September 2013 Issue #2
Recycled Blog Posts that Drive Traffic: Curated and Repurposed Content
Lattice / Spin Sucks / Explore B2B
Don't throw away old content; it can be optimized and reused for an in-depth article. (Courtesy of Chris Satchwell)
A successful blogging strategy requires a variety of content and a plan to engage readers. Yet producing original, quality content on a consistent basis can prove difficult, especially for companies and bloggers with tight budgets. Craig Rosenberg proposes a solution: reuse and re-share information from outside sources. In Need Quality Curated Content? Here are 7 Blogging Techniques
, Rosenberg shares his secrets to generate and curate content for your blog. Ideas for recycled content: responses from industry leaders about the "topic of the day," re-optimized information from a white paper (and an opportunity for readers to download the white paper), and an aggregation of several posts on a similar subject to create a new, original article.
Bloggers may also want to take advantage of Google's new feature: a listing of in-depth articles in search results. Appearing in this list indicates Google views your post as authoritative (which means others will, too). These in-depth articles can be constructed using existing content, Gini Dietrich explains in Create In-Depth Articles to Increase Your Google Authority
. Dietrich's advice: use Google Analytics to identify topics for which your blog posts rank on page-2 results or lower. Choose the best posts that fit these topics, and optimize them strategically so they can be recreated into an in-depth article. Bonus: the in-depth article can then be restructured as a white paper or eBook.
With a social media and engagement plan, bloggers can use repurposed content to attract readers and build influence in their field, Susanna Gebauer asserts in 7 Ways to Get Content to Work for Your Business
. Key takeaway: readers favor websites that share insightful industry content. Bloggers should post not just to inform, but also to start conversations. When posting content to LinkedIn groups, for example, include questions and inspire group members to participate and add insight. Always make related content easily accessible. Every blog post should include links to previous articles relevant to the topic, profiles of colleagues or industry experts, third-party articles, etc. Your audience will see you as vital connection when you provide them with helpful and interesting content that's not just your own.
The Most Common Press Release Errors that PR Pros Miss
PR pros should double-check their press release for errors before sending it to journalists or a wire service. (Courtesy of Nick J. Webb)
Some news wire services like Business Wire find and correct press release errors before distributing them to the media. However, PR pros shouldn't rely on their press release distribution service to catch mistakes — especially when sending a press release directly to a journalist. In What are the Most Common Errors our Editors Catch in Your Press Releases?
, Business Wire warns PR pros about messing up dates and time zones, adding broken links and inconsistently referencing company, people and product names. Frequent grammar problems include the wrong use of there/their, then/than, and effect/affect. The biggest no-no: the company name missing from the headline.
Pitching Bloggers for Company Articles and Product Reviews
To summarize Sara Bozich's two-part guide to pitching bloggers: make it easy for them. Include the most important data in the beginning of the pitch — who, what, where, when and contact information, and then go into detail - but don't send attachments, Bozich warns in Pitching Bloggers, Part One: The Press Release
. All information should be web-ready and shareable, including your company logo and relevant photos that are clear and appropriately sized. Don't be afraid to share the goals for the press release and your expectations, whether it's for a product review or outreach to a new market, she adds in Pitching Bloggers, Part Two: Making the Pitch
. Bozich also reminds PR pros to provide the blogger with additional resources, including links, images, potential interviews, videos and product samples.
Monitoring and Measuring Big Data in PR
The best PR decisions use data gathered from monitoring and measurement. (Courtesy of Bill David Brooks)
"Big data" means different things in different industries. For PR, it provides the evidence to prove a project, campaign or activity is on the right track, according to How to Harness "Big Data" in PR
by Ashley Halberstadt. The process is simple: identify the data you need, find a monitoring tool that can deliver it, perform actionable analysis, and implement results based on the data. Big data requires proper measurement tools and many media monitoring and measurement suppliers allow users to sort data by different categories and factors. Companies often fall flat with the last step, Halberstadt contends. If your data reveal influencers, reach out to them and ask them to try your product or service. If you find your audience is more responsive on Google+ than Twitter, focus your campaign efforts there. Key takeaway: data-driven decisions deliver the best results.
