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5 Aspects of a Successful PR Measurement Plan

The constant state of flux within the PR discipline makes a solid measurement foundation all the more essential for communicators.

Read the full article at: www.prnewsonline.com

 

A leading industry publication recently conducted a poll of PR pros and asked about the hardest part of their job. An overwhelming majority cite the lack of having a measurement plan in place as making their job more difficult.

PR News followed up the poll with a great article outlining five aspects of a successful PR measurement plan. It includes:

Do preliminary research: It is vital to have an understanding of the overall marketing goals in addition to the brand’s business goals. This will help establish synergy between all communications efforts. Good research will determine if the company’s marketing goals are vastly different than the goals PR needs to achieve, and only solid measurement will demonstrate conflicting outcomes.

Think about budget, resources and timescales: Consider how measurement will be conducted. PR measurement often fails because PR pros are responsible for campaign elements and measurement at the same time. By assigning a separate, dedicated resource to measure campaigns, you avoid cases where one merges into another, clouding measurement outcomes.

Set clear goals: Whether you’re in an in-house or agency role, work with your brand or client to establish clear goals PR needs to achieve. Use the Barcelona Principles as your guiding compass.

Establish the baseline: Is the existing PR activity meeting some business goals, or is PR activity non-existent? If already used, does the existing program need to be ramped up?

Define measurement methods: Consider what PR goals need to be achieved. Then define the most appropriate measurement methods that will provide the level of detail required. For example, media results should account for impressions within stakeholder groups, as well as the quality of the message and media itself.

With the plan outlined, it’s time to execute – then track, measure, and report.

Still feel like you’re missing something? Contact Epic Marketing. We can help. We’ve helped clients with their public relations needs for over eight years and counting. Whether crisis communications, pitching, setting goals and budgets, or handling product rollouts, our experienced staff is here to help when you need an Einstein sized solution.

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PR Pros’ 11 Commandments for Working With Reporters

10 Commandments of Media Relations

As a PR pro, are you doing everything you can to make your dealings with reporters positive and get them to trust and, yes, need you?

Read the full article at: www.prnewsonline.com

There’s been a lot of discussion around our offices and in our online channels about how best to pitch a story to a reporter.

We’ve had reporter friends, other PR pros, and editors weigh in. What’s the common consensus?

Ken Grant, Epic Marketing media specialist says, “Regarding sending the pitch to multiple recipients at the same outlet – I have heard different opinions from reporters and editors who say they would rather have the same release sent to ten people in their organization than risk missing it because the one person it was sent to was out that day. Most importantly, I think the key is to develop a relationship with the media and give them what they want when they want it, like we try to do for all customers and clients.”

The keyword, though, would be authentic relationships. We’ve seen too many times when a media relations person believes that sending their “mark” some cheap swag and a white paper is a way to build a relationship. That’s not an authentic relationship.

Ken continues, “the individuals who pointed out things like misspelling their names or saying things like, “glad we talked yesterday” when they didn’t – those actions pretty much destroy any chance at an authentic relationship. I also recommend actually becoming a fan of the work the reporters, editors, and organizations do. When you’re talking with a reporter and can say, “by the way, that story you did last week was really insightful, that must have taken some time,” you demonstrate that you actually respect the work they are doing instead of seeing them as a means to an end.”

Matt Sullivan, former editor at Spark, made a great point. “On the subject of multiple emails – you certainly want to avoid having multiple people working on the same story in a news organization, so the larger the place, the more you want to be conscientious about targeting. But if you’re seeing multiple email addresses on a story pitch, that’s because the PR person didn’t BCC. As an editor, that always struck me as not only bad form, but not very smart.”

At Epic, we have firm guidelines for how, when, and to whom we pitch a story. Our top tips for getting your lead picked up by a reporter:

1. Don’t bury the lead. That frustrates the reader and wastes time.

2. Be aware of what is going on in real time and don’t pitch during a crisis or news event unless the story you are pitching is relevant.

3. Have someone such as the CEO or media liaison ready to talk on the record. If the story gets picked up, the reporter will have follow up questions. There are always follow up questions. It’s bad form to not have anticipated that and have someone ready to be interviewed.

4. Spelling counts – especially of the reporter’s name.

5. Don’t be deceptive. Not being genuine and honest will get you blackballed very quickly.

 

What tips do you have for reaching reporters and getting your pitch picked up?

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Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management

Read the full article at: www.gartner.com

Gartner has released their white paper: Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management. 

Their findings include, “CRM lead management matures amid strong user interest and a more complex vendor environment. IT application leaders should work with business leaders to define both core and emerging B2B marketing requirements in this technology segment.”


We couldn’t agree more. A successful advertising and marketing agency is no longer just a creative organization, we must also be a tech company to compete for ourselves and our clients.


Part of our arsenal is choosing the correct SaaS, platforms, and software. Gartner looks at the top lead management applications in this eye-opening report.

The full report includes:

  • Market evaluation and analysis of 14 CRM lead management vendors
  • Insights for selecting a vendor based on your organization’s requirements
  • Opportunities and challenges faced when deploying lead management systems

So how do you leverage your CRM? Well that’s where we can help. No matter which CRM you employ, Epic Marketing can help you reach your clients and customers with a message that will move them to action. We offer direct mailings, custom eblasts, newsletters, and promotional materials to let your customers know that they are valued and to keep them up to date on your happenings.

Take a look at the Gartner report and then let us know how we can help you leverage that valuable data to make a positive difference on your bottom line.

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GIFs Prove to Be Worth at Least 10,000 Words

GIF Happy Dance from Seinfeld

GIFs: Animated, looping images are experiencing a surge on mobile devices, growing an industry and providing textless messages for millions of users.

Read the full article at: www.nytimes.com

Check out these stats from the New York Times‘ fascinating exploration of GIF culture:

  • 23 million GIFs are posted to Tumblr every day.
  • Facebook Messenger sees more than five million pass through daily.
  • Slack counts more than two million GIF integrations each month.

 

The importance of visual content cannot be understated. We live—and market in—an age of ever-increasing competition for ever-decreasing attention spans. Study after study shows captivating imagery leads to better engagement. According to an ongoing research survey conducted by Software Advice and Adobe, images are the most important factor in optimal social media content. GIFs are a mini-vehicle for storytelling, capturing emotions, and communicating them in a concise way that words and pictures alone cannot.

GIF stand for Graphics Interchange Format, and it was born before the popular explosion of video. In fact, the GIF is probably the grandfather of Web 2.0 video. The GIF tells a story more than a static image ever could – it is literally a series of timed images patched together

Just what do we see in GIFs? Like emojis and emoticons, they’re a way to quickly transmit information or emotion to a population that’s inundated with content and favors image-based communication.

Part of the fun is that there seems to be a GIF for any social situation you might find yourself in.

But GIFs increasingly have a more serious side, too—they can be a way to tell a story, explain a piece of information with more depth, or (yes, really!) conduct a conversation. For example, NASA uses GIFs of satellite imagery to transit important information, and Buzzfeed recently used GIFs to explain Greece’s debt crisis.

If you’re ready to add some GIFs to your online personality (or just up your GIF game) here are 10 social media moments to give GIFs a try.

 

Long live the GIF!

Rocky success GIF

 

 

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4 Things To Never Lose Sight Of When It Comes To Content Marketing

According to Smart Insights, content marketing is the most important digital marketing trend for 2015. Chances are, you’re fully aware that content marketing is where it’s at and you’ve already been implementing it into your marketing strategy.

Read the full article at: www.forbes.com

In such a fast paced industry, it is very easy to lose sight of what’s truly important. Some individuals believe successful content marketers got to where they are because they supplied more content at a faster rate than the rest. However, it is not just the speed, nor the quantity, but rather the quality that earns true results. In this piece, Steve Olenski discusses four things to never lose sight of when it comes to content marketing. One important principle to remember is putting yourself in the reader’s chair.

