Tag Archives: tips for young PR

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3Min: Paull Young, Young PR Blog”

Like the cold front that rolls in during late Spring, today’s “3sdays 3Q’s in 3Min” is so cool, it’ll make you put your hoodie back on.

Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. In addition to helping PR peeps pitch these individuals more effectively, the videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

While at interactive marketing and advertising conference ad:tech, socialTNT had the chance to catch up with fellow PR blogger Paull Young. We’ve enjoyed Paull’s blog, the Young PR Blog, for quite some time and couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say. In today’s interview, Paull gives some advice to graduating communications students entering the workforce, and offers some tips to social media pr and marketers on how best to listen to your audiences.

Paull started off his career doing traditional PR at a Sports PR firm. In December of 2005, Paull started blogging his experiences as a freshly graduated PR professional. Less than a year later, Paull shot to celebrity status in the blogosphere by launching an “Anti-Astroturfing” campaign with Trevor Cook in July 2006. In March 2007, Paull left the big island of Australia for the Big Apple to join Constantin Basturea at social media communications firm Converseon.

As Paull’s career has evolved, so has his blog. No longer just a chronicle of his progression up the PR ranks, it now includes tons of tips, tricks, strategy and case studies. Check out this great post on using Twitter to form a conversation.

Fun Facts About Paull:

Watch as Paull explains the differences he’s encountered moving from traditional PR to strictly social media, gives advice to new PR pros entering the workplace, and shares a secret about listening to your audience.

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How do you track the conversation around your clients? What advice can you give students graduating in May?

If you haven’t done so, please join PROpenMic, Robert French’s social network for communications students. They’d love to hear your insight

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Citizen Reporter, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media, Video Interview

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Jon Swartz, USA Today”

After Spring Break hiatus, “3sdays 3Q’s in 3Min” is back with a star-studded episode.

Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. In addition to helping PR peeps pitch these individuals more effectively, the videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

This Thursday socialTNT meets with Jon Swartz, Technology Reporter at USA Today. Over the last year, Jon has moved away from covering just security. His beat has really moved to include social networking, big firms like Yahoo and AOL, and tech from the West Coast point of view. In this week’s episode, Jon share some of the social media elements USA Today is rolling out and also tells us why he loves social networking for PR.

Jon has been covering technology since 1987. Working his way through the ranks of MacWeek, San Francisco Chronicle and Forbes, Jon now resides at USA Today. If you have a non-gadget tech client, he may be a good contact. Pitch him before 11AM PT.

Fun Facts About Jon:

  • Learned the ins and outs of PR (including a blog and YouTube video) while on tour for his upcoming book with Byron Acohido, “Zero Day Threat,” discussing how banks and credit companies help hackers steal your identity
  • Microsoft is to Apple what Hillary is to Obama. Discuss.
  • Not on Twitter, but on LinkedIn
  • Thinks Walt Mossberg could beat Ed Baig in a mud wrestling fight
  • Has season tickets to SF Giants
  • Starts his morning with print editions of New York Times and LA Times. Then moves into WSJ Online and GigaOm.

If you haven’t seen some of the cool things USA Today is doing with blogs and video, check it out. Watch as Jon tells us more about his beat, explains how social networking has changed the PR pitch and then completely HIJACKS my interview!

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Have you included social networking into your outreach? Do your spokespeople include their facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or IM when speaking with reporters? Should they?

No time to watch the video at work? Get “3Q’s in 3Min” free from iTunes and watch it on the go!

Also, don’t miss a post: Drop socialTNT into your RSS reader [what’s that?]. Better yet, subscribe to socialTNT by email!

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“Luke, I Am Your Blogger: How To Pitch From the Darkside”

Because I’m a PR guy who blogs, I occupy a gray space: not quite hack, not quite flack. As a PR pro, I pitch bloggers and reporters daily. Through my blog, I get pitched by people looking to have their product reviewed or their CEO interviewed. Depending on what cubicle you sit in, I could be on the dark side.

First off, I want to say we’re honored to receive pitches because it means someone, somewhere values socialTNT enough to view us as an outlet they want their product/company/spokesperson to be seen in. Instead of pulling a Chris Anderson, I’d rather use this opportunity as a PR professional and blogger to help those who pitch bloggers understand some best practices.

Pitching is a necessary evil; it’s the only way smaller voices from lesser known companies can get a chance to be seen. Good bloggers and reporters know that they can’t keep track of every new company, and therefore value a good PR professional. But you don’t have to be a PR professional to write a good pitch, you just have to know how to communicate.

Step One: Observe. Listen. Participate.

