What is media relations? That’s a question I get a lot. Many people don’t understand the media relations definition, and I can see why it’s difficult to comprehend. Even family members and friends ask me, “What does a media relations specialist do?” So, I’m going to break it down here.
Many people who visit your about me page are first-time visitors wanting to know if they should invest more time in you. So what should your about me page include? Well, a few things. Downloading this guide will help too.
The number one reason people are checking out your #aboutme page is to see if you can help them. href=”https://t.co/sIx5YKB8yt”>pic.twitter.com/sIx5YKB8yt
— Christina Nicholson (@MediaMaven_CN) October 10, 2016
site:yourwebsite.com(or site:www.yourwebsite.com) if you use the www. What you should see is this: Ignore the first result, that is usually an ad from Google. But the rest should show your pages. And at the top, the number of pages/posts that Google is currently keeping in their index (showing in search results). If nothing comes up, then… YOU HAVE A BIG PROBLEM. Fixing it means getting someone technical involved to see what is stopping Google from indexing your site. If you use WordPress there is a checkbox you might have checked that does this. Or, it could be in your robots.txt (Don’t know what that is? Don’t worry, your tech guy/gal should.)
I wanted a faster laptop. Instead, videos I created for clients were deleted. Still, I was denied a return. Then, tech support wanted to keep “troubleshooting.” Well, that troubleshooting led to me losing even more – my video editing software (which costs twice as much as the laptop) and Microsoft Office… which was supposed to come installed on the laptop. Yes, I lost that too!
You’d think after all of this, costing me time and money, they would apologize and let me return the laptop. A $500 HP Pavilion… to a huge company… like Costco.
Guess what? They want to keep “troubleshooting.” (They like that word at Costco Concierge Services.) As you can imagine, after dozens of hours and thousands of dollars lost, I just didn’t have it in me.
Earlier this month, in the midst of all this troubleshooting, I got a $10 Costco gift card for referring my sister to become an executive member. It was the day after Dori in the Pompano Beach store took time out of her day to fight for good customer service. On the phone, I heard her say, “Can you please authorize a return to keep this member happy? You guys lost her data trying to fix something and it didn’t work. Can we just give her good customer service?”
Now, because of my experience with Costco, the concierge service, tech support, and the people in service dispatch, I will not refer people to Costco.
Costco doesn’t care one bit. Why would they? I’m one of 85 million members. That’s a pretty small fish in a gigantic ocean. The company does about 100 billion dollars in sales every year. Do you think they care about me losing something that pays my bills? No way… but with that kind of income, you kind wonder why they wouldn’t just let a woman in PR, with a big mouth, return her $500 laptop?!
UPDATE: Two days after this post was originally published, a local store manager called and asked, “When can you come in and return your laptop?”
Hence, why you should treat every customer like they have a big mouth.
Not to get too far into another bad customer service story, but LG refused to help me with a mold problem in my front load washer. The company insisted on blaming me taking poor care of it and using too much detergent, despite numerous class action lawsuits against makers of front load washers for this exact problem. But, as soon as a representative was contacted by one of my colleagues in the media to produce a follow-up story to a previous investigation, my washer was fixed in days.
So, the result of bad customer service cannot only end with the loss of a customer, but with many people knowing the details of why that customer is a former customer.
If you are a small business owner, or you work with small business owners, practice good customer service. I’m not saying the customer is always right. I know there are some real pains in the you know what trying to wheel and deal business owners. I know no matter what you do, you can’t make everyone happy. But, at the end of the day, people do business with people they know, like, and trust.
Think of the people you serve first and the money you make second. If you do this, you’ll probably end up making more money.
Oh yeah, and I should’ve bought a Mac.
Me: “I sent a lot of e-mails, but didn’t get many responses.” Client: “Did you follow up?” Me: “Yes, I followed up with an e-mail, but that was ignored too.” Client: “Did you call?” Me: “Oh no, I can’t call. Reporters hate that!”How terrible is that?! You can’t tell a client that. That is why phone calls are necessary, even if nine times out of 10, you know the person on the other line doesn’t want to talk to you… and may be downright mean and call you names. It’s okay, when I was a reporter, people were rude and called me names too. Now, instead of getting it from alleged criminals with a microphone I’m sticking in their face, I’m getting it from reporters… my former self. (Note: I was never rude to publicists when they called me. It’s just not necessary. Not then, not now.)
First things first… and that means your profile. Thankfully, LinkedIn tells you what’s working and what’s not working as you create your profile with the “profile strength” circle. What makes for a great profile? Well, a few things.1. Pictures. You have two spots for pictures here. One is a professional picture of you. When I say professional, I mean don’t pose with your dog. (The only time that’s okay, is if you’re a vet.) I suggest a standard headshot that shows what you do professionally if you can show it. Then, there is the commonly forgotten cover photo. In mine, I placed my logo on either side. I did have another image in the middle, but it wasn’t compatible on mobile. Your cover photo will look different on a desktop vs. a mobile, so before deciding on one, make sure it looks centered on both devices. 2. Your professional headline. This is probably the most important part of your entire LinkedIn page. I suggest making your headline eye-catching and exciting. Many people have titles that sound complicated… or need further explanation. For example, if you’re an “account executive” or “support manager,” I’d elaborate a little more so when someone sees your headline, they can visualize you at work and how you can help them. 3. Summary. This shouldn’t be too short, but it also shouldn’t be too long either. Some people prefer bullet points while others like to write this section in sentence form. This is no right or wrong way, but I think of it as an elevator pitch. Here, you want to tell prospective clients you can solve their problems and this is how and why you are the person for the job. 4. Posts. The post section is like your blog… but it’s your blog on LinkedIn. While your LinkedIn profile exists for you to promote yourself as an expert in your industry, the post section lets you take it one step further by offering your expertise to help others who may stumble across your post. How can someone find it? Well, after you write your post, spell check it and add a picture, you can add up to three tags. I usually use tags like “public relations,” “media relations,” and “public relations and communications.” Depending on the post, those tags may change. Just by using this method, I’ve earned public speaking opportunities and have been published in industry trade publications. 5. The rest. While it is time-consuming, you should not skimp on completing the rest of your profile. Some of it shows up at the top as an abbreviated version – like your current employment, work history, education, etc. Don’t forget to include your skills, organizations you’re involved with, volunteer work… the list goes on – and it is all important to creating an all-star profile.
You: “I think I have a great product, but no one knows about it.” Me: “Do you have someone handling your public relations?” You: “We looked into it, but it’s so expensive. We’re just trying to do it ourselves for now.” Me: “Well, what are you doing?” You: “We post on social media and send out press releases, but it’s like people still don’t know we exist.”Well, if you want to know why you’re not earning media exposure… maybe it’s because you’re not making yourself, your product, your service, your business, or even your brand newsworthy.