Posts Tagged ‘engage’

Marketing through the Web: How Information is Power

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Kelly Mulholland*

Flickr Image: Jeffrey Beall

Flickr Image: Jeffrey Beall

There are three ways consumers use the web: they search, browse and buy. Most organizations increase their site’s traffic by adding searching tools and enhancing SEO. While this helps people answer their initial question of “what,” it doesn’t necessarily go the extra step and encourage them to browse or buy.

However, if positioned correctly, encouragement to go beyond just the initial search can be helpful to the consumer… at least when it comes to expanding their knowledge and possibly influencing their buying decisions. Today’s consumers, want a site to tell them something they didn’t think to search for or think they might want/need. In the process, they may be persuaded to take some action and possibly lead to a conversion or sale based on the resources you provide beyond the original search.   

Search Mode- Provide the consumer with what they know they want
When a prospective customer is searching a site they almost always have an overall notion of what they want, but perhaps not all the details or at least a vague idea of the need they want to fulfill. This is where websites that utilize the search toolbox plug-in (usually located at the top of a webpage) come into action. The client wants to be able to search their product and be given substantial results.

For instance, when I simply type in the search box “scarves” at ShopBop—a luxury clothing retail website and BurrellesLuce client—I get an overwhelming list of over 200 results. The search function on the site even makes my quest easier by providing suggestions of related searches much the way Google or Bing might.

Browse Mode- Provide detailed information
With a list generated, a prospective buyer shifts into browse mode. What’s important here is how much information is provided—the customer wants to know more about their prospective purchase in the most organized fashion possible, no pun intended. Generated reviews from other customers should be at complete view coupled with suggestions. This will help the consumer differentiate one product’s value from another. It is also most helpful to provide organizational tools for the client to be able to sift through all the search results.

Shopbop does a great job at this. First, I can see “More from Scarves /Wraps” and also descriptions about the designer and the item itself. I have the capability to see how other customers rated each scarf. I also have the option of organizing my products in “Wish Lists” and “My Likes/Hearts” giving me time to consider my purchases without fully committing myself to placing the product in “My Cart.” I can sort the scarves with drop-down options by designer, size, color, and price. These categorizations are an aid to a consumer who might be inundated with an overwhelming amount of data.

Buyer Mode- Be your customer’s personal researcher
Now that the customer has browsed all the data, they have finally chosen the best product for them. While they may be done researching, that doesn’t mean the work of the service provider should end there. In fact, it is now your job to take on a new role: personal researcher. As Tara Gessinger, states in this Online PR Media blog post on Online Public Relations: Building Personal Relationships with Customers in the Digital Age, you need to keep the online conversation with your clients going through email as you would in real life. For instance, provide future recommendations based on previous purchases to the client. After I browse ShopBop or make a purchase, I receive an e-mail weeks later suggesting clothing that I might like based on my past shopping experiences.

Sites using this type of search and browse capability are designed to work for people who research and take a period of time before making a committed decision. In today’s market, researched buyers are becoming the norm and the buying cycle is changing. The impulsive spendthrift is a dying species. Marketers need to be a step ahead of the curve. Web marketing should not be about gimmicks to get attention from a prospective buyer – today’s savvy consumers will see through this. Instead it is about understanding the keywords that buyers are using and then positioning campaigns to engage buyers to webpages full with the content they want (or never knew they wanted). 

How are you using search capabilities on your website to influence visitor action? What are some of your favorite search features provided by your favorite sites?


Bio: Before joining the Burrellesluce team in 2011, Kelly interned at CondeNast’s Glamour magazine as an editorial intern to the senior style writer and was an editor of her college newspaper. She received a B.A. in Behavioral Science and Business, Society and Culture from Drew University with honors. After graduation, she worked as a sales associate at Nordstrom and took a month off to travel abroad throughout Europe. In Kelly’s free time, she enjoys traveling, fashion, reading, bringing awareness to Breast Cancer, running 5Ks, baking and social media. Twitter:@miss_mulholland Facebook: BurrellesLuce; LinkedIn: Kelly Mulholland

Integrating Online Video Into Your PR Campaigns – Tips from PRSA-NY

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Alfred Cox*

Last week, on October 27, 2011, I had the opportunity to connect with industry professionals at the PRSA-NY panel, Successfully Integrating Online Video Into Your PR Campaigns.

The event featured presentations from Joe D’Amico, PopTent; Jake Finkelstein, Method Savvy; Jonah Minton, Ustream; Mark Rotblat, TubeMogul; Eric Wright, DS Simon; Jim Sulley, newscast US; and Larry Thomas, Latergy.

