Posts Tagged ‘public relations’

Phew! I’ve just completed a timed media release written test, one component to a job screening process. Thankfully that is now over!

Before my assessment I did a last-minute google search for inspiration on media release writing tips from innovative global agencies like Ogilvy.

I came across PR Leap Blog that summarises key points to media release writing from David Ogilvy’s book Ogilvy on Advertising. Geared as an advertising resource for copywriters on how to transform copy into a media release, Ogilvy’s tips are equally valuable to Marketing and Communications people who can momentarily forget a media release must have newsworthy content to attract media interest.

Wanted: Renaissance In Print Advertising.

In Chapter 7, “Wanted: a renaissance in print advertising,” Ogilvy called for change in advertising based on the findings from studies commissioned by his agency, results of direct response tests, and his own observations. He wanted copywriters to acquire the know-how for developing “advertising that sells.” Although his book was written in 1983, many of his copywriting principles still hold today.

How does this apply to press release writing? Ogilvy discovered that advertisements that include news produce better results. Therefore, a press release should never look and sound like an advertisement.

Five Ogilvy copywriting principles applied to press release writing:

“On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.” He added: “unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money.”
Press Release Optimization Tip 1: Include your brand name in the headline of your press release. Ogilvy added: “If you don’t, 80 percent of readers (who don’t read your body copy) will never know what product your advertising.”

“Headlines which contain news are sure-fire. On average, ads with news are recalled by 22 percent more people than ads without news.”
Press Release Optimization Tip 2: State your news loud and clear in your headline. Write your headline from a news perspective.

“Specifics work better than generalities.”
Press Release Optimization Tip 3: The headline of your news release should make it findable on the search engines and grab the reader’s attention. Be concrete. Avoid double-meanings, puns, and other obscurities.” Copy should be written in the language people use in the everyday conversations,” Ogilvy said. Use the keywords that match your prospective customers’ search queries. Using the right vocabulary will bring you closer to your target audience.

“All my experiences says that for a great many products, long copy sells more than short.”
Press Release Optimization Tip 4: A press release that is too short (150 words or less) tends to read like advertisements. This will stop your news releases from getting included in News Search Engines. However, your release should be no more than 600 words or a maximum of two printed pages. Ogilvy added: “But I must warn you that if you want your long copy to be read, you had better write it well.” I recommend that a press release have at least 250 words.

“It is no bad thing to learn the craft of advertising by copying your elders and better.”
Press Release Optimization Tip 5: Look at your competitors for inspiration and style, primarily the biggest player in your market. They have big budgets and hire the best press release writers. Learn from them and apply it your business.

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Recently I assisted with an online public relations campaign that provided me with an opportunity to learn about the capabilities of LinkedIn. It’s certainly a valuable research tool which can provide information on companies and the people working there. I located a useful article entitled Ten Ways to Use Linkedin that I thought I’d share. Read, learn and use!

Increase your visibility.

By adding connections, you increase the likelihood that people will see your profile first when they’re searching for someone to hire or do business with. In addition to appearing at the top of search results (which is a major plus if you’re one of the 52,000 product managers on LinkedIn), people would much rather work with people who their friends know and trust.

Improve your connectability.

Most new users put only their current company in their profile. By doing so, they severely limit their ability to connect with people. You should fill out your profile like it’s an executive bio, so include past companies, education, affiliations, and activities.

You can also include a link to your profile as part of an email signature. The added benefit is that the link enables people to see all your credentials, which would be awkward if not downright strange, as an attachment.

Improve your Google PageRank.

LinkedIn allows you to make your profile information available for search engines to index. Since LinkedIn profiles receive a fairly high PageRank in Google, this is a good way to influence what people see when they search for you.

To do this, create a public profile and select “Full View.” Also, instead of using the default URL, customize your public profile’s URL to be your actual name. To strengthen the visibility of this page in search engines, use this link in various places on the web> For example, when you comment in a blog, include a link to your profile in your signature.

Enhance your search engine results.

In addition to your name, you can also promote your blog or website to search engines like Google and Yahoo! Your LinkedIn profile allows you to publicize websites. There are a few pre-selected categories like “My Website,” “My Company,” etc.

If you select “Other” you can modify the name of the link. If you’re linking to your personal blog, include your name or descriptive terms in the link, and voila! instant search-engine optimization for your site. To make this work, be sure your public profile setting is set to “Full View.”

Perform blind, “reverse,” and company reference checks.

LinkedIn’s reference check tool to input a company name and the years the person worked at the company to search for references. Your search will find the people who worked at the company during the same time period. Since references provided by a candidate will generally be glowing, this is a good way to get more balanced data.

