How to Get the Most Out of Press Releases

People get so caught up in the news release when the truth is that most are poorly written, are filled with so much self puffery and very little news, and/or sent to the wrong people who can’t do anything with the release in the first place. Small businesses especially fall for the belief that press releases will product magical results. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

A few tips:

1- Be sure that there is actually something of importance to talk about in the release.

20 Point Crisis Communications Checklist for When Disaster Strikes

The last few weeks of 2011 saw an astonishing number of public crisis arise at corporate giants, colleges and universities, and even well respected brands. When they needed a plan the most, many of these organizations failed and severely bruised their reputation, faced public humiliation, and sometimes even suffered sales. The truth is that is not about whether or not a crisis will arise, but when one does the plan of action that should follow to appropriately and strategically handle the crisis so that it does as little damage as possible to the organization.

As simple as it may seem, organizations fail during a time of crisis because they lack a pre-established crisis communications plan that they can rely on. During a crisis is never the time to figure out what to do; it’s too late and you’re in repair and recover mode by now. While an organization can never be fully prepared for the oncoming damage, there are a few tactics to put in place before disaster strikes.

20 Point Crisis Communications Checklist

7 Tips to Accomplishing Marketing Goals in 2012

In just the blink of an eye, 2011 will be behind us and 2012 will be staring us dead in the face. Besides the normal challenges that come with planning for a new year, many companies simply struggle to maintain top of mind awareness and this eventually has a negative impact on brand positioning, public perception, and ultimately, sales.

What other challenges is your company faced with?
Is it generating media visibility, deepening brand visibility, remaining competitive, making the leap into social media, being more creative with your customer engagement tactics, or is your company simply faced with typical growing pains?

Below are 7 tips to accomplishing your marketing goals in 2011.

10 Reasons Your Non-profit Should Be Active on Twitter

It still amazes me how a large majority of non-profits are such laggards when it comes to marketing and especially with social media. I know that marketing budgets are especially tight these days, but that’s still no excuse why many organizations fail to create real social media engagement programs.

We moderate a webinar for non-profits on how to use Twitter to fundraise, brand, and connect with supporters. Trust you me when I say there’s a huge potential being missed by non-profit who fail to actively use social media to activate online audiences and connect with prospective donors, volunteers, and brand evangelists.

In a recent study we conducted with CEOs and senior executives at non-profit organizations across the country, we found that non-profits were just scratching the surface with social media with regards to fundraising, building cause awareness, and engaging current and prospective donors and supporters. While there are some organizations who do an outstanding job, this is still the exception and not the norm.

How to Use Social Media to Fundraise, Recruit Volunteers, & Build Cause Awareness

  • Need to know exactly how to implement effective social media ideas for your non-profit or organization?
  • Don’t know how to activate your online community to generate very specific goals?
  • Need some real life ideas on how other non-profits use Twitter and Facebook for fundraising and volunteer recruitment?
  • Need an overhaul of your online or social media presence or an expert to tell you exactly where the gaps and inconsistencies are?
  • Have very specific questions not covered in this case study or that you need more elaborate on?
  • Is your non-profit still scratching the surface and experimenting with social media?
  • Are you using social media but haven’t seen the Return on Investment (ROI)?
  • Has your non-profit had some success using Facebook to build cause awareness or fundraise but not with Twitter?
  • Do you need a better understanding of how to use Twitter to engage new and younger audiences?

Art Basel “Les Jacmeliens 2011” Exhibition Bridge to Haiti’s Art Revival

With the two year mark of the Haiti earthquake approaching, the tides are moving towards revitalization…through bricks, mortar, and even the culture of its people, undeniably Haiti’s greatest natural resource. While the focus up until now has been on building homes for people still living in the tent cities, Jacmel, often described as Haiti’s most beautiful city and one of the country’s few tourist destinations, is, perhaps, the place of hope where an art revival is also leading to the county’s revitalization.

During this year’s Art Basel, the “Les Jacmeliens 2011” exhibition marks the official launch of the first art exhibition that bridges Haiti’s renowned Arts District in Jacmel Haiti with the Art District of Miami. “Les Jacmeliens” debuts a group exhibition that will feature works by two Haitian artists from Jacmel – Dufo and Carel Blain – together with works by local Haitian-American contemporary artist Reynald Poisson.

New PR Alliance Formed, Targets Florida’s Municipal, State Agencies

A group of Florida-based independent public relations, marketing communications, and digital engagement agencies have joined together to form a consortium known as the Florida Marketing & PR Alliance. United by strength, expertise, and approach, the winning combination allows alliance partners to create “win-win-win” situations for clients by bundling resources and competencies to offer statewide reach and impact primarily to municipalities, county government, and statewide agencies throughout Florida.

Spearheaded by Blueprint Creative Group, the alliance has a combined 40+ years of experience and offers clients the flexible and nimble nature of boutique agencies without the cost structure of large agencies.

A Case Study of How Nonprofits Are Using Social Media to Fundraise, Recruit Volunteers, & Build Cause Awareness

So you have a social media plan, right?

Well, if your non-profit organization is like the majority of others, your greatest challenge probably has a lot to do with getting the most out of social media. More specifically, how do you use Facebook, Twitter, and the various other social media platforms to build cause awareness? How can social media be used to fundraise in support of your organization’s development goals? Is the Return on Investment (ROI) substantial enough to make social media worth the time? How can you extend your reach and connect with new audiences and create additional layers of engagement for current supporters?

What follows is a whitepaper that investigates how mid-size to large non-profits are currently using social media as an integrated component of their overall marketing and cause awareness strategy. Through qualitative surveying conducted by phone with senior level executives, marketing directors, and development officers, the study gathered insight on current level of engagement and the result thereof and weighed that against how they thought they should actually be engaging social media audiences.

A free copy of the results of the survey and the whitepaper is available by completing the brief form below:

Why Your Press Release Doesn’t Get Noticed

The last thing a reporter/journalist needs is another press release and a poorly written one at that. From my guess and judging by the number of press releases I see published across news wires on a daily basis, my guestimate is that a journalist receives anywhere from 50-200 press releases in their inbox on any given day.

Considering the limited media space available for new stories every day, I’m also guessing that at least 80-90% of those press releases never make it to the news, yet they keep coming. The worst part of it all is that half of those press releases are written by so called PR people and the other half are written internally by some staff person at the company that has the tough job of convincing the media that what they have to share is even news worthy.

How to Use Social Media for Non-profit Success

Last week, I had the honor of being invited by the Associate Dean of the University of Miami’s School of Education to present a lesson before a Master’s Degree level Non-profit Management course for those either work within the non-profit sector, currently run an organization, or have an interest in starting a non-profit.

Being the social media strategist that I am, I dived right into the presentation discussing advanced level strategies for how to convert followers on social media into ambassadors, brand evangelists, and ultimately, supporters. It was not until I was asked by one of the students to start from the very beginning about what Twitter was and how to use it that it dawned on me that there is a major disconnect between social media and non-profit organizations.

Obviously, it’s advantageous for non-profits to maximize their communications platform by using social media as an engagement, outreach, and donor cultivation tool. However, I find that the majority of non-profits still lack the understanding of how to use social media to capture and engage audiences.