Posts Tagged ‘influencers’


Transformation Influencers: Rust-Oleum’s 1,000 Projects Campaign

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

There are more than 100 million searches each month on “how to” do something. Rust-Oleum, a nearly 100 year-old company, came to the realization that people aren’t really passionate about products as much as they want to change and improve their living spaces, creating something beautiful that they can enjoy.

Photo: Pinterest Screenshot

Photo: Pinterest Screenshot

With the insight that people want to improve and/or change what they love, Rust-Oleum (along with its agencies) set out to create 1,000 compelling projects to serve as inspiration and demonstration to consumers. Leveraging paid media and using data driven marketing to share a transformation story through images and video, they empowered bloggers and every day influencers to share their own inspiration stories, in turn driving awareness and a new excitement—a re-introduction of sorts.

Lisa Bialecki, Senior Director, Integrated Communications at Rust-Oleum, shared their journey with attendees of PRSA St. Louis’ recent Digital Communications Summit.

They conducted fast data analysis to identify exactly what people are searching for and where they’re looking to find this information. Using this research data, they created a blueprint of projects that they needed to create and feature—for example, 14% of the project would be devoted to the garden tackling things like planters, fences and stones, while 5% would be devoted to garage revamping items such as cabinets, hardware, organizers and the garage floor.

Their strategy included media partners, consumers, professionals and brand projects. Rust-Oleum created “an army of project enthusiasts,” Bialecki said, leveraging volumes of content–using print, blogs, web, video, Facebook and Pinterest. They also hyper-targeted banner ads to their audiences and created a new website for project inspirations with a user forum section—creating a community.

But it wasn’t just all traditional print, social media and digital. Rust-Oleum hosted DIY conferences. They held multiple blogger innovation summits in an effort to generate excitement for these bloggers to write about new products. One such summit included 18 highly influential DIY bloggers (from 15 key blogs) over a three-day period. During the summit, they took them on a manufacturing plant tour, a corporate headquarters breakfast and tour which included a marketing studio “hands-on” session. Through these “in real life” events, they were able to build a stronger awareness of new products, strengthen existing and build new blogger relationships.

This integrated PR campaign not only supported Rust-Oleum’s retail marketing but has resulted in 250 million project impressions to date and 3 million project engagements. Pinterest has become their number two driver to the website. Most importantly, unit sales are up 40% year-over-year. This is a great example of PR, marketing, advertising, digital and social successfully working together!

How to Engage Journalists and Influencers on Social Media

Friday, December 13th, 2013

flickr user Rosaura Ochoa

flickr user Rosaura Ochoa

by Alfred Cox*

Yesterday I attended the PRNews Media Relations Next Practices Conference in Washington, D.C., at which BurrellesLuce was also a sponsor. Some of the most persistent questions in media relations center on reaching out to journalists in the most efficient and effective manner.  I attended the session “Find and Engage With the Right Journalists and Influencers on Social Media,” which addressed these issues and more.

The sessions guest speakers were Kathy Grannis, senior director of media relations at National Retail Federation; David Ringer, director of media relations at National Audubon Society; and David Wescott, director of digital strategy at APCO Worldwide.

Grannis started out with her suggestions, and emphasized the importance of building relationships with journalists and influencers; she recommended keeping in touch through Twitter, to reach out and congratulate a journalist when they move organizations and positions. Such communication not only sustains a relationship but helps you stay on top-of-mind. Of course, communicating is key, but Grannis stressed that learning how to communicate correctly requires full-time dedication.

When it comes to relevant conversations on social platforms, Grannis recommends contributing transparently, positioning your brand as an expert on the subject matter. But Twitter is also about more than your message; Grannis point out you should be using Twitter to keep up with your competitors and what they’re tweeting, as well as what they’re publishing on other social media sites.

Finally, she advocated blogging. Content marketing has become integral to marketing, PR, and media relations strategies, but Grannis also pointed out that blogs are a tremendous source for getting your statement out there, and even stated getting your message out in your blog is just as important as getting your statement in The New York Times.

Ringer offered his insights next, and pointed out that too much email is boring. He said that Twitter is the best tool to interact with journalists, and that it’s important to find and engage with the right journalists and influencers on social media platforms. He strongly suggested following new journalists right away, and thinking of Twitter not as your personal account, but as your new Rolodex. The list-making function is a great organizational tool to make that happen.

