Our very own Desirae MacGillivray is a PR News 2017 Rising Star Honoree! This prestigious public relations award celebrates young professionals whose passion and ingenuity are an inspiration in the workplace and in the communications field.
“I am humbled and honored to have received this amazing accolade! This award is a testament to my love for what I do every day. A HUGE thank you to all of my colleagues and clients – I learn so much from each of you every day,” said Desirae MacGillivray, Associate, Portavoce PR.
As an Associate at Portavoce PR, Desirae utilizes her excellent writing skills to produce high-level media materials, long-format articles and strategic story pitches that grab the attention of journalists. She also develops integrated communications campaigns for social media, digital media and other marketing channels that drive top of the funnel leads for clients. During her three-year career at Portavoce PR she has been responsible for placing hundreds of articles in national, regional and local media outlets for Portavoce PR clients.
Portavoce PR and clients value Desirae’s expertise and hard-working attitude, and her accomplishments have paid off! The Portavoce PR team worked together to secretively submit her nomination.
When creating a piece of content for media outlets, there are many other communications channels the content can be shared across after it’s published online or in print. After celebrating an exciting placement, why not use the content in a variety of ways to get the most exposure out of it? Here’s a look at a successful cross-channel marketing campaign.
One of our clients, Vettec, sells its products only through certified dealers and has a strong awareness among farriers, the certified professionals who trim horse hooves and fabricate horseshoes. In order to grow its business, Vettec was looking for a way to increase brand awareness among horse owners and motivate them to ask their veterinarians and hoof care professionals about Vettec’s products.
Portavoce PR recommended that Vettec engage horse owners and utilize storytelling to educate them about important seasonal health concerns. We identified the following strategies to achieve this:
Educate horse owners about common, yet highly-important hoof care issues and inform them of treatment options
Leverage the popularity of Vettec’s Farrier-at-Large Tab Pigg’s expertise and approachability, and expand his authority into communications channels outside of Vettec.com
Drive horse owners to visit Vettec.com
Repurpose published content on the brand’s blog and social media channels
As part of the public relations plan, Portavoce PR works with Vettec to research and identify seasonal and health topics of concern for horse owners. With each topic chosen, Portavoce PR interviews a farrier or expert within Vettec about the issue. Building on research and interviews, Portavoce PR composes byline articles, press releases or news briefs that communicate the messages and include Vettec product points.
Once each piece is finalized, Portavoce PR either writes a targeted pitch letter for bylines and/or distributes the news to the horse sector media list. Portavoce PR works with editors to provide them with the full-length material, photos or any other information they need. The media placements ultimately help horse owners learn about new hoof care methods and products and understand how they relate to common conditions and issues in the equine industry.
Cross-channel marketing has helped Vettec generate more engagement from their social media community beyond the byline placements. Each editorial piece is posted on the Vettec blog and social media channels, which helps extend the reach to Vettec’s fan base and online presence.
Be creative with the different ways you can utilize an article. Here’s a checklist for some potential ideas to repurpose your content:
Draft blog posts
Post on social media
Use the written content as a script for YouTube videos
Plug excerpts of the written content in company newsletters
Distribute content internally for employees to use and talk about with customers
All of these platforms are great ways to engage your audience and share the same content in a variety of ways. This helps you get the most out of each piece and ultimately sets you up to be a thought leader in your industry. Next time a piece of material is created for your brand, ask yourself, ‘How can this be used across all of the platforms we have available?’
Below is an example of an article that was published in Appaloosa Journal, an equine industry magazine, and also posted on Vettec’s blog and Facebook page.
Outside of the magazine readers, there were some impressive statistics from the blog with 7,279 views of the post itself. The magazine has a print circulation of 20,000 and 534,000 unique monthly visitors (UMV).
Vettec also shared the blog post link on its Facebook channel three separate times, and the article received 1,524 likes, 62 comments and 475 shares, reaching more than 90,000 people. The interaction on this specific post was significant, and popular among Vettec’s Facebook audience. On top of the publication’s UMV and circulation, the social media and blog channels brought in nearly 100,000 additional impressions.
All business should assess their crisis communications plans on an annual basis and examine options for communicating with customers in a crisis. As we here in California enter the height of fire season, it’s as good a time as any to review your crisis plan. Most companies have plans for what to do when the company is in crisis (or should have these plans) but do you have a plan for how to support and communicate with your customers when they are in a crisis?
First things first – you should have a documented evacuation plan for your employees and your patrons should they be threatened by an emergency while at your place of business. If you don’t, download your city’s free Emergency Preparedness Guides. The City of Carlsbad’s free Emergency Preparedness Guides can be downloaded at www.carlsbadca.gov for guidance.
Once that is in place, prepare the guidelines for how you and your employees will communicate with your clientele when they are in a crisis.
