11 Things Marketers Should Know from the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit

October 8, 2014

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media

Last month hundreds of marketers, communicators and social media experts met in Baltimore for the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit to discuss the latest trends in all aspects of marketing and best practices for increasing engagement, sales and ROI.

In this piece, we will look at the top 11 marketing predictions for 2015, including the rise of the social CMO, a movement away from real-time marketing to right time marketing and the increased importance of the online newsroom.

  1. The rise of the CSMO (chief social media officer): Social media has evolved from short form messaging communication tool to a program that directly affects every part of a business.  As the real-time customer engagement platform, data generated can directly impact the future of one’s organization.  This role will be a hybrid between creative and analysis.  Those social media teams focusing only on outbound communications, ignoring the data available will not succeed.
  1. Multimedia is here to stay: More and more studies are showing that multimedia is now considered a mandatory element when looking to increase the response rate of any communications program. In addition, we will see a huge increase in mobile video investment as mobile device penetration continues to skyrocket
  1. Paying to engage with your social audiences: As Facebook, Twitter and other platforms mature, their business models are moving quickly into revenue generation and profit.  Look for these platforms to continue to roll out paid opportunities such as geographic and demographic targeting to increase the ability for a brand to reach their brand fans.
  1. A refocus from real-time marketing to right time marketing: Thanks to the meme that the Oreo Superbowl ad was created on the spot and thus is real-time marketing (completely false by the way, the ad was created months in advance), there became a push in 2014 for brands to jump into real time marketing.  Instead thinking about “real-time” organizations in 2015 will move towards “right-time” which involves the use of data to determine how and when to distribute each piece of created content – from social updates to press releases – to maximize the result.
  1. The rise online newsroom: As it becomes harder to get media’s attention, more and more organizations are building branded newsrooms – or including within their existing newsroom a section for brand-created content.  This content allows brands to tell their story, utilizing their own voice.  However it is important to remember that the only good branded content is seen branded content, many of these organizations are not only setting budgets aside to build these newsrooms and create this content, they are putting budget aside to distribute the content as well via press releases, coverage amplification services and more.
  1. A breakdown of internal siloes: As more and more data is becomes available through various marketing channels, it is imperative that marketing work with more and more internal teams to improve processes, define customer expectations, provide stronger customer service, increase sales, build corporate reputation and more.
  1. A better understanding of the ROI of a communications program: Marketers are moving away from “last click” attribution to multi-touch point attribution, allows brands to track customers through their entire journey ensuring that every touch point along the way is credited.
  1. A big shift from content creation to content distribution: As content marketing becomes a staple for most marketing programs, more and more marketers are turning to paid tools including press releases and amplification tools to ensure their created content is seen content. After all, there is no reason to pay for content to be created, if you aren’t paying for it to be distributed.
  1. The growing importance of social customer service as more than 50% of customer service interactions begin on the computer, well before the customer has engaged the brand.
  1. Look to smart devices and wearables to change news consumption from tweets to bursts. How can you increase the impact of your news as you decrease the amount of space needed to tell it!
  1. Sharing corporate sustainability responsibility news will continue to increase in 2015 as more and more consumers are choosing to align with brands and organizations that reflect their own beliefs. Organizations of all sizes from Nike to Honest Teas have connected with customers and build entire brands by focusing and staying true to their CSR message.

This year’s speakers shared so many wonderful thoughts but it was these 11 that resonated with me the most.  Which of these surprises you?  Which does not?


CMW 2014 Recap: Andrew Davis on “How Brilliant Storytellers Create a Sudden Urge to Act”

September 26, 2014

By Katie Kennedy, Business Wire Cleveland

In his opening remarks, “How Brilliant Storytellers Create a Sudden Urge to Act,” Andrew Davis  kicked off day one of Content Andrew DavisMarketing World with an engaging keynote urging marketers to rethink the marketing funnel and focus on what he calls “moments of inspiration” or MOI.

What is a moment of inspiration? I’ll spare you the reenactment of his meatloaf example – which was hilarious –but in short, a moment of inspiration or MOI can be as simple thought which triggers a series of activities that at any point could lead you to a point of purchase.

So, rather than a traditional marketing funnel in which consumers start at awareness, go into a research phase and then take the action the marketer wants, Davis sees the consumer journey as a path defined as:

  1. a moment of inspiration
  2. a trigger
  3. an initial consideration set
  4. active evaluation
  5. moment of purchase

“Valuable content increases the demand for the products and services you sell,” said Davis. “If you want to own the consumer journey, create moments of inspiration.”

Davis sees this as the single biggest opportunity for content marketing and shared his secrets for creating these moments of inspiration via valuable content that inspires people to buy the ideas, products or services.

