Five of the most common press release mistakes to avoid

Press releases are a key tool in the PR artillery, but in today’s fast paced society where journalists, editors and bloggers are super busy it’s even more important that they are concise and carefully targeted.   If not they’ll end up unopened or in the bin.

To help you steer clear of this happening, see my top five common mistakes to avoid.

  1. Targeting the wrong media – one size doesn’t fit all so sending a press release about a restaurant opening to a Pet publication is a waste of time. Do your research and look for relevant publications and journalists with an interest in your area of work.
  2. Spelling mistakes – we’ve all experienced this, be it that we’ve hit send too quickly or we’ve received a badly written email. We’re human and can make mistakes but be careful to double check your release or pass it on to a colleague for fresh eyes to review.
  3. No new news – sending a release just for the sake of it is a big no no. There is no point in sending information if it isn’t newsworthy. Journalists want news worthy information, if you have nothing new to say don’t bother sending it – it will end up in the bin.
  4. Jargon and long convoluted headlines and info – The idea of writing a press release is to highlight the key news items and convey it in a clear and concise way – so to include jargon defies the purpose. Remember to make it clear and make sense. Don’t forget to spell out acronyms as those working in the field maybe aware but no one else is.
  5. No follow up – In an ideal world you can hit send and wait for all the journalists to come to you, but realistically they’re busy people so giving them a call is still valuable. Timing is key here however you don’t want to call when they’re going to press so check with them that it’s a good time to talk and keep it brief and to the point.

Hope it helps!

Video content is king: 5 reasons you should use video content for your business

Go to any seminar on business or marketing these days and you’ll hear a speaker say content is king, and how important content marketing is for you business and they are right.

Well a great way to communicate your content and business messages is via video. Video is a method I often recommend to clients as it is taking content marketing by storm.

Did you know that viral video marketing campaigns can increase click through rates up to 750% according to marketingexperiment.com. With big numbers like this it’s no wonder why businesses are becoming more and more interested in video content.

Video content is the way forward, by 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco.

Cisco also predicted a good few years ago that video content will account for almost 90% of all internet traffic, so if you were or are on the fence about dipping your toe in, I’d suggest you jump right in.

Here are five reasons why you should produce video content for your business,

  1. Videos are shared more than links and text posts combined on social media platforms like Facebook and twitter.

 

  1. It’s not just a young thing; the kids are always at the forefront of technology and embrace it but over 65% of people who watch online videos are between the age of 35-64yrs old.

 

  1. Videos are a great method as they can be easily digested and shared as many people are put of streams of written information.

 

  1. Videos offer potentially huge reach with avenues like YouTube receiving more than one billion unique visitors every month, which is more than any other channel, apart from Facebook.

 

 

  1. One in three Britons view at least one online video a week – that’s a weekly audience of more than 20 million people in the UK alone.

 

I often work with clients to produce creative video content be it a corporate video, animation or hard hitting drama, we can help you achieve your goal and reach your target audience. To find out more please do get in touch.

Social media is important to your business

Five top social media tips!

Are you using social media to build your brand or business? Well if you’re not, why not? It’s a great way to engage with your audience. With an estimated over 320million businesses, customers, stakeholders, consumers, to engage with on twitter, over 1.55billion on Facebook, 300million on istagram what are you waiting for!

It’s not just celebrities and young entrepreneurs that are taking advantage of social media, beauty bloggers, fashion, hair bloggers etc are all involved and cashing in.  There have been many rising stars born from social media. People that have managed to build a career out of it, generate an income from it, are now ‘Instagram  and YouTube famous’ getting paid to promote and endorse  products to their large following.

Whether you’re a start up, established business, entrepreneur, sole trader you should learn to use social media. If you have a marketing and PR department this is something that they would handle. However if you would like to get involved but have no idea where to start here are my five top tips.

Youtube – The video sharing platform with over 1 billion users

  • Setting up an account is easy, but don’t forget to brand your page to make it authentic.
  • Finding a format that works for you and being consistent with it is important. The most successful YouTubers have developed concepts and maintain a regular schedule.
  • You can use keywords tags to help your audience find your videos, but do be specific and try to avoid popular generic search terms like “health”.
  • Try reaching out to communities that are relevant to your videos, it makes sense to put your content where people are watching that kind of content already.
  • Link them all, post YouTube videos to your other social media accounts.

