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periscoping

How to Grow your Business by Periscoping [INFOGRAPHIC]

If you have never tried Periscoping for your business, it may be time to consider it!

Periscope Definition

Periscope, the live streaming app owned by Twitter, has completely evolved social media sharing. You can make the most out of your social media this year by learning how using Periscope can help grow your business.

What is Periscope

Periscope is an app that allows users to share and view live video broadcasts from their smartphone or tablet. The app was purchased by Twitter for $100 million in March of 2015. periscoping Viewers stream 350,000 hours of video every day. Over 200 million broadcasts have been created since its launch, with 10 million registered accounts and 1.9 million daily active users. Because of this, the app’s popularity and convenience make it a fantastic platform to promote your business.

How to Use the Periscope App

Using Periscope is simple and accessible. To sign in, you can use a phone number or a Twitter account. There are four primary tabs.

1. The first tab displays lists of people that the user follows that are currently “live” and a list of broadcasts that the user attended within the past 24 hours.

2. The second tab displays a list view and a map view of live public broadcasts the user can join.

3. The third tab is the broadcast booth.

4. The fourth tab shows the user’s profile and settings.

The first setting enables the user to turn notification on or off. 

The second setting enables the user to select preferred languages public broadcasts.

The third setting enables the user to save videos to a mobile device.

Broadcasting on Periscope… or Periscoping

periscope marketing

Here comes the fun part – the actual live video streaming!

If a user has his or her notifications turned on, the user will be alerted to live broadcasts when someone he or she follows starts a broadcast, shares another user’s broadcast, or invites the user to a private broadcast.

In order to watch a live broadcast, select the list or map version of the global broadcast tab and touch an existing event. The broadcast will begin immediately, and comments in bubbles and hearts floating on the screen will appear from users along with the number of viewers on the lower right.

The same goes for replaying a broadcast, minus the comments and hearts.

To send a broadcast, select the broadcast screen and enable all three options and the setup screen will open. Choose all your settings, notify Twitter followers that the broadcast is starting, and begin the broadcast.

Why You Should Use Periscope for Business

Periscope creates a community between your business, loyal customers, and influencers. You’re able to interact with others by
  • showing up regularly to their broadcasts,
  • making insightful comments,
  • asking intelligent questions, and
  • sharing their broadcasts on social channels.
Periscope is also great for posting how-to videos. By Periscoping, or scoping, you’re able to demonstrate how to use a product, share tips on using it, and upload the video to YouTube after the live stream. Share product demos when launching a new product by
  • sharing details with the audience,
  • doing an interactive demonstration, and
  • showcasing product features.
You can also share news in your industry with the online community before anyone has a chance to write about it, or build a mailing list by asking viewers to leave their email address in the comments to sign up for something great.   Peer into Periscope: How Periscope Can Help Your Business   This is a guest post submitted by Farah Zamora, a journalism student at Florida Gulf Coast University.
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virtual-summit

How to Create an Online Summit [VIDEO INTERVIEW]

Attending an online summit is a great opportunity to learn from experts. Whether you’re the host, a speaker, or an attendee, summits are beneficial for everyone involved.

Lisa Simone Richards is a visibility strategist for health, fitness, and wellness entrepreneurs. Not only has she landed some clients in notable online summits, but she’s also organizing one right now that she will host. It’s called the Audience Attraction Formula. For more on that, click here and watch the video below to see how she’s done it all, step by step.

What is an Online Summit?

Online summits begin with a host or an organizer. He or she will gather a variety of experts in a specific industry. The experts share information that could cost a few hundred or a few thousand dollars, but in online summits, experts are engaged in interviews and sharing insightful values for free.

Attending an online summit is a great opportunity to take away knowledge from a variety of different perspectives and gain some actionable tips to help get an individual to the next step of achieving a related goal.

What are the Benefits of Participating In a Summit?

Summits often operate under a model that centers around email list size. This is why:

Speakers are asked to share the event with their followers on their email list to help promote the event. If all these speakers do this and bring their audiences to the summit, everyone grows their audience and exposure.

Near the end of an interview, speakers may offer a free gift that is delivered by email. That’s where the email list growth comes into play for speakers.

What are the Benefits for Everyone Involved?

The host of the summit also gets an opportunity to build his or her own list; the speaker gets to gain more exposure and credibility; participants learn a lot of strategies to take back to their own business.

