Dittoe PR Continues to Grow in 2017

With the addition of two new team members Dittoe PR is progressing toward a bright future here in Indy. Former intern and account coordinator Sammi Coppedge has been promoted to account executive, while Sophie Maccagnone was hired as an account coordinator.

 

Before graduating from Ball State University and joining the firm full-time, Sammi completed three consecutive internships at Dittoe PR. Her stellar work securing coverage in local, trade and national publications – including Huffington Post and Star Magazine – proved she had what it took to be a PR pro. Within three months, Sammi earned a promotion from account coordinator to account executive – likely the quickest promotion to date for Dittoe PR.

 

After spending a year with the NCAA, Sophie made the career move to PR agency at Dittoe PR. As a Butler University grad and former collegiate soccer player, Sophie’s can-do attitude and dedication to teamwork followed her into the working world, and she quickly picked up the skills it takes to be successful in public relations. She has already begun taking the lead on many of the firms design projects while simultaneously delivering notable results for Dittoe PR clients seeking media coverage, content creation and more.

 

“We’re excited to see new talent developing within the company,” said Chris Dittoe, president and co-founder of Dittoe Public Relations. “We value hard work and the dedication to success, which both women bring to the team.”

 

These recent additions to the Dittoe PR team follow on the heels of numerous promotions at the firm. We’re always seeking talented applicants. Check out our careers page for openings.

Five Tips for Starting a Career in PR

Landing your first public relations job can be difficult, and getting started in this industry can seem intimidating. After attending all the right classes, studying all the right material and interning at all the right companies (like Dittoe PR), you’ve checked all the right boxes. While you may consider yourself a PR novice, it is often the unteachables that will allow you to make an immediate impact in the PR world and give you the confidence to take the industry by storm. Whether you’re switching careers or recently graduated, consider these tips to help you set the foundation for a successful PR career.

 

  1. Check your attitude.
    Walking in the door on the first day, you’re faced with an abundance of training material, employee handbooks, company paperwork, and a sea of tasks to get you acclimated in the new role. You may not be able to control feeling overwhelmed, but what you can control that is a vital to your career? Your attitude. Show that you’re ready to learn all the ins and the outs of the company and eager to immerse yourself in the work. A positive, determined and enthusiastic attitude will not only help instill self-confidence, but also trust in your ability to juggle the many demands of public relations.

 

  1. Research EVERYTHING.
    The most effective way to get a feel for the company, its clients and overall approach toward producing results is through research. That includes absorbing every aspect of company websites, vigilantly reviewing previous material created for clients, and carefully studying the content covered in local media. Research can help you with every assignment and ultimately gives you an advantage in the PR field. Research everything from your clients’ industries to reporters’ alma maters – you’d be surprised by how a tiny bit of information can lead to the perfect pitch that will garner national coverage.

 

  1. Know who you’re talking to.
    Every client is different. Every reporter is different. Every team member is different. Everyone and everything is different, and it is of the utmost importance you remain conscious of that at all times. Whether you’re drafting an email, writing a press release, or pitching to local media – it is crucial that you are aware of who will be on the receiving end. If your client is a government-funded organization, your communication should always be professional and clean cut. Don’t pitch an evening event to a sunrise reporter. Instead, personalize your pitch based on the specialties of a particular writer. Even your coworkers favor specific writing styles and templates when submitting content. The quicker you learn these differences, the quicker you’ll find success in your career.

 

  1. Say the Magic Word.
    The fastest way to gain experience in PR is by saying one word: “yes.” Can you draft a client email? Yes. Can you write a media advisory? Yes. Can you brainstorm pitch ideas? Yes. This tip comes with great responsibility, as you do not want to take on more than you can handle; however, be willing accept as many assignments as possible that will expose you to the different strategies your company offers. Soon you’ll start recognizing cues of when to draft certain material, all the while refining your skill set. Coworkers will respect your work ethic and you’ll gain a better understanding of each client while learning to prioritize your to-do list.

 

  1. Thank EVERYONE for EVERYTHING.
    A thank you goes a long way, especially in the PR world. Whether it’s to a team member, reporter or client – taking the time to send a quick thank you can do wonders for your career. A thank you shows that you respect the time and work of others and helps build relationships. A little appreciation goes a long way and often times gives you an advantage when future opportunities arise.

 

PR is demanding, challenging and occasionally chaotic, but utilizing these tips will offer a smooth transition into this fast-paced industry while separating you from the competition and laying the groundwork for a prosperous career. If you’re interested in a career in PR, check out our Careers page.

Media Advisory or Press Release? Three Simple Ways to Tell the Difference

Media advisory versus press release: one of the longest rivalries in the PR game. These crucial documents work to accomplish similar PR goals, but failing to see what makes a media advisory drastically different from a press release can deliver costly consequences next time you’re trying to capture the media’s attention. For PR novices, learn the key factors that differentiate these two handy PR tools and how they can be implemented to exceed clients’ expectations.

 

Purpose

Understanding the true purpose of each document will help PR teams determine which one will generate a more media coverage for a client. For starters, a media advisory or alert serves as an invitation to an event and stimulates attendance to a company event, such as a news conference, grand opening or presentation. For instance, when Dittoe PR client LIDS hosted an event to unveil their new social media command center in their newly renovated corporate headquarters, Dittoe PR leveraged an advisory inviting media to join the event and receive private tours of the new facility.

 

A press release has a different purpose. It is rooted in storytelling, providing journalists key details for their article or segment. Types of announcements include the launch of a new product, new hires, company milestones and more.

 

Composition

When well-written, the content in a press release and media advisory can be very similar. Both documents include the same basic information, such as the who, what, when, where, why and how. In addition, they also need to feature a catchy headline, be concise, informative and relevant to a target audience.

 

However, their similarities in composition are overpowered by major fundamental differences. A media advisory is an abbreviated form of a press release containing less detail and almost zero commentary. It encompasses only the facts and are rarely shared verbatim with the public. These documents strictly inform the media of a newsworthy event by giving persuasive reasoning on why media should attend.

 

A press release includes additional “meat” to support the story being presented to the media. Since these documents typically contain more information in added detail, they can be published on social media or an online publication directly, usually unedited. This makes it vital for each press release to contain all the necessary information to increase the turnaround time of a story.

 

Timing

The biggest differentiator between the two documents is understanding the timing. Media advisories need to be sent to media contacts well in advance of the event. This gives contacts plenty of time to add it to the schedule and make the necessary arrangements to ensure they can attend. This approach also allows the PR professional to have adequate time in advance to send subsequent reminders about the event.

 

For press releases, many PR professionals have thrown out various rules on timing, but previous experience has revealed that correct timing needs to align alongside the client’s goals. If a specific client typically like releases to go out at a specific day/time, adhere to their preferred process and make necessary recommendations depending on holidays and what is generating buzz among target audiences in the news cycle. In addition, PR pros can also try testing out different distribution dates/times to see when one garners the largest pickup by looking at the analytics and then tailoring the approach accordingly.

 

Think your company or brand could benefit from proactive media relations? We’re happy to help!

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