A Clear View: The Clearpoint Agency Blog

End of Year PR Checklist

Posted on December 29, 2016

The start of a new year brings New Year’s resolutions, new beginnings and new goals. And the beginning of a new year is also an opportunity to reflect on the previous year’s public relations successes and missteps.

If you find that you were just shy of reaching your communications goals in 2016, either because they were not specific enough or too ambitious, check out our end-of-the-year PR checklist below. Use it to help guide your PR strategies for the upcoming year.

Evaluate Competitors – Have your PR team perform a competitor communications analysis to identify the various tactics your competitors use in their PR and communication programs. Take a deep dive to see if they are doing anything unique and analyze what seems to be working for them or not. Most importantly, look for areas of missed opportunities. By analyzing your competitors, you can find ways to differentiate and more effectively position your brand.

Review Messaging –  Does your messaging still resonate with your audiences? Have your messages changed overtime? If you think your messaging needs refreshing, it may be time to hold a messaging session. As your company grows and changes, your messaging will as well. It is important that your messaging stays current to ensure that all PR deliverables – press releases, social media posts, website content, whitepapers, conference materials and more – are in sync and consistent with what you want to communicate to your publics. Look for your use of jargon and overused phrases. Work to develop messaging that clearly communicates the compelling benefits of working with you and how you solve challenges.  Make sure your messaging is as unique as your organization is.

Analyze Social Media – Examine your social media channels to see what type of posts resonate with your audiences. Consider updating your social media strategy to coincide with your messaging.

Social media is constantly changing. What is trending one day may change the next. It’s critical that you understand which social media platforms your audience uses most and what content results in solid engagement. Once you have reviewed your social media, create a new social media plan and calendar for the new year. Focus on goals you want to accomplish with social moving forward.

Update Website – Similar to social media, website trends continually change – everything from navigation to design to mobile capability, and everything else in between. We recommend refreshing your website at least once every two years. It is also important to update your website content to be concise, well written, and on target with your messaging. Look at your images and headlines. Sometimes just changing out the images and adjusting headlines can freshen up your website between major revamps.

Set Goals –  Work with your PR team to determine communications goals for the forthcoming year. What are the most important things you need to communicate to your publics? Is there a challenge or opportunity you must address? Are there more creative ways of telling your brand’s story? Did you land the kind of earned media you wanted to over the past year?  Did your press releases tell a story over time? What kind of content do we need to create? Ask yourself these types of questions and develop a set of goals, and at by this time next year, you will have a way to measure your communications success.

From everyone at Clearpoint Agency, we wish you a happy and prosperous new year!

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Best Time to Post on Social Media

Posted on March 15, 2016

The expression “timing is everything” could not be more true when it comes to posting on social media. It’s one thing to create fresh and exciting content, but what’s the point of posting something if your audience is not seeing it? Posting content at the right time, on the right day, and on the right platform can make all the difference between comments, clicks and shares, to no engagement all.

However, the best days and times to post do vary across all social media platforms. Below, we created an infographic and listed some tips and guidelines when it comes to the best days and times to post on social media:

FacebookFINAL Best Time to Post Infographic

We’ve found the best days to post on Facebook are later in the week, with the highest engagement rates occurring on Thursday and Friday. The Huffington Post found the optimal time of the day to post is in the afternoon from 1 – 4 p.m.

According to Quick Sprout, content that is posted at 1 p.m. will get the most shares, while 3 p.m. will give you the most clicks. In general, if you post during the 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. time frame you will still receive higher engagement than posts posted before work or later in the evening.

  • Best days to post: Thursday and Friday
  • Best times to post: 1 – 4 p.m.
  • Most shares: 1 p.m.
  • Most clicks: 3 p.m.
  • Broad timeframe to post: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

LinkedIn

Since LinkedIn’s audience is predominantly professionals, and used for networking and business status updates, the best days to post are during the core of the workweek – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. LinkedIn is the “professional” social network so it makes sense that an Elle & Co. study discovered optimal times to post can be from 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., just before lunchtime, and 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. Just as people check LinkedIn before their workday begins, are getting ready to break for lunch, or as they wrap-up for the day.

