Sword and the Script

Influence Marketing puts Salespeople into Marketing Hats



by Frank Strong

Influence Marketing puts Salespeople into Marketing Hats

Tom Webster was shopping for a pair of shoes so he did what people do when they are looking for something: he turned to search.  And that’s when it happened. He noticed reviews from blogs were ranking higher than even those by mainstream media.

That’s an anecdote I recall from Webster in a recent podcast with Mark Schaefer called Influence Marketing is hot and about to get hotter. How it is that content, from the lowly blogger, could possibly outrank an article – written by a bona fide reporter and published by an authoritative domain of traditional news site – in search? Read More…

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Too Focused: When Data and Tools Paralyze Sales



by Frank Strong

Too Focused on the Tool

SportClips is a franchise that aims caters to men; it has a tagline that reads, “The ultimate haircut experience.”  Its shops have a sports-themed layout with enough flat screen televisions to rival any sports bar. 

Over the last ten months, I avoided SportClips even though there’s one nearby my home that makes the location very convenient. Often I’ll drive several miles out of my way to avoid going there, but this past weekend, I made the mistake of giving the chain another shot:  Because it’s so close, I hoped to drop in and get a quick haircut and be on my way to a weekend adventure.

It was a bad move on my part. Read More…

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3 Takeaways from Neal Schaffer’s Maximize Your Social



by Frank Strong

Neal Schaffer Maximize Your Social

Ever get two birds with one stone?  I did this past Monday.

Zen Yinger sent me a note on Twitter telling me Neal Schaffer was in town for a book signing at a local Barnes & Noble.  I “met” them both somewhere along the social media trail about two or three years ago – and this week I was lucky to meet them both in person.

“Social media complements everything and replaces nothing,” Neal said as he kicked off his book signing talk (video posted nearby). What’s interesting about Neal is that he comes at things from a sales and business development perspective, rather than a marketing and PR perspective. I often find his views refreshing – and outside the doldrums of the echo chamber. Read More…

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Product Review: Primeloop for Tracking Engagement



by Frank Strong

PrimeLoop how it works

Over the last couple months, I’ve been testing Primeloop as a tool for tracking mentions all around the web using my own employer as a guinea pig for a real-world testing environment.  It’s a very simple tool, but I’ve found it to be quite useful and a viable alternative to either labor-intensive spreadsheet-tracking, or the hideously expensive monitoring tools that currently dominate the PR industry.

The central product was originally developed in 2011 by Thomas Knoll and was formally launched before SXSW last year as clippPR.  The company has recently rebranded to Primeloop, a namesake that aims to articulate the value proposition: a way to loop brands back into the conversation by tracking and reporting on engagement. Used in conjunction with a free tool like Talkwalker, which I’ve found to be a useful replacement for Google Alerts, you’ll be able to easily stay abreast of brand mentions.

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Infographic: Dr. Seuss’ Guide to Twitter for Busy Executives



by Frank Strong

Dr Seuss Guide to Twitter for Busy Executives

Top executives that engage in social media can make a remarkable differenceWhile I haven’t seen any data, I have a sense there’s a lot of busy executives who in the back of their minds know they should be active on social media but haven’t yet taken the time to learn about it.

There’s a stumbling block too – it’s sociological or perhaps psychological – and it centers on the idea they’d have to ask for help, which means admitting there’s something they don’t know.

As Steve Farnsworth posted today, “Smart people aren’t afraid to ask dumb questions.” Read More…

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The PR Road Less Traveled: In-House to Agency Life



by Laura Spaventa

PR In-House to PR Agency
Note:
  The following is a guest post by Laura Spaventa who recently transitioned from working an in-house gig in PR to working for a firm.  By my observation, few PR pros are able to make a switch like this as agencies often note “PR firm experience preferred” in job postings. Laura and I once worked together.  

When I graduated college in 2009, I had planned on working for a PR agency. Little did I know, the economy had other plans for me. Fortunately, I was introduced to Peter Shankman, the founder of Help A Reporter Out (HARO), and became one of the original editors of the newsletter.

Once Vocus acquired HARO, I found my way to the company’s in-house PR team. However, I still had an itch to work for an agency, which led to my current role at LaunchSquad, a PR firm specializing in servicing startups with offices in San Francisco, New York, and Boston. I recognize my PR career has been a little backwards (I’ve never been good at following ‘the norm’) and I have a few tips for PR professionals who are looking to make a similar transition. Read More…

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Why the Deluge of Content Raises Standards



by Frank Strong

Why the Deluge of Content Raises Standards

The proliferation of content marketing has led some pundits to criticize the quality: it’s challenging to consistently conceive ideas, write and publish content of uniform high-quality.

If that problem exists, then suffice to say it’s not a new issue, though it may be new to those who are new to publishing. For example, the same issue occurs in journalism and in the publication of scientific research. Read More…

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Infographic: LinkedIn’s study on Job Satisfaction



by Frank Strong

job satisfaction
There’s an old saying that people don’t leave a job, they leave a boss.

A LinkedIn infographic, I first spotted on Entrepreneur.com, seems to say the opposite. “Relationship with managers” is ranked as the one of the “least important factors that will get professionals to accept a new job.” The data is almost completely at odds with my own personal views, though it may also be the difference between accepting a new role — and staying in an existing job, which while related, would change the context of a survey question.

 The infographic cites three of the least important factors as:

  1. Job title
  2. Office location
  3. Relationship with managers Read More…
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We are Number #1; a Weak Content Marketing Strategy



by Frank Strong

content marketing strategy

Every organization sets its sights on being the best – but even in the cases where it’s actually true, this is a poor content marketing strategy.

Nobody likes a chest-thumping.  In our own interpersonal communications, we go to lengths to avoid people who talk only about themselves. In the marketing context, it’s similar in that people avoid companies or organizations that only talk about themselves; there’s no value in it for customers and prospects.

Who wants to read or share a blog post on any social network by ACME Company that proclaims ACME Company is the #1 brand in widget making?  Nobody does. Read More…

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