Sword and the Script

Content marketing is the new branding



by Frank Strong

content marketing branding

Military awards, in a sense, are branding.

“Truth is irrelevant. What matters are the perceptions that exist in the mind.  The essence of positioning thinking is to accept the perceptions as reality and then restructure those perceptions to create the position you desire.” – Al Ries, and Jack Trout in the 20th anniversary edition of Positioning:  The Battle for Your Mind.

What is branding?  On cattle it’s a burn mark that denotes ownership.  The permanence, perhaps even the cruelty, of that mark is hard to disguise.  It’s a sign of ownership.  Perhaps power.   It’s not easily erased.

For organizations, from non-profits to public companies, brands have become symbols. Symbols of quality, of guarantee, and of validation. For many, branding has been relegated to a logo.  This is misguided thinking.

No one loves a company for its logo.  No one hates a company, but loves their logo.  A logo is not a brand.  Read More…

Be Sociable, Share!
Read More

Nine take-a-ways from Lee Odden’s Optimize



by Frank Strong

Lee Odden‘s new book Optimize as about 10 years of blogging — and all the lessons and experience that go into that endeavor – stuffed into 232 pages.

If you follow the Online Marketing Blog many of the themes Lee and his team write about there are distilled, refined and presented an easy to read book.

“Lee tackles the triple crown of online marketing – SEO, social media, and content marketing,” wrote Geoff Livingston in a review on Amazon.com. “As social networks became entrenched in the online space, search increasingly used social verification to qualify online content…The result is a seamless intertwining of the three disciplines. None of them alone are strong enough to succeed, but together organizations can deploy knock out strategies.”

There’s one other major theme in Lee’s book:  PR.  Lee’s done a lot to get the basics of SEO across to PR pros because whether they know it or not, PR pros are perhaps one of the best means for authoritative link-building. And link’s are arguable still the top determining factor in search rankings, which in turn, is still a primary means for people to find content.   Read More…

Be Sociable, Share!
Read More

Posts from around the web this month



by Frank Strong

I write.  A lot.  I enjoy it.

For me, writing is thinking.  And I thrive under deadline.

I’m the type of person that thinks out loud.  That’s just how my brain works.  I like to jot those ideas down and with blogging I can publish them and see what others think.  Blogging is the ultimate testing ground.  Often, this process causes my ideas to sharpen, to gain focus and then we start getting somewhere.

From time to time, I am afforded the opportunity to write some guest posts.   I’ve read you should save your best posts for guests posts — and I try to do that.  If you’d like me to write one for you,  just ask.

I also tend to post once a week on the Vocus Blog, which Chris manages,  and sometimes on BloggingPRWeb, our other blog, which Stacey manages.  Both probably would like to get a few more posts out of me, for which I feel perpetually guilty.   Read More…

Be Sociable, Share!
Read More

Acknowledgement: one simple way to turn fans into fanatics



by Frank Strong

The face was familiar.  I’ve seen that smile many times over the years at the check-out register.  She’s always polite, efficient and makes me feel like a valued customer.  That’s a big reason why I shop there.

It was the weekend.  She wasn’t wearing that same familiar branded polo shirt, but I knew it was her.  I smiled, waved, and started to say hello.

And then it happened.

She walked right past me, looking straight ahead without the slightest glimmer of  recognition.

I was stunned.  It’s not the money I’ve spent in her employer’s store. It’s not the fact I’ve been a loyal customer for five years now.  It’s not even the fact I’ve seen her on a weekly basis that bothers me.  What eats at me is that behavior is not even human.

There are few things in the world as cold as being ignored.  Yet it happens everyday. Read More…

Be Sociable, Share!
Read More

We are all journalists, but are we editors?



by Frank Strong

 

journalists, editors, citizen journalists

No editors exists on the locks in Paris.

ed·i·tor  noun  1. a person having managerial and sometimes policy-making responsibility for the editorial part of a publishing firm or of a newspaper, magazine, or other publication.

“We’re all editors now.”  So said Mike Huckabee on a satellite radio broadcast of his right-leaning Fox News show, which I heard in between the seemingly ubiquitous advertisements for Reputation.com, and my incessant channel flipping.   The flipping was surely a result of the annoyance with the the sizable volume of Sunday evening traffic on Interstate 95 North.

