July 13, 2012
by Julie Primrose
Today I had the opportunity to attend the Central Florida Media Roundtable hosted by the local chapters of the Florida Public Relations Association and the Public Relations Society of America. The annual event lets PR professionals sit down with local journalists and ask them questions about their outlets’ practices and how they prefer to be pitched.
While everyone I spoke to had slightly different preferences on how they like to be contacted, the same themes kept coming up as I spoke with the journalists, whether they were from broadcast, print or online outlets. Nearly every journalist said that what many would consider to be “minor” details actually makes a huge difference between having your news covered and it being lost in the depths of their inbox.
While some of their preferences were universal (provide timely, newsworthy story ideas; include a descriptive subject line with your emails and spell their name correctly), others were not quite as obvious and varied by outlet and reporter (include your news release in the body of your email rather than attaching it, submit your news using the form on their website rather than email, call between 1 and 3 p.m., etc.).
Besides making invaluable connections with local journalists, having a forum to learn these little details is what makes the Media Roundtable such a great event. A lot of our work with journalists is done over email and we don’t always have a chance to speak with them at length to learn about their preferences. But today’s event reinforces the importance of building relationships with the media and taking the time to learn about what works best for them. While providing newsworthy, relevant content will always be key, having a relationship with the reporter and knowing how and when to pitch them is just as important for landing a story.
January 25, 2011
by Kerry Martin
With all the excitement of the Golden Globes and Oscar nomination announcements, it can only mean one thing: Awards season has arrived.
Of course Hollywood can’t take all the attention. As most communication professionals know, each spring is the time for recognizing the planning and effort that comprise major Public Relations campaigns through programs like the Florida Public Relations Association’s Golden Image Awards and the Public Relations Society of America’s Silver Anvil Awards. Local chapters of FPRA participate in Image Award programs across the state, while the PRSA Silver Anvil takes nominations from the entire country.
In its 25 years, Curley & Pynn has received its share of awards, becoming the first Florida agency to win a Silver Anvil Award in 1992. But each year presents a new opportunity to showcase the hard work that is involved in promoting a client’s program or brand—and to remind that client that the tools and strategies of a public relations campaign are instrumental in carrying out a sound business plan, whether communicating with internal audiences, potential customers or even public figures.
With deadlines just around the corner (PRSA Silver Anvil is February 25, Orlando’s FPRA Image Awards is March 4 and FPRA’s Golden Image Awards is May 20), we encourage all communication professionals to seek recognition for their work and show clients the power of PR.
October 29, 2009
by Ashley Pinder
One year ago I saw fast-talking Peter Shankman speak in Orlando. He told a story about being jobless several years earlier in Manhattan and relying on creative methods to get his resume in front of employers. He had recently started distributing a free e-mail service to PR folks and doing all the work himself. That was then and this is now.
Shankman is responsible for the wildly popular Help A Reporter Out service, commonly known as HARO, which now boasts a subscriber base of more than 90,000 business and communications professionals. Created as a way to connect journalists with quotable sources and ideas for stories, HARO is a must-use service for those in PR. HARO e-mails have an unheard of average 90 percent open rate, which Shankman’s advertising team proudly proclaims as “e-mail crack.”
I remember that day hearing Shankman say he might begin to allow companies to sponsor his e-mails through paid advertising. Here in late 2009, not only does HARO accept paid sponsors for its three-times-a-day e-mails, it also allows companies to pay to place job postings and giveaways, all the while generating thousands of dollars of revenue five days a week with little overhead.
Peter Shankman struck me as unique, and as successful as HARO has become, something about the service he created is just as unique as him.
Maybe it’s the fact that Shankman’s team does the write-up of the sponsored company in “his voice;” or that HARO continually threatens to blacklist subscribers if they SPAM others or pitch journalists off-topic; or even that HARO’s plain text rate card (an important tool for ad-generating businesses) includes too many exclamation points and three “P.S.” thoughts after the closing; whatever it is, these attributes combine to make this successful business venture that much more surprising.
I sent an e-mail this morning to advertise and received a reply in less than two minutes … ads are booked through February 2010. I bet Shankman isn’t on the street corner in Manhattan any longer looking for work.
Do you think your company can benefit from HARO? C&P frequently identifies opportunities for our clients monitoring this service each day.
January 22, 2009
by Ashley Pinder
The building that houses the offices of Curley & Pynn is only four floors, so when we talk about crafting an “elevator speech” we know it has to be short and to the point.
I fancy myself a storyteller, so it is difficult for me to condense my story into something that can be shared from the time those elevators doors close to when they reopen again in less than a minute.
But, as someone who “relates to the public” I know having an elevator speech is a must.
Spawned from the idea that people frequently make important introductions in elevators, it seems obvious that this type of speech should be something in everyone’s arsenal.
Every employee of a company needs to be able to describe what he/she does and explain in succinct yet memorable terms their company’s mission and vision. But, the message inside the speech has to be about the people.
This became ever more apparent today when my coworker Kim Taylor and I attended a monthly FPRA luncheon in which social media guru Alex Hillman stated the simple yet often forgotten fact that: “people don’t relate to companies, people relate to people – it’s what’s inside the company that is important.”
That simple statement explains exactly why the elevator speech can be such an effective tool at humanizing a company and in sharing its story.
What does your company do? And what do the people inside of it like you do to make that happen?
What’s YOUR story?
If you don’t know it yet, take the stairs!
July 24, 2008
by Ashley Pinder
Many times people perceive the media and public relations professionals as working at odds – one side feeling inundated by pesky “follow-up calls” and the other side feeling like the messages it shares are too easily disregarded. However, I attended an event last week that showed this disconnect is not always the case …
At the 2008 Central Florida Media Roundtable, put on by the two local chapters of public relations associations FPRA and PRSA, about 200 PR professionals from all different industries sat face-to-face with 17 media-types from different outlets and shared what they need and want from the other side to do their jobs. And what was quickly uncovered was that both sides just so happen to have the same goal – keeping the public informed.
Of course it is our responsibility as PR professionals to make sure we are only sharing our company information to specific media that it applies to and we are doing our diligence in learning about who exactly that is – timely and relevant information is key. Reporters receive a lot of e-mails, so we need to be sure we are only sharing important stuff, and doing it how they want it. Providing a local angle on a breaking national story is always compelling to daily papers and offering a glimpse into the life of local company executive doing extraordinary things in the community can be an excellent story for a local lifestyle magazine.
When it comes down to it, reporters and editors need information and public relations professionals need to share information … seems like these needs are actually quite complementary. And all it took was a little face-time to realize it.