Wednesday, January 17, 2018

10 pitching commandments for PR pros and startups

Launching a startup is tough.
Between getting your idea off the ground, generating clients and securing funding, you probably think you don’t have time for much else.
Think again.
For many founders, PR is just a blip on the radar, but good media coverage can help you reach your audiences, including customers and investors. Here’s how to proceed:
1. Be prepared. All your documents should be ready to share. Reporters can call at any moment, and when they ask you to jump, you should ask, “How high”? From doling out press kits and FAQ sheets to having the flexibility to reschedule lower-priority meetings, you should be ready.
2. Customize your pitches. Reporters know when they receive a canned pitch, even if it begins with their first name. Look at their Twitter feeds, read their recent stories, and personalize the content for them.
3. Formatting. Too often, spacing and formatting end up wonky, especially if you’re sending a pitch to someone using a different email program. Always clear the formatting for each email and reformat it. It’s the little things that can make or break your opportunities for coverage.
4. Make it a list; check it twice. Instead of spamming a media list that you curated in a program such as Cision or Vocus, check the contacts listed before you pitch them. Often these databases aren’t updated, and reporters have moved around or no longer cover a given beat.
5. Build relationships. Receiving any response from a reporter is great, even if it’s a pass. Be sure to respond and thank them, and ask what types of news they’re most interested in so you can tailor future pitches. You might consider offering them your news exclusively in the future or grabbing coffee with them so you can nurture the relationship.
6. Never mail-merge. Reporters can tell the difference between a tailored pitch and a template sent to them with their name and email address slapped on top. The tactic means your pitch will land in many journalists’ inboxes—and then probably go straight into the trash. Don’t do it.
7. Pick up the phone. This can depend on the reporter; often they’ll have instructions on their Twitter account or website asking people not to call them. This usually applies to tech reporters, but some writers—especially those at trade publications—don’t mind a phone call, and having a live conversation can help convert your pitch into coverage.
8. Wait 24 hours to follow up. It’s OK to follow up on pitches if you don’t receive a response, but wait at least a day. Think about everything that pops up in a workday. Think how annoying it would be if your bank sent you another email if you hadn’t responded to one from two hours earlier.
9. Twitter is a great resource. Reporters generally post when they’re moving to a new outlet, and it’s a great platform to follow what kinds of news they find interesting. Don’t be afraid to interact with them, and you can tweet @ them if you’re in need of a quick response.
10. Make it timely. If you can, tie your news to a timely hook, which can give a writer more incentive to cover it. Announcing a new feature for your platform? Show why it’s relevant for today’s political news. Rapid response—offering yourself as an expert commentator—is a great way to insert yourself into the news as well, as long as you act quickly.
We know PR can be the last thing on your mind when creditors are knocking and you’re pulling all-nighters, but if you don’t have time, hire a marketing/communications manager, a freelancer or a PR firm. They can do wonders.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

10 Marketing Tips and Tricks to Bring Your Business Up to Speed

Consider the Best Strategies for Instagram Growth

If you’re looking to use Instagram as a marketing platform for your business, you need a strategy. There are plenty of different ways you can go about growing your Instagram presence. And Lilach Bullock discussessome of them in a recent post on the DIY Marketers blog.

Evaluate the Authenticity of Marketing Services

Once your company has grown enough that you can’t handle everything yourself, you might consider hiring a marketing service. But how do you know which services are authentic and which ones aren’t? Jeremy Webb of offers some insights.

Grow Your Low Traffic Blog

You don’t need to start out with tons of blog traffic in order to use a blog to grow your business. In a recent Web Hosting Secrets Revealed post, Gina Badalaty shares an interview with tips for low traffic bloggers. And BizSugar members also comment on the post.

Don’t Put Everything Off Until Tomorrow

Procrastination can be a major problem for small business owners. If it’s something that you struggle with, check out the discussion in a recent Crowdspring post by Arielle Kimbarovsky, who shares six reasons why tomorrow can be your business’s worst enemy.

