How to write media releases that work

How to write media releases that work

A media release should provide journalists with information that is newsworthy, accurate and relevant to their readers.
Once those three boxes are ticked, you should make sure that the headline is simple and informative. No need to be too clever here. Just summarise the content into a headline that underlines the importance of the release.

The first paragraph is the most important, it will determine whether the journalist will bother to read the rest of the release, so include the five W’s (who, what, when, where, and why).

Use strong, quotable quotes in your release, and use the company name in the quote where appropriate, as quotes are used verbatim. Always strive to secure third party quotes from customers and analysts as well, as they add credibility to your announcement.

It is important to make sure that any spokesperson you offer to comment in the release is available for interviews on the day of distribution. It really ticks journalists off when they have to keep pestering to get an interview done, only to be told that they won’t be available until a later date.
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How to get journalists to attend your event

How to get journalists to attend your event

So you want to run an event to get media coverage. You’ve got a high-powered international executive lined up to do the talking and you’ve booked an exclusive venue in the city. The last step is to get journalists to come along, and then write an article. Should be easy, right?

So why do journalists find themselves declining more event invitations than they accept?

For a start, journalists have always been short on time. As publications get leaner and online news means journalists need to turn stories around fast, there is even less time in the day for journalists to attend events. If they can get a great story from a phone interview with a relevant, engaging spokesperson, then they’ve done their job and met their deadlines. If they can get everything they need from a well-written media release then it’s often more efficient.

Then there’s the issue of exclusivity. Journalists pride themselves on getting a good story, first. Or at least a different angle. So there needs to be a pretty good reason to take time out of a busy day to attend an event where there will be journalists from rival publications.
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How to keep your brand identity consistent

How to keep your brand identity consistent

In our technology-driven landscape of rapidly-expanding communications channels, it can be hard for organisations to maintain a clear messaging narrative and brand identity.

With each channel available, messaging needs to be tweaked, altered, or presented in ways that make sense to various audiences. This process has the potential to muddle brand messaging, confusing the message as well as brand identity.

How to keep your brand identity consistent

In his book, Winning the Story Wars, which was the subject of one of our company book clubs, Jonah Sachs frames messaging as a form of storytelling. Traditionally, storytellers have been the makers and propagators of myth. According to Sachs, the modern world has disrupted the traditional power of myths.

Today’s mythmakers are the writers, film makers, marketers, advertisers, and media professionals that leverage the ‘myth-gap’ that has emerged in modern society, suggests Sachs.

Drawing upon the concept of the ‘hero’s journey’, identified by American mythologist, Joseph Campbell, Sachs outlines a way to model brand identity consistently regardless of the channel the brand’s story is being told through.
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Media coverage: three ways to get more positive exposure for your business

Media coverage: three ways to get more positive exposure for your businessIf a tree falls in the woods and no one is there, does it make a sound? You could ask the same question about brands and products that don’t get enough exposure to potential customers.

Your business could offer groundbreaking or industry-changing products or services but, if no one knows about them, your potential customers won’t get a chance to find out.

Media coverage is important for finding new customers and for creating brand recognition. The right coverage can generate interest from potential investors, attract new talent to your workforce, and help you build a reputation as a thought leader in your industry.

Follow these three steps to get the media coverage you want for your business:

1. Choose your target wisely

Pitching ideas, sending media releases, and calling newsrooms is time consuming. Whether you handle the press relations yourself or hire a PR agency, you don’t want to waste time calling the wrong journalists to pitch your latest story. Pitching to the right targets at the right time means you’re far more likely to get the positive coverage you’re looking for.
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How to create attention grabbing content

How to create engaging content for social media

People continually change their habits, including the way they access information.

More and more, people want to see even complex information at a glance, preferring visual dashboards or videos instead of long written pieces.

Are words a thing of the past?

The earliest forms of social networking were long, in-depth communications like blogs. Social tools like Facebook status updates and micro-blogs like Twitter helped to drive the trend of shorter posts, as did the ever-increasing use of text messaging.

Where words once ruled supreme, today videos and images are more likely to win our attention. On social media platforms, photos and videos are the most shared and ‘liked’ types of media. You only have to look at the booming popularity of sites like YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest to see this trend working its magic.

