Category Archives: Public Relations

Why Your Press Release Was Ignored

Here are a few reasons your Press Release was ignored:

 

  • It was not well-written.
  • It did not tell the media outlet why their audience would be interested in your news.
  • The story was not news worthy.
  • It got lost among the hundreds of press releases the outlet receives everyday.
  • It was sent to the wrong person in the organization.
  • There was no follow-up.
  • The timing was wrong.
  • It got caught in the spam filter. 

I could go on but the point is this. Getting your story covered takes much more than writing and distributing a release. It takes research, follow-up, relationship-building and sometimes a little luck. Think about it; there’s a reason media relations is considered a skillset. 

Towanda Long aka mscafe

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The Yard Sale Wagon

The “doom and gloom” message of the economy is not helping your marketing campaign. At best, it’s getting lost among the many other products and services using the same message. At worst, it’s just annoying (I received 9 e-mails today with recession specials…).

 

Clients and consumers with a strapped cash flow want to feel like they are getting the best possible product or service for their money. Most people feel this way, even if they have plenty of disposable income!

 

They want to feel like they are purchasing a viable product or service from a viable company, not a yard sale. They want to know if they need further assistance a month or a year from now, you’ll be there to provide it. They want to know that they are getting a premium product, and that the price is reasonable.

 

Instead of jumping on the yard sale wagon, why not accentuate the positive? Tell your current and potential customers what is so great about your product or service. Show them ways that you can help them function more efficiently.

 

Instead of focusing mainly on price, why not focus on the value you add? When price comes up, go into the discussion with all of the information you need to explain why you are worth the quoted price. Negotiations may be inevitable, but price shouldn’t be the door-opener. It should be your great product/service.

 

Towanda Long aka mscafe

The Addiction to Twitter

After a few weeks as a Twitterite I will admit, I’m addicted. And for once (okay, maybe twice, because I actually don’t mind the shopping thing…), I am okay with it.

 

My Twitter experience started with my inherent need to be knowledgeable about all things marketing. Articles kept popping up, people I respect sang its praises and so I thought, “Why not?”.

 

Well, now I get it. Twitter is great for many reasons, but here’s my top five:

 

  1. It’s like an AP Wire for those of us not in a newsroom. I follow ABC, NPR & ESPN, to name a few. So, when something happens I know right away. And the news is given to me in 140 characters or less! (Once you join Twitter you can decide whom you want to follow. The updates of these Twitterites then show up on your homepage.).
  2. It feeds my need to be knowledgeable about all things marketing. Twitterites are a diverse group. Many tweet links to very interesting articles, etc. that I would probably not find on my own. It’s not just, “I had a salad for dinner and now I’m going to bed” tweets.
  3. I can tweet about what I’m doing, offer food for thought (i.e. Great marketing does not supersede poor customer service.), or forward links to things I think are interesting.  
  4. The 140 character limit forces me to write succinctly.
  5. It’s kinda cool to see what other people do all day.

Yes, this is my list, but let me know your thoughts. I’m sure I’m not by myself…

 

Towanda Long aka mscafe

(my name on Twitter in case you want to follow me)

 

 

Using the Skills of Your PR Agency

I’ve been debating with a few of my colleagues (not PR professionals) about measuring the effectiveness of a PR agency. My colleagues think media placements are the best way to measure results. I disagree.

PR Agencies are so much more than pitching vehicles for mass and trade media. It is their job to develop and implement a plan that builds a positive relationship with the public. The goal of this relationship is normally to foster goodwill in the office and in the community, to attract clients and to fuel an overall positive perception.

There are many tools a PR Firm can use to do this. Of course, media placements are on the list, but it’s not the only thing. There’s speaking engagements, employee communications, white papers, social media initiatives, sponsorships and the list goes on.

If you are only using your agency for media hits, you are leaving one of your best resources untapped. It’s like going to an accountant once a year for your taxes, but not using him/her for financial and business advice. It just doesn’t make sense.

This is how I think their effectiveness should be measured. What were our sore spots a year ago? Have their initiatives addressed these? Has our image been improved in the marketplace and with our employees? If so, how much so?

These answers tell us if our agency is the right fit. After all, does it really matter how many times we were quoted in the press if our image is the same and we have the same sore spots?

Towanda Long aka Mscafe

(I’m twittering now and mscafe was available, therefore my new alias…)