Bridging Two Worlds

A conversation about online media and what it means to your organization

Archive for the ‘Media Relations’ Category

Media Relations and Social Media

Posted by AHA Creative on April 28, 2009

By Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies

There are a great many media on Twitter – for the most comprehensive list we have found check out

However, before you leap in and start pitching media on Twitter. This blog post at the Bad Pitch Blog is worth a read. Social media provides an excellent opportunity to start or join a conversation that is relevant to your organization. However, you can’t just jump in and start pushing yourself on to them – or anyone engaged online, for that matter. Like media relations, it just doesn’t work that way.

Peter Shankman of Help A Reporter Out (HARO) has a great approach to people that go off topic when participating in his (free) HARO service – if you are off topic when you pitch, he blocks you from receiving the list.

I have to say, Shankman’s crankiness about pitches ‘upped’ our game.  We have always prided ourselves on effectively pitching the media … in building good, positive relationships with journalists because we don’t send them useless information. I worked as a journalist for years and have very strong memories of bad pitches, news releases and “samples” that we received at the magazine being put in the spotlight and the PR person who sent them being mocked in front of a group of reporters. These same reporters would then file that name away as “useless” and that PR person had a hard time getting attention then …

Shankman has that kind of approach to pitches – he is ruthless and this attitude reminded us that we have an obligation to our clients to hold our pitches up to a gold standard. Here at AHA, we even half-jokingly review our pitches chanting ‘What Would Shankman Think?’

Mentioned above is the Bad Pitch Blog – it’s worth reading and gives you direct and straight forward advice about what makes a good pitch, how not to send a “green” pitch that ends up putting materials in the landfill! – and how not to take your relationship with a journalist too casually (texting a pitch? Come on!).

Social media is creating an ability to connect with journalists, with bloggers and with your community – don’t take it for granted and please, view this as an opportunity to really connect …. Not to push out information AT people, but to start or join the conversation with them. It’s a two-way street, now. Be sure and look both ways.

Posted in Media Relations, Social Media | Leave a Comment »

Interesting Article In The Washington Post

Posted by AHA Creative on September 9, 2008

Post by: Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies

The Washington Post ran an interesting article recently about companies and organizations that are blogging. It’s worth a read.

Posted in Interesting, Marketing Communications, Media Relations, Social Media, The Worldwide Connection | Leave a Comment »

Social Media And The Friendly Skies

Posted by AHA Creative on August 21, 2008

Post by: Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies

The airlines are in trouble – we all know that. Well, maybe not Southwest – who have a great blog and seem to keep their passengers if not insanely happy, at least not screaming in the aisles like most other airlines. Now, United Airlines pilots are using social media tools to air their issues and demand the removal of UAL Chairman, President and CEO Glen Tilton. 

They got the right url  and on this site, there is media coverage, reports and the opinions of the pilots themselves. They want Glen Tilton out and they are telling the public why. 

From what I can see, no one from United Airlines is responding to this website or acknowledging the issues that the pilots are putting forward, at least not publicly. This is one of the challenges of social media, when something like this happens – what do you do?

I have to be clear that I do not know the entire story from both sides. I only know what I have read and seen in the media and what this website tells me. Which, I think is a perspective that United Airlines might be missing. They may have done a great deal to work things out with the pilots, but I don’t know that, as they aren’t telling us anything.

They may be in talks with the pilots right now. For all I know, the board of directors may be asking for Glen Tilton’s resignation as I write this. That’s the problem — no one from inside the organization is letting us know what is going on. 

What if they did? What if they publicly announced that they were going to hold town hall meetings and that they were going to tape them and put them up on their intranet for employees who could not be there in person? What if they reached out to some of the pilots and and set up live panel discussions that were webcast so anyone in the company could watch the senior executive and the pilots have open, respectful and authentic discussions on what can be done to bring the two sides together? None of this would be available to anyone but employees, but what if they told the public that they were doing this … I know I would have a better perception of the people running the company.

From my perspective, United Airlines needs to wake up and smell the coffee (which is one of the few items you are not yet charged for on an airplane). The pilots have gone social media on them, they have opened their problems to the whole world. Shutting their C-Suite doors and pretending it isn’t happening, won’t do them any good.

Posted in Interesting, Internal Communications, Issues and Crisis, Media Relations, Social Media, The Worldwide Connection, Things That Make You Go hmmm... | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The New Rules of Marketing & PR

Posted by AHA Creative on August 19, 2008

Post by: Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies

The New Rules of Marketing & PR is a book worth reading. It’s by David Meerman Scott…you can check out his blog here

I was reminded of David’s work in a blog post by my friends at Beaupre. As communicators, we have this great opportunity to speak with people … news releases aren’t read just by the media anymore. On a global level, people are using search engines like Google to find the information they want and need. And – when they are searching online, it’s our job to give them what they need. Visuals – images, video, links to other information and — no more industry jargon. It’s a great time to be in this job — we get to have open, real, authentic conversations with real people. It’s exciting. And I can see how it can be scary, too. Change usually is. Do yourself a favour, buy the New Rules of Marketing & PR and read it … it will open your mind to a whole new way of doing business.

Posted in Interesting, Marketing Communications, Media Relations, Public Relations, Social Media | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »