Media Relations 101 for a 2.0 World Innovation Factory Info Series Stephen Rouse, President, CAROUSE Communications 5 Today’s agenda • Defining public relations • Why do brand stories matter? • Understanding PR and the media • Changing nature of media relations • Break • Brand Storytelling 2.0 • PR 2.0 tips, tricks and Best Practices • Your questions PR by definition “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Public Relations Society of America, 2012 Linkages with the media personalities and resources that facilitate an organization getting favourable, timely and widepread editorial coverage. Businessdictionary.com PR strategies and tools CEO Profiling & Support Corporate Messaging Grassroots Community Product Media Relations Relations Business, Trade & Financial Sponsorship Evaluation Media Relations Industry Analyst Relations Issues Management Media & Presentation Training Executive Speaking Support Reputation Management Field Marketing Experiential Campaigns Product Launches Word of Mouth Campaigns Internal Communications Trade Shows Social Media Guerrilla Marketing Website Development Why do brand stories matter? 10 Brand in search of a story… …there is little dispute RIM has a marketing problem. While BlackBerry’s strength used to be predicated on the QWERTY keyboard, its Messenger program and its reputation for security, they are no longer enough to keep it afloat. …its marketing team has so far failed to clarify what its brand identity will be, as business-minded users shift to other devices… 11 Brand has been called the most powerful idea in the commercial world In a business environment were products, markets and industry boundaries are in a state of constant change a well managed brand can be… a prime source of strategic direction and competitive advantage. What is a brand? • Neither a slogan nor a corporate signature • Unique space you want to occupy in your industry as perceived by your customers • Must differentiate a brand from its competitors • Represents the core promise or essence of your company, product or service Brand is at heart of your company story Fundamental message conveyed in all aspects of communication with customers, prospects – and media 80 per cent of all new products or services fail, largely because they don’t demonstrate and communicate why the new brand is better than the current one, and often they try to be all things to all people David Maister To be successful a brand must… • Consistently provide quality and satisfaction • Meaningfully distinguish itself from the competition to create customer preference • Be relevant, convenient and easily accessible to its target audience • Appeal to their individual lifestyles, attitudes and beliefs Every story has a hero. Create stories that present your customer’s problem and explain how that problem is eradicated with the help of your brand as the story’s hero. 16 Failure to communicate…Startup killer “The challenges for startups is they tend to not be good storytellers. They’re good developers, product visionaries and entrepreneurs but they may not have the skills and insight to create compelling stories.” A good story does a couple of things: • Tells people what the product or service does and the benefits of using it (ie. Why should I, the consumer, care about what you do?/What’s in it for me?). • Puts the story into context or part of a bigger story. Mark Evans, journalist “Companies needs to look at what they have built, the benefits of their product/service, and the points of pain they’re addressing, and insert themselves into a larger story they are a part of rather than trying to be the focus.” 17 Failure to communicate…Startup killer Start by telling me what you do and the problem(s) being solved. By understanding what your startup is all about, it sets the stage and provides context for the rest of the presentation…be clear how you’re different, unique or better. Don’t back into your presentation by providing background about the market and the opportunity. It may seem like a way to create dramatic effect, but it just makes me impatient and wondering why you’re not getting to the point. Who are your customers? How do you make them happy, more productive or more profitable? Use a “persona” of a typical customer – their job, their needs, how your product could help them succeed. 18 Understanding PR and the Media Creating the message An interview is not an intellectual exercise- it’s an opportunity to deliver specific messages to specific audiences through the filter of a journalist What makes news? • A reporter must write a story that is newsworthy and either takes a new look at an issue or reports on something new (such as an emerging trend) • Reporters regularly speak with a lot of people in the industry in order to find a good story - this is where a company with a well-articulated story can help • If your story is concise, supported by facts, has quotable language and is completely understandable, it has high news value Developing key messages • Message points are a few concise thoughts, ideas, arguments and impressions that you want to leave with a journalist and their audience • Message points keep you on “message track” • Keep it simple when creating your messages: • “When you walk away from this meeting, here are three things to remember about this company…” • Be prepared to discuss how your main messages relate to