Tuesday, 13 December 2011

2012 Marketing Crystal Ball

This blog is brought to you by BrightBlue Marketing team member - Andrea Lamarsaude

As we head into the end of 2011 and towards the brand new year of 2012 the marketing soothsayers have been hard at work writing some great trends articles. Below are some interesting quotes, plus links to the full articles:

· The need for trust, value and brand transparency, among other trends from last year, are just as important today.

· Excelling in one area rather than being all things to all people. …small businesses to focus on their unique niches and position themselves as the definitive source for information, products and services related to the specific places in the markets where they operate.

· Google engineer Matt Cutts encouraged search marketers to focus on three areas over the next year:

o Social

o Local

o Mobile

The year 2011 saw a 400 percent increase in the number of mobile searches, with 74 percent of people using their mobile phones to search while running errands. For Black Friday this year we even saw advertisers attempting to lure customers away and steal competitor sales while they were waiting on line to make a purchase, as The New York Times reports.

In the face of the SoLoMo revolution, SMBs must not only adapt to new screens, but also to new ways of reaching customers.

· What else has the proliferation of smart phones done besides make us all mobile-crazy? It’s also driven us app crazy. And it’s not just Facebook, Twitter and Angry Birds, either. We’re turning to apps to help us run our businesses and be more efficient and, we hope, more profitable.

· Watch out for increased use of Location Based marketing, QR codes, Video and Infographics to name just a few.

· We’re seeing a big shift happening – a shift that will most likely continue throughout next year. Companies and organizations are now, finally, giving digital marketing channels precedence over traditional, analog media.

· Social media is starting to be an integral part of everything we do when marketing our business. This means that social media marketing will not be a separate activity but just one facet of your overall marketing plan. Much like SEO or email marketing, social media will be just one tool in the box.

5 Internet Marketing Trends for SMBs to Watch in 2012

http://smallbiztrends.com/2011/12/2012-internet-marketing-trends.html

Top 5 Marketing Trends 2012 – Infographics, Video and Social Media

http://frameconcepts.com/top-5-marketing-trends-2012-infographics-video-and-social-media/

Top Marketing Trends for 2012

http://www.abnormalmarketing.com/2011/12/top-marketing-trends-for-2012/

PR, Communication, and Marketing Trends 2012 – Part 1 and 2

http://socialmediatoday.com/mynewsdesk/397789/pr-communication-and-marketing-trends-2012-part-1

http://socialmediatoday.com/mynewsdesk/397790/pr-communication-and-marketing-trends-2012-part-2

Top 5 marketing trends for 2012: Start with big data

http://blog.seattlepi.com/thebizbite/2011/12/07/top-5-marketing-trends-for-2012-start-with-big-data/

Social media marketing and business trends 2012

http://www.dreamgrow.com/social-media-marketing-and-business-trends-2012/

2011 and 2012 Marketing Trends – “Be On The Cutting-Edge, Not The Bleeding-Edge!”

http://steveslightbulbmoments.com/?p=521

-Andrea Lamarsaude

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Ask Maggie the Marketer 12-6-12


Dear Maggie the Marketer,

It is that time of year again….the time when some businesses are challenged by what to send out for their holiday greetings. They try to sound sincere and heartfelt when sending out to everyone who has ever even so much as thought about using their product or service a holiday card that is so generic and carefully politically correct that you aren’t even sure what holiday it is for. I believe that some of them are truly heartfelt wishes, but many give the impression of having been chugged out of a giant printing press and sent by a company where most of the executives have no idea that the card has been sent out and who knows even less about the person that is receiving it.



As a business owner who has survived these tough economic times on the loyalty of my customers, I would like to send out something for the holidays that really is sincere and will somehow try to express my appreciation of their loyalty to my company through good times and bad.


How do I show my sincere appreciation and wishes for their happiness during the holidays without it being something they just toss aside with all the other generic holiday greetings?


