News releases and ROI

Identifying the best workflow systems, finding top Spanish-speaking spokespeople, and more

Identifying the best workflow systems, finding top Spanish-speaking spokespeople, and more

Workflow solutions

What should we look for in an enterprise workflow system?

Clients choose agency partners who can accommodate their billing and communications preferences, says J. T. Harding of the Médi Group, producer of Silent Partner software. "Look for a system that has multiple billing options and is able to apply multi-tiered rate structures," he advises.

"A built-in client extranet will allow clients to review and approve key project components and keep them loyal to your agency," he adds.

A flexible system can also benefit the day-to-day operation of your agency. "Agencies have invested in defined processes, so a system should adapt to the way you work," Harding says. "The solution should contribute industry best practices, while allowing for agency customization, including user-defined fields, labels, and ad-hoc reporting."

Harding says the system should also be personalized. "A personalized user dashboard can present staff, managers, and executives with the most relevant, actionable information needed to guide the firm toward profit," he adds.

Harding says web-based applications provide accessibility by staff and freelancers. "They also have built-in tools such as e-mail, RSS feeds, and company blogs," he adds. For smaller agencies, Harding suggests an application service provider (ASP) as a more cost-effective solution. However, growing mid-sized firms should look into the benefits of a system that houses the internal web server.

Spokespeople

Where can we find good Spanish-speaking spokespeople?

The key to using spokespeople in Hispanic PR broadcast efforts is to make sure they have a strong command of the Spanish language, otherwise the company's image is jeopardized, says Medialink's Manny Santos.

With health issues, for example, Santos says communications departments in large hospitals can be a solid resource. "Other sources for experts who can speak on a variety of themes are Spanish newspapers, magazines, and other publications or Hispanic professional groups related to the campaign topic," he adds.

Santos notes that if a Spanish-speaking spokesperson is not available for a VNR or ANR, the last resort is to narrate the news segment in Spanish, use the sound bite in English, and voice-over it in Spanish.

"This is a technique often used with politicians," he notes. "The politician begins the sound bite in English, the audio is lowered, and the remainder of the sound bite is spoken by someone other than the narrator."

News releases

How can we get our press release noticed during a busy news period?

Getting the attention of journalists on busy news days requires precise writing, exact timing, and targeting research, says Sam Starnes of PR Newswire.

"Press releases, particularly those distributed over newswires, should tell journalists succinctly why they - and ultimately their audience - should care," he says. "And this should be done in the headline and opening paragraph. Also, avoid any tricky language or technical jargon."

Respect the deadlines of your desired outlet and distribute your release appropriately, allowing time for the journalists you most want to reach to read and cover your release, Starnes notes.

"Remember that many companies move press releases over newswires precisely at the top of the hour, especially in the morning, when many financial announcements are distributed," he says. "Time your release on the quarter-hour, or even an odd time, like 9:47am. Your headline might be the only one moving that minute and could stand out to editors scanning the wires."

Broadcast ROI

How can you determine ROI for radio and TV PR projects?

"For PR pros, ROI generally represents a calculation that can give clients an equivalent value for the PR effort in terms of media impressions," says Mike Hill of News Broadcast Network.

Hill suggests thinking of ROI as the cost of an audience. "Take cost per thousand (CPM)," he says. "If you spend $10,000 for a video feed that generates an audience of 4 million, your CPM to create that audience is $2.50."

CPM is a complex formula, so ROI on PR is more often determined by calculating a project's media value. This requires figuring out how many media impressions your project produced and how much that would have cost in ad buys, Hill says.

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