Our Blog

The latest company news and marketing tips.

Make the Most Out of Your Morning

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

We all know there are two types of people, those who enjoy mornings, and those who despise them. If you are the latter, we have a few tips below that will help you make your mornings more productive, as well as keep you motivated throughout the day. 

Better mornings start with the night before. 

Create a to-do list the night before. This task doesn’t take any more than 5 minutes, and can be very helpful in getting you on track for the day ahead. This is also a great tool to eliminate those, “Now, what was I supposed to do today?” moments. 

Get a Morning Routine. 

By having a morning routine before your start working, your brain will adjust to when it is time to work and when it is time to rest. For example: When you get to work, turn on your computer and grab a cup of coffee or your preferred morning beverage while it boots up. Next, take a look at your to-do list (which you created last night if you followed rule number one), and jot down any extra tasks you may have left off.  Then, open your email and check if any messages are urgent and scroll through the latest news on your desktop. This routine will take about 10-15 minutes and will have your brain ready to work! 

Sit up or stand at your desk. 

If you aren’t a morning person, we suggest starting with sitting up at your desk. It’s amazing what good posture can have on your motivation and work ethic. 

Accomplish one important task first. 

It can be easy in the mornings to look at your to-do list and start with the smaller tasks, but what can really help boost your brain function and motivation is by taking on the biggest project on your list and completing it first. After this is done, completing the rest of your task list will be smooth sailing. 

Do you have any tips on making the most out of your mornings? Comment below!

Top PR Books to Sharpen Your Skills in 2016

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

It’s 2016, and with this New Year comes the annual New Year’s Resolution. This year, we encourage you to not only make a personal resolution, but a work resolution as well—this could be to get more organized, learn something new or to simply sharpen your skills in the industry. We have listed a few of our favorite Public Relations Industry books that can help you accomplish all three of these below.

 

“Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg:

 Summary: In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.

 

“This is How You Pitch” by Ed Zitron

 Summary: This book will teach you all you need to know about public relations, from
what to do on your first day at your desk to how to start your own PR agency. You’ll learn the core skill of the business: pitching. It’ll also tell you how to avoid becoming a buzzword-spitting automaton that the media will hate.

 

“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

 Summary: You can go after the job you want…and get it! You can take the job you have…and improve it! You can take any situation you’re in…and make it work for you! For over 50 years the rock-solid, time-tested advice in this book has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.

 

“For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations” by Ronn Torossian

Summary: It is essential that businesses know how to communicate quickly, often preemptively, and effectively to survive—and at a cost that is far lower than comparable marketing and ad campaigns. The first book by the owner of a top 50 PR agency, For Immediate Release, Ronn Torossian reveals how public relations can do just that—while also defining brands; helping companies and individuals court the press or avoid it; growing business without alienating loyal customers; resolving crises quickly; and improving first page results on the most powerful search engine in the world (Google).

 

Do you have a favorite book that has helped you improve your skills? Comment below! 

How To Use Hashtags

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

Today, hashtags have become almost essential when it comes to social media marketing. While we don’t want to get overzealous with our hashtag use- cue Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake- we do want to make an impression and create conversations among our social media audiences.  To do that, here are some tips on how to create resounding Tweets with the use of hashtags.

Keep it simple, but memorable: When using hashtags, it’s important to keep them short, sweet and unforgettable. Creativity and humor are always welcome, but keep in mind that the hashtag you use should have a positive connection to your brand.

Stay engaged: Join the conversation and engage with your audience with the use of your hashtag. By monitoring, responding and conversing with followers, you have the opportunity to leave them with a lasting impression of your brand. Maintaining positive relationships with your customers should always be a priority!

Don’t overuse: One thing to avoid is the excessive use of hashtags. Some may argue that you are likely to get more attention, but in reality, most users find them to be annoying and less credible. We suggest keeping the use of hashtags to a minimum of two per Tweet.

Stay consistent throughout platforms: Once you’ve developed your hashtag, be sure to use it consistently throughout each of your social media platforms. Followers should be able to associate the hashtag to your brand through the use of all different mediums.

 

Simple Ways to Strengthen Media Relationships

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

The relationships public relations professionals have with the media are the key to a clients’ program success. Without them, it is impossible to secure exposure or receive feedback. As in everyday life, relationships are key and likewise, one must work to establish and maintain a strong relationship with the media they are targeting for coverage. Below, we list a few tips below that will help strengthen these relationships.

Stay Current and Specific to the Media YOU are Targeting. Read recent stories editors have written and send an email with feedback. This shows the editor that you are genuinely interested in their work and are not only talking to them to get a product or client featured.

