Browsing articles in "Marketing"
Oct 14, 2008
csalomonlee

Recent Guest Posts on Virtual Events

I was honored to guest post on a few blogs regarding virtual events and trade shows. If you’re interested in learning more about virtual events, check out these posts:

 

 

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All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.

Aug 19, 2008
csalomonlee

Brave New World of Media Pitching: Facebook

I have only been on a Facebook for a year or so. I mainly use it to keep in touch with personal connections, and rarely use it for professional reasons. I believe that the “casual” aspect of Facebook does make it more difficult for business-to-business companies to leverage the full potential, with early success for consumer related companies.

 With that said, I do see the potential of Facebook from a PR perspective:

Fan Club or Group?: Before setting up a group, you have the option of designating it as a group or fan club. Groups have membership limits while fans clubs don’t. It’s a small distinction but quite important depending on the size of the community you’re seeking to tap into.

Before setting up a fan club/group, consider these two points first:

1) Research what groups/clubs already exist in your area. Does it make sense to set up another page if there are hundreds of similar ones out there?

2) Participate in existing groups/clubs to network with people in your target audience. By “friending” these folks, you’re able to pull in your existing network if you do decide to launch your own group or fan club. 

Share and Share Alike: With Facebook’s “share” function, you can provide a steady stream of company updates and information to your friend network. For example, my company recently received media coverage in Forbes and San Jose Mercury News. I shared this news to my connections.

I recommend sharing information that is relevant to your industry. Since you can add a comment, this helps to position your company as an expert on a specific topic. And is much quicker than drafting a blog post from scratch =)

In the end, you never know what information will catch a reporter/blogger’s eye for a possible article or posting.

Friending Reporters and Bloggers: If a reporter or blogger has agreed to be friends with you, the implication is that you’ve created or have an existing personal relationship. Depending on your level of “friendship,” you can send pitches via Facebook’s internal email system, which may break through the noise of emails. Just confirm that the person prefers to receive pitches this way. He or she may want to keep Facebook on a personal level while want “business” correspondence to be received in another format.

While I have not personally done this yet, I would just recommend being very careful of how and when you do this. As I wrote recently about HARO spam, the purpose of these tools is to create connections, not harvest emails and contact information. By doing so breaks the trust you’ve created.

Promote Events: Facebook enables people to send out event invitations to your friends. Great way to promote attendance for live events or webinars. Be sure not to over promote an event with multiple reminders.

Applications: As an open platform, Facebook offers different types of applications. These applications range from the silly – sending a beer – to useful – free VoIP phone calls or Twitter updates. For me, I’ve added the Twitter app to tie all my external personalities into Facebook. Determine which apps to incorporate based on the types of information your generating and which are appropriate for your company.

Some have even created complimentary applications within Facebook which have become wildly popular. As long as it’s relevant to your Facebook audience, is easy to use and understand and is relevant to your business, apps can be one way to get your business to your target audience.

Face Book Case Study:

I was seeking B2B examples of using Facebook and couldn’t find any Mike Nierengarten of (company?) did forward me this description of how they leveraged Facebook to drive students to an online animation school (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Animation-Mentor-Online-Animation-School/14719464771):

Animation Mentor, an online animation school, is perfect for Facebook because it has tons of great content (video, events, pictures), a strong (current) student presence on the site, and our target customers (potential students) use the site regularly.

For Animation Mentor, we set up a profile to connect with current students. From there, we added a Facebook page and rolled those students into fans. We then created a Prospective Animation Mentor Student group for individuals who were interested in the school to connect and share thoughts. Finally, we promoted the page off of Facebook using an Animation blog.  

Results: Facebook page ranks for targeted keywords on Google (e.g. #23 for “animation school”, #9 for “character animation”), we have over 700 fans with a mix of currents students and interested students interacting online, and we have an area for prospective students to address their concerns and interact directly with someone from the school in their space. We have also seen a near 3% conversion rate (i.e. complete an application) from the Facebook page.

Summary: Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook

I posted my question on Twitter and LinkedIn. I decided not to ask my Facebook network as my previous questions have received no answers. I overwhelmingly received more responses via LinkedIn. Why?

Twitter seems to elicit a lot of responses depending on the interest of your audience to that question and what other conversations are happening at the time. With the cacophony of voices, it’s very difficult, at least for me, to pose a question that elicits response. I did when I discussed the role of PR agencies but not for this question.

For LinkedIn, people are leveraging it as a business networking tool. The Q&A section is a great way to demonstrate your expertise in a specific topic, as I outlined in my previous post.