It was followed by a roundtable Q&A moderated by Jason Winocour, social and digital media practice leader at Hunter Public Relations.

Why Digital Video
Fifty-nine percent of Americans get their news every day from online and a mix of broadcast, radio and print sources. In fact, it is predicted that “by 2015, the demand for online video is expected to grow by 81 percent.”

Eric Wright, senior VP of marketing and business development, DS Simon Productions, Inc., offered additional insight on why digital video matters to the media.

  • AOL Newsroom is now bigger than the New York Times.
  • Journalist are using online video on their website.
  • 79 percent will use more online video in their messages.

Interestingly enough, over 50 percent of journalists say that video is vital to their jobs and that HD is the most important format.

For these reasons, among others, it is imperative that public relations professionals use video to engage and build relationships with stakeholders, the media, and the community. However, PR folks have lots of homework before integrating online video in their campaigns. (more…)

Do You Know What’s New With Your Favorite (Facebook) Pages?

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Deborah Gilbert-Rogers*

When you receive a message from a Facebook connection, you usually also receive an email letting you know (assuming your settings are defined for this) that so-and-so has sent you a message. At the very least you get a notification, when you login to Facebook, showing you that a message is indeed waiting. Or at least that is how it used to be.

If you’ve enabled integrated Facebook messaging – Facebook is slow rolling this feature – where friends can contact you via messages, chat, or email, the messages may showup any number of places and you may not know you have one. This has happened to me a number of times, where friends have sent private messages only to have these messages appear in a chat (which I didn’t see until after the friend signed off) and vice versa. 

Communication sent from the Pages you’ve “liked” can be equally hard to see.

Facebook Page Updates

While you may not always be interested in the content sent by the Pages you’ve connected with, sometimes they contain important information about upcoming events or changes to contact information, etc. And as a marketing and PR professional you want to make sure your followers are getting the information they need to stay informed and engaged.

Facebook Messages

> Solution 1:  To see messages from Pages, you need to click on “Messages” located in the left-sidebar of your feed. Then click on Updates. Then you can sort through, read, and delete the Page Updates/Messages as you would normal messages from connections.

> Solution 2: If your Facebook messaging is intergrated, then go to “Messages” in the left-sidebar of your feed. This will show you all of the messages from your friends, regardless of whether they came from Facebook chat, private messages, or Facebook email. To see updates from the Pages you “like,” simply click “Other” in the left-sidebar. 

> Solution 3: Visit a specific page and elect to receive updates from them by “e-mail.” In the left-sidebar of the page, you may have to scroll to see this, there will be options to Subscribe via SMS, or RSS.

Want the low-down on more Facebook Features? Download this free BurrellesLuce tip sheet, “Ten Tips for PR Professionals: Facebook Features” from our Resource Center.

Are you seeing all the content from your Facebook pages you follow? How do you think these settings affect your ability to connect with your audiences and friends? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment here on Fresh Ideas.


Bio: After graduating from Rider University, where she received a B.A. in English-writing and minor degrees in Gender Studies and French, Deborah joined the BurrellesLuce Marketing team in 2007.  As a marketing specialist she continues to help develop the company’s thought leadership and social media efforts, including the copywriting and editing of day-to-day marketing initiatives and management of the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog. Facebook: BurrellesLuce Twitter: @BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: dgrogers

You’re “Engaging” Oprah… Now What?

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Valerie Simon

BurrellsLuce Fresh Ideas: Your "Engage" Oprah... Now What? (Valerie Simon)There has been much discussion of late regarding influencers. How do you identify an influencer?  How do you measure their value? And how do you talk to people who don’t necessarily understand that influencers aren’t one-size-fits-all? (In fact, Justin Goldsborough, Fleishman-Hillard Kansas City, asked a similar question in a recent post on his blog

After hearing Coyne PR’s Dr. Norman Booth, at the PRSA NJ Measurement and Evaluation workshop on Monitoring and Determining ROI for Digital/Social Media, briefly discuss mathematical modeling to help identify influencers and optimize conversation – that evening, I found myself heading over to  the Coyne PR website. I found a white paper he authored, Mapping and Leveraging Influencers in Social Media To Shape Corporate Brand Perceptions. The paper reviews a customizable valuation algorithm to identify social media influencers.

In examining the strategy to optimize blogger outreach, I decided to take a deeper dive into Step Three: “Engage and Socialize.” This critical step offers the potential to transition influencers into advocates and even brand evangelists. Likewise, there is room for antagonizing influencers and actually damaging credibility.  Booth’s key points under this step, as I understood them, include:


  • Clearly identify intent
  • Topic before relevance
  • Ask, don’t tell
  • Say “thank you”


  • Comment on relevant postings
  • Follow on Twitter and social aggregators
  • Connect on social networking sites

These are excellent points. To them, I would also add “consistency in behavior over time.” The paper concludes, noting, “While the fundamentals of public relations are essentially the same as social media relations, the addition of this new marketing channel allows practitioners to engage with influencers one on one.”

Just as I said in my previous Fresh Ideas post, that no matter how influential a person is reported to be if they aren’t the right one for your campaign or media relations objectives, they’re not going to be able to convince your audience to do what you want.  The same applies for relationships.

Public relations, and social media relations, are about relationships.  So what if you’ve “engaged” Oprah, if you haven’t established a credible rapport? Creating relationships, building trust and loyalty, is not something you can expect to do with a tweet or comment.  And it doesn’t happen overnight. Relationships require ongoing communication (from all parties); social media simply offers you the tools to engage in more frequent and targeted ongoing communication.

Are you using social media to build relationships? What do you think are the essential elements for developing relationships online? Are you using any type of mathematical modeling to help you understand influence and sustain blogger outreach?

Hogwarts, Harry, and Leadership

Monday, January 10th, 2011

This post first appeared on HMA Time (1.7.11) and is cross-posted with permission. Alison Bailin is a senior PR account executive at HMA PR, a full-service marketing and public relations firm in Phoenix, Arizona, where she handles media relations, crisis communications, and event planning.

alan_relaxThis week, I (Alison, that is), took part in a BurrellesLuce webinar titled “The 12 Essential Talents of Marketing Communications Leadership… and other Lessons Learned from Harry Potter.”

The program was moderated by Johna Burke and hosted by Alan Cohen, who actually worked on the initial promotion for the Harry Potter books in the United States.  

Some key insights I learned as a result:

  • Kids can read! Kidding. But one of the main reasons I joined into this webinar was my absolute kudos that one literary phenomenon could prove that people do still, indeed, have imaginations.
  • Who we are and what we’re made of is as much about choices as abilities. Even Dumbledore said so!
  • Dumbledore is key. Turns out, almost every single talent is something Dumbledore does, not Harry, as I assumed when I signed up. I love a good twist in my webinars as well as my books.
  • Social media is like Harry Potter wizardry (thanks to Johna for asking this question)! Everyone has a voice and has the power to influence and inspire – no wand required.
  • Much like the evil Lord Voldemort at Hogwarts, there is a deadly character spreading around businesses – disengagement!

 And, of course, the 12 Essential Talents:

  1. Acute awareness of self and others. Treat others as creative, trustworthy and responsible just as Harry did so many times with Hermione, and others…
  2. Challenge perceptions and interpretations – Dumbledore was a great wizard but kept and open mind. Those scared of feedback make mistakes.
  3. Think like a visionary. Help people see and touch your values. Be clear and concise. For Alan, his PR team shared a vision to make that book a success and saw everything as an opportunity. Gave them ability to constantly move forward
  4. Creating alignment as it creates a North Star to set compasses by. Let small steps and victories, like winning a Quidditch match, keep you aligned toward the bigger goal.
  5. Act decisively. Decision making is shared leadership quality. Make sure people have enough information so they can also make decisions. Share decision making!
  6. Engage others! You do not do it alone. The more you serve the more impact you have on your team. Go deeper. Go under the stairs. Learn about people – you may have a Harry Potter in your midst
  7. Possess powerful energy. Dumbledore looked about a million years old but was such a force, he was a great leader to all ages. Lord Voldemort had energy too, but it was intimidating and he lost in the end.
  8. Emotional intelligence. It’s a bigger predictor of success than IQ! Create space between stimulus and response and remain calm as Dumbledore often did. Look at how you react versus how you want to react. Often, you need to just slow down a bit and ensure you are not leading with fear.
  9. Communicate dynamically! It isn’t just about what you say, but how you say. And, it’s also about actually very much about listening – within and between the lines. Be present. Care. Try to understand. How do you use your words? Seek clarity.
  10. See patterns and trends. Left brain is where verbal, rational thoughts turn to numbers and words. Right brain is all about the visual. Try using both sides – see the full story!
  11. Create high-energy teams. You need your Harry’s, Ron’s and Hermione’s. Everyone has a gift. Everyone has weaknesses. Leverage the good stuff to fight the bad!
  12. Display integrity through consistency and authority.

The white paper on the topic is also available by clicking here.

So, is Dumbledore the world’s greatest leader?

And how can you “Potterize” your leadership role among your friends, colleagues and family?