Ringer suggested that once you’ve selected those key journalists and influencers, you should care about what they care about, even their more personal tweets, and interacting with those more personal tweets, and retweeting their tweets, helps build a relationship. But he also pointed out that everyone likes a name check on Twitter, so be sure to credit people for their work by @ing them.  And don’t limit yourself to interacting with well-known, established media figures; befriend those bright new media stars, too.

Wescott followed with his observations, saying that Twitter is the best tool for PR people, and that they must have a presence. Something else that enhances your presence is having Twitter public conversations as well as private conversations, which also helps build relationships that will get new business.

Wescott advised that Twitter and blogging are excellent tools for presenting yourself as a thought leader and a bridge builder between PR pros. He also advocated for citing sources with @s, as well as using hashtags for context and engagement. Wescott recommended finding journalists not just on Twitter, but also on sites like LinkedIn and Muck Rack.

What other social media strategies do you have for engaging journalists and influencers?

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Bio: Alfred Cox is a rare commodity of a performer who combines a relentless drive to succeed with the ability to provide “first-person” touch to his clients, creating loyalty and repeat business. He has a hard-nosed work ethic in a results- driven environment and he is often called the “Network King.” Alfred has been in the PR industry for the past 18+ years and joined the BurrellesLuce team in 2011. Connect with him on Twitter: @shantikcox Facebook: BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: Alfred Cox

Integrating Google Plus Into Your Social Media and SEO Strategy

Friday, December 6th, 2013
Flickr user Frau Holle

Flickr user Frau Holle

With the introduction of Hummingbird, Google’s latest semantic search algorithm, and the changing landscape of SEO and content marketing, Google Plus has become crucial to SEO success. Here are the hows and whys of integrating Google Plus into your content marketing and SEO strategies.

How Google Plus and SEO correlate

That Google Plus is a Google product is not the only reason it helps pages rank highly in Google’s search results; it’s also because Google Plus is “the unification of all of Google’s services, with a common social layer,” explained Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of engineering at Google.

Optimize your Google Plus profile

The first step –after setting up a Google Plus account, of course – is to optimize your profile. Your meta description is what shows up in search results, and it’s only the first 160 characters of your organization’s name, tagline, location, and then the description. That’s not much space for a lot of information, and all that information should contain keywords targeted to what you do.

Put your most important keywords as close to the beginning as possible to ensure they show up in search results.

Fill up the links section

Completing the links section of your profile is absolutely necessary, and there are three sections for links. The first is “Other Profiles,” which should feature no-follow links to your other social media accounts. The “Contributor to” section is necessary for completing Google Authorship, so provide no-follow links to the blog you contribute to (this would be your company blog and any other industry blogs your company contributes to). Finally, provide do-follow links in the “Links” section, which should link to your organization’s blog, homepage, and any other company resources.

Set up Google Authorship

If you’re a regular contributor to online content anywhere, using Google Authorship can help boost your search rankings. Google Authorship verifies the identity of the author, and identity verification may be important in future Google algorithms. Establishing Authorship doesn’t just benefit individual authors or influencers; by encouraging regular, or even occasional, contributors to your company blog to set up Google Authorship linking to the company content, you raise your organization’s profile and the profile of those who work at your organization. Check out a complete guide to Google Authorship to get set up.

Post on Google Plus

Once you’ve set up your profile, make sure to create and share posts on Google Plus. Unlike tweets and Facebook posts, Google Plus posts are crawled and indexed. Plus, posting increases your chances of having that post shared. You don’t need to pursue +1’s per se, as +1’s don’t increase your search ranking, but by getting +1’s, it means your post is probably getting shared and linked to, establishing your credibility and increasing links back to you.

What’s your Google Plus strategy? Have you found that using Google Plus has enhanced your SEO and/or search engine rankings?

Mapping Best Practices for B2B Public Relations

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Businessman and business sketchAt the PRSA International Conference a few weeks ago, I attended my colleague Johna Burke’s talk about best practices in B2B public relations. She focused on several important areas that will always be key to our evolving industry.

Many departments within an organization have a methodical workflow. Accounting and procurement departments have a clear definition of their tasks, and they have a method for bringing in, assessing, and approving information,

PR departments and practitioners don’t exactly follow that type of workflow. Although they might create a template, or spreadsheet to plug in information, the template never quite ends up in its original shape.

