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Meghan Matheny

Services You Didn’t Know a PR Agency Provided

By | Industry Perspective | No Comments

What do you imagine when someone says, “I work at a PR agency?” My clients think I’m chatting with Kathy Lee about their product, my mom thinks I’m Samantha from Sex and the City, and my college professors thought I would be drafting press releases – each has some factor in reality, but far from an actual explanation.

Public relations used to consist of account executives faxing a jargon-riddled press release to hundreds of media contacts in the hopes a story would come out of the effort. Well, it’s 2014, and now we have to incorporate social, advertising and a whole new strategy for traditional PR in order to make an impression on editors and media contacts. So, while you might still think I spend all day tweeting breaking stories to Brian Williams, there’s a lot more to working at an integrated marketing agency that my clients don’t realize.

Below are four services you didn’t know an agency could provide:

  1. Speaking and Award Opportunities. Do you ever wonder how a company makes a “best places to work” list? Many people think a group of people judge an array of companies and rank them based on certain criteria – well that’s true – but the panel of judges obtained the company information from an account executive who submitted on a company’s behalf. Awards and speaking opportunities are often a time consuming process, which require company information like financials, goals, case studies and client stories, in order to prove to the panel why that company deserves to win. Why does this help you? Depending on a company’s goal, earning a “best place to work” award can bring in new talent; while winning “best asset management solution” can drive more sales on your website.
  2. Internal Communication Strategies. Crisis communication, reputation management, boilerplates, and repositioning messaging all fall under this category. Whether it’s a startup that needs to identify the right messaging to reach their market or an enterprise is going public, internal messaging and communication is a component PR executive’s tackle. Why does this matter? Account executives consider industry knowledge and competitive research a must. As such, your PR team will evaluate competitors, keywords, and areas in which your company can fill a need, ultimately pushing you to the forefront of crucial media and influencers.
  3. Leveraging Created Content. Many companies update their blog, add press releases, share customer quotes and promote white papers on their website. These assets can be used to pitch story ideas, repurpose information from white papers, locate a vertical that may not have seemed to fit before, or provide thought-leadership type pieces. Why do you care? The content is already created, now it’s just a matter of making it fit for that media contact’s audience. Account executives have built relationships with contacts, they’ve taken the time to stay abreast on the contacts beat and preferences. Not only will a PR executive help you find the best contacts to leverage your content, but they will pitch the best angle to secure the coverage. Reaching new audiences helps you locate potential customers. And, it’s nice to get some additional life from content that your employee took the time to create.
  4. Analyst Relations. Industry research firms like Gartner, IDC and Forrester are the most well known in the business world. From forming predictions of upcoming consumer trends, to offering insight into varies business intelligent products, these firms provide a lot of value. You might know PR agencies can conduct analyst outreach, but you might now know why that matters. Well, analysts aren’t like normal media contacts. There is a certain way you need to go about engaging them to schedule briefings. So while you might pay Gartner a hefty sum from the marketing budget to leverage their insight, you might not be communicating with them effectively. How can PR help? Companies pay these firms to provide insight into cloud computing, business productivity and other information to increase revenue, because these firms have such great pool of resources. You want your business to be among the services they recommend. An account executive can schedule briefings and help you put together pertinent analyst updates like company growth, new features, product enhancements and financials, so they are fully aware of your services and more likely to recommend you to their customers.   

This is only the tip of the iceberg. In my second post, I will share more services you didn’t know your agency could offer. If you’re interested in procuring any of these benefits for your company, please contact Lindsey Groepper.

Media Mondays: Integrating PR with Paid & Owned Media

By | Industry Perspective | One Comment

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Media Mondays are back! For this upcoming Media Monday on April 14, we will show college students and recent graduates BLASTmedia’s bread and butter: executing integrated campaigns for our clients. You may ask yourself, what’s an integrated campaign? (Glad you asked!) Let me break it down for you:

Here at BLASTmedia, we execute hyper-targeted social advertising across a multitude of platforms. Through this refined approach, we can reach our client’s specific target demographic with the right message that won’t get lost in the noise.

BLASTmedia’s PR experts work around the clock to get media coverage for our clients. This PR service is considered earned media because we’re actually going out and earning that coverage and building relations with editors at top-tier publications.

Our social media management and content marketing experts focus on creating meaningful relationships with a client and their customers through social media and blogging. This is called owned media because we own the results, there is (wo)man power behind the tweets and social engagement.

But, let’s not forget our creative services, which as the title suggests, mans the awesome branded content for our clients. These creative assets could be YouTube videos, infographics, bite-sized shareable images, and social branding. Simply put, the BLASTmedia creative team produces awesome things across the web.

You’re probably thinking to yourself, well dang that’s a lot! And it is, but each of these services (paid, earned, and owned) lend themselves to integrated campaigns to ensure success for our clients. Proper keyword targeting on Twitter and engagement with key social influencers could lead to PR coverage that is then promoted through Facebook advertising. Just as a stellar YouTube video could be pitched and turned into PR coverage and then go viral across social platforms.

Now, why does this matter to you? Well, let’s say you’re a PR student who has an interest in social media. Executing integrated campaigns allows you to hone your PR skills while thinking about the bigger picture success for your client, incorporating social media, paid media, and creative services.

