Tag Archive: PR

  1. 4 Steps to Planning A Successful Influencer Event for Your Brand

    Influencer marketing is fast becoming a “must do” for all consumer-based companies. Whether a local coffee shop, a national toy company, or a global automaker, marketing departments are spending more and more money on influencers—and for good reason.

    • 80% of marketers say influencer marketing is effective, and 89% say it works just as well (if not better) than other marketing channels.
    • 71% of marketers say the quality of customers and traffic from influencer marketing is better than other sources.
    • Tomoson has found that influencer marketing has been able to proffer yields of $6.50 ROI for every dollar spent.

    So now that we understand why influencers are important to your marketing, let’s talk about a way to scale their impact—hosting an influencer event. This is a great idea if you’re opening a new location or rolling out a new product. An influencer event is often less costly than a traditional marketing campaign, and they can be quite effective. Events can also be used in conjunction with a traditional marketing campaign (See #4 below!).


    While the details of each influencer event will look different, depending on the industry and product, there are a few best practices to ensure marketing success—and ultimately increased revenue. To help us out, we talked with two Orlando food influencers, Michelle (@MadeinOrlando) and Lisa (@TasteCookSip), both of whom recently attended one of our influencer events (a new store opening for Tijuana Flats).

    1. Create a Guest List:  Similar to building traditional media lists, finding the right influencers for your event means doing your research. Find people who are a good fit for your brand. For Lisa, a little research can go a long way in getting an influencer to attend an event.

    “I often get hit up to partner with products completely out of my purview, like make-up or watches,” she said. “The form email says, ‘We love your feed and think you’d be a great fit!’ … No, you don’t. If you knew my feed, you’d know I talk about food.” Lisa’s advice is to seek out influencers that work in your space, then start to interact with them. Start by liking their page or commenting on some posts.

    Think of your influencer list like a media list. You should update it regularly and build relationships with the people on it. This will pay off for your upcoming events and ones you throw in the future.


    2. Set Clear (Reasonable) Expectations: Whether you’re looking for a full blog article, 2-3 social posts, or video content, be honest from the start. Then be prepared to pay for that content. For Michelle, clear communication can make or break her decision to attend your event. 

    “I don’t like it when people beat around the bush about what they’re looking for. It can be tedious to go back and forth a bunch,” she said.

    Another key thing is to understand both the workload and value of influencer posts. As fellow content creators, we know it takes more than 30 seconds to set up, take and edit a beautiful photo, then craft a clever, effective post. When making an offer, think about how much time you’re asking the influencer to take give you. For example, are you asking them to drive an hour, try out a variety of products/menu items, then write a 500-word blog post with a slideshow of pictures? That’s worth a lot more than $50 or some free product samples.

    3. Create a Hashtag: Social media is all about momentum—we know this. Multiply your influencers’ effectiveness by creating a hashtag. A hashtag for your blogger event should be creative, related to your brand or product, and relatively short. Interested followers will use it to search and find additional content and reviews. The more time someone spends engaging with content that promotes your product, the more invested they are in your brand.

    4. Follow Up and See it Through: Sending invitations is just the first step. Treat this event like you would a press release—follow up! Remember, each influencer is unique, and it may take several emails and some negotiating to confirm their attendance at your event. We communicated with bloggers before, during and after our event, ensuring they had everything they needed.

    Lisa encourages marketers to remember that the post is not where things end. Social media is just that—social! “Brands should be engaging with posts, sharing posts, commenting on posts and participating in the conversations they wanted in the first place,” she said.

    With these four steps in mind, any brand—large or small—can throw an effective, engaging influencer event.

  2. Four PR Lessons Every Company Can Learn from the Amazon HQ2 Search

    Amazon HQ2

    There were many who came out of 2018 with big wins but Amazon can easily be counted among the winningest – especially in the realm of public relations. News coverage surrounding the tech giant’s quest for another North American location for its second headquarters kept them in the spotlight for most of the year. According to APex Marketing, the media coverage surrounding Amazon’s HQ2 search was worth $42 million. Its “Biggest Delivery Ever” stunt, involving a 16,000 pound Amazon box with a Jurassic World logo, giant air holes and presumably containing a dinosaur, earned it a nod as one of the best-branded stunts of the year. Beyond headline-grabbing PR stunts, Amazon made shrewd business decisions that included timely campaigns for its Echo products and Amazon Fashion brand.