Signed,

Wishing to share Cheer in Chattanooga




Dear Cheerful in Chattanooga,

Depending on your budget, which may be tight this year, there are several things you can do to show your loyal customers how much you sincerely appreciate them.


1. Offer free or discounted product or service

The first thing that pops into my mind given the tough economic times that we have all been through, is to give them some sort of price break on whatever it is they purchase from you since they obviously value your product or service. Depending on what they purchase from your company, you could give them a discount on your services for a period of time or a discount on the product they purchase the most. You might even consider giving them some sort of product or service for free if that is feasible.


2. A card with a handwritten note inside for each customer/client

It is rare for anyone to “hand write” anything these days and that is a good way to make an impression of sincerity and that the card was meant specifically for them. Be sure you mention something about that customer/client or the product or service they purchase from you to personalize it further.


3. Donation to a charity in the customer's name

This is a great idea if you know your client/customer is passionate about a particular charity or group. You can find out by checking their website to see if they mention that they partner with a charity, etc. If you have been to the client/customer’s home or office and know they love dogs or cats; you could make a donation to the local SPCA or a rescue group for the breed they prefer. If they have mentioned a family member suffering from a certain illness you could give a donation to that cause like the American Cancer Association or the Alzheimer’s Association. There are any number of causes you can donate to in someone else’s name so get creative!


4. Stop by their office and sing them a Holiday carol

Or if your singing voice would not be considered a gift J, you could drop off some holiday treats of some sort or have lunch or breakfast catered for them as a sign of your appreciation.


5. A fun and creative ecard with a personalized note

If your client/customer is more of the “techy” sort, find one of the creative greetings on line that you can email. There are many to choose from out there, but Jib Jab is an example. You can personalize many of these creative email greetings and make it something they would want to forward and show to others. Hey, then you get some extra marketing on the side!


The important thing is that it will pay off in the long run if you take the extra time to personalize your holiday greetings!

PS. If any of our readers out there have even more ideas for “Cheerful”, please share them!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Stepping into 2012 with your best “virtual” marketing foot forward


This blog post is brought to you by BrightBlue Marketing team member: Andrea Lamarsaude

What? Wait a minute! I’ve eaten the last slice of Thanksgiving pecan pie (real pie, not virtual), survived Black Friday and now I’m contemplating the deals for Cyber Monday. And when I blink again I’m going to be trying to remember all the words to Auld Lang Syne! I’m sure I can Google that. That’s it, so long 2011, hello 2012! I don’t know about you but this year was gone in a flash!

From a marketing perspective it was non stop! Working with our clients at BrightBlue was simply amazing! And the first half of my presidency for the DFW American Marketing Association went by in a fantastic blur.

Much of my focus at BrightBlue this year was on virtual marketing – partnering with clients to craft an effective social media strategy and then creating social media content calendars, writing/editing Tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn discussions, tracking increases in friends, followers and members, writing email blasts, e-newsletters and web content, and constantly monitoring the return on investment of all these channels.

The recent Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) study conducted by IBM showed social media is one of four challenges CMOs see as, “pervasive, universal game-changers.” The other’s being “the data explosion, proliferation of channels and devices, and shifting consumer demographics.”

I highly recommend reading the complete IBM marketing study titled "From Stretched to Strengthened" based on face-to-face conversations with over 1700 CMOs spanning 19 industries and 64 countries. It’s available for free from the IBM CMO Study website. It’s the first of its kind and contains a wealth of information about “what CMO’s are doing to help their enterprises cope with the fundamental shifts transforming business and the world.”

At a 2011 DFW AMA Luncheon, Director of Strategy & Performance, Marketing Solutions at American Airlines, Inc. Linda Carlson and Principal at Click Here, Inc, James Hering echoed the CMO study, discussing how social media is top of mind for large corporations as well, when they talked about how the growth of CRM, the impact of the Internet, social media and mobile, and other new direct-to-customer touch points are creating untapped cross-platform networks for brands.

