Catering to everyone’s different styles is one of the reasons we include blank pages at the back of our planners. But one of our favourite planner features is the dedicated space to choose a theme word for success, and we thought it was time to explain how you can best use this feature!Continue reading →
Major media placements can be a boon to entrepreneurs. They increase brand awareness, build credibility, and generate massive amounts of traffic and sales. To give you a competitive advantage, below is a step-by-step checklist that teaches you how to go about securing media coverage without spending tens of thousands of dollars on hiring a PR firm or onboarding a freelance publicist.
The best way to start planning for any publicity campaign is to determine what makes you and your business newsworthy. Consider whether your service or business area is trending in the news. If not, then examine what is relevant and timely in your industry or on the local news. Is there any controversy or conflict that you can credibly weigh in on? Is there an event, new product or service, book launch, new location, or even a new hire that you can pitch as a newsworthy event? Answering these questions will give you a solid start to determining what makes your business newsworthy.
Now that you have what makes your business newsworthy, it’s time to look at what makes your business credible. In other words, what makes you and your business believable and trustworthy? Consider your academic and professional training and the types of media exposure you’ve generated for the speeches or talks you’ve given. Do you have a large audience, significant annual sales, or interesting and transformational life experiences? Any of these elements can help make you and your business more credible.
Since I started in the PR field more than 15 years ago, I’ve had clients ask me if they should use their website bios as their media bios, and my answer is always the same: “no”. Your website bio is generally longer and contains your story about your journey, how you started your business, and anything else that’s relevant. These bios can reach 5,000 words, whereas your media bio is short and concise. This bio is short and usually only two or three paragraphs (including what you want others to know about you and your business).
Your Perfect Media List
With your media bio now complete, you can start looking at where your story can potentially fit. To find the right media, you can Google “Editorial Calendar” + Publication Name to see the editorial calendar of what stories are in the queue. And then, you can Google outlet name + masthead to find out which editors cover specific topics and stories.
You could also go to the website of the publication you would like to pitch, and go to the “Masthead”, “About” or “Contact” pages for a list of all of the editors and their related beats. You can also go to LinkedIn or Twitter to find a media contact. Most editors are also on Twitter.
Your Subject Line
When securing media coverage your subject line is the most important part of your pitch. It should be interesting, and if possible, generate an emotional response from your reader. You can make a provocative statement or ask a question, if you wish. Just be sure to include the who, what, where, when, why, and how.
You’ll also want to start the subject line with what type of story you’re pitching – such as an interview, product review, feature story, article idea, etc. Here are two sample subject lines: one is good, and the other is not so.
- “ABC Company Announces the Launch of XYZ Product”
- Feature: “From Small Ghetto to Fifth Avenue: How this Entrepreneur Built a Family Empire”
The second one helped secure media coverage on Forbes.com, JustLuxe.com, HuffingtonPost.com and more.
The Pitch Itself
It doesn’t matter whether you’re pitching a footwear collection, a nightclub, or a software demo, you should consider tying your pitch to the current time of the year, or something trending in the news at that moment: the Oscars, Halloween, the latest viral video, etc. I find that tying product and service pitches to a specific time of the year gets more media interest because it’s timely.
When you pitch a journalist, you also need to make sure that your email conveys that you understand who the reader is, and what they are looking for. That’s how you gain rapport with members of the media. And although it’s a no-brainer, be sure to address your media contact specifically by their first name. Don’t start your email with a generic “Hi there” or “To whom it may concern”. Just because your email isn’t expected, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be personalized.
The body of your pitch should be between 200 and 300 words and devoted to telling a story about you and your brand. Add five to seven bullet points about your product or services that the reader can look over quickly. Remember, editors see the same generic pitches every day, so you have to make yours stand out. These five to seven bullet points should pop off the page. Without these bullets, your pitch will fall flat.
Pitch Follow Up
You’ve pitched your top media contacts, and you’re hoping for a positive response. The wait can seem like an eternity but resist any temptation to overwhelm your contact. It’s critical you are patient yet persistent.
Once you’ve pitched a media contact, only follow up three to four days later to see if they are interested in covering your story or doing an interview. If you don’t hear back right away, you can follow up one more time before pitching a new angle or product. But never call—unless you know the media contact personally.
If they don’t respond after two follow-ups, don’t be discouraged. Your company, brand, story, or product is simply not the right fit for any stories they are working on now. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t be interested in the future. You have to keep moving forward. I’ve pitched myself 10 or 15 times only to be rejected each time before finding success. If you are rejected, don’t let it get you down. It takes a thick skin to be successful.
Securing Media Coverage With A Press Releases
You can issue a press release when you’re sending a message out to the general public via a wire service company. We usually issue them when a client is releasing a book or a new product, a live event, or to make some type of announcement.
Having a fresh set of pitching angles is essential to keeping your brand media-ready. However, coming up with consistently interesting pitching angles for yourself or your business can be tiring and tough. To eliminate this from happening, here are a few exercises you can do:
- Give Quora.com a visit to see what people are asking about in your niche.
