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

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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

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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, 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, 06.10.2010

Our Community - AIDS Foundation Houston--an organization near and dear to our 20K hearts--just launched a new blog, Positive Outlook, to chronicle the thoughts of participants in Camp Hope and UniversalTeens. Follow along to gain insight into the lives of youth living with HIV and AIDS. Social Media - B2B engagement in social media is dramatically increasing, with firms expected to spend $4.8 billion on interactive marketing by 2014. Branded social network pages, PR outreach and social media monitoring are expected to be the primary platforms. - Controversy brewed this week over BP’s purchase of Google and Yahoo terms related to the oil spill. A strategic (and expected) PR and business move? Or a blatant attempt to skew information available to the public? Social Responsibility - We’re looking forward to the 2010 Net Impact Conference. It’ll be an opportunity to learn from some of the greatest minds in sustainability and meet the people who are earning a living by doing good. - Entrepreneur magazine discusses how to highlight your company’s social responsibility. We just wish they’d discussed more about internalizing a culture of responsibility and sustainability, rather than just how to externally communicate CSR. Communications Olio - On the Media, a weekly NPR broadcast, examines the current media climate and threats to freedom of expression. - 100 of the best quotes on innovation. Our favorite: “I want to put a ding in the universe.” – Steve Jobs (and it’s not just because we love Macs) We don’t claim to know everything — or even have the time to attempt to sift through the vast catalogs of articles and blog posts. So, in the spirit of #SLGT (support local, grow together), we will stand on the shoulders of giants (hello, cliche) each week to pass along links that we find interest, useful or just plain fun. Leave us a comment with your recommendations for what we should be reading and who we should be following.

If it means saying “we don’t know,” so be it, 06.02.2010

Those of us in the business of  watching and partnering with media and working with companies and organizations to develop their messages are utterly frustrated with BP’s communications since the spill on April.  BP has been handed umpteen opportunities to make amends for last week’s or yesterday's gaffes, and the company’s management team continues to manage the message with a) NO message (well, I could give you their message but you wouldn’t be satisfied; b) silence until they’re damned ready to respond with a non-message; and c) lack of interesting, tangible data that would help both the media and the public understand the inner workings of a “complex” process like deepwater drilling, let alone recovery management. read more »