Improving research efficiency, mat release placement, more

Coverage researchWith a growing client list, we are finding that our staff members are spending more time researching coverage opportunities. How can we reduce time spent on this activity?

Coverage research

With a growing client list, we are finding that our staff members are spending more time researching coverage opportunities. How can we reduce time spent on this activity?

Successful pitching requires knowledge of publications and the staffs, advises Brent Papson, national account director at PR SourceCode.

"Visit publications' Web sites to learn more about their audiences, themes, and beat writers," Papson advises.

It is a good idea to check if the publication lists guidelines about how it prefers materials to be pitched, he adds.

You need to ensure your staff's pitches are relevant.

"While it takes time to customize pitches and research appropriate publications," Papson notes, "you'll save time in the long run and have more positive relationships with editors."

Familiarity with a publication - and its features and themes - allows staff to focus time on suitable pitches only.

"By employing these techniques," Papson suggests, "you will not only reduce the time your staff spends on outreach, but also increase quality and ink."

Mat releases

We're using mat releases to help promote our brand. How can we maximize placement?

Editors often like mat releases that are highly focused on a consumer topic or issue, so you should start off the process by brainstorming strong consumer themes, recommends Susanne Vielhauer, project manager at Family Features Editorial Syndicate.

"Look for topics that are in demand with editors, then subtly weave your brand messages throughout the story to support the theme," she says.

For example, an article about getting organized could include storage-solution ideas and a picture of a finished project using brand-name shelving, she notes. A brief mention of additional ideas available on your Web site will drive readers to this resource.

Vielhauer says that holiday themes are also popular and a terrific way of achieving high-volume placements in a short time frame.

"More evergreen themes are great for ensuring year-round coverage of your brand," she adds.

It is also a good idea to invest in high quality, non-branded photography. "Editors don't want anything that looks like your brochure," Vielhauer emphasizes.

Integrated efforts


Why is it important to integrate paid and natural search campaigns into overall marketing plans?


When combined, paid search campaigns, natural search, and offline marketing can reinforce one another, says Lisa Wehr, CEO of OneUpWeb. In addition, the combination of all three can help each one to become more effective.

"Good, natural positions can lead to more traffic on paid ads because people are more likely to click on ads by marketers they recognize - those they've seen as a result of a natural search," she notes.

Wehr adds that integrating online and offline messages works the same way.
"This type of integration creates a synergistic effect that increases the likelihood of a conversion and maximizes vital marketing dollars," she explains.

"The bottom line," Wehr says, "is integrating online initiatives into an overall marketing campaign will help businesses increase ROI and pull ahead of competitors."

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