Search
Join the conversation!


 

Roberta Guise advises small business owners and professionals who want to build a profitable stable of customers, save money on ineffective promotions, and through precision marketing, branding, or placements in the media be visible and get known.

Subscribe to this blog

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Roberta's Twitter Feed
Hidden Pages

Entries in Publicity (5)

Tuesday
Jan292013

How to be a media magnet

In a previous post I wrote about the good things you can expect when you make the media your BFF. This article deep dives into the “relations” aspect of media relations, fitting in as a longer view type of visibility strategy.

Have you noticed how some media outlets quote the same experts over and over, or interview them on their TV or radio talk shows on a regular basis?

This isn’t a fluke. It also doesn’t mean that the expert has the best answers, or that they got lucky.

The name you keep hearing and seeing is because:

  • That person developed a relationship with editors or a show host
  • Gives valuable content the media can use as quotes
  • Is a reliable expert source
  • Presents well on camera or at the microphone
  • Is easy to work with and responsive
  • Is reliably contrarian or has novel approaches to the topic

By targeting even just a few select media contacts and focusing on building a relationship, it’ll make your efforts to get published or interviewed by order magnitude more effective.

Top 6 keys to enduring relationships with the media

Whether you’re seeking to be an expert source in print, online or on TV/radio, and plan to contact just one reporter or 100, use these 6 keys as a guide to developing enduring relationships with the media.

1. Be intimately familiar with the audience you want to reach

Get crystal clear in your mind the target market (or markets) you want to reach, and specifically who buys from you. Because it’s the buyers whose eyes and brains you want to get your ideas in front of. Remember that your buyers are also consumers, which means many of them pay attention to consumer media.

2. Be intimately familiar with the publication

Acquaint yourself with a target publication or media outlet, and only then introduce yourself. There’s nothing that riles up editors more than someone who appears unfamiliar with their publication’s content, format, topics and style.

3. Be intimately familiar with the reporter’s beat

Know what the reporter generally writes about (for example: environment; education/schools; technology; politics; lifestyle, etc.) Study their reporting style (hard news, feature, investigative, humorous, serious). With this level of understanding you’ll know who writes about your topic, and you’re ready to introduce yourself and pitch relevant ideas.

4. Be interesting so that the media find your ideas and expertise appealing

Being interesting means that you’re current with what’s going on around you and can deftly tie your ideas to news, trends and public conversations. If your ideas are novel and fully developed, or you’ve conducted research, you’ll be better-positioned to influence an editor to start a public conversation, with you and your ideas at the center.

5. Be a valuable resource

Let editors and reporters know they can call on you any time, and you’ll be there for them. But don’t wait to be contacted. Initiate a conversation by letting them know you exist, the topics they can contact you about for your expertise and opinions, and that you can provide resources to “round out” their story.

Ask what else they could be looking for. Here’s what this can look like:

I contacted a reporter to thank her for an article she had written about a former (female) politician, and strategically asked what other kinds of stories she was interested in.

She responded, “Women doing unusual things.” I had a client who does unusual things: she’s an engineer who designs big public structures to be safe from terrorist attacks. I pitched a story idea to tie in with the 10th commemoration of the 9/11 attacks.

The journalist liked the idea, and garnered her editor’s approval for a Sunday front page (and website Home page) profile of the client just before 9/11/11.

6. Be nice, two ways

Even if a reporter is brusque with you, keep your nice on. Reporters are always on deadline, so if you decide to call one the first words out of your mouth after you introduce yourself must be, “Are you on deadline?” That short question will help win you a friend.

If you read a piece on your topic that you disagree with, or you think is wrong, resist the temptation to scold the writer. Instead, thank her for the piece, and offer another view (yours) without lambasting hers. If you don’t control your impulse to give a piece of your mind, the only place on that reporter’s desk you may get to live is her blacklist.

Becoming a media magnet is part tenacity, part opportunity, and focus. It can be intense or more occasional, as fits your schedule and temperament.

How easy (or challenging) has it been for you to develop relationships with the media?

Roberta Guise works with experts, small business owners and professionals who want to be extraordinarily visible and sharpen their marketing edge. She also enables successful women to become thought leaders in their field of expertise. A small business marketing consultant and speaker, she is the founder of San Francisco-based Guise Marketing & PR. If you'd like to know how to apply these concepts to your situation, call for a free 1/2 hour consultation. 415-979-0611. www.guisemarketing.com

Tuesday
Jul192011

Look before you click

If you’re like most people, you aim to control what others know and say about you. So you’re careful about what you reveal, and to whom you reveal it.

