The McRae Agency’s 8 Tips for Pitch Perfect PR

The McRae Agency’s 8 Tips for Pitch Perfect PR

PR is a grind. It involves constant rejection–or even worse, silence. If you are having trouble trying to master your media pitches, follow these eight curated tips for Pitch Perfect PR.


1. Do your research. Make sure that the writer you are contacting is relevant to what you are pitching and the pitch related to what they typically cover. We recommend taking time to read something that your target recently wrote and make sure to include a little detail pertaining to that, as it helps to build a relationship immediately. 


2. Avoid clickbait or pushy titles. The subject lines should be descriptive and to-the-point, avoiding hyperbole, buzzwords and excessive capitalization. Using titles like this will make the writer think you’re a bot. Instead, try phrases like “Exclusive” or “New Study” as they have been shown to have great success.


3. Provide structure. Include in your pitch, relevant links, photos and videos, and offer ideas for other images. And always highlight the value you are providing the publication. Some questions you should answer are:


• Why will my audience be interested in the story?
• Why will this story attract traffic and interest?
• How will this story help me reach my target audience?


4. Data does not lie. The use of data from your content in the subject line is more reliable than a prediction or claim. If you can’t fit it in the subject line, include it in the pitch itself.


5. Be straight and get to the point. Do not make your email or pitch super long. Make sure the reader knows why your story is important within the first sentence. Let’s face it, no PR professional is pitching just for the fun of it – so being upfront and honest will get you instant respect.


6. Say your pitch out loud. It is important that your pitch is authentic. Saying your pitch out loud will help ensure your pitch is considerable and has no grammatical errors.


7. Make sure you have a call to action. Motivate the reader to respond by prompting a proper question. Asking questions with a proper call to action like “Could we schedule an interview?” are more likely to generate a response.


8. Be prepared to follow up. Many of your pitches are very likely to not receive a response. In a follow up email, restate your pitch briefly and offer another fresh idea. In some cases, it might even be appropriate to give the writer a phone call.


With these tips we wish you all the best of luck in formatting your pitches!

If you need additional help and would like to hire our team of PR professionals at The McRae Agency, please contact us at (480) 990-0282 or

The McRae Agency Voted #1 PR Agency by Ranking Arizona – Best of Arizona Businesses 2019


Recently, AZ Big Media’s Ranking Arizona – Best of Arizona Businesses named The McRae Agency the #1 Public Relations firm (with 9 or fewer in the department) in Arizona in 2019!

Ranking Arizona is the largest business poll in Arizona, customers vote on the best companies they recommend doing business with.

We are so proud and honored to be voted #1 in Public Relations. A huge thank you to our clients and supporters who voted for us!


The McRae Agency is a full-service public relations firm with big agency experience and boutique agency service. Founded in 1995, The McRae Agency is led by our fearless leader, Beth McRae. Beth is an unstoppable force in this industry with over 30 years of experience. She has worked with many different clients over the years and has always put an immense effort into the maintenance of her agency and the one-on-one connection with her clients and their brands. Beth has also contributed numerous hours to the community in the form of charitable leadership and hands-on work.


Alongside Beth works our PR Account Manager and Social Media Specialist, Samantha DeRose. Tech savvy and creative, Samantha helps our clients grow their brand and drive sales through a range of PR tools such as press releases, feature stories, case studies, product placement and social media.


At The McRae Agency, we work with clients that are well established and some who are just starting. Our client experience has ranged from WD-40, Nextel/Sprint and Red Bull to KB Home, CBRE, Skanska and Google, as well as many smaller companies. Orchestrating countless award-winning campaigns: To date The McRae Agency has won more than 45 awards. No matter the size of the project or the client, we have a team of highly dedicated and passionate people, circulating a constant stream of creative ideas and calculated strategy. Everything we do is done with the idea of making an impact and it means the world to us that our community recognizes that!


You can check out the Ranking Arizona: Top 10 public relations firms for 2019 article here and the full 2019 Ranking Arizona digital edition here.

“When Google decided to open an engineering facility in Phoenix, I immediately recommended that team work with Beth McRae and The McRae Agency. Having known Beth for many years, I was quite aware of her skills and creativity. She provided excellent service for many years for a very demanding company. Google only works with the very best.”

“The McRae Agency has been representing Solatube International since 1996.  Showing their determination, professionalism and aptitude, the agency has learned Solatube’s product line and target market with remarkable efficiency and timeliness.  Their aggressive pursuit in targeting various channels such as consumer media, building material distribution trade media, commercial media and general business media have made the relationship work.  The McRae Agency’s award-winning writing skills and professional networking have netted Solatube a great deal of press in major consumer and trade publications as well as targeted television programs.  Overall, Solatube appreciates the enthusiasm, resourcefulness and creative abilities that The McRae Agency offers.”

“I wanted to thank you once again for your support and participation on the Noche para los Ninos committee. Because of The McRae Agency, the event raised over $125,000 which will allow us to expand our programs and impact even more vulnerable children in our community. We truly appreciate you sharing your contacts and bringing some amazing donors to Kids in Focus. It was a pleasure working with your team and I look forward to future partnerships.”

“The McRae Agency continuously brings to the table the creativity and performance that is needed to achieve our goals.  Their responsiveness and desire for excellent client service demonstrates to me that they are more than just a vendor, but an extension of our marketing department.”

“It is with great pleasure that I can recommend The McRae Agency to handle your public relations.  Beth was hand-picked by me to oversee our strategic re-positioning in the marketplace of our company here in San Diego.  She has done a wonderful job.  She is knowledgeable, diligent and has excellent media contacts which have enabled CB to make significant strides in the area of public relations.”

“Working with Beth and her team was wonderful. The McRae Agency provided exceptional guidance and knowledge that aided our organization into making well informed decisions leading to outstanding results! I was so pleased with the amount of publicity generated for our charity event and would absolutely recommend The McRae Agency to friends and colleagues.”

