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Air Methods Engages Amendola for Full-Service PR, Content, Marketing & Digital Strategy and Execution

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., May 7, 2019 – Amendola Communications, a nationally recognized, award-winning healthcare and health IT public relations and marketing agency, has announced it has been selected as the outsourced marketing and PR partner for Air Methods, the leading air medical services provider that delivers lifesaving care to more than 70,000 people every year.

Amendola will elevate Air Methods’ position within the industry through a broad range of integrated PR, media relations, digital marketing, crisis planning, messaging and content development services. Through the engagement, Amendola will develop and execute a holistic plan that educates the healthcare and aviation markets on Air Methods’ offerings. The program also will showcase stories of how Air Methods saves lives by delivering high-quality “critical care in the air” and transport for trauma and emergency medical situations.

“We conducted an agency search and it was clear that Amendola would provide the strategic guidance and tactical execution we needed,” said JaeLynn Williams, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Air Methods. “Amendola is hands down the best integrated healthcare PR and marketing partner we could have imagined! They have executed beyond expectations and have quickly elevated our positioning among healthcare providers, insurers and most importantly, patients, demonstrating our vital role within the healthcare continuum.”

Williams added, “Amendola’s broad healthcare industry expertise, along with their strongly established media relationships, will ensure that all stakeholders have a clear view of how crucial air medical services are to millions of Americans, and how Air Methods leads our industry in care quality, safety and patient advocacy.”

Founded in 1980 with one helicopter and a single hospital contract, Air Methods has grown to the largest air medical service provider in the country, with more than 300 bases serving 48 states. Today, Air Methods is an essential healthcare service in rural areas where 85 million Americans are within an hour of critical care facilities only if transported by air.

Amendola will promote Air Methods through numerous PR and content development programs, supported by Amendola’s top-tier industry and media relations. The agency will work with Air Methods to enlighten providers, payers and patients about Air Methods’ critical care value proposition through a broad range of targeted content, drawing on Amendola’s deep industry knowledge and diverse media relationships in healthcare, business and consumer media. Amendola also will be responsible for delivering a range of content demonstrating the thought leadership and expertise of Air Methods leaders and highlighting examples of the many patient lives that have been saved thanks to its skilled and experienced air medical professionals.

“Air Methods’ story of lifesaving and innovative emergency medical care is inspiring,” said Jodi Amendola, CEO of Amendola Communications. “We value their trusted partnership and are excited to share their story as well as insight from Air Methods’ leaders with more providers, insurers and consumers across a spectrum of media outlets, social and digital platforms.”

About Air Methods

Air Methods (www.airmethods.com) is the leading air medical provider, delivering lifesaving care to more than 70,000 people every year. With nearly 40 years of air medical experience, Air Methods is the preferred partner for hospitals and one of the largest community-based providers of air medical services. United Rotorcraft is the Company’s products division specializing in the design and manufacture of aeromedical and aerospace technology. Air Methods’ fleet of owned, leased or maintained aircraft features more than 450 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.

Media Contact:
Marcia Rhodes
Amendola Communications
480.664.8412 ext. 15
mrhodes@acmarketingpr.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Your Marketing and PR Programs Ready for Summer

Healthcare IT public relations agency Amendola Communications offers three ideas to help keep marketing and PR programs filled with energy and enthusiasm

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., April 24, 2019—As we near the end of spring, we’re reminded that vacation season is just around the corner. But while we firmly believe busy marketers and PR professionals deserve plenty of fun in the sun, we know that a good communications strategy never takes a day off.

That’s why Amendola, a nationally recognized, award-winning healthcare and technology public relations and marketing agency, offers three suggested posts from its blog to keep your PR programs fresh, vital and effective–even during the laziest days of summer. (To receive more tips like these from more than a dozen of the agency’s experts, be sure to subscribe to the blog today.)

Take a holistic approach to your content strategy

We’ve all heard that these days content is king. But all too often organizations focus more on delivering a high volume of content rather than whether that content will actually help them achieve their business objectives. The best results come when organizations build cohesive, holistic campaigns based on well-defined strategies instead of posting individual pieces on whatever happens to capture their interest that day. Read the full post here.

Make the most of your professional PR writer

Speaking of content, once the holistic strategy is in place, it’s time to start getting the organization’s subject matter experts together with the writer who will help them turn their expertise into PR gold. While it can be difficult for these experts (especially those at the executive level) to think about adding a call with a writer to their already busy schedules, the rewards are great if those calls are approached correctly. Here are five tips to assure everyone is happy with the process – and the outcome.

Follow these tips for a terrific media interview—every time

After doing a few successful media interviews it can be easy for busy executives to fall into the trap of feeling like they don’t need to do much to prepare anymore. But interview opportunities are like snowflakes. Each has its own unique characteristics that can throw even the most experienced veterans off-message if they’re not ready. This blog post explains some of the basics interviewees should do every time to optimize every media conversation—and to make sure that they don’t inadvertently say something they don’t want to see in a media outlet.

Amendola’s blog covers all things public relations and marketing. A go-to source for communications professionals, the blog publishes on a weekly basis and features subject matter experts in every aspect of publicizing and marketing healthcare technology companies.

Media Contact:
Marcia Rhodes, Amendola Communications, 480.664.8412 ext. 15 / mrhodes@acmarketingpr.com

 

 

Think of Your Upcoming Summit as the Next Blockbuster Release

You’ve invested substantially in your upcoming trade shows, congresses, conferences or summits (collectively referred to as “summits” in this blog piece). Speaker submission forms. Sponsorships. Booth-install, technology and set-up. Videos. Meeting spaces. Air fare. Hotel blocks. Meals and entertainment. Just to name a few of the common and worthwhile expenses.

But, how do you make your speakers stand out from the others? How will you pique interest and draw attendance? How can you show target audiences the value in your solution and engage with them?

Think about your upcoming summit as if you were bringing a new movie to theaters—building anticipation and excitement for your specific offering, making sure your audience gets an entertaining learning experience and then—at the end—leave them wanting more.

1. Coming Soon! (Build Anticipation)

You should begin preparing months in advance of the summit. If possible, make sure the save-the-date goes out to key audiences (including internal sales and marketing teams) during the previous year’s summit. If that isn’t possible, then send out the save-the-date as soon as your appearance at a summit—or a speaking opportunity—is secured.

During the months leading up to it, create talk tracks for sales and account teams to help drive attendance to the summit. Talking points can also be used in emails to clients, customers and prospects. Develop landing pages and digital flyers with information about the summit and speaker.

Something to keep in mind is, if you’re securing speaking sessions or educational forums, make sure they offer continuing education credits. This helps to build interest in your key audiences and leads to better attendance.

As the show draws closer, supply your sales and account teams with social media posts that they can easily post and share. These take only minutes to compose and can be a simple push to their Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram accounts.

2. Showtime! (Creating a Meaningful Experience)

From the time the summit opens, you should be taking advantage of opportunities to engage your appropriate audiences. There are various media and formats to create a dialogue and draw attention to your company and solution offering.

If it’s allowed, during keynotes and other speeches, you could consider live-streaming them for your customers, clients and prospects who are unable to attend. This is also a great way to create a “pull” and desire to attend the show in the future.

For social media, make sure that you have an ambassador who is taking pictures and writing recaps of sessions that link to next year’s save-the-date for the show. Include something in the social post like, “Reserve your spot NOW for next year’s summit!”

If you have clients on-site, help them share their stories through testimonials. You can also have a videographer, who is visible to other attendees, grabbing people in the hallway or aisles and asking them about their conference experience, what they’ve learned and their most important takeaways. This is an excellent way to create buzz and get people talking. It also provides content for a recap video to promote future conferences and can be an amazing tool for digital campaigns.

Be sure to have a booth or pop-up in the vendor display area. In addition to having a space to demonstrate your solution, this gives you a meeting area for clients to discuss their successes and prospects to ask questions and sign up to learn more. And, make sure that sales and account management teams are taking notes so they can conduct proper follow-up opportunities. To keep attendees engaged and returning to your booth, consider some sort of raffle or giveaway.

