journalist

Which UK marketing and PR conferences should you attend in 2017?

If you’re looking to grow your business, attending live conferences and workshops is a great way to gain knowledge, skills and new opportunities.

But attending live events can be expensive - particularly if you have to factor in travel, accommodation and food on top of the cost your ticket. So how do you know which events will give you the biggest return on investment?

To help you decide, here’s a round-up of of some of the key PR and marketing events in the UK you might want to attend this year.

CMA Live 2017

June 8 and 9, Edinburgh

Cost: £497+VAT

Size: Up to 200 delegates

CMA Live focuses solely on content marketing: what it is, how it works and how you can make it work in the context of your own business. The event founder Chris Marr goes to great lengths to attract some of the world’s renowned experts and provide social activities (including evening drinks) to give delegates the chance to get to know each other. Spending a few days in the beautiful city of Edinburgh is an added bonus.

Speakers include: Mark Schaefer, Erika Napoletano, Chris Ducker, Marcus Sheridan & me!

Hear some of the world's most renowned content marketing speakers at CMA Live

Blogtacular

June 10, London

Cost: £180+fees for bloggers, makers and Indie businesses / £365+fees for professionals working in PR and SEO or representing a company/brand

Size: Up to 400 attendees

Blogtacular brings together bloggers and Indie business owners who love quality content and beautiful design to discuss their work, share ideas and collaborate. As well as traditional conference sessions, there are hands-on workshops, a photowalk and social events across the weekend.

Whether you’re online for fun or as a pro, the event founder Kat Molesworth is passionate about giving you the best tools and teachers to create high-end content (which is why all speakers are paid).

Speakers include: Natalie Lue, Emma Gannon, Lucy Nicholls, Alison Perry, Sunita Harley, Rachel Basinger, Kim Lawler and Nikki McWilliams

Blogtacular brings together bloggers and Indie business owners who love quality content and beautiful design

Social Day

June 16, London

Cost: £150+booking fees+VAT

Size: 100+ delegates

Social Day is a one-day event that brings together business owners, marketers and freelancers who want to understand social media better.

The event founder, social media expert Lucy Hall is passionate about taking the mystery out of social media, so the content (a mix of keynotes and practical workshops on branding, content creation, Snapchat marketing, small business PR, Twitter marketing & more) is accessible and jargon-free.

Delegates also get tons of bonuses, including free online training and discounts and trials on social media tools. There is also a mixer party after the event.

Speakers include: Chris Ducker, Bruce Daisley, Sarah Jones, Victoria Taylor, Virginia Sala-Kastillo, Andrew Pickering, Peter Gartland, Amrit Singh, Vin Clancy, Harry Hugo and me!

Soulful PR Live

July 13 & 14, London

Cost: £210+VAT (Day 1), £380 + VAT (Day 1 & 2), £540 + VAT (both days + mastermind)

Size: 70-80 delegates

Soulful PR Live is for business owners who want to be featured in national newspapers, radio and TV and make connections with high-profile journalists.

The speakers are all national journalists/editors from high profile publications and programmes including: ITV’s Good Morning Britain, BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, New Statesman, The Pool, Sunday Mirror, Guardian Weekend, Marie Claire Magazine and The Guardian.

The event founder Janet Murray (that’s me!) is passionate about demystifying the media and helping business owners build personal relationships with journalists.

At Soulful PR Live the speakers stick around all day (and sit at tables with delegates) so you can grab them for a chat - or even pitch them an idea. If you’re feeling really brave, you can stay on for an exclusive ‘mastermind’ session where you get 20 minutes in the ‘hotseat’ to talk about your business with the speakers (open to just 8 delegates). If you need help putting what you’ve learned into practice, there is an optional implementation day.

Britmums Live

September 30, London

Cost: £100+fees for individual bloggers or £250+fees for brands, agencies and other corporate attendees

Size: 300 delegates

Britmums Live is a networking conference for influential bloggers and social media players.

A mix of keynote talks and ‘deep dive’ sessions on topics like photography, traffic building and social media marketing, Britmums also offers ‘fringe’ events (TBA) and complimentary experiences on London Attractions, including The London Eye, a tour of Parliament and a cruise along the Thames.

The event is founded by Susanna Scott and Jennifer Howze, who both have backgrounds in blogging and journalism and are passionate about creating a space for bloggers to share ideas and opportunities.

