Suggestion #5 for successful media relations – TO FOLLOW-UP

Suggestion #5 for successful media relations – TO FOLLOW-UP

Now that you have developed the rights tools, targeted the rights journalists and spread the news, here comes the next step. Very often neglected because quite ungrateful, to follow-up is however paramount.   What does it mean? To follow-up means getting into contact with the Tier 1 journalists you addressed your press release to ensure they have all details that would be necessary in case they decided to write an article on your topic.   Why following-up? A journalist is daily assaulted by a continuous flow of information. Consequently, one of his/her first task is to sort that information and pick the pieces of news that would best meet with their readership’s expectations. Following-up also helps in creating a live dialogue with the journalist. It gives you the opportunity to better understand his/her topics of interest and thus the possibility to better calibrate the information you are sending.   When… Read more »

Social media explained

Sometimes, it’s not easy to understand what is the tiny difference between one social media and another. With the example below (a lightweight city cars’ producer we will name D-Auto), you might apprehend what are the social media languages’ differences.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             … Read more »

Lacking inspiration on twitter?

When being the community manager of a company’s account, finding inspiration on twitter can sometimes be … inspirational. We’ll try helping you find that inspiration for companies we know best: industrials, which is fortunate as those types of companies are often reluctant in using that communications channel. So, here are some hints that will show (or help you demonstrate) that ideas are multiple.   1. News or press releases: those are the most obvious … do not hesitate to RT mentions of you on those topics. 2. Job offers: they will demonstrate that the company is growing. 3. Customer or provider visits: a picture and a caption (ideally via his @twitteraccount) will suffice. Be careful though to ask ahead for his agreement, as some customers are not keen on revealing their providers’ identity. 4. Trade shows or conferences participation (with pictures). 5. A quote from the company’s spokespeople while they are… Read more »

Suggestion #4 for successful media relations – The right tool – The press kit

Let’s continue the exploration of the diverse tools at your disposal. Today: the press kit The press kit is inseparable from a successful media relations campaign. It is a set of documents that allows the journalists to gain an in-depth knowledge of your company. Whereas press releases focus on a single message, press kits complement the information. Its use is simple: – If you are presenting your company to the journalists, the press kit should come with all your announcements – If your company is already well known, the press kit should be prepared so as to answer promptly any further information request that may come from the journalists Two elements should be taken into consideration: 1. The content 2. The form 1. The content – it is divided into two sections: a. The core of the press kit – similar for every announcement > A page summarizing the key… Read more »

Suggestion #4 for successful media relations – The right tool – The press release

Media relations comprise various tools, which you need to pick depending on the announcement you need to make. Here, we are listing them but will start by focusing on the press releases and how to draft them: > The press release – well known and frequently used > The press kit – inseparable from a media relations campaign > The press conference – to be chosen for critical announcements > The interview – allows to develop in-depth confident relations with journalists > The press trip – ideal to present your company’s plants to the journalists > The editorial calendars – often forgotten, they give you the opportunity to integrate your company into in-depth features > The newsroom visit – quite appreciated by the journalists, it allows you to present your new product directly in the newsroom The press release It’s a one to two-pages document that presents the information respecting the… Read more »

Suggestion #3 for successful media relations – TO TARGET

You’re there, you have now entered the world of media relations and this suggestion #3 will plunge you even deeper as we are now dealing with the core of any media relations campaign: the media list and its targeting! 1-The media list You are reading the media on a regular basis and have identified some journalists who could be interested in your topics and some publications in which you would like to get articles. You now need to constitute your media list. Tritely, the media list is created on an Excel sheet, in which you will indicate for each journalist his/her preferred topics, telephone number, e-mail and postal address. You may consider several options to gather that information: In each publication, you will find the masthead, a printed list of its owners, departments, officers and address details. Often, this masthead will contain each of these persons contact details. Otherwise, you… Read more »

Can the social networks help me manage my communication in a crisis situation?

