16 Tips for Developing High Impact Press Releases

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In my experiences overseeing public relations, I have often been approached by business leaders and subject matter experts to create and publish a press release simply for the sake of getting the company or offering  out in the market. Often times the reason for the urgency has been that they’ve had a hard time selling their product or service – there may be a belief that getting a press release out to the public will suddenly reduce the sales lifecycle or close a specific deal.

While I do feel a well-written press release and a thoughtful media campaign can impact awareness and potential sales, it’s not going to be the sole tactic to drive a large increase. Instead, it should part of a broader campaign and message strategy.

To ensure the success of a press release, there are numerous considerations before the first draft is even developed. Below are several items to consider before, during, and after the development of a press release to ensure you get the most value and impact from the right business opportunities.

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Best Practices for Creating a Robust Online Newsroom

Spokesperson at Mic_LargeThe evolution of the internet and the ability for anyone to create and share content at a moment’s notice is exciting, and maybe a bit terrifying at the same time. Technological advances continue to saturate the storytelling ecosystem at an astonishing rate. This is great for the content creator, but can also feel like an insurmountable obstacle for media outlets and journalists. The mission of finding a unique and timely story has become even more challenging as the competitive landscape of a reporter continues to explode.

Great organizations, and specifically their PR teams, should look for opportunities to simplify the process and build strong and enduring relationships with the media. One of the best things an organization can do is to develop a robust, easy-to-use, online newsroom. If reporters are consistently racing to find a unique story angle, a fresh point of view, as well as a strong subject matter expert (SME), why not provide them what they need quickly and easily so they get their story, and you can share your organization’s thought leadership?

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My Top Advice for Launching a Career in Communications & PR

iStock_PR Career_LargeLike many seasoned practitioners, I’ve often been approached by individuals seeking advice as they begin a career in the field of corporate communications and public relations (PR). Usually they ask for my opinion on what it’s really like to work in this profession day-to-day, or the best way to build a successful and fulfilling career.

There are loads of advice and numerous suggestions out there which are generally spot on. However, I always offer the caveat that there are certain factors making each experience unique. Things like geographic location, corporate culture, business or industry focus, company size, and executive leadership are just a few circumstances that can individualize an experience, for better or for worse.

For me, I came into the field in a non-traditional manner versus a more direct route. I didn’t set out to be here, but this is where I ended up. I actually prefer that this was an evolution for me as I think that brought me greater insights into people, the role, and the clients I serve.

Based on my personal experiences, as well as those I know in the industry and the paths they forged, I’ve compiled my best advice for anyone wanting to launch a career in corporation communications and PR.

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Corporate Communications & PR Trends 2017

iStock_Trends_LargeWhat are the trends for the coming year? As with most predictions, they are an evolution from the years before, making them even easier to foretell. In other cases, there are those hidden gems that emerge, leapfrog, or completely transform beyond our wildest expectations. Therein lies the fun.

I believe that 2017 will continue to invigorate communications and PR, pushing the boundaries of our storytelling chops. From mobile and social, digital and visual, big data and content customization, the upcoming trends will allow brands to truly expand their creative communications toolkit.

As we review the field, there are plenty of elements where we can take our media tactics to the next level, but with an emphasis on greater integration. The strategic collaboration with other organizational functions will galvanize efforts, elevating brand visibility, value, and trust.

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Maximizing Social Media | Explorative questions to get the most from your social program

I recently spoke with a former colleague of mine about launching a social program in her new organization. She was being asked by executive leadership to essentially do this as a “side project” in addition to her existing roles. She and I both knew that in order to do this the right way, to gain the most value, requires a dedicated resource and a well thought out strategy and communications plan even before that first profile is built. 

There is so much to think about when launching a social program to ensure it successfully aligns to a companies business objectives and brand.

After attending a few networking events, it was apparent that many of my peers are often asked the same thing – to launch or manage a social program with little or any strategic alignment. In some cases, there seems to be a short-term need they are trying to accommodate, and in other cases it was simply a desire to have a presence like everyone else.

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How Building Successful Communities is Like Hosting a Dinner Party

Dinner Party At HomeThere have been excellent advancements in online community development and management over the years, with technology platforms, support tools, and engagement techniques. However, the basic premise of what makes them successful remains much the same. After many years of managing internal and external communities, I liken them to the care and attention one gives to hosting a dinner party.

Generally, you want all invited guests to show up, to fully engage in active and stimulating conversation, to enjoy the foods you have prepared, and to exit knowing they will tell their friends and family about their positive experience and happily return with great enthusiasm.

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Beat the Blasé with Field Trips

iStock_Field Trip_LargeRemember how excited you’d get as a kid when it came time to take a field trip? To hop on a school bus and leave the monotony of the classroom for a day so you could engross yourself in something new and different. It was a refreshing break from the confines of four beige walls, uncomfortable desks, and boring books. You got the chance to interact in a more dynamic environment and socialize with your closest friends. It was a limited opportunity to become immersed in a real life, hands-on setting versus the mind-numbing daily lectures and textbooks.

As adults, we don’t always get those same opportunities, or maybe we do and just don’t think of them in the same way as we used to. We may view that off site trip as a business meeting or networking event, which completely depletes our energy levels and makes us want to crawl back into bed. But more than likely, as busy professionals we just don’t create those experiences for ourselves—with our overloaded calendars and endless task lists. We never make the effort to push ourselves outside daily routines to experience something different and gain fresh perspective.

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50 Quotes to Ignite Your 2015

Vintage typographic motivational quote posterQuotes can be powerful tools to drive great change and achieve peak performance. They make us think, motivate us, inspire us, give us courage, and sometimes transform our lives. They are reminders of strength, perseverance, positivity, and meaningful action – a small timely piece of information that can push us one step further when we need it most.  And who originated the quote can deeply impact how we internalize their message.

Many of us tend to collect or capture a few quotes that resonated with us at any given point in time. We may have inspiration boards full of them, refrigerator doors covered with them, or notebooks haphazardly filled with random passages. In any case, these words moved us for a reason.

I ended my year by reviewing my own notebooks and decided to capture the top quotes I had scribbled about into one stimulating collection that I hope will motivate and inspire you in 2015.

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Time to Celebrate | Happy New Year!

Glasses with champagne and clock close to midnight

It’s New Year’s Eve and the world is gleefully raising a glass to the completion of the old year and the welcoming of a new. It’s a time for celebration and revelry. Like an empty page or a blank canvas, the possibilities are boundless. Let the spirit of a brand new beginning intoxicate and entice.

Celebration on this day is of course an expected behavior. Observing all holidays, as well as birthdays, weddings, and other significant or material events, is part of what we as humans consider commonplace. It’s an integral part of life.

The mere point of celebration is to pause from our daily routines, our busy lives, and the expectations and demands from others so that we can express joy, appreciation, gratitude, and thanks. We suspend the ordinary so we may spend devoted time with those we care about, and rejoice in an occasion by marking it with something special or enjoyable. Sounds lovely to me.

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Reflecting on the Year Gone By

Reflection

The final days of the year are here and soon 2014 will be a distant memory. Like every year, it has brought numerous gifts and opportunities, as well as challenges and setbacks to so many. As the media recaps the best and the worst of the year, our emotions can run the gamut—from joy and laughter, to anger and despair, and even hope and inspiration. So much life has happened in such a short span of time. It’s remarkable.

Aside from these very public events that replay over and over on our televisions and in our minds, much has also occurred in our own lives—stirring the same emotions along with many more.

For some, reflecting on these past moments and events can be difficult, and almost too painful to extract real value. After all, shouldn’t we just forget what’s happened and move forward?

Not necessarily.

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