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PAST SVUS AWARDS® WINNERS INCLUDE
Lorraine Kauffman-Hall: It's all about Genuine Relationship Building

I would say it's very important to be genuine with the editorial community and do your homework before directly engaging the media. Their time is valuable and genuine sweat and friendly communication will eventually pay off. Develop a nose for news and mostly never be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to innovative campaigns. Continue Reading»

 

 

 

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Joe Austin: How an effective campaign can deliver value in key areas such as lead generation, brand awareness, and content-driven SEO
Over three years ago a client told us that traditional PR was dead. Print publications were folding, advertising dollars were declining and conferences were taking a huge hit – all impacting how a company delivered its message and maintained a competitive market position. While this was an overstatement, it was clear that advancement in communications was needed. Ventana took our customers comment as a challenge set out to create a proactive approach to the problem that would unify communications, social media marketing and organic search marketing for rapid, sustainable results. Hence the Ventana New Media Engine was born. Ventana New Media is a patent-pending solution that gives enterprises a strategic message delivery platform that distributes content across hundreds or thousands of new media sites harnessing a framework of high business value new media sites in just a few clicks. This allows organizations to rapidly expand corporate presence, increase brand awareness, leadership position among prospects, customers and partners for long-term success and business value. Continue Reading»
Jimme' Peters: How an external agency can really shine and pay exponential dividends for the thriving small to medium entity

Most often, small and medium sized companies do not have copious staff resources and wear many hats as a result. Being spread too thin is not conducive to promotion and marketing strategy as it requires daily management and creativity. General marketing staff cannot keep up with all the various mediums, frequent editorial beat changes, short deadlines, and stories that pop up randomly. An external agency provides media relationships, strategic counsel, candid feedback, prior expertise with similar client issues, and most importantly focus to maximize opportunities and garner available exposure. This is where an external agency can really shine and pay exponential dividends for the thriving small to medium entity. Continue Reading»

PR and social media are still among some of the most cost effective marketing dollars a small to mid-size client can spend

PR and social media are still among some of the most cost effective marketing dollars a small to mid-size client can spend. It’s about building and capturing mindshare, coming across as a credible resource and a good interview. Stories that run can put a client on the map. We’re fortunate to work with clients who are fearless when it comes to giving interviews. The more interesting the answers, the more likely reporters and editors include them in the story. I have one client in particular who has been given a nickname by certain reporters who call when they want a strong opinion on an issue. Small and midsize clients benefit most from agencies that specialize in those clients. The larger agencies put their best talent on the larger accounts. Wouldn’t you rather have the best talent an agency can offer? Continue Reading»