    But behind all of these business successes was a keen PR strategy that is worth examining. There’s no time like the beginning of the year to reflect, so let’s take a look at exactly how Amazon’s 2018 PR strategy paid off and how any company can learn from them.  

    Four PR Lessons Every Company Can Learn from the Amazon HQ2 Search  

    Engage the Public

    The Amazon HQ2 search was announced in late 2017 with a formal request for proposal (RFP) sent to metro regions across North America. While the HQ2 RFP’s intended audiences were city and state governments, by publicly announcing the search and releasing the RFP’s details, they were able to cast a wider net and gain a range of attention from private citizens to Capitol Hill. Plus, the RFP didn’t just initiate one of 2018’s biggest contests, it provided Amazon with valuable research from every city that dared to play.  

    Engaging the public isn’t just a smart PR move for a massive entity like Amazon – collaborating and consulting with the public can be a winning tactic for a company of any size. When it comes to supporting your company’s next big announcement, take some time to devise a strategy that engages with your target audiences as well as piques the interest of influencers. This can generate buzz, potentially gaining you brand awareness and new prospects in the process.

    Know Your Audience

    You don’t have to be a billion-dollar company to catch the media’s eye. Get creative about the way you describe your new product (in their case, a new headquarters for 50,000 tech workers). Amazon coined the phrase “HQ2” and it stuck with the media and resonated with everyone from corporate tycoons to your local acronym-loving millennial.

    Even after Amazon had selected winners for its HQ2 and HQ3, they still kept the media in the loop, sharing a press release announcing the selected cities, along with their reasoning, an FAQ and their agreements with each city.

    What is the lesson here? Well, one of the most important first steps to any successful PR campaign is identifying your target audiences – a fact that’s as true for Amazon as it is for any company. This seems obvious, but it is often an important step that is overlooked when developing a strategy. As the saying goes, if you don’t know who you’re writing for, you may be writing for no one at all. Once you know who your target audience is and what you want to share, crafting a message that resonates with them is an easy PR win.

    Largest “delivery” in Amazon history (PRNewsfoto/Universal Pictures)

    Use Publicity Stunts To Create a Buzz

    PR-drumming can still make some noise, especially when a stunt focuses on digital awareness. Amazon’s “Biggest Delivery Ever” plopped a building-sized box in the middle of Los Angeles and featured a QR code for passersby to scan and learn more, only after they tweeted about it or posted on their Instagram stories (a feature that lets users post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours), of course. The real-time buzz boosted awareness on social media first followed by traditional media coverage.

    Even without Amazon’s event marketing budget, finding a creative way to get your audience engaging online can have a huge publicity pay-off. Try something new with your strategy. Though your business may not be able to afford to ship a dinosaur-sized package, you can develop smaller-scale stunts to turn heads strategically and effectively. For instance, our agency placed goody-filled piñatas in highly populated locations around Richmond, Virginia to introduce our client, Tex-Mex restaurant Tijuana Flats, to a new market. This effort grabbed headlines and created a buzz with those who encountered them in the wild.


    Influencer Marketing Still Has Impact

    Few people will forget Cardi B., Gordon Ramsay and Rebel Wilson temporarily quitting their day jobs to use their own voices to replace Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa’s during last year’s Super Bowl. The cameo-filled spot was the most watched Super Bowl commercial on YouTube and, while Amazon did not report on any impact the well-received ad had on sales, the number of articles and online mentions of Alexa increased 129% following the big game, according to Amobee, Inc.

    Throughout the year, Amazon also ramped up its influencer program. Influencers can each create their own Amazon page, highlight their favorite picks and earn money directly from items bought through their Amazon page or affiliate link. While celebrities like Mark Cuban and Felicia Day have utilized the program, 2018 saw the rise of a niche market for influencers via Amazon Fashion. Fashion micro-influencers like Collete Prime, have risen to fame with the program while capitalizing on Instagram Shopping Tags.