According to the Huffington Post, posting on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. -11 a.m. can be the “sweet spot” for status updates, and will get a high number of clicks and shares. Avoid posting on LinkedIn from 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. and on weekends.

  • Best days to post: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
  • Best times to post: 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m. – 11 a.m., and 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Most engagement: Tuesdays from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Twitter

Audience is key when it comes to timing your tweets. According to Buffer, B2B organizations get higher clicks and retweets on Twitter during the workweek, with Wednesday having the highest click-through rates. However, B2C related tweets seem to perform better on the weekends. To get a maximum number of retweets, the Huffington Post suggests to tweet from 12 – 5 p.m., with around 5 p.m. being the most optimal.

  • Best day to tweet for B2B: Weekdays; Wednesdays have higher click-through rates
  • Best day to tweet for B2C: Weekends
  • Best time to tweet: 12 – 5 p.m.

So the next time you are planning your social strategy, give the day and time some thought. It just might make the difference between posting to an abyss or getting clicks, retweets and likes.

 

Posted in Blog, What's New | Leave a comment

Lights, Camera, Action: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at a Broadcast Interview

Posted on February 16, 2016

It’s 2:30 p.m. on a Tuesday, and your public relations rep calls to let you know that she’s secured a local TV news segment for you to go on camera and promote your expertise. And the segment is in two days. Your head spins. What do you have to do? Is there a lot of prep work? How long will it take? Where are TV segments even filmed?

We get it. It can be a lot. But when you have a good PR agency, they’ll make the process easy and fun so that you can enjoy your time in the spotlight.

Let’s take a behind-the-scenes look at what you can expect during your time in the limelight.

NBC
 

  •  Your PR agency has already done a lot of the legwork for you. They’ve found the right producer or booker at the station and pitched the idea, and once they secured interest, they made sure that their contact has your accurate name, title, website, and a summary of your main talking points. That way, the TV production team can prepare in advance for how long the segment will be, how it will be shot, and where it fits into the program.
  • Your briefing sheet will be your guide. Your PR agency should send you a briefing sheet with logistical information (arrival time, on-air time, directions, contact phone numbers), your main talking points and key messages, and background details about the reporter or anchor who will be interviewing you.
  • The extra preparation on your appearance pays off. Attention to your overall appearance will pay off on camera and make you feel super confident. Dress conservatively. If you wear anything distracting on TV, people will remember that and not much of what you say. Dress in a simple, under-stated manner, unless you are a fashion designer, artist or trend setter. Avoid wearing white, black or red head to toe. White glows and becomes the most noticeable thing on the TV screen. Black is too harsh and can suck up all the light, and create a blob effect. Reds bleed on camera and are distracting. Television cameras love blue, making that color a good bet for your attire.
  • Practice makes perfect! After you receive the briefing details, your PR rep will schedule a media training meeting or role-playing conference call with you. They’ll prepare you by providing you with potential questions and guiding you through the process of how to give concise, thoughtful answers. Since you only have a few minutes to convey your main points, it’s essential to have a plan for weaving your key messages into the conversation.

 

Christina Gustin KUSI_CP Blog
 

  • The day you’re on air will be a breeze. All you have to do is share your expertise!Since you’ve prepared in advance, the “hard” part is over. On the day of your TV segment, you’ll be instructed to arrive about 45 minutes early. You’ll have time to meet the producer, chat with the reporter who will be interviewing you, and enjoy some downtime to relax and review your talking points one last time. Your PR agency contact will join you to make sure that everything runs smoothly and to coordinate any last-minute details, as well as to provide moral support!
  • It will all be over in the blink of an eye! Most TV appearances last less than two hours from arrival time to the completion of filming. You’ll likely be on-camera anywhere from two to five minutes. In some instances, the TV crew will want to film multiple segments in one day and air them throughout the program, but each will last only a few minutes.
  • Your TV appearance will lend you lasting credibility. Video clips featuring you and your company are great promotional tools. After the segment, the TV station will usually post the clip of it online so that you can share it with your customers, colleagues, family, and friends. Your PR agency can also purchase a video clip so that you have it for your records and can promote it for years to come on your website and with potential customers.