If you have speakers and clients presenting, create polls during the sessions. This gives another chance to engage the audience and gives you statistics and material to post on social media. Build in an appropriate time for questions and answers—those, too, can be posted on social channels. For future material, assign writers to record the sessions and create bylines or post-session articles to add to your marketing content pipeline for months to come.

3. Now Streaming! (Post Show Tactics and After Effects)

As soon as the show ends, issue a press release with a recap of any important announcements, how many people attended, a list of organizations that attended (if it’s impressive) and any awards that may have been given to your customers or clients. Be sure to include client quotes…especially those related to your product or solution.

Create a virtual summit, in a webinar format, with a series of the best sessions. You may need to fill out forms and work with the show’s continuing education people, but it may be possible to offer continuing education for the virtual summit as well.

For those who attended the summit, consider creating a gated microsite, with links to all materials from the show’s sessions, and a link to the next year’s save-the-date. You can also include links to the virtual summit schedule, registrations and the media recap session that was produced during the show (or post-show) as well.

Finally, email your target list to keep them engaged! Develop a cadence of one-a-month, with key takeaways, follow up materials and calls to action.

To get the most from the investment you’ve made in summits, have a strategy and devote the time to plan, execute and follow-up. Remember that the latest big blockbuster movie had many resources devoted to its preparation and release, as well as continuing its popularity after it left theaters. With the tactics in this blog, hopefully you, too, will have a summit that’s a hit for a long time to follow and attracts audiences to many sequels.

Maximizing the Value of PR Placements

The big day has finally arrived. After rearranging schedules, sweating out interviews or writing deadlines, and walking the line between “persistent” and “pest” your PR placement has seen the light of day.

Huzzah! (I am bound and determined to bring back “huzzah” as something  people say when something great occurs.)

It feels like a weight has been lifted off of everyone’s shoulders – especially in the case of an interview, where you had little to no control over the content. Fortunately your SME sounded like the expert he/she is rather than a babbling idiot who struggles to string two coherent sentences together.

It’s easy to think that you’ve now reached an end point, closed the loop as it were, so you can move on to the next crisis opportunity du jour. If you do that, however, the benefits of all that work end up having about the same lifespan as a mayfly – here today, gone tomorrow and all that. (If you click the link it will count as your “I learned something today” moment.)

The reality is the article appearing online or in print isn’t the end point. Instead, it’s really just the starting point.

Here are a few ways you can take better advantage of all that nerve-wracking work and maximize the value of those hard-earned PR placements.

Share via social media channels

This tactic should be a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how often organizations don’t take advantage of this opportunity.

When a PR placement appears – an interview, a byline article, a case study, even a good quality rewrite of your press release – you should let the world know. Send a Tweet with a link. Put together a one- or two-sentence summary and post it on LinkedIn, Facebook, and/or whatever other channels you use and send it out.

Don’t trust that the people you want to influence will come across this great example of your expertise by happenstance. Be proactive in telling them it’s there.

By the way, taking this approach has an added benefit. The media (even trade media) is very focused on getting traffic to their sites. If you help them with it by sharing they will notice. And they just may be a little more inclined to read your email or take your call the next time you have a story for them.

Email your customers and prospects

Don’t assume that your target audiences will see the original article, or are following you on your social channels. Having your sales team email the article directly to them is a great way to make them aware of your great PR placement.

It also gives you an opportunity to focus it more specifically on your company since most PR placements will tend to be vendor-neutral. If your salespeople aren’t good at writing emails, have your marketing team or PR agency craft the message with some blanks that can be filled in to personalize it.

That doesn’t mean you can send them the entire article – unless you’ve paid for a reprint of course. But fair use laws usually allow you to share a paragraph or so. Pick one that you can use as a launching pad, and again direct the email recipient to the publication’s website.

One word of caution with emails, however. Make sure the PR placement you’re promoting has some level of value to the reader. You don’t need to send out every personnel announcement or minor upgrade release that appears. That’s a quick way to ensure ALL your emails get deleted.

But if you share good information that demonstrates your organization’s knowledge and expertise you can condition your audience that it’s worth their time to see what you’re sending.

