Tools You'll Love

New Template: PR Planner & Tracker for Organized Outreach to the Media

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New Template: PR Planner & Tracker for Media Outreach

They key to getting PR is to actually pitch the media. Chances are, you have several brilliant ideas of why Good Morning America or Inc. Magazine should feature you or your business. All you need to do is tell them about it.

They key to that is simple planning. If you haven't pitched the media in the last 30 days, then you should listen to this Training TuneUp: "Breaking Through PR Blockage". Most importantly, you need to plot out your ideas and tick them off one by one each time you pitch. Easiest way to do that is to plot your ideas in Tin Shingle's newest template, the "PR Planner & Tracker for Media Outreach".

In the PR Planner & Tracker template spreadsheet, you will find:

At-A-Glance Media Landscape

In one place, see your plans for when you want to pitch a print magazine like Entrepreneur, and what you want to be pitching blogs or local TV. Because these media types work in different cycles, the content will vary drastically. TV and blogs may be working on Summer subjects, but print magazines are working on Fall and Winter subjects. Keep things straight on this at-a-glance sheet.

Idea Sheets

Once you have your at-a-glance plans down, go into specifics on the idea sheets for each media outlet type. Track your ideas for magazines on one sheet, and your ideas for bloggers on another. Input your intended Media Contacts right there, and a column for if you pitched that idea or not.

Color Coordinated

Individual idea sheets are color coordinated with the At-A-Glance Media Landscape.

Pitching Log

Pitching the media can become a game of numbers. The more you pitch, the more your chances increase of getting picked up. Track each time you pitch and followup in one sheet - the Pitching Log.

Removing Rejection Syndrome

When you pitch the media, you often won't hear back from them. That's OK. But the silence can hurt. Remove this per-occupation by pitching several different media outlets, and following up with them. When you begin pitching a lot, you won't think about who didn't get back to you and why. They will simply be in your rotation of who you want to pitch when.

Snapshot of the PR Planner & Tracker:

The At-A-Glance Media Landscape will help you get your big picture view of what you should be focusing on for each month.

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Detail your pitching plans in dedicated worksheets for each media outlet. Shown here is the "Magazines to Pitch" worksheet. Put your intended magazine contacts and ideas for them here.

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Tracking writers as they move around is very important. You can do that from a worksheet in Tin Shingle's PR Planner & Tracker. Contributing Writers are looking for content for several magazines at once. A writer may be a very good fit for your brand. You'll want your business to be top-of-mind for when they need to highlight a product or seek advice from an expert.

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Two Ways to Get The PR Planner & Tracker for Media Outreach

  1. Buy It: Purchase it here and have Forever Access as we make updates to it. Simply download the latest version.
  2. Get it for Free: All Access Pass Level 4 Members of Tin Shingle get this planner for free. Learn about membership here.

Goo.gl URL Shorterner Stops Serving - 2 Big Impacts for Small Businesses

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Wait...what? Goo.gl stopped working? Stopped URL shortening?

Yes. Sort of. For Normal People. For developers and large companies, Google has Firebase Dynamic Links as the new option. Ever since March 30, 2018, you couldn't use goo.gl anymore to create a shortened URL. What is a shortened URL? It's when you take a really long link, like this one:

https://members.tinshingle.com/articles/ask-the-experts/once-i-have-my-product-ready-when-can-i-start-contacting

And turn it into something that looks like this: goo.gl/39487sf . You would do this to share a shorter, easier link in social media or an email so that people don't get overwhelmed with looking at a really long link, and to fit with tight character (aka letter) restrictions at places like Twitter, which mandate that you write in 140 characters or less. Or they used to, and now that policy has shifted and more characters are allowed. You would also do this to get tracking data on how many people clicked on that link.

According to Google:

 

Starting March 30, 2018, we will be turning down support for goo.gl URL shortener. From April 13, 2018 only existing users will be able to create short links on the goo.gl console. You will be able to view your analytics data and download your short link information in csv format for up to one year, until March 30, 2019, when we will discontinue goo.gl. Previously created links will continue to redirect to their intended destination.

 

Translation into Normal Person: Google will stop shortening URLs, unless you use their new API. Goo.gle provided analytics to show you how many people clicked on your shortened link, and that will only be available to you for a year from now - via a download of an Excel document. No longer with an easy to read webpage in a Goo.gl interface be available to you.

Further details were provided on Goo.gl's blog, where they revealed that really they are continuing to develop URL shortening technology - probably on steroids - but only for API use. API (Application Programming Interface) is basically a connection between a fancy tool like the future goo.gl aka Firebase, and a website run by a business owner.

Setting up or working with an API is no easy feat and requires investment into relationships with knowledgeable programmers to get this done for you. Tin Shingle uses a few APIs for certain things. We won't for goo.gl because we didn't rely on this tracking data, but here's what this means for you:

Reminder That Free 3rd Party Tools May Stop Working

When you use a mega-awesome tool for free, this comes with a risk. The risk is that the tool will stop working. Or disappear overnight. Or disappear in 1 month with a heads-up announcement before it implodes. We have seen this with other tools that just...stop working. One such was a Cloud storage service. I already forget the name, but one day, users of it got an email saying that in one month, all data would be gone because Facebook bought it, and that's a wrap. #soannoying That's when I moved to Dropbox and happily pay them to store my data. Check out these search results to see how many cloud storage companies this happened to.

Tech Companies Looking to Profit May Benefit From the End of Free, Simple Goo.gl

This is a mystery to me - the Unicorn tech companies who create big, beautiful things, but don't make money. Rather, they make investor infusion cash, but not actual money from their business models working. This is curious to me because the free model can obscure pricing for those companies that do provide the service, and do it based on monies they actually earn from customers, not VC or angel investors.

Bit.ly is a URL shortening company that does charge for the service of shortening URLs, and does offer it for free. Bit.ly has created a beautiful website that is easy to use, as opposed to Google's (now known as Alphabet) which usually lack a beautifully designed interface because developers are kings in those parts. Not to knock a developer, but a developer focuses on data and just making sure the data is available to people, and a designer transforms that data - often cutting it out - so that a Normal Person can use it without getting overwhelmed.

Looks like many people are headed over to Bit.ly from Goo.gl, as Bit.ly has set up a pop-up box for it in their lower right corner of their website.

Bit.ly's been hard at work educating their customers and future customers with helpful marketing webinars, and other resources. Hopefully this new development of a free service being taken off the market works in their favor!