should closely resemble your client base.

Your company owns the results of the research. You can brand them with your company name, like “the Nielsen Survey” or the “Dow Jones Index.” You’ll be offering comment and analysis on an exclusive basis. If possible, you can update and issue your new findings every year, for example, or every six months. And surveys typically carry intrinsic news value, which tends to ensure coverage.

4.  Get on panels and play a prominent role at conferences:  These thought leadership techniques also carry price tags, but can often be worth it. Panel appearances enable you to show off your wealth management expertise in person and in real time. They open the door to new business relationships at the event itself and in follow-up contacts initiated by attendees. And panels are often covered by the media.

Sponsoring conference events doesn’t automatically deliver thought leadership value. But firms can reap reputational advantages by underwriting content-rich events, workshop or panels at conferences. Often, you can work with the conference planners to shape an event to sponsor that reinforces your company’s “thought leadership” messages.

–   –   –

Speak to your in-house marketing team or your public relations firm about mounting a thought leadership campaign using these and other strategies. Get to be known as a forward-thinking firm that has its finger on the pulse of wealth management trends and strategies. 

You’ll find that an investment in thought leadership will boost your company’s prestige and, very often, your market share.

Key Elements To Write An Effective Press Release

Usually, when we hear about press releases, our mind goes immediately to a large company that is making an official announcement. Large players disclosing important information regarding their business practices:  mergers, the appointment of a new CEO, etc. That’s what we think about when we hear about a press release.

Due to that first association, an entrepreneur might think that a small startup has no need for such documents. Your public relations handle is fairly manageable through social media and there’s no need for fancy guidelines. While some of those arguments might be true, press releases are necessary even if you are taking a DIY approach to your business’ public relations.

Press releases, if done properly, are powerful displays of corporate image. This is something you should do especially if your startup is fairly new. Setting the right tone for your marketing strategy and your public relations could get you great media and public recognition. So, without further ado, we’ve compiled a brief list of key elements that will help you write an effective press release:

1) Make A Plan

Before you start writing, make a brief list of the message you want to broadcast. A press release is not a friendly post on a billboard, but an informative text aimed to made public a piece of information regarding your business. It should be as precise and clear as possible.

You should also set a guideline for your startup: under what circumstances should press releases be published? Every time you expand? At the end of every fiscal quarter? This is important because

2) Use Them Properly

A press release cannot substitute a marketing campaign. That’s not their goal. Marketing aims to sell a product. Public relations are more related to the way you communicate with the media and your target audiences. Even if you put together a press release to inform the public about the creation of a new product, the content should be written in a way that it just provides information about it, without making a sales pitch.

3) Make Them Relevant

The information released should be interesting to your audience’s interest and presented in a way that will be appealing to them. 

What Can Media Coverage Do For Your Brand?

PR coverage in the media can do wonders for your business. Getting it takes a lot of time and effort, though, which is why so many small businesses don’t put in the effort to obtain it. It’s well worth investing in legitimate PR coverage for your organization, however.

So, what can legit PR coverage really accomplish for your organization?

More Visibility than Ever Before

Getting mentioned in media outlets and well-known podcasts will give you more brand reach and more visibility across the Internet. The key is to get the right visibility. So many brands are laser-focused on getting as much visibility as possible. But if those people aren’t interested in the brand there’s little chance of increasing sales and generating more revenue.

Visibility is pointless if it doesn’t translate to anything in the long-term. Focus on targeted visibility if you want to make the most of getting the extra PR.

Improve Your Credibility

Brand reputation is more important than ever before. Companies are made based on it. That’s why legitimate PR is so important. The moment you get your brand mentioned within major publications like Business Insider and the Huffington Post you’re bringing a new level of credibility to your organization.

That credibility can be leveraged to help improve consumer trust. It will make it easier to sell your products because you’ll have an edge on your competitors.

Huge Growth in Your Business

Legitimate PR is also ideal for the development of your business. Through more exposure, you’ll see an increase in the number of clients. You’ll also see an increasing number of clients because you have more credibility. People will assume that because a major media outlet is mentioning you that you must be authentic.

You’re also putting yourself a step above the rest of your competitors because you have the coverage that they don’t. In both the short-term and the long-term you’ll witness a far greater increase in profits.

But You Need to Use the Momentum…

It’s important to remember that getting featured on a website like Forbes isn’t the end of the line. This is only the beginning of the momentum. Once you have the momentum rolling you need to take advantage of that momentum to keep increasing your visibility and to keep improving your credibility.

You should also remember that your competitors will be doing the same thing. So, if you start easing up on the PR your competitors are going to steadily overtake you.

And What’s the Best Way to Get Legitimate PR?

Your content needs to fit with the tone and direction of the website. Most major publications accept submissions from non-regular writers. Read their instructions and investigate the direction of their website. Make sure your content matches the current trends and you’ll have a higher chance of getting the results you want.

But ultimately this is all about persistence. If you fail to be persistent then you’re giving yourself a smaller chance of success. How are you going to increase your chances of getting legitimate PR?

How To Get On Podcasts As A Guest

As one of the newer players on the media spectrum that has become a heavy hitter, podcasts can really deliver when it comes to publicity for a brand. Not surprisingly, we have had a sharp increase in clients coming to us in the last couple of years to learn about how to get on podcasts as a guest. For those who are looking for a glimpse at how the process works for securing guest spots on a podcast, we’ve broken down the key components here. But first, we’ll look at why a brand should be looking at how to get on podcasts in the first place.

WHY PODCASTS?

For the majority of the last decade, podcasts were mostly written off, especially by larger brands, as a media platform that was still too infantile to warrant investing meaningful time and money into. Previously that could have been understandable given that a study in 2008 found that less than 10% of Americans had listened to a podcast in the past month. But for those who had the foresight to invest for the long term, building a platform back then has seriously paid off today. In 2020, a study found that nearly 40% of Americans have listened to a podcast in the past month and a whopping 24% listen to a podcast every week. In just a few short years, half of all US households are podcast fans, according to Nielsen.

Not surprisingly, the amount of podcast content being created has seen a corresponding surge, with data estimating that there are now 1,000,000 podcasts and more than 30,000,000 episodes. Naturally brands have taken notice of podcasts as an important platform where many of their target customers are spending time.

PODCASTS PROVIDE HIGH QUALITY EXPOSURE

So, besides the sheer growth of podcast audiences, what specific factors make it ripe for brands to increase their exposure and sales? Here are a few reasons to think about:

Podcasts have a more affluent audience than other media platforms. A study found that 45% of monthly podcast listeners earn more than $75,000 per year.

Listeners invest more time into consuming content: Podcasts tend to be longer form media than other platforms like social media or YouTube videos. Podcast episodes often run 30-60 minutes or longer. As a result, 82% of podcast listeners spend more than seven hours per week listening to podcasts. That a very captive audience in an era where it’s increasingly difficult to capture attention in a social media feed.

One of the benefits of the podcast format for brands is it’s longer form and allows for better storytelling. Rather than having to reduce a message down to a simple social media post or two minute video, you have a lot more storytelling capacity when you’re being interviewed on a 30 minute show.

Podcasts have highly targeted audiences. With more than 1,000,000 podcasts on the internet specializing in almost any genre and niche you can think of, it’s very easy to target your message to a specific audience.

Podcasts remain online forever, unlike fleeting television spots.

Podcasts can also provide backlinks to your website in the show notes on distribution platforms like LibSyn and Stitcher as well as the show’s own website, which provides SEO value for your brand.

HOW TO GET ON PODCASTS
Research Podcasts

The first step in any podcast outreach campaign, similar to a traditional media campaign, is identifying a list of target podcasts that you would like to guest on. Because there is such a vast number of podcasts on the internet, it requires some research to identify the ones most suited to your brand or niche. Fortunately, there are a couple of great platforms for doing your research such as iTunes, LibSyn and Stitcher. Most podcasts podcasts are broadcast on at least one of those three, if not all. Search for keywords related to your niche to find the podcasts that are most relevant.

Keep in mind that depending on your niche, there could be hundreds or even thousands of podcasts. This doesn’t mean you need to reach out to all of them (although you certainly could if you have the time and/or team). Do some additional digging on each individual show to get a feel for the exact context of the show and some of their past guests to see if you fit into their programming.

Build a Contact List

Once you have established a list of your target podcasts, whether it’s 20 shows or 200 shows, it’s now time to create a contact list for reaching out to them. This is where the work can sometimes get time consuming. There are a number of tools out there that can help you with locating contact information for a show host or producer, but oftentimes it requires using a few tools to get the information you need. Here’s how we suggest going about it:

  • Identify the host. The host of a show is the easiest and most public information to find.
  • Determine whether there could be a show producer. Bigger podcasts don’t rely on the host for the majority of the production and booking work. They often employ a producer (or multiple producers) who actually plan the programming. If you’re reaching out to a very large podcast with a high profile host, you’ll often get better results if you can identify a producer to contact instead. If a producer isn’t listed on the podcast’s website, try searching on LinkedIn.
  • Once you have decided who your main contact will be, use a tool like LinkedIn, Twitter, Cision, MuckRack or RocketReach to locate their email address.

Repeat this process for all of the podcasts on your target list.

Develop Your Story

The key to how to get on podcasts is to have a great story. A great story is never your product’s sales pitch. A great story needs to either inspire, entertain or educate your audience (or all three). After serving hundreds of clients over more than a decade, we’ve learned that every company has a powerful story they can tell. Here are a few possible themes:

  • Helping your listeners solve a specific problem. Take the biggest problem your product or service solves for your customers and turn it into a story with insight and advice you can give to help listeners who may be experiencing that same challenge. How-to pieces can be very compelling for podcasts.
  • The story of how your brand was founded– obstacles your founder overcame to success and how their unique background led them to build your company.
  • The story of the people within your organization. Many companies have a great culture story or something unconventional about their team which may be inspiring or educational.
  • A story about your impact in your community or a cause you are involved in supporting. Be specific about a contribution you made and the effect it had, especially the human aspect of it.
  • A client success story. If you’ve had outsized success with a client, the case study can often be turned into a compelling story with takeaway lessons for listeners.

Create a Pitch

Once you’ve decided on a story that will be a compelling fit for the podcasts you are targeting, it’s time to draft an email pitch that you’ll send to your contact list. Your pitch should briefly encompass the heart of your story and a call to action to get the host or producer interested in hearing more and having you on the show. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep your pitch short. If it’s a page long, it’s unlikely anyone will read it. Less is always more. Aim for one paragraph, maybe two at most.
  • A short subject line is always better.
  • Include some credibility about your brand. You enhance the strength of your pitch by including a brief sentence or two giving some key highlights about why your brand is an authority. If you have had any press mentions, industry awards or hit major growth milestones (a notable amount of revenue, venture capital raised, partnerships secured, etc) this is where to mention it.
  • Include a call to action at the end of your pitch asking the host if they would be interested in connecting for more information about your story.
  • Avoid attachments (producers hate opening them), all caps text, and bold and italic writing.
  • Important: Make sure your pitch contains no spelling or grammatical errors.

Do Outreach

Now that you have a pitch, it’s time to send it. The most important thing to keep in mind is that podcast outreach is an ongoing process that requires consistency and persistence. You may not always secure a guest spot after the first round of emails. So instead what you should focus on is gradually cultivating relationships with hosts and producers over time. Even if they don’t have room on their programming schedule to book you now, you’ll remain top of mind for them to circle back with you later.

Once a pitch is sent to a producer, follow-up is key. Following up once on a pitch two or three days after sending it is a great way to increase the likelihood of a response. If your follow-up does not receive a response, give the contact a break for a few weeks before pitching them again (perhaps with a new story). It is a good idea to keep in touch with your contacts at least once per month in order to remain top of mind.

That’s it! While there are aspects of this process that may need to be tweaked for your specific brand or industry, this is a proven framework that we have used with our own clients to place them as guests on hundreds of podcasts. The key to success is persistence and being consistent in your outreach while still ensuring that you are pitching high quality stories that provide value to an audience. If you continue to refine your outreach over time, the results will follow.

If you are interested in talking to our own team about doing your podcast outreach for us, feel free to drop us a note here.

Where Do Entrepreneurship And Leadership Meet?

It’s a common mistake to think that you have to be born with a certain number of personality traits in order to be successful. And while yes, having an innate inclination for organization or business is incredibly helpful, most of those skills can be developed later in life. You can learn them in college, by observation or with a little bit of discipline. But could the qualities that make you a good entrepreneur also make you a good leader?

Many people have posed that very same question. And while many people who venture into business on their own certainly possess certain qualities that could allow them lead a whole industry sector, not every one of them is a natural-born leader. Are leadership and entrepreneurship all that different?

They aren’t. In fact, they share a couple of traits in common:

FOCUS

Leaders see a goal and are able to motivate a group of people to work together in order to achieve it. Entrepreneurs went through a long process before they launched their business. They were able to identify that one niche where their venture could be successful. Both are examples of how the same quality is applied in scenarios that could be combined: that same entrepreneur could use that focus to guide their collaborators to any goal they pursue.

INSPIRATION

Launching a business can be emotionally exhausting. Setbacks, deadlines, you name it: the mere idea of failure can bring anyone down. However, those who persevered and were able to finally open for business were driven by their own long-term goals. They were able to inspire themselves even after the gloomiest of days. If someone is able to inspire themselves, they could easily translate that ability and inspire others, which is basically what leaders do.

FLEXIBILITY

Any startup demands a certain level of flexibility. While you may have very clear goals and ideas for your business, chances are that they may not be your best option once you are faced with the reality of the market. Some of your original thoughts might not even be practical. And while some may need to be abandoned altogether, most will need to be adapted. Ideas need to evolve and you, as the captain of the ship, will need to oversee the process.

Leaders need to adapt not only to those changing tides of the market, but also to the personalities and abilities of those in their team. Working with others requires the same level of openness to discussion and ability to adapt that any business owners use every day.

Understanding The Decision Making Process

As an entrepreneur launching a brand new business, you are in charge of most, if not all, of the crucial decisions involved in the process. All of them affect your business in one way or another; you are required to be permanently on your toes so you can make sure that the decisions you make are the best. That is exhausting.

Dr. Roy Baumeister, a scholar of the Social Psychology Faculty at Princeton University, has studied decision making processes for a number of years. In 2011, along with a team of researchers, he identified a phenomenon on those who have to make crucial decisions for extended periods: Decision fatigue. Dr. Baumeister defined it as depletion of the brain’s mental stamina due to making too many decisions. When this happens, we end up making poor choices or rash decisions, or we forgo deciding at all.

An entrepreneur with decision fatigue could negatively impact their own business. While making decisions is an unavoidable task for those who have decided to venture business on their own, understanding how decision making works could help you identify the steps you find most difficult and work on them:

1) IDENTIFY THE DECISION TO BE MADE

Since an entrepreneur wears many hats at the same time, usually decisions are made in a rush and with very little thought. Sometimes you might even choose something just because you had a hunch. Taking the time to identify exactly what’s being asked of you will also mean you’ll pay closer attention to the implications of your decision.

2) GATHER INFORMATION

Say you opened a coffee shop and need to get a website set up. You know nothing about web design. How can you pick a web hosting service, a web designer, a platform? You gather as much information as you can, but you still can’t make up your mind. What do you do next?

3) EVALUATE YOUR ALTERNATIVES

“Small business owners must lay out all the decisions they need to make on a consistent basis in the marketing, finance, operations and personnel areas and be honest with themselves about where their expertise lies,” says Nihar Chhaya, a strategy advisor. “Then they need to delegate those decisions to people that have both the skill and the motivation to make the best choices in those areas.” How do you do that if you ventured into business by yourself? Ask former classmates, acquaintances, former coworkers or friends. Even if they don’t know enough to help you, they will very likely refer you to someone who does.

If you’re evaluating alternatives by yourself, it’s really helpful to make a pro/con list of each one of your options. This way you’ll be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each alternative.

4) TAKE ACTION

Once you’ve weighed in your choices in an informed way, it’s time to pick one. As an entrepreneur, you might have very limited resources, funds and staff, so try to make sure that the choice you make makes sense both in the right here, right now and in the future. Work with what you have, not with what you expect to get. And then go for it.

5) FOLLOW UP

Many people feel relieved once they’ve reached an important decision and naively think that’s over, but following up is just as important as having made that choice. Once your plan is in action, take the time to evaluate if your decision was indeed the most efficient one, if there were additional factors to consider and, if everything turned out the way you expected, see if you could use that same decision making process in the future.

Networking Tips That Can Improve Your Media Relations Efforts

When it comes to finding success with media relations, one of the best things that you can do is to have a strong network of contacts to rely on whenever you have a pitch or a story you need to get out in the public. Your contact list is one of the most important tools that you can use to reach out to the public and to the media. How do you build a strong contact list? Networking.