    The key takeaway for making influencer marketing work for your brand is partnering with the right influencers, whether they have 1,000 or 1,000,000 followers. For the most beneficial partnership, choose an influencer with a niche that directly aligns with your brand’s industry or products. Partnerships are powerful.

    Lessons Learned

    Amazon HQ2 is a fantastic example for businesses of all sizes, in all markets. By engaging with the public, working with the media, creating a buzz and considering influencer marketing, your 2019 can deliver big wins for your business – even if you don’t have a Prime account.  


  3. Media Relations Missteps: 4 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Relationships with Reporters



    As a PR professional, perhaps the most important lesson of your career is: relationships are key when working with the media. While this may appear to be a simple and to-the-point concept, PR pros and clients alike sabotage relationships with reporters all the time–usually without even realizing it.

    To help professionals identify toxic behavior before it’s too late, here are four ways you might be unintentionally sabotaging your relationship with media:

    1. You’re unresponsive to requests or take too long to confirm interview times: It is no small feat to capture a reporter’s attention with your news, so when they show interest in what you’re pitching, the last thing you should do is ignore requests for additional information or interviews. Time and again, I have seen clients and fellow PR pros wait days to respond to a reporter with a time that works for an interview, or flat-out ignore a reporter’s request for more information. Regardless of the reasoning behind this behavior, it is both detrimental to your success and is debilitating to a reporter who is trying to gather information for a story.
    2. You expect media to cater to your schedule: While promptly responding to interview requests is crucial to maintaining relationships with media, it is also important to be flexible when scheduling an interview. A surefire way to frustrate someone who is writing multiple articles and meeting dozens of deadlines a week is to refuse to work with him or her on finding a time to talk that works well with both of your schedules–not just yours. Remember, a reporter is not obligated to publish a story on your company or initiative, and you should be doing everything in your power to make sure he or she has all the information that is needed.
    3. You can’t (or won’t) deliver on your promises: As someone who speaks with the media on a daily basis, I can say from experience that there is nothing more uncomfortable than having to cancel an interview, retract a statement, or not deliver previously promised information to a reporter. Not only is this extremely uncomfortable, it is also unprofessional and can give the impression that you are not a reliable source for future stories and opportunities. Every interaction you have with a reporter is your chance to make a statement about the kind of company and/or PR professional you are–don’t sabotage yourself by failing to hold up your end of a pitch.
    4. You spam reporters with too many announcements or story ideas that are not newsworthy: While every company update feels (and is) important to someone within your organization, it is vital that the person in charge of your media relations asks if your announcement is actually important to media and other outside parties. If you constantly spam reporters with information that is unlikely to make it into the news cycle, you run the risk of appearing incapable of delivering real stories of interest.

    Maintaining relationships with reporters is similar to maintaining any other relationship in your life–it takes a certain amount of mutual respect, honesty and effort to keep the relationship healthy and beneficial for both parties. If you strive to do this with every one of your media contacts, you will never have to worry about sabotaging your professional relationships.

  4. How to Plan a Blogger Event

    Whether you’re a clothing company looking to spread the word about a new line or a restaurant debuting a seasonal menu item, garnering attention for your brand often involves looking beyond traditional media outlets and reaching out to another group of influencers: bloggers.

    Unlike traditional media, bloggers have a niche following that is hyper-specific to a certain region or topic (e.g. food), and they typically boast large social media audiences that consist of followers who have a vested interest in said topic. For these reasons and more, blogger events are an excellent tactic for shedding light on a product or service.

    So, how do you plan one?

    While it is always a good idea to enlist the help of an expert when planning and executing your next blogger event, here are a few key elements for creating the perfect event.

    • Create a Targeted Blogger List: Similar to building traditional media lists, finding the right bloggers for your event means spending a good deal of time scouring Google and browsing social media. While this step may seem straightforward, it is essential to remember that not all bloggers in your city – or even all bloggers covering a particular topic – are a good fit for your event. When searching, always take the time to read recent blog posts, check a blogger’s social media credentials, and review how often a blogger posts before adding them to your list. The last thing you want is to give a spot away to someone who won’t move the needle for your brand!