Tony Welz: How effective communications strategies and activities can help establish leadership in respective markets
With communications, you need to be creative in everything you do – from the way we approach client challenges to media pitches to basic writing. It’s easy to fall into a pattern where you focus on the workload and the effort required to do the basics and you lose sight of the big picture and what it takes to make a difference. At Welz & Weisel Communications, we encourage our team to do things differently, to share ideas and to brainstorm activities that will help separate our clients from the pack of other IT vendors. That said, these different ideas can be dangerous. You need to make sure that your actions are credible and not viewed negatively. I really enjoy the technical details of our clients, and start from there when proposing an idea. I want to make sure that it supports the company’s technical differentiators and is credible to the buyer. At the end of the day, if the customer or prospect doesn’t care or doesn’t believe what we are saying, then the activity, regardless of how creative, is a failure. Continue Reading»
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2017 PR Predictions and Directions
PR is about to adopt the same artificial intelligence technology that sales has been using to close deals. Consider the example of Conversica: the applied artificial intelligence company is the only provider of AI-based lead engagement software for sales and marketing. It’s used by over 16,000 salespeople, who report that they get a response for one out of three leads. To put that in perspective, that’s eight times more than the traditional email outreach campaign. Conversica’s AI has had more success over human sales people because the company discovered that it takes 5 to 11 attempts to contact a lead to get a response - but humans give up after one or two attempts. Conversica’s AI chatbots, however, will keep contacting the leads, politely, until they’re ready for more information. In 2017, PR will adopt similar strategies - from identifying the right journalist to following up with him or her to ensure a pitch gets read. AI can help keep company messaging on point by effectively matching the message with the ideal and appropriate audience. Ultimately, AI will free PR from the grunt work, making agencies more productive and more successful. Continue Reading»
In years past, PR agencies have trained its professionals to do it all – strategize, synthesize, implement. These are certainly important skills for everyone to master, and it will always be important for PR professionals to possess the basic skills of writing, storytelling and relationship-building. However, with the emerging focus areas of social media, influencer engagement, insights and analytics, and content development, agencies will begin to evolve their people into specialists who are able to hone skills in a particular area given the needs of their client base. For example, at Tonic Life Communications, a critical component of our healthcare campaigns is showing the value of PR against traditionally easier to measure marketing tactics. This year, we are building out a department of specialists dedicated to utilizing research and analytics platforms to drive strategic program insights as well as demonstrate the measurable impact of communications campaigns for our clients. Continue Reading»
PR has been traditionally looked at as a free channel, but this is changing rapidly as the media landscape evolves. This is largely due to the rise in content marketing and sponsorships. The more well-versed a PR professional can be in marketing will result in much more integrated, successful campaigns that will benefit everyone, from PR, to content marketing, to SEO, and owned channels like email and site. Continue Reading»
Barb Rentschler: Combine traditional and digital tools to super charge your communication efforts
For K’NEX, social media is a core function that is integrated with our marketing efforts. In addition to social media activities designed to maintain and develop relationships with our fans, we add social media efforts to traditional marketing programs. For example, when we ran the Golden Mario promotion in 2011, we used social media to generate awareness of the promotion and to share the actions we took when overwhelming interest crashed our server. Social media is another tool in the marketing toolbox.. Social media is another tool in the marketing toolbox. We seldom use a single tool when reaching out to our fans and look for ways combine traditional and digital tools to super charge our communication efforts. For example, we have a four prong approach when introducing new products. Continue Reading»
Greg Brashier: Emerging Trends in Small Business Communications
Savvy SMB owners understand that good communication is the foundation of every successful business relationship. That’s why choosing the right business phone system is absolutely essential. For small business owners looking to foster mutually beneficial relationships between their customers, partners and employees, a hosted VoIP system provides the ideal combination of features, price, and scalability. One of the most important benefits of hosted VoIP is its cost efficiency. A hosted PBX solution lowers the initial costs of setting up a business-grade phone system. Continue Reading»
 
Michael Phares: Why we choose to keep our social media management in-house
Our social media is managed purely in-house. We choose to keep our social media management in-house to retain control over the hyper focused messaging to a very intense niche market as well as to ensure the technical truthfulness of the messaging. Cormant has developed Cormant-CS, an IT infrastructure management solution for the data center and beyond (DCIM/ITIM), boasting customers on 5 continents, including multi-nationals from the banking, consulting, IT, travel, hotel, government, manufacturing, health and telecommunications industries. Continue Reading»
Dale Allaire: If Your PR Isn’t Generating Leads and Web Traffic – Is It Worth The Investment?
A comprehensive external PR and social media program creates brand and company awareness with key buying audiences. These programs also drive measureable web traffic and prospect leads. Again, nirvana! The thing that small and medium companies need to be careful of is not investing in PR for the sake of PR. They need to be sure they are building a program that is integrated with marketing, branding, lead-generation and web SEO. We aren’t attempting to boil the ocean by offering such a broad range of services and not every BridgeView client utilizes every service that we offer. Our philosophy, which is based on close to 20 years in the high tech market, is that PR, social media, marketing and web SEO need to work hand-in-hand to drive lead-generation at some level. We understand the importance of brand visibility (awards, feature stories, speaking opportunities, optimized news releases, social media campaigns, etc.), but this is the easy part! At BridgeView, we take PR and brand visibility to a new level by mapping it to website traffic and prospect lead reports. Continue Reading»