Minicast: The 3 Keys to TV Success

Minicast: The 3 Keys to TV Success

3 Keys to TV Success

What do you do after you come back from a successful work campaign? You record a podcast to tell the world how you did your job, right? You do if you are the host of PR Talk Podcast and want to share your knowledge with the rest of the world…or at least the percentage that listens to your podcast.

For this one, it is pretty straightforward. Here are the three keys to TV success:

  1. Visual – create a visual element and present that to the TV stations in your pitch.
  2. Charity – tie-in a charitable element or a charity into your campaign.
  3. Timing – hold your press event at an ideal time for TV media. That is typically 10:00 AM on a weekday.

Seems pretty simple. It is…and it isn’t. We have been doing this for a long time, but if you have these three elements in your pitch, you are on your way to a higher probability of success.

This approach just landed all four local TV stations sending a camera (two also sent a reporter along) to record Logical Position donating school supplies to the Blazers’ Boys & Girls Club. Here is one of the segments:

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

PR Talk is sponsored by monday

In such a fast-paced, multi-faceted work environment, it can be tough to stay on top of everything. monday is the collaboration tool trusted by businesses of all kinds to help cut down the clutter and streamline productivity. Learn more at monday.com and signup for a free trial. You’ll see in no time why so many teams around the world are choosing monday for their project management needs.

PR Talk listeners can use the coupon code BetterExecute for a 15% discount.

Minicast: How To Operate Like a Newsroom

Minicast: How To Operate Like a Newsroom

Taking your own photos and videos, how to get those assets to the press and when to hire a pro

First, a caveat, if you can bring a professional photographer, do it! If you are good at taking photos and videos, skip to the parts about how to submit them or what makes for a good photo opp.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Could we be focusing on the wrong thing with all this text? Would you rather have a big picture on the cover/homepage of the New York Times or an article inside? We want both, of course, but the photo is what gets more attention from our audience!

If you are as uncomfortable as Amy, a self-admitted terrible photographer, with taking photos and videos, don’t be. We have had photos and even iPhone videos, taken by this terrible photographer, run on TV.

Of course, you still would rather have the media come (you are more likely to get the story to run), but what if they don’t? You have to fill the role of the reporter even more. Let’s call it HARO, Help a Reporter Out…maybe that’s already taken.

Operating Like a Newsroom

If the news won’t come, serve as an extension of their newsroom by:

 

Taking & Submitting Your Own Photos & Videos

 

Photo Tips

Taking photos on your smartphone is easy. Taking really good photos is not. Follow a few basic tips and you will be getting pictures that are good enough to share with the media. Here is a list of what to look out for:

  • Be aware of your lighting. If you are outside, know where the sun is and how that will affect your shots. If you are inside, try to have natural light come in by being by big windows or you may need to supplement.
  • Shoot horizontally (turn your phone sideways).
  • Zoom the old fashion way. Meaning do not pitch and squeeze to zoom in on your screen. Walk closer to your subject to zoom in. If that is not possible, you should make sure you are taking high-resolution photos (see next tip) and crop after.
  • Use the “HDR” setting for high-resolution photos.
  • Use the “exposure lock” feature. Amy mentions in the podcast that she doesn’t know what this is and doesn’t use it. Simply hold your finger on your screen for what you want to stay focused on so the camera doesn’t zoom in/out on its own and lose focus on what you are capturing.
  • Turn the “Live” feature (for iPhones) off.
  • Most important rule: there are no rules, as Amy says,

“Take the damn photo!”

Other general (non-technical tips):

  • Action shots are typically better than smiling faces.
  • If you can get a company logo (perhaps on a t-shirt or a banner in the background), that’s great.
  • No Selfies!

 

Video Tips

Tips for taking videos with a smartphone are basically the same as photos, with a few added suggestions:

  • Use a tripod (or improvise something to keep your phone steady) if you can.
  • If you are capturing audio, use a microphone, lavalier mics are great for interviews and speeches.

See Tips for Creating iPhone Videos for more details or watch this how-to video:

When & How to Submit Photos/Videos

Here are guidelines about when and how to submit your assets:

When to Submit

TV

Submit photos and videos right away to TV, as soon as you can. News gets old really fast and TV typically has a 4 – 5 p.m. air-time, meaning you want to submit by 2 p.m. at the latest. So, if you can, hold your event/photo opp early in the day to give you time to submit to TV.

