7 Simple Tips for Effective PR

If you have decided to conduct a Public Relations campaign as part of your marketing plan there are 7 key elements that should to be considered. Looking at these elements before you commence will save you time and help to make your PR campaign more successful for your small business.

The 7 key elements which are quite simple and straightforward are:

Is it Newsworthy? Whilst the media are always looking for news, they will only report or talk about what they believe is newsworthy. Make sure you do not waste an editor’s time by providing a press release that is of interest only to you. eg. appointment of a new manager. Information on your market is more relevant to the media and your target, rather than information which is related to your business.

Is It Relevant? One of the most important things to remember when writing a press release is that the information you provide is relevant to the type of media you are targeting, in particular the media’s viewers, readers or listeners. For example, if you own a hairdressing salon and you want to target a women’s beauty magazine you may provide an article on the latest overseas hairstyles and colours.

Support Material Pictures or photos that relate to your press release may make your article more interesting. Check with the editor what format they would like the pictures/photos to be sent in eg. black and white, PDF, jpeg etc and include them with your press release.

Targeting the Right Media and Person Start developing a list of local and regional newspapers, radio and television stations, online publications that records a contact name and position (eg. editor or journalist), address, email and phone number for each media contact Find out the best way to send information to each of your media contacts and include this with their contact information. Some editors may prefer email others mail, fax or hand delivery.

Becoming an Opinion Leader If you can build a strong relationship with an editor or journalist and they begin to trust you to provide interesting and up-to-date information, they are likely to come to you first for information on your industry. This will result in you being seen by both the media and their audience as an opinion leader or authority within your industry.

Community Involvement Some businesses forget that their customers may find their involvement in the local community newsworthy. If you donate to charities or you or your employees volunteer for community services, this provides an opportunity to gain positive media exposure for your brand or business.

Tracking Results If you do receive free media coverage from your public relations tactic eg. press release, track where, when and how your information appeared. Also it is a good idea to set up a simple mechanism to see the effect your PR efforts have had on your business such as new leads, new partnerships etc.

PR can be a powerful marketing tactic for your small business and it pays to do your homework first to ensure a successful outcome.


Making A Fortune: Journalist Foresees Sweet Future In Chinese Cookies

In these economically challenged times, many of us are reinventing  ourselves. For example, you may recall that I recently wrote about a CW  speechwriter who is now an “energy healer.”

In another instance, publicists (like yours truly) are looking  into careers in production, which is why I wrote about NATPE’S  PitchCon.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to another clever and creative  career move: Former Hollywood Reporter columnist and current  Deadline.com contributor Ray Richmond is taking his talents as a print  journalist to the fortune cookie business. Richmond is the author of several  books, including The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to our Favorite Family.  He’s also a frequent guest on radio and TV talk shows and is known in  entertainment circles for his clever comebacks and quick wit.

“You will write a column about ‘The Smartest Cookies on Earth,’” said the message in one of the Super Accurate Fortune Cookies Richmond sent me.  Well, how about that! The fortune was accurate. I am writing a  column about the smartest cookies, which happen to be the same as the fortune  cookies. But you probably already guessed that; and it’s that kind of humor that  Richmond brings to the somewhat stale and stereotypical fortune cookie industry.

“I’d been making a good living as a full-time freelancer from  roughly 1997 to 2010,” says Richmond. “But then things took a turn for the  worse, due to the disintegration of the print media, and I realized I was going  to need to reinvent myself. One day, I’d just finished a meal in a Chinese  restaurant with my wife. I opened up my fortune cookie and it said, ‘Good things  will happen for you in the future.’ I thought, wow, it simply isn’t possible  that a fortune can be any lamer than that—and that the message could literally  have been written for anyone. That’s when the lightning bolt hit: Hey, why can’t  they be targeted specifically? It immediately struck me that fortune cookies  were a particularly unimaginative area of the literary spectrum and were ripe  for creative growth.”

Super Accurate Fortune Cookies, which come packaged in quantities  of 10 for $7.99 in cool Chinese take-out boxes, will officially launch in  mid-August at www.smartestcookies.com.

One of the features that immediately sets the brand apart are the 10 different themes available, ranging from New Baby, Birthday and Anniversary  to Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties, Weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvah and even one  for people who celebrate sobriety.

“The fortunes inside each themed box speak to the specific event,  so that the cookies are likely to be accurate to your life no matter who you  are,” says Richmond.

The New Baby fortune box includes messages like, “Your  friends who have dogs know exactly what you’re feeling.” For Bar/Bat Mitzvah,  the fortune on the front of the box is, “You are, or recently were, or soon will  be in a room filled with Jews.”

Then there’s the “Original” package, which includes such fortunes  as “Your Facebook friends lead much richer and more fulfilling lives than you,”  “You have no gloves in your glove compartment,” and “If we told you, we’d have  to kill you.”

