Public Relations Podcasts

Our public relations podcasts in “The Strategic Minute” series help business leaders improve communications strategies and functions by sharing insights on specific topics within our firm’s areas of expertise: Public Relations, Media Relations, Employee Communications and Community Relations.

You can also subscribe to the Strategic Minute in iTunes. Just search for “Strategic Communications” or “Strategic Minute” under Podcasts.


Take Time to Build Relationships

As a small, local business it’s important to build relationships within the local community. But as a small, local business there isn’t always time to build and nurture individual relationships.

Sending mass emails to the news media, government agencies and community leaders has become the norm – yet it’s the one of the least effective ways to actually get through to real people. They know when they’re receiving a mass distribution and often ignore it; or maybe they don’t know, because it gets caught in their spam filter and they never even see it. Building relationships with key influencers requires having someone dedicated to constantly tracking information and cultivating the relationships.

Take time to read the news in your local community and the industries in which your organization does business. Get to know reporters through their stories, then maintain a media contact list. You may want to get some help to find the right contact initially, but then, pay attention to changes in reporters’ assignment topics and their positions with the outlet. Also, be diligent about investigating bounced emails and automated responses – they may point you in the direction of your next contact.

It’s equally as important to research and identify individuals at the appropriate local and state government agencies, and community organizations, who have the most direct connection with your organization. Watch the proposals, positions, news and other information coming out of that office. Look for event schedules and attend a few of the meetings that impact your business. Strategically send a note of support or congratulations; and then, when it’s appropriate, you can ask for a one-on-one meeting.

Another easy method for tracking reporters, government staff, and other community leaders is to follow them on Twitter. Engage with them on the topics that they are sharing, even if only to “favorite” or retweet one of their posts. This gets you on their radar.

When you spot an issue or trend that could be addressed by your organization, reach out to that reporter, government agency staff member or community leader to introduce yourself and share some helpful information, without directly promoting your organization. You’ll get your name in front of them and provide a bit of education that may develop into something larger in the future.

The more personalized your communications are, the more attention they’ll receive from any of these key influencers. Because electronic communications now dominate the way we speak to the world, having a dedicated individual communicating on your organization’s behalf and adding a personal touch to an otherwise automated process will go a long way in making your communication stand out.

Finally, touch base with your contacts in the media, government agencies, and community organizations even when you’re not making a pitch or request. Remember: be human, be helpful, and find the right balance between being persistent and being patient.

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Preparing 2017 PR Plan? Know What’s Actually Newsworthy

Many organizations are taking the time to prepare plans for 2017, including their PR Plan. There are a lot of good things that lots of organizations do or accomplish every day. Some of them are nice internal efforts or achievements, some involve new initiatives for the organization, and some stuff has a real impact on the community that the organization serves.

There is a time and place for all of this news to be shared as part of your strategic PR plan – but not all of it will make the cut for your daily newspaper or the evening television newscast. So, when your public relations or marketing team is preparing a 2017 PR Plan, make sure you know what’s really “newsworthy.”

Certainly be sure to share all of your accomplishments – no matter how large or small – within the organization, internally. But being more selective with what you issue in news releases and media alerts will actually help to IMPROVE your media coverage. This is the skill that journalists, editors and news directors love to see in the organizations they cover – knowing what’s actually newsworthy.

If your organization has hired or promoted someone, most newspapers have a “Company News” section to which you can submit basic information (usually limited to 2-3 sentences) and a photo. Unless you have a new CEO, the media probably won’t run any more than this. If you’ve started doing something that’s new for your organization, but others in your industry already do it, too, then it’s not newsworthy to anyone other than your internal staff and your directly impacted audiences – like customers. But if you have something new to announce (or a truly significant update on an annual or year-round initiative) that will impact the audience that the news outlet reaches, then you might have something newsworthy.

It’s not always an “all-or-nothing” deal, either. If you have a major financial achievement or receive an industry award, for example, consider targeting your news toward local business media, as opposed to all of the general news outlets. But no matter which media outlets you’re contacting, it is basic etiquette to know what they’ve covered recently. If they just did a story on a similar topic, following up with your story isn’t helpful to them – in fact, that’s the worst time to share it.

When you’re on the inside of an organization, it’s not always easy to be able to decipher what the outside world would consider to be more or less newsworthy. You believe in the mission of your organization, and you’re proud of everything that your team accomplishes! That’s why it’s helpful to have an external, objective opinion when building your strategy for sharing good news.

No matter how you get there, finding a way to deliver more of the newsworthy content that your local media wants – and less of what they don’t want – will have a big impact on your relationship with these journalists, and on the news coverage your organization receives.

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Everyone Needs Trusted Advisors

One of the great freedoms when you create or run your own company is that you don’t have to report to anyone. But in reality, we all work for someone. The best leaders view their customers, employees, business partners, and community organizations as the key audiences they serve. And they also have a small group of trusted advisors who provide guidance, direction, and objective input.

In this edition of the Strategic Minute, Michael Meath shares his experience and guidance for creating your own group of trusted advisors.

You can also subscribe to the Strategic Minute in iTunes. Just search for “Strategic Communications” or “Strategic Minute” under Podcasts. We’d love your feedback, so please consider leaving a review on iTunes or contacting us through our website.

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