maanantai 22. tammikuuta 2018

Ragan.com: Marketing lessons from 4 iconic campaigns and visionaries

Everyone knows that when you propose you offer a diamond ring, right?

That wasn’t always the case. You can thank (or blame) marketers for that tradition.

If you want to learn from some of the most audacious marketing visionaries and endeavors of all time, here are four classic examples that will spark your creativity:

1. P.T. Barnum: Deliver exceptional, distinctive value.

For those of you who haven’t seen “The Greatest Showman yet, P.T. Barnum was a poor tailor’s son who realized the value of delighting an audience. When his show was called a fake and a fraud, he replied by saying the crowd’s smiles were real.

Barnum promoted sensational, one-of-a-kind acts. As he says in the movie, “No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.”

The marketing tactics Barnum used are still prominent today: billboards, draping buildings with huge promotional banners and plastering ads onto public transportation vehicles.

[EVENT: Do-It-All Communicator Conference]

What about the delivery? Copyblogger explains:

Although Barnum used outrageous stunts and hoaxes for promotional purposes, he was insanely focused on delivering exceptional value to his customers. When Barnum pulled one over on you, he told you, and then made sure you left with a smile on your face.

You might not be the next P.T. Barnum, but can you provide true value to your customers? Do you delight your audiences with unexpected, entertaining content, events or experiences? Channel your inner Barnum, and dare to be different.

2. De Beers: Reach a new audience.

Back in 1938, the diamond industry was struggling. Precious gems were viewed as a luxury that only super-wealthy people could afford, so De Beers hired an ad agency to repackage diamonds for the average American. In conjunction with positioning diamonds as part of the “engagement tradition,” the company rolled out the slogan “A Diamond Is Forever” in 1948.

The rest, of course, is history. “A Diamond Is Forever” has been used by the company ever since, and the phrase was named the best slogan of the 20th century by Ad Age.

How can your company learn from De Beers?

  • Don’t be afraid to reposition your brand to reach a new audience. If sales are waning and you’re unable to reach new consumers, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your target customer. Don’t be afraid to pivot or alter strategies.
  • Appeal to positive emotions. De Beers positioned its diamonds as an expression of enduring love. How can you tie positive emotions to your brand or product?
  • Produce a consistent message. De Beers has used the same slogan for decades, despite updating its marketing and communication efforts. The medium might change, but your core message and mission should steadily shine through.

3. Rosie the Riveter: Empower your followers.

The famous “We Can Do It” poster image was originally part of a work-incentive campaign for Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co., but it has become synonymous with the World War II-era Rosie the Riveter campaign.

The marketing campaign spread through movies, newspapers, posters, photos and articles, as it reminded and inspired women that they played a crucial role in the war effort. Following the war, the “We Can Do It” poster became a symbol of female empowerment.

As this article explains, “Since then, it has been used by everyone from Clorox to Beyoncé to communicate the idea that women are strong, independent people capable of rolling up their sleeves and getting the job done.”

To learn from this marketing example, take steps to empower and inspire your audience. When appropriate, take a stand and rally around a cause. Use your marketing to encourage and uplift people.

4. Red Bull: Make it an event.

In 2012, Red Bull sponsored Felix Baumgartner’s live space jump. The stunt drew more than 8 million viewers on YouTube, and more than 40 TV networks worldwide carried the live feed. Red Bull also capitalized on social media following the event, soliciting questions via Facebook and Twitter for Baumgartner to answer in a post-jump news conference.

This Red Bull-sponsored event marked a shift in digital culture. Rather than responding to traditional ads, modern consumers want to be part of the story and engage with current events. Also, it helps to create a tantalizing experience that attracts people.

How can you tie this remarkable marketing coup into your strategy?

  • Focus on the experience. Come up with ways for your audience to get involved. You might not be able to orchestrate a 24-mile drop from space, but there are countless ways to provide a fun, engaging experience for potential customers. Think about events your target consumers would enjoy that are a natural fit for your brand, and then use them as vehicles to create meaningful interactions.
  • Offer opportunities for engagement. Don’t make your message all about your brand. Give fans and followers a chance to get involved and ask questions. Ask them for advice and suggestions. Of course, you’ll need content or experiences that are compelling enough to merit interest, so prioritize great storytelling and fun events that will draw engagement.

Don’t be discouraged by these extraordinary examples. Learn from them, and integrate the timeless principles of successful campaigns into your marketing strategy. As Rosie the Riveter might say, “We can do it.”

A version of this post first appeared on Three Girls Media.

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sunnuntai 21. tammikuuta 2018

Ragan.com: Infographic: 9 tips to keep your remote workers engaged

Chances are, your company relies on workers hither and yon to get the job done.