Four steps for creating content that inspires MOI:

  1. Build suspense
  2. Foster aspiration
  3. Dive empathy
  4. Harness emotion

To read more about Davis’ presentation, including additional tactics, we recommend reading this event summary:  http://bit.ly/BWatCMI2014

To learn how “MOI leads to ROI”  follow Davis on Twitter @TLPDrew or visit his website: http://www.akadrewdavis.com/


Frankie Flack Explains Why Newsrooms are Using Press Releases More Than Ever

July 17, 2014

By Neil Hershberg, Sr. Vice President, Global Media, Business Wire

Not only are press releases alive and well but, according to an industry insider, their role in today’s editorial ecosystem is more important than ever. They have emerged as the “exclusive information source” for many corporate developments, most of which fail to generate independent coverage.

Frankie Flack, a pseudonym for a New York-based public relations professional, authored a column for “Talking Biz News” explaining the shifting dynamics of financial news coverage in a challenging media environment. “Talking Biz News” is a popular web site that enables business journalists to track the latest media trends, developments, and personnel moves.

You can read the article here: http://talkingbiznews.com/2/frankie-flack-why-my-press-releases-are-the-new-newswire

According to Flack, a confluence of factors have contributed to the press release’s resurgent popularity, and its de facto dominance as a primary news source.

Newsroom cutbacks have sharply curtailed the resources dedicated to breaking news other than major announcements, in Flack’s view.

Beat reporters are committed to churning out “thumb-sucker” stories focusing on Big Ideas, as opposed to the nuts-and-bolts stories that news organizations were noted for in the past.

Even the larger market-moving news services have become dependent on news releases to provide context to their headlines, often in the absence of insights from analysts and academics who were relied on for perspective in the past. According to Flack, press releases enable issuers to “control the narrative.”

Flack also cites the ubiquity of press releases on the web, pointing to such popular sites as Yahoo! where releases far out number wire stories.

The middling stories that represented the bulk of a news service’s daily output have all but disappeared, Flack notes, making press releases the “exclusive information source” for most corporate events. In the absence of coverage of record, press releases have become the default archive that investors, journalists, consumers, and others will rely on in the future.

Clearly, press releases are more vital than ever, playing an ever more robust role in determining the daily news agenda, and influencing user consumption.


Editor’s Corner: Putting Faces with Names: Getting The Most Out Of Personnel Announcements

January 7, 2014

By Dara Khan, Business Wire Editor

 When you submit a personnel announcement to Business Wire, our editors are the first eyes on your staffing news. Our talented and experienced newsroom team reviews hundreds of news items per week, and we have developed a pretty good sense of what elements make them successful. Here’s one editor’s take on putting together a winning press release for announcing hires, promotions, or other staffing changes in your organization.

Natalie

The best piece of advice I can give is to include multimedia with your press release.

When you meet people for the first time, you remember them by both their names and faces. This is true in press releases as well; by including a photo of the person, you make it easy for reporters, analysts and others to put face to the name. We editors know from experience that releases with a photo—whether of a new executive hire or a retiring founder—instantly capture readers’ attention, and our research has shown that releases with photos or other multimedia generate five to ten times more pickup than those without them. That is just from adding a photo or video to your news release!

However, there are other ways to increase your press release’s visibility.Broader distribution of press releases allows for reporters and other brand fans to find and share your news.  But why not consider adding a targeted specialty circuit to increase visibility within highly specific target markets? If you’ve made a prominent minority hire, consider the Asian-American Media, African-American Media or LatinoWire circuits, which all heavily target media in markets that can be difficult to reach through broader channels. If your release is about someone who has made significant contributions through nonprofit and charity work, consider the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) circuit. If you’re running a cutting-edge startup and just added a big name to your team, congrats! Now is the perfect time to take advantage of BW’s new partnership with VentureBeat.  Each of these distributions reaches a highly targeted list of reporters and media outlets, all viewing and sharing these kinds of announcements on a daily basis.

At the end of the day, the foundation of a good personnel announcement is a concise and well-written press release. This may seem like a very basic tip, but it is surprising how often we see releases that are unnecessarily long, overly wordy, or lack quotations from or about the personnel in question. That last part is especially important.  Why? Because including quotes is another great way to capture the human element—and the attention of readers. These quotes are so frequently sought after that Business Wire’s system actually automatically generates highlighted pull quotes from those sections!  These pull quotes appear on the businesswire.com version for your release (as well as via our PressPass media news service), so be sure to use that to your advantage by making them shine.

Lastly, do not hesitate to call your local Business Wire newsroom or account executive to discuss more ways to get the most out of your personnel announcements. One thing that sets BW apart is the degree of hands-on, personalized service from our 24 local news bureaus. As the only commercial newswire with this many editorial offices, Business Wire has editors and a sales team who are always ready to help you send your press release out to the biggest possible audience. We always look forward to hearing from you!


Tips, tricks and advice for today’s PR, IR and Marketing Professionals

October 19, 2013

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social & Evolving Media

What a week!  There were so many great news pieces, platform changes, tips and more that we had to commit an entire blog to sharing them with you.

Below please find this week’s top stories for public relations, corporate communications, investor relations and marketing communication professionals.

