Sword and the Script

Inbound.org’s Invitation to PR


PR pros inbound.org

Some of the hottest PR links on Inbound.org.

by Frank Strong

Social news site Inbound.org wants more PR pros to join the community.  And PR pros should take note, because there are lessons to be learned both in PR and SEO.

Inbound is a moderated news site that aggregates some of the hottest links on the web. Since it attracts an influential community of users, links on Inbound that heat up, tend to break out and attract mass appeal.

The site traditionally caters to SEOs but has expanded its content categories that also includes a PR category.  A recent post by Tad Chef on getting earning attention on Inbound, has sparked a healthy conversation from the community, including moderators, where one clearly stated, “I’d love to see more PR types on here.” Read More…

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10 Unconventional and Creative Ways to Find a PR Job



by Frank Strong

10 Unconventional and Creative Ways to Find a PR Job

Finding an employment is a bit like money — it takes employment to find employment.

There’s a theory in PR employment that I’ve observed on both sides of the table as both a job seeker, and a hiring manger:  the good PR people already have jobs.  To find talent, employers have to poach from existing employers.

With unemployment hovering at just below 8 percent, overcoming this preconceived notion is yet another challenge.  But wait, there’s more: the deluge of resumes.  Hiring managers are simply overwhelmed with the sheer volume of applicants. If an application gets a look, it’s only cursory with the reviewer specifically looking for an excuse to toss a resume into the recycle bin.

As PR pros, we have skill set we can put to work on our own behalf to find a PR job:  To break through the clutter, we have to run a marketing campaign on ourselves. Recently, I was looking for work, and while I have found gainful employment in a relatively short period of time, I’ve learned quite a bit along the way.

I wish I could say this was a well-thought out plan, but it wasn’t, it was an evolution — trial and error — and so this list is sequential: Read More…

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Livefyre: How Customer Service Trumps PR


customer service trumps PR

Photo credit: Flickr

by Frank Strong

It’s not every day a company provides amazing service.  When a company does provide good service — it usually blows our mind because we are so accustom to lousy service:

  • Endless automated phone mazes that feel like the company is just hoping we’ll give up.
  • Hidden charges that customers only see after they’ve consumed a product.
  • Ten days to unsubscribe from unsolicited email.

Customer service and support is usually so bad, that when a company provides great service, we often feel compelled to share it.  Perhaps we do it in a Tweet, a Google+ post or a Facebook status update — and to that extent, customer service trumps PR in earned media.

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Six Creative Ideas for Blog Posts



by Frank Strong

Six-creative-blog-posts-ideas

The only thing boring about content may well be the creator.

That was the message in a post on Copyblogger with a subtitle that read, “There are no boring topics, only boring content creators.” Author Pratik Dholakiya next tackles the challenge of making coffee cups interesting.

It’s an idea reflective of Malcom Gladwell’s work, who is a prolific writer with the hairstyle of a genius. In his book, What the Dog Saw, Gladwell says the role of a gifted writer, or more specifically, a journalist, is to breath life into a topic and in essence  make the uninteresting…interesting.  Read More…

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Triberr: Blog Building for the Magic Middle


triberr, magic middle, blogging

Image credit: Triberr

by Frank Strong

Twitter and Facebook killed blogging because it took the conversation out of blogosphere and moved it to social networks. That’s Dino Dogan‘s thesis — and it is a founding thesis for Triberr.

He’s not alone in his thinking — it was an often repeated refrain a few years ago — and the demise of Google Reader has resurrected the “end of blogs” discussion.

Google Reader’s shut down is not the end of blogs — there are plenty of RSS alternatives caught the news tail. There’s nearly a dozen good alternatives and at least one, Feedly has scored nearly one-half million new users as a result.  That’s 500,000 vocal power users and Google’s golden opportunity to earn good will walking out the door. Read More…

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Google Reader and Google’s Opportunity to Win Friends


google reader

Image credit: Lars Fosdal on Google+

by Frank Strong

Google announced it’s shutting down Google Reader. The company cited declining usage of its aggregation service as justification for killing it come July 1, 2013, but the web has exploded with unhappy comments.

There’s a petition to keep Google Reader running.