current trends and the overall market Key messages for interviews • Deliver key messages in short, concise sentences • Emphasize facts with colour: use simple analogies to make your point more relevant to the average person. Be descriptive and paint vivid pictures. • Repeat key messages. Develop different ways to express your key messages • Key messages can be used as a bridge in a media interview that has strayed from the main focus Storytelling: Two phase approach Phase One (About a month) – Creating the story • Communications audit – online and offline – integration • Key message development – elevator statement • Media list development • Identify brand ambassadors/case studies • Collateral development – backgrounders, bios, case studies • Website prep – SEO, media room • Media coaching with new story Phase Two (six months) – Spreading the story • Brand launch – media tour, media release, launch event • Ongoing “news bureau” of ongoing media-friendly contents and pitches • Speaking engagement opportunities 24 First time Mabel’s would have labels in a retail store – Walmart Canada ✔ Business story of four “mom-preneurs” from Hamilton never told ✔ Julie Cole, main Mabel spokesperson seasoned and confident – knows the ✔ story and comfortable with media Company had achieved considerable growth ✔ ahead of its deal 25 26 Inverted pyramid The Lead: who, what, when, 35 words or less where, why and sometimes how Explanatory Paragraph Quotes Details Editorial process involves various levels News value of Reporter Reporter conducts story determined Assigned research and interviews Story appears in print, on TV, on the radio, online or magazine 29 Changing nature of PR… Sound bite journalism • Rapid growth in media has fuelled “sound bite” journalism • In the 1970s typical length of interview sound bite was 15 seconds, today it’s half that at about 7 seconds • No such thing as a local story anymore…it's a 24-7 news cycle • Growth of competition blurring lines between news and entertainment: • Focus on controversy and sensationalism • Adoption of controversial position • Bad news is good news 33 A new way to market Targeting to convince Use human engagement to drive preference and loyalty Serious journalism will be marginalized Media will be dominated by personalities, opinions Coverage will be cursory, instant, and increasingly salacious Historically, "the news" has been the most timely and relevant mechanism for “influential” content. But even "the news" has had to adapt to evolving consumer habits. Successful cable news networks are more about entertaining and telling people what they want to hear rather than what need to know. they 35 Democratization of reporting means every citizen (customer) is a journalist 36 Finding opportunity in chaos… “If there's one thing that we should have learned in this era of social media, it's that people are being drawn to content not through publishers and pages, but through people and feeds.” Why It's Time Your Brand Invested in a Creative Newsroom Advertising Age September 16, 2012 A new funnel? http://cmsoforum.mckinsey.com/article/winning- the-consumer-decision-journey A new funnel? Consider: What brands/products do consumers have in mind as they contemplate a purchase? Evaluate: Consumers gather information to narrow their choices. Buy: Consumers decide on a brand and buy it. Post-purchase: Consumers reflect on the buying experience, creating expectations/considerations that will inform a subsequent purchase Advocate: Consumers tell others about the product or service they bought. Understanding the customer journey Customer mapping reveals: • what the customer wants – at every stage • how they’d find out about it • where they’d go for more information • how they want to buy it • how they want it delivered • how much support they need • when • where • over what time scale Rise of “Transmedia” storytelling Social networks and channels present brands with a broad array of ways to engage customers and those who influence them. Each channel offers a unique formula for engagement where brands become stories and people become storytellers. Using a transmedia approach, the brand story can connect with customers differently across each medium creating a deeper, more enriching experience. Transmedia storytelling doesn’t follow the traditional rules of publishing - it caters to customers where they connect and folds them into the narrative. A 10-person social media response team monitored the platform full time over six weeks and provided personalized responses to 5,000 questions using text, 42 photos and video. Like many companies, McDonald’s Canada is using social media to go straight to the consumer. Skipping traditional media means avoiding a whole part of the traditional media process. 