  • If it’s a weekday and your news didn’t run the day the news occurred you have a lower chance of it running the next day.
  • But if the news occurs on a Friday and they didn’t run it you have a higher chance of them running it over the weekend.
  • Follow up/resend & call over the weekend.
  • No means no!

Print/Online

It is still best to send the day of, but not as imperative. You can be a little less aggressive and send later that day or the next.

 

How to Submit

  • Upload videos & photos into Dropbox or a shared Google Drive and send links that are clearly labeled and accessable by the media, meaning make sure they can view and download.
  • Don’t overload them with too many junky photos.
  • Attach photos if you only have a few that are small. Emails with large attachments are often blocked and more likely to go into spam folder.

 

Photo Resolution

Pixels are more important than file size, however:

  • A photo that is 500KB (.5MB) is usually big enough (unless for magazines or billboards).
  • 3000 pixels wide is probably good enough for any outlet.
  • By default, most iPhones will take an image at 72 DPI.

 

Photo Opp Ideas

When Amy talks about using events a lot for getting photos and videos for press coverage, it does not have to be what you’d traditionally call an event. Any time something is happening that is worthy of a photo or video opp, that’s an event.

If you don’t have a cartload of crazy clowns moving into town to promote your thing, you may have to get a little more creative. Here are some ideas that provide good photo opps:

  • Groundbreaking for new construction
  • Ribbon cutting for new office/location +
  • Oversized check presentation +
  • Public art unveiling
  • Art installation
  • Exhibitors moving into a tradeshow
  • Special performance for children (remember you need a photo release if you are taking photos/videos of kids)
  • The measuring of a race course
  • Large scale event set up/move-in
  • New building/structure tours
  • Moving days for notable organizations
  • Volunteering or doing something active in the community
  • The event itself (along with or instead of a pre-event photo opp)—don’t forget the event you’ve been hired to promote is a photo opp in and of itself
  • Large-scale donation of food, clothing or other physical item drop off
  • Any other thing that you can make visual or active

+ Add more to it: incorporate other important things. Talking heads—such as politicians, VIP, donors—talking about important things are always good but visually thin. What can your photo opp players literally DO during their 20 minutes of fame?

 

When to Bring in the Professionals

While we have explained how easy it is for anyone to take photos and videos for the media, there are certain times you really should call a professional photographer/videographer.

  • Products – always use a pro for product shots.
  • Big Events/Fundraisers – many large events and fundraisers will already have a hired a pro, be their friend, get their photos, give credit.
  • Reoccurring Events/Activities – do you do the same type of volunteering every year? Hire a photographer at least one year to get really good photos you can reuse.

 

Photo Captions: A Press Release in a Sentence or Two

Photo captions are like mini press releases that can get you additional exposure and recognition. Follow these tips when sending to the press:

  • List who’s in the photo from left-to-right.
  • Include job titles only if they are very important or you don’t have much else to say about the organization.
  • Add a sentence that incorporates the results of what was happening in the photo if possible. X pounds of garbage collected; X dollars raised; or new office opened in X community.

With these tips and a little practice, you will be operating like your own newsroom in no time!

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

PR Talk is sponsored by monday

In such a fast-paced, multi-faceted work environment, it can be tough to stay on top of everything. monday is the collaboration tool trusted by businesses of all kinds to help cut down the clutter and streamline productivity. Learn more at monday.com and signup for a free trial. You’ll see in no time why so many teams around the world are choosing monday for their project management needs.

PR Talk listeners can use the coupon code BetterExecute for a 15% discount.

Minicast: Thought Leadership Positioning

Minicast: Thought Leadership Positioning

A 5-Point-Guide to Maximizing the “Brains” at Your Disposal

There are many articles about how to become a thought leader. But if you’re in credit union marketing or PR, you need to know how to position one of the many “brains” within your organization as a thought leader. Sorry folks, not too many people want to hear from marketers, especially not the general public. Current and potential credit union customers want to know about financial and economic matters—things affecting their own bottom lines—subjects that a marketing person couldn’t, wouldn’t nor shouldn’t talk about.

Before we get into how to find and utilize these experts, let’s review the types of experts credit union marketers should be hunting down. They can be discovered among executive leadership teams, staffs and boards.

