How to Get the Most Out of Your LinkedIn Profile

In this social media-driven world, it’s easy to set up accounts on every single online platform and then only truly engage with one or two. Many brands are attracted to Facebook and Instagram because of their high user numbers and often end up neglecting LinkedIn, which can be incredibly powerful if used correctly.

When we ask why LinkedIn is often overlooked, the usual response is that they either don’t have time to devote to it or are unsure of what to post – LinkedIn is, after all, career-focused, so uploading that photo of your pet or snaps from your holiday don’t seem entirely appropriate.

So, what is?

Personal Career Updates

It may feel a bit uncomfortable to shout about your own workplace achievements, but if there’s any place for it, it’s LinkedIn. For example, when you’re promoted, in addition to updating your profile with the new role information, you should write and publish a post conveying your excitement for this next step in your career. Likewise, if a project or product you’ve worked long and hard on is announced, debuts or receives great media coverage, you should absolutely post about that. If you’re worried about the tone of your post, just keep it short and simple, and stick to the facts – your network of contacts will be pleased to hear about your achievements, so don’t hide them.

Industry News

If huge news about the industry you’re in breaks, you can be sure that everyone in your office will be talking about it. Additionally, everyone in your industry will be talking about it online, and LinkedIn is a great place for you to add your two cents about the announcement, whether it’s a simple sharing of a news article, a comment on someone else’s post about the news or a post containing your thoughts on the matter.

Engaging with Others’ Content

As with other social media platforms, one of the main features of LinkedIn is connecting with other people. Your LinkedIn timeline will likely be filled with posts, articles and news that your past and present colleagues and industry contacts have shared, so why not scroll through once a day to check in on the online chatter? LinkedIn allows users to like, comment on and share posts, so if something resonates with you or sparks your interest, giving it a like or leaving a comment is never a bad thing – plus, if it’s from a contact, the engagement will perhaps create a dialogue that leads to business opportunities. Win-win.

Publishing Your Own Articles

If you aspire to be a thought leader within your industry, then LinkedIn is the perfect platform for sharing your insights. Be it career advice, your take on trends or a deeply researched piece, writing and posting an article on LinkedIn is a great way for your voice to be heard and shared. If you’re unsure of the calibre of your writing skills, have a trusted friend or co-worker read over your piece, or – if you’d really like to beef up your LinkedIn profile and following – engage a content management team who can work with you to develop and execute content ideas.

Need a hand with your social media appearance? Drop us a note at 

How to send a memorable media gift

So, your client has requested a hand-delivered gift for the media. Believe it or not, there’s an art to making sure press material will be remembered and appreciated, rather than chucked aside.

Also known as a ‘media drop’, personally delivering press material in the form of a gift is meant to build a rapport with an editor or reporter.

Despite the good intentions here, there are a number of reasons why it might fail to get the job done or drive the objective your client has considered.

With keeping journalistic ethics in mind (remember, to many media folk there’s a fine line between a gift and bribery…) here is a solid plan of attack to ensure your media gift is accepted with enthusiasm.

1. Plan your assault

Before you begin, there are a few questions to ask when deciding on your gift of choice:

  1. What is the budget allocated and how do you fully maximise it?
  2. Does the gift give an essence of the business? What objective does it drive?
  3. How practical will it be for media?
  4. Will the gift travel well?
  5. Is it Instagram-able and social media friendly?

Having clear answers to these questions before delivering your gift will be the difference between creating a positive impression and being forgotten.

Then presentation is key. Would you prefer a gift that is properly wrapped or one that looks like a re-gifted fruitcake from a great aunt?

2. ATTACK! (But in the nicest way possible)

  • Set up a time to drop in

Don’t call in on unsuspecting journalists unannounced, if you can help it. A simple phone call to make sure they’re in the office and establish an appropriate time to drop by is all it takes.

Apart from being polite, this also gives you a schedule to plan your route and make sure you’re maximising your time (and can avoid rushing and showing up sweaty and unpresentable.) If the item being delivered is time sensitive (e.g food), route planning makes it even more important and it may be a good idea to invest in proper packaging to ensure safe travels and freshness.