Facebook Tips – the social networking platform with over 1.55 billion users

  • Keep it brief and conversational, and don’t be afraid to post videos and pictures.
  • Remember there is nothing wrong with promoting deals and offers, but it’s not the right place for the super hard sell.
  • Consider testing out posting at different times of the day, you may find that your target audience are online more in the evening or the afternoon.
  • Consider using Facebook advertising –  they ‘re great for targeting specific demographics.
  • Do monitor your Facebook comments and respond to it. If you are worried about abusive comments do put up a disclaimer to say they will be removed.

Instagram Tips – online photo-sharing and social networking platform with over 300 millon users

  • Instagram is all pictures and short video clips, but you can use the text box below images to promote your products or services.
  • Ensure your profile details are up to date and have relevant web links to your business.
  • Sharing video content is great for your audience but don’t forget to add your own original content too.
  • Use # hashtags much like twitter they’re popular and help new followers to find you, and you can engage with others that share interests.
  • People are interested in your brand so don’t be afraid to show it, whether it’s a team awayday or behind the scene pictures of your video marketing, post it!

Twitter Tips – conversational platform with over 320 million users

  • Consistency is key for this platform, if you don’t post regularly, people lose interest and unfollow, however do keep in mind not to tweet just for the sake of it.
  • Hashtags # used to help identify topics of discussion e.g. #MotivationalMondays and get your posts noticed. But don’t go using the # for everyone other word.
  • With a limited number of characters to use, you have no choice but to keep your tweets short, sweet polite and to the point. You can share articles, and content of interest, get involved in conversation and debates.
  • Remember to include images in your tweets. People love to share good and funny pictures – positive quotes work well too.
  • Use short URL links from platforms like bit.ly. for linking to your content or website.

LinkedIn tips – the professional networking platform with over 400million users

  • Ensure your personal and business profile makes a good impression and has relevant up-to-date web links.
  • You can help to optimise your business page using keywords which will be helpful for SEO.
  • Join groups of interest and that are relevant for your business, don’t be afraid to post comments and engage in discussion.
  • Don’t forget you can share your blogs and articles of interest.
  • Much like the other platforms, don’t be afraid to tag connections in your post if they’re relevant, this helps to build relationships.

Snapchat – Video messaging app with over 100 million users

  • Snap chat is popular with 13-34 year olds and features 10 second videos that disappear after 24hours.
  • You have to be creative with the limited time but is worth considering if your target market fits the user profile.
  • This is a fun platform and not the one to talk shop in a formal manner, informal and laid back is key.
  • You could do a brief news flash or run competitions using a discount code which would help with tracking success of it the platform.
  • Enjoy yourself – it has lots of emoji and a new set of tricks for jokes so don’t be afraid to use them and show the human side of business.

Pinstrest Tips – photo sharing platform with over 100 million users

  • Create picture boards to match your brand, for example if you provide beauty services create beauty boards, if you run a gadget store segment your boards, kitchen gadgets etc.
  • Pinning positive quotes – very popular, just don’t over use and make sure they’re relevant to your business and brand.
  • When pinning make sure you add links so people interested in your business can be directed to your website or content page.
  • You can also add third party links to shake it up a bit and make it more interesting.
  • Be creative when naming your boards, if it’s too generic and common you won’t stand out from the crowd.

Periscope – Twitter’s live video streaming app with over 10 million users

  • Timing is key for Periscope as it is connected to Twitter – make sure to check when is the best time for you to engage listeners as you’ll use twitter to promote your live streaming.
  • The title of your video is important – be creative as this is what users will see as they scroll through the “Featured” or “Recent” streams section on the periscope app.
  • Be open – When you use Periscope, you can opt to do a private broadcast, share the broadcast on Twitter, and share your location.
  • With Periscope people tuned into your live streaming can respond and comment to you in real time. Don’t be afraid to reply to these within your live broadcast to encourage more conversation and further engagement.
  • Have fun and experiment with it – it’s still a fairly new app so there is no ‘official’ way to use it.

Remember this isn’t an exhaustive list of social media platforms; I’ve just highlighted some of the most popular ones. With a growing array of social media platforms to choose from it may feel overwhelming, but remember you don’t have to be on everyone single one of them!  It’s better to target those that are most relevant to your business and provide good engaging content to a tuned in audience.

Feel free share this, leave a comment or share tips that have worked for you!

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