This presentation teaches you the following: How to build strong media/blogger relationships, how to prepare for and nail the interview, how to maximize that great coverage and how to measure and show PR results.
Steve Byrne seeing my BRU post on Facebook and asking for news release
PR Bootcamp: Building Media Relationships & Maximizing Coverage
PR BOOT CAMP: HOW TO BUILDMEDIA RELATIONSHIPS &MAXIMIZE COVERAGEWOMEN’S EXCHANGE OF WASHTENAW FORUM2012
JACKI HALAS Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan | @jacki_halas Jacki has broad experience in the communications industry, with her favorite disciplines being PR, event planning and social media marketing. She currently handles PR/event coordination and planning for President and CEO Dan Loepp at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. She is also actively engaged in the company’s social media efforts. She serves on the IABC Detroit and Heritage Region boards and is a member of the National Management Association. A proud Detroit and Michigan State University alumna, she loves to travel, play soccer and snowboard.
NIKKI LITTLE Identity | @nikki_little Nikki Little serves as Identity’s social media manager and is responsible for managing the internal operations and growth of the social media team. She also serves as an account manager for several of Identity’s clients, focusing on integrating social media strategy with traditional communications efforts to help companies build brand awareness, create new customer relationships and grow their business. Additionally, Nikki manages the content on Identity’s blog, ID Tags. Nikki is secretary of Social Media Club Detroit, manages the bi-weekly Help a PR Pro Out Michigan Report e-newsletter for communications pros and is an executive board member of Operation: Kid Equip, among other involvements.
WHAT IS PUBLIC RELATIONS?Definition from the Public Relations Society of America (updated in 2012): “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
DISCUSSION• Whether it’s you or someone else, do you have someone on your team (internal or external) dedicated to PR?• Have you identified goals and a strategy related to PR?• Would you say you have good relationships with media/bloggers who cover your industry?
CASE STUDIES WE’LL FEATURE:• Jacki – BLUnite campaign BCBSM made moving 3,000 of its suburban workers to downtown Detroit a positive, exciting experience. Local businesses, civic leaders and political dignitaries celebrated the unification of their Blue campus and “homecoming”. This was a fully integrated communications campaign with heavy emphasis on PR.• Nikki – BRU Fest fundraiser. Identity helped launch Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan’s first annual BRU Fest beer, burgers and wings fundraiser in 2011. The campaign included elements of media/blogger relations, blogger/organization partnerships, social media and paid media.
PART 1: HOW TO BUILDRELATIONSHIPS WITH MEDIA &BLOGGERS
BEFORE RELATIONSHIPS ARE CREATED:• Create media/blogger wish list (use this to keep track of relationships moving forward)• Create a Twitter list to monitor them• Search for competitor coverage (use tool like Newsle)• Read their material before ever reaching out• Determine where they are active online• Determine how they like to be contacted – Is blogger PR friendly? Does journalist seek story ideas via social media?• Follow on Twitter, subscribe on Facebook• Start commenting on articles/blog posts/social content• Participate in industry chats (#journchat)• Share their content• Share company news as you have it or story ideas on why you are relevant as an expert source for stories
AS RELATIONSHIPS DEVELOP:• Continue commenting on and sharing content• Engage in more casual online conversations• Invite to coffee or lunch periodically (bring exec if appropriate)• Connect on LinkedIn and subscribe on Facebook• Meet up at events and tradeshows• Share relevant company news and product/service demo opportunities• Invite to subscribe to company blog/newsletter/newsroom• Keep master relationships list updated with meetings and coverage
DON’T DO “DRIVE BYS” & ONLYCONNECT WHEN YOU WANTCOVERAGE
ONCE STRONG RELATIONSHIP ISCREATED:• Continue finding opportunities to connect and share story ideas/company news• Top of the list when new news to share• Make them feel special and show you value the relationship (VIP at events, behind-the-scenes access)• Always send a thank-you for coverage (email, LinkedIn message, or small gift if coverage was significant)
THINGS TO AVOID:• Smothering and obnoxious follow up• Only talking about you and your company when you comment or respond on social channels• Complaining publicly if you’re misquoted or the story doesn’t turn out how you wanted it
GROUP DISCUSSION• What challenges do you have when it comes to building relationships with media and bloggers?• Who owns the relationships (me, someone else on team, PR agency, etc.)?• How much time/resources can you/do you want to dedicate to building and maintaining relationships?• Which online channels make the most sense to use?• If you don’t have it, do you think you need in-house or agency PR support? Why?• Who from the exec team conducts interviews? Does it depend on the topic?
THE INTERVIEW – PREP• If interviewee isn’t media trained, invest in media training ASAP• Get as many details about what reporter/blogger wants to discuss as he/she will share• Find out how much time person has, how long interview will be and if it’s live or recorded• Put together key messages/talking points (know well, but don’t memorize word-for-word)• Practice!
THE INTERVIEW – DAY OF• Be relaxed• Show emotion and enthusiasm, but don’t overdo it• Make sure your voice is strong and words are clear, particularly for broadcast• Speak in soundbites• Never look at camera unless you’re being interviewed from a different location and you’re instructed to speak to the camera• Turn their heads – it’s your opportunity to educate the interviewer and readers/listeners/viewers• Record yourself if possible and play back to improve for next time
THE INTERVIEW – WHAT TO AVOID• Industry jargon• Inappropriate attire – keep it professional• Don’t get nervous or uncomfortable if there is silence while reporter takes notes• Saying “um” or “like” too much• Stumbling over words and mumbling• Sharing information you weren’t prepared to discuss – nothing is off the record!• Complicated explanations – people read at 6th grade level
GROUP ACTIVITY• Take a few minutes to think of the top 2-3 stories you would like to see covered in the near future. Now, add 2-3 key messages for each.• Share with your partner. Discuss: Are those ideas newsworthy? Why are they relevant? Are your key messages strong enough? Is there jargon?• Brave volunteer for mock interview
HOW TO MAXIMIZE COVERAGE• Identify who would most benefit from seeing the coverage, then determine vehicle/platform• Share internally• Reprints for new business opportunities, tradeshows and events• Include in new business pitches or follow up emails to prospects• Add to online newsroom• Add to social channels (be diligent about this – not every time, and customize message for each channel)• Add to email signature• Add to blog as a case study• Link to coverage in executive bios
HOW TO MEASURE RESULTS &COMMUNICATE SUCCESS• Don’t rely solely on clips to communicate success• No AVEs (ad value equivalency)!• Good old coverage book – sections for proactive and reactive pieces, break coverage into sentiment• Show how coverage ties to your communication goals• Quarterly/yearly overview of new relationships developed and opportunities created (master relationships list)• How many pieces of coverage included key messages• New business opportunities/inquiries from coverage• Google Analytics and Clicky – did media coverage bring traffic to site? How did that traffic behave when on site?• Share of voice – how much more is your company being talked about online than your competitors?• Did sales increase? Was event attendance met? Did public opinion change?