December 2009

Who could resist that headline? I just read an interesting blog post on Mashable by Patrick Moran entitled: 5 Tips To Grow Your Business in 2010. Although Moran approaches it from a marketing perspective, this piece has great value for communicators as well.

The popularity of video is growing rapidly. In the past in Canada, video new releases (VNR) haven’t been widely used. That’s changing, I believe. In the United States, VNRs are used extensively. CNN even has a distribution service (CNN Newsource) where an organization pays to have its VNR distributed.

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The Bad Pitch Blog has an excellent post on holiday tie-ins and what does and doesn’t work. In this post, they showcase examples of the good, the bad and the ugly. One that stands out as great is PNC, a financial services group. For the past 26 years they provided the PNC Christmas Price Index. Using the classic song The 12 Days of Christmas, in a fun and lively way, they showcase the how prices have increased or fallen over the past year.

They “own” this area of Christmas and this year’s website is great. It is an educational tool. It was made to explain some things, while being entertaining—and it’s well done.

When we are working to generate media and blogger attention, we often look at the time of year and what traditional holidays or events happen that we can tie into. Events, holidays and other seasonal traditions can provide strong opportunities for PR, if it’s done right.

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Mark Naples has an excellent piece on Imedia Connection: 6 Ways To Sabotage Your PR Efforts. Anyone working with an agency, a contractor, a freelancer, or even with in-house PR should read this and take an honest look at how you work with these people; people like us at AHA!

In the piece, Naples focuses on interactive companies and/or start-ups, but what he writes applies to many organizations and industries. The first point that he makes touches on unrealistic expectations. I think that’s an important topic. I happen to be a strong believer that you need to reach high and go for the brass ring.

At AHA, we’ve had clients on CNN, The Today Show, The Late Late Show, Letterman, Canada AM, Maclean’s, and many other high profile media outlets. However, it doesn’t happen in the first week of our working with a client. It takes time to develop an effective pitch—one that is filled with facts, stats, anecdotes, information and interview opportunities.

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There is an interesting piece by Jeremy Porter at listing the 10 reasons why media relations will get easier in 2010.

Porter hits the nail on the head when he outlines the challenges that any of us who work in media relations face—one is that journalists are busy. Getting their attention isn’t easy, even when you have a good story. The profession of journalism has changed drastically because of social media. Journalists now have more work than ever (technology makes the world a much more connected place), there are less of them to do the work, and media outlets now expect their reporters to blog, tweet and shoot video for the website, no matter whether you are a print publication or a broadcaster. And competition has heated up; there are some hot bloggers out there that cover specific beats that are of interest to them.

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