The good news is that media outlets are constantly searching for stories and  people who will capture and captivate the attention of their audiences. What  this means for you and your organization is that right now (TODAY) is the best  time for you to reach out and earn some of the millions of dollars of free  publicity (and media attention) that is available every day.

So just how do you impress the media and stick out in a sea of wannabes?  First and foremost, don’t waste their valuable time. Virtually, every media  outlet today is operating in this tough economic climate with fewer staff than  they had last year. This means that they still have the same pressing deadlines  and space to fill but they don’t have enough staff to do it.

If you want your pitch to stick out above and beyond the tens of thousands  that cross their desk today – it has to be memorable, relevant and thorough.

In fact here are my TOP 5 Tips to guarantee you attract and maintain media attention no matter what product or service you are selling.

1. What is going on in the news? Do yourself a favour and keep up to date on  the latest newsworthy headlines and happenings? Who’s hot and who’s not? What is  the general public worried about right now TODAY? You can never hope to “make  the news” if you have no idea what is going on in the news. You will never gain  publicity by trying to sell your product or service to the media. The key is to  make what you do relevant in the context of what is happening today in the news.  Tie what you do to someone or something that is newsworthy and you will become  the go-to-expert for top shows, magazines and newspapers.

2. Custom Tailor The Story To EACH Audience – In order to receive publicity  you need to offer custom-tailored that appeal to a media outlet’s target  audience (in terms of appeal, style and structure).  If you don’t read a  particular publication, chances are that it will be almost impossible for you to  hit the target with the editor. Reporters get thousands of pitches every day –  if it doesn’t fit squarely within what they do, they will simply toss it in the  garbage. It is better to send out 2 custom pitches a day that are carefully  crafted than 100 generic emails or faxes that are too broad to appeal to  anyone.

3. When in doubt, create your own news – The other day I got a call from a  national news organization who heard that 1/3 of the population suffers from  insomnia. They immediately wanted to come down to my office that very day and  interview me about it. Now, insomnia has been around since the beginning of  time. Why did it become a pressing national news story that Tuesday at 9am in  Melbourne? The answer is because it became relevant to someone in real terms.  1/3 of the general population is a lot of people. If something affects a lot of  people, it becomes instantly newsworthy. The trick is to take some aspect of  what you do and make it tangible and real (as a problem) to the lives of  many.

4. Promote News – Most story ideas in the media are created almost verbatim  from press releases that are submitted. In fact sometimes, they will take your  story and print it without even bothering to contact you for more information.   Spend the time to build a short and concise (fully-contained story). If you make  it easy for them to utilize you and your work, you will be rewarded handsomely  for it.

5. Follow the story and add to it – If you watch carefully you will notice  that the media tends to follow a story for an extended period of time. Take the  “chick-chick-boom girl” or “Cory the bogan party boy”. Even though there was no  real underlying story, how long did the general public have to endure the  national news coverage of those two talent-poor individuals? Enough said. It is  absolutely critical to track the pulse of hot news stories and be on the lookout  for opportunities to enhance the story by contributing insights and expert  commentary. When it comes to major breaking stories, the media will constantly  be on the look-out for related subjects which add to the story or new angles  that are fresh and captivating.

At the end of the day, the media runs on news and they are not in the  business of selling your products or services. Follow the news and become  newsworthy and you will increase your chances of becoming tomorrow’s breaking  news – in a good way!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3142180

There’s nothing like a good reality TV train wreck. We all know that we are not supposed to look. It’s not politically correct to indulge in the shortcomings or misfortune of others. But we just can’t help ourselves, can we? The show is SO bad, it’s almost addictive.

The Celebrity Apprentice is a reality-show-train-wreck like no other. Where else can you find a group of 12 wanna-be-celebrities who don’t have an ounce of talent, business acumen, common sense or humility between them? I mean seriously, where did Channel 9 get these people? They are touted as 12 of Australia’s most well know personalities. If that is true, God help us all.

The premise is admirable – the celebrities have been asked to bring their time, creativity and rolodexes to raise money for their favorite charity. Someone must have forgot to brief Deni Hines on these basic requirements because she refused to sing in one of the challenges (which is something she is supposedly famous for) because “she needed to protect her brand as a singer, animal activist and vegetarian.” Is she serious? Deni may want to re-think that strategy because she did more damage to her own brand in 2 weeks on the show than Allan Joyce did by grounding the entire Qantas fleet.

The only redeeming feature on the show is the ever charming, Mark Bouris. He comes across as engaging, fair and straight down the line. However, the show seems more like a glorified 60 minute advertisement for his company, Yellow Brick Road, than a charity fundraiser or bona fide reality series.

Channel 9, surely you jest?

Either your producers have completely run out of clever and entertaining ideas or you’ve grossly underestimated the IQ of the average Australian. We all expect reality TV to be staged, sensational and surreal. The Block, Australian Idol and Masterchef fit this bill perfectly. However, Celebrity Apprentice is just plain stupid. The formula is uninspired, the talent is questionable and the show simply has no point.