Gareth Case, Head of Marketing at ONI Plc, in his recent article Top 5 Marketing Trends 2012 – Infographics, Video and Social Media cites social media as, “Trending in a big way…” Not just “Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, etc. they have been trending for a some time now…” He cites, “business applications that are social in their very make-up (such as) SalesForce’s Chatter, Cisco’s Jabber, Show and Share and Quad” as one’s to watch in 2012. Case also cites Location Based Marketing, QR Codes, Video and Infographics as top marketing trends to “look out for as we approach 2012.”

So knowing all this where do we go from here as marketers? How do we succeed in this omnipresent virtual marketing world that is happily here to stay for the foreseeable future? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

It’s interesting to note that whatever plan of attack we as marketers pursue that, “…in the course of (IBM’s) conversations with CMOs worldwide, an over- whelming consensus emerged….

They must understand and deliver value to empowered customers; create lasting relationships with those customers; and measure marketing’s contribution to the business in relevant, quantifiable terms.”

So what’s the bottom line? For marketers it all comes back to ROI. The CMO study revealed:

Nearly two-thirds of CMOs think return on marketing investment will be the primary measure of their effectiveness by 2015. But proving that value is difficult. Even among the most successful enterprises, half of all CMOs feel insufficiently prepared to provide hard numbers.

What about you? Are you prepared?

- Andrea Lamarsaude

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Trail of Lights 2011


Today we announced that this year's Austin community holiday event will no longer include Trail of Lights due to a shortfall in funding.

The return of the Trail of Lights depended on community and business sponsorship contributions to make the event possible. Our team spent months of hard work in reaching out to thousands and thousands of business leaders in Austin. In the end it came down to difficult economic circumstances and budgets that were tapped.

We had major benchmarks along the way, and the latest was the financial commitment to set up onsite at Zilker Park which was to begin today, November 2nd. We could not meet that benchmark due to these financial commitments needed to move forward.

I'd like to personally thank the enormous support we received for the return of the Trail of Lights Austin by the community, the wonderful team who contributed their time and hard work, the City of Austin, and all of the sponsors, vendors and volunteers that have committed to this event. All donations and payments are being returned to the Trail of Light supporters.

We are of course deeply disappointed that we will not be able to hold the Trail of Lights event this year, but are not going to give up and plan to move forward on planning and fundraising for the 2012 Trail of Lights Austin.

We are working with the city to provide the Austin HolidayFest 2011 that will still give the community a family-friendly holiday event this December.

You can see our press release at http://www.trailoflightsaustin.com/press with more information.


Friday, 14 October 2011

How to get the word out about your new service or product using all marketing and PR tools

The Think Tank conference call takes the format of an open discussion that allows for everyone to share best practices and experiences relating to a relevant topic.

The call was facilitated by Andrea Lamarsaude, with BrightBlue Marketing and was Co-Hosted by Candace Miller with BrightBlue Marketing and Narciso Tovar from Big Noise Communications. Also on the call was Melissa Bourestom (BrightBlue Marketing), Diana Christensen (BrightBlue Marketing), David Royce (US Department of Commerce), Amy Vercruysse (BrightBlue Marketing), and John Cullens (Prism Group).

With an increasing number of brands now creating innovative, fresh and unique social media campaigns alongside their new product launches, it is important that the focus remains on ‘utilizing’ social media as part of a wider strategy, rather than ‘relying’ on social media to launch the product. Social media certainly presents companies with a fantastic opportunity to extend and compliment the impact of their more traditional marketing and online PR activities. Interestingly, the most success is often seen by those brands that are able to effectively integrate their social media, marketing and PR efforts into a focused, innovative and overarching narrative - creating engagement, interaction and consumer ‘buzz’ across multiple platforms as a result. -George Guildford - Account Manager at digital PR agency Punch Communications

Discussion questions:

What are some traditional marketing and PR tools you can use to create early buzz about a new service or product offering?

