SKC Insights

 

 

8 Ways to Become a Media Darling

What do Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, and Sheryl Sandberg all have in common? When they speak, the media listens. They’re thought leaders and generally looked upon favorably – and as a result, have become media “darlings.” But it didn’t happen overnight. Endearing yourself to the media takes time, along with careful strategizing and intentional actions. 

Follow these eight steps to get started on your journey to becoming respected, heard and reverberated out into the world as a media darling.

1. Begin with the End in Mind

If you want to build a solid reputation as a media darling, you’ll need to establish what you want your brand to represent. So, begin with the end in mind to chart your path. Take Sheryl Sandberg as an example. Sandberg radiates women’s career empowerment in everything she does, from TED talks to interviews, books and public awareness campaigns. Follow Sandberg’s lead and think about what kind of media darling you want to be. Once you decide, everything you do should reflect it – your website, your content and your media presence. 

2. Build a Personal Brand

With the end in mind, it’s time to start building your personal brand. How? By articulating who you are, what you do and how you do it with content marketing. Make educational and informative content to share on any and all media channels, such as your social accounts or website. Think both bite-sized (e.g. video clips, infographics) and long-form (e.g. white papers, blogs), providing content that can help reporters understand you, your expertise, and your industry better.  

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12 Fun & Fascinating PR Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

As an entrepreneur/marketer, you know how much public relations can help grow your business. You have probably partnered with an agency, researched its value adds and contemplated its ROI. And you’ve leveraged content marketing, press releases, and media relations. But did you know PR also has a rich, colorful history full of insightful stories that we can all learn from, even today? Without further ado, here are 12 fun and fascinating PR facts: 

Once Upon a Time…

1. It Started with Cave Art: PR goes back to the earliest days of civilization. From communicating through cave drawings to Egyptian pharaohs’ “sacred carvings” and Greek noblemen learning rhetoric from sophists, communications management is an age-old practice. (Source: The Museum of Public Relations)

2. First PR Book: Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack is one of the earliest known examples of content marketing. This annual publication sold thousands of copies each year, generating incredible demand for the printing and paper business that Franklin owned. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)

3. First PR Agency: Modern PR dates to 1900, when the first public relations agency, “The Publicity Bureau,” was founded by former Boston journalists. The agency operated for “some 12 years before it disappeared into the sands of oblivion.” However, PR continued to grow throughout the early 1900s thanks to popular pioneers such as Ivy Lee and Edward Bernays (we’ll get back to them later). (Source: Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly)

4. Building Trust During the Great Depression: The Great Depression touched every aspect of American life – including the communications business. Due to the economic downturn, companies primarily sought to build trust rather than sell products. The result? Most turned to PR over marketing, with PR even getting top billing on organizational charts! Advertising spending, meanwhile, plunged by more than 60 percent between 1929-1933 and would not fully recover until after World War II. (Source: MuckRack; Encyclopedia.com)

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5 Ways Inbound Marketing Stands Apart from Traditional Marketing

Once upon a time, marketers focused on buying advertisements, mailing postcards, and making telemarketing calls. But people's behaviors have changed, and the traditional marketing playbook must change with them. While cold calls once netted enormous volumes of leads, today more than 235 million Americans are registered on the FTC's "Do Not Call" list. And that glossy flier you sent to your loyal customers? It won't even reach half of them, as 58% of direct mail recipients never read, or even scan, their mailers.  

What’s a marketer or entrepreneur to do?  

Some of this may seem bleak, but there’s good news – and it’s called inbound marketing. This holistic, data-motivated approach cuts costs, builds higher trust and credibility, and generates quality traffic and leads. Sounds too good to be true?  

Here are 5 ways inbound marketing stands apart from traditional marketing:

1. Quality Over Quantity

With the average person seeing 6,000-10,000 advertisement messages each day, it’s no wonder we’re starting to tune them out. So how can marketers get our attention? It begins with crafting quality content. As HubSpot writes, inbound marketing attracts customers by “creating valuable content and experiences… they are looking for and solving problems they already have.” While traditional marketing is all about what you want to say, inbound marketing focuses on what your customers want to hear. Consider your last major purchase, such as a new car. Did you choose the car with the best commercial? Or, like 88% of Americans, did you research specific questions before deciding? If you answered “research,” inbound marketing materials likely helped you make your choice. 