How do you keep those out-of-office folks engaged, inspired and happy to be on board?

[RELATED: 10 ways to engage employees through smarter communication]

The Business Backer serves up an infographic with nine ideas to shepherd your dispersed, global flock. Here are a few highlights:

  • Establish absolute clarity on roles and expectations. Remote staffers should have a list of time-bound “deliverables” and projects they’re responsible for, as well as guidance on how their role fits into the bigger company picture. It’s also crucial to communicate regularly with remote workers to ensure everyone remains on the same page.  
  • Facilitate bonding, friendship and openness. The infographic says that trust, or the absence thereof, is the chief cause of team dysfunction. The graphic advises starting meetings with a few minutes’ worth of personal news, or asking everyone to tout a recent achievement (work or otherwise). If you work with extreme introverts who’d rather die than do something like this, or if you suspect a colleague has something going on, you might consider a more discreet, personal chat. Either way, show you genuinely care for and appreciate your people.
  • Offer development opportunities. Beyond expressing concern for a person’s emotional or physical well-being, giving folks an opportunity to learn a new skill or pursue a passion project demonstrates meaningful support. According to the infographic, 76 percent of millennials view “professional development opportunities” as one of the most important benefits companies can offer, so you might consider creating a personalized development program for your top performers.

Without the benefit of body language, proximity or office-bound camaraderie, it’s tough to gauge how people are doing. It’s not impossible, however. Review the rest of the infographic below for more tips on engaging and motivating your unsung heroes around the world.  

infographic



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Ragan.com: Words you should excise from your writing in 2018

You can count on two things in January: plenty of articles, news stories, and posts listing popular New Year’s resolutions and plenty of articles, news stories, and posts listing all the reasons people fail at keeping their New Year’s resolutions.

This can all lead one to surmise that New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time, but that would be folly.

It’s always worthwhile to sharpen your writing and editing skills, as many PR Daily readers will agree. If one of your goals for 2018 is to improve your writing, consider excising unnecessary words and phrases from your work.

Here are four groups of phrases that unnecessarily clog your writing:

1. Words so overused they’ve lost all meaning

  • Bleeding edge
  • Core competencies
  • Cutting edge
  • Deep dive
  • Game changer
  • Leading edge
  • Natural
  • Revolutionary
  • Synergy
  • Unique

2. Verbs that indicate laziness (and jargon)

  • Ameliorate
  • Disseminate
  • Dialogue (when used as a verb)
  • Endeavor
  • Impact
  • Implement
  • Leverage
  • Modify
  • Onboard
  • Utilize

3. Contrived words

  • Actionable
  • Bandwidth
  • Cascade
  • Cognizant
  • Optimize
  • Pivot
  • Promulgate
  • Tremendous
  • Silo
  • Vector
  • Verdant
[FREE GUIDE: 10 ways to improve your writing today.]

4. “Crutch” words and filler phrases

  • As a matter of fact
  • As you may already know
  • At the present time
  • Basically
  • Because of the fact that
  • For all intents and purposes
  • For the purpose of
  • Generally
  • Given the fact that
  • In case you haven’t heard
  • In light of the fact that
  • In my opinion
  • In the event that
  • It has come to my attention
  • It is believed by many that
  • It is interesting to note that
  • Needless to say
  • Please be advised that
  • That said

What do you think, Ragan/PR Daily readers? Do you have any words or phrases to share?

Laura Hale Brockway is an Austin-based writer and editor and a regular contributor to PR Daily. Read more of her work at impertinentremarks.com.

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lauantai 20. tammikuuta 2018

Ragan.com: 5 PR stunts that piqued the imagination in 2017

2017 wasn’t the easiest year for a company to try to break through the noise.

There were a few incredible exceptions. Everybody knows about the unorthodox launch of Apple’s iPhone X (including the insane semi-accidental “animoji” karaoke videos gone viral). State Street’s awesome traffic-stopping Fearless Girl statue was huge, creating returns for the bank worth $7.4 million, and everybody loved Tesla’s surprise launch of the record-breaking Roadster after the grand finale of the Tesla Semi launch.

How can marketers and PR pros replicate this success for 2018?

“The ingredients of a good stunt are that it fits with what is happening in the culture today,” Richard Laermer of RLM PR explained. “It has to fit the times. It can’t be something so obscure that no one will get it. It has to really hit people where they live. And most important, a good stunt is something people will tell others about without rolling their eyes.”

Here are five other bold PR stunts in 2017 that you might have missed but that drew millions of eyeballs and captured public imagination:

1. The Jumping Robot video (Boston Dynamics)

Who doesn’t love a jumping, backflipping robot?