“A writer must recognize target consumers to create engaging content. Your content should show readers that your business has credible expertise on the products you are offering, and your content must provide quality ideas of how your products can benefit consumers.”

There are no shortcuts to content marketing success. Check out the rest of this article to find out what else to keep an eye on.

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5 Tips to Make B2B Social Media Content Interesting

Tired of people passing over your social media content? In this post you’ll learn how to make your social media post more interesting and get more reads.

Read the full article at: maximizesocialbusiness.com

Promoting content is not always an easy task. Especially with over 86% of B2B marketers joining the content marketing bandwagon. Social media is one of the many platforms used by top marketers. Unlike with B2C, marketing to companies through social media is often seen as dull and unexciting. However, the key to standing out in today’s marketing world is having unique and entertaining content. In this article, Holly Chessman suggests five tips to make B2B social media content interesting. One suggestion? Include visuals.


“Want to give those statistics or any other post even more punch? Make each one into a graphic and note the audience response. After all, 40% respond better to visual information than plain text. What’s more, it’s easy to make cool graphics, so what do you have to lose?”

Anyone can market in social media, but not everyone can do it right. Get ahead of the competition by checking out the rest of these tips.

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How Do You Create #ContentEnvy?

Grow Your Business. Save Your Town. Leave Your Legacy. The latest book by best-selling author Andrew Davis. Embrace the one thing that separates boom from bust.

Read the full article at: www.townincbook.com

Having just returned from Content Marketing World and having the immense pleasure of meeting, learning from, and chatting with Andrew Davis, we received an email from Joe Pullizzi talking about Content Envy with a link to Drew’s new book. You can bet we’re pre-ordering.

From Joe:

In his new book, Town Inc., Andrew Davis talks about something called #LocationEnvy. Basically, #LocationEnvy involves creating such interest and action in your region around a certain expertise area, that other companies in your industry are compelled to wonder what they are missing out on by not having their operations there, too. For example, Warsaw, Indiana is known as the Orthopedics Capital of the World. The city has a history of excellence in this field, and has created content that gives example after example of why it is the place to be for orthopedics. Having this position has brought billions of dollars to the local economy.

How do you create #ContentEnvy? How do you position your content platform as the place where industry influencers and experts want their content to appear?

What do you need to do to create #ContentEnvy? First, you need to be consistent. You have to consistently produce valuable content and deliver it on the same reliable schedule, every day (or week, or month), year after year. The second requirement is quality. Your content has to be of the highest possible quality so that it makes a real impact on your audience. Lastly, it has to be best-of-breed for your niche. This means your content cannot cover a broad range of subjects. You need to focus on the particular content niche where you can position yourself as the leading expert in the world.

If you can accomplish these three things, you will see more and more people inquire about how they can become a part of your efforts. You will have created #ContentEnvy. #ContentEnvy helps spread your message to new audiences and can actually make an impact on your ongoing content marketing expenses (for the good).

Have you set yourself up to create #ContentEnvy?”

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13 Tools to Automate Your Content Marketing

Content marketing can be time consuming for an already busy entrepreneur. Luckily, there are software solutions that help automate this part of business.

Read the full article at: www.searchenginejournal.com

Having the right tools make doing a job more efficient, less costly, and helps keep one’s sanity. Here are some great tools for content and social media marketing.

Don’t be fooled, though. There’s no “set it and forget it” program. A successful content or social media marketing strategy involves time and effort. A brand has to be present and interact on a daily basis.

Many tools have trial periods so they can be tested and demoed. While this is great in theory, most require more than a few hours of setup, so by the time you’ve gotten them into production, the free trial period is about over. What should you do? Continue on with the tool because you’ve spent the past two weeks getting it initialized? Should you look for an alternative (only to find the same routine occur)? Should you contact the vendor and plead your case for an extra two weeks of trial time?

