How to Pitch The Media & Win Over Influencers on A Very Tight Budget

Beauty pr, Brand Awareness, collaborations, digital content strategy, How to Do Your Own PR, Influencer marketing, Marketing Technology, media relations, Owned Media, press liaison, Public Relations, Uncatergorized

Every day I speak with business owners from around the world. Personal trainers, nutritionists, physicians, cosmetic formulators, fashion designers, spa owners, hair stylists, pharmaceutical companies and so on.  I really specialize in anything that makes us look and feel good.  New exercise classes, superfood snacks, wearable tech, athletic wear, healthy food services, a breakthrough drug, beautiful apparel, etc.

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It’s a part of what I do each day and I learn so much about the real pain points that entrepreneurs face as they try to expand their business and build brand awareness.

Every so often I will post real questions from brave bosses and start-up founders hustling to create their dream businesses.  Everybody seems to have similar problems and questions, even though they are in different industries. They’re all trying to figure out this marketing game.

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I am a business marketing consultant trying to help them. Sometimes I consult and sometimes I build strategies to help organize entrepreneurs so there not marketing by the seat of their pants.   I meet all these brave souls on sites like Upwork, LinkedIn Profinder, YouTube, Angel.co, Clarity.fm, etc.

I love working with startups and passionate people in general. It just makes the day better. They are working on the coolest things.  What kinds of things? Apps to help us stick to our diet when we eat out; evidence-based reviews of alternative therapies like acupuncture and cryotherapy; a new health and wellness club that incorporates the newest in tech like DNA testing; a seasonless line of women’s wear with styles that enhance what you already have in your closet; a better bone broth; a way to help people allocated their paycheck and a path to financial wellness, and so forth.

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One particular entrepreneur/blogger was looking to pitch journalists about her new website.   She is obsessed with how technology is helping women stay healthier and live longer.

She sent the link to her new website and had placeholders for blog posts and zero social media content, but she wanted to build a plan to pitch the media and collaborate with influencers to build her network.

Her questions –

1) Can I use the same pitch for lifestyle and health (journalists)?

Short answer, no. Best practices include tailoring the pitch to each individual writer and website/program. General pitching is rarely picked up unless it is a very timely news story. Pitching should be thoughtful. You’re developing relationships with these writers and you won’t be off on the right foot if you start with “here’s my story, now please write it.”

2) Which news categories should I target?

Health + tech. I’d start with those two categories. It helps if you do a Google news search to see who is hot on your topic. Just search in Google News and read the first ten most recent articles. Recent is important. In this ever-changing, fast-paced world, yesterday’s news is long gone. Then start a simple excel sheet and dig for the email address of the writers who are covering your topics. This will be the beginning of your media list.

3) Best channels (online platforms) to approach media for the site?

Email and Twitter. However, you need to start a relationship first. For example, you don’t just DM on Twitter. Retweet some of their stories, comment and like.  Don’t just start pitching, it looks like stalking.

4) Other ideas you can provide to accelerate traction (brand awareness) on a tight budget?

Write or film amazing blog content and be the publisher of all things health + tech. That’s what you should be doing in the first place. Media attention and collaborations come naturally from producing excellent work built on honesty and integrity that gets shared.

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Madeline Johnson

Ten Useful Tips for Writing Compelling Stories

Owned Media, press release writing, Star Powered PR, Storytelling, Uncatergorized
Madeline Johnson

Ten Useful Tips for Writing Compelling Stories

Clear story-telling and language is at the heart of good journalism. Want help telling your brand’s stories? Whether you’re sharing a new blog post, writing an article or crafting a simple tweet; following journalist style guides can make all the difference in engagement and entertainment.

Here are a few useful tips to get you started.

1. Start with a strong lead paragraph and finish with a compelling close.

2. Remember to answer the questions Who? What? Where? When?Why –  should the reader even care?

3. Write in the third-person – news style for briefs and most articles (remember – them, they, those, etc.)

4. Avoid the less formal second-person ‘you’.

5. Use a clear, logical order when writing.

6. Use action verbs and try to avoid the past tense.

7. Use plain language and briefly define technical terms. No industry jargon.

8. Do not describe your story as good, bad or shocking. Let the reader/viewer decide.

9. Include brief anecdotes or case studies to illustrate key points.

10. Add credibility by adding important studies, statistics and updates on trends.

Stuck on grammar? AP offers Lingofy by Tansa Systems which will check your writing

National Geographic offers tips at http://abt.cm/PN0Rng

Need helping writing and sharing your stories?  Feel free to contact us today.

News Junkies Unite

industry news, Marketing Trends, Owned Media, Paid Media, Uncatergorized

From a PR/press liaison viewpoint we’re hyped about Next Issue, an app that makes reading magazines affordable, convenient and environmentally intelligent. Next Issue launches with a flat fee subscription to magazines like Elle, Esquire, The New Yorker, GQ and Glamour. The ideal app for news junkies brought to you through a collaboration by leading publishers like Meredith, Condé Nast, News Corp, Time, Inc. and Hearst.

Unlimited plans, similar to Netflix, start at $9.99 per month. http://www.nextissue.com/storefront/

Building Influential Relationships with Earned Media

Earned Media, Owned Media, Uncatergorized

One of our daily marketing rituals includes beginning everyday by building new organic relationships with earned online media, one writer at a time, while nurturing existing connections.  We know this is all about people.  We set a goal, depending on the day, with a precise number of writers to network with. The benefits of our efforts build influence for our team and our clients.

Earned media is precisely that – earned. It takes respect, trust and transparency to develop solid relationships with writers and bloggers, and trust is never built over night.

So where do we begin?

  • We start by researching the blogs in our client’s niche markets.
  • Then we target those that we would like to develop a relationship with for your company.
  • You’ll then find us reading the last three to five posts and an older post or two, to try to understand each writer’s unique point of view.
  • We always take in their bio (if they choose to have one) to get to know a bit more about them.
  • Then we take a look at who is advertising on their site (if they permit it). Are our client’s competitors there?
  • Just a bit of light stalking to check out their Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter accounts. Our goal? To find out who’s following them and if there is true engagement happening. Can we review any recent conversations? Does the writer speak with conviction and passion? Do they hold a leadership position within the community?

Of course, we make attempts to understand their influence.

  • And we never forget to store their name and email in a protected database with a link to their site (for future contact).
  • Staying organized is key, so we bookmark their pages for easy access too.
  • And once we feel 100% confident and comfortable that they should be on our target list of key relationships, we zoom in.

We create a brief introduction paragraph. Two lines at most, introducing ourselves on behalf of our clients and the reason for reaching out. Fearless, we know it’s okay to be straightforward. No one has the time to waste beating around the bush.

Our homework done, we are already armed with the content they need to write a story and that’s if they are interested and ask for it.  Short and sweet facts about your new product/service and high and low res photos are just perfect. After all, we want them to incorporate their unique POV into our brand. Sometimes we will try to inspire them with a crafted idea for them, but more often we develop the relationship by letting them come up with the creative angle.

  • If it’s a product we want them to try and review, we ask our clients to set aside enough needed to send  one to each writer.
  • If you have the budget, we also create a video of your product/service in use.
And when we’ve met our connection goals for the day, we begin the real tenacious work of follow up for shared content that amplifies and strengthens your message.