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.

Optimize Your Branding to Increase Your Online Visibility

Optimize Your Branding to Increase Your Online Visibility

If your brand is unique, your message shouldn’t blend in

~ Kathryn Bechthold, CEO Alchemy Communications

For marketers it can be tricky making sure your name is out there, but you aren’t appearing too spammy or salesy by plastering your logo on every available surface. PR pros and marketing experts often overlook some very simple yet strategic ways to maximize your branding for increased online visibility.

3 Simple Tips for Visual Branding

1. Watermark your Visuals

Your visuals are shared across social media – that’s your goal! Imagine that clever meme you created going viral… but no one knows its your creation. Your visuals can be:

  • repinned on Pinterest
  • retweeted on Twitter
  • regrammed on Instagram
  • reposted on Facebook

Many times the identity of the original poster of a visual is lost in all the social sharing. To avoid getting your visual hijacked, always brand your visuals: add your brand logo, name, social links, hashtag or website to your visual. Don’t go crazy and add them all: just chose one strategy, and stick with it!

if your business is unique your message shouldn't blend in ~ Kathryn Bechthold

2. Create a Unique Brand Hashtag

Your event, brand, product or campaign can have a unique hashtag that you use across all social media channels, on your visuals, promotional materials, news releases: anywhere you want to promote your brand. And each time your social post is shared, the brand and your message grows!

TIP: Make your hashtag memorable. As CEO of Alchemy Communications I’m a #PurveyorOfPR  – check us out on Twitter!

3. In Images, Size Counts

You can design the very best infographic or image, and no one will ever see if it the visual isn’t the sized for that social media channel. Unfortunately each social channel has evolved to have uniques size criteria for your profile photo, cover image and posts. When you write a blog post, to share it across social media channels might require 5 or 6 different images to meet the social criteria. Unfortunately when it comes to visual content marketing, it is not one size fits all.

This optimal image size cheatsheet from Social Media Today will help you design images that are the exact size you need

optimal image size for visual marketing

For More Information on Visual Branding
Canva: 20 Actionable Tips to Build a Visual Brand Identity
HubSpot: How to Build a Strong Visual Brand 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:

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.

Onlypult for Scheduling Instagram Posts

Tool Review: Onlypult for Scheduling Instagram Posts

Onlypult is a convenient and effective social media solution that saves time when creating and scheduling Instagram posts. 

~ Maximize Social Business

One of the first rules of PR is show, don’t tell. And one of the hottest social media tools for storytelling with images is Instagram. According to Forrester, Instagram is the king of social engagement, and delivers 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. Clearly, Instagram is where you want your PR campaign to be!

It’s always best to tell your story in real-time (IRT) on Instagram, and interact with your audience in the moment. However, as I mentioned in 5 Tips for Using Instagram for PR Campaigns it’s simply not always possible to promote and update IRT! Instagram does not have an option to schedule posts in advance, not do any of the major social media planners such as HootSuite or Buffer. At Alchemy PR we’re a fan of Onlypult, a social media management tool for Instagram.

The main benefits of Onlypult are:

1. Post Instagram images from your computer – you don’t need to post to Instagram with  your tablet or smartphone.

2. Schedule Instagram posts in advance – you can schedule one or more Instagram posts to go live at times that are optimal for your audience, complete with text and up to 30 hashtags.

Onlypult offers a free 7 day trial, then coverts to a paid plan, starting at $12/month to manage up to 3 Instagram accounts.

Here’s How Onlypult Works:

  • log into your Onlypult dashboard from your laptop
  • upload images from your computer
  • add text and up to 30 hashtags
  • schedule your image to post now or up to

Onlypult Pros

  • schedule posts individually, or use Onlypult’s Planner feature with your preferred posting times
  • supports images of different size and shapes – the Instagram app only supports square images
  • built-in filters
  • supports up to 30 hashtags
  • calendar view of upcoming and previous posts and interaction (all posts: not just those posted via Onlypult)

Onlypult Cons

  • doesn’t support video (soon, I hope!)
  • analytics don’t offer much information
  • features are not well-cocumented and are hard to find, such as changing time zone

how to use Onlypultnote: I was a bit skeptical about Onlypult at first – their site looks great and the tool worked really well during the trial, but the content has more than a few grammatical errors. However, Onlypult was developed and is hosted in Russia, which explains the errors.

