Public Relations

Steps to a Successful Content Marketing Plan- Part 3

content marketing, content plan, content calendar, content review, content strategyBy the end of these 3 weeks, you’ll be nearly ready to tackle content marketing like a pro. The last segment reviewed how to audit your current content, document your new content strategy and how to create topic ideas that fuel this new strategy.  Up next is creating a content calendar based on priorities and ‘low hanging fruit’, fine tune SEO and successfully review and edit your first piece of content.

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9 Quick Tips to Get Your Blog Up and Running

blog, ideas, blog plan, blog strategyIf you’re feeling overwhelmed about the prospect of starting (and keeping up with!) a blog, here are nine things that can help ease the burden and allow you to create a valuable resource you customers will come to respect:

 

Developing Content – draw on available resources

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Content Marketing Plan- Part 2

Creating a Content Plan: Part 2Part 2 of 4: Getting things in order

Last time we discussed getting your content marketing campaign off the ground. We gave you the tools on how to get your strategy in motion. In this round, we will discuss how to get the momentum going and touch on auditing your current content, documenting your new content strategy and how to create topic ideas to fuel your content strategy.

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The Value in Public Relations – Can It Really Be Quantified?

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The Internet’s relationship with public relations is complex.  While it has helped raise the profile of this long misunderstood marketing tactic, it has also been the cause of many newer frustrations.

Because it traditionally couldn’t be measured in hard dollars as advertising was, PR was always on the edge of being fully incorporated into marketing communications program.  Since a value could not as easily be attributed to PR, many marketers just couldn’t grasp the true value of the practice.

 

The truth is, PR adds tremendous value.  The other truth is that it is really hard to quantify, Read the rest of this entry »

How to Create a Content Marketing Plan and Be Successful

Part 1 of 4: What to do the first 3 weeks to prepare

how to create a content marketing planLet us start out by saying that content marketing is a long-term strategy that takes commitment and discipline.  It is not a strategy that works overnight or even in the first six months, but when it does finally kick in, the benefits are immeasurable.

Now that that is out in the open, let’s get started…

Vertical Measures, a digital marketing agency that helps other clients and agencies broaden their content marketing strategies, does an excellent job of teaching us how to get your content marketing campaign off the ground.  They recommend accomplishing one major task per week for 12 weeks in order to get the ball rolling.  This article will run in a four part series, breaking the down the 12 week program over four posts.

Let’s take a look at the first three weeks…

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Tradeshows a Dying Breed? 13 Tips to Help Improve Show ROI

tradeshow, pr, events, sales, leads, press, editorsRemember the days when tradeshows were jam-packed and everyone registered to attend as soon as they could to reserve their spot?  People milled around and networked for hours looking at some of the greatest booth presentations and demos the industry had to offer.  It was THE BEST, wasn’t it?

Tradeshows were so important. They were an ‘absolute must’ travel expense.  And then, all of a sudden, there was a drop. Slowly, these fun networking extravaganzas seemed to slowly fade away.  But just like print magazines themselves, we’ve seen it come full circle and hopefully there will be a resurgence as organizers are learning what works in today’s new environment.

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Let’s Eat Grandma!

punctuation, spelling, grammar, typing, professional typing, professional presentation, professional writing, writingThe comma—how something so simple can change a sentence so much. As in… Let’s eat, grandma! Read the rest of this entry »

What to do when an editor calls…..and it isn’t freak out!

editor, calls, editorial, articles, information, client information, client industry, businessI remember early on in my career being afraid of editors. Actually…terrified. I pictured these wicked creatures, hunched over a keyboard, feverishly typing away, drinking black coffee, smoking cigarettes, trying to make deadline, while demanding answers to questions that I was so afraid I wouldn’t know. Read the rest of this entry »

Are You Missing the Boat on the Ultimate Way to Boost Trade Show ROI?

tradeshow budget

Tradeshow PR falls into the 6% “Promotions” category, but can turn into an invaluable expense with the correct tactics to increase ROI.
(Image courtesy of Atlantic Exhibits)

Despite soaring costs, tradeshows can have a powerful impact on your marketing efforts. Choosing the right show with the right audience and presenting the right message are key. But to really get the very most out of your tradeshow investment, don’t overlook the one target audience that can have as much or more value to your sales and marketing efforts as your prospects.

We are referring to the numerous tradeshow editors who gather at these shows looking for stories, looking for news, looking for content to fill their hungry print or online pages, looking for ways to bring their readers the very latest information on new products, technologies, concepts, etc.