“The McRae Agency is an integral part of my team that produces results that get noticed, not only by my superiors, but by the nation. As a growing S&P 500 company, we only work with the creme de la creme of marketing. Beth and her staff are responsive to my needs, efficient and bottom-line oriented. They are truly helping to take Nextel Communications to the next level in the business world. I heartily recommend them and encourage anyone to call me for a personal recommendation.”

“Beth and her team at The McRae Agency are very professional and understands our Valley of the Sun, its people and its dynamics.”

“Get Organized with Bridges + CO has been working with the Beth McRae and The McRae Agency for several years now. They have been consistent, creative and GREAT to work with. I would refer them to any business large or small. They are extremely professional and a joy to work with.”

“Excellent agency. Beth is very detail oriented and cares about her clients and their objectives.”

A blog is the perfect outlet for any topic and for any reason. Reading blogs can be fun and so can writing them! You have a story that everybody wants to hear, but how do you get people to your blog? The perfect blog post is about more than just great content. Follow this simple how-to guide for writing the perfect blog post for any experienced writer.

Begin your writing process by creating bullet points and deciding what your main points will be. What do you want your audience to know? You can then add details to each one.

Google and research relevant information on each point, keeping tabs open for easy referencing. Always make sure to give credit if borrowing information from others!

Then, take all your bullets, combine them with your research and begin to write out your rough draft.

Add non-word items to your blog like pictures, relevant quotes, links, etc.

Leave the blog with a question to keep your audience thinking. For example, what else do you think you could do to write a perfect blog?

how to guide for writing a perfect blog post with seo tips

Choose a featured photo that will catch the reader’s attention and is related to the blog.

Optimize the blog for SEO. There are four essential places where you should try to include your keywords: title tag, headers & body, URL, and meta description.

Title Tag- The title is your headline for the blog post and your first chance to grab the  audience’s attention. Make sure your “title tag” has your keywords in the first 60 characters. Mention your keywords throughout your body and in the headers naturally with important information, but don’t go overboard.

Url- you will have to opportunity to personalize your url, make it count by incorporating 1-2 keywords.

Meta Description – this is what gives search engines and audiences a glimpse into your blog before clicking. Make sure your keywords are there as well as a short summary of what is in your blog. Bring your audience in with this.

Last, observe your analytics on previous blog posts. Check to see when your users are most active and publish your posts in this time frame.

  • Pro Tip! – Always make sure to link to your social media accounts.

With millions of accounts on the app, creating engaging content is very important in order to stand out. Learn how to tell your company’s story through captivating photos, videos and captions.

Follow these 9 ways to creating better social media posts.


Most important of all, give your content variety. Don’t post the same type of photo everyday. Whether you are posting a product or sharing information, always mix it up!

2) Canva

Canva makes it quick and easy to create branded images while maintaining consistent brand aesthetic.  You can design anything on this site. Just choose a pre-designed Instagram template and customize the font and/or color to make it your own.

3) Photo Editors

Put your best photo forward with photo editing. Some photos are just a little too dark, soft or simply need a boost. Perfect your photos with better lighting, contrast, frames and filters. Using photo editors will help your page stand out.

4) Quotes & Tips

Share inspirational quotes and tips specific for your audience. There are an endless number of options, so you will never run out of ideas.

5) Linked Articles

Have you recently posted a blog to your website? Or, have you found an article interesting that your audience would enjoy? Share these articles to your Instagram bio or use the swipe up option on Instagram stories. This is a great way to bring your audience to your website.

6) Infographics

Do you want to share information from a long article? Use an infographic! The goal is to use few words, bright colors, images or logos, in an organized graphic with various sized boxes, bubbles, charts, etc.,to creatively and visually share the information to your audience in a smaller space.

7) Color Schemes

Giving your social media page a 3-4 color scheme will bring a more cohesive look to the layout. When you choose to use filters for your photos, use the same one on all of your photos to keep the flow.

8)Engage the Audience

You can’t increase your engagement unless you actually engage your audience. Use tagged photos from your audience as content and tag them! Try hashtag campaigns, giveaways, and posts asking for a response.  

     9. Acknowledge important days

Whether it’s a holiday, or important day in your brand, share content geared towards that.

“Team building activities”.

Does this phrase make your team members roll their eyes and slip off to the nearest exit?

From trust falls to naming your “unique” trait, employees have experienced all types of mundane team building activities. 

However, there are some team building activities that your team will actually enjoy. Gain a competitive advantage and help set a positive and trustworthy work environment by sprucing up your team building exercises with these tips and tricks:

First and foremost, engage your employees with different types of activities. Normally teambuilding is seen as a chore, so why have it be uneventful? Different exercises that are tactical will ensure for a fun and memorable time. 

 Go old school and whip out a board game!

Whether you’re a kid or an adult, board games are great at engaging communication and adding reminiscent emotions. Having a variety of games to play can increase employee bonding and interaction. 

 If you think board games are out of style, then why not try go karting, or even kickball? Participating in an action based activity will give your staff a chance to see your non-work side. This will establish a better sense of trust, and your staff will know they can communicate outside of the office. 

 Simply keep it sweet, and treat your staff to designated day of treats and tips. Whether its ice cream or bagels, food is a great way to bring everyone together. 

Lastly, don’t forget to include your newest employees! Starting at a new company can be intimidating, especially if everyone is well acquainted. It may seem childish but the buddy system never fails. When pairing a newbie with a veteran, personal guidance will help break the ice and establish new friendships amongst your staff. 