Seriously mate, were not in Kansas anymore! These 12 contestants have as much chance capturing the hearts and attention of the Australian public as you and I have of meeting the Wizard of Oz on the Yellow Brick Road.

If you don’t know what you are doing, social media can become a nightmare

“With great exposure comes great responsibility.”

Without a doubt, social media marketing is the great equalizer. Until the arrival of  WordPress, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, big business had an unfair advantage.  Any business could of course create a website but few had the resources and  knowledge to capture global exposure and sales.

Most SMEs had to settle for direct mail, local newspapers, networking,  pay-per-clicks etc. because they simply could not compete with the big budgets  of the big brands. In most cases, the advertising mediums with the biggest reach  and frequency – TV, radio, online banner and outdoor – were out of the grasp of  the average small business.

Social media marketing changed all of that.

With social media marketing, anyone can create an online presence and broadcast their  uncensored views or talent worldwide, for less than $500. People like Justin  Bieber and Lily Allen went from middle class obscurity to millions of fans and  multi-million dollar careers virtually overnight due to social media.

Neilson published stats show that the world now spends over 110 billion  minutes on social networks and blogs. What this means is that you, I and your  prospects now spend 25% of our time (around 12-15 hours a month) visiting these  types of sites. And unlike the consumption of other types of media, social media  is doubling year on year, it’s inexpensive and it’s now available 24/7 on mobile  devices.

And therein lies the problem.

Good and bad news, whether true or untrue, can spread online like an  epidemic. As opposed to advertising (which is initiated by you), a large  percentage of what is said in social networks (and social media marketing) is contributed by people outside  of your organization. How do you keep track of every single thing that is said  or written about you? It’s almost impossible to monitor and control where and  how your brand is mentioned online.

That’s why social media marketing has the potential to boost your reach and sales  exponentially, but it could also easily bring out the worst in your company.  With this in mind, what do you need to consider and do in your business to  mitigate the risks?

1. Social media marketing is for social interaction

The focus of traditional marketing and advertising is on lead generation and  sales. However, in social media marketing, it’s all about engaging with others, exchanging  information and creating relationships. In order to excel in the realm of social  networks, you will need to offer value upfront (to gain followers) and then  focus on getting to know them and understanding their needs.

Prospects and customers are more interested in the interaction they have with  you than they are on the deals or special offers. If you don’t engage with your  followers on their terms, you risk doing more harm to your brand than good.  Think of how many people and businesses have asked you to “like” their brand,  re-tweet a message or join their mailing list in the past 24 hours? We are  inundated with brands talking at us in social media and it is getting harder to  create an impression and persuade us to act.

2. Look for opportunities to turn around customer experiences

You will discover more in one week about your brand in social media marketing circles  than you will find in a year of traditional research. People don’t censor their  opinions when they share with their friends and you are likely to hear a lot of  stories of how you have fallen short of expectations. All of this is a very good  thing because it means that you have a direct opportunity to make it right. Of  course, you have to be listening and you need to have a strategy on how you will  deal with it. In the absence of these 2 things, you are actually worse off  because the story will spread like wildfire and it will carry a much greater  weight since it is shared among friends.

Most will mistakenly view social media marketing as a great place to sell more stuff.  It is actually a far better place to listen to what your customers are saying  and take action to turn bad experiences into positive ones.

3. What is it really costing you?

On the face of it, social media marketing appears practically free. However, when you  factor in the time it takes to produce content across various mediums, cross-  promote it, reply to followers etc., it could easily turn into a full time job.  Your time (or the time of a team member) is valuable and needs to be measured  against the returns generated by the online activity. Return on investment  online is a function of both tangible and intangible factors.

In my experience, far too many small businesses are getting caught up in the  hype of social media marketing without a clear understanding of the real cost or return.  Why spend hours a day posting and interacting online if you can generate a  better response by speaking directly to your customers or asking for a referral?  Social media marketing only promises you can talk to more people for less money, it  doesn’t guarantee that anyone will listen or that you will earn the same return  on investment that you could receive elsewhere.

4. Be clear about your brand and branding strategy

Prospects often need to see the same message many times before they will  decide to take action. One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to  overload your audience with too many messages because you are trying to be all  things to all people. Repetition is the key to retention. In order to be  remembered and acted upon, your message should be consistent across all channels  including your social media marketing. This means that wherever your prospects and  customers see you, they have to experience your brand and your message in the  exact same way. This can become difficult when you are trying to manage multiple  platforms and respond to what is happening in real time.

It pays to have a very clear strategy before you embark on social media.  Social media marketing is not like traditional advertising channels – it is very fluid and  dynamic. As such, circumstances can change on a daily basis and you need to  outline ahead of time what your key messages are and how they should be  communicated consistently to your audience.

5. Social media marketing is not for everyone

Who manages your social media marketing? If it is not you personally, does that  employee or part-time contractor understand what your plan and overall strategy  is? In many cases they may be the most direct links to your target market and  everything that is said by them on your behalf will have far reaching  implications for your brand and company.

