Sword and the Script

Balancing PR with Content Marketing



by Frank Strong

Balancing PR and Media Relations with Content Marketing
Part of any job is choosing the right tools. For PR pros, especially those focused on media relations, the right tools also convey meaning. This is what Marshall McLuhan meant and he conveyed his messages in a book.

In Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman unbundles the concept:

For although culture is a creation of speech, it is recreated anew by every medium of communication – from painting to hieroglyphs to the alphabet to television.  Each medium, like a language itself, makes a possible unique mode of discourse by providing a new orientation for thought, for expression, for sensibility.  Which, of course, is what McLuhan mean in saying the medium is the message. Read More…

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Infographic: The State of Content Marketing; Rich Getting Richer



by Frank Strong

content marketing divide

The content rich keep getting richer, while the content poor keep getting poorer.  That’s my observation from Eloqua’s report The State of Content Marketing in 2014.

Eloqua conducted an online survey of its marketing community.  It had 205 takers and by the looks of the demographics at the end of the report, the sweet spot seems to be mid-level managers in businesses with a couple hundred employees.  However, there’s another factor in demographics that makes the findings especially interesting. Read More…

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Branding Heroin: Why Marketers Love Verbs and Lawyers Do Not



by Frank Strong

Heroin as a Brand Why Marketers Love Verbs and Lawyers Do Not
Been Googling branding lately?  If you do, there’s a good chance your search will reveal this post I wrote and Copyblogger published in 2012. My point in bringing that up isn’t to brag, it’s to broach a discussion about lawyers, marketers, branding and trademarks.

I didn’t start this post by asking if you searched for content about branding on a search engine with intention.  Instead I asked, as so many of us commonly do, if you found it by using Google’s trademarked name as a verb.  For marketers, a brand that becomes a verb is a sign of success, but for lawyers it spells risk.

That was the subject of a Marketplace story this evening titled: The English language is one big brand graveyard.  Indeed it turns out – Heroin was actually a “branded form of morphine” at one time.  So too were Aspirin, Escalator and Trampoline, according to the same story: Read More…

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A Classy and Creative Mother’s Day PR Pitch



by Frank Strong

One Creative and Classy Mother’s Day PR Pitch

There’s a mantra in PR that goes something like this: Write, edit or otherwise communicate in terms your mother can understand.  The point of course is to avoid jargon that might prevent people from understanding a message.

If mother’s are a PR litmus test, then perhaps a better question to ask is do our moms understand what PR pros do? That’s precisely the question Lou Hoffman, CEO of The Hoffman Agency posed to his mother, Ruth Hoffman, for something akin to a timely and well-conceived PR stunt.

Lou tipped his hand for his video plans in an interview the gang of The Friday Hangout in late April.  A week later he published the video shown nearby to his blog with a short post titled: Mother’s Day Special: PR Agency CEO Grills Mom on Public Relations Profession.

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Infographic: Navigating Facebook Organic Reach



by Frank Strong

facebook organic reach header
For every hundred fans a brand page has earned, just two will see status updates organically. Organic means those views that come naturally through the new stream, without paying Facebook to advertise content posted to a brand page.  What’s clear is there is a decline in Facebook organic reach.

For many brands, Facebook’s aggressive moves to generate advertising revenue, has reduced the value of Facebook as a platform and they feel as if it’s a bait and switch.  Jim Tobin might agree – and his company Ignite Social Media represents many large brands.

“The large corporations I talk to are very frustrated with Facebook and are re-evaluating their investments,” he noted in an “Off Topic” series interview for this blog. “It was very valuable when you had organic exposure that could be boosted with paid. As the organic evaporates, the value prop changes.” Read More…

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The Brand Hashtag Hijack isn’t the Problem



by Frank Strong

brands hashtag hijack
When the NYPD decided to launch a hashtag campaign with #myNYPD the po-po organization might have been betting the campaign would be the social media equivalent of COPS – or community oriented policing services.

Instead of photos of a charitable officer giving a homeless man a pair of boots, the hashtag was flooded with images that border on police brutality: An officer (allegedly) shooting a homeless man’s small dog and an officer (with tall brass no less) pulling the hair of a handcuffed women. Read More…

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Infographic:  B2B Marketing Budgets Focus on Content, Digital



by Frank Strong

B2B Marketing Budgets Focus on Content Digital-header

More than half of B2B marketers are experiencing moderately larger budgets this year over a last, according to an infographic published by Advertising Age at the beginning of the year.

The publication conducts and annual survey of brands and budgets. As we head down the home stretch of April, the forecast revisions have started based on the first quarter’s performance. It would be interesting to know how they stack up – especially since marketing is usually the first department to get the ax in a downturn, but is often an early indication on the other side.

Here are some statistics from the survey that stood out for me: Read More…

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9 Sweeping Lessons from Content Marketing Benchmarking Study



by Frank Strong

top content marketing goals
In January, research firm Ascend2 released a study of 521 sales and marketing professionals which was conducted through an online panel. The report published in January 2014, Content Marketing Benchmarking Summary, was covered in part by eMarketer and I recently went back to take a closer look at the findings.

The surveyors didn’t break out the demographics by role or seniority, and instead called them “decision makers” which seems to be a catch-all phrase in surveys of late. I would have also been very interested to know the break out between functions — specifically between sales and marketing — but I generally think it’s smart to include sales in any content marketing study.

The study itself was just about the data and graphics, and in this post, I’ve added fairly substantial interpretation about a) what it means and b) what marketers should do about it:

1. Top goals for content marketing

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Infographic: Influence Marketing Predictions



by Frank Strong

influence-marketing-infographic-header

Not too long ago, Gina Gulberti of Augure, a European-based PR and marketing software vendor, reached out to me with a few questions on influence marketing.

When I answered her questions I figured it she would use them for a blog post and that would be that.  A few days later, the company published this post 5 predictions about Influence Marketing…and an accompanied with an infographic.

There it was – my mug right next to the mugs of Brian Solis, Kevin Dugan, Arik Hanson and Roxane Papagiannopou – all folks I’ve gotten to know in some way shape or form over the last five years or so. The infographic caught me by surprise – but it struck me as clever content marketing and an effective way to repurpose content.

Here’s the complete Q&A from my email exchange with Gina and the infographic follows below: Read More…

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