  • Mail and email are still strong: Some people do still read mail and since there is less now, it can stand out more
  • Traditional methods are especially good for the initial stages of a campaign.
  • Email is more cost effective as mail does have postage costs
  • Should be used in unison with traditional supporting the newer social media tools
  • Keep messages brief when using traditional methods

What are some examples of new service or product launches you have seen that successfully enhanced their marketing and PR campaigns with social media?

  • Membership drives – use social media to promote contests and incentives; early bird gets the worm, discounts for joining as a member, etc.
  • Bonus offering for those that re-tweet; Such as: room discounts at conferences, etc.

Is it possible to be sending out too many communications via PR, Marketing and Social Media? What is a good number of activities to go by?

  • Yes, you can send out too many communications
  • Be routine so people know to expect something from you – once a week or once a month
  • Do 6-8 over a period of time
  • Takes a minimum of 7 “touches” to be top of mind with someone through communications
  • Send communications from multiple channels; partner with another company or association to cross promote
  • Tell your contacts that they will receive so many communications in the weeks to come; they will expect to see something and they see consistency
  • Days of the week are important; not Monday as people are trying to catch up over the weekend and have a lot in their in-boxes

How do you choose and narrow down which marketing tools to use when there are so many choices?

  • A lot has to do with your audience
  • Where does your target audience go for their information
  • Use the tool or tools that best communicates with your audience
  • Twitter tips: start by following others that relate to your industry, then see who they follow and start following those that would be in your target audience; you can have more than one Twitter account to focus on different parts of your business
  • Facebook tips: It is very time consuming and you need to make sure this audience is your target; tie your promotions to a good cause – a donation will go to a charity when they purchase what you are promoting


Have you seen examples of trying to integrate social media into a campaign that missed the mark? What were they and why did they?

  • Issues are normally caused by a bad list or an unclean list
  • If you purchase a list you have to go through and clean it to your target audience
  • Make sure your own lists are updated and cleaned periodically
  • There has to be follow up to all of your campaigns or you will lose the momentum
  • Be sure you are targeting the correct contact person in an organization

How have Press Releases helped or not helped the launch of a new product or service?

  • Press Releases seem to be becoming less popular as a marketing tool
  • For them to be effective you have to aim at the right outlets to create the right buzz
  • You do get a lot of SEO from Press Releases which is always good
  • Should still send them out, but they probably shouldn’t be a huge focus of a marketing campaign
  • It has to be well written with compelling content
  • You need to use the paid PR sites to post your release; the free ones won’t do much
  • Paid services usually give you some type of report so you can see what is happening with it
  • Partner with sponsors or partner organizations to work together on each others Press Releases

How do you activate your database to help you market your new product or service?

  • Use your core “fan base”; those people in your database that are always your greatest cheerleaders
  • Give incentives of some sort for them to talk about your new product or service
  • Come up with a fun “gimmick” that will get people talking (like ETrade babies)

Can you cite some successful ways social media has been integrated into email marketing campaigns? Not so successful ways?

  • Adding the icons for FB, LinkedIn, and Twitter into emails that people can click on and go straight there

What are ways that marketing/PR and social media can successfully work together to promote an event or conference?

  • Gets the word out to a large group of people
  • Find some sort of story related to your event/conference (how it helped someone, something funny that happened previously, etc.) that the media will pick up
  • Every time you add a sponsor send out a Tweet or FB post giving them special notice and they will share it with their database
  • Use milestones for what you are sending out; call for sponsors, call for papers, announce list of sessions that will be at event, announce keynote speakers, etc.
  • Remember, social media can’t really be completely controlled so you have to be prepared for the negative comments as well as the positive. There tends to be more pros than cons in the long run


Further Reading

Four Ways Brands Can Use Social Media in New Product Launches

http://socialmediatoday.com/george-guildford/268906/four-ways-brands-can-utilise-social-media-maximise-launch-new-products