Post them in your online newsroom

Again, nothing revolutionary here but you’d be surprised how many organizations miss this opportunity because they feel they don’t have time, or have more important things to do. My advice to you is make the time.

Think about it from a prospect’s standpoint. The decision-maker has never done business with you before, but thinks he/she might want to. So what does he/she do? For many, the first step is to check out your website.

That checking out process includes looking at news about your company. If there isn’t much news there it’s easy for the prospect to assume there’s not much happening at the company on a regular basis. Even without that assumption, however, he won’t learn very much from an empty newsroom.

But if you have press releases, published articles, case studies, etc. readily available the impression that prospect will get is that your company is a very active, happenin’ place. He/she will also see that your experts are well-respected because their thought leadership is appearing in a variety of industry publications. Never underestimate the power of the implied third-party endorsement.

Again, unless you’ve paid for online reprint rights you can’t post the article in its entirety. But you can offer an excerpt, or a summary, with a link to the original article.

That’s actually better for you, because then the publication’s masthead is tied to the article, ensuring its legitimacy. Just remember to set the publication’s website to pop up in a new window so when the visitor is done reading the article he/she still has your website open.

The online newsroom is also good for customers. Everyone wants to associate themselves with winners. An active online newsroom is confirmation that they’ve made a good choice.

Include them in sales presentations

Just about every sales presentation, at least in the initial stages, has a section that talks about who the company is and what it stands for. That’s an ideal place to insert a slide with an array of PR placements to show that your organization understands the industry and its challenges – and has recognized solutions.

Try to include multiple topics from different people to demonstrate a breadth of expertise. If they are all from one expert, however, that’s ok too. You can promote that person as a recognized authority; if the prospect wants the benefit of that person’s knowledge there is only one place to get it.

Display them in your trade show booth

To ensure your PR placements are the gifts that keep on giving, try creating a graphic panel showing some of your best articles, case studies, etc. in larger-than-life format. Think of a movie poster.

If you can’t do that do to space or cost considerations, think about creating easel cards that can sit on counters or shelves.

Even if no one stops to read them – and the odds are they won’t – it’s a quick way to capture some attention and tell show attendees that your organization is a player in the industry.

Post them around the office

Another great way to gain lasting value is to frame significant PR placements and post them in various locations around the office, including the lobby, hallway, and conference rooms. You can even double down on a few if you don’t place them too close together as it’s unlikely anyone will stop to read them all.

If the article is in a print magazine (yes, there still are some left), have someone with an artistic flair cut it out with an Exacto knife. If it’s online, buy some high-quality glossy paper and print it out. Then take it to a professional framing shop and have them do the final work.

These framed reprints aren’t just for the benefit of customers and prospects either. They can also help get potential employees excited about coming to work for such a well-known, well-respected organization, and keep current employees feeling good about it.

If you have a video display in the front lobby, cafeteria, or other areas, be sure your best PR placements show up there as well. Anything you can do to make them visible within the office is a plus.

Get your money’s worth

These are just a few of the many ways you can ensure that you wring every nickel of value out of your PR placements. Sure, it takes a little more effort. But approached properly, what at first seems like a one-day opportunity can continue delivering rewards for weeks, months, or even years to come.

What are some others you’ve done? Leave your ideas in the comments below.

Making HIMSS19 Count

This year’s HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition (aka HIMSS19) in Orlando will be my eleventh—seven as a HIMSS staffer and four as a public relations liaison for vendor clients. The HIMSS Annual Conference has become the NFL of health IT—there is no real offseason and it gets bigger every year.

For the past several years, HIMSS has regularly attracted more than 45,000 attendees and 1,500 health IT vendors from around the globe.

If it sounds massive and daunting—that’s because it is. If you were to visit every booth in the cavernous exhibit hall for only 10 minutes, it would take you 168 hours non-stop—seven full days—to complete your mission. Some attendees have complained that the show has suffered from the sprawl, while others view it as a cornucopia of selections that can be personalized to suit specific needs.

For vendor exhibitors, HIMSS represents one of the year’s most significant challenges for event planners, marketers and public relations professionals. Exhibiting companies invest an insane amount of money (and it’s a lot of money) and time (lots of that, too) in making the show a success.

There is certainly a lot of low-hanging fruit to increase your visibility at HIMSS19: Thoughtfully incorporate HIMSS19-branded social tags into your social strategy; develop a content calendar specifically for the show; and promote HIMSS19 tools—like the mobile app HIMSS Circles—that attendees can leverage to find your booth and education sessions.

That’s all great. However, the focus of this post is on a rather under-reported challenge most exhibitors will face—separating the “tourists” from quality business leads.

Tourists are those herds of non-decision makers, culled from the unending flow of foot traffic, who visit your booth largely to acquire food, drinks and/or a free keychain. They also absorb an inordinate amount of your sales staff’s time—the same sales staff who ate up a huge chunk of your budget in travel, lodging and registration fees to rope in new business prospects.

You are never going to completely eliminate tourists, but there are some useful strategies that can both slow the flow of the uninterested and attract the demographic population that is more seriously interested in your solutions.

Identify Your Targets Early. Generating quality business leads requires outreach well in advance of the show. One of the recommendations we pound into first-time attendees is the importance of creating and keeping a schedule to avoid mission creep. With all the exhibits, education and networking events—to say nothing of all the stop-in-chats with peers in the hallway, HIMSS can be very distracting. Schedules fill up quick, so it’s important to connect with your leads as soon as possible. Consider investing in the HIMSS attendee list (not cheap) or utilizing a native or other third-party list to get leads scheduled to visit your booth. This also allows your staff to prioritize interested parties over passers-by.

Schedule Education and Demos. Are you noticing a scheduling theme here? I’ve noticed a number of vendors running little demos on an endless loop. They don’t seem to ever attract much attention. Instead, consider hosting scheduled education sessions and demos at your booth. Why? Scheduled demos can be easily promoted both before and during the show, making it easy for attendees to schedule time for a full presentation. Incorporate show-time signage into your booth. Speakers should be equipped with an A/V system, so a large group of attendees can see and hear everything you say. You should also film your presentation for distribution in press releases and social channels after the show, to reach an even bigger audience.

Hire a Tourist Wrangler. Reserve your most knowledgeable staff to handle serious prospects. Use lower level staff to handle visitors who may only be interested in asking a few perfunctory questions in order to obtain your swag. If a tourist turns out to be a legitimate lead, escalate them to the sales staff.

You are never going to completely eliminate tourists, but these strategies that can both slow the flow of the uninterested and attract the demographic population that is more seriously invested in exploring your solutions.

Jodi Amendola, a PR News ‘Top Women in PR’ Honoree, Appointed to Board of Help In Healing Home Foundation

Award-winning Amendola Communications CEO will take a lead role in driving not-for-profit foundation’s marketing, public relations, and social media efforts

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., October 23, 2018 – Amendola Communications further cemented its reputation as one of the leading public relations, marketing communications, social media and content marketing agencies specializing in healthcare and healthcare IT (HIT) with a focus on giving back with today’s announcement that its CEO Jodi Amendola has been unanimously appointed to the Board of the Help In Healing Home Foundation.

In addition to her personal involvement with the Foundation, which offers low-cost lodging and care to patients (and their caregivers) recovering from major surgeries and transplants as well as those undergoing long-term cancer treatment, Jodi will leverage her team of PR and marketing experts to help execute programs for the Foundation.

Jodi Amendola

Jodi and her agency have won numerous awards, including PR News naming her to its ranking of Top Women in PR for 2017; Amendola Communications’ designation by PR Source Code as a “Best-of-the-Best” PR agency nationwide for several years; and the agency being named as a top Healthcare Agency in Ragan and PR Daily’s Ace Awards.

Jodi has delivered high-impact public relations and marketing campaigns for the healthcare and HIT industries for 30 years. She is an active member of the National Charity League and has served on numerous boards, including AzHIMSS, the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation and the X2 Health network, a non-profit executive women’s health network, DARE NJ, and the Community Resource Council.

