maanantai 21. toukokuuta 2018

Ragan.com: 9 tips to shoot more compelling videos

Don’t let this happen to you.

When communicators prepare to create videos, the first impulse is often to gather all the top executives, sit them down in a conference room, and capture them talking about the organization’s work.

Is that the best way to entice, sway and convince potential clients or customers? Is that something you’d want to watch? Probably not.

[EVENT: Learn video production secrets that captivate audiences -- without breaking the bank.]

Here are nine ways to make more memorable, compelling videos:

  1. Consider the audience.

Is your video geared toward employees who are familiar with industry lingo, or is it an explanatory piece for new customers? The interviewee must know who the audience is, so the intended viewers understand the language.

If you’re trying to use video to explain how your product or service works, prioritize clarity over creativity. You want something visually appealing and interesting, or course, but make sure to translate material into everyday language and clear calls to action.

  1. Introduce the characters.

Execs are typically the first choice to appear in videos, but it’s important to find front-line workers to tell your company’s story. Identify one or two strong personalities who can passionately reflect the key corporate messages you want to convey.

The person at the top isn’t always the person who should be in front of the camera. Put people on camera who ooze authenticity, passion and integrity.

The best way to get a message across is to find a compelling character who knows how to tell a story.

  1. Keep it simple.

The more people, places and points you cram into a video, the less your audience will retain.

What good does a sleek production do if your calls to action get ignored? Keep your videos simple, short, punchy and easy to digest. Drive home your key points, and wrap it up swiftly.

  1. Get your subjects where the action is.

Conference rooms and offices are typically uninteresting settings for on-camera interviews. Ideally, you should interview somebody in an active environment that shows where people are working, such as a shop, factory or construction site.

  1. Entice the viewer.

Company leaders should view video the way writers consider headlines: It’s a means to entice potential customers or clients into the meat of your story.

Videos should highlight a primary message, then direct viewers to places that provide additional information or conversion points, such as a website or blog.

  1. Plan ahead.

Scripts tend to drain on-camera authenticity, but it is wise to craft a strategic plan for your project. This can include whom to interview and which type of setting they will be in.

You don’t have to map it out like a Hollywood film, but you should have a plan in place to help you work efficiently (and harmoniously) toward a final product. Without a plan, you’ll get sidetracked, go over budget and cause conflict among colleagues involved in the project.

Don’t wait until late in the process to choose your interviewees, either. Give them ample time to prepare, and they’ll likely be less nervous when the time comes.

  1. Include testimonials.

Impartial endorsements are pure marketing gold.

Companies are often unprepared to find happy customers willing to appear in a video, however, so before you commit resources toward a testimonial piece, start compiling names of possible participants. Identify your interviewees first to avoid scrambling at the last minute.

  1. Coach your subjects.

Instead of a rambling 30-minute Q&A, try to conduct a concise interview packed with questions that the person is familiar with. Prep them beforehand so they know, generally, what’s coming.

It’s a waste of time, money and resources to conduct marathon on-camera interviews that meander off the messaging path or fall outside a subject’s wheelhouse.

A video interview should be a well-planned scenario, where the person on camera knows the questions and the interviewer knows what this person can address.

  1. Remember the main goal.

Communicators might feel obligated to squeeze as many people as possible into a video, whether for political reasons or sensitivity to someone who might feel left out. Remember, the main goal is to convey a message. Direct your energy toward that chief objective.

The more people you stuff into a video, the less your audience will remember. If there are too many different voices, none will stand out, and you’ll end up leaving the viewer with no memorable takeaways.

A version of this post first appeared on The Flip Side Communications blog.



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sunnuntai 20. toukokuuta 2018

Ragan.com: 30 jobs in the PR and marketing world

Your LinkedIn profile conveys your professional persona.

For many, it will be their first impression of you—and you know what they say about first impressions.

Whether you’re looking to begin a career or you’re considering changing your work situation, most hiring managers will start by checking your LinkedIn profile.

“But I’m perfectly fine where I am in my career right now,” you might say.

That’s fine, but it doesn’t mean you should skimp on refining your profile.

