A Clear View: The Clearpoint Agency Blog

10 Tips to Get into Print (or Online)

Posted on August 24, 2011

Getting into a print or online publication can be tricky, from writing an enticing pitch to trying to distinguish your press release from the hundreds of others sitting in the editor’s inbox. We drew from our own experiences with media relations to compile this list of tips to help you get published.

  1. 1. Be honest – Put your news to the test. Is it really newsworthy? Assess the entertainment value, proximity, prominence, timeliness, uniqueness and impact for the audience.
  2. Read your target publications– It is crucial that you know what these publications and broadcast stations care about and how they address their audiences, that way you can tailor your pitch to make it more appealing.
  3. Target the appropriate editors– And producers too. You will have a better shot at success if you send the tech piece to the tech editor, rather than to the lifestyles or calendar editor.
  4. Write a good release– Keep it factual and interesting to get your point across clearly and concisely. Associated Press Style is never going out of style so learn it and use it! Answer these questions within the first three paragraphs: “who, what, where, when and why?” Put opinions in quotations only and never make outrageous claims you cannot back up.
  5. Distribute the news through a reliable wire service– Make sure it gets to the appropriate audience, but don’t expect the wire service to do all the work for you! Send your news release with an individualized pitch to top editors/producers at your key 10-20 media outlets.
  6. Master the art of a good pitch– Keep it short but compelling. No more than three paragraphs. Give information that is not included in the release. If you can capture his/her attention in the first seven seconds, you will also capture his/her audience.
  7. If you really have a coup to announce, offer an exclusive angle to your number one media target– Or, embargo the news to the top three outlets that are likely to cover your announcement. Give them an early heads-up but ask them to hold the new until you are ready to release it widely.
  8. Include relevant visuals– A photo of a prominent person, interesting art, charts and graphs help to make a release more interesting. They’ll also get you more space.
  9. Don’t play hard to get! – After you’ve sent your pitch, follow-up by phone and make yourself available on a moment’s notice for an interview if the editor/producer is interested. Remember they are running on tight time schedules.
  10. Remember that a good PR agency just might be your best tool – We know the editors, the audiences and the pitch process that will land a story and gain success. A Good PR Agency will help get you the recognition that you deserve.

This post was contributed by Lexy Haynes, Clearpoint Agency Senior Account Executive.

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Big Company Change? Remember to Use Your Words!

Posted on April 11, 2011

Audiences & tactics to remember when communicating a major company change

Having just went through our office move here at Clearpoint, we became very cognizant of something we always remind our clients – the importance of communicating your message to key audiences. When a company goes through a major change such as an office move, rebranding effort, merger, acquisition, or anything that affects the company “image” or message, its executives need to consider all of the different audiences that need to get the message and all the various ways to communicate it.

Clear and straightforward communication with your audiences eliminates confusion and fear, and gets everyone on board with your message. When you (or your PR firm) craft the message, you have more control over what people think, say and do. Of course, the risk of not doing so is that someone else could create your message and run with it – in an undesirable direction. Don’t leave your key audiences in the dark. How would a team function if only the coach knew the score?

Lucky for you, the Clearpoint team has provided a list of important audiences to consider and some example messaging methods to use for an office relocation:  

  • Internal staff – Your team is numero uno! Once the decision is made for your move (or other major change), your internal staff should be the first audience to get the message. Consider a formal internal letter with the good news, reasoning and what they should expect. Give them answers to questions they may get from clients or the media. Then, consider a less formal meeting where you unveil details (pictures!) and have an open discussion with employees. As your brand ambassadors, it’s important that your team is especially clear on your message.
  • Existing and previous clients – Use your move as an opportunity to give good news about your company to clients, in a fun and exciting way. Consider celebrating with your clients by throwing an “unveiling party” to show the new location. Send emails and newsletter updates announcing the change and reminding clients of new capabilities and what’s in it for them. For Clearpoint, we now have more room and better tech tools to host our popular messaging workshops. So we’re highlighting that – and encouraging clients take advantage of it.
  • Potential clients – This audience is similar to your existing clients, but once removed, so there is less familiarity and more formality with this group. You want to position your move similarly, as a sign of good news, but you want to include a little more about who you are and what you do. Consider the PR work horse: the press release. Announce the move, your new capabilities and a general background on the company. On the less formal side, consider blog posts and social media updates, including video. This adds personality and a greater understanding about who your company is.

With so much going on around your company change, it’s important to craft your message and your plan for communicating it to your key audiences. As we say at Clearpoint, the conversation happens with or without you, so make sure YOU are directing the conversation about your company.

Questions? Comments? Post them here or hit us up on Twitter and Facebook!

This post was contributed by Alexia Haynes, Clearpoint Agency Senior Account Executive

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