Category Archives: marketing

Change is in the Air

It’s an exciting time. Summer is over and the smell of Fall is in the air. It’s the perfect time to announce some exciting changes.

PR Meets Marketing is Moving

For the past 3.5 years, I’ve hosted my website on WordPress.com. While there are many benefits to keeping my blog here, I’ve decided that hosting my own website provides more flexibility with regard to plugins, themes and monetization. After today, all future posts will be on my new website as PR Meets Marketing.

Clear Focus

When I first started PR Meets Marketing, my intent was to write about the intersection of PR and marketing. This includes highlighting how PR is an integral way to drive tangible results that address marketing objectives. I’ve also written extensively about social media and virtual events/meetings.

With the new website, I plan to further explore these topics and understand how each – PR, marketing, social media and virtual events – drives business results that matter.

What Now?

I’m excited with the next stage of PR Meets Marketing and the opportunities this presents. I look forward to exploring the intersection of PR and marketing for more years to come!

Thanks To All My Readers

And finally, I want to thank everyone who’s read my blog, commented and linked to my blog. Without all your kind words, I wouldn’t have had the motivation to continue writing all these years.

So are you ready to join the journey?

  • Subscribe to the new feed here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/PRMM
  • If you prefer to receive this via email, I don’t plan to move the current list and request that you resubscribe on the website.
  • If you’ve been kind enough to link to this website, please update it here: PR Meets Marketing, http://www.prmeetsmarketing.com.

I look forward to reading your comments, feedback and questions. Thanks!

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Recent Twitter Update and Implications for Marketing

September 1, 2010, Twitter sent an email to users regarding two new updates to its service. I found the update about moving to t.co URL wrapping intriguing, especially this sentence:

When you click on these links from Twitter.com or a Twitter application, Twitter will log that click. We hope to use this data to provide better and more relevant content to you over time.

This signals more than providing protection against malicious content (which is important) and to provide better content for users. Rather, by “logging the click,” I see this as part of Twitter’s continued efforts to provide value-added services and data tracking for corporations:

  • Measurement and Analytics: The click-through rate will help with Twitter’s “Resonance” rating. While the resonance rating is part of Twitter’s Promoted Tweets campaign, there is value to provide companies – small, medium and large – access to this data, similar to a Google Analytics dashboard. Maybe Twitter can provide an entry-level offering with minimal information and then charge for for more analytics and optimization options.
  • Content Creation: One type of intelligence is understanding how your audience consumes and distributes the content. By analyzing these patterns, you can gain insight into the types of content that your audience is seeking. You can then develop a content strategy to reach and connect with your tareted audience segments.
  • Influencer Relations: By combining Twitter’s retweet information with the t.co click-through data, you can better identify influencers within your social graph. These would be individuals whose followers not only retweet content but also takes action via click-through information. 

Conclusions

I’m curious to see what future developments will be introduced (or maybe acquired) by Twitter to enable individual and corporate brands to optimize their presence on Twitter. And whether or not these services are complimentary or competitive to companies like Radian6.  What do you think? Anything I’m missing?

Meet Up at Upcoming Conferences

WITI and SocialTech LogosI always look forward to meeting people at conferences. I plan to be attending these two upcoming conferences. Drop me an email if you’re interested in connecting.

WITI’s Women and Technology Summit, September 12-14, 2010 – San jose Doubletree Hotel – I will be attending on the 13th and 14th. The conference brings together top technology leaders to discuss strategy and growth.

SocialTech 2010, October 26, 2010, San Jose Doubletree Hotel – This conference looks like it will be a powerhouse of speakers discussing how to leverage social media for B2B.

Look forward to seeing you in San Jose.

Geolocation Services for B2B

Facebook, Foursquare, Gowalla CollageWith the introduction of Facebook Places, geolocation-based services are about to hit the mainstream. Rather than focus on the news or consumer uses, I want to look at the potential of such services for business-to-business customer marketing.

MarketingSherpa recently wrote about an iPhone app developed by Morrison & Foerster LLP (subscription required shortly). This app allows you to browse bios, get directions to a local office, get news and even play a game. I suspect that one of the main objectives for the company’s “MoFo2Go” is to increase customer loyalty and referrals.

Now imagine if you take this type of app to the next level, enabling customers and employees to proactively share their geographic locations with one another. You’ve created a mobile community where customers and prospects can search, find and connect with others located near them.

And if they are able to preview information, such as company title or industry, they can reach out to your subject matter experts to resolve an issue or get feedback on the company and products. Almost anytime, anywhere.

The potential benefits of such services are:

  • Customer retention: Provides an alternative channel for customers to resolve issues, leading to happier customers
  • Customer referrals: With happy customers, they will be open to sharing the app to their colleagues and industry peers
  • Customer engagement: With the potential for real-time feedback and support, you are increasing engagement not only with your company brand but also with evangelists within your company

Conclusions

While the potential for geolocation-based services is just being uncovered, I anticipate that early adopters like Morrison & Foerster will demonstrate that the risk is worth it to increase customer retention, loyalty and ultimately engagement.

What other ways can geolocation be used?

Guest Post – Go Virtual for your Next Press Event

Dennis Shiao I asked my former colleague, Dennis Shiao, to share his insights on how virtual events can augment PR and marketing. Briefly, Dennis is an evangelist, strategist and practitioner of virtual events. Dennis provides strategic consulting to clients on their virtual events and has managed virtual event campaigns for Cisco, HP, Oracle and Microsoft, among others. Dennis blogs about virtual events and virtual worlds at “It’s All Virtual and is a frequent author and speaker. Dennis can be found on Twitter at @dshiao.

Virtual events are seeing strong adoption. It all started with the virtual trade show, a 2.5D representation of a physical trade show, complete with a lobby, auditorium, exhibit hall, networking lounge and more. A number of formats soon followed, including the virtual career fair, virtual sales meeting, virtual product launch and virtual partner summit. In addition, we’re now seeing businesses leverage virtual platforms for “corporate university” or e-Learning.

It will be exciting to see the new and innovative formats that marketers, publishers, event managers and business owners develop in 2010 and beyond. I have a format that is well suited for virtual: the press event.

In many ways, the benefits of a virtual press event are the same as a virtual trade show. The host, along with attendees, presenters, etc. participate via the web and save on travel costs, lodging costs, shipping costs and “out of office time.” In addition, all activities within the environment are tracked. And, the environment can remain available long after the live “event” concludes.

Additional benefits of producing your press event virtually:

Global Reach

In the past, press events were planned in “road show” fashion, in which you visited major cities that had the highest concentration of your target media publications. With virtual, you can host a single event and capture a global audience. Alternatively, you can leverage a single virtual platform and stage live events based on regional timezones, to target business hours in North America, then EMEA, then Asia Pac. Your PR efforts can now have a wider reach at a lower cost.

Convenient Access to Your Executives

In a physical setting, it can be a logistical challenge to schedule and coordinate access from press members to your executive team. With virtual, executives can interact with larger audiences more efficiently. For instance, you might place your CMO in a moderated chat room and take questions from an audience of 1,500. Imagine doing that in a physical setting!

Invite Customers and Prospects

Increase your ROI by also inviting customers and prospects to the event. Do your require press credentials to gain access to certain materials? No problem. Virtual event platforms provide role-based access, which means that an access profile can be applied to your customers and prospects that are different from press members. Any PR that you do affects your customers, too, so include them when sharing the news.

Use Activity Paths to Follow Up Appropriately

Whether customer, prospect or press member, study activity paths in the virtual event to determine effective follow-up plans. Did a reporter visit your booth ten times, then ask numerous questions in the group chat area? Schedule a one-on-one conference call with your Senior Product Manager, to ensure that the reporter has all the info she needs. Similarly, follow up with prospects to move them further along in the sales cycle.

Conclusion

I believe virtual events can be the definition of “PR meets Marketing”. As PR and Marketing look to Web 2.0 to broaden reach and engagement, consider virtual events as one more tool in your arsenal.

Interested in being a guest author? Send me an email with your proposed topic and how it relates to PR Meets Marketing. Self-promotional content will not be considered.

Social Media Strategy 101: Setting Expectations

 In a recent report by Jeremiah Owyang of The Altimeter Group, The 8 Success Criteria for Facebook Marketing, the group highlighted the need to set community expectations as a key component for success in Facebook marketing. I think this is not just for Facebook but something to consider as part of your social media strategy. Furthermore, this extends beyond your external audience but also should be shared with employees and supported by your executives.

 Here are key elements to consider to set the proper expectations:

  • Engagement: Be clear on how often you plan to engage via your social media outlets , as well as the guidelines for participation and behavior. In addition to incorporating the policy into your social media strategy, consider placing this on your corporate website to ensure consistency and refer back to it when appropriate.
  • Transparency: While people will engage with a brand, I strongly believe that putting a name and face to the company strengthens the connection with audiences and humanizes the company as a result. Incorporate a page that provides at least a bio and photo of contributors.
  • Purpose: Provide a clear sense of why you’re engaging people with social media. Is this to get feedback from consumers, to sell something or for customer support? Not only will this minimize confusion with external audiences, but also help internal employees understand what they can reveal publicly.
  • Consistency: Once you set the expectations deliver on this consistently.

Are there other factors I missed? Let me know in the comments, and I’ve also embedded the full version of the Facebook Marketing Report below for your reference.

Social Media Marketing 101

Social Media Strategy 101: Which Persona Helps Tell Your Story?

You’ve decided that you want to engage in social media. You have the resources, you have executive support, and you have a larger marketing strategy. Time to open the Twitter account, create the Facebook Page and post YouTube videos, right? Wrong.

Social media is about engaging your audience. The next step in your social media strategy is knowing what story to tell to draw your audience in. Here are some “personas” to help tell your story:

  • Johnny Carson: Humor is a great way to draw people in, engage them in a laugh and leave them with a wanting with more. But you have to be cautious with using this method. There’s only been one Johnny Carson and many imitators. Make sure your use of humor fits with the messages you’re seeking to communicate and the personality of the company you’re cultivating online.
  • Just the Facts Ma’am (Dragnet): The straight forward and direct approach informs your audience about your products, solutions and company. This provides an additional channel for your audience to get answers to their questions. The challenge is developing a style that encourages engagement with your audience versus being seen as a broadcast of your marketing messages.
  • Tony the Tiger Mascot: Creating the right mascot can enable audiences to instinctively relate to your company and brand. The challenge – making sure the mascot doesn’t overtake the business value of your company.
  • The Old Spice Man: We’ve all seen the commercials and subsequent videos online. The Old Spice Man is a caricature that seeks to use satire to target audiences. While highly amusing, incredibly viral, and deeply memorable, use caricature cautiously. Of all the characters, this one can backfire quickly if not done well.

What other “personas” do you see in social media?