Sound Bytes

Posted 24.11.15

Media and blogger outreach is an important skill for the PR professional. When it comes to getting attention for your clients’ latest news, event, product or service, communication with media takes careful planning.

As PR pros, your relationships with the media and blogging community are a vital part of your reputation as a communications professional and one bad pitch or careless outreach tactic can harm your image.

Throughout the year, media receive hundreds of weekly pitches from our PR community but when the holiday season approaches, this intensifies. Newsroom phones ring constantly with tips on the next exciting holiday product and bloggers are overwhelmed with emails for holiday event invites and seasonal gift ideas.

During the holiday madness, PR pros can neglect basic skills and irritate the busiest of bloggers and reporters. No matter what your experience level, if you are pitching media and bloggers this holiday season, here are some things NOT to do as you work to help spread the word on your client’s news. 

Let’s give the PR profession a better reputation and avoid these mistakes.

Avoid sending the generic pitch to every media contact on your list
Media and bloggers want to produce unique content for their audience. When receiving a pitch that has been sent to every reporter and blogger in the city, its unlikely that media will want to cover news that may appear on several other media outlets and blogs. Take the time to personalize your pitch and offer details and options that you think will interest that writer’s audience. You may even consider exclusive opportunities for a specific reporter or blogger, providing them with content that their audience will only find on that particular outlet or blog.

If you must send the same information to various contacts in one email, please remember to blind copy the recipients! No one wants to receive a pitch with every other reporter’s email listed right there in the recipient list.

Don’t forget basic respect. Know WHO you are pitching!
I can’t count the number of bloggers who have told me PR horror stories about receiving emails from PR contacts who don’t know anything about who they are or what they write about.  Mistakes include calling someone MR. when the blogger is female, getting their name wrong or offering them the latest technology news when they cover fashion. Bloggers and media work hard to create valuable and interesting content for their audience. Rushing through the pitching process without taking the time to learn about who you are pitching will only irritate the recipient and may even put you on the “delete list”.

Avoid the “flyer” method. What is your offer or call to action?
When you work in a newsroom or have created a popular blog that readers love, you receive an endless number of pitches and invites daily. If you want to grab that writer or producer’s attention, you need to make your pitch stand out. Media are incredibly busy and providing them with clear details while identifying why they may be interested is key. Sending media a pdf on a new product or event with no personalized pitch or invite will only have the reporter hitting the delete button.

Don’t get stuck in your regional bubble. Remember where media and bloggers are located.
I have spent most of my PR career working in Vancouver and since the day I moved to the west coast, media and bloggers have described the endless number of thoughtless pitches they receive from PR teams in other cities (Toronto tops the list!). Whether it be inviting a Vancouver blogger to a cocktail event in Toronto or sending a Toronto business story to a Vancouver news producer, lack of regional consideration is far too common.  When pitching a holiday product or story idea, remember the market and the audience. A pitch on gifts that are not available in Vancouver stores, or info on winter snow gear for a city that rarely gets snow, are examples of the importance of carefully considering the market in which the journalist or blogger is located.

Never pitch a reporter or blogger without first knowing their work.
This tip is similar to one above but it’s so important that it’s worth talking about in more detail. Media and bloggers work hard and take pride in what they do. Taking the time to read, watch or listen to their content is the least a PR pro can do before drafting their pitch. If you notice that the reporter tends to write often on a specific topic, its worth identifying this and providing the journalist with an idea on how they may expand or follow up on a story angle. Perhaps you have a client source or news that may help them to do so.

If its clear from a post that a blogger does not drink alcohol, sending them an invite to a new wine launch may not be a good idea. Pitching a writer on an interview with a client when that journalist has written unfavorably on that industry repeatedly in the past takes careful consideration and may not even be a pitch you want to pursue.

PR professionals are intelligent and creative and we do important work that can provide the news industry and blogging community with valuable content. Let’s show the best of what we do and avoid these mistakes this holiday season. You will find yourself with good relationships and you may even see your client’s news on the front page this holiday season.

