Online Marketing Blog – TopRank® http://www.toprankblog.com Wed, 18 Jul 2018 10:35:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 6 Upcoming Marketing and PR Events to Learn About Influencer, Social and Content Marketing http://www.toprankblog.com/2014/02/events-q22014-social-influence-content/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2014/02/events-q22014-social-influence-content/#comments Thu, 27 Feb 2014 11:02:23 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=16519 I’ve always said, “The best part about Minnesota Winters is leaving for somewhere warm.” Over the next 2 months or so, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing and I’d like to invite you to join me at one or more of these 6 upcoming events in cities that range from San Francisco to New York [...]

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Marketing & Public Relations I’ve always said, “The best part about Minnesota Winters is leaving for somewhere warm.”

Over the next 2 months or so, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing and I’d like to invite you to join me at one or more of these 6 upcoming events in cities that range from San Francisco to New York to Denver to learn about integrated marketing topics with a particular emphasis on the role of influencers and content.

Beyond content and social media marketing, these events and conferences will cover a wide variety of essential digital marketing knowledge, so there’s plenty to learn, numerous smarties to network with and in some cases, a little warmer weather to be enjoyed.

Check out the list below and be sure to let me know if you have questions you would like to see answered in the presentations or about the conferences. If you’re already planning on attending any of these excellent events, I’d love to know that too.

social media marketing world
March 26-28, 2014

Social Media Marketing World, San Diego, CA

Presentation: March 27th, 2014 – 11:30am
How to Use Content and an Influencer Network to Grow Your Business
Companies are investing in content marketing and social media more than ever, yet in an age of information overload, standing out on the social web can require unreasonable budgets and resources. But what if you could hack your way to the spotlight by helping everybody win?

Operating with minimal resources, a growing number of marketers are creating better quality content that gets shared more often, reaches more readers and grows their influencer network – all at the same time. In this presentation you will learn how to identify, romance and engage influencers to co-create and promote incredible content that delivers for your audience and your brand.

SMMW Liveblogging:  TopRank Online Marketing will also be liveblogging the SMMW14 conference. Be sure to watch for posts being published here by Jesse Pickrain and Emily Bacheller each day of the conference.

SMMW Conference eBook: Social Media Examiner and TopRank have partnered to create a surfing themed conference eBook that features tips, insights and advice from social media smarties and thought leaders speaking at the event. We’ve collected 37 tips from B2C brands like Whole Foods, Marriott, and Century 21 and B2B brands that includes Adobe, IBM, LinkedIn, HubSpot and many more. Of course we’ve included social media pro surfers like Mike Stelzner, Jay Baer and Mari Smith too. Watch for this eBook to be published soon.

SMMW Info and Register

 

ClickZ Live New York
March 31 – April 3rd, 2014

ClickZ Live – New York, NY

Presentation: April 2nd, 2014 – 10:30am
Influence the Influencers: The Magic of Co-Created Social Content (U.S. Version)
In an age of information overload, standing out requires huge budgets and resources. But what if you could hack your way to the spotlight by helping everybody win?

Learn how to identify, romance and engage influencers to co-create and promote incredible content that delivers for your audience and your brand. Through best practices and examples you will learn:

  • Topics and being the best answer for your category
  • Influencer content opportunities
  • How to identify, qualify and engage influencers
  • The mechanics of co-created content
  • Inspiring participation and promotion
  • Performance measurement and optimization

ClickZ Live Info and Register

 

Marketo Marketing Nation Summit
April 7 – 9, 2014

Marketo Marketing Nation Summit – San Francisco, CA

Presentation: Time TBD
Attract, Engage, Convert – How to Be the Best Answer Wherever Customers Are Looking
The nature of search has changed in remarkable ways and social technologies have evolved the way consumers discover, consume and act on information. How brands decide to be present during the customer journey for answers will determine feast or famine in this age of information overload. But what if you could hack your way into the customer spotlight?

This presentation will provide you with an accountable content marketing model that folds an understanding of the customer journey and the questions they seek to solve with meaningful answers from your brand. To become “the best answer” wherever it is that customers are looking. You’ll learn:

– Attract, Engage, Convert Content Marketing Model
– Integrated Content, Social, PR, SEO
– 2 Case Studies of B2B and B2C Companies Doing it Right

Marketing Nation Info and Register

 

B2B Content2Conversion Conference
May 6 – 7, 2014

B2B Content2Conversion Conference – New York, NY

Presentation: 
Influencer Content: How to Win Buyers Hearts, Minds and Wallets with Content Optimized for Search, Share and Sales
Shock and awe content simply isn’t sustainable for most organizations. But what if B2B marketers could tap into a rich source of content optimized for engagement, sharing and lead gen? Through several B2B influencer content case studies, this presentation will help you learn seven steps to developing an influencer content program that will grow your network and inspire more leads.

B2B C2C Info and Register

 

Authority Intensive
May 7 – 9, 2014

Copyblogger Authority Intensive – Denver, CO

Presentation: Time TBD
How to Be the Best Answer Wherever Customers Are Looking
Brands large and small are waging a content war few may ever win. Competition for time and attention has grown exponentially as brands, publishers and empowered consumers blast the web with more information in two days than since the dawn of time to 2003. Buyers are looking for answers in that sea of information muck and in order for brands to stand out, they must become “the best answer” when and where it matters most.  By understanding how a target audience discovers, consumes and acts on information, marketers can optimize their programs to attract, engage and convert more effectively. This presentation will provide a model for that integrated approach.

Authority is Sold Out!

 

PRSA
May 13, 2014

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) – Webinar

Presentation: May 13, 3p.m. EDT
The Future of Digital PR is Integrated
Singular channels of digital marketing and communications are no longer effective. The changing digital media landscape combined with more sophisticated consumer behaviors means brands are competing for time and attention with other companies, as well as their customers. In this webinar, you will learn about:

  • The foundation of an integrated marketing and PR strategy.
  • A marketing case study that integrated PR.
  • A PR case study that integrated marketing.

PRSA Webinar Info and Register

There you have it! 6 events that cover quite a range of integrated marketing and PR topics. A little something for everyone.

Which one will you attend? I hope to see you there.

 


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How Public Relations & Communications Can Win the Content Marketing Race http://www.toprankblog.com/2013/06/pr-communications-content-marketing/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2013/06/pr-communications-content-marketing/#comments Wed, 19 Jun 2013 11:00:19 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=15387 In 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 [...]

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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.

As companies adopt a publisher model of content and media creation, many are beginning to rival the reach and influence of the publications in their industry. Amex OPEN Forum and General Mills’ Tablespoon are great examples of this.

What do these changes mean for Public Relations and Communications professionals? How is PR competitively positioned compared to marketing and advertising in a content centric web? Read on for answers to these questions and more.

By providing news content that traditional sources are not, brands are creating new connections with their communities and customers. While much of content marketing falls under the realm of corporate marketing, the expertise in messaging, content creation and media relations that many Public Relations professionals bring to the table can offer a competitive advantage in 3 key areas:

Storytelling

There’s an old expression that has held true for me over the past 15 years: “Facts tell, stories sell”. Content Marketing is the ability to tell brand stories that consumers and the media will care about. Who better to find and tell those stories than PR and Communications pros?

It is often said that people make decisions based on emotion but justify them with logic. Therein lies the intersection of PR and content marketing. Stories can connect with customers on an emotional level and the architected narrative of content marketing can provide a vehicle for both facts and stories that matter to your customers.

Editorial Based Marketing

Before “content marketing” became the catchphrase, I used to call what our Marketing/PR agency did “editorial based marketing”. PR professionals understand how news organizations work. Businesses are investing in content from planning to production to editorial. Corporate Journalism is on the rise and PR professionals are perfectly capable of fulfilling those functions or supporting them to create compelling brand content. Content designed to engage also inspires action – whether it’s a social share, a purchase, a referral or an inquiry to do a story.

Influencer Marketing

Working with industry and media influencers has been the stock and trade of media relations professionals for years. Numerous tools from Traackr to Klout to Kred can support the need to identify influencers based on their ability to affect action – not just high follower counts. PR professionals are well positioned to identify and engage influencers for a variety of content marketing based outcomes ranging from guest blog posts to co-creation of content with industry thought leaders.

Now more than ever, creating content that influences growth in market awareness and new business requires an integrated approach. While this has been a challenge for many PR professionals as marketing and PR functions converge, the good news is that through a model of Attract, Engage and Convert, organizations can better plan, implement and optimize the performance of their content based PR programs.

At the upcoming PRSA Digital Impact conference in New York (Friday June 28, 3:15pm), I’ll be discussing details of this approach along with tactics and examples in a presentation: “Attract, Engage and Convert: How PR Can Get Ahead With Content Marketing“.  The 3 key areas I’ll be covering include:

  • See a company successfully integrating digital marketing and public relations.
  • Get five best practices for 360-degree content marketing and digital public relations.
  • Find tools for better content planning, management and amplification.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Is your company integrating public relations and communications with content marketing? Are you making investments in corporate journalism and are those efforts working in tandem with both PR and Marketing objectives?

Photo: Shutterstock


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The Evolution of Digital PR Through Content Marketing – PRSA 2012 http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/10/content-marketing-public-relations/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/10/content-marketing-public-relations/#comments Mon, 15 Oct 2012 11:10:48 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=14294 Content has always played an essential part of effective Public Relations. However, PR pros that don’t sink their teeth into content strategy, development and measurement quickly and effectively, will be left behind as the future of PR evolves. That’s a fairly strong statement, but it’s incredibly important and timely. Over the past 12 years of [...]

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Public Relations Content MarketingContent has always played an essential part of effective Public Relations. However, PR pros that don’t sink their teeth into content strategy, development and measurement quickly and effectively, will be left behind as the future of PR evolves. That’s a fairly strong statement, but it’s incredibly important and timely.

Over the past 12 years of running a digital marketing and PR agency, we’ve seen major changes in the world of PR and media relations as 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.

These significant changes represent challenges, but especially opportunities for the public relations industry in several categories:

Who Are the Media? – It’s no secret that news media publishing models have experienced dramatic changes in the past 5 years with strong shifts to digital and new business models to meet consumer demand of real-time news and information on any device.

The ability for individuals to develop social networks and publish information to an audience that can match or exceed a traditional publication means that influencers are no longer limited to industry news publications and media. Connecting with and creating value with many niche influencers, whether they be journalists covering a specific topical beat to a passionate blogger with an engaged community, can be as impactful as a hit with a mainstream publication. Being useful with content further enhances niche influencer relations and provides more mutual value than relying on the “big media hits’ alone.

Content is the currency for building social relationships that can boost earned media.

Brands as Publishers – Companies are increasingly leveraging content marketing (9 out of 10 B2B marketers used content marketing tactics – CMI) to boost owned media as well as the effectiveness securing earned media. Companies are hiring editors, corporate journalists and editorial staff to create a publishing environment not unlike many publications.

If you want to ensure your brand gets in the media, then become the media.

