The Mixed Media Blog

Mixed Media: Tips, tools and observations on comms & PR.

DEAR PR FOLKS: Please Stop Sending Us "Experts" And "Story Ideas" -- Instead, Send ...

DEAR PR FOLKS: Please Stop Sending Us "Experts" And "Story Ideas" -- Instead, Send ...

BusinessInsider apparently hit their threshold of being bombarded with “STORY IDEA” and “EXPERT AVAILABLE” from PR pitches.

What Editor-in-Chief Henry Blodget says they’re looking for isn’t a preamble or teaser, but the actual goods – compelling stories and straight up quotes and outlooks on a timely topic.

Too many PR firms try get trapped into the conscious or subconscious thought process of advancing their client’s interest first. When in fact, working with the media, one serves another master and must flip that mentality upside down to have something of value to help the reporter do their job.  

Wake Up from the Presentation Nightmare: How to Deliver a Message that Matters

Wake Up from the Presentation Nightmare: How to Deliver a Message that Matters

If you have a problem staying awake you know how quickly presentations can induce that foggy and nodding haze.  Considered a must-use tool, PowerPoint presos conjure hellish feelings of having to endure a yawnfest of slides packed with far too much detail -- dull paragraph-long bullets that are repeated verbatim in monotone by the speaker, along with obligatory clip art and animation.  But let’s not kill the messenger. PowerPoint is merely the medium. It’s time to throw out shop-worn, cliche habits to build strong, compelling presentations.

A book that I ran across, Slide:ology by Nancy Duarte, sets out the true art AND science behind constructing and delivering  presentations.  I then coincidently ran across a live webcast with Duarte, interviewed by Chris Brogan (co-author of bestselling Trust Agents), which revealed some great truths for today's audiences with shorter attention spans.

Interviewed…but not included: Not every ‘at bat’ results in coverage

Interviewed…but not included: Not every ‘at bat’ results in coverage

A key activity in PR is crafting a pitch that hooks a reporter… leading to an interview that hopefully leads to coverage. We've all experienced the expectations, and then the disappointment to read an article only to find the CXO or spokesperson entirely absent.  Just like a real estate deal, a lot can happen before a contract is signed, or before the story goes to print, making you and client feel like you opened an empty gift box.

While you always want to prepare for an interview, sharpening your message points for clarity and brevity, and being armed with good stats or anecdotes, there can be several reasons for being left out of a story. Some are in your control, and some are not.  Here’s a few of the most common reasons for not being included: 

Getting to the Top in SEO? By the numbers -- Its all in the Content

Getting to the Top in SEO? By the numbers -- Its all in the Content

For years, search engine marketing was considered a black art, a dubious world of overpaying consultants to somehow get your website found in the huge and unwieldy web universe.  But much of what lies behind SEO, what really works, has been demystified.  This chart, part of MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition clearly shows the most important components of SEO, based on the response from over 1,500 marketers.  Trying to game the search engines and their algorithms is passé and over.

What rings true in SEO is the same formula used by companies conducting effective PR for eons…the undeniable human need  to communicate meaningful information to inquisitive audiences.

All major searches - Google, Yahoo, Bing – have continually changed and tweaked their algorithms to reflect topflight SEO practices:  1) consistent, interesting, and useful content, 2) that’s properly indexed and tagged, and 3) promoted to engage and build inbound traffic.  That’s the secret formula, which is supported by the MarketingSherpa chart below:

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