PR Tips

PR Tips | The Super Bowl of Advertising

This February, two larger-than-life sports events will engage fans around the world. Both the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics will showcase incredible athletics, but for many the appeal isn't the competition itself. Indeed, a full 78 percent of Americans look forward to the commercials played during the Super Bowl more than the game itself, according to a new study by ad agency Venables Bell & Partners. That's up from 59 percent in 2011. "This is the strongest Super Bowl market that we have ever seen," says Toby Byrne, president of advertising sales at Fox. This year, 30-seconds of space on the broadcast cost $4 million and slots sold out over a month ago. And with the Winter Olympics opening just four days later, NBC is also jostling for sponsors. So far, the proximity hasn't deterred Olympic advertising in the least -- ad sales for the 18-day event have already exceeded $800 million.

PR Tips | Beyonce’s PR Surprise

When was the last time you heard about a musician whose album released without a peep? No album promotion in interviews, singles, concerts, music videos, or Saturday Night Live hosting gigs. Well, artist Beyonce did just that when she defied all conventional wisdom by not doing a shred of publicity prior to her self-titled album launch last month. There was no crescendo, no drumming up of anticipation and excitement -- a total sneak attack. Beyonce worked on the album secretly for about a year before releasing it exclusively to iTunes. She made countless appearances during that time but never led on to the fact that she was recording a new album that fans would kill to know about. She had the confidence that it would be clamored over, whether people knew about it 6 months in advance or not. So how'd the PR plan pan out? Apple says it sold 828,773 copies of the album in three days. And it's No.1 on Billboard charts for the third week in a row, which is the longest run for any album since April.

PR Tips | To Communicate Effectively, Care

As regular readers know, I moonlight as a wine blogger. When not cranking away at Keybridge, I’m running the wine blog Terroirist.com. Last month, I visited Rioja, Spain to speak at the Digital Wine Communications Conference. My panel explored the communication challenges faced by global wine brands. I shared the stage with Ben Smith, who heads up communications for Concha y Toro in the United Kingdom, and Pia Mara Finkell, who directs media relations and social media for Rioja Wines. The event was moderated by Robert McIntosh, co-founder of the conference. You can check out my prepared remarks on Terroirist.com. To put it briefly, I argued that generic brands -- think Rioja, Champagne, or Napa Valley – have an easier job than huge wine companies like Concha y Toro and Kendall Jackson. This makes sense. Just as the clothing you wear and the politicians you vote for say something about who you are, so does what you drink. Journalists are no different. San Francisco Chronicle wine editor Jon Bonné enjoys being an ambassador for “new” California wine – the producers who are exploring California’s vast and varied climate to protect old vineyards and produce wine from unusual grapes.

PR Tips | Arial or Times New Roman?

Back in the 15th century, type foundries didn't offer much in the way of font choices. But we've come a long way since then. With so many available fonts to choose from nowadays, how do you know which is right for you? The first part of your decision will be determined by the two main classifications: Serif and Sans Serif. Serifs are small strokes on the edges of letters. Sans serif fonts (sans meaning without) do not have these decorative features.   Common wisdom holds that long paragraphs are easier to read with serifs, as they make it easier for eyes to scan letters, words, and sentences. Generally, books and newspapers use serif typefaces. In contrast, many believe that sans serif fonts are preferable on digital displays like computer or cell-phone screens. Once you've chosen whether to go with serif or sans serif, the next step is choosing a style. Serif typefaces have three main styles: Modern, Old Style and Transitional. Modern fonts tend to have the biggest difference between the thickness of the strokes. So the left leg of the letter M might be really thin, while the right leg is thick. Old style typefaces are more balanced and modeled after early lettering design. Transitional serif typefaces fall between these previous two. Examples would be Garamond or Didot.

PR Tips | Campaign for a Cause This Holiday Season

This December, increasing numbers of companies are mixing social good into their holiday advertising and PR campaigns. It’s smart. Well executed cause marketing can generate big rewards. Studies show that consumers are interested in making purchases that improve our world. In a recent survey, 87 percent of consumers said they would switch brands based on association with a good cause. Last holiday season, two-thirds of shoppers considered environmental and sustainability factors when buying gifts. Tapping into this market of socially aware consumers requires engagement using traditional and new media. According to the Adobe Digital Index 2013 Online Shopping Forecast, an estimated 36 percent of consumers say they will use social media in their Christmas buying decisions. As with any media effort, holiday marketing requires a clear, high-quality message. It's important to target the proper audience with an easy-to-digest mission statement. Potential customers want to know exactly what their purchase is benefiting.

PR Tips | Writing Quality Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor are a great way to make an appearance in your favorite daily newspaper. The letters-to-the-editor page is among every newspaper's most-read sections. Further, several letters on various topics are published each day. A newspaper's editorial page, by contrast, may feature just one guest op-ed -- or even none, if it opts for popular syndicated content instead. Letters follow some simple rules. Letters should respond to the news -- usually to an article or opinion piece previously published by the newspaper. However, letters must also stand on their own. A reader should be able to understand a letter without having read the article to which it refers. They should always be less than 150 words -- and in the neighborhood of 100 is even better. Some of the most effective letters are short and pithy -- just one or two sentences. And they should always feature a strong thesis, usually in the first or second sentence.

PR Tips | Our $7.5K Website Package

Since we first unveiled our $7.5k web package, I've received a steady stream of emails asking me, "What do I actually get for that price?" Here's my answer: You'll get a premium website with all the bells & whistles listed below. It's a truly amazing deal: •...

PR Tips | When To Use Infographics

According to Wikipedia, infographics are “visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.” When information is presented well visually, it can have more staying power than text alone. It can also be easier and faster to digest. Good infographics...

PR Tips | How to Market a Children’s Book

I recently published a children’s book called “Luna Luna.” It’s available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can also buy it through your Kindle or iPad. A lot of people have asked me how I’m going to promote this book, so I thought I’d share...