public relations

How To Get More Press For Your Brand

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There’s nothing like getting featured in your favorite magazine, blog, podcast. But, it’s not enough to secure press one or two times. In order to gain visibility and maintain it, you need to consistently continue to pitch the media. Stuck on strategy? Here are a few things you need to keep in mind in order to stay in the media.

  1. Understand Media Timelines- Staying in the know is a big part of media outreach. Use editorial calendars to help you plan your product/new service launches so that they are in sync with various story ideas and publications. This helps to position you as an expert and resource to journalists, writers, etc. For example, Essence Magazine’s 2018 media kit will let you know what issue they are working on, when it will be on stands, etc. If you have a beauty product releasing in January, now is the perfect time to pitch editors, put the product on their radar and set yourself up for success with potentially getting a media hit.

2. Know Your Angles- It’s important to know your press angles as they are different for each publication that you pitch. If you are pitching business publications, you want to make sure the story idea has a business related angle, not just your personal story. If you are pitching a story to your local newspaper, etc,you need to include the local tie in as apart of your press angle. To further help with this, write down at least 3-5 potential angles and identify what publications/industries are a fit

3. Be Mindful of Your Schedule + Event Calendar-- When you are preparing to pitch the media, you must consider timing. Most times editors work under deadlines and may need you to be available within a day or two of confirming your interview slot. You must make room in your schedule for unexpected press interviews.

4. Always Follow Up- Following up can either make or break you in the media world. Journalists are often busy on deadline and depending on when you pitch them, your email may fall by the wasteside. This is why you must keep track of who you reach out to, when, and their response time. A typical rule of thumb is following up within 3-5 days of sending your initial email.

3 Mistakes Business Owners Make When Pitching

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We’ve handled publicity campaigns since 2012 and have noticed that entrepreneurs who want to get press for their businesses make 3 common but crucial mistakes that keep them going in circles. Are you guilty of any of these?

1. Pitching and reaching out to the wrong people

2. Not sharing the right story

3. Not having the proper plan in place

These mistakes could have easily been avoided if you knew just a few things.

Before you start pitching, you must get clear on your why and your story.

Publications exist  to tell stories, so you need to make sure that you have something that fits and needs to be told. If you’re wondering how to do that, simply think about why people should be care or be interested. What makes your story different from all the others?

Once you know what story you want to tell, you should create a plan around how you’re going to get the word out.  Without a strategy, it’s easy to remain stagnant and anonymous, and in business that can result in lack of sales, brand partnerships, and visibility

Once you have your strategy in place, you need to create a list of publications that are a fit for your story. Read various articles, pay attention to who the writers are, research their emails.

Then you can create your media pitch based on various industry trends and story ideas of the publications you have researched. This way, you avoid making the mistakes we mentioned earlier and you can start to increase your visibility and brand awareness.


Love, A PR Girl: Milan Mobley- U Management PR

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When did you decide that the PR industry was for you?

My freshmen year in college, I became the public relations coordinator for the freshmen class executive board. After successfully working on a few PR campaigns and events I fell in love.

What inspired you to start your agency?

After applying to over 100 jobs pre and post graduation from undergrad I was fed up. Needing to meet drastic criteria such as 10 years of work experience and a masters degree, which I was entering into in the fall but the work experience I didn't have I had just finished school. So instead of being depressed or feeling sorry for myself, I started my agency. Granted I had the government job that I had been at for years, but it wasn't my passion, it wasn't what I received my degree or getting ready to receive my master's degree in. I always knew I wanted to start my own agency, but not as early as 21, I imagined 25; but God had different plans.

Give us a glimpse of your day to day life as a publicist?

Normally I'll have about 4-5 discovery calls a day, my work day starts at 10 am and ends at 7 pm. Throughout the day I work on different client assignments. They can vary from social media clean-up, pitching to the media, securing media placements and sponsorships. I can also have meetings outside of phone calls, events to attend. On even better days, I can be taking flights to clients for one-day meetings or I can be in another state for a big event for a client to ensure red carpet management is going smoothly. The life of a publicist you never know!

What is some of the best advice you have been given?

I have given a lot of advice to Public Relations students, clients, and aspiring publicist. I always tell them to meet their consumers at the door, don't waste your time where your consumer is not.


Gain a lot of experience through internships in the industry you want to work under, don't waste your time hopping from job to job and internship to internships that will not help you overall.  Lastly, go out and network, never wait for the opportunity to come to you.

Name your top 3 PR campaigns to date?

Former NFL Wide Recieve Youth Camp securing local media and over eleven top-tier sponsorships.

