Are You Pitching to Latino News? Four Reasons You Should Be

I was at a breakfast the other day and the featured speaker was the station manager for a prominent Latino television station here in Denver. It was surprising to me how few people were at this breakfast. Why were so many people losing out on this opportunity?

Now we got some great tips and advice that I certainly don’t want to share with you (sorry, should have been there), but I don’t want you to leave here empty-handed. Here are four reasons your public relations should be targeting Latino media.

Pitching Latino media has a higher likelihood of success

First of all, don’t get me wrong. Journalists who work for Latino news outlets like Univision or Telemundo have the same strong journalistic standards as reporters who work for your favorite English-speaking news outlet. In fact, this really has nothing to do with the journalists at all.

It’s about odds.

Think about all the times you’ve pitched news stations. How many times have you pitched the Latino stations as well? Certainly not every time, and most of your competition is the same way. Imagine all those pitches sent out everyday to English language news outlets that Latino stations aren’t getting. Why not? Latino stations have daily newscasts similar to English language stations. They are broadcasting to folks who live in the same city and are affected by the same events you see on English news.  The only difference is that Latino stations not bombarded with hundreds of press releases daily. Because of this, your press release stands a much better chance of getting a fair look from a Latino station than it does from an English language one. Why aren’t you taking advantage of that?

Pitching Latino media does not take any more time or effort than what you’re doing now.

A few months back, I was chatting with a fellow PR professional who said “pitching to Spanish language stations  just adds too much work to be worth it.”

Really?

Here’s a tip.  Every English language news station has a different focus for their news, so it makes sense that every press release should be individually tailored to each station. Are you doing that? If you’re not you should probably start.  And if you are tailoring each press release to each station, then it should be pretty obvious that tailoring one or two more in order to target the Latino news outlets shouldn’t be that big of a deal.  Fifteen more minutes of work just doesn’t seem like it’s “too much to be worth it.”  Do you?

You don’t necessarily need to speak Spanish

I want to be clear here. If at all possible, you should give Spanish language news stations something in Spanish. Really look around to see if there is anyone, who speaks Spanish that can help you.  Really, really try to do this first.

That said, if you have a compelling story that is important to Latinos, Spanish-speaking stations will likely still look at it, even if it can only be done in English.  These stations, after all, understand the realities of working in the United States.  They understand that most people speak English, and they might have to translate the stories themselves.

The Latino market is bigger than you think

Look around you. How many people do you interact with on a daily basis who speak Spanish as either a first or second language, or who might have family who came from Latin America? All these people; teachers, restaurant owners, gardeners, car dealers, leaders with the Latino Chamber of Commerce; most of them watch some Spanish language television on a regular basis.

Here in Colorado the latest census puts the Latino population at 20% and rapidly growing. Nationally, Latinos are among the highest expanding demographic in terms of population, and economics. Why would you ignore 20% of your possible audience? Unfortunately, many of us are doing exactly that.

Incorporating the Latino market into your public relations efforts is, frankly, just plain good business sense. Why wouldn’t any PR firm want to increase the chances of successfully placing stories without much extra effort to a segment of the population which is rapidly expanding?

I don’t know the answer, or as the Latinos might say, “No sé la respuesta.”

*Just a note that I will be speaking at the PRSA Western District Conference March 12th and 13th.  Hope to see you there.

Three Ways SEO Can Help You Boost Your Public Relations

SEO can help you make your public relations better

I hear all the time from fellow PR people that they don’t really deal with search engine optimization or SEO because it’s “a marketing thing.”  Well yes it is, but I think my esteemed colleagues are missing the boat on adapting SEO strategies as part of a PR campaign.  In fact, I think that if you are in PR and are not giving your clients SEO services, you are doing them a disservice.  Here are three areas where SEO can help you boost your public relations.

MAKE YOUR CLIENT AN EXPERT

It’s a pretty safe bet that the reason your client got into their line of work is because they know more than the average person about their profession and they have a passion about it.  A large part of public relations is to take that passion and use it to demonstrate your client’s expertise.  There are two reasons you want to do this.  The first is that customers like to purchase goods from people who are thought of as experts.  The second is that journalists like to interview experts.  By making your client an expert, you increase the chances of them getting media interviews.

Social media actually makes it easier to present your client’s expertise, but only if you use SEO.   For instance, where once you had to pitch media outlets to get articles by your client published, you can now get those articles self-published by using blogs. Blogs have given a lot more opportunities to people to share their expertise.  You need to take advantage.  The trick is how to get other people to actually read those blogs.  The answer is by implementing SEO.  The better job you do optimizing your clients social media efforts, the more likely they will be found in searches, more people will read your client’s content and they will pass those articles on.  In no time your client will have credibility as an expert in their field.  Once that credibility is there, you can start pitching to reporters.