 

KUSI Camp

 

Being on TV can seem nerve wracking, but remember: you’re the expert. Talk to the reporter as if he or she is a friendly client. As long as you practice with your PR team and give concise, informative answers, you’ll be viewed as a reputable source, you’ll come away with a useful marketing tool, and hopefully, you’ll be invited back as a regular guest!

Have any additional questions about broadcast interviews? Leave a comment below and we’ll address your concerns.

This blog was contributed by Amanda Whitlock and updated by Clearpoint Agency staff.

Posted in Blog, Media Relations | Leave a comment

Clearpoint Expands Office with a Remodel and a New Team Member!

Posted on January 29, 2015

We’ve expanded our Encinitas office by adding new team member, Account Coordinator, Julie Willis – and by remodeling our office to accommodate more space! Read our press release and take a video tour of the office to see the changes for yourself. Life sure is good down by the beach in North County San Diego!

Posted in What's New | Leave a comment

Clearpoint Launches New Mobile Website! (And So Should You)

Posted on August 21, 2014

According to Marketing Land, the most popular way to surf the Internet is via mobile device. At Clearpoint Agency we’ve modified our website and all of its features to be optimized for mobile! We recommend all companies make their websites mobile-friendly.

Recent surveys by Google and Search Engine Watch explain why:

  • 72 percent of mobile users say it’s important to them that websites are mobile-friendly
  • 60 percent of Internet users mostly access the Internet on a mobile device
  • Nearly three out of every four mobile users say they’re more likely to revisit mobile-friendly sites
  • 52 percent of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company
  • 50 percent of users said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn’t mobile-friendly

Check out our mobile site and see why you should get optimized today!If you want to optimize your website for mobile, we can help. Give Clearpoint a shout at 760.230.2424, or email info@clearpointagency.com.

Posted in What's New | Leave a comment

Clearpoint Ranked Among Top 10 Best PR Agencies!

Posted on June 10, 2014

toppragenciesClearpoint Agency  has again been recognized by topPRagencies.com as a  Top 10 Web & Digital PR Agency for June! According to the site, agencies in the Top 10 “excel at customer satisfaction, have a great depth of knowledge, and unique advantages over competitors.”

We are proud to be ranked among the best in class, and thank topPRagencies.com for its continued commitment to recognizing excellence in Digital Public Relations.

Posted in What's New | Leave a comment

10 Ways to Stand Out at Your Next PR Job Interview

Posted on June 19, 2013

With school out and recent grads being on the hunt for jobs, we decided that it would be a great time to give new professionals tips on nailing an interview and succeeding at it. We’ve recently been conducting interviews for our summer internship position, and what we thought were common-sense standards were simply common mistakes. Here are 10 tips to remember for your next application and interview.