Achieving several top-tier Brand ambassador deals and securing a spot as a model in the top BET Award Weekend Fashion show for a client.

Helping increase a client's sales by turning their followers into consumers through new innovative social media strategies.

Words every publicist should live by?

"Pitching is a habit"


3 Mistakes People Make When Media Pitching

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As we’ve stated before, media pitching is both an art and a science. It’s about being positioned at the right place and the right time for maximum exposure for your brand, (or your client’s brand). Whether you are a newbie publicist or trying to DIY, there are a few things you must know when it comes to media pitching.


1. Pitching to the WRONG Editor-  Public relations and securing placement is all about being strategic. Different editors, writers, reporter, etc cover different beats. Some focus on business/corportations, some focus on entrepreneurship/lifestyle brands. Prior to outreach, you must determine the category/beat that your brand is a fit for. Keep in mind your story angle to help you figure out which editor/writer would be best to reach out. If you are still unsure, send them a quick note asking them if they would be interested in covering your story. More than likely, they will introduce you to the appropriate contact.

2. Your Subject Line is TOO BORING- In order to capture the media’s attention, you must have an attention grabbing subject line! It has to excite the editor enough to make them want to open your email. For instance, if you are pitching a hair extension company, think about what makes the company different from their competition. If they have a special gala for Breast Cancer every year, your subject line may be: How This Beauty Brand Is Making A Difference For Women Battling Breast Cancer. It gives them an idea of what the story is about and intrigues them to learn more.

3. You don’t FOLLOW UP ENOUGH- In pitching the media, just like all things business wise, the key is in the follow up. As a rule of thumb, follow up with editors three times max. So you may pitch them on January 1st for an upcoming Valentine’s Day story; if you don’t get a response, follow up on the January 15th and again on the 20th. Each time you follow up, give the editors NEW INFORMATION. Ask them if they are interested in doing a review or product feature. Be sure to research the current stories they have written about. That way, you can tie in your product/service and they know you are familiar with their work.

The next time you activate a PR campaign, keep these tips in mind for media outreach.


HOW TO GET THE MEDIA TO SAY YES TO YOUR MEDIA PITCH

So, you’ve created your PR Plan, have all of the visuals/photos created and the website is perfect. You have your media list developed and now you are ready to pitch. But, wait! Before you press the SEND button on that email, let’s review a few things first.

Keep in mind that pitching to the media is an art. It takes time, good energy and a strategic approach.

Here are 4 ways to get the media to say Yes To Your Pitch:

  1. Personalize Each Pitch According To The Writer/Editor- Writers/Editors are EXTREMELY busy. They have deadlines to meet, events to attend and of course, news, to report. No matter what the beat is, every industry is constantly buzzing with new trends, celebrity tie-ins, updated reports and more. If you want to  secure press in a timely manner, it is crucial for you show that you’ve done your homework- the very first time you pitch. It’s not enough to say: “Hi Marianne” and then go into your pitch. Compliment the writer on their latest pitch, ask what they are currently working on and let them know how your client is a fit. Make sure it’s CLEAR that you know who they are, what they like to cover and what they are interested in.

2. Ask For What You Want- Focus on your overall goal for outreach. Do you want a feature or interview? Do you want to be featured on their online news segment? When you are pitching, let the writer know how you’d like to work with them and the publication. Again, it’s important to be specific and do your research. Before you pitch and ask for the feature, make their job EASY. For example, if you are pitching for a local TV segment, include the name of the segment, 3-5 talking points, why the audience would be interested and you/your client’s reel.  Editors/writers have enough on their plates, you want to be a valuable resource/liaison, show them that you are an asset to their job. Have all materials including the press kit, photos, bio, etc on hand, stay ready so you don’t have to scramble and get ready.


3.) Following Up Is Key- Most times, you won’t get the yes you are looking for the first time you pitch, so it is important for you to follow up with the key outlets you want to reach. Do not follow up with the same pitch. Instead, ask if it is something that they are interested in. Pay attention to the stories that they have written during the time that you pitched them and follow up with how your business/client is a fit and/or how you can add a different perspective to the story line.

    4.) Check The Submission Guidelines- This may seem like a simple step, but it is one that people often overlook. Every outlet, especially those that are digital have certain guidelines on how to pitch them. You must also look at the editorial calendar to assist you in developing press angles that are in alignment with the outlet themes, media coverage and more. You can also create a press calendar for your business/client(s) based on the editorial calendar as well.


Why Every Publicist Should Brand Themselves

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Many publicists don’t put themselves in the forefront because they feel like the spotlight should be reserved for clients! WRONG!