SEO makes you visible to reporters

MAKE THEM VISIBLE TO REPORTERS

Here is a dirty little secret about reporters.  They need to get their information for stories as quickly and easily as possible.  That means that they often use search engines to find sources for stories.  Now imagine that a story regarding your client’s field comes up.  If you had used SEO to make your client a top result for searches about that field, you would have a much better chance of getting them interviewed for that story.  Additionally, if you were pitching a story on that profession, you could tell the reporter to “Google them.”  That reporter could see for themselves that your client does, indeed, have credibility.  Using SEO actually helps make your media relations efforts easier.

SEO shows your client results about their PR activity

HELPS CLIENT BUY INTO PR EFFORTS

Search engine optimization can also help public relations professionals solve one of their biggest pet peeves, the client who isn’t invested in their own PR.  Too many times a client thinks “Great, I hired a PR person.  Now to get on with my important tasks.” What they don’t understand is that PR is about them.  A PR pro can’t just say “Poof, your an expert.”  The client needs to be actively involved.   The problem then becomes, “I’ve been doing all this writing and interviewing, but I’m not seeing any results.” With SEO, you now have an answer.  If a client can see that they are first on a Google search about their profession, they can see what their participation has done for them.  Especially if you did a search before they got involved and their name was nowhere to be found.  SEO helps you to give positive reinforcement to your client so they will continue to actively participate in their own public relations efforts.

After seeing how search engine optimization can help your PR, you can understand that when I’m talking to my public relations colleagues and they ask “Why would I use SEO?”  My response is “Why wouldn’t you?”  Search engine optimization helps you position your client as an expert.  It helps journalists find you.  Most importantly it helps your client understand why their participation is so important.  So don’t be shy about using search engine optimization if your a public relations professional.  It will help make your job a heck of a lot easier.

*(If you’re interested in hiring me you can go here to access my portfolio.)

Five Things that Empire Avenue Does that Makes My Social Media Better

Sometimes in life, you get the rare opportunity to see things flourish right before your eyes.  You may not be the first to

Empire Avenue can help you improve your social media

notice that it’s happening, but you are one of those lucky few who catch a glimpse right before everyone else does and realize it.  That’s a bit how I feel about Empire Avenue.  Empire Avenue is the newest, greatest tool to help you with your social media.  Don’t believe me?  Read this, and this, and this.

Now those articles are interesting, but what I wanted to explain to you is more personal.  I want to share with you five things Empire Avenue does to make my social media efforts better.

GETS ME USING SOCIAL MEDIA MORE OFTEN

I’m not going to lie.  With social media, some people naturally do it and some don’t.  Put me in the don’t category.  Oh, I tweet, and post, and Facebook, and LinkedIn, but it can definitely be a chore.  It’s not that I don’t see the value, but I just don’t think my life is that interesting all the time.

It’s still not, but Empire Avenue has given me a different outlook.  You see, for social media to be effective, it needs consistent nurturing.  It’s a bit like a plant.  If you nurture your plants they’ll grow, if you don’t they’ll die.   The big difference is you won’t see your social media dying, it just will.  Until now.  Empire Avenue works the same way the stock market does. You get bought and sold based on your social media.  You neglect it and you will lose investors, take care of it and you’ll thrive.  And let me tell you, seeing yourself be bought and sold is a powerful motivator to make sure you do your social media work.

SHOWS ME WHERE MY SOCIAL MEDIA EFFORTS NEED WORK

In order to be have a powerful social media presence, you need to have some diversity.  You might be a Twitter machine, adding new tweets every few minutes.  That doesn’t mean you have a strong social media network.  Twitter is only one part.  What about Facebook?  YouTube?  Your Blog?  To have a strong social media network, you gotta update these as well.

Empire Avenue helps you out with this.  You see, Empire Avenue grades you on each individual network you use.  A poor grade in one area will most certainly hurt your total score and make people think twice about investing in you.  I know because my YouTube score has been like an anchor.  Letting me see that, however, has shown me exactly how to improve and, while my YouTube is still an anchor, its a much smaller one than it was.

MAKES ME A MORE ACTIVE LISTENER

Here’s something to think about.  How many people do you follow with your social media, or who follow you, who don’t use it at all?  It’s a question you really don’t think about, but you should.  Imagine replacing one of your followers with one who is engaged?  It could make a huge difference in your social media efforts.

Empire Avenue opened my eyes up to this and made me a bit more critical who I follow and who’s following me.  I hate to be rude, but as the song says “What Have You Done For Me Lately?”  Social media is all about interaction and activity.  If your not interacting and not active in my network, you’re gone (sorry Mom).

INCREASES MY NETWORKING POTENTIAL

Before I joined Empire Avenue, my network was pretty bland.  I had very few people from outside my home city (Denver), or

How good is your Twitter network?

Colorado.  What I didn’t realize what that just because someone doesn’t live in your city doesn’t mean they can’t help your network.

