I had a blast on Weds hosting a free PR Spring Training course and was so glad so many of you could join me. It's often hard to weed through all the messages about what to do, when to do it, or what's a "must know". Because of this I was happy to share some tactics that you should be employing RIGHT NOW if you are hoping to see results two weeks, or two months from now.
During the call we went through the ten areas of 360 Degree PRtm you should be focusing on throughout your media campaign, and also talked about them in terms of spring and summer training. Just like when you work out your body you should train all of the different muscles, 360 Degree PR asks you to regulalry work with mutliple areas of your campaign. Here are a couple tips we discussed:
Your product should be the easiest thing for you to pitch, whether it's a tangible good or a service your company performs. At this point in the year you should have an updated media kit with your line sheets (including retail pricing), look books, a press release or two (one about your launch one that's more current), and any fact sheets. Also if you have any great press be sure to include it. You should also always have pitches on hand that you can copy and paste into an email....do you have at least a short lead and long lead pitch good to go right now?
For Spring Training you must be sure you have created both a short and long lead pitch along the lines of your product. Short lead could cover spring or summer travel, vacations, health, mother's/father's day, graduation, spring/summer fashion or any other short lead of seasonal stories your product or service could create a story about, or contribute to a story about - or go a step further and find like minded brands to create a more full segment!
For long lead you should be thinking about what will be happening 3-4 months from now and how you can spin your good or service into it. This includes holiday pitches as gift guides close early (they are such a big undertaking) and start early, so be sure they have your product first. That means you also need to prepare a seasonal pitch with photos of your holiday offerings you should be sharing with people within the next month or two! (Check with your target outlets for their deadlines or check the Tin Shingle Editorial Calendar database if you're a member).
USING PROFNET & HARO FOR REASONS OTHER THAN LEADS
Another tip I shared during this week's call was a trick I use to find the best contacts for my brands, as well as to figure out what the hot stories are in the short lead press so I can pitch accordingly. Like many of you I am sure someone in my office checks HARO daily, and we also subscribe to Profnet to get leads. Beyond using these great services to find out what reporters are looking for stories like ours and pitching them, I also use it to find out what the hottest stories in short lead media are. That's as easy as reading all the queries headlines through - common threads emerge. I tend to also read exactly what they're looking for. It not only shows me what is and isn't being covered yet, but it also often wakes up my own creativity about different angles I can come up with for completely unrelated stories I'm working on.
Though I would never pitch a reporter off topic whether they had a query on HARO or Profnet, I do take note daily of what reporters cover what stories and get to know specific writer's beats. It also helps me get very familiar with who works at what outlets and what they gravitate to subject wise. If someone does seem like a great fit, I'll note their name and subject and keep them in mind for future pitches they may be interested in.
Hope that helps and hope to see you at our next call!