Sword and the Script

Infographic: The Perennial Customer Revolution



by Frank Strong

Infographic The Perennial Customer Revolution - headerBellbottoms are coming back in style. It seems every few years I hear this but the retro-trend never actually seems to  materialize.  It makes for good chit chat, but beyond that such chatter, is more or less idle.

It also seems to me the same is true of customer service.  Every few years there’s a new book that forewarns of a customer revolution.  Mass media, the web, social media were all destined to change customer service. And yet it hasn’t.

Good customer service isn’t the rule, it’s an exception.

Litmus test?  Quick name five businesses you can think of with exceptional customer service.

I can get to three: Amazon, AT&T and Zappos.  And I purchased shoes online…once…from Amazon. Read More…

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The Steep Mental Exercise of Child’s Hill



by Frank Strong

The Steep Mental Exercise of Child’s Hill

The team was undefeated but race with a formidable opponent was coming up soon.  The opposition has the “home field” advantage in that the next cross country meet would be held in their town, on their 3.1 mile course, of which the last mile was virtually all uphill.

The hill had a name that would mislead the casual reader, or even, the casual runner: Child’s Hill.

For most of the season we’d been able to do what most could not: get seven runners over the finish line faster than any other team in the league.  At this next race, Child’s Hill was to be the difference, according to the opposing coach as reported in our town newspaper.

The Hardest Sport in the World

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How Airlines Like Delta Hold Parents Hostage



by Frank Strong

How-Airlines-Like-Delta-Hold-Parents-Hostage-blurred

One of the first questions I remember Delta’s website asking me when booking travel was my daughter’s age.  She’s 4.

One fact of that experience I won’t soon forget was that despite having her age, Delta assigned my daughter a seat on our flight 11 rows away.

For a mere eighty-eight additional dollars, the airline was kind enough to reassign us in a row together.  And by additional dollars, I mean on top of the $1200+ I had already spent for the trip and not counting the additional $25 baggage fee (each way) for which carriers have become notorious. Read More…

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5 Things that College Didn’t Teach Me about PR



A contributed post by Sydney Holmquist

5 Things that College Didn’t Teach Me about Public Relations

College is simultaneously the longest and shortest time period for young adults. Wanting to be done with the endless exams and thick textbooks while not really being ready for the unexpected “real world” that creeps closer by the day. The truth is though that no amount of schooling will ever really prepare you for the real world as it’s a completely different ball game.

As a public relations major in college I practiced writing press releases, read about case studies and grasped the big differences between PR and other fields such as advertising. My professors were great and I loved my classes – but it wasn’t until I started my last internship, which ended up segueing into my first job in the PR field that I began to discover the inner workings of PR.  Quickly, I realized how different it is from what you learn in school.

Below I’ve outlined 5 things that college cannot teach you about public relations: Read More…

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Visibility is a Commodity; Trust is the Ultimate Conversion



by Frank Strong

Visibility is a Commodity Trust is the Ultimate Conversion

It was the third comment this week.  The comment was vaguely related so as to give the appearance of relevance. It was also exuberant in its enthusiasm so as to pass as complimentary.  And it dropped a hyperlink.

For many that manage blogs, news sites and other online media, comments used to be welcomed as a sign of interest, engagement and resonance.  Today comments have become a part of a two-ways scourge, sometimes vitriolic and the rest simply spam.

Both varieties are useless, but the difference is remarkable.  The former is driven by passion, however misguided, and the latter is likely a service for which an unsuspecting buyer is paying. Read More…

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History and Stock Photos: 5 Creative Public Relations Ideas



by Frank Strong

5 Creative Public Relations Ideas

Tablet accessories, history, stock photos and traffic cops.  None of these topics are especially interesting, yet all of them have provided examples of creative PR ideas for bringing those topics to life and in some cases reinvigorating a name or product long past its prime.

This blog keeps a running tab of creative ideas and here is the latest in an occasionally roundup series of some of the ideas we find most unique or inspiring.

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HARO: Good PR Pitches have a Long Shelf Life



by Frank Strong

HARO Good PR Pitches have a Long Shelf Life

By deadline, there were just four responses to query, which has posted a day or so prior.  The query was intended to gauge reaction to a survey published earlier in the week and asked simple questions:

  1. Do the survey results reflect your perspective?
  2. What advice would you offer?

Three of the responses ignored the questions and pitched interviews instead – an absent a strong point of view. The one respondent that answered the actual questions, subsequently looked me up online and sent the same pitch to a personal email account. Read More…

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We Should Measure Content Marketing by Relationships



by Frank Strong

3 Ideal Content Marketing Metrics

As a metric for content marketing, pageviews are flawed according to a white paper – Why Content Marketers Are Using All the Wrong Metrics – published by Contently.  The company provides the combination of a talent marketplace and content marketing software to manage projects and campaigns.

The white paper calls the pageview a “superficial impression of how people behave on the web.” It also labels the click “its evil queen.”

For 20 years, the media and marketing world has been beholden to the pageview, a deeply flawed metric that only captures the most superficial impression of how people behave on the web.

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The Volume of Bad PR Pitches is Out of Control



by Frank Strong

The Volume of Bad PR Pitches is Out of Control

For the first ten years of my career, I thought noisy posts from journalists complaining about PR pitches were merely self-aggrandizement.

Oh, how fun it is to be so loved.  Everyone wants to be in your column or article. Slow news day, eh?

I’ve always worked hard at understanding a reporter’s coverage and sending good pitches.  As a result, I chalked up bad pitches to one or two lazy PR people (or worse, intentionally manipulative).

My views have changed. Read More…

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4 Less Glamourous Duties of the Public Relations Profession



by Frank Strong

4 Less Glamourous Duties of a PR Pro

“We’ve done so much, with so little, for so long, we can do anything with nothing.”

It’s a maxim, borrowed from the Marines, that fits neatly in the daily grind of public relations because while it’s the last function to get a line item on a budget – PR is the first to get a call when things start heading south.

it takes three times as long to get a press release approved as it does to write a first draft

Here’s a look behind the scenes at four less glamorous duties of the public relations profession:  Read More…

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