A key method of expanding clients’ visibility is pitching their expertise, products and successes to media outlets. Whether a pitch offers clients to provide expert commentary for a news piece or positions them as worthy subjects for a feature story, success in securing media coverage can bolster clients’ credibility and reputation in their communities.
The media relations team at MassMedia takes pride in specifically targeting pitches to play into the news cycle and appeal to reporters’ individual beats. We recognize that reporters are constantly busy with pursuing stories, which is why we focus on providing news-worthy and informative pitches that entices outlets to pursue positive coverage of our clients.
Developing successful pitching strategies takes time and patience, but we have provided a list of 11 tips that can help along the way.
Pitch to outlets that care
Instead of simply distributing pitches in an email blast, identify which outlets and reporters cover related subject matter and are likely to take interest. Even if they don’t jump on a particular pitch, they might remember the client as a useful source down the road.
Distribute real-time pitches – and quickly
If current news items relate to clients directly, or fall into their realms of expertise, that’s a great opportunity to offer clients to comment for news stories. It’s imperative to pitch reporters quickly, though – before they finish their stories and no longer need to find sources.
Pitch a story, not an ad
There’s a fine line between a pitch that offers a juicy story hook and one that is an obvious grab for free advertising. Be sure that a pitch includes a clear story angle that both relates to the client and raises ideas or issues that are interesting to the public.
It’s one thing to say a trend is happening, and another to back it up with hard statistics. It strengthens a pitch to reference a study or report that backs up any claims or issues being discussed, and can provide a news hook, too.
Keep pitches short
Reporters are busy people, and just the sight of a full-page pitch can deter them from reading it at all. Keep pitches concise and easy to read.
Don’t give too much away
A pitch should contain enough information about an issue or topic to intrigue a reporter to learn more and request an interview. Beware of providing so many details that the reporter can write a story with the pitch alone.
Avoid pitching for negative news
Avoid pitching a client to comment on a negative news story, unless it affects the client directly. Chasing after a mention in a disturbing story can appear insensitive, and it isn’t ideal to link a client to a negative issue.
Time pitches according to the news cycle
Be cognizant of breaking news when sending out a pitch, to ensure it doesn’t get ignored during breaking news. News outlets aren’t likely to pay attention to a feature story pitch, for instance, when a serious crime story is unfolding.
Make follow-up calls
Sometimes emails get overlooked or reporters just get distracted. It’s important to call reporters to confirm they received a pitch and offer any additional information that could interest them in a client.
Pitch in person
The best way to get a message heard is to explain it to a reporter face-to-face. Try to schedule regular meetings with reporters to discuss clients and story ideas, as well as why they are good fits for that outlet.
Thank the reporter
It helps bolster relationships with reporters to show their hard work is appreciated. Be sure to thank reporters for interviewing clients and praise them for well reported stories.
As one of the most common tools for reaching reporters and editors, press releases often play a significant role in most companies’ media relations outreach efforts. If written and distributed correctly, press releases can provide reporters with many of the resources they need to develop thought-provoking stories that highlight a client’s new products, services or announcements. However, an improperly written release can seriously damage a company’s reputation among key media influencers.
At MassMedia, we take pride in conveying our clients’ news through thoughtfully crafted press releases. We recognize the fact that reporters and editors receive a flood of these releases every day from companies seeking positive coverage. This is why we work so hard to deliver eye-catching press releases designed to provide media outlets with accurate, comprehensive and newsworthy content that generates meaningful coverage for our clients.
Honing one’s writing skills takes time and determination, but we have compiled a list of six helpful tips to help you along the way.
1. Start with a strong lead
The first sentence of your release should contain the most important information. Much like journalists, media relations professionals should always use the inverted pyramid style of writing, positioning the most newsworthy information at the top of the release. If you bury key facts in the later paragraphs, most recipients will never see the information. Use the first few paragraphs to tell reporters why they should care about the story.
2. Brush up on your AP Style
If you don’t own an Associated Press Stylebook buy one immediately. Better yet, purchase a subscription to the AP’s online Stylebook, which offers frequent updates and an extremely useful search function. Most journalists have been trained in this style of writing, and they appreciate receiving materials that conform to AP style guidelines.
If your release is well written and follows AP style, it simply makes life easier for reporters. If necessary, they can pull content directly from the release without having to make significant edits. While it may seem overwhelming at first, learning the AP’s writing guidelines will almost certainly bolster the effectiveness of your releases.
3. Avoid generic quotes
Quotes are meant to convey emotion, which serves as a powerful tool in any form of writing. However, many releases contain quotes loaded with boilerplate corporate jargon that does little to underscore the message. Work with your clients to include powerful quotes that will resonate with reporters and editors. Avoid using generic quotes that typically start with the words, “We are proud to announce.”