Companies will typically check your references before hiring you, but have you ever thought of checking your prospective manager’s references? Most interviewees don’t have the audacity to ask a potential boss for references, but with LinkedIn you have a way to scope her out.

You can also check up on the company itself by finding the person who used to have the job that you’re interviewing for. Do this by searching for job title and company, but be sure to uncheck “Current titles only.” By contacting people who used to hold the position, you can get the inside scoop on the job, manager and growth potential.

By the way, if using LinkedIn in these ways becomes a common practice, we’re apt to see more truthful resumes. There’s nothing more amusing than to find out that the candidate who claims to have caused some huge success was a total bozo who was just along for the ride.

Increase the relevancy of your job search.

Use LinkedIn’s advanced search to find people with educational and work experience like yours to see where they work. For example, a programmer would use search keywords such as “Ruby on Rails,” “C++,” “Python,” “Java,” and “evangelist” to find out where other programmers with these skills work.

Make your interview go smoother.

You can use LinkedIn to find the people that you’re meeting. Knowing that you went to the same school, plays hockey, or shares acquaintances is a lot better than an awkward silence after, “I’m doing fine, thank you.”

Gauge the health of a company.

Perform an advanced search for company name and uncheck the “Current Companies Only” box. This will enable you to scrutinize the rate of turnover and whether key people are abandoning ship. Former employees usually give more candid opinions about a company’s prospects than someone who’s still on board.

Gauge the health of an industry.

If you’re thinking of investing or working in a sector, use LinkedIn to find people who worked for competitors—or even better, companies who failed. For example, suppose you wanted to build a next generation online pet store, you’d probably learn a lot from speaking with former Pets.com or WebVan employees.

Track startups.

You can see people in your network who are initiating new startups by doing an advanced search for a range of keywords such as “stealth” or “new startup.” Apply the “Sort By” filter to “Degrees away from you” in order to see the people closest to you first.

Wrap up of week 2

Posted: June 19, 2010 in learn
Tags: , ,

Week 2 went very quickly, due to a day of illness and a public holiday, but none the less, I was worked hard. We completed running the ATO document through the audit process, now onto the second phase of developing recommendations for its implementation.

The retrofit program pitch ramped up with my draft strategy being amended for the delivery. I am quite proud of my initial draft, there were no major changes, rather details like objectives were teased out to be more SMART.

Also I did some more work on the Australian Organics campaign, media releases etc.

During my research for the retrofit campaign, I came across this awesome campaign by Denver Water. Check it out; clever MarCom and Advertising work.

My internship to date has encompassed working on accounts for the following clients; ATO, Australian Organics, Caroma Dorf and Origin.

Most recently I have been assisting with the Caroma Dorf/State Government of Victoria strategic public relations pitch for the dual flush toilet incentive/iniative, that encourages households still with single flush systems to be more green, and change over to a dual flush system. The state government is about to increase the rebate for installing a dual flush toilet from $50 to $100. With the recent announcement that water costs are set to rise, this is a great option for householders to select, to strive for the SAVE 155 goal and get a new loo.

I have started working on the Australian Organics campaign, by composing the first series of media releases and brainstoriming potential spokespersons/faces of the Australian Organics range and the locations in Melbourne and Sydney to have the beauty industry launch.

I have just completed my second day at icon.pr in the BEAUTIFUL city of Melbourne. I have been doing two days solid work for some of their blue chip clients, Origin and The Australian Taxation Office.

Origin are looking to expand their LPG residential service into Kalgoorlie  and looking at ways to promote their products and services to the area whilst and The Australian Taxation Office have just completed their new Corporate Communication Strategy and have enlisted icon.pr to review the document. Further to this they are seeking to internally promote the communication relevant and helpful tool rather than another document to be filed away.

I have and will be working long hours (8:30am – 6pm with one hour for lunch) during the placement , but that is ok, there is plenty of work and so much to learn! I am in a great office, my former modeling agency Chadwick Management is one floor above, in a great location! The team is hardworking and dynamic. I made the right decision coming to M-town to do my internship!

Well I am venturing over to Melbourne for the month of June to gain professional field experience in a Public Relations agency. I am looking forward to putting my knowledge into practice and showing to myself this is the right career industry for me!

Being in the fine city of Melbourne is not such a bad thing either, I will have a great opportunity to scope out all the new restaurants and bars that have opened since my departure over ten months ago.

I will be freighting myself,  my car and my life on the Overland train this Friday from Adelaide to Melbourne for a non-epic 12 hour journey.