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UnPitching: How Not to Suck at Pitching the Media – Vocus Webinar with Scott Stratten.

Yesterday’s Vocus webinar was titled “UnPitching: How Not to Suck at Pitching the Media” by Scott Stratten from UnMarketing. Stratten is the President of Un-Marketing. He is an expert in Viral, Social, and Authentic Marketing which he calls Un-Marketing. He is an author, blogger and was named a top influencer by Forbes.

Stratten quickly got to the point about public relations and marketing and what it’s all about. People react, people respond, people reach out. It’s about relationships. It always has been and always will be.

Stratten is an industry influencer with his blog Un-Marketing. As a result, he has been added to media lists and has witnessed firsthand what it’s like on the other side. He has received nightmare pitches of email blasts to a large BCC list, generic emails in ALL CAPS (unless you are giving birth, don’t use all caps in an email subject line!) among others.

The danger with media lists (and I fully agree) is that some people send an email blast without further qualifying the list and getting to know the journalists and if they indeed are a good fit for your client or company.

A few years ago, it was all about getting the media’s attention and now it is about reaching media as well as influencers.

He discussed a case study about a product launch of a new single cup coffee machine. An agency pitched the client that they wanted help the client gain more share of conversation. They were currently mentioned 0.04% in Canada when people talked about coffee. The agency proposed that they would increase the numbers by reaching bloggers and influencers and canceling the TV budget. (Stratten warns that in order to pitch executives about social media, you need to match the metric with the mind.)

The client eventually agreed and the agency ran a social campaign. They contacted 100 influencers and wrote individual letters. They got to know these people, offered to send a free coffee machine and then followed up two weeks later with a “What did you think?” No pressure to write about it or anything. Stratten was one of the recipients. He loved the machine. Then the agency had him pick 10 friends on Twitter and then sent those people a coffee machine. That is how buzz starts. (“I got to be Oprah!”) Eventually the campaign resulted in 12.6% mentions in Canada when people talked about coffee.

He went on to tell a few more stories about companies doing awesome things, and ones doing not so awesome things, including an unhappy customer at a pizza place that posted an image on Twitter that went viral.

Some other sound bites from the webinar:

  • Your brand can’t have a great person on Twitter and a sucky customer representative – you have to linear!
  • Pitching should be like a first date: get to know someone before you ask them out.
  • Social hasn’t diminished PR; it’s just shifted it. PR is no longer a megaphone. It’s a telephone & it’s on speaker. It’s about engagement.
  • Start the relationship before you need the relationship. (true in PR and also in personal networking)
  • Face-to-face isn’t dead. It’s more important than ever.
  • Don’t just pitch me. Be sincere. Get to know someone first.
  • There are two types of people you don’t want to upset. Geeks and Moms. If you anger a geek mom, good luck.
  • Outrage does not take the weekend off!! If you’re gonna play in Social Media, it’s 24/7
  • what you tweet is a billboard. you are always an employee – what you tweet can/will impact your employer.
  • You are not PR, you are the PR expert. Everyone in your company who represents your brand is PR.
  • Internally, PR pros should be social media training everyone, not just media training your CFO.
  • You have to match the metric with the mind! It’s not about Likes or Tweets. It’s about the conversation and sentiment.
  • You can’t stop the “geekalanche” – don’t censor your customers.
  • If you are in PR, spam is not okay. Do your homework. Make sure the people you pitch have expertise that aligns with your pitch.
  • Unless you are giving birth, don’t use all caps in an email subject line!
  • If you put your employer in your Twitter bio, every tweet represents your business.
  • Companies aren’t awesome, people are.
  • When you write to a company in anger, sometimes all you want is to be acknowledged.
  • Don’t put influencers on the spot on Twitter for help. If you wouldn’t do it in a crowded room, don’t do it on Twitter.
  • We are a forgiving society if we are “Immediate. Authentic. Appropriate” when something goes wrong in Social Media.

He shares these insights from his second book The Book of Business Awesome / The Book of Business UnAwesome. It is surely a great read and one to go on the bookshelves for marketers and public relations professionals alike.

Vocus offers a free webinar series for PR professionals. I recommend it to anyone involved in marketing, PR and social media.

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The Changing Landscape of Marketing and Public Relations and The Social Customer

As the world gets smaller, marketing and public relations landscapes are getting more complicated to navigate. And as the digital age advances, consumers, customers and the media are getting harder to reach.

Listening to today’s New Social Customer #SMTLIVE twitterfeed, we are in the third phase of a social world.

3 phases: pre-Google (information scarce), Before Social (information available online), and Now (information abundance)

How do we navigate through this era when the buyer has as much information as the sales person? Here are some highlights from the New Social Customer twitterfeed.