Learn How to Handle Social Media PR Disasters

Even though social media can be a great marketing asset, it can sometimes lead to PR problems for businesses too. When that happens, you need to know how to mitigate the damage. Ben Steele shares some tips in a recent Social Media HQ post.

Promote Your Brand More Creatively

If you want your brand to stand out from the competition, you have to get creative. In some cases, you can learn from larger brands that have unique marketing strategies. Susan Solovic offers an example that small businesses and marketers can learn from in a recent blog post.

Plan for These Google Changes and SEO Trends

SEO continues to evolve as Google makes adjustments to its algorithm. To stay ahead of the curve, you can see some predictions and insights in a recent Search Engine Land post by Pratik Dholakiya.

Avoid These Questionable SEO Techniques

In addition, there are some techniques that you would do well to just stay away from. Anil Agarwal of Bloggers Passion details some of those techniques in this post. You can also see commentary from the BizSugar community here.

Learn How to Set Up Facebook Groups for Pages

Facebook groups can be a great way for you to grow a community around your business. And chances are, you already have a Facebook page that you can use to get a jumpstart on growing that online community. In a recent Social Media Examiner post, Kristi Hines details the process for setting up a Facebook group for your page.

Use These Simple Hacks to Grow Your Digital Marketing Presence

Marketing your business online can seem overwhelming since there are so many options. But there are a few basics that you shouldn’t overlook. A recent SMB CEO post by Ivan Widjaya includes some simple hacks you can use to get started growing your digital presence.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

5 Tips for Avoiding Instagram Content that Kills Your Account

You’ve learned how to create killer instagram content to up your business - But how do you avoid creating content that kills your business? Avoid the following Instagram faux-pas to stay killer.

 1. Avoid Posting Irrelevant Content

 Posting irrelevant content will drive your followers away, decrease your engagement, and give your brand a bad name - Stick to content that is relevant to your brand.

 ProTip: Separate your personal account and business account with links to each in your bio.

2. Avoid Over-Posting 

As a business in 2017, it’s important to post content daily - But posting too often makes your account seem like spam.

 ProTip: Stick to posting content 1-6 times a day in a spread-out time frame.

3. Avoid Ghosting Your Followers 

Don’t be a ghost to your followers, show them that you are a real person by interacting regularly - Monitoring your likes, comments and direct messages helps boost your engagement and your followers. 

ProTip: Webstat monitors your Instagram comments, likes, and direct messages

4. Avoid Ghosting Influencers

 Reach out to influencers and reply when they reach out to you- Collaborating with other influencers is a great way to increase your reach on Instagram. 

ProTip: Use Ninja Outreach, an app that helps you find relevant Instagram influencers within your niche by typing in keywords. 

5. Avoid An Incomplete Profile 

Provide more than just your company name and contact information - Include a short bio, a link to your website, and a relevant profile picture.

ProTip: Link your other social media accounts in your bio and engage with your followers on more than one platform. 


Thursday, December 7, 2017

What to monitor on social media in 2018

t is almost 2018.
That means this is the season of predictions for the next year. What should we expect from social media in 2018?
Where are we headed next year with social media? What is hot or what is not on social media?

Based on usage, Filmora put together a list of trends that will help you plan for 2018.
The key social media trends for 2018 are the following:
1. Video
2. Live streaming
3. Short-lived content
4. Augmented reality
5. Artifical intelligence (AI) and chatbots
6. Generation Z (born during the years of 1995 to 2012)
8. Mobile-ready content
9. Messaging apps such as WhatsAppWeChat and SnapChat
What trends are you watching for 2018, PR Daily readers?
Check out this infographic by Filmora to learn more about the key social media trends that are expected to dominate 2018:

Matthew Royse is a digital marketing director of Forsythe Technology, a global IT firm in Chicago. A version of this article originally appeared on his blog, Knowledge Enthusiast.