Marketers have already discovered that award-winning  journalist-humorist Richmond is also available to create custom cookie messages  too—for new business presentations, for company Christmas gifts to A-list  clients, or for that big red-carpet special event. Clever marketing and PR folk  are welcome to write their own fortunes, and Richmond can produce them for a  modest additional fee. Or you can hire him to write custom fortunes specifically  tailored to your event. 

“That will cost an extra few grand—hey, genius don’t come cheap,  baby!” says Richmond with a laugh. “Or, you know, I’m sure we can work out  something more reasonable—like turning over to me some precious family  heirloom.”

Aside from being the creator of the company and head writer of the  fortunes, Richmond also plans to serve as spokesperson for the brand. (There is  already a hilarious video of him available on the home page of his  website.)

“My strategy is to become the maestro of the fortune cookie  world,” says Richmond.“If you can find a hat shaped like a fortune cookie, I’d  like to buy it.”

I may not have Ray’s talent for writing fortunes or pitching  cookies but I do know a great idea when I see—and taste—one. (Yes, the cookies  are delicious.) So I foresee a long and successful future ahead for Ray and his  Super Accurate Fortune Cookies—which, by the way, are 77 % more accurate than  regular fortune cookies, according to leading fortune cookies authorities named  Richmond.

To prove it, let’s give the fortune-cookie genius the last  word.

“I predict, ‘You will make it all the way to the end of this  column,’” says Richmond. “I know, pretty astonishing, right? It’s a gift.”

Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/179121/making-a-fortune-journalist-foresees-sweet-future.html#ixzz21YNqt6UT

Monday, Jul 9, 2012 05:00 PM PDT

Monday, Jul  9, 2012 05:00 PM PDT

                                Stan Mack’s Occupy-the-Fourth-of-July funnies                           

                            The graphic artist takes a sly look at patriotism, the Tea Party and our nation’s founding                                             

By ,


Stan Mack’s Occupy-the-Fourth-of-July funnies

                                        This article originally appeared on Imprint.                                   

ImprintIt’s 1776 in Philadelphia. Congressional delegates “sweat, swat flies, and argue independence.” They retreat to a tavern and casually dump Jefferson with the job of composing a declaration: “Tom, write us something dignified, yet magical.” Once he’s finished, all the congressmen shout out changes at him: “Drop ‘independent’;” “Why ‘happiness’ instead of ‘property’? What’s ‘happiness’?”

The process is loud, sloppy, and often chaotic. It also feels like real life.

That’s because this graphic narrative of our country’s birth, titled “Taxes, the Tea Party, and Those Revolting Rebels: A History in Comics of the American Revolution”, is illustrated by Stan Mack. And Stan is one of the founding fathers of contemporary cartoon reportage, having created Stan Mack’s Real Life Funnies for the Village Voice back in the mid-1970s.

“Taxes, the Tea Party, and Those Revolting Rebels,” a revision of 1994’s “Stan Mack’s Real Life American Revolution,” will arrive in comics stores this month. And he’ll be on two panels at next week’s San Diego Comic-Con: “Progressive Politics and Comics” on Thursday, July 12, and “Serious Pictures: Comics and Journalism in a New Era” on Sunday the 15th.

The Art Of The Sell (Part 2): Winding Up For The Pitch

Hey, all you Shonda Rhimeses and Jerry Bruckheimers in the making:  I can now answer the burning questions at the end of my  last column on NATPE PitchCon: Did I attend PitchCon and learn the secrets  of the perfect pitch? Yes! Did I score a major TV deal and forget the little  people who got me there? Keep reading.

FADE IN: Yours truly is doing some final research before attending  the conference, where I may pitch ideas for three original recovery-themed TV  shows I’m developing with my producing partner Deborah Gairdner. I call up  Jenean Atwood Baynes, NATPE Pitch Pit Coordinator, to ask her the most important  question of all. “At the risk of sounding like A Real Housewife of Beverly Hills,”  I say, “what does one wear to PitchCon? First impressions are critical, aren’t  they? Should my outfit match my pitch?” Atwood Baynes answers, “If you had an interview with Subway, would  you show up dressed as a sandwich? ” Cue the canned laughter as I yell, “Yikes!  Cancel ‘The Lost ‘ period costume! Calling Rachel Zoe instead.”

CUT BACK TO: Me, on the phone with one of the “catchers” (the  Hollywood pros who receive the pitches), Joshua Cozen-McNally from GetawayTV.  I ask for his take on what makes a good or bad pitch. “A bad pitch is someone who shows up on a lark, completely  unprepared. He or she is basically taking up valuable time that could be better  used by someone who is serious about getting their show produced,” says  Cozen-McNally. “As far as I’m concerned, the rest are all good  pitches.”

Cozen-McNally tells me he’s looking for “something in either short  or long form that engages, educates, and entertains the viewer wanting to ‘get  away’ for even a few short moments.” Say no more. I quickly seize the chance to pitch him one of our  ideas. “How about a comedy webisode where people get away to their favorite  rehab?” I ask. “It’s‘28 Days’ meets ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ meets  E!’s ‘Wild On’!”

“I’m listening…,” he says—and that’s all the encouragement I need  to continue talking as we FADE OUT.

FADE IN: It’s 9 a.m. on the first day of PitchCon at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. This is where I will sit for eight hours, listening to 11  sessions and 41 presenters.

INSERT HUMOROUS MONTAGE: Nervous pitchers meet poker-faced  catchers while popular contemporary song plays on soundtrack.

CUT TO: Clock. It’s 5 p.m.

The sessions emphasize a number of similar themes, but each comes  at it from a different perspective. One theme is that the digital  space—particularly YouTube—is the entry point for fledgling producers.

QUICK CUTS: Sound bytes from enthusiastic digital-media  proponents.

“We’re excited for creators of all shapes and sizes to build great  audiences and great businesses on YouTube.” —Jamie Byrne, Global Head of Content  Strategy for Google/YouTube.“If you think that there is a lot of content on YouTube today, it  pales in comparison to what it will be in the near future. Whether you are a  celebrity or someone just getting started, you will be disproportionately  rewarded by getting in early—and today is actually early.” —Chris Williams,  Chief Programming Officer for Maker Studios, Inc.

“It’s not uncommon to find that the economics for some producers  and talent are actually better in digital than in traditional broadcast media.  Right now, we can figure out how to make producers and talent more money in  digital media than we can in TV.” —Chris Jacquemin, Head of Digital Media,  William Morris Endeavor

CUT TO: Me. The presenters like to use the word “brand” a lot. In  fact, if I had a nickel for every time the word is used, I’d have enough money  to finance my first YouTube series. The cool thing is that the word is used in  many TV-centric (as opposed to the usual marketing-focused) ways.

QUICK CUTS: Sound bytes from enthusiastic producers and marketers  who specialize in branded entertainment.

“We consider ourselves brand showrunners: We come up with an  umbrella concept, partner with production companies and talent, package it all  under that strategic umbrella, then go to market in all media.” —Steven Amato,  President and Chief Content Officer, Omelet LLC

“We have [heads of film studios and TV networks] say they believe  their show ‘X’ is perfect for brand ‘Y.’ But they’re looking at it from the consumer’s point of view. They don’t know what the brand’s objective is two  years, five years, 10 years or even six months from now.” —David Adamson,  Executive Vice President, United Entertainment Group

“For us, it’s not about ‘a can in the hand’—we produce content and  move it through all of our channels to create an experience for those who find  the brand to be something of a lifestyle.” —Greg Jacobs, Head of Distribution  for Red Bull Media House

CUT BACK TO: Me. This last comment really resonates with me.  Deborah and I have a lifestyle concept that’s rarely portrayed on television yet  it’s highly entertaining and brand friendly. So, it’s finally time to answer the  question from the opening graph: Do I pitch our ideas and score a major TV  deal?

No—and that’s the beauty of PitchCon.

After Day 1, I quickly realize I’m not ready for the Pitch Pit.  Maybe next year—but I’ll need some practice first. So, here goes. I’m  pitching:

A show about teens in rehab—“Less than Zero” meets “The OC” meets “Girl Interrupted.”

Or dating in recovery—“Valley of the Dolls” meets“Real Housewives  of Orange County” meets “Enlightened.”

Or ask-a-convict, an advice show about DUIs, drug possession and  distribution — “Intervention” meets “Judge Judy” meets “Life After  Lockdown.”

Okay, who’s catching?

Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/177252/the-art-of-the-sell-part-2-winding-up-for-the-p.html#ixzz1zD55WATo

The Future Of Retro: Captain Planet And The Power Of Social Media

The nature of trends is to die out—especially on television. So last Earth  Day, I was amazed to see Captain Planet, the star of the 1990s TV series “Captain Planet and the Planeteers,” trending worldwide on Twitter. Don’t get me  wrong—I love Cap. He was one of my favorite “stars” to work with when I was vice  president of PR at Turner Broadcasting. After all, he had great hair (how could  you not love that green mullet?), a catchy theme song, and a message you could  really get behind—and not just because it was my job.

SuperHeroBut was it possible that the world’s first  eco-superhero could still have a growing fan base 15 years after he went off the  air? To find out, I asked Barbara Pyle, executive producer and co-creator of the  award-winning TV series with Ted Turner.

