Archive of ‘Public Relations’ category

Want to be better in business in 2015? Have a PR plan

Don't cut corners when you are planning a public relations strategy for your company. Consult experts to make sure your plan meets all of your needs to deliver a message with punch. (Image from Flickr/Creative Commons via Niuton may. )

Don’t cut corners when you are planning a public relations strategy for your company. Consult experts to make sure your plan meets all of your needs to deliver a message with punch. (Image from Flickr/Creative Commons via Niuton may. )

By Chanda Temple

If 2015 is the year you promised to improve your business, it’s not too late to start.

On this second day of February, what are your new year’s resolutions to building a better business? Gaining additional capital? Expanding your product or services? Broadening your consumer reach? While all of these are great goals, don’t forget to do an honest review of what you have and create a list of what you need.

“No company is above a once-over! No matter how well a business is going, there are always ways to improve,” saysKrista Conlin, founder and president of KC Projects PR in Birmingham, Ala. “Employees are much more agreeable to change at the beginning of the year. So if there are moves to be made, now is a great time.”

One thing that you should definitely include is a public relations strategy with new, fresh and creative perspectives, says Conlin. Here, she offers five tips to get you started:

Always be prepared

Expect the worst and hope for the best. If the unthinkable happens, panicking can only make things worse; especially from a public relations perspective. You want to have a broad strategic plan that includes as many scenarios as possible, no matter how improbable the scenarios may seem.

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9 ways to make a sales call

Is your sales pitch strong enough to get potential clients through the door?  Image via Flickr/Creative Commons.

Is your sales pitch strong enough to get potential clients through the door?
Image via Flickr/Creative Commons.

By Chanda Temple

For the last three weeks, business expert and social media guru Melinda Emerson has been hosting webinars on how to improve your sales game. I’m not in the sales industry, but tips from the webinars can be applied to any industry, including public relations.

Today’s post includes Emerson’s nine tips on how to make a sales call. If you like these tips, she has two more FREE webinars. They will be on Thursday, Nov. 20 and Thursday, Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. EST. Visit http://www.getsales14.com for details. Her webinar co-host is Jeffery Gitomer and he’s just as awesome as Emerson.

1. How to make a bold call

Call someone you’ve already met. Cold calling does not work. Do your homework. Use LinkedIn to look for info to connect. Look at your contacts’ volunteer interests to discover their passions. It can help with your conversation. People give their time and money to things they care about.

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11 ways to write good content for your blog

Keep your blog golden with good content.  Image via Flicker/Creative Content.

Keep your blog golden with good content.
Image from Flicker/Creative Content via Kris Olin

By Chanda Temple 

I was on a WordCamp Birmingham panel today in downtown Birmingham, Ala. to talk about how to write creative content for a blog. Here are some things that have worked for me:

  • Write it down

When you get an idea, even if it wakes you up out of your sleep, write it down on paper. Sometimes, these are some of the best ideas or headlines for blog posts.

  • Everyone has a story

It’s left up to you to decide if their story is good enough to tell. I’ve written posts based on information from workshops, teleconferences, standing in the checkout line, trends, news, television shows, etc. Stories are out there. You just have to find them.

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14 ways to get reporters to notice your pr pitches

By Chanda Temple

Do you know the editors, producers and reporters at your media outlets? You should.

Do you know the editors, producers and reporters at your media outlets? You should.

On a recent Tuesday night inside Birmingham’s Trim Tab Brewing Co., the beer was flowing and so were tips on how to get the media to notice your pitches from pr professionals.

Those doling out the info were Erin Shaw Street, deputy editor for Southern Living magazine; Rachel Lindley, news director for WBHM FM; David Magee, editor of Birmingham Magazine; and Walker Sorrell, associate publisher of Business Alabama. They were Trim Tab to participate in a panel discussion presented by the Alabama Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and the Public Relations Council of Alabama, two organizations focused on giving pr professionals networking opportunities and tools to improve their craft.  (Today’s post is Part 2 of the PRSA/PRCA panel discussion. To see Part 1, go here.)

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How Elvis Presley can pump up your pr pitch

By Chanda Temple

An editor with a love for Elvis Presley was impressed  by one pitch that highlighted the singer's hometown and more.  Image by Play-R via Flickr/Creative Commons.

