Free Tip Sheet for Writing Tradeshow Press Releases

Have you written a press release yet about your pet tradeshow presence?

It’s a hectic time for pet and veterinary businesses around the globe right now, preparing unique exhibit booths for upcoming tradeshows. There are show events to plan, designs to approve, collateral to print, flights to reserve…you name it, and it’s on a long to-do list! 

Where is PR on your to-do list? Have you written a press release to announce where you’ll be in the exhibit hall, and what you’ll show at your booth? No? We get it — and we can help!  Click below for a free tip sheet you can use today to write that release! 

One of Fetching Communications’ public relations specialties is helping pet and veterinary businesses prepare for tradeshows. From a philosophical standpoint, we really love helping businesses that help pets and their people, so we want to help your business succeed and be recognized by the pet and veterinary media. So, set aside an hour or two, and let’s do this!

Follow the eight tips for writing your tradeshow press release, and then submit it for distribution via PetPR.com’s unique news service for the pet industry. Use the promo code HOLIDAY25 to automatically receive 25% off any PetPR.com distribution services you select, with the exception of PR Newswire’s distribution option.

CLICK HERE FOR TIP SHEET.

Contact me personally if you need help! liz.lindley@fetchingcommunications.com.  

Get your PR Year in Gear with Planning

I have facilitated many SWOT meetings, and I assure you that the time you spend reviewing your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats is a relatively brief and perhaps surprisingly affordable investment, especially when in light of the outcome, which is a valuable, revealing and forward-thinking plan based on new insights and decisions.  

How does a SWOT work?

A SWOT takes place on a conference call, with a time allocation of about two hours (breaks are included). There is minimal advance planning; just a review of the purpose of the SWOT and the conversation triggers to expect. As a facilitator, I take all of the notes, capturing each contributor’s viewpoint, prompting additional questions, and leading the discussion so that everyone feels comfortable being candid.  

If you or your colleagues need a few reasons to schedule this time together, here are five to start with:  

  1. It’s fast. The SWOT process is not a slow-moving, agonizing process. The meeting is a few hours, and the deliverable of priorities and strategies derived from the meeting is in your hands within a few weeks.    
  1. It’s revealing. The group conference call setting brings about a focused and comfortable environment for full engagement, and you’ll find that participants share insights and previously unsaid observations that will lead to new ideas and actions.
  1. It’s energizing. The SWOT effectively returns you to your practice’s mission, vision and purpose, giving those important concepts, and the people who support them, a renewed passion.  Just think of how this energy will impact your pet parents and referral community.
  1. It’s forward-thinking. It’s exciting to consider the future opportunities for your practice. Your perspective about your strengths and future growth will take shape in the form of actionable tactics that can really happen, moving beyond ideas into actual solutions.  
  1. It’s a smart thing to do. The SWOT process will set you up with a road map for success.  

To schedule a SWOT analysis, contact Liz directly at liz.lindley@fetchingcommunications.com, or 877.703.3824 x 105.

Glossary:

The Strengths and Weaknesses of the SWOT are an internal look at your past performance, present situation and strategy, current capabilities and resources. These are the areas of business generally within your control.

The Opportunities and Threats of the SWOT are an external look at your environmental factors. Generally not within your control, these factors can be economic, political, social, technological, legal, competitive forces, etc.

It’s not too late for a successful 2015

“The 2015 numbers are encouraging—especially those second-quarter figures—but now is not the time to rest, experts say.” DVM360 Magazine, October 19, 2015.

If you work in a veterinary practice, this insightful DVM360 article will likely prompt you to think about your practice’s current growth strategies.

Fetched! is running a series of 4 blog posts focused on Veterinary PR & Marketing.  Our first pointed out five tangible ROI metrics for veterinary PR campaigns. The words “tangible” and “ROI” are not always found in the same sentence, but our experience tells us that when veterinary hospitals see actual metrics, the initially vague concept of a strategic PR and Marketing campaign becomes a clear tool for growth and success.

The DVM360 article may inspire veterinary hospital managers and owners to consider: where are we now and where do we want to be? We hope our Fetched! series over the next month will help as you work through those questions.

5 Reasons to do a SWOT Analysis

Has this been a successful year for your pet or veterinary business? Did you achieve all of your objectives? Or are you like most businesses – finding that where you are and where you want to be are two different places.

Fall is the time for assessing how your business is doing.  Not only in terms of revenue or profit, but also in terms of positioning and messaging.  This time of year is when articles about strategic planning start to show in most business publications.  And the timing is right.  Every business should have a strategic plan.  The word “plan” does not mean you are setting up a rigid set of rules to follow, but rather refining your road map.  And the word “strategic” – most companies and veterinary practices are focusing on so much that the broader strategy for success can often be forgotten.