Merry Pitching!

Posted 22.10.15
Dunn-Thexton PR

Josh Rimer is a well known YouTube, TV personality and social media influencer, living in Vancouver. Josh's Youtube channel has a loyal following and features humourous takes on the latest viral videos, news+events, his travel adventures and top ten lists. Josh also hosts “The Sassy Scoop” on OUTtv, Canada’s national LGBT network. Vancouver's LGBT community is a thriving, visible part of the city's urban culture, boasting the largest population in Western Canada.

We asked Josh about his thoughts on Youtube, his goals for the future and the best way for PR pros to pitch him ideas. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinions with us Josh!

1. You’ve recently celebrated 8 years living in Vancouver. Anything in particular that stands out about Vancouver’s social media scene?
I've actually made most of my close friends here through social media.  Twitter in particular has been great for meeting new people and finding ones who share similar interests.  And then Facebook has been a good next step for getting to know others better and sharing cool things to do around Vancouver together!

2. On a platform that sees growth daily (or sometimes not!) , how do you keep your viewership growing and engaged?
I put a lot of time into replying to any type of interaction that I get from my viewers.  Whether it's a comment, a tweet, or a private message, I try to always write something back or at least like/favourite what they've written.  I think that really helps to keep my existing audience engaged and for new people to see that I do actually pay attention to what they say!

3. What is one goal that you have for your online presence over the next year?
I want to focus on getting more engagement from my current following.  I have a good amount of subscribers on YouTube, so I'd like to focus on building the relationship I have with those viewers, across all the platforms that they're on, so that they want to keep coming back and watching more!

4. What advice do you have for those starting their own Youtube channel? What other Youtube channels do you recommend subscribing to?
I'd say to keep it simple and focus on doing the type of content you'd enjoy creating on a regular basis.  Consistence really is key on YouTube, as well as being real/authentic, so just be you and do what you're passionate about.  Those who share your passion will watch along with you - and search for channels that are making content similar to the type of content you want to make so you can learn from how they're doing it!

5. Any tips for PR pros who are pitching you ideas? We don’t want to be a pain in the butt. We want to provide you with quality content!
I think it's just about finding something that's the right fit for my audience and content.  For me, that typically means doing a comedic video that appeals to LGBT viewers so as long as it's something that seems like it would work within that, then I'm always happy to explore the opportunities!

 

 

Posted 17.09.15

Known well for her “Steele on Your Side” consumer segment on CTV News Vancouver, Lynda Steele has become a household name. A BCIT grad and an award-winning journalist, Lynda was born in Edmonton and anchored Edmonton’s News Hour for well over 25 years. In celebration of Lynda's new show on CKNW, “The Lynda Steele Show”, we turned the microphone on Lynda to get her thoughts on journalism today and her tips on how to pitch a journalist. Here is the next edition of Five Questions with…Lynda Steele.

1.  You have a successful and longstanding career in journalism. What trends have you seen lately that you think are positive for the field of journalism?

Positive trends?  Well, these are challenging times for mainstream media, as the audience is increasingly being fractured by social media.  The upside is, the efforts being made by the mainstream media to deliver content on a multi platform level - that includes and embraces social media.  The audience wins by having instant access to credible, researched information, instead of relying on hearsay and citizen journalists who may not have all the facts, or may not bring context to what they are posting online. 

2. We know you must receive lots of emails and phone calls from PR professionals. What is the most effective way for a PR pro to share a news story or tip with you? Any tips to help improve communication from the PR world? 

Brevity is the key.  We get so much information thrown at us in a day, it needs to be clear, concise and instantly apparent that there is value in your pitch for our audience.  If we get back to you – then send the extra detail.  Sometimes a pitch is too long and muddled, and we just don’t have time to find the “news nugget” buried in the text. 

