Media Relations Matter

If you are anything like me, you work hard to move the needle. And I’m always looking for ways to layer on different communications tools that can effectively work within existing campaigns.  

Too many organizations and businesses keep their story inside their four walls, totally missing opportunities to expand their reach through earned media.

Why do media relations matter in the first place? Like it or hate it, media is influential in shaping public opinion. Whether you are trying to persuade elected officials or you want to tell your story to a broad audience, media can help influence on your behalf. And for the most part, media is trusted. As a trusted ally, media can help legitimize your message.

Earned media matters. Now let’s talk about the best strategy for engaging local media.

When determining the type of media you’d like to pitch, think first about whom you are trying to reach. At Targeted Persuasion, we’ve found that we get older and politically engaged segments when articles run in the daily newspaper, and we can hit a large portion of the population through the right local television station. We usually aim for the station that has the largest viewership first.

When we need to reach a younger group, we’ll seek out local influential social media stars. Based on the content and target, we will often reach out to independent print and digital news outlets. However, don’t discount the ability of your local paper and broadcast affiliates to reach younger audiences. Many of them have beefed up their social and digital presences. If you can craft a message that resonates, readers will often share with their friends further expanding your reach.

This is a very brief overview, and obviously the devil of any media outreach strategy is going to be in the details. Next week, we’ll take a more in depth look at earned media strategy and how to craft your message.

In the meantime, if you have a story that you want to tell, it’s never to soon to start the discussion. Email us today and find out how Targeted Persuasion can help.

Your campaign checklist

Whether you’re an advocacy organization working on a grassroots campaign or a business launching a new product, it’s important to have a toolbox ready to go to effectively launch your campaign. These tools working together can take your campaign to the next level. Here are just some of the items you’ll need.

1. A robust email list.

Have you been keeping a list of partners, influencers, customers, and supporters? How can you supplement your list to make sure you’re reaching everyone that cares about your product, service, or cause?

2. A well-designed website or landing page.

When people click on that email or social media link, where does it take them? You need a sleek and easy to read website where customers and supporters can quickly ascertain the benefits of your product or cause and how to purchase or contribute.

3. A follow-up plan.

Once someone had donated, purchased or participated, your communication doesn’t end there. That person needs to become a life-long customer or advocate. Do you have a follow-up plan for keeping these people engaged?

These are just some of the tools you’ll need to make your next advocacy or advertising campaign a success. To see how the complete toolbox works together, check out this case study from a real-life (and extremely successful) campaign that Targeted Persuasion ran earlier this year.

8 Tips to Create a Marketing Email

When you’re starting from scratch, writing a complete and effective marketing email can be overwhelming. We’ve compiled a list of tips to ensure that your emails are effective and engaging.

  1. Stick to the point.

Keep your email short and sweet. Only give relevant information- stay away from fluff! Your subscribers have limited time to spend reading your copy. Make sure your point comes through. What’s the goal of your email? Keep that goal in mind for every sentence you write.

  1. Provide value.

If you’re not providing something of value to your subscribers, they will unsubscribe. Who wants to get marketing emails that don’t help them at all? If you’re releasing a new product, describe how it can help them. If you’re having a sale, give details and a big link to your site. If your email doesn’t provide anything of value to your subscribers, rethink sending it until it does.

  1. Make it easy to read.

The easier your copy is to skim, the more information your subscribers will see. Try using bullet points, italics, and bold key information. Don’t go overboard here, as excessive use of bolding, italics, and underlining can do more harm than good.

Paragraph breaks will also do wonders- giant blocks of text are daunting to read, and you want eyes on your main points- so make them easy to find!

  1. Know your call to action.

You should have a clear goal for what your recipient will ideally do when they receive your email. Your call to action should be clear and visible- there should be a big button or link moving them closer to this goal.

Selling a new t-shirt? Provide a picture of the shirt and a big “buy now!” button linking to your website. The easier it is to follow through, the more recipients will do it.

  1. Personalize, if possible.

People are much more likely to read information that is addressed to them. If you have their name from a subscription list, set your email marketing service to address the email to them. (If you aren’t sure what email marketing service to use, check out our top five picks here).

  1. Control your tone.

It can be difficult for humor to come across in a text-based format, so avoid using humor or sarcasm unless you’re absolutely sure that it’s appropriate for the situation.

We know that you’re probably excited about the information you’re sharing, but avoid using too many exclamation points and excessive punctuation. It can appear unprofessional, and even hysterical, if you overuse the exclamation point. A good maximum is one exclamation point for every three sentences.

  1. Revise, revise, revise.

Once you’ve drafted your email copy, congratulate yourself. And then go back to it. Read it over. Check and double check your spelling and punctuation. Errors will appear unprofessional to your subscribers and undermine your credibility.

You’ll also want to make sure you’re sticking to your goal for the marketing email. If a paragraph doesn’t support your goal, delete it or edit it until it does.

Another tip- get someone else to read it over, or read it aloud to yourself. This way, you’ll be able to catch mistakes that you may have missed when writing it or reading it silently.

  1. Add artwork.

You’ll want to add a few well-placed, tasteful graphics appropriate to your messaging. Avoid stock photos, as some recipients may find these off-putting. Keep in mind the medium – you’ll want to avoid larger images that may inflate the size of the email too much. They should also fit well with the formatting of your email.

Hopefully our list gave you some helpful dos and don’ts for your email marketing. Good luck!