4. Know your audience
Always keep your audience in mind when crafting a press release. Prior to writing a release, develop a list of potential recipients and identify their assigned coverage topics and interests. In many cases, creating multiple versions of a release to meet the needs of specific media outlets can improve your chances of success. For instance, a release targeting industry trade publications may include more detailed information about a specific product or service, while a release targeting daily news outlets may require a more simplified explanation to reach a broader audience.
5. Edit, edit, edit
There are few things more embarrassing than sending out an important press release that contains a serious error. After giving it two thorough rounds of editing yourself, I would recommend having at least two others read and scrutinize the release. Make sure you’re checking for AP style, typos and grammar. It’s also important to make the release as concise as possible. If a sentence or paragraph does not add anything to the release, it should be omitted.
6. Don’t forget the pitch!
Even the best releases can fall flat without a strong pitch to support the information. Generally sent via email along with a release, the pitch should concisely tell reporters about the story and why it is relevant for their readers, viewers or listeners. This is also an opportunity to offer one-on-one interviews and provide links to content with additional information about the story. It is always best to personalize pitches for individual reporters based on their interests and assigned beats. It’s a small touch, but often makes a huge difference.
Working at MassMedia means commitment. It’s a commitment to our clients, our craft, and each other, and it’s that commitment that makes the job so addictive.
Work starts at 8am and goes until 5pm, but those are just our primary operating hours. Every day employees start work much earlier and stay into the long hours of the night. We constantly strive for success, and if that means showing up across town for a 4:30am television interview, or ordering a pizza and brainstorming an advertising campaign at 10:30pm, then it’s what we do. At the end of the day, our goal is always to deliver the best possible results, and every employee is committed to that goal.
Long hours and a commitment to excellence may describe our work ethic, but that’s not the whole picture of working at MassMedia. Employee life, in and out of the office, is essential to how we do things. And overall, employee life is great.
Every morning the entire agency comes together for our “What’s Happening” meeting. This meeting allows everyone to discuss world news, life events, the exciting marketing campaigns we’re working on and to celebrate recent press coverage for our clients. Every meeting is filled with positive projects and noteworthy news, and gets everyone in a fantastic mood for the day.
The fun doesn’t end with the morning meetings. Throughout the day laughter can be heard throughout the building, and at any given time the team is collaborating and brainstorming new media pitches, creative concepts and social media ideas. By the end of the work day every employee has had the opportunity to catch up with coworkers and learn about new agency projects, keeping friendships alive, the work exciting and every employee thinking about new ideas they can bring to their clients.
The life of a MassMedia employee isn’t always about work. We make sure to have fun, and this comes through in all of our extra-curricular activities. Whether it’s dressing up for Star Wars Day (May 4th), going a little overboard on National Donut Day (June 7th), or having an agency-wide painting party to add some ambience to the office, we make sure to keep the workweek fresh and our coworkers smiling. And don’t forget our victories – wrapping up a successful commercial shoot or pitch has often resulted in a full-scale dance party in the conference room. And the MassMedia team has some pretty outstanding dancers!
There’s a sense of camaraderie rarely seen at other agencies, or other workplaces in general, that gives MassMedia its core characteristics. We work by our core values, and we live like a team. No matter what the challenge, without a doubt MassMedia’s dedicated staff will come together to find a creative solution, and we’re going to have a blast doing it! This is our life every day, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
When you sit at your desk for long periods of time at the office, like me you probably struggle to stay energized throughout the day. It takes some practice, but there are changes you can make to your everyday routine to make the most of it, and I’m here to help with these six simple tips!
1) Always start your day off right by eating a well-balanced breakfast.
If you don’t have time to prepare it in the mornings, take time out the night before to prepare something simple. Remember that eating a well-balanced breakfast helps jumpstart your metabolism, which gives you more energy throughout the day and helps prevent over-indulging at lunch. Not to mention, the amount of money you’ll save in the long run!
2) Pack little, healthy snacks!
Once you’ve reached the office, the time between breakfast and lunch can be quite long. Sometimes you get caught up in meetings, and possibly run past your lunch break. That’s why snacks are life savers!
3) Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day.
Drinking enough water helps keep your cells hydrated, which makes them work more efficiently, thus keeping your metabolism working like it should.
Now that your diet’s in check, let’s talk about your office habits…
4) When sitting down, sit down correctly.
That means: don’t slouch and posture up! If you find your back starts hurting, take a couple minutes to walk around the office or to stretch it out.
5) Track your activity daily, get a pedometer!
Recent studies have shown that a pedometer, a device that measures the amount of steps you take, motivates an individual to move during long periods of time of inactivity. If you can’t buy one, download a free app on your phone.