Stay Connected!  This can be via Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Not only will following them on social media give you an idea of what an editor is interested in outside of their career, but it will make you stand out among others. (It also doesn’t hurt to endorse them for a skill or like their posts).

Know what they Cover! Knowing what an editor covers is key to understanding what stories/products they are likely to be interested in. Many editors may move around between publications, or just switch up what they cover for different months–be sure to stay updated so you can pitch them accordingly.

Appreciate! Appreciate! Appreciate! More often than not, feedback to the media is negative. When an editor covers a product or story that you pitched, be sure to send a follow up email thanking them for the placement. This shows them you appreciate the time they took to review your product and that you actually read it.

Comment Below with other Tips That Work for You!

‘Tis The Season…for Holiday PR

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

To the general public, the Holiday season means cold weather, finding the perfect gift and deciding what to serve at the annual family gathering. To those of us in the Public Relations industry, it means getting coverage for our clients in the many Gift Guides, segments and stories that will run this Holiday season. To learn more about the inner workings of a PR agency during the Holiday months, please see below.

 

What do we do?

From October to December most short lead media (Newspapers, Online Sites and Broadcast Stations) are focused on filling their stories and segments with everything Holiday. This could be through a Gift Guide, Holiday Décor story or even Festive Recipe ideas. For a PR agency, this means finding a place in these stories and segments where our client’s products might be a fit.

 

How do we do it?

Much like any campaign, we prepare in advance. Before a holiday campaign launches we make sure all of our documents are ready—this means press releases are finalized, target media lists are compiled and the coffee pot is full. This way, once a campaign is ready to launch we have all the tools needed for a successful Holiday season. Throughout the campaign we continue to seek out opportunities for our clients in the media and stay updated on what they have planned for future stories and segments.

 

Now you have a better idea of what goes on in a Public Relations agency during the Holiday Season. It may sound crazy, but we love every second of it!

It’s never too late to start thinking about PR! Check out our homepage to find a campaign that fits your brand.

The Importance of Formatting

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

Organization is a key factor to the success of a business. Without it things can get a little out of hand— documents get lost, employees get confused and clients get frustrated. At Avalon Communications we find that formatting our documents plays an important role in staying organized (and keeping your sanity). Below we have outlined what formatting means and how it can help any business stay on top of their game.

What is formatting?

By definition, formatting is “the organization, plan, style, or type of something.” At Avalon Communications we feel that formatting is important to a business not only for the company itself, but for its employees and clients as well.

Why is it important?

  • For the Company. Scattered, messy and inconsistent documents may reflect poorly on the company as a whole even if the people working on the inside understand them. Being consistent with formatting can help streamline a companies’ efforts and present their information in a clear and concise manner.
  • For the Employees. In business it is necessary for employees to both understand the documents they are working with as well as keep them organized. Using the same format throughout the company is a great way to accomplish this as colleagues can easily read, edit and share documents without wasting time trying to decipher the contents.  Some companies may find that certain employees have a ‘system’ that works for them, which is fine! Just be sure the end result aligns with the standard format.
  • For the Clients. When presenting documents to a client it is important that the information be neat and comprehensible. A client should be able to look at the document and understand the information presented without any confusion. Using the same format also makes it easy for clients to compare current and previous documents for reference and helps your company save time and energy from explaining the format method.

 

How does formatting help you and/or your company? Comment below! Don’t forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

 

 

Choosing the Right Social Media Platform

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

Social Media is becoming increasingly important for businesses as it not only helps build their brand, but allows them to connect with the public on a more personal level. With the hundreds of social media platforms available to businesses, deciding which one best serves their brand can get a little tricky and many factors must be taken into consideration. The proper social media platform will reach the right audience as well as display content in a way that works best for the brand. We have listed four of the most common social media platforms and what they offer below.

Facebook: To build a fan base and increase brand awareness for both a business and their products Facebook is the way to go. This platform allows companies to post content using text, images or videos that gets their fans excited about their business in a fun, creative way. Facebook also has the option to target posts and ads to reach a specific demographic for those that wish to create extremely customized content.

Twitter: Twitter is great for customer service as well as immediate fan engagement. It can serve as a quick-response platform to address questions, comments or concerns an audience may have as well as communicate company news (new products, expansion, etc.) in just one concise tweet.

Pinterest: Pinterest is great for businesses who benefit from their audience actually seeing their product. With Pinterest, a brand can post pictures of their product along with relative information their audience may need to know. For example, a food brand could post boards containing recipes for each season, nutritional information about their product, ways to use their product and more which helps increase brand awareness as well as show people how the product can be used in their lives.

YouTube: For companies that have a product people need to physically use or assemble, YouTube is the solution. Many times, a product may look more complicated than it really is, but with a video the client will be informed and instructed on how to properly use the product.

