Home > Social media, Traditional media, Twitter > Mixing traditional and newer PR ingredients to cook up tasty success

Mixing traditional and newer PR ingredients to cook up tasty success

Speaker Heather Whaling with Ashley Walters and Andrew Shipp of Cincinnati PRSA

It was appropriate that we heard Heather Whaling of Columbus-based Geben Communication talk about how her team cooked up a successful launch for Zaarly, a new online marketplace. Cincinnati Cooks, an entity of the Freestore Foodbank,  operates in the area next to the conference room where Whaling (@prtini) spoke to a combined Cincinnati PRSA/Cincinnati Social Media gathering.

The talk was particularly relevant for me  because I had been stewing up some new/old media during the week to attract quality candidates for job openings at Catholic Health Partners’ new Corporate Physician Business Center (CPBC) in Blue Ash, Ohio. A combination of social and traditional media strategies and tactics allowed my employer to attract hundreds of applicants for customer service, claim followup and billing jobs — within five days. (More on that in a later post.)

Here are some of the things Whaling said in her Zaarly case study that got me tweeting away on my new Droid:

* Start with solid messaging and story telling. Tap your online and offline networks to build momentum.

* Capitalize on trends while pitching stories to the media and bloggers. Use tools such as PitchEngine, closed Facebook groups, Twitter and blogs. Connect with high-profile supporters.

* Embargo press announcements. Not all media allow embargoes, but many do. Do guest posts on blogs. Provide infographics. Plant seeds with reporters — tell them you’ve got a story coming.

* Go beyond trade press and seek coverage in general business media to build credibility. Seek local coverage to build interest.

* Compile and monitor a list of reporters on Twitter. They often seek story ideas on Twitter.

* Facebook ads and promoted tweets can be effective.

* Go grassroots with community events. Start-up crawls, sort of like pub crawls, helped Zaarly.

* Handle crisis communication. Seek awards. Line up speaking engagements. Do e-mail marketing. They all helped.

* For the most part, see bloggers as part of the media. However, they’re responsible to their communities. Tradition journalists report to editors, (while targeting readers and viewers).

* Customize pitches to bloggers. Take into consideration factors such as the fact that mommy bloggers often work after the kids have been put to bed. Offer to do a guest blog when you know a blogger is going on vacation.

* Monitor social media with tools such as HootSuite or Radian6. Look for trends, pitch opportunities.

I can testify that many of these strategies and tactics were on my work menu this week, too. Hope my notes did Whaling’s talk justice. I was hungry for what she had to say and happily gobbled it up.



  1. December 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Hi Mike, it was great to see you in Cincy this week. Glad you enjoyed my presentation. Report back as you work some of these ideas into your 2012 communication plan!


    • mikeboehmer57
      December 17, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      Will do! These are exciting times in PR. Thanks for sharing your experiences and ideas.

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