How To Be Newsworthy

Basic tools and methods for making you newsworthy.
What is your message and who cares? Develop your story inspirebased on who you affect. Your core audience are the people to whom you are newsworthy. Before this is useful, we must answer an even more fundamental question is: what is news?
It’s hard to say anymore. Many argue that the size of a man’s hands isn’t news, but it was.  Who died and made that person in charge of “news?” In the age of hard news, soft news, fake news, weird news and who-knows-if-it’s-news news, we all have to make educated guesses as to what is newsworthy to general and specialized audiences. One way to do this by creating “personas.”
“Personas” are fictitious examples of generic clients, customers, constituents. They are our generic definition of the people who care the most about our messages. Personas guide timingus into gaining a deeper understanding the clients’, customers’ or constituents’ point-of-view. They put us into their head so we communicate more clearly and convey our brand promise more effectively.

To invite journalists to cover a story, I send a “media advisory” and then either pitch (call and talk) to the station assignment desks or the producers depending on the story, lead time and topic. Our goal is to help our clients get their message out. We do so by making our focus to help the news departments inform the public of important topics and trends. So, if the news people don’t view our client’s story as newsworthy, we trust their judgement, adjust and try again later.

We advise clients to monitor the news and look critically for showing bookstories that seem to be related to their industry or that compliment their story.  A pet store may see an animal rescue and step in to provide free food for whomever adopts the animal. A manufacturer may see a change in the economic environment reported and anticipate increased/decrease of sales and jobs. A restaurant anticipate a holiday or seasonal event that is frequently covered under general community news – like St. Patrick’s Day or the Superbowl. Once we see these types of stories, we can then research the reporter further, establish an online or email connection to share the story.
Often, being newsworthy often takes creative persistence. But, like all success, it tends to be a function of preparation meeting opportunity. Prepare yourself to be newsworthy and you will succeed.
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YouTube Optimization

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

We are not going to spend your time in this article explaining why. These are very concise step-by-step instructions on how to optimize your YouTube account to gain the greatest number of viewers the quickest. We recommend you set aside 15-30 minutes per section to carry out these tasks.

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Optimizing Your Account

Create a YouTube account:  To improve SEO results, secure the name of your company as both the username and profile name   [www.youtube.com/users/profilename] = [www.youtube.com/user/CyberspacePublicity].  If the name is already being used, have one that sounds similar.

publicity, public relations, social media, video production, website building
Modern Publicity's logo
Upload an avatar/logo (see ours to the left), give yourself a keyword-rich description, link back to your site in the Website section, share your hometown and dig into the hobbies focusing on activities that complement your business or line of work.

Optimizing Your Video Content 

Video File Name: By default, your video will have a file name like “vid027612″. Rename the video to give it a more descriptive, keyword-rich title that accurately describes the video content in five words or less.  Edit off the three letters after the dot (“.mov”  “.wmv”).  Nobody needs that detail.

 TIP: Do Not Include Business Name – describe the content accurately, clearly, briefly.

Description: Write a easy-to-understand video description that accurately depicts the video content placing a link to your Web site into the video description.

Tags:  Tags are words, not phrases (except for names and brands like Modern Publicity and Paul O’Sullivan) and include all keywords used in the file name/title/descriptions.

Optimize Your Video Channel

Visit your profile page and click the link to edit your channel to include keywords, an accurate description and include a link to your Web site, assign tags and allow comments.  Also,  select the type of channel you’re running to and upload a custom-branded background. (stay tuned to a how-to blog post on this topic).

TIP: To get optimized YouTube tag words without SEO analysis: search out videos in same business category (eg: “San Diego real estate”) ignoring promoted videos. Pick video w/same marketing goals & click “show more” button. Copy and paste their tag words and add your firm’s name, your name, etc. onto your YouTube page. This isn’t as good as our SEO analysis, but it’s much, much better than nothing.

YouTube "Info and Settings" page
YouTube "Info and Settings" page

A PR Firm Needs Crisis Communications

Frequently, PR agencies are called upon to use their experience, judgement, skills and reputation to manage bad press.  It’s rare that an agency has to do this for a $200,000+ PR campaign it designed.  But that’s exactly what a local San Diego PR agency faces – cleanup in aisle five – and they’re praying they get their money’s worth out of themselves! Continue reading “A PR Firm Needs Crisis Communications”

Why Hire a Publicist?

It is common for non-PR people to not have a clue how a publicist can improve your business’s bottom-line.  Even when they intuitively know that getting mentioned in news reports (ie: magazines, newspapers, popular blogs and television) has much higher credibility and impact, it’s often difficult to imagine anything you or your company is doing is news worthy.  We get it.  But keep an open mind and take a look at you from our perspective for a moment…

Modern Publicity defines public communications using four distinct segments (ADDD):

  • Awareness (if no one knows you exist, they can’t buy/hire you)
  • Differentiation (if you’re like everyone else, there’s no reason to buy/hire you)
  • Decision (if you don’t give people a specific, timely reason to hire/buy, they typically delay the decision)
  • Delivery (if you don’t deliver what you promise (your brand), you won’t keep old customers or acquire new ones).

Given this, publicity is a powerful communication tactic to do one or more specific ADDD goals.  The results must be measurable. This doesn’t simply mean you see more news about yourself  and your business, it means we work with you to ensure you see bottom-line results such as more customers coming through the doors, more referrals and more sales.  But the question is begged; even if you know a publicist can raise awareness, distinguish you from you competitors and give shoppers or prospects a reason to buy today, what is it that a publicist can do about it?

Putting aside the tactic of self-publicity (social networking), I’ve begun a list of things we quiz you about in order to reveal a newsworthy ‘hook.’  An important value we bring to the table is understanding how difficult it is to get into the news cycle and what reporters are looking for in order to cover you.  Sometimes we create a news event, such as a press conference, an award or a special event, or we’ll define your product or service in relationship to an existing newsworthy trend or event.  To see specific examples of our work, you’re invited to visit our newsroom.   But here are some things that we use to generate interest and mostly links to Google searches for ‘news’ using the term:

  1. Grand opening
  2. New product
  3. New service
  4. New staff
  5. New idea
  6. New partnership
  7. New study (that relates to your business)
  8. New song (for recording artists)
  9. New book (for authors or that relates to your business)
  10. New video
  11. New law (proposed or actual that relates to your business)
  12. New controversy
  13. New invention (it doesn’t have to be yours)
  14. To Be Continued…

Here’s the truth: you don’t need to know how a publicist can improve your business.  What you need to know is a good publicist.  Let US describe what you have that is newsworthy and then get you covered and integrate into a comprehensive marketing communications campaign.  That’s our job.