All Posts in PR
Q. What will you do at Cutline?
As an intern I’ll be helping out with some of Cutline’s accounts. I think the main thing, though, will be building strong relationships with the people around me, and being a team player by jumping in wherever I can. I can’t wait to learn from all these talented, wonderful people!
Ever wondered how we got our start here at Cutline? You’re in luck! We’re back with another post that showcases the stories of how Cutliners turned into PR rockstars. Check out how Mishri Shah became a sensational Manager.
How did you get your start in PR?
I majored in journalism in college, and while I loved it, I quickly realized I like talking way too much to limit myself to just writing. Working in PR gives me the best of both worlds -- I get to write, and I get to communicate with my awesome clients and rockstar coworkers everyday!
What’s your latest/favorite hit so far?
One of the recent hits I’m really excited about was securing a slot for Pebble in O Magazine’s spring trends issue! It was really neat to see Pebble featured in print among several other exciting brands.
What’s a top tip you’d offer to someone aspiring to become a PR rockstar?
Always put yourself in your client’s shoes. Just like any other relationship, empathy is key to fostering a strong and healthy partnership with your client. Understanding their world -- their preferences and requirements -- makes it much easier to share clear recommendations and find new and exciting opportunities for them. At the end of the day, you’ll secure better results, and your client will put more trust in you!
If you know anything about football or have been paying attention to the news at all lately, you’ll know that the National Football League has had quite the scandalous year. From a PR standpoint, it’s been nothing short of a nightmare!
Yesterday I set out to draft a quick blog post about our open job positions – two kick-ass senior account executives to join the Cutline Crew in San Francisco and/or New York City. But instead of me writing some rambling post, I decided to ask my colleagues for help. So, I sent out this note.
Subject: HELP! Need input from you for a blog post
Text of email: Quick! I need the top 10 reasons an SAE should join Cutline... Go! Pretty please. 🙂
Last week, two of us Cutliners were lucky enough to attend The Holmes Report’s In2 Innovation Summit, which focused on “The Future of Engagement.” Most of the speakers were senior executives from PR agencies or in-house PR teams and journalists. The conversations were fun and insightful and below are a few of the things we learned and wanted to share.
We all like being told stories. What starts as a childhood bedtime routine evolves into a way to share family history, educate a reader about a current event or issue, and even introduce or deepen a consumer’s relationship with a brand. Earlier this month, a few of us Cutliners joined a PR News webinar about visual storytelling and we wanted to share a few highlights and takeaways from the three presenters.
One of the best things about working at Cutline is the opportunity to interact with new early-stage startups on a daily basis. And in talking to these teams day after day, we often find the conversations turning to questions about how they should be approaching PR. As you might expect, we have some pretty specific thoughts on those questions, and have put a few of them together for you here:
1. Launching a company doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready for PR. You’ve been working hard, you’re feeling good about your product, and you’re ready to start getting it out there. But that doesn’t mean you have the elements necessary for a strong news story, or that you’re at a stage where PR can make a meaningful contribution to your success. PR can help you attract new users, raise your profile in the investment community, plant a stake in a competitive landscape, and more. But it can only do these things when you have the right ingredients for a story, and when you’re at a stage in your growth as a company where you’ll have regular opportunities to go out and tell it.
2. Talk less about your product and your company and more about the larger trends you fit into and the problems you’re trying to solve. As you put together your PR campaigns and other communications, you should always be thinking about how your company fits into the bigger picture. Of all the problems out there, why is the one you’re trying to solve important? Why will consumers or businesses use your product? What’s new or unique about your approach, your team, or your technology? What’s the vision you’re trying to achieve, and who will it impact? Sit down and craft some talking points that address these things, and then find ways to tie those points into all your PR outreach.
3. Good PR is about building relationships. Figure out who the influential reporters covering your space are, arrange for an introductory meeting (ideally at a point when you have some news they can cover), and then – if they’re interested – work to stay in regular contact with them. Take the time to read their stories (which are likely to be relevant to you anyway) and send them insightful comments. Keep them posted on important developments at your company. Give them a fair chance to cover your news, when appropriate. Doing all these things will help you build strong relationships with them, and that in turn will help you stand out from the pack when you’re trying to secure coverage.
4. Good PR is also about engaging with reporters on a regular basis. In the technology space alone, there are hundreds of potential stories for reporters to consider every day. As noted in #3 above, having good relationships can help you get their attention. The other thing that can help is regular engagement – reaching out to interested reporters whenever you have some meaningful news to share or a great story idea (the launch of a significant product or feature, the announcement of a prominent new partner or customer, an interesting feature idea, etc.). And when you do reach out, make sure you’re tying the story back to the talking points discussed in #2. This will help reporters understand how today’s step forward fits into your larger strategy, and ensure that they hear a steady drumbeat from you about that strategy. They won’t cover everything you put out – and you shouldn’t expect them to – but it’ll help you stay on their radar.
5. One more thing good PR is about: news. Most reporters are driven by news cycles. A story breaks, develops, and then dies. Then another breaks, develops, and dies. And so on. Even the larger-scale features and commentary pieces out there are often spurred by an announcement of some kind, or by a series of announcements that suggest a trend. Can you get great coverage without news? Of course. But the PR programs that are most successful in the long run tend to be the ones that structure announcements and other campaigns to maximize their news value and fit into breaking trends.
What else should early-stage startups be thinking about when it comes to PR? Weigh in below in the comments section.
Last week I attended the Social Media Marketing conference in San Francisco - a full-day event that brings together leading brands and marketing experts to examine the viral power of social networks. The speakers and topics were awesome - offering tips on how to engage consumers via social media and providing information about social media trends that impact us now and into the future.
Key Themes and Topics:
· How publicists interact with journalists. All journalists who spoke agreed that they are interested in publicists who don’t just pitch their client, but rather educate the reporter on the industry or sector. That approach is more likely to make them want to learn more about it and write about it.
· Numbers and stats are always a good thing to include in a pitch. Kym McNicholas, Anchor and Reporter for Forbes.com, said that her editors always say “show me the numbers.” A lot of times, this is difficult for start-ups or young businesses, but if there is something positive, even just a small bit, they want to know about it.
· Big picture impact. David Gelles, technology and social media reporter for the Financial Times, made the point that he isn’t concerned about what’s happening in Silicon Valley, rather, he’s concerned more about how Silicon Valley is impacting the world. All great points and things we always try to keep in mind at Cutline.
· Building a brand/small business through social media. Prior to launching/branding, many panelists suggested a small business ask itself: Why are you doing social media and what is your goal? It is important to target specific places you want to be and create a content strategy.
· Small businesses should have three valuable things to say each day, whether through Twitter, Facebook or another social medium. We completely agree that building a brand is all about providing meaningful information.
· Utilize the proper social media for your brand, not just Twitter or Facebook. If the brand is more visual, perhaps the medium should be Flickr.
Though I only touched on a few key themes and presentations, the bottom line is that social media is becoming an increasingly important vehicle for businesses, both big and small. Whether it’s branding, advertising, or launching a business, early adopters of social media platforms (and the PR/marketing firms they engage) will be ahead of the curve if they do it the right way. Though embracing social media is an important step, succeeding can be difficult which is where I thought this conference was most helpful – giving advice on how to use these channels to take a business to the next level.
What types of social media tips do you offer your clients? We’d love to hear.