If they are responding to a disgruntled customer or worse, an insane person  who is just trying to create trouble, do they know exactly what to do to diffuse  the situation? If the situation gets out of hand, at what point do you find out  and become involved? Do you have the means to take action and protect your brand  if matters get out of hand or you become the target of defamation?

The reach and potential of social media are great – so are the risks. While  it may seem harmless and fun on the surface, the capacity to do irreparable harm  to your brand is very real. Social media marketing  needs to be entered into with a very  clear plan. It’s not something that you should delegate freely or allow to run  unmanaged.

Start first by monitoring what is said about you and your brand online. There  are many free services online which can assist you to do this. Take some time to  investigate what your competitors and other well known brands are doing in this  space. Then, once you understand the key platforms and what you hope to gain on  each by participating, you can begin to create a community of followers with  confidence, control and safeguards.

 

4 solid strategies to stand out and attract more free media exposure

Media outlets constantly search for stories and people who will captivate the attention of their audiences. What this means for you and your organization is that today is the best time to reach out and earn your share of the millions in free publicity that is available every single day.

How do you impress the media and stick out in a sea of wannabes?

First and foremost, don’t waste their valuable time. Virtually, every media outlet is operating with fewer staff than they had last year. This means that they still have the same pressing deadlines and space to fill but they don’t have enough staff to do it.

If you want your pitch to stand out amongst the thousands that hit their inbox today – it has to be memorable, relevant and thorough.

Here are my TOP 4 Tips to guarantee you attract attention no matter what product or service you are selling.

1. Be Newsworthy.  You can never hope to “make the news” if you have no idea what is going on in the news.  The media is not interested in your product or service.  What they are interested in are celebrities, politicians, sports stars, scandals, natural disasters and other headline news.  If you want to be featured, you need to make what you do relevant in the context of what is happening today in the news. Tie what you do to someone or something that is newsworthy and you will become the go-to-expert for top shows, magazines and newspapers.

2. Tailor Your Story.  If you don’t read a particular publication or follow a show, chances are that it will be almost impossible for you to hit the target with the editor or producer. They get thousands of pitches every day – if it doesn’t fit squarely within what they do, they will simply toss it in the garbage. It is better to send out 2 custom pitches a day that are carefully crafted than 100 generic emails or faxes that are too broad to appeal to anyone.

3. Create your own news. The other day I got a call from a national news organization who read my pitch that 1/3 of the population suffers from insomnia. They immediately wanted to interview me. Now, insomnia has been around since the beginning of time. Why did it become a pressing national news story on Tuesday at 9am in Melbourne? 1/3 of the general population is a lot of people. If something affects a lot of people, it becomes newsworthy. The trick to garnering media attention is to take some aspect of what you do and make it tangible and real (as a problem) to the lives of many.

4. Follow the story and add to it.  If you watch carefully you will notice that the media tends to follow a hot story for an extended period of time. Take for example Claire Werbeloff, the chick-chick-boom girl, who became a Youtube sensation around the world for lying about  the events leading up to a Kings Cross murder. Even though she had no talent, connection to the crime or evidence, we were forced to endure more than 4 weeks of national coverage on her (not the crime).  She eventually went on to be featured in Ralph magazine and was offered work with Channel 9.  To emulate this you need to track the pulse of hot news stories and be on the lookout for opportunities to enhance the coverage by contributing insights and expert commentary. When it comes to breaking news, the media is on the look-out for related subjects which add to the story or new angles that are fresh and captivating.

Media outlets capture eyeballs with news and they are not in the business of selling your products or services. By following the news and becoming newsworthy, you will increase your chances exponentially of being picked up and featured.

The good news is that media outlets are constantly searching for stories and  people who will capture and captivate the attention of their audiences. What  this means for you and your organization is that right now (TODAY) is the best  time for you to reach out and earn some of the millions of dollars of free  publicity that is available every day.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3142180

PRRight now you are probably asking yourself “how does she know that?”.

I haven’t even seen any of your press releases… and that’s OK, I don’t need  to. I already know the answer. Trust me!

First of your press release is WAY too long…

Second, you don’t have any bullets in them. Media people have the attention spans of mosquitoes and you need to feed your story idea to them in a press release with 30 second sound bites.

Third, no one cares about your product, service, company or book. You need to  react to what is in the news today! You aren’t doing that, are you? How does  what you have to sell relate to the latest sports scandal, celebrity melt  down, internet scam or politician who has accepted a free flight on Qantas?   Does your press release fix a major problem that listeners/readers have today?

Fourth, no one is reading your press release because you are mailing or  faxing them out in bulk and not following up. You need to electronically send them out to several places (both local media and big online services like  prlog.com) and follow them up with an actual phone call.

Finally, make sure you turn your press release into an article and send them  out to Ezine release companies, post them on your blog, mention them on social media (Twitter, Facebook, G+, LinkedIn, Pinterest)  and include them in your Enewsletter blast to your database. Remember, you will  be lucky if you receive a response to your first press release. The key is to be  short, sharp, newsworthy, interesting and persistent. Relevancy, follow up and  persistence are the 3 keys to your success.

Stay tuned for my next installment where I am going to show you how to write a $10m Press Release!


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