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Promote your blog with these 11 tools

Effectively promoting content is often the most challenging part of content marketing. Some estimates suggest people upload as many as 2 million blog posts every 24 hours.

The good news—and underlying opportunity—is there are several websites that can help you promote your articles and cut through the increasing noise.

1. Examiner

Examiner only allows people who create high quality content to publish on the site. The topics are endless, ranging from social media and paintball to auto repair to tax advice. It reads like an online magazine, and community members update it constantly. 

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If you are good enough to make it through the application process, you get your own dashboard and an assigned topic for your city. You are allowed to create as many articles as you desire. The creators who have the most luck generally create eight or more entries per month; however, you could get by with only three or four. After you complete an article, your post is formatted and published with a link to your profile, Examiner title, and social media sharing icons.

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But wait. There’s more!

Examiner will actually split advertising revenue with article creators. Not only are you able to gain access to an amazing publishing platform with autonomy, build your social media following and market your content, you can directly monetize your efforts. Send traffic to your Examiner articles and you can essentially take it to the bank.

To make the deal even sweeter, Examiner is now offering to pay content creators $25 just for making it through the application process and being active for a few months. Click here to start the application process.

  1.  Scoop.It

Scoop.It is a website that combines social media with a news reader/aggregator. Users are able to create topics on anything they are interested in and “scoop articles to a news feed. From there, followers can browse all the articles you’ve scooped. You can even “star” certain scoops to make an article stay on the top of your displayed feed as opposed to the newest content submission being listed first.

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Building followers on Scoop.It is a great idea. If you connect your current social media accounts, you will automatically see your friends’ scoops while you build a bigger community. Scoop.It’s big feature is that you can find other authorities sharing content similar to yours, and suggest that they scoop your content.

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If someone rescoops one of your articles, there is a definite possibility you will get a flood of qualified traffic to your website. In fact, Watson + Nowlin found Scoop.It because someone listed one of our articles there some time ago, and we noticed the traffic influx in our analytics.

  1.  Sulia

Sulia is a website that prioritizes topics, and then aggregates stories into your news feed. There are two reasons why Sulia is different from your average news reader website.

First, you can post your own topics and be rewarded for creating quality content. Content creators must assign a “channel” to their content, which is essentially a broad topic such as politics, small business, etc. A headline, any images and the actual post make up the remainder of Sulia’s posting functionality.

Second, Sulia’s greatest feature is the way it weeds out spam. If a user finds an article to be authoritative, the user can click that he trusts the author. Sulia then imports future posts from that author to the user’s news feed.

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If you are an author with numerous trust votes, Sulia may feature you on its homepage. Additionally, Sulia will also feature highly engaging, active creators on your news feed to help you build a community.

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  1.  RebelMouse

Rebel Mouse is an interesting website with a lot of opportunity to become even better. Currently, the site allows you a lot of autonomy when posting articles, but the downside to that freedom is that the site’s functionality can be finicky. There also seems to be no way to connect with other users on the site.

However, the main reason you should start driving traffic to your RebelMouse news feed is summed up in this picture:

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Another great tool RebelMouse offers—and a reason to give this website a shot—is the free embedded analytics tool for your newsfeed. RebelMouse also gives you the option of uploading third-party analytics.

Once you have imported content via social media accounts or posted your own, the homepage is very visual, and resembles a pin board.

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  1.  Bundlr

Bundlr is another aggregation site. What sets this website apart is its simple, clean design. Its instructions for posting “clips” to “bundles” (articles to your news feed) are very clear. There are no bugs, the site loads quickly and the explore function is a great way to find other users who share content similar to yours. Connecting to these other users is also incredibly simple.

Creating a bundle is easy. A bundle is a topic, like content marketing, social media management, etc.

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Here’s what your bundle will look like after you add some relevant content. Notice that Bundlr has built-in analytics, but you need to purchase the pro plan to access them. The pro plan rings in at $19.99 for 12 months.

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  1.  Prismatic

Prismatic is a content curation website with two basic functionalities: it is both an article aggregator and a content-sharing platform. Upon setting up your account, you are prompted to select topics you are interested in. The topics are broad, and sometimes even niche.

Prismatic will then import trending articles according to your connected social media accounts. Additionally, there is an explore function that can help you search for great content you might not otherwise see.

  1.  Kippt

Kippt is a great content curation tool that is simple in design and allows your connections to clearly see articles you’ve listed. Each user can create his or her lists, such as “social media” or “website design.” Users also have control over how their content appears-either in a list or on a pin board.

Another great aspect of Kippt is that it is very easy to find other users and connect with them. There is an automated featured-members list, or you can search for members via a keyword and follow them with one click. There are no extra pages to open, extra loading time, etc.

  1.  Spundge

Spundge has a clean look, but can be a bit complicated to use at first. After creating a notebook, you can write stories and save them to that notebook, or simply leave them as stories.

  1.  Allvoices

Allvoices is another publishing and curation platform that rewards trusted contributors for quality content. There is a list of top contributors and a stern moderation policy that makes this website stand out-there is no spam.