      For the popular Tex-Mex restaurant, Tijuana Flats, we were tasked with drumming up attention for their exciting, new “Flat Outrageous” menu. Considering that they have a substantial presence in multiple markets across the Southeast, we created a vetted blogger list of foodies, mommy bloggers and around-the-town bloggers in Raleigh, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, North Miami, Charleston, Savannah, Charlotte, Columbia and Winston-Salem (all cities home to Tijuana Flats restaurants).
    • Decide on a Theme: This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to transform your event space with thousands of dollars worth of decorations, but it might! The theme of your event is an important aspect in getting bloggers to show. For example, hosting a tasting at your restaurant to showcase a new menu item is great, but hosting a “Summer Menu Preview” with wine pairings from a local vineyard is even more enticing. Planning blogger events around seasons, holidays, or even brand-specific initiatives establishes a theme and gives event attendees something to talk (and blog) about.

      Following our Tijuana Flats example, we crafted the theming for this event largely around the brand’s strong, highly playful persona that is all about embodying an attitude as bold as their flavors.
    • Create a Hashtag: Optimizing your blogger event to the fullest means reaching a blogger’s audiences across all platforms, including social media. The goal of a blogger event should never just be a one-time write-up from attendees; instead, create a hashtag so attendees can share their experiences in real-time on social media, and so your own social media audience can follow along.
      There are many strategies involved with hashtag creation and implementation, but a hashtag for your blogger event should be creative, related to your theme or company, and relatively short (you don’t want bloggers using up all 140 characters on the hashtag and leaving no room to talk about the event itself). According to SproutSocial, tweets with hashtags receive 55% more retweets and twice as much engagement as tweets without, meaning most any professional blogger is utilizing them. Make sure your official hashtag is in their mix.

      For our Tijuana Flats blogger event, we promoted the brands’ #FlatOutrageous hashtag to ensure all media attention, and fan interaction, could be easily followed and built around the new menu items.
    • Offer an Incentive: Events surrounding food or free experiences typically offer enough of an incentive to get bloggers to attend, but other initiatives may be trickier. Depending on your end goal and what you’re promoting, incentivizing attendees is the best way to receive a high number of RSVPs and glowing post-event reviews.

      As you may expect, Tijuana Flats’ incentives came in the form of delicious dishes straight off of the Flat Outrageous menu, available to sample at the guests’ leisure. Ensuring all of the offerings were top-notch was extremely important, as this first impression was definitely one that counted.
    • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!: Sending an initial invitation doesn’t mean you’ve done all you can do to get a blogger to your event. Following up with those who have not RSVP’d, in addition to those who have RSVP’d, is an important step in ensuring that all your targeted bloggers attend your event.

      We communicated with bloggers before, during and after the event, ensuring they had everything they needed to accurately write their articles and share their experiences on social media.

    While planning a blogger event can seem overwhelming, following this criteria can help alleviate the anxiety surrounding RSVPs and event plans, while also resulting in targeted, positive coverage for your brand or initiative.

  5. What is a Media Kit and Why Does It Matter?

    media kit

    The most important thing you need to know about effective public relations is that its purpose is to build a mutually beneficial relationship between an organization and their publics. Textbook definitions aside, it always helps when the public is accurately informed. While there are multiple ways to do this, one surefire method to help control your own message is with a media kit.

    A media kit, or press kit, can be a company’s best friend when it comes to conveying precise information to an influencer, blogger, reporter, or member of the media. It is essentially a pre-packaged set of promotional materials that provides any information about a cause, company, organization or person that can be distributed for promotional use. Most of the time, reporters are the ones who receive these kits, and boy, do they find them helpful. You see, a media kit is different from a marketing brochure or website because it has such targeted information. Some company websites tend to have information about everything pertaining to the company as opposed to a singular focus, as they are trying to appeal to such a broad audience; the same can be said about marketing brochures. Media kits typically convey the information that is most pertinent – the exact information that companies want to see printed in a news story or feature.