Gone are the days where working hard  behind the scenes is enough to get you noticed. You MUST create your own opportunities and position yourself to make a profit. Sure, you may have worked with some amazing brands and clients, but if no one knows that you exist, how do you expect new customers to find you?

Here are 3 reasons why EVERY Publicist should brand themselves:

  1. Boost Your Credibility- Pitching yourself to the media and sharing your story helps to boost your credibility. The more you share you expertise, the more features you obtain for yourself/ your business, the more credible you become. This way, when you pitch new clients, you can send them your case studies along with company highlights

  2. Increase Revenue-  Putting yourself out there via blog, podcast, magazine, etc allows yo to expand your company reach in front of your target audience. The more people you reach, the more people that are interested in your products and services. This will help to increase your bottom line whether you are servicing new clients or selling an event/new course. Sharing your story with various audiences brings more exposure and brand awareness.

  3. Increase Your Visibility- Again, getting in the forefront is all about positioning yourself for success and as a thought leader in your industry. As a publicist, you are only as good as your last PR campaign, and if you are not showcasing your work, going Live, obtaining press placements for yourself, you are missing out on potential clients and creating your visibility platform.

What To Do When An Editor Rejects You

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So you signed on a new client!!  You’ve spent time researching, creating their PR Plan and developing the pitch. You are now ready to begin the outreach process and book interviews/features. Your media list is in hand and you’ve spent the past week pitching your heart out!

You get excited when you FINALLY get a response from the editor, only to open an email  that says,

“Thanks for sending this over! At this time, we’re going to pass.”

By this being your first round of pitches for this PR campaign, you were really looking forward to your client being featured in this particular outlet, and now, you are CRUSHED!

What should you do now that they have rejected your pitch? Here are 5 steps.

1. Be Polite- Thank them for their time. After all, they took time out to open up and read your email! Ask them to keep you posted on new + upcoming stories in the future

2. Identify The Opportunity For Growth- Check and read over your pitch. Read it back about 2 times and put yourself in the shoes of the editor. Does it sound compelling to you? Is it too long? Is there enough information? Did you highlight all NEWSWORTHY aspects? If you need to make changes, now is the time to do so before you continue outreach to other publications

3. Find A New Angle- Think about the various ways you can pitch your client. Maybe they are a beauty app founded by an African American veteran. That’s at least 4 different angles: Beauty, App (tech), Black Owned, Business and former military personnel. With those angles, that means there are at least 8 different writers you can pitch to.

4. Timing Is Everything-  In pitching, the timing is EVERYTHING. Perhaps you initially pitched the editor at the end of summer when they had previous stories, deadlines, etc. Keep them on your radar, however, don’t continuously pitch them. Wait awhile. Pitch them again at a new quarter when your client creates a new product, launch, etc.

5. Keep The Faith- Media pitching can be a bit frustrating at times because of the passion that you have for your clients and their brand. No matter what you have to keep the faith in your client, their products and most importantly YOUR ABILITIES! You were made for this! You are an amazing publicist and you get better with time!!! Believe in yourself, continue to study your craft and know that you got this!!! Also, visualize your outcome! Make a vision board of placements and keep it on your desk while you work. Watch how things begin to manifest!


3 Reasons Your Marketing Strategies Aren't Working

So you have a business plan, LLC, website and you are active on social media. You’ve put all this time, effort and yes coins into building your brand and marketing your business. But you still aren’t seeing RESULTS!

It gets frustrating, you get annoyed and on some days you just want to cry, throw your laptop across the room and say “I Quit!”! (or was that just me? LOL)

Instead of having an emotional meltdown, let’s talk about 3 Reasons Your Marketing Strategies Arent Working AND how to fix it!

  1. You aren’t talking to the right people AND not enough people know you exist- In order for you to reach your financial goals, you have to play the numbers game. If you have 200 people on your mailing list, only 10% are going to be loyal customers and buy from you. So that means that you’ve got to figure out how to reach more people; and not just anyone, but YOUR people. Think about what you have to offer and why someone would want/need you to help them with their business. From there you can adjust and revamp your strategy. Collaborate with someone with a bigger audience in your industry, do a brand partnership, etc.

2. You aren’t visible enough- I’ve heard alot of people say “oh I went on Periscope once or twice and it just wasn’t for me”, HUH?? But did you really try? Or were you magically expecting 1,000 people to fall out of the sky and on to your Broadcast. You have to make an EFFORT and be consistent. Use social media to your advantage, get on IG Live and talk about your services/products, pitch yourself to a blog or media outlet showcasing your expertise. The bottom line is you have to put yourself out there in order to properly position your business. No one is going to put you on, you have to take initative and figure out what works for you. Don’t be afraid to start over, it happens to the best of us!


