Sword and the Script

Should PR Pros Sign up for Ello?



Should PR Pros Sign up for Ello -2

If a life immersed in technology seems to be getting faster, it’s not just that technology enables us to be faster, but the process of creating faster technology is getting faster.

“Today a kid in a garage can start a company, that goes viral and can touch a billion people,” as one technologist put it eloquently recently.

Ello is a great example. The social network shed obscurity, scrambled to adjust to sudden growth – to the tune of a reported 45,000 requests to join an hour – and experienced a PR backlash in the span of just a few days. Read More…

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Company Bites Journalists…Again



Company Bites Journalists

Think the media won’t cover your product?  Well then, you’re just not thinking outrageously enough.  It’s very easy to do, but will require some steely nerves the first few times you try it.

There’s a secret trick that marketers of apparel love to use.  It’s guaranteed to score ridiculous amounts of coverage.  Ready for it?

1. Be offensive and distasteful. 

Create an advertisement that you are 100% certain most people will find hideously offensive; where possible, be slightly prejudice, sexist, or distort a historical tragedy for capital gain. It’s important to be only slightly wrong for the purpose of plausible deniability that you’ll need later. Read More…

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Good Customer Service is Good Marketing



Good Customer Service is Good Marketing

When customers have great experiences with businesses something magical happens:  They tell other people.  In this way customers are a little bit like money in that it usually takes some to make some more.

For a couple years now, and perhaps longer, my sister and brother-in-law have purchased a subscription to the Cellars Wine Club as a Christmas gift for me.  Each month the company ships out two bottles of wine – with an accompanying one page summary of each wine describing the origins and making of the wine being shipped.  Read More…

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Frequency Hop: The Social Conversation Fragments



Frequency Hop The Social Conversation Fragments

A secure radio transmission broadcasts a signal in tiny fragments on more than 100 different frequencies per second.  To understand the message, a receiving radio must be scanning those channels in exactly the precise sequence as the transmitting radio.

The concept is called “frequency hop” and it is another layer of security in the radios the Army fields to ground troops.  Of course the messages are also encoded and without the key, the communications are unintelligible. The keys are changed frequently.

An advantage of frequency hopping is that it’s virtually impossible to jam a signal since it broadcasts in a choreographed sequence. Outside of a physical security lapse, I’ve never heard of a secure frequency being comprised.   Read More…

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Off Script #9: Steveology on PR, Content and Net Neutrality



steveology

A few years ago, I met him out on the social media trail. How it happened, I can’t quite recall, but over time, we just sort of took to each other.

Of all the things that Steve Farnsworth is – a man who counts IBM as a client, a regular on social media power lists, and ubiquity on the web – one that stands out for me is his approach-ability. He’s brilliant — and a genuinely good guy.

One of the most amazing things about the web – indeed one we take for granted today – is the opportunity to meet people we might not ordinarily meet.  Steve and I are on opposite coasts, and what’s amazing is how a few hundred social media exchanges over the course of several years can lead to…a real friendship.   Read More…

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As Google Authorship Ends, Finger Pointing Begins



As Google Authorship Ends Finger Pointing Begins

Googler John Muller announced in a Google+ update that Google was ending its Authorship project. There was the usual, perhaps deserved, criticism of the search company – because it seems to dabble in products, gets users hooked and then dumps them both.

“After over two years of Google encouraging webmasters to add authorship to their pages, Google drops the feature cold,” read the subhead a Marketing Land article about the announcement.

Suffice to say, the web community, particularly digital marketers, ought to be well used to this by now.  Google has killed more than 3,000 projects according to Slate, though not all of them have had the fanfare of Wave, Buzz or Reader. Questions remain open about the viability of existing popular products including Google+, Feedburner and Blogger. Read More…

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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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