Dec 3 14

4 simple storytelling tips for marketing and PR pros


Everyone loves a good story. But it’s hard to say the same about a well-crafted series of key message points or brand attributes.

Those things are important, but give them context in a good story and then you’ve really got a powerful marketing tool.

That was essentially my point in “Once Upon a Time in Healthcare Marketing,” the piece I wrote recently for South Florida Hospital and Healthcare News about the power of storytelling for audience engagement. While the healthcare industry has particularly good potential when it comes to communicating marketing messages through storytelling, it’s far from the only industry where this holds true.

Read these few excerpts from the article and I’ll bet it will spark some ideas on how to engage your audiences through storytelling, no matter what your professional calling may be.

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Posted in: Marketing

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Dec 2 14

Will Baylor University’s PR firm hire forever change college football?


I love pretty much all sports for the same reasons: An admiration of the strategy, the emotion, the effort, the heart and the display of skill and talent. And, of course, I love the unexpected nature of sports.

However, what I did not expect was that public relations would be part of a college football team’s playbook. Baylor University, one of the top six teams in contention for a playoff berth, recently hired a public relations firm to help advocate for the football program with the national media. Thanks to Baylor, it turns out that publicists may be as strategically important to college football teams as the coaches and players are.

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Posted in: Public Relations

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Nov 24 14

A Big Wheel, the Tesla Model S and smartphones – lessons in marketing obsolescence


Many years ago, a little boy whooped in delight after unwrapping a brand new Big Wheel, a giant plastic three-wheeled ride-on toy. It was the greatest present ever until a few months later when his best friend got a Big Wheel that came with a new feature: a bright blue trunk. Suddenly the old Big Wheel was outdated and the joy of ridership was reduced.

We see this same phenomena today when the next version of a smartphone comes out, making the one you bought just six months ago lose status and appeal. Is it just human nature to always want the new thing, or is planned obsolescence just good marketing?

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Posted in: Marketing

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Nov 24 14

Think outside the Facebook box: 4 ways to improve your content marketing strategy


By now, most marketers have read about Facebook demoting overly promotional content from brand pages. It is being seen as the latest blow to marketers by the world’s largest social network.

In case you missed it, Facebook describes the content being demoted as:

  • Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

Beginning in January 2015, people will see less of this type of content in their News Feeds. Facebook is also further limiting organic reach. Reports have shown that Facebook page posts already only reach about 2 percent of current fans (a number that was falling by .5 percent per month in 2014). And interaction with posts is even lower. Facebook’s latest announcement will certainly make these numbers even worse.

As an eternal optimist, I’m looking for the silver lining here. You’ve heard the bad news; now here’s the good news.

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Posted in: Facebook, Social Media

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Nov 19 14

5 ways to improve real-time event coverage on social media


In a world where 140 characters can break a major story at any time during the 24/7 news cycle, PR pros are constantly re-evaluating how to disseminate information and shape narratives.

As the chair of the Public Relations Society of America’s Entertainment & Sports section, I have a particular interest in this issue. That’s why we recently hosted a Twitter chat tackling the topic of communications strategies for live events, featuring Gina Lehe, senior director of communications and brand management for the new College Football Playoff.

While the chat centered on sports, the takeaways apply to those in any industry who host any type of live event. (Remember, a press conference, earnings call or ground breaking can qualify, too.)

You can read a full recap of our conversation below, but here are five key points Gina made about real-time communication:

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Posted in: Public Relations, Social Media

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Nov 12 14

3 trends shaping public relations measurement standards


I recently attended the fourth Measurement Summit and Conclave, a meeting of 50 thought leaders, academics, researchers and just plain “measurati”. Organized by the Institute for Public Relations Measurement Commission, the group convenes annually to help set industry standards and discuss the future of measurement in public relations.

I’ve previously written about how the Barcelona principles guide the standards for measurement metrics, such as mentions, impressions, engagement and awareness. The purpose is to ensure all practitioners speak with one voice.

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Posted in: Public Relations

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Nov 7 14

Six questions to ask when starting on next year’s marketing plans


As soon as holiday decorations start hitting the store shelves, I know it’s time to finish up our client marketing plans for the coming year.  This is a time consuming process, but one well worth the rewards.

If you haven’t started, and you’re not exactly sure where to begin, here are some questions to get you going.

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Posted in: Marketing, Public Relations

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Nov 4 14

The power of saying “Thank You” when connecting with customers


“Today, emotions are driving purchases like never before…Studies on emotional attachment to brands have found that evoking positive emotions is crucial for brand engagement.” rbb’s Breakout Brand research could not be more on point.

One of the simplest, but arguably most effective, ways to evoke those emotions is to express gratitude. Thanking customers helps make them a part of your company’s story on and offline and it is one way Breakout Brands can successfully connect with consumers.

Whether you are a new brand such as Uber or a legacy company such as Disney, your customers always drive your bottom line. According to rbb’s Breakout Brand Customer Insights study 83 percent of consumers would pay more for a product or service from a company they feel puts them first.

So, what would work for your customer? How can you evoke emotion? You make them feel like they are number one.

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Posted in: Public Relations, Social Media

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Nov 3 14

rbb introduces Conscious Consumer, discusses millennials at #PRSummit


We recently had the opportunity to host two sessions at Holmes Report’s Global Public Relations Summit, arguably the biggest global communications event in the world.

Our sessions were very different, but had a common through line: The importance of understanding and activating your audience across generations.

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Posted in: rbb News

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Oct 30 14

4 frightening Halloween PR faux pas


As national holidays go, Halloween certainly leaves the most room to be edgy with your corporate or personal brand.

But it seems every year the holiday produces communications scares that require reputation management teams to have more than just a bag of tricks to treat.

Here are four Halloween PR frights and the responses to quiet the chorus of boos.

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Posted in: Crisis Communication

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