Using social media as a marketing tool

http://www.slideshare.net/mjmhelp/using-social-media-as-a-marketing-tool-1235500

The New Rules of Marketing and PR - How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly

http://books.google.com/books/about/The_New_Rules_of_Marketing_and_PR.html?id=ZV-GPw5BYq0C

Ways to integrate social media you're your email marketing

http://community.dynamics.com/roletailored/salesmarketing/b/lookingglassmarketing/archive/2011/09/25/3-ways-to-integrate-social-media-with-your-email-marketing.aspx

How to integrate social media you're your live event

http://socialmediatoday.com/eveorsburn1/368376/how-integrate-social-media-your-live-event

Integrating social media into PR teaching and practice

http://craigpearce.info/public-relations/integrating-social-media-pr-teaching-practice/

Monday, 3 October 2011

Interns Needed for Trail of Lights Austin event

Interns Needed for Trail of Lights Austin event!!


We are excited to have signed a contract with the City of Austin for producing the Trail of Lights Austin holiday event.

We are in need of the following interns:


  1. Event Marketing Coordinator Intern
  2. Videographer Intern
  3. Photographer Intern
  4. Sales & Marketing Coordinator Intern


If you are interested, please contact HR@brightbluemarketing.com for more information!

We look forward to hearing from you,

The BrightBlue Marketing and Trail of Lights Austin Team

Monday, 19 September 2011

Ask Maggie the Marketer

Welcome to our newest BrightBlue team member, Maggie the Marketer! If you have a question for Maggie, just post it as a comment here and watch for your answer in an upcoming post!

Dear Maggie the Marketer,

I have been having pretty good luck with building a fan base on the various social media outlets; however, I am stuck when it comes to converting those fans/friends to actual paying customers. How can I turn my popularity into sales? Can you help me?


-Popular but Penniless in Pittsburgh

Dear Popular but Penniless,

I am excited to hear that you are making friends and fans out there in Social Media because you have set yourself up on the road to success in this interactive and virtually driven world in which we now live. The key to conversion is simple and time tested: Bribe them! OK, I probably ought to use a more user friendly term: Entice them!


Create some special VIP offers, special discounts and/or exclusive valuable information that is not available to the public and that are good only for your Twitter followers, your Facebook fans, or blog followers. Everyone likes to feel special and to be given VIP treatment or to feel like they are getting a better deal than the guy next door. Work with that human desire and watch the sales start rolling in!


A note of caution: Repetition is key and this tactic is not for the easily discouraged! Don’t expect it to work the first time you put it in front of them. Keep tossing those bribes, er uh, enticements, out to your fans and eventually they will bite. Also, create different bribes, oh sorry, enticements for each of your different Social Media avenues (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blog). That way your fans/friends/connections will want to connect with you on all social media fronts so they don’t miss out on anything, thus increasing your following everywhere.


So, Popular you will be Penniless no more!


Maggie


If you have a question for Maggie the Marketer, please comment here and watch for your answer coming soon!


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Make them believe!

This blog is brought to you by BrightBlue Marketing team member, Andrea Lamarsaude.



In today’s challenging economic times now more then ever marketers need to be able to prove their worth. Stakeholders, both internal and external, want tangible proof that marketing adds value. How can marketers make them believe?

In her recent article “The Believers Versus the Non-Believers: Convincing Internal Partners that Marketing Can Help Drive Business Results,” Kimberley Whitler, Contributor at Forbes cites that, “scholars found that marketers have greater influence when they are more accountable and innovative (Verhoef and Leeflang 2009). Whitler recommends several ways to “drive greater impact and influence the non-believers” one of which is to speak to stakeholders in their language. For example, “when talking with finance…use data that shows how marketing is contributing to the firm’s overall financial performance.”

What will that Tweet get me in return?

