Sword and the Script

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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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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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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4 Less Glamourous Duties of the Public Relations Profession



by Frank Strong

4 Less Glamourous Duties of a PR Pro

“We’ve done so much, with so little, for so long, we can do anything with nothing.”

It’s a maxim, borrowed from the Marines, that fits neatly in the daily grind of public relations because while it’s the last function to get a line item on a budget – PR is the first to get a call when things start heading south.

it takes three times as long to get a press release approved as it does to write a first draft

Here’s a look behind the scenes at four less glamorous duties of the public relations profession:  Read More…

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A PR Firm’s Excellent Pitch for Paid, Earned, Owned and Shared



A PR Firm Excellent Pitch for Paid Earned Owned and Shared

It’s one thing to pitch an eBook, but it’s a well-executed marketing initiative to exemplify the very concepts described in the eBook during the process of pitching it.

That’s my take on a marketing campaign that Shift Communications is running to promote an eBook: Paid Earned Owned Shared: The Media Recipe for Audience Conversion. Read More…

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Avoid the Noid: A Mascot that Became a PR Crisis Case Study



PR Crisis Case Study

The freakish mascot McDonald’s unveiled to pitch its Happy Meal this year landed #6 on AdWeek’s 13 Biggest Brand Fails of 2014.  It also proved, in part, a useful segue in a recent Marketplace story about another mascot by a separate fast food franchise – the Domino’s Pizza Noid:

In the late 1980s, the Noid was pizza’s worst enemy. He made pies arrive cold, late or crushed, with cheese stuck to the top of the box – at least that’s what Domino’s ads would have you believe.

Domino’s could “avoid the Noid,” delivering hot, fresh pizzas in 30 minutes or less. The Noid ads were a huge success, spawning toys and even a video game.

But it all came crashing down in 1989, when the Noid suffered what may be the worst PR disaster in history. Zachary Crockett has written about the Noid for Priceonomics, and he tells us the strange, sad story.

The worst PR disaster in history?  Really? Read More…

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