Category Archive: media relations

Social media lessons from The Bachelorette

Whether you love it, or love to hate it, The Bachelorette is one of the most successful reality series on TV. But perhaps the only thing more entertaining than the on-screen drama is the social media drama that seems to follow contestants. As season 12 of The Bachelorette winds down, we thought it would be interesting to reflect back on lessons learned. No, not love lessons, but rather lessons you can use to build your social media following.

Promotion is everything

Robby better #TeamRoJo instagram

Brands use social media to promote their goods and services. Bachelorette contestants use social media to promote themselves. Robby Hayes is a perfect example. The Florida native has made it to tonight’s finale, in which he will either propose to JoJo or be left heartbroken in Thailand. Robby’s motives have been called into question multiple times this season. Check out his Instagram and you’ll understand why. He broke up with a long-term girlfriend just before learning he’d be a contestant on the show, he has tried his hand at modeling, and he’s constantly working on improving his image. He’s even been rumored to have paid others to promote his brand using #TeamRoJo. And while we certainly don’t recommend being quite as smarmy as Robby, his tactics certainly keep people talking.

Give the people what they want – content

Providing your audience with newsworthy and authentic content is important in today’s social media-crazed world. No Bachelorette contestant has done that better than resident villain Chad Johnson. Despite being kicked off early in the season, Chad’s bad boy persona has grown immensely on his Twitter and Instagram accounts. He has dated his fellow co-stars exes, he’s bought the domain names of other contestants and he’s created hashtags for his ridiculous insights (#Chadisms and #BadChad). His content might be crazy, but it’s exactly what people expect from the memorable contestant, and he provides it often.

Chad Twitter

Say yes to engagement

Wells Twitter

No, not the engagement we expect on tonight’s finale—the social media engagement! Responding to and interacting with followers is important to building a brand. Making them feel like part of a community is essential to growing that community. We can think of no two contestants that have been better at interacting with their fans than Wells Adams and James Taylor. Both adorable underdogs of the season utilize their social media to engage their followers. Whether it’s Wells’ drunken Snapchat stories as he watches The Bachelorette on Monday nights, or James Taylor’s hometown concert contest, they reach out to fans like no other. Any brand would do well to borrow from their tactics when connecting with followers.

James Taylor Insta - interaction with fans

We know we can’t wait to see who is “the one” for JoJo on tonight’s finale —and we can’t wait to put some of these social media strategies to the test.

Online reading: Changing the way we think

In today’s society, it’s getting easier and easier to reach for our phones and tablets to read the latest news story, article or book. Businesses and classrooms are turning away from mail-outs and textbooks in favor of marketing emails and ebooks. But what does that mean for the way we take in information?

Digital reading Apparently, a lot. According to The Washington Post, your brain doesn’t comprehend the information you read online the same way it does in print. Digital screens seem to cause people to focus on the information they are reading at the time instead of how it fits in a broader context.

Researchers from Dartmouth College and Carnegie Mellon came up with different experiments that could compare the effects of reading on different platforms. In one experiment, a group of participants read a short story online and another group read a printout of the story. A pop quiz was given to the participants once they were done reading, and it revealed that the physical-copy readers scored better on questions requiring participants to make inferences, while digital-copy readers scored better on concrete questions about the text.

According to the researchers, the results of the experiments show that our reading comprehension is changing as it is becoming more typical to read information on a digital platform. Our thought processes may slowly be evolving so that we will have to make an effort to look at the bigger picture.

So what does that mean for PR? Even though communications professionals will likely still make use of digital tools, the study shows the key is to try and make digital audiences think more abstractly. When writing an article that is going to be consumed via screen, try to challenge yourself to put in context which will help readers think critically along with the facts of the story.

Advice for new PR and communications graduates

It’s almost unavoidable on social media this month. Tons of photos happy college graduates in caps and gowns are filling your feed.

But what kind of future awaits these new job seekers, especially those new grads looking to go into PR?PR graduates

In 2013, PR Daily published this advice for PR and communications graduates, and while much of it is still sound, we at Wellons Communications wanted to provide an update.

Here’s our take on what today’s PR graduates should know.

Writing is key.

In today’s media landscape, it’s easy to discount the old-fashioned pen and paper and chase the next social media craze. And while social media is certainly an important tool today, we agree with PR Daily here: Writing skills are essential.

Whether you’re crafting a news release, media pitch, award application, email—or yes, even web copy, a Facebook post or tweet—it’s all about being able to effectively put your ideas into words.

Agency life is a great way to gain experience.

