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The Social Media Pocket Guide: Six Ways Marketers Should Use Social

big-brand-final_36The following is an excerpt from “The Social Media Pocket Guide: Six Ways Marketers Should Use Social,” an exclusive guide from Spredfast. The Social Media Pocket Guide reveals how marketers at big brands like AARP, AT&T, Discover, and Nokia have leveraged social to reach their campaign goals. Right now, “traditional” and digital marketers have an opportunity – and a critical need — to collaborate with their social counterparts like never before. Whatever your role, you’ll benefit from learning how social can contribute to a successful marketing campaign.

In just a short time, social media has become a ubiquitous mainstay in the lives of consumers. Popular platforms have rapidly grown to hundreds of millions of users, and the adoption of social media platforms has no end in sight.

This social media “revolution” has changed the traditional, corporate monologue into a two-way dialogue with customers and prospects.

Social media:

  • Allows companies and brands to learn more about target audiences easier and more affordably
  • Levels the playing field for brands of every size and industry
  • Provides cost-effective communications in comparison to traditional channels
  • Emphasizes great content, empowering companies to leverage helpful assets to attract fans, followers and friends
  • Harnesses the importance and relevancy of “now” – real-time, immediate communications
  • Delivers a greater reach, with a multiplicative effect of pass along, as compared to other marketing communications channels 
What this means for businesses is the time to embrace social media channels to reach customers and prospects is now. And while social media marketing and communications is no small task to undertake, there are six objectives every company should consider to have at the core of their social activity.

These include:


1. Building Brand Awareness


2. Making Customer Service Personal with Social Media

3. Adding Events to Social Media Programs

4. Adding Social Media to Product Introductions


5. Embracing Social Media to Build Your Sales Pipeline

6. Activating Your Community to Take Action

Source:socialmediatoday.com/

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To world of smiley social media, anonymous app offers tricky truth

LinkedIn

Last week at a local tech event, two friends gushed about a popular app they had fallen for. When I posted later that I had gotten it, other friends were quick to warn me away.

It’s not worth my time, they said. Worse — it could hurt.

The app is called Secret. Its users post short thoughts that, though they are anonymous, are labeled as coming from a “friend” if the author is in the user’s phone address book and they have enough friends on the app for that to obscure the source.

One user in my circle confessed to having edited a Wikipedia article to win an argument with a girlfriend. A second admitted loving a cat more than most people. A third announced that twins were on the way.

And I felt that craving I get every time I draft what my friend Sara Kiesler calls an almost-post — a candid, raw thought I write but decide not to publish on social media because I hit some wall or other.

The craving to just tell the truth.

 

Secret is one of several new apps offering a way over these walls, a way to get candid with friends without the fear of judgment that pressures users of popular social networks like Facebook to stay safe, happy and artificially light.

Hide enough of yourself, and you’re not being yourself. And you know it.

“I hate that self-censorship is part of my daily life now,” one friend wrote on a Facebook thread I started about this. Some confessed to redacting almost-posts weekly. Others, several times a day.

But I know what you’re thinking. So let’s back up.

There are more great reasons for you not to post certain personal things publicly than any of us can count. They could be too reckless, too fleeting, too out of context, or really would expose more than is good for you.

That’s Online Etiquette 101, circa 10 years ago, hammered into our heads with every cautionary tale about someone who got fired, dumped or ruined by something true they shared stupidly.

 

Plus, who needs to be 100 percent themselves to huge virtual networks of — let’s face it — almost-friends?

The anonymous Internet has shown for decades what monsters we make when we put on a mask. It’s the creepy back alley at night. Why go there?

Reddit has shown that with the right vibe and strong moderation, anonymity can dig up pearls of candor. But we can be real jerks. Neither Reddit nor new experiments in anonymous social media — with all their custom filters and techie safeguards — can filter out the pain we cause each other when we think we have nothing to lose.

One friend deleted Secret after a couple people the app identified as “friends” posted mean things directly about her, once including her photo.

I’ve seen a couple of attack posts on my feed. I don’t want to see any more.

An essay in New York Magazine last month started a mini news frenzy when a high-school student at Staples High School in Westport, Conn., described how disgusting gossip released by an anonymous social-media app called Yik Yak had, in the course of a few periods, brought his whole school to a halt. Students stared at their phones, cried, went home, didn’t want to come back.