    bigstock-Penguins-Recruiting-Interview-6.14

  1. Write a killer cover letter – by that I mean a personalized email to the company you are applying at. Look at their website, and find the right person to address your email to. If you’re unsure, LinkedIn can be a great source of information.
  2. Keep the subject line of your email simple – don’t get too creative. If you opt for anything like “super important” or “urgent” you risk that your email could pass for spam and might be rejected.
  3. Arrive on time at your interview – five to 10 minutes early is acceptable, but don’t go too early. Often PR practitioners have hectic days, and their time is planned by the minute. If you arrive too early, the interviewer might feel pressured to see you sooner. Arriving late for an interview can create a bad first impression, so plan wisely and leave on time.
  4. Be well-prepared – research the company and its work/clients in advance. Often you may not need to discuss that, but sometimes an interviewer can ask you which of the company’s clients you found most interesting or what are some publications you noticed the company received coverage in. These are just examples, but it’s always best to be well prepared.
  5. Ask thoughtful questions – if you’ve done research ahead of time, you will easily come up with questions at the interview. If not, some common ones are description of the position and duties, company policies, culture and so on. You might also ask what an ideal candidate is to them.  This will tell you what hard and soft skills the firm values.
  6. Know your resume well and the samples you have provided. Be ready to go into a deeper discussion about your previous work, team projects, challenges and so on. This also shows how prepared you are – if you present examples in your portfolio you can’t talk about, it will make the interviewer doubtful whether you were even part of that particular project.
  7. Highlight your strengths and think of concrete examples – just in case you are asked to elaborate. Situational questions are very common at interviews, and this would be your chance to impress the interviewer by choosing relevant examples that show how you handle challenges well.
  8. Dress professionally – club wear excluded! If you’re not sure whether your outfit is appropriate, it probably isn’t. I recommend to wear something conservative rather than casual. Usually by looking at a company’s website you can get a good feel of their culture, but still avoid jeans and short dresses or distracting items such as big jewelry and bright make-up.
  9. Set aside enough time for the interview. In the PR world, interviews sometimes start with written assignments on the spot that can last for about 30 minutes to an hour. Make sure your calendar is clear for that day, so that you don’t feel rushed or stressed out.
  10. Send hand-written ‘thank you’ notes – this way you will set yourself apart from other candidates. It might not guarantee you getting the job, but if you were one of the top interviewees, it will increase your chances.

This post was contributed by Antonia Genov, Account Executive at Clearpoint Agency

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

10 Tips to Nail Your Media Interview

Posted on November 22, 2012

In recognition of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, our content will be featuring posts all year long about the number 10. From “10 Social Marketing Tips You May Have Missed” to “10 Reasons to Blog,” we’ll brighten your appreciation for all things 10. Have a tenacious idea? Let us know!

1. Prepare ahead of time: this is the most important step so you can accommodate both the reporter’s and your own goals. Review background on the reporter and previous articles, understand the topic, and know the reporter’s audience. Then identify your objectives, and know the key messages you want to cover. Many times, your PR team can provide this information to you.

2. Be human and approachable: be energetic, smile (even on the phone), and display a confident, yet approachable attitude. And remember to be honest, and by that I mean, provide honest information, but be honestly yourself and don’t be afraid to show your personality.

3. Avoid clichés and overused concepts: in your answers, avoid clichés such as “burning issue” and “tip of the iceberg,” as well as over-used phrases such as “innovative solutions,” and “we have no competition.” Be original and creative. Skip the fluff and get to the truth of what you’re trying to say about your company, products or services.

4. Don’t go off the record: nothing is ever “off the record.” If you don’t want something printed, don’t say it. If a reporter finds something interesting, they will find a way to use it.

5. Be credible and relevant: during the interview, provide information that relates to the reporter’s audience and to your customer’s needs. Use statistics to support your statements when appropriate. In addition, quote an industry guru or third-party report to add credibility to your messages. To make the interview interesting, use simple analogies or comparisons that people will understand easily. For example, “The Internet is like electricity. Customers do not care how it works; they just want to be able to plug into it and use it.”

6. Make friends with brevity: make your points quickly and concisely. At Clearpoint Agency, we always recommend giving the short answer first, then filling in with additional detail if the journalist asks. Remember reporters are interested in the five Ws and one H—who, what, where, when, why and how. So answer accordingly, then go beyond those to address the reader’s question of “What does this mean to me?” Personal and customer experiences can illustrate your main points and help the audience relate to a real world example.

7. Use bridging: bridging is a conversation control method that allows you to move from one subject to another. It incorporates briefly answering a reporter’s question and then following that response with your specific messages that relate.

8. Use flagging: this conversation method is used to highlight your most important messages by calling out and emphasizing their importance. For example, say, “The three most important things to keep in mind are….”

9. Incorporate images: a picture is worth a thousand words. Whether it’s a company photo related to the topic, an appropriate chart or graph, or even a headshot of you, an image will make the content more interesting, so reporters may give you more space or better placement.