    The media kit varies depending on the company. For example, at Findsome & Winmore, one of our clients is Orlando’s popular entertainment district, Old Town. The media kit we designed for this particular client is filled with colorful images of the property, along with a map of the district, and an overview of its shops and restaurants.

    media kit

    Another of our clients is Fountainhead Commercial Capital, a non-bank commercial lender. To contrast, their media kit gives an overview of the company’s founder, Chris Hurn, along with his headshot, company statistics, frequently asked questions and previous media placements.

    media kit

    When deciding what to include in a media kit, it would be wise to ask yourself what you want reporters to know about your company and/or products. Speaking from experience, reporters are very busy people. Anything you can do to make their jobs a little easier will be appreciated and potentially rewarded with some attention. A media kit is one way to do just that, giving reporters a valuable source of information that helps them build their stories. But what are the specific benefits to media kits? Let me count the ways.

    A media kits help with:

    • Making a first impression: Think of a media kit like an eye-catching resume. It helps grab media and investor attention and wraps everything into one neat package for a particular target audience. It is a collection of product information and articles assembled to address questions and provide everything needed to engage with your firm.
    • Hyper-targeting your company’s messaging: A media kit should be focused and share the precise messaging that you want to communicate. In short, it should effectively and efficiently tell people what to think.
    • Keeping things affordable: Printing can be costly for companies, so it’s OK to make your media kits available online. Companies often share their media kits on their websites. It is also common practice to make media kits password protected for media members. Either way, this can be much less expensive than reprinting media kits every time there is a change in your product information.
    • Providing assets for influencers: Speaking of downloads, having a media kit available online can also give you a place to share additional assets that media may need. For example, you can make your company logo available for download in the kit, along with approved high-resolution photos of your company, products and employees.

    So, can you get by without having a media kit? The answer is yes, but why make it harder for yourself to score more media coverage and/or investor interest? If getting more attention and responses from members of the press interests you, then creating an effective media kit is public relations 101.

    Be sure to remember that reporters and bloggers do not necessarily have to adhere to the material in your media kit and, sometimes, may not use everything that you give them. However, you can be sure that they have your company’s accurate, endorsed and approved information on hand and ready to use.

  6. Do I Really Need a Press Release?

    For many companies, “public relations” is synonymous with “press release”. What these companies often fail to realize, however, is that a press release is not a surefire way to garner press for your company; in fact, in some cases, a press release can actually be detrimental to your media relations efforts.

    This isn’t to say, of course, that press releases are never warranted — when utilized correctly, they can be an invaluable tool. So, before these statements send old-school PR advocates into a tailspin, here are a few examples of when your company needs a press release, and a few examples of when a press release isn’t necessary.

    You Need a Press Release If…

    There is a significant company announcement which requires a platform for multiple details and quotes from company executives: We’ve covered this before, but it is always a good idea to step outside of the situation at hand and ask yourself if your news is actually newsworthy.

    The answer is usually only “yes” when there is a significant value-add to a reporter’s readers. It’s great that Bob down the hallway got promoted, but will that change the way the company operates or have any impact on the public’s perception of the company? If Bob is overseeing a new division that will bring dozens of jobs to the local market, then his promotion deserves a press release. If he’s moved to an internal role that is only meaningful to his fellow employees, then a press release isn’t necessary.


    You’re releasing a new product or adding a new service: While it’s completely plausible to promote a new product or service sans press release, a release can be an excellent tool for sending important key points about your launch to multiple outlets and reporters at once, and ensuring that they have all the necessary information upfront.

    You’re reporting on key findings that are relevant to your industry: Press releases are most effective when they are fact-driven and affect others within your industry or region. The more a press release can circle back to an important trend or highlight exactly why the information presented is important, the higher chances it has of receiving significant pick-up.

    For example, conducting a company-issued survey that generates insight into an issue or trend affecting your industry or customer base and publishing the results via a press release is a great way to provide value to reporters and other key influencers. This not only makes you a thought leader; it also makes you a reliable source for future stories.

