Promotional Cocktail
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  • I am the president and founder of the Epic PR Group, a boutique PR agency, located in Old Town Alexandria. We specialize in nonprofits and corporate communications. We’ve worked with organizations such as DuPont, Sara Lee and United Way . As many of you know, the marketplace is changing at an unprecedented speed, the economy is in a state of flux, and consumers are increasingly reluctant to spend money. But one thing hasn’t changed: People still buy the brands they believe in. *******What drives that belief? What makes people take notice, investigate, embrace and spread the word about a brand? In leaner times, consumers evaluate the benefit of everything they buy . Selling your brand is no longer enough. You need to motivate people to seek it out. Each purchase becomes an extension of a person’s interests, community and personal taste. The brands with true staying power are those that engage people and keep them talking. Well, that is a combination of the perfect PR and marketing mix , which we will discuss briefly today. We only have 45 minutes, and it is not quite happy hour , but we will provide a 50,000 foot view of how to work with various types of media outlets . I’d like to ask folks to turn off their cell phone ringers at this time and hold all questions until the Q&A at the end of the presentation.
  • The martini-sipping , chain-smoking execs of the New York ad agencies in 1960s is a thing of the past. But, there is much we can learn from these bad boys of the board rooms gone by . Seriously though, there is an important distinction between PR and advertising. PR is what we in the biz call “earned media” and advertising is paid media. Many of you might be asking yourselves silently “What exactly is PR?” As a point of reference, clients work with PR people to spread news, introduce new products, inspire or influence people, change perceptions and ultimately, increase sales and brand recognition. Today, we have laid out a few key takeaways for working with a variety of media for maximum impact. However, creating the perfect mix of PR, marketing and social media to get your company or brand notice can be challenging – sort of like creating the perfect cocktail without a handy bartender’s guide. That is why we created an easy way to think of the basic elements of an effective PR and marketing strategy to get your business noticed by using Happy Hour and Cocktail Analogies.
  • Did I mention that I was in Los Angeles recently and was lucky enough to literally run into the mysterious dark character - Don Draper from the show Mad Men? Here is the shot I took of Don.
  • As women, we are all about inclusion, right - so just to be fair here is a shot of the character Joan Holloway. The first step is KNOWING why reporters/editors/producers or bookers should care about your story, business or idea? INTERACTION WITH AUDIENCE: I’d like to start by asking for a show of hands – Who in this room thinks the Power Conference event is by itself is inherently newsworthy? Ask someone - Why? Proximity, Celebrity, Influence, Impact, Human-interest, Uniqueness, Local, etc.
  • As women, we are all about inclusion, right - so just to be fair here is a shot of the character Joan Holloway. The first step is KNOWING why reporters/editors/producers or bookers should care about your story, business or idea? INTERACTION WITH AUDIENCE: I’d like to start by asking for a show of hands – Who in this room thinks the Power Conference event is by itself is inherently newsworthy? Ask someone - Why? Proximity, Celebrity, Influence, Impact, Human-interest, Uniqueness, Local, etc.
  • Everyone is talking about social media as a shiny new tool, right. Well an interesting fact that may surprise many of you…A recent study was done by the Pew Research Center Project for Excellence in Journalism that shows 90% of the articles cited in blogs link to content from traditional news outlets. And, only a small percentage of organic online content ever makes it to widespread print and broadcast coverage. Obviously, this means traditional news outlets are still very influential and should be the basis of every communications strategy.
