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Link to Maggie Holben PR articles posted at EvanCarmichael.com
Holben’s “Seven Ways To Get The Media Attention You Deserve” article was published in the PRNews Media Training Guidebook, 2009 Edition.

Getting The Media Attention You Deserve

By all accounts your company is successful. But, does it seem everyone else is receiving media attention but you?

Here's what you can do, according to Maggie Chamberlin Holben, Denver PR consultant and chamber member since 1999:

1) Retain qualified help. Media relations is more complex that it looks and assistance from a PR professional, who has the contacts and knows how to package and pitch your story, is critical to successful placements.

2) Package for success. Media advisory or news release, backgrounder, FAQ, photos, charts and graphs are the tools that help the media re-tell your story accurately and effectively. Remember to have testimonial interviews lined up and briefed in advance.

3) Select contacts wisely. Every news item is different and your media contact list needs to be tailored for every campaign. One list "does not fit all," and your PR counselor will make sure your targeted list fits your objectives.

4) Put it on the wire. Don't ignore the power of services such as Business Wire and PR Newswire. Newswires can't replace personal pitching, but can greatly extend the reach of your campaign when used properly.

5) Utilize online exposure. Make sure information and visuals are easily accessible on the Internet, either with an online press kit or through posting at an online newsroom.

6) Document coverage. When stories run, you want several copies. Make arrangements for clipping and taping services in advance of your campaign.

7) Measure results. Clippings alone seldom provide enough information for evaluation. Your PR counselor will help you determine if campaign objectives were met by employing methods such as ad value equivalency and content analysis.

About the author:

Maggie Holben, owner/founder of Absolutely Public, is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America. A Denver native, Holben relocated from Wichita, KS, in the late 90's where she was vice president of client services for The Lida Groups.

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Absolutely PR's Maggie Chamberlin Holben wrote this bylined article for the ColoradoBiz Magazine web edition:

Effectively Using PR Tactics:  Seven Tips To Boost Brand Awareness
By Maggie Chamberlin Holben, APR
Absolutely Public Relations

In my opinion, the greatest sin in the public relations realm is the sin of doing absolutely nothing and then wondering why the media aren’t paying attention to you (or, in the case of a crisis, are eating you alive).  As a small business owner or manager, you can arm yourself with a copy of Full Frontal PR or Public Relations For Dummies and engage in “do it yourself” PR.  Or, you can contract with a PR consulting firm to assist in the process. 

Whatever the case, it’s up to you to make use of proven PR tactics to help build awareness and credibility of your brand.  Here are seven tips to help jumpstart your PR efforts, or improve existing programs:

1) Focus On Your Newsworthy Attributes

The news hook is an important information trigger that actually interests news editors and reporters, not something contrived or self-serving that you think should interest the media.  You’ll have far greater success garnering news coverage if your announcement is based on a proven news hook, rather than being full of puffery and information only of interest to you. 

2) Keep Your PR Tools Up-To-Date

The basic tools for being reporter friendly are: well-written news releases, media/press kit (both online and hardcopy), fact sheets and Q&A documents, backgrounders and history documents, bios of key employees, milestone recap and related timeline, photography (high resolution required for print reproduction), and technical documents such as white papers and case studies.  The more information you are able to provide an interested reporter, the more likely your encounter will result in thorough, accurate and engaging coverage.    

3) Utilize Newswire Services

Newswires – effectively selected, written and timed – turn up the volume on your media announcement. Specialized dissemination services -- such as PR Newswire, Business Wire, PR Web, PR.com and PR Leap – can give your news release added exposure to both the media and potential customers searching the Internet for your products or services as the release remains posted online.

4) Become Skilled At E-mail Campaigns

E-mail is, on the whole, the most preferred form of communication for reaching the news media (versus unsolicited phone calls, text messages or podcasts to busy journalists).  Where do you get the e-mail addresses?  Check the contact section of the media outlet’s website or subscribe to a media contact data source such as Bacon's MediaSource, Burrelles Luce MediaContacts or Bulldog Reporter MediaBase.

5) Make Use Of Leads Services

The leads service is a special PR tool that allows reporters on deadline to reach out to companies and individuals for information and interviews.  Examples of these services, available by subscription, are PR Newswire’s ProfNet and PRSourceCode. Here’s an example of a recent Profnet Query: “I am writing a story for a national business publication roughly titled 'Sales 2.0.' The article looks at how some of the new tools such as LinkedIn, Jigsaw, and other Web 2.0 tech stuff are changing the way companies prospect for sales, contact and woo sales, close sales, and then keep customers happy. I am only interested in talking to small and medium-sized businesses (with 1,000 employees or less).”

6) Share Your Expertise Via Articles

Bylined articles, like you’re reading now, are when you write articles for the print media (usually at the invitation of the editor) about your area of expertise.  Opportunities can range from a 250-word squib to a 2,000-word feature.  A short paragraph at the end of the article usually recaps the author’s credentials, explains his/her company or organization title and affiliation, and provides the reader with website contact information.

7) Win Awards To Attract Attention

Receipt of an industry or community award is a legitimate news hook that can help attract the attention of editors and reporters and ultimately gain valuable media exposure.  The focus of the award gives the recipient a reason to expand on the particular topic by providing additional information and related photography.  Quite frequently, the prestige of receiving one or several industry awards offers the “awareness lift” necessary to secure a profile or full feature about your company or organization. 

A skilled practitioner can assist you with your PR initiative and help you understand the many tactics available to you.  PRSA Colorado offers its Find a PR Professional Directory at its website (http://www.prsacolorado.org) to connect clients in need with PR consultants who can help.

Happy awareness building of your brand!

About the Author:

Maggie Chamberlin Holben, founder of Denver-based Absolutely Public Relations http://www.absolutelypr.com, is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America and a member of its Counselors Academy.  A Colorado native, Holben has served two terms on the board of directors of the Colorado Bioscience Association, receiving the association’s 2006 Partner of the Year award.  In 2005, she was certified as an industry analyst relations practitioner.  

Link to Maggie Holben's article in the national InSide Biz Newsletter - scroll to page 2:

InSide Biz Newsletter Article

 
 
 
 
 

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