January Seminar Recap: Building Reporter Relationships
by All Points Public Relations, January 18, 2022
Our agency encourages the professional development and growth of our staff through ongoing education. Several of our team members have had opportunities to attend conferences and conventions to better their skillset and network with industry professionals.
Senior Account Lead Nicole Odziewa and PR Associate Maddie Darling recently attended the PRNEWS conference in Washington D.C. Together, they led this month’s agency seminar to share their takeaways when it comes to interacting with reporters and building relationships.
Journalists receive hundreds of pitches a day, leaving many pitches to go unopened or deleted. The best way to make sure your pitch gets read is to have a preexisting relationship with the journalist you’re pitching.
To foster those relationships, set up an introductory call with a reporter to learn a bit more about them and what stories they’re interested in covering. Continue nurturing those relationships, and the reporter may think of your client the next time they need a source.
Crafting Your Pitch
Securing earned media is more challenging than ever. In fact, for every journalist, there are six PR professionals. Strong pitches are key to cutting through the clutter. As PR professionals, we need to break through the noise and create tailored pitches that match the reporters’ beat and medium.
Before sending your next pitch, consider the following:
- Make It Easy: Provide summaries, background, sources and quotes
- Be Targeted: Customize each pitch based on the medium, reporter and market.
- Think in Headlines: Provide clever framing to get more attention
- Connect the Dots: Why should your audience care?
Interacting with the media can be a stressful experience for our clients. Media training is the best way to ensure that our clients positively represent their company and are well versed in the media frame.
When media training for interviews, think of phrases that deliver a headline on a silver platter. Reporters say they look for something controversial, unexpected, that strikes emotion, pulls at heartstrings, and offers perspective– not just the facts.
With negative stories, try calling the reporter first to learn more about the direction of the story. Talk with them to learn their concerns to see if you can provide info to sway the story to be more neutral/positive.
When it comes to crisis communication, there are several steps to take for reactive statements:
- Flag for internal stakeholders
- Call reporter to ask questions on story’s direction
- Craft statement with background point
- Keep statement to 2-3 sentences
- Run for internal approvals
With many in-person and virtual learning opportunities in the year ahead, we encourage all of our staff members to be proactively searching for ongoing educational experiences that can better their knowledge and our clients.
Be sure to check out All Points PR on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the office.
COO’s Corner: Be Present in 2022
by All Points Public Relations, January 5, 2022
It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. After overcoming the triumphs and tribulations of the pandemic, 2021 truly embodied resilience. With a renewed feeling of hope, brought by vaccines, I’m challenging my staff to live mindfully and be present in the year ahead.
Even in our structured hybrid, we still need to show up – and we need to show up more than ever. In our latest agency seminar, I encouraged my staff to take a moment and reflect on their practices and how they can be more mindful in the year ahead. Here are some tips:
1. Turn Off Notifications
Between my Apple watch, email alerts and text messages, I constantly feel like someone is tapping me on the shoulder.
You may have emails, texts and meetings to deal with, and of course, your own work. To balance all these needs, pausing your notifications for specific periods of time is a happy medium. In the middle of it all, you can apply principles of mindfulness to feel alive and present and even more productive.
2. Talk Less, Listen More
We all like to think we’re good listeners, but there’s a big difference between nodding as you wait for your turn to speak and actually being present.
People do not learn new things when they talk; they learn by actively listening. In today’s busy world it can be hard to shut out distractions that draw us away from the conversation.
Practice mindful listening to eliminate internal and external distractions, so you can absorb and understand fully what is being communicated to you.
3. Get Into a Flow
You may have heard about multi-tasking, but how about single-tasking — doing one thing at a time. Nobody can multi-task, in reality, the brain cannot perform two tasks that require high brain function at one time.
To get into a productive workflow, protect yourself from interruptions and take one task at a time. Be mindful of your deadlines and set chunks of uninterrupted time to get that task done. That goes for respecting your colleagues’ time as well. Schedule a meeting to go over a project or brainstorm new ideas, rather than interrupting their workflow.
4. Stop Working Like Everything’s an Emergency,
Mindfulness at work may seem counterintuitive. You’re slowing down to become more efficient and productive.
Working in a panicky rush leads to bad decisions. As an agency, we live by the saying “this is PR, not the ER,” to keep our staff from constantly working in 911 mode. It’s hard to be present if you’re constantly working in crisis mode.
By purposely managing your technology notifications, listening skills and workflow, mindfulness at work is possible.
Lauren Izaks is the COO and executive vice president of All Points Public Relations, a franchise-focused PR agency based in the Chicagoland area, www.allpointspr.com.
All Points Team Gives Back with Positive Impact
by All Points Public Relations, April 4, 2017
“Driven by our core values, All Points strives to positively impact the communities in which we live and work through our philanthropic and volunteer efforts. We are passionate about our commitment to corporate social responsibility and making a positive impact on meaningful social, community and environmental organizations.”
This is the mission statement for All Points’ Positive Impact program, in which the whole company participates in community service activities throughout the year, and it’s something we always enjoy while adding to a fun All Points tradition. Not only do we get to spend some time as a team outside of the office, but we’re able to do our part to make our small corner of the world a brighter place.