  • OK, let’s talk first about National Newspapers. As a former daily newspaper reporter, I worked for the Asbury Park Press in NJ. I think it is important to illustrate what I am talking about with real life examples, so we’ll do that with each medium we cover today. OK, newspapers. We recently worked with a client to get them into the Wall Street Journal. Our pitch concept was the idea of “Design Over Time.” It was the height of the recession and we were able to show how one small business owner was adapting her business model to that environment by extending a service over time to create an affordable a luxury item. Journalists want to write an interesting story that their readers care about. There is an old saying that reporters use, “If it bleeds, it leads.” This means newspaper reporters will always write about the most scandalous thing first b/c that is WHAT sells newspapers. And your positive business story will move down on the list of story priorities, accordingly. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a “shot” (PARDON THE PUN) – it means every chance you get to get in front of a reporter is precious and you have to bring new and interesting story concepts to the table - each and every time you speak with a reporter. You must provide reporters with the “FULL STORY ON A SILVER PLATTER.” Newspaper reporters are working in increasingly shrinking newsrooms. They want to be accurate and balanced in their reporting, but doing more with less staff and resources makes this more difficult. That means if you can provide a full story concept in advance for the reporters, they will be your new best friend . I am talking soup to nuts. Think about offering expert testimony, interesting data, new findings, approaches, products – reporters will consistently work with you b/c you make their job easier.
  • And, yes, I am a fan of Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi Fan and I am all Italian – all stereo types and Snookie references aside)…
  • I must start out by saying I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO start my career at George Magazine in NYC and yes, I did meet the late John F. Kennedy Jr. I like to tell the story of walking three blocks with John to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Needless to say, I called my mother that day and thanked her for making me Catholic. Now magazines can be a bit tricky due to lead times, audience specificity and detail required… An example of a trade magazine article we secured is with the Chronicle of Philanthropy: A local nonprofit not only maintained its donor support in a challenging economy but also saved money and created opportunities by taking risks for future growth. This story was a great KOO for our client and they sent it to their board – as a way to further promote the promotion. Key Takeaways about Trade Publications: They have a long-lead time 6 -9 months ahead of schedule . Many publications have editorial calendars and often request stories (Did you know Washingtonian requests stories? Check out their website) Remember – Reporters WANT very specific stories that relate to that particular trade they are covering – and there is magazine out there for most industries… They have more room for detailed information and therefore can be a great place to showcase new data, trends, expert testimony, etc .
  • Local News – Local, Local, Local Fun Example: Shulman Rogers is our client and they handle a variety of legal matters. Greg Grant, a contract and employment attorney at Shulman Rogers, alerted us that Jon Gosselin would be making an appearance at the Montgomery County court house. We took that opportunity to pitch a local story. Our subject line: Jon Gosselin has a date…In Court . We pitched the story and scored three placements in local news outlets including the Washington Examiner, Montgomery County Gazette and the Washington Business Journal.   THINGS TO REMEMBER Just like in real estate – it is all about location, location, location . Local news is all about local, local, local. Your story is not complete without local people to help illustrate your point . One of the best ways to be quoted is to give your opinion on a national issue with local relevancy – like in the example we mentioned.
  • Trendy Drink– Broadcast news outlets -- Needs to be visually stimulating and appeal to a wide audience. Need to tell a short/concise story. Fun Example: Job Prosper is a work from home expo that focused on stay at home moms looking for part time work. Before working with us, the expo had 1,000 attendees and they wanted to increase the turnout. We worked to set up three interviews with local moms who secured jobs after attending the show, repackaged unemployment data and set up a Real Housewife of New York as a spokesperson. After we secured broadcast segments on NBC4, ABC7 and WTOP – t he expo had 7,000 people show up - which was also a great visual for onsite coverage. THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT BROADCAST   YOUR IDEA MUST BE RELATABLE, VISUAL AND AUDITORY . Think about the potential shots and sound bites and be sure to put that in your story concept.   There are more news segments to fill than good people to fill them. I know producers who look for guests every day, so there is a lot of opportunity if you are articulate and poised. Get to know the right people.   Watch TV shows as an active viewer – make notes about segments, topics, lengths, number of questions, answers, etc. Make sure your idea works for the show and NEVER, EVER call during taping .
