PR Tips: Ideas for Everyone

PR Tips: Ideas for Everyone

There is a quote that states, “Everything you do or say is public relations,” and this is a 100% truth! Here are 4 simple ways you can improve your company’s brand and public relations.

1. Keep Your Eyes Open!

Always be looking for opportunities within your company, and within the community to better your reputation and publicize it! A simple donation to a local charity should never go without a little recognition so go ahead, brag about your support! Have your marketing department add a small paragraph and link on your social media outlets as well as your website. This will not only show your community support but also send a little publicity the charity as well. It’s a win/win!

2. Get into a Relationship

Create relationships with local media. A great way to do this is by following their social media, and reaching out to the local reporters and newspapers by sending a snack to the office. Food is a great way to butter up a company for the next time you have a press release that needs to be read and printed.

3. Optimize and Update!

New service or product to the company? Make sure to update your best marketing tool, your website! Create quality content, add it, talk about it to customers, spread the information through word-of-mouth marketing internally, add it to social media and make sure to keep all information current!

4. Create Your “Brand”

Think about what sets your company apart from everyone else in the market. Take that advantage and create your brand around it. You can develop a phrase, logo or both and start using it in everything company related so you are known as the “_____” company. This can also be enhanced through creating a stand out, complimentary color scheme that is unique to your brand and also incorporating that. Finally, internalize this phrase, motto, or slogan and ensure it is also a company belief among fellow employees.

Social Media Week Chicago 2013

Social Media Week Chicago 2013

I had the privilege of attending Social Media Week Chicago 2013 two weeks ago and was overwhelmed by the forward thinking, informed leaders in the social media and digital marketing community with whom I made connections. #SMW is a mostly free conference held over 5 days on 4 different continents and features professionals and industry leaders simultaneously sharing knowledge with one another.

It was humbling to be in rooms and take part in a few of the 181 seminars with leaders from some of the largest communications firms in the world and find that Upright Communications is right on track. Here are my highlights from the events:

 

Content Marketing that Wins: Making Brands, Readers AND Google Happy.

1.       Build consumer trust through useful content.

To build your audience’s trust and create a meaningful relationship, write your content with the reader in mind, not metrics. In this, quality over quantity really speaks volumes of your brand.

2.       Create consumer action.

Great content can be its own well-oiled machine if it has the consumers’ needs in mind. If content speaks to your audience they will answer with a click, a comment, or a recommendation, and it will move them to take action.

3.       Satisfy a brands business needs.

Social media needs to have a strategy carefully planned around your business goals and needs. From raising brand awareness to increasing sales, your goals should be clearly set in order to take steps to obtain the results you desire.

“Never sacrifice the quality of your copy for the sake of search engines.”

 – Matt Cutts, Google Webspam Team

Bottom line: SEO can’t be the end all be all of a marketing plan, but rather a carefully implemented part of the overall strategy and driving force. Integrating social media, great content, and sharing it will add credibility to your brand in the eyes of a consumer. So create your brand through digital marketing, tell your story and drive your goals.

 

Social Media is Bullsh*t: The Real Value of Social Media 

SEOpic3

In the middle of downtown Chicago’s old Library, B.J Mendelson, author of Social Media Is Bullshit challenged the crowd to see social media as what it is, should be, could be and how it is actually used. He also gave a little lesson in logic, honesty and colorful language.

Did you know? A  Facebook status lives for about 11 minutes, and a tweet lives an even shorter lifespan before dying in the newsfeeds and waves of other posts.

SO? Take it offline. Research everything on your consumer, know what they like, and what they don’t so you are able to create content based upon what they do like. Have a conversation with them by reaching out via tweet and not just responding to an inquiry or the negative review.

ABGD: Always Be Gathering Data. Then use that data! The more you know the more you can relate and understand your audience needs.

AARR: Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral. These are the basics of word-of-mouth or viral marketing. Engage with a customer, activate their knowledge of your business, retain with customer service and gain a new customer with a referral. The marketing circle of life!