10. Rely on your best tool: remember, a good PR agency just might be your best tool to nail media interviews. We know the reporters, the audiences, your key messages, and the best ways to prepare, train and support you.

This post was contributed by Alexia Haynes, Clearpoint Agency Senior Account Executive and Bonnie Shaw, Clearpoint Agency President

Posted in Blog, Marketing, Media Relations, Public Relations, Public Speaking | Leave a comment

10 Tips for Public Speaking Success!

Posted on October 18, 2012

In recognition of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, our content will be featuring posts all year long about the number 10. From “10 Social Marketing Tips You May Have Missed” to “10 Reasons to Blog,” we’ll brighten your appreciation for all things 10. Have a tenacious idea? Let us know!

Researchers tell us that the fear of public speaking is one of the top 10 fears that people express. An entire industry has sprung up to help speakers deal with this anxiety, including US-based organizations such as Toastmasters International or POWERtalk International and the Association of Speakers Clubs in England, as well as many academic training courses in presentation skills that help people reduce the fear to manageable levels.

We think all these resources are great, but some speakers just need to boost their confidence a bit more by ensuring their content is worthy and that they know the basics. We work with many clients to help them develop better presentations. The ten tips below are ones that we have found will help you master the art of public speaking and be interesting to your audience.

1.Is your topic compelling?Is your topic worth the time it takes you to put it together and the time for your audience to sit through? Put it to the test by asking a couple of colleagues to give you honest feedback on whether your topic reaches your goals to entertain, persuade or educate. Does it have impact and timeliness; does it identify or create controversy and put forth a clear position? Be sure to assess the attention value, topic prominence, conflict, uniqueness and worthiness for your audience.

2.Know your audience.Customize your examples so that the analogies really speak to them and make obscure points clearer. In some cases, you may even want to conduct research or do a survey of your anticipated audience so you can be sure you are hitting their hot buttons.

3.Research but don’t plagiarize. It’s always a good idea to make sure you are up to date on the topic you’ve chosen, so check the Internet for information, articles, or news coverage that may have come out about your topic recently. But be careful not to accidentally steal someone else’s ideas. If you are using a particular reference for credibility, be sure to source it.

4.Use specifics to create believability. What is the biggest criticism you hear about political speeches, for example? It’s usually that they are full of platitudes, but too vague and short on substance. Don’t make the mistake the politicians do! Use facts and figures to support your premise, but remember to be selective. If you overwhelm your audience with too many numbers, you will lose them.

5.A picture truly is worth a thousand words. Maybe you are using a PowerPoint®, but don’t make it boring with text bullet point after bullet point – add some art! No Powerpoint? Ok, what other visuals could you use that will make an impression? Photos, interesting art, props, charts and graphs help to make a speech more interesting and memorable.

6.Master the flow. Keep your introduction short and pithy. Give some information that people might not expect. You have only a few minutes to capture their attention so use it wisely; let them know why this topic is relevant to them. Then deliver your information clearly with life and enthusiasm in your voice. And be sure to pause before you make your final point or conclusion. Don’t make them guess that this is the important stuff! Signal it by recapping the key points and then emphasizing the end – with impact!

7.Your body language has impact, too. Stand or sit straight and tall so you can present with authority. Keep your voice well-modulated. Make sure your clothing, makeup and appearance fit the occasion and do not distract from the topic at hand. Gesture naturally, as you would in a group of close friends. Most important of all, make eye contact with your audience. Let everyone in the room know that you are speaking to them.

8.Practice, practice, practice! Many people think that once they have developed the topic and written out their notes, they know it well enough to just deliver it on the fly the day of the engagement. And perhaps you are one of those lucky few who really can do this. But if you’re not, or if this is a new topic that you haven’t delivered before, take the time a couple of days before, to work out the kinks. You’ll be glad you did!

