Creative PR Takes Wooing

Categories:Holler Habits

It feels good, doesn’t it? Your name in print, broadcast or online. There’s something about the instantaneous pleasure that a positive PR story brings. The reality of it is that the immediate gratification you’re feeling took someone – a publicist, agency, you – time and effort to get that hurt so good moment.

When developing a PR campaign or even a pitch, it is important to see things from the media’s point of view and take time to create and care for these relationships.

Here are six key tips and #hollerhabits on how to court the media.

  1. Be monogamous: One misconception is the more, the better. Not so when it comes to pitching a story. Sending the same email to the masses is like hanging out in a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but you won’t get very far. Instead, target your story to the perfect reporter.
  2. Woo (or wow) them: Media professionals do their fair share of research before developing a story and so should you. Do your homework. See what your ideal contact is already writing and/or talking about and woo him or her with a tie to their existing editorial platform.
  3. Flirt: Follow your contacts on Twitter. This is an opportunity to see what they are up to; what fires them up; and to interact in a meaningful way. #ocmetrorocks
  4. Build desire: Align yourself with recognizable partners, such as celebrities or experts. This is one way to get quick attention, plus you can also leverage the resources of your partners. Even when celebrities are involved, you still need to tell a unique story to gain and keep the respect of your contact.
  5. Seduce: Craft sexy messaging that will immediately attract your contact, beginning with the subject line. Media professionals receive an onslaught of communication and your emails need to make it past all of the other appealing messaging.
  6. Create mutual commitment: Once you’ve developed a relationship, continue to follow up with timely and relevant stories. Media professionals like having an arsenal of experts they can continually count on. These relationships can be mutually beneficial for years to come.

Like any good relationship, it takes work. Whether you have an internal PR team, have hired a publicist or are navigating the waters alone, be mindful that a lot more goes into gaining exposure than simply having a steamy story.

As One Door Closes Another Opens

Categories:Creative Ink

By Brittni May

We’ve all been there…whether it was a few hours or the night before a deadline, our brain takes the best of us and we suffer from writer’s block. But I have found that motivation blossoms from the smallest ideas. By starting up my computer, opening a word document and typing, I know another door will open because even if my idea stinks, something better will come out of it.

Recently, on Oprah’s Next Chapter, the talented and very creative Lady Gaga revealed there are dark times for her. She hibernates, waiting until the next door opens and when its time, Gaga knows. Instantly all of those crazy ideas come out to play.

Next time you’re stuck starring at a blank screen, here are tips to help you begin:

  • Remember why you started in the first place and ask who depends on you and what are their needs
  • Jot any ideas down because from there they can turn into something
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself and just write; editing comes later

Your brilliance doesn’t have to come from seclusion like Lady Gaga, but be sure to find your willpower and leverage it for creativity.

Twitter What?

Categories:Creative Ink

by Brittni May

A couple years ago I was saying “Twitter what?” and today I’m utterly addicted. Initially, I thought of the social media site as another wannabe Facebook. And I was way too confused…tweet, retweet, follow, reply, @ mentions, hash tags, and not to mention the 140 character limit. All of my hesitation is typical of someone who is not an early adopter.

As time went on, I saw how celebrities, athletes, and companies were jumping on the Twitter wagon. So I joined. I first followed big names like Ryan Seacrest and Oprah Winfrey. I began to understand Twitter’s concepts and the site’s massive sharing power. Before I knew it, I loved it.

Today, Twitter is commonplace: We turn on the TV and instantly see a hash tag to follow the trending topic.  For example, American Idol has #idol located at the bottom right hand corner of the screen. This has not only boosted the reality show’s followers, but also the contestant’s. Idol contender Heejun Han already has over 70,000 followers and the season isn’t even half way through. Even if Han doesn’t win Idol, his Twitter fan base will be a great foundation to launch future music.

As a true Twitter fan, my goal @Hollerink is to reach 1,000 followers during my internship. We promise to be short and sweet, share favorite articles, cool photos, and more. So go ahead…hit that Follow button and retweet and reply! #HollerAtUs

With this Superpower, I’d be Careful What Your Thinking

Categories:Creative Ink

by Brittni May

A college professor once told me, “The world will either love us or hate us, yet they can’t live without us.” It is how we choose to communicate and make others happy that really makes the difference…another #HollerHabit to live by.

This got me to thinking: What if I had a superpower to let me know if the world loved me. I mean wouldn’t that make our life a little easier? I want to make a long and lasting positive impression on others. Whether it is with my internship, job, family, friends or strangers, I want to leave a mark. But as most of you can relate, we want to know what others are really thinking and what impression (if any) we made on them.

So since we don’t have the superpowers to read other people’s thoughts, communication is the key to success. As an intern here, I want to put my own spin on things, so I can leave a lasting impression on Holler Ink and its clients. Tell us what you are really thinking so we can help you succeed and vice versa.

Who knows…maybe you’re thinking that you have the best superpower ever! Go on, tell us your superpower.