Again, this is solid advice from PR Daily. Working in an agency gives you the opportunity to build skills in a way working for a client doesn’t always. You get to be a jack of all trades, becoming a pro at working with media, crafting social posts, planning and running events and communicating with clients.

You also have to learn to be organized and to juggle multiple projects on varied topics—all skills that will transfer to a variety of fields and positions.

Your online presence matters.

When employers look at your résumé, you want to jump off the page. One way to add depth to your job applications is to build an online portfolio. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but this is one way to share more about your style and personality with employers. Be sure to include a short summary of your work and professional interests, a link to your résumé and links to work you’ve done in internships or classes. Also, don’t forget to update this so you can be ready when the next opportunity comes.

And while you’re working on your online persona, now is a great time to give yourself a social media makeover. As fun as it is for you to live tweet The Bachelor or the NBA finals, employers might not be as interested. Have fun, but add your voice to industry topics. Also, check to make sure your privacy settings are where you want them to be—or just remove any materials you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see.

You don’t know everything.

You’re young, you’re excited and you have so many ideas. It’s hard not to get cocky about your job prospects. But just like when you went from being a senior in high school to a freshman in college, you’re the low man on the totem pole again.

Don’t expect to be in your dream position right away. Nearly everyone has to start from the bottom and work their way up. Also, the job world might be different than your college classes. The best way to overcome it is to stay positive, work hard and try to soak in as much as possible. You might not know everything now, but you can learn more each day.

Good luck out there, graduates!

Council of 101 Hosts Festival of Trees Media Preview

The 29th Annual Festival of Trees took place at the Orlando Museum of Art. We have had the pleasure of working with Council of 101 for several years, and it was an honor to organize their media preview kicking off the 2015 Festival of Trees event.

IMG_0444

A media preview is beneficial to any business. It can offer a promotional boost in advance of an event opening or product launch, and it gives you the opportunity to spotlight your unique angles for an audience that is equipped to spread the word far and wide.

IMG_0459

Media events rely on having not only the proper contacts, but the right approach. A specific structure is expected for a successful media event as well. We pride ourselves on our ability to help you put your best foot forward for the most appropriate audience.

IMG_0511

Many thanks to the media guests in attendance, and kudos to Council of 101 for another enchanting display! The organization has raised over $6.5 million dollars benefiting the arts, children’s programs, and the museum.

Why You Need Reviews

In an age where consumers turn to social media and the internet for so much of their buying needs, reviews are more popular than ever. Reviews bring credibility to your business. Whether it’s a book, a product or a restaurant, consumers want to buy something they can trust. According to Marketing Land, when customers see positive recommendations, they’re more likely to buy it. Reviews can help erase any doubts of potential customers, and bring peace of mind with a purchase.

90

Source: Business 2 Community

Besides the obvious benefit to consumers, reviews can help improve social media for a business by generating content.

Perhaps most importantly, from a business perspective, the word of mouth marketing effort will increase sales. As the graph above shows, reading reviews influences buyer decision. Many consumers read reviews before making purchasing decision. Reviews lead to more sales.

has-reading-online-reviews-impacted-your buying decision
Source: Marketing Land

Turn to a team that knows how to get reviews in digital and traditional media, Wellons Communications.

Binge Watching: A Sign of Changing Media Times

We’ve all done it. Watched hours on end of a show discovered on Netflix that we’re obsessed with and we need to know what happens next.

binge watching

Mornings turn into evenings, which turning into mornings again. Another day spent streaming.

Ah yes, this is now the modern-day practice for the younger crowd who typically don’t work full time and have varying schedules with classes.

Now that summer is over, will people stop their streaming habits?

Not likely.

This trend in streaming and quickly digesting television shows and movies also points to our cultural demand to have information at our fingertips at all times. Is this a new challenge for marketers across all channels?

Most definitely.

American teens spend 55% of their viewing time on tablets, laptops and smartphones. In contrast, adults age 45 and over spend half their time viewing via regular TVs.Viewing

Video on demand subscription services are growing too, with 87% of people subscribing to Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Go or HBO Now.

Streaming is now the norm, over traditional show viewing such as cable television, because people don’t have to wait a week or a season to find out what happened to a beloved character on their favorite show.

And when you’re done with one show, you can immediately start with the next.

All you have to do is click “play” or let the countdown end.

