Four reasons why your company needs PR

“Thank You for Smoking.” “The West Wing.” “Wag the Dog.”

These are all movies and TV shows that revolve around public relations. Now, if you notice, most of these involve some sort of crisis or needed “spin.” Flashback to more than a decade ago, and there was a slight stigma surrounding public relations. Often times PR was viewed as just “putting out fires” and only used when there was an emergency.

While we still help with crisis communications, utilizing a PR agency can provide great value for your company in many other ways.  

It can increase your brand’s credibility.
One of the biggest things PR can do for your business is help improve your overall brand credibility. Not only can secured media coverage be used as sales collateral, but it also shows readers that you are considered an expert in your industry. Media coverage in top-tier outlets or even specific trade publications shows others that your brand is worthy of recognition. With the right messaging and strategy, PR can increase your credibility as an established and potentially profitable investment target.

It can help create new business leads.
When done correctly, public relations can help improve business outcomes by generating new leads. When your brand or product is strategically placed in targeted or niche media outlets, you are becoming more visible to your target audience(s). At Dittoe PR, we focus on pitching the right publications – while you might not get the fancy national media hit every month, we can guarantee correct placement in the best publications for you.   

It can save you a buck or two.
If you haven’t checked how much it costs to advertise in a publication…don’t. Kidding. But it can be extremely expensive. That’s why we focus on earned media coverage and creating relationships with reporters. When we send over an ad value for a piece of coverage, that’s how much it would have cost to purchase an advertisement. Yes, you’re still paying an agency for their services, but it’s at the fraction of the overall advertising cost.

It can let you focus on your business at hand. 
Media relations is a full-time job (believe us, or else we’d be jobless). That’s why hiring a PR agency can help alleviate the pressure of running a business while building brand awareness (this is especially true for startups). While you’re working on the mechanics of the company, an agency will focus on media outreach, drafting content, submitting awards and more on your behalf.

We love hearing from new businesses who want to add PR to their queue. Think your organization could benefit from our assistance? Be sure to check out our full list of services and reach out to Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com today!




Using Data in Your Daily PR Initiatives

Marketing and PR were once considered the hardest departments for a business to quantify because there was a lack of definitive return on investment (ROI). With the rise of digital marketing, this has become a slightly mitigated problem with pay-to-click data, Google Analytics, and other various tools used to track engagements digitally.

This is a far cry from trying to determine the sales impact of a billboard on the side of a highway, but it can still be challenging to prove that money invested in PR efforts has been felt by the company in one way or another.

Fortunately, at Dittoe PR, we’re left brained and right brained. We’re creative and resourceful, and we’re also analytical. We strive to show our clients both the tangible and intangible value of media coverage and we use hard data to fuel those efforts. Today, we’ll explore a couple ways that data and PR can go hand-in-hand.

Leveraging UMVs and ad dollars.
When working with clients, we want to ensure they can see the value in a piece of secured media coverage, whether it’s a splashy feature story in a national publication or a brief mention in a trade outlet. One of the ways we do this is by tracking the readership an outlet gets each month. For more on essential reporting tools, check out this blog post!

Once we know how many impressions a piece of coverage gets (i.e. the circulation of a print publication or the number of unique website visitors a website gets in a given month), we can quantify how much it would cost to purchase ad space to reach the same number of viewers or readers. We can also leverage ad rates available in publications’ media kits, when available.

Often times, these figures are far higher than what it costs a company each month to outsource PR efforts. We highlight these numbers for our clients in real time, as well as totaling our efforts at the end of each month, so they can see where their money is going and what the ROI is.

Using data to get coverage.
As much as we love providing data to clients after a piece of coverage is secured, we also love leveraging data to catch a reporter’s attention, especially if the data comes directly from the client.

Using statistics or demographics that are relevant to a clients’ industry always makes a pitch or story angle stronger. While the type of statistic and what is considered interesting will vary across the different trades, providing data to back up a claim such as “we’re the best in the business” will make it an easier sell to reporters and outlets.

For example, if you send out an annual survey to poll your customers on certain industry-related habits, we can leverage that data in our media outreach to earn additional credibility for your company.

Targeting the right audience.
When it comes to media relations, each client has a different reason for hiring a PR team. Some want to increase their brand awareness to an audience that was previously unaware or unengaged with their company. Others might want to strength relationships and move deeper into a certain demographic that’s already proven to resonate with the brand. Knowing these goals and understanding how to reach key demographics can help us determine the right outlets and reporters with whom to connect.

If a company is already trending well with women ages 25-45 and would like to continue that relationship, we research reporters and outlets that target that group. If they’re trending well with that same group of women but would like to increase sales or awareness with men ages 60-75, that often times directs our attention to different publications and different story angles.

Knowing a client’s customer base and their goals associated with growth is a key piece of data that Dittoe PR will revisit again and again to ensure that media relations is serving the need at hand.