“I can honestly say that I have never seen a potential appointee generate so much enthusiastic support,” said Ron L. Jones, president and CEO of the Help In Healing Home Foundation. “Jodi brings an expertise that we have largely lacked up until now, so we look forward to learning from her and taking advantage of her experience and advice. She is also a thoughtful, caring person who brings a tremendous amount of energy into the room. We look forward to working closely with Jodi and her team.”

The Help In Healing Home Foundation is located in long-term leased facilities at the Village at Mayo Clinic, adjacent to the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. The complex accommodates up to 84 patients and caregivers in 4,900-square-foot Southwestern-style “casitas” that include amenities such as six private bedrooms and bathrooms, a living room, conversation pit, dining room, full kitchen, library, and laundry room. Despite the quality of its offerings, the Foundation only charges $45 per night—far less than even a budget-priced hotel would charge—while offering access to world-class facilities, clinicians and staff. Most of its residents come from the Southwestern United States, although the Foundation accepts patients from all across the world.

“The Help In Healing Home Foundation does tremendous work in treating not just the bodies, but the spirits, of patients who face long, difficult recoveries from life-altering procedures,” Jodi said. “Most are extra vulnerable to illnesses, so they need to stay in a protected environment. The Foundation helps take isolation and loneliness out of that situation by creating a community that lets patients share experiences and interact with others in similar circumstances while still protecting their health.”

Jodi became aware of the Foundation last year when she and her daughter volunteered there for a National Charity League event. “We had an amazing experience and I am proud to serve as a Board member for such a great organization,” Jodi said. “I look forward to helping them further their mission.”

As a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, the Foundation depends on the generous support of private donors to continue its mission. Jodi and her team will develop a marketing plan to help make potential donors aware of the great work the Help In Healing Home Foundation is doing and to drive the communications to help the organization meet and exceed its fundraising goals.

As CEO of one of the largest PR agencies based in the Phoenix area, Jodi was asked to join the Board both as a result of her passion for developing award-winning marketing and publication relations programs for healthcare and HIT, and for her demonstrated commitment to giving back.

She recently served as a judge for the Healthcare Marketing IMPACT Awards sponsored by Advertising Age and Modern Healthcare. Locally in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, she participated in a PERCH panel on go-to-market strategy and sales for hospitals and health systems targeted at health tech start-ups. She also was the featured speaker at a National Charity League spring kick-off meeting, where she shared her entrepreneurial experiences with middle school and high school girls.

About the Help In Healing Home Foundation

The Help In Healing Home Foundation at the Village at Mayo Clinic enables patients recovering from life-altering procedures such as organ, bone marrow, and stem cell transplants as well as cancer patients to enhance their healing process in a secure, warm, and compassionate environment. Its series of 4,900-square-foot Southwestern-style “casitas” can house up to 84 patients and their caregivers while offering a home-like environment that includes individual bedrooms and bathrooms, a living room, kitchen, dining room, library, and conversation pit. As an independent, 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, the Help In Healing Home relies on private donors to continue its mission. For more information or to make a donation, visit: www.helpinghealinghome.org.

Media Contact:
Tara Stultz
Amendola Communications
440.225.9595
tstultz@acmarketingpr.com

6 Reasons Why You (and Your Company) Should Participate in National Healthcare IT Week

On this blog we often talk about how to use PR and marketing to help build the brand and drive sales for healthcare and healthcare IT (HIT) products. Most of the time the activities we discuss require some significant effort. But there’s an online event coming up next week that can actually pay big dividends with considerably less of an investment on your part: National Healthcare IT Week. Here’s the skinny…

Who: Thought leaders, Health IT companies and future Healthcare IT entrepreneurs

What: National Healthcare IT Week #NHITweek

When: October 8th – October 12th

Where: Online and locally

Why: It’s easy, relevant, it’s a great cause and great for building trust as a brand

Founded by HIMSS and the Institute for e-Policy, U.S. National Health IT Week (NHIT Week) is a nationwide awareness week focused on catalyzing actionable change within the U.S. health system through the application of information and technology. The week-long event is celebrated through partner-driven, national and local events along with online conversations through social media. It’s easy to get involved, so what’s the holdup?