3. How are you adjusting to the switch from tv to radio? Has anything surprised you since hitting the radio airwaves with CKNW?

I’m loving radio?  Loving my new colleagues at CKNW!    I loved TV news as well, but the immediacy and intimacy of radio is instantly rewarding.  If it’s happening now – we are talking about it right now, instead of waiting several hours for the 6pm news broadcast. 

4. Some Canadians who are studying journalism are concerned that citizen journalism has become mainstream and that the role of professional journalist is disappearing. What advice do you have for those graduating in journalism and who are facing these challenges and doubts?

Citizen journalism will never replace the mainstream media.  The people sharing news online, are usually sharing news collected by the mainstream media.  Having said that, if you want to be a success in this ever changing media world, you need to be multi skilled and flexible.  Social media has to be part of your news arsenal – but you must use discretion and good judgment when it comes to sharing news information online that is not verified.  

5. With twitter and other social media channels becoming a 24 hour news source, how do you keep up? How do you leverage social media platforms to keep audiences informed on developing stories? 

I find Twitter the easiest way to share and glean information.  I am following mostly trusted news sources, so I am able to scan my Twitter feed during my live broadcast for new and breaking stories that might be of interest to my listeners.  I am also using Facebook to promote my daily guests…and to keep in touch with the audience – answering questions and developing a relationship.  I wish I had more time to cultivate and grow my social media platforms!

Posted 28.04.15

Dunn PR is looking for a creative PR professional to join our small but mighty team as a freelance, part-time consultant.

We work with a variety of real estate, corporate, consumer and lifestyle clients to create and manage communications strategies. While helping our clients tell their stories through traditional, online and social media, we provide our contacts with creative content that their audience will appreciate.

The consultant will work with our team to connect our clients with key audiences across B.C. and Alberta. Estimated time would be 12-20 hrs per week and your day could include:

  • Media monitoring for PR opportunities.
  • Writing media materials.
  • Preparation of communications plans and critical paths.
  • Developing creative ideas for client events.
  • Media and blogger outreach.
  • Developing social media strategy.
  • Drafting content, including blog posts, letters and opinion pieces.

The right person has the following skills, assets and experience:

  • Minimum two years working PR experience and established local media and blogger relationships.
  • Ability to identify a news story and/or PR concept that will interest media/bloggers, and pitch it.
  • Independent, proactive and creative - a team player with the ability to work both independently and from our downtown Vancouver office.
  • A working knowledge of WordPress.
  • Language skills are an asset - Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi.

Are you a good fit for our team?

If yes, please send us your PR pitch, along with your resume!

rachel@dunnpr.com

 

Posted 07.02.15

Vancouver is blessed with multicultural demographics, and you would be surprised by the variety of diverse media outlets established for the interests and habits of various cultural communities. For example, the Chinese media is an important part of the Vancouver media landscape, and Sing Tao Daily is one of the first names that comes to mind when we think of this media group.

Affiliated with the Toronto Star, Sing Tao Daily is currently one of the leading Chinese newspapers in Canada, and has a readership of over 180,000 weekly in BC. Since its expansion to Vancouver in 1983, Sing Tao has had a big influence in the lives of the local Chinese community.

We recently caught up with the Sing Tao Vancouver Editor-In-Chief Victor Ho, and discussed what the newspaper means to the Vancouver community, and how the media outlet has been coping with the emergence of social media and digital communications.

 

What do you think Sing Tao Daily means to the Vancouver community? Has its role changed with the emergence of digital communications?

Sing Tao Daily is a good showcase of Hong Kong immigrants living in BC. Since the launch of the BC edition of Sing Tao in 1983, our journalists try their very best to bridge the information gap between the Chinese audience and local English-speaking communities. Our media role has not changed very much with the emergence of new media in the internet age, mainly because Sing Tao still exercises a strong advantage on the Chinese language news dissemination. We are now the biggest Chinese news supplier here in BC, and Sing Tao has embraced the largest readership for over three decades.