Recognize the Difference Between Urgent Communications and Non-Urgent Information
Contact your customers immediately if their loved ones or property are in your care and are threatened by an emergency situation. It’s important to also recognize when calling your customers with non-urgent information at the wrong time could be distracting and inappropriate. Customers should not be contacted with non-urgent information during a crisis. For example, while I was evacuating my children from our home during the May 2014 southern California wildfires, I received a call on my cell phone from a business where my daughter takes extra-curricular classes. They were notifying me that classes would be cancelled for the day. This was seemingly clear and needless to say not top of mind as fire threatened my home.
Moreover, during a crisis your business practices should be in line with the instructions from law enforcement and first responders. If the authorities are asking people to stay off the roads and off the phones, your company’s actions should mirror those instructions. Tell your customers that in support of local emergency efforts you are closing and direct customers to your web site, social media channels or posted signs at your location for information on re-opening.
Share Your Talents & Services for the Benefit of the Community
Do offer your services to support the community during and after such an event – but communicate those offers in a sensitive and empathetic tone and use the appropriate communications channels. For instance, if you are a provider of restoration services, providing special discounts, free quotes or other consultations will be appreciated now. Yet make sure your post-crisis marketing has the correct tone and acknowledges the emotion and duress your clients may be under. Under normal circumstances a flyer announcing a discount may come with bold colors, starbursts and exclamation points that are not appropriate when people are putting their homes back together.
Announce offers and freebies for displaced residents and hard-working first responders via your social media channels, web site, e-mail newsletters and on recorded phone messages. Follow your local media outlets on social media and share the information with them. They will likely help spread the word in an effort to support the community and help it rebuild.
If you are looking to highlight a special program you offered during or after the fire, let your customers do the talking for you. Share their tweets, publish a letter of appreciation in your newsletter or post it at your business for all to see. All of these gestures will serve a dual-purpose. They will demonstrate your loyalty to the community and create goodwill in a way that doesn’t smack of self-promotion or exploitation.
Do acknowledge that during times of crisis, rules can be broken. If you usually required a 24-hour cancellation policy, waive that policy during the period of crisis and for a respectful period of time afterward. Again, use non-invasive contact channels to share these exceptions. Perhaps the best and most personal way to make these gestures known is to reach out to your customers once things are “back to normal” and offer to help them reschedule their appointment and ask after their well being. Nothing means more to a client than knowing you were concerned about them.
Lastly, it’s important to write all your plans down and share them with your team of employees. Document what worked and what didn’t. Save e-mail templates for use again in the future. In doing so you’ll be prepared for the next crisis that we hope never comes.
What would you add to this list of tips for communicating with customers in a crisis? Do you have any best practices to share that you learned from experience?
Annual holiday gift guides are a hot opportunity for the consumer products industry. Almost every major magazine, news station and website creates a holiday gift guide with options for fitness enthusiasts, techies, budget options, health products, lavish items and more. Gift guides help shoppers discover the latest products, trends and gifts that will top holiday wish lists, and companies desire to be on these lists to increase sales during this indulgent time of year.
Now is the time to secure holiday gift guides, as print magazines are currently working on the November/December holiday issues. In September, broadcast stations and online outlets will start to plan their holiday topics. It’s important to get in front of the media’s deadlines, which is why we work with our clients to get the word out about new products as soon as possible.
Consumer products are considered “new” for about one year. If your company launched a product earlier this year now is the time to act for a holiday gift guide inclusion!
Here is a list of gift guide topics to consider as you position your product:
Gifts under $50
Gifts under $100
Gifts for the fitness fanatic
Gifts for the techie
Gifts for the young at heart
Gifts by product type (home goods, smart phones, spa products, etc.)
Last summer we helped Les Mills introduce the SMARTBAR, which was the perfect time to position the 2-in-1 barbell and hand weights system for the annual holiday gift guides. Through a series of positive product reviews and gift guide inclusions, the team secured millions of unique impressions that increased awareness for the product and for Les Mills’ innovative approach to fitness.
Here’s a peek at some of the results we secured for the SMARTBAR:
We are delighted to announce that after two years of working with Vettec Inc.’s consumer brand SG-20, Vettec has now asked Portavoce PR to represent its equine and bovine adhesive products as the company’s Agency of Record. Vettec manufacturers and distributes hoofcare products and hoof related materials used by farriers, veterinarians and horse owners. Portavoce PR will work with the company to secure media coverage for new product announcements as well as develop strategies to increase the understanding among horse owners about adhesive shoeing options. In addition, the companies will collaborate to extend it’s popular blog “Two Minutes with Tab” by focusing on thought leadership opportunities for the company’s farrier-at-large, Tab Pigg.
Vettec, based on Oxnard, California, has been in the hoof care business for more than 15 years. Vettec’s extensive line of hoof related materials allow hoof care professionals to complete hoof repairs , create instant shoes and glue on shoes. Ultimately, Vettec keeps horses prancing without pain and we look forward to working with them!