he industry experts at Muck Rack regularly ask us to weigh in on media trends and offer advice on what it takes to secure editorial in the evolving media climate.

To ensure success, we develop our programs using a media-first perspective. To learn what that is, click the link.


We hear it all the time from potential partners. Their PR firm, advertising guru, clan of digital marketing mavericks, etc., didn't come through.

Why is that?

There are a few reasons, but they can be avoided if you ask two simple questions. The fine folks at Agility PR Solutions (aka Bulldog Reporter to anyone who has been in PR for more than five years, and one of the leading trade / technology outlets in the PR / media relations space) gave one of our directors a venue to share and help you avoid the mistakes so many have made in the past.

Click the image below to go to their site and read the full article.

And if you like it, please share it on LinkedIn! 

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Modified San Diego's Best PR Firm Trade Show_edited-1It’s that time of year… we’re gearing up for CES, the OR Snow Show and more. Are you ready? If not, here are some quick and essential tips to help you make the most of your media relations efforts at the shows.

1. Start yesterday!: These shows are important to EVERYONE exhibiting. Almost every journalist attending will receive 100’s of emails from brands pitching the mundane and the monumental. Be top of mind by being top of mind well in advance. Make sure you engage with these journalists in advance, via social media, email or even a phone call or handwritten note, regardless of if you have something to pitch at the time or not. It’ll pay off later.

2. Have a survival kit ready.: Come loaded for bear. A battery pack for your phone should be standard issue. Images / info saved somewhere easily accessible so you can send it at a moments notice. Breath mints and snack bars you can carry are a must, as well as good insoles for your shoes. If you have oily skin (ahem) maybe some of those anti-shine wipes too #justsaying

3. Show your good side!: You may not see these journalists very often. When you confirm meetings, send them a casual (yet professional enough) photo and go the extra mile in drawing on the show map exactly where your meeting will take place.

4. Concise is nice.: Get to the point in your pitch. What are you showing that’s really great? If you have 10 great things, highlight the top two and then include a quick note of what else is coming. And be realistic in what you’re pitching… make sure your pitch passes the smell test.

And lay off the jargon and buzzwords… no one wants to hear that.

5. All hands on deck!!!: We like to have approximately 1.5 people per booth / brand at a show. Why? Well, inevitably, appointments will be shifted on the fly or last minute needs will come up. You want to give each contact as much individual attention as possible.

6. Pretend you care.: Or better yet… care! Lead each meeting by asking each contact if they’ve seen anything they loved at the show or ask about any trends catching their eye. Then shift your pitch and meeting accordingly.

7. Follow-up accordingly!: Some people may want info and images within the hour. Some the week after. Make a note and act appropriately.

8. Repeat step 1!!!

There’s a lot more to media relations than the above, but trust us… even though these tips seem basic, many brands and marketing professionals overlook them as the hecticness of the show approaches.

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Not too long ago we executed a NASCAR®-related product PR campaign for a client. This was a first for us.

While successful, it solidified a few things we already preach regarding public relations, with one overarching theme…

Executing a PR / media relations campaign in one industry is the same as executing a public relations campaign in any other.

The publications and channels may change, but their basic needs and rules remain the same. Here’s what they are:

1. The More Time You Give, The Better
Believe it or not, journalists are not waiting around for PR people to contact them with story ideas. They have their own deadlines and content obligations in terms of the number of stories they need to publish or want to publish.

As great as your story may be for your brand, that doesn’t mean you can simply expect an outlet to make room for it or that a journalist will want to make time for it.

2. There Has To Be A Fit And If There Isn’t, You Bend
It’s a widely held belief that NASCAR fans fully support the brands their favorite drivers endorse.

While that may be true, the NASCAR related media outlets themselves don’t cover new product launches or brand news in the same way we think of general consumer and business publications as doing. Their focus tends to be on track drama, fines, equipment changes and paint scheme changes.

Some early, and later, extensive research into their media channels brought this to light. Along with extreme disappointment because we thought this would be a layup of a pitch.

So did we abandon the campaign? No. As the entrepreneurs and ‘influencers’ of today are fond of saying, we decided to pivot.

In addition to traditional media, we targeted people with large and engaged social media followings (we’re hesitant to every say someone with a lot of followers is an actual 'influencer') to secure coverage. While most of the popular accounts were owned by drivers and their pit crews who had  competing endorsement deals, there were many other people we could target, ranging from on-air broadcast talent to super fans.

3. The Easier You Make Their Job, The Better
Journalists, like the rest of us, are busy. Having all the details and assets ready and at your fingertips can go a long way in helping secure interest for a story.

Speed is a big component of grabbing the checkered flag on race day and in PR.

4. All Media Want The Same Thing
They want a compelling story for their audience that at the end of the day, will drive page views, clicks, increase ratings, increase their street cred, etc.

It’s that simple.

When that isn’t available, sometimes cash works. Advertising, sponsorships, etc. Old school PR professionals shudder at this notion, but it’s the reality of our industry today. Thankfully, we didn’t need to go this route.

When planning any PR campaign, keep these four tips in mind. They won’t guarantee success – as nothing can in PR – but they’re good steps to take to help prevent failure.

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