    You DO NOT Need a Press Release If…

    You’re trying to get a company feature in the press: If your company is doing something innovative or interesting and you want a reporter to do a feature on it, sending them an 800-word press release detailing why you’re great is not the best route to take. Instead, a simple, straight-forward pitch with a catchy headline is the best way to instigate a conversation on why a feature story makes sense for that particular reporter at that particular time (e.g. it’s summer and you design couture pocket fans to keep customers cool). Just make sure you’re following the cardinal rules of pitching when you do this.


    You’re commenting on a current event that is getting media attention: Every so often, a phenomenon like Pokemon Go goes viral and suddenly becomes inescapable. If you are a company that has profited from the game in some way, designed similar interfaces that place you in a position to contribute to the AR/VR rhetoric, etc., there may be an opportunity for you to insert yourself into a conversation that is already happening. This is a publicist’s dream because 1) you can get a lot of easy “wins” with minimal effort and 2) the angle that will “hook” a reporter is laid out for you. In this scenario, an email to a reporter that (briefly) states your credentials, what you can add to their story on the topic and who they can speak with at your company for more insight is more than sufficient and can lead to great press coverage.

    You want to invite a targeted group of people to an event: After helping to plan and execute dozens of grand openings, anniversary parties and events for clients, I can, without a doubt, tell you that the way you invite key influencers to your event is just as important as selecting the hors d’oeuvres and ordering party favors. When it comes to media, the last thing you want to do is bombard them with a press release that details why your company is hosting an event. Instead, send a media alert detailing the “where”, “when”, “who” and “why” in an email. If you really want to get creative, there may be an opportunity to create and hand-deliver a media kit that is representative of the event’s theme and has details on the “where”, “when”, “who” and “why” inside. Either way, it’s important to consult with a trained media specialist before you decide on a definite invite strategy.

    Press releases are a staple in every PR professional’s life; however, in order to get the most out of your public relations efforts, never stop asking yourself the question, “Do I really need a press release?”

  7. Findsome & Winmore Welcomes New Clients, Launches Multiple Websites in Q1 of 2016

    ORLANDO, Fla. (April 21, 2016) – Findsome & Winmore, the classic digital marketing agency that helps clients “find and win” new customers, kicked-off 2016 with the addition of seven clients across numerous industries, including entertainment and fashion. The company, which experienced unprecedented growth in 2015, also launched several websites during the first quarter of the year.

    No stranger to the Orlando business community, Findsome & Winmore has utilized the first quarter of 2016 to increase its impressive roster of clients in new industries.

    Recently added clients include international recording artists FarYoung, women’s clothing boutique Jaci Blue and theme park design firm Falcon’s Creative Group. Additionally, Florida Citrus Sports, Metro City Realty, Elevation Financial Group and First United Methodist Foundation all enlisted the help of Findsome & Winmore for various services, including website creation, digital marketing and public relations.

    In addition to the successful onboarding of each of its new clients, Findsome & Winmore also launched six websites, including Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (a partnership with Six Agency), WMB Architects and Capitol Insight.

    “Our sweet spot as a firm has mostly been in B2B marketing and public relations,” said Matt Certo, chief executive officer of Findsome & Winmore. “While this area is definitely one that we enjoy and continuously strive to grow in, our expansion to industries like entertainment has had a major impact on our firm in terms of growth. We are excited to welcome additional clients in these industries as the year progresses.”

    In addition to expanding its industry presence, Findsome & Winmore also expanded its content presence through a new email marketing series, entitled “Marketing Tip Monday,” providing subscribers with tips on an array of topics. Each weekly email in the series is written by Certo, and seeks to provide useful content and opinions about the worlds of digital and traditional marketing.

    Business leaders, marketing professionals and any other individuals interested in receiving free weekly marketing tips can subscribe to “Marketing Tip Monday.”


  8. 4 Reasons Your News Isn’t Getting Picked Up

    "The New York Times newsroom 1942" by Marjory Collins

    “The New York Times newsroom 1942” by Marjory Collins

    We’ve all been there – you have an interesting piece of news to share with the media, you’ve written a solid press release and/or pitch that adequately summarizes the news, you’re feeling great about your media list… and you’re hearing crickets.