If you’re looking for more team building tricks, check out this article at SnackNation. They provide over 39 fun and outgoing activities that will change the perception of team building. 

internship blog pic


picture 1 blog post

1. Sit down, relax and soul search. Find a productive workspace, brew some coffee and start to think about what career path you want to take. Ask yourself questions about what you are looking for. If you’re in college, but still unsure of what career path you want to take, think about what classes you’re most passionate about and go from there.

pic 2 blog post

2. Research. Once you have decided on a career that might interest you, use as many resources as you can to learn about that industry. It’s important even if you’re entering in as an intern to know a lot about the field that you are trying to break in to.

pic 3 blog post

3. Make a resume/cover letter. Make sure that your resume is up-to-date and that you have a good template for your cover letter. Depending on each internship you apply for, your cover letter could change based on the skill set the company requires. Also, make sure to have references handy and to contact them in enough time if a letter of recommendation is required.

pic 4 blog post

4. Clean up your social media presence. Google yourself and make sure there’s nothing online that could potentially be deemed inappropriate by your future employer. Delete everything that you would have trouble explaining to your conservative grandmother. Always keep in mind the difference between tweeting for professional reasons and for pleasure.

pic 5 blog post

5. Prepare for interviews. Learn interview etiquette, look up tips online and have your questions prepared. Look up the proper dress code in order to dress for success and utilize sites like Pinterest to organize your resources. Always wear something that is professional, but fits your personality too.

Now that you’re prepared and have done your research, go out and start applying. Stay confident and remember what you’ve learned along the way. Good luck!

5 top spots

For when you want a quick, but healthy lunch: MAD Greens

MAD Greens is the perfect lunch choice. Between the fun menu item names (come on, aren’t you curious as to what the Edgar Allan Poe salad is all about?) and their quick service, it’s hard to beat this place. MAD Greens saw the lack of healthy fast food and pioneered the fast-casual salad restaurant, showing that it is possible to get healthy and flavorful food at the same speed as a burger and fries. Along with salads, MAD Greens has a variety of paninis, wraps, juices and even hummus plates.

We suggest: the Doc Holliday salad—it’s an Arizona exclusive!

For when you’re really craving a burger: Rehab Burger Therapy

Rehab Burger Therapy is a fun, beach-themed burger joint in Scottsdale that is just waiting to take you on a trip down to flavor town! It is definitely the place to take a group of your coworkers for lunch to add some fun to the workday. While they have classic burgers like the Bacon Cheeseburger, they also have options for those who want to take a flavor adventure like the PBJ & Bacon Burger (a burger with peanut butter, grape jelly, bacon and sriracha sauce). Rehab Burger Therapy’s Veggie Burger will have both vegetarians and vegans rejoicing!

We suggest: embrace the beach theme with the Hawaiian Burger

For when you can’t decide if you want Mexican or Asian food: SumoMaya

SumoMaya uses fresh ingredients and the bold flavors of both Latin American and Far East cuisine to create an exciting tapas-inspired experience. Your taste palate is going to expand when you go here for lunch. This is a restaurant that you’re going to want to bring some coworkers along with, as they recommend choosing three to five dishes to really grasp the entirety of their Mexican-Asian fusion concept. From sushi to tacos to noodle dishes, SumoMaya is going to have you wanting to try everything on the menu and will easily become one of your favorite lunch destinations.

We suggest: the Coconut Ahi Tuna Tartar

For when you’re wanting a change of scenery: Zinc Bistro

We know it’s scorching outside, but you’re going to want to keep this one in the back of your mind for when it starts cooling down. Complete with an oyster bar and a cozy garden patio, Zinc Bistro is a Parisian-inspired bistro in Kierland Commons that will transport you straight to the French countryside. You will want to start out with their cheese platter for an appetizer before you dive into their mouth-watering, crispy duck confit—but don’t forget to order a side of truffle and parmesan frites to share with your table!

We suggest: the Crispy Duck Confit sandwich

For when you want some sophisticated bar food: The Vig

If it’s Monday and you’re dreaming of Friday, then the Vig is where you want to go. The Vig is an upscale tavern that makes it perfectly acceptable to indulge in some Friday fun on a Monday afternoon. You’re going to want to dive into their appetizers where they refine the concept of classic bar food for your sophisticated palate. We don’t blame you for wanting to fill up on those appetizers, but don’t forget to browse the rest of their menu which features a fan favorite of grilled fish tacos, a variety of burgers and mouth-watering desserts served in mason jars.

We suggest: the Hot Vings

– Bri Arreguin-Malloy


“Top notch firm. Give them a try to prove their worth.”

“Beth does an amazing job meeting the needs of her clients. “

“I worked with Beth and The McRae Agency several years ago. She’s a consummate professional, smart and works hard to do the right thing by her clients.”

“The McRae Agency has been an important part of our marketing strategy, and their efforts produced great coverage in the Arizona marketplace for our business.  It was a pleasure to work with The McRae Agency!”

“The McRae Agency was hand-selected after a rigorous agency review process and we couldn’t be happier with our selection.  It was important for us to choose a PR partner who ‘gets’ what Henry’s Farmers Market is all about, and we have found that with the McRae Agency team.  As consumer PR specialists, they help us ‘move the needle’ through creative solutions that are on target with our overall company goals and are a trusted part of our marketing and communications team.”

“The McRae Agency team does an outstanding job of meeting the results its clients are looking for by blending their excellent communication skills, with the determination and creativity that helps get clients noticed in the marketplace.  They have the ability to take very complex ideas and distill them into clear and concise messages that are easy for their audience to understand.”

“The McRae agency’s core team is solid, strong and efficient! They will listen to your needs and craft a marketing/ PR campaign to work within your budget while strategizing a plan for your short and long term goals. Bridget Palitz is straightforward and her no-nonsense approach cuts right to the chase. Meryl and Reema are dedicated hard workers who always have your best interest in mind. The McRae agency is committed to your success and a valuable asset to have in your business arsenal!”

“The McRae Agency has been everything we expected from a PR firm and more.  I really appreciate the diligence and tenacity that you have when you ‘spread the word’ about The Window Factory.  Coupled with this, it’s been a real pleasure interacting to complete our projects.  I look forward to a continued relationship.”

“Working with The McRae Agency has been proven to be a tremendous lift to the Land Advisors Organization.  We first began working with Beth McRae and her team as a single land brokerage office based in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Now, with 6 offices in 3 states, our need for a professional media liaison is even more critical.  The McRae Agency has assisted us in developing solid relationships with the appropriate media sources in each of our markets, which has contributed greatly to our consistent business growth.”