6) Get into a routine.
For example, every hour on the hour take a lap around the office. Or you can do a couple different exercises like squats or lunges, whatever! Basically, anything that gets you moving is good.
A healthy diet and daily activity can boost your energy level and help you stay productive throughout the day. Start with a couple tips at a time and before long, you’ll be reaping the rewards and want to do them all!
In today’s ever changing business world employees need an escape every so often. Every person within an organization from CEO to new-hire starts their week Monday morning and before they know it, they blink and it is Friday at 5pm. They realize on Friday they had not been able to ask the person sitting three cubicles down how their past weekend was or how their children were doing in school. This may cause a disjointed work environment, which could lead to average work and average relationships among employees.
Here at MassMedia we encourage our team to get together several times a month even if it’s just for 30 minutes at the end of the day. We feel that by bringing our whole agency together and getting to know each other, we will be able to create a great work environment and our whole agency will be more efficient. Our social committee has put together amazing office activities, besides the normal holiday party, in order to help accomplish our goal of being an agency of one. Here are a few examples:
Birthday Celebrations for the month are a great way to recognize your employees and to gather your team together. Here at MassMedia, every month we pick a day to recognize all the birthdays for that month and the team comes together to sing “Happy Birthday” and watch the candles being blown out. While the cake is being cut and passed around we all enjoy each other’s company and discuss what has been going on during the week and in our personal lives.
Random Monthly Celebrations is another great way to get your team to be social. Here at MassMedia our social committee meets and picks one or two days a month that are fun and spontaneous. For instance, June 27th is National Sunglasses day and we are all going to wear our sunglasses to work and the team can be as creative as they want with them. Other fun days we have done are May the 4th Be With You in recognition of Star Wars and National Hat Day on January 15th.
Canvas Painting Party was a fun, new idea that we started this year. On a late Friday afternoon, about a month ago, our team went to our conference room where they found several blank canvases that they could decorate however they saw fit. It was a great way to see how different members of the team collaborated on one canvas and a great way to end a week. These pieces of art are now hung around the offices for everyone to see.
Our Team Kudos Board is one of the best things done by our social committee. It is a peer-to-peer award that is drawn monthly. It is done by employees who want to recognize the hard work of other team members either on projects they are working on together or just on things they have witnessed other team members do.
We will continue to find new ways to engage our entire team and build a sense of family because we are all one team. We are not just account managers, specialists or interns. WE ARE MASSMEDIA!
You put so much effort into planning your great event, now let’s get people there!
When marketing an event, the first thing to take into consideration is the audience(s) you’d like in attendance. Often times the focus of event marketing is on the potential customer or consumer of the product or service (the point of the event). For event marketing, it is important to engage a new audience AND re-engage an existing audience. Remember to market the event to your existing base. This will help spread the enthusiasm to those who have not already bought into your product or message.
How to reach your audiences and get them to the event:
Direct Mail – Target the zip codes surrounding the event location. If there is a specific audience that you’d like to reach, it may be in your best interest to purchase a list with certain demographic information, such as gender, race, age and income level. Really think about who you’d like at your event. Make sure the direct mail piece is eye catching in a stack of junk mail. Try a postcard with a catchy headline or highlight free giveaways.
Grassroots – Host events or set up a table at your audience’s “local watering hole.” Meet your potential attendees on their turf before you ask them to join you on yours. If they’ve already had personal contact with an event marketer, they will feel more connected to the event.
Community Calendars – Many people check online community calendars for upcoming events or weekend activities. Often times these calendars are free and only take a minute or two to post an event to.
Advertising Partner – Having a radio or television advertising partner that already has a relationship with your target audience is very beneficial. Offer your partner logo placement or a profit share for their assistance in getting your message out.
Take a look at the creative department, always under tight deadlines, small budgets, understaffed and they still manage to come up with well thought out creative that blows onlookers’ minds. When working on any project, there are many thoughts running through our minds but only a few to keep the stress at bay.
1. You Can’t Rush
Sure the concepts are due in less than a week, but rushing the creative process only means that some steps will be missed, such as quality. Pull together other creative members to determine the best strategy to meet the tight deadline. Work with the account team to see if the timeline can be adjusted.
2. Don’t Burn Out
Being under tight deadlines and always under pressure to come up with top of the line creative concepts can be overwhelming. You’ll need to learn when it’s time to walk away and get rest. You may have hit a wall, and want to keep pushing but reality is, you need rest.
3. Review & Adjust
You may have finished a project and be satisfied with your hard work but put it away. Then, hours later, take another look. You may have a better idea or have missed something. Regardless, there’s always time to review and adjust.
