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.

4 Undisputed Reasons Why Social Media is Essential to Growing a Business

Using social media for business growth is something I highly recommend. In this day and age of information technology, using social media has become a key factor of marketing brands and services. With the constant growth of Facebook (with over 1.4 billion users), these platforms are a definitive way to reach customers in a time and cost efficient manner.

In an instant, social media is just like a shopping mall or center. With your products and services on display at these stores (social media platforms), your product is more than likely to be visible and bought by a potential customer. Any brand who thinks social media is irrelevant to the growth of their brand is highly mistaken. Simply put, social media is required for business promotion. Here are five reasons it is important to utilize social media to promote your business:

  1. Brand Exposure:

If you are familiar with social media, you are aware that a brand can become popular through promotion on social sites. As your audience becomes familiar with your brand, you get more of an opportunity to connect with consumers and establish a reputation for your brand. Brand exposure is key to growing your business. Many consumers go online to research brands. My first go to when purchasing a service or product is to look at online content. I want to not only learn about the brand, but also look to see what their credentials are. Seeing that a company engages with their consumers is a big factor before I become a buying customer.

When social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram are very high in page ranks, customers are searching these brands/products via social media. This, therefore, will bring forth brand exposure.

  1. Building Relationships:

Building loyalty should be the overall goal for any brand. Producing content on social sites gives the brand an opportunity to connect with its audience. It also allows the brand to learn consumers’ wants and needs. This PR tactic is key to establishing your brands reputation.

Ashanti’s View PR highly recommends connecting with your consumers through social media. Their feedback through these platforms is a great way to learn how the consumer perceives your brand or product. It can also help you learn expectations. with this information you will learn how to cater to your audience. The end result is helping gain brand awareness online.

  1. Marketing:

We all know marketing plays a huge role in any business. Social media allows consumers to share your content with their friends/ followers and, guess what, it’s free! Investing in a social media manager is much so like investing in marketing/PR all in one. Your brand being present on social media is key to broadening your brand’s exposure and building new relationships with first time consumers.

  1. Understanding your competition:

So many brands are using social media platforms to their advantage. Creating your online presence will allow you to not only see what your competition is doing but also to get ahead of the game for those brands who do not utilize social media.

Reporter Turned PR Pro Shares 6 Secrets to Getting Media Coverage

Anyone who has ever worked in public relations knows it’s a career filled with peaks and valleys. One day you are getting clients the media interview of their dreams; the next day, they are blaming you for everything that is wrong with their business (or lack thereof).

It’s the peaks that get PR pros through the rough times, but sometimes getting to the top is almost as tough as climbing Mount Everest. Obtaining that much-sought-after interview from a news organization for a client rarely comes in the form of one-call-does-it-all.

As a former journalist turned public relations professional, I have witnessed the ever-changing landscape. Back in the days before budget cuts, layoffs and the ever-increasing demands placed on reporters, many (myself included) had the time to take your call, grab a cup of coffee or even sit down with a client just for a meet-and-greet with no particular pitch in mind.

But times have changed, and most reporters today will tell you they are overworked and overwhelmed. If they are print reporters, there’s a good chance they not only have to write for the print product but also for a digital product. Some also must provide content for videos to go along with their print and digital stories. And don’t even get them started on the fact that they must provide content for social media — Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Periscope — the list seems endless.

Radio and television reporters are under even more stringent deadlines, often turning around stories with a clock ticking down to air time.

Even for the most seasoned public-relations professional, landing that dream story usually doesn’t happen overnight.

However, there are some things you can do to increase your chances:

1. Be succinct and relatable: If you’re going to use the old tried-and-true press release, make sure you have an eye-catching headline. The last thing you want reporters to do is click “delete” before they even open it. Avoid industry jargon in your headline; instead, find a way to make it relatable. Do as much homework and provide as much background information within the release as possible to make the reporter’s job easier.

Read more here: The Miami Herald

4 Reasons Why Snapchat May Be Right for Your Organization

Just because Snapchat has more than 100 million daily active users, 65% of whom contribute content (according to Snapchat), doesn’t mean most organizations should launch on the platform. Snapchat is assumed to be the social media platform of choice for high school and college students, and that disqualifies it for serious consideration by organizations dealing mainly with older demographic groups. Or does it?

At PR News conferences, no topic gets more questions than Snapchat. Among the common questions:

  • How can small businesses make use of Snapchat?
  • How can convention and visitors bureaus use Snapchat?
  • How do you measure Snapchat’s effectiveness?
  • How do you monitor activity on Snapchat?
  • Is Snapchat just a passing fad?

These questions are rooted in the fear of missing out on connecting with an organization’s next wave of customers, donors, students or members. More communicators will be hoping to launch on the platform as time goes on and as fear gives way to certitude, but they will likely meet with internal resistance.

Kelly Bennett, manager of social media and marketing strategy at Miami University, says that before taking the plunge with a platform like Snapchat, it’s important to have a plan in place in order to win internal approval.

Bennett, who will be co-leading a session about Snapchat at PR News’ Feb. 25 Visual Storytelling Boot Camp in Huntington Beach, Calif., offers four reasons why your organization should launch on Snapchat. Feel free to repackage these four reasons as you build your case internally.

Find the four reasons at PR News.

3 Reasons Public Relations Can Help Turn Your Business Around

To understand the important role PR plays within the mix of your marketing efforts, you should learn how effective an image can be for your consumers, their prized product(s) or their favorite services.

General impressions and reputations have an influential power over people, so you should take measures to preserve your business’ image.

It affects the bottom-line…

Millions of dollars are spent for PR labor and intervention yearly, so the work by many professional publicists is truly proactive for your marketing results.

These professionals separate your efforts from larger brands if you don’t have an agent of your own. This means your brand can be left in the dust and forgotten. No business owner wants that to happen, nor can they afford it.

Agents act as mediators who manage relationships between a person or organization and a public body.

When those PR specialists complete these tasks, there should be no further concern about how public sentiment affects your brand. People will know your company positively, will have access to it, and will receive an invitation to purchase or join its agenda.

You will simply need the right personnel to start directing your company into the social role it must play in the minds of your consumer.

Read the rest of the article at Everything PR.