Emerging Technology and Consumer Behaviors – Consumers being connected to the web all the time from anywhere and the normalcy of sharing on the social web has allowed mainstream media to tap into their own audiences to capture and report news (CNN iReport). Consumers are audiences but also publishers. Expectations have changed and many consumers expect not only to be informed but to participate with the news. Co-creation of content with consumers as well as industry influencers can lead to mutual satisfaction all around.

Ubiquitous connectivity has turned consumers into publishers and they expect participation.

So, what do these changes mean for public relations? Here are three key areas to consider:

1. Convergence: The roles, of PR, Marketing, Customer Service and other disciplines are increasingly integrated.

  • PR needs to cross train for skills, collaborate and integrate
  • PR can tap into other resources in an organization to reach mutual objectives
  • PR can show more value for its own efforts

Example:

We started incorporating SEO best practices with Digital Public Relations in late 2001, winning an engagement with the U.S. division of BT because no other PR agency was pitching the value of push and pull PR.  By optimizing corporate news content for easy discovery via search, more journalists and bloggers were finding client information to use in news stories independent of, and sometimes in coordination with, outbound media relations pitching.

Being able to achieve increased media placements AND significantly increased web traffic from the media and buyers alike to the corporate website and newsroom created a significant advantage in demonstrate value for the “optimized” PR effort.

Now with the prevalence of the social web and connected mobile devices, there are even more opportunities to leverage cross functional resources and skills to connect influencers and buyers alike with corporate content.

2. Become the Media: Brands are adopting publishing models in their efforts to establish better connections with customers, and to achieve a competitive advantage.

  • PR must consider it’s ability to leverage earned media as well paid, earned and shared media
  • PR is no longer a gate keeper to content, but a creator and participant in the content ecosystem
  • PR can establish credibility with other media when it it has it’s own well know media property

Example:

Media Relations can be a tough game. Journalists and increasingly, bloggers are bombarded with pitches and it’s difficult to stand out, let alone get in the door. When the end objective is exposure, awareness and influence, why rely soley on 3rd party media? Why not become the media?

I realized this after a few years of blogging when I discovered that our humble little blog had more web traffic than most of the business publications in our region. If I wanted exposure to business professionals in our target market, I didn’t need to pitch an overworked, uninterested journalist on a deadline, I just needed to write and publish a thoughtful blog post. With one click, the post would be exposed to our tens of thousands of subscribers plus thousands of new daily visitors from search and social channels.

Companies are investing significantly in the “brand as publisher” model to create a web presence that satisfies consumer needs for information and allows the brand to info-tain, educate and persuade with content. Some companies, like American Express and General Mills are so successful at this, they are able to monetize marketing editorial with outside advertisers and syndication.

3. Adapt & Optimize. Repeat. Technology and consumer behaviors are evolving quickly and the ability for businesses to attract, engage and persuade their public requires strong adaptability and a continuous effort towards optimizing PR effectiveness.

  • PR needs to continuously monitor consumer and technology trends
  • PR must develop a cycle of objective, audience, approach, tactics, measurement and refinement.
  • Continuous efforts to improve performance of how PR content is discovered, consumed and acted on will be essential

Example:

As our online marketing and PR work with companies evolved, we were often at a disadvantage when having to rely solely on client’s limited content, promotion and measurement resources. As a result, we provide ongoing training to clients to improve their cross-functional skills but also proactively share industry shifts translated into strategic or tactics so the business can adapt it’s marketing accordingly.  A real-time example of adapt and optimize is the practice of Newsjacking combined with social media promotion nd SEO.

When a competitor launches a new product and gets major media coverage, a brand might decide to parody something in that message or provide a counter point and promote it through social channels as it gains momentum. Knowing people will look for more information than what’s covered in the initial story, content about the story can be optimized for search to make it the best answer and easiest for people to find.

A diversity of content types that build in social and search optimization is essential, while considering the limited content production resources. Here are a few content types that when integrated into an effective content marketing strategy, can add tremendous reach for Public Relations and Marketing:

Evergreen Content – Create content that is timeless and can serve as a resource to the media, to bloggers, or end consumers at any time.

Co-Created Content – Leverage industry and niche thought leader relationships by co-creating content in partnership with the brand. Participants self interest in exposure provides a built-in social promotion component to the content object. Prominent customers and partners could also participate in co-created content.

Curated Content – Some companies produce a significant amount of content but it’s not curated in a way to take full advantage for exposure opportunities. External content can also be curated to aggregate news as a help resource. Curation with added brand narrative provides a useful resource to the media and gives an indication of perspective that could be useful for their own publication. It also provides an opportunity to demonstrate thought leadership.

Repurposed Content – It’s one thing to repost a press release as a blog post, but it’s another thing entirely to plan repurposed content in an editorial plan to maximize and optimize the reach and value of the information.

If a business creates a substantial amount of content, there are many opportunities for repurposing to specific verticals or across horizontal publishing channels like email, social networks, blogs and byline articles.  If an organization doesn’t create a lot of content, then repurposing may serve the purpose of extending the value of resources and gain additional reach without a corresponding increase in resources.

I challenge public relations professionals to take a bigger picture look at how these changes and the integration of content marketing with PR can empower the role of PR to have greater and more significant impact on bottom line business goals. Think about how content marketing can create more owned assets with which to attract, engage and inspire earned and shared media. Those same assets can work with paid media for customer acquisition objectives as well.

Along with tips and tools, the topics within this post are what I’m presenting on at the PRSA International Conference in San Francisco this week. Here are the details:

Content Marketing for Public Relations
Tools & Techniques Track
Tuesday, 10/16/2012, 8:00 a.m.–9:15 a.m.
San Francisco, Calif.

Content is King in Marketing and Public Relations but is your content getting the exposure it deserves? By incorporating best practices search and social media optimization, you can improve the reach and influence of your key messages to journalists, bloggers and end consumers. Break free of mechanical content promotions and start planning, producing and optimizing meaningful content to attract and engage your target audiences. This presentation from Marketing and PR industry veteran Lee Odden will teach you:

  • The Content Marketing Trilogy to transform your strategy
  • 3 steps identify target audience segments
  • Development of an Optimized and Socialized Content Plan
  • Modern Search and Social Media Optimization tactics
  • Essential monitoring and performance measurement
I hope to see you there!

How do you think content and content marketing will change the role of public relations in the future?

Update! Below is a Slideshare embed of my full presentation:


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Building B2B Online Communities – Why, How & Where to Start http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/04/b2b-online-community-building/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/04/b2b-online-community-building/#comments Wed, 04 Apr 2012 13:00:19 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=13511 This week at the PRSA Digital Impact Conference Vanessa DiMauro, CEO of Leader Networks talked to attendees about the benefits of online communities as part of a B2B social media strategy. According to DiMauro, nearly 2/3 of organizations surveyed are engaged in private, online communities hosted by companies that sell them computer hardware, software or [...]

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B2B Online Community Member MatrixThis week at the PRSA Digital Impact Conference Vanessa DiMauro, CEO of Leader Networks talked to attendees about the benefits of online communities as part of a B2B social media strategy.

According to DiMauro, nearly 2/3 of organizations surveyed are engaged in private, online communities hosted by companies that sell them computer hardware, software or services.

The average visit in an online B2B community is 10 minutes, with 1 visit every 5-7 days.

What B2B organization wouldn’t want roughly 40 minutes of time per month with members to help solve problems, learn how they are using tools and what topics they are most interested in?

Building an online community gives organizations an opportunity to strategically connect with its audience in meaningful and sometimes deeper ways through private interactions.

Many companies continue to respond chaotically to social chatter. With this, they can end up with what Vanessa calls social media muddle.

Part of that muddle is due to baseline measurement such as number of  fans/followers. Vanessa recommends going beyond such measurements and make sure someone in the organization is responsible for reviewing social interactions so that they can be strategically brought back to the organization and impact future marketing decisions.

Online communities can help companies shift from chaos to focus. Specifically moving from a set of discrete interactions to a dynamic, meaningful relationship which can impact business outcomes.

Benefits of online communities can include deepening customer relationships, building greater brand equity, providing better customer care, shortening product innovation cycles, extending and accelerating product and service delivery and delivering improved financial returns.

Which companies need online customer communities the most?

Those where customers are:

  • open to sharing information with other customers
  • purchasing a platform product and need to communicate with each other about how to capitalize
  • willing to participate in off-line user groups or in-person customer summits

And where customer problems are:

  • critical, ongoing and ever-changing
  • such that knowledge for solving problems becomes obsolete quickly
  • those where other customers can gain major value by learning from the experiences of other customers
  • urgent

Here are 3 models for communities:
1. Gated

  • select, narrow target audience
  • acceptance criteria established
  • protected dialog
  • managed topical agenda
  • supported by the organization

2. Public

  • open call, all interested
  • member directed
  • public forum
  • ad generated support

3. Hybrid

  • tiered membership
  • consensus/trend driven
  • public forum with private areas
  • thought leadership
  • hybrid revenue

An example online community is the Palladium Group’s Execution Premium Community. The audience includes senior strategy professionals from organizations worldwide.

The case for the community included; helping increase customer intimacy, raising awareness of products and services, tapping into leading trends in strategy execution and creating a new revenue-generating service line.

Results to-date include more than 50% of the membership from non-US countries and its ongoing revenue, which it started generating at month 6.

Then she reviewed the online community LexisNexis Investigators Network (LNIN). The audience includes federal, state and local law enforcement and currently has more than 7,000 registered members.

This site aimed to bridge the gap between different law enforcement agencies.

Results to-date include over 4,000 members in the first year, members from all 50 states and 3 new product enhancements implemented.

The following are 3 Operations Processes communities need to succeed:

1. Expert community facilitation
2. A healthy balance of Institutional Content and User Generated Content
3. Persistent and programmatic outreach

For B2B communities to work, they need to solve a problem, accelerate a process and/or make something easier.

To get members interacting, know the types of members and what motivates them.

  • Fame Seekers – seek opportunities to grow reputation and showcase thought leadership
  • Motivators – seeks opportunity to be valued. Connect people with each other and with content
  • Problem Solvers – reticent participant but overcomes this in order to get answers to their questions

A member who uploads a photo of his/herself is 7x more likely to post a comment. Be sure to pay attention to the members who join and upload a photo first. These people are likely fame-seekers and can be encouraged by member spotlights, shout-outs or in discussions.

Understanding the members of the community, their individual goals and what drives them to share and engage are all critical to building a successful community.

Online communities may be the right next step for organization’s who want and need to connect with customers who have persistent needs and can learn from the collective wisdom of others.

Supporting users as they transition to customers, and across the customer life cycle, is a key message in TopRank Online Marketing CEO Lee Odden’s new book Optimize available in for Kindle and Nook now, with hard cover copies shipping starting on April 17th.