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how-to-create-a-virtual-summit

How do you Host a Summit?

1. Choosing the Topic

The first step in hosting a summit is to identify what your topic is going to be. This will most likely be your area of expertise and cater to your audience.

2. Finding the Experts

Then, you need to find the experts who align and resonate with that topic. This is where you need to do your homework and research some experts to learn what kind of knowledge and experience they are already offering.

If they can talk about content they already have, it’ll make them more likely to say “yes” because they won’t have to prepare too much for the summit. When a host approaches an industry expert, it showcases the host as a leader in his or her industry as well by creating an online event with so many influencers.

3. Promoting the Summit

While you’re finishing up interviews, the speakers will reach out to their email lists and let them know they are participating in an upcoming online summit that will blow their socks off.

It’s the host’s responsibility to:

  • create the marketing materials
  • put the summit content on his or her website
  • promote the summit by email, social media, etc.

It’s also important to constantly be mindful of an end goal. You want the online summit to align with that vision to get the most out of it.

How do you Distribute the Videos from the Summit?

When it comes to distributing the videos, many people will do one video a day for about 20 days, depending on how many experts there are.

To avoid the audience losing interest over a long period of time, it’s a good idea to post two or three videos a day to shorten the time span and make an offer sooner rather than later.

In the Audience Attraction Formula, each interview will be on its own page, along with a short bio of the expert and the free gift he or she is offering.

You can either keep the videos available permanently on your website, or if you want to monetize the summit, you can charge a fee for a lifetime membership after the videos are unpublished.

If you’re interested in being involved in a summit, keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your industry. Don’t be afraid to ask if you hear something going on that seems like a great fit. Maybe you can get in on it!

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how to be a publicist

How to be a Publicist

No, not everyone is a publicist… even if they think they are or want to be. Full disclosure: I did not go to school for public relations or marketing. My major was public affairs journalism. Everything I learned to get me where I am today didn’t come in the classroom, regardless of my major. I interned at a local TV station before working in TV both behind the camera and in front of it for more than 10 years. That is how I learned how to be a publicist.

How to be a Publicist

publicist job description The definition of a publicist is a person responsible for publicizing a product, person, or company. It’s a job many people think they can do… and try to do. How hard can it be? You just tell a bunch of people wonderful things about a client or yourself and that’s it, right? Wrong. Many think they know how to be a publicist, but really don’t know. At all. There are a lot of self-proclaimed experts who give hard working and smart working publicists a bad name. Two of these “experts” are bloggers and online influencers. Not all of them, but some of them. Here’s why.

Bloggers

publicist agreement In a way, bloggers act as publicists. We help spread the word about whatever brand we’re working with on our platform. We make some media connections if we do a great job promoting ourselves as marketers… but that does not mean a blogger can act as a publicist for others. Don’t get me wrong, some bloggers do it and they do it well. It’s because they get it. Some don’t get it. One big difference between a blogger and the traditional media is paying for coverage and earning it. Some bloggers earn a living by promoting brands. The traditional media cannot promote anything. That’s not their job. Understanding the difference and how to approach the media with a pitch for editorial coverage is very different.

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As a publicist, I stopped pitching bloggers because many would refuse coverage unless they were paid. If they deserved payment, and my client had an additional advertising budget, then we’d talk… but unfortunately, many bloggers believe they are worthy of payment because they have a blog… just because they have a blog. On the flip side, sometimes being a blogger can help you be a publicist because you know how things in the blogosphere work – just like me working in TV helped me, but you need a little more than just that bit of experience.

Online Influencers

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of online influencers launch publicity products and courses… but they have no education or experience in publicity. They only experience is the said influencers earning media attention for themselves… but the media attention the influencer shares to bring in new followers is recent media attention – after that person became successful. To most people, all that media attention looks great. To someone who understands the business, it’s not that impressive. If Oprah made a few calls and got herself on the cover of Forbes today, we wouldn’t be too surprised. It’s expected. She is already a successful business woman. If Oprah made a few calls and got herself on the cover of Forbes 35 years ago when she was a radio reporter in Mississippi, that would be unexpected. That would be a big deal. That is not what some of these online influencers are doing. Instead, they are earning coverage after they’ve made it big and trying to sell you on that coverage. Earning coverage before you’re successful is not easy and I’m not sure influencers know how to do that, but that is what their followers need. free-media So, to get back to the topic of “How to be a Publicist” there is no right or wrong answer. It’s not like math where 2 + 2 is always 4. Some things work for some people while different things work for others. We all have different methods of outreach, different relationships with people, different clients in different industries. There is one thing that will always work. It’s being strategic. I’ve seen so many publicists when I was in TV and when I worked at public relations firms throw a bunch of things at the wall and hoped a couple of them would stick – also known as pitching 500 people with the exact same thing and hoping a couple will run with it. That’s not strategic. Be strategic.
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Newest Social Media Trends

