Sunday, February 27, 2011

5 Reasons PR Pros Still Need Traditional Media

Social media is increasingly important for all communications pros, but dovetailing it with traditional media is the way to go. 
Check out this great common sense advice at the Ragan Communications website.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Why PR People Love Newspapers

I like working with newspapers because they provide an abundance of opportunities to PR professionals.
Day in day out newspapers sort, sift and present us with stories from around the world.  They report politics, business, sports, health and a host of other issues.  Each edition offers the opportunity to learn something either we did not know or we ought to know. 

By and large  our  communities are well served by daily, weekly, local and national newspapers which offer  numerous opportunities to promote our clients, customers and occasionally ourselves.

Some commentators delight in predicting the death of newspapers. True the evidence can seem compelling when we hear a newspaper has closed, cut staff or is now only  available on-line. But we need to be cautious about predicting the death of newspapers.  It would be a sad day if they were to vanish.  We would lose the broad coverage of community affairs  they provide: news we can read over coffee, share with friends, circle with a pencil or rip out to stick on the refrigerator door.

Newspapers are important for other reasons.  They provide a permanent record of events and archive what happens at a particular moment in time. Often they drive the news cycle when radio and TV stations follow their lead and pick up their stories and in recent times on-line sites draw credibility from them by linking back to what they report.

And PR professionals delight in the different sections  of a newspaper designed to appeal to different types of readers. 

The early general news or first four or five pages of a newspaper are where fast breaking news stories about politics, the economy, crime and conflict appear.  Every client aspires to be so prominent providing of course the coverage is positive. However it is competitive so coverage in other sections is likely to be more achievable.   

Feature can range from half to multiple pages and allow more in-depth reporting.  Often there will be weekly or periodic supplements on motoring, education, health, food and wine, seniors, computers, travel or other specific themes.  And larger newspapers may publish weekend magazines that cover such softer issues in more detail than their daily editions. 

People and organisations can express their own opinions through newspapers. They can write to the editor to make their views known or volunteer to write an opinion piece on a topical issue . Or they can approach  the columnists who regularly present their thoughts on news and issues  or make local events easy to discover through the community diary section.

To work effectively with newspapers, you need to develop a feel for how they report their stories.  This can come from analysing what stories appear, how they are described and how a newspaper uses facts and figures and images to explain an issue. A closer reading will also reveal which reporters write about what topics and how often they do so. Analysing then answering these questions will help you understand how to best approach and work with print journalists to cover your organisation or client.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Free PR Workshops For Local Community Groups

Since 2003 we have run free marketing and PR workshops for not for profits, charities and community groups in Canberra, in conjunction with Volunteering ACT.  

Over 200 not for profits from the ACT, NSW, SA and QLD have attended these sessions and offered overwhelmingly positive feedback. 

Here's our 2011 program:

Friday 11 March: Communicating to Community (4 hours)
Explore what makes a successful marketing program and discover the mechanics of putting together an effective, low budget promotional plan for the next 12 months.

Friday 6 May: Working with the Media (4 hours)
Spend the morning with the media and learn why they can be critical for the future success of your organisation. Who are the media and how can you work with reporters and producers to get your message to the community?  This workshop introduces you to the essentials of advertising and building relations with the media, and proves why story banks are among the most important resources in your information armoury.

Friday 3 June: Social Media (3 hours)
In the past five years Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other social media platforms have turned communications on its head.  They may have smashed traditional marketing models yet are they right for your organisation?   What are the benefits and is there a dark side?  Learn more about platforms, protocols and practices to make you stand out in the digital world.

Friday 8 July: Planning an Event (3 hours)
From swank symphony concerts to Saturday morning cake stalls, events are powerful ways to profile your brand, galvanise support and spotlight your cause. This session highlights the seven steps in successful event planning including budgets, volunteers and bringing in the wow factor.

Email for details.