Empire Avenue opened my eyes.  Before long I was exchanging tweets with Ford Motor Company’s Global Digital & Multimedia Communications Manager, Scott Monty.  I was talking social media strategy with professionals from Canada, Venezuela, and Europe.  These folks may not be local, but they are helping me become a better PR and Social Media strategist.  Thank you, Empire Avenue.

MAKES SOCIAL MEDIA FUN

Let me ask you this, when was the last time you got up early to check on how your social media network was doing?  I know some of you always do this, but for the other 95% of us, social media updating can be difficult.  Creating meaningful content for social media is not easy, particularly for a business, but it has to be done.  So how does Empire Avenue help?

Well, because your worth on Empire Avenue is directly related to your social media network, you gotta update.  That little carrot is actually just the thing many people need.  I know it is for me.  When I see my stock dropping, I look around and try to find something that I can do to make my social media network more valuable.  But that’s exactly the mindset you need in order to have a strong social network.  Empire Avenue helps you do that.

Now I’m not here to tell you that Empire Avenue will automatically transform your social media network into a powerhouse overnight.  You still have to work at it.  All I’m saying is that by using Empire Avenue, I been able to tweak my network so that it works harder for me.  And that’s really what you want from your social media network, isn’t it.

Yeah I thought so.  Just remember to let me know when you join so I can buy some stock in you.

UPDATE:  I’ve had some folks tell me that I should add my Empire Avenue ticker symbol and a badge.  Here you go.  Buy me at (e)DADEVOL .

*(If you’re interested in hiring me you can go here to access my portfolio.)

Turning Press Releases Into Press Coverage: Five Areas of Your Business To Find Great Newsworthy Stories

Here's some ways to turn press releases into press coverage

I was at a holiday party this past weekend and had a chance to talk with some reporters and PR folks.  I asked each person what was the biggest problem businesses faced when trying to pitch stories.  I was shocked that nearly all of the reporters and PR professionals agreed that finding a compelling story was the one thing businesses had the most trouble doing.

It is always amazing to me that businesses can’t seem to figure out the stories that make them interesting.  In that vain, here are five areas of your business where you can find that great story that can turn your press releases into press coverage.

HIGHLIGHT YOUR GOOD DEEDS

There’s one thing that most, if not all, news people bristle at is the perception that all they’re interested in is bad news.  It’s just not true.  News folks are interested in stories that are not “normal.”  Those stories can be good or bad, just not typical.  Here’s how this can work for you.  Do you as a company raise millions of dollars for a good cause?  Do you give away free products to the disadvantaged?  If you do, you need get a press release out, stat.  You see, you’re not “normal.”  There are many businesses out there who don’t do charity so finding one that does is newsworthy.  Reporters love positive news stories just as much as bad news stories, and the fact that your company is so charitable is news.  Let them know.

“SUPER” EMPLOYEES

Support and highlight your employees who are doing something super

What do your employees do when their not working for you?  If you don’t know, you should find out.   Too many Support and highlight your employees who are doing something super businesses don’t think about how their employees non-work actions can affect them, but it can.  Learn about your employees and support them when they do extraordinary stuff.  It would be a shame if you had employees that went to the mountains every weekend to help disable kids learn how to ski and you didn’t help them and tell the media about it.

OFFICE CULTURE

Why do people like working for you?  Yes, it might be that you give them 20% more money than anyone else, but more likely it has something to do with your office culture.  Do you allow dogs?  Do you have flexible hours?  Do you have a swimming pool in the main lobby?  If you do, I bet a news organization would love to do a story on it.

GENUINE INNOVATION

This area is where most businesses try to get news coverage but fail.  The reason is that their products are not interesting.  Look, I understand that to a company that makes rugs, using a brand new type of thread is interesting, but to the rest of us its not.  If you are using thread, however, that makes your rugs last for 200 years, or makes sure that nothing will ever stain them, or it makes your rugs fly…THAT is genuine innovation.  If your company is doing something that makes the average person on the street go “wow,” that’s a reason to let the press know.  By the way, that should exclude about 98% of the things businesses are currently writing press releases about now.

Are you an expert? Let reporters know.

EXPERTISE

Are you an expert in your field?  Do you have people on your staff who are experts?  I mean real “other folks come to you asking for help” expert, then you should notify the press.  Reporters are always looking to stack their Rolodex with experts they can call at a moments notice to help them with a subject.  Even better, tie your expertise in with something that is happening in the news.  You’d be surprised how often reporters are looking for experts.  Writing that press release will let those reporters know that you are the expert they should call.

To be sure, the hard and fast rule about sending out press releases is “less is more.”  But by examining these five areas of your business, you might just find a great story which will help you succeed in turning your press releases into genuine news coverage.

*(If you’re interested in hiring me you can go here for more information.)