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Convert Your Inbox Into a Sales and Marketing Machine

This article is by guest author Chris Hornak, who has been developing digital marketing campaigns for over a decade. He is the CEO and Owner of Blog Hands a service that helps businesses and agencies develop content to tell their story. In his spare time, he loves to play video games and spend time with his friends and family. Marketing and Sales are two of the most important factors for a solo entrepreneur or small business owner. When you are going it alone or you are running a small team, you need all the help you can get. The following [Read More]

The Top 30 Business Podcasts to Listen to Now

1. Startup Twitter: @GimletMedia iTunes rating: 5 stars Category: Popular Business Startup is a documentary mini-series where each season follows a real-life company as they try to launch a new business.  The podcast is hosted by Alex Blumberg and produced by his company Gimlet Media, and in fact, the first season focuses on his own startup story of launching the media company.  Told in the style of This American Life and in the format of Serial, Startup paints a compelling portrait of what it’s really like to get a business off the ground. 2. The Art of Charm Twitter: @TheArtofCharm [Read More]

What Makes a Story Newsworthy?

What’s the primary reason a journalist decides to cover a story? Whether it’s “newsworthy.” Of course, most people think that their story is newsworthy (obviously). But whether it meets a journalist’s standards of newsworthiness is another question. If you’re looking for press coverage, it’s essential to bear in mind that the newsworthiness of your story is always going to be the journalist’s call. You need to pitch a story that meets the journalist’s criteria, not your own. So what makes something newsworthy to a journalist? Here’s the short version. Is your story interesting and relevant to the journalist’s audience? If [Read More]

How to Cold Pitch the Press the Right Way

In the PR industry a “cold” pitch refers to when you pitch your story to a stranger without any prior connection – and with the intent that they will cover your story.  While this is easier said than done, crafting a cold pitch is fairly formulaic. Once you perfect the formula, you can have confidence that you’ve done everything on your part to entice the journalist/blogger/writer to write a story they weren’t already planning on doing. And guess what? Cold pitching – also known as getting people to listen and care about your story – is a skill that keeps [Read More]

What to Do After You Get Press

So you’ve gotten some press, now what?  Here are a few tips: Promote and Repurpose First thing’s first – share it! And then share it again.  Consider the different ways you can repurpose the content from your press feature, including your website’s press page, your social media outlets, your bio, your email newsletter, and your blog.  Each one of these outlets is another opportunity to extend the reach and value of your publicity. Engage your network Make sure the people in your professional and personal network are aware of your press feature.  It never hurts to make a friendly, personal [Read More]

Press Spotlight: Vetter featured in Innovation Excellence

Check out the recent press bite we scored for Duncan Murtagh, Co-Founder of employee suggestion software company Vetter. You can read the article, below. Congrats Duncan!

The Different Types of Press Pitches

If you’re just getting started on your press outreach campaign, you may not realize there are a few different avenues for sending a media pitch. Here we cover the most common types of PR pitches: Editorial Calendar An editorial calendar is essentially a content publisher’s production calendar, which includes their upcoming themes, features, and stories. Publishers use these to plan and organize their content to ensure it meets the needs and interests of their audience and advertisers. Generally, a portion of the editorial calendar is made publicly available as part of the media kit provided for advertisers, and can be [Read More]

9 Types of Stories to Pitch to the Media

So you’re ready to pitch the media, but not quite sure what to pitch? The first step is doing some research on the media outlet and their audience. Once you have an understanding of the topics the media outlet covers and the types of stories they publish, you’ll be able to determine the best type of story format to pitch. A quick lesson about hard news versus soft news Unless you’re a communications professional, you might not know the difference between “hard” and “soft” news. Put simply, hard news deals specifically with breaking current events, while soft news is non-urgent [Read More]

What Makes a PR Pitch Successful?

Pitching the press effectively is easier said than done. But fortunately it’s not that complicated either. Here are the key factors that influence the success of a media pitch: Value: Whether you’re cold pitching a story idea or responding to a media request, your pitch should be customized to the media outlet or reporter. That means having a keen understanding of the media outlet and being able to demonstrate the value you provide to their audience. Does your pitch demonstrate why you’re a great potential source for their story? Does it offer a future story idea or angle that their [Read More]

25 Reasons Your Online Presence is Keeping Reporters Away

1. You’re a Ghost You might have been way ahead of the game starting that Twitter account in 2008, but since then you’ve only tweeted twice. If you don’t have time to tweet on the somewhat regular, it may be better not to have an account at all. An inactive account can detract from your overall presence online, plus it’s not a great way to position yourself as a leader or expert in your industry. 2. Your Striking Resemblance to Online Spammers “I love getting spammed!” said nobody ever. But while most people know spam when they see it, some [Read More]

Editorial Calendars and Public Relations

What is an Editorial Calendar? Editorial calendars are used by content publishers to plan and organize their content. The main purpose of an editorial calendar is to control the publication of content so that it meets the needs and interests of the publisher’s audience and advertisers. Publishers generally make a portion of their editorial calendar publicly available. A formal editorial calendar will include items such as the media outlet (if it’s a bigger publisher), story ideas, authors, style specifications, and a content production calendar. The publicly available editorial calendar will specify the upcoming themes, features, and publication dates of future [Read More]

How to Get Press

We thought we’d do a little round-up of our blog posts that encompass the overall theme of “how to get press.”  Check back, we’ll keep adding more along the way! Define your PR campaign goals and objectives and formulate your strategy. Develop an angle for your company’s story  a.k.a. your “hook.” Know how to market yourself as an expert. Start building a media contact list. Learn how to write an effective press release. Start thinking like a journalist. Respond to media requests for sources. Start pitching the media by employing these 50 essential rules for writing a perfect media pitch. [Read More]

The 5 Best Ways to be Seen as an Expert Online

These days, building an empire from your online reputation is no longer novel.  In most ways this is a good thing.  The barriers have been lowered, and anyone with the knowledge and dedication can market themselves as an expert in their field.  But with lower barriers comes more competition – and the competition is steeper than ever. You may be a much better expert than the self-proclaimed guru with 20,000 followers – but that hardly matters when he or she has a bigger audience.  As we all know, the benefits of being a recognized expert in your field are plenty [Read More]

How to Talk to the Media: Interview Tips and Guidelines

Talking to the media can be intimidating, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience. If the interview doesn’t go well, there’s no guarantee the journalist will use it. To ensure everything goes smoothly once you land that interview, keep in mind the following guidelines for interacting with the media. Be Available Journalists work with strict deadlines and editorial requirements, and it’s not uncommon for a story’s deadline to be pushed forward by an editor. To secure the interview, you will need to work with the journalist’s scheduling needs. Be prepared to make a last-minute call or appearance, and [Read More]

The Top 15 PR Mistakes Made by Small and Big Businesses

1.      No Strategy The best way to waste time trying to get PR for your company is to start without a plan.  Without one, your efforts will be at best, inefficient and at worst, ineffective. Take the time to define your PR objectives, which will inform your strategy. Then create a plan that takes into account channels, timelines, budget, and how you will measure your results. 2.      Poor Strategy You’ve got a great strategy for your company’s PR – only problem is, it’s your only one.  Publicity alone does not a business make, and a PR plan does not replace [Read More]