In a situation of crisis, one would traditionally deploy the following media-specific communication tools: > The implementation of a questions / answers platform for company’s spokespersons > The distribution of press releases containing key information > The organization of media interviews or conferences In other words, the company communicates with the journalists who will hand over the information to a wider audience. With the development of the social networks, the journalists are not anymore the only ones to pass on the information. The employees, the media or leading figures, the customers, the influencers (i.e. all the stakeholders) also spread on their behalf information or stands on the subject. Accordingly, many companies realize today that they will have to consider the social networks to manage their crisis (and thus to speak directly with their public). Then before going into web 2.0, we would like to share with you five small advices…. Read more »

Suggestion #2 for successful media relations – DOCUMENT

The most important thing to implement successful media relations is to know … the media. Logical? Indeed, but let us remind you that you don’t communicate the same way with your customers, your employees or journalists, because the information each of your target expects from your company is different. A customers needs to be kept informed about your products or services, you employees want to know the company’s strategy and how it could impact his/her job and a journalist needs an information that is new, presented in a neutral and motivated way. Consequently, it is essential to know the media before even starting media relations. So, you will start by reading the press on a regular basis. Your intent is to identify, across the articles you read, different indicators that will be helpful to constitute your contact base: > What are the publications I would like to get articles in? >… Read more »

Suggestion #1 for successful media relations – LIST AND PLAN

Congratulations, you are now ready to start doing media relations. But where to begin?   The very first step is to list all the topics, which could be worthy of interest for journalists working in special-interest media or the ones covering your specific sector, those dealing with broader and transversal subjects (such as HR or management), or even those who write features on your customers / providers / prospects: > New contracts > Activity development > New products > Partnerships > Nominations > Innovations And do not forget your internal topics: > New training program > New HR policy in favor of handicapped workers > New work organization > Office move > Etc.   The main objective of this inventory is to allow the journalists to progressively build up an image of your company.  The more complete the information you will provide, the more accurate the image of your company… Read more »

10 suggestions to implement successful media relations

Today more than yesterday, a company cannot remain silent. If it doesn’t communicate, others will (its employees, its customers, its competitors, etc.), consequently loosing control over its messages and its overall image. To unroll a media relations campaign is one way to prevent this from happening. Are you hesitating? Here are two good reasons to dare: Media relations are economical, because, as per se, they can be executed internally and they do not require any specific tool. And it’s getting even better: just compare the cost (in man time) for generating an article written by a journalist and the cost (in agency time + advertising space purchase) needed for the publication of an advertisement. The result is unmistakable. They are efficient because journalists, whose independence and critical wit should always be respected, benefit from a vote of confidence from their readers. They become prescribers of the information, giving it a… Read more »

Who said that the small and medium-sized structures do not communicate?

Questionnaire carried out in autumn 2013 by vademecom with around thirty French small and medium-sized enterprises. Curious to understand better how communication is organized within small and medium-sized structures, we launched a survey last October on the theme ” does your company communicate? “. We propose here the main teachings. Current situation External communication: OK Business cards and sales brochures are always successful and it’s for the best as nothing is worth a face-to-face presentation to give confidence, envy and to convince his/her interlocutor. Web also stands out as a “must-have “. With 88 % of the respondents endowed with a web site and 68 % with company profiles on social networks, the Internet is at the core of the companies’ business development strategies. But be careful on certain pitfalls. It is absolutely necessary to pay attention to its online image (clarity, consistency and homogeneity of messages) and to keep… Read more »

To give meaning to work … in what sense?

Get up, get ready, face the setbacks of the public transportation or the traffic jams, work (hard, very hard sometimes) who never wondered: what for? Contrary to preconceived ideas, the remuneration is not (or no more) the main engine, which urges every day millions of employees to go to work. On the contrary, pretty often, it constitutes a demotivation factor: ” I am not paid for what I am worth. ” But, then, what really drives us? According to a recent study conducted by ViaVoice for Le Nouvel Observateur on the “Hit List for Professional Happiness”, the feeling of recognition and societal utility is a powerful contributor to a better professional self-fulfillment. Thus, good relationships with colleagues, with the management, the impression that our work is well appreciated and recognized for its quality play an important role in the feeling to be “happy” at work. Still, it is not sufficient…. Read more »

It is also good to say…when it’s good!

