This month for our Ask An Expert series I bring you, Katrice Mines. She is the editor of Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine and she is the author of My Vicarious Life. Katrice happens to be one of my favorite people to talk to in the world. She is bursting with energy, positive outlook, and great ideas. I really wanted her to be apart of the Ask An Expert Series.
What are your thought about brands and their social media pages? What are they doing right and wrong?
It seems that social media platforms are really giving brands better forums all the time to reach out to their audiences, and some are being so innovative that it’s refreshing. I love the way brands large and small are connecting with their customers/followers, and I believe more are winning those that are failing. The ones that are winning are finding nuances to separate themselves and honing in on what works for them. That’s what I see that’s right. Any brand that is on social media and ignoring their followers is wasting their time and also actually defeating their brand building. My pet peeve is when a company comes on social media only to broadcast. I’m not interested and I don’t think others are either.
When you go to a brand’s website what do you look for?
When I go to a brand’s website, I look for three things: Information about the company’s owner/founder, their photo and direct contact information – not to be confused with a contact form.
Is mentorship key in growing your business and brand?
Mentorship, even if indirect, is imperative to growing and maturing a business. By indirect, I mean watching and gleaning from veterans of business who have achieved success. There are obvious behaviors, beliefs, practices, etc. that separate the good from the great.
How can a brand/business tighten up?
Be present and be prepared to do business. Some nuts and bolts: Get your website up and make sure the information on there is up to date and accurate; purchase your domain so that everything you’re doing is cohesive; get professional head shots and keep your bio current; and enrich through partnerships, forums, small business memberships. If you’re on social media, be there and be engaging. Do all of this before you start trying to market the brand.
What is your favorite part about discovering a new brand to cover?
I love when I find a new brand that is niche and doing something that no one else is doing, and when the brand head can speak well about its history and future pursuits as well as the industry at-large. I’m usually moving pretty quickly, in terms of coverage, when I find a brand I want to pursue. So, it helps when they understand the editorial process from making time for the interview and photo shoot to being accessible for the publication’s coverage needs.
Where are people going wrong when seeking press for their business?
The most obvious missteps brands make when contacting our editorial department is first, not doing their due diligence prior to – so they are not even clear about whether or not what their doing or who they are would fit into our editorial scope. Second, confusing editorial coverage with marketing. Don’t contact a publication and tell them you want your business to be considered for a story because you want to market your company. In that case, you’d need to call the publication’s sales department.