 

“And the worst part was that no one knew who was writing this stuff,” he wrote.

As friend and Seattle tech writer Andru Edwards put it, one danger of these apps is how easily they “allow adults to act like children, and children to act insipid.”

And yet I’ve found myself checking Secret more frequently, posting a thought or two, feeling that release when something real gets out, finds support and maybe gives it.

And yet when the friend who had deleted the app heard that its controls had gotten better, she asked, “Should I give it another shot?”

My friend Julie Kaufman asks three questions before she lets herself share a candid thought in an open channel: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?

If so, then maybe we need that thought. Maybe it can join in the battle against everything out there that’s not.

Source:seattletimes.com

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The in-house client: Common challenges and how to face them

call-is-coming-from-inside-the-house

Many PR pros who don’t work in agencies are part of in-house integrated communications teams that take on agency-like structures. Research has shown that this type of structure is one of the essential characteristics of the marketing organization of the future. 

If you are part of one of these teams, it usually means you are providing advice and production services to internal client groups. 

This type of work can be a lot of fun, as it involves cross-functional collaboration in the effort to reach common organizational goals. There are however, some challenges faced by the internal account executive in managing these important stakeholder groups—especially if the internal agency configuration is new to your organization.

Here are just a few common challenges:

1. Perception that you are a service provider, not a consultant. Often, internal clients see the communications department as the place that produces brochures, writes news releases, or posts social media updates. Some internal client groups will approach you with a specific request rather than seeking advice on an all-encompassing strategy.

How to face it: Close the gap between PR strategy and tactics. Educating your internal clients about the difference between strategy and tactics is essential. Show them successful examples of objectives and research-based communications and highlight the results. This will help them understand that campaigns work better than one-offs and that your department’s expertise goes beyond writing copy and designing email headers.

2. Perception that you don’t understand their needs. You may be a skilled PR pro, but this sometimes gets overlooked if you don’t have a great deal of knowledge regarding your internal clients’ field, product, or service. Your client might not trust your advice or approach if he or she feels that you don’t grasp their needs.

How to face it: Research and constant communication. If you don’t have experience with your clients’ portfolio, do your homework. Read up on their offerings, history, competitors, previous communication strategies, and market research—the works. Also, offer to have them give you a crash course to better understand their business. It will make things easier when the roles are reversed and you are providing them with advice. Plus, it will contribute to enhanced cross-functional collaboration and help you and your team do a better job. 

3. Endless back-and-forth on decisions. The absence of billable hours in an internal shop can mean your clients will repeatedly come back to you with changes in scope, suggestions, and modifications. This hinders the overall efficiency and effectiveness of your strategy and can hamper your ability to deliver a project on time. 

How to face it: Implement a proper workflow process. A structured workflow that takes your client from the research and strategy phase to building ideas, tactical plan development, implementation, and measurement will help guide your projects and create a sense of discipline and shared ownership. Putting a workflow in place requires you to identify the steps required to bring a given project to life, as well as the requisite timelines, accountabilities, approvers, and processes. Create a master milestone charter of all the steps, and get your client to sign off on it so that he/she knows that an extra round of corrections or a last-minute add-in will compromise your deadline or incur additional costs.

Internal communications shops are forever attached to their clients, which makes establishing a healthy relationship and process essential. Continuous internal education and workshops will help cross-functional teams to better understand each other’s work. 

As PR pros we should share examples of how agencies and other organizations do things to help our internal clients understand how we can help them achieve our shared organizational goals. 

Source:prdaily.com

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3 Advantages Public Relations Brings to Digital Marketing

digital-pr-marketing

Numerous journalists are jumping the newsroom ship to “brand storytelling” as content marketers and an increasing number of public relations firms are evolving as integrated marketing communications agencies.

As more companies adopt content marketing and integrate their marketing activities across owned, earned, shared and paid media, there’s an opportunity for marketers to tap into the expertise of the PR world.  PR is a grossly underutilized strategy for marketers and presents a unique means to evolve from Stasis to Storytelling on the Content Marketing Continuum.

According to a content marketing study by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, the top challenges for content marketers include: Not producing enough content, not creating content that engages, not producing a variety of content, lack of integration across marketing channels.

