Posts about Media Relations

Four Considerations When Revisiting Your Public Relations Strategy

A public relations strategy is like the stretch of I-95 between Richmond and Washington, D.C. No, really, stay with me on this one. It’s never really finished. It’s a work in progress. You’ll always work from Point A to Point B, but occasionally, you’ll take some detours, try new things, evaluate what works and what doesn’t and apply your learnings the next time you travel. A public relations strategy is similar in that you often know your starting point and ending point. And while you have in your mind what you need to do to get there, sometimes you have …

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When is it time for a news release?

Many times, when companies have news to share, the instinctive thinking is ”we need a news release.” But nowadays in particular, defaulting automatically to a release is not always the right approach. (See my post here with alternatives to a traditional press release.) To start, let’s acknowledge that news releases can be an effective communications tool, just as you know when and how to use one. The first two questions that you should always be asking: what about this is relevant and interesting to the media, and what are our goals with this particular communication? If you and your team …

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Happy National Newspaper Week: RTD Subscription Giveaway!

We use Slack as a messaging tool in our office. It’s where we keep projects moving, send files and share information. Not a workday goes by when someone doesn’t share a news article in our main channel about something happening locally. Local journalism – especially news about transportation, restaurants and our clients – drives a lot of our conversations at Hodges. We have our local paper of record the Richmond Times-Dispatch to thank for that. When Hodges launched more than 15 years ago, we were primarily a media relations shop. We helped clients get in the news to build brand …

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Perfecting Your Spokesperson’s Sound Bite [DATA]

It’s the dirty little secret in PR. It’s the secret that felt so wrong to me when I first started, that I’m only now coming to grips with it. Here’s the reality: CEOs aren’t always the ones uttering profound statements about their companies or apologizing when something goes wrong. Chances are, those well-chosen words originate from communications professionals, crafted so eloquently and precisely that they not only reflect just the right tone but convey all the information and emotion that audiences have come to expect. Over the summer, Hodges (and its ragtag team of interns) read the front page of …

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How to make your media advisories (and events) more social media-friendly

Does your team regularly distribute media advisories? If so, make sure they’re incorporating social media when pulling together info. I love a good media advisory. Done well, it should communicate to journalists what to expect at an event, the types of video and audio that will be available, the on-site spokespersons and other relevant logistics. This is done through the five basic journalistic elements: Who, What, When, Where and Why. Because social media is such an integral part of the communication strategy for newsrooms, don’t forget to communicate about relevant hashtags or handles. If a journalist covers your event, whether …

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The Business Case for Strategy Before Tactics

“We talkin’ about tactics. Not a strategy. Not a strategy. Not a strategy. We talkin’ about tactics.” – Allen Iverson (OK, maybe not an exactly transcription of what he said.) One of my favorite YouTube clips is Allen Iverson’s infamous press conference where he bemoans the criticism directed at him over missing practice. His point, the games are what really matter, but people are obsessing over the wrong thing. While this metaphor certainly isn’t entirely transferable, many companies fall victim to a similar trap – jumping to tactics before identifying a clear strategy. It’s understandable. Tactics are easier to understand. …

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Getting Your News Out: Alternatives to a Traditional Press Release

So you’re sitting in a conference room talking about an announcement your company needs to make, you say, “We need a press release!” Wheels are set in motion, someone on the team takes on the assignment, and now your team is crafting something to send to media before you’ve even decided if it’s the right approach. News releases were once the go-to tool for PR professionals needing to share news about their client or organization. In today’s media landscape though, things have changed. News releases still have a role, but they aren’t always the best method for getting the word …

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The Consumer PR Survey is (Almost) Dead

The Associated Press recently added a new section on polls and surveys. The guidance is focused on political polling and explains in a blog post, “The new chapter, available immediately to AP Stylebook Online subscribers, leads with longstanding guidance that the mere existence of a poll is not enough to make news.” While the new chapter is focused on political polling – PR practitioners should keep this guidance in mind when considering consumer surveys for media relations outreach. You know the one. Seeking media attention, a company commissions research through a telephone or Internet firm to poll 1,000+ Americans and …

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Debating Media Relations and Content Marketing

There’s a recurring debate in Fredrik Backman’s endearing book, A Man Called Ove, in which the title character and his best friend lock horns over the supremacy of one Swedish car manufacturer over the other. This Volvo vs. Saab rivalry reminds me of the ongoing debate between PR practitioners who subscribe to our traditional strategies of media relations and the more progressive proponents of content marketing. Of course, if you have a two-car garage, and budget is not an issue, the easy answer is to go with both. But that is not always the case, and so we often have …

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News Wires Services: Essential Tool or Ineffective Crutch for Media Relations

When last we met, I was huffing and puffing over the PR anathema commonly referred to as “spray and pray” – i.e. the practice of public relations practitioners indiscriminately carpet bombing the media battlefield with news releases and pitches in the hope that one might hit a receptive target. It’s a tactic loathed by reporters and many PR professionals alike, and what makes it all the more confounding is that it rarely works. So, while I’m on the topic of profligate tactics, let’s talk for a bit about electronic news distribution services, which in many ways are like the electronic …

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