Sword and the Script

Twitter: Social Ads at Volume are at Odds with Conversation



by Frank Strong

Mass Social Ads are at Odds with Conversation

“We’ve gone full circle,” according to Doug Baker writing for the UK-based Marketing.

“When brands first arrived on Facebook and organic reach was high, we spent a huge amount of time and effort on community engagement and interaction,” he wrote.

“However, as paid media options have grown, and organic reach has shrunk, we’re at risk of only viewing social as a way to pump out content as content.”

That neatly summarizes the challenges facing Twitter as it looks towards 2016.

The social medialites say Twitter has lost its former self, and devolved into a link sharing site that can’t possibly grow revenue to Wall Street’s satisfaction. Read More…

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Instinct: What Public Relations Can Learn from the Wild



Animal Instinct What Public Relations Can Learn from the Wild

Note:  This is a contributed post by Samantha Virgil, an intern with NYC-based Spector PR.  

You’re absolutely in love with your dog, your pet fish or caged bird, but have you ever wondered what you can learn from animals beyond loyalty and compassion? Have you ever considered that animals have profound lessons to teach you about – your public relations career?

If not, don’t worry – we’ve done the work for you. From lovable companions inside your home to living in the wild, animals have many incredible qualities that could change your PR trajectory. Here are five – unlikely – creatures worth your admiration: Read More…

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How PR can Integrate Industry Reading Efficiently into Workflow



by Frank Strong

How PR can Integrate “Industry Reading” into Workflow with Efficiency

“Industry reading.”  Those are two words that have no business on a PR agency’s invoice.

What client wants to pay for “reading?”  Is there a metric attached – reading at so many words per minute? Or a knowledge measurement – a test of information retention?

Though logging of billable hours doesn’t apply, the same fundamental value question is true on the corporate side of the table.

Reading isn’t a business function, but it’s inherently important daily habit of the best PR professionals.  The reality is, the value of reading is in understanding media trends, industry perspective and more broadly, a form of research social medialites call “listening.” As if listening was new.  Read More…

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In Content Marketing, Marketers Might be Losing Their Way



by Frank Strong

In Content Marketing Marketers Might be Losing Their Way

Content marketing is blending the functions of marketing and sales to the extent, marketing has lost its focus on creating demand.

That’s my take after listening to Tom Webster evolve a concept over couple of podcasts on The Marketing Companion and finally rendered in a more polished format on Mark W. Shaefer’s {grow}: The dangerous confusion of sales and content marketing.

He makes several interesting points, and two that stood out for me:

1. Content proliferation for irrational buyers. Read More…

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The Empire Strikes Back:  3 Reactions to Amazon vs. NYT



by Frank Strong

The Empire Strikes Back 3 Reactions to Amazon vs

Former pitch man for the President, Jay Carney, came out swinging in a big way for Amazon today.  He managed to revive a 60-day-old story the rest of the world had forgotten with a post on Medium: What The New York Times Didn’t Tell You.

Though the initial reaction to the Times story certainly wasn’t planned – the spontaneous and candid response of one Amazon employee went viral – I instinctively believed it worked out in Amazon’s favor.

It was an event with a lesson that organizations of all sizes should examine, because in a crisis communications scenario, there are few spokespeople more reliable than a passionate employee. Read More…

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PR is the Best Kept Secret in Effective Content Marketing



by Frank Strong

PR is the Best Kept Secret in Effective Content Marketing

A reporter from The Washington Post took an interest on a story pitch about small businesses and the impact on economy.

At the time, my client had a product for a nascent web economy that would fuel small businesses help them build a web presence.  It was at the time, a novel product, and a good match for the story.  Or at least it could have been. Read More…

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Survey Finds Tough Grades on B2B Content Marketing



by Frank Strong

B2B content marketing effectiveness

If content marketing was a self-evaluated college class, marketers would give themselves a “C.”  That’s my sense after reading the new B2B Content Marketing 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America report.

The annual report is a joint effort between MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute. Now in its sixth year, the report is derived from a survey of 1,521 North American B2B marketers.  The study has a confidence interval of +/- 2.5% at a 95% confidence level. My perspective on last year’s B2B survey can be found here: Study: Effective Content Marketing Has One Element. Read More…

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9 Content Snacks from the Story of Content Marketing



by Frank Strong
Story of Content Marketing

The best way to excel at content marketing is to “be the story.”

That’s according to the new documentary by the Content Marketing Institute: The Story of Content.  The film, which runs a little more than 40 minutes, explores what content marketing is, its history and why it’s different. It does so through a who’s who list of interviews and case studies from brands big and small.

Major brands have transitioned from product companies, to media companies that happen to have products, by focusing on teaching and relevance. Large brands include John Deere, Proctor & Gamble, Red Bull, GE and Marriott.

John Deere, for example, started its long running brand magazine — an early and unlikely example of content marketing — called The Furrow in the 1800s.  The publication educates farmers about new agricultural technologies.  Marriott espouses a “publish or perish” philosophy to marketing and has resourced a production team to produce short movies. Read More…

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Crisis Comms:  No one More Reliable than an Employee



by Frank Strong

No one More Reliable than an Employee

If there was an overlooked crisis comms story to bruising expose The New York Times published on Amazon, it was the impact Nick Ciubotariu’s rebuttal on LinkedIn had on the story.

In a contributed article for PRNewserAmazon Case Marks an Employee Takeover of the Communications MachineIrina Efremova nailed it: Read More…

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Teaching and Relevance: The Last Mile in Marketing



by Frank Strong

Teaching Relevance and Trusted Content  The Last Mile in Marketing

How is it possible for a sales rep to sell prescription drugs to medical doctors?

That was my question to a pharmaceutical sales rep in my MBA cohort a decade ago.  His answer was straight forward and to the effect: I’ll never know more about medicine or the human body than a doctor, but I do know more about my product and the science behind it.

His challenge as a sales rep for big pharma boiled down to teaching an already highly educated community. The width of his knowledge was far smaller than that of his clients and prospective customers, but the depth had to be vastly superior – an inch wide, but a mile deep.

He’d never know more about medicine unless he pursued medical school, but he could certainly learn everything he needed to know about his own product and use that knowledge to be a valuable resource. Read More…

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