Bottom Line: 93% of word of mouth marketing is offline according to Jonah Berger and his bestseller, Contagious: Why Things Catch On. Social media provides us real life opportunities to connect with people we have never met and share information about our business and beliefs and we should take advantage of it. It should not be used as another way to vaguely connect but a chance at an introduction to become personally acquainted.

 

Highly Recommended: Harnessing the Power of Word-of-Mouth and Social Media to Build Your Brand

Paul M. Rand gave a stirring sermon regarding how social media has changed the dynamic of the way businesses are being run today. Recommendations are seen as the new key measure of determining if products, services and businesses are successful. Social media now allows for every aspect of a company to be openly discussed, critiqued, or praised, and the companies that understand how to manage this to their favor will come out on top.

The Science of Social Proof: 91% of consumers make a recommendation after a positive experience and 49% of people say they recommend a business to help guide someone else, according to Paul M. Rand. Paul continued by citing an example of visiting a common business like a grocery store while seeing a client out of town. The client went on to recommend a particular grocery store, raving and recommending this specific store for 30 minutes. It was the experience that kept this consumer coming back to visit and with the right mentality; businesses can emulate this to their advantage.

Bottom Line: Create an experience. We all have a preference based upon experience for almost everything. Make it your business to make your business someone’s preference and hopefully their next recommendation.

Google’s New Show Options Filter: A Whole New Way to Google Your Search

Google's Show options Feature

About a month ago, Google introduced a new search feature which allows the searcher to further customize their results. In the past, we’ve discussed how factors like Google Universal, personalized results, and even multiple data centers affect rankings. A search engine ranking is becoming more influenced by the individual user, and less standard across every experience. And Google’s recent update to their functionality takes the rankings another step closer to being more personalized.

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Friday Funk – How the Lolcats Engaged Me

I wouldn’t call myself a cat person. But since I’ve seen the Lolcats, I totally want to buy a cat and take pictures of it doing funny things so I can add captions in broken English and upload it to the I Can Has Cheezburger site.

What you see at “I Can Has Cheezburger” is a classic example of a site that’s created something catchy and funny and because of it’s hilarious and entertaining nature, they are getting inbound links like crazy! See… there’s one above!

What’s the message here? Vell, I tells u da messaze. (Man, that lolspeak is catchy.) Getting links to your site is important and it’s hard work. But it doesn’t have to be as boring and tedious as it sometimes seems. Like a broken record, we keep chanting the link-building mantra: “create something engaging”. I feel like a Star Trek fanatic, running around the office all the time yelling “Engage! Engage!”

But creating engaging content is what gets people to your site. It’s what gets other sites to link to you and if you do it right, it will bring quality traffic that converts! So put down that list of 8000 backlinks to your top competitors for a while, and spend a little time brainstorming for some creative ideas to build engaging content on your site.  Your brain will thank you. Your visitors will thank you. And perhaps, somewhere out there, a kitty will thank you… or at least beg you for a cheeseburger.

 

Blogging and Social Networking – How to Create A Buzz

Social media or social networking is basically a type of word of mouth marketing. You’re more likely to purchase a product or service, or become more loyal to a brand if you get a positive recommendation from a friend or family member. The internet has allowed us to expand this friend base to more than just people we physically know. This is one reason why social media is so important. Another is related to blended search results and personalized search. You’ve probably noticed over the last couple years that the search engines are now including different types of content in search results such as images, video, and you guessed it… links to blogs. By writing quality blogs, you have the ability to rank well and gain traffic, and improve sales and leads. So let’s talk about some basics of blogging as a form of social networking, and how to create a buzz with your blog.

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Ranking Reports are Dying A Slow Death, So Watch Those Metrics!

A few months ago, I wrote a nice little article called “Don’t Sweat the Rankings So Much. Metrics is the Answer” where I offered a bit of advice to stop worrying so much about where you rank and start focusing more on metrics.  I predicted that in the next year or two, to be prepared for your rankings to mean less and less, and to be prepared to spend more time and effort analyzing your metrics. Since that time, the buzz about this topic has become increasingly louder as more people realize the importance of conversion analysis in a world where the usefulness of ranking reports are dying.

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