Content marketers: 7 ways to improve your subject-matter-expert interviews

July 12, 2017

Get the information you need to create persuasive, insightful content by conducting better interviews

I’ll let you in on a little-known secret that sets great content marketers apart from the good ones. It’s not the writing. It’s not video production skills. It’s not even research.

Don’t get me wrong — those are important. But the real secret sauce? Conducting great interviews.

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Don’t Give Up On Newswires Just Yet: The role they can play in your press release strategy

December 4, 2015

Don't Give Up On Newswires

Recently, Reputation Ink has been distributing client press releases left and right, and it got us thinking: are newswires worth it? Like really worth it?

In the past, the answer was a resounding ‘yes’ for most public relations professionals, and still is scivolo gonfiabile for some. Newswires were a go-to resource for distribution and SEO purposes, especially for corporate entities that had the funds to use a wire service every time they had news to distribute.

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They’re just not that into you: why journalists aren’t covering your press releases

August 21, 2014

99678588You take the time to write a compelling press release with a great email subject line to hook the journalist…and nothing happens. Journalists don’t respond to your emails or phone calls, and there’s no sign of a written piece when you search the internet. Sound familiar?

I want to take you inside the mind of a journalist. Outside of my duties at Reputation Ink, I’m a sports business reporter and analyst. As such, I receive dozens of press releases and pitches each day, much like any other journalist. Generally speaking, there’s a lot of noise and not a lot of quality pitches. I always try to keep that in mind when I’m on the other side and am the one drafting and distributing a press release for a client.

The shockingly low number of press releases that are picked up

Unfortunately, there are times when clients want to send press releases even when we’ve warned them their story might not be newsworthy. It’s understandable – when you’ve worked hard on a transaction, lawsuit, product rollout or other major project, it’s the center of your universe. It can make it hard to understand why it’s not newsworthy to others.

That’s why I thought it would be helpful to let you into the minds of journalists for a moment. The most shocking fact I can tell you is the percentage of press releases and pitches I receive that I end up writing about: five percent.

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Working with PR agencies: hold the fluff!

July 1, 2014
Reputation Ink PR agency Jacksonville

Fluff belongs on your dessert – not in your press release!

Working with a professional public relations agency can offer significant benefits for both large and small companies alike. So much so, in fact, that USC’s Annenberg Strategic Communication and Public Relations Center reports that 95 percent of all large public companies and nearly half of all small private companies rely on outside PR/marketing counsel.

In selecting a public relations firm with which to work, however, companies would do well to remember three words: Hold the fluff.

In media parlance, “fluff” is the term for the flowery language and effusive frippery in which some publicists drown their copy. Rather than simply stating the facts and letting their client’s product or project speak for itself, some PR reps seem to believe that applying a thick coating of hyperbole to their prose will catch the eye of that jaded reporter and score their client a primo placement.

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How to hook a journalist on your press release from your email subject line

June 26, 2014

156705768I recently participated as a panelist in a webinar by BusinessWire for public relations professionals who pitch to journalists covering sports. I was asked to be a panelist because of my experience as a sports business analyst and reporter for outlets such as ESPN, Forbes, and Comcast Sports Southeast. However, I also brought something to the table the other journalists on the panel did not: I’m also a public relations professional.

Before the webinar, each panelist was asked to think of three things public relations professionals should know before pitching to journalists. I think all three of us on the panel immediately went to some version of advising people to only pitch us content relevant to our reporting and our platform. I would conservatively estimate 60 percent of the pitches I receive are on topics or story angles I would never cover for any of the outlets where I report.

A larger problem I discussed, however, is that I miss pitches that are perfect for my reporting because I simply can’t read every email I receive. That’s why it’s imperative to hook journalists from the subject line of your email.

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Beyond the press release: 5 tactics to add to your PR toolbox

June 17, 2014

INKsights 5 tactics for your PR ToolboxIt’s one of the most overused sentences in the communications industry:

“Let’s do a press release!”

The press release is perhaps the best-known public relations tool. As a result, it tends to be the first option that comes to mind when a client or company wants to get the word out about their latest project or initiative. But there are a lot of other tools in the PR toolbox that may be more appropriate – and effective – depending upon your situation, your topic and your communications objectives.

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5 tips to increase your news release pick-up

May 13, 2014

5 tips to increase your news release pick-up“Why don’t my news releases get picked up?”

Just about every PR consultant has heard this lament at one time or another – often, from a prospective client who’s been trying to handle his own PR with little success. Yet even veteran communications pros have experienced the frustration of sending out a news release that never makes it past an editor’s inbox.

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