Marketing Moxie Blog

Ten Tips to be a Better Spokesperson

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Thu, Feb 06, 2014 @ 11:02 AM

Last month, I blogged about how to get your story in the Spotlight, using traditional public relations and social media. As a leader you likely have a pretty cool story to tell, but when was the last time you were featured in the news?

SpokespersonMy clients have amazing stories to tell, and valuable educational material to share. Positioning yourself as a thought leader or the go-to provider for a product or service may be easier than you think. This blog post,, made a strong case for generating free publicity. After all, media coverage is valued at 3 to 5 times the costs for traditional television advertisements. It occurred to me that many entrepreneurs are held back on generating publicity because they aren’t comfortable being in the spotlight. Sure they’d like the exposure, they just don’t want to be the ones on camera. Some are born to shine in the spotlight while others arrive after a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

If you’re one of the latter (and most of us are) your stomach likely does back-flips at the mere thought of a media interview. But with the proper coaching, preparation and practice, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Finding yourself at ease in front of the camera comes from knowing the process, being comfortable with your message, being coached and also practicing. You know your story and your business like nobody else. You find yourself sharing your story with passion and vigor in a social setting, with partners and suppliers. Isn’t time you shared your story, in this capacity, with a larger audience?

If uncertainty in working with the media has held you back from sharing your story, resolve in 2014 to equip yourself to generate the publicity you deserve and to prepare yourself to be your company’s ultimate spokesperson.

I have put together a Top 10 Tips to Be a Better Spokesperson. It will give you the tips you need be a confident spokesperson and maybe even enjoy a media interview. The tips extend beyond the interview itself. I’ll show you how to set up a media interview that gives you time to prepare, as well as give you the questions you need to ask the reporter to make sure your key message is delivered!

Ready to realize your publicity goals for 2014, download the Top 10 Tips to Be a Better Spokesperson now!

Click here to download

Tags: halifax marketing consultant, public relations, media relations

Is PR Dead with all this Online Marketing

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 @ 07:01 AM

Video killed the radio song?  Well not really.  And just like the radio song, PR is alive and well.  But I do sometimes get asked where public relations all fits in with so many new technologies changing the communications and marketing landscape.

I feel equipped to answer this question because over the years, my own passion between PR and Marketing and has been a bit like a teeter totter. 

PR and Marketing

My under grad degree is in public relations, but for more than a dozen years I worked in corporate marketing and advertising and completed my MBA in Marketing at the same time.

Now as an independent marketing consultant, I get to draw on both skill sets.  And I often get to choose the type of projects (marketing or PR) that I work on.  More and more, I find myself drawn to the media relations or publicity work.  I find the publicity work incredibly exciting and rewarding.  Maybe it’s because after 15 years of working in this market I have established relationships with local journalists and media outlets. 

Perhaps the reason I find myself doing more and more PR work is because of the type of clients I work with.  They have amazing stories to tell.  I tend to work with trail blazing entrepreneurs who are the leaders in their sectors.  They are doing things differently—creating media worthy stories on a regular basis.  

Generating publicity is hugely rewarding because it is easy to track the effectiveness of your PR efforts.  Seeing your business story in print or on the evening news is a rewarding and tangible outcome, not to mention highly valued exposure.  Publicity is considered to be valued 3-5 times the ad rate of the media outlet.  So a three minute news story would be valued at $36,000 - $60,000 if the 30 sec commercial rate is $2000. 

So does that flip the teeter totter in favour of public relations? 

public relations and marketing

Well yes and no.  The evolution of social media and online marketing in general has made the web such an exciting place to share messages with target audiences.  Correctly built websites allow two way communication between corporations and their target audience (something unheard of a decade ago).  

The news piece realized from publicity efforts becomes an excellent communication piece to circulate in social media – post the news story, tweet the pictures etc. 

 While PR is not dead, it’s changing--it’s evolving.  There are many ways to incorporate social media into a public relations strategy to connect with audiences and journalists alike.   At the end of the day, the media isn’t the target – your customer, prospects, or stakeholders are the target.  The media used to be the conduit to get to your audience, but increasingly social media present opportunities to reach your audience directly without the intermediary of the media. 

