Using Instagram Stories to Show Off Your Brand Behind the Scenes

RIP, Snapchat.

 

Okay, so Snapchat isn’t officially dead, but in June 2018, Instagram reported having up to 400 million daily active users – more than twice that of Snapchat. While Snapchat is still appealing to teens, we’ve been steadily phasing it out of our clients’ strategic social media plans. Why post to Snapchat when you already have a great platform built up on Instagram?

 

If static Instagram posts are the sandcastles, Instagram Stories are the sandbox. You don’t have to worry as much about the content quality because that’s not what your audience is looking for. They want to see what you’re doing, right then in the moment. That awesome product shot you got of hats perfectly balanced on a railing that did so well on your page? Show what it took to get that shot – including the 49 outtakes where hats kept falling over or hands were still caught in the frame.

 

Here are four other ideas to show off your brand with behind the scenes (BTS) Instagram Stories.

 

Event Planning.
Those of us in PR know how much work goes into planning an event, whether it’s a press conference or an exclusive blogger sneak-peek. Those rows of chairs don’t set themselves up on their own – take a boomerang of setting the chairs up, tag your employees doing the heavy lifting, and take a moment to recognize all the work that’s going into the event before the official photo-ops.

 

Interviews.
One of my favorite things to do at Dittoe PR is to set up on-air interviews for my clients. Like event planning, there’s a lot of coordination that goes into these interviews – and some very early morning trips to the news station! Most people only see the final interview when it airs on TV, so take a moment to get a BTS shot of the studio (don’t forget to tag the station and reporters!).

 

Photo Shoots.
Professional photo and video shoots will bring your brand the best visual materials you can ask for. Behind those lenses are a lot of people, tools and coordination that your fans may not be aware of. The top-down shot of a desk with your products scattered on it? There’s a photographer standing on a chair, holding her camera out at a precarious angle, and snapping by feel rather than what’s in the viewfinder. And there may be one person talking in the video, but there’s usually three or four people holding cameras, microphones and interview questions who are outside of the frame helping to make sure it all goes smoothly. Sharing this effort may make your followers appreciate that perfect shot even more.

 

Company Culture.
Unless your company is run by robots (which would be kind of cool), you work with people who have different interests and hobbies, as well as different roles within your organization. Introduce them to the world – with their permission, of course! You may know that your engineer has a thriving succulent collection on their desk, or your receptionist is notorious for their food-themed earrings. Your fans want to know the people behind their favorite brands.

 

And this doesn’t have to be on an individual level, either. If your company caters in lunch, regularly participates in #WineWednesday, or has a team building event off-site, these are great opportunities to show off your company culture and the leaders behind your success.

 

There are countless ways to use Instagram Stories to show off your company. If you’re not sure what might work, just take some boomerangs and see what happens!

 

Want some more help planning an in-depth social media strategy to show off your brand? Contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com.

PR Lingo 101: Phrases Every Pro Should Know

B-roll. Byline. Ed Cals. Embargo. Owned media. Press release. UMV.

 

If you’re a PR professional or work with media, you probably use some or all of these terms on a regular basis. We throw these phrases around with each other in the office, but we have to be mindful when speaking with a client or someone who’s not as familiar with public relations (like our friends or family). Heck, there were even some terms I had never heard of before starting my career at Dittoe PR (ed cals, anyone?).

 

Whether it’s an acronym, slang or just a word you’ve never heard of, we PR pros definitely have a language of our own. To help catch you up to speed, below we’ve started a modest list of terms and phrases we use daily. Sprinkle some of this lingo into a conversation with us, and we’ll know you’re a pro (or just someone who has done their homework).

 

PR: Let’s start with the basics – PR stands for “public relations.” My fiancé always gets upset with me when I throw this phrase around, because “not everyone knows what PR stands for.” I definitely try to be mindful when I’m introducing myself and my company for the first time, making sure I say “Dittoe Public Relations” and not just Dittoe PR. While it may be a no-brainer to those in our industry, those outside of our world might not be as sure.

