- Member Type(s): Communications Professional
- Title:Vice President
- Organization:InkHouse Media & Marketing
- Area of Expertise:public relations
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 11:24 AM
I’ve been working in PR for over two decades and, even to this day, nothing makes me happier than when I land a great piece of media coverage for a client. To me, this joyful moment happens when three elements come together in unison: a great pitch, a solid relationship with a reporter, and the right timing.
Once upon a time, great media relationships were built over lunches, press conferences, phone calls and in-person media tours. But times have changed and so has PR. Today, while phone calls still matter a great deal, in-person meetings are rare. The good news is that we now have Twitter and it’s a huge and, I think, untapped, asset for building relationships with reporters.
There are, in my opinion, four major ways PR professionals should be taking advantage of Twitter to help create media coverage opportunities:
1. Reporters are people too. They hang out on Twitter, tweeting about sports, music, where they are heading for the weekend, their kids/cats/neighbors/in-laws, movies and so on. So converse with them, just like you would anyone else on Twitter. All work and no play is dull. Get in there with some chitchat about common interests, opinions, the weather, the Red Sox, whatever. Have a dialog. Relate to each other. Make a connection. Be funny, engaging, useful and authentic, but not overly sycophantic.
2. Understand how your target reporters are using Twitter. For example, USA Today’s Jon Swartz (@jswartz) told me: “I use Twitter as a tip sheet/news wire service, and as a way to find sources I haven’t met.”
To read this post in full, please visit www.inkhouse.net/tweeting-your-way-to-me...
Wednesday, December 19, 2012, 12:48 PM
I love words. I’ve always been strangely attracted to them. I studied literature and foreign languages, semantics and etymology, drama and media, fascinated by the roots, meanings, power and influence of the spoken and written word. Fast-forward a couple of decades and words are at the very core of my profession in PR. Just as it is for fellow PR and marketing executives, bloggers and journalists, words are the currency of our careers.
One of my pet peeves is laziness in writing: when people select an easy word instead of searching for a more potent, concise or elegant choice. At the same time, I’m also a fan of plain language, saying something as it really is rather than forcing words into impersonal or clumsy corporate speak. After all, we’re just humans talking to humans, right? On that point, can we all promise to try a little harder next year—please?
After consulting with several reporters, friends in PR and Twitter followers, as well as reading the contributions to this recent WBUR Here and Now segment, the following are InkHouse’s words for the chopping block for 2013. It is worth noting that there are some repeat offenders that were on the list of words to retire in 2012—especially words commonly used in press releases. Why did we choose these words? Well, because they are unimaginative or impersonal, or overused and clichéd.
To read InkHouse's full post - and more words we'd like to retire - please go to: www.inkhouse.net/words-to-retire-in-2013...
Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 10:15 PM
You may be a media maven or a social superstar, an astute strategist or a canny writer, but in the PR agency world, this means little if the client ain’t happy.
I’ve been a PR consultant as well as a client so I’ve seen both sides of the fence. I know what it’s like to operate on the outside, trying to read the tea leaves to figure out what’s going on in my client’s world. And as an in-house PR manager, I’ve also experienced the frustration of my inherited PR agency not completely being on the same page as me (I corrected that quickly).
Walking in your client’s—or your prospect’s shoes—is an essential skill for any PR practitioner. It’s not something you can learn in a book. It’s a state of mind, a commitment.
It’s up to each of us to invest time every day to nurture our client and prospect relationships—to understand their universes, challenges and goals—so that we can contribute to their success. In March, Beth wrote that good PR is the careful balance of confidence and empathy, and I believe this applies to client service too.
There are many ways to make your client love you (and, quite frankly, vice versa). These are my cardinal rules:
- Be yourself: Be friendly, accessible and likeable (much like Jackie O?) Don’t just get down to business. Take a moment to ask your client how his or her weekend was. And don’t hide behind email; pick up the phone. Let your client hear your voice and get to know you.
- Be sensitive: Understand your client’s schedule. Be empathetic to potential corporate politics and how they may impact your client’s role… and mood.
To read the full post, please visit: www.inkhouse.net/putting-yourself-in-the...
Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 3:35 PM
Last year’s post about 10 words to retire in 2011 spurred so much debate among us PR folks that we felt compelled to update it with a throng of words that we firmly believe need a permanent “timeout” or a creative refresh in 2012.
Fellow communicators – we are wordsmiths at our core, so consider this a call to arms!
Let’s take some lessons and inspiration from the literary world to come up with better and more descriptive words. Unexpected, creative and imaginative words – and let’s not forget muscular verbs – will help our press releases, pitches, tweets and other content cut through the morass of bland, jargon-filled marketing content. Our prose needs to get the attention it – and our clients – deserve. After all, we want to write content that people will readand share.
Some of this year’s candidate words are still too corporate and vacuous. Many are overused, abused and lack substance, and some were hip in 2011 but have run their course. Without further ado, here’s our list.
- Excited/thrilled/delighted (should be stricken from all press release quotes – please)
- Web 2.0
- Just sayin’
- LOL, FML, OMG, Gr8
To read the full post - and add your suggestions of words you think need retiring, visit: www.inkhouse.net/words-to-retire-in-2012...
You can also tweet them using the hashtag #wordsweshouldretire
Thursday, November 10, 2011, 2:14 PM
This Brit is shocked and disturbed by recent stories in The Guardian and Mashable about how the British favo(u)r shutting down Facebook, Twitter and Blackberry in cases of social unrest, according to a recent survey. Apparently, 70 percent of British adults would support this!
As I wrote this summer, social networks were not to blame for the London riots and I’m sad that my fellow Brits do not appear to be on the same page. Now, I’m not one to get political but, to me, social media epitomizes the very essence of free speech and democracy. Social media empowers us with a voice and a conversation. The majority respects the opportunity that social media presents; inevitably a minority will abuse it.
To me, muzzling social networks during times of unrest is tantamount to censorship, pure and simple. Do you agree?
You can find my full post at: www.inkhouse.net/muzzling-social-media-d...