An editor with a love for Elvis Presley was impressed by one pitch that highlighted the singer’s hometown and more.
Image by Play-R via Flickr/Creative Commons.

Test time: You’ve emailed a national magazine’s deputy editor several times to invite her to profile your small Southern town and it’s connection to Elvis Presley. Although the editor has never responded, you don’t give up. The next time, you take a new approach.

Do you:

A) Pitch how Tupelo, Miss., the birthplace of Elvis, is an emerging, energetic Southern city with a lot of history and appeal

B) Provide a list of locals, with contact info, for the editor to use as a resource

C) Ask the editor to be a judge in an Elvis look-a-like contest

D) All of the above

For the woman pitching to Erin Shaw Street, Southern Living magazine’s deputy editor responsible for managing the publication’s travel and culture content, all three approaches worked. Why? It had a lot to do with timing.

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Why PR pros need a YouTube account

By Chanda Temple

YouTube logo

I live in Birmingham, Ala., where tornadoes rumble across the region every spring. On a recent spring night, I huddled in my hallway closet, put on a bicycle helmet and rode out  severe weather until the storms passed. I used my BlackBerry to tweet about the experience. Luckily, there was no damage in my area.

A reporter from Mobile, Ala. saw my tweets and tweeted me the next day, saying he wanted to talk to me about how I wore my helmet during the storm. (It’s pretty common that people wear some type of helmet during a tornado as a precaution against possible head injuries.) He wanted to use my comments for a story.

Since Mobile is about four hours from Birmingham, I figured we’d do a telephone interview. He had something else in mind.

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Five more things to know about television interviews

By Chanda Temple

Be prepared before you do that TV interview.  Image by Barend en Barend via Flickr/CreativeCommons

Be prepared before you do that TV interview.
Image by Barend en Barend via Flickr/CreativeCommons

 

Yesterday, I posted eight things you need to know about doing a live television interview. I received great feedback and decided to post a few more tips. Here they are:

  • Toss the gum 

This should go without saying, but it still needs to be mentioned. If you have gum in your mouth, get rid of it before you appear on television, radio, a podcast or a video. You can’t hide it.

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How to get ready for a television interview

Alabama 13's Ashley Roberts and I took a selfie in the NBC studio before my on-air interview. I decided to wear green because it popped for me. Ashley wore green, too, totally by accident. What a way to usher in spring!

Alabama 13’s Ashley Roberts and I took a selfie in the NBC studio before my on-air interview. I decided to wear green because it popped for me. Ashley wore green, too, totally by accident. What a way to usher in spring!

By Chanda Temple

You’ve booked a live, on-air interview for television. But are you truly ready for the lights, camera and action? Here are some tips to help prepare you:

  • Don’t say, “Um”  
  • Do you know what you sound like when you are talking? Do you have a tendency to say , “um?’’ If you don’t know, record yourself with a  smartphone, video recorder or tape recorder. If you say, “Um’’ more than twice, chances are that you say it a lot. One quick way to kill the “ums’’ is that when you feel it coming on, take a pause and then start talking again. When we say, ‘’um,’’ it’s because we are thinking about what to say next or we are looking for a transition. When we say it a lot, people focus more on our “ums,’’ rather than our message.

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Five things that annoy photojournalists

Respect photojournalists. They know what they are doing.

Respect photojournalists. They know what they are doing.

By Chanda Temple

At a recent pr event, I caught myself doing something that I’ve seen annoy photographers to no end: I was TOO helpful.

Let me paint you a picture: I was handling public relations for a big community event and the TV cameras arrived. Once the television cameramen set up, I asked if they needed anything. They were good. But as the event progressed, I kept checking in with them to see if they needed this or that. They didn’t.

It finally occurred to  me that if they needed anything, they would ask me.

While public relations pros go the extra mile to help reporters, sometimes, we can be so helpful that it becomes hurtful.

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Six more tips on writing a good press release

By Chanda Temple

Image by Search Influence via Flickr/CreativeCommons

Image by Search Influence via Flickr/CreativeCommons

On March 26, 2014, I wrote about six ways to write a good press release. Here are six more tips.

  • Personalize your releases

If you are having an event with a lot of vendors, pick one or two to highlight their special skill, product, etc. If they are selling a product they developed because it helped make life easier for them and their family, push that personal story. Reporters like people stories.

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