Sword and the Script

Are Trade Shows still a Good Place for PR Launches?



by Frank Strong

Are Tradeshows still a Good Place for PR Launches

One hundred and forty seven.

That’s the number of pre-trade show pitches one blogger told me he had received in a side bar conversation last week. For the most part, he runs his blog like a traditional news site, clearly has good industry contacts and always winds up involved in a couple of sessions.

The blog is an industry staple, he’s plugged into the community and his name always winds up on industry conference media lists. The PR pitch deluge inevitably follows. Read More…

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Quotable: The Difference between Selling and Marketing



by Frank Strong

difference selling marketing

Click to enlarge image.

When I left my previous gig, which was focused on the PR and marketing industry, one of my concerns was losing a step.  That’s partly proven true, since my day-to-day now, while still marketing, is focused on an entirely different industry.

However, it’s also proven wrong because moving onto a different vertical market has also helped me look at marketing problems in new ways.  Last week, I found myself at an IT conference for the legal industry and one of the sessions focused on how to sell, or rather “market” IT project internally began with a quote I had never heard before and found it quite compelling. Read More…

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How to Get Ahead for the Young PR Account Executive



by Frank Strong
How to Get Ahead for the Young PR Agency Account ExecutiveThe salary would be a pay cut.  At $15,000 less than what I had previously earned that would translate to a difference of about $800 less per month.

In an expensive city like Washington, DC, $800 was about what I paid in rent on my basement apartment.  The cut would hurt and I’d spend the next year or so living paycheck-to-paycheck, sweating the credit card bills and student loans I had racked up in graduate school.

On the upside, this would be my first real gig at a tech PR agency.  It was my ticket into an industry where the perennial phrase “PR agency experience preferred” finds its way onto corporate public relations and PR agency job listings alike. Read More…

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Infographic:  Nurturing the Gap between Marketing and Sales



by Frank Strong

Infographic- A Data Link between Marketing and Sales-header
Sometimes the things I learn in the Army are applicable in business.  A few years back I was fortunate to have been with a First Sergeant, the senior enlisted advisor for a company grade commander, who was king of the follow up.

I hate following up. I cannot comprehend why sometimes people say they’ll do something and then do not. Often I do perhaps the worst – especially from a leadership perspective – possible thing:  I go make things happen myself. Read More…

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5 Categories of PR Metrics Pros Should Measure



by Frank Strong

5 Categories of Measurement for PR Pros Should MeasureThere’s an old saying in advertising that half of the budget is wasted, but marketers don’t know which half. Today, there are enough analytical tools today to avoid wasting half of the marketing spend.

The demand for measuring effectiveness in marketing is on the rise too, according to an eMarketer report titled, Execs to Marketers: Show Me the Metrics.  The report combined data from two surveys issued by three different organizations.  Read More…

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Infographic: A Short History of the Selfie



by Frank Strong

Short History of the Selfie

On a recent flight to visit family, I gave my 3-year-old my iPhone for entertainment.  She’s got a page on the phone devoted specifically to apps and games just for her (I highly recommend the PBS app).  She’s been able to navigate her way around the phone since she became strong enough to hold it.

She didn’t play games however and I was surprised to discover she had learned a new skill:  The art of the selfie. Instead of navigating to her game page, she turned the camera on and snapped about 50 photos just like this one in just a minute or two. Read More…

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Small Business Negative Reviews are a Gift; Here’s What to Do



by Frank Strong

Small Business Negative Reviews are a Gift

She was unhappy with a small businesses service, so she left a negative review.  She gave the business two stars in Google.

The business owner was outraged by the review. “You will be hearing from our attorney,” he allegedly wrote in response.

And there, in just a few paragraphs, one negative review went from zero to sixty in a game of chicken that isn’t likely to benefit the business.  It’s generally not a good idea fight with customers, let alone angry ones, and it’s downright dismal to do it in public.

Sure, such a public debate might draw attention, but it’s certainly not desirable attention. Even if a case winds up in court and the small business wins, it still loses.  It’s called the Streisand Effect, which The Economist sums up as follows: Read More…

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Corporate America Invoking Theft of Time



by Frank Strong

Corporate America Invoking Theft of Time

Dr. Seuss once asked, “How did it get late so soon?”

People invented the concept of time, and yet our perceptions vary by personality and culture.  For example, I can assure you firsthand, the notion of time in the Middle East is very different than on the streets of New York City.  One study of security cameras from a restaurant comparing customer interactions from today, to those of 10 years ago is a remarkable record of how our sense of time has changed.

The major end items that suck our time like black hole are easy to identify: Inefficient meetings, needless “reply all” emails and the fruitless endeavor of interruption marketing. This is partly why content marketing has earned a reputation beyond mere novelty:  Content is currency brands barter in exchange for a few moments of attention…of time. Read More…

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The Buyers Journey and Why Content Marketing is a Thing



by Frank Strong

The Buyer’s Journey is why Content Marketing is a Thing

In January 2013, I was licensed to skydive.  For a variety of very good reasons, it had taken me roughly 10 months to complete the accelerated freefall (AFF) course at Skydive Orange.

As newly licensed skydiver, I needed to think about buying my own gear.  While rental equipment is available, every jump will cost roughly double, there’s always a chance the dropzone (DZ) will need that gear for other AFF students and by design, it’s intended to meet a variety of sizes; it’s not fitted well.

I wasn’t about to rush into buying gear either. It’s expensive and if a skydiver makes a mistake ordering gear, the chances are good it’s going to be an expensive mistake. Read More…

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The 5 Major PR steps to the Declaration of Independence



by Frank Strong

The 5 Major PR steps to the Declaration of Independence

We often think of the Declaration of Independence as a singular event, the starting point for the war that would ensue over the better part of a decade.

As it is history, if it is the record of life, the details are never quite as clean cut and there were a series of actions, including many with a public communications component, the played out over many years leading up to the Declaration of Independence.

Though I use the word PR in the headline of this post, public relations isn’t the right word given the grass roots and decentralized inertia.  Propaganda might have been more accurate then, but the meaning today has dwindled to mean drivel. There is clearly a communications component to several of these actions – here are five that stand out in my mind:

1. Message. “No taxation without representation,” was the colonial zeitgeist. It represented several decades – from 1740 on – of discontent with the policies of the crown to fund European wars through colonial taxation.  The gripe? The colonies, first founded by people who sought to escape repression, had no influence over the creation, governance or implementation of these taxes. For a time, the French and Indian Wars united the king and his colonist against a common enemy. A junior officer in the Virginia Militia, a young George Washington, would learn valuable warfare lessons he’d draw on as the commanding general of a revolutionary army. Read More…

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