 

Who are the readers of Sing Tao and what are their age groups? Do they mostly read content in print or online?

The target audience of Sing Tao Daily are readers over the age of 40, with an affluent lifestyle and a kind of ample language capability. The readers of Sing Tao mostly consume their news in print. Some of them may occasionally read our online content but they will eventually choose the print edition, for the sake of their reading habits, as well as the feeling of touching the paper and smelling of the ink.

 

How is an established media outlet like Sing Tao adapting to social media’s influence and changes in the way locals consume news? 

It has been a rather gradual development for Sing Tao to adapt to the social media trend in recent years. It is mainly due to the special characteristics of our audience profile. We are establishing apps and other tools, but Sing Tao's primary mission is to focus on communicating news content of Chinese communities for the local audience. The newsworthiness always overrides the convenience of new media, so we always put priority on the news content.

 

Your newspaper publishes daily. Being the Editor-In-Chief, how do you deal with the pressures you face with the ongoing news cycle?

I don't treat the daily deadline for the front page story as a sort of professional "pressure", instead, I use this as an opportunity to find great stories and to build momentum while improving the quality of our paper. I enjoy this kind of journalistic adventure everyday.

 

Looking ahead in 2015, what factors do you think could influence the Vancouver media landscape? How do you think both journalists and public relations professionals can adapt and help bring out the best in each other? 

For the year 2015, the major challenge for print news media will most likely be the ongoing decline of our audience. I think all editors will strive to improve the news quality, to encourage readers to buy physical newspapers.  On the other hand, there will be more Mainland Chinese immigrants living in BC, so the Chinese language media have to strive to accommodate their needs too. It means the news presentation on the paper will be adjusted as well.

I agree with the notion that Vancouver PR professionals could consolidate their existing communication networks with the ethnic journalists here to help bring out more attractive stories for the audience at large.

 

Posted 19.12.14

The public relations industry is constantly changing and is tied directly to the way people consume their news and communicate with each other. Keeping up can be intimidating but there is no need for the fear factor when advising clients on what they need to stay connected.

PR is a skill that that requires an open mind, a keen desire to learn, and a genuine effort to connect with people.

We know what it takes to get attention for a story. We invest time in building relationships with key media, bloggers and other influencers, knowing that PR is much more than sending a standard press release from behind a desk. We know the value of connecting with people and this means not just pushing ideas and information but also listening and engaging on a personal level. We value everyone’s time, audiences and interests when presenting story ideas to media and bloggers.

It is important to never stay stagnant in your approach. Everything we do is fluid and based on a foundation of skill and experience. We research the latest in the industries our client’s are involved in and stay ahead of trends. We are often the first to break new ground on innovative PR ideas in our market and we are proud of this!

That said, there are core PR skills that were vital years ago and are still as important today. Sometimes it’s about going back to basics and remembering what PR is all about; People.

1.Relationships Rule

It’s not only about what you know, but who you know who cares. Also, remember you are dealing with people first, not outlets or brands.

2.Writing Quality Matters

Writing skills come naturally to some but your writing can always improve. Just because we sometimes communicate in 140 characters doesn’t mean writing has lost its value. Writing is a skill all PR professionals need to master.

3.Everyone is Pressed for Time

PR pros are always on the go, working to keep up with the latest trends and journalists are short staffed and often scrambling in the newsrooms. It is important to be respectful of everyone’s time. We are overloaded with information so be selective and effective while communicating with clients, journalists and bloggers.

4.We are Telling a Story

Your audience doesn’t always know what you know. Make sure the story you are sharing is interesting to your audience. You want to capture attention by doing more than just sharing facts. Appealing to one’s emotions is also key.

5.We are Communicating with all Kinds of People

Your story will not resonate with everyone. We live in a diverse city full of different cultures, languages and values. Think about who your audience is and how to tailor your story to appeal to this group. Sometimes, this will require a diverse PR team who can help reach various audiences. 