Before presenting the finished project, review with other creative members to get their perspective. They may have information about the piece that you may not know about, such as the client’s preference on a typeface or color scheme. Teamwork is another key to creative success.
5. Be Proud
You have worked endless hours on your creative piece so stand behind it, others will follow. Be confident about the decisions you have made, it will show in the final presentation.
The corporate history of MassMedia dates back to December 1997, when former newspaper reporter and public relations professional Paula Yakubik founded the company in Las Vegas, Nevada. The company fast became a leading agency, providing corporate communication strategies to clients including Colliers International, Silver State Bank and McDonald Carano Law Firm. MassMedia was built on a trusted set of principles, in particular that clients are delivered a superior product at a fair price minus the bureaucracy of a large agency.
In 2008, the national recession hit the Las Vegas market considerably hard and MassMedia’s real estate and corporate clients were devastated. MassMedia launched a health care division to diversify its interests. By 2012, the firm had acquired notable health care clients including HealthCare Partners, Humana, HealthSouth, Sunrise HCA and Desert Radiologists. 2012 also marked the firm’s entry into a more creative advertising space for consumer clients including Freed’s Bakery, Yes Air Conditioning & Plumbing, and the Henderson International School.
Today the award-winning agency is now firmly considered a full-service advertising and public relations firm, employing more than 25 people and handling a diversified client base that spans across the nation.
What is a social habit? A social habit is the tendency to use social media sites several times a day. According to Edison research, in 2011 approximately 46 million Americans developed a social habit, by mid-2012 that number increased to 58 million Americans. Compared over time since 2008, that number has increased by nearly five-fold. But can these social media browsers turn in to customers? The short answer is, they already are.
Our habit has created a new normal, dual-screen viewing. According to the latest Nielsen statistics, 41% of tablet owners and 38% of smart phone owners use their device while watching television. This has opened up a new realm of digital marketing, dual-screen marketing. Brands can now double their impact with an effective dual screen marketing strategy. Take Heineken’s Star Player app for example. They are able to reach their global market with an app that allows users to predict the next goal, game stats, and more for UEFA sanctioned matches and rewarding users with points (see video below).
You can no longer watch a television program without seeing a corresponding hashtag displayed on the screen for viewers to live chat via social networks. Additionally, of the 52 national ads displayed during the 2013 Super Bowl, 50% included hashtags. The hashtags used in those commercials were mentioned 300,000 times on Super Bowl Sunday alone, an increase of 273% from the previous year. The most popular hashtag was Budweiser’s #Clydesdales but who can forget Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark” real-time social media ad. (Side note: If you have seen Oreo’s ad before, you were either dual-screening during the game or friends with a friend who was dual screening and saw the image through them, the power of social media.)
The question for your company now becomes, “what can social media do for you?” According to a study done by NM Incite, 66% of social media users visit their social media outlets to learn more about products and services. These users are essentially sales leads that want to know more about your offerings. Social media outlets have turned into new channels to convert leads into customers. So give the people what they want, an informative social media outlet where they can learn more about your brand. Then, if you run your social media outlets properly, you can turn your new customers into brand advocates.
As marketing professionals, it’s MassMedia’s responsibility to improve our client’s exposure to the community but one of the most rewarding aspects of joining the MassMedia team is the ability to bring our resources together to improve our community as a whole. That’s where MassMedia’s Community Integration Committee comes into play.
Throughout the year, our Community Integration team plans fundraisers and events to give back to Southern Nevada. In 2012, MassMedia employees participated in a number of creative service events like collecting school supplies for Clark County students, launching an internal recycling program and the men of MassMedia even grew beards in September to raise money for prostate cancer research. Of all the projects our team takes on, no event raises more excitement and good will than MassMedia’s Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive Competition.
In just two short weeks, MassMedia raised 12,450 non-perishable food items to benefit Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada. According to the nonprofit organization, our company’s contribution was the largest received in 2012. To accomplish this impressive goal, MassMedia broke into four teams to determine which group could gather the most canned goods for local families in need.
Dozens of local businesses, organizations and community members contributed food items and funds to make the two-week competitive food drive a success. In a matter of 48 hours, the City of Henderson filled more than 100 boxes with goods which helped restock the shelves of the food pantry at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada.
So far in 2013, MassMedia employees have made a splash in the community by participating in the Color Run Las Vegas to benefit Three Square Food Bank, sending Valentine’s Day treats to our troops overseas and collecting gently-used clothing to help people in need dress for success during job interviews.
Whether it’s through creative advertising and marketing campaigns or community involvement, MassMedia looks forward to serving Southern Nevada for many years to come. Keep an eye out for our team at events throughout the year!