The publicity generated in the mass media can drive customers (and prospects who may never have heard of you before) to your website or to your social platforms.  They may hear your message initially through the eyes of the media, but you have the opportunity to tell the story directly to your audience without any intermediaries through the use of online marketing. 

PR and Social Media can thrive off one another.  By no means is PR dead, but perhaps it’s forgotten or not given the proper attention as the communication mix evolves and makes room for the newer technologies of online marketing and social media.  

Looking to make sure you are benefitting from the synergies of using PR & Social Media together to reach your target audience with your key messages?  Download your copy of my, Essential Guide to Getting Your Story in the Spotlight Using Traditional PR & Social Media.

Download Now

Tags: social media marketing, social media tips, public relations, media relations

Your Story in the Spotlight

Posted by Melanie Tajaard on Mon, Dec 03, 2012 @ 07:12 AM


When was the last time your business was featured in the news?  If you’re like many of my clients you are a trail blazing entrepreneur, leading in your sector.  You don’t follow trends, you set the trends.  Your desire to improve upon your customer offering keeps you one step ahead. 

one step ahead

As a leader you likely have a pretty cool story to tell, but when was the last time you were featured in the news?  Couldn’t your business do with a little publicity boost? 

My clients have amazing stories to tell, and valuable education to share. Given that today’s consumers are searching out product and service information before making buying decisions, opportunity abounds for the organization that spins an interesting story or serves up educational and informative advice, well targeted to a key audience. 

What education information do you have to share with your target audience?  Positioning yourself as a thought leader or the go-to provider for a key product or service may be easier than you think.  Realizing valuable promotion in free publicity may also be easier than you think. 

Like many businesses, today’s newsrooms are run by a leaner team with tighter deadlines. On the flip side, journalists are bombarded by endless press releases, thousands of news sources and a true information overload. Winning the attention of key journalists takes a carefully crafted story, written in a relevant manner and sometimes a personal relationship with that journalist to realize well-deserved attention. 

That being said, if you provide the right journalist highly relevant information you could be watching a story about your business on tonight’s evening news.  When you realize media exposure for your business, not only does your business benefit from the story but if you have a well developed social network you can share the story on your social media profiles to ensure your target audience sees the piece even if they weren’t tuned into the news story live. 

There is a great sense of accomplishment when publicity efforts result in media exposure—I have helped many local clients realize hundreds of thousands of dollars in free publicity through targeted media efforts.  I have had clients (and my own business included) on local news (CTV, CBC, and Global), National News (CTV Evening News and Canada AM), the Globe and Mail (front page) and countless local papers and radio stations. 

While every business likes to see its press release become a media story, an even greater accomplishment is to become the media’s go to person for a topic.  I have helped my clients to become the one that the media thinks about first when there is a development in their sector or business.  Wouldn’t you like to become the one that the media needs to get a quote from to complete their story? 

Did you know the value of publicity for your business?  Media coverage for a business is usually evaluated at 3 -5 times the ad rate for the media outlet.  The exposure, as part of a news program is considered 3-5 times more credible than commercial exposure.  So for example if you realize a 2 ½ minute long story on a news program and a commercial on that program sells for $2,000 per thirty second spot, the same exposure in commercial value would have costs you $14,500- $22,500. Add to that the fact that you would have a clip that you could share on your site or in your social networks. 

Successful public relations efforts can be extremely valuable to a business.

Not sure if your business has a newsworthy nugget ready to be uncovered?  For many of my clients their story is so second nature that they don’t even see the media opportunity. I’ll work with you to uncover your story and frame it, in just the right light, for key media. Relying on a constantly updated media list and solid relationships with producers and journalists, I’ll look after the follow-up calls, media interviews and all aspects of putting your story in the spotlight.

When was the last time your company was featured in the news? If you’re ready to see your  name in the news, connect with me.

Or Downlaod your copy of my, Essential Guide to Getting Your Story in the Spotlight Using Traditional PR & Social Media.

Download Now

Tags: evaluating media efforts, public relations, media relations, generating publicity