Timeliness is key to having your gift either brighten up someone’s day. Think about the best times to receive the gift if you were to be on the receiving end. For example, if it’s a sandwich, it would be great to receive it just in time for lunch, or when the 3.30pm munchies hit.

  • Stop to chat

In my experience, it has always been beneficial to hand-deliver media gifts, as it allows me to have valuable face-to-face time with key media personnel. This is important for building relationships and ensuring they associate my face to the agency I work for.

According to Jane, our resident content manager and former journalist, conversation is key.

To make sure they are not forgotten, you have to actually have a conversation with the journalist and tell them how the drop ties into the event, product launch, or whatever it may be about. It will be forgotten if you just drop off the stuff and peace out.”

3. Follow up!

The battle isn’t over once the last package is delivered. A round of follow-up is required, which can entail dropping your new media friends an email, checking social media to see if your drop gained any coverage, and then reporting back to the client.

Media drops aren’t just a matter of winning over journalists with gifts – it’s an important chance to make a lasting impression, which is crucial for us in the PR industry.

Need help with your PR strategy and media relations? Drop us a line at

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4 media pitching mistakes to avoid

Media pitching is one of the key components making up public relations, but the act of pitching is often easier said than done.

To many people it sounds simple enough: “I’ll just write a press release about my client’s business or event, find some media contacts, and send it to them! They’ll definitely run a story because it’s so interesting.”

Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to it than writing and sending emails.

Pitching typically involves a PR professional working with a business to identify key messages, interesting story angles, writing one (or multiple) targeted releases for specific media, and utilising their strong personal connections with media to ensure your story gets the coverage you feel it deserves.

Journalists receive a phenomenal number of press releases every day. The chances they won’t even open an email from you are high. The ball is in your court to do everything possible to ensure your press release reaches the right journalist and media, with the right message that is likely to get the attention of their target audience and readers. That’s what they care about – so that’s what you have to focus on.

And yet, mistakes are so often made during this process, and sometimes the smallest blunders have the biggest consequences. Being aware of the following potential mistakes can make all the difference between a story getting published… or sent to the trash.

Pitching the right story to the wrong media

Imagine you are a journalist, and you cover technology-related news, for example. You receive on average about 20 press releases a day and suddenly, you’re pitched something that has nothing to do with what you write about.

Why should you feel the need to respond to that person if they clearly don’t know what your publication covers?


It sounds simple, but the mistake of pitching non-relevant content to media is probably the largest error seen in the industry. Under pressure to deliver results for client, PR professionals wrongly assume that blasting out a press release to the maximum number of journalists will result in the most coverage.

Not doing enough research before a pitch reflects very poorly on you as a PR pro and annoys journalists who don’t have time to waste as their deadlines loom.

When pitches land in the wrong inboxes, don’t expect journalists to help forward it on to the relevant parties. It is our job to ensure our pitches land in the right hands, not theirs.

Not looking into your email bounce-backs

If you’re pitching via an email blast, you’re bound to come across email bounce-backs. This could be because journalists have gone on vacation or medical leave, or because they’ve left the publication. Perhaps their overflowing inbox is finally just full.

Your job is to ensure they see your news, so you need to determine why they bounced and do something about it Journalists will usually include alternative email addresses in their automated replies to inform you of fellow journalists to get in touch with for your press releases.

Seize this chance to know someone new from the particular media, re-pitch your story and update your media database!

If that fails – PICK UP THE PHONE. It’s amazing how few PR professionals can be bothered to make a call to follow up (more on that later.)

Losing touch

Public relations is all about connections, networking and relationships. Without this, you’re just a person behind a computer hitting ‘send’ over and over again.

Staying in touch with media is what sets you apart from mediocre PR people. Make an effort to touch base with them regularly, catch up for coffees and lunches, and get into the habit of picking up the phone to say hi. Ask them what they’re working on, and whether you might be able to help. The more you stay in touch, the more likely they are to remember you when they do need something from one of your clients.


As well as staying in touch, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and time zones. When pitching a story that transcends the region, international pitching comes into play. This also means we need to be more mindful of some aspects that can affect pitching efforts.

