Stop the Press Event! How Oprah Can Kill a Conversation

Oprah taping live on michigan avenueWhenever you plan a media event, you take the chance that something may outshine you on that day. Last year we lost half our TV coverage for a charity event due to a big fire on the Southside. It happens.

Unfortunately in the days of crunched deadline and busy camera crews, things come up. Even with a breaking story stealing your thunder, you may get the same number of placements, but you lose the conversations, and that’s often the most important part.

On Tuesday, Oprah took over Chicago. It was also the first day of Chicago Public Schools. Both got covered, but one was much more talked about than another.

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There’s An App For That (But There Doesn’t Need To Be)

iphone apps
Creative Commons License photo credit: Roodee

It may be a blogger’s cliche to start a post like this, but as of right now, there are well over 65,000 appsin Apple’s App Store.  The majority of those apps?  Games, not surprisingly, given the iPhone’s unique, highly flexible touch interface and recently revamped hardware specs.  But a new trend in the App Store has cropped up recently, seemingly having infected every one of the world’s brand and marketing managers with iPhone fever.  That trend is using the mobile app as a marketing tool.  More specifically, using the mobile app as nothing but a marketing tool.  But with an app store as large (not to mention as largely saturated) as Apple’s, does it really make sense to sink valuable development hours, effort, and money into creating an app that might never break the top 100 list?  We’ll cover the pros and cons of entering the highly coveted app game, as well as some work-arounds developers and marketers alike can use to ensure their mobile strategy makes sense.

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Pitching Journalists Who are Too Busy for Pitches

Agony of DefeatIt’s no secret that today’s journalists are overworked. Newsrooms are operating on fewer and fewer people, which means most reporters are ridiculously strapped for time and have to be very selective about which stories they take on. In turn, PR professionals are having a tough time reaching media contacts who simply don’t have the bandwidth to pay attention. This has been the case for a while, but it became very clear to me recently when a reporter sent the following message in response to my suggestion that she have a brief conversation with a client to discuss a story idea:

Under normal circumstances I’d say sure, but we are so understaffed these days that I am trying to limit my meetings to ones that have a 99% chance in turning into instant stories. I cover way too much stuff, and don’t have time to write half of what I uncover. I feel like my mind is a sieve. Hopefully things will settle down when the economy improves and magazines start restaffing.

It’s safe to say this reporter’s words express what thousands of journalists are feeling. They are under so much pressure and such tight deadlines that even if they see value in a PR person’s story idea, they can’t afford to pursue it unless they’re certain it will pan out and be worth their time.

That said, certain pitches still resonate. How can you reach out to overly busy journalists and still have a chance of getting through? The key is putting yourself into the shoes of a reporter and pitching accordingly. Here are some tips:

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Welcome to Footprints, The Walker Sands Marketing & PR Blog

As a firm offering expertise in marketing, PR, and in the last few years, social media, you would think we would be old pros at navigating the blogosphere. And we are. Nearly every person at Walker Sands has been blogging for years on a diverse range of subjects.

Most of the team are writers by nature so it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that most have blogs. SEO to Bass Fishing. Lollapalooza to Vegas Style CRM. We write.

But never before have we had a Walker Sands focused blog. Today that changes.

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Footprints Blog

Visit the Walker Sands website. We specialize in PR and marketing services for technology solution providers and B2B companies. Walker Sands Digital offers a wide array of digital marketing solutions and helps firms to get the most from their online presence.
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