We hope this breakdown has helped you understand what purpose each social media platform serves—do you have a favorite social media platform? Share it with us below!

Don’t forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Get the Most out of your Staff Meetings

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

Many times when hearing the words “Staff Meeting” employees may think it is code for an hour of meaningless conversation that usually involves bitter coffee and donuts. At Avalon Communications, we think differently. Staff meetings should be fun as well as informative, and time should be used wisely. In the public relations world there is no such thing as free time, so when we have a meeting every minute counts. Below are a few tips so getting the most out of a staff meeting.

Be prepared. When attending staff meetings be sure that you are up to date on all of your clients. There is nothing worse than being asked a question regarding your client and not knowing the answer. If it helps, try printing out a mini-update or summary of where you are with a certain client as well as any pertinent information that may come up in conversation. Bring a writing pad and pen with you to the meeting in case you need to jot down any extra information.

Organize the meeting space. Do you use a projector in your staff meetings? Be sure the computer works. Have a whiteboard? Make sure you have markers. These may seem like easy things to remember but it’s the little things people tend to forget. This way, you are prepared to start your meeting right away rather than testing out 10 markers and wasting 10 minutes. Another thing to keep in mind is to have a clean meeting table, this way employees will not get distracted and be able to apply themselves to the meeting.

Have fun! Remember that staff meetings should also be fun! Order in lunch, have a quick catch up on current events, whatever you feel might lighten the mood. This will help create an atmosphere where employees feel comfortable voicing their opinion, making for a very productive staff meeting.

Do you have any tips or tricks to getting the most out of your staff meetings? Share them with us in a comment below!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Christmas in July!

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

When you ask the average person when Christmas is, they are more than likely to say December 25th, but ask any Public Relations professional and their answer will be slightly different by a few months. Although there may not be stockings on the fireplace or gifts under a tree, in this industry Christmas comes in July. To better explain what “Christmas in July” really means we have listed a few industry tips below.

 

Lead Times. Public relations professionals must pitch according to what their outlets are working on.  Typically, major publications such as Real Simple, Every Day with Rachael Ray and Better Homes and Gardens have a 3-5 month lead time, meaning that while it may be July in real-time, they are already working on Holiday issues! For smaller, regional publications the lead time may be shorter—about 1-3 months.

Finding the Right Contacts. When it comes to pitching it is imperative that you reach out to the proper editors (Pitch food items to food editors, not fashion editors). During the Holidays, this can get a little confusing—some publications designate one editor that is in charge of Holiday Gift Guides, some have multiple editors accepting submissions and some publications don’t even have a gift guide! The key is to stay ahead of the game, do your research and figure out the Holiday contacts before you pitch. Nothing is more embarrassing than pitching for a gift guide only to find there isn’t one.

Deadlines. Deadlines are key in the Public Relations industry. If you don’t meet them, you won’t secure coverage and if you don’t secure coverage your client may not be a happy camper. Deadlines may vary for major publications Holiday issues, which explains the importance of doing your research. We suggest that when reaching out to find which editors are in charge of the Holiday Gift Guides or Holiday Issues that you also inquire as to what the deadline is for submissions (bonus points if you also ask for the theme of their issue)!

Hopefully these tips give you a little insight into what we mean by Christmas in July—have any extra tips? Comment below!

If you are looking to secure Holiday coverage for your brand please contact us, we would love to help! Have a Merry Christmas!

Don’t forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

 

 

Office Productivity 101

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

Motivation by definition is the condition of being eager to act or work.  Every professional faces days where their motivation is at its peak— tasks are completed, goals are met and life is good. Sadly, every professional also faces days where they have difficulty finding this motivation and their productivity drastically decreases. Many may wonder what causes this lack of motivation and how it can be fixed.

According to an article on Forbes.com, some factors that may contribute to poor motivation include low levels of confidence, lack of progress or even boredom. At Avalon Communications we have found that the answer lies in a little friendly competition.

Creating a friendly competition that combines work, goals, fun and of course a prize, will have any company’s motivation and productivity at an all-time high! How exactly do you do this? Easy! Follow the steps below to create your own company-wide competition.

  1. Find out how you will be competing (most number of placements, most new clients, highest sales, etc.).
  2. Set a deadline to complete the competition.
  3. Pick a prize employees will find motivating.
  4. Let the competition begin!

Once you have decided the above rules, create a chart for all employees and track their status. Seeing where they stand among their colleagues will not only make employees more productive, but the competition will create a fun work atmosphere!

What keeps you motivated at work? Comment below!

Don’t forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

 

Ready to talk about driving exposure for your brand and products? Contact us today