Archive for November, 2009

As Seen on TV …Your Company

Would you like a TV camera (or three) at your next event? Or better yet, the opportunity to discuss an ongoing campaign, this weekend’s fundraiser or the latest and greatest product you have recently launched – live in-studio?  In this day-and-age there is a wide variety of media outlets that can get your company’s key messages across, but TV will always be the crown jewel that tops off your campaign. Why? Because TV segments offer all aspects – the multi-dimensional visuals, audio, and message content all wrapped up into one buzz-making package.

So how do you get your company in front of TV cameras? Here are some tips…

Create Eye-Appealing, Over-the-Top Visuals

TV stations aren’t going to be interested in talking heads. Meaning your company’s spokesperson with a microphone in his hand talking about his brand-new, must-have gadget isn’t going to cut it. Get creative! Get bold! Add some life to the product announcement, charity walk or store opening. Think over-the-top! Opening a new pizza shop? Get the local high school art department to create a 15-foot card board pizza pie…have your chef make the world’s largest pepperoni pizza…invite all the local schools, community groups and businesses to the wildest, craziest pizza party this town has ever seen! The sky is the limit. The more visuals, the more “never been done before,” the biggest, the brightest, the loudest…that is what TV stations like.

Lots of Money, Young Children, Cute Animals and Politicians

There are few things that TV stations just can’t resist:

–  Huge donations to a charity ($100,000 or more – at least!) can be represented in a giant check presentation, but don’t forget about the first tip listed above…add visuals!

–  Young children make for wonderful, entertaining TV segments that everybody enjoys watching. How could you resist the headline “100 Preschoolers Learn How to do the Hokey Pokey”?

–  Adorable animals (make sure they’re well behaved!) are on the same page as little kids – perfect for TV. As long as they don’t make for more of a distraction than a visual enhancement, puppies and kittens will always grab attention.

–  Politicians and dignitaries are often involved with non-profits, corporate donations and community development…and TV reporters are always interested in what they have to say. Just make sure the TV station’s agenda isn’t only to get sound bites of the politician’s opinion on proposed bills or his rumored affair with his secretary. Keep the focus on your company!

In-Studio Segments are Most Prominent

Your ultimate goal should be to arrange for your company to appear in-studio for a live segment. This will catch viewers’ attention much more than the slew of 30-second news reports that are aired in a half-hour newscast. The easiest way to capture a producer’s attention is with a pitch. A pitch is a brief letter written to interest the journalist in your story. It needn’t tell the whole story rather, serve as a “teaser” for your overall story angle. Like any other segment, be creative!

*Make sure your spokesperson is well prepared, has their speaking points memorized, and is in a fun, upbeat mood. Happiness sells!

If You Write It (Well), They Will Come

Pump up your media alerts! A media alert is written to notify assignment editors of a press conference or any other event that you believe will generate news for the media to cover. Put your writing skills to the test and always be thinking of ways to grab the reader’s attention. Big numbers, colorful descriptions and catchy phrases will help your media alert stay on top of the pile. Be short, to the point, and make sure the assignment editor can easily find the most important, basic information.

By no means, should you consider TV to be the only form of significant media coverage. Mainstream newspapers, radio talk shows, blogs, and online outlets also all carry a lot of weight when it comes to exposure.

If your company is in need of assistance, public relations agencies are available to manage all of your media outreach. If you would like to receive a free public relations consultation with our CEO Jack Berkman, he is available to discuss what BERKMAN can do for your public relations campaign and media needs. Please contact us at 619-231-9977.

You may know exactly what product/service your company provides, but what about your colleague, would she/he describe it the SAME way? And if your external audience hears both descriptions, will they hear the same thing? Will this audience understand the acronyms or buzz words you use on your Web site? Ultimately, will they believe your claims and buy your product/service over your competitor’s?

To address the concerns above, we streamline communications for our clients – to ensure corporate messages influence the right target audiences and increase revenue. At the start of a relationship with a client, we go through an in-depth strategic planning process. One of our main deliverables during this process is to create a set of key clear, consistent statements that separate and elevate our client above the rest of the market.

Below are three tips to streamline corporate messaging:

Step #1: Message Unification – Put Down the Kool-Aid

To successfully communicate your company’s message, it is imperative that all communications are unified. Everyone must be saying the same thing for the message to resonate. This cohesiveness makes it simple for external audiences – who haven’t drunk the corporate Kool-Aid — to understand why they should give you their business. This unification needs to be ever-present in all verbal and written initiatives including media interviews, Web site copy, product descriptions, press releases and more.

The more your target audience hears a message, the more likely that message will resonate and spur them to act.

Step #2: Gobbledygook Removal – Yuck!

One way to ensure the most important audiences understand your differentiation is to remove “gobbledygook” from all communication materials. Gobbledygook is defined as “wordy and generally intelligible jargon” – aka the terms that delude your message and confuse your audience. Clearly define all acronyms and pretend your audience has NEVER heard of your product before.

A great gobbledygook test is to send an acquaintance your communication collateral or direct them to your Web site, and ask them to review this content for five minutes. Following their brief assessment, ask them to tell you about your brand and product(s). See if they can do this effectively.

Step #3: Truthful Statements – It Will Set You Free

For any corporate message to successfully impact public perception, it MUST be true. Ethical, fact-based messaging is a crucial component of all successful communication programs. During our work with clients, we create a set of clear, truthful proof points that fully support their messaging. This strong foundation helps foster effective media interviews, creates an overarching positive brand perception and positively impacts their bottom-line.