Social media has become an integral part of most everyone’s marketing mix. But how do you measure results? Amanda Stillwagon at Small Business CEO has a great list of tools a business can use to measure their social media campaigns results:

  1. Addictomatic – this is a news aggregator but can also be used to monitor social media. You just need to put in the name of a topic (i.e: name or category of your business) and you’ll receive the latest feeds about that certain topic.
  2. Analytic.ly – this tool gives you a customized report on your targeted audience depending on your campaign platform. You can create a customized analytics platform and search keywords and @names for a price. As of press time, the Social Media Command Center and Viral Analytics is priced at $9 a month.
  3. Grader – this is a cornucopia of tools which helps measure and analyzes how effective are the marketing strategies you use for your business.
  4. Google Feedburner – this is a free tool from where you can burn feeds from your sites and you would be able to track how many subscribers you have, check how many views and clicks are generated from your sites and even track your podcast downloads.
  5. Social Networking Media ROI Calculator – this is a free online tool from DragonSearch which calculates all your social media efforts and its relation to how much you are spending on networking sites.
  6. Twitalyzer – this tool starts with a free trial but you would need to subscribe to get automatic updates, full data export, email support and other services. The price for subscription depends on whether you are using the tool as an individual, business or agency. Basically, this tool informs you of your impact score or your percentile rank, which kind of influencer you are, your location, among others.

Stillwagon says, “Analyzing the metrics is just a part of the bigger picture.” It’s important to “incorporate the metrics you got from the monitoring tools you use and see how they affect sales and customer retention and other output goal markers you have.”

In his article “How Does Marketing Provide Value?” R.L. Remenyi, a Contributor at eHow sums it up quite nicely:

Recognition

Marketing plays a critical role in most businesses' success. Marketing provides value in many ways, but the biggest way is through recognition. You know you have a successful marketing plan and strategy in place when your company is recognized and your brand is trusted.
A good example is Google. Many people say they are going to "Google" something, but what they really mean is that they are going to do an Internet search.
Most companies won't see Google's level of recognition, but a good marketing plan can help you increase recognition and, you hope, sales.



Build Trust

If you have good marketing techniques in place, you will start building recognition, but you want the type of recognition that will help build trust in your company. Trust will prompt people to put their faith in your product or services and choose you over your competition.
To build trust, you must employ marketing techniques that hit your target market with precisely the message you want to convey. You want to set yourself apart from your competition.



Gain New Customers

With the proper marketing techniques come not only recognition and trust, but more customers and clients. As you market your services or products, you will gain brand recognition, which will ultimately lead to more people wanting your products and services. If you are unsure that you are getting more customers from your marketing campaign, put in place a way to track it. This can be as simple as asking new customers how they heard about your company or your products.



Build Relationships

Once you get the ball rolling on recognition and trust and you start getting new clients, it is important to continue marketing. But now, you'll also want to target your existing customers. This is where you can really build your business. If you maintain solid relationships with your clients, they'll keep coming back as well as recommend to their friends and family that they use your services. By applying good marketing techniques to your current clients and customers, you will make them feel like insiders and make them feel that they are special and valued in some way.
There are many ways to build relationships through marketing. One good example is to ask clients for their opinions. Ask them what you could do to improve your services or products. By asking them questions you are making them feel more involved in your business and you have a platform for a continued relationship.



Have you been challenged to prove your marketing worth? How did you respond? Let’s get a dialogue going about how we can make marketing believers out of skeptical stakeholders!

-Andrea Lamarsaude

Monday, 12 September 2011

PR is not just writing a Press Release


The topic for our Think Tank call this month was: PR is not just writing a Press Release. The call was facilitated by Andrea Lamarsaude, with BrightBlue Marketing and was Co-Hosted by Narciso Tover with Big Noise Communications.



1.
If you had to describe public relations, what would you say?

-“Public Relations helps an organization and its public mutually adapt to each other” as defined by PRSA.

-Public image

-Means of communicating facts about your organization to the public

-Reputation management

-Fact based, things that have happened, will happen, etc. Not always marketing and/or promotion

-Message management, corporate reputation, crisis management, etc.