Including links back to the website.
Whenever a client mention is secured on a digital platform, we’re always crossing our fingers (and toes) that the client’s website link is included in the story. While this doesn’t always happen, when it does, we’re able to use Google Analytics to determine if recent traffic to their website is driven from that mention. Not only does this show that our efforts are increasing brand awareness and engagement, but it helps us to know what kind of stories, outlets, and demographics are the most engaging to readers.

I’ve often found that while the trade publications might have a smaller number of impressions, they often times have the largest click-through rates. Getting a story in front of the right group of people can sometimes be more valuable than getting a story in front of the largest group of people.

At the end of the day, increasing brand awareness can seem very open-ended and in a lot of ways it is. However, there are plenty of tools, resources, and dedicated PR teams out there to help you achieve those results and back up the claims with data.

Interested in learning more about how we provide tangible value to our clients? Contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com to schedule a consultation today!


Four Tips for Writing Award Nominations That Win

“And the award goes to…”

This phrase has been engraved in my mind since I was a kid and first watched the Academy Awards. I dreamt about being a movie star someday, or even a singer, and receiving what I thought was the highest recognition anyone could ever receive. However, here I am, 20-some years later, working in public relations and writing this blog post about those dreams.

While I may never win an Oscar or a Grammy, I do get to help craft meaningful award submissions on behalf of my clients. In fact, I typically draft at least one award nomination each month. Crafting award submissions is a fun and creative way to break from our typical routine of media pitching and can sometimes create just as much value as a media hit. Awards help businesses or individuals build their street cred. It’s one thing to say you’re the best in XYZ, but it’s another to have an award showing that others also believe you’re the best.

Every award win is ultimately up to the judges, but below I’ve outlined some best practices when drafting submissions on behalf of clients.

Do your research.
How many times have you heard us say that before? But with award opportunities, this is insanely important. We typically begin research for the following year in the fall and continue researching opportunities throughout the next year. During this phase, you will need to think big, sometimes small, and always outside of the box.


Things to include in the calendar:

  • First, check and see if your client has already received awards in the past. Doing this first is a great starting point and can potentially help you start an initial list of new opportunities.
  • You should also research what awards their competitors have won in recent years. Seeing this list can help you realize an additional area of awards you might have never thought of applying to.
  • Additionally, use key words during the research phase. If your client is a retailer, use search terms like “retailer awards” or “best places to shop awards.”
  • Lastly, ask if there are any awards your client wants to apply to. They know their industry the best and there might be one they’ve had on their mind for a while. 


Create a calendar.
Once you’ve completed the initial researching phase, you should then move into creating a content calendar. Having a calendar can ultimately be your saving grace when it comes to organizing all upcoming opportunities. Typically, we’ll create an internal calendar for our team to reference throughout the year. We’ll put all of our initial opportunities in the calendar and then organize from there. If it’s helpful, you can always share this calendar with a client via Google sheets.

A quick glance of what that calendar can look like is below: 

Things to include in the calendar:

  • Month
  • Opportunity name
  • Cost
  • Submission deadline
  • Status
  • Other helpful columns you could include: Who’s handling (you vs. client, you vs. another team member), “about” section, link to receipt and more


Outline all details.
Now that you’ve done your research and created a content calendar, next it’s time to outline the award details for your client. Every client is different, which means there will be a different process for each one. Find out which process they prefer to establish a proper protocol moving forward. Different processes include sending all opportunities via email once a month, sending individual opportunities via email as they arise, share a Google sheet that will notify every time a new opportunity is added, and more.

Things you could include in your outline:

  • Name of opportunity (linked to website)
  • Deadline
  • Cost
  • About the award
  • Anything you might need in order to complete a submission (additional information, supporting materials, etc.)


Create a draft before submitting.
Now it’s time for the fun part – create a draft version of the entire submission! I’d recommend doing this whether you’re drafting a nomination for your client or even yourself. Most applications allow you to view all questions and criteria before submitting, which is a great practice to have when drafting a submission. Creating a draft allows you to create comments or variations of the nomination before you send it to your client for approval. This also limits the back-and-forth questions you might have while working on the nomination in real-time.

Once you have all the questions from the award included in the draft, it’s time to actually start drafting the content. Over time, submitting award nominations for a client can get easier and quicker if they have preapproved messaging. In the meantime, get creative to see what type of messaging sticks with the judges and which submissions lead you to award-wins.

After the draft has been approved, it’s easy peasy from there on out. You can take the approved messaging and paste it into the online submission and voila! Make sure to always forward on the submission and/or payment confirmation to your client as well.

We can’t promise any Oscars nominations, but we can secure some award wins for you. Think your business or organization could use help with drafting submissions? Or need help in other areas, too? Check out our services page or reach out to Lauryn Gray (lauryn@dittoepr.com) for more information!