8 of the Newest Social Media Trends [INFOGRAPHIC]

It’s no secret social media has become one of the most popular forms of marketing in the world. Get ready, because these eight social media trends are sure to dominate 2017. If you want to see the amazing infographic that goes along with this post, just scroll down!

8 of the Newest Social Media Trends

1. Live Streaming Video

Smartphones have made it possible for anyone to use their devices and capture live events, so they can bring their social media followers along with them. latest social media trends Social media networks like Twitter’s Periscope, Facebook “Live”, or Instagram’s Stories are making it possible for businesses to share their products and services with the world in real-time in a different, easy and personal fashion… and people love it!

2. Chatbots

Chatbots have made quite the sensation in 2017, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop. A chatbot is a computer program which conducts a conversation through auditory or textual methods. Some of the most popular chatbots are the ones that are embedded within Facebook Messenger. This nifty service is a great tool for improving customer experiences, retrieving data, and automating tasks with a personal touch.

3. Expiring Social Content

Snapchat has been popular for years. People love the concept of short-lived web content and it gained more popularity when “stories” were created. current social media trends Many companies have adopted this method of marketing. With millions of active users, platforms like Snapchat and Instagram are great tools for getting content out in a fun, quick manner.

4. Merging of Social Media Platforms

You’ve seen it everywhere – different social media platforms coming together in holy matrimony. Facebook has WhatsApp, Instagram, and Oculus Rift. Twitter has Periscope, and Microsoft has LinkedIn. This year, keep an eye out for more tech and social startups trying to keep up with these trends. This is especially important for marketers because it will have a huge affect on the performance of the social media channels used to distribute content.

5. Harder Acquisition of Organic Social Traffic

Don’t you miss the good ol’ days when all you had to do to gain organic traffic was post updates on a regular basis? Now, most social media networks have changed their algorithms so that updates are no longer in chronological order, but based on relevancy. Marketers can’t just rely on social media alone anymore. Now they have to pursue multichannel strategies to maximize their digital marketing campaigns.

6. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

We’ve all seen the amount of popularity that virtual reality and augmented reality has gained in 2016. trending social media This year, there’s a good chance that Facebook will be the frontrunner of AR application in the world of social media with its experimental lenses and masks in Facebook Live. This will be an interesting trend to watch, as it provides a whole different experience for users worldwide. free-media

7. More Personalized Content

In 2017, expect to see more personalized and relevant content and advertising delivery. The days of traditional advertising are fading away, and these new trends will help consumers call to mind a brand, and it will lead to interaction with the company on a more personal level.

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Facebook’s retargeting has become very useful for marketers because it makes it possible for them to craft advertisements and content based on the audience’s preferences and interests.

8. Increased Usage of Social Influencer

Many brands have turned to using “Instagram-Famous” influencers to create authentic content for their brand to gain prominence. After all, word-of-mouth has always been an effective form of marketing. This year, count on seeing more social media influencers working with brands. The Top 8 Hottest Social Media Marketing Trends in 2017 (Infographic) - An Infographic from CJG Digital Marketing This infographic was shared from CJGDigitalMarketing.com. This is a guest post submitted by Farah Zamora, a journalism student at Florida Gulf Coast University.
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create-an-online-course

Why I created an online course

When I left the news business and got into public relations, I learned a lot of people don’t really understand how editorial media works. Business owners didn’t get it and some publicists didn’t get it.

