Take A Walk In Their Shoes, 08.22.2013

As PR professionals, we are constantly pursuing media coverage for our clients, and part of being an effective media relations practitioner entails putting yourself in the media’s shoes. First things first: What is the difference between a press release and a pitch? A press release is essentially you already writing a story for the media. A pitch entices someone else to write the story. If you’ve decided that a pitch is the way to go, you need to ask yourself a few basic questions and do some background research before you get started.
  • Prepare what you will and will not answer
  • Have all of the basic and background info prepared, along with visuals
  • Look for an expert who will speak on camera
  • Make sure you answer the five basic Ws: who, what, where, when and why.
  Then, start making some phone calls! And keep in mind these basic questions:

“Would I want to talk to myself?”

“Would I have answered that email?”

“Would I take the time to read that story?”

Honey Boo Boo Hello

read more »

Everyday is April Fool’s Day, 04.04.2013

Are the memories of the tricks and tomfoolery of April Fool's Day still fresh in your mind? All sorts of juicy tidbits, "facts" and stories filled your newsfeed. You wanted to believe and tell your friends and followers, but you knew most of what you saw were probably just April Fool's jokes. It was a day to be on the lookout for pranks and skeptical of information. In today's world of expedited sharing, that's the way you need to feel every day. The internet moves at warp speed. Users are creating and digesting an astounding amount of information, and social media has made sharing that information faster and easier than ever before. So how fast has it become? Twitter users are sending over 100,000 tweets every minute!

CNN Obamacare Mistake

read more »

Tips for Keeping Your Reporter Happy, 02.14.2013

Pitch Me Like any long-term relationship, keeping the flame alive between reporters and PR pros takes work, but you’ve probably already read a thousand articles about all of the things that land our industry colleagues in the doghouse. So, this Valentine’s Day we’re doing something different. We’re bringing back that loving feeling between hack and flack. In lieu of flowers and chocolates, and from the bottom of our hearts, we gift you with tips from local journalists Courtney Zavala, Joel Luks and Sabrina Miskelly on pitching your way into their hearts. read more »

The Ghost of Publications Past, 12.11.2012

Media Industry Newsletter list of the 2012 Top 10 Best Performers in Ad Sales includes one name we weren't expecting to see rocking the charts. Clocking in at #7, Reader’s Digest has seemingly been resurrected after its death was pronounced in 2010 by 24/7 Wall Street and The Huffington Post. It was an impressive turnaround for a 90 year-old, who has also tossed their hat into the digital game. So, congratulations to the Reader's Digest and the rest of the chart-topping publications: Allure Architectural Digest Food Network Forbes InStyle Marie Claire Reader’s Digest Traditional Home Veranda WSJ For more information about min’s Most Intriguing of 2012, click here.

Strength in Others, 08.26.2011

Crisis Management - If your company finds itself in an online firestorm, lean on this advice from Forbes contributors Davia Temin and Ian Anderson: admit your mistake, deliver a sincere apology, and make amends. - In crisis management, know the facts. Admitting your mistake in the most transparent manner possible requires getting the story straight. Says Eric Rabe, Senior Advisor at Fels Institute of Government (University of Pennsylvania), “in a crisis, clear and candid disclosure is the only option.” Having a plan to manage issues PRIOR to an actual crisis also helps ensure that your team can focus on finding out the facts when the world seems to be spinning at warp speed. read more »

Strength in Others, 10.15.2010

Issues Management - Similac, manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, is earning kudos for their response to a recent formula recall.  Using e-communications, Similac was able to disseminate information quickly to concerned parents.  The company even highlighted alternative products until the issue was resolved.  A father interviewed for BulletProof Blog said that Similac had actually earned his loyalty and respect with their deft and responsible handling of the crisis. Corporate Social Responsibility - New York Times columnist Tom Friedman recently moderated a panel at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) called How to Strengthen Market Based Solutions.  One of the key takeaways was that profitability can, and arguably should, be defined with a sense of investment in the future—not just for the sake of making money in the near term.  Fadi Ghandour of Aramex summarized, “If the community is happy, the ROI will show on my company’s balance sheet, if not today, then down the line.” read more »

Strength in Others, 09.29.2010

Our Community - Houston’s art scene has long been under-appreciated at the national level, despite the extraordinary breadth of local creative talent and world-class museums.  Aurora Picture Show is one of the local arts groups storming through barriers and helping to put Houston on the art map. Social Media - Still doubt the power of social media? Blogging is, in effect, changing Chinese culture—from politics to communication styles.  As Chinese society becomes more open, it will be fascinating to watch the role social media plays in the transition. read more »

Strength in Others, 08.26.2010

Our Community - Courtenay recently had the pleasure of speaking on a panel at WordCamp Houston with Marc Cohen of AIDS Foundation Houston and Chris Valdez of Primer Grey. The team discussed the development of the Positive Outlook Blog for youth living with HIV and AIDS. WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg even sat in on the session (hello, nerves!) and posted a photo to his blog! Social Media - From El Profe’s Blog, the five rules of marrying journalism and social media. Our favorite: Journalism first, technology second. read more »

Strength in Others, 05.28.2010

Our Community - Noah's Kitchen has fast grown a reputation as one of Houston's brightest new nonprofits. This meals-on-wheels-type organization is helping feed the homeless, with an army of dedicated volunteers and leaders. Take a moment to check them out, and find out how you can support their efforts. Social Media - Muckrack is the coolest site we've seen for tweeting one-line press releases and getting the inside scoop from journalists on Twitter. There is a $50 minimum for tweeting press releases -- not sure that the value has quite been proven enough to warrant the cost. read more »

The news is making my head hurt…, 05.18.2010

and it isn’t just because of oil spills, economic meltdowns and other world crises… This morning on CNN, the anchor, while reading the morning report on BP’s efforts to siphon oil from the subsurface Deepwater Horizon wellhead, related that the siphoning device seemed to be working and then …..  [PAUSE]  “…. At least according to the oil company.” Now was that necessary? Where was the copy editor? Or am I just old-fashioned? read more »