    If you’re giving it your all and your news still isn’t getting picked up in the press, consider these four factors that may be the cause of your PR woes. 

    1. You’re Targeting Media Who Aren’t Interested

    Much like the proverbial tree falling in a deserted forest, if the right media isn’t hearing about what’s going on with your company, is it really happening?

    Creating a list of reporters who actually want to receive your news is the most crucial component in media relations. You can write the most informative and interesting press release a journalist has ever read, but if he or she doesn’t write on the topic, it’s a moot point.

    If you’re not having luck with media relations, consider revisiting – and even revamping – your media list.

    2. You’re Ignoring The Trends

    Here’s something many PR pros won’t tell you: It is completely possible to pitch a story that appears to be newsworthy and still not receive any pick-up in the media. Why? Because reporters are writing stories that are relevant, timely and follow a certain trend that’s likely already making headlines.

    The good news is that once you’ve identified these trends, you’ll be fully equipped with the information you need to adjust your angle and make your news more relevant to reporters.

    3. The News You’re Sending Doesn’t Pack Much Punch

    We’ve been over this already, but I’ll repeat it here: when distributing information to the media, always ask yourself if the information you’re providing is actually newsworthy.


    Sometimes, the news that’s sending a ripple effect through your company won’t make a splash with anyone (media or otherwise) outside of your organization. This isn’t because your news is unimportant or uninteresting; rather, it’s because you aren’t considering how your news will specifically impact those who aren’t directly affected by it.

    Consider the articles you yourself might be reading on a regular basis, and ask yourself what it is about the content that pulls you in to read more. From there, you’ll be able to better ascertain why the news you’re pumping out isn’t making the same impact.

    4. Your Timing Is Off

    Timing is everything when it comes to getting your news picked up. As a general rule of thumb, announcements should be sent out at the beginning of the work week in order to reach the most journalists, and to provide yourself with plenty of time for follow-up emails and more research if needed.

    When pitching media, always remember that journalists work on tight deadlines, and that a reporter’s week usually fills up very early on. Additionally, always be aware of when publications go to press. Sending news later in the week to a publication that prints every Friday means you’ve missed the weekly news cycle, and will likely have to wait another week before seeing your announcement in print. By then, it’s possible that the journalist will lose interest because the information you’ve provided to him or her is no longer new, thus rendering it irrelevant.

    Navigating the midfield of media relations takes time, skill and a lot of patience. Learning how to pinpoint how you can improve early on will be a giant help in the long run.

  9. “And The Winner Is…” How Winning Awards Can Impact Your Business

    Win Awards for Your Business

    Recently, Findsome & Winmore was named one of the Best Places to Work in Orlando by The Orlando Business Journal. While winning the award was exciting for all of us at Findsome & Winmore, the real thrill came from the reactions we got from people outside of our company.

    After making the Best Places to Work list, we saw a significant increase in job applications, congratulations from clients and even a few congratulations from people and organizations around town that we normally have little interaction with.

    So, why did winning a simple award impact our company like it did? Because becoming an award-winning organization elevates a company’s status within an industry or community.

    Going From Generic to Preferred

    Do you prefer brand name or generic?If you are shopping for a particular item and are forced to choose between two brands, do you go for the generic or the reputable brand?

    If you’re shopping for quality, selecting the brand with the best reputation or credentials means you can be sure that you won’t be disappointed in the product. That same logic can be applied across any client service-oriented company, within any industry.

    Getting recognized by a prominent local or national publication or organization can take your company from a generic product to the preferred brand.

    Which Awards Should I Go After?

    Start by thinking about the things that are most important to your company. Does it make sense for you to shoot for an award that recognizes your city’s healthiest employers? If you’re looking to appeal to prospective employees who would take notice of this award, the answer is yes. If your goal is to establish yourself as a leader within a certain industry, this award wouldn’t necessarily be a means to that end.