Those who are satisfied in their current professional position and haven’t had a recent promotion might not be keeping their LinkedIn profiles as up to date as they should. According to LinkedIn, 70 percent of employees are passive job seekers, and of those candidates, 87 percent would be open to a new professional endeavor.

With that in mind, it would be wise to freshen up your profile.

The platform is not only for networking, either. It has also become a great source for generating sales leads and distributing content.

Regardless of your career aspirations, it’s important to keep your LinkedIn profile polished.

[RELATED: Get the skills you need to become a trusted advisor to leaders.]

The Muse’s article, “The 31 best LinkedIn profile tips for job seekers” shares advice for perfecting your LinkedIn profile.

Here are three key tips from the piece:

1. If you want to stand out, put effort into completing your profile.

Be thorough. Missing information might turn off those who are looking to hire; it could even keep them from finding you at all.

The Muse states:

Simply put, the more complete your profile, the better the odds that recruiters will find you in the first place. So, completeness is important from that standpoint. It’s also important after a recruiter has found you and decided to click on your profile: He or she wants to know what your skills are, where you’ve worked, and what people think of you. So, don’t get lazy—fill out every single section of your profile. The good news? LinkedIn will actually measure the “completeness” of your profile as you work and offer suggestions on how to make it stronger.

2. Make sure your profile includes key words from your target job description.

Including terms related to your desired position could help get you noticed.

The Muse states:

Take a look at the job descriptions of the positions you’re after, and dump them into a word cloud tool like Wordle. See those words that stand out? They’re likely what recruiters are searching for when they’re looking for people like you. Make sure those words and phrases are sprinkled throughout your summary and experience.

3. Steer clear of using annoying jargon.

Buzzwords do not help your cause. Using them might even deter readers from perusing the rest of your profile.

The Muse adds:

What do the words responsible, creative, effective, analytical, strategic, patient, expert, organizational, driven, and innovative have in common? They’re the most overused buzzwords on all of LinkedIn. Come on—we know you can be more creative.

Got your LinkedIn profile in tip-top shape? Microsoft seeks a senior social media manager in Redmond, Washington.

It summarizes the position:

Windows Community is looking for an enthusiastic, self-driven, collaborative Social Media Manager to be part of our small team as we create services and generate ways to engage with our customers to show them some love from Microsoft. You will be responsible for creating and driving the overall social media strategy for Windows Community social channels on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, growing the community through creative programs like social media experiences, contests, events, and customer recognition, and actively engaging our customers to tell the story of Windows and the Windows engineers.

Not the job for you? See what else we have in our weekly professional pickings:

Manager, global internal communications—Godiva (New York)

Director of technical operations—Public Broadcasting Atlanta (Georgia)

Senior specialist, public relations—Alight Solutions (Illinois)

Senior investments writer—ICMA-RC (Washington, D.C.)

Communications specialist—McAfee (Texas)

Manager, customer communications—MTA New York City Transit (New York)

Project manager—Trunk Club (Illinois)

Media relations manager—BMO Financial Group (Canada)

North America marketing communication director—Siemens Healthineers (Pennsylvania)

Marketing strategy digital specialist—Dish Network (Colorado)

Corporate communications manager—AMD (Texas)

Marketing manager—BBC (United Kingdom)

Senior writer—Unum (South Carolina)

PR manager—Eventbrite (Australia)

Associate brand manager—The Wendy’s Co. (Ohio)

Senior marketing manager, campaign execution—CVS Health (Rhode Island)

Public relations manager—eharmony (United Kingdom)

Associate marketing manager, global strategic marketing— Johnson & Johnson (Massachusetts)

Marketing communications director—OneAmerica (Indiana)

Marketing manager, global enterprise—KPMG Canada (Canada)

Lead creative and digital strategist—Chase (Delaware)

Senior marketing manager—Gartner (Virginia)

Public relations manager—Quicken Loans (Michigan)

Marketing performance manager—LEGO Group (Connecticut)

Program manager, Nike app—Nike (Oregon)

Director of marketing—Bricktown Brewery (Oklahoma)

Brand marketing director—MailChimp (Georgia)

Associate director, CVMD corporate affairs—AstraZeneca (Delaware)

Retail marketing manager—JLL (Florida)

If you have a position you’d like to see highlighted in PR Daily’s weekly jobs post, or if you’re searching for career opportunities, RaganJobs.com is the perfect place to find or post high-quality job openings.

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lauantai 19. toukokuuta 2018

Ragan.com: 3 reasons you shouldn’t ignore messaging apps

Are messaging apps the next frontier for communicators?

The technology enables users to send messages back and forth and engage in real-time conversations. Curious communicators have several apps to choose from, and most social media platforms have messaging counterparts like Facebook’s Messenger and the direct messaging functionalities on Instagram and Twitter.

Messaging apps are a great alternative to text messaging, but that only scratches the surface of their potential. Brand managers should pay close attention because these platforms offer an opportunity to bring them closer to their audience, a challenge often faced in the crowded social media marketplace.

Here’s why 2018 should be the year you consider messaging apps in your marketing plan:

1. Your customers are already using them.

Over the past few years, there’s been a hefty rise in the use of messaging apps. In fact, four of the more popular ones—Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat and Viper—boast more monthly users than the top four social networking sites: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.

It’s easy to understand why messaging apps are becoming a key part of social engagement strategies for businesses. Once customers discover the ability to send a direct message to a popular shoe brand and receive a discount code from them, they won’t hesitate to buy.

There’s a good chance your customer base is already using messaging apps in some way, so it makes sense to cater your customer-relations strategy to the preferences of your audience.

[FREE DOWNLOAD: How reporters use social media in their jobs]

2. Customers want to interact on their terms.

Today’s consumers are smart, independent and informed. They have to be in order to sift through all the brand choices out there.

It’s no surprise that convenience plays a role in deciding who they want to do business with. According to a 2016 Nielsen survey commissioned by Facebook IQ, 53 percent of people say they are more likely to shop with a business that they can message directly.

Phone customer service can be limiting. With messaging apps, people can engage when they want and where they want without wasting valuable time sitting on hold. Not to mention the amount of time consumers spend online. It only makes sense to stay online when they have a question or want to do business. If marketers place a larger emphasis on customer needs, results will follow.

3. Messaging apps will be for more than conversation.

In 2018, messaging apps will continually evolve their e-commerce capabilities and shift from being solely conversational platforms to multi-purpose business tools. WeChat is a great example of a messaging app ahead of its time. Launched in 2011, the Chinese app has an array of functionality including a digital wallet service and e-payment system.

With the rise of chatbots, people can easily make reservations, get answers to general questions, place business orders and more. According to a survey by Oracle, 80 percent of businesses will want to use chatbots by 2020. Not surprising since they save money, can be available to customers 24/7 and can have simultaneous conversations with thousands of people.

Maybe robots are taking over.

Megan Snyder is the marketing manager for JConnelly, a New York-based PR firm. A version of this article originally appeared on the J Connelly blog.

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perjantai 18. toukokuuta 2018

Ragan.com: 10 outstanding social media tools for your nonprofit

Does trying to manage all your social media accounts feel like running on a hamster wheel?

You’re not alone—nor are you without help.

Try these 10 social media scheduling and management tools to optimize your workflow and save time:

1. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the most popular and widely used social media management tools, due to its ease of use, accessible pricing and variety of features.

Key features: Hootsuite allows you to manage your presence from all major social networks from one dashboard. It also offers integrations with several other platforms. Hootsuite enables you to schedule up to 350 social media posts at once. You can also schedule Instagram posts, including re-grams.

Add the Hootsuite button into your browser, so you can schedule a tweet, Facebook post or LinkedIn post with one click.

Pricing: Free for one individual user and three social media profiles. Paid plans are available if you want to add team members or profiles. Hootsuite offers 50 percent off all its plans for nonprofits.

2. Buffer

Buffer is a wildly popular social media scheduling tool. Buffer’s blog is also chock-full of helpful tips and tactics.

Key features: You can schedule posts on all major social media networks, access analytics and reports, and use the browser extension to quickly and easily add content to your queue.