Social media is often misunderstood as an unnecessary evil, especially in healthcare, but it is an amazing tool that allows you to reach your audience in a way that was never possible before. While developing and maintaining an online community does take time and resources, events like this allow users to reap some of the benefits quickly.

Even if you don’t have an internal social media coordinator or an amazing agency managing your online presence, you can still participate in National Healthcare IT Week and other similar events. Here are six reasons to jump on board if you haven’t already.

  1. Engage with like-minded people and companies. These types of events create a community around the cause. By finding like-minded people you may be able to make beneficial connections that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
  2. Gain a better understanding of the conversation. Conversations during these events come from a variety of perspectives. It’s common to get stuck viewing the world with tunnel vision by reviewing the same new sites, having favorite writers and viewpoints.
  3. Find new influencers. Participating in events like this including tweet chats are a great way to quickly find people with similar ideals with your company. You might find people experiencing problems you can solve.
  4. Gain trust with your target market. Trust is one of the most important aspects of the customer experience. These events offer a condensed time-frame that allows you to be a part of the conversation. It’s a great opportunity to show other users that your company actually wants to help.  Humanize your brand and spread awareness for the cause.
  5. Stay top of mind. Your competitors are likely participating in these events. Stay top of mind with your prospects and target market. Bonus: you will be top of mind with good sentiment.
  6. Take advantage of scalability. These events allow your organization to really adjust your involvement based on your resources. Participate in every aspect or do what you can with the time you and your team have available.

Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Become a partner
  • Share on social media
  • Share your story
  • Create or participate in an event locally

Be sure to let us know how you participate in the comments below too!

Embrace the Paywall Future – Because it’s Coming

For several years now we all have lived in luxury, enjoying free content on the Internet that’s paid for through ads and data mining, with no paywall to contend with. But, as many prominent media outlets have noted, things are beginning to change.

Back in the early days of the Internet (and in the print media era of old), we as consumers paid for the content we wanted to read and watch. With the advent of Adblock Plus – not to mention a reduction in advertising budgets – many news websites and online magazines are going back to subscription business models, unable to maintain profits with optional “premium” services and banner ads alone.

What does this mean for those of us in media relations? It means we’re going to have to set expectations for our clients, educating them on the state of the media. Because like it or not, it does seem more paywalls are popping up, which means public relations and marketing plans have no choice but to adapt.

On its face, things may appear dire – it’s hard to share content on social media and on a personal blog when a link appears behind a paywall. But, there are some positive takeaways to the coming “subscription era” of Internet journalism that could mean more meaningful placements, better quality leads, and superior content than what we’re getting now in the “free and open” era of Internet publication.

Subscribers Read – and Readers are Your Target Audience

I’m a bit of a hipster. So, I still subscribe to a few print magazines. Since I don’t like my money to go to waste, I actually read those magazines, sometimes even cover-to-cover. I also subscribe to a couple newspapers online, and I check them every day, reading the content that’s relevant to me and subscribing directly to the RSS feeds of columns and writers I like the most.

The takeaway here is this: Those who pay for content are more likely to actually read it. Studies have shown most people don’t read the content on their social media feed, often sharing links without even clicking on them. I’ll argue that this is a product of the free content era, wherein the overabundance of choice has rendered us all lost in a sea of noise. While it may be nice to get a social media share or a link click, ultimately what does that really mean in terms of educating the public on your business, thought leaders, and relevant news?

If you ask me, the answer might be “not much.” Too often our metrics for success are superficial, measured in total number of social media shares, clicks, and engagements, even if those engagements are largely the result of bots and humans users who act like bots. But, if someone subscribes to a publication, they are more likely to actually do some reading, because they have a financial stake in supporting that content. That means more meaningful social media shares and readers who actually do – you guessed it – some reading. This translates to real discussion and genuine interest, not just some generic comment and a quick share that’s aimed at strictly producing numbers.