For More Information on Instagram
Peg Fitzpatrick: How to Start Prioritizing Your Instagram Strategy

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

Press Releases: the Dos and Don’ts

Over the course of the day, journalists receive countless press releases in their inbox, many of which are left unopened or unnoticed. It’s important to make your release stand out from the rest. It should be interesting, easy to follow, factual and packed with usable content and resources that will help the journalist create a newsworthy story.

Here is an infographic that outlines some of the major dos and don’ts of press releases.

PR-dosanddonts_infographic-2  Infographic source

For tips on media relations

RBC Children's Mental Health Project

Grants for Canada’s Children to Get Mental Health Help: free Webinar

only 1 in 5 youth with a mental health illness get access to the care they need

~ Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Foundation

The RBC Children’s Mental Health Project has provided $20 million to nearly 330 programs since it launched in 2008 (via the RBC Foundation). Effective June 17, 2015, the Project has established a new grant strategy to improve service delivery by focusing on two funding areas where RBC can make the biggest impact:

Navigation programs that address youth’s immediate need to access services.
• Technology-based service solutions that improve access to care for youth in remote areas, or those who cannot access services in their local communities.

The foundation’s goal is to remove barriers that prevent youth and families across Canada from getting the mental health care they need.

To learn more about RBC Children’s Mental Health Project new grant strategy join RBC for a free webinar on Thursday, June 18, 2015 12:00 p.m. ESTRegister now.

RBC ~ All kids should feel healthy inside and out

For more information on the RBC Foundation see The Worried Generation, a white paper on the findings from the first RBC Youth Optimism Survey, with expert commentary from Rona Maynard, author, former editor of Chatelaine magazine and mental health advocate.

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

How Blogging Affects Your Bottom Line

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 9.53.28 AM

A successful communications strategy should always lead back to achieving the basic goal of boosting sales, raising funds or achieving a similar objective depending on the industry you work in. Creating a blog and writing great content can be a fantastic way to connect with your audience, build an engaged following and establish your presence online, but do these things really help us accomplish our business goals? We say yes, but don’t take our word for it. Take a look at these interesting statistics gathered by Quiksprout explaining how blogging contributes to an organization’s bottom line.

57% of companies with a blog have acquired a customer from their blog. In other words, if you blog more, you’ll reach more customers. Your blog can be found by anyone online, which means you have the potential to reach hundreds of thousands of people every time you hit ‘publish’. In less than 24 hours, Alex Turnbull got 1000+ subscribers from a single blog post and in eight short weeks Todd Giannattasio increased website traffic by 1000% simply by using blogging.

Blogs highly affect consumer buying behaviour. 61% of US consumers have made a purchase before based on a blog post. We all understand that advertisements are designed to push consumers into a purchase and although your blog may be designed to have the same influence, the reality is that 81% of US customers trust advice and information from blogs, not ads. People enjoy reading relevant content from brands, which is why building that relationship with your customers can be so powerful.

Blogging is also one of the most effective ways to get more traffic. If you’re looking to drive more traffic to your website, start blogging. Companies that blog have 80% more unique visits and business that blog 16-20 times a month have earned twice as much traffic compared to those that do not. Social media, search engines and email are ranked the top traffic sources generated through blogging and as long as your website is mobile friendly, your blog can be viewed from any device including desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones.

How blogging affects lead generation? With an increase in traffic, leads follow suite. Research has shown that businesses that blog generate 126% more leads than those that do not. Many believe blogging can be the best lead generator, particularly in B2B businesses. Blogging 16-20 times per month has earned B2B businesses nearly 3 times as many leads.

How to make sure your blogging efforts actually generate results? It is all in the execution. The most important thintog is that your content provides value to your audience. You also must ensure that your content is unique, that you have built a strong social media following , that opts into your email list are generated and finally you must be consistent.

Ultimately, blogging pays off in time. The content you create will remain online and your posts will even rank better on search engines the longer it exists. While ROI can be difficult to determine with so many varying factors, marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13 times more likely to generate a positive ROI.