 


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BFF’s for Increased Online Marketing Reach? PRSA Digital Impact Conference Keynote http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/04/leverage-friend-connects-for-increased-online-reach/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/04/leverage-friend-connects-for-increased-online-reach/#comments Tue, 03 Apr 2012 16:00:15 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=13510 Can BFF’s lead to more effective marketing? That’s the topic of discussion for the PRSA Digital Impact Conference opening keynote featuring Caryn Marooney, vice president of technology communications for Facebook. Before going to Facebook, Caryn explained that she ran an agency, however  she talks about having felt like a mechanical bunny always chasing something and not [...]

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PRSA Digital Impact Conference - KeynoteCan BFF’s lead to more effective marketing?

That’s the topic of discussion for the PRSA Digital Impact Conference opening keynote featuring Caryn Marooney, vice president of technology communications for Facebook.

Before going to Facebook, Caryn explained that she ran an agency, however  she talks about having felt like a mechanical bunny always chasing something and not catching it.

Why? Everything is constantly changing. And we as PR and Marketing Pros have to be ok with that. What’s remains constant is what remains important.

3 important things we need to remember:

1. What audiences are we trying to reach
2. What are our goals
3. What tools can we use to reach our goals

As we think about audience, that of Facebook is expansive and exponential which is why it can be so effective in terms of online marketing.

There are more than 845 million people on Facebook and more than 100 billion friend connections.

On average more than 250 million photos are uploaded to Facebook each day. In addition, users generate an average of 2.7 billion likes and comments per day.

The ability to share a message with a few and have it reach the many has never been so available. As marketers we have to start thinking about exponential reach. If we share content that’s valuable or unique or solves a problem and make it easy to share, there are no limits.

Whether your community is 30, 300 or 3,000 may not matter. What matters is that it’s the right people who are interested and want more of what you have – whether information, products or services.

To help you find the perfect blend of community members, Caryn next talks about tools.

Let’s think about it this way, the tools to help yourself and the tools to help your brand.
First, we start with the tools for you (and me).

What is not new with timeline:

  • There is no new information in timeline, just a new format
  • No changes in privacy settings

Caryn suggests spending time on the Activity Log, which includes all information you have shared on Facebook. You can highlight/remove items from your timeline via the activity log.

What’s new:

  • Can add high-res images
  • When you add location or check-in, it pre-populates a map which you can drill into and find the information/photos you shared while in those locations

Even at the personal level, we need to keep audiences in mind. Who are you trying to communicate with and with what message?

A couple newer features include:

Spring Cleaning
When you activate the tool, it takes you through your list of friends (note – requires over 300 friends for this to be available). The tool will make suggestions based on those who you have not been interacting with on a regular basis.

If you leave them ‘checked’, they will be moved to acquaintances and less of their information will populate in your news feed.

Subscribe
Anyone can turn on subscribe, via account settings.
Once you activate this feature, anyone can subscribe to your posts.

Want to know what works for journalists?

  • Commentary on current events – 3x as many likes and 2x as many shares
  • Reader shout-outs
  • Behind the scene images

Interest Lists
This feature brings interests to your newsfeed.
If you subscribe to an interest list, it allows that information (i.e. tech news) to come into your news feed. Use this tool to keep up-to-date on topic areas you are interested in, provided directly to you.

Brands
Brand pages were recently transitioned to the timeline feature as well.

A couple quick tips:
1. Star – if you star an image on the timeline, it will be positioned as a double-wide image spanning the whole page.
2. Pin – use this feature to ensure content stays at the top of the page and won’t move down when new content is added. This content will stay ‘pinned’ for a week or until something new is pinned.
3. Friends Window – allows users to see a brand page through the lens of their friends. This means brands are instantly personalized.
4. Message – allows users to directly message with a brand.
5. Admin Panel –  quick and easy access to happenings on the page.

Caryn suggests checking out the Hunger Games brand page for a great example of leveraging the timeline feature and apps.

If You Weren't Afraid Image - PRSA Digital Impact ConferenceShe wraps up by reminding us that we are in an incredible time which allows us to do things we never thought of, specifically through tools. Signs are posted all around Facebook asking this question, ‘What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?’.

And with that we wrap up with Q&A.
Q: What’s your favorite part of the Facebook atmosphere?
A: I have this moment every day where the ambition and excitement can be overwhelming, but that itself is very exciting.

Q: Do you expect that your list of preferred developers is going to change?
A: No, we work with so many different developers and they are all up-to-speed on the changes. I don’t think it takes a different skill set, so we don’t expect it to change – but maybe to grow.

In summary, it’s interesting to get insight into how Facebook (and someone from the inside) views the opportunities that exist within the channel. And how they push themselves to make changes, even if at first they might get push back from the community.

Like it or not Facebook (and other social channels) will continue to evolve. Our job is to identify opportunities with our audiences in mind. If we deliver what they need and want, we’ll ultimately be closer to reaching our goals.

Connect with TopRank Online Marketing on Facebook to find more information on the intersection of Search, Social and Online PR.

 


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Digital Convergence: Marketing & Public Relations #PRSADIConf http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/04/digital-convergence-marketing-public-relations/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/04/digital-convergence-marketing-public-relations/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2012 11:00:42 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=13506 Since 2004 or so when I started this blog, I’ve been promoting the convergence of SEO and public relations, especially through press release optimization. Shortly after, that focus has shifted to emphasize the intersection of search, social and content. In fact, here’s a post from 2006 on social media, SEO & PR. Winds of Change. [...]

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optimize prsa digital impact

Since 2004 or so when I started this blog, I’ve been promoting the convergence of SEO and public relations, especially through press release optimization. Shortly after, that focus has shifted to emphasize the intersection of search, social and content. In fact, here’s a post from 2006 on social media, SEO & PR.

Winds of Change. If you work in the Public Relations world, you’ve undoubtedly observed significant changes both in the news media business and the relationship between PR, intermediary news organizations and consumers. Information preferences have changed, technology and media have changed and the business of news and corporate communications have changed.

44% of Americans own a smart phone  and 51% use them for news.  18% of Americans own a tablet device and 56% use tablets for news consumption. 23% use multiple devices to consume news content. The shift from print to digital goes beyond the desktop to other devices and it’s essential for PR and Communications professionals to understand how target audiences discover and consume news content.

Yin & Yang of Marketing & PR. Marketing goals are influenced by PR and media relations activities. PR objetives are increasingly achieved through online marketing activities. The trend with business leaders expecting marketing and PR outcomes as a result of their investments in content is growing. Across the US, heck all over the world, light bulbs are popping with the realization that siloed marketing and PR no longer works.

Crash or Catapult. Whether it’s an evolution or worlds colliding depends on how organizations understand and prepare themselves strategically and tactically for the fundamental shifts that drive communications, influence, behaviors and marketing/PR outcomes.

Digital Convergence at Digital Impact. At the PRSA Digital Impact conference in New York this week, brands (Facebook, IBM, Google, Dell) and top practitioners are converging to create a perfect storm of insights into the essential answers PR and communications professionals need to know to evolve themselves and their organizations in this always connected digital age.

Optimize State of Mind. For my part, I’ll be covering the role of content, search and social (as I do) and how PR/Communications can leverage a marketing-centric understanding of audiences to create optimized and socialized content that facilitates both PR and Marketing objectives.

Here’s an outline of what I’ll be presenting on Monday April 2nd at 2:30pm EST:

  • Convergence: PR, Marketing
  • Customer Optimization Trilogy: Discover, Consume, Act
  • Content Marketing Framework & Best Practices
  • Know your audience segments
  • Search keywords, social topics
  • Optimized editorial, socialized promotion
  • Social networks for engagement
  • Optimize your story: share, buy, recommend
  • Essential measurement for optimized and socialized content

First Sighting of Optimize! It turns out that PRSA Digital Impact 2012 will be the first event where I will have hard cover copies of my new book, Optimize. This is exciting to me because of my PR and SEO roots and having worked with the PRSA as a consultant for quite a few years.   I’ll be presenting on Monday 4/2 at 2:30pm and if you’d like an opportunity to win one of the very first, signed copies of Optimize, then make sure you’re there. And bring a few friends too!

It’s Kind of a Big Deal. Optimize has been the culmination of my 15 years in the online marketing business and being a “walk the talk” practitioner, working on our own online marketing and with many of our clients. Optimize provides a 30,000 foot view of why and then does a fast, deep dive into a framework and specific tactics that PR and Marketing professionals can use to improve the reach and engagement of their content the same day. Smart folks like Joe Pulizzi, Chris Brogan, Ann Handley, Jay Baer, John Jantsch, Michael Stelzner and digital leaders at Ford, Microsoft, Vocus, Radian6 and Walmart have endorsed Optimize.

Begin your journey to optimized digital convergence. If things work out, I’ll have some books available for a book signing on Tuesday.  In case it doesn’t, be at the 2:30pm Content Marketing & PR session where I’ll give a preview, a few free copies to the best questions and a free SEO Audit Guide for everyone as a thank you for attending.

The digital version of Optimize (i.e. Kindle) is available right now. The hard cover version will be out April 17th through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and many other online book sellers.

 


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Boost Your Digital PR & Marketing Skills with Social Media Optimization http://www.toprankblog.com/2011/10/digital-pr-social-media-optimization/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2011/10/digital-pr-social-media-optimization/#comments Fri, 21 Oct 2011 13:47:40 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=12880 By now you know I’m as sold as one can be on the intersection of Social Media, SEO and Content Marketing. It’s the essence of the core principles of information Discovery, Consumption and Engagement that I talk about in Optimize and at conferences like PRSA International in Orlando this week. Information production, sharing and consumption [...]

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social media optimization PRSA 2011By now you know I’m as sold as one can be on the intersection of Social Media, SEO and Content Marketing. It’s the essence of the core principles of information Discovery, Consumption and Engagement that I talk about in Optimize and at conferences like PRSA International in Orlando this week.

Information production, sharing and consumption is accelerating faster than marketers (or consumers) can keep up with. A lot of that information is user generated content from social sharing and networking sites. Internet Marketers have long been savvy about creating, optimizing and promoting content that’s findable and relevant for target audiences.  Marketers aren’t the only corporate departments creating content in need of an audience though.

Public Relations, Media Relations, Corporate Communications, Investor Relations and many other groups part of corporate MarCom publish content to the web. Audiences may vary, from journalists and reporters doing story research to investors and potential business partners. Increasingly, PR departments are publishing direct to consumer news content, ala “brand as publisher”.

My presentation at PRSA International in Orlando focused on how PR practitioners can realize the emerging opportunities for shifts in consumer information trends, how PR content can be optimized and socialized, tools to scale and practical social media optimization tactics to elevate search visibility of social media and social news content. Here’s the embedded deck from Slideshare:

Here are the specific SEO tactics for social media in this presentation and links to other more in-depth articles on those topics:

Kikolani has some great social content SEO tips posted recently as well.

