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.

Advertisements

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 Social Media Lessons To Take From Super Bowl Commercials

The Super Bowl is one of the most watched events in the World each year.  About half of those people tuning in are doing so solely of the commercials.  That doesn’t mean that these ads will help their companies.  In fact, many of the companies who create Super Bowl ads won’t get any boost from them.  In order for them to get traction from these ads, they need to follow some simple rules.  The same goes for you and your businesses’ social media practices.  Too many companies aren’t getting the most out of their social media…just like too many big companies aren’t getting anything out of their Super Bowl ads.  Here’s five social media lessons you can learn from Super Bowl commercials.

(Thanks to superbowl-commercials.org for putting these ads together)

LESS IS MORE

Keeping it simple is always a great idea

The thing about Super Bowl Ads is that too many companies think that, because they’ve made such a huge investment, they need to throw everything possible into the commercial regardless of whether it fits their image. Unfortunately, this mostly leads to mashed up ads that aren’t funny, interesting, or relevant. For example, check out this Coke ad, verses this Coke Ad. Which one works better for you? To me, one hot, dusty soldier sharing a coke with his fellow hot, dusty, enemy-compatriot works a heck of a lot better than dragons and ogres and I’m not sure what…maybe puppies, does.

 

The same goes for your social media. It’s very likely that your product does something very well. Highlight that and people will come. You don’t need to jazz it up with needless bells and whistles. They just convolute your message and probably confuse the people you’re trying to reach.

DON’T FORGET YOUR MESSAGE

Probably the biggest problem companies face with Super Bowl Ads is having their message overshadowed by the glitz.  Here’s a test.  Off the top of your head name the ads for these three companies,  Bridgestone, Stella Artois, and Teleflora.  I bet you remembered once you saw them, but the problem was that the product wasn’t the focus of the commercial so these great ads didn’t do anything to help the companies.

Don't let your message get lost in the shuffle

With you social media efforts, it is very easy to do lots of creative stuff.  Just remember that your product must come first.  If it doesn’t, any creative efforts will have been wasted.

GET YOUR FANS INVOLVED

The one thing, perhaps more than any other, that social media has given to companies is the ability to interact with their customers.  This is true, even with Super Bowl ads.  This year, Doritos and Pepsi Max used commercials created by their fans.  Not only did this save them tons of money in production costs, but it gave their customers a vested interest in watching their commercials.

Pepsi and Doritos can teach you how to have your customers help you

You don’t have to be Pepsi or Frito-Lay to take advantage of this.  Use social media to connect with your customers and get their opinions of your product.  Take their suggestions seriously.  This doesn’t mean you have to change everything about your product, but it is likely that your customers have great ideas about your product you may not have thought about.  Connecting with your customers helps you to serve them better in good times and in bad.  And better customer service is always a good thing.

CELEBRITIES ONLY HELP YOU IF THEY HELP YOU

Perhaps the one area where companies fail in regards to Super Bowl Ads is with the celebrity endorsement.  In most cases, one of two things happen.  Either the celebrity outshines the product, or the relationship between the product and celebrity is unbelievable.  Neither is good for the product.  Take for example Groupon’s commercial.  Don’t get me wrong, but Timothy Hutton talking about Tibet, or a restaurant in Tibet, or New York or something doesn’t help Groupon at all. Same with Eminem and Chrysler.  Does anyone think Eminem drives a Chrysler?  Didn’t think so.

Does using celebrities help you sell your products? Best Buy thinks so.

A simple rule of thumb for using celebrities in your social media is this; if they like your product and say something nice about it in public, highlight it.  For instance, Jim Rome who’s a well known sports talk show host, loves Bombay Sapphire.  He talks about it all the time.  That relationship helps Bombay way more than if they hired some movie star who has obviously never had a sip of gin in their lives.  In short, if a celebrity uses your product, let people know.  If they don’t, don’t.

WORTH IS ONLY BASED ON RETURN

When it comes to Super Bowl Ads the bottom line is this, will your ad, which this year cost $3 million dollars, help your company make at least that in sales.  Really, that’s the only way to determine if your ad was a success.  To tell you the truth, I’m not sure that many of these companies will get that kind of bump in sales from their ads.

You should be thinking about this when it comes to your social media efforts.  What will the return on your social media efforts be?  If you’re smart, social media can help you to increase your customer base by large numbers with not a lot of cost.  If you pooh pooh you social media, or if you don’t use it at all, you could be losing a lot.  So make sure you take your social media efforts seriously.

Super Bowl Ads are fun, but they can also help show us how to make our own businesses more successful.  This is particularly true with social media.  Hopefully, by implementing these five tips, you can create a Super Bowl quality social media campaign.

Hopes this helps you out.

 

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

Food Truck Follies: 5 Ways To Avoid A Government Caused Issue

The Cupcake Truck is having trouble with the city of Denver. What you can learn.

I love food trucks.  They have cheap, convenient eats that have food that’s often better than most restaurants.  One of my favorites here in Denver is the Cupcake Truck.

Unfortunately they’re having a problem with the City of Denver.  Apparently, the City of Denver doesn’t know how to deal with these food trucks or the temporary traffic that comes with them.

As a result, these food trucks are finding themselves in a crisis situation that may or may not be of their own doing.  Because there is a gray area here, however, no one is sure who is to blame for this problem.

Now, I’m not here to take sides, but this dispute can serve as a lesson to every business on how to minimize the possibility of  a clash with your local government officials.  Here are 5 tips to help you avoid a crisis situation involving city government.

DOT YOUR I’s & CROSS YOUR T’s

If you want to do business in a city, you need to get down to city hall and talk with more than one person about what forms and licences you need to operate legally.   When picking up forms, make sure to ask as many questions as possible. Get a name and number of someone you can contact whenever you have further issues you need to address.  You see, the more informed you are about how city government deals with your profession, the better able you are to handle interactions with government official in a positive manner.

JUMP THROUGH EVERY HOOP NECESSARY

Generally speaking, governments solve problems by making new rules.  These rules may seem frivolous to you, but to other folks they might be essential.  Make sure you follow every rule and regulation.  Anything you ignore, or miss opens you up to getting in trouble with your city.  You don’t want that.

KEEP CURRENT

A judge once told me that “ignorance isn’t an excuse.”  I hated hearing it, but it’s true.  Laws don’t happen overnight.  If you don’t pay attention to how a government is dealing with your industry, you will get burned.  Keeping current on your industry’s regulations will ensure you don’t run afoul of your local government.  Keeping city officials happy will make you happy.

ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE

Look.  No one likes to deal with government bureaucracy.  It is tedious, repetitive, and time consuming.  The problem, however, is that if you want to work in a city, you have to deal with it.  The quicker you understand this, the better off you’ll be.   Make sure you deal with everyone in a positive manner.  If you are in a positive mind frame when dealing with people, even bureaucrats, they will be positive.  And positive people tend to be more helpful, which is nice when your dealing with a government agency.

HAVE A PLAN B

Keep your options open.  You never know what may happen when dealing with local government.  They may have a good reason for shutting you out of operating in their city.  If you have a backup plan, the frustration of running in to that brick wall won’t be as devastating.  Additionally, a good backup plan might give your local officials a reason to rethink their policies toward your type of business.

Now, I’m not saying that the Denver food trucks didn’t follow these steps.  What I’m telling you is you can never do too much to satisfy a bureaucracy.  So follow these 5 tips and avoid those government hassles.

Hope this helps you out.

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

Three Ideas to Use Social Media to Make Shopping More Fun for Couples

image

I’m here in Florida on vacation, only I’m sitting in Talbots watching my wife shop.  So while I’m on the “man” bench, here are three ways stores can use social media to make shopping more fun for couples.

TARGET OPPOSITE GENDER

Like a lot of guys, I’m not the biggest fan of helping my wife shop for clothes.  And neither, frankly, are all the other guys sitting here looking at me type.  We’re bored.  A store that could go out of their way to do something for us would get a lot of kudos and repeat trips.  Here’s an idea.  Use Foursquare or Yelp to give specials targeted to us folk who aren’t your normal customers.  Work with a nearby restaurant to give a special to the people who “endured” the experience.  It would give those of us a reward for shopping with our spouses and leave us with a better feeling about your store.  Better feelings make it more likely both me and my wife come back.  Everyone’s a winner.

GAMES

I can tell you that all the guys here would love to be doing something other than sitting on a bench.  Use Twitter or email to create games we can play while our partners shop.  A treasure hunt or a timed special to shop for a deeply discounted deal would add some fun for all of us.  You can even create multiday contests that force us to come back multiple times.  How great would it be to see husbands dragging wives to your store to complete a game you created.

