Public Relations

Lee Odden

Marketing and Public Relations Convergence: Preview to #PRSAIcon 2015

Lee Odden on Oct 28th, 2015     Digital Marketing, Public Relations

PRSA International Conference 2015
Expectations of marketing outcomes from public relations activities are higher than ever. It’s no longer enough to earn media placements, distribute releases and manage a few brand social media profiles. Companies increasingly expect PR to perform with marketing and business impact.

I can’t help but state it bluntly:

PR practitioners and organizations that have not expanded skills to include marketing capabilities are at risk of becoming irrelevant.

The good news is that the leap from PR to Marketing convergence is not that far.  A great example is our agency, TopRank Marketing, originally founded as Misukanis & Rodgers Public Relations 14 years ago. Early on we made a very important transition from PR to Digital Marketing that has enabled us to bring the best of both worlds to our client work.

Lee Odden

Why Content Marketing is Imperative for the Future of Public Relations

Lee Odden on Jul 27th, 2015     Content Marketing, Public Relations

Content Marketing Public Relations

Whether you’re considering media relations, brand journalism or managing corporate communications, content has always played an essential part of effective Public Relations.

However, PR pros that don’t accelerate their ability to develop content strategy, development and measurement quickly and effectively are being left behind as the future of digital PR evolves. This is a topic I’ve advocated for the past 3 years, starting out as a warning and now a reality.

Major changes in the digital marketing and PR world have revealed how social technologies, devices and ubiquitous internet access have opened the doors for all-the-time, “everywhere” connectivity to the web.

That connectivity enables consumers and brands alike to:  Create, Consume, Publish, Interact and Transact anywhere, anytime. From tablets to smartphones to getting digital content via your car, the relationship between technology and people has had a major impact on how information is discovered, consumed and shared or acted upon.

Lee Odden

The Evolution of Public Relations Through Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Jun 3rd, 2015     Content Marketing, Public Relations

Content Marketing PR

Brands are answering the call to create more value for customers and their community by publishing their own news and editorial content.  As companies adopt a publisher model of content and media creation, many are surpassing the reach and influence of traditional publications in their industry.

Some great examples of popular content hubs include Intel IQ, Target’s Bulls Eye View, Adobe’s and Dell’s Power More (client).

Dell Power More

Dell’s Power More Content Hub

I think everyone watching these trends can agree that the PR industry has been in a state of flux over the past few years. Over 17,000 newsroom jobs have been lost since 2007 and if you’re a journalist, that can be a scary statistic. In fact, if you’re in media relations, it can be concerning too, because with fewer journalists, the competition for stories is even higher.

James Anderson

How Locally Laid Got Paid by Turning Customer Feedback into Brand Storytelling

James Anderson     Online Marketing, Online PR


Here in Minnesota, a small egg company is getting big press after ruffling the feathers of a concerned shopper.

When Locally Laid Eggs received a letter from a grocery store shopper, saying that the company’s name is “offensive” and its advertising “vulgar,” the company took to its own blog to offer up a rebuttal. In doing so, they enlightened readers about locally-sourced food and responsible farming and revealed some key marketing lessons in the process.

Most companies would have tossed the letter and missed out on the opportunity to use this kind of storytelling to pick up on the interest that Locally Laid had generated. But Locally Laid understood the importance of story before marketing. From the tiny Wrenschall, Minnesota town (population 399) the small company had the foresight to not only address — respectfully — the letter writer’s concerns, but to point out the reason why their product stands out from competitor options on the shelves.

Lee Odden

3 Advantages Public Relations Brings to Digital Marketing

digital PR marketing

Numerous journalists are jumping the newsroom ship to “brand storytelling” as content marketers and an increasing number of public relations firms are evolving as integrated marketing communications agencies.

As more companies adopt content marketing and integrate their marketing activities across owned, earned, shared and paid media, there’s an opportunity for marketers to tap into the expertise of the PR world.  PR is a grossly underutilized strategy for marketers and presents a unique means to evolve from Stasis to Storytelling on the Content Marketing Continuum.

According to a content marketing study by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, the top challenges for content marketers include: Not producing enough content, not creating content that engages, not producing a variety of content, lack of integration across marketing channels.

Lee Odden

Online Reputation Book Review: Repped by Andy Beal

Online Reputation BookMany years ago when the role of search in brand reputation was really coming into it’s own, Public Relations and SEO were becoming unlikely partners as way to position positive messages about brands and individuals in search results. The combination of Search and PR was actually the genesis of TopRank Marketing.

As Google became a powerful reputation engine, the need for individuals and brands to monitor and manage their online reputations increased too.

