Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bloggers and Blogging Can Create Publicity for Your Book or Ministry

Authors should know that there's a gold mine online!

What's all the talk about Blogs? What's a blogosphere?

Well, it's another vehicle to "get out there."

When I coach authors, I ask them if they have a blog. Then I ask them if they even subscribe to other blogs or even read and comment on other blogs. More times than not they answer, "No. Why?"
Are you blogophobic? Are you one of those people that "don't get it" when it comes to blogging, social media and the constant internet chatter?

Whether you love or hate technology, it's something we all must deal with. And if you're in business, have a ministry or want to be noticed as an author or artist - a blog is a "must have" if you want to be relevant and extend your brand.

A blog (short for web log) is a type of website that functions as an online journal, with the most recent entry displayed first.

As recently as ten years ago, blogs didn't exist. It's estimated that there are between 50 and 100 million blog readers in the U.S. And according to blogworldexpo.com, Blog readers average 23 hours online each week.
An essential aspect of social media is the idea of staying connected and communicating with an audience. Blogs are about two-way communication - because when you write a blog entry, people can comment. Hence, blogs led the "Web 2.0" revolution!

Besides, blogging is fast, cheap and can be fun! It's a way to put your personality on display - frequently!

Nickcole Byrd, an ordained minister at Higher Dimension church in Houston, Texas and author of "The Purple Book of Success" says, "Blogging is a creative and surefire way for people to experience you, your service and or product. It allows readers to take part in my world as it relates to empowerment and leadership. As a writer it provides a canvas for me to further develop concepts and ideas for future writing endeavors. Blogging creates an infallible opportunity to leave a writing legacy."

If you already have a traditional website, you can start a separate blog. There are programs that will automatically display your blog posts on your website. Even if you already have a traditional website, you can still add content pages to your blog to make it more like a website. Nickcole Byrd creates "blogsites" for ministries. This is a blog that functions as website but is really a Wordpress blog. She can also attach the blog to a current website too. (This will increase your Search Engine Optimization automatically too.)

Byrd created Ministry Marketing Solutions' website which is really a "blogsite." She set it up and we update it without any help. No technical skills needed! That's the beauty of a blog. Anyone can do it!

Each of the entries or articles is called a "post" and the posts are usually updated once or twice a week. They are never long posts (about 300 words). Sometimes posts are lists of favorite things or links, a video from Youtube, a comment on current events or an interesting photo with a tag line.

Whatever you are passionate about, that's what you blog. Before you set up your blog, think about what you like most - do you want to write opinion, teach theology, do videos, create conversation, or just have a place share your creative content - songs, sermons, devotionals, etc. It's your blog - there are no rules!

"To connect with audiences today, you need to stop pushing your message out and start pulling your customers in with good content that spreads like a virus via social media. And there is no better tool for this than the blog, said Byrd.

"Blogging gives aspiring entrepreneurs, ministries and authors a strategic way of marketing and influencing buyer's decisions to buy their product or buy into your ideas. When you post good content, it's a key way to position yourself as an expert and thought leader. Websites give your validity online - but blogs build your brand and connects to your core audience consistently," concluded Byrd.

Make your PR stick, blog on and make it viral!

Ministry marketing pioneer, Social media strategist and PR Coach Pam Perry helps African American Christian authors garner publicity and leverage online strategies. As a 20-year PR veteran, she is also the co-author of "Synergy Energy: How to Use the Power of Partnerships to Market Your Book, Grow Your Business and Brand Your Ministry." For a free MP3 of "What Every Author Should Know," go to http://www.PamPerryPR.com. She's also the creator of the ChocolatePagesNetwork, a social network for Christian authors and the Chocolate Pages Show on Blogtalkradio. She offers free help at her blogsite: http://www.MinistryMarketingSolutions.com with her podcasts, Ezines and teleclasses.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

TV Placment Secrets & tips from Bulldog Reporter

TV Placement Secrets

Get to Know Your Local Station’s Public Affairs DirectorVolume 5, Issue 1, January 2005