Strategic planning is a process, and most companies start by doing a SWOT analysis. At Fetching, we’ve found that businesses that use a SWOT analysis are best positioned for success.   Liz Lindley, CEO of Fetching Communications, has facilitated numerous SWOT discussions.  Contact Liz to find out if your business would benefit from a SWOT analysis, and what the process entails.  (liz.lindley@fetchingcommunications.com or 877-703-3824 x 105)

Here are 5 reasons to do a SWOT for your business:

  1. It’s faster than you might think. The SWOT process is not a slow-moving, agonizing process. It begins with a group meeting led by an objective facilitator, and results in a strategic plan with objectives, tactics and metrics for success.  The timeframe is a matter of weeks.
  2. You’ll learn things you may not have known. The group setting brings about a focused, comfortable and enjoyable environment for full engagement, and participants typically share insights and observations that lead to new ideas and actions.
  3. Your company’s mission gets a new energy. The SWOT effectively returns you to your mission, vision and purpose, giving those important concepts a renewed passion.
  4. You’ll face up to the challenges. The group’s discussion of weaknesses and threats brings challenges front and center, and sets the pace for finding solutions.
  5. You’ll have a road map for the new year. The outcome of the SWOT analysis is a workable and quantifiable action plan to move your company forward.

To schedule a SWOT analysis with Fetching, please begin here.

Glossary:

The Strengths and Weaknesses of the SWOT are an internal look at your past performance, present situation and strategy, current capabilities and resources. These are the areas of business generally within your control.

The Opportunities and Threats of the SWOT are an external look at your environmental factors. Generally not within your control, these factors can be economic, political, social, technological, legal, competitive forces, etc.

Planning for next year is critical to your business’s success.  To identify time slots for your SWOT analysis, please contact liz.lindley@fetchingcommunications.com.

 

“Slow PR” – in this fast paced world? How is that possible?

I recently read an article about “slow PR” in this time of 24/7 news, tweets, posts, photos, and all of the digital media that moves so rapidly. Knowing the fast pace of PR campaigns, I had to wonder how the word “slow” could even appear next to “PR.” I realized that “slow” actually was just an observation, and not a criticism. That’s because PR does not always move fast. In fact, I read on a public relations firm’s blog that it takes, on average, 18 hours of behind the scenes PR work to land a cooking segment on a national morning show.

Slow PR?  Maybe it’s just the expectation that news should happen fast, because that’s how we see it on Twitter and Facebook and the online news sites. For breaking news, fast reporting and updating is the norm. But for most product and service pitches, campaigns do not move as quickly, and seasoned publicists recognize that every pitch will not earn instant media coverage. It takes time to build a story with a reporter, to sometimes wait for that reporter’s schedule to open up and allow for a longer conversation about the pitch and available resources. The company sharing the news concept may need to wait for a story to be developed in depth by a reporter. Reporters work within certain confines including direction from their editors and obligations to other assignments.

Businesses are often so excited to gain press attention that they shudder when advised that coverage may take a bit of time to achieve.  The truth is that many meaningful, business-building media placements actually can take several weeks to happen…but I’m not sure I’d call that slow PR. It’s just an expectation of the tactic. Sometimes things happen fast, and sometimes journalists need more time. 

Let’s look at some examples of “slow PR”:

A beloved pet is injured and taken to its primary care veterinarian.  There, the pet owner is advised to contact a veterinary specialist for additional care. Once the pet has been treated by the veterinary specialist and is again healthy, the case is mentioned during a PR team check-in call with the veterinary specialty hospital’s marketing committee. The PR team agrees, this could be a newsworthy story because it will educate the public about the potential for this injury, and the successful treatment from the team of veterinarians. The pet’s owner agrees, and would like to participate if any interviews are scheduled.

A pitch is sent to local newspapers and television networks, and a producer expresses interest.  He can be there with a crew in a month. The shoot date comes and the producer and crew are taken off the story early that morning, due to breaking news nearby. The shoot is rescheduled for two weeks later. It does happen at that time, and runs on the evening newscasts, twice, a few days later. The hospital is pleased with the coverage. From start to finish:  more than six weeks after the pitch.

A new product for pets is launched by a relatively new business. The business has never done PR before, but would really love to earn product reviews from media outlets across the country. Due to a phased budget, the team decides to first reach out to the pet blogs, whose devoted audiences are passionate pet owners looking for great new products and advice. The pet blogs are contacted – in some cases we ask specifically about their own pets that we’ve come to know – and the interested blogs are sent products to sample and review.  Facilitation of the delivery of the products takes a few days. Ten blogs have expressed interest and received product.

The pet company eagerly waits for positive online reviews. One appears a week later, complete with photos of the blogger’s pet enjoying the new product. It’s a great review, with links to purchase points, and a promo code as well. Two weeks pass by without any new reviews. The bloggers have told us that their schedules drive their coverage, and we patiently wait. We check in to ensure they received the product and answer any questions. A week passes, and three more reviews are published. Later in the month, more reviews begin to come in.

By the end of the 6-week campaign, most of the blogs who requested product have published reviews. A few more will trickle in throughout the following month. The client is pleased with the outcome, admitting that it took longer than expected. But traffic to the website is being measured and is showing spikes, and visitors are clicking on their News tab to read the new reviews.

No two PR campaigns are alike. And unlike advertising there are no guarantees for coverage on a particular date. But, with a compelling story, and an educational/informational/inspirational angle to share, a Fetching publicist knows how to bring the story to the media, generate interest, be persuasive, and at times, patient. 

The speed of PR depends on so many variables that change with every single campaign. But a good, solid story will earn media attention. It’s just a matter of when.