How Elle Magazine Proved That Clickbait and Twitter are Not Always a Winning Combination

It is not uncommon for mainstream media publications to use catchy headlines to grab our attention, this tactic has been used to sell papers and magazines for many years. In the digital era mainstream media outlets are now using clickbait headlines more and more to encourage people to visit their platforms, as clicks lead to shares, increased reach and ultimately to advertising revenue. At a time when the online space has become so crowded, with mainstream media outlets not only having to compete with each other but also with influencers, niche media and micro media platforms the use of clickbait headlines has become more prevalent. Unfortunately sometimes these headlines lead to underwhelming content or even worse, fake news, which is misleading people and causing more harm than good particularly during volatile global political climates. Some readers and social media users are wising up to clickbait tactics,  meaning that some people don’t even bother to click and are simply reacting to the body of the tweet which is counter-productive. Those same tactics can easily turn into a PR disaster as  Elle Magazine US  found out recently when they fell foul by tweeting this message about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West:Elle Magazine Kim and Kanye Tweet

Upon clicking the link in the tweet readers were led to a voters registration page – their intentions were clearly good but the execution was in poor taste and the tweet was inevitably deleted after a follow up apology from Elle Magazine. There has been backlash and critique of the original tweet which is understandable, using celebrity gossip in this way is distasteful. But what does it say about Elle’s perception of its core audience and followers if it takes fake celebrity news to encourage people to take something as  important as voting seriously?

Did the tweet work? One could argue that the clicks to the voters registration page increased and hopefully people actually registered (I do not have any stats to confirm this) so it worked.  But was this the best way to achieve the end goal? Are we becoming a society that will only care about what matters if celebrity gossip is attached? Surely mainstream media outlets like Elle Magazine, which is a brand in and of itself, need to be mindful and more careful about how they are using their online influence and their platforms. In a world where fake news has shaped how people vote, interact with and even view each other the media needs to be more conscious of how it shares its messages. From a PR perspective I understand that there is a sense of urgency during uncertain political times and encouraging people to vote is an important issue but with that urgency media outlets must uphold clarity and above all else accuracy. I encourage people to fact check everything they read but in this fast paced media landscape people are relying on the media to provide them with information not misinformation.  We do not want to end up with a society that needs to be misled and duped into doing what is right for all.  As our windows to the world, all media platforms have a responsibility to be wiser with how they engage with their audiences – after all even if a tweet can be deleted the internet never forgets.

How to Prepare For Your First Media Interview

Being invited to undertake a media interview in whichever form it takes is very exciting and it means your media relations strategy is working but quite often people do not prepare in a way that allows them to make an impact with their interview.  If you are invited to be interviewed on television, radio, magazines, blogs, podcasts or any other media platform, it is crucial that you are prepared. Many businesses and entrepreneurs seek media profiling as a way to enhance their brand visibility and credibility, so getting a media interview right can really ensure that you build your reputation within your target audience.

Before you approach any media outlet make sure that you are prepared. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your first media interview:

Media training – it is definitely worth investing in an expert to media train you before you undertake a media interview, this is particularly important for any video or audio interview but you may find that you need to seek advice on making the most of written interviews too.  Do not underestimate the value of getting the right training before you step into the spotlight.

Be ready for the response – Remember that everything you say whether it is written or recorded can make or break your brand particularly in a digital age where interviews can have an even wider reach than ever before, you can go viral for all the right reasons or you could even have a PR crisis. Be ready for any level of exposure – good or bad. Take the time to assess the motives of the media channel that is sharing your story or interview too; some have good intentions but some also see your story as part of their  media cycle and you should not take it personally if they do not support you after the interview.

Take a moment to review yourself – if you know that you will be the face of your business or you have become a subject matter expert in your sector then make sure you take the time to review your performance, watch/listen/read – don’t bury your head in the sand because it feels embarrassing. If you want to do better then you need to know better, and knowing better means reviewing your progress and undertaking critical analysis and being open to feedback.

In this video I provide even more tips and guidance on preparing for a media interview.

 

You can order an eGuide which can help: http://www.ariatupublicrelations.com/ariatupreguides/firstmediainterview

You can also book a media training session with me here: http://www.ariatupublicrelations.com/bookariatuprservices/mediatraining

How To Get the Most Out of Media Coverage

Many business brands seek media profiling as a way to enhance their brand visibility and credibility to their target audience. Earned media coverage through media relations is a great way to gain brand recognition and establish a strong reputation for your business and can work side by side with your overall PR, communications and marketing strategy. Achieving press coverage for your business or personal brand is exciting but the work doesn’t just end when you achieve the coverage.

Let the people know about your coverage – You have to make sure that you amplify the coverage and monitor audience response and reaction to it. Of course the media outlets already have the key target audiences that you want to reach but there’s nothing wrong with amplifying the coverage you gain particularly to your own captive audience on social media; not only does this reinforce the messages that is being relayed through the feature/profile but it also ensures that the coverage gets as wide a reach as possible.

Get ready for “fame” – You have to be ready for the exposure that comes from media coverage, the larger the platform the bigger the impact it may have on your business. Are you thinking strategically about how you are positioning yourself in front of the media? If your coverage goes viral in this digital era is your business ready to harness the impact of this new found popularity?

Think small – Are you also thinking beyond the obvious, mainstream media doesn’t have to be the main and only thing but when you do achieve that level of coverage have you undertaken all the detailed assessments to ensure that you can take advantage of coverage. You can achieve lots of media coverage which can have little impact on your business if you don’t know how to use it, in this video I provide some tips on how to use it and make as much of an impact as possible.

If you want to learn some of the basics to achieving media coverage order my eGuide.