Always make it known which time zone you are working from. This saves you from leaving the impression that you are difficult to contact (if, you know, they decide to ring you at 4am). Journalists have pressing deadlines to deal with and with you being out of contact when they will require additional information may result in them forgoing the story altogether.

If you’ll be away from the office for a period of time, ensure your colleagues have been properly briefed on what to expect should they come across any media requests. The last thing you want is to lose the chance of a great story placement from a lack of communication.

 Not following up with media

Like I said, journalists’ inboxes are flooded with press releases – meaning yours probably isn’t all that important to them. If you haven’t heard back from a journalist, it is imperative that you follow up on your pitch with a phone call.

By doing this, you will learn whether the journalist has even seen your pitch or received it at all. This gives you a second chance to bring attention to your story, and pitch over the phone in real time. Usually, this is a much better way to get a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If they say no, you can immediately ask why, and try to see whether there’s any way your story can work better for their publication by focusing on a different aspect or angle.

It’s possible a tweak is all it needed – but you might not have known that if you didn’t pick up the phone.

To discuss how Mutant can work with your business to push your story into the media spotlight, please get in touch with us at

5 lessons my vacation taught me about PR

Before you judge, let me make it clear that this is not an article about working during your vacation.

Mutant Communications enforces a healthy work-life balance and we are always encouraged to enjoy some downtime, whether it’s going out for Friday drinks, or taking a holiday. It reinvigorates the mind, makes you more productive, and chances are you’ll come back with more innovative ideas.

In fact, it took a recent holiday to make me realise how certain aspects of PR bleed into everyday life, and how I should start making the most of every situation.

The opportunities are especially abundant when you are travelling abroad.

This is the perfect time to take advantage of your “vacation mode” self – you are starting out on a clean slate in a foreign country, and you know very few people (or none at all). We are social creatures, and in this situation you naturally let your guard down and become more affable, eager to make friends, and to understand and immerse yourself in a different culture.

Keep the following PR tips in mind for your next holiday, and return fulfilled with valuable lessons and insights that you can apply at work!

1. “Your vibe attracts your tribe”

You are bound to make a few friends and acquaintances during your travels and if you’re at the right place at the right time, chances are you’ll get to meet the right people.

I was fortunate to have connected with some great folks who happen to be in the creative and lifestyle industry – the likes of artists, music producers, a website editor, and even someone in PR for a leading streetwear clothing label.

You get to learn a lot from these conversations with new people and asking the right questions. We ended up adding each other on Facebook, and some even on LinkedIn. This is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to connect with people, to learn from or potentially work with in the future. At the very least, what’s the harm in making new friends?

2. How to make yourself understood

Meeting new people is definitely a confidence booster. When you are engaged in a pleasant conversation, you inherently become more conscious about the flow and sounding coherent (especially if you’re attempting a conversation with someone who doesn’t speak the same language as you!)

One of the most common questions I got was about my profession, which led me to improvise a mental script to better explain what I do, about Mutant, and also about the music label I’m part of – all without droning on.

You learn how to ad-lib, while always improving on presenting yourself and your company in the best possible angle with strangers. It’s great practice for presentation skills, at the most basic level.

3. You can learn stuff from food (yes, really!)

One of the best ways to learn about a culture is to try the local food. There’s no need to splurge at a fancy and expensive restaurant for a good and unforgettable experience. I personally like to trawl the streets to discover a hidden gem  – these places usually have impeccable service, run by friendly people and are typically more affordable.

By doing this, you can learn a few things and get inspired by the interior, atmosphere, meaningful conversations with staff and owners, and of course, the food.

I made a mental note on experiences I could bring back and share with our existing F&B clients, but these lessons easily transcend a specific industry, and can be applied to any professional environment.

Service and a positive attitude can do wonders with both clients and colleagues – it is something very simple, but often forgotten. I like to take myself back to these experiences to remind myself on the importance of harnessing and spreading positive energy.

4. Make a mental note at performances, gigs and festivals

This particular holiday was all about music gigs and festivals, and I definitely took away some valuable event management lessons from them.

At Mutant, we coordinate numerous events – the likes of launches, press conferences and media tasting – so I naturally observe how certain things such as timeliness, efficiency of ticketing, the sound system, and the presence of a good MC can greatly improve an event.

