How to Find Credible Sources to Cite in Media Pitches

With Google at our fingertips, information isn’t hard to find. But finding credible information can sometimes be a challenge.

 

In an era of “fake news,” it is more important than ever for public relations professionals to use credible sources in their pitches to journalists. These credible sources ensure your audience – journalists, and perhaps their readers, viewers, or listeners – can trust you, and that the assertions laid out in your pitch are backed up with reliable evidence.

 

Here are a few best practices for finding and citing credible sources in your next pitch:

 

What makes something credible?

As a PR professional, you are expected to use the best, most correct, most recent, and most reliable information possible. That way, journalists can trust in you and your client’s expertise.

 

Think of finding a credible source to include in your pitch the same way as finding reliable information to cite in your college research paper. To evaluate the credibility of a source, remember the acronym “CRAP:”

 

  • Currency: How recently was it published? Find information published less than five years ago, preferably within the last two years.
  • Reliability: Does the information have evidence to support it? Look for the original source of information, not a news article that cites a source.
  • Authority: Is the author an expert in their field? Fact-check information you find and pay careful attention to the sample size and who or what organization conducted the research.
  • Purpose/point of view: Why was it written? Analyze any biases the source may have.

If you’re not sure if a source is credible, don’t risk it. Find an alternative you know is reliable.

 

Where do you find credible sources?

Credible sources can be subject-matter experts such as professors, researchers, licensed professionals, or high-ranking executives, as well as industry research published in a scholarly journal, by a government agency or well-known research group.

 

For example, when pitching a healthcare client, turn to the National Safety Council, American Hospital Association, and Department of Health & Human Services as resources. For business clients, look at facts and figures from the Census Bureau, National Association of Women Business Owners, and Small Business Administration. In your actual pitch to journalists, link to these credible sources in the body of your email. That way, the reporter can reference the report to get more information about the statistic.

 

Using evidence that does not come from a credible source of information will not convince the reporter you’re pitching that the claims in your pitch are plausible – or even correct – and certainly won’t convince them to write about your client.

 

Ready for us to put together a custom pitching strategy for you? Contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com, or request a consultation today.

How to Take Advantage of LinkedIn Groups

With more than 18 million companies currently using LinkedIn, it can be difficult to make yours stand out. Luckily, Reid Hoffman (co-founder of LinkedIn) offers a way to break down the masses by industry, interest, and intent with LinkedIn Groups.

 

LinkedIn Groups are virtual hubs on LinkedIn that provide a “place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts.”

 

There are nearly 2.1 million groups on LinkedIn – which is still a LOT – but when broken down by industry, it’s much more manageable.

 

Unsure how to get started? I’ve rounded up the basics below to help you begin to take advantage of LinkedIn Groups.

 

Joining groups is fairly easy – as long as you have a LinkedIn account. Just visit www.linkedin.com/groups and select ‘Discover.’

 

If you’ve already filled out your profile, LinkedIn will automatically suggest a myriad of groups based on your industry, experience, and more. For those of us in public relations, you may see suggestions like: PR Professionals, Social Media Today, or your local PRSA chapter, to name a few.

 

By clicking ‘My Groups’, users can see a full list of the groups they are a member of, sort based on name or industry, and view the groups they’re waiting to be admitted access to. Once inside each group, users can view and connect with other members, solicit feedback on relevant topics or participate in existing conversations, and even view jobs available in the related field.

 

So now you know how to join, but maybe you’re still not convinced. Here are just four of the major benefits you’ll see after using the LinkedIn Groups feature:

 

Engage.

Joining LinkedIn Groups allows users to engage with other members through topical and industry-related conversations. Whether it’s liking a recently shared article or sharing your two cents on an ongoing discussion, LinkedIn Groups facilitate additional networking opportunities with fellow industry pros. They also give you a chance to show ‘em what you’re working with!

 

Share.

Another benefit to LinkedIn Groups is the ability to share relevant content and solicit feedback. Working on a new proposal or just trying to get some advice on your recent blog post? Share it in various groups to get constructive criticism. LinkedIn Groups are also a great place to find sharable content for curation!