I think Lewis Green of BizSolutionsPlus said it best in his response: “I think LinkedIn and Plaxo Pulse are better social networking sites for non-invasive marketing and PR, which is the only way we should be promoting our brands within the social networking and social media worlds. We should be giving, not making an effort to get. That’s why providing free information, such as this Q&A offers us a chance to do so.”

Initial Conclusions

1) LinkedIn great for professional networking and developing expertise with LinkedIn Answers

2) Twitter great for quick updates and breaking information to your company

3) Facebook is like a mini-site that has a social networking component. You need a wealth of relevant information to feed into the pages, while actively working to develop and maintain a community.

Other posts in the “Brave New World of Media Pitching” series:

- Brave New World of Media Pitching: LinkedIn
- Brave New World of Media Pitching: Twitter
- Read LinkedIn responses to “How do you use Facebook for PR?”

 

UPDATE: Forgot to thank everyone who responded: Mike Nierengarten, Lewis Green, G. Niki Foust, Andrew Miller, Thomas Ahonen, Joyce Schwarz, Jocelyn Brandeis, Alysha Cryer, Dylan Conroy

 

 

All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.

Jul 10, 2008
csalomonlee

Brave New World of Media Pitching: LinkedIn

In late April, I wanted to start exploring different ways that we can now pitch media. Besides my page about how to pitch bloggers, I looked into the new way of pitching via Twitter in my post titled,”Brave New World of Media Pitching: Twitter.”  

Social networking is a new avenue for public relations professionals. From my perspective, LinkedIn has some interesting opportunities. Here’s my look at LinkedIn in the brave new world of media pitching:

Make Connections: LinkedIn’s core purpose is to make connections – either with people you know or people you want to know. If you’re seeking to connect with a journalist, you can request a “linkedin” connection to make an introduction. Rather than send a blind pitch to a reporter, what’s better than a friend making the pitch on your behalf?

Research Media: I was recently searching for a reporter to create a briefing sheet and found the reporter’s LinkedIn page. Doh! I can’t believe I didn’t consider this in the past. LinkedIn is rich with information about a person’s background. Leverage LinkedIn to research reporters – where did they work in the past, titles, and other pertinent information. This provides incredible insight before you pitch the reporter as well as to prep your spokespeople.

LinkedIn AnswersLinkedIn Answers provides an opportunty for PR to participate in or start a conversation on relevant topics. Certain topics can also show up high on a Google search, which helps if a reporter is searching on a specific topic. In the end, you never know how a reporter gets her inspiration for a story and if she needs sources.

What other ways are you using LinkedIn for media outreach?

UPDATE: Just saw this post by Lewis Green of BizSolutionsPlus regarding value of LinkedIn.

Other posts in the “Brave New World of Media Pitching” series:

Brave New World of Media Pitching: Twitter

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All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.

Jun 30, 2008
csalomonlee

Are You Ready for Virtual Trade Shows?

Disclosure: My company  just introduced a new solution today that is in the virtual trade show market. I decided to take this occasion to write a larger post about the virtual events/tradeshows market. Please note, the opinions expressed in this post are my own and not a reflection of my company’s.

With that disclosure out of the way =) , virtual trade show/event is something that is just starting to be used by organizations. Just think about it, you don’t have to travel across the country to attend a show, set up the booth at the show, and stand for hours waiting for people to come by your booth. And hopefully, at the end of the show, you have quality sales leads, connected with possible business partners, or even run into key media in your industry.

With an online version, the thought is that organizations will minimize tangible (i.e. travel, hotel, food, materials) and intangible costs (i.e. environmental and productivity), while providing all the benefits – if not more. You can still connect with people through online chats or emails, get the materials you want, and attend keynotes and presentations. From a marketer’s perspective, hopefully you spend less money with better results. And you don’t have to break down the booth either! 

I recently read some stats in a report by FactPoint Group that stated that virtual events/shows can attract an average of of 1500+ people, who spend about 2+ hours in the show. When you look at this  information, this provides a compelling reason for organizations to consider online conferences.

What do you think? Would a virtual event appeal to you as a marketer or participant? Why or why not?

All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.

May 22, 2008
csalomonlee

So You Want To Go To Demo?

Demo Fall 2008DEMO is one of the premier conferences to launch a product. It has launched some of the key companies and products over the past few year.  In one of my groups, someone recently asked – How do I get into Demo?
I’ve been lucky enough to have two companies accepted into DEMO. Here are some tips for getting invited and then tips for when you’re at the conference.
Getting Invited to Demo
The key to DEMO is making sure that you schedule a briefing with Chris Shipley over the next few months. If she likes your company, she will invite you on the spot to participate. Otherwise, she will consider you as a back up in case her initial invities are unable to participate. It’s probably a good idea to keep her updated on your company as you wait for the golden ticket.
  