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7 Strategic Value Adds of PR Agencies

Are you a company or an entrepreneur who's just not at all sure if a PR/Marketing agency can truly help your business? Not sure if it's really worth your time or investment?

Last month, SKC outlined why engaging with a PR firm is smart business. This month, we're diving deeper and exploring how public relations and marketing specialists add strategic value to any endeavor. From counseling management to uncovering your core story to generating investor interest, here are 7 ways we can strengthen your business:

1. Insider Expertise, Outsider Perspective

A common perception is that PR and marketing teams simply write press releases and social media posts. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although it's a given your agency partner must excel in writing, one of the biggest value adds is providing a fresh perspective on your business. Agencies can analyze various facets of your company -- from what makes you unique, to your strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities for growth. But perhaps most importantly, agencies can then act on these analyses with strategy and execution that deliver success. Everything we do -- yes, including press releases and social media posts -- stems from this strategic business analysis.

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7 Reasons to Partner with a PR Agency in 2021

What a difference a year makes! With 2020 in the rearview mirror, is it wise to predict what the next year holds? Our team thinks it’s worth a shot.

While "change” might still be the name of the game, 2021 already looks full of possibilities. As COVID-19 vaccines roll out around the world, the economy bounces back, and there’s a bit more hope in the air, it’s time to recalibrate and adapt your company’s goals and grand plans. We might be a little biased, but we truly believe that now, perhaps more than ever, is the time to partner with a communications agency to be successful in a brave new world.

You might be asking, “but why should I partner with an agency?”

Ahh, we're glad you asked. This is the question that most C-suite executives have to ponder at some point in time. Before we dive into how an agency partner can help with the latest and greatest in the coming year, here are 7 reasons why engaging with a PR firm is smart business in general.

1. Reap the Benefits of Experience

When partnering with a PR agency, you’re working with an entire team of experts who know about, and anticipate, all the twists and turns in the road, and the best ways to navigate them. Leaning on the experience of an agency elevates your business by supplying the know-how you need to handle any PR opportunity that comes your way. In many cases, it’s also incredibly valuable to get another—more specifically, outside—perspective on your brand and business

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Overwhelmed No More – PR & Marketing in 2 Steps

It’s 3 in the morning. You’re wide awake and your mind is besieged. Your competitor just sent out a new funding press release. How do you match that? Why is it so hard to reach the right investors? The right customers? Your team throws ideas at you. Dazzle with 3D presentations. We better be everywhere – on TV, on TechCrunch, on Facebook, LinkedIn, at tradeshows, everywhere! And don’t forget blogs, white papers, case studies, and email campaigns! And on and on and on.

It’s now 4am and sleep eludes you. You’re overwhelmed. Why are PR and marketing such enigmas? You know you need it to truly grow and attract investors and customers. But how? Where do you start? To think you once thought asking Rita to the prom was the toughest thing you ever did.

Sure, PR and marketing may feel daunting. But we’re here to say it doesn’t have to be. Take a deep breath, let go of everything you think you have to do. Instead, focus on just two steps that will make all the difference: First, build your foundation, and second, build your house.

This is what we mean:

1. Build Your Foundation, aka Build Your Story

A solid foundation ensures your company stands strong while forces around you wreak havoc. The secret to PR/marketing success boils down to this: know thyself. Who are you? Who should care? What can you offer?

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5 Reasons Why You Should Care More About PR & Marketing

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two -- and only two -- basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” – Peter Drucker

For far too many companies today, the main focus is on engineering and product development. This laser focus bodes well for creating breakthrough innovations. And while these products may indeed change the world as we know it, without marketing and PR, no one will ever know about them. This gives companies with better PR and marketing, but not necessarily better products, a competitive edge.

If you’re not convinced, here are 5 reasons why you should care more about PR and marketing:

1. Stand Out or Fade Out

First up is the debilitating syndrome called “failure to communicate.” Many companies hunker down and release seriously powerful products that surpass their competitors — something that would really make them stand out – but blow it because they do not communicate their message in clear, concise and compelling fashion. They simply bleed to death through their failure to market themselves and their products. Many companies sell razors, but Dollar Shave Club stands out in a crowded market with a clear, concise and compelling message—“An Amazing Shave for a Few Bucks.” Stand out, don’t fade out.