We’d love to tell you more about our success with integrated campaigns and what it means for the PR space. College students and recent graduates are invited to attend a short presentation and Q&A session at the BLASTmedia office on April 14 at 4:30 pm. Please RSVP by April 11 on BLASTmedia’s EventBrite. We look forward to seeing you then!

Despite the Polar Vortex Coverage this Month was H.O.T.

By | Client Successes | No Comments

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January and February may be epically cold across the country, but the arctic chill isn’t stopping BLASTmedia from producing HOT coverage for clients! Here are some highlights from the past month:

  • Engadget highlighted SMS Audio’s sport-friendly headphones.
  • TCP was featured in Yahoo! Homes and Consumer Reports regarding its remote-controlled LED lights.
  • AllYou included the iBattz Vogue Portable Charger as a Valentine’s Day gift for tech-savvy husbands.
  • Moxtra, a productivity-focused app, was among a roundup of applications suggested by Yahoo! Shopping to help with New Year’s resolutions and weight loss goals.
  • 50 Cent talks headphones and DVDs on USA Today. See the video here. We all knew he was an entrepreneur, but he shows his business-smarts in an article by CNBC.
  • YouTube reviewer UnboxTherapy met with 50 Cent at CES 2014 to highlight the new SMS Audio lines debuted at CES 2014. The video has exceeded the 89,000 views mark!

Need the client coverage you’re seeing and wanting the same for your business? Contact Lindsey Groepper to learn more about how BLAST can help. 

BLASTmedia Event: Social Media and PR for Not-for-Profits

By | Work at BLAST | No Comments

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Lara Parker, one of BLASTmedia’s interns, helped put together our quarterly volunteer event. Instead of mimicking events past (packing up meals at Gleaner’s or planting trees for Keep Indianapolis Beautiful), Lara had the bright idea of bring our social media and PR knowledge to the Indianapolis community.

She has reached out to local not-for-profits in an effort to share some of our PR and social media tips and tricks. Below are a few questions we asked in effort to educate our loyal blog readers about the upcoming event:

 

What is the focus of this event?

  • Lara: The world of marketing has changed so much just in the last 12 months and it’s important to keep up to date with the changing times. We want to help our local not-for-profits build an arsenal full of PR and social media tools and tactics. 

Why did you choose PR and social media strategies?

  • Lara: Public relations is a tricky field and demands a lot of time dedicated to the practice. For not- for-profits it’s hard to employ enough people to be able to ensure all the needs of PR are met. By sharing past experiences and personal advice, we hope to make it easier to man the PR ship for not-for-profits with as little as 1-2 people manning the helm.

What do you hope people take away from this event?

  • Lara: We hope to provide some insider PR and social media information that not-for-profit organizations wouldn’t necessarily be able to glean without forking out a large chunk of money for an agency. It’s a way to give back to the Indianapolis community, because we love it here!

Thus far, the Gleaner’s Food Banks, Center For Wellness for Urban Women, Boys and Girls Club of Indianapolis and Key Club International will be attending. (We can’t wait to see you!) Now it’s your turn to sign up! RSVP to our event and enjoy some breakfast on September 17, 2013 at 9 a.m. at Launch Fishers (7 Launch Way, Fishers, IN).

Interested? Any questions/comments/concerns can be directed to Lara Parker: lara@blastmedia.com or (765) 318-4760

Summer Office Fashion

By | Industry Perspective | No Comments

While the true PR world may not be identical to the one depicted in Sex and the City, why not dress like it anyways? Studies show that looking good makes you feel good, so adding a pop of color or some new accessories to your wardrobe could be just the thing you need to boost your productivity levels in the office! Here are some suggestions to revamp your style this summer:

Summertime means dresses, dresses, dresses! Pair a feminine summer dress with a simple cardigan/blazer, or a flowy skirt with a fitted top. Not a fan of bare legs? A bright pair of loose-fitting trousers matched with heels gives off a summery businesswoman feel as well.

Summer work attire

Want to make a statement? Add a pop of color to one piece of any of the outfits mentioned above. Bold necklaces are another way to make an average ensemble instantly more stylish through either the nature of style or color. Stacked bracelets, commonly referred to as arm candy, are another summer trend making its way to the top. Pair a watch and multiple bracelets/cuffs that you wouldn’t normally wear at once together and you’d be amazed at what chic combinations you’ll find in your jewelry box.

summer accent nails

An underrated aspect of style is nail polish. Simply having your nails pretty and painted can make you feel like a million bucks. A good manicure pulls together any style, and a bad one can ruin any style. Great summer nail colors include coral, soft pink, lilac and nude! Feeling extra glam? Give your ring fingers a fun accent nail design!

Things to watch out for this summer:

  • Synthetics. Beat the heat by watching what materials you wear – natural fibers like cotton and linen won’t trap in the warmth like polyester does.
  • Hemlines. As the temperature rises, so do our hemlines. Be sure all skirts, dresses and shorts are an appropriate length to look professional.
  • Cleavage. Summer tank top necklines are often a little too low for the office. Make sure any shirt you wear doesn’t give those around you the wrong impression.
  • Sheerness. While sheer shirts are certainly trendy, the office may not be the right place to rock this style. If you do, however, be sure that appropriate underclothing is worn to avoid too much skin being shown.

In need of some more office fashion inspiration? ASOS Fashion Finder features a chic Office in the Summer segment to give those of us lost in the world of clothes and accessories a few ideas!