Maybe the complaints are from a few that shout louder than the majority.  Maybe the complaints are from a few that are influential.   Maybe.  

I’ve seen some pretty smart people react so viscerally to this announcement, that it must be worth hitting the pause button and perhaps putting some fresh paint on the Google Reader shutters.  Read More…

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Marketing Ideas: A Different Approach to Social Advertising


Facebook Ads

Image: Screenshot of current Facebook Ads on the side of my stream.

by Frank Strong

Rants about Facebook advertisements are a dime a dozen  and Facebook might be introducing a way for users to pay to have them removed.  I’ve seen a lot of comments in social media flatly saying they’d never give Facebook money to remove ads — it does seem a bit like holding people hostage — but clearly there’s also a market for it.

“I understand the company needs to make money (and I WANT them to make money) but why not at least honor your customers by providing an option that allows us to stop being annoyed?” wrote Mark Schaefer in a post titled pointedly, Dear Facebook. Please let me pay you.  “Let us give you a few bucks a month to end the insanity.”

The image Mark used in his post suggests a subscription fee of $20 a month as a fair price. If even a fraction of Facebook’s billion users subscribed, it’s stock price just might get back to that $38 per share mark it had for a fleeting moment at its debut.  As for the possible push back from users, Facebook has the unenviable position of a double edged sword:  no matter what they do, somebody is going to get angry. Read More…

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No, PR Does Not Look More Like Advertising


PR does not look like advertising

Photo credit: Flickr

by Frank Strong

PR Daily ran an oped earlier this week:  The PR industry today looks an awful lot like advertising.

Why does it look like this, according to the author?

Because, he says, with social media, blogs and even press releases, PR is going straight to the audience and bypassing the traditional media.

According to the post, “It doesn’t matter whether they’re selling information, clothes, or coupons—they are selling it direct to the audience. So are they advertising or PR-ing?”


No, PR does not look like advertising

What the author is getting after is third-party validation: by skipping the media and publishing to reach audiences directly, PR is missing the credibility that is earned through the media.

But he’s wrong. Sometimes the press release is the story.

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Five Essential Technical SEO Tips For PR Pros


SEO PR

Photo Credit: Flickr (modified under Creative Commons).

Note:  The following is a guest post  who is an online marketing consultant specializing in SEO and web analytics. I can best describe Scott in one word:  brilliant.  There’s a lot PR can learn from a good SEO and I asked Scott for a post that goes beyond the standard five tips for SEO we see so often in blogs.  Over the weekend, he wrote this post published below.

* * *

PR professionals are well aware of the importance of links earned in their coverage, right?  In an SEO’s world, a link from one site to the next is seen as a vote of confidence by search engines, and it’s the basis for Google’s Page Rank Algorithm.   As PR Pro’s, you value a link as a pipeline for referral traffic and possibly additional coverage and even sales.  What I’d like to do, is present a few ways that PR pros can help the SEO’s on your team, and in turn, help yourselves.  Read More…

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Content Marketing Backlash? Fuggetaboutit


Charlotte's Web was Content Marketing (Photo Credit:  Flickr)

Charlotte’s Web was Content Marketing (Photo Credit: Flickr)

by Frank Strong

Enter the content marketing backlash.  We are not far away from seeing posts titled “Content marketing is dead.”

I wouldn’t cast my lot with that following and don’t recommend anyone else do either.   Why?  Because content marketing works and as Ann Handley writes, “Content marketing is a tremendous opportunity.”

Ann wrote a book about it with C.C. Chapman called, Content Rules, which I highly recommend.

Yesterday, The New York Times ran a story about Marcus Sheridan, who often goes by TheSalesLion.  It’s a story about how a guy that sells pools took a business on the brink of bankruptcy and turned it around.  He did it with a “revolutionary marketing strategy,” which boils down to simply answering customer questions.

In a world filled with complex strategy and where executives spend hours editing and re-editing adverbs for oh, a very pleasing polish, it’s a refreshing read with real world results.  And anybody can do it.

Anyone that’s heard Marcus speak, knows he is plain spoken, brutally honest, and passionately wants to share what he’s done with others, so that they too might find success.  There’s one part of his interview that really jumped out: Read More…

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