When considering how to connect with your audience keep these things in mind

Share-ability is key

Infographics are changing the way businesses communicate. They are an essential tool for anyone interested in communicating information in an easy-to-understand and shareable way.
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Social media hacks: how to protect your company’s reputation

Social media hacks: how to protect your company’s reputationSocial media accounts act as the public persona for many organisations. People, including customers and stakeholders, believe what they read on social media. And if someone has taken over your account, they can post all kinds of incorrect or even offensive information. The damage to your brand could be significant.

So it’s vital to protect your social media accounts from being hacked. And, if you are the unfortunate victim of an attack, you need to respond immediately.

Here are some tips on how to protect your company’s reputation:

1. Don’t have an easy password

If your password is easy to remember, there’s a good chance it’s going to be easy for others to figure out too. This includes using the same password for multiple accounts. If one account becomes compromised, hackers can use that password to access every account.

2. Don’t share your social media passwords with every employee

Not everyone in your organisation needs or should have access to your social media passwords. Choose two or three people who will access the account regularly, and trust them with the password and the responsibility of posting on behalf of your organisation.
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Being productive: do you have a plan or just another forgotten resolution?

Being productive: do you have a plan or just another forgotten resolution?We’ve all been there. The end of another day when we only completed a fraction of the items on our to-do list. The ideas we come up with in the shower but forget to write down. We’ve all resolved to be more productive, to find a way to capture those ideas, or to tick off things that have been sitting at the bottom of our to-do lists for far too long.

But there’s a big difference between intending or wanting to do something, and planning to do it.

Start with systematic business planning

Sadly, proper, systematic business planning is a dying art. In many cases, the process is so detached from reality that it’s become a time-wasting exercise. Planning never feels like action. Too often we fear that if we’re not in a constant state of motion we are achieving little. However, without a clear goal and milestones mapping out the journey to get there, being busy adds limited value.

We should all undertake some form of planning at least once a year; identifying goals and strategies to achieve them. Your business plan should be succinct yet effective.
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Six ways to become a trusted advisor

By Adam Benson, director

How to become a trusted advisorIn the simplest terms, professional services organisations exist to give people advice that will help make their lives better or their businesses more successful. Too many professional services firms fail to understand the importance of building trusting relationships. Without trust, people are likely to ignore or discount the advice provided. Worse, the professional services firm may be unable to give the best possible advice because their client didn’t give them all of the information.

Developing that trusting relationship is a hallmark of a competent and engaged professional services firm. We have all been the recipient of a phone call or in-person visit where the person who says they can improve our lives or our businesses clearly has no idea who we are, what challenges we face or how we operate. They have missed a critical step: building a relationship based on trust. Without it, they can’t help us.

Everyone has their own way of developing a trusted relationship. Here are six rules to live by when it comes to building trust:
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Recognition turns 30

30 YearsRecognition turned 30 this year. In human years, that’s still relatively young. In business years, turning 30 means we are one of the most experienced PR firms operating in the technology and corporate services sector.

We’ve come a long way

We were founded in 1985, when Marty McFly first went back to the future. Some of the technology and gadgets companies were spruiking in 1985 felt pretty futuristic back then:

  • car phones and pagers were all the rage with corporate types
  • the compact disc player was beginning to take off
  • Nintendo launched its first gaming system
  • Windows 1.0 was released and the IBM PC was only four years old
  • AM radio started broadcasting in Australia.

In 1985, we sent press releases to journalists via snail mail and, if they wanted a picture to go with the story, we sent them a bromide, or they sent out a photographer. We spent a lot of time on the phone with journalists and clients alike: a personal touch that remains core to our ethos even today in an era of instant electronic communication.
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Thought leadership – what you need to know

By Liz Marchant, director

Thought leadership - what you need to knowThought leadership has become a buzz word over the last few years. Reputation and influence are the new business currencies of the 21st century. In a world of easily accessible information and widespread sharing, thought leaders can wield significant influence over a sector and deliver valuable revenue for their companies.

As public relations consultants we’re often asked ‘how can I become a thought leader’? There is no easy answer or magic pill. In reality, many thought leaders are born, not made. That’s not to say that you can’t develop thought leadership. If you are trying to create thought leaders in your business there are several factors you should keep in mind.

It takes time and commitment
Thought leaders are not made overnight. To be a thought leader you must build trust and credibility with your audience. That takes time. This is especially true for thought leaders who work for the lesser-known companies in their sector, who might not attract the assumed credibility and exposure of their better-known counterparts.
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