We’re counting down to Christmas with 12 public relations and journalism terms you should know! If you’re a business owner, marketing executive, non-profit director, or new PR pro – this post is for you. Cheers!
- Press release (or news release) – A press release is a newsworthy announcement shared with the media. A written announcement usually no longer than one page, a press release covers the essentials: who, what, where, when, why and how. Videos and photos can accompany a press release.
- Pitch – This is a tactic for working with journalists. Instead of sending them a press release, a story you’ve written in a journalistic style, you send the journalist a story idea. You may want to include relevant data, or bullet points. You can read more about pitching with 9 pitching practices to make you shine.
- Lede – “Don’t bury the lede!” is a common reminder when someone else reads a draft of your pitch. The lede is the first sentence or two of a news article and its purpose is to draw the reader in. Share the most important/impactful information first.
- Media alert – This is helpful if you have an event upcoming and you’d like media to be there. Similar to a news release, a media alert covers the essentials: the who, what, when, where why of your event. You should also include parking information and day-of contact information for the media.
- Backgrounder – This document can be used in conjunction with other PR documents to provide stakeholders with additional information. For instance, if there is a crisis situation, a backgrounder can provide an outline of the situation, anything pertinent that led up to the crisis event, and how the organization is responding to the crisis situation.
- Boilerplate – This paragraph, found at the end of every press release, is a concise description of your organization, so journalists have the essential information they need about your company, as they write their story.
- Public relations and media relations – Some people think these two terms mean the same thing, but media relations means working with members of the media whereas PR is a strategic function that may include media relations, but also includes reaching key stakeholders in any of the ways that they like to communicate and receive information.
- Byline – Sometimes PR people pitch a story to journalists with the intention that the journalist will write a story about their client, but other times, the PR pro suggests a byline article, which is an article that someone from their organization would write, and would receive credit for, with a line that says “by [insert executive’s name]”.
- B-roll – This is video footage that your organization shoots/or hires a professional to shoot, so you can send to TV stations with the hope of getting your coverage aired. It’s “cutaway” footage that’s used to help tell the story, so you want to make sure you’re showing your story “in action”. You can also edit the b-roll for your own website and social media channels.
- Press kit – Before a press conference or event as part of an industry convention, PR pros may create a printed/online press kit that includes all the content a journalist would need to help tell the story, whether that’s photography, a press release, headshots of leadership, a product photo, a product sample, a company history, a video, etc.
- Edcal – This is short for editorial calendar and it’s something magazines and other publications use to map out their content for the following year. PR pros use these documents so they can pitch journalists stories that sync up with the content that publication is already planning to feature. Edcals can usually be found inside a media kit or advertising kit that you can request from a publication’s advertising department.
- Lead time – Writing stories and planning a paper or magazine takes time. When you’re pitching publications, especially magazines, you should be aware of their lead time and/or deadlines. For magazines, lead times can be really long (i.e. start pitching holiday gift roundups in May). Weekly papers have a day when they need to file stories, and when they’re on deadline, it’s not the best day to pitch.
- Wire service (bonus!) – Paying for this service can be helpful if you have really important company news that you want to get out to a large audience. You just upload your press release and it’s distributed broadly to the regions and industries you select. We DO NOT recommend that you rely on a wire service to satisfy your PR needs. Sending a press release or pitch to a select group of targeted media with whom you have a relationship with will yield greater results.
If you need help launching or improving your PR efforts, please reach out to April at email@example.com
Are you a home builder or agent trying to market and sell a new or resale home? Are you an interior designer or architect hoping to showcase your beautiful work? If so, tune in! We invited our talented friend Natalia Robert to share a few tips about working with a photographer.
Standing out in the real estate market these days can be tough, but having stellar professional photos for your listing is one sure-fire way to get buys to stop their scrolling. While each professional photographer works a bit differently, there are some things you can do to always make the process smooth and successful!