The problem of not knowing…

During business development, a lot of people will ask me:
How much do I pay you to get me in Forbes? If I hire you, when will I get in Forbes?
The answer:
You don’t pay me to get you in Forbes. You pay me to actively pitch you to Forbes. You’ll get in Forbes when a writer or editor thinks you’re worthy of it.
As you can image, those aren’t the answers potential clients want to hear, but that’s the truth. Many public relations firm or publicists will sugar coat it and maybe stretch the truth a bit. I think this why I also hear this when I talk to potential clients:
I don’t know if I want to hire PR. I just had a really bad experience of giving all my money to someone and I got nothing in return. Now, it’s not in the budget.
Media relations isn’t only a lot of work, but it’s a lot of work with no guarantee. I compare it to a doctor. Your doctor can’t guarantee you’ll feel better, but he or she can do everything known to get you there. free-media

The Solution: An Online Course

After seeing so many negative experiences and lack of budgets, I decided to teach people everything I know – from in front of the camera, to behind the camera, to working in PR. When you’ve been burned and/or don’t have money to outsource, you are left with no other choice but to learn how to handle some things on your own. (It’s why business owners wear so many hats!) I’ve done it many times – website development, SEO, etc., and quickly learned I wasn’t going to waste my time anymore. Instead of spending hours, days, or even months trying to get something right, I spent a little money and learned from someone who lives and breathes what I wanted to know. Then, it hit me: Why not do that with what I know? I have more than 10 years of experience in the media industry. I’ve seen a lot and I know a lot. The benefits of my knowledge to a small business owner can lead to big changes. That’s why I created an online course – to share that knowledge.
Christina, why are you giving everything away? Now, some people won’t hire you.
Many people have said that to me. I respond with,
They wouldn’t hire me anyway. People buying my course want to handle this themselves. They don’t have a budget to hire me. They don’t trust someone to outsource important work. Why not teach them how to succeed by sharing what I’ve experienced through an online course?
For more on my online courses, click here. Want to try out some free courses? Join my 10-day get in your local newspaper challenge or the mini version of Master your Media Relations here. Both of these resources have resulted in media coverage for small business owners who implement what they learn.  
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Best Social Media Monitoring Tools

5 Best Social Media Monitoring Tools

The first rule of social media marketing is to have a presence on social networking sites. The second rule is to make sure your social media profiles are bustling with activity so that you improve engagement.

5 Best Social Media Monitoring Tools

There are several social media monitoring tools that can help you manage the activity of your accounts. Each tool is suited to certain tasks. Here are five tools any serious social media marketer should incorporate in their strategy.

1. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media marketing tools. (I use it!) It currently supports  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+. With Hootsuite, you can quickly plan social media campaigns and keep track of the latest trends.
Hootsuite-Scheduler

Inside my Hootsuite scheduler

The company offers four plans; Professional, Team, Business and Enterprise, priced at $9.99, $34.99, and $99.99 monthly, respectively for the first three plans. The Enterprise plan is designed for large teams, departments, and regions and comes with a custom pricing structure. A summary of this tool’s features include:
  • Ability to manage up to 50 social profiles
  • Advanced analytics with data exports
  • Publishing approvals
  • Unlimited app Integrations
  • Unlimited social campaigns
  • Multiple custom branded URLs
  • Platform & social marketing certifications
  • 24/7 priority support
  • Extended 1-on-1 training

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2. Buffer

Buffer is all about simplicity. It is a simple tool with an easy learning curve to help you schedule your posts. It will save you a lot of time! Many people are extremely busy with businesses to run, so scheduling posts is a great idea so you don’t have to worry about updating daily… or multiple times a day. social media management tools In addition to the web application, Buffer is also available as an iPhone/iPad App and also an Android App. There are three plan options. The free plan allows one user you to manage one social media account at Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Instagram. They also have a paid plan for individuals priced at $10 monthly and an Enterprise plan that comes with custom pricing.

3. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is hands down the best social business networking platform on the planet. It is a great place to find leads and to establish yourself as an industry expert.
social-media-measurement-tools

Inside my LinkedIn Premium profile

Unfortunately, most marketers only use the free version of LinkedIn. If you really want to improve your connections and generate more leads, you must upgrade to the premium version. It’s really is worth every cent. With the premium version, you can accomplish a number of things like,
  • InMail messages
  • Advanced search filters
  • Unlimited searches in your extended network
  • A lead-builder tool, lead recommendations and real-time insights on existing accounts and leads
free-media

4. Commun.it

Commun.it is one of the easiest ways to drive traffic, increase engagement, grow followers and likes, and save time on social media. It currently has over a million users and is available on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Some of the features include:
  • Managing your Twitter relationships
  • Managing multiple profiles and schedule posts
  • Focusing on your influencers and customers
  • Know who to follow and what content to share
  • Free Twitter analytics
social media tools for business Commun.it has a free plan and four paid plan options. The business plan goes for $24.99 per month and allows you to manage eight Twitter profiles, has 60 days access to reports, 40 monitored items, and unlimited engagements. It also offers a 14-day money back guarantee and if you’re not 100% satisfied.

5. ManageFlitter

With ManageFlitter, you can track the people you follow on Twitter. This is especially useful if you follow a large number of people. Tracking people you follow manually can be quite tedious and cumbersome. It also shows you the people who you’ve followed who don’t follow you back, are inactive, have no profile image and much more. best social media management tools When building up your Twitter account, one of the best tactics is to follow relevant people. Relevant people are more likely to follow you back. But, finding relevant people can be a daunting task without a tool like ManageFlitter. It’s search tools allows you to dive deep into the Twitter universe, filter by followers, keywords, location, account age and many more criteria.

Why You Need Social Media Monitoring Tools

Generating a positive buzz on social media builds your credibility and brand. These are some of the best social media monitoring tools to help you get the most out of your marketing efforts. There are hundreds of other tools but these five have established themselves as among the best in the industry. This is a guest post submitted by Tim Hamilton at Find Media Partners.
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media-expert

An open letter to the “media expert” online

Whenever something major happens, all the experts come out of the woodwork. When a child falls into a gorilla exhibit at a zoo, it’s the parenting experts. When a gorilla is killed in that exhibit, it’s the animal experts. Today, it’s the political/foreign policy/religion/immigration experts.

The Media Expert

But there is one expert who is always out and about. It’s the media expert… and nine times out of 10, that person has never worked a day in the media industry. (That’s the funny thing about these self-proclaimed experts online. They don’t have any experience in their expertise.) Before I disappoint everyone with the lack of agenda setting and scheming that really happens in newsrooms, let me address the term “the media” because, well, I don’t really know who that is.
Reporting-in-Fort-Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Blaming “the media” confuses me.
  • Is that your local meteorologist?
  • The person who covers lifestyle news in the city newspaper?
  • The video editor at CNN?
  • The host of an opinion show?
  • Me writing this article?
  • You on social media?
  • Your neighbor who just started a blog?
See? I’m not quite sure who “the media” is (or are). When people say news and media coverage is slanted and there’s an agenda, I really don’t see it. This is my experience as a TV reporter.

The Morning Meeting

In local TV news, the day starts with a morning meeting. This is when potential stories are discussed between producers, reporters, editors, and others. Then, assignments are made. I’ve never been in a meeting where phrases like, “Let’s spin this more liberally,” or “Make sure it has a conservative feel” or “Show this group of people in a certain way” are uttered. Instead, I’ve always heard, “Make sure you get both sides.”

Telling the Story

Sometimes, one side doesn’t want to talk… no matter how hard you try to convince them it’s vital to tell both sides of the story. Sometimes the person who is talking to the media isn’t as well spoken as the person telling the other side of the story. Sometimes, the person isn’t available to go on camera, so instead, they send in quotes that will be used in a full-screen graphic or they assign a public information officer to speak to the media instead. And sometimes, people are just bad at giving soundbites. Then, there are time constraints in TV news. Rarely does a news package last longer than one minute and 30 seconds – no matter what the topic is. So, when I hear people say stories are one-sided or cater to one political belief system, I never noticed. I’ve come to realize that people think their opinions are facts. To take it further, people will describe a news story and read so far into it that they create the bias on their own. If you look hard enough for something, you’ll find it – regardless if it’s really there or not. When you see a story about Christmas shopping at the mall and the coverage is all about how busy the mall is with shoppers, some people could see that as a positive story because they love going out and being around lots of people in a busy mall around the holidays, while other people can think it’s terrible because they hate crowds and shopping. So maybe the bias isn’t with “the media,” but with you and how you digest information? How else can you explain two people seeing the same thing and having a different reaction?
NBC-Reporter