Speakers include: Judith Lewis, Natasha Courtenay-Smith, Ana Silva O’Reilly, Julia Falconer, Maria Belfort, Aby Moore, Katie Ellison, Nigel Camp and Cathy Winston.

You can see some of the best international online marketing speakers at the Youpreneur Summit in November

Youpreneur Summit

November 11 & 12, London

Cost: Earlybird Ticket £400

Size: around 200 delegates

Whether you’re just starting out or have an established business, this event will give you everything you need to know to build, market and monetize your business online.

A mix of keynote speeches, practical ‘power sessions’ and mastermind breakouts, you’ll learn new skills and tactics that will help you create valuable online content (blogging, vlogging & social media) and market your business more effectively.

The event founder Chris Ducker is passionate about helping business owners, coaches, authors, speakers, bloggers and podcasters succeed online and has gathered an impressive list of international speakers.

Speakers include: Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, Matthew Kimberley, John Jantsch,  Mike Morrison, Amy Schmittauer, Carrie Green and me!

Over to you 

If you're tempted by a number of these events, check out this post on how to save money when attending conferences.

Are there any PR/marketing events you're planning to attend this year? Do let me know in the comments below.

 

 

How to get your business featured in a local newspaper

If you run your own business, getting featured in your local newspaper can be a great way to get in front of prospective customers. But how do you go about it? Read on and find out.

1.Read the newspaper

It sounds obvious but if you want to get featured in your local newspaper, you actually need to read it. And I don’t meant a quick flick through; I mean reading it carefully - from cover to cover - so you can get a feel for the kinds of stories it generally covers. Some local newspapers are happy to cover award wins and charity fundraisers, while in others (bigger regional titles, for example) the bar to entry is much higher. Your local newspaper may have a specific business section, where it covers new enterprises, events and launches. It may feature stories on local businesses in the main part of the paper. You’ll only find out if you invest the time in reading it carefully.

Although it’s tempting, please don’t skip this part. Taking the time to understand what kind of stories your local newspaper will be interested in - and what it definitely won’t - will save you tons of time in the long run.

2.Develop some story ideas

Once you’ve read your target publication carefully, it’s time to start thinking of ideas. But instead of thinking about the story you want to tell - consider the kinds of stories your local newspaper usually runs - and what you could offer that might be a good fit. While every publication is different, as a general rule of thumb, most are interested in stories that that will matter to local people. So before you pitch an idea, ask yourself whether the guy who runs your corner shop, the local bus driver or the retired school teacher who lives at the end of your road would actually care  about your story. If not, you may need to go back to the drawing board.

Do remember that the fact your business exists, is not a story. To capture a journalist’s interest, you generally need to be doing  something interesting: hosting an event, raising money for charity or launching something new, for example. And the more unusual or unexpected it is, the more chance you’ll have of getting coverage.

Examples

Who will succeed local dog Ginger to take the Nose of Tralee Title

Why did this story make the news? It’s unusual, quirky and will appeal to local dog owners who may consider entering their own dog into the competition.

Mum sets up scholars programme for disadvantaged teens

Why did this story make the news? Local person helping other local people - a strong angle for a local newspaper.

Meg’s getting into the zone with her adult colouring book success

Why did this story make the news? Local person ‘done good’ - often a winning combination in a local newspaper.

Henry hoovers marry in Belfast electrical shop to celebrate Irish referendum

Why did this story make the news? Unusual, quirky and controversial.

Teenagers novel aims to make girls feel body positive

Why did this story make the news? Unusual (teenager publishing novel, written with her mum), controversial and also a local person ‘done good’.

3.Be aware of timing

When you contact a journalist with a story idea, the first thing they will ask themselves is: ‘why do people need to hear about this now?’ (or next week or next month - depending on when you approach them). And journalists generally aren’t interested in ‘old’ news. So it’s no good contacting a local journalist about an event you held last week or a trip you took last month - get in touch in advance.

While there are no hard and fast rules, weekly publications tend to work a week ahead and dailies a day or two ahead, but some plan further in advance (this is usually referred to as the lead time).  Don’t try and second guess this kind of information; if in doubt, pick up the phone and ask.

