Category Archives: Public Relations

Exciting Hippo news for Wechiau Hippo Sanctuary!

 

Brian is in Africa right now, but news traveled fast to him about the latest news regarding the Wechiau Hippo Sanctuary! The Sanctuary was a big part of his life for so many years, and he sends huge congratulations to everyone involved in this latest success:

http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/fortney-african-shea-butter-factory-helps-hippos-survive

 

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Use LinkedIn to Build Your Brand

How to Use LinkedIn to Build Your Brand

Your LinkedIn Profile: Go Big Or Go Home

~ Forbes

Many professionals create a LinkedIn profile, and then let it sit there. Unlike many other popular social networks, LinkedIn is designed for professional and business networking. If you want your LinkedIn page to work for you, invest some time in setting up a professional LinkedIn profile to increase your visibility and invite your target audience to connect with you. Then, use your LinkedIn page to grow your brand and build relationships.

5 Tips on Using LinkedIn to Build Your Brand

 1.  Shows your Expertise

Your LinkedIn Profile is the header information on your LinkedIn page. Having the wrong LinkedIn profile sends out the wrong message. Maximize your LinkedIn branding by designing a profile that delivers your message.

  • Your profile photo is your 1st impression: LinkedIn users respond to professional, not necessarily formal, profile photos. LinkedIn is not the place for your photo holding your cute kitty: unless you’re a vet. Family photos are better suited for Facebook and other social channels.
  • Complete your profile: don’t leave blanks in LinkedIn’s prime real estate. If you don’t have something to say about yourself, you need to determine what are you trying to accomplish on LinkedIn.
  • Keywords are critical to quickly saying who you are and what you do: be descriptive, not a bragger.

tip: Choose View Profile As to see what your LinkedIn profile looks like to a connection or to the public.

2. Optimize Your LinkedIn Summary

LI Summary provides up to 2000 characters for you to customize your message. What do you want people to know about you, your brand and your services? Here are some Summary tips from LinkedIn for Business expert JoAnne Funch:

  • Start the Summary with your contact information: email and phone number
  • Include a call to action: what do you want the reader to do?
  • What problems do you solve?

3. Connect and Join

LinkedIn users evaluate you based on who you connect with.  Find people you want to build relationships with: who you want to follow and exchange ideas with.

  • Personalize your invitation to connect: do you want to be branded as a spammer? Why do you want to connect?
    • Do you share common LI groups?
    • Are you in the same industry?
    • Are you a fan of their articles?
  • Know why you’re connecting. The number of your connections shows in your profile: while 500+ looks impressive, 100 good connections that build your business will be more effective than 500 strangers you don’t learn from, and you spend time scrolling past.
  • Join LinkedIn groups in your industry or your target audience. Your groups show up at the bottom of your LinkedIn page.

4. Share

LinkedIn is where you can establish yourself as an SME: Subject Matter Expert:

  • Contribute high-quality articles to LinkedIn Pulse, LinkedIn’s publishing platform.
  • Post on SlideShare, LinkedIn’s visual platform:
    • Share Slideshare posts on LinkedIn and add relevant SlideShares to your LI profile.

5. Contribute Insightful Articles and Comments

Regularly post status updates, comment and share on your connection’s updates, and contribute to group discussions. Your posts and comments influence your ranking on LinkedIn, and increase your online visibility.

  • Share your blogs, guest posts, interviews and other relevant authorships.
  • Curate industry topics and add insightful comments and post in updates or in your groups.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool to build your personal brand. Basic LinkedIn is available for free, and LinkedIn for Business has paid options to grow your business including relationship management tools and advertising. The first steps to building your brand on LinkedIn is to optimize your profile and engage with your audience.

Let’s deliver mutual value and connect on LinkedIn:

Connect with Kathryn Bechthold: https://ca.linkedin.com/kathryn-bechthold

Follow Alchemy on LinkedIn: Alchemy Communications Inc.

