No Holiday for Media Pitching during the Holidays

media pitching during the holidaysConventional wisdom calls for PR to avoid media pitching during the holiday season, unless the story has a definite holiday-related theme.  

The holidays are a busy season for everyone, according to standard belief. Like most of us, many reporters are away on vacation. Everyone, including reporters and editors, targeted B2B audiences, and consumers in general, is too busy and distracted to pay attention to PR releases. That perception prompts PR agencies and departments to downshift into low gear, or completely stop producing and pitching.

That’s a mistake. Continue reading


Benefits of Holiday Social Media Listening

Social media listening can invigorate holiday marketing.

As social media has become more popular, more consumers increasingly ask friends, family and anyone who’s listening for product reviews and advise about their planned purchases. Recommendations by friends and family have the highest level of credibility above all other media.

As Christmas approaches, many shoppers will become increasingly desperate to complete their shopping. According to a Crowdtap, 65% of holiday shoppers use social media to find gifts and 67 percent of those purchased an item they discovered on social media. In addition, some consumers turn to their social media networks to express their displeasure about not being able to find a product, talk about their shopping plans or even try to contact companies.

Social media listening, also known as social media monitoring, is especially important since holidays generate a significant portion of revenue for many B2C businesses. Continue reading


Press Release Tips for Promoting Books & eBooks


PR tips for book press releases

Author Braam Jordaan with his books. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Press releases remain a valuable tool in public relations, despite proclamations about their demise. They are especially valuable to promote authors and new book releases.

PR pros may find themselves publicizing an author’s book or may even publish their own book. In addition, PR clients who are not professional authors sometimes publish books or ebooks to establish themselves as experts in their business niche.

A seemingly simple press release can win substantial publicity for a book, especially if leads to a full-length review of the book. Getting reviews, however, is difficult since editors receive scores or hundreds of messages a day and read only a fraction of them. It’s especially difficult since the book market is saturated with new books, many by independent self-publishers.

These are some tips from writers and PR pros on writing and distributing press releases on new book releases. Many of these tips also apply to press releases in general. Continue reading


Google Seeks to Resurrect Google+ with Revamped Collections & Communities Features


google plus redesign

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In launching Google+ in 2011, Google hoped to challenge Facebook’s social media dominance. Although tech experts praised features of Google+, the upstart failed to attract large numbers of users. People had little reason to join another network when they already had Facebook. Most people remained active on Facebook because everyone else was there.

One Google+ user compared Facebook to a family dinner that you were forced to attend, but secretly hated. Google+ was a cool coffee shop down the street where you could hang out with people you actually had something in common with.

Now, Google has revamped Google+ in an effort to resuscitate the social media platform. Long viewed as having little reason to continue living, Google+ might not die after all. The changes indicate that Google has given up on challenging Facebook’s core strength of networking with existing friends and relatives. The service is repackaged as a place not to connect with friends, but to discover new ones. The approach may be more in line with Google’s traditional strength of matching search queries to data. Continue reading


Facebook Improves Nonprofit Fundraising Tools

Facebook is introducing new options that will help nonprofits raise money more easily.

Improvements to its donate button allow nonprofits to place the button on their Facebook pages and posts they share. Facebook users will be able to share their donations with friends. All shared posts will also include a donate button, making it easy for donors’ friends to also donate directly from their news feed. The button allows people to donate to charities through a one-page form without leaving Facebook.

“Imagine you are seeing what your friends are donating to. That’s just so much more effective than getting a notice on the home page asking you to donate,” Naomi Gleit, the company’s vice president of product management, told Fast Company. Continue reading


How Brands Make a Bang with Instagram Marketing

Instagram has become a social media network heavyweight. To say that brands are now paying more attention to Instagram might be an understatement.

The average number of brand followers on Instagram has surpassed one million — almost five times more than last year, according to Forrester Research. Although follower counts for large global brands on other major networks doubled over the past year, they did not grow as dramatically as their Instagram followers.

Marketers are also posting more frequently on Instagram. Marketers now post 4.9 times per week on the network, an increase of more than 50% over last year. Top brands post slightly more frequently on Twitter and Facebook. Continue reading


New Media Pitching Technique – Targeted Facebook & Twitter Ads

facebook twitter targeted ads for public relationsThe time-honored media relations method to identify and pitch journalists is getting some competition and moving into social media.  

In addition to using a media database to identify journalists and either email or phone calls to contact them, PR pros can now “cold call” journalists through targeted social media advertising. Social media advertising seems to work better in certain situations than the long-established media database / “cold contact” method to get the attention of and reaction from targeted journalists. Building long-term relationships with journalists remains the preferred media relations technique. Continue reading