Posts Tagged ‘IABC’


How to Build a Brand Using Compelling Content

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

How to Build a Brand Using Compelling Content BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Tressa RobbinsAs public relations and communications professionals, we all create content. Writing is a core competency to this profession, and is frequently discussed with and emphasized to those preparing for a career in PR.  While it’s still true that writing skills are critical, and are no less important than they were, storytelling is now more than just words.

At a recent IABC St. Louis and PRSA St. Louis joint event, Dave Collett, EVP and GM of Weber Shandwick St. Louis, and Chris Vary, VP digital at Weber Shandwick Southwest, offered examples and tips on how to create compelling content that stands out.

The world’s digital content is increasingly findable and sharable. There is a volume explosion occurring in social and digital content!  Using content from an EMC Study called “Extracting Value from Chaos,”  Collett and Vary showed a chart demonstrating the growth—about nine times what it was five years ago. In 2011, that was 1.8 zettabytes (new word for me—one zettabyte is approximately one billion terabytes, which in bytes is a one followed by 21 zeros).  The study also estimates that by 2015, there will be 7.9 zettabytes of data in existence.  These numbers are more than staggering, they’re overwhelming! With the amounts of content filling up cyberspace, your content must be as compelling as ever.

What makes content contagious?  According to Vary and Collett, you should ask yourself why would people care, and why would people share? The answers should be that the content is:

  • Educational, but in a different way
  • Entertaining
  • Emotionally Engaging

They offered up several examples of wildly popular campaigns. Red Bull’s Stratos –  Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall from 128,000 feet – which broke all kinds of records (and not just the physical ones). This demonstrates Red Bull’s success with promoting a lifestyle, not just a product.

You don’t have to have those kinds of numbers for your campaign to be a success. Vary and Collett presented another example–Stratasys, a company that makes 3D printers. They “printed” a robotic exoskeleton for a little girl who couldn’t raise her arms. She dubbed them her “magic arms.” There was lots of media coverage and I dare you to watch the YouTube video and not get a little misty-eyed. (Note if you’re in a hurry, after the first two minutes, jump to 2:55 for the rest.) This is an emotionally engaging example of focusing on the human side and the product’s effect of on people.

Content doesn’t always have to be serious. Content doesn’t have to be expensive, either.  It can even be irreverent—depending, of course, on your industry and organization’s business mission. Just take a look at DollarShaveClub.com’s brotastic and amusing  “Our Blades are F***ing Great” campaign.

Vary and Collett stressed that while these are all YouTube examples, and video is a great platform, compelling content doesn’t have to be video.  Mappings have been trending in the past year or so. Haven’t we all done the New York Times Online questionnaire that asks you questions about your vernacular and then predicts where you live or are from? Facebook offered up its own version of mapping with the NFL team allegiance charts. You can create features like this yourself by using the Facebook graph search, using U.S. census data, or another data source—the key is to package it in a compelling manner.

The bottom line is, it’s not just about awareness anymore. PR now creates awareness and engagement—actions, enrollments, sales, whatever—to support the overall business objectives of the organization.  What are some of the most compelling pieces of content you’ve seen recently, and what aspects have you applied to your own content? How do you continue to create compelling content, and where do you find your inspiration?

How Technology is Changing the Way We Connect

Monday, November 25th, 2013

by flickr user Eric Fischer

by flickr user Eric Fischer

by Bill Werner*

On November 21, I attended the IABC Phoenix luncheon, where Cisco’s Senior Communication and Marketing Manager Brad Whitworth gave a talk on how technology is changing communication in the world.

Whitworth noted that these days technology is so relevant in our daily communication world that we now notice where we cannot communicate instead of where we can. With widespread wifi hotspots and vast cell phone service coverage, we know where we can’t use our devices, whereas not so long ago, it was the opposite.  Now, we expect service wherever we go. We expect to be connected at coffee shops, bars, restaurants, hotels, and airports. What used to a bonus offering is now a must, and if one of these spots is lacking connectivity, we’re not very happy.

Wifi is also becoming part of activities that usually seem mundane, and becoming a way to control and monitor entire cities and organizations. For example, some cities are implementing systems that notify you of available parking spots. With the ready availability of wifi towers, GPS systems, and apps, one can find a parking spot on a mobile phone. With these same resources, cities are revamping plans for trash pickup, with sensors that indicate how full cans are and routing trucks only to areas with full cans.