Even so the contrast struck me as stark.   Read More…

Be Sociable, Share!
Read More

Social media strategists will be gone in 2 years



by Frank Strong

Britain.  1965.   We’ve had the telephone for nearly 100 years.

The operators in first known (UK) call center proudly call themselves telephone strategists.  Actually they didn’t, but bear with me for the sake of illustration.

The telephone is a tool for conversation. It’s like talking in real life, only callers don’t see each other and they maybe many miles apart.  The term strategist would be a stretch.

When I think of a modern call center, I think of  a support line.  These centers are staffed by customer service specialists or support specialists.  Often they are tiered by experience.  Callers are first routed to lower level specialists; if these first line responders cannot triage, diagnose or remediate a problem, they escalate the problem to the next level.

These people are focused on a well-defined function in business:  service. The tools might change — CRM, instant message, Web chat or Twitter — but the core discipline remains.  Read More…

Be Sociable, Share!
Read More

Media relations is mission essential for PR



Look closely in the center; who’s on belay?

by Frank Strong

PR pros are loving content marketing.  It’s the chance to create our own audience, to communicate directly with customers and prospects.  That’s all fine and well, but I believe the reason PR pros are good at content is because we are good at media relations.

Consider this:  Army types will understand the concept of a METL — the mission essential task list.  The METL is a guideline to training, where countless lessons learned have proven there are certain essential tasks a Solider must do if they are to have the capability to accomplish a mission if (or in these times when) they are deployed.

For a Soldier, he or she must be able to place accurate fire on an enemy target.  This is essential.  It’s the most basic task in the Army.  Yet the Soldier must be able to perform this task in any condition.  Tired.  Hungry. Wet. Cold.  Hot. Sick. Lonely. Injured.   It comes down to that one task that must be instinctive, ingrained in muscle memory:  sight picture, breathing, trigger squeeze.  Read More…

Be Sociable, Share!
Read More

PR defined: PR is about third-party validation


PR defined  PR is about third party validation

A rather unfortunate license plate for third party validation.

by Frank Strong

Nothing you say about yourself will have as much impact as someone else saying it on your behalf;  that approaches a definition.

Having just anyone say something on your behalf, won’t carry as much weight as having the right people say it on your behalf; that approaches strategy.

We’ve got to get over the first hurdle if as an industry we’ll ever tackle the next one;  that is a fact.

The definition of PR is controversial in many circles.  In other’s it’s not.

It’s not my intent to rehash the debate.  I’ve done that already here and here and more importantly, long before the debate ensued, here.   You can put lipstick on a pig, but you risk becoming the next pink slime:  an idea communicated so elegantly, that no matter the facts, it the power of the message cannot be overcome. Read More…

Be Sociable, Share!
Read More

Is attacking a smart PR strategy for start-ups?



by Frank Strong

ReadWriteWeb’s David Copeland addressed an interesting question last week:  How Big Tech Companies Keep Quiet on Big News.   “Some big companies are incredibly forthcoming in the PR strategies, and some startups try hard to fly under the radar,” he wrote.

And that caused me to think of a different question:  do start-ups benefit by going on the attack and criticizing competitors?

I’ve seen this so many times over my career (having spent a majority of it working with start-ups) and yet finding examples of where this worked are few and far between.  Usually such calls are punctuated with a rally cry like, “power to the people,” or something along those lines.

Going on the attack has never been my style, it might work in political communications, but for business, I think it’s a turn off.

Read More…

Be Sociable, Share!
Read More

Why you should comment on blogs



by Frank Strong

Generally speaking blog comments are down, meaning it just doesn’t happen as much any more.  I noticed on Brian Solis’ blog tonight, a very good post, with very little reaction. It’s puzzling.  That post has currently earned some 700 social shares, with but just three comments (currently).

Just the other day I was having this conversation with my colleague, about Gini Dietrich’s blog. Gini’s got a fraction of the followers Brian has, but so many more comments (of late). Read More…

Be Sociable, Share!
Read More
«...10...1617181920...3040...»