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Entries Tagged as 'Media'

Media coverage is not a given

January 16th, 2014 · Media

NewspaperRoll_optI have the opportunity to review many business plans and one thing that always causes me some concern is that every business owner believes that they can generate a significant amount of marketing exposure by getting media coverage.

They pepper it throughout their plan because to them, it feels free and easy to get.

I  hate to tell you, but media coverage is not a given.

My concern comes from how unrealistic business owners, non profit directors and business leaders are about the type and amount of media coverage they’re going to be able to garner.

Here’s the reality check most need:

  • Most of what is newsworthy to you, is not newsworthy to the rest of the world.
  • Most reporters/editors are bombarded with news releases – yours has to stand out to even catch their attention.
  • Blinding sending your release to everyone is a sure to annoy most of them and reduce the likelihood of receiving any coverage.
  • Good manners go a long way.

Let’s dig into each of those reality checks to see if we can identity some best practices that will increase your chances of getting the coverage you want.

It has to actually be newsworthy: Earning media coverage can be daunting. Journalists have a finite amount of space/time and they have to decide which stories are going to be of value to their audience.

As you consider pitching a story, ask yourself – how would the reporter sell this story to his editor? What benefit or value would the reporter’s audience get? What could make this story so compelling that someone would share it with someone else who hadn’t seen the news coverage?

If these questions have you stumped, odds are the story isn’t newsworthy and you shouldn’t risk damaging your credibility by pitching it.

You have 3 seconds to peak their interest: Reporters and editors get buried in pitch phone calls, emails, faxes and snail mail releases. They can’t possibly read all of them thoroughly. They’re going to read the headline and scan the release, so you need to write it with that in mind.

Your headline will make or break you. If it doesn’t grab the editor’s attention, you’re headed for the “thanks but no” pile in a hurry. Make sure your headline makes them want to read more and tells them exactly why this is something their audience needs to know about.

Don’t let your laziness or ignorance cost you coverage: Because of my blog, I get pitches from PR pros and business owners every day. I’m often embarrassed by their efforts. They clearly got my contact information from some list – but have no idea what I write about.

Before you hit send be sure you’re sending it to the right reporter and the right publication. Take the time to review the last few issues/shows and get to know the kind of content they routinely cover. Don’t embarrass yourself or irritate the reporter by waving your laziness under their nose.

Say please and thank you: Never forget the importance of having decent manners. Be helpful, be available and be grateful if they tell your story.

More important than just simple good manners – don’t be a pain. Don’t call them incessantly to see if they got your release or if they’re going to use it. Don’t get ticked when they tell you “thanks but not this time” or it will be the last time. And if you really want to earn their appreciation and trust – you might give them a story or two that don’t involve you or your clients.

Earning media coverage takes some time, some preparation and some forethought. But most of all – it requires you take an objective look at your “news” and only pitch it when it’s worth pitching.

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Direct mail is the hot new media

November 15th, 2013 · Media, Trends

Direct mail is the hot new mediaWho would have thought it?  People have been predicting the death of direct mail for over a decade.  And yet, here we stand in 2013 and have to admit — direct mail is the hot new media.

As everyone flocks to spending more time online, a curious thing happened  Our mailboxes got a lot less crowded.  Which means that we pay more attention to what shows up every day in the mail.

Which doesn’t mean you don’t still have to do it well.  Many people sort their mail over the wastebasket and if you don’t catch their attention in those few nanoseconds, all could still be lost.

Here are some of our favorite ways to make sure McLellan Marketing Group‘s clients get noteworthy results from their direct mail efforts.

Be odd:  Odd sized mail is always noticed.  Or use a translucent envelope with a bright colored piece of paper inside.  Think texture too — maybe the envelope feels interesting or different.  The point is to get noticed before they even open up the piece.

Be lumpy: Want to get opened for sure?  Be 3-dimentional.  Lumpy mail gets opened because no one wants to accidentally throw away something of value. And better yet — no admin or secretary is going to open a package addressed to their boss.  So you can dodge the gatekeeper with a bit of bulk.

Be late:  The focus has shifted from drop date to in-home date. Studies have shown time and time again that the end of the week to be most effective for delivery. This is based on the tested and proven theory that many people spend time on the weekend going through mail that was put aside to look at again. Having the mail piece arrive closer to the weekend puts your mail on top of the pile.

Take advantage of the fact that direct mail is the hot new media — start showing up in your customers’ and prospects’ mailboxes but do it smart.  Be odd, lumpy and late and you’ll get opened every time!

 

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Hey media rep… do it like this (please)

February 19th, 2013 · Media, Sales · 7 Comments

I totally get that you are trying to make a living and that someone at your radio station, newspaper, TV station, magazine etc. says that my client should be advertising with you.  And maybe they should. And I know you’re just trying to do your job.  But you need to understand that sometimes you trying [Read more...]

Bring your marketing to life

February 1st, 2013 · Marketing, Media, Strategy · No Comments

For the past decade, we’ve been talking about experiential marketing. It’s not enough to create an awareness of your product — you need to, when you can, connect with your consumers (B2B or B2C) in as tangible and memorable a way as possible. So it shouldn’t really surprise us that TV spots are literally living [Read more...]

The new phone book is here — where’s yours?

January 17th, 2013 · Marketing, Media · 9 Comments

Normally at MMG, we caution clients to be careful of the “I don’t listen/watch/do therefore neither does my target audience” trap. We usually do not represent our target audience and even if we are like them — there are plenty of exceptions to the rule.  And sometimes the exception is you! But in this case [Read more...]

Video can make a prospect’s concerns go away

October 8th, 2012 · Media, Psychology, Sales, Uncategorized · 5 Comments

Video is a very useful medium that most companies underuse. But when they are used…they’re typically used to sell or teach.  All of that is well and good. But I think you might be missing the boat on an opportunity to make your prospects concerns go away. I’m in Arizona for 10 days — a [Read more...]

The magic is in the media mix

September 18th, 2012 · Media, Strategy · 5 Comments

The other day I got a direct mail solicitation from Google.  Yes, that Google. It was a good reminder me (and now to you too) that none of us can afford to get lazy when it comes to media mix. If the King of Online recognizes the power of a printed piece, then we should [Read more...]

Email open and click rates – are they rising?

September 11th, 2012 · Media, Trends · 8 Comments

(download full-sized infographic made by B2BMarketing.net) Interestingly, the answer is yes.  And no.  According to a recent study done by Experian Cheetahmail (download the white paper) shows that open rates are up but click rates are down a little bit in the 2nd quarter of 2012. (As you can see by the infographic above, different studies [Read more...]

Funny doesn’t sell well

July 25th, 2012 · Media, Sales, Strategy · 3 Comments

Apparently, other people were pondering the same question I was last week when I asserted that advertising can’t just be funny. Now — a recent study is showing that funny doesn’t really sell well. One in five TV ads are funny, and Super Bowl ads are three times funnier than the rest. But none of this [Read more...]

Advertising can’t just be funny

July 16th, 2012 · Innovation & Creativity, Media, Storytelling, Strategy · 13 Comments

Don’t get me wrong.  I like funny.  Most of my favorite movies are funny.  The TV shows I watch — usually funny.  And I appreciate a funny ad. But…it still has to sell something.  That’s the ad’s reason for existence.  No company runs a TV commercial just to entertain the viewers. So when I see [Read more...]