Posted 18.11.14
Sunny Chiu

It is crucial for a business to focus on public relations for the accomplishment of set production goals. Positive public perception is used in improving the sales volume of the company in the targeted region. Therefore, an organization is expected to develop plans that will focus on enhancing business public relations. An entrepreneur should take personal loans to for public relations campaigns for a new business. It is important for a new business to have a great acceptance in the targeted market to acquire the desired profitability. Personal loans to benefit your business are beneficial in acquiring the targeted profit margins.

Personal loan to create positive public relations

First, a business owner is expected to have a proper understanding of the community. The evaluation of community needs makes it possible for an individual to develop public relations campaigns that will enhance business reputation. The primary aim of engaging in PR campaigns is to increase the reputation of the business through the satisfaction of community needs. Personal loans are accessible requiring an individual to focus on using the money to finance the PR campaigns. The identification of appropriate PR campaigns is used in dealing with cases of competition in the market. Consumers are willing to purchase from a company that engages in PR campaigns by dealing with community needs.

Posted 17.11.14
Sunny Chiu

With Vancouver’s changing demographics, it‘s increasingly vital to incorporate Chinese PR strategies in your communications and marketing plans. As a multilingual public relations agency, Dunn PR pays close attention to what’s new and effective on Chinese social media platforms.

Currently the most popular Chinese language platforms globally are WeChat and Sina Weibo.

So what is WeChat and Weibo and how are they used?

WeChat is a mobile app that provides social networking and communication services including texting, voice messaging, voice and video calling. As of August, WeChat had 438 million active users, with 70 million of those outside of China.

Weibo is a Chinese microblogging concept, similar to Twitter. There are several Weibo platforms, including Tencent Weibo and Sohu Weibo, each owned by a different company, yet each version of Weibo is used in similar ways to communicate online. Because of the popularity of the Sina Weibo platform, it is often just referred to as Weibo.

There is a word limit for each Weibo post and you can monitor the number of followers of each user, as well as who he or she is following. Similar to Twitter, on Weibo you can use hashtags to categorize your posts while making it easier to navigate topics and themes.  

What’s the difference between WeChat and Weibo?

WeChat can be described as a hybrid platform between Facebook and Whatsapp while Weibo is similar to the Twitter platform we know and love.

How does WeChat compare to Whatsapp?

Compared with the “minimalist” Whatsapp, WeChat has more features including “moments” which are similar in structure to the Facebook timeline that allows users to share posts.  WeChat also features a game centre allowing the user to download and play mobile games

What’s the difference between WeChat and Facebook?

Facebook first launched as a website for the desktop while the mobile app was developed years later. WeChat was specifically designed for smart phone users. Although you can message your WeChat friends via desktop, the majority of WeChat tools and features are only accessible via a smart phone.

Why are WeChat and Weibo preferred to Facebook and Twitter amongst the Chinese community?

Many popular social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter are blocked in China. Even after Chinese immigrants  move to Canada and can access these North American platforms, they still need the WeChat and Weibo platforms to be in touch with friends and relatives living in China.

Why should I use these platforms?

WeChat and Weibo are gateways to the Chinese market, not only popular with local Chinese Canadians, but also with the massive audience in Mainland China.

WeChat has been globalizing its brand and the app currently supports languages including English, Indonesian, Spanish, Hindi and Russian. WeChat has also set up an office in San Francisco to promote itself to the North American market. Although the majority of WeChat users are still from China, WeChat is popular elsewhere in Asia, including in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia and Malaysia. Today WeChat has users in over 30 countries, and was the most downloaded mobile social app in Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey in July, 2013. Today, WeChat has over 70 million active users outside of China. The global influence of WeChat and Weibo means that these social media platforms should be considered as a part of any smart business’s communications plan where a digitally active, multicultural audience is a focus.