Photo Credit: Felix Castro

Here’s another example of what happens in the field that many self-proclaimed media experts don’t understand. Once I was covering people signing up their families to receive Christmas presents from the Salvation Army. We were talking to people in line, getting video of the process, and calling the assignment desk to share what we had. There was a problem. Everyone I was talking to and getting video of was Hispanic. My managers told me, “You can’t show just Hispanics. You need white people. You need black people.” But there were no white or black people to talk to or show. When the story aired, guess what happened? The calls and Facebook posts were all about how we were so biased and obviously racist for only choosing to show Hispanics. Surely there were other people there too, but we wanted the coverage to look a certain way, so we only used certain sound bites and video. (Side note: I’m Hispanic.) I’ve had many of my live shots drop while I’m speaking. That’s not because someone in the control booth didn’t like what I was saying and cut me off. That is technology. Sometimes live shots drop. Again, if you’ve ever set one up, dialed it in, hooked up an IFB (if you’re a media expert, you know what that is), you’d understand. Once, I forgot where I was. I was on my fourth story in a matter of six hours and couldn’t remember what city I was in. I’m not stupid or uneducated or “don’t know what the hell I’m doing,” I just forgot where I was for a second because TV news happens fast. Sometimes, faster than I can think. Imagine that… for every story you do. That’s what happens when you work in TV news. If people don’t like what they see, for whatever reason, they will find a way to blame “the media” for using its agenda to make a point. Again, these people making these claims have never shot, written, or edited a VO/SOT (there’ another news term.) And just so you know, a reporter doesn’t write something and go on-air with it because it sounds good. The photographer is involved. A producer goes through it. Then, a managing editor checks it. Sometimes, even more people will sign off on something before it makes air. Trust me, there is a lot of diversity in newsrooms and that’s what helps tell a balanced story, even if it’s not what you believe.

Breaking News

I can’t end this post without talking about breaking news because this is when all the media experts crawl out of the woodwork with their expertise on how to cover a mass shooting 15 minutes after it happens.
Reporting-in-Miami

Miami, FL

When breaking news happens, we usually find out by someone sitting at the assignment desk who heard it on the scanner. Sometimes a viewer will call the station. When that happens, a crew is set out the door to the location. While the crew is in route, the assignment desk is making phone calls. Nine times out of 10, they don’t get a whole lot of information. Why not? Contrary to what many think, when breaking news happens, most details aren’t yet known and a person isn’t chomping at the bit to tell the local TV station everything they know. Instead, the police are doing their jobs trying to figure out what’s going on, if they are in a dangerous situation, if there are lives to save, etc. Spilling the beans isn’t at the top of their priority list. When a reporter and photographer arrive on the scene, police tell us to wait for the Public Information Office to arrive. (The PIO is the person in charge of talking the media.) This also isn’t immediate. We can’t remain silent for hours in a breaking news situation, so we talk to people nearby. Witnesses who may have heard something or seen something. Sometimes their information is right, sometimes it’s not. There is no way to know until an investigation is finished… and we can’t ignore a breaking news situation for that long. So, we go on-air and say, “A neighbor says he saw…” and follow it up with “Police are here and haven’t confirmed this, but we see…” In a perfect world, we would roll up and the PIO would be ready with every piece of correct information for us to tell the entire story right then and there. (It’s shocking to see how many people believe this is how things happen.) So yes, there is a lot of misinformation in breaking news situations. It’s called “breaking” news for a reason. After “breaking” it’s “developing.”

Back to the Media Expert

I could go on, and on, and on… but we all know you can’t possibly know all about how the media industry works… if you’ve never worked in it. I can’t sum up a decade of experience in one measly blog post or a Facebook comment, so I’ll just leave it here and have a chuckle when someone who has never worked in the industry tells me what they know (because they saw it on TV or read it online.) If that were the case, every Grey’s Anatomy fan or Web MD user would be a medical expert. (Have you seen the vaccination debates with these people?!) But if you do want to learn a little bit about your so-called expertise, you should get a job as a reporter or field producer – someone who is out and about gathering information to share with viewers. I guarantee you’ll be disappointed, at not only the lack of glamor, but lack of agenda “the media” is trying to portray on-air. The truth is, we don’t even have time to create an agenda if we wanted to… and if we found extra time, we’d eat! Another version of this blog post originally appeared in The Huffington Post.
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public-relations-retainer-fee