You can schedule retweets that look great and pull in the original photo. Buffer integrates with Twitter, and you can spread scheduled retweets throughout the day or week.

Pricing: Free for one individual user per network on the Individual plan. Note that Pinterest is not included in the free plan. Like Hootsuite, paid plans are available if you choose to add team members or profiles. Buffer offers 50 percent off all its plans for nonprofits.

3. Later

If you are a heavy Instagram user and you want to build your community and engagement on that platform, then Later is for you.

Key features: You can plan and schedule posts in a visual calendar view, which is ideal for the visually inclined. You can also preview posts just as they will appear. With the Visual Instagram Planner, you can see your entire feed on desktop and mobile, which helps to create a consistent look and feel, as well as planning longer campaigns.

Pricing: Free for one individual user per network on the Individual plan, with a limit of 30 Instagram posts per month. Through the Later for Nonprofits Program, it offers a 50 percent discount on an annual subscription for the Premium plan to qualifying nonprofits.

4. ViralTag

If your nonprofit has active accounts on Instagram and Pinterest and you want to create and share more visuals, check out ViralTag.

Key features: As with many social media scheduling tools, you can manage multiple social networks, schedule unlimited posts, recycle evergreen content, collaborate with a team, and analyze performance. What’s special about ViralTag is its “visual marketing calendar,” through which you can create and schedule multiple Pinterest pins and Instagram posts.

[EVENT: Learn social media secrets from TED, Microsoft, Starbucks and more.]

Pricing: Fourteen-day free trial. Individual accounts start at $24 per month. There does not seem to be specific information about nonprofit discounts on the website, but its competitors all offer this perk, so try contacting a rep directly to ask about a discount.

5. SocialOomph

SocialOomph offers affordability and ease of use for the non-techie, a huge plus for many nonprofit social media managers.

Key features: If you use Twitter often, SocialOomph has many features that can maximize productivity and engagement, including the ability to schedule unlimited tweets, track keywords, save and reuse drafts of posts, and check DMs on multiple accounts.

Pricing: All Twitter features can be used on the free plan. To sync more social media accounts, you must sign up for its Professional plan, which is $17.97 every two weeks. As with ViralTag, try contacting a rep directly to ask about a nonprofits discount.

6. PostPlanner

PostPlanner is a great way to schedule and monitor the content you create yourself and to discover, curate and share outside content.

Key features: PostPlanner helps you discover content through its recommendations, and it lets you customize your publishing calendar, incorporating original posts as well as curated content. Other features include Canva integration for sharing infographics and visuals, GIF creation and sharing, and recycling evergreen posts.

Pricing: Starts at $3 per month for three profiles and 30 posts per day. Check directly about nonprofit pricing.

7. Crowdfire

This helps you cull Twitter followers to make sure you’re not following outdated accounts. With over 19 million users, it is one of the most popular social media management platforms.

Key features: Beyond searching other Twitter accounts to see whom they follow, you can unfollow inactive accounts, search for relevant articles, automatically share your blog posts, and customize each post for particular social media networks.

Pricing: The free plan lets you connect one account per social network, with up to 10 schedule posts per account per month. Paid plans start at $4.99 per month. Check directly about nonprofit pricing.

8. Loomly

A recent addition, Loomly was created by frustrated social media managers who couldn’t find a tool they liked.

Key features: Create and manage social media calendars from one dashboard, get real-time analytics on each post with its Live Post Analysis, and submit posts for approval to a team member. You can also schedule posts in Loomly, or you can integrate with Hootsuite or Buffer.

Pricing: Plans start at $15 per month and include 10 social profiles, unlimited calendars, posts and file uploads. You also receive post ideas, live analysis, approval workflow and basic analytics. Loomly offers a 50 percent lifetime discount upon presentation of a copy of an IRS determination letter or any equivalent document. Email contact@loomly.com to apply.

9. Sprout Social

Sprout Social, launched in 2010, is one of the most trusted social media management tools. Team Sprout maintains official partnerships with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and more.

Key features: With the “Social Inbox” you can manage all the direct messages that your brand receives. You can also schedule and publish posts across networks and across devices and collaborate on content planning. The higher-level plans even offer presentation-ready reports, so you can wow your executive director.

