Archive for the ‘Traditional’ category

4 Reasons to Register for the 2012 PRSA Mid-Atlantic District Chesapeake Conference Today!

October 5, 2012

Wanna know why you should register now for the PRSA Mid-Atlantic District Chesapeake (#Chessie12) Conference?

4. Clear Your Schedule!

By registering early, you can block the day out on your calendar, eliminating the possibility that one of your colleagues will schedule an important meeting with you that day.

3. Get a Jumpstart on Your Networking!

Research the presenters and keynote speaker in advance so you know who you want to meet at the conference.  Gotta capitalize on that investment!

2. Formulate Your Plan of Attack!

Read over the agenda and figure out which sessions you’d like to attend.  You can choose to participate in all the sessions in one of the three tracks (PR Essentials, Social Media, and Strategic Business/Leadership) or mix and match from the 12 seminars.  Make sure to mark your calendar to arrive early at the conference for the networking breakfast and stay for the happy hour as well!

1. Save Some $$$ (and guarantee your spot)!

That’s right — the No. 1 reason to sign up today is to take advantage of the early bird discount and save, save, save!  Also, don’t let anyone take your spot because space is limited!


Support Your Local Breasts

September 29, 2009

The Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is part of the largest network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting breast cancer. But what most of us in Maryland don’t know is that they aren’t a big nonprofit. In fact the staff numbers just eight. Yet in 2008 Komen Maryland granted over $2 million to local breast health and breast cancer awareness projects across the State. Up to 75% of net proceeds generated by Komen Maryland remains in Maryland and 25% support national research and scientific programs around the world.

So how does a small staff with a big vision (to end breast cancer!) build success? Besides energizing thousands of volunteers and great pro-bono partners like PUNCH, Komen Maryland’s ad agency, they tap the new media along with the traditional. So they married an new edgy ad campaign, Support your Local Breasts, with Facebook to create excitement and success.  The focus of the ad campaign is to educate the community that they are the MARYLAND affiliate, separate from our national headquarters and we provide services here throughout Maryland. 

They began with a complete analysis of the race (next one is Sunday, Oct. 18) and discovered that 10% of our participants were raising 90% of our race revenue! To enhance and secure the success of our signature event, Race for the Cure, we identified our focus to communicate better the need that all participants do some fundraising.  We hired Adcieo, a local solutions management company to help with web-based efforts and overall electronic communications.

They dove into social networking especially with their Facebook page to promote the ad campaign, Race for the Cure and all the efforts of our affiliate.  There Komen Maryland is holding a Support Your Local Breasts photo contest on a special fan page. In the campaign, Komen asked Facebook “fans” to find a bus shelter poster around town featuring the new campaign, snap their picture with it and enter into a photo contact via Facebook for a chance to win Komen goodies.

The campaign was a success – will the race be? Well we won’t know until October 18, but on October 6th, we’ll hear from Komen reps more on the details of their campaign. On tap to present and answer questions will be: Lenore Koors, development director and Rebecca McCoy, MPH, grants & education program manager both with Komen Maryland and Dennis Chyba, president, Adcieo.

The session not to miss is Activating Grass Roots at 10:30. With Komen Maryland, you’ll hear the story of the End The Wait Now Campaign, a project of the Developmental Disabilities Coalition and The Arc of Maryland which is tapping the power of YouTube.

The power of social media is in giving voice — and action — to small nonprofits.

How to Pitch Your Story

September 17, 2009

A successful pitch is the key to any public relations effort. After all, your goal is to receive free publicity for your client, product, or company. To do so, you need to be a pitch master.

Below are some tips on how to provide a successful pitch. However, if you want to practice your pitching skills, be sure to attend the Chesapeake Conference. This year, the Chesapeake Conference will feature a Speed Pitching session.

What is that, you ask? Well, it is an awesome opportunity for Conference attendees to ‘test out’ their best pitches on real, live journalists and receive feedback (and maybe even a story!).  Each pitcher is given 10 minutes with the journalist of their choice; this gives you time to present your pitch, and receive feedback.

Here are some pitching tips to help ensure your pitch is a success:

Frankly, be prepared. Have your story set, your ‘elevator speech’, if you will. Since you won’t have much time, know the main selling points, and have them up front and center as part of your pitch. Though it may not be needed, be sure to have back-up facts, or any additional material, handy (especially facts and figures).

Have a press release ready. Don’t rely on a phone conversation alone – not only may you not be able to get one, but you want your targeted journalist to have all the information possible. Plus, the release is a handy way for them to find your contact info, or more info about your client, product, or company than you were able to get out ‘in person’.

Research the reporter and his/her beat. Be sure to look through recent articles/stories by that journalist, to ensure you’re not giving ‘old news’. If it does sound a bit like a repeat, is there any way you  can provide a new angle? Plus, you don’t want to pitch a travel client’s success story to a courtroom journalist – it’s not a good fit.

Follow-up. Be patient, be considerate, yet be a bit persistent. Follow-up with a voicemail or e-mail, possibly with a resent of your press release.

To put these tips into action, attend the 2009 PRSA-MD Chesapeake Conference and take part in the Speed Pitching session. What other time do you receive a reporter’s undivided attention, along with their candor on how to make your pitch better so it is deemed more newsworthy? I haven’t come across such a time – if you have, please let me know!

This year, the journalists participating in our Speed Pitching session are:

  • Rob Terry, The Baltmore Business Journal
  • Liz Farmer, The Daily Record
  • Dave McHugh, WMAR, producer of “Good Morning Maryland”

We are adding new pitchees daily, so check back often!


For more info on how to successfully pitch your story, check out these additional resources:
How to Pitch Stories for Media Placement 
How to Pitch Stories Like a Journalist
How to Pitch a Story to the Media