It’s easy to then fall victim to sunk-cost fallacy – when one makes a hopeless investment of time or money that isn’t productive, but reasons that they can’t stop now, otherwise what they’ve invested so far will be lost. This is true, of course, but irrelevant to whether one should continue to invest time or funds in the project.

First, don’t be too hard on yourself. Many development companies have the timing of the free trials to a science and know exactly how long it takes to get into their systems and get them up and moving. It’s no coincidence that the trial expires not too long afterwards.

Second, if the tool looks promising and will help meet the organizational goals, then consider contacting the vendor and requesting an extension to the demo. It doesn’t hurt to ask. If you have the contact information for a sales agent, that’s the best place to start.

Third, if the setup is rough – maybe you’ve found little documentation or assistance from the vendor – then consider if it’s worth sinking more time and energy before moving forward. Don’t fall into the sunk-cost fallacy.

Finally, if the tool seems promising but the vendor has denied your request to extend your free pass, you may have to pony up to continue using it. Free trials are great, and we love new toys as much as the next person, but there are some tools in our arsenal that we can’t live without and knew it from the first few days of the trial. When that happens, don’t be fooled that the grass may be greener. Those are the ones you hold onto with both hands.

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Are you sizing up business prospects or building relationships?

What’s the best way to follow up with prospects without overwhelming them with email?

Read the full article at: www.business2community.com

Out of the 13 ways to follow up with business prospects listed in the above article, several of them employ nudging tactics. They encourage you, to nudge … and potentially become a nudge yourself.

Nudge: To push (someone) gently with your elbow in order to get that person’s attention. To prod lightly: urge into action

How often do you like to be overtly nudged, when someone’s main goal is trying to sell you something?

People not quite ready yet to see things your way quite may not be very receptive to nudging. You risk alienation. When you nudge someone, you want them to be receptive and their response to be positive.

One of the ways to increase receptiveness to your nudges is to nudge far less often and reframe your business prospects altogether. Think of them as people and interact and engage with them in a way that builds relationships.

For example: Grabbing a coffee and drink is a good tactic to build relationships, but don’t blow it by never switching out of selling mode.

Open the conversation with a question such as, “So, are you working on any exciting projects right now?” or “How are you making out on your end?”

By inviting the person to talk about themselves, you’re likely to earn trust, convey that you’re a good listener and lay the foundation for building a long-term relationship.

After all, that person may change jobs several times in the next few years. Wouldn’t it be great to follow them along as they progress through that career?

Perhaps the most generous effort you can make is to be selfless. Don’t make it all about you. (HINT: It’s not all about you.) Ask the person if there’s anything you can do to support their efforts.

Even if it’s just a vote of confidence or moral support, you’re reinforcing a relationship that can and will last a lot longer than a business prospect that you immediately dump once you’ve determine they’re not ready to buy right now.

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Making the case for social media and mobile marketing

In 2015, it’s hard to believe there are objections or those in the workplace that would question the need for social media and mobile marketing.

But we know this about humans: They don’t like change very much.

And in organizations, group think, personal resistance and lack of support from upper management are just a few of the many obstacles that need to be overcome to win support for a social/mobile marketing strategy.

One of the most compelling and succinct ways we’ve found to make the case for social media and mobile marketing is focus less on the nitty gritty.

If you’re trying to explain how Instagram works or explain just exactly why people use Twitter, you’re likely to fail or invite criticism. Quickly.

Focusing on the big picture is a much better strategy. The opportunities waiting for businesses who have yet to truly invest in social, mobile and digital marketing are enormous.

Try framing your next meeting about social media and mobile marketing with senior leadership by showing them this video by Erik Qualman.

You’re almost certain to get their attention and lay the groundwork on the importance of investing time and resources in these ever-evolving mediums.

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