Pricing: Sprout Social is the most expensive option on this list, but it has the most features. All plans include a free 30-day trial, but after that they start at $99 per month. They do offer nonprofit pricing with qualifying 501(c)3 documentation. To learn more about their pricing structure for nonprofits, email sales@sproutsocial.com.

10. SmarterQueue

SmarterQueue is easier to use than other platforms, as well as having more customization and integration, with additional apps and social networks.

Key features: As with 99 percent of the platforms detailed in this article, you can schedule your posts, analyze competitors and find great content to share. You can recycle your evergreen content, and, according to its website, “get all of your social media posts scheduled in 1 hour per month.” What’s not to love about that?

Pricing: The Solo plan is $16.99 per month, and you get all the features listed above, plus four social media profiles and 10 posts per profile per day. Registered charities, nonprofits, schools, universities and students in full-time education get 50 percent off any plan.

Julia Campbell is a strategist for nonprofit digital marketing and online fundraising. A version of this post first appeared on Wild Apricot.



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Ragan.com: Starbucks promises to investigate after a new racial incident

Starbucks racial bias training can’t come soon enough.

The coffee chain is facing more backlash after a customer accused a barista in the company’s La Canada Flintridge, California, location of writing a racial slur on his cup.

NBC 4 in Los Angeles reported:

Pedro, who asked not to be identified by his last name, ordered two coffees from the cafe and received his order with the word "beaner" on both cups in place of his name, he told NBC4's sister station, Telemundo 52.

"It's an offensive word used towards Latinos," he said.

Pedro does not believe the slur could have been written by accident because the barista called his name once his order was ready.

Pedro’s co-worker Priscilla Hernandez was the one to point out the name.

CNN reported:

"I asked him if he realized what they had put on his cup. He said no. So I was really upset about it, because that isn't OK," she said.

Hernandez said she called the store and they told her their employee couldn't understand what Pedro had told them. They also offered a $50 gift card.

"Out of all the names they could've put on his coffees for 'misunderstanding' him they decide to put 'beaner,'" she said, noting that the Starbucks employees apparently understood Pedro well enough to get his drink orders right.

Hernandez also told reporters that Pedro paid for his order with cash—which means that the Starbucks barista had to manually insert a name for the order.

[FREE DOWNLOAD: 13 tips for preparing for a crisis]

She then tweeted a complaint to Starbucks, and the coffee chain’s social media manager responded:

Starbucks’ district manager for the location offered Pedro a $50 gift card, which he declined, telling reporters it was “insulting.” Both he and Hernandez met Thursday with the manager, who reportedly apologized and promised to investigate the situation.

The incident comes on the heels of another racially charged incident in one of the chain’s Philadelphia locations. On April 12, two black men were arrested, purportedly for trespassing , after they had asked to use the bathroom (without purchasing anything). Both Starbucks and the city have met and settled with the two men, and the company’s CEO apologized.

Shortly afterward, Starbucks announced that it would close more than 8,000 of its stores on May 29 for racial-bias training. The move earned the company much-needed kudos for attempting to tackle a tough topic and goal.

NPR reported:

No company has tried such training on this scale, says an expert advising the coffee chain, and the effort puts the science of behavioral change to the test. Starbucks' push comes as behavioral scientists' view of how best to address bias is evolving.

"Mitigating bias is one of the hardest things in human existence," says David Rock, director of the NeuroLeadership Institute, which he co-founded on the idea that brain science can inform leaders on how to better motivate their employees, for example, or help them learn more.

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torstai 17. toukokuuta 2018

Ragan.com: 7 tips to develop your employees as brand ambassadors

Your employees are often your company’s best storytellers.

The question is: What kinds of stories do they have that are worth telling?

Here are tips and strategies you can use to motivate your staffers to be positively vocal about your brand:

1. Start small with the stars you already have.

Talent consultant Lars Schmidt warns that starting an employee activation initiative with your HR department or upper management can backfire. “Employees may be skeptical if HR or leadership pushes them to act,” he says. “If they see their peers participating, they’ll be more compelled to follow suit, and your initiatives can grow organically and authentically.”