With social media we’re getting used the fact that whatever we post or share becomes part of the big public conversation. But how many times do you carefully review an email, that old technology, before clicking Send? Do you read and re-read what you’ve written? Do you double check who the recipients are? And do you open the attachment to ensure it’s what you intend to send?

An employee at Chevron didn’t check. This past Friday, he inadvertently sent an email to news media wire services that included documents revealing internal information about his company’s energy trading operations.

Oops.

He tried unsuccessfully to recall the message. Minutes later he sent a request to various news services, asking them to delete the information he had accidentally sent.

The media response was swift and sharp. The Wall Street Journal said, “Chevron’s Email ‘Oops” Reveals Energy Giant’s Sway Over Markets."

The San Francisco Chronicle, through their Bloomberg News affiliation, chimed in with, “Chevron E-Mails Show $363.8 Million Trading Profit This Year.”

And this tweet circulated through StockTwits: “RT @BloombergNow Chevron E-Mails Show $363.8M in Trading Profit."

The articles exposed the usually unobtainable content in the errant documents, with just passing mention that they landed this content through a mistaken distribution.

Like it or not the media did their job, which in this case was to report news from a publicly held company.

The lesson one can learn from this incident, no matter how small or large your company, is simple: check, then check again before you click Send, Post, or Share. Because after the click your words and ideas are public, and up for grabs.

And when it comes to working with the media: assume that anything you say or send them will be considered fair game for publishing.

Have you ever clicked then wished you could take it back? Share your experience in the Comment box.

Roberta Guise works with experts, small business owners and professionals who want to be extraordinarily visible and sharpen their marketing edge. She also enables successful women to become thought leaders in their field of expertise. A small business marketing consultant and speaker, she is the founder of San Francisco-based Guise Marketing & PR. If you'd like to know how to apply these concepts to your situation, call for a free 1/2 hour consultation. 415-979-0611. www.guisemarketing.com

 

Thursday
Dec302010

Top Ten Branding Stories and Videos of 2010

Lists give a convenient way to organize a topic, where you can scan and get a bucket-full of ideas in a flash. And it’s helpful to remember that lists are subjective. Within this context of opinion, I offer my top branding stories of 2010.

1. Conan O’Brien announced his new show name with much fanfare. Lesson: as Conan says in this video, keep the brand simple and pure.

2. Sticking to the simplicity theme, I foot tap and hum every time I see the iPad TV ad. Like the original iPhone ad, the music is raw and simple; the product, as we know, is Apple’s deliciously elegant design. In fact, any Apple ad is worth studying for excellence in branding.

3. Dos Equis vs Old Spice ads: videos that go viral don’t always translate into increased sales. Lesson: the story must feature a concept that’s enduring and makes the viewer want to be the person or associate with the type of person in the ad (and by extension own the product associated with the person in the ad). The Old Spice videos did not increase sales. The Dos Equis ads did.

4. The Gap flap: the venerable Gap clothing and retail icon rebranded itself this year with a new logo. It was easy to miss, because the new brand icon created such an uproar it was pulled after a couple of days. Side note about the type face, or font, in Gap’s abandoned logo: Helvetica type face can look strong and inviting, versus AT&T’s usage, which to me seems wimpy.

5, Part I. BP did such a lousy job presenting its public face after the Deep Horizon oil well disaster that the company’s value plummeted more than $32 million a day.

5, Part II. Tony Hayward, BP’s CEO at the time of the disaster, told the world what he wanted most, adding fuel to one of the biggest public relations fires in history.

If you had been BP’s CEO, what would you have done differently? If you or your small business were to make a mistake that put your name at the top of the news reports, how would you handle it? Do you have a crisis communications plan in place?

6. Toyota occupied our minds earlier in the year with its massive automobile recall. Here’s one authoritative view on how Toyota is fairing today, along with a video of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak commenting on his Toyota experience and problems with his Prius.

A branding list would be boring without videos, some gone viral. Here are my favorites.


7. Digital Nativity

8. Blendtec/Old Spice new Will it Blend?

Be sure to listen to the background music. Why do you think the producers chose that style of music?

9. And for instant translation from English to Spanish, and Spanish to English on the iPhone, there’s the Word Lens app.

10. Your choice here: what’s your favorite branding story of 2010?

Roberta Guise enables successful women to become thought leaders. She also works with experts, small business owners and professionals who want to be extraordinarily visible and sharpen their marketing edge. A small business marketing consultant and speaker, she is the founder of San Francisco-based Guise Marketing & PR. If you'd like to know how to apply these concepts to your situation, call for a free 1/2 hour consultation. 415-979-0611. www.guisemarketing.com

Saturday
Nov202010

The new rules of marketing lead to influence

It’s no secret that overnight, it seems, marketing has turned on its head.