The Public Bank of Investment (BPI) estimated the cost of “pessimism” to equal one point of France’s Gross Domestic Product. The purely French tendency towards “everything always goes wrong”, “it’s all too much”, ” it’s not enough”, and of “never satisfied” is present in many domains: at home, at the work, in politics … And it is particularly true in communication. It is often difficult to know if the established communications tools work, if they bring added value and thus if they should be continued. What communicator has never been questioned by his managing director about the actual usefulness of the company’s Intranet? When everything goes badly, we all know it! Yet when everything goes well? Us, communicators, use a rule, –which though a little theoretical – proves itself nevertheless to be reliable. It is that when the communication is rare or non-existent, we demand it most. On the contrary,… Read more »

The role of managers in close communication with teams – Trends from the Barometer Afci ANDRH Inergie 2013 on Managerial Communication

In October 2013 the AFCI, ANDRH and Inergie revealed the 4th edition of their barometer on Managerial Communication. We outline for you the major trends. Yet another new type of communication, we hear you say? Not really in reality. As defined in the barometer, managerial communication is that which “is directly undertaken by managers to mobilise their employees towards the organisation’s economic and social performance “. For 98 % of respondents (of 1103 managers questioned), managerial communication is an integral part of the manager’s mission, yet only 49 % have objectives linked to their communications. This first incongruity implies a second: how can you require involvement without incentive? Executive managements, via the departments of Human resources, should view communications as a KPI when evaluating their managers’ performance. Despite their lack of motivation, the managers are in fact involved in this mission. Managers recognise, or at least most do, that managerial… Read more »

Does your company communicate?

No matter the size and scope of your company, it owes to communicate with its customers or potential ones to be better known, with its employees to assure their loyalty, with the media to develop its image… Your targets are large and all are expecting from you to be informed in due course. We would like to understand how does you company address these goals; we have the feeling that communication, for small or medium-sized structures, is rarely used or little formalized… but maybe we are wrong. Thus, we invite you to answer to a ten questions poll (which might take about 5 to 10 minutes of your time) and thank you in advance for enlighten us with your answers. To start the poll, please click here:

The rules of the speech: Paul Grice’s conversation maxims

According to Paul Grice, any interactive exchange between a speaker and his addressee implies common rules that are subjected to a principle of cooperation. The speaker must respect this tacit agreement to be understood by his interlocutor. Grice specifies this principle by introducing four so-called “conversation” maxims, which we must know and practise in order to communicate orally in an effective way: 1. Law of exhaustiveness: the first maxim concerns the quantity of information that we pass on. The statement has to contain all the information necessary for its understanding, neither more, nor less. 2. Law of informativeness: the second concerns the quality of the passed-on information. The participants have to guarantee the truthfulness of their statement and bring new information to the interlocutor. 3. Law of relevance: the third maxim rests on the relevance of the exchange. The statement must be suited to the context, and have an interest… Read more »

The brief, holly grail!

What advertiser has not ever cursed they agency under the impression they have understood nothing of the problem or the request? What agency has never wondered, after a briefing, what the customer or the prospect really wants? The briefing – often neglected but always essential – is at the core of any communication project. • Neglected because it requires the advertiser to invest time they often don’t have. • Essential because it is the basis of the strategic reflection of the agency, and what allows it to build a custom-made communications plan for its customer. What is a (good) brief? 1. A brief has to begin with a detailed presentation of the company and its environment: → Identity: history, activity, markets, customers, offer, presence (national and/or international), challenges → Competitive environment: who are its direct competitors and why? → Positioning: what are its leading product positions, its ambition, its vision,… Read more »

Managers and communicators: the same fight!

Around a company evolve several communities, each of which are more than essential: – Its employees, who enable it to create the products or services that it offers to the market – Its suppliers, who enable it to develop and propose an offer that meets the market’s expectations – Its customers, who rely on it and buy its offer – Its prospects, who constitute its development potential and thus its sustainability Although each of these communities is different (and has different needs), they do have at least one point in common: they expect that the company informs them in a regular and transparent way about its values, vision, mission, development strategy, offer, challenges and successes. Communication thus becomes a strategic stake for the company. It is the key to effective management and strategic alignment, and therefore key also to the sustainability of its activities. Contrary to preconceived ideas, the communications… Read more »

Barometer UDA 2013: focus on responsible communication

According to Barometer UDA 2013 data, the presence of a corporate CSR approach (corporate social responsibility) is expanding. Today, 80 % of companies apply such an approach, compared with only 75 % in 2007. Companies can improve CSR in a number of ways, such as through the application of ethical rules (CNIL, ARPP, CNC) and the eco-design of communications actions (focus on the delivery support to reduce quantities, make them virtual and recyclable, while also reducing associated transport). Although there are many themes under the banner of responsible communication, the environment remains the priority (more than 50%), followed closely by the internal social concerns (working conditions, safety). The social-economic domains (fair trade, entrepreneurship) and the nutritional aspects are secondary sectors. It is the company’s image that benefits most from responsible communication (75 %). Then come the more strategic projections such as value creation (45 %), and the strengthening of employee… Read more »

Promote female entrepreneurship with Najat Vallaud-Belkacem

- 80 % of the jobs of the last twenty years were created by SMEs – 28 % of company creators are women – Only 3 % of French women from 18 to 65 years had created or taken back their company in their working life (compared to 10 % in the United States) These three facts led the Minister of Women’s Rights and Government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem to announce some ideas: 1. Raise consciousness about female entrepreneurship with young audiences 2. Inform and point in the right direction women wishing to create or take back control of a company 3. Accompany creative women 4. And finally, facilitate access to financing for female entrepreneurs The Minister (via BPI France) is considering setting up a subsidy for the female entrepreneurs to pay their child care load. To be continued!

The company will be 2.0 if there is a communications plan!

According to the 7th edition of its “corporate communication barometer”, the Union Des Annonceurs (UDA) indicates that on average, 50 % of companies are present on social networks today, and 21 % wish to develop their corporate communication there within the next three years. So what are the reasons that more than 2/3rds of companies wish to be present on social networks? Firstly, it’s because social networks allow a company or an organisation to reach a wider community than the majority of the other communications channels. Thanks to social networks, borders are no longer defined by a street, district or country. Secondly, it’s because social networks allow for the immediate communication of information. There is no more gap in time between the validation of information and its distribution to the public. And finally, because social networks are THE TOOL of connection between peers of the “young generation “, the company… Read more »

2013 UDA barometer on corporate communication

Some key figures for 2013: • 85% of companies have an intranet • 8 out of 10 companies organise some events • 74% of companies use videos (this figure is evolving) • 6 out 10 companies have a Facebook page (considered as the leading digital technology) • 57% of companies have a web site • 50% of companies have one or several Twitter account(s) • 57% of companies have internal newsletters These facts allow us to understand the stakes of corporate communication in 2013: Assure the public’s confidence (55 %), mobilise internal stakeholders (47 %), and, lastly, master Internet and social networks (43 %). These three challenges are closely linked. Faced with the development of the Internet and social media, this year is mainly marked by the fear companies have of not mastering their e-reputation. In 2013, the challenge for companies will therefore essentially be to anticipate intelligently and effectively… Read more »

There is no small change…

In many organisations, an internal move (change of workstations in the same building) might be considered as a “simple” change. To be attributed a workspace means a lot to an employee! A separate office or an open-space desk, close to or far away from the managing director, with much or not much light… there are many details by which your employees identify or define (rightly or not) their place in your organisation. A simple move often reveals the tensions and the frustrations felt by your teams. A move, if it is not accompanied with clear and structured communication, can be perceived as a break. And what would they think if the move was more substantial: if you have to change building, district/region, if your employees see their workplace moving further away from their place of residence… It can never be said enough: for your employees, there is no small change!

What is internal communications?

For many, the objectives behind the notion of “external communication” are rather explicit. It is a question of promoting the company’s image by all means possible to its external partners: customers, suppliers, media, governmental institutions, shareholders, etc. On the other hand, the notion of “internal communication” is often less clear to the majority of people. We can however fairly simply summarise the concept by saying: It is a question of promoting the image of the company to its internal partners: the employees. All employees, at every level of the company, have to understand and be mobilised around a common project (the company strategy). The marketing and the sales cannot be successful if the strategy they wish to deploy with customers and/or prospects is not clear. Meanwhile, human resources cannot effectively attract and retain talent if the perspectives are vague. Lastly, your employees are the best spokespeople for your company among… Read more »

Barometer of the internal communications function in 2012

Inergie (a consulting firm on management, communication and internal opinion) and the Afci (Association française de communication interne – French association of internal communication) published a study of data and key indicators concerning internal communication departments. The major challenges for internal communications are as follows: • A function at the core of supporting change management in a company; • A plural function with established practices; • However, always facing limits due to the resources assigned to it and the company’s organisation Learn more about these results: cliquer ici.