As well as finding out how far your target publication works ahead, it’s a good idea to find out its press day (usually the day prior to publication) although do bear in mind that many local newspapers now have a strong online presence and may publish stories at any time. The more you understand about how things work on your local newspaper, the better.

4.Source journalists’ contact details

If you want to increase your chances of getting a ‘yes’, finding out the name and email address of the person who can make (or get) a decision about whether to run your story can be a smart move. If you’re pitching an idea for a news story (a short 3-400 word article) this will generally be the news reporter or news editor. If you’re pitching a longer, more in-depth feature or interview it’s more likely to be the features editor.

Many publications list contact details for journalists and email addresses are sometimes included. If not, you can usually work out the email format by looking at addresses that are listed (advertising sales contacts usually are).

Most journalists can be found on Twitter in a few clicks. Read more about how to find journalists’ contact details here.

Steer clear of generic email addresses (e.g. [email protected] or [email protected]) as, in many cases, these are not checked regularly. And don’t be fobbed off by people who say they will forward your press release or email to the journalist or editor concerned. Make it your mission to get the name and email address of the person who can make/get a decision about whether to use your story or not.

If it doubt, just ring up and ask. And don’t take it personally if people are bit short on the phone, as newsrooms are busy places. Ask nicely and you should get the information you need.

5.Write an email pitch or press release

First off, please don’t send a pre-written article, as these rarely get published. Instead, send a press release or email pitch outlining your idea. If a journalist is interested they will either interview you and write up the piece themselves or (depending on the type of article) ask you to write it up to their brief.

Local newspapers are often short-staffed, so a well-written press release, with all the relevant information may be printed with very few changes. Learn how to write a press release for your small business here.

If you don’t have the time to write a press release, please don’t let that put you off suggesting a story idea. A short email pitch, that explains your idea in a paragraph or two, can be just as effective. Learn how to write an email pitch for a journalist  here.

If you’re not confident in your writing skills, consider outsourcing the job to a freelance writer. Most have websites, so a Google search of writers in your local area should throw up some possibilities. Look for someone with a background in journalism as they will also be able to give you feedback on whether your story will grab journalists’ attention (and, if not, suggest tweaks that will make it more newsworthy).

6.Consider your email subject header

Most journalists get hundreds of email pitches and press releases every day - many of which remain unopened, so a compelling email subject header is vital.

An email header that includes the phrase ‘story idea’ and a compelling one-liner that describes your story is more likely to get a journalist’s attention.

It’s fine to pitch ideas over the phone too, by the way. Just avoid obviously busy times (like press day) and have an email pitch or press release to send if you’re asked (most journalists will).

7.Be prepared to follow up

If a journalist is interested in your story, they will generally get back to you within a day or so. But in a busy newsroom, stories can get missed, so don’t be afraid to chase up pitches or press releases by phone or email. If you’ve chased a few times and you’re not getting anywhere, it’s probably safe to assume the journalist is not interested and offer it elsewhere.

It’s fine to offer the same story to different programmes or publications - as long as you’re upfront about what you’re doing. Bear in mind that there can be rivalry between different publications - even on different sections of the same newspaper. While it’s tempting to go after as much press coverage as possible, if a journalist who wants to cover your story sees it somewhere else (particularly before theirs is due to run) they won’t be very happy with you. And it’s never worth risking a relationship for short-term gains.

8.Be persistent

Securing press coverage isn’t always easy. Building a media profile can take months - or even years - so don’t be disappointed if you’re not successful immediately. Some journalists will ignore your press releases and pitches completely. Others will knock back your ideas - over and over again. But if you’re persistent, consistent, willing to learn from your mistakes (and you will make them), you will get there in the end.

9.Stand your ground on advertising

Journalists should report the news in a fair, unbiased way - which means covering stories based on their merit. Sadly, I’m hearing more and more reports of small business owners saying they have been told their story will only be published in their local newspaper if they pay for advertising. Please be reassured that if your story has been selected on editorial merit, there is no obligation whatsoever to take out advertising with the newspaper (although you may decide to do so of your own accord, which is quite a different matter). If a reporter is insistent that you pay for advertising, you may want to raise the matter with the editor (who might need reminding of the National Union of Journalists’ code of conduct).

 

Why not join my free 10 Day PR Challenge?  Click here to get involved. 