  • The Shot – Online publications/24 hour broadcast outlets --- Fast! Fast! Fast! Report as event is happening. Need to tell the story in one minute or less. Fun Example: One of our clients is Hello Cupcake in DuPont Circe. We came up with a concept for a micro blog titled “You Had Me at Hello Cupcake.” It encouraged online users to share their best, worst and funniest pick-up lines and if they did – they received a coupon for a free cupcake. This created amazing viral buzz for the shop – and more than 2,000 people posted their stories. Moreover, the Facebook fan page for the shop increased by 65% as a result of the promotion. Things to Remember There has a “NOW” quality about online news and social media . What makes the listener, viewer or reader want to care right away? Think quick news. For instance, follow-up pieces to current news – think Michael Jackson’s Death . As things are revealed or change, online media provides up-to-the minute coverage. Online is a great resource for trend research. For instance, if food bloggers consistently talk about a new restaurant as being hot – print reporters may take notice . What are you saying online that can help your business get noticed? Remember online, and especially social media, is a two way conversation . Therefore, you have to be sure to consider that when you post something, make an announcement, etc. Be sure to have a plan in place to respond to positive and negative feedback.
  • Some PR practitioners think of social media as a cool new tool that can fix anything. Others see it as just another item on a checklist. We place social media in the context of a larger communications strategy. We do not, however, force reluctant clients to have a presence in the social media space – why be on Twitter if you’re target doesn’t tweet? Social media campaigns need to spark interest, increase sales and positively impact your business and operations. That is why it is important to consistently monitor and update your social media networks daily. However, i n the Web 2.0 world, speed can your best friend – and your worst enemy. We have worked with a number of client on what we call a “flash crisis.” This resulted is not having a PR person monitoring or posting on social media sites. We then stepped in to provide crisis communications advice on deleting posts, providing copy that engaging and developing promotional campaign that are furthered through social media.
  • ELEMENTS OF A SUCESSFUL STORY The news hook. Give a reason for the reporter to care by explaining why viewers, readers or listeners will care about your story concept. Consistent messages and engaging spokespeople. You have to make sure your messages and materials are consistent. Otherwise you can have the brand version of a hangover and that is brand confusion. Create a word picture. For example, “We sold enough widgets to give one to every person who attended a baseball game at National’s stadium this year – nearly 1 million people.”
  • Mix It Up Slide – Creating the Perfect Happy Hour for you and your stakeholders is KEY to any successful media interview. When you finally get an opportunity to get in front of the media, remember all of your stakeholders who maybe reading the article. This includes competitors, employees, current customers and potential clients. A Few Key Things to Remember: Be sure to prepare in advance with facts and stats about your industry to make the reporters job easier. Be sure to consider what type of media outlet you are working with and provide the proper framework for the audience they are trying to reach. Be sure to put your best foot forward – don’t say anything you wouldn’t want on the front page of the New York Times. Lastly, thank the reporter or producer for the opportunity .
  • ELEMENTS OF A SUCESSFUL STORY The news hook. Give a reason for the reporter to care by explaining why viewers, readers or listeners will care about your story concept. Consistent messages and engaging spokespeople. You have to make sure your messages and materials are consistent. Otherwise you can have the brand version of a hangover and that is brand confusion. Create a word picture. For example, “We sold enough widgets to give one to every person who attended a baseball game at National’s stadium this year – nearly 1 million people.”
  • Shake it Up – Powerful Alliances Getting the word out requires giving something AWAY – whether it is providing a product sample or trend forecasting – you have to bring something interesting and new to the table . FUN EXAMPLE: An example of this was our work on a program we invented called “InternsROCK!” We created a partnership with MTV U, local bid organizations and Destination DC to create an intern appreciate week for the 20K interns that descend upon DC each summer . The idea was a great success and positioned our client as the go-to source on internships in Washington, DC.
  • BE BOLD – The strongest drinks have the best combination or ingredients, style and personality. Thank you so much for your time! NOTE: Think about questions the audience will ask about the advice Please pass your business cards to the center of the isle to enter to win a free pitch concept from Epic today – we’ll draw names after the Q&A. Please email me if you’d like a copy of the presentation emailed to you after the conference.  