Identify the employees who are already advocates on social media, and start small with them. Once you’ve trained them to use their media social profiles or their dedicated branded profiles, you have your internal leaders who can spearhead a larger program.

[FREE DOWNLOAD: How to manage online feedback and brand reputation]

2. Make it about personal branding.

The best way to spark brand advocacy within your organization isn’t by offering a financial or physical reward; it’s about personal incentive.

Employee activation should be about empowering your employees to be the best professional version of themselves. Equipping employees to become industry-specific influencers can lift their respective careers, which also benefits your business, as they are your organization’s digital (and real-world) representatives.

Approach brand advocacy as advantageous for both company and employee, and you’ll generate sustainable interest.

3. Teach your employees to fish.

Have a support system in place from the beginning. You don’t have to start out with a social media training academy like Dell or Adobe. However, at least have established guidelines, tips and best practices, and identify social media experts within your organization who can coach their colleagues. This will set the foundation for a successful program.

Strive to consistently create educational content. Use webinars, how-to videos, training sessions or short monthly meetings to reinforce what’s acceptable to share. Also, take time to show employees how to hone their expert voice on various social media platforms.

4. Make social media sharing convenient by providing curated content.

Your employees are more likely to be active ambassadors when you make it easy for them. As part of your employee activation program, share a steady supply of curated content. Include relevant blog posts, videos, industry news and case studies. Then, encourage your advocates to comment on the curated content with their personal take.

5. Encourage participation through incentives.

You won’t maintain a sustainable, meaningful employee advocacy program on incentives alone, but perks or swag can certainly keep people interested. Try weekly contests or giveaways. This type of motivation is more about keeping your employees engaged, informed and interested, so make your contests fun and compelling.

6. Use technology in your favor.

Yes, there’s an app for employee activation. In fact, there are several, including plenty of machine learning algorithms and AI-inspired platforms. Here are seven resources to consider:

  • Dynamic Signal is a useful resource to foster employee sharing. The platform’s Voice Storm app includes the ability to send out real-time notifications and personalized invites. You can also create quizzes, surveys and interactive content to keep your workers engaged.
  • Elevate is a LinkedIn resource geared toward sharing curated content. It’s a built-in feature that’s easy to use.
  • EveryoneSocial is the employee advocacy platform favored by Dell and Adobe. This tool makes it simple for employees to share content on their social networks.
  • Influitive is an advocacy platform used by companies such as Quickbase and MongoDB. The tool’s AdvocateHub motivates advocates to share content, reviews and testimonials online.
  • DrumUp lets you create custom posts and curate content. It also comes with a point system to recognize social media stars and analytics to track activity. DrumUp uses machine learning and natural-language processing to generate relevant content with the curation function.
  • Hootsuite’s Amplify and Bambu from Sprout Social are also popular advocacy platforms.

7. Use your advocates wisely.

Your employees’ social media profiles are potential publicity gold mines, but be judicious regarding how much you ask of your internal advocates.

First, you don’t want to make your ambassadors feel pressured to spend too much time on social media sharing. For them, it should be simple, natural and easy—not just another task to knock off the list. If you ask for too much, you’ll have fewer people interested in joining your voluntary initiative.

Second, and perhaps more important, too much social media sharing will dilute the value and authenticity of employee content. If your employees’ networks are being inundated by similar posts, people are going to start ignoring the content. At some point, it will start seeming like bland brand marketing content rather than authentic insights.

Employee activation can boost trust, engagement and reputation. Leads that are generated from employee social media sharing convert seven times more often than other leads. It can increase sales and establish your brand as a more trustworthy organization. Employee advocacy can even help you attract premium hires to help your business succeed.

Overlooking your employees’ potential can be a fatal error. You’re missing the chance to rake in more leads and burnish your company’s reputation online. You are also missing the opportunity to help your employees grow professionally.

If you haven’t already, start crafting a plan to empower and train your workers to become authentic social media advocates.

Michael Brenner is CEO of Marketing Insider Group. A version of this post first appeared on the Marketing Insider blog.



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