Connect with Kathryn Bechthold on LinkedIn

For More Information on Optimizing Your Brand  on LinkedIn
Ragan.com: 5 ways to use LinkedIn for content marketing
LinkedIn for Business: LinkedIn Summary: Your Prime Advertising Space

author: KKathryn Bechthold CEO Alchemy Communicationsathryn Bechthold, Communications expert in Calgary, AB. Owner/CEO of Alchemy Communications Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media Interview Blunders to Avoid

Media Interview Blunders to Avoid from a PR Expert

Your social media and PR activity has reached the media: you’ve been contacted by a journalist for an interview.  You know your topic and your message, now you need to prepare for the interview and present yourself as

• professional
• knowledgeable
• memorable

Digital media has added many opportunities to be interviewed and deliver your message to your target audience. Both interview pros and newcomers can easily be tripped-up by the interview process.  Media and PR expert Kathryn Bechthold has personally given hundreds of media interviews, and trains her clients to avoid making common media interview mistakes.

3 Common Media Interview Blunders

1. Don’t use industry jargon

You are being interviewed to talk about a specific topic because your interviewer has researched for an expert on a specific topic, or because you have been pitching your story to the media to get coverage for your new project.  You need to create a key message for this interview.

A key message is the most important thing you want your audience to remember after the interview.

Your key message should be clearly understood and not use industry jargon.  Your job is to prepare for the interview by creating your key message in advance, and practice delivering before the actual interview.

2.  Never go off the record

If you choose to proceed with an off-the-record interview anyway, you should keep the following four tips in mind:

1. Consult with a communications professional – either in your own company, organization, or agency – or with an external firm, preferably one with crisis communications capabilities. You may be unaware of the landmines that exist in your specific case.

2. Consider your relationship with the reporter. Journalists you know well and who have treated you fairly for several years are generally safer risks than reporters you are working with for the first time.

3. Ask the reporter to define exactly what off-the-record means to him or her, preferably in writing.

4. Make any agreements with a reporter in advance of the interview. You can’t say something interesting and then suddenly declare it off the record.

Regardless of any agreement you make, you may still be identified by name as the source. Therefore, the most prudent advice is to remain on-the-record at all times. Even if your name isn’t used, the words a reporter uses to describe your position may make your identity perfectly clear. Unless you’re fully prepared to take that risk, don’t ever speak off-the-record.

3. Always let the interviewer finish their question

In your eagerness to deliver your message to your audience, be careful not to cut the interviewer off before they complete their question. You may be anticipating the wrong question – and give the wrong answer; and you may offend the interviewer and make them hostile to your message. Always listen carefully to the media’s question before you deliver your response.

media interview tips and advice - free ebookTIP: Congratulations: your pitch worked, and you have an interview with a journalist – now what? Download our free ebook: Media Appearance Preparation and Tip Guide filled with PR pro Kathryn Bechthold’s expert advice for media interviews.

 

Kathryn Bechthold #PurveyorOfPRContact Kathryn Bechthold today to schedule media training: kathryn@alchemycommunications.ca

For More Information on Media Relations
Alchemy Communications: How to Pitch Media Using Twitter
Ragan.com: 3 Media Training Mistakes to Avoid

author: KKathryn Bechthold CEO Alchemy Communicationsathryn Bechthold, Communications expert in Calgary, AB. Owner/CEO of Alchemy Communications Inc.

 

Instagram PR strategies that work

Instagram PR Strategies That Work

Instagram has over 300 million monthly users, and grew x3 in the past 2 years

Are you trying to build a following on Instagram? Instagram is the most visual platform on social media: with an active, engaged community. Don’t be afraid to experiment on Instagram: if it doesn’t work, try something different next time. If you’re new to Instagram or trying to grow your community, here are some Instagram strategies for your next PR campaign that are proven to work, from the smart folks at KISSmetrics.

10 Instagram strategies to boost your next PR campaign:

1.  Instagram has 100% organic reach

Your followers will see your posts – so post often!

2. Photos get more engagement than videos

So post more photos than videos, but mix it up!

3. The best captions for e-commerce are long descriptions, not questions

Be sure to use hashtags in your description: Instagram makes it very easy to sort and search topics by hashtag, ie #PurveyorofPR

4. Photos that are primarily green get more engagement than other colors

Experiment with different colors of background and text to see what colors your audience responds to.

5. Photos with no filter get the most engagement for e-commerce

Filters are fun to design creative photos – but if filters lessen your engagement, don’t use them!

6. Wednesday has the highest engagement rate on Instagram

Highest Instagram engagement by day of week is close: it only varied from a high of 4.9% to 4.4% on the lowest day. But to get the biggest bang from your post, try Wednesday!