“Anything is possible with the Planeteer Movement!” exclaims Pyle, with her  signature burst of infectious enthusiasm.

Q: So what is this Planeteer Movement? I don’t recall that being part  of the TV series.

A: Young adults who call themselves Planeteers for  real have networked themselves together using social media. The brand and  message of Captain Planet are very much alive and more relevant than ever for  the millennial generation. Today, the Planeteer Movement’s Captain Planet  Facebook page has well over half a million fans, with 60% in the 18-24 range,  and another 30% in the 25-34. That kind of advocacy and brand loyalty is  something you can’t buy.

Q: That’s pretty impressive! What made Captain Planet and the  Planeteers stick?

A: It was more than a cartoon. Its empowering message of  collaboration, diversity, and sustainability became the hallmark of this  generation. As kids, they identified with the Planeteers, who created Captain  Planet out of their combined powers to do the heavy lifting while they did the  real work themselves!

Now as young adults, they not only believe they have the power to make a  difference, they have a commitment as the stakes are far greater. They’re  building local Planeteer Networks around the world using Facebook Groups to plan  meetings and projects. These Planeteers have become the empowered global  citizens Ted and I always hoped the fans would grow up to be. ‘The Power is  Yours!’ is not just a slogan to them—it’s a shared worldview.

Q: It must be very exciting to find “your peeps” still using Captain  Planet’s call to action created over two decades ago. How did you first meet  them?

A:It all started with my retro Captain Planet tote bag. I  get asked about it every day. I was carrying it with me when a group of young  Planeteers approached me, as they immediately recognized it. We started talking  and they told me how the show still affects their daily decisions and even their  career choices. They wanted to hook up with me on Facebook, so I joined. That  was 2009.

Once a member, I looked to see if people were saying anything about my  favorite superhero. They were—I was stunned to see that Captain Planet had over  200,000 fans already on Facebook. People were tweeting about him constantly, and  the theme song had millions of views. What?! That’s when I first  started thinking about the potential impact of networking these passionate fans.

Q: How did you harness all that energy?

A: I invited five of the most committed of these grown-up  Planeteers to “combine their powers” and organize the Planeteer web presence  that could connect these fans globally. We scheduled conference calls in  mid-June. By July 4, they had built one of the cleanest, hippest websites  ever.

We officially launched the Planeteer Movement worldwide on September 15,  2010, the 20th Anniversary of Captain Planet’s first  broadcast.

Q: How did social media come into play?

A: We partnered with an existing Australian fan page to  create the Planeteer Movement’s Captain Planet Facebook page and it’s growing  exponentially. Volunteer Planeteers set up a Twitter account, @PlaneteerAlert,  where we hold Twitter parties with cool swag and ‘twittersodes’ enacted by  character accounts tweeting the original episodes. CaptainPlanetTube is the  YouTube channel where Planeteers post everything from retro content to current  events.

All of this has been powered by the Planeteers—completely word of mouth,  completely grassroots—with no real professional marketing or PR to drive  membership.

Q: sounds like all this online activity results in a lot of  real-world action.

A: In February, I visited the Ghana Planeteers in West  Africa with Laura Turner Seydel, chairperson, Captain Planet Foundation. It was  truly inspirational to meet their partners, attend a monthly clean-up, and visit  one of the schools where they screen episodes for their Planeteer kids’ club. In  Los Angeles, Planeteers celebrated reaching 500,000 Facebook fans with some  famous Planeteer “stars” like Ed Begley, Jr., Kath Soucie (the voice of Linka on the show), and Efren Ramirez (Ma-Ti in the “Funny or Die” spoof with Don  Cheadle).

Planeteers in New York are preparing for the United Nations Rio+20 Conference  on Sustainable Development in June. And the Atlanta Planeteers created a “Planeteer Rap+20” music video for the Rio+20 Global Rockstar Music Contest with  lyrics by Nick Boxer, the Co-Executive Producer on the original series who  created the series’ theme song.

On Sunday, April 22, Boomerang has programmed a 12-hour marathon of “Captain  Planet and the Planeteers.”And, of course, we would love to see Cap  trend on Twitter again!

The Planeteer Movement will celebrate Earth Day by kicking off a “Go Planet” campaign: By posting videos, Facebook statuses, Tweeting with the hashtag  #GoPlanet, Planeteers worldwide will share their personal commitments to make  the world a better place.

If social marketing is about building trust and advocacy, we are there. The  Planeteers are always interested in strategic partnerships that add value, so  I’d encourage anyone to join us—this is about creating a sustainable future, and  that’s going to take a lot of combining our powers. Email us at: Partners@PlaneteerMovement.org.

Photo courtesy of Jim DeNuccio

Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/172724/the-future-of-retro-captain-planet-and-the-power.html#ixzz1zD9fTJy6