“It is commonly said that “image is everything”.  That being the case, I would whole-heartedly recommend The McRae Agency to any business owner who is interested in upgrading their image through a dedicated public relations effort.”

“San Diego Habitat for Humanity has enjoyed the most productive year in its twenty-year history, and The McRae Agency’s Bridget Palitz have been a significant part of that success.  Our affiliate is low on bureaucracy, and work tends to come in rushes. Bridget adapted to our style and responded whenever we needed her.  She has agreed to join our Board of Advisors and will certainly be integral to next year’s growth.”

“Since The McRae Agency took over our public relations, our press releases have had more real world scenarios and have stepped up in professionalism.  The agency has done a great job of partnering CCCS with its other clients to further the messages of both organizations.  It has been a pleasure to work The McRae Agency.  Thank you!”

“I knew that handing over our Beaujolais Nouveau project to Beth McRae was going to be a fun project, but I had no idea how much return on our investment we would reap in the process!  Through Beth’s far reaching contacts, she created newness and buzz for our 30 year Anniversary Vintage release.  Her efforts have since created a lasting Halo Effect for the other brands associated with our Nouveau wines!  This was such a needed and added bonus!  The agency’s work was meticulously detailed and seamless, her timing and follow up was impeccable, and her team was wonderfully efficient and professional!  We strongly recommend and look forward to working with Beth again in the future!”

“The McRae Agency is an integral part of my team that produces results that get noticed, not only by my superiors, but by the nation.  As a growing S&P 500 company, we only work with the creme de la creme of marketing.  Beth and her staff are responsive to my needs, efficient and bottom-line oriented.  They are truly helping to take Nextel Communications to the next level in the business world.  I heartily recommend them and encourage anyone to call me for a personal recommendation.”

“Beth McRae is a strategic thinker and a joy to work with as she brings energy and creativity to her campaigns. “

By: Ashton Meisner

For a college student, an internship can sound intimidating, time-consuming and basically like giving away free labor. While that might sound scary, being an intern can be really helpful to network in your preferred field, learn important tricks of the trade and get in the direction that is best for your career. However, nothing worthwhile comes easy and it’s important to remember to work so hard that your supervisors can’t help but praise you.


No Money, No ProblemMoney

An internship is a crucial time to NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK. Although you might not be making those big bucks just yet, you shouldn’t be slacking on your share of work. Your supervisors could be watching you as a potential, future employee or you might need their help with a good letter of recommendation down the road. Make your time spent at your internship worthwhile. If you’re constantly on your Facebook page or working on your favorite Pinterest board, your boss might not be thinking you’d fit the mold as a future PAID employee.


Happy Little Worker Beebee

Let’s face it, no one wants to be around a “Negative Nancy” all day. True, being assigned a big task like working with a client’s entire media list might not sound like the best time of your life but it has to be done! Take on the challenge and make it a time to show your boss your work ethic. Complainers and negative people usually aren’t tolerated and are totally replaceable. Remind your supervisor why they hired you in the first place.



SmileyI Get By With a Little Help From My Co-workers

If you get the opportunity, get to know who you’re working with. You might find out one of your co-workers is originally from your hometown or another works at your favorite restaurant. It’s amazing how little connections like these can end up being big networking tools later on or even friendships outside of work. Also, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a supervisor that wants to get to know you. Talk to that person, learn from him/her and ask questions. This could really be beneficial to your learning experience and it could make it a little more enjoyable.


HeartIt’s All In The Fine Print

Ever heard the saying, “The little things in life end up being the big things”? This is true at work too. If your supervisor assigns a task, take notes, remember exactly how he/she wants the project completed and pay attention to details. They will be impressed by your effort to do exactly what they had asked. This will establish trust and make you feel more comfortable in the workplace. Give it 110%.



It’s Not Personal

When getting corrected at your internship, it can be hard to not take offense and take the corrections personally. As an intern you must be thick-skinned and realize your supervisors aren’t trying to attack you, they want to help you improve. Focus on what is being asked of you and do your best until you get it right.



Thank you

Thanksgiving Isn’t Just a Holiday

At the end of your time with your internship, it is crucial to be thankful and make sure your supervisors are aware of it. Every internship you encounter could open doors to new jobs, connections and future opportunities. Do something special for your supervisors to let them know what a pleasure it was learning under them and how thankful you are for their patience, efforts and knowledge. Who knows, maybe if you’re lucky you could score yourself a future job with that company.

7 top tips for successful infographics

By Matt Carrington

Infographics are all around us.

Although they have come under some scrutiny in recent years, done well they are an extremely useful way of presenting data in a cohesive way that allows you to easily compare and contrast key findings. With good creative work, they can also be a really attractive piece of marketing communication.

When pulling your data together for an infographic, you must focus on a topic that is engaging to your target audience. However, once you have all the data, have created a beautiful image, and have it all set to go, you’ll want to maximize its effectiveness, so here are our top seven tips for doing just that:

Size matters

Always provide a high-resolution version of your image. If press or bloggers want to share it, they’ll need it in high resolution, so don’t limit your options before you start.

It’s also a good idea to build a smaller version of the infographic, or an “infogram,” which will appear as a small, attractive image when shared on Facebook and Twitter. Typically an infogram is a concise part of an infographic that can be viewed as standalone content.

Though not essential, this will make outreach a lot more successful, as you can offer bloggers an infographic to host on their site and an infogram to share online. The infographic must look great, but you should make sure it is also the right size for your website.

What’s in a name?

Get your title right. The page should have a catchy title and an introductory paragraph, as well as a few more paragraphs outlining the highlights. If posting into a blog, make sure you have a catchy post title that can be easily shared on external sites and by bloggers who may want to reference your work.

Brand it

Don’t go overboard with the branding; less will usually be more during the outreach process. Bloggers will appreciate being affiliated with an established brand, but they know their worth and won’t feel comfortable providing free advertising for you. Make a judgment call that makes sense for your audience.

