Posted by: beckbamberger | June 7, 2012

Avoid These Marketing Mistakes on Facebook

As a marketer, we have to be able to engage our audience in creative ways. Recently, we came upon an article on Mashable called “10 Facebook Marketing Mistakes to Avoid” and I can attest to each of the claims presented.

1. Not filling out the page completely – This is not only a disadvantage for the client but the customer that wants to connect with the brand.

2. Using an illegal cover photo – These guidelines should be abided by and it keeps everything fresh, so change up the cover photos every so often.

3. Breaking contest guidelines – There are legalities that need to be abided by when working with contests on Facebook.

4. Overposting – Simply put, less is more.

5. Focusing too much on likes – Engage the “right” audience and use content (pictures, videos, etc).

6. Too much text – “Facebook research has shown that posts between 100 and 250 characters — one or two lines of text — get 60% more Likes, comments and shares than ones that are more than 250 characters, says Diana.”

7. Posting boring or off-brand content – Be relevant!

8. Ignoring insights – Take advantage of the data presented.

9. Being vanilla – Mix up the content with polls, questions, pictures and videos.

10. Not making the most of Facebook’s ad options – Try out the new “promoted posts” option.

After reading this article, we were motivated to perhaps comb through each of our clients’ Facebook pages.

The details in this article are presented more in detail, here.

What other mistakes do you believe should be added to the list above?

Posted by: beckbamberger | May 26, 2012

Importance of Content Writing

A blog by PR-squared inspired me to think about BAM Communication’s writing skills. There was one titled “Seven Principles of Content Writing.” Quite an interesting read, so take a gander at it.

The author insists that there are easy points to take into consideration and they are:

  • Follow a 70/30 Rule – 70% of content curated, 30% branded.   For all you marketers – are you wondering what happened to the 80/20 rule?
  • All content should be SHAREWORTHY.
  • All content should benefit SEO.
  • All content should be digestible.
  • Content should be channel optimized.
  • Earned Media (MSM or fan-generated) is the best media.
  • Paid Promotion

Honestly, it’s great advice worth looking into and applying to your company.

Do you have any pointers on how to produce great content writing?

Posted by: beckbamberger | May 18, 2012

A PR Professional’s Fountain of Youth

We start our BAM workdays at 8 a.m. rubbing our eyes open, laptops booting up and stretching before we dive into work. What’s missing in this picture? You said it – coffee.

Considering that we’re public relations professionals, it is said (and now proven) that we work in one of the most caffeinated industries. We’ve always questioned the amount of harm we actually receive from coffee overall.

Luckily, AARP and the National Institute of Health conducted a study consisting of more than 400,000 healthy people between the ages of 50 and 71 for 13 years. The results were that during those 13 years, 13 percent of them died while specifically coffee drinkers continued to live. More coffee consumption led to a lower risk of mortality.

“Compared with people who drank no coffee at all, men and women who drank six or more cups per day were 10 percent and 15 percent less likely, respectively, to die during the study,” states CNN.

To see the full article, click here.
How do you feel about this new study? Is it persuasive enough to convince you to drink more coffee now?

Posted by: beckbamberger | May 10, 2012

Marketing Alert: SlideShare

Mashable recently uncovered how you can do more than just upload PowerPoints, PDFs and videos onto SlideShare – a great tool for businessmen and women. So far there are more than nine million uploads accompanying the twenty-nine million monthly unique visitors that peruse this popular site.

Remember: you’re not limited on SlideShare. As an avid social marketer, you can do any of the following:

1. An SEO End-Around

2. A Surprising Source of Referral Traffic

3. A Bridge to Press and Bloggers

4. A Hub for Leads

5. Great Social Integration

6. The “Everywhere” USB Drive

7. A Supportive Community

8. The Foundation for Personal Branding

 

To read more in depth about SlideShare on Mashable’s site, click here.

Posted by: beckbamberger | May 3, 2012

So You Want to Work at a PR Firm?

A lot of our interns are specifically looking toward entering the public relations and/or marketing fields and we wanted to pass along an article by PR Daily’s Nicole Messier.

Messier wished she knew the following before she entered the PR firm scene:

1. You’re at the mercy of two people: managers and clients.
2. You’re expected to be connected to email on the go.
3. Being proactive shows everyone on your team that you’re here to win.
4. If you don’t know how to proofread, return your diploma.
5. Whoever said “no question is a stupid question” is, in fact, stupid.
6. Building relationships will get you everywhere.
7. Problems, drama, and—yes—some tears are almost guaranteed.