Also, here are the tools mentioned in the presentation:

  • RavenTools – Paid tool. For basic SEO project management & reporting.
  • SocialMention – Free social media search engine and social topic search tool.
  • Google Keywords Tool – Free. Basic tool for researching which words/phrases are most used on Google and how competitive they are.
  • Google Insights – Free. Shows trends and comparison of keyword phrase popularity (interest) over time plus geographic information.
  • Ubersuggest – Free. Handy tool that makes Google autocomplete suggested search phrases usable. Works for Google.com and Google News queries.
  • Scribe – Paid tool. WordPress plugin and standalone web service that provides real-time feedback on article keyword optimization.
  • Majestic SEO – Paid tool. Think of this as a clipping report for links, including information about quantity, quality and type. Has a historical feature that’s quite handy for trending.
  • SEMRush – Paid tool. Want to know what your site or your competitors’ sites are ranking for organically on Google? And their pay per click ads? This is the tool. Also has a trending and comparison feature.

There are many, many more Social Media Optimization and straight SEO tools out there – certainly many more that are advanced, private or for enterprise sized sites. These are basic, easy to use tools that are free or low cost that Public Relations and Communications professionals can use to optimize their news and social content for better keyword relevancy. More relevant (and links) means better visibility in search and a better user experience.

Thanks to PRSA for another great International conference!


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The Junction of Social Media & Content Marketing in New Zealand http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/11/social-media-junction-2/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/11/social-media-junction-2/#comments Mon, 08 Nov 2010 11:49:09 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=11713 In a little over a week I’ll be giving the opening keynote at a social media conference in Auckland, New Zealand called Social Media Junction. The topic? The answer to one of the most common questions asked about social media:  “The Truth About Social Media ROI”. New Zealanders aka “Kiwis” are an active bunch on [...]

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social media junctionIn a little over a week I’ll be giving the opening keynote at a social media conference in Auckland, New Zealand called Social Media Junction. The topic? The answer to one of the most common questions asked about social media:  “The Truth About Social Media ROI”.

New Zealanders aka “Kiwis” are an active bunch on the social web with more than 2 in 5 interacting with companies via social sites and 84% of mobile social networkers there having visited Facebook (Nielsen). The social media momentum is growing and companies are hungry for information and perspective.

I’ll follow up the keynote presentation with a workshop, aka Masterclass Programme, the following day focused on Social Media Content Strategy that drills down into the mechanics of social media marketing, content marketing and SEO.  Here’s a bit of a preview on what I’ll be presenting in the workshop:

Optimized Content Strategy

Grass New Zealand

Photo: Stuck in Customs

If content or media can be searched on, they can be optimized. People who have heard me speak or who read Online Marketing Blog are familiar with this perspective. It’s a holistic approach to search that takes full advantage of all the digital assets and content types that search engines want to include in their search results and therefore, translates into opportunities for being where customers are looking.

An Optimized Content Strategy is thoughtful of customer information needs as well as search engines.  Great content is worthless unless someone reads it and in today’s competitive online marketing world, shares it with others.  Content optimization goes beyond keywords to making sure content distribution and promotion are as much a part of the content strategy as how relevant and useful the content is to readers for reaching business outcomes.

Social Content & Marketing Roadmap:  Laying the Foundation

Hahei New Zealand Cathedral Cove

Photo: vtveen

Setting up accounts on Facebook, Twitter and publishing a blog isn’t a social media strategy. Rather, understanding the who, what, when, where and why of your customers and industry influentials is essential for developing a strong social content plan that engages, persuades and converts. Social media efforts that work together are far more productive than the siloed activity so common amongst companies just starting out.

The foundation of an effective social media content effort starts with Listening via social media monitoring tools, participation and web analytics. First hand experience in combination with analytics is priceless for setting objectives and developing profiles for the audience segments you’re trying to reach.

How a company decides to reach those customers is often a mix of social content creation and engagement. Being reactive or proactive with a social content strategy is another consideration before identifying the social media channels and tools that will serve as the best connections for engaging with customers. We started with measurement through listening tools and it’s analytics that closes the loop with an approach that measures the KPIs or proxies to social media marketing success.

Cycle of Social Media Interaction

Auckland NZ Skyline

Photo: Travelling Pooh

Speaking of closing the loop, the Cycle of Social Media & SEO is what enables a social media marketing effort to stay fresh, inspired with relevant and effective content for customer engagement.

Starting with keyword optimized content that is promoted while social networking helps build channels of engagement and distribution, the likes, follows, subscribers and links that result from great content intersect with interested audiences. That interaction between sharable content and social influencers expands the reach of brand stories and messages to an even greater audience empowered to publish, share and link.

The increasing activity creates an opportunity to mine data that will effectively inform future editorial plans, making content even more productive in terms of meeting customer needs and helping reach business objectives.

Blogging to Power Up Your Social Media Engagement

Remarkables New Zealand

Photo: Wandering the World

One of the most effective models my social media marketing pros at TopRank have implemented for clients is a hub and spoke scenario with blogging at the center connected to outposts of social content and networking.  There are myriad reasons for a blog as the center, but there’s no reason another strategy might not put Facebook or YouTube at the center.

The point is to link from outpost social activity to a conversational destination (Tweets link to the blog) vs. linking directly to corporate website pages that offer no opportunity for discussion or easy sharing.

Social Media Marketing Applications

Great Alpine Road, Castle Hill New Zealand

Photo: WanderingtheWorld

The social media, networking and application websites and services used in an optimized content marketing effort depend on where end consumers spend time as well as the major influences on those target audiences.

Some of the most popular social applications are: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, FourSquare and social mobile apps. But there are others that can provide more effective connections with people a brand is trying to engage depending on their content discovery, consumption and even sharing preferences.

For example: Flickr, SlideShare, Delicious and niche social networks powered by Ning.com have created some formidable connections with influencers leading to media coverage, new hires and new business.

Digital Asset Optimization

Kaikoura New Zealand

Photo: Jason J.

Search engines have an insatiable appetite for content and media to include in their search results. Content = inventory for search engines to run ads against and expand the search engines’ ability to be useful to people that search.

Google has made tremendous changes in the past few years including Universal search in 2007 that can potentially include different types of media besides standard web pages in the search results. Companies that expect to drive traffic through search would do well to be aware of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) landscape, including what kind of media are appearing besides web pages.

Each document or file that has a unique URL can be a potential entry point via search and a destination for someone else to link to. Links to content are how search engines find content to include in the search results. Links are also used in ranking that content.

Digital Asset Optimization is something TopRank started promoting in 2007 that deals with taking inventory of all digital assets that a company could possibly optimize for search. That includes images, video, blogs, news, real-time content, MS Office docus, PDFs and so on. These different document and media can attract customers through search, especially as part of a long tail strategy. They also fold well into social content marketing, which is why DAO is part of the SMJ Masterclass agenda.

Essentials for Social SEO in 2011

Rotorua - North Island - New Zealand

Photo: TylerIngram

How do Social Media and Search Engine Optimization intersect? What are the opportunities for companies to make the most of these two disciplines as part of a unified social content strategy? Those are important questions and the basis for planning what key approaches companies can take in the coming year to make the most out of the optimized content created as part of social media efforts. They also answer how to best leverage SEO tactics such as link building through social channels.

There’s nothing dead about SEO, but it is definitely changing and any marketer focused solely on traditional search optimization is clearly not paying attention to shifts in search behaviors. Search within social media will continue to increase and in combination with the changing landscape of search on sites like Google, can provide a tremendous channel for discovery, customer engagement and acquisition.

Social Media Measurement & ROI

Catlins Coast New Zealand

Photo: StephenChipp

It’s the most popular question companies ask: How do I measure ROI from social media?  I like to counter with, how do you measure ROI from the company telephones?  Understanding the business value of being more social as a company means better understanding the impact of creating better relationships with customers, building thought leadership and expertise and activating employees, customers and industry peers as evangelists for your brand.

Problems solved or mitigated though social media extend far beyond Marketing > Sales > Revenue.  There are situations where it’s completely fine to make direct response offers through social channels and with the right tracking, the ability to directly measure an increase in sales as a result.

What’s the value of lowered Customer Service costs, increased ability to attract top-shelf employees, a boost in industry media coverage, improved product development and review cycles? Here are 10 questions about social media measurement I’d recommend tackling to give you a better perspective.

Sound interesting? Think you could handle an entire day of me doing a brain dump on Search, Social and Content Marketing?

Nicholas O’Flaherty, Managing Director at Bullet PR and a pretty good sized group of Marketing, PR and Communications professionals gathering in Auckland, New Zealand are willing to give it a go Nov 16 & 17th. Of course, there will be a lot more knowledge dispensed than from the likes of me. Social Media Junction includes speakers from Deloitte & LinkedIn as well as representations from a variety of industries such as Banks, Government, Retailers, Telecom and a Beer company.


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Social Media Optimization for Public Relations http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/10/social-media-seo-pr/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/10/social-media-seo-pr/#comments Mon, 18 Oct 2010 12:41:16 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=11669 I’m here at the PRSA International conference in Washington D.C. and the conversations about social media are to be found everywhere. The halls, the exhibit floor, sessions and even at the fantastic dinner hosted by Shonali Burke last night. Yesterday I gave a 4 hour workshop or, “SEO Bootcamp for Communicators” as it was titled. [...]

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social media optimizationI’m here at the PRSA International conference in Washington D.C. and the conversations about social media are to be found everywhere. The halls, the exhibit floor, sessions and even at the fantastic dinner hosted by Shonali Burke last night.

Yesterday I gave a 4 hour workshop or, “SEO Bootcamp for Communicators” as it was titled.  I polled the attendees who came from a variety of companies and organizations ranging from a for profit private school to the Veteran’s Administration, on what their questions were about SEO. Most revolved around getting to understand how PR can get up to speed on the value of SEO and incorporate it into what they’re doing as Marketing has done.

To that end, one of the things I touched on in the workshop and that I will also address in a solo presentation today on Social Media Optimization, is a model for incorporating Social Media & SEO into news promotion.

  • Objectives:  What are your goals? You can’t finish your mission without an end goal, so it’s important to identify some kind of general website traffic, citations, links, social engagement and organic referring traffic goals.
  • Audience:    Who are you trying to reach? This question can be answered at a broad level in relation to online PR and news content as well as at the individual content level. Keywords and promotion tactics can vary whether it’s direct to consumer, journalists, analysts or bloggers that you’re after.
  • Social Conversations & SERPs:  Listening to social conversations about the topics important to your company, brand and constituents is essential for knowing where to engage and promote. Think of it as reconnaissance.  The SERPs, (Search Engine Results Pages) are your SEO battlefield and it’s important to understand what types of content is being displayed for your most important keyword phrases. While personalization is a factor that can make the SERP experience vary according to your location and web history, it still makes sense to identify what media types are included: web pages, images, video, blog posts, news, etc.
  • Resources:   Content, people, processes.  What content and media do you have to promote? If you put out a press release, adding images and/or video can increase distribution quite a bit.  Who do you have available to you to help? Copywriters, IT, marketing. Adding SEO and Social Media components to content authoring and publishing processes will ensure more of your content goes out in an optimized state.
  • Tactics:  What channels to optimize? This is where information captured in Listening and SERPs helps you decide what kind of content and which social channels to optimize for.  If news, images and video are represented in the search results and there are relevant conversations happening around social media sites including some or all of those media, then your “marching orders” are to leverage those types of media in your news optimization.
  • Measure:  SEO, Social, PR. Knowing when you’re a success is important for productivity as well as reporting upstream in your organization. Setting goals, making benchmark measurements and then tracking progress as skills and effectiveness are refined will help you stay on track.