Contemporary PR Methods to Build Media Relations, Receive Publicity
Social media networks offer valuable methods for PR pros to pitch and promote their brands, reports Getting Press: Here's 14 Public Relations Tips for Brands & Small Businesses
. The article lists insights from PR and business experts on new and effective ways brands receive publicity. The best social media outlet to pitch journalists: LinkedIn. CMO Dmitry Davydov reports that 80% of placements for his business were the result of LinkedIn InMail inquires. Social media also allows brands to tell compelling stories. Ed McMasters of Flottman recommends that businesses host or participate in philanthropic or "green" events, and use their blog and social media to share their activities and encourage others to give back. Other "new" methods for publicity: teaming up with tech partners, monitoring reporters on Twitter and writing guest blogs.
The "Simple" Way to Strengthen PR Content
Jeff Bullas / Ragan Communications
Sometimes, single-syllable words pack more punch than a long, strung-out description, Jeff Bullas contends in The Power of Simple Writing
. Writing for the web means designing your content's structure so it can be skimmed and scanned by creating short, concise bullet points and subheads to divide copy and by using photos that clearly explain your message. The simpler verb usually bests the longer cliché verb, Laura Hale Brockway adds in 24 Lazy Meaningless Verbs to Ban
. Some "throwaway" verbs: commence, facilitate, synergize and utilize. Replace respectively with begin, lead, work together and use.
Reputation Measurement: The Cost of a Crisis
To determine how much a crisis would cost your brand, assess the value of your customers.
(Courtesy of 401(K) 2012)
Reputation managers know that one negative review can cost a brand dearly — but by how much? Dan Virgillito measures the damage online defamation can cause in The Price of Your (Bad) Reputation
. To determine the loss that a crisis would cost your brand, assess the value of your customers, he instructs. Questions to consider: How much does a customer spend per month on average? How many times a year does an average customer make a purchase? How many people does your average customer tell about your company per year? Bottom line: analyzing the value of your customer validates the importance of your reputation management efforts, and whether a bigger budget should be allotted to reputation management.
Techniques to Manage Edits by Legal and Regulatory Departments
PR News Online
Edits of PR or marketing materials by legal and regulatory departments can undermine an entire PR or brand strategy. How to Manage Edits from the Legal and Executive Teams, While Maintaining Your Sanity
offers sound advice: be willing to push back; differentiate editing preferences from legal necessity; fight only substantive battles. Here's the best retort ever recorded to an objection made by a legal reviewer to a marketing strategy. In a meeting attended by the CFO and CEO, the brand manager stated: "If this legal objection is permitted to stand, I will have to reduce my sales projections by 10%." The CEO overruled the lawyer.
Utilizing Media Monitoring Data for Contextual Analysis
Marketers often fail to connect the dots and determine the patterns and context of measurement data, Danny Brown declares in Without Context, Data is Meaningless
. Filtering conversations by sentiment can identify how your audience views your brand — but for lead generation and a long-term engagement plan, marketers must look at the bigger picture, Brown asserts. For example, marketers might see several customer complaints about their brand in their "negative" sentiment filter. Ask: How are the comments connected? Are they complaining about the same product? Were the complaints posted in a short time frame? Bottom line: The human mind is more complex than a simple positive or negative feeling about a product. Assess the "why" behind sentiment and identify patterns by aggregating data.
Keywords with Less SEO Competition, Better Results
Business 2 Community
Optimizing your website for the same words your competitors use creates competition. Instead, marketers should think more broadly about what their customers search for, Mike Moran explains in Are You Optimizing for Search Engines or for Customers?
Estate planners in Long Island likely use "estate planner" as their keywords, Moran explains. To stand out, it would be better to use keywords customers are likely to search for, such as "elder care trust New York," to place its site at the top of search results. Marketers can use Google Adwords and work with their media monitoring suppliers to decide which keywords deliver the best results for their site.
