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29 July 2014 15:54
New media has enhanced print journalists’ ability to find hot topics, breaking news and trends faster than ever before. This means PRs have to work even harder to make sure their content is readily available in real time, both on and offline.
Public Relations continues to be a sophisticated process which requires the right information to be in front of the right audience at the right time. As any PR knows, if one of these requirements isn’t met, the whole campaign could fail. Media relations is the key to ensure the success of any media campaign, so we’ve shared our top tips to become a media relations champ (below).
11 July 2014 17:09
In 2014, press and broadcast media has stirred speculation about the safety for UK tourists in Brazil. As the worldcup draws to a close, we take a look back on Twitter to investigate whether the negative media hype has had an effect on Brazil’s reputation as a country.
27 June 2014 9:38
Are you aware that journalists receive hundreds of press releases each day… and almost none are opened? In some cases, journalists are tricky and use another email address to filter junk and unsolicited news, but the truth is that often the content is not targeted and seems like “spam”.
We have all already heard or read somewhere that “The press release is dead”. In today’s social media world, and with new technologies available to communicators, many companies seem to have given up on the old-fashioned press-release model for more interactive ways to spread the news like blogs, Twitter feeds or social newsrooms. Sometimes they don’t even need to rely on journalists to tell their story, because they have lots of channels they can use to share stories directly with their target audience.
The bottom line is that you need to think of the press release as part of your overall PR strategy. Then, it can be a great and valuable addition to what you’re already doing for your PR. Having hard facts, quotes or accurate data around your news or product in the form of a press release makes it easy for journalists and bloggers to get all the details they need in one place. The fact is that press release will never really die as long as journalistic media exist.
Having said this, how to get your news seen? Here are a few ideas for attention-grabbing and effective press releases…
Headlines matter. Take time to choose a good title. You must make sure to offer something unique, relevant and newsworthy. It’s not about how great you think your company or product is, but how you can help your audiences by delivering some insightful information. Also, your press release really needs to be different from any other way of spreading your messages in order to be picked up by the news media: it should be short and appealing, but should also provide all of the details needed.
Use your brand’s expertise without being sales driven: instead of using generic quotations such as “We are very pleased to announce…”, let the experts have a voice. Have them tell what this means for your business and for your customers. We all know that there is nothing like hearing it from the expert’s mouth. They have a depth of knowledge that will make journalists and influencers listen. So, organise “in person” interviews, capture their “own” words, tone and point of view, have something memorable to say, and keep it short.
Journalists are spending more and more time on social media. So, don’t forget to share all your press releases on social networks. Not only that, but this creates more places for people to be introduced to your brand and for social influencers to spread the word. First, make sure your social post title is extremely interesting. Then, break up your press release so that the full message isn’t revealed instantly, to entice network users to click to read more.
It also needs to be available on social media in the formats your audience loves: use images on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram, have a video format for Vine… Journalists and bloggers can also be influenced by the comments your audience is making and how they react.
If you have collected email addresses of bloggers, journalists and news agencies, don’t mass distribute: as a result, you could just be blacklisted forever… If you really want to get attention for your press release, you’d better to be creative!
Surprise them with original PR campaigns that can make your brand, business or event newsworthy. For example, CAA/Edelman just won Cannes Lions PR Grand Prix for a Chipotle’s campaign thanks to an unbranded short-form film, successful gamification and a pretty dedicated website  that preceded the press release. But don’t go too far as Ubisoft a few days ago…! ☺
Your reputation is on the line. Media outlets are asking for details. There’s nothing worse than a PR team that is absent and not responding to a crisis. Whatever the emergency, the only way to react on time is to be prepared: you should update media contact lists regularly; identify subject-matter experts willing to collaborate; prepare question-and-answer sheets and other supplementary materials for potential scenarios.
Also, don’t miss the newest trend in press release distribution: newsjacking! Write an attention grabbing news release that strongly references a breaking news story. The best results come when you put it in front of the media fast…
Build your journalist or blogger relationships before you need them. Take time to know their recent coverage and understand their niche before getting in touch. You need to show interest in the people you contact. Keep in mind their needs, their audience, and how you could support them in preparing their articles. A best-practice is to provide the html code for an image or a video, so that the blogger or journalist can easily publish them. You should also send plain text releases so that they can easily copy and paste. It depends on the media outlet and on the person entirely.
