Create value often

value

This originally appeared on CUinsight.com. It is written for credit unions, but the advice can be used for any organization.

I attended a conference last month and one of the speakers said this:

“Create more value for more people more often, so when it’s time to choose, they choose you.”

This couldn’t be more true. This means if you regularly provide folks with information, resources, advice (whatever it may be) they will remember you when it’s time to make a buying decision…or when they are ready to switch financial institutions.

The good news is you are probably already doing this! Here’s three simple, yet effective ideas to keep you top of mind to your consumers.

Offer a free download.
Have a budgeting seminar? Offer a free toolkit or e-book with a budgeting worksheet or five budgeting tips. Go one step further and offer information about credit score, or another personal finance information…something a consumer can really use. Share it on social and post it on your website and people will remember to go there for information.

Weekly tips.
Offer a tip here and there (social media is a great place to post these) and your audience will remember you when they need you. For example, let’s say a member follows you on Facebook. He’s a teacher at a local school. He sees you offering advice or free downloads. The school wants to offer financial literacy seminars. Who do you think he’ll think of? You, of course!

Media resource.
Submit an article or provide a relevant story idea to your local media. It’s no secret journalists are strapped for time and resources. By offering ideas to them, the next time they have a story related to your industry, they’ll contact you first. Just be sure to follow up with them in a timely manner!

There are countless other ways to create value for consumers. Be creative! And remember it takes time. If your content is helpful, informative or entertaining, consumers will take note.

App a Matchmaker for Journalists and PR Pros

upitch app

Forget an email or phone call, and a tweet is so 2014. No, the way to connect with a journalist now is to upload your pitch to an app where journalists can scroll through and choose which pitches they want to learn more about.

It’s a new app called UPitch that avoids the overflowing inbox and connects journalists and PR professionals. It’s been billed as Tindr for PR. I first heard about it while listening to the podcast “For Immediate Release.”

Do journalists use this? Seems like it doesn’t eliminate the fire hose of pitches journalists receive, but only redirects it to another platform. And do journalists and PR pros need yet another tool to connect?

Journalists complain about spammy pitches and irrelevant story ideas from public relations folks. And novel-length press releases are filled with so much industry jargon they are deemed unreadable. But will an app solve bad pitches?

Good PR pros know the kinds of stories and topics journalists are looking for and shouldn’t need an app to make it happen. They send targeted pitches and know which journalists to contact….in the most effective way.

I’ll be interested to see what becomes of this…I honestly don’t know that much about it. Could it become an easy way foster the journalist/PR relationship? Maybe…if both parties choose to use it.

We’ll see what happens.

#PRFail: If You Are Doing These Things In Your PR Efforts, You Are Doing It Wrong

#PRFAIL
This article first appeared on CUinsight.com
.

If you are doing these things in your public relation efforts, you are doing it wrong:

Using long words when a short one will do.
We don’t “utilize” something…we use it. A longer, more complicated word slows down the reader and makes them work harder to understand. Make your sentences shorter and strive for a sixth grade reading level. That’s right. Many Americans read at that level, and if you are writing above it, you might lose them.

Starting your press releases (or any communication) with “We are pleased to announce…”
Yawn. Of course you are pleased. But why should anyone else care? Start with a statistic or a story. Refer to a recent news item and make it local. Tell your reader how your news is going to benefit them.

Not using visuals.
Photos, illustrations, graphics, infographics, video. The amount of visual content has skyrocketed in the last five years. Use it to your advantage. Sure, it takes time to create an infographic or snap and upload a photo. It’s worth it though, because it adds another element to your communication and can entice your audience to read more.