Landing Page Tips for Better Conversion Rates
With SEO, social media and email marketing techniques, why do some companies still have disappointing conversion rates? John Paul Mains identifies the culprit: an inadequate landing page. Marketers should drive people to a unique landing page, not their homepage, Mains states in How to Design a Landing Page that Converts
. A landing page consists of four essential elements: a relevant headline, interest-generating copy, trust elements and conversion. Marketers often overlook trust elements like customer reviews, testimonials or privacy policies, but Mains maintains they help establish a comfort level with new customers and persuade them to do business with you. Recommendation: personalize your landing page so it's relevant to visitors based on their history, demographics and location.
Sharing Online Content: Where to Post What
Chris Brogan / Social Annex
Marketing professionals have plenty of outlets on which to share content. But Chris Brogan raises the question: Where Do You Decide to Post Which Kind of Content?
The first rule: identify your intent with the content. Brogan's blog exists so he can earn his audience's attention, but he saves his best work for his newsletter. Key point: Blogs should act as windows for your newsletter and highlight the insights your audience will receive if they subscribe.
Just as a blog and newsletter differ in their content, The Battle of Facebook and Google+
explains that social networks engage communities in different ways. According to Janessa Mangone, Facebook is best used to interact with existing connections, while Google+ excels at connecting and networking individuals. Bottom line: use Facebook to talk with people you know; use Google+ to talk with people you want
Turn Social Media Issues into Customer Service Opportunities
Econsultancy / Melissa Agnes Crisis Management
This past week, an angry British Airways passenger paid Twitter to promote a tweet that condemned the airline for its poor customer service. What's more shocking: British Airways took 10 hours to respond, and added an excuse for its lateness: the British Airways Twitter feed is only open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The case highlights the importance of an ever-evolving customer relationship management strategy in social media, Rhian Simms points out in Are You Heading for a Social Customer Service Fail?
As more brands become active on social media, users are demanding more immediate and accurate responses. With the amount of social media monitoring tools available, companies have no excuse for not responding immediately to an issue or crisis, Melissa Agnes reports in Don't Fear Social Media Issues. Embrace Them!
British Airways should have used the tweet to their advantage by purchasing a promoted tweet of their own, responding immediately, and writing a compassionate apology, Agnes asserts. Bottom line: social media complaints should be viewed as opportunities to strengthen relationships with customers.
Hashtags vs. Keywords in Social Media Posts
SteamFeed / CNET
Is it enough to include keywords in a social media post, or should marketers use hashtags to optimize their content? According to Hashtags vs. Keywords: 6 Key Comparisons
, each SEO tool has its own advantages. While hashtagged words spread at a rapid pace and deliver instant results, they can also fizzle out quickly. Keywords, however, provide long-term SEO for your content, Richard Eaves asserts. Another key difference: hashtags can be used for specific events, names and trends, but users must compete for ranking with a keyword.
The hashtag does not offer these benefits in every social network: new data shows that Facebook hashtags may be creating negative exposure and reach. In Facebook Hashtags Said to Have Zero Viral Impact
, Dara Kerr shares EdgeRank Checker's analytics report, which reveals that posts with hashtags are less likely to have viral reach than those without a hashtag. Why? Brands embed hashtags in promotional material, which drive less engagement and clicks. Content assessment algorithms look for quality posts, not hashtags.
The Best Ways to Say "I Don't Know"
Answering "I don't know" to your boss or colleague can make you seem unprofessional or uninterested. Laura Hale Brockway offers better responses in How to Say "I Don't Know."
The key: provide a professional answer that gives you time to get the information. One example: "I've been wondering that, too. Let me ask." Don't give a wrong answer just to look good. Instead, Brockway advises replying with, "That's a good question. I'll see what I can find out for you."