  • Check out the “About” section. Does it have a sentence or two describing the focus or mission of the blog? Are there any bios or beat descriptions for the main bloggers?
  • Look for a blogger that covers most closely the area you are trying to reach. Read the past several posts from that blogger to get a feel for their style.
  • If you can’t find a blogger that fits, spend a fair amount of time (some say hours) reading the blog. Get to know it like you would a friend.
  • Look for regular features or topics that could work with your product or company. When pitching, mention how your product would fit in that column.
  • If you have something meaningful to say, comment on a post, but don’t use the comments as pitching ground.
    • EX: I read all the comments on my posts, and remember those who have commented. It will help you stand out.
  • If the blogger is on Twitter, follow them.
    • HINT: Because Twitter is more informal, you can have a conversation with them to build better rapport. Pitch only through Twitter if you have been following them for a while and are comfortable with writing a tight (140 character) pitch.

Step Two: Outline the Pitch/Things to Consider

  • How would your product/company affect my readers?
    • EX: There are a lot of really cool social media tools and sites out there. It’s great receiving pitches, but we are a vertical publication. That means we’ll need to know how it fits into the scope of our blog. Marie reviews productivity tools that can be helpful to PR/Marketing peeps or Journos. I like to review tools that can be used for marketing and PR campaigns. Sure, sometimes those applications haven’t been figured out, but the more information we have from you on how it works or how it helps communication/interaction, the better we can try to find PR/Marketing uses.
  • Great Product? Can you demo it.
    • HINT: If you can set up a ready-made, tailored demo of the product as it works in the wild, do so. Send a link to a page created specifically for that blogger
  • Are you pitching a spokesperson? Tell me his/her background, highlighting the areas that would interest my readers.
    • HINT: No more than two sentences. Seriously. 🙂
  • Do you have any other promo materials? Press release? Send it. Better yet: Link to it.
    • HINT: SMNR to the front of the line.

Step Three: Aim. Throw.

  • Bloggers are usually pressed for time. They’re also on a 24 hour news-cycle. They may read your pitch at 1AM after a night of heavy drinking. Help them out: Make your pitch concise and to the point.
    • HINT: Bullet, Link, and Bold
  • Who are you? And what the hell are you doing in my inbox? 🙂
    • HINT: State the most important things up front. Tell me in the first couple of sentences. If I have to scroll, you’ve written too much.
  • Cut the fluff, we can usually sniff the BS anyway. Everyone has the most innovative, greatest new tool. How does it work? This is where knowing the pub/writer is crucial.
    • EX: For socialTNT, how does it help people communicate or connect? Can it build relationships? How does it help with content delivery?
    • PS: I *heart* video
  • VIP pass
    • Because bloggers are short on time, let them know how to get in touch with you. Twitter, Skype, Facebook, LinkedIn, IM and even good old fashioned phone
    • Bonus: For me, Spokesperson on Twitter = SCORE!
    • Jackpot: Have an RSS feed or Del.icio.us page for company news? Let me know. YouTube or Blip.tv channel: Golden.
    • Caveat: Don’t assume I have the time to look or the brainpower to connect the dots. The pitch should talk. Also, just cause it’s pretty, doesn’t mean I’ll cover it. Substance.

It all boils down to knowing your pub and writer. Many of the pitches I get are from small business owners or CEOs/Marketing folk at startups. You don’t have to be a PR pro to pitch like one. Just follow the simple steps above, and you’ll succeed. Remember: There is no tried and true method, and even the best pitches don’t always mean bites.

Bloggers and seasoned PR pros: What advice would you give to anyone pitching bloggers? Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!

[PS: I admit to having crafted my share of bad pitches, or even choosing wrong targets. It happens to the best.]

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Related Posts:

“How Media Relations Got Its Groove Back″

Download and print this great “Blogger Relations Quick and Critical Tips Bookmark” from my Colleague, Todd Defren.

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Filed under Best Practices, Blogger Relations, How To, It's A Conversation, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Small Business Social Media, Social Media

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Liz Gannes, NewTeeVee”

No Valentine? No problem! Today’s “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min” comes with all the sweet sentiment of a box of chocolates, but without that bad stomach ache afterwards.

Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. In addition to helping PR peeps pitch these individuals more effectively, the videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

This Thursday, socialTNT chats with Liz Gannes, Editor of NewTeeVee. In today’s “3 Q’s in 3 Min” Liz shares best practices for PR pros, and also explores the future of online video now that the writers’ strike is over.

In December 2006, Liz left her very PR-pitch popular position as writer covering the Web 2.0 beat at GigaOM to edit NewTeeVee, a new media focused blog published by Om Malik’s Giga Omni Media network. If you or your client is a start-up specializing in some aspect of new media–particularly focusing on the convergence with video or broadband–this is the place to be.

