Tag Archives: marketing

Were the Oscar’s a PR “Win”? The REAl winners and losers.

Hello ladies and gents, last night was supposedly the “biggest night in Hollywood” and the stars were out in their finest; the entire cast of Les Mis performed after a powerhouse by Jennifer Hudson (she really stole the show), it was the night of the ingenue (Both Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence won in their respective categories, although I’m still #TeamSallyFields) and it was a night of good suprises: the great Barbara Streisand graced the Oscar’s stage for the first time in almost 30 years, Michelle Obama showed up and Seth MacFarlane didn’t piss anybody off. But who were the REAL winners and losers? I picked two and here they are:

BIG Oscar Winner: Real-time Marketing.
I’m serious you guys, real-time marketing won, hands down. Brands were working over time to make relevant, witty and engaging posts, images and tweets in a bid to lure fan engagement. One brand that always wins on that front is Oreo, they scored a big win with their  Superbowl Blackout Tweet and they continued last night with a few spots (here and here) with a few other brands jumping in, including: Sharpie, Starbucks, JcPenney’s, Visa and Stella Artois, among many others. Real-time marketing is here to stay people, yet another tenet in our “instantaneous/gimme now” culture. The Oscar goes to you RTM, now keep your acceptance speech short, because I hear they are playing Jaws music to get people off stage these days (which is hilarious)

BIG Oscar Loser: The Onion.
The Onion is an alternative cultural icon; the spoof newspaper has been churning out ridiculous and satirical headlines for decades skewering everybody from Presidents to pop culture cuties. At approximately 8:04PM last nigh, in the middle of the Oscar’s telecast, they tweeted the following, “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a cunt, right? #Oscars2013” and they lost every cool point they ever had. Like, ever. First of all, Quvenzhané Wallis is nine years old and her personality is still developing and have you ever met a nine-year old? They can be a little self-involved and cocky (for lack of a better term), so lay off, who comes for a nine-year old, really? And, she is the youngest person EVER to be nominated for an Oscar, Mr./Miss Tweet Writter, what have YOU done lately? When was the last time you broke a record? Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

Exactly. People are so busy trying to be “edgy” on Twitter that they are over-stepping their boundaries and saying things that are uncouth and down-right mean. Manners are still in people, don’t forget.

Well, those were my winners and losers from last night’s (pretty boring) Oscars…BTW, Sally Fields should have won, I mean…Anne Hathaway? Really. Ugh. Whatevs. Until next time.




Hey, I’m on TUMBLR!!!

Tumblr pic

As if begging you to follow Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest AND now also  Instagram weren’t ENOUGH (were they, huh? Huh? Anybody out there!?!?!) I have decided to start a Tumblr because, why not? I like the visuals and some of my most favourite people are on Tumblr like:

  1. DKNY PR Girl
  2. The PR Closet (Alexis Rodriguez)
  3. Oscar PR Girl

And many more (too many to list, go to Tumblr, you’ll find some interesting and insightful character there). So you’re probably asking “Jess, you already have a Blog, why do you need a Tumblr?!” well, I don’t know if I actually need one, but I do know that it’s more visually-driven, quicker to post to and also (bad thing) more time consuming. I am going to give it a month-long trial run, and report back on January 3, 2013 to let you know my experiences.

Until then, you can check my page out here. The simple black and white theme is pretty much the same and the “Jess” is pretty much the same, so we’ll see how it goes…drop me a line and tell me your experiences with Tumblr or what your take on my new social media endeavor is!

Ciao! XOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing

Guest Blogger: Advice from @comminternships

Happy Monday fellow PR Newbies! I am so excited that today there is a guest blogger ! Meet Steven from @comminternships, without further ado, here we go:

My name is Steven Chappell, and I have been a professional journalist, college media adviser and journalism educator for more than 25 years. During that time, I have watched the field of mass communication evolve at an ever-increasing pace, and as an early adopter of new media technologies, I am always looking to the next big thing to teach my students. Twitter has become one of those next big things. I knew there had to be a way to use Twitter as an aggregator to inform students about available internships. As a result, @comminternships was born.

The feed launched in the fall of 2010 with a focus just on local internships for my students in Iowa. However, shortly after the feed launched, students I taught in other states began asking if there were internships for them I could list. By mid-spring of 2011, I had begun aggregating about 25 Twitter feeds that regularly tweet jobs and internships in communications fields, and by the start of 2012, that number had grown to more than 100 feeds.
As the feed has grown, I have kept the focus primarily on entry-level jobs and internships for students in journalism and public relations, but have expanded it to include jobs in design, marketing, advertising, and, of course, social media. Right now, the hashtags affiliated with the feed are #internship, #jourintern (for journalism internships), #printern (for public relations internships), #socialmediaintern, #designintern, #advertisingintern, #entryleveljournalism, #entrylevelpr, #entrylevelsm, #entryleveldesign and #entrylevelads (for entry level jobs requiring three years or fewer of experience). I always check the link for each job before tweeting the internship, and I try to weed out internships that are unpaid slave jobs, and limit them to jobs that I feel will provide the intern relevant experience. I also usually modify the tweet to include the employer and location of the job or internship, so students not interested in relocating can skip over those internships.
This blog will focus primarily on public relations jobs and internships, but may occasionally venture out into other fields as well, as I strongly believe all communicators should have a multimedia focus. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for future topics, don’t hesitate to contact me through the feed @comminternships or via e-mail: steven@comminternships.com.
Steven Chappell is a 25-year media veteran, having worked as a professional journalist, college media adviser, professional consultant and social media expert. He’s also a Grammar-Nazi (@thegrammarnazi in addition to @comminternships), so be careful what you email him. Grammar mistakes are forgiven when accompanied by his favorite food, a bacon-wrapped habanero pepper stuffed with cream cheese cooked on the grill.

PR 101: The Editorial Calendar

Hey fellow PR newbies! On Today’s addition of #PR101 I am going to talk about the almighty editorial calendar. Why? Well, let me tell you a little story (gather ’round children as I put on my Mother Goose hat): A few days ago, I was at an intern “meet-up” kind of deal (you know, networking and general schmoozing) and there were several other PR interns there and I mentioned trying to get some information on an editorial calendar for a magazine and 80% of them did this:

Yea, I was pretty upset about it too, Taylor Swift. So editorial calendars, it is. In the wise words of Slick the Rick heeeeere we go:

Everything you ever did not care needed to know about Editorial Calendars:

  • An editorial calendar is a…well, a calendar (DUH) that editors, journalists, bloggers, etc. use to organize and the major themes or features planned for upcoming issues of a magazine; in theory, if you have this mystical calendar, you’ll know in January, what Vogue plans to talk about in December (I  already know: overpriced gifts and plastic surgery…see? I’m a silo of information).
  • Why is this important to PR pros? Simple: it helps us get our clients coverage (see how I inserted myself into the “PR pro” group? Yep); let me give you an example: Say a PR pro get a glimpse at the New York Times ed calendar (“ed” being short for “editorial” which I get tired of typing, heck, even saying it sometimes) and they see that a writer has a story about diapers (random alert) and hey, Huggies is one of their clients and they are releasing a diaper that changes itself! BimBamBoom, you got an angle for the journalist and you can provide a diaper expert (-_-) for the story and get a plug for the new auto-diaper. You, my good friend, are a great publicist.
  • So how do you find this information? Good question, some publications make parts of their ed calendars  public info because they are trying to get ad (“ad” being short for “advertising” I’m abbrev cray today!) dollars and you can get it that way, or maybe you’re just really good friends with the editor of NYT (my, aren’t you well connected?) OR try to get your hands on a media kit (this is another #PR101 post, but it’s what people give to their advertisers to try and get money). Either way, having the editorial calendar puts you way ahead of the game…of life. Or just PR, either way.

Well, what did we learn about ed calendars today? Well, we learned that “ed” is short for “editorial”, for one thing…we also learned:
-Ed calendars are published once a year, they give an entire year of a topics and themes; here’s an example from PRSA’s magazine, Tactics PRSA Ed Calendar
-Ed calendars help PR pros because they allow us to see stories and themes from a publication, which can help with more targeted pitching, leading to a higher chance of placement and coverage.
-Ed calendars also give us an idea about lead times; a “lead time” is the amount of prior to a story’s publication that deadlines usually are, the rule of thumb: monthly magazines are 3-6 months, weekly publications are 4-6 weeks and blogs/news websites are 2-8 weeks.

Well kids, that was fun. I love an editorial calendar…I really think it makes it easier for people (read: PR pros) to effectively pitch timely and targeted stories and created coverage. As usual, I have a few links for you, so you can do some independent research:
How To Use an Editorial Calendar to Get PR
What is an Editorial Calendar?
EdCals, Powered by CisionPoint
Tips to Building an Editorial Calendar for PR

XOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing

PR 101: The “Perfect Pitch” Does it Even Exist?


In my (ahem, short) time as an intern and even longer time in the marketing and PR world, I have pitched. A lot. Like a WHOLE lot. So when it came time to write today’s #PR101 blog post, I immediately thought back to the hours of pitching I did at work yesterday and then I saw this GIF (over at 99 Problems But a Pitch Ain’t One):

When a media contact responds to your email and then you realize it is just an out-of-office note..

At first you’re like:

Then you’re like:

and I was sold.