Break it down

Breaking down the infographic into sections can help make data easier to digest. If you take this approach, you should still provide the full infographic at the bottom of the page so that users can still view your creation in all its glory. A great example of this can be seen here.

Offer your insights

Don’t leave your infographic as a standalone piece of communication. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to showcase data-led insights.

The infographic is also more likely to be shared and linked to if it offers real value to people. Adding extra tips/stats/data could turn the onsite page into a resource that would be easier to pitch to bloggers and journalists. The bonus info also will encourage people to share it.

What’s more, providing insights to back up your statistics will increase the topical relevance of the page, enhancing the chance your content will rank well in searches.


Enhance its credibility by referencing all the great data sources you’ve used to compile your infographic. Make sure you use clickable URLs so that blogs/sites can actually find all the information in case they want to add something when publishing the infographic. This includes referencing research that you may have completed in-house as well. These should be placed at the bottom of the page.

Build it, and they will come?

Finally, you must consider the visibility of your infographic; after all that hard work, you’ll want to tell everyone about it. Make sure you share it across your social networks, as well as engaging with your influencers to share it through their sites.

The content will generate SEO value for your brand, so ensure that appropriate links are included.

YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn Drive The Most Engaged Social Referrals Danny Wong • Content Marketing, Shareaholic Reports 

The fact is, many of us spend an egregious amount of time using social media (sharing tweets, commenting on FB posts, etc.). We lose ourselves in our ever updating feeds. The more curious among us even try to quantify the hours and minutes spent on social networking each day. But I’ve often wondered: What is our behavior post-click, when we actually interact with a link one of our friends shared socially?

To answer that question, we looked at the average visit duration, pages per visit, and bounce rate for visitors referred to our network of sites from each of the top 8 social media platforms.

Welcome to the first edition of Shareaholic’s ”Social Referrals That Matter” Report.

In this study, we looked at 6 months of data (Sept’13 – Feb’14) across our network of 200,000+ sites reaching more than 250 million unique monthly visitors to get a sense of which social network drives the most engaged visitors.

Social Referrals That Matter March 2014

The above findings are represented as average values over the last 6 months for their respective categories: Time on Site, Pages / Visit and Bounce Rate.

Here are six noteworthy findings:

  1. YouTube is the undisputed champion. YT drives the most engaged traffic. These referrals have the lowest average bounce rate (43.19%), the highest pages per visit (2.99) and the longest visit duration (227.82 seconds). Why are visitors from YouTube so engaged? …because video itself is so engaging and viewers are likely to maintain a similar level of engagement with related content. Therefore, video watchers are especially receptive to links within video descriptions which complement the audio+visual content they just consumed. Another reason YouTube takes home the crown is because viewers are simply used to spending minutes — perhaps, hours — educating and entertaining themselves with awesome video and may have fewer qualms about taking extra time to discover more great content post-click.
  2. Although Google+ and LinkedIn drive the fewest social referrals, they bring in some of the best visitors. Google+ users, on average, find themselves spending north of 3 minutes diving into things shared by connections in their circles. They also visit 2.45 pages during each visit, and bounce only 50.63% of the time. LinkedIn users generally spend 2 minutes and 13 seconds on each link they click, viewing 2.23 pages with each visit and bouncing 51.28% of the time. Although many sites see minimal traffic from both Google+ and LinkedIn, now may be the time to invest in building communities within those networks if engagement really matters to your business.
  3. A referral from Twitter is as good as a referral from Facebook — at least, in terms of bounce rate, pages per visit and time on site. Tied in 4th place are Twitter and Facebook. Both types of visitors bounce the same (56.35% of the time), while Twitter wins the pages per visit category (2.15 vs 2.03) and Facebook users tend to spend more time on a site post-click than Twitter users do (127.44 seconds vs. 123.10).
  4. Pinterest isn’t exactly the social media golden child we all play it up to be.Coming in 6th, Pinners bounce as often as FB users and Tweeps do, but view fewer pages per visit (1.71) and spend considerably less time on site (64.67 seconds) than almost all of its counterparts, with the exception of StumbleUpon.
  5. Reddit users are the most fickle. Redditors are the most likely to abandon sites — on average, 70.16% bounce. For marketers, Reddit is a tough nut to crack. Its uber-loyal users are increasingly selective about the content that gets upvoted and are eager to downvote things they disagree with. Effectively, Reddit hates marketing. In the past, I’ve even encouraged site owners to quit Reddit. Naturally, I applaud (and envy) brands and businesses that do it right. An excellent example that comes to mind is Newegg’s involvement on /r/buildapc (h/tAGeezus).
  6. StumbleUpon drives the least engaged referrals. Post-click, users view a meager 1.5 pages per visit and spend 54.09 seconds on site. It would appear that StumbleUpon’s click-heavy — to “stumble,” “like” or “dislike” — focus makes users trigger happy to a fault. Users stumble onto the next thing rather than immerse themselves in the webpage SU recommends. Of course, not every recommendation SU serves will be spot on. Yet, in the instance that a user stumbles upon something that directly resonates with her/him, (s)he may even earn the title of “most engaged visitor of the day”.



Jacob and Brenda

PR over tea

palm trees

Seven Publicity Rules Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know

Robert J. Szczerba – Contributor

What if you invented a revolutionary product that replaced narcotics to alleviate pain, but you fumbled the public relations (PR) effort and your news got lost in the media echo chamber?

Startups and entrepreneurs in almost every industry must confront questions like this when deciding to launch or continue a PR campaign. However, a number of small businesses often don’t fully recognize that the world of PR has been turned on its ear. Many of the old rules simply don’t apply anymore. Journalists are leaving the venerable media brands for new social networking platforms and to build their personal brands. Unfortunately, using PR to grab headlines or market share is no longer just a matter of “getting out a press release.” It requires deft handling from a knowledgeable team.