43 Brand storytelling 2.0 Consumer expectation 93% of social media users believe a company should have a social media presence 85% believe a company should be active with customers in social media 56% feel a stronger connection with companies they interact with in social media Nielsen Research, 2009 Canadians heaviest social users • Canadians spend on average a whopping 43.5 hours online per month. This is nearly double the worldwide average of 23.1 hours and is eight hours more than the second place United States. • Canada saw a 12 per cent increase in internet usage among people 55 and older, as well as a 36 per cent increase in social networking among users 55 to 64. comScore Research, 2011 47 48 49 What does a brand still control? • Core competency/product • Brand message platform • Website • Social interaction ability 50 With a website as home base for a brand’s story, social media presences are not so much communities, as distribution and engagement channels. Mabel’s Labels “Communication Ecosystem” Daycares Media Associations Affiliates Mommy Staff Bloggers Competitors Prospects Alumni Retail Partners • Core competency/produ ct • Brand message platform • Website • Social interaction ability Thriving amplification network The development of creative assets for these social channels is something that should be taken seriously, even though the content itself may be lightweight. Content that works best in these channels is highly visual, timely, culturally allusive and not overproduced. This is content that becomes authentic when it's shared not because we say it is. Guest blogging engages new audiences Product reviews/blogger relations Contests and giveaways Conversation not shouting Customer service 2.0 = Customer responsiveness 63 64 Lunch 'n Learn Session 65 66 Customer stories are crucial 67 68 69 70 PR 2.0 - Tips, Tricks and Best Practices Building your Creative Newsroom • Creative newsroom is a page where you compile relevant press topics relevant to your audience. • Focus on integrating your audience into the brand, and taking advantage of your content and social connections to bring their influences into the picture. • Incorporates media coverage, and includes communication venues for people using Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Reddit. • Includes a comments section for added communication, and options for instant messaging or blog connectivity. In short it is more than just a static page, and is an active communications hub. 72 Building your Newsroom – what is it? Current Stories Media opt-in Unique for unique Content content Experts on “hot topics” Social feed fo content 73 sharing Social Media News Release - PRWeb 74 The New News Release 75 76 Optimize your News Release Anchor text links • Link to homepage – direct visitors directly to your company website. • Link to product page – send media and consumers directly to the product they are reading about. • Link to blog post – this presents an opportunity to speak to readers in a less formal fashion. • With social web users and digital influencers continually expecting social content, a press release presents a great opportunity to spark interest in your social content. 77 78 79 Optimize Your News Release Use images for search • Images can increase the click through rate on releases in regular and news search by 15 – 25%. • Using images creates more traction in media – journalists and bloggers love images as story aids. • Many people discover images via image search, which draws them back to the release and web sites. • Because PRWeb hosts press releases forever, your images can continue to receive both organic and image search traffic indefinitely. 80 Video storytelling By using video in news releases, you can get up to a 500% increase in time on pages. As the web shifts to a rich media experience, bloggers, media and end users are becoming more accustomed to video. 500 person days x 7500 views = 3.75M person days saved 1 billion Google searches are performed daily 70% of B2B buyers use a search engine at the start of their buying process • More than 85% of searchers click on the organic side of search • Forbes Effectiveness Study calls SEO is the most effective marketing tactic for generating conversions, outranking paid search (PPC) and email marketing. 82 Optimizing Content on Your Site • You need to win over influencers as they progress through the buying buying cycle • Search trends evolve, you need to predict or respond to changes • Buying cycles aren’t always linear, targeting key search terms enables you to stay ‘front of mind’ and reinforce your values through relevant content • There is a tail to search. A sale might come four clicks down the line after the searcher has viewed multiple content assets 83 Optimizing your Web Presence • Determine who your competitors are • Benchmark your web presence, your organic search rank and your backlink count • Track and tweak, track and tweak, track and tweak your content • On average, this can take anywhere from one to three months 84 Remember it’s a conversation With patience and passion you can influence conversations about your brand. You need to establish distribution channels that enable people to share content efficiently to enable discussions. • Use brand monitoring tools to identify conversations around your company and its products/services • Get involved to influence the discussion and give helpful advice and information • Distribute content via your own social networks • Use the B2B social networks of employees to spread the word e.g. • Create company page • Pos useful information to groups on LinkedIn. • Link company LinkedIn profiles to website for SEO • Adding informative rich media content to social sites like YouTube, Slideshare 85 Tools are a vehicle, not a story. Questions? Stephen Rouse email@example.com Mobile 416-402-6876 Twitter: carouse Linkedin: http://ca.linkedin.com/in/stephenrouse Web Address: www.carouse.ca THANK YOU!
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