    From there, consider which publications or organizations are important to your company or your fellow industry leaders. A quick online search for open award nominations associated with the ones you select will provide you with information on award deadlines, application requirements and more.

    Awards can go beyond just your company, too. Many awards focus on recognizing outstanding individuals within an organization. Seek these opportunities out as much as you can. There’s no better way to show off what your company can do than to have an outside party praise the team you’ve put together. Not to mention, having individuals recognized for their work both in and out of the office is a great employee morale booster.

    How Do I Get Nominated?

    Awards Can Boost Your Company's ReputationSimple – fill out the nomination form! These forms are typically very user-friendly, and  nominations can take as little as 30 minutes; however, while nominating your business or an employee may be simple, how your nomination is written can affect your chances of winning.

    If writing isn’t your strong suit or you feel unsure about how to answer questions, enlist the help of a professional who has the ability to paint your company in the best possible light, and who will include all the necessary information in order for you to be considered as a winner.

    Winning an award is a sign that your company is doing something right. From a marketing prospective, this can be an invaluable tool. Take advantage of it!

  10. 5 Tips To Consider When Writing Your Next Press Release

    So, your company has some great news and you’re ready to announce it to the world? There are a few things you should consider first. While writing a press release may seem like a simple process, a lot of time and strategic thinking goes into the average announcement.

    Reporters Hard at Work

    The desk of your average PR professional – covered in papers and the disregarded fluff of your wordy press releases.

    To that end, before you set out to write your next press release, consider the following five things first:

    Ask Yourself: Is My News Actually Newsworthy?

    I completely get it. When you’re heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of an organization, every company update, promotion or cocktail party feels like it should be on the front page of your local newspaper – which is why it’s all the more important to take pause before drafting a press release and really ask yourself, “is this news actually newsworthy?”

    Your company’s rebranding or forming a partnership that will change the way it operates forever? Newsworthy. The guy in the cubicle next to you got promoted from a mid-level position to a higher mid-level position? Not quite as newsworthy.

    There are plenty of things your company should be announcing to the media; just make sure you’re sending the right message at the right time.

    Use AP Format

    Any publicist will tell you that following AP format is arguably the most difficult part of writing a press release. From determining whether or not a number should be spelled out or if its numerical equivalent should be used, to knowing whether or not to capitalize a professional title, even the most experienced writers have to check (and triple-check) AP formatting when drafting a release.

    Luckily, the AP Stylebook is available for all of your formatting questions. And, between you and me, a quick Google search usually does the trick.

    List the most important parts of your story first

    Be Sure to List Information by Level of Importance. Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/23024164@N06/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

    If your release is about the growth your company has experienced over the last year, don’t wait until the third paragraph to mention it. Be clear and upfront about the purpose of your release, from the get-go.

    While general company information, a quote from a senior executive or a link to your company’s website are all vital components of your press release, the most important news should always be shared first.

    Avoid “Fluff”

    There is a correct forum for talking about all the great things your company is doing; a press release is not that forum.

    Journalists sift through dozens of press releases every day. The last thing anyone who is working on multiple deadlines wants to read is a document that doesn’t actually tell them anything. In the world of PR, we affectionately refer to this unnecessary information as “fluff.”

    I know it’s tempting to sprinkle in flowery language like “innovative” and “groundbreaking” when writing, but the most effective press releases are the ones that stick to the hard news and avoid the fluffy words that aren’t adding anything significant to the story.

    Want your release to make an impact? Keep it simple (and cut the fluff!)

    Consider The Distribution Method

    Once your press release is written (sans fluff), what next?

    Using an online distribution service, such as Market Wired or PR Newswire, allows you to target online journalists based on their respective niches and location. These services also help to boost your SEO standing online – a win/win.

    While online press release distribution certainly helps to push your news to the right audience, organic pitching to targeted journalists is also a necessity to garner news coverage about your release.

    When it comes to getting your release in front of the journalists who are the most interested in what it says, enlisting the help of a professional is the surest way to ensure that your news is seen – and written about.

    Writing a press release takes time, effort and quite a bit of perspective. Keeping these tips in mind just might make the process a little easier.