- Ask questions. This may seem obvious, but many folks make assumptions about how a photographer works, what’s included in the rates, and what style of photos will be delivered. Often, this can lead to frustrations when expectations aren’t met.
- Do you have a really tight timeline or very limited availability for the listing property?
- Do you want to make sure to get dusk photos so that the custom lighting in the backyard is shown off well?
- Do you always include a video tour with your listings and need the photographer to provide that as well?
All of these are examples of things that should be discussed with your photographer so that expectations are met and there’s no confusion along the way. Before working with a new photographer, be sure to ask as many questions as possible! Don’t be afraid to request a chat on the phone so that you can talk through any special requests, last minute questions, and just to get a feel for what type of person they are to work with. Be sure to request samples of their work online, and confirm that all your needs are included in their quote. If you’re in the process of finding a photographer that works well for you, you may want to take a few minutes to create a list of questions for each candidate so that you can make sure all your questions or concerns are addressed.
- Prepare the space for photos. It’s easy for us to lose sight of the bits of clutter that we have in our home, but photos will make all those bits of clutter stand out. To ensure getting photos that show the home in its best light, have a chat with the homeowners about decluttering the spaces as much as possible. It’s okay to hide things in closets for the photoshoot if it’s going to show off those beautiful kitchen countertops or the custom built-in shelving in a living room! Once the homeowner declutters, arrive at the shoot early to confirm that the spaces look clean and fresh. This is the ideal time to suggest any last minute changes to the homeowners – like hiding things in the closet. You may also want to consider bringing a few of your staging touches to any special listings that you want to showcase. Things like flowers, some clean place settings, a blanket thrown over the back of a couch, or a magazine open on the coffee table are all touches that make the home feel lived-in and welcoming.
- Keep the relationship going. Once you find a photographer that works well with your needs, don’t lose them! If you’re happy with the photos delivered, a quick note via text or email to let them know that is always greatly appreciated. If you were happy enough with the photos to refer them to other agents, please do! Working with the same photographer for your home listings can create a consistent expectation for your clients – they know they’ll have quality photos for their listing if they work with you. Also, working consistently with the same photographer creates a solid professional relationship, reinforcing a strong professional network that just adds value for your clients.
Finding quality professionals that reflect your business values can be really tough. When searching for a professional photographer for your listings, be sure to follow the three steps above to create lasting relationships. It all really comes down to open communication, both with other professionals and with your clients. Being open and honest from day one will ensure that all expectations are clear and, ultimately, met.
About Natalia Robert: Hey there, I’m Natalia! I’m a lifestyle photographer specializing in interiors, architecture, and branding for designers, publications, and unique properties worldwide. With a whole lot of wanderlust, I’m based in California but always looking for my next adventure! You can view my work and learn more about me a t http://nataliarobert.com, and follow my daily adventures on Instagram at @nataliarobertphoto.
We love our job because we get to promote the causes of professionals in the wellness space – from doctors to medical devices to athletes. If you’re an expert in some facet of the red-hot wellness space, there’s an opportunity for you to see your name in ink! Read below for ideas and let the brainstorm begin.
- The food/nutrition story. Whether you’re a doctor or a triathlete, food and nutrition is part of your realm. Things you’d never eat, things you eat every day, tips for dining out, five key nutrients you might be neglecting, your favorite nutritious dinner recipes, your favorite recipes before a long run, food prep tips, the list goes on. This is a shining moment for anyone wanting to talk about nutrition. Media outlets and their readers especially want to hear from someone aspirational like an athlete, or a doctor who lends credibility.
- The trend story. This can apply to any wellness professional, no matter which facet of the industry they fall in. If you’re a doctor, are you seeing a rise in a particular malady? If you’re a fitness expert, is there any concerning or uplifting trend you’ve noticed?
- The “top five questions” story. What are the most common five questions you’re asked in your profession?