If someone subscribes to an online (or print) magazine, that means they are genuinely interested in the topic. Ideally, when it comes to a media interview or byline that you want read, your target audience is interested. The subscription era means more quality readers, even if the quantity of superficial shares and clicks is reduced.

Building Meaningful Relationships

It’s an unspoken truth of media relations – backs need to be scratched, and sometimes your thoughtful expert source means less than the source from a company who bought an ad. It’s not fair and, quite frankly, it reduces the quality of the content journalists produce, but that’s the reality of for-profit media. Ads are how publications stay in business, at least for now.

As advertising budgets begin to dry up across the board, the “pay-for-play” approach to journalism is harder to navigate for companies looking to get coverage, particularly for smaller startups who are still working to expand and turn a profit.

A positive outcome to a subscription business model means ads will no longer determine who gets an interview, since the primary source of revenue would ideally be subscriptions. Further, “sponsored content” will no longer be a path to regular byline publication. Like in the days of old, sources will be judged based more on merits, and journalists will begin, once again, to seek the stories that are most interesting to them and their readers.

Much as how the subscription model means an increase in quality readers, the same holds true for the content journalists produce. For those in media relations, that means we can build meaningful relationships with journalists for the mutual benefit of providing sources, who in turn get their name and message into stories that are far more genuine than those produced under the guise of advertising.

While free content will likely persist long into the future, the trend seems to be that the best publications are going to put themselves behind a paywall before too long. This will bring challenges, particularly when it comes to sharing content on company blogs and in social media feeds. In time, content producers and social media users will undoubtedly adapt to these changes and find workarounds, since sharing is the key to more exposure. I think this problem will ultimately solve itself, though admittedly things won’t be as straightforward as they are presently.

Sure, it may seem strange now to imagine an Internet where all content isn’t free, but it’s coming. And there are positive aspects to this transformation that could benefit everyone involved in the media placement chain, from thought leaders to journalists and those of us in between.  One thing is for certain, it’s best to embrace this future instead of combatting it – because those who are prepared will be best equipped to navigate the changing landscape and find success. One thing is for certain: Subscription models do not signal the end of journalism, which means media relations will continue to play an important role in earning placements.

Hashtag Misuse

Only You Can Prevent Hashtag Misuse

Do your research. Or end up with #EGG on your face.

hash·tag: A word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it.

Communication has and will continue to evolve. It is a powerful tool when used correctly, and social media has taken communication to new heights. Now, we can reach beyond our own networks to communicate, discover and assemble instantly.  However, a tool is only as powerful as its operator.

Though each social network has its own way of displaying posts under a certain hashtag, and their own algorithms for specifying trending content, these rules tend to hold true in general across each social channel. Follow them and you too can prevent hashtag misuse.

Only you can prevent hashtag misuse

Amendola Communications Honored as a Top Healthcare Agency in Ragan and PR Daily’s Ace Awards

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., May 22, 2018Amendola Communications, a nationally recognized, award-winning healthcare and healthcare IT (HIT) public relations and marketing agency, announced today that it has added another accolade from the PR industry. The agency was recently recognized in the overall Healthcare Agency category in Ragan and PR Daily’s Ace Awards 2017.

The Honorable Mention award is just the latest national recognition for the agency, which provides a full range of PR and marketing services, including media and analyst relations, messaging, media training, content development and management, social media, digital and online marketing, collateral development, website design and content creation, crisis management, strategic counsel and other services.

“We have received many awards focused on specific campaigns, but we’re especially proud of this award from Ragan and PR Daily because it recognizes the agency as a whole – our work, how we operate, our development of a high-performance team and culture, and the results we generate for clients,” said Jodi Amendola, CEO of Amendola Communications. “We’ve lived and breathed healthcare technology for nearly two decades and, as a result, have developed a team of healthcare veterans with the experience, connections and creativity to drive meaningful business results for businesses of all sizes, whether they’re early-stage startups or established public companies.”

The Ace Awards honor individuals, in-house teams and agencies in communications and marketing. Entrants represent the most talented and innovative thinkers across a variety of industries.

Media Contact:
Marcia Rhodes
Amendola Communications
480.664.8412 ext. 15
mrhodes@acmarketingpr.com