LIN PR promotes major client events during spring

The LIN PR team generates 50+ stories on American Craft Council Show 

Working with Cathryn Kennedy Consulting, LIN PR brought together a team of PR gurus to provide aggressive media relations outreach for the 2014 American Craft Council St. Paul Show.

Photo by Steve Henke
Mike Smith and Katie French of Forage Modern Workshop at American Craft Council Show

Lynn Nelson and junior associates, Kate Burnevik and Grace Agbor, worked with Cathy Kennedy to produce a PR program that included working with 10 local interior design firms, event logistics, coordinated efforts with advertising, and social media. With over 50 media hits on the event, the St. Paul show draws an average of over 10,000 visitors every year and is the oldest juried craft show in the nation.

 

Women’s Health Leadership TRUST Forum Sets Attendance Record

Tandem Tweeters Brant Skogrand and Grace Agbor

Earlier this year, LIN PR was a finalist in the PRSA Classics for their work with the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST. LIN PR was hired to promote this annual event two years ago. This year was the TRUST’s 35th anniversary. LIN PR developed an anniversary logo, magazine ads, as well as PR and social media outreach. ” We really like working with the TRUST because they’re so committed to using all of their communication channels consistently to convey their key messages,” says LIN PR Principal, Lynn Nelson. To read a recap of tweets from the event, search Twitter using the event’s hashtag: #WHLT35.

LIN PR Associates share insights at PRSA Midwest Conference June 18-20

LIN PR Associates share insights at PRSA Midwest Conference June 18-20

Lynn Ingrid Nelson, principal of LIN PR, and author of “Getting Your Life into Balance”, will lead a break-out session on goal setting and tracking time needed to achieve one’s goals. Attendees will also learn how to use stress management techniques and deal with career burnout.

 

Blogs, Books and Beyond

Content Marketing is more than just a buzzword; it’s an integral part of connecting with target audiences. In his upcoming presentation, “Content Marketing: Blogs, Books and Beyond,” Brant Skogrand will cover the essentials of content marketing, from types of content to plan elements to what goes into developing a big piece of content such as books and ebooks.

 

For more information about the 2014 Midwest PRSA Conference, click here. 

 

YouTube, Instagram and Vine – Oh, My!

With 78 percent of Internet-using American adults downloading or watching online videos, the video format has become one of the most talked-about aspects of social media.

In fact, YouTube has become the second most-popular search engine in the world after Google. Users around the world upload 100 hours of video each minute and watch more than 6 billion hours of video each month on YouTube.

Beyond YouTube, however, are the apps Instagram and Vine. The length of videos on Instagram and Vine are shorter – much shorter. An Instagram video can be 15 seconds long, while a Vine can have a length of six seconds.

Video provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate products, humanize your brand and educate your prospects.

While not every video will reach the viral status of Grumpy Cat or Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” the format provides another excellent venue to share your organization’s news.

Steer prospective clients to your online storefront with SEO

The Web is a valuable tool for businesses. According to a report by Google, the company’s search and advertising tools helped provide $94 billion of economic activity for 1.9 million businesses, website publishers and non-profits across the nation last year1.

Just because your organization has a website, however, doesn’t mean that it’s getting the traffic it deserves. After all, consider where your website shows up in the results of the search engines. Seventy-five percent of users never scroll past the first page of search results2.

So what’s a company to do? Consider search engine optimization (SEO), “the use of search engines to draw traffic to a website – the technique of attaining a higher ranking in search engines and directories via alteration of website code and copy to make it more search engine compatible.”3

According to Search Engine College, the most common web design elements that impact search compatibility include:

  • The TITLE Element
  • The META Description Tag
  • The META Keywords Tag
  • The Alt IMG Attribute
  • Text links
  • Keyword-rich body text
  • Page file extensions
  • The Robots META Tag
  • Frames
  • Dynamic content – Query Strings
  • Graphic navigation menus
  • Flash

Ensuring that these elements are properly tailored to the keywords that are important to your organization will make quite the difference. Since SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate compared to a 1.7% close rate for outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising)4, now is the time to use SEO to make your company’s website work for you.

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1 Source: http://www.google.com/economicimpact/

2 Source: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/14416/100-Awesome-Marketing-Stats-Charts-Graphs-Data.aspx

3 Source: http://wiki.searchenginewiki.com/Search_Engine_Optimization

4 Source http://www.searchenginejournal.com/24-eye-popping-seo-statistics/42665/

Do you really have to do a PR plan?

Many of our clients balk at the idea of spending valuable time and money doing a PR plan. They’d rather get right into the business of getting results.

Why is PR planning important? 

You know your organization’s objectives and areas of expertise much better than we do.  And most PR firms like ours are dealing with multiple clients. We’re like your megaphone; we amplify your messages to your target audiences, so the clearer you can be with us, the clearer we can be with them. 

What elements of a plan are most critical? 

Without a plan, we can make assumptions about client objectives that are incorrect. We may think you want more sales, when you actually want your current customers or members to value your services more highly. So it really helps us do a better job for you if objectives are spelled out clearly up front. The more we know about your target audiences, the better we can identify communications channels to reach them. And if we agree on key messages, we can be more accurate in how we portray your organization. We can get you the results you want if we understand up front what they are: media clips, online visibility, traffic on your web site, all of the above?  And it helps us if you can spell out your timeline and budget parameters.

Does a plan have to be 5-10 pages long? 

The more specific it is, the better results you’ll get. But we’re partial to brief plans with bullet points rather than lengthy paragraphs.  What’s most important is that all elements of a plan are addressed, and that both the PR firm members and client staff are familiar with them and refer to them as your campaign rolls out. 

How much time must be spent on doing a PR plan? 

Typically, we meet with a client for an hour or two to ask questions about the eight elements of a PR plan. Then we draft the plan, which takes three to four hours; we meet again for an hour or two to review it. And then, the plan is revised. So an investment of about 10 hours on our side is required. 

Is it worth doing a plan if you don’t work with an agency regularly? 

We think so.  Some organizations that have communications staff can benefit by having a professional communications plan to keep staff on track toward reaching management’s goals. Often, it helps to have an outsider’s point of view in PR planning. Insiders sometimes are unclear about what target audiences are interested in.  If you’re not clear about how to spend your organization’s limited time and money to reach your communications objectives, a PR plan is definitely in order.

Generate your own media content: Bylined columns are becoming predictably more popular with the media

As I predicted in a column I wrote four years ago about the increasing popularity of bylined columns, the traditional media has become more reliant on them and mini columns are flourishing in the form of blogs. See accompanying article by my associate Brant Skogrand for more on that topic. 

In addition to providing much needed substantive content for traditional media, there are several upsides for writers: you get your points across with minimal interference from writers and editors, a column and photo generate far more visibility than the occasional quote; and you can position yourself as an expert on topics you want clients and prospective clients to associate with you and your organization.

(Remember, bylined columns are not just for print publications, some TV programs and radio stations run commentaries.)

Generally, bylined columns are easy to write if you follow these simple steps:

  •  Develop a creative lead and headline.
  • Generate a strong declarative or thesis statement, such as: “Now is a good time to take the time to write bylined articles.”
  • Provide convincing evidence. Give your top three to four reasons you believe your thesis is correct.
  •  Write a conclusion that ties back to the lead.
  •  Stick to 750-1,000 words or less.

You must be disciplined about avoiding salesy language.  Readers don’t want to be sold; they want to learn something you know a lot about that benefits them. Don’t be afraid of offending anyone. Conflict is good. Reading different points of view is how we form our own opinions. If you don’t have strong viewpoints, you are likely to be boring. If you have time, check out some of our clients’ recent bylined columns.

You’ll be surprised how quickly you can put down 750-1,000 words, which is just two-three single-spaced pages. If you’re interested in learning more – either through our training or coaching programs – just give us a call. We’re happy to help.