Hiring a PR Agnecy: 3 Warning Signs

Categories:Inc Ink

There are several strong PR agencies out there. The trick is to find the perfect one for your organization…and one that is not full of hot air. Check out our first byline article in Inc Magazine…hopefully the first of many.

For the Love of Clients

Categories:Holler Habits

Posted by Brittni May

There is no snooze button when it comes to PR; we have to sleep with one ear open. When you’re receiving emails or phone calls at all hours of the day there is always a surprise in this industry. That is what makes the job that much more exciting.

We're Your Biggest Fan!

We are prepared for all client requests and even being flexible at a moment’s notice. And we do it all for the love of our clients.

Here are some of our Holler Habits that keep us focused and loving our clients:

Commitment: We commit to always be fun, focused and fresh with ideas to improve your company’s publicity and marketing in the coolest way possible.

Communication: Always communicate to make sure we’re getting {insert your favorite fun word here} done and working toward your company goals by being clear, interactive and adaptable.

Accountable: Results don’t always happen overnight but we’re here to see they do happen…even if it means grabbing our pom poms and being your biggest cheerleader.

Send us your favorite Holler Habit and be creative!

From That to This

Categories:Ink Think

Posted by Saretta Brown

Recently my husband and I were driving in Los Angeles when I asked him to pull off the freeway suddenly. “Here? In this neighborhood?” he questioned. Without skipping a beat, I directed him to my childhood home, a very humble one-story in a low-socio-economic community. It had been 26 years since I lived there, but the flood of fond memories came rushing back like it was yesterday: playing basketball with my brothers in the driveway; locking myself in my room and singing hours on end; walking through a graffiti-filled tunnel to get to McDonalds; and the list goes on and on.

As I sat in front of the house, I thought about how I went from this impoverished city to where I am today. Of course many things happened in the last 26 years that allowed me to go from that to this. Many of which had to do with my parents. Along with family, I was fortunate enough to have people who took a chance and truly believed in me. It was their certainty that encouraged me to believe in myself.

Since I so greatly benefited from the leadership of others, it’s important that I pay it forward and do the same. Part of that includes mentoring other PR and marketing professionals. We are fortunate to have now have Brittni May working with us at Holler Ink. You’ll be hearing lots from her on our Twitter and Facebook fan pages as well as our blog. Join us in helping Brittni in her journey from new college grad to PR professional!

‘Like’ Me

Categories:Creative Ink

More than ever, companies are obsessed with the popularity contest we have all come to know as Facebook. It’s  dodge ball for grownups and everyone wants to be liked.  While most of my clients articulate that they want more fans, they are not always clear as to why.

Sometimes we just want to be popular, but it’s important that we know what the popularity will buy us. So the big question is: Does the company with the most fans win?

Not always. As a starting point, companies should ask the following:

  1. What is the goal of the Facebook page?
  2. What are we doing to engage fans?
  3. What action do we want fans to take?

Facebook is one of many social media tools companies can use. Regardless of your goals and industry, social media is here to stay and should be embraced.

‘Like’ Holler Ink at

Queen for a Day

Categories:Ink Think

There is power in numbers. Especially when those numbers are people who support, encourage and inspire you. In the past, I’ve benefited from having a “buddy” to work out with or to brainstorm ideas.  It’s a great way to hold yourself and your friends accountable.

More recently, my husband and I began traveling with two other couples. Before each trip, we commit our goals in writing to the other five team members. Should we achieve our goals at the start of our next trip, we get to be “Queen” or “King” for the day. The goals vary from weight loss to writing weekly blogs to calling family members on a regular basis.

When I first heard about this concept, I thought, “I just can’t wait to be queen!” Sadly I didn’t make my goal on our first trip together. Thank goodness because it gave me an opportunity to see what type of things the kings (yes, kings since the ladies did not pull our weight literally and figuratively) requested. I now know that my list of demands would probably not make for a fun vacation.

With only a week and a half to go, I’m tracking and expect to be Queen. Feel free to send suggestions on what I should have my servants…ooops I mean friends…do for me.

Many of us have goals. The key to achieving those goals is to write them down and partner with those who encourage us to do our very best. And if all else fails, bribe yourself with being the queen or king for the day.

Special Place in Hell

Categories:Ink Think

I love meaningful quotes. Whether you believe in hell or not, this one by Madeline Albright especially resonates – “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

I’m embarrassed to say that there was a time when I didn’t see the value in helping others, especially women. Years ago, I had a big shift and realized that helping others succeed doesn’t make me any less of a person. In fact it makes me and those around me stronger.

Perhaps it’s because I didn’t always help women that I am now able to better recognize when women are trying to manipulate and sabotage other women. This weekend I attended an event – with men and women – in a positive setting designed to build others up. One person in particular didn’t seem to be a fan of mine. And that’s okay. What made me lose my cool was when she set a family member of mine up to fail. Not cool. I instantly took satisfaction in 3 things: 1)I am no longer like that; 2) Everyone in the room recognized what was going on; and 3) There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.