A few weeks ago, All Points’ participated in Positive Impact by spending a day working with Bernie’s Book Bank in Lake Forest, Illinois. Bernie’s Book Bank’s mission is to collect, process and distribute quality new and gently used children’s books to at-risk infants, toddlers and school-age children throughout Chicagoland. This resonated with our staff, considering many of us are avid readers whose lives have been positively impacted through book ownership in our childhoods.
As the year progresses, the All Points team looks forward to giving back through different quarterly initiatives. We take our sense of social responsibility seriously, and we’re already looking forward to our next quarters’ Positive Impact event!
Check out our Facebook page for more photos of our day at Bernie’s Book Bank!
All Points PR Pens Articles On-Behalf of Our Clients for Top Industry Trade Press
by All Points PR, May 24, 2012
All Points PR has a track record for writing great articles on behalf of its clients. Positioning clients as experts in their fields, and being published in key trade press is a fantastic way to solidify leadership within an industry.
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All Points PR Clients are Positioned as Experts in their Industries
by All Points PR, April 19, 2012
All Points PR focuses on positioning clients as top industry experts. An All Points PR client joined several other industry insiders to comment on timely home owner topics.
All Points PR Secures Article on Franchise Growth for Educational Childcare Center
by All Points PR, April 18, 2012
All Points PR secured an article with the Austin American Statesmen that outlined the planned franchise growth for a childcare center in Austin. The article mentioned the informational meeting the company was holding for interested franchisees in the area.
Is All Publicity Good Publicity?
by All Points Public Relations, April 9, 2012
A Wall Street Journal front-page headline recently grabbed my attention. It read, “Is All Publicity Good Publicity?”
The answer to that in my mind is emphatically “No.” This is especially the case for All Points Public Relations’ clients. Our clients are businesses and entrepreneurs that are putting an incredible amount of energy, resources, time and emotions into their businesses. An erroneous or damaging story could have a significantly negative impact on their business.
How do companies that want good press ensure positive publicity locally and nationally? And, what happens when the unexpected occurs? How does a company mitigate or avoid damaging coverage?
Let’s start with the first point made. When working with a PR firm such as All Points PR, a Chicago PR Agency] working primarily in the franchise industry, it is important that you make the team working on your account a full-fledged member of your inner circle, entrusting them with information and insights about your company. The good and the bad, the pretty and the ugly, all the information that the team needs to accurately develop media strategies that drive positive results. Good **PR firms** can weave your good news into compelling media pitches, and can develop messaging needed to overcome any damaging information that may come to light through the press. Likewise, PR representatives worth their weight in gold can control the direction of coverage, managing the conversation about your brand so that only the news you want in the press gets to the press, whether through direct media pitches, press releases, social media, etc.
This leads us nicely into the second point discussed above unexpected occurrences that could lead to negative press. Here, your PR team moves into crisis communications mode. But, prior to that, a seasoned PR team will have already set down a foundation to make this work of managing a crisis as easy as possible. They should be able to call on media contacts to dispel any rumors, to squelch negativity brewing and to issue a media statement if needed. Secondly, a plan will be in place to overcome negative online fodder and to re-direct the overall discussion about the brand towards something more positive.
So, is any publicity good publicity? NO. Can you avoid damaging press by making sure your PR agency is “in the know” and is equipped to share accurate information? YES.
This is a 50,000 foot overview of a much more in-depth topic that we can discuss for hours, or for just a few minutes if you prefer. Give us a buzz and we can talk about designing a public relations strategy that fits your goals and gets you the good publicity you want for your business.
All Points PR Helps Business Brokerage Firm Franchisee Leverage His Expertise
by All Points PR, March 13, 2012
All Points PR secured an article with the Marietta Daily Journal about a Murphy Business & Financial Corporation franchisee’s expertise on job loss in Marietta, Georgia. The reporter interviewed and took a photo of the franchisee, angling him as an expert on the topic of former professionals transitioning into entrepreneurship.
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Business Networking: Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk
by All Points Public Relations, September 23, 2011
Thank you to Lake Forest Graduate School of Management for a wonderful alumni networking event this evening. For those of you in the Chicago area considering an MBA with practical application to your careers, I highly recommend it. It has helped me beyond measure.
Talking to attendees there tonight got me thinking about being a good networking partner. With the launch of All Points Public Relations I’ve been doing a lot of networking. Relationships mean everything for business startups and my situation is no different. Someone knows someone who knows someone. This very scenario has helped me land some of my first few clients.
Only a month in, I know I need to start to give back. And, I’ve begun doing so. In previous jobs I always networked to meet new people, share ideas, make connections for others and often bring in new business to the company I was working for at the time. But as a business owner, networking really takes on new meaning.
It’s my livelihood now. Connecting colleagues in franchising; connecting fellow alumni with potential job opportunities; reaching out to strangers who I’ve been advised to connect with on the phone for new business lead purposes. The give and take of networking is 100 percent a necessary balance. Networking has been the single most important factor in gaining ground with All Points each day.
In my first month as All Points PR I’ve had the good fortune of connecting with a few folks who have been of great help. I’m now more focused on giving back. I kind of feel like it’s a game of pay it forward combined with pay it back, helping others you come into contact with as well as returning the favor to those that have helped you already.
Thank you to those who have made very meaningful connections. I am by your side in business and will do what I can to reciprocate. And, I pledge to connect others with my contacts whenever I see the benefit in it for both contacts of mine.
I hope this helps those of you reading the blog understand the importance of networking…so feel free to give me a buzz because I may already have a client waiting for you.