Persuasive Picks for the Week of 03/24/08

There were a lot of juicy bits to choose from this week. Here are a few that made our Persuasive Picks:

A Successful MySpace Social Media Campaign
While not all businesses will find MySpace to be suitable platform for their Social Media campaigns, those who might will find inspiration in this post on the Social Media Optimization blog. It details the success that Disney had during its recent campaign to promote its “Step Up” movie franchise.

15 Reasons Why Blogging Matters More Than Ever
If Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation Blog and Podcast aren’t on the top of your reading and listening lists each week, then you should take some time to work them to the top of your list. This week he touches upon why blogging still matters. While its a topic that has been beaten to death on hundreds of blogs already, Mitch’s points are all very relevant and are presented in a thoughtful way that keep the material fresh.

The Ready, Fire, Aim, Reload Strategy for Social Media Success
Brian Clark from Copyblogger touches upon a new a new style of thinking that should be understood when adapting to the process of creating content for your site’s visitors.

Case Study: Dissecting the Dell Regeneration Graffiti Facebook Campaign
Forrester’s Jeremiah Owyang analyzes Dell’s recent Regeneration Graffiti campaign on Facebook and shows that sometimes letting go and letting the community drive the “campaign bus” can yield very positive results.

The Beauty, Secrets and Utility of Twitter for Business
Social Media Strategy Consultant, B.L Ochman shares her experiences and love for Twitter and how it fits into her daily ritual as a favorite business tool.

Turning radicals into revolutionaries: the key to kick-starting your social strategy
More good nuggets from the Forrester camp this week with this post by Charlene Li who taps more content from her upcoming book Groundswell. This time Charlene speaks towards harnessing the power of your most passionate employees to lead the charge in engaging your customers online.

You Get What You Give with a PR Firm

As I was sitting in a planning meeting with our newest client last week, I was impressed with how much information they were sharing with us and how much effort they were putting into the relationship from the start. Not only did all of the key executives, including the CEO, meet with us for a half day and answer all of the questions we could throw at them, they also had sales executives present to our team – to show us how they sell and let us ask questions of them as any prospect might. This kind of exposure and information-gathering is key to helping us truly understand their business – what’s going well, what the challenges are, how the company presents itself, etc. Sharing information and communicating your overall business goals – not just the marketing department’s – is key to building the most successful relationship with your PR firm.

Too often, companies believe hiring a PR firm is just a notch on the marketing team’s belt and they are afraid to share “too much” information with the agency. Despite NDAs and contracts, they fear that providing deep insight into the business will cause the agency to lose focus or know too much. But think about why you hired a PR agency in the first place – you expect them to represent you, your products/services and brand to the world. You turn to them in times of crisis and you expect their strategic insight will change opinions, capture mindshare and alleviate naysayers. You expect them to be able to position you in the best light and in the most relevant opportunities, and you expect them to be able to speak intelligently about your space and your market – as though they worked for the company themselves.

And in essence, we do. At PerkettPR, we insist on being privy to marketing and sales discussions as well as C-level planning – because we’re a part of each client’s team. We can only do our best work when clients trust us, communicate with us and include us. You cannot expect any PR firm to do a good job if you aren’t letting them see the whole picture – good and bad. Let your agency help you figure out how to build the best positioning, strategy and approach with all the pieces clearly laid out in front of them. With such knowledge, they can help you to highlight your best assets, deal sensibly with any challenges, and turn around any negativity.

If you’ve hired a PR firm, you have already made a sizeable commitment. Make sure you get the most return on your investment by trusting your team and working closely with them on all fronts – great PR goes well beyond news releases and media relations, and should be treated as an investment in the overall future health of your company.

Key points:
• If you are making the investment in a PR firm, truly engage them
• Ensure C-level executive involvement
• Trust your agency – you didn’t hire them to be “yes men”
• Make the relationship open and honest
• The more you give, the better results you receive

Persuasive Picks for the Week of 03/17/2008

This post marks the start of a new weekly series on PerkettPRsuasion that will highlight many of the notable happenings in the world of Social Media and PR. From time to time we’ll also include links to posts about personal productivity and tips for working in a virtual company like PerkettPR (10 years strong!!). Each entry will include links to the original post as well as some brief commentary explaining a bit about the topic and its relevance. Here are the “Persuasive Picks” for this week:

25 Social Media Buzzwords Explained (Part 1 & Part 2)
Jim Tobin from IgniteSocialMedia.com shares this great two-part post listing 25 common Social Media buzzwords and brief explanations of each. This is a good primer for folks who are new to the Social Media space and want to get a jump-start on the lingo.

Bucking the System
Forrester’s Josh Bernoff shares insight on strategies for pioneering change towards Social Media within your company. The advise is taken straight from Bernoff and Charlene Li’s upcoming book, Groundswell.

