SourceBottle founder Bec Derrington has a simple vision: for every journalist and blogger using the service to be INUNDATED with quality sources; and for every SourceBottle subscriber to get publicity or FAMOUS, whichever comes first. Bec Derrington is an experienced public relations and marketing strategist, as well as a small business owner. She founded free media leads site SourceBottle in 2009 (in response to what she calls the cat and mouse tango danced by journalists and sources), so that everyone could have a better chance to share their story with the media, and generate powerful publicity for themselves.
Recognised by many as a game changer, SourceBottle has transformed the way the media and potential sources connect and interact in Australia and now, through its growing presence, internationally. Bec lives in Melbourne with her husband and three sons.
In this episode we explore
- What is publicity and why it is important to your business.
- What publicity should you seek out for your business.
- What makes a story newsworthy.
- How strategic should your approach to gaining publicity be.
- What is the difference between reactive and proactive media seeking.
- Tips on how to approach media outlets and bloggers with your pitch for PR.
- What media kits are and how bloggers use them.
- Tips for helping you stand out when seeking media attention.
- Whether or not press releases are still valid in today’s media.
- How to respond to bad publicity.
- When you should consider outsourcing your PR.
- How you can best utilise Sourcebottle.
Resources discussed in the show
- Kim Kardashian
- Loren in The Age
- Loren in The Melbourne Magazine
- Happiness Hunter Walks
- Fiona in the Sydney Morning Herald
- The research you should do prior to pitching to a journalist or blogger:
- Name of journalist/blogger
- Publication/media outlet
- Lead times
- Three relevant past stories/articles
- Press release structure guide:
- Date/’Press Release’
- Headline: Write the headline you want to see on the article. (Should be tweetable!)
- Lead/Sub-Head: Adds a bit more detail to the headline
- Paragraph 2: Guides the reader through the release – elaborates on the story – and often introduces (paraphrases statement made by) first ‘expert’ or ‘authority’.
- Paragraph 3: Quotation made by expert/authority.
- Paragraph 4: ‘Call to action’ – Since most readers won’t make it to the bottom of the page, insert your call to action link.
- Copy Body: Tell the story with quotations, bullet points etc. Make the reader feel compelled to keep going.
- Media contact info.
- E-mail pitch suggestion:
Just wanted to touch base with you with a story suggestion, exclusively for Your Publication. Smith & Smith has a young lawyer, John Taylor, who is about to embark on an internship at Big New York Firm for four months. During this time he is going to post a monthly update (similar to a diary entry) on his observations, highlighting the differences and the similarities of life as a young lawyer in New York vs Melbourne / Australia.
I thought you might be interested in publishing these monthly posts, since many of your younger readership is likely to be keen to travel and work abroad (particularly in a place like New York), and this would give them a first-hand account of exactly what it’s like.
I’ve attached a more comprehensive backgrounder on John, but just wanted to let you know that he was handpicked from a large number of young lawyers at Smith & Smith, not only because he’s a great commercial lawyer, but also because he’s gregarious and social. In fact, one of his objectives during this secondment is to take advantage of all New York has to offer and to share his experiences in these monthly diary-style observations.
What we’d be suggesting is four posts – one for each month – so, September, October, November and December (just before he’s about to return home).
John leaves for New York on Tuesday, so I wanted to give you a chance to have a chat to him before he takes off. Of course, Managing Partner, Peter Smith, and HR Manager, Susan Marsh, are also available to talk to you about the initiative generally and why the firm has agreed to participate.
I’ll give you a buzz in the next hour or so, if I don’t hear from you beforehand. (So I don’t bother you, just let me know by return email if you’re not interested in this story.)