There was a time when public relations seemed to be all about connections, and PR people courted reporters with story ideas pitched at fancy restaurants. But with all the changes that have come to the news business, connections alone don’t cut it anymore. The key to media relations today is a well-conceived story that can be told through multiple channels and is prepared in a way that makes it as easy as possible for an outlet to publish.
True story: Years ago, when I was vice president of marketing and communications for a large communications technology company, I was pitched by a big New York PR firm. They spoke so reverently about one of their colleagues and his connections in the media. As proof they told me, and I’m not making this up: “Katie Couric came to his pool party.”
That’s the mindset we have to lose, and here’s why: Newsrooms don’t have the manpower to cover as many bases as they used to, but their need for content has never been greater. With audiences for traditional media shrinking and new media outlets cropping up all the time, the perceived value of an individual media placement has fallen dramatically. So where does that leave companies that want to maximize their media relations?
DiversityBusiness.com has recognized Idea Grove as one of the Top 500 Emerging Businesses in the United States. Idea Grove was ranked 273 and was the 18th highest Texas business on the annual survey.
DiversityBusiness.com has been ranking emerging businesses since 1999 and also ranks the top 500 privately held U.S. businesses, the top 500 women-owned U.S. businesses and the top 500 diversity-owned U.S. businesses, according to its website.
Over the past two years, Idea Grove has emerged as one of the fastest-growing public relations and marketing firms in the Southwest United States. The firm was recently recognized by the American Marketing Association with its Marketer of the Year award.
Among the biggest challenges in content marketing is producing enough quality content for all the various channels we use to distribute information. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s annual report, 64 percent of B2B content marketers say they are challenged with producing enough content. For Internet marketing firms and corporate marketing departments alike, the key to solving this problem lies is in getting the most out of the content you already have through re-purposing.
Let’s say that this month you want to do a white paper, an ebook, a byline article, two press releases, two media pitches and a series of three blog posts. Got 10 ideas for those 10 pieces of content? Thought not. Instead, think about the three big ideas you want to focus on, then fashion the content plan to fit those ideas. Vital to that plan is re-purposing your content across your distribution channels.
Re-Purposing Works in Both Directions
That white paper establishing your tech company’s thought leadership in a particular vertical can become a series of blog posts. The suggestions made in the byline article can be turned into a press release you pre-pitch to trade media as part of your technology public relations efforts. Need content for social media sharing? Tell people about all that valuable new content you’re putting out.
Idea Grove President Scott Baradell is among the speakers at next month’s 2013 PRSA Southwest District Conference, where he will participate with four other PR professionals in a panel discussion called Tackling Media Relations.
The panel will explore how dramatically newsrooms are changing and how PR practitioners must adapt their strategies to better meet the needs of journalists. Scott will talk about the importance of creating publication-ready content for use by media organizations, in the form of byline articles, infographics, and more. He will also discuss how a company can use a single content idea across both its inbound marketing and media relations programs.
Appearing with Scott on the Tackling Media Relations panel will be:
- Alexis Patterson Hanes, associate director of Public Information for the Austin Community College District
- Lauren Butler, vice president/group manager at Ketchum
- Casey Norton, vice president of Media Relations at Weber Shandwick.
- Sarah Marshall, senior vice president of Phillips & Company, who will moderate.
The conference is sponsored by the Austin chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and takes place June 5-7 at the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown. The three-day event offers PR professionals everything from sessions on managing a crisis and making an impact to free yoga on the hotel’s roof.
We have a winner! Mike Drago has won our Way to Grove Award, which recognizes members of the team who achieve notable and tangible results for clients. Mike won for his work helping to oversee a thought leadership website that has grown a sizable community and greatly increased online visibility for the client’s technology offering.
ServiceVirtualization.com was launched in April 2012 by the Application Delivery business at CA Technologies. The site focuses on a field of emerging software solutions that enable faster, better and less-expensive application development. Idea Grove was called upon to develop and oversee content on the site’s blog, which Mike began editing in October 2012. He quickly grasped both the complex technology and the community of people with an interest in it.
The site now ranks second in native search for “service virtualization” behind the Wikipedia definition. Along with the improvement in online search visibility, the ServiceVirtualization.com community has grown to thousands of members, and Twitter feeds that support the blog have nearly 1,200 followers (@svcvirt and @virtualization6).