When companies and individuals enter the Social Media and SEO waters, it’s often very tactical and tentative. Testing is fine of course, but making the effort to establish some kind of framework and process can reap big efficiency / effectiveness rewards.

One way to increase adoption and results is to develop a process that is followed by anyone in communications, media relations or PR that is in a position to publish content online. The form of this process will vary, but here’s an example:

social SEO

By adding a process, it adds accountability as well as the likelihood that a much greater quantity of content will be keyword optimized and promoted to extend the reach of news direct to end consumers as well as to journalists and reporters doing online research.


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SEO & Social Media Marketing at PRSA International 2010 http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/10/seo-social-media-prsa10/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/10/seo-social-media-prsa10/#comments Wed, 06 Oct 2010 11:15:23 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=11621 Congratulations to our 2 winners of a free pass to the PRSA International Conference in Washington D.C.! Tia Peterson for “Is SEO the Missing Link In Your PR Strategy?“ Catherine Lockey for “PR’s Kickin’ it “New School” with Social and SEO“ Thank you to everyone that entered! You will receive a copy of our eBook [...]

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Congratulations to our 2 winners of a free pass to the PRSA International Conference in Washington D.C.!
PRSA International Conference

Thank you to everyone that entered! You will receive a copy of our eBook “Optimize: SEO for Public Relations.

With our roots in the public relations and media relations world, TopRank Online Marketing has a deep appreciation for the strategy, storytelling and networking skills that are essential for successful PR campaigns. We’ve also talked a lot here about the intersection of both SEO for PR and Social Media with PR.  It’s an incredible combination that increases reach, engagement and delivers even more value to business than Media Relations alone.

On October 17th, I will be giving a pre-conference 1/2 day workshop on Search Engine Optimization for PR Professionals:  SEO Boot Camp for Communicators where I’ll do a deep dive into the essentials of search engine optimization and social media, real-time search, content marketing, universal search and digital asset optimization.  The workshop offers strategies, tactics, exercises and case studies that will equip you with knowledge that will bring you to the front of the pack when it comes to SEO, online reputation management and search engine dominance.

On October 18th I will be giving a 45 minute presentation on Social Media Optimization – both at the 2010 PRSA International conference in Washington D.C..

In fact, there are over 80 sessions within four tracks including keynotes by Charlene Li and Jeffrey Hayzlett (both are interview alumni of Online Marketing Blog). It’s the most significant Public Relations conference of the year.

Surely, any PR professional that can add SEO and Social Media Marketing skills to their mix is a even more valuable asset to their organization. Heck, even the PRSA uses SEO to add more value to its members by making content easier to find via search engines. Not everyone is in a situation to attend the PRSA International conference to gain these skills, but TopRank Online Marketing has a special opportunity for you:

We’re giving away two free full passes to PRSA International

That’s a $1,575 value for EACH PASS! (non-member rate)   This doesn’t include travel, accommodations or any of the additional things that PRSA charges for, but it DOES include: “General Sessions, Professional Development Workshops and Package 1 meal functions”. We’ll give one pass each to two people who win.

All you need to do for the opportunity to win a full pass to the 2010 PRSA International Conference is:

  1. Write a blog post that explains why you think SEO and/or Social Media is important for Public Relations
  2. Include any additional insights on why you should be one of our pass winners
  3. Link to this blog post. You can use this shortened URL: http://tprk.us/prsa10me to make it easy
  4. After you publish your blog post, email us at: prsa10me@toprank.org with your name and a link to your post.

Entries via email must be received at prsa10me@toprank.org  by Friday 10/8 at noon Central Time. Winners will be selected and announced that same day by 5pm CT.  Bonus points if you can get your social friends to retweet, comment, link and share your post.

So what are you waiting for?

Of course, if you’re not into blogging or you really want to attend the PRSA International conference, then you can get more info and sign up directly here.

For the best list of PR professionals in the Twitterverse, please make sure you check out our Public Relations Pros List.


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PRSA09: Top 10 SEO Tips for Public Relations http://www.toprankblog.com/2009/11/seo-tips-for-pr/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2009/11/seo-tips-for-pr/#comments Tue, 10 Nov 2009 14:08:35 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=7485 Today at the PRSA 09 conference, it was a packed room for TopRank CEO (and author of Online Marketing Blog) Lee Odden who gave a presentation on SEO for Public Relations. He started by explaining why SEO is/should be important to PR Professionals. In a 2008 Journalists Use of Search Survey by TopRank, we discovered [...]

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Lee Odden Today at the PRSA 09 conference, it was a packed room for TopRank CEO (and author of Online Marketing Blog) Lee Odden who gave a presentation on SEO for Public Relations.

He started by explaining why SEO is/should be important to PR Professionals.

In a 2008 Journalists Use of Search Survey by TopRank, we discovered that 91% of journalists use standard search to fulfill a component of their job whether researching a story or locating a subject matter expert.

With journalists writing for more channels and with less resources making your content visible within search is critical.

Here are Odden’s 10 SEO Tips:

1. Number one thing to do?
Magic answer is that it depends on the problem.
However, if you choose one item to tackle make sure your website is crawlable. If the site isn’t crawlable, then really nothing else you do in terms of SEO will matter.

2. Understand and Optimize PR Tactics
The content that is likely already being created as part of the PR campaign is low hanging fruit in terms of SEO.

Optimize the following content with keyword phrases (or those terms that journalists might be searching) to help your content become more visible:

  • Press Releases
  • Letters to the editor
  • Online Newsroom
  • Media kits
  • Corporate blogs
  • White papers
  • Webinars/demos
  • Newsletters
  • Real world interviews published digitally

In addition, Odden introduces the audience to the idea of Micromedia Optimization. Now that tweets and soon status updates are being integrated into the search engines, it’s important to optimize the content regardless of the channel.

3. PPC vs SEO for PR
SEO is long term, part of a content process and contingent on content and links over time.
PPC is on-demand, pay to play and an alternative to natural listings. If you have something you need to draw attention to right now, PPC is perhaps the more viable option as you can have ads live within minutes.

4. Keyword Research
In order to optimize your existing content, a list of keyword phrases needs to be developed.
Here’s how you build the list:
1. Brainstorm phrases
2. Import to a keyword research tool
–Google Keyword Tool
–Google Insights & Trends
–WordTracker
–Keyword Discovery
–SEM Rush
3. Find popularity and variations of the original keyword list
4. Create a keyword glossary

When creating the glossary, be sure to segment by popularity and category to ensure no important phrases are missed.

5. Basics of OnPage SEO

When optimizing a website, newsroom or landing page, don’t forget to include keywords in the following places:

  • Title Tags
  • Keyword Placement within content
  • On-page titles
  • Navigation links
  • Body copy
  • Keyword text links
  • Image alt text

6. Get more from Press Releases
Press releases can be more than a vehicle for distributing messages. If optimized, it can also serve to pull journalists (and even prospects) to the content hosted on a website or within a newsroom.

To optimize your press content for search visibility, remember to:

  • Research and identify target keyword phrases
  • Optimize the release for 1-2 phrases
  • Include a Call to Action (link to landing page, so you can track activity)
  • Develop and Optimize Landing Pages
  • Post to Newsroom
  • Pitch to Media
  • Distribute via RSS
  • Leverage Wire Service Distribution
  • Measure Results

Here are 7 tips specific to Press Release Optimization:
1. Think up and to the left
2. Optimize for people first, search engines next
3. Use keywords in Title, Subhead, body
4. Don’t obsess over keyword density
5. Aim for a 500 word release to use target keyword 2-4 times
6. Use keywords in links to company sites
7. Add media: images, podcasts, video

7. Newsroom Optimization Tactics
Online newsrooms can be an added resource to draw journalists in, if it is optimized and can be found via search.

To optimize your newsroom or to get one started, follow these tips:
1. Consider using blog software to manage your newsroom, very search friendly
2. Share/Save Bookmarks
3. Leverage keyword categories
Chronological archives don’t benefit the search engines or the user. No one wants to search through years of press releases – as opposed to clicking on a category of content like ‘SEO Tips’.
4. Cross link from optimized content to relevant content on the website

8. Link Building
Links ‘electrify’ content in search and can significantly improve search rankings.

Earn links with great content and by deploying the following:

  • Promote content socially
  • Link up with partners
  • Cross link internally
  • Embed links in releases
  • Social bookmark pickups of release content/coverage

When creating hyperlinks, be sure to use keywords in text:
Yes: Red Widget
No: Click Here

9. SEO & Social: Yin Yang
SEO and Social Media can be very complimentary to one another, so if deploying both (or even parts of both) be sure to integrate for highest impact.

Optimize Social Media for Search
The role of SEO in a social media effort is to directly influence discovery of social communities or content via search.

Link Building for SEO Through Social Media
Indirectly, social content can boost links to website content, improve search traffic and online sales.

10. Measuring & Selling the Value of News SEO
After deploying some or all of the above, it’s important to tie back to results.

There are are many different ways to attach measurement to the optimization of news content and here are a few to get you started:

  • Newswire service metrics
  • Web analytics for landing pages and websites
  • Google / Yahoo alerts
  • Monitor blog search engines (via RSS)
  • Press release landing page conversion tracking
  • Social media monitoring
  • Inbound links
  • Pickups on blogs
  • Pickups on other websites
  • Pickups on publications
  • Search Rankings

Don’t think those will work? Odden recommends using the power of the competitors. Are your competitors receiving better social or standard search visibility? If so, that’s often a compelling data point for decision makers.

What tips do you have to add for optimizing news content?


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PRSA09: Social Media Measurement – Katie Paine on Establishing ROI http://www.toprankblog.com/2009/11/social-media-measurement/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2009/11/social-media-measurement/#comments Mon, 09 Nov 2009 12:00:24 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=7471 The first day of the 2009 PRSA International Conference in San Diego kicked off general sessions today. One session I’ve really been looking forward to was the one on social media measurement featuring Katie Paine of KDPaine & Partners. She started the audience off with some numbers, that we all might find useful: 48% of [...]

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The first day of the 2009 PRSA International Conference in San Diego kicked off general sessions today.

