Posts Tagged ‘Digital PR Summit NY’


Using Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine for Visual Storytelling

Thursday, October 31st, 2013
Using Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine for Visual Storytelling BurrellesLuceby Alfred Cox*

No matter your brand’s industry, you can still leverage the marketing power of visual social media platforms like Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest. Visual storytelling is applicable to every kind of organization, and at the Digital PR Summit in October, three panelists shared their strategies to spot opportunities for visual storytelling, as well as create campaigns, tell your brand’s story, and be inspirational in order to drive views back to your brand page.

The three panelists were:

Amanda Junker, digital director at Shape Magazine

Allison Robins, director of global public relations for Zumba Fitness

Doug Simon, president and CEO of D S Simon Productions

For Junker, using these platforms is all about engaging with your fans and fostering community. She says that Pinterest is central to their digital strategy, which Shape uses to both tell the brand story and increase site traffic. In one promotion, for users to participate in a contest, they had to follow Shape on Pinterest and pin one promotional item to their personal boards. According to Junker, it was red hot, with 2.9 million social impressions, 3,900 entrants, and 11,000 new followers.

Robins of Zumba recommends promotional partnerships; one particularly successful partnership for Zumba was with Billboard, which Robins says was great to promote the fitness method as well as the stars participating. She also advocates for live-Tweeting events for maximum exposure. For brands working with a PR agency, Robins stresses that the agency must get your story out on all social media platforms; diversifying social media usage and maximizing audience contact is key to growing an substantial fan base.

Visual must come first, advises Simon, who stressed that visuals are more important to users than ever before. When it comes to video, he surveys web influencers to determine how they are using video, and advises PR pros learn how to create content and video for Instagram. He also converts broadcast video from media promotion tours into Instagram-compatible video, with the added benefit that the video is high quality. He also emphasizes that production value isn’t limited to visuals alone; the audio must also be excellent, and the overall production value must equal the brand.

How does your organization use visual and video social media to tell its story?

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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

How Public Relations Fits in With Content Marketing

Friday, October 25th, 2013

How Public Relations Fits in With Content Marketing

by Alfred Cox*

The growing influence of content marketing turns every company into a media company, and with content marketing’s growing influence in marketing and PR, it’s time for every PR professional to learn how to create and implement a viable content marketing strategy.

I attended the Digital PR Summit in New York on October 16 and sat in on the session “Content Marketing Clinic: PR’s Role in Content Creation.” The two speakers were Simon Bradley, VP of marketing, North America for Virgin Atlantic Airways; and Albe Zakes, global VP of communication at TerraCycle.

Know thy audience

As with any marketing or PR campaign, one of the most important things in a content marketing strategy is to know your audience and what they want. Bradley encourages PR pros to figure out what it is the audience wants to read to help draw them to your content. Come at it from an angle of empathy with your audience, suggests Bradley. Empathizing puts you in their shoes and allows you to craft the content they seek.

Have a plot

Bradley and Zakes both emphasize the need to tell a story: your organization’s story and your product or client’s story. Content marketing strategy isn’t about throwing words onto a web page; it’s about crafting a story that targets your audience and draws them in. Sometimes you have to look for stories, which is why Bradley adds that you must also know how to generate great stories. But you can also generate stories by engaging with your audience, another key principle in successful content marketing.

Know what’s going on around you

It’s crucial to look at what your competitors are producing, says Zakes, so you know the playing field’s topography. Also look at third-party blogs and columns to get a sense of what the (more) unbiased segment is saying and feeling about your industry or organization.  Zakes suggest monitoring media by subscribing to newsletters, creating an RSS feed, and using BurrellesLuce to track your media coverage.

Use TV as a resource

Zakes recommends using television as a source for generating stories and content. It’s also an excellent way to get broadcasters to act as quality spokespersons. Check national programming and evaluate what would be the best fit to get your brand out, then start pitching.