 

Connect.

Not only do LinkedIn Groups allow you to engage with other industry pros, but they can help connect you with potential clients, employees/employers, and more. This networking platform offers a deeper dive into each industry, allowing users to familiarize themselves by reviewing expert opinions, content, and more.

 

Influence.

By regularly sharing content and participating in group discussions, users will begin to make a name for themselves as industry leaders. Other group members may privately message you for advice, and leaders in other industries might look to you for expert advice in your field. Either way, you’ll be getting your name out there in the best possible way.

 

As you can see, there’s no shortage of advantages when it comes to using LinkedIn Groups to expand and showcase your industry knowledge. Interested in getting help? Set up a consultation with us today!

Instagram Story Tips for Building Your Brand

With more than 83 percent of users worldwide unhappy with the new platform update, Snapchat’s usage could see a big decline in the coming months. Instagram has been making changes too, and – aside from the lack of a chronological timeline – users seem to be pleased with the updates. New Instagram Story features include various font styles, new stickers and gifs, highlights, and more, all of which have users sharing content now more than ever.

 

In 2017, Facebook announced that Instagram Stories surpassed its competition, gaining more than 250 million daily active users in its first year. And with 100 million more people using Instagram Stories than Snapchat, it’s no surprise that businesses are starting to take advantage of this widely used feature.

 

By allowing users to share photos and videos separate from the main Instagram feed, Instagram Stories provide an additional way to share exclusive content that lasts for only 24 hours before disappearing. With an Instagram business profile, marketers can track impressions, followers, and engagements, as well as manage promotions. The Instagram Story feature allows marketers to track the number of views, the number of people who exited (swiped away from) your story, and the number of people who re-watched (tap-back) or skipped ahead (tap-forward).

 

Below are a few tips for using Instagram Stories to build your brand:

 

Give exclusive access and deals.

Because Instagram Stories only last for 24 hours, it’s the perfect way to deliver exclusive offers to your followers. Business can either (a) post a special offer/discount code directly to the Instagram Story or (b) refer viewers to the link in your Instagram bio, containing a direct link to a landing page for the special offer. By creating a sense of urgency, followers will be more likely to pay attention and engage as a result.

 

Provide a look behind the curtain.

Your followers continue to follow you for a reason, most likely because they’re interested in what you’re doing or offering. By sharing the creative process or giving a look behind the well-edited curtain, brands can give followers a peek at what goes on behind the scenes through content on their Instagram Story.

 

Let influencers take the reign.

By partnering with influencers that connect with your audience to conduct Instagram Story takeovers, brands can offer different perspectives for their followers. Hosting regular guest segments can provide both a variety and consistency of content for your followers to connect with. By promoting the takeover on the guests’ profile, brands can gain additional engagement and brand recognition from the influencers’ followers as well.

 

Collect feedback and increase engagement.

Aside from asking followers to ‘comment below’ to get their opinions, brands can take advantage of the Instagram Story feature that allows businesses to solicit additional engagement in the form of a two-answer poll. Post a question to your followers and they can simply select one of two responses, all of which are tracked in the Instagram Story metrics. Brands can also open their inbox to followers by asking them to ‘direct message’ (DM) them with responses, ideas, and more.

 

Tag your location.

By using the geolocation feature via Instagram Story, brands can tag and share their location for additional engagement. Instagram auto-populates locations near you or your business for simplified use, but brands can create a new geolocation tag using Facebook. From popping up on the Instagram ‘Explore’ page and finding local influencers to locating new followers and seeing who’s tagging you, the geolocation feature allows brands an alternate avenue to connect directly with other Instagram users.

 

Link to additional content.

For brands with verified accounts with more than 10,000 followers, adding a URL to the Instagram Story is a great way to link to additional content online. This feature can be used for promoting a new blog post, linking directly to a sale, or directing traffic to a partnered site. Brands who aren’t verified, or who have less than 10,000 followers, can still gain web traffic through Instagram by using their Instagram Story to direct followers to the link in their bio.

 

Need help creating content, increasing engagement, or generating brand awareness via social media? Request a consultation with us today!

 

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