What makes a good Demo?
1) Announce at Demo first: The product or solution must be announced at the conference – the availability can be that day or in the subsequent months. But the golden rule is no pre-announcements before the start of the conference.
2) Good spokesperson: Your briefing is like an audition for the big show. Make sure your spokesperson can succinctly describe the product and your company during the briefing.
3) Give the “wow” factor: Be able to give a sense of why your product would “wow” the crowd at the conference. In one case, we showed how the GPS tracking worked for a mobile device – in real-time and with a recording of the tracking
4) Clear benefits and market potential: Be able to clearly communicate how your solution/product will be positioned in the market place as well as the business model.
 
You’re going to Demo. Now What?
Getting invited to demo is the first step, but your work isn’t done. Make sure that you emphasize that Demo requires a lot of preparation, including:
1) Script writing: Have a tight script that goes through the flow of the demo from transitions and camera angles (at most, 2 camera shots). Set up a work back plan that highlights deadlines for drafts, edits and final approval.
2) Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse: I have forced my presenters to practice multiple times to ensure that the script flows as written. And if you have two presenters, the rehearsal helps for transitions.  It’s good to practice how you would cue the camera crew to switch camera angles.
3) Have a back up plan: Though showing your product live is great, be aware that the Internet connection can fail. Have a back up demo on your computer just in case. They don’t stop the show and this actually happened one year.
4) Network, network, network: Bring people who can not only discuss your company and solutions, but who can also network. There are a lot of reporters and it’s a PR person’s fantasy!
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All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.

May 2, 2008
csalomonlee

PR Meets Marketing Weekly Articles: May 2, 2008

 

You can click on the Weekly Articles tag for previous issues or subscribe to the Weekly Articles FeedIf you feel that you have an article that would fit in the weekly articles, leave a comment and I’ll check it our for the following week’s digest. Enjoy.

 

Permission Please – Mark Goren of Transmission Marketing highlights how he was automatically subscribed to Marriott Hotel newsletters without his permission. The comment stream is interesting regarding the needs of business and person perspective. However, I side with Mark on this one. There are better ways to ask for permission. Supplying an email for a “confirmation notification” isn’t the same as asking to receive frequent emails about your company, promotions and other marketing stuff.

 

From a Blogger to You – Chris Brogan writes a great post about why bloggers aren’t journalists. He also provides great tips for pitching him and the topics that he likes to discuss. Key point – make a blogger feel special, whether with beta invitations, previews or free schwag.

 

So You Want to Pitch? – Jason Falls provides a great post on how he would pitch bloggers. By writing a fictional blog pitch, Jason provides actionable tips for contacting bloggers and probably getting results as well.

 

Engaging Employees –Anna Farmery posted about how to engage employees as most of the conversation is about engaging customers. Well, employees ARE customers too. I think companies take this for granted until it’s too late.

 

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All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post

Apr 24, 2008
csalomonlee

PR Meets Marketing Weekly Article: April 24, 2008

You can click on the Weekly Articles tag for previous issues or subscribe to the Weekly Articles Feed.

 

If you feel that you have an article that would fit in the weekly articles, leave a comment and I’ll check it our for the following week’s digest. Enjoy.

 

E-Mail Marketing – According to eMarketer, don’t underestimate email. Relevancy to your audience is key to the success of email marketing promotions and offers.

 

Delicious Measurement – Courtesy of measurement maven, KD Paine, I found this article about how delicious can be used for measuring PR. I do use delicious to track my personal blog postings and company information. This posting reminds me I should look into them more closely.

 

Persistence Counts – Mr. Tom Pick underscores the importance of persistence when pitching bloggers. Great tips for getting through to key bloggers and getting their attention. Note to self – add to page about pitching bloggers.

 

ROI of Online Press Releases – Larissa Fair of The Buzz Bin provided a summary of a survey regarding the ROI of online press releases. I have to agree with Larissa, I’m little surprised that the main goal of the release was to reach media. Frankly, press releases should be to reach your target audiences – media find out about your stuff when you contact them =)

 

What’s the Trend? – TechCrunch has a useful post about apps to help find trends in Facebook walls and Twitter. This is useful for getting a sense of what people are writing about and tracking it. Wonder when someone will combine Google with these other apps for one big trending application?

 

Customer Approved – Golden Practices provides some useful tips on how to get those tricky customer testimonials. What I usually do is offer to draft a quote for customers, but it’s based on what they’ve told me over the phone. I like some of the approach and will file this away for my next customer call.

  

 

About

Cece Salomon-LeeCece Salomon-Lee is director of product marketing for Lanyon Solutions, Inc. and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.

This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.

Learn more about Cece.

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