The good news is, substantial progress can be made towards solving these challenges through integration of PR and marketing. Here are 3 ways PR expertise can be leveraged for content and digital marketing success:

Storytelling

There’s an old expression that has held true for me over the past 15 years: “Facts tell, stories sell”. Content Marketing is the ability to tell brand stories that consumers and the media will care about. Who better to find and tell those stories than PR and Communications pros?

It is often said that people make decisions based on emotion but justify them with logic. Therein lies the intersection of PR and content marketing. Stories can connect with customers on an emotional level and the architected narrative of content marketing can provide a vehicle for both facts and stories that matter to your customers.

Editorial Based Marketing

Before “content marketing” became the catchphrase, I used to call what our Marketing/PR agency did “editorial based marketing”. PR professionals understand how news organizations work. They also understand the value of extending a story across platforms and distribution across publications. Businesses are investing in content from planning to production to editorial. Corporate Journalism is on the rise and PR professionals are perfectly capable of fulfilling those functions or supporting them to create compelling brand content. Content designed to engage also inspires action – whether it’s a social share, a purchase, a referral or an inquiry to do a story.

Influencer Marketing

Working with industry and media influencers has been the stock and trade of media relations professionals for years. Numerous tools from Traackr to BuzzSumo can support the need to identify influencers based on their ability to affect action – not just high follower counts. PR professionals are well positioned to identify and engage influencers for a variety of content marketing based outcomes ranging from guest blog posts to co-creation of content with industry thought leaders. What better way to scale meaningful content with social amplification built-in, than through influencer marketing?

Now more than ever, creating content that influences growth in market awareness and new business requires an integrated approach. While this has been a challenge for many PR professionals as marketing and PR functions converge, the good news is that through a model of Attract, Engage and Convert, organizations can better plan, implement and optimize the performance of their content based PR programs.

For more of a deep dive into this topic, check out the presentation below. You can also hear me present this live on Wed May 13th online through the PRSA Webinar: The Future of Digital PR is Integrated.

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Source:toprankblog.com

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6 ways to prevent PR burnout

work-burnout

Whether you’re a PR veteran or novice, there are times when the industry has a way of chewing you up and spitting you out. 

Long hours, 24/7 availability, crisis management, shifting deadlines, and ever-changing event scenarios are just some issues contributing to the persistent pressure. 

Lots of people suffer from professional burnout, but PR is notorious for disasters that come out of nowhere—usually at 4 p.m. on a Friday. 

Yet those who stick with it love what they do. 

Everyone has coping mechanisms; here is how five PR pros get through the daily grind with their sanity intact: 

Exercise. “Exercise is huge for me, especially during a crisis,” says Barbara Laidlaw, senior vice president and partner at FleishmanHillard in New York. “The adrenaline runs pretty high, and it’s easy to think that fatigue and burnout are not happening because you’re existing on Red Bull, coffee, and diet Pepsi. Running with music always works for me; the exacting movement and the level of concentration required allow me to turn off my brain from work.” 

No Saturdays. “From a shorter-term perspective, I do my very best not to work on Saturdays,” says Leslie Wood, the director of Canada communications for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. “It doesn’t always work, of course, but knowing Saturday is coming is truly a light at the end of the tunnel.” 

Unplug. “Unplugging is hard and takes some serious discipline, but once you can do it, it gives your brain a break to actually be more creative,” says Diana Conconi of Toronto’s Agency Next Door. “It doesn’t need to be a full-on vacation, as wonderful as those are, but truthfully, as an entrepreneur, the longer vacations are scarier to completely unplug on, so lots of short getaways are perfect on so many levels.” 

Family time. “Children help, although I would not recommend someone journeying down that road primarily as a way to avoid burnout,” says Wood. “It sounds crazy, but having multiple, competing interests avoids overloading on any one thing and provides perspective.” 

Talk it out. Edmonton-based Holly Roy of Pumpkin PR cites “walking the talk”—literally. “Believe it or not, talking with friends is a great stress relief. I am so fortunate to have hilarious, savvy friends/colleagues in the business, and once we have a good chat with a few laughs, I’m good to go again.” 

Be passionate.
 Continuing to feel the passion for the job is what keeps Christine Crosbie going. Hitting 40 initiated a switch from journalism to PR, where she regained her motivation for her career. “I’ve been very fortunate to be part of organizations whose mandates I feel passionate about, or I couldn’t do it otherwise,” says Crosbie, who is media relations and strategic communications officer for OCAD University.

Source:prdaily.com

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