 

Boilerplate: Think of a boilerplate as an “About Me” section. This is a chance to share the most pertinent information about your company. Typically located at the bottom of a press release, a boilerplate usually includes a few sentences about a company that gives the audience an understanding of its history, core services and mission. Including other milestones or industry recognition (like award wins) is acceptable, too.

 

B-roll: We often tell reporters that they can “capture b-roll” when they come out to an event, or that there will be “great b-roll opportunities.” Basically, this just means that there will be a chance for reporters to capture extra footage to go along with their story. B-roll can help make a segment more visually pleasing, just so you’re not watching a talking head the whole time. Know when you watch a TV segment and you see all those fancy camera angles? Yeah, that’s b-roll.

 

Byline: A byline is a fancy term we use for a guest article, contributed article, op-ed, etc. A byline can often serve as an alternative to a traditional interview-to-story coverage and gives media outlets quality content to add to their queue. Bylines are typically authored by a “thought leader” (there’s another term for ya) at a company about a topic in their industry in which they are considered an expert in. Bylines are our best friends, but they can also be our worst enemies (PR pros – you understand).

 

Embargo: I feel like a secret agent when I’m working with an embargo. Embargos are fun, but they require a lot of trust in the process. Embargos are used when you have a story or an announcement to make, but don’t want media to share it until X day or X time. They can definitely work in your favor, allowing reporters to gather all the information and interviews they need before the news is shared with the public. If you want, you can even give a reporter an “exclusive” (so many PR terms, so little time), but embargos allow every reporter the same fair chance. Once an embargo is “lifted,” that allows a reporter to hit the publish button. It’s really cool to see that embargo lift and have a flood of stories come in all at once.

 

Ed Cal: Sweet, sweet ed cals. For someone who was completely new in the industry at one point (ahem, moi), I had no idea what this stood for. Are you ready for it? Editorial calendar. Great. But now you’re probably thinking, what’s an editorial calendar? Think of editorial calendars as a way for publications to map out their calendar year. Typically aimed toward advertisers, ed cals help us figure out what a publication might be writing about on any given week, month or quarter. If I see that a magazine is planning to write about how to properly dispose of hazardous waste in October, I might reach out in June saying that I have the perfect source for their article. Thank you, ed cals.

 

In-house: The exact opposite of a PR agency. When companies do things “in-house,” that means they don’t have a third party helping them. Most of the clients we work with don’t have an in-house PR team, hence why they work with us. In the PR world, people will usually ask if you work in-house or at an agency. Working in-house is very different than working in an agency, and vice versa. But PR is PR, and we love ‘em all.

 

Pitch: Pitching is at the heart of what we do every day. Probably a little more self-explanatory than most, a pitch is just that – we are “pitching” an idea or story to a reporter, hoping that they’ll find interest and share with their audience. Think of a business pitch – you’re usually trying to sell yourself or your company during a pitch. We do the same in our pitching. But at Dittoe PR, we do things a little differently. We take the time to craft unique, meaningful pitches that are personalized to each media outlet or contact. We specialize in telling stories not selling products or services. We also take the time to research who we’re pitching, which helps us craft our pitch even more.

 

Trade publication: You can probably easily name top national media (CNN, Forbes, Mashable and so on), and you can probably name some local publications, too. But when it comes to trade … that’s usually a different story. Trade publications are targeted to a specific industry or audience that work in that industry. The general public typically doesn’t read these types of publications (unless reading Chemical Processing gets you jazzed) but landing an interview with a trade publication might be the perfect fit for your client’s audience.

 

UMV: I’ll give it to ya straight – UMV stands for unique monthly visitors. A UMV references how many individual people are visiting a website each month. Every website as a different UMV, and it often changes month-to-month. UMVs are important in our industry, as it helps us illustrate the value behind media coverage and, in some case, calculate advertising value (how much it would have cost you to pay to be in that publication). We also use terms like “readership” and “media impressions” to track and analyze media metrics (I could write a novel at this point with how many terms I’m throwing at you!).

 

Well, there you have it! While this list doesn’t come close to touching all the jargon we use regularly, I hope this is a good start. If any of the above sparks your interest or you think there’s a service your business could benefit from, contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com.