For guidance in navigating this new terrain, I turned toShelly Gordon, Principal of G2 Communications Inc., a healthcare PR firm in Silicon Valley. These are her top seven publicity rules that every entrepreneur should know:

1. Story is king : facts are servants: Too many companies think telling the facts about their products will be riveting to the media. They expect front-page coverage after sending out a product news release, or touting their wares as being “…more effective and efficient” than a competitor’s offering. Instead, a good PR strategy crafts your company’s story to appeal to journalists and their audiences. And people tell the story. As the documentary filmmaker Ken Burns says, “… the facts are in service of the story.”

2. Keep the buzz going: Companies with cool apps may make a big splash initially, but after early adoption takes root, the buzz dies off. Then what do you do? You need different story angles to keep your company fresh in the minds of journalists, and that takes a different strategy than the one used for an initial product launch. It takes an approach that carries a company into the future with a series of PR programs combined with social media and blogs. Mine your company for ongoing stories that can be re-packaged and retold in different formats.

3. Old news is no news: Not long ago, reporters filed one or two stories a day. Today, journalists may file one story every hour, plus frequent blog posts and tweets. News has always been a perishable commodity and companies can’t expect their stories to have a long shelf life. One biotech company learned that lesson the hard way. While the company had a successful clinical trial and even saw the results published in a medical journal, it started its PR efforts two months later, which was far too late for journalists to be interested.

4. Social media is not PR: A social media strategy can run in tandem with a PR campaign, but don’t confuse the two. PR crafts a cohesive message that dovetails with media conversations. PR creates fresh, high value content and should be syndicated through your social networks, and that, in turn, may gain more fans and followers. In an ideal world, PR and social media enjoy a synergistic relationship, with each feeding the other. Pursue both PR and social media outreach. You may want to augment your PR team with a social network manager who is steeped in the nuances of building meaningful followers.

5. Fill the news pipeline: Have you ever visited the “newsroom” at a company’s website and found that the most recent article was dated two years ago? Keeping content fresh on the website includes the newsroom. If it is out of date, people will wonder about the health of the company, and you’ll risk a negative perception. While no small company is going to have constant breaking news, it is important to keep the media section fresh and up-to-date with announcements, press releases, case studies, and other articles. This gives visitors a chronology of the company. Don’t wait for the next major release of your product. There are many ways to update your target audiences with new hires, industry awards, market survey results, new partnerships, new customers, etc.

6. More does not equal better: Just because a media database lists 200 journalists who cover your industry, that doesn’t mean you should send company news to all of them. One of the main things journalists rant about when it comes to PR is getting inundated with irrelevant press releases. Vet each journalist to make sure your news is a match – otherwise, you risk being called out on social media, or permanently removed from his or her pool of quotable sources.

This last rule is probably the most difficult for entrepreneurs to comprehend:

7. Journalists are just not that into you: Few small business owners realize what life is like for journalists today. They get hundreds of emails every day from PR representatives that have nothing to do with what they write about. Additionally, tighter deadlines and greater competition mean they have less time – and patience – for listening to your story. Just because you are passionate about your product or company, that doesn’t mean you can expect reporters to share that passion. But consider the effectiveness of making the journalist’s job easier. Research the topics they have an interest in, feed them fresh stories, and give their readers what they want. Then your company stands a good chance of breaking through the media noise and getting your message heard.


8 tips for getting your press releases read and shared

By Russell Working


Editor’s note: This story is taken from Ragan Communications’ new distance-learning The site contains more than 200 hours of case studies, video presentations, and interactive courses. For membership information, please click here. 

The press release is dead—or so we keep hearing.

But somebody forgot to tell Sarah Skerik, vice president of content marketing for PR Newswire.

“No one reads press releases?” she says. “I’m sorry, I have data otherwise. People read them by the millions.”

The thing is, press releases can be written well or handled badly. In a session titled “Proving the Value of PR Across the Organization,” she explains that press releases are content that can be widely shared—if you make it interesting and shareable.

“People are tweeting the daylights out of press releases,” she says.

Her comments come as many in public relations express doubt about the value of the press release. In a recent piece for the HubSpot blog, a former Newsweek reporter states that he deleted nearly every press release he received.

He quotes one industry pro who says: “The simple press release should have died years ago. In my mind, they’re dead already.”

Skerik, however, says press releases keep pulling in readers. Ten years ago, she would have told you that most of the people who will read your press release do so within 72 hours.

Today, press releases accrue only half their reads over the first four days. The rest of the readers continue to find the press release over the next four months and beyond.

Here are some tips from Skerik:

1. Write the way you talk.

Search engines prefer natural language, not jargon or marketing-speak. So do readers. Write naturally and use good grammar, Skerik says.

2. Cut back on links.

Skerik analyzed the worst-performing 500 out of a set of 20,000 press releases to figure out why these were the bottom feeders.

“I did find that the duds almost to an item had a preponderance of links within the release,” she says. “Every other word it seems has links, and it’s really annoying to the reader. And search engines saw it as spam.”

3. Avoid the use of Unnecessary Capitalization.

Copy littered with capital letters “in weird places … are a turnoff for a lot of readers and really will make your press release underperform,” Skerik says.

4. Recognize that content recirculates.

Ever puzzle why a friend on Facebook posted that same damned cat video you saw a year ago? That’s because content now is available to people on their own time frame, enabling them to recirculate it, Skerik says.

What’s old hat to you is new and interesting to the person who Googled it five minutes ago. Treat your press releases as part of your permanent content archive.

5. Always include something tweetable in your pitches.

Fans, bloggers, and even journalists can be willing to your press releases—but not if you make them work at it. Always include something they can tweet or share. Make it easy for them.

“They just hate it when you send a text-only pitch and attach a press release, and that’s it,” Skerik says.

6. How about issuing a press release in tweets?

In September, @AmazonKindle issued a press release in a series of 14 tweets. This allowed followers to retweet the parts that most interested them, such as the music or extended battery life, Skerik says.

She adds that a tweet about music might not have elicited a reaction from her, but because she provides tech support for an out-of-town parent, the tweet about a new “mayday button” for such support caught her eye.

7. Feed your influencers.

These hungry critters require regular doses of information to survive. They thrive on attention, and multimedia content is their favorite snack food. Exclusives make them purr.

