Thursday, October 27, 2011

Evolving Media Relations

Last week I attended the Annual Media Roundtable put on by Washington Women in Public Relations. The panelists included journalists from NPR, Washington City Paper, Daily Candy, DC Magazine and the local ABC affiliate.

As a PR professional I ask myself daily, "Will a reporter find this newsworthy?" That's why it's always very helpful to hear what kinds of stories journalists are on the hunt for today, where they get their information and how they like to work with us PR people. While a lot of the discussion was standard PR do's and dont's, there were some very interesting points I made sure to jot down.

For example, the producer from ABC said that she looks for sources on Facebook, especially when she wants to talk to real people. The NPR reporter accepts all Facebook friend requests, even if she does not know the person, and sends out queries as status updates.

When it comes to what kinds of stories get covered there was a general consensus that a story has to be plain ol' interesting. But it's important to remember that every outlet is different. Some outlets only cover stories that are hyperlocal while others need a hard news hook.

The media landscape has changed drastically over the past few years and continues to do so. The NPR journalist chuckled when she told the audience that NPR used to say that they'd be fine as long as people drive. Needless to say that mentality has changed with the advent of mobile apps and online podcasts.

One more thing the panelists all agreed on: Don't send 7 page press releases. Short, sweet and to the point exploratory e-mails work best.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Creating Synergy on Facebook

By: Amanda Rich

When devising a social media strategy for a franchise concept, one of the most common questions asked is how to create synergy between the brand’s corporate page and many individual franchisee pages. This is why I found it particularly interesting to learn about Walmart’s new Facebook app “My Local Walmart.”

The world's largest retailer announced today a partnership with Facebook to offer pages specifically tailored for each of its more than 3,500 locations. These pages are designed to allow customers to interact with their local stores as well as get information on new products, events and discount offers.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

When can the rest of us implement this technology? According to one article I read, Facebook isn't currently working with other merchants to develop this localized approach because it doesn't have enough resources.

Still, this is a step in the right direction for big national brands looking to connect with consumers on a local level, yet still maintain control of the mothership. It will be interesting to see if this technology eventually gets incorporated into Facebook pages. Perhaps this is a test? Or maybe, local pages will be a paid feature offered exclusively to businesses? Just some thoughts from the peanut gallery.