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.)

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.)

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.)

Talking Turkey: Five Tips To Make Your Thanksgiving And Your Social Media a Success

Can you spot the real turkey?

Every family has one.  It was the Thanksgiving from Hell.

You remember…as much as you don’t want to, you do.

It was the year that Mom didn’t do turkey.  Instead she tried the Mongolian-Irish-Colombian-Vegan eel recipe she got from the guy handing out fliers at the mall.  The meal was so bad that Uncle Silus got drunk and yelled at Cousin Teddy, who got drunk and took the sledge hammer to Great Grannie Edie’s heirloom crystal cat collection.  By the end of the evening, the men were passed out amongst the crystal chards while Mom, in tears, chased the dogs away from the untouched dinner, not realizing that the animals were the only things that got her cooking.

Ahh the memories.  The terrible, ungodly, please-god-never-ever-let-that-happen-again memories.  I think we can all agree that we never want to go there again.

Amazingly, similar stuff happens when businesses get cute with their social media.

The boss has no clue about social media so he appoints some kid to do it for him.  The kid “totally knows this rad new platform that all the other kids are using” and ends up spending thousands on some site that can only be accessed in South Korea.  Meanwhile, the Twitter page that a former worker set up, is being used as a “why work sucks” discussion between two other employees who had access because the ex-worker sent everyone the password in a email.

Yeah…no.  We don’t want that either.

Never fear.  Here are five tips to ensure that your Thanksgiving, and your social media, will be a success

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Too often, people treat Thanksgiving as a game of “anything you can do, I can do better.”  They try to make the dish that will be the one that the family will talk about for years.  The problem is, it usually is.  No one wants vegan eels for Thanksgiving.  They want turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy.  Just because it’s not unique doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious.   And because you’re comfortable making turkey, it probably will be.

The same goes for your social media.  Here’s a secret, the reason why most businesses stick to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter is because those are the sites the everyone else is using.   Social media is a tool to let people know about all the great things your business is doing.   I could have the coolest social media set up, but if no one sees it, it won’t do me any good.  Sticking to the social media sites that your familiar with, that other people are familiar with, will give you a better chance of successfully getting your message across.

DON’T PUT TOO MUCH ON YOUR PLATE

Let me tell you what "seconds" means

This is something we all do, and regret it every year.  We see all the food on the Thanksgiving table and want to eat it all.  Now!  Unfortunately, by the time we’re done piling everything on our plate we have mixed everything together into an indistinguishable brown pile of mush.  It might still taste good, but we miss the chance to taste each dish individually. We might find that some of the dishes we liked aren’t as tasty as we thought, while other that we might not have liked turn out to be our favorites.  Knowing this can be helpful when you’re going back for seconds.  Because there will always be seconds.

Too many of us seem to have the same problem when it comes to social media.  There are so many interesting social media tools that we just can’t resist using all of them.  Sadly, when it comes time to use those tools, we don’t have the time or understanding to truly take advantage of each tool’s unique strengths.  By using fewer tools and getting to know them well, you can find which ones really suit your social media needs.

REMEMBER GRANDMA’S THERE

Remember the time Crazy Uncle Silus got really drunk and started telling loud tales about his escapades in the red light district of Amsterdam, using the dog’s favorite toy to explain every graphic detail?  So does your Grandmother, which is why Unky Silly doesn’t seem to make Thanksgiving anymore.  No one wants to feel uncomfortable at Thanksgiving.  Keep it that way.

Same goes for social media.  The last thing you want is people to see your social media and feel uncomfortable.  If they do, you can bet on two things happening.  The first is that they won’t look at your social media anymore.  The second is that they will tell lots of other people who, also, won’t look at your social media anymore.

A good rule of thumb for making sure your social media is appropriate is to ask yourself if your grandmother would be o.k. reading your stuff.  If you can’t say yes, you might want to rethink what you’re writing.

You may remember Thanksgiving but your family will

SCREWS UPS WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN

I don’t mean to keep reminding you about that Thanksgiving nightmare you’ve been trying to forget, but it should serve as a reminder of why everyone should mind their manners over the holidays.  Crazy Uncle Silus wasn’t always “crazy.”  But down a whole bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream and lay waste to a family heirloom and that’s all anyone will remember.  Don’t be that person.  Don’t talk politics.  Don’t bring up embarrassing stories about yourself or anyone else.  If you do, I can assure you, you’ll be hearing about it for the rest of your life.

Screwing up on social media has the same effect.  You make one unfortunate remark in a blog post, or malign someone’s mother in a tweet and you will never be able to put it behind you.  This is particularly bad if the faux pas happens on your businesses’ social media sites.  Your business will always be associated with that mistake.  Google will make sure of that.  So make sure you proof your work, and please no drunken Twitter posts.  No one wants that.

HAVE A DESIGNATED DRIVER

It is natural at Thanksgiving for the alcohol to flow as much as the food does.  A pre-meal martini, wine with dinner, a beer watching football and pretty soon you’re feeling pretty happy.  Make sure you aren’t driving.  Getting a DUI would definitely fall under the “Screw Up” section above.  Worse would be having a crash that killed you or someone else.  Thanksgiving would never be the same.  Having a designated driver will ensure that your family remembers Thanksgivings past for the right reasons.

Having a designated driver for your social media is essential as well.  Giving multiple people access to your businesses’ social media is just asking for trouble.  The more people who have access, the better the chance of an online train wreck.  Remember the “work sucks” employees?    You just don’t want that.  Make sure you have one person who is in charge of your social media.  It will make your message clearer and there will be a significantly less chance of having any social media “mistakes.”

As you can see, there are a lot of similarities to having a successful Thanksgiving and a successful social media campaign.  If you make sure to keep it simple, don’t put too much on your plate, remember grandma, limit your screw ups and appoint a designated driver, your Thanksgiving and you social media will give you a lot to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all

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

 

Dear Denver RE: Colorado Rapids. Some Unsolicited PR Advice That Every Business Can Use

Rapids win the MLS Cup

Dear Denver,

Hope you’re doing well, especially with all the Holiday preparations going on.  I needed to tell you something regarding the Colorado Rapids you may not have heard.

They won the MLS Cup.

Yes, I know.  I was shocked too.  No one saw the Rapids winning a championship before the Nuggets or the Rockies.  And with a Denver guy winning the MVP to boot.

So listen.  I got some PR advice for you.  You need to give them a parade.  Really.

I know, I know, they’re not the Broncos, or the Rockies, or the Nuggets, or the Avs, but you know, they are representing Denver.    Just because you think they might not be as important to Denver as the Broncos, it doesn’t mean that their contribution to the city is any less important.

See, that’s the problem that many businesses have.

Often, they neglect the contributions of their perceived “lesser” employees regardless of the fact that those employees worked just as hard and did just as much to reach an achievement that “important” employees did, just without as much fanfare.  And when that “lesser’ employee isn’t given the same recognition, they tend to take their talents elsewhere which causes the business to then, and only then, realize what they lost.

That business ends up having to spend a lot more to replace that “lesser’ employee than they would have to recognize them when they were successful.

Same goes for the Rapids.  They won Denver a championship!

MLS Cup MVP Conor Casey

They deserve the same celebration that the Broncos and the Avs got when they won theirs.

The Rapids deserve a parade.

I mean a real parade, with firetrucks and ticker tape.

It’s not like parades are a big deal in Denver.  Heck, you let everyone have parades.  The circus, the stock show, even the Irish.  Seriously, a four hour parade for having someone in my background who was born in Ireland is a bit much.  As my grandma McGinty once said “lo and begorrah.”

But that’s besides the point.

For very little effort, you can show, not only the Rapids, but everyone in Colorado that you appreciate it when someone representing you becomes a champion.  That little bit of goodwill will give you more positive PR than anything else you could do.

So please Denver.  Give the Rapids a parade.  Because, as every business should know, celebrating all successes does much more to help them than to just celebrate “big” successes.

Besides, everyone loves parades.

Thanks for listening,

Darren

UPDATE:  P.S.  A rally is not a parade.