9.Don’t forget to publicize your speaking engagements! Don’t just send a calendar item to the events editor. Research appropriate reporters for the news topic and let them know about the engagement, including a few key points that might interest them in writing a story. Put a news release out over a wire service, too – you would be amazed at the pickup you’ll get, which will help with search engine optimization of your website, too.

10.Don’t play hard to get! After you have completed your delivery, be available to the members of the audience for a few minutes. Some people would rather speak to you in person to get more information or your card than to follow up by phone or email. If you have media interview requests, make yourself available soon for an interview to maximize your exposure.

Best of luck with your next speaking engagement. If you think you need more training, we are here to help you.

To get the recognition you deserve, contact us at Clearpoint Agency, www.clearpointagency.com

This post was contributed by Beth Walsh, Clearpoint Agency Vice President

Posted in Blog, Public Speaking | Leave a comment

Get Busy Blogging: 10 Reasons to Blog

Posted on September 27, 2012

In recognition of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, our content will be featuring posts all year long about the number 10. From “10 Social Marketing Tips You May Have Missed” to “10 Reasons to Blog,” we’ll brighten your appreciation for all things 10. Have a tenacious idea? Let us know!

Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, you want to consider a blog. Blogging is a great marketing tool that along with social media will increase your online presence and enhance your company’s brand. Here are 10 reasons why you should use blogging to target your audience in a meaningful and creative way. Succesful blog

1. Become an expert. Remember, by running a business you already are an expert in certain areas. Stick to writing on topics you are already comfortable with and have knowledge about. This way you can define your niche, provide insightful information and become an expert in the area.

2. Share with the world. Okay, you’ve already found your niche and want to share your ideas and opinions with your readers. Even better, you can promote your company’s culture and tell your customers about the latest fundraisers you’ve had or fun holiday parties you’ve attended. Another big component is providing tips to your current and potential customers.

3. Expand your social media channels/platforms. Hosting a blog doesn’t require being tech savvy or knowing HTML code. There are free user-friendly platforms like WordPress and Blogger that will let you do that without knowing HTML code. They offer themes that allow you to customize your blog to best fit your company’s brand. Consider adding your blog to your website to make it easy for customers to find and boost SEO.

4. Cross promote your brand. Having multiple social media channels will help enhance your brand. With an established blog, you can’t miss on sharing your new posts via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms you use. Cross promotion is important because using several social media channels will help you reach the most audience. Keep in mind that depending on demographics and other factors, certain audiences may have preferences to a particular social media channel.

5. Interact with your audience. Your readers and followers will be interested in the insight you provide on your blog and it is likely they will comment on your posts. Responding to these comments is a great way to interact with your audience, be it customers, employees or partners. This will make your blog more human and will eventually enhance your brand even more.

6. Measure results. As any other social media channel, blogging platforms provide an analytics section where you can browse the traffic and views you get as well as search terms, click throughs and so on. This is a good way to experiment with keywords and include more terms that will lead users to your blog, or even better, to your company website.

7. Educate your audience. Let’s say you are launching a tech-heavy product or offering specialty services that need a deeper explanation. Writing a blog on it will be a great way to educate your customers on the specs and details of your products and services. You can use it almost as an FAQ, but in a narrative form.

8. Attend special (VIP and invitation-only) events. Once you have a solid following and a good online influence, you could receive perks like invitations to fun private events, pre-opening parties, or even speaking opportunities. Attend these events to further promote your brand.

9. Increase your Klout score. There has been a lot said about the Klout score, but it still remains the main indicator that calculates your overall social media influence. Writing a blog will definitely help increase your Klout score and make you a specialist in the topics you want to be known for. In fact, some those special events mentioned above require a Klout of 45 or higher.

10. Show diversity. Don’t think that the blog is another responsibility for the marketing manager. To keep it fresh and current you will need to post entries often. Here is where your resources come in place. Once you have your topic schedule, ask different employees to help you depending on their background and expertise.

This post was contributed by Antonia Genov, Clearpoint Agency Account Coordinator

 

Posted in Blog, blogging, Branding, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media | Leave a comment

Next Page »

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.