Hooking your company’s story (and every company does have a unique story!) to the right editors is easy when you make it an integral part of your PR/marketing strategy. At The Simon Group, tradeshow PR is the way we maximize our clients’ return on tradeshow investment. The ability to reach customers and prospects more economically via the digital world has made many companies consider dropping tradeshows from their marketing strategy (and budget!).

However, the face-to-face time you can get with customers, prospects and editors can make your tradeshow efforts much more worthwhile when leveraged correctly. For only a small additional amount of planning and budget for coordination, the relationships built at tradeshows can be immeasurable.

The key is employing a variety of editor-friendly tactics in your trade show strategy. These tactics combine to connect your company to the editors who matter most and to generate significant initial and follow-on PR, often resulting in feature articles, interviews and other major publicity opportunities.

If you’re going to spend a small fortune on your next tradeshow, and that’s what most tradeshows costs these days when all costs are tallied, get a greater payoff than ever before with press coverage that will certainly generate a new and profitable level of awareness and even qualified leads.

Using Social Media to Enhance B2B Communications

The proliferation of social media has finally infiltrated the world of B2B and you know what, it’s not as bad as we thought it would be. I used to think social media and B2B were like the sun and the moon…never the two shall meet.

But, leave it to the web to once again alter the landscape and shake the tree of traditional marketing.  Just as the proliferation of email and websites started to fragment the way in which we could talk to an audience, RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook and even the blogosphere are providing new ways to talk with those people who are interested in our clients’ products and technologies, and actually engage them in the process.

Isn’t social media for business really just customer relationship management (CRM) on steroids? It does have applicability and gives companies direct feedback from the audience they most want to reach—people looking to buy a product or service. Imagine the impact of harnessing that firsthand input and applying it to product development to meet market needs!

The good news is that even though the pie keeps getting sliced into more pieces, there’s still enough pie to go around.  The bad news is keeping up with it all can be mind boggling.  An easy way to start is to apply these new social media tactics to one aspect of your campaign and grow it from there.  We tend to get our clients’ feet wet by first integrating social media with our PR program.  From there, once you’re familiar with the lay of the land, the process just snowballs and pretty soon, social media has become an integrated, and valuable, part of your marcom program.

So, next time you get friended or someone asks for your Twitter name, remember this is the environment your customers are operating in.  Like it or not (but we’ve come to like it), social media is enhancing B2B communications.

Read the post “Mixing in Social Media” for more info.

SEO Press Releases: What They Are and What They Do

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the latest buzz phrase of the marketing world (we’re guilty of using it, too!), but did you know it is sneaking into the PR world as well? Not only should you optimize your website or your blog, you should also be optimizing your press releases for search engines.

A traditional news release with plain text will reach the editorial community on the date you release it, but what happens when a potential customer is searching Google for that great new product six months later? Unless your press release has the staying power to continually rank high in search engines, the chance of an older press release being found is slim.

This is where SEO comes in. Here are some important tips for optimizing a press release:

1. Use the important keywords in the title (words customers would search).
Headlines are the first thing a search engine and a reader will see. Putting keywords in the headline increases your chances of being found and people seeing the relevance of your news release to their search.

2. Keep the title to approximately 80 characters.
PR distribution sites will often use the headline for the title tag. Keeping the title short (while including keywords) ensures the keywords of your release will not be cut off and will be visible to search engines (and readers) at the first glance.

3. Effectively use keywords throughout the press release.
Using a keyword density check tool will help you determine if your press release includes too little, too many, or just the right amount of keywords in the text. Using too many words may seem counterintuitive, but it could actually hurt your SEO. Too few keywords hurt, too.

4. Use links in the body of the release.
Adding links in the body of the text will increase the chances of the search engines finding your release. And always start with http:// for the URL. Those seven little characters will ensure the links are active in the release whereas URLs starting with www. could be missed.

5. Include anchor text.
Try to link at least three keywords in the text specifically to an internal page of your site rather than just the homepage. These tagged phrases provide more SEO value to a release than just listing URL links in the text, since they appear as searchable terms.

6. Make sure your news gets out.
In addition to the traditional press list, news releases should be distributed more widely using outlets targeted for online media as well as submitted to a variety of online news sites that post content, both of which are geared at the end user, versus the editorial community.

SEO has changed the landscape of not only traditional marketing, but traditional public relations as well. Writing and distributing timely news releases with the editors, end user, and search engines in mind will dramatically increase the reach of each release.

When Times Get Tough… The Tough Beef Up Their PR Program!

The benefits of PR are seemingly endless and become even more important when marketing resources become scarce, as could be the case for some companies heading into 2009. Read the rest of this entry »