When Liz agreed to the interview and gave me a pier number as an address–and then told me to meet her by the docks–I got a little worried; had I sent a bad pitch and was about to get offed? Silicon Valley can be a bit of a mobster state. Plus, Om’s stogie-smoking imagery and all-encompassing media network are pretty mafia-like. Not so, said Liz. They had just moved and didn’t have any markings up yet.

Fun Facts About Liz:

  • Before moving to Palo Alto, Liz used to live a couple of blocks from me in SF’s hipster-haven Mission district
  • Graduated from Dartmouth College with a Bachelors in Linguistics
  • A night person, she wakes up late and then catches up on the daily news by reading a couple hundred RSS feeds
  • While not opposed to being pitched through Facebook and Twitter, Liz sees those as personal realms — email is best
  • Liz organizes the NewTeeVee Pier Screenings in SF
  • Introduced me to my new Video Valentine: blip.tv

Watch as Liz tells us a little more about her beat, names the most influential new media innovation in 2007, and let’s us know what makes a good communications professional.

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What was the most influential new media trend in 2007? Or, for PR pros, how do you add value to your reporter relations? Let us know in the comments!

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[The above photo, “Liz Gannes” by joeywan on flickr, used under Creative Commons.]

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Best Practices, Blogger Relations, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media, Video, Video Interview

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Kara Swisher, All Things D, Part 2”

It’s Thursday. I’m up in the sky on a trip to Austin, and you’re reading “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min.”Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. In addition to helping PR peeps pitch these individuals more effectively, the videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

This week is part two of our discussion with Kara Swisher from All Things D. Last week, Kara told us why she LOVES blogging. In this week’s “3Q’s in 3Min,” Kara tells TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington how to “Just Say No” to PR pitches, gives her tips on good PR, and explains the art of good video interviews.

A few days ago, PR pros everywhere sighed with relief; a study came out showing that reporters truly need the relationships they have with their public relations contacts. Although she knows a thousand and one ways to say No, Kara does value a good PR professional. For Kara, PR is more than just a one-night stand. It’s a relationship.

Here are Kara’s tips to becoming a good PR pro:

  • Know what the reporter writes about
  • Create and build an ongoing relationship
  • Bring interesting stuff
  • Be loyal to your client, but address issues and problems in an honest way

Wanna know more? Watch the video. She’ll even throw in a description of her beat.

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What are other traits you think a good PR pro should posses?

On All Things D, Kara obsesses on companies/stories as much as she wants. How does blogging change the traditional media flow of information? Do news bloggers convey stronger opinions through their pieces than a traditional outlet? If so, do you consider that a good thing? Love to hear your thoughts.

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Recommended reading

“3Q’s in 3Min with John Markoff, New York Times, Part 1”

“3Q’s in 3Min with John Markoff, New York Times, Part 2”

“How Media Relations Got Its Groove Back”

[The above photo, “Kara Swisher is looking at YOU, yes YOU. You know who you are.” by Mark Montiero on flickr, used under Creative Commons.]

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“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Adrienne Sanders, San Francisco Business Times”

Adrienne Sanders Happy Thursday and welcome to another edition of “3Q’s in 3Min.” Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. In addition to helping PR peeps pitch these individuals more effectively, the videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

This Thursday, socialTNT meets with Adrienne Sanders, Reporter, from the San Francisco Business Times. Adrienne covers Tech, Interactive Media and Entertainment. Even though her beat is localized to the San Francisco Bay Area what she has to say rings true nationwide. In today’s “3Q’s in 3 Min,” she tells us why digital is finally catching on; keys to good outreach in the new media age; and her idea of online personal space.

While other San Francisco publications have declining circ numbers, the San Francisco Business Times has been steadily gaining numbers. That’s why if you have an Internet company of any kind–Widget and startups included–Adrienne is a great addition to your media list. She’s also friendly (read: honest) and very well acquainted with current Tech trends.

Facts about Adrienne:

  • Has a one year old son
  • Does have a LinkedIn page
  • Currently uses Vista
  • worked with Om Malik when they were both at Forbes
  • Doesn’t have a lot of time for social media outside of work, but did recently make a book (of which she is proud) using Blurb.

Adrienne is right: Whether using traditional methods or social media, the best practice is to know your reporter or blogger. She also seeks to clarify the distinction between personal and private space online; something I think we will see more of as the technology evolves.

Where do you see the line between private and personal space? I’d love to know how you handle media outreach when you notice a reporter is on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Blogger Relations, Citizen Reporter, Future of Media, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Networking