PARTNER SPECIALS

I’m sitting near the door here at Talbots and can see the couples coming in.  The guys all look like the dog who got caught while digging in the trash.  Not happy.  Use social media to create a partner special for couples checking in to your store.  This will make the couples feel like a team.  Couples can only get the discount when they work together.  Giving the guy something else to do besides holding a purse makes the experience better for the guy, which makes it better for everyone.

You see, shopping doesn’t have to be a bad experience for couples.  By using social media to give partner specials, create games, and give couples incentives to shop at your store.  And making shopping a fun experience for everyone will only increase the likelihood that those couples will visit your store again and again.  You can stop drooling now.

Well here comes my wife.  Time to go.  I hope this helps you out.

Advice for PR Pros and Everyone Else

Andrew Hudson just got back from Argentina and shot this video.

Not only is this fantastic video but it reinforces that lessons can be learned everywhere, we just need look.

 

What is the lesson?  Nothing worth learning is gained easily, Grasshopper.

Continue reading

Google May Not Care About Your Reputation But You Should

Reputation should be every businesses social media focus.

It was a jaw-dropping story in the New York Times by David Segal.

SHOPPING online in late July, Clarabelle Rodriguez typed the name of her favorite eyeglass brand into Google’s search bar.

In moments, she found the perfect frames — made by a French company called Lafont — on a Web site that looked snazzy and stood at the top of the search results. Not the tippy-top, where the paid ads are found, but under those, on Google’s version of the gold-medal podium, where the most relevant and popular site is displayed.

Ms. Rodriguez placed an order for both the Lafonts and a set of doctor-prescribed Ciba Vision contact lenses on that site, DecorMyEyes.com. The total cost was $361.97.

It was the start of what Ms. Rodriguez would later describe as one of the most maddening and miserable experiences of her life.

What transpires is a nightmare scenario for any consumer, and frankly, for any business as well.  It becomes even worse when you understand why this is happening.  From the company itself.

“Hello, My name is Stanley with DecorMyEyes.com,” the post began. “I just wanted to let you guys know that the more replies you people post, the more business and the more hits and sales I get. My goal is NEGATIVE advertisement.”

It’s all part of a sales strategy, he said. Online chatter about DecorMyEyes, even furious online chatter, pushed the site higher in Google search results, which led to greater sales. He closed with a sardonic expression of gratitude: “I never had the amount of traffic I have now since my 1st complaint. I am in heaven.”

I understand that this is an extreme example, but any publicity is good publicity right?

SEO is important, but not as much as your reputation

Well no.

Look, I don’t believe that this is the kind of thing that the vast majority of businesses would want to associate themselves with, but it brings up an interesting point.

What are you more interested in as a business, your SEO or your reputation?

You may laugh at that question, but I assure you, too many of you are putting your Google rankings ahead of your businesses good name.  In fact, the only difference between your business and the one above is scale.

Want Proof?  Here are three warning signs that you may be caring more about your SEO rather than your reputation.

  • Your focus on blog posts is toward key words rather than on highlighting your expertise.
  • You post based on what’s popular rather than on where you see solutions to problems.
  • You post about topics that are irrelevant to your business’ strengths.

If you’re doing any of these, you probably want to rethink your social media strategy.  Let me help.

Simply put, most businesses are created because they are able to fill a need.  Your primary goal with social media, really with all public relations, should be to highlight why people should trust you, and ultimately, do business with you.  Everything else is superfluous.

It never ceases to amaze me how many businesses don’t seem to get that.

Here’s a simple solution.

Rather than focusing on popular issues, pick topics with an eye towards highlighting how your business can offer solutions to problems.  If you happen to be able to address a topic that others are talking about, great.  But it shouldn’t be a focus.  Once you have a topic, lay out clearly and concisely what the issue is and how your business is ideally suited to fixing that problem.  Make the case that people should turn to you when they have similar issues.  Only after you have written your post should you worry about how to increase your ranking on Google.

So remember this.  Social media is not a popularity contest.  If it were, then all of us would be acting just like the business above, stooping to any level to rise in the ranks of Google.  This is not to say that you should just ignore SEO words or popular topics, you shouldn’t.  Just understand that your focus should primarily be on what your business can do for others.

Focus on your reputation.  Your future customers will thank you.

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