Transcript

  • 1. The Promotional CocktailMixing it up with an IntegratedCommunications ApproachAdele Cehrs, President, Epic PR Group
  • 2. Advertising Agencies…1960’s 2 The Promotional Cocktail
  • 3. Mad Man…Jon Hamm AKA Don Draper 3 The Promotional Cocktail
  • 4. Mad Men…Christinia Hendricks AKA Joan Holloway 4 The Promotional Cocktail
  • 5. What is PR? How does it work? Who are you MOST likely to believe? 5 The Promotional Cocktail
  • 6. KNOW YOUR DRINK Scotch on the Rocks – National newspaper1 Just the facts – Who, what, when, why, where. Fruit Martini – Magazine & trade publications Longer lead time, more in-depth articles, specific niche readership.2 Long-island Iced Tea -- Local News Local feel and flavor is a must. Local stories, experiences and3 trends. Trendy Drink– Broadcast news outlets Needs to be visually stimulating and appeal to a wide audience.4 Need to tell a short/concise story. The Shot – Online publications/24 hour broadcast outlets Fast! Fast! Fast! Report as event is happening. Need to tell the story in5 one minute or less. 6 6 The Promotional Cocktail
  • 7. NATIONAL NEWSPAPERS1 • Large national audience (Average 1,207,356) • Online, print, local and special editions • Numerous sections (i.e. News, Lifestyle, Weekend, Magazine etc.) • Multiple editors and reporters • Multiple deadlines throughout the day and week • Tend to be a bit more balanced/try to tell both sides of the story 7 The Promotional Cocktail
  • 8. Garden State Pride!The Boss and Bon Jovi… 8 The Promotional Cocktail
  • 9. NATIONAL MAGAZINES & TRADE MAGAZINES2 • National audience • More targeted audience • Focus on the details, technology, human interest, etc. • More detailed reporting/longer articles • Lots of visual stimulations (pictures, graphs, charts, etc.) • Longer lead times/deadlines • Use freelance/submitted pieces more often 9 The Promotional Cocktail
  • 10. LOCAL NEWS3 LOCAL, LOCAL, LOCAL • Local People o Local Stories o Local Experiences o Local History o Local Visuals • Local Perspective on National Issues • Local Business Trends & Impact 1 The Promotional Cocktail 0
  • 11. BROADCAST MEDIA – TV & RADIO4 • Visual & Auditory • Relatable to a larger more general audience • Conversational • Short Sound Bites • Interesting Lead-In 1 The Promotional Cocktail 1
  • 12. ONLINE / 24 HOUR NEWS5 • Where and how is the audience receiving information? • Time Sensitive • Viral Component • Images and Video • Bloggers • Social Media • Relatable • Flash Crisis 1 The Promotional Cocktail 2
  • 13. SOCIAL MEDIA5 • Pull vs push marketing strategy • Why social media? Who will manage it? • Flash Crisis • Choosing the right medium – Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Flicker, LinkedIn, etc. 1 The Promotional Cocktail 3
  • 14. THE SUCCESS STORY• The Glass—The foundation for your story. What is the news hook? Why a reporter should care?• The Alcohol—The story teller . The spokesperson for your article/company representative.• The Garnish—The details of the story. Facts. Statistics. Anecdotes. Pictures.1 The Promotional Cocktail 4
  • 15. The Perfect Happy Hour (Media Interview)Rememberall your keystakeholderswhen doing amediainterview Employees Current Customers Your Business Competition Potential Clients 1 The Promotional Cocktail 5
  • 16. PROMOTE THE PROMOTION • Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) • Online NewsroomCurrent Customers • Advertising • Guerilla Marketing (Street Teams, Fans Meet Ups, Publicity Stunts, etc.) Prospects 1 The Promotional Cocktail 6
  • 17. SHAKE IT UP• Strategic Partnerships• Brand Ambassadors• Third-party experts• Stories & Experiences• Special Events• Speaking Engagements• Product & Service Sampling1 The Promotional Cocktail 7
  • 18. BE BOLD The best drinks are the strong ones!Adele R. CehrsPresident 218 N. Lee Street, Suite 206AEpic PR Group703-299-3404 Alexandria, VA 22314 www.epicprgroup.com Facebook: Epic PR Group 1 The Promotional Cocktail 8