I'm Hiring!

Linda is looking for someone to help take NorthPR to the next level. Someone who loves the idea of entrepreneurship as much as she does, and brings smarts and creative thinking to the table. Someone who flourishes in a nimble and agile startup-type environment, and not a company with hierarchy and multiple levels of approvals. You’ll be helping her do it all!

Linda is seeking a PR consultant with 1 - 3 years experience who shares a passion for startup culture and entrepreneurship. Ideally, the best fit is someone who has already taken the leap out on their own with a couple smaller client projects. To start, you will join Linda in-house three days a week at Toronto's newest co-working space, Spaces Queen West (180 John St.). This could quickly move into a full-time position.

The qualified candidate is eager to tell fascinating stories to secure top media coverage for clients. They have a keen eye for detail and are able to think creatively, finding unique ways to solve challenges that come up throughout the day. They are a go-getter and find the 9-to-5 grind a bit of a drag. They prefer to work flexibly, and always get projects done on time and with grace!

Job responsibilities include (but definitely not limited to):

  • Brainstorming story ideas
     
  • Writing media materials

  • Developing and maintaining media lists using Cision

  • Media pitching

  • Building relationships with the media

  • Media monitoring and coverage tracking using TrendKite

  • Coverage reporting

  • Researching and applying clients for speaking opportunities

  • Editing, editing, and more editing

  • Writing company blog posts 

  • Working with social media influencers

  • Social media calendar content writing

  • Using Hootsuite to schedule content and monitor online conversations

  • Assisting with social media and media relations strategy

If you’re interested in applying, please send your cover letter and resume, or any other way you feel like applying for the position, to linda@northpr.ca.

The contract is currently scheduled to last a minimum of 4 months.

Is your website PR ready?

This is a re-post from our guest blog on Vordik.com

When a potential client approaches me to help spread their story through traditional and social media, the first thing I do is check out their website. This, of course, is so I can learn more about the company but it’s also to make sure their website doesn’t—to put it bluntly—suck.

If the potential client has a bad website, my advice is to hold off on external PR activities and get back to the basics.

I was speaking with Toronto freelance journalist Jared Lindzon—who writes for top-tier publications like The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Fast Company and The Guardian— and he emphasized the importance of a solid web presence:

Coming across an out of date website while researching sources immediately raises a red flag. As someone who is required to interview only the most reputable of sources, often in the technology and media industries, there is simply no excuse for a sub-par web presence in this day and age. When I arrive at a company’s website I want to see a clear indication of their authority and expertise in their field, and if I have to look too hard to find it I will simply move on to one of their competitors.
— Jared Lindzon

I want to touch on two main points that Jared Lindzon brings up:

1. “A Sub-Par Web Presence”

We’ve all seen them and we cringe when they come up on our browser. Investing in a well-designed and highly-effective website is a good business decision.  It doesn’t have to break the bank, but it does need to be the best reflection of your business.

First thing you should do is test your website and make sure it’s representing your company well. Part of that process is getting acquainted with Google Analytics and your website’s metrics. For example, if your website has a bounce rate of over 70%, it could be cause for concern and is a sign to hold off on any external communications. It’s better to fix your site first to ensure people actually stay on your site in the future.

Your site must also be optimized for mobile devices. In today’s world, it’s important to ensure your website looks good across a variety of platforms because 60% of all online activity comes from mobile devices, and social networking generates more than 70% of its activity on mobile.

2. “Clear indication of their authority and expertise”

Now you have a beautifully-designed and optimized site, but your website upgrades don’t stop there. You need to make sure the copy and content on your site are going to capture the attention of visitors.

I enjoyed reading this blog post by @lisabuyer on Search Engine Watch about the difference between copy and content. She explains the difference well so I’m copying and pasting it directly here:

Content vs. Copy

A brand’s digital copy should communicate the value proposition and what makes you different from the competition. Examples of copy include:

  • About Us Page

  • Services Page

  • Products and Catalog

  • Guarantee Page

  • Executive Team Bios and Facts Sheets in the Company Newsroom

Content is best defined as what helps support and tell your brand’s story and news. This could be visual or text based. Content is more of a subliminal means to communicate a brand’s value proposition and could come in the form of press releases, testimonials, infographics, product reviews, or editorial style articles that might offers tips and helpful resourceful information.

When you proactively reach out to media, they’ll want to know what makes you an expert in your particular industry. Trust me on this one—unless you have the most innovative, unique and shiny new gadget, you have to tell a bigger story.

This is where the content on your website becomes so important. Content is a massive PR component and helps secure those ever-important and cherished news pieces.

The secret to getting good media coverage is to make the journalist’s job as easy as possible. When they arrive at your website, make sure they are seeing you at your best—a well designed website with captivating content, and a well thought out pressroom where they can easily find your latest announcements—all these components and more will help your company get that prized Globe and Mail article framed in the office!

So before investing in PR, ask yourself: “Is my website PR ready?”  

 

How to get your LinkedIn updates to go VIRAL

A couple weeks ago my brother, Tom North, posted a quote on LinkedIn by Canadian entrepreneur, Brian Tracy.

Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking ‘What’s in it for me?’
— Brian Tracy

The post has been wildly successful on LinkedIn receiving almost 1,000 Likes and 50 comments:

This is definitely a solid quote, but there are a lot of amazing quotes people share on LinkedIn on a regular basis. So why did this one do so well on Tom's LinkedIn profile?

Because someone important took notice.

Adam Grant, a Wharton Professor and author of GIVE AND TAKE (someone I admittedly don't know too much about but have since started to learn more about) was tagged in a comment by one of Tom's connections. Tom then commented back about loving his work and recommended buying his book. So Adam Grant, who clearly is all about taking and giving, took the praise and gave thanks to Tom and Cara Dowden for their kind words about his work. 

Adam Grant has almost 86,000 connections on LinkedIn, and by commenting on Tom's post, the status update would then appear on Adam Grant's profile. Now Tom's post has the potential of reaching 86,000 people, plus whoever Likes it from Adam Grant's profile, it would then appear on their profile. Make sense? The potential reach becomes massive!

According to Adam Grant's LinkedIn, he is a recognized top-rated professor, one of BusinessWeek's favorite professors, one of the world's top 40 business professors under 40, and one of Malcolm Gladwell's favourite social science writers. And yet, he takes the time to comment on his fans social media posts to say thanks! That's cool and extraordinarily smart. Based on what I've read briefly about him, it seems truly authentic and these little gestures have probably helped him grow his own brand immensely, speaking directly to people he wouldn't have been able to reach without social media. These kinds of personal connections are so valuable for personal brands, entrepreneurs, small business to large companies. It's about growing a community of fans and followers, and building trust and giving yourself a voice.

As for my brother's LinkedIn fame . . . 

  • He received 100 new views during a one week period (he usually has approx. six per week)
  • He made 20 new connections (some even endorsed him, even though they've never worked with him . . . that's odd, and I wouldn't recommend that)
  • He received 100 new Twitter followers, a 20% increase (you'll notice he added his Twitter handle to his LinkedIn name during this time ... that was a smart move)
  • He connected directly with Adam Grant on Twitter afterwards
  • And most importantly, Tom realized that LinkedIn can be a domain for a conversation with people in similar industries and expertise.

I love sharing these kinds of stories. Social media gives you the ability to connect with people you wouldn't have the opportunity to otherwise. Check out a similar story I shared about the Power of Twitter.

Do you have a story of your own? Share it in the comments below!