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Top 10 Ways to Use LinkedIn for PR


LinkedIn has made its name as the online hub for finding a job or networking with industry peers. What most people don’t know is its incredible ability to generate publicity for your company or your event. LinkedIn has more than 200 million users, including the journalists and bloggers who can produce stories about your newsworthy activities, and quote you as an industry leader. Read through our 10 ways to better use LinkedIn as an effective tool for earned media placements, and more!

1. Research Appropriate Media Targets 
Look up the media contact you’d like to connect with and learn: where they worked previously, the awards they’ve won, where they went to school, which LinkedIn Groups they’ve joined, etc. Get insight on LinkedIn that can help you to make a stronger pitch through traditional email channels

2. Make Connections
Once you have had an offline conversation with a journalist or blogger, it is fair game to send an invitation to “connect” with them through LinkedIn. Once connected, be careful about which pitches to send them; think of LinkedIn as a private “nudge” to a personal contact that should only be used when you have the perfect story for them.

3. Ask a Friend to Pitch for You
LinkedIn’s core purpose is to make connections – either with people you know or people you want to know. If you’re seeking to connect with a journalist, you can request a LinkedIn connection to make the introduction. What’s better than a friend making the pitch on your behalf?

4. Post Educational, Topical Blogs 
Write educational, topical blog posts that reference the news that you’d like to promote. Post these blogs on your company webpage, with a LinkedIn “Share” button attached to the blog. If you like, you can subscribe to LinkedIn’s RSS feed, so that your company webpage blog posts will automatically show up as status updates to your company LinkedIn profile. We do recommend posting only the best of these blog posts so that your followers aren’t bombarded with updates. Be careful to educate; don’t pitch.

Tip: Blogs set you up as an expert in your industry, making you more attractive for journalists to ask for a quote in the industry stories they are writing.

5. Utilize LinkedIn Today
LinkedIn’s online magazine, LinkedIn Today, has millions of readers that could help you and your company be seen as a thought leader. Email the educational, topical blog posts that you created in step 4 for consideration of this valuable placement.

6. Ask for Recommendations on Your Product 
Like a company testimonial page, LinkedIn has a “recommendations” section. Don’t be shy, reach out to customers who are telling you on the phone and email how much they like your products or service. See if they would be willing to share their love on LinkedIn. Cultivate quotes from the widest variety of customer industries in order to make their quotes more useful for journalists and bloggers.

7. List Company Spokespeople as “Guest Possibilities” on your company product page 
Broadcast media producers, print journalists and even bloggers are always looking for great sources to quote for their stories. Make it easy for them to find the right people to quote by listing them, along with a short description on the area of expertise on your page. Don’t forget to link to their LinkedIn profile as well!

8. Start a Conversation with “Mentions” 
In your status update, start typing the name of the media or industry connection you’d like to draw the attention to. Put a link to your press release or online article that you want to talk about in the status update. The media contact you have connected with is informed in real time that they have been “mentioned” and a response will be much more likely than with an email.

Note: do this sparingly so you don’t spam them.

9. Create/Participate in Groups 
They say it’s easier to attract bees with honey than with vinegar, so why not attract more media contacts and bloggers by creating groups! Begin hosting discussions relevant to their beat and topic of interest, and participate in groups already in vibrant discussions. If you post relevant, helpful content you could watch your “connection requests” skyrocket.

Bonus: You can get ideas from topics and questions that come up over and over again in your industry as potential story ideas for future blogs and press releases.

10. Poll Your Groups and Followers 
Polls in groups let you to ask members in the group a question, and list up to 5 answer choices for members to vote on. It’s a fantastic way to gather data for a future press release! Try asking the question and then write, “in comments please tell us why you feel this way.”

Tip: To create a poll in a group from the group’s “Discussions” tab, click “Poll” next to the “Start a Discussion” section. Type your question in the “Ask a Question” box. Specify up to 5 answers for the group to choose from. Additional boxes will appear after you enter your first choice.

Are you looking for more thorough help utilizing LinkedIn for PR? We’d love to talk you through your plan and strategy. Shoot us an email or call (800) 838-3006 (Option 5).

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How to get press coverage for your business or event


Have you ever picked up the newspaper and wondered how a business received press coverage? Always felt like press was out of your scope? Good news: it’s not as hard as you may think! As long as you know how to tell your story and who to tell your story to, you’re on a path to publicity. Here are three simple steps and tips to get started.