Should work hand in hand with marketing

-Only 1 facet of the overall marketing package

-Does not stand alone

-Reinforces the rest of your messaging

2. When you hear industry pundits talking about why the 'press release is dead' what do you think they are referring to?

-The Press Release is dead only if you don’t know how to distribute it properly or how to write it.

-You should not over use it

-Must do follow up and have a plan of how to work it

-Must use other marketing tools with a Press Release for it to be effective

-More opportunity to use the press release by posting on FB, Twitter, etc.

3. Do you think that PR stunts still work?

-Can’t be overtly obvious of trying to tell people how great you are

-Fine line between self promotion and allowing your client to shine

-Must to be in good taste with the correct audience and the correct venue

-Must target the right audience, including those that will amplify your message

- Must have a call to action

-They tend to be forgotten quickly without a call to action due to all the media we have these days and the short attention spans of Americans

-Must keep the digital minds of the “millennial” generation in mind when distributing

4. Where do you think public relations can truly shine? Can you share examples of when you or your client(s) used a press release with great success?

-When Big Noise was able to get a client on a national morning news program for the first time. The client was trying to market their Wireless Security Solution (one of the first out of the gate with this solution). It was a hot topic at that time and they used this as part of the pitch to get the client on to the program initially. Over the next few days, because of that one 2 minute interview the client’s stock value jumped 30%.

-You have to keep the momentum going; even after a big success like that you have to be ready with the next thing to keep the momentum going.

-When you bring it in together with some analyst relations efforts: Example: Vonage launch – they provided voice over IP and, while there were a lot of others out there doing the same thing, there were a lot of issues on clarity, security, industry writers bringing up the issue of calling 911, etc. So, they made sure that they tested the product with some of these influential writers in that niche and with analysts. Analysts were very good about pointing out all the issues or other applications. Analysts can help you fine tune your product before you launch because that is all they do in that niche market. Analysts can help to champion your products.

5. When thinking about crisis management and the press what are some do’s and don’ts and golden rules to live to make sure the ball does not get dropped. Can you cite some examples of where crisis management was done correctly and where it was not?

-Example: Tiger Woods- he was always a very private person so, when the scandal broke, for him to come and make a statement quickly went against his private nature, However he really should have come out immediately to stop, or at least somewhat control what eventually happened.

-Brand management has to be addressed quickly and thoughtfully. Don’t take the stance of not justifying the crisis with a response; this will not come across well to the public.

-Always have a Plan B or a Crisis plan ready. When you have the plan in place already then you will not be react emotionally. You will just follow the plan that was thought out prior to the crisis with a clear, calm head.

-The public tends to forgive faster when you are upfront, transparent and honest about the issue.

-Example: Congressman Weiner - He did go out and respond immediately, but he lied and didn’t answer the questions directly. Once the public finds out you were lying (which they usually do) you cannot regain your credibility.

6. Media Training tips:

-Find out whom in the organization is media trained and how long it has been since their training; may need a refresher course.

-Test the waters by getting the organization’s media rep. an interview with a smaller media outlet; like a hometown paper, etc. Make sure you are there to listen and assist when needed. The rep will always know if they did well or not, so you can then give them some constructive coaching.

-Have talking points for the spokesperson

-Be sure the spokesperson can say the talking points in their own words, not just reading them.

-Practice so that the spokesperson is comfortable and familiar with what they need to say.

7. Have you seen any bad pitches that various members of the press have received? Where do you think the pitch went awry?

-Form letters are bad

-Do not use Twitter, email, or the phone to try to bully a reporter, they will write a piece about it and you will not look good – they will name names.

-website: where they share bad examples for you to avoid - Badpitch.blogspot.com

Final thoughts:

-Be sure all your marketing efforts are well coordinated

-All Press Releases should be relevant to the audience

Links to further reading:

The Public Relations Society of America at their 1982 National Assembly formally adopted a definition of public relations, which remains widely accepted and used today:

“Public relations helps an organization and its publicsadapt mutually to each other.”