Messier even has a great ending that’s straight to the point:
Agency life will be draining, daunting, and often thankless. If you want to be the next undiscovered talent—or the young professional with the corner office—you have to work your butt off to get there. In agency life, a job promotion is never going to be handed to you.

Perhaps the best piece of advice, which could probably be applied to any job, is that you are only as good as your team. Work well with others, give credit where it is due, and roll up your sleeves to get the job done—no matter what that job is.

To read more about the article that’ll give you a chuckle and make you nod in agreement, click here.

Posted by: beckbamberger | April 26, 2012

How-to on Measuring Your PR Success

We love hearing about the successes of other companies. We learn about the situation, reflect on how well our company and/or clients are doing and make the necessary changes. We develop the way we handle certain situations to work towards “PR success.”

Rachel Meranus, Entrepreneur.com’s “PR” columnist and vice president of public relations at PR Newswire, gives a great breakdown of how to measure your PR success, below.

She states that PR isn’t just a numbers game, nor is it just about media coverage. To achieve long-term PR value, you need to embrace qualitative factors, such as relationships, awareness and positive perception. And while traditional tools are useful, less obvious measurements can help paint a more detailed, colorful and accurate picture.

So what should we look at, according to Meranus?

1. Your company’s reporter relationships
2. The internal processes (i.e. how you speak to the media and send out news releases)
3. How your company and/or clients are mentioned in competitor articles
4. How you manage crises
5. Increase of sales activity and market share

How do you measure your PR success?

To see Rachel’s article in depth, please see it here.

Posted by: beckbamberger | April 19, 2012

Amount of Facebook Users May Decrease?

A good number of our clients at BAM Communications use Facebook as a way to reach their audience. So, when we have the opportunity to read studies, we take them into consideration and use the information wisely. Today, we just read “One in five Facebook users say they use the social networking site less now than they did a year ago” according to PRmoment.com. Of course, it is noted that this study took place in the U.K. but why not take a glance at the findings?

Just a snapshot of the article’s information states that Facebook launched in Feb. 2004, and in Dec. 2011 gained as much as 845 million monthly active users. The U.K. research highlighted “who are its most committed fans, but also shows that some of its users are no longer so keen and have already left, or plan to do so soon.”

Looking at the people you can best target on the site, David Cole, managing director of fast.MAP which carried out the research says: “Facebook users are most likely to belong to the much-publicised ‘stretched-middle’ income group – 70 percent of those earning £25,000 to £39,999 use it; along with 61 percent of those who earn less and 57 percent of those who earn more; although this includes only 51 percent of those in the over-£70,000 bracket.”

Converting the information from European euros to American dollars so you can get a better understanding: 70 percent of those earning $32,851 to $52,561 (advfn.com) are a part of the ‘stretched-middle’ income group.

Other information from this article include:

    • Two thirds of adult females use it
    • More than half of males
    • About eight out of ten 16 to 44-year-olds, (ideal medium for messages targeted at the young to middle-aged)

Overall, looking towards the future, this study concludes that “just three percent of users plan to use it a lot more, which compares unfavorably with the 18 percent who plan to use it a lot less.”
Read the article in its entirety here.

Do you think this study is a strong predictor of Facebook’s Internet reign? Why or why not?

Posted by: beckbamberger | April 12, 2012

Apple iPad Becomes “Household Name” Icon

If you were the public relations director for Apple, you should be gleaming right about now.

According to Bulldog Reporter’s Daily Dog: “Apple’s iPad On the Verge Of Rising To Branding’s Highest Honor: The “Household Name” Icon — Like Band-Aid, Kleenex, Google and Very Other Others, “iPad” Poised To Become Synonymous With “Tablet” — For Better Or Worse”

Recently reported by The Washington Times, the idea of being a household name could be seen as either a positive or a negative.

According to the article, “companies trip over themselves to make their brands household names. But only a few brands become so engrained in the lexicon that they’re synonymous with the products themselves. This so-called ‘genericization’ can be both good and bad for companies like Apple, which must balance their desire for brand recognition with their disdain for brand deterioration.

Fewer than 5 percent of U.S. brand names become generic. Those that do typically are inventions or products that improve on what’s already on the market. The brand names then become so popular that they eclipse rivals in sales, market share and in the minds’ of consumers. And then they spread through the English language like the common cold in a small office.”

Now what could go wrong?

“A company’s biggest fear is that their brand name becomes so commonly used to describe a product that a judge rules that it’s too ‘generic’ to be a trademark.”

Previous examples?

“Drug maker Bayer lost trademarks for the names ‘aspirin’ and ‘heroin’ this way in the 1920s. So did B.F. Goodrich, which sued to protect its trademark of ‘zipper’ in the 1920s after the name joined the world of common nouns. Similar cases deemed ‘escalator’ generic in 1950, ‘thermos’ generic in 1963 and ‘yo-yo’ generic in 1965.”

Check out the rest of the article here.

What other brands do you think are on their way to becoming household names?

 

Posted by: beckbamberger | April 5, 2012

PR and Stress: Everything is OK

Dorothy Crenshaw from PR Daily addresses the main reasons as to why PR is so stressful, but it’s also part of the reason why we love the public relations field. We love building relations, learning about new clients and products and helping others become successful.

Crenshaw reminisces about a boss from her past: “When things went wrong and I went crazy, he’d sometimes pat my shoulder, smile indulgently, and say: ‘It’s OK. No one died.'” When the going gets tough, remember that–it is OK, breathe, no one died. There is always a solution to a problem, you just have to think it through and try to be prepared (if not that time, then next time).

She pinpointed six reasons stress intertwines with the PR industry:

1. We serve many masters. Any client service business has special demands, but foot soldiers on the front lines of media relations have to answer to clients, direct supervisor(s), and, very frequently, members of the press. The goals of these three are often in conflict, yet we need to please all of them to be successful.

2. We trade control for credibility. The very magic of earned coverage is that it’s not within our control. The dynamic media environment in which we work only increases the risk—and the stress—of an unpredictable outcome.

3. PR is still poorly understood. Advertising professionals create something tangible, usually previewed by the client at key stages of production. Corporate counselors are similar to lawyers, yet attorneys aren’t usually asked to guarantee results and the cost of switching is fairly high. In contrast, client expectations for the PR process, timetable, and actual publicity results are often unrealistic. And, yes, this causes stress on both sides.

4. It’s based on billable hours. At many PR firms, you’re only as good as your billability, which can change from month to month. Both factors—pressure to prove one’s value, and lack of consistency—can pile on the stress.

5. Inside, it’s a staff position, not a line position. Billable hours go away on the corporate side, but these PR officers often struggle with the notion that their job isn’t always considered integral to the bottom line. Many clients tell me they feel like mini-agencies that serve different corporate divisions, yet they don’t enjoy the esprit de corps of an agency. This results in the worst kind of battle fatigue.

6. PR is in transition. Well, what industry isn’t? Yet, the rise of social media and the speed with which new platforms, strategies, and tools must be mastered and adopted is only accelerating. More opportunity, more learning curve—and more stress.

What else in the PR industry do you find yourself stressed out about? How do you deal with the stress?

Posted by: beckbamberger | March 28, 2012

Calm Your Public Speaking Qualms

At any public relations firm, asking the media to come out using press releases, media alerts and even calling them to cover your client’s story is a necessity. At BAM, we have our team working on placing our clients’ names in magazines, newspapers and television spots, you name it!

When you have successfully obtained media, prep your clients!

You can use Brad Phillips’ five ways to help your clients manage their fears for public speaking below:

1. Practice makes perfect

Most people tell us that the single best way for them to reduce their fear is by getting familiar with their material and practicing in advance. Fear tends to recede for most people as they gain more speaking experience.

2. You don’t have to be perfect

No one is judging you on a scale of perfection. You’re allowed to stumble over a phrase, say an occasional “ummm,” or forget a word here and there. If you focus on doing the big things well—delivering quality content with passion—the audience is probably going to form a positive impression of you.

3. Remember, it’s not about you

Stop focusing on your own fears and focus on the audience instead. Think about their lives, their needs, and their concerns. Remind yourself how your information can make their lives better. Try to serve them, make them feel more comfortable. It’s not about you. It’s about them.

4. Take long, deep breaths

Adults breathe an average of 12 times per minute. That number goes up when you get stressed, which leads to a reduced concentration of carbon dioxide in your blood and oxygen in your brain. Taking long, deep breaths can help you regain control of your respiration.

Begin by slowly exhaling all of the air from your lungs. Next, slowly inhale through your nose until your lungs are full. Hold your breath for as long as you can comfortably do so. Slowly release the air through your mouth until your lungs feel empty again. Repeat this exercise 10 to 12 times.

5. Flex your muscles

You can use a modified version of a technique called “progressive muscle relaxation” by flexing—then releasing—different muscles.

Sit in a comfortable chair and close your eyes. Flex the muscles in your face for 10 seconds, then relax for 20 seconds. Move on to your neck and repeat the same exercise, continuing on with your shoulders, then your arms, then your hands, then your chest, then your stomach, and downward until you reach your toes.

Do you have any other tips on how to calm one’s qualms?

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