24 June 2014 13:31
The Pimms is poured, the strawberries served and the gates of Wimbledon are open! It’s tennis time everybody. In 24 hours, already the excitement is buzzing from the courts, we’ve found out the most talked about topics and have summed them up in our infographic. Check it out below!
18 June 2014 18:47
When it comes to communication professionals, Twitter is clearly ahead of the social networking industry. Its ability to facilitate networking with other users whilst publishing stories as they happen is second to none. On Twitter we can distribute news in seconds, and pick up relevant content in real-time.
The success of Twitter is no wonder when we consider that its CEO, Dick Costolo, also established a leading RSS feed manager called Feedburner, which was bought by Google. Using this expertise, Twitter is able to fine-tune its algorithm to tailor news according to its relevance and inform users of Tweets with a higher-than-average reach.
Twitter breaks barriers down between people, it allows for quick reactions, it gives power to PRs and fuels journalism. We’ve outlined the top 5 reasons that Twitter has become a staple communication tool for professionals – see our thoughts below…
03 June 2014 11:26
In the UK chapter of the European elections, it seems there are two types of votes: the physical elections (the one that actually counts!) where residents vote in our European government policies, and the social elections, where those interested in politics publicly gloat about their preferred political parties.
Some might imagine that results of the two votes would be the same, but having monitored Twitter troughout the elections, we’we found that what people say their beliefs are sometimes point to a different conclusion than the actual 2014 European Election results. Read on to find out know…
28 May 2014 16:54
In our data-driven age it’s a real challenge to show the true business value of public relations – that’s a given. While some PR specialists are still using controversial metrics, like Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE), others rely solely on metric counts: likes, tweets or followers without measuring true engagement and outcomes (take social share, website conversion or increase in sales for example). To top it all off, PR efforts are not always correctly acknowledged, and therefore rewarded, as it can take several campaigns before closing a sale.
Given these uncertainties, we are sometimes confronted with mistaken views of PR efforts. According to a recent study, 2 out of 3 companies believe that social media has limited impact on sales. In short, social media influence strategies would not result in real business opportunities…
Let’s put this misconception to rest with a few key facts all PR pro should know.
PR professionals should begin to think more positively about their role as a business source. This is not their main responsibility, certainly, but they do have a voice in the marketplace…
In the word-of-mouth era, reputation is everything: this is the most influential and trusted driver of purchasing decisions. What consumers feel and say about a product or brand is a make-or-break factor for successful business.
Given the context, PRs are in a unique position to generate awareness and credibility in the business lifecycle. More than ever, PRs’ key goals (building brand awareness and thought leadership) support lead generation and sales, and have a powerful role to play in product positioning. So, the best way to get new customers is by reaching their influencers and understanding their ecosystem. Brand advocates are a winning formula for success when it comes to PR strategies because of the messages they spread across social networks.
Does social media really have an impact on sales? Despite what everyone may be telling you, social media users increasingly go to social media channels before making purchase decisions.
Traditional media have partly lost their power in favour of the social media-connected crowd. Point of view articles, newsletters, guestblogging, collaborative plateforms…: more and more communications fields are open to professionals so that they can express their views and market analysis. Of course, their branding strategies directly influence purchasing decisions.
New media platforms also generate concrete business results for companies, leveraging their product exposure. Product tests and comparisons, consumer opinions and feedback, new product release…: Previously often limited to niche supports (professional press or customer organisations), these items can now be easily searched on the web by customers at the time of purchase.
In the e-business area, websites with a good social presence are more shared and easiest to recommend. Conversations based on common passions allow companies to reach their audience more accurately and at the right time. Social discovery will also keep brands on top of customers’ mind, earn ‘social credit’ from potential customers and increase sales!
Therefore, PR makes the connection between PR coverage and website traffic with conversion to sales-ready leads. Yet, the lack of measurement in communications departments is often a barrier to take the department’s impact on retention and new business wins. But PR pros can equip themselves to overcome this lack of visibility.
“Traditional PR measurement of “eyeballs” is meaningless unless this awareness results in influence and engagement. Likewise, conversion without sales is an incomplete marketing metric.” (Kantar Media News Intelligence) 
To account for all the ways that target audiences engage with brands, PR should be integrated into the sales mix. It’s also useful to work closely with other areas of web, marketing and sales to have access to data that may not be easily accessible. This will give a holistic overview of consumer engagement and action to demonstrate how PR enhances and shapes integral brand advocacy, giving meaning to the outcomes of PR campaigns and proof of their worth.