Posted 07.11.14

Bill Gates is quoted saying:

“If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.”

Often charitable organizations do not have the resources or budgets to execute a PR campaign. Yet these groups often have some of the most important stories to tell, so we volunteer with several non profits to help them share their stories with reporters, bloggers and other influencers. Here’s a short synopsis of some of the charities we donated our time to this year:

Whole Way House is a charitable society based in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, working to build a sense of community amongst the residents of the Avalon hotel SRO building. A family founded organization and operating since the late 1970’s, Whole Way House offers a variety of programs to connect the community through social activities, life coaching and workshops. Whenever we tell media about their projects on the go in the DTES, they are keen to visit and see for themselves.

The BC SPCA is a team of 457 staff members and nearly 4,000 volunteers that protect and enhances the quality of life for domestic, farm, and wild animals in British Columbia. If you follow Dunn PR’s Rachel Thexton on Twitter or Instagram, you know that she is a big supporter of animal welfare. This year, Dunn PR helped spread the word about the BC SPCA’s Furmingle initiative. Partnering with Made in Print and a volunteer team, the BC SPCA adoptable animals were photographed and printed into full size cut-outs and displayed at public events, busy beaches and parks throughout the summer. This was a safe way to introduce the animals who needed homes to a wide audience. The result? Almost all of the animals showcased were adopted!

New Stride Thoroughbred Adoption Society is a group based in Abbotsford that works to find adoptive homes and new careers for former Thoroughbred racehorses. Dunn PR’s Patricia Dunn has been a rider and lover of horses since childhood and so this is a non profit close to her heart.  Their program focuses on retraining, rehabilitation, education and promotion of responsible ownership of retired racehorses and New Stride has placed over 120 horses since 2002. Broadcast media produced features on the New Stride story this fall.

Dress for Success is an organization designed to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women.  Many know about the work DFS does in providing professional attire, but did you know that they offer career development support and mentorship so women can thrive in work and life? We were so impressed when we visited the Dress for Success Vancouver boutique this year and were inspired by the stories of women who have gained strength and independence through the support of the organization.

As a strong proponent of the importance of Chinese language PR in Vancouver, we supported the Chinese Canadian Community Campaign-Canadian Museum for Human Rights with pro bono PR this year. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) is the first national hub for human rights education and discovery in Canada. Our support of this worthy cause resulted in a variety of Chinese language media coverage and the campaign raised $2 million for the museum.

Allocating time to causes we believe in gives us perspective on the work we do as PR specialists and we make it a priority. We also have fun with our volunteer work, and we are thankful that these amazing charities trust us to help them tell their stories.

Posted 28.10.14

Jessica Gares is a strong presence in the media community through her role as a senior producer and correspondent at CKNW. For the last four and a half years, she was the senior producer for the Bill Good Show but that all changed when Bill signed off for the last time over the summer. We sat down with Jessica to learn more about her experience in the changing media landscape and how we can better work with her as PR professionals. Here is the next edition of Five Questions with...Jessica Gares.

 

Let’s start at the beginning. How did you get started in media?

I completed my undergraduate degree at SFU in communications, knowing the importance of having a solid education as my foundation. This allowed me to develop not only my communication skills but also my critical thinking and writing skills. I then attended BCIT for broadcast journalism and worked part-time on the promotions street team at Corus Entertainment just to get my foot in the door. When winter holidays rolled around, I opted to intern full-time at CKNW instead of relaxing and enjoying the break from a full BCIT course load. I learned a lot, worked hard and made connections at CKNW which ultimately paved the way to my first job there. 

 

With the recent changes at CKNW and with radio overall, what is your favourite part of the job? 

Bringing original stories and issues to air that might otherwise go untold. One of my recent radio documentaries featured a 17 year-old girl who tried the drug Molly for the first time and almost died. After the piece aired, I heard from many parents who thanked us for sharing the story because it sparked a new drug conversation with their teenagers. Telling stories that have the power and potential to make a difference is my favourite part of the job. 