 

How Twitter helped this business owner get featured in Stylist magazine

In this interview, psychotherapist Samantha Carbon shares how she got coverage in Stylist magazine and other national titles - without writing a single press release or hiring a PR company. 

Here's what you'll learn in this video:

  • How Sam has used Twitter to get high-profile media coverage in publications like Stylist, Glamour, Country Living, the Daily Express, Daily Mail and Huffington Post
  • Why Sam believes her website has helped her get more media coverage
  • Sam's tips on building relationships with journalists (and responding to media requests)
  • How being featured in high-profile publications has helped Sam get noticed by TV/radio producers - and be invited to write a regular column for a best-selling women's magazine

 

[098] What to do if journalists are ignoring you

Journalists can be frustrating to work with. They don't always reply to emails and rarely answer the phone, so getting feedback on your ideas can be a challenge.

In this episode, I explore the most common reasons ignore your emails and what to do about it.

Here's what you'll learn:

  • Why being ignored by journalists is perfectly normal (but avoidable)
  • What to do if journalists are ignoring your emails
  • How to write emails journalists will actually read

Key resources 

How to write emails journalists will actually read

My 10-day PR challenge 

Soulful PR Session with Angela CorpeITV's Good Morning Britain (Oct 20)

Soulful PR session with Hannah Fearn, opinion editor, the Independent (Nov 23)

Soulful PR session with Andrea Thompson, Features Director, Marie Claire magazine,The Guardian (Dec 15)

The Soulful PR Business Club

MY NEW BOOK Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My Soulful PR group coaching  programme (starts Sep 26)

My FREE Soulful PR Facebook Community

What to do next

If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it using the social media buttons at the top of this page.

I’d also love it if you could take a few minutes to  leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on itunes. I read every one personally and may even read yours out on the show.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.

[089] How to build relationships with editors with Harriet Minter

If you're serious about getting media coverage for your business or  brand, building long-term relationships with editors is vital. But most get hundreds or press releases and pitches each day, which means getting their attention can be a challenge.

In this episode, Harriet Minter - who has spent the last six years editing at the Guardian - explains what editors are looking for and how you can get their attention.

Here’s what's covered in this episode:

  • How Harriet became an editor on a national newspaper - without any formal qualifications or experience
  • The daily pressures editors face, including finding suitable stories and getting eyeballs on their content
  • Practical tips on building relationships with editors
  • How to find story ideas journalists can't say 'no' to
  • Pitching to editors: dos and don'ts

Key resources

Why women need to stop working for free (my article in the Guardian)

Why I'm not a team player

I went from ballet dancer to CEO. Here's what it taught me. 

The Badass Women's Hour (Harriet's podcast)

Harriet on Twitter 

Harriet's newsletter 

Your Year In PR: A One-Day Masterclass for Business Owners Who Want Big Media Coverage in 2017 

**MY NEW BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My Soulful PR group coaching  programme (starts in September)

The Soulful PR Business Club 

My FREE Soulful PR Facebook Community

What to do next

If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it using the social media buttons at the top of this page.

I’d also love it if you could take a few minutes to  leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on itunes. I read every one personally and may even read yours out on the show.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.

[086] Will your story interest national journalists? Here's how to find out...

When you're launching a new product or service, it's tempting to think everyone will be interested in your story - including the national media. But you do need to be realistic about what will be of interest to a national audience.

In this episode, I explain how to decide if your story has national potential - or whether it's more suited to the local or industry press.

Here's what you'll learn in this episode:

  • How journalists decide what stories to run
  • What national journalists look for in a national story (and what they don't)
  • The biggest mistake people make when pitching stories to the nationals

Key resources 

How to find out if your story has national potential (includes links to all the examples mentioned in this episode)

Your Year In PR - a media planning masterclass for 2017 on Sep 23

Soulful PR session with Hannah Fearn, opinion editor, the Independent (Nov 23)

Soulful PR session with Andrea Thompson, Features Director, Marie Claire magazine,The Guardian (Dec 15)

The Soulful PR Business Club

MY NEW BOOK Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My Soulful PR group coaching  programme (starts Sep 5)

My FREE Soulful PR Facebook Community

What to do next

If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it using the social media buttons at the top of this page.

I’d also love it if you could take a few minutes to  leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on itunes. I read every one personally and may even read yours out on the show.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.