PR practitioners are tasked with creating a workflow that provides clear direction for their organization. Everyone from customer service and administrative staff to C-suite executives need to understand what public relations workflow looks like, or what to expect under normal daily operating conditions.

Key to developing an effective communications plan is a firm grasp on the organization’s business strategy. Whether that strategy is education, driving sales and revenue, advertising, public relations, or marketing, understanding that focus allows PR practitioners to develop a workflow that focuses on an organization’s overarching corporate goals.

Integral to the business strategy is an understanding of the organization’s financial statements. Understanding a company’s profit and loss statement effectively aligns PR workflow and department objectives. Public companies produce quarterly and annual financial statements. Look for it, whether it’s publicly or internally available, and study it, because everything ties into to funding.

Do the research yourself. While educating yourself and your staff on your company’s financials, do the same with your competitor. Think twice about hiring someone outside of your organization to gather intelligence; you are your most effective resource.

In researching your competitor, don’t go for the thirty-thousand-foot overview. It’s too easy to misinterpret your market. Also, it’s critical to market against a competitor’s reality, not their myth, or your perception of their overarching goals. Know their concepts, understand their message. Understanding their marketing materials and how your competitor is spending money is equally beneficial to your overall success. The time you put into understanding all of these elements will provide the intelligence to back up what you will ultimately need to sell to your C-suite.

Next, study your customer. How do they find you?  What does their daily organic search look like? How do they get to your product or service? Are you creating SEO interesting enough to speak to your audience and capture your service or product’s attention?

That static audience no longer exists. Understand why people are using each platform and what they’re doing with the information. Are your followers influencers? Can they help your business? Are they able to cause action? How do you communicate with them?

Create thought leadership around the topics your followers have posted. Look for themes around the content you’ve created, or the content displayed about you. This provides an opportunity to invite followers interested in a topic that’s related to your service, product or industry. Create a saturated market by looking at what surrounds your brand and how those themes tie in.

Take an open-mined look at the conversations around your content. Ask someone else in your organization to interpret your message and help you clarify your message.

Talk to your audience. Talk to your advocates, the people who have had a good experience with your product or service. Reach out to your badvocates, those who have had a bad experience and need to be reconverted. Acknowledge the trolls – those posters, who no matter what are going to be out there spewing venom.. Instead, classify them and if necessary, call them out with, “Dear Troll, we know you don’t like us, however, you are not our target audience, so what we’re saying doesn’t resonate with you, but thank you for the comment, we so appreciate your feedback.” Ultimately people connect with people behind the message, not with brands or the message themselves.

2012 Social Media Trends from IABC DC Metro

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Even though we know digital and online media continues to change, IABC/DC Metro started 2012 with a chapter meeting tackling the latest Social Media Trends.

The panelists included:

Emerging Social Media Trends
Each panelist brought different industry point-of-view to the discussion. Radick took government. Horowitz gave the agency perspective, Steigman reviewed the small business view and Dunham brought insight from publishing and the media.

  1. Government Use: Radick dispelled the myth that the government is behind the curve, but he did see them stalling in advances for 2012 because it is an election year.
  2.  Internal Communications: Radick also thinks there will be more enterprise 2.0 or social media behind the firewall to internal audiences.
  3. Integrated Efforts: Both Radick and Horowitz confirmed they see more integration into all lines of communications.
  4. Influencers: They felt the days of the “social media guru” are dying fast. Horowitz said it’s time to look for persuaders or influencers who can help persuade others to your thinking or agenda.
  5. Small Business: Steigman sees social media platforms as a reliable ecosystem and wonders how they can be used to make it easier to reach customers. She suggested reading Phil Simon’s The Age of the Platform: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business. She also feels it will be key for business to understand search and the data around it.  
  6. Digital Skills: Dunham is amazed by the use of tablets for tweeting, video, etc. Because many of his colleagues are not digitally inclined, he relies on interns to provide new ideas for using social media to drive more readers to their media properties.  

Social Media Best Practices for 2012
As with all social media discussions, some great best practices come out. Radick reminded us, “Don’t concentrate on social media tools, but concentrate on the principles behind them.

“When asked how to best measure social media, Horwoitz said, “You need to measure based on business goals, don’t measure on tactics.”  

For more helpful social media best practices, you can read Steigman’s highlights of the session on her blog.

What social media trends do you see for 2012? Please share them with the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers.