Submitting the Perfect Media Pitch

Any business, whether it’s big or small, can gain a lot from just a little press coverage. As the old saying goes, no press is bad press, and while that’s true in most cases, it’s always better to have the press on your side when building your brand. Developing and cultivating relationships can take time, yet can lead to big things in terms of press coverage. Scottsdale public relations firms who have already established relationships with the press are a great place to seek help in media coverage management.

 

Developing Relationships with the Press

If you have the press on your side, no matter what the story is you will get the benefit of the doubt, which is huge in terms of branding. In order to build a healthy relationship with members of the media, start slow and be consistent. Think of this process as the Tortoise and the Hare. While the Hare will race to meet every media member available and rush into conversations about press releases and press coverage, the Tortoise will cultivate these relationships before making a business move.

 

Don’t go after every member of the media in the beginning. As with building links for Search Engine Marketing, or strategically planning your advertising platforms, seek out members of the media who have written or spoken about your industry, who have a well received audience of their own, and who have good reputations. As with seeking out social media influencers, if this person is going to represent your brand you’ll need them to be perfect for the job.

 

Everyone who is in the business of business doesn’t do something for nothing, if you catch my drift, so offer assistance and friendship to this member of the media that you’re building a relationship with. If they ask a favor of you, try to make it happen, and don’t ask for anything in return until you’ve established a strong relationship.

 

Pitching to the Media

Once you’ve cultivated that relationship, over a matter of weeks or months, and you feel that relationship is strong enough, offer them your story. One of the main reasons that so many business professionals turn to public relations firms is simply due to the fact that those individuals will have spent many years building relationships with members of the press.

 

Even if you have a strong relationship with the reporter and feel comfortable enough to pitch a story, don’t expect that reporter to jump on it if it’s just like everyone else’s story. As with everything else in advertising and marketing, you must be creative and unique. Your story is your brand, and it must convey the right message.

 

Understand what questions that reporter will ask before you pitch the story. Questions such as who will this story appeal to? How will that audience react? Make sure that you do your due diligence to have all of the answers the reporter will need. By making their life easier and having the information, you will have a greater chance of getting your story told by the media.

 

Getting reporters and members of the media to accept and ‘run with the story’ is difficult, which is why many leave it to public relations firms who have years of experience with this process. However, it can be done with enough time, dedication, patience and energy.

Customers or Brand Advocates?

What holds more value; a lifelong customer or a customer that campaigns for your brand? What do you think resonates more with customers; service and accountability or price and product? As we’ve gone over in the past, brand equity can completely erase the aspect of price, as many customers are willing to pay extra for the sentiment associated with certain brands, but what if you’re just starting out? Determining the best practices for increasing your brand equity and acquiring brand campaigners as well as customers is a key to brand marketing success.

 

Understanding Consumer Relationships

Going back to our original question, what holds more value; a lifelong customer or a customer that campaigns for your brand, brings us to a paramount aspect of brand marketing. Customer loyalty means more than just business profit, it means you have a consumer who’s always in your corner. They will promote your brand, spread word of mouth advertising, and advocate for your brand. A business brand must be about more than the product, more than the business, but an entire experience that will stay with each customer.

 
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Selecting Influencers For Your Brand

Building a brand, marketing your brand, and inciting conversations in media are all tactics leading up to one thing; web influence. Influence on the web is paramount to increasing brand awareness, brand recognition, and thus augmenting your customer base and ultimately sales. Whether your Scottsdale advertising firm is looking to launch a print campaign or online marketing, influence is everything.

 

The Power of Influence

Much like brand recognition, influence is increasingly crucial to your marketing campaigns. Without influence you are a ship lost at sea with no sails. You know where you want to go, you have the plan, but you have no way to harness the wind and make any progress. With influence, you have sails and the ability to catch the wind, increase momentum, and race along the sea of online users.

 

How to Become Influential Online

In order to become influential online, you must have a strong website, a strong brand message, and a strong Facebook and Twitter presence. Knowing what to say, when to say it and how to say it is crucial, maintaining interactions is crucial, but knowing the right people can make all the difference. For the purpose of this article, let’s talk about knowing the right people to build your own value online.

 

1. Popularity is Fruitless – It’s not about how many Friends or Followers someone has, it’s about how they interact with them. Someone with a strong social media presence might have less than 1,000 Friends, but each those Friends engage in conversations often, and generate conversations of their own in their own social networks.

 

2. Industry Relevance – Identifying the influencers in your industry is crucial. Though it can be tempting to look for other industry ‘top dogs’ to connect with, but to remain relevant to your brand you must connect with those influencers in your industry who have something to say and have an audience that is listening.

 

3. Expert Authority – Anyone can have a social media presence. May ordinary Jane’s and Joe’s have huge followings between friends and family, and have a lot to say about current events, perhaps even industry related topics, but these are not the influencers you should be connecting with. Remain steadfast to the idea that you must be connecting with an expert authority. Take your time when selecting these influencers to connect with. Take your time to monitor their online behavior, their ethics and morals, their knowledge of the industry. If this influencer is going to become integrated with your brand, even if they’re only going to mention it or blog about it once, they have to network well with your brand message.

 

How to Connect With Influencers

Finally, after you’ve spent some time monitoring the influencers that you want to connect with, you’ll contact them, join in their conversations, and generate an understanding of your brand. Email them directly if you’d like to explain what your brand stands for. Direct them to a recent article or blog that you’ve posted on your site regarding your products or brand. Do not contact them as a used car salesmen hoping to get their ‘blessing’ and ‘mention’ on social networks. This will turn them all the other way. You’ll want to connect them as a colleague, a friend, and build a relationship with them. If they truly are strong influencers, and the connection is mutual, sometimes all it takes is one mention on Facebook, Twitter, or a blog for your brand to be instantly skyrocketed to the next level of success.

 

 

 

How To Turn Your Brand Into A Commodity

“Aspirin and Cellophane were once trademarks that weren’t adequately defended. Now they’re generic.” – Alan C. Drewsen, Executive Director of the International Trademark Association

 

What is your brand? Is it an idea, a feeling, a trend, or something more? Is it something that has the potential to become an icon of your industry? If the answer is yes, perhaps it’s time to consider trademarks. While not often talked about, claiming intellectual property and rights over your brand can be a genius marketing move, protecting your business and business brand for many years to come, and establishing your brand as an industry icon.

 
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What Are Your Business Intentions?

If you haven’t heard of HARO.com (Help a Reporter Out), it’s a superb resource for connecting journalists with expert sources. The site began nearly on accident, as many of these social resources do, by a former PR guru who had connections to everyone. By creating this site, he created one of the most popular, highly respected assets for journalists, and in the end sold it to a pretty hefty sum, or so they say. How did he do it?

 

His story is not so much about how he developed HARO.com, or even how he grew it over time, it’s how he sold it. While many business owners spend time building their business with the sole purpose of selling it and moving onto the next, the owner of HARO.com started it for the sole purpose of helping others. He didn’t go after advertisers, they came after him. He didn’t go after journalists or the expert sources, they flocked to his website. HARO.com was, and still is, one of those ideas that really needs very little work; most of the advertising was simply through word of mouth.

 
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Understanding Your Audience Through Segmentation

Understanding your target audience is crucial to building a successful marketing plan, and thus translating that plan into effective action. Whether the campaign is in Phoenix advertising, Scottsdale public relations, or online media, appreciating your audience and what they’re capable of is key to unlocking success. However, in order to appreciate your audience, you and your advertising firm must truly understand every detail about them.

 

Who Is Your Target Audience?

 

This is an extremely broad question, and yet one that should be taken into extreme consideration. But let’s break this one down a bit. When going big with advertising campaigns, you have to focus on the small details, and this is a perfect marketing example. Don’t overlook things like age, gender, ethnicity, location, even interests and hobbies, likes and dislikes.

 

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Getting Social with Public Relations

Any Scottsdale public relations professional will gladly point out how useful social media has become, but when you ask them to explain their social media PR techniques and strategies, they’ll tell you ‘it’s a trade secret.’ Unfortunately, for business owners and medical professionals trying to break into the world of marketing and PR, that’s the last thing that you want to hear. So, today we’ve broken it down to 5 easy steps that you should be following in order to create a buzz, as they say, with PR in social media.

 

1. Think ReTweets, Likes and Shares – As far as Twitter goes, ReTweets are like money in the bank. The same goes for Likes and Shares on Facebook. As we’ve mentioned in a few of our social media articles, if you can create a press release headline that is “tweetable” and “likable,” your audience will truly do promotion work for you.
 

2. Connect With the Top Dogs – Social media is all about influence. Whether you’re a Scottsdale public relations firm or a New York PR guru, if you don’t have influence on Twitter and Facebook, you don’t have much of a say how your press release is going to be syndicated by the masses. Connect with those social media individuals who have a grasp of your industry, or a large hold over media in general. Share information with them, create conversations, and hopefully become friends. Sometimes all it takes is one Tweet or Like from a user with a strong social media presence to boost your press release into the stratosphere.
 
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Managing the Creative Process

Managing your team’s creative process can be daunting. Graphic artists, advertising professionals and promotional firms can all be extremely passionate about their work, and are sometimes hard to reign in. When it’s your business, your brand, and ultimately your money on the line, it’s important to understand how to maintain control of the creative process.

 

Creative Minds Don’t Think Alike

Most imaginative individuals have their own perspective on art, graphics, design, promotion and marketing. Whether your business marketing is done in-house, or you’ve selected a respected Phoenix advertising firm, you will still need to retain control over the creative process and these often free-willed creative minds. While genius in their own rights, more often than not the creative process can become sidetracked from too many projects running at once, to many directions and paths being traveled, and not enough organization. This is where you, as the business owner, comes into the picture.
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Why All Business Owners Should Function as Newpaper Editors

In a world where journalism ruled all forms of communication, where the newspaper was the only form of contact between the East and West, when an editor had the power to influence a city, state, even a nation with the power of the pen, ‘we the people’ staked entire lives on what was said in black and white. Back then, the newspaper was the only form of brand communication, and the editor-and-chief had more power than many city mayors.

 

Today, the power lies within every single business owner, small or large. Influence is no longer a result of media presence; today it’s a direct result of brand presence, and brand presence is created with content.

 
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What is Branded Content?

Branded content is a form of marketing that is custom created for your business message. Branded content is insightful, informational, targeted, and developed with a tone that matches your brand message. In the simplest terms, branded content is the written narrative of your business; the tried and true practice of conveying a message through well-built sentences, words that incite emotion and topics that communicate your business story.

 

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

 

Your brand is your holy grail, and the written word is the crusade that travels through all channels to reach their goal. The goal, in this case, is wrapped in sales, leads, and overall influence. While a business brand must convey their message through a logo, videos, design, advertising, and PR, the ultimate narrative is told with words.

 
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