With every form of entertainment at our disposal 24/7, individuals have become their own editors for entertainment and news. It’s not likely to end anytime soon.

netflix

Domino’s: Using digital and social media to change the way we order pizza

Domino’s latest ad has the usual big brand flair of celebrities, bright colors and social media. Richard Sherman tweets a pizza emoji, Eva Longoria orders a pizza from her TV remote, Sarah Hyland texts the pizza emoji to place her order and Clark Gregg orders with his smartwatch. In short, Domino’s wants to change the way we order pizza.

dominos logo

While fans have been able to order via phone and through Domino’s website for some time, they can now order through Twitter, Samsung Smart TV, Pebble or Android Wear smartwatch apps, the Ford SYNC AppLink and through voice ordering via a smartphone. Even the pizza emoji can be texted to DPIZZA (374992) to complete an “Easy Order.”

Pizza emoji

This marketing move, coined as “AnyWare” ordering is set to rival Pizza Hut, who has more digital awareness than Domino’s. These new ordering capabilities have secured Domino’s brand association with smartphones and social media ordering.

This new form of ordering is set to take a hold on brands everywhere. The average millennial checks their mobile device 43 times per day. Millenials also value brands that have positive social interactions. These statistics are growing by the day, and with Domino’s new way of ordering pizza, the use of social media and digital media devices is sure to continue to rise.

The Importance of the Press Release

As communications veer ever-toward the digital, you may find yourself wondering, “Do I really need traditional public relations? What value is there in an ‘old-fashioned’ press release?”

Let us ask you this, are you more likely to believe it when a stranger says, “I’m the best Hula Hooper in the world,” or when the New York Times writes an article saying, “Stranger is the best Hula Hooper in the world”?

Getting the news about your company published by a third party gives your story credibility, but how do you get your story to the media?

Press releases.

According to the 2014 Business Wire Media Survey, 90 percent of journalists used a press release within the last week and 80 percent turn to a company’s newsroom (where your old press releases should be posted) when researching an organization.

90 percent of journalists used a press release within the last week

Photo via Business Wire.

Not only do you have to write the press release and get it to the right contacts within the correct outlets, but more than half (54%) of surveyed journalists were more likely to review a press release that includes multimedia than one that does not. With such a strong bias by the media for releases that contain images, it is important to note which multimedia elements are preferred.

journalists like multimedia in their press releases

Photo via Business Wire

Photographs (73%) lead the way, with graphics (43%), infographics (32%) and video (27%) also following closely behind.

Journalists like photographs the most.

Photo via Business Wire.

Once your press release goes out to the appropriate media, it should be available within your organizations’ online newsroom. Press releases (88%) remain one of the most sought after content types within a newsroom and 52% of journalists asking for at least one to five years of past press releases and 27% preferring the complete historical archive, according to the Business Wire report.

Journalists research organizations using the company's online press room.

Photo via Business Wire.

The power of the press release is that it is the most valuable tool you can give to journalists, the gatekeepers of the media. You know that your organization is newsworthy; press releases are the way to get it out there.

And guess what? Press releases are one of the most traditional pieces of public relations.

In the News business, you get what you pay for

Back in the day, gossip rags and celebrity media were frowned upon as second-tier. In the new age of citizen journalists, bloggers and a shrinking traditional media – the celebrity press is acting like the leaders of the pack.

All hail TMZ – the entertainment medium is the industry standard in breaking stories that people actually talk about and share on social media.TMZ exclusively released the audio tape of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling sharing his feelings about who should attend basketball games for his NBA team.  This led quickly to Sterling’s banishment by the NBA.

Then, the media company followed that up with the release of the elevator fight seen around the world between Beyonce’s sister Solange and rapper Jay Z.

These are just two examples of TMZ lapping the field in “talkable’’ stories. Of course, they do come with a price. The company pays big dollars for quality content that will raise their brand above the competition.

What can normal businesses take from the TMZ model? To start with, it shows that quality stories may very well be worth the investment; and it does not hurt if that content has star appeal, either.

Building your brand one step at a time

Marketing agencies like to tout their wins for big companies. We applaud those wins, for we know how hard they are to garner.

Yet, what about small companies? Don’t they deserve the same services as the big firms? Emphatically we say yes!

Sometimes when you’re a small company just trying to make your way in the world you have to start somewhere. That somewhere might be a single press release, or media pitching, or social media campaign.

We have had the privilege of working with national companies in multiple markets.  Our firm takes an equal amount of pride in the work we do to promote smaller businesses. We are happy to provide project work – a single press release if needed – to bring companies the publicity and business they richly deserve.

In just the past few months we’ve announced restaurant openings, worked with dance companies, app developers, window shade manufacturers, and even horse farms to help promote small business owners.

We’d love to tell your story!  Reach out to us at 407.339.0879 or emailmystory@wellonscommunications.com to discuss your PR potential.