Media Relations

Media Relations: The Scoop on the Pitch


I recently had the opportunity to sit down with a couple of friends who work in today’s ever-changing media landscape (it’s a small world indeed) and pick their brains about media relations best practices and opportunities for improved communication between PR pros and reporters. While there isn’t (and will never be) a one-size-fits-all media relations approach, a few nuggets of information in particular stood out to me:

1) Be Brief, Be Intriguing
Our clients have a story and we want to tell it—sometimes too much of it. Reporters work on tight deadlines and in an ever-changing, around the clock news cycle. If we don’t have the time to read a three page email, then they certainly don’t. Value intrigue over volume. Craft a succinct, enticing email (a couple of paragraphs at the maximum) and aim to pique their interest. “Some of the best pitches I’ve received were three, maybe four sentences,” one contact told me. So what does that mean? It means the pitch should be direct, it should get to the point quickly and it should have a clear benefit to the recipient and to his or her audience. “Think of it…

Digital Marketing

3 Ways the Health Industry is Making Moves in 2016

Let’s face it, not everyone is itching to talk about the latest ventures in health care, but that’s changing in 2016. As the industry itself expands, out-of-the-box approaches have as well, breaking many traditional molds in health communications. With big changes come big ideas – and health care marketers have delivered in 2016 – producing brilliant campaigns, products and technology. Below are just a few examples of how the industry is owning 2016.

1. CVS’s product innovation: Keurig lovers meet medicine pods

You read that right; just in time for all of you seasonal allergy sufferers, salvation has arrived. Most coffee lovers already think of their Keurig as a life saver, but this relationship is about to be taken to the next level. In late August, CVS released daytime and nighttime flu medicine pods that are compatible with Keurig, ultimately injecting the soothing powers of flu medicine into a warm, cozy drink.

Credit: Huffington Post

Credit: Huffington Post

2. AddictAide creates faux Instagram celeb to raise alcoholism awareness

As Instagram has grown, so has the age of social influencers. We see strangers all over social media who suddenly…


Brand Takes a Stand: Ben & Jerry’s on Black Lives Matter

While most companies aim to remain apolitical, Ben & Jerry’s throws neutrality to the wind, brazenly using their brand platform as a soapbox for social and environmental justice for more than 20 years. Last Thursday, Ben & Jerry’s released a statement of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, garnering widespread traditional and social media attention.

Is taking a political stance such as this befitting of the Ben & Jerry’s brand? Absolutely.


The brand mission scoop
Back in April, I had the pleasure of hearing Ben & Jerry’s Grand Poobah of PR (yep, his actual title) Sean Greenwood speak about mission and social entrepreneurship. Greenwood explained that the company had an established mission from the get-go. The first 10 years of business focused on the product, but these days, the folks at B&J consider themselves a social justice company that happens to sell ice cream. “We ruffle feathers,” said Greenwood. “We support same sex marriage, climate change, democracy. We’re going to lose some and we’re OK with that.”

Ben & Jerry’s three-part mission

  • Product mission: to make fantastic ice cream – for its own sake.
  • Economic mission: to manage our company for
  • PR Industry Trends

    How to woo the creativity in you


    Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, is a polarizing figure. Some even consider her whiny and self-indulgent. But I find her refreshingly honest, amusing and inspiring – especially her advice on cultivating a healthy relationship with creativity.

    I’d like to share a few pointers I gleaned from her newest work of nonfiction, Big Magic. Anyone with even a glimmer of creative curiosity can take these nuggets to heart.

    • Get friendly with fear. Because creativity leads to uncertain outcomes, fear almost always shows up at some point: fear of having your ideas criticized, fear of seeing your content fall flat with your target audience or fear that your cheeky social media post will backfire and create a brand crisis, for example.

    There are no shortage of occasions for fear to creep in and hold you back. But if you try to fight that fear away, your creative focus will slip quietly out the back door. Instead, Gilbert’s advice is to get more comfortable coexisting with fear in creative endeavors. In other words, you can let fear tag along on your creative road trip, but don’t let it backseat drive you off the road.

    • Don’t take inspiration for


    Defenders of the healthcare brand


    How healthcare communication professionals can drive the top line while protecting the bottom line.

    For healthcare PR and marketing professionals, intentional communications has never been more important to the brand. Unprecedented consolidation in the industry continues as providers shift their business models from being rooted in volume to driving value. What’s more, technology has changed the way consumers, patients and even employees communicate, seek information and define “the news.”

    For healthcare communicators, these changes will fundamentally impact the way people perceive and experience your brand. Not to mention creating new risks to manage. The way you communicate can make or break your brand. In fact, according to a report published by Harvard Business Review, based on a global survey of nearly 600 executives across health and other industries, effective communications was identified as one of the top three factors most likely to bring success. And it’s worth noting that it ranked second only to delivering a high level of customer service.

    The good news is that most healthcare providers already are focusing on delivering a higher level of service, primarily through patient experience initiatives. The bad news is that most are not investing in enhancing communications. So while healthcare communicators have traditionally been thought of as promoters of the top line, today’s healthcare market requires them to be equally adept at protecting the bottom line.

    Building reputation through change
    If there’s

    PR Industry Trends

    Early Holiday Season Campaign Predictions


    Pumpkin spice.

    There, I said it… And the Buzz Bin did not burst into cinnamon-y flames.

    In all seriousness, although terrifying, we have T-9 weeks and T-13 weeks until Thanksgiving and Christmas are at our doors (respectively).

    What does that mean for a communicator like yourself? It means now is the time to solidify those holiday campaigns and ship them out the door for implementation.

    However, in case you have a little wiggle room in those merry marketing plans for innovative thinking… I asked my esteemed colleagues to consider upcoming trends in the consumer products marketplace that we can expect this coming holiday season. 

    Take a gander:

    • Stacy Moskowitz, Senior Director: Branded content that both encourages consumers to think and act in the spirit of the holidays, and relies on them to share and help drive awareness and sales.
    • Katie Myers, Senior Director: Products marketed in the context of a broader experience, such as beverage brands that focus less on gifting and more on incorporating them into shared holiday celebrations.
    • Brian Ellis, Executive Vice President: Campaigns that tell brand stories over multiple channels – each one with dynamic elements customized specifically to that


    The Internet vs. Your Doctor: Who to Trust

    At a recent doctor’s appointment, my physician told me a story about a woman who needed treatment, but left in the middle of the appointment, proclaiming, “That’s not what the Internet said!”

    Because we live in an age where consumers can find almost anything they’d like online, sometimes it’s hard to determine who to trust. I was recently reminded of this when the news came out that The American Academy of Pediatrics strengthened its warnings about prescribing codeine for children because of reports of deaths and risks for dangerous side effects including breathing problems. Even though the dangers have been presented, studies suggest it is still commonly prescribed by doctors and dentists despite the risks and lack of evidence that it works to relieve coughs.

    Sgty_cough_syrup_mm_160112_12x5_1600o when a doctor prescribes your child a medication that you’ve read several warnings about, what do you do?

    One colleague told me that she has no problem talking with her physician about issues like this. It helps build trust and makes her want to continue
    going back to the same doctor. And in an instance like this, there are several alternatives for children.

    Another colleague chooses to

    PR Industry Trends

    What You Should Be Drinking This Fall: Five Trend Predictions


    The very definition of the word trend means to veer in a general direction or to show a tendency. Below are five beverages on my radar for the coming months, rooted in hard data but sourced from what I’m seeing and hearing in the New York scene.


    Fresh cocktails

    The surge of nutritionally-aware (if not nutritionally-balanced) cocktails is imminent. You read it here first. We’ve seen this theme gain momentum in the culinary community with fresh, season-driven menus. This philosophy is extending into beverage programs as well. Two examples:

    -Mixologists are increasingly using natural natural sweeteners like maple syrup as a healthy and tasty alternatives to refined sugar in cocktails. Here are 27 examples, courtesy of Eater and bar programs around the country.

    -Opening next week, Rouge Tomate Chelsea, with its avant-garde SPE-certified food and beverage program, is featuring cocktails (and mocktails) with fresh ingredients like carrot and cucumber juice and chia seeds.

    Image result for magnums of wine

    Big Bottles

    Whether high-brow or low-brow, large format bottles are showing up on more home and restaurant tables. There are also restaurants who are…

    PR Industry Trends

    Apple Tweets and #Fails



    Apple announcement events are anticipated like Christmas morning for some. With rumors swirling around major changes for the iPhone 7, Apple did something it had never done before. It began a few days ahead when avatars and verification were seen on their five-year dormant Twitter account. They were going to join the excitement of the tech community online with live tweeting from the event. At least that is what everyone thought.

    Instead, Apple’s account still shows no tweets after a few promoted tweets appeared prematurely, spoiling the announcement. They were subsequently deleted, but the damage had been done. Sending regrettable tweets is nothing new, but this was a major snafu for the world’s richest company that has notably steered clear of social media. They have relied on a universe of evangelists that stir a robust conversation about Apple and its products to much success. It made this decision even more head scratching. Why now?

    Social media mockery is not new for Apple announcements. When the iPad was introduced, many questioned its potential success as much for the name as for the failure of past…

    Digital Marketing

    The Back-to-School Digital Business

    Back-to-school means another year of fresh books, backpacks and binders. But in 2016, purchasing each of these items is far from basic. With the evolution of digital media casting a halo on our everyday lives, it’s no surprise that parents are spending more and more using their mobile devices when it comes to back-to-school shopping. Brands are very intuitively using those mobile screens as another money-making method to feed into consumers’ habits. So, just as seasons change, trends do too. There are brands that are evolving from typical marketing methods by tapping into digital apps or social media to target parents in an insightful way with back-to-school incentives and tips, which not only boosts sales but leaves parents, and of course their kids, satisfied.

    Back-to-school preparation may be perceived as a monumental event. And with each year that passes, it just keeps getting bigger. According to AdWeek and eMarketer, back-to-school sales in the U.S. are expected to increase 2.6 percent this year, which means sales for the season may total around $828.8 billion. A separate study reported by Adweek and released by GfK and Facebook IQ, notes that more than 60 percent of adults in a recent survey