 

What types of stories most resonate with your listeners? 

It's our job to make the stories we tell matter to our listeners and it comes down to the way we frame it and how we choose to share the story. We extend our reach by creating dialogue and debate on social media for any given topic, segment or story. 

 

How has the transition been to your current role after Bill Good’s retirement?

At first it was difficult to imagine CKNW without Bill because I grew up listening to him and had the honour of working alongside him for over four years... but as they say, the show must go on. It's an opportunity for growth and in my new role as a producer and correspondent, I'm spending more time on air which has been both fun and challenging. I’m allowing my personality to shine through more on air and I often have the chance to share my take on a big, developing story each morning. Talk radio is a dialogue medium. Everyone has their opinions and we want to hear them online and on-air. 

 

What are the best approaches when pitching you and some of your PR pet peeves?

It all comes down to the why. Why should I care? Why should our listeners care? Make it relevant. Have a news hook. As yourself how this would appeal to a wider audience and sometimes a single tweak in how the pitch is framed can make all the difference. I get dozens of email pitches a day and my biggest pet peeve is when the sender hasn't done their homework on CKNW or the show they are pitching to. 

 

Jessica is a busy journalist in the local media market. Her days typically start just before 6am and she is always on the lookout for the next great story. We thank her for time in answering our questions. Be sure to follow Jessica and CKNW on Twitter. 

Posted 03.10.14

It’s fair to say that there is a general lack of understanding about what PR professionals actually do. Even my family has trouble understanding how we help our clients. So we thought it’s time to communicate what WE do - and debunk some of the common myths that are often associated with our profession.

To get started, here’s a round up of 5 PR myths and realities:

  1. MYTH: The PR pro lives the life of Samantha Jones from Sex in the City.
    Although fashion and entertainment PR professionals enjoy the odd perk of a VIP party and access to a great outfit for the evening, the average PR pro’s day is not full of designer clothes and glamorous parties. The majority of our time is spent meeting with clients and sitting at the computer researching and writing communications strategies, sending emails to media and bloggers, with the ultimate goal of generating positive profile for clients.
     
  2. REALITY:Public relations(hips)
    PR is built on relationships. Securing your client’s valuable story in print, on TV or on a leading blog boils down to the relationships you’ve built. In addition to desk time, building and nurturing relationships through media networking is key.
     
  3. MYTH: PR is schmoozing and spinning
    PR teams work hard and think creatively to find relevant and timely ways to include our clients in news stories. This is vital. In no way do PR pros alter the facts and if they do, they risk their reputation and relationships. They work hard to find the nugget in a client’s story that will make it appealing to media, often based on what is happening in the news; what is new and interesting, and what is relevant to the market in which they are working.  Keeping an eye on media and blogs is an important PR role and although schmoozing can help, finding the story and fitting into the news is our priority. Personally, I detest the word “spin”!
     
  4. MYTH: PR is mostly press releases and press conferences:
    Join a meeting with a new client, and the words press release and press conference often come up. PR has changed dramatically with an ever-evolving media marketplace and the press conference and press release are no longer as relevant. The mass blast of materials to all media outlets no longer resonate with short-staffed newsrooms. We’ve learned that the key is to personalize your pitch to each outlet and provide all of the information and images in a format that is easy to access. PR pros need to know the media and bloggers they are pitching to ensure the story idea makes sense for that writer or producer, and their platform.
     
  5. REALITY: PR is a wise investment
    Credibility comes from third party endorsement and the impressions and audience reach that you secure through PR is arguably more valuable and effective than paid advertising. Committing to a consistent PR plan and working closely with your PR consultants can help you to achieve valuable results for both your brand reputation, and the sales of your product and services.

We will continue to share the latest on PR myths and realities, and also expand on the ever-important role of social media in PR. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for updates!

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