Types of credit union thought leaders:

  • Small business financing.
  • Mortgage lending.
  • Car loans.
  • Personal finance.
  • Family finance (getting kids to invest).
  • Diversity experts to help include under-represented communities, such as loans for women business owners or mortgages for minorities.
  • Your credit union’s niche area, such as teachers for credit unions focusing on teachers, veterans for credit unions focusing on veterans, or community ambassadors for credit unions focusing on a specific community.
  • How general economics affects all of the above

 

Veracity’s 5-Point-Guide to Maximizing the “Brains” at Your Disposal

 

1. Hone your “Expert-Dar.”

Learn how to sniff out the people you should be positioning as experts. The main way to do this is to listen with an open mind. You never know who your expert might be. With so many topics to talk about, it’s more important than ever to keep your ear to the ground. Get to know people who can feed you the information you need by attending events, interacting with people, asking questions, and again listening with an open mind.

 

2. Build a rapport.

Once you’ve selected your experts make them your best friends. At the very least get comfortable talking with them so you can call them in a pinch. Try the following things to turn your “brain” into an approachable bestie:

  • Talk to them at events and meetings.
  • Take them to coffee, lunch or happy hour.
  • Listen to them speak in seminars, classes and meetings. Talk to them about what they’ve said. Everyone needs a friendly face in the front row.
  • Sign up to volunteer in their group if your credit union partakes in volunteering efforts.
  • Simply ask to “pick their brain” as frequently as comfortable.

When you’re doing any of the above items, don’t talk at them, let them do most of the talking and listen intently. Imagine the kinds of stories you could pitch or articles you could place with the information they’re bestowing upon you.

 

3. Write it down!

Once you get them going, write down everything they say! Oftentimes when experts are rambling, they’re “giving” us the press release, article, media pitch, whatever! For this reason, I love it when my clients talk at me. We type down everything they say and use it later for a piece.

Be prepared to write things down constantly. For example, if you just need some quick info from your CEO but she’s in a chatty mood, let the conversation flow and write it all down because you can use the extraneous information for something else later.

Why talk at all if experts could just type out answers to your questions? Remember that you have the marketer’s insight and your expert does not. Important points that your expert quickly glosses over can be honed in on during conversation. I understand that time is limited so you’ll have to use your best judgment on whether or not to talk about each opportunity. After doing this for awhile, hopefully you will have a lot of copy you can re-use. Even more important, hopefully you’ll be getting opportunity after opportunity and you’ll all be so busy you just can’t talk about everything!

 

4. Convert your notes.

I understand if the idea of having to ghostwrite an article on behalf of your Board President sounds intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be if you’ve done the third step and are coming to the computer with a page full of notes. Don’t you see that you already have the piece? You just need to restructure it.

Time permitting, clean up the notes immediately while the conversation is fresh. Keep notes in paragraph format and organize by topic. As I run through my notes I’m thinking: “this is a good quote for a press release, this is some good fluff for a community-oriented blog post, and I’ll leave these economic stats in bullet point format because that will work better for an article or pitch.”  Also, do you see how a five sentence pitch is actually an article introduction? Copy is copy! USE IT ALL!

 

5. Place your brain.

Honestly now we are at PR 101. If you are fully accessing the “brains” at your disposal, this part shouldn’t be hard at all. However, newbies may not know where to begin. That’s okay! We all start somewhere. For the most part, thought leaders should be placed in the following ways:

  • Bylined articles in newspapers, financial journals or industry publications/websites. The topic should be of interest to your audience—they are not advertisements for your credit union or products. The only “plug” you’re getting is their name, company and title being listed as the author of that piece. Ideally, a headshot would run alongside the article. If you aren’t sure where to begin, tie into the seasons, national days/holidays, and editorial calendars.
  • Quoted as a source in articles. Most likely the first few quotes stem from proactive pitches you’ve sent and then ideally a relationship is formed and you’re also being called to have your “brain” participate in articles. If you aren’t sure where to begin, tie into the seasons, national days/holidays, and editorial calendars.
  • Speaking engagements at industry, financial or community events. The more often you’re placing bylined articles and quotes from your “brain,” the more clout your expert has, thus the easier this should be. Send pitches and proposals on behalf of your expert to event organizers.

I know I have glossed over #5 here but there is a wealth of information on our blog and podcast, PR Talk. Arm yourself with knowledge before embarking on your first thought-leadership campaign!

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

PR Talk is sponsored by monday

In such a fast-paced, multi-faceted work environment, it can be tough to stay on top of everything. monday is the collaboration tool trusted by businesses of all kinds to help cut down the clutter and streamline productivity. Learn more at monday.com and signup for a free trial. You’ll see in no time why so many teams around the world are choosing monday for their project management needs.

PR Talk listeners can use the coupon code BetterExecute for a 15% discount.