  1.  BagTheWeb

BagTheWeb is a website that you can use to organize content. Users organize content into bags, and can make these bags public or private. The private option is nice for sharing resources with team members.

  1.  Paper. li

Paper.li is a content aggregation and curation platform. You can add articles and stories to your feed via two methods: You can import your social media news feeds directly to your paper, or you can place a bookmarklet on your browser’s tool bar to add interesting articles to your paper when you come across them on the Internet.

Source:prdaily.com

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7 media relations rules you might want to break

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Most disciplines have unwritten rules or principles that professionals live by, and the practice of public relations is no exception, but no PR or media relations “law” is ironclad. 

There are times when you might need to break the rules, or at least shake up PR industry convention when it comes to dealing with the press. Here’s my list.

Rule 1: Never say, “No comment.” Of course, we tell clients this, and the words have become such a cliché that any PR person would cringe to see them in print, but most know that there are times when the only response to a media inquiry is none at all. 

For example, pundits advise “getting out in front of the story” in a crisis, but we don’t always have all the facts during the roughly four-hour window available for responding. If you don’t have the facts, you probably shouldn’t be speaking to the press.

Rule 2: Don’t bother journalists unless you have news. Someone else’s news can also be your story, if you have a colorful quote or interesting point of view. “Newsjacking,” which we used to call “news-surfing”—or hijacking a breaking news story or trend with your client’s comment—is a time-honored way to be featured. Just don’t expect to be the main story.

Rule 3: To be media worthy, your product/service/story must be unique.
 Not really, and few are. (That overused, hyperbolic descriptor probably won’t get you far, anyway.) Yet, as we like to say in the biz, one product is just a product, but two is a category. Your news might meet with a stronger reception and have more impact as part of a broader category story or a classic “marketing wars” faceoff.

Rule 4: Cast your net widely when pitching a story. A better way to assess media potential and promote the story to maximum advantage may be to offer first crack, or “exclusive” access, to a single, highly influential outlet and then go wide. Yes, sometimes you can have it both ways.

Rule 5: Media-training your client or spokesperson will guarantee message delivery. This one’s debatable, but I think media prep is overrated. It won’t typically transform a reluctant or meandering speaker into a great interview. When it’s overdone, it can result in a flat or overly commercial interaction that can kill the chances for future interviews. There are times when it’s best to find a third-party expert, or restrict the client to pre-recorded and print interviews.

Rule 6: The PR person stays behind the scenes. In many situations, it’s tricky for a PR rep to be quoted or to outshine a client, and most traditional agency people are more comfortable behind the scenes. Still, there are plenty of communications specialists who take an active role in a client interview, and not just for preparation. It’s particularly vital for advocacy campaigns where misinformation can abound and opinions and conclusions are hotly debated.

Rule 7: When in doubt, hold a press conference. This is a bit of a cheat because few PR professionals would agree, but some clients think a product or service launch deserves a fancy press briefing and that journalists will come running. Chances are they won’t, and it may not serve the client well. A strategic media approach beats an expensive event nine times out of 10. 

Dorothy Crenshaw is CEO and creative director of Crenshaw Communications. She has been named one of the public relations industry’s 100 Most Powerful Women by PR Week. A version of this story originally appeared on her agency’s ImPRessions blog.

source:prdaily.com

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PayPal on former exec: Behavior ‘extremely worrisome’

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Over the past few days, PayPal’s former director of strategy, Rakesh Agrawal, has been tweeting some weird things. Tweets such as that one and this one have led followers to ask Agrawal whether he’s drunk, an alien, or epileptic.

The most worrisome tweets, in which Agrawal apparently insulted his former co-workers at PayPal, have all been deleted, but PayPal President David Marcus has refused to let them fade away. In a Monday blog post titled “Moving On,” Marcus said the company is “putting this episode behind us.”

Marcus wrote:

Since his tasteless tweets first became public, Rocky has posted positive remarks about myself and other PayPal leaders. Thanks but no thanks, Rocky. When you attack and insult my team, you attack and insult me and the rest of PayPal. I think the world of the people you’ve insulted. They are some of the best people I’ve worked with in my career, and I will not tolerate your mad rants any longer.

Now…if you’re a close friend of Rocky’s and you’re out there, I’d strongly suggest getting to him sooner rather than later, as his behavior is extremely worrisome.

Agrawal claims that the initial, now-deleted tweets that prompted Marcus response were intended to be direct messages. After Marcus’ blog post went up, Agrawal took to Twitter to defend himself

Source:prdaily.com

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101 different types of content

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We keep hearing it over and over again: “Content is King. Content is King.” And it’s true. 

Content is the single best way to drive people to your website today. Various types of content, strategically connected to your brand, can work wonders in capturing the attention of consumers and leading them in your direction, but you have to provide some sort of value. Teach them something. Entertain them. Do something that makes it worth their while. That’s where you have the opportunity to tell them about your brand and what you can do for them. 

I always encourage my clients to create boatloads of great content. That’s when they say: “Well, we already blog, so what more can we do?” Ahhh, yes. I’m so glad you asked. Because in fact, there are actually 100 more things you can do. 

I’ve compiled a list of 101 things that can act as content on your website. Some are standalone, some work together, but most important, they can all be promoted on social media and be used as resources to drive your target audience to your website. Content will help attract traffic, accumulate more social shares, improve SEO efforts, and more. Your end goal is to leverage these types of materials so you can do a better job of educating or entertaining your audience to sell your products or services, strengthen your brand, or both. 

Are you ready? Here we go: 

1. A/B testing and results
2. Affiliations and partners
3. Aggregation of articles
4. Animated gifs
5. Associations and memberships
6. Audio recordings
7. Background and experience info
8. Blog posts
9. Book summaries
10. Brochures
11. Cartoons
12. Case studies
13. Certifications
14. Charts
15. Cheat sheets
16. Comics
17. Comments
18. Commercials
19. Comparisons
20. Contests
21. Creative stories
22. Custom software 
23. Customer reviews
24. Data and statistics
25. E-books
26. Email newsletters
27. Embedded tweets
28. Event information
29. FAQs
30. Files and spreadsheets
31. Flyers
32. Free guides
33. Full videos
34. Giveaways
35. Graphs
36. Guest posts
37. History
38. How-to guides
39. Illustrations
40. Infographics
41. Interviews
42. Lists
43. Live chats
44. Live-streaming video
45. Maps
46. Media mentions
47. Memes
48. Microblog posts
49. Micro-videos
50. Mind maps
51. Mobile apps 
52. Music videos
53. News
54. News releases
55. Newsjacking write-ups
56. Newsletters
57. Online games
58. Personal bios
59. Photo galleries
60. Photos
61. Pin boards
62. Plug-ins
63. Podcasts
64. Polls
65. Portfolio pieces
66. PowerPoint or SlideShare presentations
67. Predictions
68. Pricing
69. Pricing sheets
70. Product demos
71. Product or service information
72. PSAs or video PSAs
73. Q&As 74. Questionnaires
75. Quizzes
76. Quotes and Inspirational messages
77. Ratings
78. Research or synthesized information
79. Resource pages
80. Results of polls, surveys, and questionnaires 81. Reviews
82. ROI calculators
83. Sales sheets
84. Screencasts
85. Screenshots
86. Site tour videos
87. Software reviews
88. Specification or data sheets
89. Stupid, fake, and funny images and captions
90. Surveys 
91. Templates
92. Testimonials
93. Timelines
94. “To do” and “what not to do” articles
95. Twitter chats
96. User-generated content
97. Vlogs
98. Webinars
99. White papers
100. Wikis
101. Worksheets 

Remember. Entertain, educate, persuade, convert. That’s your goal. 

All the content above can be included in your content marketing plan to do a better job at building your online presence and boosting your traffic.

Source:prdaily.com

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How to announce a merger

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Let’s say you recently received a memo from your company’s board of directors saying your business is merging with another. (Cue the ominous music as all the hypothetical scenarios, questions, and concerns race through your mind.) 

As the communications representative, you’re in charge of getting the word out. Mergers and acquisitions are common, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, successfully publicizing an acquisition, sale, or merger can be a challenge.

To help make the communications process easier, we suggest having a plan of attack. Asking some initial, strategic questions will help alleviate anxiety and shape your plan. Think through the basics:

  • What are the key messages surrounding the merger?

    Who are the essential audiences for the news?

    How do you think they will respond?

    When should you communicate to each target audience, and how do you prioritize them?

    Where should you communicate your messages? Social media, email, in person?

Answering these questions is crucial and will dictate the timing, messaging, execution, and responses to your communications strategy. Secure key messages and all your documentation (news releases, shareholder letters) before you make the announcement. Once the message is out there, it’s hard to control. (Consider staffers telling friends, who in turn might tell the media.)

Now it’s time to start sending out your key messages to your different audiences.

Before communicating to customers or the public, start internally. Make sure executives, colleagues, and staffers know about the deal and are aware of the benefits. Conducting communications trainingto ensure everyone in the company can discuss it publicly is helpful. If your business is large enough, you can work with human resources to help with internal communications. (See our previous blog post: M&A Communications for HR Professionals.)

Next you want to inform your shareholders, customers, and partners—anyone and everyone who directly interacts with your business. You don’t want them to hear about the situation through the media first, particularly if you’re in a business that goes by a “customers always come first” credo. Send a personalized letter or email, and make sure to provide updates as soon as they happen.

After all immediate audiences are notified, you can inform the public and media. Social media is a good place to announce the merger beyond the walls of your staff/customer community. For the news media, contact reporters via email, telephone, or social media with a script of developed talking points so you are prepared for questions. As the announcement rolls out, maintain contact with the reporters writing the story and be readily available in case they need to contact you.

Even though there is an order of which audience is notified first, make sure you communicate to each group in rapid succession to control the message the best you can.

Overall, the communication process varies among companies and industries. There might be protocols you must follow, switching up the communication order of the announcement. 

Either way, you want to make sure everything is timely and in sync. Remember to be readily available after the announcement has been made to address any questions or concerns. 

Source:prdaily.com

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