One session I’ve really been looking forward to was the one on social media measurement featuring Katie Paine of KDPaine & Partners. She started the audience off with some numbers, that we all might find useful:

  • 48% of respondents to a PRWeek study said that they were moving money from advertising to social media – only 18% said they were taking money from PR
  • 78% of people trust peer recommendations, 14% trust advertising
  • 91% of Inc 500 companies are using social media
  • 38% aren’t monitoring their brand, product or reputation in social media

Next, the audience had to grapple with the idea (read truth) that it’s the end of measurement as we know it. Here are ten supporting facts:

  1. Procter & Gamble is now paying for engagement, not eyeballs
  2. Sodexo cut 300K out of its recruitment budget using Twitter
  3. Comcast avoided government regs and improved customer service via Twitter
  4. Immunize BC used social media to boost awareness and increase percentage of population immunized
  5. BMC Software measures communications effectiveness based on contribution to EPS (earnings per share)
  6. HSUS (Humane Society) generated $650,000 in new donations from an on-line photo contest on Flickr
  7. Red Cross judges success in terms of property saved and loss averted
  8. IMB receives more leads, sales and exposure from a $500 podcast that it does from a $40,000 advertising program
  9. Wal-Mart credits Q109 profits to 11 Moms
  10. Stanford University calculates ROI from Facebook based on applications and retention

So, if you are measuring success with any of the following, you might be labeled Old School (and need to keep reading).

  • AVE (ad value equivalency)
  • Eyeballs
  • Hits
  • Couch Potatoes
  • # of Twitter Followers
  • # of Facebook Friends/Fans

Paine explains that the above measurement methods are in fact Old School and the incorrect way to measure the effectiveness of any campaign. Eyeballs aren’t a measurement of success anymore because those eyeballs likely avert your advertisement. Hits aren’t an objective of a website, inquiries and conversions are.

The measurement of success isn’t the creation of a Facebook page or even the number of friends/followers the page has. Rather, success is in the engagement with a particular audience and how that engagement has the potential to impact a preset objective.

So why don’t more professionals update the way they approach measurement? Paine says it’s fear. She adresses many fears that this (or any other) audience may have when it comes to social media and defining metrics.
1. Afraid metrics will reveal the program isn’t working.

  • If it’s not working, why keep doing it?

2. Afraid of what you will hear.

  • If you’re deaf to the conversation, only your enemies will hear it.

3. Afraid I won’t be able to justify my program/existence.

  • It’s not about justifying; it’s about improving

4. Afraid I’ll be fired for not showing the right numbers.

  • You should be fired for not showing any.

Social Media renders everything you know about measurement obsolete. The definition of timely has changed, the definition of reach has changed, the definition of success had changed.

The answer isn’t in how many you’ve reached, but how those you’ve reached have responded

Once you have reached the audience, take a look at how they engage and make decisions as it may have changed.

OLD:  Awareness > Consideration > Preference > Trial > Purchase
NEW:  Find > Observe > Participate > Engagement > Purchase/Act/Link/WOM

To get started, set goals for Social Media. Examples of goals are:

  1. Marketing/leads/sales
  2. Mission/safety/civic engagement
  3. Relationship/reputation/positioning

To reach those goals, what do you need to measure?  Paine recommends following the 7 Steps to Social Media ROI:

  1. Define the ‘R’ – what are expected results
  2. Define the ‘I’ – what’s the investment
  3. Understand your audiences and what motivates them
  4. Define the metrics (what you want to become)
  5. Define your benchmarks
  6. Obey the Rules
  7. Analysis

In what ways are you measuring social media? What have you found to be the most compelling metrics for getting management and/or client buy-in?


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Learn SEO, Social Media, Digital PR from TopRank http://www.toprankblog.com/2009/05/toprank-seo-social-media-pr-events-0509/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2009/05/toprank-seo-social-media-pr-events-0509/#comments Mon, 18 May 2009 16:52:12 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=5344 Over the next 2 weeks several staff from TopRank be hitting the road for multiple SEO/Social Media/PR speaking and training events. We invite you to attend and would love to meet up with readers of Online Marketing Blog. Topics during these events will emphasize the practice areas of our agency: Search Marketing, Online Public Relations [...]

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AudienceOver the next 2 weeks several staff from TopRank be hitting the road for multiple SEO/Social Media/PR speaking and training events. We invite you to attend and would love to meet up with readers of Online Marketing Blog.

Topics during these events will emphasize the practice areas of our agency: Search Marketing, Online Public Relations and Social Media Marketing. Locations will range from New York to San Francisco to Minneapolis.

May 19: Media Relations Summit, Crowne Plaze Hotel in NYC (event info)

4:30 pm: Mastering SEO, Google AdWords and Other Search Tools to Increase Visibility
If you’re ready to vault your website, landing pages, corporate videos, blogs, press releases, and online newsroom into the top of the search rankings, take in this one-hour bootcamp. You’ll learn all the latest tools, tips and tricks for making Google and Yahoo love you.

Panelists:  Howie JacobsonConsultant/Author, “Google Ad Words for Dummies”, Bill BarnesEVP, Business Development, Enquiro and Lee OddenCEO, TopRank Online Marketing 

Tweetup Monday 5/18

May 28-9:  Private Company Training Engagement, San Francisco (Contact TopRank for our on-site training services)

  • Social Media Monitoring and Brand Positioning
  • Search Engine Optimization Skills for Corporate Marketing & Public Relations
  • Social Media Roadmap: Strategies and Tactics for Large Organizations

Presenters: Susan Misukanis, President, Jolina Pettice, Senior Account Manger, Lee Odden, CEO (All from TopRank Online Marketing)

Tweetup Friday 5/29, location TBD 

June 2: ClickZ Online Marketing Summit, The Depot in Minneapolis (event info)

3:30 pm: Twitter and Advanced Blog Strategies
The Social Media Road Map:  Many companies are jumping off the cliff of Social Media, while others fear directly engaging customers.  Learn how to strategically align your marketing objectives with long-term social media strategies that work.

4:40 pm: Big Brands, Big Plans Panel
This is the highlight of the day… join a  round-table panel comprised of  the world’s leading brands and practitioners and get the inside scoop on how leading brands are driving success through social media, SEO, websites, and testing, and how you can apply these principles to your own initiatives.

Panelists: Jeanniey Mullen, CMO Zinio, Founder of Email Experience Council, Kevin G. Espinosa, eBusiness Platform Manager, Caterpillar Inc., Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Online Marketing, Keith Dieruf, Manager, Online Marketing, Ameriprise Financial, Matt McGowan, Vice President of Marketing and Publisher, ClickZ

Tweetup – meetup 6/2

June 4-5:  Social Media Smarts, DMA Seminar Facility, NYC (event inf0)

9:00am – 5:00pm Introduction to the Intersection of SEO and the Social Web Through Strategy, Tools and Tactics
Intensive, 2 day workshop will help companies better understand the social web and how social media and SEO can help increase brand awareness, improve customer relationships and compliment both PR and marketing efforts at growing business.

Tweetup June 4, location TBD

June 10: PRNews Webinar (event info)

1:30pm (EST):  Boosting Your Bottom Line with Online News & Other Cost-Effective PR Tactics 

From savvy email marketing campaigns to press releases that attract media attention, there are simple, cost-effective strategies that will help you increase revenue. This webinar promises insight from a mix of expert practitioners in a wide range of areas including:

  • How to generate buzz and word of mouth around your small business
  • Integrating PR efforts with marketing and advertising to increase sales
  • Driving traffic to your website through search engines
  • Building a strong community around your brand
  • PR’s role in uncovering customers’ needs for new products/services
  • Getting buzz and coverage among bloggers and citizen journalists
  • Best/worst tactics for holding media or customer events for your business
  • How to effectively leverage Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook & MySpace
  • Blogs and Video sites: what you need to know
  • Pitch your stories to bloggers and to the Twitter community
  • Writing social media press releases that work
  • Conducting keyword research and finding the keyword sweet spot
  • Optimizing PR content online, posting it and building reciprocal links
  • Linking techniques: from blogs to social networking pages
  • Identifying the most popular search terms for your campaigns
  • SEM tools, resources and SEM for-hire checklists
  • Email marketing Do’s and Don’ts

Panelists: Idill Cakim Vice President, Golin Harris, Sally Falkow Principal, ExpansionPlus & Senior Fellow Society for New Communications Research, Greg Jarboe President, SEO-PR, Lee Odden CEO, TopRank Online Marketing, Sophie Shiatis
Vice President Ecommerce, PRWeb, Moderator: Courtney Barnes Editor, PR News

If you’re attending any of these events and you would like to connect, please @ or DM on Twitter: @leeodden


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Upcoming PR, SEO, Social Media Marketing Events http://www.toprankblog.com/2009/04/pr-seo-social-media-events/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2009/04/pr-seo-social-media-events/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2009 16:34:21 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=5041 April has been a relatively quiet month for TopRank speaking events but May will rev things up a bit with the following Public Relations and Direct Marketing industry events focusing on Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing topics. I’ll also be presenting on SEO for publishers locally this week at a private event for [...]

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Keynote Audience PRSAApril has been a relatively quiet month for TopRank speaking events but May will rev things up a bit with the following Public Relations and Direct Marketing industry events focusing on Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing topics.

I’ll also be presenting on SEO for publishers locally this week at a private event for MSP Communications, publishers of Mpls St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business.

PRSA Digital Impact Social Media: April 30 – May 1, 2009 New York, NY
This event covers how public relations practitioners are effectively using technology for public and media relations.  That means social media, online PR, mobile PR and topics like data visualization. The keynote will be delivered by social media and PR guru, Brian Solis of FutureWorks.

I’ll be doing a solo, one hour presentation on “Top ten SEO tactics for PR professionals“.  Here’s my outline:

  1. SEO tactics – if I could only do one thing…
  2. PR tactics that affect SEO
  3. When is PPC better than SEO for PR?
  4. How to choose the best keywords?
  5. Basics of on-page SEO
  6. Press release optimization tips
  7. Newsroom optimization tactics
  8. Link building fundamentals
  9. SEO and social media promotions
  10. Measuring & selling the value of SEO

You can still register here and get more info on the other presentations.

Media Relations Summit:  May 17 – 19, 2009 New York, NY
This is the largest media relations conference and brings together PR and corporate communications practitioners together with journalists, reporters, analysts and other members of the media. As with most conferences in the PR and marketing industries, there’s a heavy focus on new and social media. Dan Rather and Dan Abrams will be giving keynotes this year. Charlie Rose did the keynote last year and it was excellent.

I’ll be on a panel “Mastering SEO, Google AdWords and Other Search Tools to Increase Visibility” with Bill Barnes from Enquiro and Howie Jacobson.   My presentation will focus on optimizing news content, which I’ve presented on at many search marketing conferences and at previous PRSA events. This one will include updated case studies. 

Register here and get the full schedule.

ClickZ Online Marketing Summit: June 2, 2009 Minneapolis, MN
What’s not to like about an event in your own backyard?  The Online Marketing Summit is traveling to 13 cities May-July this year offering a great mix of client and agency expertise, advice and insight on all things related to marketing on the web.  The OMS Minneapolis style will be held at The Depot, downtown Minneapolis.

