We have a refreshed, updated and re-energized website! Welcome!

As we were going through what needed to be revised on the AHA site, we realized that we’ve been blogging for close to 15 years. The blog on this site goes back to 2007 – that’s 11 years of having our own blog, with a few years before that when we were working with early adopter clients to get them up and running. That is incredible.

Creating content has become a large part of what we, as communicators, do. The world has changed and while mainstream media coverage will always be important, it is no longer always the priority in the strategies that we develop for clients. That is a big shift.

Owned content (what you create yourself) has become a powerful tool for organizations that are looking to authentically and fully engage with stakeholders. The way to reach customers, clients, government, vendors, suppliers, community partners and others is via social media networks and information, news, updates, case studies and other stories that are shared online.

Whether you are B2C or B2B, you have an audience – a community that is looking to you for knowledge, expertise, guidance or advice. They want you to solve a problem, provide a service, or offer a benefit. The way to tell them how you do these things is through online content.

You have to be a storyteller – to inform, educate and even entertain (when appropriate). No marketing speak, no sales push, no pressure. It’s about creating a compelling reason to move each person to action – and to do that, you must engage.

We’re going to be talking a lot more about blogging here – on our blog. We’re also bringing back Fast Take Fridays starting in March. (We get so many e-mails about them!)

So, stay tuned – it’s going to be fun!

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Brand Journalism

How can your organization’s stories be told?

Media relations is an important component of what we do here at our Vancouver PR agency. We love developing newsworthy media pitches and connecting with journalists. It’s exciting, interesting and fun. And it’s more challenging than ever to grab the media’s attention – even with a great story pitch.

The world of journalism has changed. There are fewer resources being put towards the types of stories that we, as PR professionals, pitch to media. Good stories aren’t picked up because of lack of space, airtime and journalists to cover them. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had a conversation with one of our media contacts and they say: “I love this story, but we don’t have the resources available.” I have to admit, there are days when it is a little heartbreaking. However, there is a silver lining to this shift.

Organizations can tell their own stories in a compelling, authentic and engaging editorial style. Your stakeholders are out there looking for information about your product, services and brand, and you have the opportunity to provide it to them through your website, your blog, social media and other online sites, videos (and they don’t have to be expensive, slick corporate videos – flip style or editorial style videos can be great and far more reasonable than you may expect), articles, white papers, etc.

We are quite thoughtful about our media pitches. We go through the same process of gathering information that I learned at Maclean’s magazine. We take our media pitches very seriously and our high success rate at getting pick up in media outlets reflects the quality of our work in this area. Although sometimes, there just aren’t the resources available for a media outlet to cover the story. That’s when we take the media pitch and use it to build out an article, a broadcast segment, or a series of blog posts that we share via social media networking sites. This means that if a good pitch doesn’t get picked up, it still has huge value. And I have to say, sometimes the results that we get from the organization producing their own content is more relevant than if it had been covered by traditional media.

How could you tell the stories about your organization? Would it be by using video? A blog? An editorial style article? There are huge opportunities in this area. It’s very exciting for PR agencies like ours, that have writing and storytelling skills, and for our clients.

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