“I’m shocked at how poorly PR folks pitch local TV stations,” says Akilah Monifa, director of communications at CBS 5/UPN in San Francisco. “PR people tend to pitch print media better than they do us,” she adds. “TV seems to be a mystery to them.” Monifa shares these quick tips to enlighten her PR peers, and also reveals several easy ways to score coverage on your local TV network:

1. Target the right person—get to know the assignment desk. “PR people think they’re golden if they get their information to a news director, an anchor or even a reporter,” she says. “Those people are not the primary gatekeepers at most news stations, which tend to be assignment-desk driven. In fact, a reporter is never going to see your copy. So the key is to make sure the assignment desk gets your newsworthy information in a readable format. Stories work their way upstairs from there.”

2. Puree your press releases—use email instead. “Another myth is that a pile of press releases is brought into an editorial meeting and that the best ones are discussed to help decide which stories get covered,” says Monifa. “This comes from watching too much TV—it doesn’t happen that way,” she laughs. “The truth is the assignment desk staff are the only ones who see your copy—and they usually want it via email. Include only your contact information, who you’re pitching to, what newscast or segment you think might be a good fit and what the story is. Remember that TV isn’t really an in-depth medium. They don’t want to see a lot of background. They want the facts and visuals that help tell the story. That’s it.”

3. Look behind the curtain—demystify TV with a visit to the studio. “When PR people deal with print media, they try to meet reporters over coffee or tea. But I don’t see that happening in TV. I think PR people are scared to step foot into the studio.” Her advice: “Most stations will let you sit in on a news broadcast or during the taping of a public affairs show. So call and ask to take a tour or to meet the people on the assignment desk. Just call the public affairs or corporate communications person at the outlet—we’ll introduce you. There’s no excuse for not doing this.”

4. Think “earned” media—not nightly newscast. “Public affairs shows, original local programming, sponsorships and even PSAs are all easy options for getting your message out there,” says Monifa. “But they’re all overlooked by PR people who are focused on getting past this specific producer or onto that particular news segment.” Her advice:Partner with the press. “There are a lot of media sponsorships available with your local TV station,” Monifa assures. “For example, we recently sponsored the AIDS Lifecycle Ride. They were dissatisfied with their volume of news coverage in the past, so they asked us to be a media sponsor. The result was that we created and ran PSAs for them. But we also did a live broadcast with our medical reporter from the road during the ride. They wouldn’t have gotten any coverage if they had merely sent a release. But because they partnered with us, they earned live coverage for seven days.”

She offers this suggestion: “Research what your local station is interested in with regard to sponsorships and civic or community involvement. Visit the site and click on the sponsor links. From there, approach the director of public affairs or communications. People in these positions are going to help you if you’ve done your homework and can show that your PSA or partnership is a good fit. If your station doesn’t have a public affairs director, then talk to the general manager.”

Pinpoint public affairs shows. “Most stations have at least one public affairs show,” says Monifa. “These are actually mandated by the FCC. In our case, we have half-hour public affairs shows that run in two segments on Sunday, at 8:00 a.m. and another at 6:30 p.m. The good thing about pitching these programs is that you get more exposure. For example, compare nine minutes on a panel with Jesse Jackson discussing community affairs to thirty seconds on a weekday newscast.”

Her advice: “Offer community affairs angles for your local station’s public affairs shows. Again, your best bet is to call the public affairs director or director of communications—not the newsroom.”Pitch original programming. “Most local stations also run at least some original programming, which is typically easier to [get on],” assures Monifa. “For example, we have a program called ‘Evening Magazine,’ which runs five days a week from 7:00-7:30 p.m. We’re always looking for more information and segment ideas. We also have a show called ‘The Raw Deal,’ where a consumer reporter talks about consumer issues in the Bay Area.”Her advice: “Dig deeper than the nightly newscasts. If you have a fundraiser, for example, you’ll get more play on ‘Evening Magazine.’

Similarly, our last three segments were profiles of people who survived the Japanese internments—so think outside the news box.”

In addition: “Getting onto original programming can drive wider coverage,” Monifa assures. “For example, we had Jesse Jackson and Walter Cronkite on. That got piped into the local network and then the national news.”

Monday, March 5, 2007

The Importance Of Publicity In The Music Industry

PR in Gospel Music By Phyllis Caddell-M

Music professionals recognize that a well-conceived, well-executed publicity plan is a valuable and integral part of an artist’s career schematic.

Publicity and recognition are vital for a number of reasons, not least of which is the state of competition in the music industry. It exists in every aspect of the business: the competition is stiff for radio air time, TV slots, and the public’s purchase dollar for concert tickets and recorded music.

A well-rounded publicity approach can be tremendous in cutting a path through competition. Exposure in the print and electronic (TV) media, for example, can favorably position the artist and thus enhance product sales. Similar publicity can also boost the volume of business at a recording studio or provide information that may incline an artist to sign with a particular label.

Recognition is a key element. Consumers who have only been exposed to the music of a new artist via radio, for example, are normally not that eager to go out and buy the CD. But if the same consumer has also read about the artist in their local newspaper or national magazine, they are often much more prone to make that all-important purchase decision.

Building up a “psychological imprint” of recognition and familiarity is imperative in developing a new artist. It’s also essential to the longevity of an established artist's career. Similarly, public perception that is enhanced by media exposure can help define a “great” record label or an “in” studio - separating them from the pack.

The viewpoint and insight provided by feature articles in newspapers, magazines, and TV talk show appearances play a crucial role in other ways. Information about an artist’s musical, social, spiritual, and political outlook can be of immense interest to a fan or consumer and again can lead to a buying decision.

Media exposure can also be valuable for non-performing and corporate clients. Recording artists cannot be expected to have an interest in a particular producer or songwriter unless they’ve read about the person in some way. So publicity in trade and technical publications as well as entertainment publications offers a vehicle through which people on the production side can reach their market.

To generate a significant amount of good publicity a well-crafted press release distributed to a media list will rarely be enough. That is only part of the process. Just as the salesperson cultivates a territory, for PR the environment is studied and preconditioned, the approach carefully developed. And like sales, you have to tell the consumer what you’re going to tell them, tell them what you want them to hear, and tell them what you just told them.

A message to be received under the best of all circumstances must be presented to an audience ready and willing to hear it, well stated and with enough consistency and follow-through to make certain that its impact and effects register.

In order for your publicity efforts to be consistently effective you must have the eye, ear, goodwill, and current phone numbers of media outlets.

In addition, integrity and ethics play are a major factor. No matter how bad you want to be on the cover or the featured story in a publication, never fabricate the truth or manipulate a situation to where it could be interpreted as a bribe. Ethics and integrity are rarely assumed, and the nature of the media is to be wary of those who ask for coverage. Getting around this is simple but it comes with time. Your job is made significantly easier when your ethics and integrity are beyond condemnation. This status comes from you having created relationships with the media and from building a reputation.

Information is an essential PR tool. You cannot effectively disseminate and manage information if you do not have the right information. Before embarking on an effort to publicize, you must know where and how you fit into an overall plan; what, if anything, else is being presented relative to the same subject (advertising, direct mail, promotional literature); and what, if anything, has been or is being done within your genre that might affect your publicity efforts.

Bottom line - exposure through publicity leads to increased business and revenue.

Phyllis Caddell is CEO of Pc Public Relations & Management, Inc. launched in 1995. She is the author of “Do-It-Yourself Publicity: For Those Too Cheap Or Too Broke To Hire A Publicist,” and the DIY Publicity Newsletter. For more information go to www.phylliscaddell.com

My colleague and friend. Buy her book. It's a blessing! Pam Perry


Ministry Marketing Solutions by Pam Perry, PR


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