Archive for May, 2013

How NOT to Pitch to the Media! Tips and Techniques for Seeing Your Name in the News

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Today, more than ever, companies and individuals are hoping to get media exposure – after all, they figure (and not unreasonably), that media exposure is “free” and media coverage tends to be more favorably perceived than the advertising messages we share about ourselves.

Unfortunately, many novice “pitchpeople” make a number of seemingly “minor” errors as they try to get their stories covered. Many of these errors aren’t minor, however. Tick off a reporter once and the chances of connecting again in the future are slim. Here are some things to avoid: (more…)

Focusing On Community Relations: What’s Your Strategy?

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Supporting your community can be expensive. Even large organizations have to be careful about how and where they lend their time – and money. For the small businesses and independent consultants these issues can be even more challenging. Is there value – beyond personal satisfaction – in supporting local events and activities? Which ones? How can you say “no” graciously to the many requests that come your way? (more…)

For Service Organizations, Employees Rule!

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

I have been working on the development of a training session on developing employees as brand ambassadors for a service organization and, as I’ve been conducting my research and gathering examples, I’m struck as always by the critical role that employees play in either strengthening or damaging the brand, and the woefully inadequate attention that most organizations pay  to helping them be successful in that role. The organization I’m working with is a refreshing exception–they recognize the importance of establishing strategy at the top of the organizations, preparing managers to serve as coaches and role models for service excellence and setting the stage for effective employee engagement through communication.

The steps in the process seem fairly straightforward and linear: (more…)

Everything New Is Old Again: In Communication, Basic Rules Still Apply

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

There’s much talk these days about how social media has changed the communication landscape and, indeed, it has. But, despite the fact that social media has created new opportunities and challenges for communicators, there are really (IMO) only two ways in which it really represents anything “different”: (more…)

Is TV Poised to Go The Way of The Newspaper?

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

A recent piece on TVNewsCheck titled “Newspapers: A Cautionary Tale for Local TV” sends a chilling message to local television stations around the country: are they doomed to the same decline that has been seen in the newspaper industry? Quite possibly. Especially if station managers don’t devise strategies designed to help them deliver value to their audiences. Isn’t this the same challenge that any marketer has? Yet, so often, marketers find themselves doing the same things they’ve always done and then lamenting the dismal results they’re seeing. You’ve likely heard the saying: (more…)

A Focus on Strategy–Hold the Tactics!

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

When interviewing candidates for mid- to senior-level marketing positions, I have a question that I like to ask which gives me a sense of how strategically the candidates might approach their jobs. It goes something like this:

“Suppose I’m one of your internal customers and I come to you and say ‘I need a brochure’ (or you could say ad, or web site, or email blast or any other form of communication). How do you respond to that request?”

Most people (yes, sadly, even for senior-level marketing positions) will begin to tell me the steps that they will take to create whatever communication tool I’ve asked them to create. So, for a brochure, they might say: “I’ll ask for information about the product/service they want to sell. I’ll want to know what size they want the brochure to be. I’ll ask if there is any specific information that they want to include in the brochure.”

  • In short, they focus on the WHATs.
  • What I’m looking for? A focus on the WHYs!

I don’t want marketing staff–especially senior level marketing staff–to focus on tactics. I want them to focus on strategy. What I hope to hear when I ask a question like this is: (more…)

Is Social Media Advertising or PR? – Duh!

Monday, May 6th, 2013

A recent article in Inc. asked the question: “Is Social Media Advertising or PR?”

Seriously? Now, Inc. is a well-known magazine and Scott Elser, the author of this piece, is co-founder of an advertising agency and presumably a bright guy, but the question seems enormously naive. Perhaps, of course, it is intended to be so simply to stir some discussion. But, who knows? (more…)

Introducing Something New? How To Generate News!

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Whether you’re opening a new business, launching a new product, hiring a new employee, writing a book, creating a blog, etc., etc., etc., there are a number of activities that your business might engage in that you feel should generate news. Problem is, there is often a gap (or seems to be) between what you think is newsworthy and what the new media think.

The good news is that even very small organizations can generate media exposure. They need, though, to follow some general guidelines. (more…)