Networking is one of the most important things you can do to build your brand and your business and it can also come in handy when it comes to media relations as well. Here are a few “must-try” networking tips that can help you meet new people in the media and create strong media contacts that you can use later on with your PR efforts.

A Strong Network Connection Is About Give And Take

When you go into the networking process and are looking to make a connection, remember that your goal shouldn’t just be to help yourself but to help the other party as well. You need to be able to bring value to a reporter, in order for them to give you coverage. Don’t just focus on your needs when you make connections.

It’s Not About The Most Connections, But The Right Connections

Networking isn’t just about shaking the hands of the most people possible, it is about shaking the hands of the right people. You shouldn’t focus on just getting the most business cards possible at a single networking event, you should focus on finding the right people and forging actual relationships with them when you do meet them. Saying two words to five random people isn’t as effective as shaking the hands of and really having an in-depth conversation with one great media contact.

Have Realistic Expectations

There are some people that attend networking events and go into the process having some pretty serious expectations. Don’t expect that just because you talked to a journalist that they are going to go out on a limb for you and accept all of your pitches. You shouldn’t expect anything from the contacts you meet, you should know that you are slowly building a relationship.

Don’t Start By Asking For Help

When meeting a new connection, start off by flattering the person you meet. Praise the individual and their work and try to use specific examples when you can. Don’t start off by asking for help, it can really turn another person off. You want them to feel like you are actually interested in meeting them and interested in what they have to say, not just getting a handout.

Always Try To Offer Value

When meeting people at networking events, you can’t just expect that your charm and good conversation will be enough to entice a journalist to want to cover your company. You need to always remember, when you are meeting people and when you are following up with them, that you need to provide them with as much value as possible. Be a resource to the journalist you meet. Answer their questions and try to solve their problems when you can. The more value you offer the better.

If you keep these things in mind when your network and remember that you should never take “no” personally and always keep working on expanding your contact list, you can start creating connections in the market that can really help you build your media contact list.

How To Bring A Little Seo To Your Press Release

The right news release can go a long way in promoting any company and any story. One of the great things about press releases today is that even if they don’t get picked up by a specific reporter, they are great promotional tools that can really boost your business’s online reputation.

This is why it is so important to not only make news releases clear, concise, and professional-looking, but to add a little SEO to these releases as well. Optimizing your news release for search engines is a surefire way to help build a strong online marketing campaign.

However, creating optimized news releases is about more than just adding the right keywords. There is an art to ensuring the release still seems natural and ensuring that your document isn’t flagged by search engines. Here are a few of the best ways to make sure your release is well optimized and still professional enough for you to get the media coverage you have been looked for.

Don’t Forget About Quotes

Before you ever start writing your news release, you need to make sure that you have the right quotes. This can go a long way in helping your piece get attention and it is great for search engine results as well. A quote should have the following key features:

  • It should be less than 100 characters
  • It should be brief and to the point
  • It should be newsworthy or tweetable
  • It should add perspective
  • It should include the keyword

If your quote has all of these features then it is truly adding the type of value you are looking for to your press release.

Keep Your Headlines Short

Headlines are a great tool for helping your news release get attention. However, this doesn’t mean that you should try to make headlines really long, or stuffed with keywords. Only the first 50-60 characters of a headline are going to appear in search engine results, so they need to be short and sweet. The headline needs to get to the point of the article, entice the reader to give the release a second look and it should include the keyword, if possible. The headline is the hook to get the reader’s attention, and this should be the ultimate goal when you write an engaging headline.

Put More Value In Your Sub-title

The subtitle is a really important area of your release, yet it is one that is overlooked. You can keep your headline shorter by paying more attention to adding information with your sub-title. Let the subtitle expand upon your brief headline by keeping it descriptive yet different from your headline.

Keep It Easy To Read

Just because you are creating a news release, it doesn’t mean that your content shouldn’t have the same rules as any other type of online content. This means that your release should be broken up into small, digestible, and easy-to-read paragraphs.

Keep paragraphs just a few paragraphs long. Use lists when you can and use sub-headers throughout to make sure that your content is easy to skim. After all, readers want to be able to browse through the content easily to grab the information they need. The quicker they can read the content, the better, especially with a news release.

Easy SEO tips such as this can actually go a long way in helping any news release get the attention of editors, journalists, and search engines alike.