Posts tagged with “Media Trends”


The Gold Rush to Master Social Media for Companies

By: Jack Evans

The rapid emergence of social media has opened a limitless, digital frontier that gives companies, consumers and friends instant engagement. As a company, implementing an effective social media focus in your marketing strategy will provide an efficient avenue to reach diverse audiences. It is vital to identify your position in the market, what type of content reflects your brand’s voice, and ensure that your company is efficient in the creation of your content. These 3 components make up the core of an effective social media strategy.

Market Positioning- As a company you need to find your place in the market and align your social media engagements accordingly. Generating content that is both socially and brand relevant to your specific audience is essential to attracting positive “buzz” in the digital marketplace. Posting should reflect your brand’s voice, lifestyle and above all else, product. In other words, use a variety of social media forums to persuade your audience that your product is the best, before they even realize they need it.

Content- Your company should focus on creating a strategic blend of posting that is brand relevant and engages your target audience. Show the audience what your brand does, the people your company attracts and the lifestyle your brand promotes. Consumers will ask questions, give shout-outs and post comments at all hours, and it’s vital these engagements are managed with quick responses. You want your audience to not only feel valued, but INVOLVED in your company.

Efficient Generation of Content- Compared to traditional advertising and promotion, social media gives companies freedom to blend authentic and professionally generated content. Because most images are either free or already budgeted in your marketing plan, content generation is simplified and requires little additional cost, if any. Behind the scenes or exclusive photos, imagery that shows brand leaders outside traditional settings, or promoting special company offerings are three simple ways your audience can feel valued and part of your company’s family.

By connecting with the official Instagram of the NFL, you see an example of a highly effective social media strategy that has resulted in over 2 million followers. While in season, this feed is loaded with a diverse posting style that blends authentic images showing scores and stats, on field action shots, and exclusive photos only available on the NFL Instagram. During the offseason we see more lifestyle appeals in posts that reflect social trends, league updates, and a more creative blend of brand relevant fodder that connects a diverse body of followers with the National Football League.

By hiring additional employees or outsourcing responsibilities to a firm specializing in the digital marketplace, your company will see a high return on investment as its reach and messaging platforms grow daily. While you may not see an instantaneous impact in revenue, social media engagements greatly contribute to building relationships within your target market that will drive sales over time. These relationships will grow your brand awareness, cement your location in the market, and result in recurring customers in the long run.


Applying John Mayer’s wisdom to social media

mecookie via Compfight cc

By Tiffany Deluccia

John Mayer wrote a line in his song “Daughters” that sticks in my head.

“She’s just like a maze where all of the walls continually change,” he sings of a girl he just can’t figure out. That’s what social media can feel like: a maze where the walls continually change.

Just last week, Facebook tweaked its News Feed algorithm (again) to prioritize trending breaking news". A few weeks back we learned Facebook had made changes to favor links over images and videos. What? Weren’t we just doing the opposite of that?

At the same time, Twitter, which has always been about sharing links, has begun featuring images prominently in its used-to-be-simple stream.

Tumblr waxes and wanes in popularity. Then a study says" Tumblr users have the highest median household income, and brands rush towards the gold.

Pinterest and Instagram were ad-free. Until they weren’t".

Keeping up is brutal. As a businessperson, it can be easy to get stressed out by all of the changes. You can’t predict what change is coming next, and as these networks monetize, the supposed “control” we once had over our content reaching our audience is ever slipping away.

John Mayer’s song goes on to say, “Now I’m starting to see, maybe it’s got nothing to do with me.”

Take a deep breath.

This constant change is just one reason (not the most strategic reason, but certainly a relevant one) we tend to recommend clients don’t do all the social networks at once. It’s better to know the ones your customers like best inside and out, keep up with their ebb and flow, noting changes and evaluating everything. A one or two-level maze is challenging enough; there isn’t always a compelling reason to make it an eight-decker.

We can also be your ally. We’re here to help you navigate the changing walls and adjust your strategies, campaigns and budgets accordingly so you can continue to listen to the marketplace, engage with your customers and drive your business objectives.

Photo Credit: mecookie via Compfight cc


Content Marketing Lessons from Weird Al Yankovic (Yes, Really)

By Megan Grubbs

It’s safe to say that everyone loves a good viral sensation… and that every social media marketer would love to have his or her content go viral, whether a video, an image, even a heart-warming story. The truth, however, is that very little content actually manages that great feat.

Creating viral content is an art form, an arduous, strategic process. So how can you accomplish it? Unfortunately, most content will fail, but take notes from Weird Al Yankovic and his recent viral videos, and you just might succeed:

1. Utilize the best medium for your content and audience. Weird Al’s been in the business for more than three decades, and during that time, has learned to design his music and videos to reach fans in the most effective way possible, whether via MTV in the 1980s or on YouTube and around the internet today. Know where your specific audience is and what they want, and you’re heading in the right direction. 

2. Humorous parodies are often the way to success, a fact Weird Al has acknowledged throughout his career, with hits like "Fat” and “Amish Paradise.” Recent YouTube sensations like “Do You Wanna Go to Starbucks?” and “I’m So Pregnant” have captured millions of views and shares because of their clever interpretations of already popular media. Capitalize on trending topics, and you’ll increase your shareability. 

3. Try and try and try again. Every marketer has experienced it at some point: a timely, clever piece of content you just know will go viral falls flat online. Gather insights as to why your content failed and move on. Fourteen albums and 35-years later, Weird Al has nabbed the No. 1 spot for the first time ever with his new album, “Mandatory Fun.” If that’s not a testament to perseverance, I don’t know what is.


It's About Relationships: Why PR Agencies Succeed in the World of Social Media

By Megan Grubbs

its about relationships

Ten years ago, Facebook had just been launched in a Harvard dorm room. Today, it has more than one billion active users. Twitter emerged two years later, and now has more than 250 million users, sending 500 million tweets each day.

This exponential explosion of what we now refer to as “social media” has left brands scrambling to participate, but not all can effectively manage social media internally, whether that’s due to time or expertise or a myriad of other reasons. So who should handle your social media if you’re not able to? Your PR agency can, and here’s why:

• We have a deep and wide understanding of your brand. We are educated on the ins and outs of your products and services. On the other hand, we know your audience, what they want, and what they respond to. We’ll provide your audience with the information they’ll want to connect with while effectively sharing your brand’s narrative. 

• We’re skilled at sharing your brand’s story. We’re already telling it on a day-to-day basis, writing news releases, pitching it to the media, doing what we do. Social media is just another storytelling component to add to the mix. Appointing your PR agency to manage your social media ensures a cohesive, uniform message reaches your audience from all media, whether traditional or social. 

• Finally, it’s about relationships. Social media is just that: social. Effective communication, whether on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, you name it, isn’t about blasting out information promoting your company. Social media isn’t the free version of billboards. Your audience won’t engage with that type of content—but don’t be disheartened, they do want to interact with you. We’ll show them you’re listening to what they listen to, watching what they watch, doing what they do. We’ll share content that makes their lives easier, funnier or better. Once these strong relationships have been built, you can pitch your product to them and they will gladly receive it. 

And that’s what we’ll do for you. After all, public relations has always been about developing relationships between your brand and your audience. Social media is just another method of cultivating those connections.

Photo Credit: mkhmarketing via Flickr cc


The press release isn’t dead

ap style

By Tiffany Deluccia

The press release isn’t dead. How do I know? Here are a few reasons:

-- Reporters still ask me for them when we’re discussing a new product, event or program.

-- The news media routinely have to dig for the facts amongst the fluff they receive each day. Last week, a reporter told me over coffee that a true gem in his inbox is a news release written the way he would write it: Interesting, straightforward and free of slant.

-- Journalists still have to file their stories to AP style standards written in inverted pyramid format.

Sure, we all know “news” is evolving. Reporters now write blogs, tweet links and share photos on Instagram. They craft stories about the most popular viral videos of the week and the kid on Vine with a million followers. Traditionally print publications are now producing video for their websites and publishing “From the Web” columns in print. I get it. Times are a-changing.

But, I might argue, that they still write news stories. And if your brand has real news to share, you just might want them to write news stories about you.

I’m a proponent of brand journalism, social media (when strategic) and reinventing the ways we get our messages out. People really do want more video and brief, ‘skimmable’ content.

But to say the press release is dead? That claim can’t be made by anyone who talks to the reporters I talk to.

One more thing: I am a proponent of writing better news releases, ones that are written like a news story, get to the point and leave the brand fluff behind.

Maybe the press release will die, and maybe it will be soon, but for now, let’s not kid ourselves by trying to force journalists to see subpar content as source material.


Why Brands Matter

Some rights reserved by Phillie Casablanca

By Matt Lochel

You’ve likely said a very powerful word today. In fact, you’ve probably said it multiple times. Don’t worry, this word wouldn’t garner even the slightest blush from your mother.

Used by itself, it’s innocuous, but wars have been fought over it, and in reality, it’s likely caused most of them.

No matter your profession, you probably use this word hundreds of times each month.

Laws have been enacted to preserve the right to say it. It can be used to vocalize cynicism, or it can ferret out information to improve the public’s safety. It can express shock or innocence as easily as it can prove a valuable rhetorical and agenda-driven tool.

It’s crumbled monarchies. It’s motivated inventions that generations-past never could have imagined.

I even decided it deserved to be in this post’s headline.

The word is why.

Having cut my professional teeth in a newsroom, I recall watching seasoned colleagues elicit unexpected responses by artfully crafting their whys to not appear as questions at all.

And as PR Pros, we find ourselves strategizing ways to preempt this word from being asked. By connecting the dots for the reporters we pitch, we explain why our client’s newest product matters to their readers, viewers or listeners.

After all, every brand has a story that’s bigger than any single product launch, and as PR Pros we help discover the story that lives within the brands we represent.

Brands seek to answer the whys we all ask— brands exist to solve problems.

Take the evolution of coast-to-coast transportation:

Transcontinental railroads resulted from someone asking “why does it take two years to travel from New York to San Francisco on horseback?”

Commercial air travel resulted from someone asking “why does it take three days to travel from New York to San Francisco by train?”

Video teleconferencing capabilities and lightning fast mobile networks resulted from someone asking “why should I be inconvenienced by a five hour flight from New York to San Francisco to talk to someone face-to-face?”

Brands matter because people matter, but in order to connect with the public, brands must tell their story and show why they are relevant for solving today’s problems.

Let’s never forget the power of this little word.


Cover Yourself! 3 Things to Know About Brand Journalism

The news desk

By Tiffany Deluccia

Content marketing and brand journalism are definitely the buzzwords of the year for those of us who track these kinds of things. (And in case you’re wondering, “selfie” and “twerk” don’t make the list, no matter what the Oxford English Dictionary says…)

If you’re getting acquainted with the concept, here are three things you should know:

1) It’s not complicated.

Throw out the phrase “content marketing” at a party and someone’s bound to think you’re a trendsetter. But the truth? The concept is incredibly simple—and not so different from a lot of traditional communication methods. Think of it as your company newsletter on steroids. And more fun.

It comes down to this: Content marketing/brand journalism is about creating regular, interesting, share-worthy content your audience would want to read.

Start here: What stories do you enjoy reading? What are they like? What stories does your brand have to tell? What big picture stories is your brand a part of?

2) Without it, your social media program is probably worthless.

You don’t need a social media strategy before you have a solid communication strategy. In fact, social media is pretty tough to pull off without a content strategy. You won’t have anything to say. Have you ever stared blankly at the Facebook box that says “What’s on your mind?” wondering what you should say on behalf of your brand?

Social media is no place to start. You must begin at the beginning: With something great to say, show or share.

3) It’s more measureable than traditional PR.

The better your content, the more you fine-tune it and find out what your audience wants to read, the more people you will attract and the better shot you have at influencing the KPI’s you need to influence.

You don’t want your content to be overtly trying to sell something. (Would you want to read that stuff?) But you can add features to your website that will allow you to see how your editorial content influences things like sales, sign-ups, leads and more.

These direct marketing techniques paired with your content strategy can produce hard data that shows what your efforts are achieving.

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