Today, with billions of internet users empowered to post content anytime, anywhere, the articles and presentations we originally published on Online Reputation Management (ORM) are even more important today. And yet there are thousands of brands and even more individuals that are oblivious and in dire need of ORM.

Lee Odden

Does It Still Make Sense For Companies to Blog?

Grand Central Station NYCOver the past 10 years I’ve had more than enough opportunities to consider whether the investment in time and resources to blog has been worth it.

Blogging for business is a question I think many companies ask themselves as they look at current trends towards time more spent on social networks and changing consumer consumption trends, especially with mobile.

This question came to light recently via Stephen Waddington, Digital and Social Media Director at  Ketchum Europe who pinged me for an opinion on the future of global blogging for a blog post he was researching. And that got me thinking:

Does it still make sense for companies to blog?

One way to answer that question is to take a look at how many blogs there are and whether the number is increasing:

Nicolette Beard

Content Marketing With Press Releases: Pros, Cons, Examples & Best Practices

Press Release Best PracticesWhen Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team, announced that links in press releases have no value for SEO, it created a lot of discussion and debate in the SEM community. But, if you look at his comments in their entirety, you’ll notice that he also said press release sites do have value for press and marketing reasons as Cheryl Conner, contributing writer at Forbes, so eloquently points out.


  • 92% of journalists use search engines to research stories and 81% of journalists use search engines daily (MarketingSherpa)
  • Blog readership, RSS feed subscriptions and social media sites are visited in record numbers
  • Journalists using Google News surpass usage of major networks, like MSNBC & CNN!

Online Discovery Tips That Will Get Your Content Promoted – Tips from Sarah Skerik of PR Newswire

Sarah Skerik Content Marketing WorldDid you know? In one second on the internet there are 12,964 Instagram photos uploaded, 50,000 Tumblr posts, 400,000 Tweets.  Among all this user-content that’s created every second, you have a LOT of competition for your buyer’s attention.

Sarah Skerik, Vice President of Content Marketing at PR Newswire, shared lots of tips in her breakout session presentation at Content Marketing World around creating press releases or creative content and how you can get them promoted so your target audience will see it.

“If you publish it, will they convert even see the dang thing?”

Build Discovery into Content Strategy:

  1. The most emailed & most shared stories get the most action – make a point to mine content that gets high engagement elsewhere.
Nick Ehrenberg

How to Maintain Your Reputation During a Social Media Crisis

Nick Ehrenberg     Online Marketing, Reputation Management

social media crisisIn our digitally-driven age, most companies will eventually encounter a social media-driven crisis. Perhaps an employee accidentally tweets an insensitive remark on the company account, or the business is suddenly caught in a whirlwind of negative commentary on Facebook. Whatever the case, you need to be prepared for any blowback that might occur – and it likely won’t be comforting.

Whether the crisis was instigated internally or externally, it’s important to develop a social media crisis plan before engaging with your communities.

Here are six tactics to help manage a social media crisis:

1. Establish Social Media Crisis Guidelines

Lee Odden

Google Did Not Just Kill PR Agencies

Google Kill PR AgenciesGoogle updated their content guidelines for links recently causing a bit of buzz amongst the SEO community, mostly from those looking for clarification. I’ll get to that shortly, but something else popped up that’s worth debunking.

The link scheme clarifications directed at webmasters also attracted a post from ZDNet via Tom Foremski’s sensationally titled article, “Did Google just kill PR agencies?”.

In case you didn’t know, PR agencies do a lot more that create press releases, let alone over-optimize them for search.

Companies rely on PR firms for a variety of services and consulting ranging from strategy and message development to media relations and social media outreach to monitoring and reporting.  Product launches, press conferences, event management and promotion, reputation and crisis management, media training, investor relations and of course content creation are all services provided by different PR agencies.

Lee Odden

How Public Relations & Communications Can Win the Content Marketing Race

Public Relations Content MarketingIn today’s fast moving search and social web, content flows in every direction throughout a variety of platforms, formats and devices.

With a global population of over 7 billion, there are over 2.3 billion internet users. More importantly, there are 6.7 billion mobile subscribers – 91% market penetration (source). Ubiquitous internet access is enabling consumers and brands alike to create, consume, publish, interact and transact – anytime, anywhere.

At the same time, “newsrooms have 30% fewer reporters than in 2000, which corresponds with 31% of US adults that have stopped turning to a news outlet because it no longer provided them with the news they were accustomed to getting.” (Contently)

Brands are answering the call to create more value for customers by publishing news and content marketing. In fact, 86% of BtoC and 91% of BtoB organizations are now using content marketing tactics.