To know more about the shifting role of today’s communications & marketing director, download our white paper.
One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to PR is the redundancy of ROI. Some companies tend to think that measurement is as an afterthought. This is a cultural issue.
Yet, as the volume of social conversations will grow in the future, gathering intelligence through social listening will become essential. PR specialists will have to listen to understand the nature of their brand reputation and therefore its evolution. Incorporating measurement into the planning process will lead to more focused, and effective communication strategies. Whether PRs work for an agency or in-house, they’ll need to bring measurement and insight to the front line.
How do news stories impact competitors, and how do influencers to benefit business? More than just reporting on results, measurement offers communications pros the insights to understand who their customers are, what products and services they are looking for, and what content is of interest to them. They can also learn what influences them to purchase or recommend at any given moment in the purchase life cycle.
A provider can also identify the conversations – positive or neutral, as well as the actual emotion it arouses – to determine if the news is bound to become viral and if it represents a threat for the brand reputation.
How much influence does your brand have? Are you the main media’s go-to industry expert? Is your name the first one that comes to mind when someone needs the services or products you provide?
Let’s get back to first principles: setting measurable business objectives. Measuring conversion by source with analytical tools such as Google Analytics; impact of media relations on direct visits and brand searches; connection between ‘likes’ and sales… even if one of the primary measurements in PR is “reach and growth in awareness”, we should also quantify those figures for a business objective (i.e. sales, revenue, etc.).
Has your number of clients or sales increased or decreased? How many leads – inquiries or follow-ups – resulted in actual clients or sales? No matter what business you’re in and how mainstream or how niche your market is, you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t ask how your business can move forward!
 THE SHIFTING ROLE OF TODAY’S COMMUNICATIONS & MARKETING DIRECTOR, Kantar Media News Intelligence (White Paper)
30 April 2014 14:49
Keeping track of emerging trends and moving with, or even ahead of your audience is essential to success in any communications. As social media monitoring experts, we watch social buzz like social hawks! We’re always watching out for trends to fuel our understanding of where the communications industry is leading. Watch our video to see our predictions of the key trends that brands should take note of for the near future. Join the conversation on twitter. #KMNITrends
1. Channel diversity will continue to grow
The days of one social network fitting everyone’s needs are over. Niche networks will continue to grow as users want more of what’s of interest to them and the opportunity to share their similarities and experiences.
2. From FOMO to JOMO to…
JOHO – people aren’t quitting social media, they’re finding the Joy of Hiding Out. While more users move towards platforms where they can limit their online footprint , brands will have to work harder than ever to reach their audience.
3. Unleashing the power of social discovery
Brands will have the opportunity to target their audiences with social discovery apps, predicting what content will be desirable to the user based on social preferences and hyper-local sharing experiences.
4. From Brand content to Content brands
Brands must shift from creating branded content, focused on the company, to content that is intended primarily for serving audiences – while building trust and long-term relationships.
5. Continued rise of visual social media
The future of social is visual. With the rise of Pinterest and Instagram, visual showcases will do more than text-based tweets and posts.
6. Consumers hungry for “snackable content”
The key is all about content that is easy to share. Brands and media will re-package existing content in short nuggets of text photos or videos, that can be quickly consumed, understood and shared.
7. Social Media beyond self-promotion
New ways of doing business through investment models like crowdfunding and rise of niche social networks for entrepreneurs. e.g. Go BIG Network, Confoundr, Perfect Business, Linkedin etc
8. From “free” to a paid social media era
With all of the big-hitters releasing IPOs social, businesses will have to pay for visibility while media brands will need to demonstrate to shareholders the ability to generate recurring and scaleable revenue.
9. Social media is changing customer relations
Brands will need to leverage social media for customer interaction. According to HubSpot data, “50% of consumers expect to get a response in under two hours.”
10. Social Media use within organizations will spread like wildfire
Email traffic should reduce in favour of social media services like Chatter, Jive and Yammer. This breakout will drastically change how businesses communicate
Did we miss anything? Now it’s your turn! Leave us your comments
29 April 2014 16:42
Since David Moyes’ was removed as manager of Manchester United FC last week, football fans have taken to Twitter to express their thoughts on the matter. Using our social media monitoring tool, we’ve summed up the most interesting outcomes below…