“Organization” is denoted in this context, as opposed to the more limiting “company” or “business,” to stress public relations’ use by businesses, trade unions, government agencies, voluntary associations, foundations, hospitals, schools, colleges, religious groups and other societal institutions.

“Publics” recognizes the need to understand the attitudes and values of — and to develop effective relationships with — many different stakeholders, such as employees, members, customers, local communities, shareholders and other institutions, and with society at large.

For more details visit the link http://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/PublicRelationsDefined/

Big Noise Communications blog: http://methodandmoxie.com/

What is PR? Six experts explain public relations value: http://craigpearce.info/public-relations/pr-experts-explain-public-relations/


Public Relations Plays a Vital Role in the News Cycle: http://blog.prnewswire.com/2011/07/20/public-relations-plays-a-vital-role-in-the-news-cycle/

Is the press release *really* dead?: http://www.arikhanson.com/2011/02/02/is-the-press-release-really-dead/

Oh, And One More Thing On Fielding Questions - Media Training: http://www.forbes.com/sites/tjwalker/2011/07/26/oh-and-one-more-thing-on-fielding-questions-media-training/

News Corp.’s Costly Crisis Management: HTTP://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304567604576456222770513148.html


Cavalcade: Crisis Management Skills – The Do’s and Don’ts: http://www.knickledger.com/2011/06/cavalcade-crisis-management-skills-the-dos-and-donts/

I’m thinking of staging a PR stunt. Do they actually work?: http://www.startupsmart.com.au/mentor/michael-halligan/2011-08-03/im-thinking-of-staging-a-pr-stunt.-do-they-actually-work.html

FD/ Forbes Insights Strategic Initiatives Study: http://fd.com/Libraries/Documents_For_Download/FD_Forbes_Release_FINAL__FTI_Revisions_032311.sflb.ashx

How Public Relations Works: http://communication.howstuffworks.com/how-public-relations-works1.htm

Report: PR pro is the second-most stressful job: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/Report_PR_pro_is_the_secondmost_stressful_job_7998.aspx


If you need help with your organization's PR please let us know.

If you have some great stories of how PR has worked well or maybe not so well - we would love to hear them!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Marketing Essentials - Top 10 marketing tools

This blog is brought to you by Candace Miller, CEO of BrightBlue Marketing, Inc.


Have you ever wondered where to start when marketing your business or organization?

Below you will find the Top 10 Tools that will help you do just that!

Create a mini marketing plan – this a guide to ensure everyone in the company on same track and includes:

  • Who, what, where, why and how
  • Why – why are you sending this message; what pain are you trying to solve for your customer
  • Who you are going to be targeting for this message
  • What & How is strategy/business focus
  • When is the timing

Create a compelling message

  • Be consistent with this message throughout your organization/business
  • Clearly state your differentiators and your customer’s pain that you are solving
  • Have a business card laminated with the message on it to give to employees
  • Create a message repository to pull from

Establish a following

  • Work through social media

Build a database

  • Buy lists
  • Clean your database
  • Join LinkedIn Groups, Associations and Sponsorships

Continue with Habitual Outreach

  • To customers, prospects and partners
  • Create mind share; this is key

Partner with Partners

  • Sell together with complementary products or services
  • Partner with industry expert

Build Credibility

  • By blogging and speaking

Showcase successes

  • SPS Story
  • Show – Don’t tell
  • Customer Reference

Create follow up Campaigns

  • Telemarketing
  • Email campaigns to those that clicked through the initial message

Track Results
  • See what’s working and what’s not working and analyze it
  • Pilot 2 campaigns at the same time and compare results (change headline on one)

    Follow these steps and you will be on your way to a successful marketing campaign!
    Let us know if you have some tips that you have found helpful and, as always, BrightBlue Marketing is always here to help you!

    - Candace Miller