5 signs you’re not ready for a Public Relations retainer fee

I think it’s safe to say the most challenging part of my job is explaining how the industry works to my clients. Before I take on any client, I do my best to explain what I do, how I do it, and what the expected outcomes are – the good, bad, and the ugly. Basically, I do my best to under promise and over deliver due to the nature of the business. What’s the nature of the business? Well, let me break it down like this: Public relations can do wonders for your business. It can make your brand more credible and visible which leads to more business growth. But, it’s not what you want, when you want it. public-relations-retainer-fee

You’re not ready for a Public Relations retainer fee if…

1. You don’t have a story to tell.

This is what’s going to earn you media coverage. Storytelling. It’s not how amazing your brand is or how much money you generate. It’s about the educational, entertaining, and emotional story you can share that will shed a light on your brand. Now, this light isn’t always a huge spotlight. Sometimes it’s a little flashlight that turns on for a split second, but it’s something. free-media I once worked with a client and I explained to him,
Me: “Everyone thinks their business is the greatest ever and should be featured in most media outlets. That’s not how journalists see things.” Client: “But Christina, our business really is the greatest ever.”
That = unrealistic expectations… with a mindset that you don’t need a great story to earn coverage.

2. You mistake marketing for sales.

I hate it when people say “sales and marketing” like they are the same thing. They’re not. In fact, they are very different. I don’t work in sales… not directly. Instead, I get someone to want to make the next step to sales. If you’re a local restaurant and I earn you a cooking segment on the local NBC station, I did my job. I earned you a three-minute segment on TV in your market in front of millions (depending on the market) of potential customers. The part that comes after that is the sales part. I lead the horse to water. You make the horse drink it.

3. You want instant media coverage. Like tomorrow.

If you want to earn media, you need to be patient. If you don’t want to be patient, then you can spend more money on an advertisement and get it right away. Convincing someone your brand has a great story takes time. It takes time to build a relationship with a journalist. It takes time to pitch journalists INDIVIDUALLY. Speaking of time, TIMING is one of the biggest factors when it comes to a journalist answering the question, “Why should I cover this right now?” Just because something isn’t a good fit now, doesn’t mean it won’t be in a month, three months, or even a year.

Join my 10-day “Get in the Local Newspaper” challenge by clicking here!

I could go on about this, but instead, I’ll share this response from a journalist at a popular, national magazine after he was asked, “Why not?” in response to a pitch he turned down:
“Because I get 200 pitches a week and can’t and don’t want to read them all. My job is not to sit on my derrière waiting for pitches. I create my own pipeline of stories and it is full for months ahead of time.”

4. You don’t want to be involved in the process.

Yes, a publicist will handle most of the work, but I need you to help me help you. When the media comes knocking, you need to drop everything. Like, right now. When I was in TV news, I was given an assignment at 9:30 am and I had to have it done by 4:45pm. Many times after I was pitched, I would call the number at the bottom of the email and the conversation would go like this:
Me: “Okay, we’re ready to talk to about this. Can we come by in 30 minutes?” Publicist/Person who wants media exposure: “Oh no. We’re not ready!” Me: “Well, you just sent me this information and my assignement editor would like for me to cover this for the 5pm newscast.” Publicist/Person who wants media exposure: “Okay, well can you just give us the questions now and call back next week?”
Do you see what’s wrong with this? When was the last time you watched the 5 o’clock news and saw something that was not relevant today, but instead looked like it was a week old? Yea… never. When a journalist wants something, nine times out of 10 they will go with whoever got them the information they needed the quickest. Journalists work on tight deadlines. If you want to earn media exposure, you need to work that way too. “But Christina, you told us in #3 is takes time.” Yes, it does, but when that time passes and an opportunity knocks, you run to the freaking door!

5. You’re a control freak.

When it comes to earning media, you have no control over the final product. Again, if you want that, spend all your marketing budget on an advertisement. It’s a journalist’s job to tell a story that will educate and entertain their audience. If all 10 of your quotes are boring, then a journalist may use three out of the 10… and they may not be your favorite three. It happens. Your goal is to earn media that looks like a “free commercial.” That is NOT the goal of the journalist. Remember that. So, the next time you’re considering hiring someone to handle your PR and are getting ready to shell out a public relations retainer fee, ask yourself, “Am I ready for this?”
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let-me-take-a-selfie

Selfie Marketing Campaigns and why they work

I’m not a huge fan of selfies, but of course, I take them! Who doesn’t?! The key to a great selfie (besides looking good) is what’s happening in the selfie.

But first, lemme take a Selfie

Unless you’re using a fun Snapchat filter or showing off a new hat, I really don’t understand the look at the camera and smile selfie, that’s captioned with “Happy Monday” or “Off to work!” free-media Selfies are a big part of social media and social media is a big part of marketing. In marketing, I believe everything you do should be strategic… and that includes your selfies and selfie marketing campaigns.

Selfie Marketing Campaigns

If you’re going to take a selfie, take it for a reason. I love the idea of a restaurant or bar having a “selfie contest” with a customer posing with their favorite food or drink. Then, the customer can upload it to Instagram, tag the restaurant, and use a certain hashtag. The best selfie could win a free meal once a week for a year… something like that! Now, there is an incentive to take a selfie! Then, if you use it in future marketing materials, the selfies, tags, and hashtags will overflow. Try it! If you are a small business owner, try to implement a selfie marketing strategy. I mean, it worked for Ellen at the Oscars. selfie-marketing

The Selfie Trail

One business using selfies for a reason is Discover the Palm Beaches. In case you haven’t noticed, a lot of marketing content is user generated content. It’s what people want to see, so yes, your selfie counts.

Click here to pin this on Pinterest

On a little something the Palm Beaches is calling “the selfie trail,” you help promote Palm Beach County with pictures of yourself in popular tourist destinations across Palm Beach County. The Selfie Trail features 30 of the county’s most photo-worthy spots, but I’m all about adding some to the list. (Have you seen this place?! There is a hot spot on every corner!) When I was having lunch with a friend on Worth Ave., I jumped on the #SelfieTrail and helped promote the Palm Beaches on Instagram. selfie-campaign-ideas I think selfie marketing campaigns are genius for a few reasons:
  1. People are already taking selfies, so why not use them?
  2. When a business shares an image from an outsider, the outsider will re-share -leading to even more exposure.
  3. For followers of the users generating content, and the business, it’s a learning experience – seeing new things, from a new person, in a new way.
Now, how are you going to use selfies to promote your business?
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non-traditional-media

Exploiting your Career with Non-Traditional Media [VIDEO INTERVIEW]

Today, it’s vital to earn media attention to grow your brand – traditional media, non-traditional media, social media, etc.

Working in Traditional Media

Kristen Pope and I have similar stories of working for News 12. She was in Westchester. I was in the Bronx. We also worked in small Texas markets before moving to the bigger markets of Boston and Miami.

Watch the entire video interview with Kristen Pope here.

In TV, you start small and work your way up. Moving up the ladder could not be more competitive or cutthroat, but the experiences and relationships you build are life changing.

Creating Non-Traditional Media

Reporting is NOT an easy job and everything a reporter writes is gone over with a fine-toothed comb by producers, editors, and more people higher up the ladder. Wanting more freedom, Kristen started her own production company, Pope Productions. With Pope Productions came The Positive Controversy. you-tube-shows This gave Kristen the opportunity to tell the stories she wanted to tell, the way she wanted to tell them. She was the news director, producer, reporter, and editor.

Click here to watch The Positive Controversy on YouTube

Everyone and everything has a story. You don’t need the traditional media to share it. You can create it like Kristen did, but like she says in the video interview, you’re not going to profit off of your story right away. It’s not that easy. (If it was, everyone would do it!)

Making Money with your Media

Monetizing takes time, but it can happen. Once you have the product perfected, it’s time to shop it around! Kristen has already had success and is ready for more in 2017:
  • Pitching her show

  • Securing advertising

  • Securing sponsorships

the-positive-controversy-with-kristen-pope If you want to grow your brand in the media, outside of traditional media, Kristen advises two things (and they are good.)

1. Start Creating Content.

If you don’t know how to do it, you’ll learn how to do it. Trial and error is a good thing! People are digesting content everywhere online, so make it for them because they are looking for it!

2. Don’t Stop.

Finally, don’t quit. Stay the course, because you don’t know how close you are to making it, until you make it. For more about Kristen, Pope Productions, and her show The Positive Controversy, visit www.KristenLPope.com or click here.
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