Posts Tagged ‘Digital PR Summit’

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.


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.


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

Making Sense of Social Media and ROI in the Digital Age

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Making sense of social media and ROIby Tom Kowalski*

Let’s be honest, social media in terms of ROI is overwhelming and convoluted.  How does one make sense of it all in a digital age where everyone has a decreased attention span and increased multi-tasking?  It’s impossible to give 100 percent to anything you do while multitasking.  So, in this day of #hashtag and social media platform overload, how do we give 100 percent, while effectively managing the online chatter?

I attended three presentations at last week’s Digital PR Summit: “The Wake-Up Call: PR’s Role in the Social Landscape,” “How to Measure and Communicate Social Media ROI,” and “What’s in Your Toolbox? Social Media Monitoring Tools – the Paid and the Free.” The common denominator throughout each presentation was listening.  Are you a good listener?  Listening well will ultimately equate to success.

But how can we be great listeners with so many different social media platforms that each play a significant role in the marketing DNA of our organizations, and how can we do it in an efficient and effective way?  There are platforms out there that bundle your various social media accounts, offering a one-stop-shop to listen and engage.  But what if the budget doesn’t allow for that?

Trying to sell social media to your C-suite to obtain a budget can be tough.  Executives want to see instant tangible results.  So before you give your elevator pitch, have a customized strategy with the organization’s end goals clearly defined and present the information real-time.  Don’t overload execs and bring them into the entire realm of the social media vortex; rather, start small, perhaps using Twitter and Faceboook as a sample.  Remember that your focus should never be whether you’re good at social media, but whether you’re good at business.

If there’s one question clients constantly ask me, it’s to provide suggestions to better analyze their coverage.  There is no magic equation, as there are many different factors that need to be taken into consideration to show ROI.  Therefore, the question is always turned into a consultation to discuss the organization’s needs before presenting a detailed road map.  As companies and the digital age rapidly evolve, so will reporting methodologies.

It seems that we’ve come far, but there is still a long road ahead on analysis of coverage in the digital age.  One size does not fit all and it’s imperative that you’re a good listener with a strategy that is mindful of your organization’s goals.


*As an account manager at BurrellesLuce, Tom Kowalski works closely with New York-based clients and PR agencies. Tom brings extensive knowledge of the PR industry with more than seven years of agency experience. He hopes to stimulate readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas by sharing useful information related to the communications industry and business in general, as well as different perspectives on customer service. LinkedIn: Tom Kowalski Twitter: @IntheknoTK Facebook: BurrellesLuce