Media/PR

November 9, 2009

Using an online media room to get attention for your group coaching program

If you are serious about creating a powerful presence and get media coverage for your group coaching program, you need an online media room.

By creating an area of your site specifically for the media, you can save the expense and time of using postal mail (which most reporters hate anyway), assist journalists in their research, and impress your target audience and potential clients for your group coaching programs.

The following is a list of items you should include in an online media room:

  • Contact information. Make sure you provide quick and easy ways for reporters to reach you any day at any time. This may include after hours phone numbers.
  • A link to prior press releases. Demonstrate your credibility by posting press releases that either you have written or have been written about you.
  • About the company. In the media room online, offer the mission of the company and remind them what it is that your business can do.
  • Bios. Journalists need to know more about you in order to interview you. So make sure you provide them will a biography that's well written and relevant to what you are doing in business. (After all, no one cares if you were on the college badminton team unless it's relevant to what you are doing now.)
  • Company fact sheet. A fact sheet offers the basic information about your business that clients and media outlets would want to know.
  • Facts concerning your expertise. Offer findings and statistics to emphasize the importance of your field and how those facts are newsworthy.
  • FAQs. Listing frequently asked questions can help address what reporters and clients want to ask about in addition to their concerns without wasting the time of exchanging emails.
  • A photograph. A picture can be used by reporters or producers when quoting you as an expert source and also creates a source of familiarity with clients over the vastness of the Internet.
  • Client list. Mention clients that you have dealt with in the past. This can establish the success of your business with your client list and provide you with the credibility to prove you are an expert.
  • Story ideas. Listing story ideas in your field of expertise can give reporters topic ideas to cover. Journalists sometimes are looking for stories to write about. By doing some of the legwork for them, you are more likely to get coverage.
  • Articles. Including articles that you have written shows and establishes you as the expert.  Also, with your permission, these articles can also be used by media outlets to republish.

Almost as significant as the content of an media room online is the way in which the content is presented. Follow these tips to complete the establishment of a great media room:

1.  Make sure your media room is easy to discover. Put a link to the page on the main navigation of your site or on the home page. It can be called a 'media room,' 'press room,' or under 'about us.'

2. Use the HTML format on regular web pages. PDFs are great, as well. You just want to make sure the information is esily accessible to as many people as possible.. This also keeps the content search engine friendly.

3. Include downloadable files. Always offer a link to past articles, photographs, or press releases to be used electronically or for print.

4. Remember that the Internet is global in search. Unless your company is only interested in generating business within a certain area, try to use words that are universal so that it can come up in searches made internationally.

Shannon Cherry, Publicity Expert for Group Mastery

Shannon Cherry, Publicity Expert for Group Mastery

Make sure everyone can access and understand the content in your online media room.

_______________________

Shannon Cherry is the publicity/media expert for Group Mastery, and the founder of Be Heard Solutions. Known as The Power Publicist, she helps coaches, entrepreneurs, consultants and solo professionals attract more clients and customers through the power of publicity.

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October 8, 2009

Are you using Twitter to get PR for your group coaching program?

No matter what you think about it, the social media service Twitter has become a dominant force in our culture, and is here to stay. And if you aren't using it, you're missing a completely free way to publicize and promote your group coaching program.

What is Twitter exactly? Think of it as part blog and part text messaging. Twitter allows users to write short (140 characters or less) messages which any person can read publicly - and those who are following you get direct access to.

Thought to be just a method to chat with pals, Twitter is now being embraced as a vehicle to increase search rankings and build a powerful presence online.

So why is Twitter considered a useful PR tool? Twitter allows almost instant distribution of messages to a large number of people at once.  If you have something attention-grabbing to say, you can find yourself with a large number of users following your tweets (as Twitter messages are known) in little time.

You can use Twitter as a way to tell your readers about news and exciting developments, increase your visibility, and create more exposure for your group coaching program. Since Twitter allows you to develop a sort of personal relationship (or at least a perceived relationship) with your followers, it can be a powerful tool to develop appeal in whatever you'd like to let the world know about.

On Twitter, there's a level of intimacy that many will recognizes. Call it the "Wow! Demi Moore just sent me a text! She's eating lunch!" factor.

Used properly, Twitter can get your readers feel as if they know you personally, something which can do wonders for your group coaching program or any other accomplishments you'd like to promote.

Begin by signing up for a Twitter account and filling out a profile page; try to give a feel of how you're an expert in your field and share a bit of your personality. Others that resonate with who you are and what you have to say will find you and follow you.

Tap into Twitter's Publicity Potential

If you're promoting your group coaching program, it's a good plan to look at what other coaches in your industry are on Twitter and find out what those with the largest followings are tweeting about. Discover what's working for them and emulate - but not copy - what they are doing right.

Tweeting about mundane items won't win you any followers - and certainly won't help your get more credibility. Instead, publish interesting opinion about your area of expertise, occasionally including a link to your site when pertinent to the content of your Tweet.

If you're not familiar with text messaging, the 140 character limit may be tricky at first. If it helps, think of it as a form of haiku - economy is the key to writing Twitter posts.

Make sure to invite those you already know to follow your tweets; like social networking sites, people are more likely to start following your Twitter feed if their contacts do. You'll start off with a small following, but it will grow.

Post at least once a day and before you know it, you'll have the attention of more Twitter users than you ever thought possible. And that attention can help sell your group coaching program.

____________________________

Shannon Cherry, Publicity Expert for Group Mastery

Shannon Cherry, Publicity Expert for Group Mastery

Shannon Cherry is the publicity/media expert for Group Mastery, and the founder of Be Heard Solutions. Known as The Power Publicist, she helps coaches, entrepreneurs, consultants and solo professionals attract more clients and customers through the power of publicity. Grab your free publicity power pack to help you start establishing your media presence at http://www.beheardsolutions.com

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September 30, 2009

Writing a Good Press Release: A Checklist

Who wouldn't want a third-party endorsement of their group coaching program? By getting a news story featured about you and your group coaching program in a media outlet, you will receive implicit endorsement that no amount of money spent on advertisement can match.

As a matter of fact, if you want to put a value on this sort of free publicity, most studies show that a news story is worth at least 3 times more than the same size ad in most publications. Talk about a great value!

But to get that coveted news coverage, you need to use a press release.

It’s a statement prepared for distribution to the media; however it is also a valuable marketing and informative media tool. It is designed to give journalists information that is useful, accurate, and mainly interesting.

There are several specific guidelines that need to be followed in order for it to be published. First, it needs to conform to the established format and aim to have it released without an editor changing any of the content. Your release should read like a news story, not a sales letter or advertisement.

Here’s a seven point checklist to help get you release fit for journalist consumption.

Press Release Checklist

1. Time to be Released - If it is to be released immediately it should be typed on the left margin above the title in bold faced type. If not, then you need to write: embargoed until: and the date you want it released.

2. Headline-Most important part of a release, the headline should grab attention from journalists, and also readers. The headline should be centered, bold, caps, short, snappy, and most importantly impressive, to receive the desired attention.

3. Dateline - Should start main body of text. It’s the City issued from as well as the date.

4. Lede Paragraph - Second most pivotal part of a press release. It should grab attention, and contains the most important information of the release. Think about the inverted pyramid technique, most vital info first and follow up with supporting less important information. In today’s high paced world people will only skim the headline and then maybe the first paragraph; that’s why it essential to relay your most vital information first.

5. Text - This is the main body of your release. It should be written in active voice, passive voice will get your release thrown out. It also helps to have a human interest side to it; this will draw more attention and increase the chances of being published. Quotes are also a good touch.

6. Recap-Reiterate company information, contact person information, and once again address the key points you are trying to pass along. And always end the release with “###” directly below the last line of text, this technically ends the release.

7. Contact Information - Company name, address, web address, phone number, contact person, and number for a contact person that can be easily reached. This should appear at the bottom of the release.

Here are some additional hints to help you create that winning release.

  • Send it to media that is going to be interested; don’t mass mail it to media that won’t care about it.
  • Making it interesting can’t be emphasized enough. Journalists receive countless releases every day; make yours stand out.
  • Don’t hype too much. Editors hate it. Too much hype will be thrown out.
  • Get to know editors and journalists who cover your industry and business in general. Familiarity will help get your release printed; having your name remembered can always help.
  • Make yourself or contact person available and easily reachable at all times to the media, even if your release is not used. This availability, like familiarity, will increase your chances in the future.

Shannon Cherry, Publicity Expert for Group Mastery

Shannon Cherry, Publicity Expert for Group Mastery

____________________________________

Shannon Cherry is the publicity/media expert for Group Mastery, and the founder of Be Heard Solutions. Known as The Power Publicist, she helps coaches, entrepreneurs, consultants and solo professionals attract more clients and customers through the power of publicity.

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