“Give them the star treatment-give them the media treatment-and you will win an enthusiast for life,” Skerik says.

8. Interaction matters.

The Google algorithm has moved beyond merely scanning pages for words, Skerik says. Google now places a high value on people interacting with your content, and this can include old press releases.

Do people like the content? Do they link to it? Are they interacting with it? Do they continue to share it over time? That’s how you gain visibility in searches.

5 PR and social media trends for 2014

By Jessica Lawlor | Posted: November 26, 2013



Want a glimpse into the future of what’s hot in PR, marketing, and social media for 2014? I’ll let you in on a little secret: The future is already here, and brands must get on board now.

In the past few weeks, I’ve had the privilege of attending two fantastic conferences that left me feeling inspired, engaged, and ready to take action. First, I attended the Public Relations Society of America International Conference in Philadelphia. Then I traveled to Huntsville, Ala., for the Social Media Tourism Symposium (#SoMeT13US).

At these conferences, I heard from big-name speakers including Brian Solis, Jay Baer, and Mack Collier, along with PR and social media professionals down in the trenches at agencies and tourism offices.

A few major themes emerged from both conferences. Here’s what you must know about the top five PR and social media trends for 2014:

1. Let your brand’s superfans help do your marketing/selling for you. Who better to promote your product/service/destination than the people who are already head over heels in love with it? A brand’s superfans — the people who talk about them online, advocate for their products, and spread the word however they can — are a powerful marketing and selling tool.

As Mack Collier, the founder of #BlogChat and author of “Think Like A Rockstar,” said in his Social Media Tourism Symposium keynote, “You’re marketing to the wrong people…the real money is in connecting with your biggest fans. Your fans will go out and acquire new customers for you.”

Collier encouraged the brands at the conference to love those fans right back. Connecting with your superfans, giving them the tools to best help you, and treating them like gold go a long way.

There are a few brands I am completely loyal to that I write about often on my blog. (Dunkin’ Donuts, Temple University, and FatCow immediately come to mind.) I genuinely love all three of these brands and am happy to spread the word about them on my blog and social media accounts because I love their products, am a fan of their online and offline strategy, and appreciate the ways they connect with me as a consumer.

2. Give up control of your brand. Mack Collier went on to explain that brands must give up control to get control. Kind of scary, right? As communication professionals, our job is to protect the brands we represent, so the idea of giving up control can make a marketer feel a little uneasy.

It’s an important concept and one we must accept and embrace if we want our brands and companies to succeed. A trending topic at both conferences was the idea that your fans and community own your brand just as much as you do.

Fans now have the ability to create their own content (videos, tweets, posts, etc.) about your brand. The key here is to really take a hard look at your strategy for working with your brand’s superfans (see point No. 1 above). If you create content geared specifically toward those fans (key word: fans, not customers) and give them the tools to promote you, they will do it in a way that reflects on your brand positively. Remember, it’s all about trust and giving up a little bit of control.

Coincidentally, Mack wrote a post about this very topic after attending the Social Media Tourism Symposium, so head over to his blog to learn more about this idea.

3. Think about content more strategically, and plan for the long term. After attending a session on how content is developed, curated, and promoted at #SoMeT13US, I was inspired by two tourism organizations that have an incredible content strategy. Presenters from Travel Oregonand Miles, on behalf of the Louisiana Office of Tourism, showcased their incredibly organized content calendars, all the way from big themes for the year down to the nitty-gritty daily Facebook posts and tweets.

What I took away from this session was the idea that in order to make the most impact, we must be more strategic and think ahead for the long term. We must have a content plan. But more than having a plan for what content we want our brand to share, we must have a plan for which platforms the content will be posted and shared on. One of the presenters, Theresa Overby, shared her smart “rule of three”: If you create a piece of content, you must use it on at least three different platforms/channels.

In terms of how to create all that content especially if your team is not big enough to be churn out tons of original content on a daily basis? The presenters suggested finding a balance between original and curated content. Again, we go back to No. 1 and No. 2 above about using those superfans or brand ambassadors and allowing them to create content for your brand.

4. We have to be smarter about using data. There’s a running joke among PR pros that we got into communication because we’re bad at math. In general, many of us are fonder of words than of numbers — but that’s changing.

A major theme at the PRSA Conference this year was that as PR pros, we must learn to love numbers and understand how and why using data can be an extremely powerful tool. As my friend, author of The Future Buzz and Googler Adam Singer said during the session, “Data is sexy…because data equals more money.”

Numbers can help tell a story when working with the media, and numbers can justify a larger budget and more staff/resources at an organization. Instead of shying away from analytics, statistics, and numbers, we must insert ourselves into those conversations and gain access to the tools to help us better understand the data driving the success of our organizations.

5. Just be useful. This tip is simple and timeless. In boosting our brands, we must just be useful to our customers and fans.

Jay Baer delivered the opening keynote at #SoMeT13US and explained the concept behind his book YoutilityHe said, “Youtility is marketing so useful, people would pay for it.” He gave an awesome example of Youtility by showing us his Facebook newsfeed.

As he scrolled, he showed the audience a message from a company, followed by a status update from a friend, followed by another company, then an update from his wife, another friend, and another company. His point here was that everything is blended now. Messages from brands we love are mixed in with messages from our family and friends.

If you’re useful and provide information that your customers are looking for, they will respect you and, ideally, purchase from you. He urged marketers to use their online tools to provide utility first and to promote themselves second.

20 captivating marketing statistics that will drive 2014

By Kevin Allen | Posted: November 12, 2013

Because 2013 is winding down, we can start to look forward to the trends that will drive 2014.

Kudos to WebDAM for leading the look-aheads with its new infographic that looks toward next year. Here are a few prognosticative highlights:

  • 78 percent of CMOs think custom content is the future of marketing
  • Social marketing budgets will double over the next five years
  • A third of traffic from Google’s organic search results go to the first item listed

Check out the full infographic below:



10 things you should never share on social media

By Kevin Magee | Posted: November 12, 2013

Social media is all about transparency. It’s about sharing and being your authentic self. Uh-huh.Well, there are some things you should probably keep to yourself.