- Do keyword research on Google’s Keyword Planner to see what people are searching for. You can also look at UberSuggest.com.
- Look to see what topics are trending in your niche. Try to find a story angle that relates to national news or current events.
- Research what’s happening locally and pitch an editor or television producer in your market.
- See how you can add a new viewpoint to an existing article.
Booking More Interviews When Securing Media Coverage
Sending traffic, getting shares on social media, and generating comments for your press mentions, articles, and interviews will help you gain more media opportunities. This is because the more traction your media coverage gets, the more likely editors, journalists, and producers will ask you for quotes or other types of commentary. Additionally, keep in mind that the larger your social media followings and your audience are, the more likely media members will be to call on you for your expertise.
Striving to secure major media coverage that’s effective and relevant shouldn’t cost tens of thousands of dollars. If you have a strategic plan with newsworthy and credible points to pitch to the media, you will be successful. Just keep in mind patience and persistence are the keys to securing coverage that will help move the needle in your business.
About the Author of 10 Steps to Securing Media Coverage for Your Startup
Kristin Marquet runs marquet-media.com, a boutique creative consultancy that designs beautiful and feminine brands in the wedding, beauty, fashion, wellness, fitness cooking, photography and interior design industries. Passionate about learning, Kristin has advanced studies in data and marketing analytics. She has attended MIT, Boston University and NYU, and holds degrees in Literature and Marketing/Public Relations. She has contributed to forbes.com, inc.com, huffingtonpost.com, entrepreneur.com and nydailynews.com.
There are few steps during the hiring process that are more important than the proper training of employees. However, many businesses fail to recognise this fact, which can lead to high turnover rates and unprepared workers.
When you equip your new hires with the tools, resources, and training they need to succeed, however, you’ll lay down the groundwork for an effective first few months. This, in turn, results in higher job morale and increased productivity.
Here are some tips on how to develop an employee training program.
The first step in creating an employee training program is to identify the goals that need to be met for success to be achieved. Every business is unique, and therefore the goals will be dictated by the requirements in the workplace.
For instance, when training hotel employees you may want to set goals that are related to customer service, while the goals of a firefighter training program may focus more on safety. Depending on the type of business your organisation runs, you will need to tailor the steps in the training process to fit the knowledge and skillset that will best serve your new hire and prepare them for success.
Utilise Training Resources
With the emergence of technology, training resources have been taken to a new level. Gone are the days of flipping through manuals and writing on chalkboards. Instead, there are an array of software platforms on the market that can be programmed to meet the demands of nearly any business.
By utilising these, employees will have a more interactive and dynamic training process. This also shaves numerous hours off HR personnel’s work days, allowing them to allocate dedicated time to more personalized, one-on-one training as needed.
Implement a Schedule
In order to create the most efficient training process possible, employers need to consider implementing a training schedule. There are jobs where the training programs can take weeks to complete, and accommodating the individual schedules of the employees can cause delays.
For this reason, it is wise to have a set schedule in place which can be accessed by all those going through training. Not only will this ensure that every employee is properly trained, but it will also expedite the process.
Hire a Trainer
Hiring an experienced trainer can help the process move along more smoothly and it can be an incredibly effective way of onboarding employees. While there are costs to consider when using a professional trainer, it is certainly one of the most efficient ways of teaching.
You may also want to seek out the assistance of a seasoned employee, as this can also go a long way in showing the new hires the details of the position.
Keeping track of the progress of the trainees can be crucial. After all, it can cost a significant amount of money to put employees through the hiring process, and the results can be disastrous if they are not properly trained.
Whether your business is using software for training purposes or the learning is more hands-on, you will need to develop a set of criteria to gauge the progress of those being trained.
It is important for a company to gain feedback during and after the training process. This can help to show areas that need to be improved upon, along with pointing out the strengths of the program.
To do this, arrange one-on-one meetings with employees so that their opinion will not be skewed by that of other workers. Have them list a few of the obstacles they encountered during the process and the places where they feel they benefited the most.
Training employees in every facet of their job will significantly increase the chances that a business will succeed, and it helps to maintain employee morale. If your company is implementing a training program, be sure to identify the goals that need to be met and take advantage of the array of training resources available.
Furthermore, it is necessary to put in place a schedule so that the training of employees can be streamlined, thus reducing training-related expenses. Take note of these points and you are sure to develop an effective employee training program.
Inhale, exhale, begin to quiet your mind. Beginning meditation can be as simple as that. So why are so many people intimidated by the thought of meditating?
You don’t have to fully enlightened to meditate, and you don’t have to have a sacred space on top of a mountain. Meditation can be done anywhere and by anyone. And, let’s be honest, just about everyone has had an experience in their lives where they are out in public, and a quick meditation would be extremely helpful.