Boston Dynamic’s robotic acrobat posted on November 16, 2017 and has already racked up a whopping 12M views. The robot is positioning the ex-Google brand as the go-to B2B brand for delivering humanoids that can walk (and scare the living hell out of you).

What are 12 million views on YouTube worth to your investors and to your brand?

[RELATED: Learn how to boost buzz, build brand recognition and engage employees on the hottest social media platforms.]

2. The Gyroscopic Transportation of the Future video

While other tech CEOs like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have made promotional tours or roadshows to middle America, in April CEO and Co-founder Josh Reeves drove a Winnebago from SF to Jacksonville, stopping at 11 cities along the way (more than 3000 miles).

The trip received local coverage in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Alabama and increased its web traffic by 30%. The business raised $161.1 million in funding, backed by investors including Instagram, Stripe, Yelp, Dropbox and Eventbrite, and is now valued at over $1 billion.

4. Cancun.com's “Seeking a Cancun Experience Officer”

TravelPass Group set out to find the right candidate to spread the Cancun love and drive traffic to the newly-relaunched Cancun.com. The company behind the stunt (though they tell me it’s more than just a stunt) is a travel technology company based in Lehi, Utah and is part owner of Cancun.com.

The posted Chief Experience Officer position—cleverly shortened to CEO—pays $10,000 a month for the candidate to live and experience Cancun for 6-months expense free. The CEO will be expected to create content based on their experiences that will be used on Cancun.com.

TravelPass and BestDay launched the job search in early November, resulting in more than 350 articles and over 100 broadcast segments, plus 4,000 applications and counting.

The best part is the list of job requirements:

  • Sleeping in luxurious beds overlooking the most pristine beaches
  • Scaling 3,000-year-old pyramids followed by a swim with a 40,000-pound whale shark
  • Sipping an ice-cold beverage before teeing off 200 yards down an ocean fairway
  • Mingling with locals and tourists at your VIP table in the hottest clubs
  • Coordinating charitable projects with local organizations to support education, health and well-being
  • Having the most enviable job on the planet

5. Screenshop

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Perhaps the best stunt of all is getting one of the biggest brand influencers of all time, Kim Kardashian, to become an early adopter and advisor of your new mobile app. The New York-based app “Screenshop” is known as the Shazam for clothing.

How can other organizations go after big name influencers?

“If you don’t have Kim Kardashian’s digits at your fingertips, thanks to the rise of user friendly platforms like FameBit and TRIBE, influencer marketing strategy is more easily implementable than ever before,” said Nate Masteron, a marketing expert at Maple Holistics.

What opportunities do you see for earned media in 2018, PR Daily readers?

Aaron Cohen is the CEO of Glitch helping startups and innovators with PR, content, and strategy. A version of this article originally appeared on The Drum.

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perjantai 19. tammikuuta 2018

Ragan.com: How can you rebuild a damaged reputation?

“Which office do I go to get my reputation back?”

It was a damning question, put to the media in 1987 by Raymond Donovan, the former Secretary of Labor who was indicted on corruption charges for his work with a construction company accused of having mob ties. The media had a field day with Donovan. After all, it wasn’t every day you could paint a Reagan cabinet member as a mafia stooge.

Trouble was, the charges against Donovan didn’t hold up. Donovan’s attorneys never even put up a defense. They rested their case without calling a single witness, saying the prosecution failed to prove Donovan did anything wrong. The jury agreed, and Donovan walked out a free man.

Donovan was free, but tainted—leading to his now-famous comment.

Donovan was innocent, but not everyone seeking to repair their reputation is. In the digital age, people don’t often screw up in silence. Day after day, there are headlines about executives losing their jobs due to workplace misconduct. What’s more, social media magnifies people’s misdeeds, creating a digital footprint that can alert people to incidents years in the past.

We spend a lifetime building our reputation and, while we think they’re made of brick and mortar, reputations are more like a house of cards, vulnerable to a puff of wind. We can be defamed easily, finding ourselves on the defensive in the most improbable moments. We can make one bad decision and be judged by it for the rest of our lives. We can (rightly) be called out for awful chronic behavior that was ignored in the past. And sometimes, we can actually do everything right—but one unfounded accusation can define us.

Preventing a crippling blow to your reputation takes a tactical crisis plan, which needs to be catered to the specific situation. However, all crisis plans have some factors in common:

  • You have to be aggressive.
  • You have to be dogged.
  • If you’re in the wrong, you have to show contrition and commitment to learn from your mistakes.
[FREE DOWNLOAD: Keep your cool in a crisis with these 13 tips.]