7. Post yellow or blue photos to encourage viewers to buy your product

Understand the psychological influence of colors on your audience so you can optimize your visuals for maximum engagement.

8. Worst day to post on Instagram is Monday

With an engagement rate of only 4.4%, Monday has the lowest engagement rate on Instagram. But its only .5% behind the highest day, Wednesday.

9. Instagram has a real-time feed display

So your posts get equal visibility as accounts with larger audiences – there’s no bias for bigger brands.

10. The best times of day to post are

  • 4pm – 6pm
  • 6am
  • 2am

Post when your target audience is on Instagram! But if your audience is active on Instagram at midnight, and you’re sleeping, we’re a fan of Onlypult to schedule Instagram posts.

Here is KISSmetric’s infographic The Science of Brands on Instagram

The Science of Brands on Instagram

 

For More Information on Instagram PR Strategies
Alchemy Communications: 5 Tips for Using Instagram for PR Campaigns

author: KKathryn Bechthold CEO Alchemy Communicationsathryn Bechthold, Communications expert in Calgary, AB. Owner/CEO of Alchemy Communications Inc.

#Mobilegeddon Update: Mobile Traffic Down 10-12%

#Mobilegeddon Update: Mobile Traffic Down 10-12%

The first #mobilegeddon statistics are in and they’re compelling:

Since Google’s mobile-friendly update, mobile traffic is down 10-12% for businesses that have not made their website mobile-friendly.

Alchemy PR shared the upcoming Google changes to its search algorithm that provides businesses with mobile-friendly websites higher rankings in mobile search. Google also did something unusual: they announced the update well in advance to encourage business owners to make their website mobile-friendly and easier to upload and use on smaller, mobile devices. Google also provides a free tool to check if your site is mobile-friendly: see if your website is mobile-friendly here. Mobile-friendly design is called responsive design, meaning the website is easy to read and navigate on different platforms including mobile phones and tablets.

Recently Microsoft announced that Bing has also made changes to their search algorithm to favor mobile-friendly sites.

Year-to-year analysis of search results is staggering:

According to USAToday, “proof that those warnings were legitimate came in the form of a new report from Adobe that said firms that didn’t update saw 10% of their mobile traffic disappear year-over-year.” Adobe’s report reached this conclusion by monitoring over 489 billion ad impressions on Google, Bing, Yahoo and other websites.

decrease in website views #mobilegeddon

Bloomberg reports businesses saw up to a 12% decrease in traffic in the 2 months after the Google update; and that according to US Small Business Administration over 90% of small business websites are not mobile-friendly.

Can Your Business Afford to Lose over 10% of Mobile Traffic?

You built a website and a blog to help people find your business online. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you are losing traffic and money because search engines are not showing your business in results.

For More Information on Making Your Website Mobile-Friendy
Alchemy Communications: Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly? Why It Matters to Small Business and Non-Profits
PRNewswire: 5 Ways Small Business Can Shift to Responsive Design

author: KKathryn Bechthold CEO Alchemy Communicationsathryn Bechthold, Communications expert in Calgary, AB. Owner/CEO of Alchemy Communications Inc.

 

 

 

 

How to Pitch Media Using Twitter

How to Pitch Media Using Twitter

thousands of journalists use Twitter every day to post breaking news stories, comment and share news items, ask for sources for their articles, praise colleagues’ work, or have conversations with each other

~ SHIFT Communications

PR professionals build their business on developing a strong relationship with the media. With our never-ending reliance on social media to find breaking news stories, the media relies on social media to track down trending news. Whether you’re a public relations expert or small business owner or an author trying to promote your book: journalists are on Twitter, and they’re constantly looking for new and interesting stories, products and people. There are some basic rules you should follow if you’re going to use Twitter to pitch the media.

Dos and Don’ts to Pitch the Media on Twitter:
10 Tips from PR and Social Media Pros

1. Look professional before you start trying to make professional connections. ~ SHIFT Communications

2. Find the actual journalist, rather than the publication. ~ Ragan PR

3. Make sure it’s news. ~ PR Daily

4. Don’t ask a journalist you’re not following to DM you. ~ Mashable

5. Don’t abuse the word “EXCLUSIVE”. ~ PRNewser

6. It helps if the client you are pitching is on Twitter, too. ~ SPIN SUCKS

7. Understand their interests. ~ ADWeek

8. Start by explaining what’s in it for the journalist or blogger. ~ Cision

9. Personalization is key. ~ Command Partners

10. Don’t pitch on Twitter – build relationships. ~ Crenshaw Communications

media interview tips and advice - free ebook

TIP: Congratulations: your pitch worked, and you have an interview with a journalist – now what? Download our free ebook: Media Appearance Preparation and Tip Guide filled with PR pro Kathryn Bechthold’s expert advice for media interviews.