1. Create your target media list
Before you begin reaching out to press, it’s important to build a targeted media list for more purposeful communications.

  • Build a publication wish list. Include radio, television, newspaper, magazine, and blog publications you’d like to be in. Think about what your customers read or watch and make note of those.
  • Build a list of reporters you find in those publications who are writing stories that are related to you.
  • Make note of the angles and themes being discussed in those publications. This will help shape your release.

2. Tell your news story

  • Evaluate your cause. What makes you different from the rest? Your answer will be your news hook.
  • Write your press release in old school 5 W’s style, the who, what, when, where, and why, to cover all of your points.
  • Support your story with specific, measurable facts to prove your point to make your press release stronger. Avoid generalities.
  • Write a creative, newsworthy headline in eight words or less. This step is critical. If it’s not intriguing, they may never open the email in the first place!

3. Pitch your news story

  • When you are ready to send your story, put your release in thebody of the email, not as an attachment. Many computers won’t allow attachments to be opened. We don’t want your efforts to be wasted!
  • Send a short, personalized pitch letter to each journalist on your list with your press release.
  • Schedule your press around other news worthy dates. Holidays are a great place to start.
  • If possible, send your release in advance. The more time you give the reporter, the easier it will be to land the pitch.
  • If you have a phone number, you may call the journalist the next day to see if they received your release and to answer any questions. If the journalist is not interested, politely thank them and hang up. If you do not have a phone number, folow up by email after a week or two.
  • Avoid spamming. Press releases and press “pitches” need to be tailored to the specific reporter receiving them. Take the time.

Good luck and remember to be patient. It’s unlikely for a story to be placed on the same day you send the release. Sometimes they will use it when it fits into their schedule, but that could be months down the road. Lastly, remember to keep your relationships positive. A reporter might not pick up your story today, but they might in the future!

Looking for an example? Click here.

For additional help with PR and pitching, send our PR cognoscente, Barb Morgen, an email at:, and she’ll be happy to help you!

In the Seattle area? Great news! Barb will be hosting a FREE PR workshop on how to get media to notice you on September 11th. Sign up here!

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How to use media alerts to publicize your event

Media Alerts

The event was flawless. Everything went off without a hitch. The performers were on point! The servers and bartenders performed magnificently. Everyone deemed the food divine. Every single attendee had an exceptional experience. The ones who came, anyway. You really thought you’d fill more seats. What happened?

We’ve seen this happen so many times in the past. Great event; lackluster turnout. The question becomes: How do I make sure more people know about my event? One way to achieve this is by getting local press to write a feature, or a short blurb or to list it in their show calendar.

One of the easiest and most succinct ways to get your event information to the media is through a media alert. You may be familiar with a media release (sometimes called a press release). A media alert is similar, but it spoon feeds the need-to-know facts about your event directly to writers.

Writers love media alerts because they don’t have to go searching for the information; it’s all right there in front of them. Below are key tips for writing media alerts. You can also download a handy PDF resource guide here.

Don’t forget your contact information.
Writers may need more information from you. They may need a photo. Or (if you’re lucky) they might request an interview. Make sure your name, email address, and phone number are listed at the top.

List out your event information in clear who/what/when/where/why categories.
This helps writers quickly scan for important information. Listing out your event in this way enables them to see the unique pieces of your event without having to read through a long paragraph of information.

Send your media alert via email.
Writers these days, even writers for the old-timey daily newspapers—are used to doing almost all their work via email. They’re busy; you’re busy. They’ll appreciate you making their lives easier by using email.

Do not attach anything to your email.
Attachments could mean a virus. Potentially virus-laden emails don’t get opened. Don’t send an attachment unless it’s solicited.

Write clear subject lines. 
The subject line to your email should start with “Media Alert” then a short descriptive about your event. Writers are more likely to look at an email if they know it is meant for them and not spam. For example: “Media Alert: The Rock Band to perform at Music Venue on February 1”

Download this handy, printable resource guide for more info on how to write a media alert. (PDF)

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TONIGHT in Seattle: Communicating with the Press: A Workshop for Visual Artists featuring Jen Graves

Promotion can be challenging. Whether you’re a band, club, music festival, local theater, derby league or food tour, it can be hard to stand out amongst the thousands of events and organizations that take place in any given city during any given week. Usually independent producers don’t have the cash to spend on a publicist or a spendy ad campaign so getting the attention of the media may be your only chance to get a buzz around your event.
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