Inspirational TED Talks for Marketers
The 10 Best TED Talks on Marketing that Will Blow Your Mind
lists witty, inspirational and fascinating TED Talks about marketing, consumerism and best business practices. Among them: Seth Godin's "How to Get Your Ideas to Spread," where the marketing guru instructs marketers to focus less on the actual product, and more on whether you can get your ideas to spread. In "Life Lessons from an Ad Man," Rory Sutherland addresses the issue of perception from an advertising perspective and how it formulates a customer's view of brands. For a particularly uncommon point of view, watch Dan Cobley's "What Physics Taught Me about Marketing." Cobley shows how the laws of physics resemble basic marketing concepts and connects the dots between marketing and physics in layman's terms.
You Know You're In PR When…
You know you're in PR when family and friends use you as their number one source for news. 10 Things Only a Public Relations Major Would Understand
lists funny-but-true traits of PR students and professionals, including: You are 95% sure there's actually coffee in your veins. Our favorite tell-tale sign of a PR pro: your favorite holiday is the PRSSA National Conference.
Factoids of the Week:
Pinterest is now the No. 1 social network for e-commerce and has gained over 20 million users since February. (Semiocast)
60% of businesses reported they intend to increase their social media monitoring efforts significantly within the next two years. (Share Research, Guide Share Europe)
On average, consumers tell 15 people about good experiences, but tell 24 people about their bad experiences. (American Express Global Customer Service Barometer)
Quotes of the Week:
"Eventually SEO is just going to turn into PR; it will fall out of our vocabulary and simply merge into being named what it actually is right now: Online Public Relations." — Adam Torkildson, vice president of operations at Customer Hook
"It makes me sad that there are moments in our lives where we're not present because we're looking at a phone." — Charlene deGuzman, actress and creator of popular YouTube video "I Forgot My Phone"
Upcoming Conferences and Webinars
Digital PR Summit
, hosted by PR News, will be held Oct. 16 in New York, NY. The cost to attend is $895.
Inbound Marketing Summit
, hosted by The Pulse Network, will be held Oct. 16 in Boston, Ma. The cost to attend is $1,295.
PRSA 2013 International Conference
, hosted by the Public Relations Society of America, will be held Oct. 26 in Philadelphia, Pa. The cost to attend is $1,375 for non-members and $1,075 for members.
, hosted by ClickZ, will be held Nov. 4 in Chicago, IL. The cost to attend is $1,795.
Recent White Papers and eBooks
Behind the Scenes of Content Marketing
. This eBook explores the key components involved in creating and executing an effective content marketing strategy. Learn how to build a strong content marketing foundation and start generated targeted leads.
PR & Marketing Job Openings
The listing for this issue includes PR job openings and marketing positions — with detailed job descriptions for each. Readers are invited to submit job postings to firstname.lastname@example.org
Best of Previous Issues
Determining Your Media Monitoring Needs
Print News Monitoring Vs. Online News Monitoring
Broadcast Monitoring for TV & Radio News
Selecting a Social Media Monitoring Service
F.r.e.e & Low-Cost News Release Distribution Services
|CyberAlert 5.0 - local, national, and worldwide news monitoring and press clipping service monitors 55,000+ online news sources in 250+ languages each day.
||CyberAlert TV - broadcast news tracking service monitors closed caption text of news broadcasts on all national news networks & channels plus all local TV stations in Top 100 U.S. markets.
ONLINE SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING
|BlogSquirrel - blog monitoring service monitors 7+ million new postings each day in 75+ million blogs worldwide.
||CyberAlert VDO - monitoring of consumer-generated video clips in 200+ online video sharing and news sites.
|Netpinions - consumer discussion / word-of-mouth / buzz monitoring service monitors 100,000+ online message boards, forums, and Usenet news groups.
||Twitter & Facebook - Monitor your key words in all Twitter tweets and all Facebook public posts.
Today's Best Media Monitoring Value
No per clip fees. No annual contract required.
Get Better Results Than Doing It Yourself —
And Rid Yourself of a Tiresome Chore.
No credit card required or requested.