I will be giving a presentation on Building a SEO and Social Media Roadmap that will explain the benefits of incorporating SEO and Social Media as well as the framework for developing a Social Media Strategy.  Last week I wrote about this exact thing at Mashable.  Here’s a general outline which will include several practical examples:

  1. Audience
  2. Objectives
  3. Strategy
  4. Tactics
  5. Tools/Technology
  6. Measurement

Register here before they sell out!

Social Media Smarts Workshop:  June 4-5, 2009 New York, NY
Apparently I like to travel to New York. Who doesn’t?  Companies that really want to sink their teeth into not only creating a social media strategy but also want the knowledge to implement will want to
run, not walk, to Social Media Smarts.

This is a 2 day, intensive workshop filled with practical examples, case studies and exercises that enables attendees to learn about blogging, social networking, Twitter, media sharing (images, video, audio), social news & bookmarking, wikis and social media measurement.

Here is the outline for Day 1 and Day 2:

  • Introduction to Social Media
  • QuickStart to Business Blogging and RSS
  • Marketing Socially: Creating and Promoting Blog Content
  • Social ROI: Measuring Blogs and the Social Web
  • Step Up to Social Networking
  • Videos and Podcasts and Images Oh My!
  • Social Roundup: Microblogging, Social Bookmarking and wikis
  • Social Media Strategy Workshop



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PRSA 2008 International Conference Round Up http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/10/prsa-2008-international-conference-round-up/ Wed, 29 Oct 2008 22:12:11 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=3484 Over the weekend, Online Marketing Blog posts as well as my interactions on Twitter took on a decidedly “public relations” flavor with TopRank’s involvement at the 2008 PRSA International conference.  The event is now done and everyone should be back in the swing of things back in the office. This year TopRank had 2 speaking [...]

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Over the weekend, Online Marketing Blog posts as well as my interactions on Twitter took on a decidedly “public relations” flavor with TopRank’s involvement at the 2008 PRSA International conference.  The event is now done and everyone should be back in the swing of things back in the office.

Nicole and Mike from TopRankMarketing.com
This year TopRank had 2 speaking slots (a workshop and a panel) plus Account Manager Mike Yanke and Media Relations Associate Nicole Leach stayed busy attending sessions, keynotes and blogging.

PRSA 2008
The theme of this year’s event was “The Point of Connection” and I think the reference served the interests of attendees well. Social technologies were top of mind for attendees, speakers and the event itself with all the blogging, Twittering and real world networking going on. PR professionals from across the globe converged on Detroit to learn, recognize their peers, conduct business and most of all to connect.

PRSA 2008 Exhibit Hall
The exhibit hall area offered a variety of products and services to choose from and was well laid out and well attended, which was something many exhibitors appreciated.

Downtown Detroit

While I didn’t get to visit much of Detroit outside of Sweet Lorraine’s for the PR Tweetup and Tom’s Oyster Bar for the PR Technology Section dinner, I did have this rather stoic view from my hotel. Many other photos can be found on TopRank’s PRSA 2008 set on Flickr and the official PRSA photo pool.

Here’s a wrap up of the posts Mike and Nicole posted here and over at Media Relations Blog:

Thank you to Mike and Nicole for doing a great job blogging the event – this was definitely a “working” conference.  A big thanks also goes out to PRSA staff Judy Voss and Colleen Seaver from Professional Development, our PRSA clients Ann Caggiano and Richard Specter and PRSA President and COO Bill Murray.

Find other blog posts on sessions offered at PRSA 2008 on the official PRSA blog, ComPRehension.


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PRSA 2008: What’s The ROI On Your Press Release? http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/10/prsa-2008-press-release-roi/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/10/prsa-2008-press-release-roi/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2008 19:50:57 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=3465 Working for TopRank Online Marketing, which offers both SEO and public relations services, I always enjoy attending sessions that focus on both. In part, it’s an excellent feeling to know that the SEO services we integrate into our online PR programs are ahead of the game in many ways, and in part because there is [...]

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Greg Jarboe at PRSA 2008

Working for TopRank Online Marketing, which offers both SEO and public relations services, I always enjoy attending sessions that focus on both.

In part, it’s an excellent feeling to know that the SEO services we integrate into our online PR programs are ahead of the game in many ways, and in part because there is always something new and of value I can continue to offer to our clients.

That was my exact feeling when attending the PRSA session “What’s The ROI On Your Press Release.”  This excellent session was presented by:

  • Greg Jarboe, President, SEO-PR
  • Laura Sturaitis, Senior Vice President Media Services & Product Strategy, Business Wire

Much of what was presented by Sturaitis will be familiar to regular readers of this blog, but new and vital to those either new to PR or veterans of traditional PR only.

As was the theme for much of this conference, and within the title of this session, the first step when drafting your next release will be to outline your measurement of success in advance, whether that be coverage, online visibility, straight up sales, disclosure, or some mixture of all or some of the above.

Once established, Sturaitis offered excellent tips to help increase ROI in each of these areas, again, these may seem well established in the world of SEO, but it’s equally important that PR professionals also learn to take hold:

  • Identify keywords for which you seek for your release to be found.  Leverage keyword research to find popular keywords relating to your story or industry.
  • Link these keywords back to your website.  This will not only help increase keyword rankings for your site, but will provide another portal for users.
  • Format your press release for robots and readers – place keywords up & to the left, where both of these lifeforms look.
  • Measure your results.

The reason for the vitality of Sturaitis’ tips came alive in Jarboe’s set where results driven case studies were shared.

These case studies, with their real world examples, should help to put any client who may be apprehensive or unsure of new optimized news blended tactics at complete ease:

  • Symettricom, a developer of extremely niche technology chips, optimized a release around an admittedly unpopular, but extremely relevant keyword with a corresponding link to a form page.  Predictably, only 8 inquiries were seen.  Unpredictably, one of these leads accounted for $200 million.
  • Southwest Airlines had previously only optimized releases around corporate nickname “Southwest”.  Upon optimizing for “Southwest Airlines”, and implementing tracking pages, they were able to account for approximately 2.5 million in ticket sales.  A big reason why we’re advocates of landing pages and full brand names at TopRank. TopRank Online Marketing, that is 🙂
  • Christian Science Monitor, in support of their 11 part article on former hostage Jill Caroll, sought additional exposure through an optimized release.  Jarboe, breaking AP style and (apparently, per his recollection the heart of the Monitor’s editor) identified Caroll as the keyword “Jill Caroll” several times throughout the release.  The results were, again, a marked increase in traffic, simply by modifying AP style to “Google Style”.

The biggest takeaway for PR professionals is the realization that little will change about what we do.  Whether we are communicating via AP Style or “Google Style” we’re still communicating – and we’re still seeking to communicate with people.  In other words, we don’t have to write like robots to be found by robots.

If anything, the ROI seen with press releases thanks to our world’s advancements ensure we simply see more results for less as our messages retain far more permanence online.  At the end of the day, more results for less work is something we could all become accustomed to, regardless of industry.

Speaking of online PR and press release optimization, be sure to sign up now for the free Webinar on Wednesday Oct 29, 2pm EST.

SEO & PR: Using Online PR to Drive Better Search Results – Today PR generates more than just media visibility, it is a key tool to increase search engine rankings and drive website traffic.

Join Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing and Jay Byrne, President of v-Fluence Interactive Public Relations to learn powerful, cost-effective ways to use PR to drive better search results.”

The webinar is free and you won’t be disappointed. Get more information here.


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PRSA Session: Current Consumer Trends & Communicating with Green Media http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/10/prsa-2008-leverage-consumer-trends-green-media/ Tue, 28 Oct 2008 19:46:17 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=3467 At TopRank Online Marketing, many of our clients are intrigued with the prospect of going to market with green messaging. We match their excitement like most firms do when faced with the prospect of communicating an honest-to-goodness good story with so seemingly tailor made for results. Is it really enough to announce that you’re going [...]

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How To Leverage Current Consumer Trends & Most Effectively Communicate with Green Media

At TopRank Online Marketing, many of our clients are intrigued with the prospect of going to market with green messaging. We match their excitement like most firms do when faced with the prospect of communicating an honest-to-goodness good story with so seemingly tailor made for results.

Is it really enough to announce that you’re going green, however, if your objective is to receive coverage?

The session “How To Leverage Current Consumer Trends & Most Effectively Communicate with Green Media” illustrated ways we could help ensure our clients do it right.

Presented by Annie Longsworth of Cohn & Wolfe and Sandy Skees of Communications4Good, the session dispelled the myth that it is simply enough to announce yourself as green in order to achieve increased media coverage.

One of the primary reasons being that people care about this messaging, but at the end of the day they don’t “really” care about this messaging. No one wants to see a cuddly old polar bear drown, when faced with the prospect of paying an extra dollar a day to ensure they don’t, we all of a sudden remember that if that bear had the chance, it would likely rip our face right off.

Journalists are seeing this conflict hit the bottom line of their publications directly as, per example, Time Magazine recently saw their annual green issue come in with the third lowest sales of the year.

The easiest way that PR professionals can combat this is simply by sharing “new” news and know that green may not be the lead story. (In fact, some journalists have been hit by green fatigue so heavily they simply will not cover a story unless it’s brand new).

It’s not enough to get coverage by saying your hotel chain has implemented green practices nationwide, but if green were simply the side effect of say, environmentally friendly hover-shuttles to and from the hotel, well, you may have something.

As this is my concluding post from this event, and this was my concluding session, I would like to finalize coverage with key trends associated with the green movement that can be leveraged both when contemplating green PR messaging (remember – think something BRAND NEW) or, truly, any other PR story or business practice:

  • Transparency – be open with who you are as an organization (whether in PR outreach, or in general), from both the good and the bad, and ensure everyone within your organization can speak to your mission.
  • Creative innovation is the quickest way towards better results. Example, UPS eliminated left-turns in their routes and saved 3 million gallons of gas their first year. Will your latest PR story lead with this anecdote, or will it lead with green? Which is more powerful? On the other side, what innovation can your company implement that will provide this kind of result?
  • Value optimism over fear – seriously, do you want to see another polar bear slowly dying, or do you want to see stories or corporate policies that begin with creative solutions rather than terrifying realities? Which do you think will spur action v. cowering?
  • Do good things, and you’ll probably make money – People love to read positive empowering stories, employees want to work for and will work hard for responsible employers, and all things being equal, consumers will buy from you if they believe in you.

Yes, it is possible that it be all about money, all about results, all about our own ego – but still be centered around the good, centered around the positivity, centered around optimism.

Apart from a flight taking my happily exhausted self home a bit earlier than 10:30pm EST, what more could we ask for?


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PRSA 2008 Detroit Conference Photos http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/10/prsa-2008-detroit-photos/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/10/prsa-2008-detroit-photos/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2008 12:00:21 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=3437 As with most conferences, we like to take a few photos and the annual Public Relations industry event, PRSA International conference is no different. Held in Detroit this year with attendee goals met and sponsor goals exceeded, there is a feel of optimism both about the city as esposed my Detroit mayor Ken Cockrel and [...]