2. Establish Your Industry Leadership or Someone Else Will

Have you ever seen a keynote speaker and wonder what they have that you don’t? You have more experience or have made bigger strides in your industry, so why weren’t you invited on stage? Chances are these speakers are seen as industry/thought leaders. When computers were just giant machines in building basements, consider Bill Gates’ and his vision to “have a computer in every home.” Elon Musk’s promise that “we will not stop until every car is electric” pivoted the world in profound ways. Both had established thought leadership in their industries. A good thought leadership program—with speaking opportunities, contributed articles, guest posts etc.—can go a long way to getting you that keynote role, and to paving the way for your company and products to dominate your industry.

3. Earn Credibility, or Risk Skepticism

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How PR Changed the Lives of These 4 Startups

You’re proud of your startup, and rightly so! Building a startup is no mean feat and you want to share your company with the world. As a new company looking at the giants monopolizing your industry, this can be daunting. But a good dose of PR and marketing can give you the leg up you need.

Even the big guys rely on PR. As Bill Gates said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” Not convinced it’ll work for your startup? Just take a look around! Many startups get their foot in the door for new customers and potential investors by leveraging proven public relations and marketing strategies.

Here are 4 examples of how PR changed the lives of these startups for the better:

1. TrustGo: Executing a Multi-Prong Campaign

In a crowded mobile security market, TrustGo relied on SKC’s PR prowess to put together a multi-prong campaign that led to a dramatic spike in app downloads. Additionally, the spike in media attention and coverage led to heightened interest and overtures from bigger publicly-listed companies, eventually leading to an acquisition by Baidu, the “Google of China”! As part of the campaign, we focused our PR muscles on a tenacious media outreach program and also leveraged content marketing in the form of the Quarterly TrustGo Mobile Mayhem Report. Our case study shares how we did it.

2. Zoom.ai: Zooming in on Being a Problem Solver in Eyes of Media

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6 Hard Truths About PR

We hear you. The marketplace is brutal. Customers are fickle. Competitors are breathing down your neck. And worse, some prospects have never even heard of you! You need positive press coverage and brand awareness yesterday — there’s simply no time to wait.

We wish we could come in and magically wave a wand to get you some visibility right now. But, unfortunately, public relations doesn’t work this way. PR, like so many other business processes, rewards the companies who approach it with preparation, commitment and time.

Getting rid of misconceptions and myths — and facing these 6 hard truths about PR — will help you gain traction and take advantage of all it has to offer.

 

Truth #1: PR Takes Time

Effective PR takes time. Like the sales process and growing a pipeline, PR is something we can’t do one day and walk away from the next. Companies in the know start by building a solid messaging and story foundation, creating quality content and relevant news angles, and cultivating the right audiences. This takes ongoing commitment and a regular sharing of your story in a variety of interesting ways to achieve PR success. The best results come to the companies who stick with it.

 

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14 Reasons Why Companies Embrace PR

When Steve Jobs received his first big investment for Apple – $250,000 from angel investor Mark Markkula — it was meant for the development of the new Apple II product, the first major Apple product to hit the masses. However, before he started investing in new hardware, Jobs hired the best PR professional in Silicon Valley, Regis McKenna. Jobs knew before he could focus on building the products that would launch his company that he needed to have a PR plan in place.

Jobs embraced PR, and so do Richard Branson and Bill Gates. How about you? In fact, Gates once said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” And these business titans aren’t alone in their fervent faith in PR. Many executives from companies feel the same.

Here are 14 reasons why:

 

1. Master Your Message

If you don't tell your story, others will tell it for you. Avoid negative or misleading press by presenting the best version of yourself with public relations.

2. Differentiate Yourself

With so many products and services out there now, it is far too easy for customers to get overwhelmed. Good PR programs can make you stand out from the pack. As Seth Godin says, “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.”

3. Create Buzz (and Adoration)

Do you have a product coming out? Start building that fan and customer base by influencing the influencers. Stoke that excitement with social media, bloggers, journalists, grant interviews, offer reviews and you’ll see awareness evolve to adoration.

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