Not just on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn and like my Pins on Pinterest. It’s the first step in creating a relationship, and when you reach out, I’m likely to follow you back. What’s more, I’ll do a quick check of who you are and I’ll start actively getting to know you and building an image of you through your social media content, which is a great first step towards building a relationship.
I’m thrilled when you retweet, like and share my posts. It lets me know you are paying attention and feel my thoughts are worth repeating. However, if you do it on every post I make - well, that’s a little creepy. It becomes apparent that you are simply engaging to engage and the content is irrelevant.
Sure it’s only the greatest word for me (and all the other Randys out there), but if you want to get your information published in my trade magazine, use my name. A simple “Hello Randy,” will get you a whole lot further than any “Dear Sir or Ma’am”. It also lets me know this isn’t a form letter that was sent to all of my competitors as well. As a side note, the second and third greatest words are “Thank you”. I’ll remember a thank you note from someone the next time they ask me to review and publish their information.
We live in a visual world, and I do want your information: but I also want pictures, videos and quotes from important people. Send over an email with more than text in the copy; I want to see what you're telling me about. Send images that look good and really are worth a thousand words. Images should be sharp with a high-enough resolution to use online and in a print magazine. I can always downsize them for our website. Videos should be short - keep them under 3 minutes and give them a title or headline defining the content.
If you want me to use images, please send them with their proper cutlines. Tell me who or what is in the photo and why it’s important for my readers. If you send me a video, please be sure it is available to be embedded on my website (have it available as a YouTube video with an easy “Share this video” feature). If you add a tracking code to your video, be sure the code doesn’t compromise the embedding features. If it doesn’t load properly the first time, I’ll assume it’s a corrupt file and will make certain I don’t load it, or any of your other information on my website. Please send quotes I can use, and remember to include who gave the quote and what position they hold. You could have the most flattering quote in the world about your facility, but if I don’t know who said it or what their title is, it holds no influence.
Spelling counts, so does the proper use of terms. Did you mean "you're facility" or was it meant to be "your facility"? Take a few extra minutes before you hit send to review your press release and make certain it represents you and your organization in the best light. Say what you need to in a concise manner. Feel free to use examples and phrases to illustrate your point, but keep in mind that run-on sentences reflect poorly on the facility. If you make it easy for me to cut and paste your content, I’m much more likely to use it.
I want to read about the how and why, not just the what of your news. It's great that your organization changed, but why did it change? Tell me about how a meeting planner wanted to bring in bigger equipment for her trade show and how you now you can handle the super-big XYZ equipment - and send a picture of that equipment in the new space. Have you redone your guest rooms? Tell me about the research done that indicated why you chose to redo the rooms the way you did. Do the colors selected make the guests feel more at home resulting in higher moral and productivity?
It is very valuable. I want to be the source of information for meeting planners looking at Midwest destinations. If I have information on changes to your facility and can get it in the hands of meeting planners, this also makes me a more valuable resource, resulting in a win-win relationship. The most valuable asset about your news is the timeliness of it. If I have it on my website or magazine before any of my competitors, I gain credibility. If it goes on my site or in my issue after my competitors have already posted it, I lose credibility. If you are dealing with an editor who mistreats you - go somewhere else first. There are plenty of industry media outlets who will appreciate you and be happy to post updates.
If you use social media to post and every day you post the same headline over and over - I’m going to unfriend, unfollow and unconnect with you. The same thing goes for phone calls and emails. If you send me an email Monday morning, please don’t call Monday at noon with a followup and resend the email that afternoon. I have hundreds of emails to go through and need to prioritize, just give me a little time to decide what I can best do with your information. Do a little research on our website for answers before asking a lot of questions via email or phone call. Also, it’s okay to ask multiple questions on the same email - please don’t send a different email every 15 minutes asking: When will the magazine go out? When will this be available online? Can I get extra copies? Can you send a copy to my boss? Now that we’re done with that press release, will you look at this one?… After a while I just start hitting delete when your name shows up.
The more I see your name at events, as a byline on a blog or quoted in an industry article; the more credibility you have. I want to know that you care about this industry too and aren’t just playing me for some free publicity. You should realize that you are an expert and have valuable information to share - maybe in the beginning it’s just about your facility or organization. Eventually you’ll become an expert on specific niche areas or trends. You watch your competitors and know what they’ve invested in and you can compare with what your facility has invested in. Contact editors and let them know you are a source for those trends or locations.
• Fax me your press release - we shouldn’t both have to type this in.
• Make me log into your site to view and download photos
• Make me put a different photo credit on each image. If you don’t own the rights: buy them, take new pictures, or find some that are copyright free.
Randy graduated from South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD in 1993. He began publishing Wisconsin Meetings and Incentives magazine in 1994. Due to overwhelming demand, in 1996, Randy converted the magazine to Midwest Meetings. In 2004, publishing began on the overwhelmingly successful annual Midwest Meetings Guide Book, and in 2006, Midwest Meetings magazine went quarterly.
Today, Midwest Meetings is the most recognized publication of choice for meetings in the Midwest region.
Outside of work, Randy is a proud father of two and a big fan of golfing and riding his motorcycle. His favorite things to do are spending quality time with his two children and working on the house he just built out in the South Dakota country.
Randy's Contact Information
302 6th Street W
Brookings, SD 57006800-288-8510
605-692-9559 • F: 605-692-9031