How Taco Bell fought back

The earlier you start, the better. One great example is Taco Bell’s approach to charges it didn’t actually use beef in its beef taco. In 2011, a woman sued the chain, claiming unfair business and advertising practices. Rather than settle, the company fought back. Taco Bell bought a full-page ad in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and other newspapers with the message: “Thank You for Suing Us. Here’s the Truth About Our Seasoned Beef.”

The ads noted that Taco Bell’s filling was a full 88 percent beef, and the company even offered its recipe to prove it. The ads also ended with a challenge to the company’s detractors: “We stand by the quality of our seasoned beef 100% and we are proud to serve it in all our restaurants. We take any claims to the contrary very seriously and plan to take legal action against those who have made false claims against our seasoned beef.”

Taco Bell’s antagonists ultimately walked away with no money and no concessions from Taco Bell. Taco Bell walked away with its reputation not only unsullied, but strengthened.

How to redirect the narrative

Sometimes you can’t prevent a reputational hit from happening. Instead, you must try to rebuild your reputation from scratch. That approach takes a similarly aggressive tack.

An example is Michael Milken. He popularized the junk bond when he was at Drexel Burnham Lambert in the 1980s. They were such a great product that savings-and-loan institutions bought them in droves. When the junk-bond market collapsed, so did the S&Ls. Prosecutors were looking for a scapegoat and they found one in Milken, who eventually went to jail.

A cancer survivor, he became a loud and active champion of medical research. Milken has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research and has become a respected philanthropist. 

Milken also had an aggressive team around him that continues to enforce his reputational reclamation. When I was a journalist, I wrote about Milken and his history. The mention was overwhelmingly positive, focusing on all his good works, but when the story went to print, I received an email from members of Milken’s team. Their complaint? That I mentioned his conviction and jail time at all.

Milken’s personal history, they argued, is all about his philanthropy and thought leadership. Mentioning his conviction was out of place. It was the kind of aggressive reputation management I didn’t expect – nor will I ever forget.

When an apology is necessary

Finally, there’s the issue of contrition. This is especially true for executives losing positions because of workplace misconduct or harassment. Despite what you may read on social media, this is a nation that roots for people to rebuild their lives. Being authentically sorry and living a life that is a witness to the fundamental change in direction you’ve undergone is a necessary step in getting people to forgive and do business with you again. You have to be truly sorry, and you have to say so in your words and subsequent deeds. Recidivism ensures you never get another chance again.

While much of reputation protection and defense seems reactive, it really isn’t. True, you might not be able to anticipate a specific crisis when it comes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan for one. At minimum, you should have an internal team of people in place whose job it is to coordinate a strategy for when a reputational crisis hits, in addition to working with your outside communications team to craft a plan. That plan must take into account everyone who might be affected by a reputational blow: employees, customers, partners, friends and family.

The plan also has to touch every media channel available to you, with specific plans for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Your plan must identify influencers who can promote your side of the story. You also should to think about how you will use video channels like YouTube, as well ast traditional media outlets like broadcast television and newspapers.

In the end, there is no office where someone give’s a person’s reputations back, but Ray Donovan had it right. His simple, challenging sentence—delivered unambiguously to the media that had smeared him—actually went a long way toward solidifying his reputation as a public figure wronged by a system looking for scapegoats rather than justice.

Not every reputational crisis can be handled as easily. Yet, any work that takes back control of your own message is worth the time and effort.

Ray Hennessey is the Chief Innovation Officer for JConnelly. A version of this article originally appeared on the JConnelly Blog.

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Ragan.com: Follow these TED Talk techniques for a killer presentation

Whether you’re a seasoned speaker or a novice, you can write a speech on par with a TED Talk.

The following tips and techniques will help you discover your primary message and write precisely what you want to convey for a resonant, enduring presentation:

  • Deliver a unique perspective. The internet is saturated with ideas that have been discussed, analyzed and picked apart. You want your presentation to connect. Choose a topic on which you have a unique perspective. It needn’t be an idea that no one’s ever discussed before. Maybe you’ve found that, despite all the buzz, a new trend or technology isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. As with writing a great article, it’s all about finding a new and compelling angle.
  • Find out why people should care about your topic. Your topic shouldn’t serve you; it should serve your audience. When preparing for your talk, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so focus on what your audience can gain from the idea you’re delivering. Ask yourself not only why they should care, but why they need to care.
[EVENT: Join us in D.C. for the 30th annual Speechwriters and Executive Communicators Conference.]
  • Write your topic as one sentence. Distilling your idea into a single sentence will save you from going off topic. Refer to this guidepost throughout your preparations. Make certain that everything you’re writing and sharing supports your main point; anything else should be dropped altogether or saved for another time.
  • Discover the story in your topic. Stories are engaging and keep people interested. If you rattle off a bunch of facts and figures, you’ll lose your audience quickly. According to research, storytelling helps people focus on and retain information, and it compels them to change or take action. Fortunately, all data have a story to tell. You just have to find it.
  • Integrate a bit about who you are into the topic. Humans gravitate toward vulnerability and authenticity, because those elements help us relate to one another. Include anecdotes that demonstrate your personal values and your relationship to the topic. Doing so helps your audience more deeply connect with you and relate to your message.
  • Make it universal. If you’re passionate about mindfulness because it’s helped you overcome speech anxiety, share that. Then, take it a step further. Think about the universal problems that mindfulness can solve, such as helping people focus at work, be more present with their families and discover new passions. The logic is pretty simple, really: The more universal your message, the more people will connect to it.

A version of this post first appeared on the Ethos3 blog.



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Ragan.com: WhatsApp for Business launching in selected markets

How could messaging apps enhance your marketing mix?

WhatsApp is hoping most businesses are looking for more options with its rollout of WhatsApp for business, the company’s equivalent of a Facebook “Page.”

TechCrunch reported:

With the new WhatsApp Business app arriving today, small companies can set up their WhatsApp Business profiles by filling out information like a business description, email, address and website.

WhatsApp says people will know when they’re talking to a business because these accounts will be listed as “Business Accounts.” Over time, some of these will become “Confirmed Accounts,” after WhatsApp verifies the account phone number it registered with matches the business phone number.

Once established on the WhatsApp network, businesses can then use a series of tools provided by the app, like smart messaging tools that offer similar technology as what you’d find today in Facebook Messenger.

For now, the app is available only on Android devices, offering similar features to those of Facebook Messenger. Some communicators might be reluctant to add yet another digital service to their daily routines, but the app could be pivotal in reaching key demographics.

TechCrunch continued:

The company also indicated today how critical it is to address the needs of businesses on its service, which now reaches 1.3 billion users. According to data it cited from Morning Consult’s research, over 80 percent of small businesses in India and Brazil said that WhatsApp helps them communicate with customers and grow their businesses.

WhatsApp declined to say how many businesses are today active on its app, when asked.

The app is intended to help communicators manage a torrent of messages.

Digital Trends wrote:

More than a billion people around the world fire up the messaging app every day, with a growing number of people using the service to converse with businesses.

The Facebook-owned startup has decided to lend the smaller outfits a hand, launching a new app called, would you believe, WhatsApp Business. Its main goal is to improve the app’s ease of use for companies dealing with a large number of WhatsApp messages on a daily basis.

On a landing page for the product, WhatsApp promises business owners the ability to set automatic away messages, maintain a public business profile and gain access to messaging data.

Some business owners will focus on access and exposure to WhatsApp’s huge customer base. Others might turn to WhatsApp as new channel as older methods of reaching customers—such as Facebook’s News Feed—dry up.

WhatsApp also offers an in-depth version of Twitter’s verified checkmark.

The Independent wrote:

A Business account with a grey checkmark badge in its profile, meanwhile, has been confirmed to be using a phone number that matches the phone number of the business it claims to be owned and operated by.

A Business account with a grey question mark badge in its profile, however, indicates that the account hasn’t been confirmed or verified by WhatsApp.

You should, therefore, be wary if a Business account with a grey badge in its profile tries to contact you, even it appears to be associated with a company you know.

[RELATED: Learn how to boost buzz, build brand recognition and engage employees on the hottest social media platforms.]

In a blog for Econsultancy, Patricio Robles outlined three things digital marketers should know about the WhatsApp launch:

1. It’s soon going to be available globally.

Though limited (for now) to the U.S. and a few other countries, it will eventually reach its worldwide database.

2. Customers must opt in to talk to businesses.

Robles wrote:

Businesses using WhatsApp Business won't be able to contact WhatsApp users at their leisure. Instead, users must opt in to receive communications from a business. This means that businesses wanting to put the messaging platform to good use will need to develop marketing and engagement strategies that promote such opt-in.

3. Businesses should expect to pay for the service.

Robles wrote:

Last year, WhatsApp chief operating officer, Matt Idema, told the Wall Street Journal that the company eventually plans to launch paid features for businesses. Idema did not reveal what those paid features might be but it's logical to assume that, at least initially, WhatsApp will target paid features to larger enterprises that are more likely to pay for such features.

What do you think, Ragan/PR Daily readers? How might WhatsApp augment your engagement and messaging strategies?

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