Here are 10 of them:

1. Your phone number.

There are creepy, disturbed people on the Internet with ill intentions and bad manners. They are called telemarketers. Don’t feed them—especially after midnight. It’s sort of like “Gremlins.”

2. Pictures of your credit card.

Yes, people actually do this. I know you’re proud of your new VISA card branded with the Toronto Maple Leafs logo, but showing it off on Instagram is like asking for identity theft.

3. Pictures of any bodily function.

I know where you think I’m going with this, but I’m not. I’m talking about potty training. This is one instance where “take a picture or it didn’t happen” doesn’t apply.

4. This video:

5. An invitation for someone to rob you.

Letting the one-sixth of the human population that is on Facebook know you’re in Mexico this week while that brand new 60-inch TV you posted about last week is home alone is an invitation for someone to rob you.

6. Vague posts.

“Wondering why …”

Me too. Unfollow.

7. Your password.

This should be at the top of the no-brainer pile. If your password is the name of your cat who has a Facebook account with 1,632 friends, you either need to change your password or the name of your cat.

8. Anything that happened in Vegas.

This is a rule for a reason.

9. Your Klout score, or any other social media statistic.

If you post your Klout score, you’re clearly over compensating for something.

This leads to the final thing you should never share on social media:

10. A naked photo.

If you’re an A-list celebrity taking nude pictures of yourself with your iPhone for your PR firm to leak to the media, that’s fine. Otherwise, not cool.

Not a bad way to start a Friday…Starbucks and a webinar with Guy Kawasaki!



4 secrets to standing out on LinkedIn

By Samantha Collier | November 5, 2013

What separates the great LinkedIn profiles from the average ones is how people use all of the various features on LinkedIn. Of course, it’s also important to have a fully optimized profile.

But it’s not good enough to just fill out your profile anymore. You must do that pesky act we all talk about so often—engage.

The LinkedIn blog recently published an article about four ways to stand out on LinkedIn. Here’s the distilled version:

1. Status updates 

LinkedIn users who share content with their LinkedIn networks at least once per week are nearly 10 times more likely to be contacted by a recruiter for new opportunities. News feeds are prominently displayed on home pages due to the recent LinkedIn upgrades. Take advantage of this by sharing articles, blog posts, third-party content, newsletters, etc. Remember, quality is key. And don’t over post either.

2. Schedule, schedule, schedule 

Many professionals (including the attorneys with whom I work) don’t think they have the time to be active on LinkedIn. Because LinkedIn has a variety of smartphone and iPad apps, this can’t be your excuse anymore.

Create a schedule and stick to it. Remember, you have to repeat a new action a hundred times to create a new habit. Post updates to LinkedIn on the train to work in the morning, or when you have your morning coffee. When you do it is up to you but you need to stick with it.

3. Upgrade your profile picture 

The LinkedIn blog said it best: People always dress for the job they want.

People with photos on LinkedIn are seven times more likely to have their profiles viewed. This is a no-brainer in my books. It makes me uncharacteristically angry when I find a profile without a picture.

Take this a step further by making sure your picture is up-to-date and engaging. There’s almost no excuse to not have a picture. Many professionals are prominently displayed in website bios. Take this picture and add it to LinkedIn. Or invest a few dollars and have a professional picture taken. It’s worth every penny.

4. Don’t be a Debbie Downer 

We all know this personality type from Facebook, the people who complain about relationships, bad weather, and anything negative that has crossed their paths. Your LinkedIn network doesn’t care, save it for Facebook.

Keep it professional and update on LinkedIn. Jot down your top 10 dream companies on LinkedIn and follow them. Follow your own company, too. Share unique content your network will benefit from. Whatever you do, don’t be a Debbie Downer.

LinkedIn has more than 175 million members and a new member joins approximately every two seconds. Make sure you stand out from the crowd by sharing status updates, scheduling LinkedIn into your calendar, upgrading your profile picture, and by not being a Debbie Downer. It’s easy to stand out from the crowd on LinkedIn if you take advantage of all the features that are available to you.

We’re brewing up some Halloween fun at the office today!




Meet our interns Natalie and Ashley! They’re always working hard in the office! 

Using Twitter to Grow Your Business

by Caysey Welton | 10/04/2013

Twitter has been grabbing up headlines this week after confirming that the social media platform will soon roll out an IPO. Twitter’s valuation has been fodder for a lot of debate, but from a business owner’s perspective, the platform offers more than just investment value.

iQuarius Media created the infographic below, which outlines exactly what Twitter’s value for businesses is and how they can leverage the network as a social tool.



#68 Write brief tip sheets related to your expertise and use them in your email blasts, your blog, Tweets, etc. You can have them available as free PDF downloads on your site or, if you have a book to sell, give one away as bonus with purchase or as an incentive for signing up for your eNewsletter. Here is an example of one of our tip sheets:

Tips on How to Write a News Release

  • Use the inverted pyramid style: most important facts first
  • Make sure it’s newsworthy, not fluff
  • Write as though you were a journalist (be informative, to the point, avoid flowery language.) Read the local papers and try to emulate journalists’ style of writing.
  • Use a strong lead (opening paragraph)
  • Think of the target audience
  • Use a strong headline (one that makes the reporter want to read on)
  • Double check the details (never give the media information you’re not certain about)
  • Be interesting! Make sure your story is unique and notable. If it’s not, don’t send it!
  • Be sure to include the four basic elements: Who? What? Where? When?
  • Include your contact info (name, phone number, email, etc.)
  • Include the current date
  • Use your company letterhead or logo on top
  • Include a quote from you or client spokesperson (if appropriate)
  • Use research- it plays well with news media
  • Include other experts; they add credibility
  • Include appropriate visuals
  • Label any photos and CDs
  • Proof and triple proof it before you send it out!

Excited to be here at The Phoenician Awards!



Building BUZZ Since 1995