So what exactly is meditation? According to Merriam Webster, to meditate is “ is to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) to reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness”, yep, it’s that simple. Meditation brings your attention the here and now and helps get rid of the distractions that you’re constantly bombarded with. By slowing down and focusing on your breathing, you can let the rest of the world just melt away. It helps you pull your attention inward and truly be and feel, which in turn brings forth a sense of calm and control of your emotions.
You can stop and focus on your breathing just about anywhere, right? So, you can meditate just about anywhere!
There are lots of meditation tools you can use to help facilitate your practice as well including:
Counting: As you focus on your breath, begin to count to twenty, one count accompanies one breath. (Example: Inhale 1, Exhale 2, Inhale 3, Exhale 4) Once you reach twenty, count to forty and slow your breathing down, only counting with every other breath. (Example Inhale, Exhale 1, Inhale, Exhale 2) The mental counting helps you concentrate on your breathing.
Body Scan: Imagine your at your desk and your inbox is piling up and you start to panic. Soften your gaze and deepen your breath and begin to cue your body to relax. Start from your forehead and work down your face and jaw, then move down your arms, torso, and legs. By the end of this practice, you will feel completely relaxed.
Paint a Mental Picture: Visualization can be a great way to meditate. As you close your eyes, imagine you are painting a rainbow on a big white canvas. Take your time to picture your paintbrush dipping into each color and pulling the line across the canvas until you have a complete rainbow.
Mantras: You don’t have to know fancy Sanskrit words to create a mantra. As you breathe, internally repeat a mantra that makes sense for you. For example, you could say I am on your inhale, at peace on your exhale, or I can on your inhale, do this on your exhale.
These are all types of meditation that you can do anywhere anytime. You can meditate when you need a five-minute break from your kids, after you have parked your car before you head into work, when you feel uncertain before an interview, or before bed to calm your mind. Meditation is a powerful tool that helps you create your own internal calm and peaceful space. I like to think of it as a superpower that keeps me grounded, in control, and able to handle anything life throws at me.
So go meditate! Meditate at home, meditate in a park, at your desk, in your bed, literally anywhere.
**Please don’t meditate while driving, and choose a safe space where you are aware of your surroundings for safety reasons.**
About the author
Cassidy Ricalde always found healing powers in the movement of the body. Growing up as a classical dancer, she found yoga and barre to be a way to tie together body and soul. She completed her 200-hour Yoga-Teacher certification at Flow Yoga in DC and did an apprenticeship with Ease Yoga in Alexandria. You can find out about Cassidy here.
Between the internal mind-chatter of thoughts, worries, judgements, mental-to-do lists, criticism and our almost constant intake of information, we are causing our brains a lot of stress. One of the best ways to give your brain a break is to learn how to meditate. It trains you to minimise your thinking, stop scrolling and breathe deeply.Continue reading →
Is it just us, or is time a peculiar concept right now? With everything going on in the world right now, it can feel overwhelming when you realise your year isn’t going to plan (not even close!). And you know what? It’s completely ok to throw your previous plans out the window and reassess what moving forward looks like. Additionally, in this time of isolation and uncertainty, it’s even more important to stay connected with your community.
So, why not gather your friends or colleagues on a video call and do your virtual planning together? A Leaders in Heels strategy soirée is a great way to support each other, collaborate, socialise online and send positive vibes.
So here are our tips for hosting an online strategy soirée with your friends.
Invite people you feel comfortable sharing your goals with
The idea of this session is to feel connected, even if you’re apart. So make sure you schedule a time in with friends that make you feel secure. Remind them that this is a fun, productive and judgement-free zone!
Choose your video conferencing online platform
Zoom is easy to use to facilitate an online meeting because you can simply share a link and away you go! Alternatively, Google Hangouts is fantastic if you all have Gmail accounts.
Keep it fun and interactive by using gridview (to see all participants at once), screen share your vision boards and ideas, and install the Snap Camera Chrome extension (if you’re using Google Hangouts) for fun filters to mix it up.
Select a new planner and start fresh
The Leaders in Heels Planners are inspirational planners that celebrate the greatness of women, with specially designed pages to keep you focused on your big goals, and motivate you to turn your ‘one day’ into today.
Seek feedback on your own goals
We’re often a lot kinder to others than we are to ourselves, so share your goals and ask your group for feedback. Remember that this isn’t a time to pressure yourself, it’s a time to reflect on what’s within your sphere of influence and what will bring you joy in an unusual time. So, ask the group if your goals are realistic, kind to yourself, positive and affirming.
Plan your next steps at the end of the call
Set a date to meet in with each other. For short term goals you might want to meet fortnightly or monthly, however, if you’re working towards larger goals then consider a check-in 3, 6 and 12 months later to review them together.
Take advantage of our free resources
If your friends are new to Leaders in Heels you can share this link with them so they can have access to free planning tools too https://leadersinheels.com/welcome.
Stay connected with an even bigger community of supportive women!
Use #IamLIH when posting photos of your planning session to motivate others in the LiH community. Plus we love seeing women work together!