Spread your narrative

Virgin Atlantic created video content, then ran it on in-flight screens on their flight to get their message out. While your organization may not have such a captive audience, consider whether there are ways to spread video content more directly, like a video newsletter or a PSA.

Work from your own narrative

Zakes recommends telling the story of your company then going beyond your own story; Bradley advises focusing on what you do best and amplifying. Both pieces of advice are two sides of the same coin – start from your organization’s narrative and build from there. Zakes advises mining your supply chain for content ideas and storylines and ultimately tying it in with your organization.

As Bradley says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” So it’s crucial to explain why your organization does what it does.

Provide free content

The goal of content marketing is to grow your organization’s media output, Zakes points out. The point of media output is to get people to read it and grow the brand, so don’t put your content behind a paywall or a paid subscription where your target audience isn’t likely to see it. Provide free, informative, how-to’s applicable to real life, and focus on the niche in which you want to be known.

Devising a viable long-term strategy, adapting that strategy to social media developments, and providing consistent content are three pillars of successful content marketing that will help turn your business into a driving force in content marketing.

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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

Tips to Get Your Message in Front of the Right Twitter Followers

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Tips to Get Your Message in Front of the Right Twitter Followersby Alfred Cox*

Just because you put content on Twitter doesn’t mean that content is being read by the right people, but curating the right audience and engaging with that audience requires strategy and some social media savvy. At last week’s Digital PR Summit in New York, I attended “Get Your Messages in Front of the Right Followers on Twitter,” a session on how to maximize your Twitter strategy.

There were three panelists:

Brooke Primero, senior vice president of PR and marketing for the Academy of Country Music, @BrookeInSoCal

Gemma Craven, executive vice president and N.Y. Group Director of Social@Ogilvy, @gemsie

Peggy Ann Torney, associate director of public affairs at Lymphoma Research Association, @lymphoma

Hold a Twitter chat

A Twitter chat conducted by Lymphoma Research Foundation reached more than 8,000 followers and had over 1 million impressions, says Torney, and increased their followers by a whopping 92 percent. Turning Twitter into an educational platform with a chat can not only help boost a social media following, it can help get out information about your organization.

Focus on the fans

Primero advises Tweeters to think like a fan – what would a fan want to see or read? She also advised focusing on the relationship with the fans and listening to their feedback. Advocating for your fans solidifies the loyalty of a base, and if you give them product sneak peeks, you give them something to announce, discuss, and disseminate.

Don’t overreact

The savvy social media expert listens to what fans are saying, but what happens if crisis or negativity arises? Don’t be rash, advises Craven. Listen to and understand what’s being said and respond.  Instead of a defensive knee-jerk tweet, adopt a getting-it-done tone. Being defensive or snarky makes the brand look bad, so state what you’ve done to fix the situation; the can-do attitude reinforces brand positivity. However, act fast. Letting long periods of time lapse before a response will only make things worse.

Crisis or opinion?

Understand the difference between crisis and opinion, Craven recommends. Twitter is full of opinions, and not all of them are positive, but negative comments don’t necessarily warrant a brand response. So before going into crisis mode, make sure it is a crisis, not just a lot of opinions.

Promote yourself through others

Torney works with foundation partners to cross-promote on Twitter, as it helps broaden visibility and benefit the foundation. She cultivates brand ambassadors, who can be organization members or external participants, and engages with them to get them help spread the word. This grassroots approach is especially effective on Twitter.

Final tidbits

Torney recommends identifying key influencers, and stresses the necessity of measuring your efforts, followers, impressions, and engagements. Primero echoes this sentiment, suggesting identifying experts in your audience, and she also recommends that when you retweet, do so in a modified retweet, which associates your organization’s name with the tweet instead of the original poster’s.

Finally, Twitter is an accelerant, Craven reminds tweeters, which can be positive or detrimental, so always be ready to react immediately and brace for results.

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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