15 Free Social Media White Papers and Ebooks
Even if you’re a seasoned Social Media maven, there are sure to be some interesting nuggets and different perspectives found in this compilation of 15 white papers and ebooks posted on Mashable.

How I tamed my inbox
Chris Brogan shares his process for keeping his email inbox clean and projects organized. Both are chores that haunt web-workers on a daily basis! Chris also provides a link to Merlin Mann’s excellent “Inbox Zero” talk that he presented at the Google offices last year.

Organizing Our Digital Lives
Scott Monty fom Crayon appears on MarketingProf’s Daily Fix this week and shares a number of web-based aggregators that can help you get a handle on the fire hose of information that can drown the typical web-worker. I’ve played with a few of them, and they can definitely help get the flow under control.

Starbucks Transformational Agenda
Brand Autopsy’s John Moore takes a look at the initiatives that Starbucks announced after their 2008 Shareholders Meeting and offers an interesting perspective. All eyes are on their announcement of the MyStarbucksIdea.com website that is being launched as part of their new Social Media strategy. Its success (or failure) could be the next most popular case-study!

Thats all for this week. Feel free to leave a comment and start a discussion on any of the topics. Let us know what you think of the format, and stay tuned for more “Persuasive Picks” next week!

Mzinga and the Power of Community

Grant Robertson from DownloadSquad.com interviews Aaron Strout (VP of New Media) from Mzinga at SXSW 2008. Aaron talks about how Mzinga helps customers leverage the power of community with their enterprise-class, white-label social media platform.


SXSW 2008: Mzinga from Download Squad on Vimeo.

[via downloadsquad.com]

5 SEO Tips for PR Professionals

Last night I attended Boston’s March Social Media Club Event in Woburn, Massachusetts. The topic of the evening was “The Search for Results: Social Media and Search Marketing” which was presented by a panel that consisted of:

  • Amanda Watlington, Owner of Searching for Profit
  • Greg Jarboe, President and Co-Founder of SEO-PR
  • Sherwood Stranieri, Director of SEO at SMG Search
  • Thom Brodeur, Senior VP, Global Strategy and Development for Marketwire
  • Andrew Komack, Founder and President of KoMarketing Associates, LLC

Amanda led the panel through several SEO related topics including SEO’s importance in social media marketing strategies, as well as some of the tools and techniques that SEOs use for optimization. The panel discussed different points of view on the topics and strengthened their message with interesting case-study stories.

Towards the end of the evening, the panel separated and joined the audience for small breakout sessions on more specific topics. The session I joined was led by Greg Jarboe and was geared towards SEO and press releases. The primary take-away from Greg’s talk was a 5-part formula for success with online press releases using SEO. The formula was laid out as follows:

Step 1: Do your keyword research.

The importance of keyword research was stressed several times during the event. Your keywords should always be nouns or adjectives. People never search for verbs. Its also important to craft “keyword phrases” rather than using a single keyword. If you can construct a keyword phrase that can be broken up into multiple phrases, your release will have a lot more impact with the search engines.

Step 2: Actually USE the keywords!

This step raised a chuckle when mentioned because it seems so obvious. You’d be surprised to learn how many people go through the process selecting keywords and then don’t use them or use them properly. Always be sure to include your keywords in the title of your release as well as in the lead paragraph.

Step 3: Add a link to the client site in the release.

Online releases need to be written for bloggers and regular readers in addition to the traditional media folks. Adding a link to the client’s site gives the reader the ability to seek out additional information about the topic in the release. Be sure that the link points to a relevant page on the client’s website and not just to the homepage where the reader is left to hunt for the proper page themselves. Those who are familiar with the concept of the social media release will already have this step down and have taken it even farther.

Step 4: Use a search engine friendly wire service.

Not all news wire services are search engine friendly. In addition, those that are search engine friendly not might format their releases in a way that makes all the major engines (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Live Search, etc.) happy. Take time to discover which services are set up to give you the best results in each search engine. Greg recommended the NASDAQ owned PrimeNewsWire outside of Marketwire, PRWeb, BusinessWire and the others we are most familiar with.

Step 5: Measure the results.

Measurement is definitely a hot topic and a tough nut to crack on the social media side of things, but there are several things that are immediately measurable on the PR side of the house. As always, count your clips. Enough said. Beyond that you should start counting the blog results from your release. Have people started writing about your client on their own as a result of your efforts? One really valuable exercise that might not be easy to pull off is gaining access to your client’s analytics program. You might need to bribe your way into the IT department, but the data being collected about your client’s site can contain a wealth of measurement data as a result of your press release efforts!

Overall it was a good session that yielded several great nuggets to take away. As a PR professional, you owe it to your clients to stay up to date with the ins and outs of basic SEO techniques. Attending Social Media Club events are just one of the many ways to keep up with with the flow.

What tips do you have that could be added to formula?