Press Releases, Media Kits
Assessment and Development
It is important to have two versions of your press kit: a traditional
paper-based kit and an electronic kit accessible on your website. We have
designed many press kits to convey our clients' positioning, and we can
evaluate your press releases, press kits, and pitch angles to ensure they
are compelling and effective for trade and business audiences. And we
have written countless press releases, media alerts, fact sheets, etc.,
getting the facts, messages and strategy right and delivering them on
time. Our Announcement Scorecard and VC Announcement Scorecard
services identify press release components such as a client's business
strategy and key messages that business reporters need; the questionnaires
ensure that whether we write a press release or design a media kit, that
your strategy is communicated accurately and consistently.
Website Content Assessment
We can develop, write and design your website, including corporate backgrounders,
fact sheets, management bios, product and services overviews, customer
testimonials, Q&As or FAQs, and opt-in e-mail newsletters. And we have
evaluated multiple clients' websites to ensure that appropriate information
is available, easy-to-find and that the site's overall look-and-feel communicates
key messages consistently with information from other channels. Surprisingly,
this type of assessment is often overlooked, in favor of "cool" imagery.
And sometimes, as was found in a recent study by Internet usability guru
Jakob Neilsen, sites leave out basic information such as press officers'
contact information (even on press releases posted on the site), making
it difficult for reporters to contact the company.
We also make recommendations about using the latest technology and approaches
including using RSS feeds, blogs, Twitter, and podcasts
to reaching customers, business partners, employees and other key audiences.
By addressing issues important to customers, partners, investors or your
community, bylined articles can shape public or industry perception and
position your company as a thought-leader. Newspaper Op-Ed pages (because
they appear on the page opposite the editorial page) can be an important
place for companies to communicate opinions about key issues and ideas,
typically about public policy. Some magazines, particularly industry-specific
trade publications, also publish contributed opinion articles.
Our editorial board has written and placed more than 100 Op-Ed articles
in approximately two dozen major newspapers, including: The
Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine,
New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, San Francisco
Chronicle and Houston Chronicle.
We have also written and placed bylined articles in targeted publications
such as Advance for Health Information Executives, Advance for Managers
of Respiratory Care, Advanced Manufacturing, Business Trends Quarterly,
HR.com, IT Audit, MRO Management, Outsourcing Russia, SandHillGroup,
Sensors Magazine, Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Journal, ParentGuide
News, and New England Bride that position our clients as thought-leaders
(tied to their business objectives).
We know how to write compelling and timely Op-Ed and opinion articles,
know which newspapers or magazines might be interested and know the appropriate
guidelines for submission (such as length, residency requirements for
local newspapers), style and approach. Our articles are well written,
on message and on time.
Executive Speech Writing
Delivering a speech in front of large audiences can be a terrifying experience
for some, but writing a speech shouldn't be. Our editorial board has written
numerous speeches that capture the vision and personality of CEOs and
senior managers even the Vatican Librarian. We interview the speakers
throughout the process to get their insight and vision, which ensures
the messages are on target; we also ask questions to elicit details about
any appropriate personal anecdotes that add the flavor to the presentation.
We also help develop the collateral materials for the presentation
whether internal meetings, keynote speeches or panel discussions
including multimedia, PowerPoint slides and leave-behinds.
Case Studies and White Papers
Reporters are often interested in three things: customers, customers,
customers. And prospective customers are interested in two things: price
and does it work in similar customer settings. Customer case studies and
white papers are great ways to package information about customers and
successful implementations, ROI studies, new processes, etc.
Our team has experience writing compelling case studies and white papers
for large companies such as IBM and 3M; midsize companies such as Avistar,
Luxoft, Mantas and Reveleus, Longview Solutions; and emerging companies
such as Bradford Networks, Whitebirch Software and RAE Internet. Our case
studies cover topics such as network management, ergonomics, corporate
finance, and academic institutions fighting spam.
For B2B and
clients, we also produce multimedia customer case studies that incorporate
and social media. Learn more here.
Blogs and Podcasts
We develop and execute plans for corporate blogs, helping senior executives
create effective blogs that enable them to communicate key issues and
to build stronger relationships with customers, employees and other key
targets. While blogs must be written by the executives themselves, we
can help edit blogs to ensure consistency and grammar. We also write and
produce podcasts that serve as a marketing and branding tool, which can
be especially effective as part of a thought leadership program.
Pocasts serve as an additional method to communicate messages used in
bylined articles and presentations as well as client and employee newsletters.
Podcasts can be posted on intranets, on the company website and uploaded
to iTunes and other podcast aggregators.
Blogs and podcasts can also augment announcements and other communication
tactics, especially when clients have complex messages that could benefit
from additional discussion possible in a blog or podcast (as opposed to
a page-and-a-half press release). Check out a sample podcast here.
To get your story on TV, you need compelling visual images and broadcast-quality
production values, particularly when considering whether to produce a
video news release (VNR), the equivalent of a paper-based news release
that combines narration and footage to tell a complete story, or B-roll,
which often consists of video footage of establishing shots of a company
(i.e., corporate logo in front of headquarters), its products, customers
using the product, without narration. The benefit of a VNR is telling
the story exactly as you want it; the benefit of B-roll is it is cheaper
and allows newsrooms to edit the story to fit their needs and format.
VNRs and B-rolls can be distributed by satellite or courier to provide
news directors with a visual background upon which to tell your story.
Our team of broadcast experts have written, produced and supervised compelling
VNRs and B-roll that get picked up by national and local news programs.
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of well known consumer office product,
we needed more than a taped "talking head" interview with its inventor.
We filmed MOS ("man on the street") interviews combined with footage from
a movie in which the product played a key plot point, and product shots
to secure national coverage, notably including CBS "Sunday Morning." The
VNR received honorable mention by PR Week in the "VNR of the Year"
category. To celebrate the first MBA student to graduate after taking
all her coursework via distance education Mind Extension University, we
filmed interviews with her advisor (whom she had only talked to by phone),
the student herself, and her on-campus graduation ceremony, scoring ABC
"Evening News" and local stations across the country.
(Recently we have seen the rise of for-pay television programs, which
offer you a spot on their "program" in exchange for a hefty fee
significantly more than it would cost you to produce a VNR on your own
and the video footage from their shoot, but air overnight on small
local stations. Our advice: avoid them. These "programs" are rarely worthwhile
in themselves, are rarely watched by viewers important to you, and the
footage typically is horrible.)