It is with great excitement that we welcome Sara Chavez to the WordPop team! Sara is a recent graduate of the University of San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in marketing, a minor in supply chain management as well as a concentration in French. Sara is eager to enter the marketing world and is especially interested in the realm of digital and social media marketing. She is a San Diego native, dog lover and WordPop’s fall 2017 intern. Sara is applying the skills she learned in school to her projects at WordPop and looks forward to gaining real-world experience through her hands-on internship.
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.
Julia here, WordPop’s PR consultant. For the past 10+ years, I’ve been a PR pro and yoga practitioner. A few years ago, I added “certified yoga teacher” to my credentials. Balancing between the two sometimes opposing roles of PR practitioner and yogi got me to thinking…what do they have in common? As it turns out, it’s a lot! Yoga isn’t just good for strengthening your body – here are 9 PR skills you can strengthen through yoga.
- Persistence – When I wanted to pop into a headstand in the middle of the room, without toppling, a teacher suggested I practice every. single. day. By applying this advice, I now stand topsy-turvy with confidence in the middle of a room full of yogis. PR can take similar persistence – never underestimate the power of follow up when you have a good idea and the right set of ears.
- Flexibility– I’m a planner and I like things to go as planned. This mental inflexibility mirrors my tight and inflexible muscles. As a yogi, I’ve found stretching consistently works to lengthen and maintain flexible hamstrings. As a PR pro, I’m constantly stretching my brain muscle to problem-solve when things don’t go according to plan. I also create a plan b (and maybe even a plan C), which makes things easier, when…inevitably…things go off course. For example, if we don’t get content approval in time, can we re-pitch what we’ve gathered at a later date or to a different reporter?
- Detachment from ego – When you’re trying to twist into a pretzel but you’re more of a dough ball, it’s helpful to detach from your sense of pride. Contrary to the myths perpetuated by Instagram, yoga is not about competing with the people around you or even comparing your body today to the way it was yesterday. It’s about accepting yourself as you are in the moment. As a PR pro, it can sometimes feel like your pitches are getting sucked into a black hole, but detach from your sense of ego. There are plenty of reasons why stories get passed by (something more urgent, a jam-packed inbox, time of day). As long as you’re sending relevant pitches to the right people, be persistent and don’t let a lack of response get you down.
- Discipline and enthusiasm – In yoga, these two are interconnected and driven by core strength. Translate that burning-abs feeling into fiery enthusiasm or passion for each endeavor you undertake. By strengthening your core, you can tap into your innate sense of discipline that helps you get things done in your busy professional life. As a PR pro, you have to stoke your fiery-passion for every single pitch in an effort to convince a journalist that their readers or viewers will view the topic with similar enthusiasm.
- Support from your kula – Your “kula” is your community. Through professional organizations and graduate school, I’ve cultivated a group of brilliant PR minds that I’ve tapped as resources on a number of occasions to help brainstorm solutions that worked. It’s also helpful to have good relationships with other local PR pros, especially those in similar industries, because we often collaborate.
- Intention setting– I usually kick off a yoga class by asking students to close their eyes, become aware of their breath, and set an intention for their time on the mat. This is a critical first step to any PR campaign but it can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Sometimes we learn about an initiative later than we’d like and we’re scrambling to catch up but it’s critical to take a step back. What’s the point of this initiative in the first place? By setting clear goals, you can make sure you are spending your time wisely and can identify success when it happens.
- Seeking insight from the primary texts– Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are a series of 198 aphorisms that form the foundation of our modern yoga practice. They’re a distillation of a bunch of other foundational texts…basically the ancient version of tweeting at conferences. Just as it’s important for yogis to crack a book from time to time, it’s important for PR pros to make the time to eat up the foundational texts of our profession. The AP Stylebook, Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style and Crystallizing Public Opinion by Edward L. Bernays are all worthwhile.
- Quiet your monkey mind! Speaking of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, one of the first sutras (in sanscrit) is “yogaś-citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ.” Translation: the purpose of yoga is to quiet your churning mind. We all have those days where we have flagged three hot items for the day, but somehow, even more urgent items keep piling up in the mailbox faster than we can read them. Here’s a tip for handling the chaos. It’s counterintuitive but separate yourself from the inbox. Take five minutes to close your eyes and notice your breath. You can even intentionally breathe in for four counts, out for four counts. Repeat, reset.