3.) You are afraid to sell- Guilty, guilty, guilty, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cringed at hitting the send button because I was too afraid folks would unsubscribe because they thought I was doing too much! Guess what? People that unsubscribe to your list are NOT APART OF YOUR TRIBE AND WERE NEVER GOING TO BUY ANYWAY! You still have to do your part and give them the information; stop being afraid of selling your products/services (if they are good that is, we will talk later on this). Don’t allow fear to stop you from being great!


4 Must Have Tools For Every PR Girl

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In business, there are different strokes for different folks. In PR, some will argue that all you need is a laptop and a phone to get started. While this is true, living in the digital world makes things a little bit easier when it comes to sending out emails, handling social media, etc. Here are 4 Must Have Tools For Every PR Girl.

1) Right Inbox- This FREE Google Chrome is Extension makes pitching SO MUCH BETTER! It allows you to schedule emails ahead of time. You can set them for 1 hour, 4 hours, tomorrow morning and a specific time. So if you are headed on a secret vacation but still need to crank out work for clients, Right Inbox is your BFF. You can schedule them when you want to and your work for the day is half done. We definitely recommend this tool.

2) Later.com- Our FAVORITE Instagram tool!! With Later.com, all you have to do is go to the website, login with your Instagram credentials, and start scheduling content. You can schedule it on BOTH the mobile app as well as your computer so no matter where you are, posting to Instagram is super convenient. This is FREE up to 30 posts per month! We love Later.com.

3) Canva.com- Canva is BAE, hands down. Whether you use the FREE service or Canva for work, their templates will have you designing like a pro in no time! From flyers to facebook banners and book covers, Canva is your go to for creating graphics on the go, especially when you consistently need to create content and can’t afford a graphic designer. It is DIY friendly and super fun to play around with and see your designs come to life. Get in to it!

4) Zoom.com- Bye Bye Google Hangout! This is the perfect alternative! Zoom is FREE up to 50 attendees and their paid option starts at $14.99 per month. You can meet with clients, staff and host webinars! What’s not to love?


Don’t see your favorite tool listed? Comment down below!


4 Ways To Build A Profitable Brand

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As a publicist, the goal is always to service clients with excellence! Even though you provide PR services to clients and make sure that their business is in front of the masses, you cannot forget that YOUR BUSINESS IS A BRAND. As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get caught up in client projects that we forget about our own. Here are 4 ways you can build a profitable brand:

  1. Have A Vision- I know you want to be a success and there’s no doubt in my mind that you will be, but the question is HOW? How are you going to be successful and what does that look like to you? Where do you see you business going in the next 90 days? These are questions that definitely need answers. You’re excited about your new business venture, as you should be, but you get over whelmed with all of the goals, demands, expectations, etc. Take a second and breathe. Now let’s start creating your next 90 days. Think about what you REALLY NEED to accomplish first. What’s priority? If you are full time, you need to figure out how you are going to bring in cash flow. Once you’ve organized your priorities and written down the goals you need to reach, create 3 Action Items for each goal. Write the vision and make it plain! It works!

   2. Get Visible- We’ve talked about this before, but TO EXPAND YOUR BRAND, YOU MUST BECOME A THOUGHT LEADER! People do business with people that they like and trust. In order for them to trust you, they have to get to know you, what you do, and how you can help them. Become a contributing writer for blogs such as Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, Forbes,etc. Pitch yourself to do interviews and features, share your story about your life and business.

   3. Remain Consistent- For service based businesses, it can be hard to juggle your branding activities and handle client accounts, but you must make it a priority! Whether you decide to blog every Monday, host a Twitter Chat each Friday or get on Periscope daily, you must have a system in place and STICK TO IT! This is how you build a solid fan base, this is how people grow to love you and want to pay you for whatever it is you are selling. Figure out your schedule, make sure you are putting out amazing content and be consistent! People are counting on you to give them what they need to succeed in their businesses and lives. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there

   4. Say Goodbye To Your Competition- The number one mistake that you can make when building your brand and creating a profit, is comparing yourself to other people. It doesn’t matter what you see on Instagram or other social media platforms, everything that glitters is not gold. When you compare yourself to other people, it takes away from your greatness and potential. Entrepreneurship is not easy, no matter who runs the business. Your journey is yours and yours alone. Everyone has their own time, season and place for getting to the next level! It’s up to you to enjoy the journey and trust the process! Your gifts will make room for you!!