  • Only 1/4 of site visitors want to be contacted by sales. (retail)
  • E-mail has been passed by social media on the amount of people who use it daily.
  • E-mail use is down 59% among people 12-17.
  • Build relationships with qualified prospects regardless of their timing to buy.
  • This “new revenue cycle” thing is critical. Take notes.
  • Awareness and Friend stages precede traditional relational development sales stages. Use brains, not budget.
  • Seed nurturing – building relationships with qualified prospects before you even have their contact info.
  • Difference in marketing today — using content, social media rather than traditional big, costly advertising, etc.
  • “seed nurturing” precedes lead nurturing. Build relationships before you have contact info.
  • Seed nurturing is 2-part: listening, then engaging. Can take place on your site and off your site.
  • Gonna just start with one platform? @lazerow says go with Facebook.
  • 50% of #facebook users login daily!
  • How companies are investing in social media: 1. Facebook 2. Twitter 3. YouTube 4. Blogs.
  • Who’s doing the Social Media work? Marketing, digital and PR seems to be the biggies.
  • Everyone, though, is really touching SoMe for a company.
  • Socialmedia is now seen as cutting across #customerservice.
  • Only 13% of companies use #socialmedia for recruiting, content generation, & community.
  • Do you have sharing functionality on your website? Do you know how much revenue is driven through the sharing?
  • The average FB share generates $2.10 in incremental sales. (retail)
  • The average conversation rate for a Facebook shore is 10.2%.
  • What days and times are people sharing? Who is sharing? 27-33 yr/old women share the most.
  • 12:13-1:45 is a “magic hour” for sharing on #socialmedia.
  • How do you take everything that you do, across all of your touchpoints, and add a social layer?
  • Fans, followers, & likes are not business #metrics.
  • Social commerce is all about empowering the customers – give them info, relevance, and the tools to share/advocate.
  • World has reorged around people.
  • How are @lazerow numbers fit to B2B? Even in B2B you’re selling to people.
  • 4 levels of #socialcustomer engagement: 1. none 2. individual 3. departmental 4. enterprise
  • Social CRM is the biz strategy – business rules, workflow, conversations, transparency.
  • Departmental engagement gets company involved with customers.
  • #SocialCRM: #Marketing-soc marketing insights, rapid soc mktg response, soc campaign tracking, soc event mgmt, soc pull thru mktg
  • SocialCRM #Sales: sales insights, rapid sales response, proactive lead gen, direct & distribute comm, demand gen, dynamic supply
  • SocialCRM #service – #social support insights, rapid social response, peer to peer unpaid armies
  • With the rise in use of mobile devices…time to develop engaging video content for ppl to view on these devices-#YouTube!
  • For small biz, use tools for customer engagement and monitoring. Build relationships. You time is your biggest expense.
  • Most tracking tools are free. Money for a small business in social media is in time. Do you hire out? When do you do it?
  • Seed Nurturing On Site (Anonymous) requires Visitor Analysis (Listening) and Dynamic Content/Personalization (Engaging)
  • Seed Nurturing Off Site (Online/Social Media) Social Profiles, Listening and Social Signals and FB Open Graph (Listening)
  • For those who attended the #SMTlive webinar with @lazerow @socialmedia2day, we have a ton more free resources here http://t.co/o6gFSZh4

Also, this infographic by HR Marketer shows just how much marketing and public relations are changing.

As consumers have more access to information, buying cycles are changing. Add to this changes in the media and how to reach them, which is a  fundamental shift in the way marketers and PR professionals reach the public.

Highlights from “Big Publicity Ideas for Small Business” Webinar featuring Peter Shankman.

PRWeb’s “Big Publicity Ideas for Small Business” webinar featuring Peter Shankman was a fast paced, entertaining ride that packed more punch than Kool-Aid Man himself.

Some takeaways from the webinar include:

  • Unless PR (or marketing, advertising, etc.) is generating revenue, it’s not worth it.
  • Don’t let budget constraints keep you from a great idea.
  • If a funeral home can actively use social media and make it relevant, you have no excuse.
  • SEO is not utilized by small businesses and it should be. People are searching – you should be there.
  • You need to talk TO the audience, not AT them. This is true in social media as well as in marketing and PR. I would also say talk WITH them.
  • Treat customers well and they will tell the world how great you are. Make them feel they cut the line and have special access.
  • Ask your audience how they want to receive information and then do that.
  • When pitching media, do not say in the email subject line “Quick question for you.” There are no quick questions and they are busy.
  • Know your audience, keep the pitch short, use trends.
  • Journalists are busy. Give them helpful information and make their job easier. Offer your network as sources.
  • Ask “what’s in it for me?” from your audience and the media’s perspective. Provide value and you will build loyalty. Loyalty brings revenue.
  • When MTV was a music channel, the average attention span in the 80s was three minutes. Now it is 2.7 seconds!
  • Learn to write. Good writing is brevity. Bad writing has the potential to destroy your business. Social media requires that you write better.

I searched for other summaries of the webinar and only found one. Amy has good points about the webinar and wrote about it in her post “The Peter Shankman School for Kids Who Can’t Write Good.

One other great site for getting publicity is Peter’s Help A Reporter Out. Sign up – it’s free – and journalists send their queries for upcoming stories. Remember the advice here if you send a pitch! Enjoy and good luck small businesses everywhere!