The changing roles of technology are also changing the way we network and create our network. Whitworth advised that effective communication is all about building your network and using modern technology to your benefit. To do so, he explained that we must live outside our comfort zone, and not be afraid to use all types of groups and applications, including but not limited to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

A handy rule he recommended is to “build your network before you need your network.” It’s a lot more beneficial to have a network when you can offer people something instead of asking for something. Finally, Whitworth believes that face-to-face networking is still relevant, and that we should always take advantage of it whenever possible, as, he explained, it’s the best way for people to really know you.

This was my first IABC meeting, and I look forward to putting Whitworth’s insights and suggestions into practice. I plan to integrate plenty of face-to-face events into my networking strategy while also building my networking groups digitally. Do you know of or are you part of useful networking events in the Phoenix area? What sorts of networking events have you found to be the most valuable?

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Bill Werner is an Arizona native and Business Development Director at BurrellesLuce, where his focus is developing client relations and providing clients with a comprehensive solution to their needs. His background is in the construction industry, where he learned that developing relationships and communicating are the keys to success. Bill’s family of three includes Katie and their newborn son, Gavin, as well as two cats and two dogs.

BurrellesLuce Complimentary Webinar: Copyright Compliance – What Every Media Relations Professional Should Know

Friday, December 7th, 2012

BurrellesLuce Complimentary Webinar: Copyright Compliance - What Every Media Relations Professional Should KnowCopyright Compliance What Every Media Relations Professional Should Know.

When: Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Time: 1pm EST

Register Now!

As a communications or PR practitioner, you are under increasing pressure to prove the value of what you do. Now, with technology and the availability of digital content, the line between sharing and plagiarizing becomes increasingly blurred.

Anyone can pull material from the Internet, share it, and declare it their own. It is easy for organizations and professionals to unwittingly fall into the plagiarism trap. The consequences of copyright infringement also are serious and content providers are enforcing laws to protect and manage the rights of their content.

Join BurrellesLuce and Wilma K. Mathews, head of the IABC ethics committee and a respected faculty member at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication, for this 60-minute educational webinar, “Copyright Compliance: What Every Media Relations Professional Should Know.” 

In this webinar, Wilma will review plagiarism and copyright violations, using real-life examples to explain why it is important to educate yourself, your staff and employees about both.

During the session you will learn:

  • The difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement.
  • How the Internet is making everyone a plagiarist.
  • How writers may be putting their companies in jeopardy.
  • How to check for plagiarism or copyright infringement.

Register Now!

Moderator:
Johna Burke, senior vice president, BurrellesLuce

Space is limited. Sign up now for this free webinar, “Copyright Compliance: What Every Media Relations Professional Should Know.” If we are unable to accept your registration, an on-demand presentation will be available for review after the event at www.burrellesluce.com .

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Wilma MathewsWilma K. Mathews is a fellow and accredited member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Mathews currently serves as chair of the IABC Ethics Committee. She previously served as chair of the IABC Research Foundation and the Accreditation Council, and twice was a member of the IABC executive board. She is a Gold Quill winner for media relations and writing. She is co-author of On Deadline: Managing Media Relations.

Brand Journalism – An Oxymoron or Clever Communications Tactic?

Monday, February 20th, 2012

BurrellesLuce recently wrote a newsletter on 5 Tips for Incorporating Brand Journalism Into Your Communications Strategy. But what exactly IS brand journalism and how does it affect PR, media relations, and marketing as we know them?

While the term “brand journalism” aka “content journalism” has been getting significant air play lately, the concept has been around for awhile.

One of the earliest references came from Larry Light, McDonald’s CMO, at the 2004 AdWatch conference where he proclaimed that mass marketing no longer worked and no single approach told the whole story.

“Brand Journalism is a chronicle of the varied things that happen in our brand world, throughout our day, throughout the years. Our brand means different things to different people. It does not have one brand position. It is positioned differently in the minds of kids, teens, young adults, parents and seniors. It is positioned differently at breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, weekday, weekend, with kids or on a business trip.

“Brand Journalism allows us to be a witness to the multi-faceted aspects of a brand story. No one communication alone tells the whole brand story. Each communication provides a different insight into our brand. It all adds up to a McDonald’s journalistic brand chronicle,” he declared.

Brand journalism, it seems, is not just a replacement for earned media or advertising or even direct marketing. Rather it ties all these things together. It involves telling stories — that do not read like a press release or marketing and advertising copy — and that make readers want to know more about your organization. Note that if you’re going to give it a try, brand journalism needs to be part of your overall communications strategy.

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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.