- The timely story. What cycles do you see in your industry? Is there an extra-busy time of year? For example, a doctor might write an article about how to gear up for flu season. A yoga instructor might write about six ways to participate in International Day of Yoga. A medical device organization might create a story about a disease the device was created to treat, timed to that disease’s awareness day.
- The explainer story. In the world of medicine, this could be a layman’s explanation of an ailment and how to prevent it. In the world of athletics, it could be about how to train for your first half marathon or how to tune your bike in preparation for race day.
- The technology story. How has technology influenced your industry over the past few years? Does it make it easier for patients to access medication? For doctors to share medical histories? For runners to monitor their calorie intake and sleep? No matter the impact, be sure to explain why readers should care.
- The data-inspired story. Has your company or a reputable organization in your space released compelling research recently? This is an opportunity for your organization to join the conversation and bring some context to the data.
Hopefully your mind is churning with ideas now. If you need help actually writing the thing, we’re happy to help! We can also help you identify outlets and journalists who might be interested in running your story.
- Informing media and consumers about the community’s construction progress through monthly press releases and/or pitches sent to targeted media, which resulted in 45 total placements, plus phone calls and interest list signups.
- Showcasing the two homebuilders’ innovation focus by announcing the rollout of virtual reality home tours. Media were the first to experience the tours during a “deskside” pitching session, which resulted in a 50% pitch success rate.
In 2014, we shared 10 things we love about PR. Here are 10 more reasons why we love what we do!
- Opportunity to write daily.
- Chance to see our words in print. It never gets old!
- Change – our days are very rarely repetitive – there’s always something new…whether it’s a new client, new challenge, or a new approach.
- Uncovering what’s exciting or interesting about a particular project, initiative, concept…and bringing that to light.
- The joy of working with some of our favorite people (clients and media) with whom we’ve been collaborating for years.
- The excitement of getting to know new personalities – even if it’s just over the phone or email at first.
- The perk of snazzy events…whether we’re celebrating a client’s award or milestone.
- The ability to work from nearly anywhere – even the side of the road when duty calls. (Thank goodness for living in the time of smart phones and wifi!)
- A good excuse to volunteer for with some awesome organizations over the past years – PRSA, San Diego Press Club, National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
- Learning loads about industries we might know little about otherwise – from real estate to insurance to startups.
You have bold visions for your young organization and can’t wait to see your company’s name in print. You can make this vision a reality by coming up with story ideas and “pitching” those ideas to journalists. The concept is similar to a funding pitch, but instead of proving ROI, you’re proving that your story idea will be of interest to a particular journalist’s readers.
By carving out some time to brainstorm, you can pitch story ideas to the many journalists covering startup culture. Here are some questions and thought-joggers to get you started. If it’s pitching tips you seek, read this.
- Have you reached a fundraising milestone?
- Launching a new initiative/product line?
- Are you doing something shocking or surprising?
- Have you hired someone notable? Acquired a big new contract?
- Is your company the first to do something? Are you the only company doing it in your city?
Some additional things to think about…
Why is what you’re doing important…right now?
Timeliness is something reporters look for when they identify newsworthiness. Is there any timeline associated with your work? A season that’s more active than another? New data that shows a concerning trend you’re trying to remedy?
Try going in on a story with similar-but-different organizations.
Are you making a product for the education sector? Gather some others in your space and pitch a roundup featuring the five of you.
Want to be quoted?
You can find journalists who cover your space and send them a quick rundown (think bullets, use your business pitch skills) of why you’d be a credible source and include some topics you can comment on. Just make sure when you do respond to questions, that you provide short, quotable quotes. Another tack is to ask those same journalists what they’re working on and how you can help.
We suggest you get familiar with the journalists who cover the startup space by reading their work. This will most likely inspire additional ways to approach getting your name, or your organization’s in print and online.
Got questions? Email our Lead Publicist, April Enriquez who has spent the past several years reading articles about startups and pitching stories surrounding startup culture.