7 Ways to Manage the Press Release Approval Process

Press releases remain an important tool for communicators, which means the stress of managing edits from senior leaders and clients is not going away anytime soon.

Here are some tips from Elizabeth Hillman, SVP, communications for Discovery Education, and Dan Ronan, senior director of communications for the American Bus Association, on managing this sometimes fraught process.

1. Clarify your deadlines and communicate those deadlines to all parties. If a release has a scheduled day to go out, make sure you can get it approved long before then, 24 to 48 hours in advance. If you’re responsible for writing the press release, the deadline for publishing it is going to mean a lot more to you than to anyone else involved in the approval process. Do not be shy about insisting on deadlines for feedback from senior leaders. If deadlines are missed, fingers will be pointed at you regardless of the true cause of the delay.

2. Know ahead of time how many people need to approve the press release. Anticipate delays. Not everyone likes to write first drafts of anything, but almost everyone loves to chime in after the fact and second-guess someone else’s work. It’s possible that more people will insert themselves into the approval process at the last minute.

Read more at PR News.

Top 5 Social Media Platforms for Small Businesses

Okay. So, we’ll keep this one pretty straightforward. If you are a small business with any hopes of staying afloat, much less growing, there are five social media must haves you need to start using right away. While there are a plethera of social media outlets, these five get you in the game and keep you there for the long haul. Enjoy!

  1. LinkedIn

Many people aren’t aware that LinkedIn is one of the older social networks. Today, LinkedIn is the top network for business professionals with a total of 414 million users. This social site is the perfect place to network with business people in your field; it is basically an online resume. Keeping your profile up to date and posting good content is key to gaining exposure. Doing these things will help your brand exponentially.

  1. Facebook

With nearly 1.4 billion users, Facebook is continuing to grow day by day. Not only is Facebook the most used social network, it also connects different cultures in real time, which is a great platform for any brand. This platform is a must have for any brand, service, product or company. Yes, I said a must. Facebook has many features that will allow your brand to get the ultimate exposure. Using the promoted post options allow your brand to be seen by thousands of people many of whom may well become consumers. If your company does not have a Facebook business page, you should create one as soon as possible.

  1. Instagram

Within the past few years Instagram has become one of the most dominant social sites. This social site is great for visuals and hash tags. This tool is also great for driving traffic to your Facebook and Twitter accounts as you can post to Instagram and also these two social sites. Posting at least one to two times daily is key to keeping your followers engaged. Posting more than this may result in a loss of engagement.

  1. Pinterest

Pinterest is great for increasing traffic to your website. It is not just for the crafty people and stay at home moms. In fact, many companies and brands reach their consumers and also potential affiliates through this platform. The best part about Pinterest is that you can post more frequently than other social sites.

  1. Twitter

According to a study, Twitter is more addictive than cigarettes or alcohol, making it easier for a brand to reach a larger audience. This platform is vital to social engagement for any brand. It’s also a great platform to meet people you want to know.

There you have it. So, whether you start them all at once, or you saddle up one at a time, strap on your social media handles and get growing!

5 Successful Ways to Increase Your Social Media Presence

These days, social media is a vital key to the success of all companies, brands, public figures and organizations. In fact, it has taken the regular world and now the business world by storm.

Resonating with your audience builds brand awareness, customer loyalty and revenue increase. Writing for social media plays a vital role in this success.

Show us what your brand is all about.

Many brands have figured out that writing for social media does not compare to writing for any other content channel. Your jargon must resonate with an audience that is resistant savvy to marketing and PR content.

As communicators, our job is to write engaging content which allows you to grow your audience. For some, this task may be tricky, which is why companies, brands or organizations hire Public Relations and Marketing Specialists like me to increase their social presence.

There are quite a few rules to adhere to in order to meet the goal of brand awareness.

Borrow content

Many may think their online presence needs to be all about their brand. This is a no-no. Every post does not need to be about your brand or service. Posting content that is similar to your message or that you like is highly recommended.

Engaging with other brands and individuals is key to increasing your presence. In the world of PR, building relationships is key to success. So, comment on other posts, share thoughts about trending topics, and re-share content.

Be unique and diverse

All brands should want to stand out from the crowd. Being creative with your content strategy is a guaranteed way to help your brand gain exposure. Avoid the same old boring marketing and traditional PR techniques.

For example, these days there are many hair boutique owners. Businesswomen like Ming Lee (owner of Snoblife), has made her brand stand out via social media, with 30-second commercials and videos.

The visuals are highly likely to turn that viewer into a customer because the content is eye catching and engaging. Check out Snoblife videos here (click on snoblife).

Match your message with your platform

Every brand must construct content that makes sense for the social platform. If you’re making a post on Instagram, use this platform for what is was created for, visuals.

Show us what your brand is all about. Create a PR strategy that not only gets visual insight, but allows consumers to become familiar with your brand. It will not make sense to post too much text content because it is simply not the social norm for this platform.

Increase engagement

Visuals increase engagement. If you did not know this, now you know. Pictures, video’s and memes go a long way in the social arena. Posting this type of content is entertaining, and entertainment breeds engagement. Engagement results in sales. Eventually, increased sales results in profit.

Consistently produce relevant content 

Nothing is worse than posting content that is not relevant or timely. Using content that is current will definitely increase your brands social engagement.

By utilizing these 5 strategies, you will improve your social media presence, and ultimately, your bottom line.

How to Not Visually Scream ‘Marketing!’ on Instagram

Instagram is so big now that not being involved should qualify as PR malpractice. It’s time to get posting in earnest, but before you do, recognize that Instagram is a unique platform that calls for unique content.

We tapped Kira Clayborne (manager, digital marketing & media at Church’s Chicken) to speak in a session called “Visualize Your Organization’s Mission and Messages with Instagram” at the upcoming PR News Visual Storytelling Boot Camp in Huntington Beach, CA. Below, she shares some of the guiding principles that will inform her talk in the form of five steps for starting out:

  1. Know your demographic on Instagram, taking every variable into account (age, gender, race, interests, etc.). This necessitates being aware of who you are and what your brand stands for, as well. Church’s Chicken, as a brand that sells lots of family meals, focuses a lot on moms, and often seeks to imagine as its target a 27–39-year-old woman who has a lot to do and not a lot of time. Get inside your target’s head and think about the purchase journey. When are they thinking about your brand? What kind of Instagram interaction will be meaningful?

Read the rest of the article at PR News.