So-called brick-and-mortar promotion campaigns, such as sending seminar fliers through the U.S. Postal Service, seem quaint today. And then there are not-so-obvious changes that are driving a stake in the heart of what once were considered best practices.

Old rules

Let’s get perspective about what’s going on. In the old days — an eternity of three years ago — under the old rules:

  • If you offered value, people would buy
  • People would pay for your content
  • Communication used to be one-way, or one to one, meaning I’d communicate with you, and perhaps you’d respond
  • The only way to be extraordinarily visible was through print, TV, and radio; and speaking, networking and email
  • Only reporters and editors saw your news releases and pitches
  • Reporters and editors were gatekeepers to your news
  • It was hard to measure results of press release distribution unless you paid through the nose for a clipping service
  • The only way to measure marketing results was using direct marketing through the mail, or until a few years ago, through email.

New rules

Most small business marketing is now being carried out on the Internet. And with this comes a new set of rules. Here are the top seven.

  1. To win the minds and wallets of people whose spending is inconsistent, offering value isn’t enough. You must be relevant. If your content doesn’t offer something people can use either right now or soon, they’ll pass you by.
  2. People expect to access your copyrighted content for free.
  3. Technology, which has become deeply embedded in the collective DNA, is a hungry beast that needs to constantly be fed with content — your content.
  4. You control when, where and how your news and content will be seen, because many of the gatekeepers of the past don’t exist online. This control is yours to harness.
  5. Free online measuring tools such as Google Analytics enable you to know, with precision, how well your various marketing activities are doing. Use these tools for the story of how and how many people are gravitating to your website.
  6. You can, and should, publish your own content, most notably through writing blog articles, through such other online media as video and eBooks, and distributing news through press releases.
  7. Engage in conversations with one person or many people at the same time, using such social media as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

The new rules of marketing enable you to become a center of influence, because the public nature of social media opens up your conversations and ideas for everyone to see. Your message can spread quickly and to a broad audience, because the people in your network are interconnected with other networks; if they think your message is valuable, they’ll pass it along.

Today, it’s much easier to be visible and assert your influence than in the past, because there are fewer barriers stopping people from finding out what you have to say. And that’s a foundational step towards building trust and relationships, which may lead to future business for you.

Which new rule is working best for you?

Roberta Guise enables successful women to become thought leaders. She also works with experts, small business owners and professionals who want to be extraordinarily visible and sharpen their marketing edge. A small business marketing consultant and speaker, she is the founder of San Francisco-based Guise Marketing & PR. If you'd like to know how to apply these concepts to your situation, call for a free 1/2 hour consultation. 415-979-0611. www.guisemarketing.com

Thursday
Aug272009

Play with fire if you dare

In the old world order, companies were like fortresses.

In that old world, before the Internet, blogs, and social media such as YouTube, Yelp! and Twitter, your complaints about a big company would echo only in your head.

Today, you or your company’s reputation can go up in flames in a flash, with negative messages echoing across the Internet faster than a lightning strike.

An early sign that technology was giving people a voice came in June 2005, when tech writer and author Jeff Jarvis wrote a post to his blog under the title, “Dell sucks.” Dell dissed Jarvis, he got mad and he blogged about it.

Thousands of people left comments of support on his blog, and word spread. His blog posts ranked increasingly higher on Google.

In August, just two months after his first Dell post, Business Week ran a story about Jarvis’s Dell experience. Dell got the message, and made the needed changes to its customer service practices.

2009 brought us David Carroll’s song about United Airlines breaking his guitar – the song went viral on YouTube. United Airlines also made the needed changes to its customer service practices.

That’s two individuals who had monumental impact on two gigantic companies.

No business is too small to be the subject of negative comments or reviews that spread like wildfire.

Conventional wisdom decrees that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, that all visibility is good. If you believe this, ask yourself how much it could cost your business if disgruntled customers started writing about their experience, and word spread?

In this new world order, don’t wait till fire strikes to take preventive measures. As long as your shingle is hanging out for all to see, do whatever it takes to have happy customers.

That means learning what gets customers upset, understanding how to avoid upsetting them in the first place, knowing what they want, and “calming them right away with words that defuse anger and defensiveness,” says Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC, author of the business bestseller, Calming Upset Customers: Staying Effective During Unpleasant Situations.

Customers are a business’s crown jewels. Take good care of them, and they’ll last an eternity.

Roberta Guise works with experts, small business owners and professionals who want to be extraordinarily visible and sharpen their marketing edge. A marketing consultant and speaker, she owns San Francisco-based Guise Marketing & PR. If you'd like to know how to apply these concepts to your situation, call for a free 1/2 hour consultation. 415-979-0611. www.guisemarketing.com