It is also through experience that you learn how to better prepare yourself for an event. For my Dour Festival Survival kit, I packed a vanilla yoghurt, a travel kit skincare set, and body moisturiser – all was deemed useless (except for the vanilla yoghurt). Next time, I’ll bring a pair of tights, windbreaker and gumboots to protect myself from the cold and rain! Lesson learnt.

5. Don’t forget to chill

“A vacation isn’t a luxury. It’s a medical necessity,” said Dr. Leigh Vincur, a spokesperson for the American College of Emergency Physician.

Remember to actually enjoy your break and release stress. Working in PR is a fantastic career, but it’s fair to say that you will reach a point where you need a holiday. You will do everyone in the office (and most importantly, yourself) a favour and return refreshed and more productive.

If you need more tips and advice on PR for F&B and lifestyle and luxury brands, get in touch with us at

Chronicles of a public relations intern


So, you’re a PR intern. Or you want to be one. School’s out, and it’s time to make a quick buck! (I kid, I kid.)


Good for you. Like me, you should want to expand your industry knowledge and gain relevant experience in your field of interest before you graduate. It gives you a great step up and puts you in prime position when looking for your first full-time role.

In my case, I saw a tweet (yes, the power of social media!) looking for a PR and content marketing intern, so I emailed the boss, arranged for an interview, and TA-DAH – I scored the internship!

It has been a couple of months and a series of learning experiences working in a growing agency in Singapore. For all you other PR intern wannabes, here are four important highlights of my initial experience.

1. Media Pitching – Stay hopeful and don’t give up

Expectation: I’m going to get so many good hits the first time around. It’s an interesting pitch, with a good press kit and it’s totally gonna be picked up by all mainstream media by morning.

Reality: Oh my goodness, I’m sending so many emails, I better get some good hits. I am spending an awful lot of time on the phone following up. But it’s okay, it’s working. But it’s not as easy as sending out an email!


Pitching is an art, I’ve learned. Even if your email pitch is on point, you’re going to have to get on the phone and follow up, and then again, and then again…

While my number one tip would be to always bcc (God save the poor soul who forgets this), the other golden rule is to get used to personalising your email pitches. Nobody wants to feel like they are ‘just another journalist’. Make them feel special, address them, and show them you’ve done your research into why this story and this client is of interest to their audience.

It’s tough when you receive a “Thank you for your email, however this is not what we are looking for”, which is really a very polite “Thanks, but no thanks”.

2. Know your client inside-out

Pitching is one thing, but following up and answering questions from journalists as they decide whether or not your client is worth covering is another. What you know about your client off the top of head could be make or break their decision.

This is one reason why you need to personalise your pitches, as mentioned above, and why you should only pitch to relevant media. It’s also a good reminder that you are here not only to help your client, but to make the journalist’s job easier. 

Journalists receive tons of emails a day, and dozens of press releases. Naturally, they will only pick up stories that are relevant to their sectors. They will thank you if you’ve done half their job for them. Score some brownie points along the way. *wink*

3. Build and maintain relationships with journalists

Expectation: Oh man, journalists are scary. I’ve heard so many horror stories about mean journos screaming down the phone. Will they like me? Will they be nice? I’m going to be sooooo awkward.

Reality: Oh. Journalists are actually human. They’ve been incredibly nice when I strike up a conversation. They’re not monsters after all. Phew.


I went to my first networking event about one week into my internship and was pleasantly surprised at how fun it was. The journalists were cool, and interesting, and I realised just how important that connections are going to become. It’s all about the people – not, ahem, just the drinking – and every person you meet could be a potential client.

Another important practice is remembering your name card (yep, don’t leave that baby behind), and getting into the habit of continuing the party once it’s over. No, that doesn’t mean taking the party back to your place – it means dropping your new acquaintances and the organisers an email when you’re back in the office the next day (not hungover at all.) Say thank you, and that it was nice to meet them. Manners go a long way in this industry.

4. Media monitoring

Expectation: I heard interns have to flip through dozens of newspapers and magazines every single day. How many articles do I have to clip? This is going to be DULL.

Reality: Oh my god, software exists that helps me create media lists and follow up on media placements?! HOORAY. You are now my soul mate and my best friend.


Because the client is paying for a service to get their company/word/brand out there in the market – and they’re competing with so many other companies to do this – it’s important they can see how their money is being spent.

Overall, the biggest takeaway from my internship to date is that every industry and every job has its challenges. What I’ve experienced may not be what all PR interns experience, but stay open-minded, be proactive to learn, and always be kind.  You have to start from somewhere, even if it’s the bottom.

Get in touch with Jazmyne at

6 striking similarities between public relations and networking


Having worked in the PR and communications field over the past decade, I’m used to both pitching to journalists as well as formulating the strategy and angle behind a good story.

Recently though, I embarked on something new and completed a two-year, part-time stint helping to run and manage The Athena Network, a networking organisation for female entrepreneurs, It was uncanny how similar the process was to get results from networking and PR, particularly regarding people’s attitudes towards both.

Those with a long-term, positive approach would make great connections or attract press coverage while those who were impatient and took an ad hoc approach would miss out.

Here are the most important similarities:

1. Getting results requires a long-term strategy

People who expect instant results never achieve what they want to. You wouldn’t meet someone at a networking event for the first time and then expect them to give you the huge contract you’ve been waiting for (if this has actually happened to you, let me know so I can eat my words!) The same goes for getting results out of a public relations campaign.

I’ve so often heard attendees at events say, “this isn’t for me; I didn’t meet any customers/clients for my business during this event”. With PR, we hear the same thing – “can you guarantee immediate coverage for my brand?”

Both involve building gradual relationships to develop credibility and trust. When you meet someone once, it doesn’t mean they will recall you when you meet again six months later. But meet them on a regular basis and you’ll be far more likely to be referred for future business. Public relations takes the same approach with media, gradually build profiles from the ground up so clients can be remembered by the press and called on for comment or invited to panel discussions on a regular basis, not just covered for one article and never thought of again.

2. Attention to detail is a must!

With networking, try and have a system that works for you to remember people and all the details surrounding what they do, or the project they’re working on. This helps when trying to establish a firm rapport, which not only opens up the conversation, but shows you’re truly interested in them.

With the press, remember what they’ve covered recently – chances are they won’t want to cover the same content again soon. Remembering these small details sets you apart and sets the stage for the next meeting.  

3. It’s all about the art of storytelling 

In a networking scenario, your introduction about yourself or your company is called an elevator pitch. With the media, it’s referred to as a story angle. Either way, what you do and why you do it is greatly improved through the art of storytelling. Answering a ‘what’ question with a ‘why’ answer is the best way to do this. 

For example, if someone asks what you do, instead of replying with a simple, “I’m an accountant” why not give some more context about your story?

“I work in accounting. I actually have always had a thing for numbers and maths, and found myself helping my parents with their tax returns at 16-years-old. I realised pretty soon after that was my calling, and I set up my own accounting practice five years ago.”

Isn’t that so much more memorable? People won’t usually remember every person’s profession, but they definitely remember a good story.

4. Repetition, repetition, repetition

Establishing yourself as an expert and thought leader both through networking and the media is not a one-step process. As mentioned, a long-term, regular approach goes a long way to build credibility and the catalyst for this repetition.

The more we repeat, the more our message is remembered. This repetition isn’t just about your words and message, its about being repeatedly seen and heard. If a potential client sees you once at an event, they’re unlikely to remember you. But if you happen to meet them at events on a regular basis, you’re more likely to become part of their regular circles. 

The optimal outcome of regular networking is when other people start becoming your advocates. Likewise with the media, the more they see you being covered and hear your message and expertise, the more likely they are to call on you for your respected opinion and contribution.

5. Ask questions… then really listen

If you approach your networking and PR efforts with the ethos that it’s not all about you, you will achieve far greater results. There’s nothing more flattering than when someone is genuinely interested in you and wants to know more about your work. Rather than pushing your own agenda, take time to ask smart, meaningful questions. I know we’re all busy and really want to forge ahead with getting our call-to-action out there, but a good relationship needs to be cultivated genuinely and without false pretenses. Plus, you’ll notice most of the time that once you’ve taken a real interest in someone, that they are equally as likely to show the same curiosity about you and your work.