 

 

 

For More Information on How to Pitch Journalists on Social Media
Chicago Tribune: Don’t Strike Out With Your Social Media Pitch
Social Media Today: 6 Ways to Pitch Journalists on Social Media

author: KKathryn Bechthold CEO Alchemy Communicationsathryn Bechthold, Communications expert in Calgary, AB. Owner/CEO of Alchemy Communications Inc.

tweets with visuals have 150 percent more retweets - Buffer Blog

3 Easy Ways to Make Your Social Media More Visual

90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual

~ HubSpot

The data is conclusive: adding visuals to your social media posts increases the likelihood they will be read, clicked and shared.

There are many options to add visuals to your blog posts and social media:

  • infographics and charts: communicate data with images instead of words
  • video and animations
  • photos: stock photos or original photos,
  • memes: photos with text written over them
  • graphics and animations: drawings which may include text, movement or sound
  • slideshow: a series of images

There are some great free and paid tools and programs available to create awesome visual content for your blogs and social media, including:

  • Canva: freemium tool to design beautiful graphics, cover images, infographics and so much more
  • PicMonkey: freemium photo editing tool
  • Vine: free app for creating short looping 6-second videos
  • PowerPoint to turn presentations into slides
  • WordSwag app overlays text on your images
  • YouTube video editor lets you do some basic editing to your videos

3 Shortcuts to Add Visuals to Your Posts

Many tools offer features that are easy to learn and quick to use, and you can develop a basic visual in less than 15 minutes. But what if you don’t have 15 minutes: and you have to get a blog or social media post live now? Here are 3 super-fast, simple and professional shortcuts for adding visuals to your blogs and social media posts.

1. Insert a Quote

Quotes Are Highly Shareable

~ Social Media Examiner

Quotes attract attention and encourage sharing. Most blogging platforms offer a quote feature that highlights the quoted text and makes it stand out from rest of the text. WordPress has quote plugins that emphasize the quoted text: I used the WordPress text editor quote option as a H3 heading to make the above quote stand out: it took about 3 seconds.

2. Share a Statistic

Visual statistics are quickly understood and remembered. People love to share statistics. Create a visual statistic with DummyDesigner/Stats. The feature image for this blog took less than 30 seconds to make and shares an important visual marketing statistic: Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets (Buffer). Dummy Designer also quickly creates quotes which you can attach to your social media posts. This quote image took less than 30 seconds to make!

visual content marketing

3. Display a Screenshot

Feature your product, demonstrate a how-to or show information discovered online by taking a screenshot and then inserting that image into your post. You can use the screenshot as-is, or enhance it by overlaying text or adding design. It took me less than 60 seconds to take this screenshot, crop it, and draw the circle around the important text using Awesome Screenshot.

How to add visuals to social media posts

Visual marketing is a critical and effective element of your communications strategy. Not all images have to be elaborate or be a significant time investment. Have a few basic visual creation tools and visual marketing strategies in your PR arsenal to design and deliver visual marketing for your social media and blog posts.

TIP:  Infographics are an ideal way for small businesses and nonprofits to communicate complex data to their audience. Your data is translated into visual content with compelling images that your viewers can easily read, comprehend and share. Visual content is highly ranked on social media: a quality infographic can increase your SEO efforts and target traffic to your website.

Visit our portfolio and contact Alchemy PR to create an infographic that delivers your message: info@alchemycommunications.ca

For More Information on Adding Visuals to Your Social Media

HubSpot: A Handy Little Guide to Creating Visual Content for Social Media
Jeff Bullas: 10 Types of Visual Social Media Posts That Get Shared Like Crazy

author: KKathryn Bechthold CEO Alchemy Communicationsathryn Bechthold, Communications expert in Calgary, AB. Owner/CEO of Alchemy Communications Inc.