Friday, December 14, 2007

How to measure PR

Measuring PR is simpler than people think.

Start by measuring the number of stories placed, the number of website hits generated, the number of leads and the actual number of sales.

In that respect, measuring a PR campaign like measuring anything else.

You can also track the number of people who tell you they saw the story. For every person who tells you, there will be 100 more who also saw it.

Over time, you can also count the number of people who know your name or your face when introduced. Strangers saying “I know you, don’t I?” will tell you your campaign is working.

Measuring online presence is another avenue. Hits to your website are great, but links from media websites raise your search-engine ranking more.

Whatever you do, make sure you have a system for following up leads. It takes 12 hits to move a contact to action. Create a system for moving prospects along, not just tracking calls.

When you email or give out reprints of articles, measure the change in response from the prospect. Articles have authority. When the media writes about you or your firm that gives you a credibility that few other materials will.

Remember: People also save articles for future reference. Clients have told usthey got business from articles two, three… five years later.

A PR campaign is for the long haul. Make sure your measurements take the long-term effect into account.

If you become a media source, you can count of PR for years and years to come.

For more information, check out our website at and use our online form.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Why PR is so valuable

Because most businesses don’t know about it, PR is one of the least used marketing tools today.

The ones that do put it at the top of their budget.

Recent research for the American Advertising Federation showed that PR was ranked third, right behind product development and strategic planning by 1,800 corporate executives surveyed.

That’s why the Ag Dept. sponsors wine writers’ visiting U.S. wineries.

They know that a $40,000 junket for a reporter and entourage can result in $160,000 worth of coverage in GQ Japan.

Think about it: A small ad (6” or so) in the Wall Street Journal can cost $15,000 or more.

Which nobody takes seriously because they know it was paid for.

If it were a six-inch—or longer—article in the WSJ, how much more would that be worth?

Many times more.

Don’t think it can’t be done.

A study by the Columbia School of Journalism showed that 45 percent of the editorial material of the WSJ is placed by PR people.

With public relations, you don’t pay for the space.

You pay for the person who gets the articles into the media.

That’s why PR is so valuable: No one knows you paid for it.

For more information, check out our website at and use our online form.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Why stories don't get covered

PR people generate 50 percent of the “news”. Even in the Wall Street Journal, 45 percent of the articles are generated by PR firms, according to the Columbia Review of Journalism.

Nonetheless, 95 percent of all press releases get thrown away. Only 5 percent see themselves in print or broadcast.

Why not? Lots of reasons. They are:

a. They don’t give us a reason to care.
b. They don’t affect very many people.
c. They don’t sound like there’s going to be any interesting “visuals” for TV.

Full of jargon and bureaucrateez. It’s written in language that is unintelligible to the uninitiated. If a six-year-old can’t understand it, the media doesn’t have time for it.

Too complicated. You’ve got to hone it to one major point. Maybe one minor one, if the major one isn't too complicated.

Have no facts.
a. Show the importance of the subject with exact details.
b. Use attention-grabbing stats to back it up.

Have no anecdotal leads or sources. Have two types of people:
a. Anecdotal lead: Someone who has suffered because of the problem or succeeded because of the solution.
b. Reliable sources: Someone from a non-profit, a university, a government body or a business who can speak to—and verify—the facts.

Full of errors or omissions. If the editor or reporter has to pick up the phone to answer basic questions, it goes into the To Do pile—and gets forgotten.

Not easily digested. There are huge blocks of boring text. No who, what, where, why, when. No bullets, no bold headlines or headings, no color.

Have no visuals. TV stations look for moving pictures. Fast facts and sound bites are necessary for content, but it’s a visual medium. They need action—something or someone moving--the faster, the better. If you must have talking heads, get a large, visually interesting backdrop.

For more information, check out our website at To contact us, use our online form.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

How do journalists decide what stories to run?

When deciding what stories to run, editors, reporters and producers often use seven news values to decide. They are:

Impact: If a lot of people are affected, it’s newsworthy. A national post office strike will have more impact (and more news value) than a local swimming pool closing.

Timeliness: Recent events rate higher than earlier events. Yesterday’s news is “fish wrap.” Journalists want “scoops.” They want to be first to report the news.

Prominence: Celebrities, politicians, people in the public eye have higher news value than the man-in-the-street. We care that a celebrity has AIDS or a drinking problem, while the average Joe would not generate any ink.

Proximity: Stories about events and situations near home are more newsworthy than events that take place far away. Journalists instinctively weigh disasters by the number of deaths versus the distance. The closer the disaster, the more relevant it is.

Bizarreness: Dog-bites-man is not news because it happens ever day. Man-bites-dog is.

Conflict: Conflict of any sort is newsworthy.

Currency: Just like celebrities and fashions, issues come and go. People get tired of hearing the same thing day after day. If an issue got a lot of press last year, it's old and might not get any this year.

For more information, check out our website at and use our online form.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Why we see blue everywhere

In the business world, blue is the color. From logos to letterheads, blue is the chosen color of most companies.

Color studies have shown that people respond more favorably to blue than any other color.

Want credibility and trust? Wear a light blue shirt or blouse.

Want people to trust your product or service? Use blue in your logo.

Blue reminds us of purity and tranquility. Think cool, clear streams or a beautiful sky.

Other colors evoke other responses:

· UPS has played up brown for the earthy, utilitarian nature of its service.
· Fast food outlets, gas stations, even supermarkets use hot colors such as yellow, orange and red to signal convenience.
· Starbucks uses green to evoke the richness and relaxation of money.
· Red evokes power. Hence, the red power tie.
· Dark colors send a message of authority.

Choose your colors wisely. They can work for—or against—you.

For more information, check out our website at and use our online form.