We’ve all been there. Those times when we wait and hope that our clients will bring us new, juicy fodder: a product launch, an event, or some big partnership that will get the phones (or more likely, our email) buzzing with interest from the media.
But we are only kidding ourselves, because those days are over! As PR professionals, we can’t afford to wait for our clients to bring us news. Our job is to build buzz constantly, even when the news well is dry!
At Zer0 to 5ive, we have become masters at this much-needed and desired skill. Listed below are a few tips we use on our teams. Hopefully, you’ll find one or more that you haven’t tried yet and can add them to your media relations toolkit.
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Crossing the Chasm, by Geoffrey Moore, is held in high regard at Zer0 to 5ive. In fact, it’s required reading for the account teams and some even refer to it as the “Company bible.” Moore’s book focuses on the specifics of marketing disruptive high-tech products during the early start up period, giving organizations a roadmap on how their products can successfully “cross the chasm” into the mainstream market.
One of the most vital aspects of Crossing the Chasm is positioning. Moore states that positioning is the most discussed, yet least understood, component of high-tech marketing. To simplify positioning for his readers, Moore provides the following 4 principles: read all »
2013 turned out to be a big year for social media (SM) events. From Twitter going public, to new social media networks popping up, such as Vine and Snapchat, to PR executive Justine Sacco being fired for a racist and inappropriate Tweet. While SM certainly had it ups and downs this year, one thing is for sure – companies must have a solid SM strategy in order to be successful.
SM news website, Top Ten Social Media, listed the best SM Marketing books of 2013, including “The Zen of Social Media Marketing” by Shama Kabani. The book provides a nice overview of the difference between traditional online marketing and SM marketing. Kabani describes online marketing as the art and science of leveraging the Internet to get your message across, so that you can move people to action. A successful online marketing plan should, attract, convert and transform. Social media marketing is the act of leveraging SM platforms (places where people connect and communicate) to promote a product or a service to increase sales.
The #1 reason people fail at SM marketing is due to the fact that they don’t have a solid foundation of understanding their brand or know what differentiates them from their competition. SM is the ultimate amplifier. If you have a good product or service, it be will be intensified until it is perceived as great.
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I recently read the national best-selling book “Death by Meeting” by Patrick Lencioni. The book is a “leadership fable” about how a man named Casey, the CEO of a company called Yip, helped revamp and refocus the structure of the executive meetings in his company to help move his business forward.
The book opened my eyes to the many pitfalls of bad meetings. There are very simple, basic ways to make sure you are using your team’s time productively and accomplish what is in front of you.
Meetings can be painful, long, and sometimes, even pointless. Technical solutions like Skype, Google Hangouts and myriad screen sharing applications are keeping us from meeting face to face, which can be detrimental to a meeting dynamic. Even the traditional conference call is not as effective as sitting down and meeting face to face because people often try and multitask instead of focusing on the meeting. Bad meetings at an executive level can indicate a huge gap between performance and potential.
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The ground was covered in snow, but our Zer0 to 5ive winter retreat warmed up our Philadelphia offices for a few days in December (quite literally in the conference room!)
Bringing the team together in this way was great — building and reinforcing the culture of Zer0 to 5ive, from the principals to the interns. Activities such as fun, educational presentations from team members or the 2013 review/2014 preview may be the official parts of the agenda, but the simple act of noshing on bagels and donuts with lots of coffee in the morning with different coworkers was just as valuable.
We’ll be posting some of our great presentations on this blog in the months ahead, including:
- Crossing the Chasm (a perennial favorite) and its vital approach to marketing technology companies
- Social media tactics to help companies connect with their customers and create conversions
- Google Hummingbird’s impact on SEO techniques
- Optimizing meetings for greater productivity and less boredom
- Web development techniques that boost the quality of your website
These sessions drove great dialogue with our interdisciplinary team of PR pros, designers, developers and project managers. Every retreat generates new ideas that we carry forward into our day-to-day activities and add to our toolbox.
All in all, the retreat was a great capper for 2013 and a great preview of 2014 for the entire Zer0 to 5ive organization!
Happy Holidays to All!
One of PR’s most frequently asked questions is, “What is the ‘best’ way to pitch the media?” And while everyone has their own opinion as to what works best, I’ve compiled a list of the top five tips that have worked for me and led to great coverage.