Today, I am going to be talking about the “perfect pitch” (this has NOTHING to do with singing, you’re on the wrong blog, but stick around!), an elusive, one-page document that will secure coverage with outlets from the top tier media (New York Times, anybody?) to legions of mommy bloggers. The “perfect pitch” is like The Chupacabra: it’s hairy, eats goats and speaks Spanish…no wait, IT DOESN’T EXIST, there are pretty good pitches and very good pitches. In my effort to make YOU better PR pros, I have gathered some tips for pitching (with sources and my own 2 cents) from around the web, hope you enjoy:

  1. The Subject is EVERYTHING. This #PR101 tidbit was recently posted by my idol the DKNY PR Girl “The subject matters. Better make it good, or it may be the only thing they read.” that advice? It’s golden kiddies, think about it: a top tier journalist gets hundreds of e-mails a day from PR pros begging for a story and they can’t open and read everything, so you need to make an impression & in the e-mail, the subject line is the first impression. Make it interesting, related to their content and fresh, and you’re already one step closer.
  2. Please Do Some RESEARCH. In this day and age, journalists are more accessible than ever; they have blogs and Twitter accounts and Linkedin profiles and what have you; in a matter of minutes you can have their preferred name, where they work and what they cover. You can read through a few old articles and get a feel for them, this way you can customize your pitch; and when I say “customize” I mean “tweak” it would take a long time to rewrite dozens of pitches and interns don’t have that time, but you can change a few key things and make your pitch stand out from the crowd.
  3. Make it Timely. I got some great advice from a professor this past year: he looked at a pitch I was writing for work and he read it, took his glasses off and sighed then he said the 2 words no (aspiring) publicist EVER wants to hear, “who cares?” it was like slap in the face, but he was right. Give your target a reason to care about the story, a new angle, a compelling interview opportunity, an exclusive, SOMETHING. One way to make it stick is by making your pitch timely: this just means you find an angle in your pitch that relates to current events. This is where media monitoring comes in (an upcoming post in the VERY near future!); knowing what’s going on in the world helps in PR in more ways than one and pitching is one of those ways.
  4. It’s Okay to Be Human. As an intern/entry-level associate, you may be afraid to inject a little bit of yourself into a pitch, but I’ll wager a guess and say one of the reasons you even got into PR is because of your amazing charisma, so use it! Be personable, humorous, fun even, but keep it professional. There’s no reason you have to sound like a PR robot and most journalists will probably be turned off by that anyway. So be you, a professional you, of course.
  5. Finally, Some Housecleaning. Okay, the last “tip” is a small collection of practical tips that are kind of basic, but we’re all newbies here, so I’m gonna say them (roll your eyes all you want, random person on your 5th internship!): Keep the pitch concise, be respectful and polite, SPELL CHECK, honesty is the best policy and remember: it’s OK if they don’t respond. I mean, you want them to respond, but I used to get sick to my stomach when journalists didn’t respond and I admit, I still get bummed, but I am learning to handle it better.

Here’s a “non-tip” even IF the journalist responds “no thanks” it might still be a chance to drum up a relationship (remember, PR is about relationships), I always respond, “no problem, I would love to keep you informed of other stories in the future, can’t wait to work with you!” or something like that. This is a learning process, and the best publicists ALL started somewhere, you might just be at that “somewhere”.


PR 101: Media Lists…what are they? Do I need them? I have to do what?!?!?!

Happy Tuesday fellow PR newbies!!! I am off the rest of the week in honor of 4th of July, that glorious holiday that honors the first day that fireworks became legally available in the United States (or something like that) anyway, today I am going to be talking all about media lists, I work with media lists a lot at my job: creating them, “qualifying” them, going through them, staring blankly at them…I mean editing them.

So, a media list is a list (saw that coming, didn’t you?) of media outlets, with key news gatherers and gate keepers and influencers; they can include editors, reporters, bloggers, celebrities (sometimes), media personalities, etc. Basically anyone who can get YOUR message across.

They generally have the following information:
-Outlet name
-Contact name
-Contact info (e-mail, phone, etc.)
-Outlet topic (this can be general or detailed, but it’s basically whatever the outlet covers, i.e. sports, music, love…probably won’t run across love too much)
-Notes (I live for the notes section, it can include biography of the reporter, whether or not you should call them, when’s the last time you spoke, whatever)

Media lists are the bread and butter of the PR industry (IMHO) because:

  1. Are the starting point for media outreach, which is a major component of what PR is about
  2. Are a great place to keep track of your outreach efforts, I like to keep notes in mine and
  3. They help you stay organized! Seriously, I am pitching stuff like crazy and sometimes it gets all confused and the list keeps it all together…

So you’re probably saying, “how do I get one of these media lists you won’t shut up about?” Well, if you work for an agency or a company, they probably have PR software such as Cision Point that makes it easy for you to pull up contact info and make a neat little list. But subscription prices start in the hundreds and creep up to the thousands very quickly, I am not going to go over how to build your own media list because I am going to assume you are interning or working for an agency or a company with either (A) some subscription or (B) media lists in place already and procedures for getting info. Just in case, you know I’ve got you covered with some web links to that stuff, check it out! Hope you enjoyed this week’s “PR 101”


Useful web resources:
14 Free Resources for Building a Media List
Hand Building Media Lists, Media Relations 101 Part I
The 4 Secrets to Building the Perfect Media List
Building a Good Media ListSocial Media List Building: Why To Start & How To Do ItHow to Build a Strong Media List to Maximize Your Coverage
5 ways building a media list will make you smarter than your boss
Top 10 Tips for Building a Media List