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Cars As with most conferences, we like to take a few photos and the annual Public Relations industry event, PRSA International conference is no different. Held in Detroit this year with attendee goals met and sponsor goals exceeded, there is a feel of optimism both about the city as esposed my Detroit mayor Ken Cockrel and by PRSA President Jeff Julin.

I personally started the conference on Saturday with a 4 hour workshop on SEO for Public Relations which included results of our Journalist Use of Search Survey. At 10am today I’m on a panel with Peter Himler, Rob Key and David Bradfield.  Here are a few of my favorite photos from the first 2 days of PRSA 2008.

PRSA President Jeff Julin
It wouldn’t be a proper PRSA conference roundup without a photo of PRSA President Jeff Julin

Paula Tutaman
Paula Tutman, news reporter from WDIV, a NBC TV station in Detroit and great compliment to keynote speaker Craig Newmark

Craig Newmark
Speaking of Craig Newmark, here he is looking awfully dapper after the keynote on how social media makes us more Democratic

Katie Paine and Shonali Burke
PR measurement guru Katie Paine listens to the ASPCA case study presented by Shonali Burke

PRSA Staff (especially Ann and Judy wink) Being Very Good at the Opening Reception
PRSA peeps at the opening reception

Wendy Treinen and Jason Falls PRSA Detroit
Good looking Kentucky smiles from Wendy Treinen of the Kentucky Derby Museum and Social Media Guru Jason Falls

Radian6 Social Media Monitoring Booth
Friendly faces of Marc, Craig and Chris at the Radian6 booth. PRSA International 2007 is where I first met Radian6

Shonali Burke, Blondie and Kami Huyse
PRSA Tweetup Tweeple: Shonali Burke, Shannon Paul and Kami Huyse

Eric Schwartzman, Scott Monty and Peter Himler
PRSA Tweetup Tweeple: Eric Schwartzman, smiley guy, Scott Monty and Peter Himler

Tube Detroit
Tube from the Tweetup to the Twhotel. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. 🙂

Latop
And the trusty laptop that makes most of the blogging magic happen for Online Marketing Blog

Check out all the photos from TopRank on the Detroit PRSA 2008 photos set on Flickr.


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PRSA 2008: Word of Mouth Online or Off – What’s The Difference? http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/10/prsa-2008-word-of-mouth/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/10/prsa-2008-word-of-mouth/#comments Sun, 26 Oct 2008 23:45:20 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=3428 Can you truly measure the effect of word of mouth in marketing, whether it be online or offline?  If so, which is more effective?  Further, if so, what exactly can we as marketers do with it? These were the bold questions set forth by Jeffrey Graham,  Executive Director, Customer Insight, New York Times, in the [...]

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Can you truly measure the effect of word of mouth in marketing, whether it be online or offline?  If so, which is more effective?  Further, if so, what exactly can we as marketers do with it?

These were the bold questions set forth by Jeffrey Graham,  Executive Director, Customer Insight, New York Times, in the day one PRSA International Conference Session “Word of Mouth Online or Off – What’s the Difference?”

The session’s formal agenda began with the stunning, though entirely unsurprising, admission that word of mouth, while noted as critical towards any marketing campaign’s success, is rarely accounted for in a campaigns budget.

The answer for this is surprisingly direct, in addition to being a complete cop-out: it simply cannot be measured.

Of course it can be measured.  Everything can be measured.  I can still measure the first fish I ever caught when I was six years old.  It was 57 inches long and 32 pounds.

Now, if you are saying it can’t be measured truly accurately, then that may be something we can come closer to agreement on.  In the case of a fishing story, we know before we hear the answer it will not be accurate, and the lie itself is a predictable action of the storyteller.

In fact, many in the old guard agree that the credibility of online word of mouth is negligible at best, and even among younger demographics, most word of mouth still happens – and is still trusted most – when it comes from face to face contact.

Online, does offer its share of benefits, however, including:

  • Nearly absolute permanence of any conversation
  • Complete transcendence of any distance

Many, however, still see it as an extremely volatile channel, and this is to be expected in any forum where anyone at anytime can post any ridiculous parable they feel like.

So knowing the influence of word of mouth, and knowing the reach of online, and admitting to the incredulity of this channel, what can savvy marketers do to be most effective?

The answer here is twofold – find what channels will spread your conversation and find the “multiplier” – those who will take the message you provide to them and multiply it among their entire network.

In terms of channels, surprisingly maybe to some – but television is still king in terms of a channel for overall “push” messaging (ie advertising) to start an online conversation.  However, when this is segmented further down to the industry level – certain verticals will actually see more conversations started from online messaging, among them technology (Note: one of TopRank’s key verticals) who, research indicates will see 49 conversations started compared to television’s 37.

Significant research was done by Graham and the New York Times to determine just what exactly constitutes a multiplier, and essentially, a formula has been created that breaks it down into three basic questions:

  • How many people do you speak to each day?
  • Do people come to you for recommendations?
  • Do you love to learn, share and advice?

Of 3000 people polled (in this case, the experiment was limited to the power of women as multipliers) roughly 30% fit this criteria.

Not only did this 30% of women match the criteria from the questions above, they also shared one other remarkable – 87% saw themselves as loving to help people – and see, either consciously or unconsciously, themselves as fulfilling some altruistic purpose in truly helping their family and friends.  They were truly inspired that their networks saw them as a trusted source to go to for buying decisions.

What else did they have in common?  They were each, in their own way, completely full of themselves.  They loved to talk about how “I” help people, how people come to “me”.  They were all – and this is purely my take – idiots.

A sandwich, like your opinion, is a wonderful thing to have, but no one wants either shoved down their throat.  I myself find it hard to believe that anyone would be truly influenced by these so-called multipliers, would be interested to see truly definitive research showing otherwise – and at the end of the day – feel altruism has as much place in marketing as truth does to childhood fishing stories.

If all this is true, is this another log being placed onto a fire burning partly on pure and utter confusion, and part on the realization that we can only ever get so far inside our target’s mind?

Not quite.  While we may never know definitely if a multipliers network truly likes to listen as much as multipliers love to talk – we do know – without a doubt – multipliers LOVE to buy.  They will spend money because they want to, they will spend money because they feel compelled to, they will spend money because they owe it to the world to do so and share their thoughts.

The multipliers in your vertical are your big, fat target and – quite possible, just maybe – are influencing some other folks out there, too.  So how best do we find them?  That’s best handled more fully in another post, but an off the cuff idea is a simple three question survey:

  • How many people do you speak to each day?
  • Do people come to you for recommendations?
  • Do you love to learn, share and advice?

Just like a fishing story, the accuracy of the response is secondary to the predictable action of the storyteller.


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PRSA International Conference Detroit: A Halloween Perspective http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/10/prsa-2008-detroit/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/10/prsa-2008-detroit/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2008 15:56:27 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=3361 Next weekend, I will be deployed to Detroit, MI  to attend 2008’s PRSA International Conference titled “The Point of Connection” and will be sharing thoughts on several sessions, in addition to general overviews of the event itself, on behalf of Online Marketing Blog readers. So what am I looking forward to most about the PRSA [...]

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Next weekend, I will be deployed to Detroit, MI  to attend 2008’s PRSA International Conference titled “The Point of Connection” and will be sharing thoughts on several sessions, in addition to general overviews of the event itself, on behalf of Online Marketing Blog readers. So what am I looking forward to most about the PRSA International conference?

Visiting Detroit, of course!  When most think of Detroit, they will no doubt reflect on the history of Motown, past flawed baseball greats such as Ty Cobb and Denny McClain, or “Detroit Rock City”.  My nerdom leads me elsewhere, however.

For me, Detroit will always be immortalized as the city that hosted the monumental world premiere of  “Night of the Demons” in Halloween of 1988.  Per IMDB’s invaluable trivia feature, had this filmed opened nationwide with the numbers posted in Detroit, it would have ranked among the top grossing horror films of the decade.

The reason I begin the post with this story is not simply that this conference is being held just before Halloween, but rather the conference itself is populated with excellent sessions with a true bend towards social media and ROI – two oceans I navigate through seemingly daily in my work at TopRank Online Marketing.

The pre-conference workshop, “Optimizing Content for Optimum Search Results: Search Engine Optimization for News” run by TopRank’s CEO Lee Odden promises to shed light on (and in the process dispelling any zombie like myths) the intersection of search engine optimization and news content. Journalists and bloggers use search and the social web for more efficient research and this workshop will show PR professionals how they can leverage SEO to faciliate both “PULL PR” and increased online news distribution.

In the session “The Changed PR Landscape: What Works, What Doesn’t” (including a panel of digital PR experts including moderator Peter Himler, principal, Flatiron Communications LLC, Rob Key, founder & CEO, Converseon, David Bradfield, senior vice president and partner at FH Digital and TopRankMarketing.com CEO Lee Odden) social media channels and tactics such as wikis, Twitter, Facebook, etc, will be discussed at length – and the question posed will be – with the advent of social media, should PR professionals throw out traditional PR techniques in favor of increased focus on these new channels?

This session will help with this critical question, which is one I have to answer on behalf of many of my clients whose objectives we achieve by harnessing the streams of new marketing techniques and PR.

Will the future see distributing press releases to traditional media outlets as our highest impact tactic towards our clients end goals, or will creating a Twitter account where CEOs can express their innermost interests (favorite horror movies, as I did above, for instance?) in an effort to humanize themselves be most effective?

The answer is dependent on ROI – another major focus of this conference, particularly relevant in our tougher economic times.

Going back to Night of the Demons, imagine if the producers would have had the foresight to spend the extra distribution costs to distribute nationally, rather than just geographically.  On the other side of that coin, imagine if other horror producers learned from this film that their latest budget conscious opuses could turn a tidy profit with a geographic focus.

Sessions like “True Tales From the Social Media Measurement Trenches — Using Research to Learn and Improve Your Programs” (featuring Shonali Burke, vice president, media and communications, ASPCA and Katie Delahaye Paine, CEO, KDPaine & Partners) will illustrate how a measurement system tied to public relations will help to further overall marketing results, while  “What’s the ROI of Your Press Release” (featuring Laura Sturaitis, senior vice president, media & product services, Business Wire and Greg Jarboe, president, SEO-PR) will describe how to get the most out of traditional press releases in our web 2.0 world – again, with the objective of increasing overall marketing results.

Other sessions I look forward to attending include:

  • Media Myths & Realities with Nicholas Scibetta, global director, global media, Ketchum
  • Word of Mouth Online v. Offline with Jeffrey Graham, executive director,customer insight, The New York Times
  • How to Leverage Current Consumer Trends and Most Effectively Communicate With Green Media, with Annie Longsworth, president, San Francisco office, Cohn & Wolfe

I look forward to this conference and to checking in with TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog readers starting next week!

If you’re attending PRSA International in Detroit next week, be sure to register for the half day pre-conference session on SEO for PR and News Content” Saturday, October 25, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


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