1. Know Your Audience
It has been repeated by media of all kinds, from bloggers to high profile editors at The New York Times, that their biggest pet peeve is getting a cookie cutter pitch – one that sometimes that has nothing to do with what they write about. If you’ve been dying to be in a certain publication or covered by a specific reporter, it’s crucial that you know what they cover and what they’ve written about recently. The more you can demonstrate that you’re familiar with their interests and that your pitch aligns with their beat(s), the more likely you are to get a response.
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Confession: I did not read Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In from cover to cover. I read it from the inside out. For some reason, the first few chapters didn’t draw me in, but when I opened to the center of the book, I found some meaty insights that I wasn’t expecting – particularly around the idea of mentors.
For many of us, mentor is a loaded word. It suggests someone older and more experienced than yourself, who can provide you with sage advice and professional recommendations as you build your career. Or, if you are in corporate America, it may be a person who was assigned to you in your company mentorship program, whom you might meet once or twice a year for coffee.
Sandberg ignores those connotations and suggests that the best mentor/mentee relationships are never forced and aren’t constrained by stereotypes. Yes, ladies, your mentor could be a male colleague. And maybe the newest person on your technology team could teach you a lot about the new industry you just joined. Sandberg stresses that the mentor/mentee relationship cannot be forced. It can, however, be deliberately initiated.
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This summer marks my seventh (!!) year since becoming a “professional”, and I can definitely say that I have learned more in my career than I ever did as a student. Working in this industry, there are challenges and decisions to be made every day that test your instincts and your ability to strategize, plan, and execute effectively. And I love it.
While there are many lessons learned that seem obvious, such as never opening up a conversation with a reporter with “did you see my email?” or always making sure there is a plan with measurable goals in place, there are a number of things I have learned that I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d know. read all »
We are proud to announce that Zer0 to 5ive has been awarded the Silver Anvil Award of Excellence for the 2012 World Risk Day Campaign, created for our client, Active Risk. The Silver Anvil is one of the most prestigious awards in public relations.
Our Client’s Challenge
When it comes to risk management, most companies focus on project risk, utilizing Excel spreadsheets and a siloed approach to compliance. The result is billions of dollars lost every year through mismanaged risks and missed opportunities. Active Risk, a provider of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) software, enables companies to take an enterprise view of their risk, transforming risk into opportunity. The challenge was how to get executives to think about risk as a strategic imperative, rather than a tactical program. Headquartered in London, Active Risk also wanted to build awareness in the U.S.
Our Winning Solution
Zer0 to 5ive worked with Active Risk to create and launch World Risk Day – a full day dedicated to promoting the advantages of ERM with participants from around the world. Promotions included an integrated campaign of public relations, social media and email and content marketing. The campaign delivered widespread trade and business coverage of enterprise risk management, more than 1,200 event participants, hundreds of U.S. leads and a secured thought leadership position for Active Risk.
A huge THANK YOU to the team at Active Risk for being such as great partner on the execution of this project. We look forward to many more successful World Risk Days in the future!
Contact us if you would like us to send you a copy of our two-page submission.
It’s been a great week for the Zer0 to 5ive team! On Tuesday, we found out that our founder and co-CEO, Michelle Pujadas, was named as one of Philadelphia SmartCEO’s 25 Powerhouse Women Leaders!
A panel of Greater Philadelphia business leaders sorted through hundreds of nominees to eventually choose this year’s 25 winners – all of whom will be honored at the 2013 Brava! Awards on July 24th for their accomplishments in business and their dedication to the community.
If you don’t know much about Michelle, here’s a quick rundown. With more than 25 years of marketing and communications experience, Michelle founded Zer0 to 5ive in 1999. She loves working with our clients and has experience in every facet of marketing and brand development, from PR to creative and everything in between. A former Captain in the Army (who also went to Airborne School and commanded a unit during the first Gulf War) and a marathon runner turned some-time yogi, Michelle certainly embodies what it means to be a “powerhouse,” both in and out of the office!
The entire Zer0 to 5ive team extends our congratulations to Michelle on this impressive accomplishment (does this mean a company lunch?!)!
Want to learn more about Zer0 to 5ive and our dynamic and award-winning team? Follow us on Twitter @Zer0to5ive and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Zer0to5ive.