The key here is to listen. What problems are people facing with their work? Is there anything you can do or a service you can provide to help? But don’t jump in just yet with your pitch! Find a way to integrate your suggestions only after you’ve listened to their whole story. You never know what important detail you might miss. 

With journalists, really listen to what stories they’re looking for and what beats they cover. There is no point in pitching a fashion story to a business journalist (most of the time.) Find out exactly what they want and frame your messaging to their needs.

6. Don’t leave them hanging!

There is no point taking two precious hours out of your day to attend an event if you’re not going to do your homework afterward. Make sure that as soon as you’re back at your desk, you follow up and thank them for the great conversation. This is your time to make suggestions, ask for a follow-up meeting or bring up a new discussion.

The same goes for interviews with the media. If you were invited to speak on the radio, make sure you or your PR representative is following up after by thanking the journalist for their time. Feel free to use this as a chance to suggest future topics or stories which you might be able to contribute on.

Make sure all those business cards you’ve been collecting are actually being used, rather than just lining a shoebox.

If you’d like to discuss the potential for public relations for your business, please contact me at

How to approach bloggers and establish good relationships

Bloggers of our day have been bestowed with something that even stirs the jealous bones of news teams – loyal, trusting readers. Pictures of newly-adopted kittens, short articles about food, and event reviews filled with selfies and one-too-many canapé pictures – which would be considered taboo for traditional news outlets – live flamboyantly on blogs and entice countless readers.

What we’re seeing today is a shift of consumer preference, and oftentimes trust, in the content they consume. Rather than professionally written news pieces, many are seeking entertaining, picture-filled blog posts drizzled with humour, sarcasm and written in simple English. Consumers look to blogs to form their purchasing decisions and the marketing impact of a persuasive, well written blog post is undeniable.

Many blogs are functioning with structured editorial teams in place, but they still work differently from newsrooms, which is why brands need to do a little homework if they hope to land a spot on popular web logs.

First impressions do count, and it’s important to start off on the right foot when you approach bloggers. But how can brands actually start approaching these digital wordsmiths?

By now, you would have done your research and compiled a comprehensive list of potential bloggers who you feel best represent your brand.

While bloggers in the past might have accepted impersonal notes from PR and marketing executives, they are less appreciative of it today. Make sure you write a personalised note to each blogger, building rapport and clearly stating what your brand offers and how you’d like to partner with them. Keep in mind that they are not obliged to rave about your product or write a story off a generic press release, even if you give them a freebie.

It’s not a ‘numbers game’ anymore, so avoid the automated approach of mass emails to hundreds of people (which will likely end up in the spam folder, and result in your email address getting blocked). Focus instead on building an actual relationship with the relevant bloggers in order for them to understand and trust your product or service. Only then will they become true brand advocates.

While everyone wants the big and famous blogs with a massive following, credible smaller blogs are often easier to approach and work with, and can spur the larger blogs to take notice.

Before reaching out, start following them on social media and reading their blogs to get an idea of how they tick. Better still, become a genuine fan of their blog – start reading, sharing, and commenting on their posts. That way, you’ll understand how your brand can fit in with the blog’s narrative and come up with suitable angles.

Take the relationship from cyberspace to real life after you’ve personally written to the bloggers – nothing beats human interaction. Have a chat about your brand and make sure you highlight anything that could be of interest to their readers. The quality of your product or brand is going to inspire the blogger to write about it, much more than your tenacity or gift-giving.

Bear in mind that the aim is not to receive unpaid advertising – bloggers truthfully share their experiences about products and services. If you want to buy a sponsored spot on their blog, it will be highlighted as such.

Bloggers have real impact and genuine points of view, and genuine interactions will always yield much greater results. So get creative, and get personal! It’s time to hit the blogs.

For more information on how Mutant can help with blogger engagement, get in touch with us at


Chase Jarvis and fiercekitty – Photowalk Gnomedex 2009 image by kris krüg is licensed under CC BY 2.0.