freed up premium content

bev-diet-pepsi-1024x557

Can You Hear Me? How Communicators Can Help Good Brands Avoid Making Bad Decisions

July 11th, 2016 by

After a reported two years of testing recipes, researching and listening to consumers, PepsiCo admitted June 27 it had goofed regarding artificial sweeteners. The result: Not even one year after spurning aspartame and launching Diet Pepsi with sucralose, the soft drink brand was forced to reverse course. Amid falling sales and consumer outcry, it said Diet Pepsi with aspartame will return shortly. Adding a touch of confusion to the situation, PepsiCo also will continue to offer Diet Pepsi with sucralose. Importantly for communicators, this sour episode occurred when it’s easier than ever to gather information about customer preference via social media.

ppc_target

How to Hone Your Message-to-Influencer Match

July 11th, 2016 by

You know how bloggers have invented a writing subgenre of mocking the PR pitches they get? Recently I saw a lengthy takedown of a PR firm’s effort to publicize what the blogger felt was a hollow startup. The blogger portrayed the PR firm’s pitch as comically superficial. I’ll forego linking to the post because I prefer to avoid boosting ad revenue for crass blogs that bully people. Admittedly, the pitch material was superficial. It went against every principle of clear writing that I teach. All things being equal, the PR firm’s staff should have pushed back on the startup to get more concrete facts about the new company’s goals, what it does and why it’s credible. But that wasn’t the main problem, and it didn’t prevent the startup from ultimately succeeding elsewhere; more on that below. The biggest problem is where the startup’s material landed: in other words, where the material was pitched. Granted, the pitch was directed to a blog that’s well read among the startup’s target market: millennials. But this particular blog also is known for snarky opposition to PR outreach. It was like putting red meat in front of a gaunt, stray dog.

tablet on the hand with video player

11 Cost-Effective Tips for Using Online Video to Build Engagement With Your Brand

June 27th, 2016 by

In one of social’s least-surprising developments, video is booming. Exclusive data Shareablee has provided PR News is evidence that consumers are engaging with brands’ video at unprecedented levels. And with online video having an estimated ad revenue of $10 billion in the U.S. market, even Instagram, created to highlight still photos, added a whopping, by its standards, 45 seconds to its stingy 15-second video limit for non-brands; brands were granted a full minute early in 2016 to preview Super Bowl ads.

Crisis-Media-Training1

Tips and Tactics to Make Media Training Successful and Efficient

June 27th, 2016 by

In our nervous-twitch environment, PR execs who provide media training often face an executive or a team that has received coaching previously. These executives or team members know—or think they know—the basics and don’t want to waste time on Training 101. They are content- and results-focused and likely lack the PR knowledge about how the 3 P’s (preparation, practice and performance) can be the difference between a successful or unsuccessful interview.

UAE-dubai-expo-2020-BIG-foster-partners-grimshaw-pavilion-designboom-03

Skills PR Pros Will Need for Success in 2020 and How to Build Them Now

June 20th, 2016 by

As target audiences change, the tools for engaging them evolve, and machines enable us to do our jobs faster and more accurately. Our core function remains the same, however. PR pros still will be responsible for creating stories that educate, influence and connect people with our organizations and brands. To thrive in 2020, communications professionals will need to become more creative, have strong cognitive flexibility, collaborate, be emotionally intelligent and develop the grit necessary to constantly challenge the status quo. Here are ways to start building these important skills now.

12670842-illustration-of-measuring-tape-Stock-Vector-measure

How Much Influence? Tips and Tactics to Measure PR Influencer Success

June 20th, 2016 by

In 2002, social networking came into play with the launch of Friendster, followed by LinkedIn in 2003. In 2006, Facebook opened up to the general public and Twitter launched. With each new social media milestone, the movement to cultivate relationships with influencers has grown. As we know, modern-day social influencers are prominent people, often bloggers, who have the reputation and power to sway others with their opinions. They represent opportunities to shape perceptions about your corporate and brand reputation, in addition to your products and solutions. The long-term goal is to convert them into brand advocates.

Revenue Grows, But Labor Costs Stop Firms From Reaching 20% Profitability

June 13th, 2016 by

Confucius said, “Life is simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” The same holds for PR firms and profitably. Data supplied exclusively to PR News Pro by Gould + Partners reveals none of the 106 PR firms, which were grouped by net revenue, reached 20% profitability, the industry benchmark. Individually, some firms polled for this 2016 study had 30% profitability, others were far less. The groups failed to reach 20% profitability in the ’14 and ’15 surveys, too.

How to Use Old-School Journalism to Help Your Brand Stand Out on Social

June 13th, 2016 by

Social media is a green field for PR pros. Virtually every person you want to market to spends time online engaging with a social media platform. The catch is you must stand out. In a world where everyone wants just a minute of your time, asking for the mere seconds it takes to read and like a post is a tall order. The nonprofit association CompTIA faced this challenge. To get results it failed to attain previously, the association had to do things it hadn’t done before. By going back to journalism basics it rebooted its approach to social media, and increased engagement by as much as 180%. Thinking like a journalist will not only help you achieve your goals, it will make you indispensable as this niche grows in professional relevance.

How to Ensure Your PR Team Is Engaged, Motivated and Appreciated

June 13th, 2016 by

In most cases employees are, and will always be, a brand’s greatest asset. They drive in-house and agency success. Engaging them should be the highest priority. It’s the CEO’s responsibility to help achieve a singular, straightforward vision that propels the business and energizes employees to be best in class, renowned for unrivaled talent, forward-thinking capabilities and unrelenting client service. Achieving a vision like this requires building an incredible company spirit where every employee feels that “we are in this together” and maintaining an exceptional culture that embraces doing something different for clients, colleagues and the community. Central to the creation of this shared passion for success is a dedicated plan for actively engaging and motivating employees.

Snap to It: Tips for Brands to Get Started on Snapchat or at Least to Think About Now

June 13th, 2016 by

Like all social media platforms, Snapchat is tweaking itself, and the social community responds with changes of its own. Just weeks ago it was accurate to say Snapchat contained no e-commerce ads, that it averaged 8 billion daily views and that curated content on the evanescent platform was strictly verboten, a liability for brands intent on having maximum control of the message. Each of those statements now is untrue. Quickly to the first two: Snapchat began accepting e-commerce ads May 1 and it now says it is averaging 10 billion views daily. While those first two points are important to brand communicators, especially those interested in speaking to a millennial demo, the curated content piece may be the most important.