Social Platform + Search Engine Updates

Media + Research

Tips, Tricks and Best Practices

Did you find this list useful?  Did we miss anything?  If so, please share below, we are always looking for compelling information we can share with our audience!


Remembering Heroes of Yesterday; Communicating to Win Today

February 11, 2013

by Bernadette Morris, President/CEO, Black PR Wire

Bernadette Morris, President/CEO, Black PR Wire

Bernadette Morris, President/CEO, Black PR Wire

Remembering the heroes of yesterday comes naturally to us today. Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks — these are some of the people who ignited a spark. They each had a goal and purpose in mind. And that is why their legacy continues to shine. Recognizing them and others during Black History Month is a ritual that we follow every year. They lived their lives with purpose and made life easier for those of us that are still here.

Heroes of yesterday represented our race. They wanted us to live our lives as equals, despite the obstacles they faced. These men and women fought against injustice and stood up for humankind. They knew how to communicate to win and follow their dreams relentlessly – which is what we all must do if we do not want to be left behind. Planning for growth is inevitable, it seems. In celebration of Black History Month, let’s follow behind the path of our heroes of yesterday and live our dreams!  Here are a few tips to help YOU communicate to win and grow your business:

  •  Guarantee it – Guarantee your customer that your products/services are of the highest quality.  Go beyond the call of duty to ensure that you are meeting all quality standards.
  • Recycle your ideas – Keep track of your ideas.  You never know when one of them may work for a specific project or initiative.
  • Work your marketing magic – Always develop a winning marketing plan and adhere to the objectives that were outlined in the plan.
  • Show and tell – Don’t just tell people about what you have done, show them.  Provide them with visible promotional products and product samples.
  • Use creativity – Creativity plays a major role in helping companies to accomplish their objectives.  Be creative in all of your project endeavors – strive to be unique and distinct.  The more your product/service stands out from the competition, the more you will be noticed.
  • Be dependable – Make a conscious effort to always be dependable and honest in your business dealings.  Customers tend to be loyal to those they can count on.
  • Enter as an expert – Learn your market and become an expert in your chosen field.
  • Show you know – Show your customers that you know what you’re talking about.  Convince them that you know your product and what is best for them better than anyone else does.
  • Commit and never quit – Always remain committed to your goal and remember your reason for being in business.
  • Stick to your strengths – Remember what you’re good at and continue using your natural talents to take you to the next level.
  • It it’s not broken, fix it anyway – Always search for new and innovative ways to do the same tasks.  You’ll find that a little creativity can produce amazing results.
  • Be ready for change – Be prepared to deal with the constantly changing business climate.

Want to hear more from Bernadette?  Register to attend the Business Wire and Black PR Wire 2013 Minority Leadership Series.


Tools For Increasing Sales Through Social Media

February 8, 2013

by Bernadette Morris, President/CEO, Black PR Wire

Bernadette Morris, President/CEO, Black PR Wire

Bernadette Morris, President/CEO, Black PR Wire

Black consumers spend a considerable amount of time using social media: Twitter and Facebook are all the rage. We know that social media is a hot topic within the business community today. So, in recognition of  Black History Month, we thought that we would share a few tools for Black-owned businesses on how to increase sales through social media.

Social media is a viral form of communication and the platform of choice for any serious Internet marketer. By becoming part of a social media site, an internet marketer taps into a global market with numbers in the millions. This instant access to a global audience is what internet marketers use to get their message, product or services across.  There are many advantages to jumping on the social media bandwagon:

  • Consumers are communicating more.
  • Little to no monetary investment is required.
  • Allows you to go where your audiences are.
  • People regroup on communities.
  • It is interactive and word-of-mouth is stronger.
  • People read blogs and consume more user generated content.
  • Social media tools allow you access to millions of people.
  • People tend to take part in online conversations and are happy to communicate with brands.
  • Allows you to generate more traffic to your Web site.

For those black businesses that have NOT hopped on the social media bandwagon, here are a few tips on how to use it to increase your sales:

  • Create pages/profiles on social media sites: Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube (post videos) and Slideshare (post presentations).
  • Build your presence as a go-to expert.
  • Use your social media presence to have a conversation with your audience about something that matters and reflects well on your brand.
  • Expand your reach. Connecting with like-minded individuals all across the globe has never been easier with social media sites such as LinkedIn. Start building your network today – it’s free to join, and you never know who is out there unless you’re involved and engaged.
  • Build relationships. Consider your contacts virtual friends as opposed to potential customers. Give them an opportunity to get to know you and the work that you do.
  • Use a combination of on and offline channels (print, TV, social networks, ads, promo flyers, etc.) to let people know about your projects and initiatives.
  • Offer incentives to encourage repeat site visitation and contribution (prizes, points, rebates, etc.).

Want to hear more from Bernadette?  Register to attend the Business Wire and Black PR Wire 2013 Minority Leadership Series.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 38,973 other followers

%d bloggers like this: