Sword and the Script

5 Creative Marketing, PR and Social Media Ideas



by Frank Strong

creative PR marketing social media

If reading too much can suppress creative thinking, then so too can habit.  Sure, Aristotle said excellence is not an act, but a habit, but how easy is it for marketers to fall into a pattern? The same old pattern.

Patterns are predictable and measurable; but they are also avoidable. It is consumer reflex to avoid a pitch. Consider email, for example, which is easy enough to mark as spam.  What would happen if email suddenly was not a tool in the marketer’s toolkit?

I’d suggest that a freak-out session would be followed by a creative session – and perhaps even better and more creative marketing ideas. To that end, here are five creative marketing, PR and social media ideas: Read More…

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Persuasion Theory: Power of a Story



by Frank Strong

persuasion theory

We remember stories (Photo: Flickr).

We see it a lot in corporate presentations:  slides that are heavy on text, but light on stories.  Presenters end up reading slide to a literate audience.

To be fair, businesses aren’t unique: you haven’t lived until you’ve sat through the tedium of a military briefing, especially those for “Command and Staff” or a CUB or a BUB or pick your pain.

Some of the most painful meetings I’ve ever had have been conducted in uniform – and unfortunately – I have at times served as chair for some of those. You can’t change the world in one rotation.

I’ve always found that presentations are most effective when they are heavy on images, have just enough content to hint to the audience as to the context, but mostly rely on the speaker to tell the story.

Think about some of the presentations from the big names in marketing and PR: Stratten, Shankman, Solis, or Scott. The key note presentations these people give are often based on slide desks with more images than words.  They use anecdotes to make points. Read More…

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The Biggest Twitter IPO Story the Media Completely Missed



by Frank Strong

Tweetoro, twitter IPO,

Forrest for the trees? Not one story in Google News search about Tweetoro — the online stock trading company with a promoted tweet the day Twitter went IPO.

It would seem to me that a creative PR idea for a company that allows people to trade shares online, would be having the foresight to place a promoted tweet on the day Twitter launched its IPO.

The surprising fact however is none of the big electronic trading companies were on point. Companies like Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade and E*Trade, who should have all over this opportunity were not.

Instead, a company we never heard of, with 258 followers on Twitter, called Tweetoro, was savvy enough to purchase a promoted tweet on Twitter’s big day.

There must be a gazillion news stories about this company, right?  Nope.  As the screenshot of Google News shows nearby not a single news story about Tweetoro.  Not one. Read More…

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Off Script #5: John Barnett; PR, Twitter, and a Navy Master Chief



by Frank Strong

John Barnett PAO PR

John Barnett: What a retired Navy Master Chief and PAO can show us about the power of Twitter and resiliency in PR. (Photo: Twitter profile)

I don’t remember when I met John Barnett, but I’m pretty sure I know where I met him.  We met on Twitter, perhaps two or three years ago, but have never quite gotten past 140 characters.

A week or so ago, I contacted John, a retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer for this occasional series – the Off Script series – first started this past July.  We’ve traded several emails to finalize this post and it just so happens I’m writing the introduction on the eve before Twitter begins trading shares on a public stock exchange.

It seems fitting because the purpose of this series in many ways is for me to both get to know some of these connections I’ve made on Twitter on some deeper level – and it’s also the chance to introduce these good people to this community.

Interviews with people who are Internet famous are plentiful – I’m after people like John – ordinary people like you and me – who are getting the job done every day. More to the point, it underscores how a social network like Twitter changes everything, because it connects people we might not have otherwise met by exchanging messages no longer than 140 characters long.

Imagine pitching that concept to a venture capitalist in 1999; it would have been laughable.  On November 7, 2013, Twitter will raise several billion in capital, but the real value is in the connections we make with people like John.

And on to the interview… Read More…

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Why Reporters Should Check Out Google+



by Frank Strong

Google $1,000

Google news search results results favors the bylines of writers with a Google+ profile.

I’ve been thinking about a blog post about Google’s $1,000 victory over the stock market.  I’ve got a different angle in mind, but also did some (news) searches tonight to see what else had been written. My search terms were fairly straight forward, “Google and $1,000.”  The results of that search are shown above.

As I scanned the list of results I noticed this result from Reuters for two reasons.  First, Reuters is a financial news outlet and I was specifically seeking financial analysis. Second, I noticed the byline: Alexei Oreskovic.  The name seemed familiar so I clicked the link to read and that’s when I noticed it.

This Reuters article wasn’t just by Oreskovic but was co-written by Soham Chatterjee.  However in my news search, Google was only giving credit to Alexei. Read More…

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Would You Outsource Your Native Ads?



by Frank Strong

paid media, earned media, native ads

Does it matter if you can’t tell the difference between paid and earned media?

Media outlets are hiring writers that are not journalists.  Instead these writers are hired to write advertisements, which are designed to look like news stories, for advertisers.

So reported Michael Sebastian in an AdAge article titled: Who’s Behind the Sponsored Content at BuzzFeed, Gawker, Hearst and WashPo?

It’s disruptive on so many levels – for journalism, advertising and PR. Read More…

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Off Script #4: Chris Bagley, Journalist; Goes to Law School



by Frank Strong

Chris Bagley, triangle business journal, UNC law

Chris Bagley a former reporter with the Triangle Business Journal, covered legal-services industry, transportation and utilities

Ask a reporter what’s change in journalism the in the last few years and many of them will mention more stories and less staff.  It’s a similar scoop nearly everywhere as media outlets grapple with the economics of trading print for digital.

Over the last few months, I’ve been fortunate to have gotten to know one (former) journalist, who until recently, reported for the Triangle Business Journal (TBJ) based here in the Raleigh-Durham area.  In August, Chris Bagley (Twitter: @CRBags) left journalism and headed to law school at UNC.

While I’d bet he’s drowning amid the deluge of his first year, he took the time to entertain five questions I posed to him. His thoughts on how journalism has changed, the challenges, and a few suggestions fitting for either an aspiring journalist or PR pro.   Read More…

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2 Billion Meetings a Year are a Waste of Time



by Frank Strong

meetings are a waste of time

Meetings make many sleepy.

In the United States, educated guessers say we hold about 11 million meetings per day, which adds up to 4 billion meetings a year. Those same educated guessers, Harvard historian types, point to survey research finding people believe about half of all meetings are wasted.

Net impact?  Two billion wasted meetings a year.

The problem isn’t education or a lack of resources. There are thousands of quality results for searches on “productive meetings.” Quora’s got a bunch of helpful answers too on the topic, so long as we don’t get distracted by fascinating questions such as If a tiger fought a lion, which animal would win?  (Spoiler:  Dant.  Dant-dant-dant).

The culprit then?  Email! Read More…

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4 PR Fundamentals Every Business Leader Needs to Know



by Frank Strong

PR Fundamentals business

In between bites of wood, PR donkey says, “There’s a reason it’s called earned media.”

There’s a reason why the outcome of good old fashioned media relations is called “earned media.”  It’s earned. It’s not paid or given.

Earned media means we cannot choose the timing, space, presentation or language. If those are the things you are looking for…go see the advertising folks.  Bring your checkbook.

The media relations component of PR is really hard work.  Often it is slow starting but tends to be cumulative. Media earns media.

On the other hand, it can also be derailed fairly easily. I’ve seen this happen several times over my career where a business executive carries the air and expectations of a celebrity, without the credentials. A couple stubborn moves later, and the coverage is bare.

We PR pros bite our lips and try to find a way to make things work but more often than not, it’s a waste of time and money.  It is entirely avoidable.

Here are four PR fundamentals that will ensure you get the most value out of your media relations program: Read More…

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The First Tweets from 26 PR Influencers



by Frank Strong

Topsy twitter search

Topsy allows users to search tweets from as far back as 2006.

What is said on Twitter, stays on Twitter, and if Topsy has anything to do with it, that might be forever. The social media tool recently announced it will allow us to search tweets as far back as 2006.

Brian Patterson, an SEO, had the ingenious idea of searching it for the first tweets by SEO influencers. And after having some fun by retweeting the first posts by Andy Beal, Barry Schwartz and Copyblogger, I thought I’d copy that idea for PR influencers.

These influencers come from this Twitter list which I curate for the purposes of producing this PR Thought Leaders Daily on Paper.li.  While I have created this Paper.li for me, it is an amazingly good summary of what’s was chattable among the PR elite on Twitter each day. The power is in taking good care of the Twitter lists.

This list is a completely subjective list that I have arbitrarily selected. None of the names here should be a surprise, but if you feel left out, please don’t. The names are listed merely in the order in which I did the searches; there is no order of merit here. If you don’t like the list, feel free to make your own.

One other caveat:  the Topsy search I found, is not perfect.  There are a couple tweets it displayed as the “first tweet” that I suspect are not. There are some, such as my own first Twitter post, which do not appear to be searchable.  Even so, it’s fun to see what some of these folks had to say on Twitter, 4, 5, 6, and even 7 years ago.  Read More…

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