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It's inevitable: when opportunity pops up on the internet, there are plenty of snake oil salesmen waiting to take advantage of it.
The field of SEO provides the perfect example. While there are plenty of reputable guns for hire and firms providing SEO services, there are also plenty of snake oil salesmen promising the moon but delivering a bag full of sand.
An online survey conducted in April and May among 450 members of the Counselors Academy, a Professional Interest Section of the Public Relations Society of America, revealed that mastering social media skills is one of the top three issues for PR professionals in 2009/2010.
According to M2Moms, a report from the Market to Moms Coalition, 60% of moms feel marketers are ignoring their needs, and 73% feel advertisers don't really understand what it's like to be a mom. The challenge, says the report, is sensing her distinct, timely needs and responding in a way that truly resonates.
PR practitioners should pay close attention to the number of journalists using social media tools. A few years ago, people were sceptical that most journalists would use social media tools at all. Even though the social media press release format, and the desire to get news in feeds, grew out of a journalist's frustration with traditional press releases, the perception was that it would not catch on with non-tech journalists.
Brands interested in reaching women online should know that while social networks offer the most reach, blogs have the most influence.
Storytelling is being hailed as the new big idea, but it's not that new. What makes a good story in this viral, user-generated, post advertising world has always made a good story.
From papyrus to pulpit to plasma screen, the attributes of a ripping yarn have remained the same: credibility, digestibility, and most importantly, emotional resonance.
Press releases. Love 'em or hate 'em, entrepreneurs and companies spend large sums of money sending them out every year. Some have to because they're publicly-traded and others do so because they believe that a press release is a crucial part of 'spreading the word' about their products and services.
If I had $100 for every entrepreneur I've met who expected a press release to do big things for his or her new business, I'd probably own my own bank in Antigua.
We've written about the potential of using social media for customer service, or at least monitoring and responding to customers' comments and complaints, and here is a great example of how valuable this can be.
Naked Wines, which launched last December, was very quick to get involved in social media; it has a Twitter account as well as a Facebook group, and this example shows the value of monitoring and responding to customers' concerns where they are talking about you.
It's no surprise that social media sites continue to thrive. However, as Andrew Seel explained at Econsultancy's breakfast briefing this week, successfully building an online community entails more than just having a presence on such sites. Rather, it's about encouraging active engagement and collaboration with the brand to provide mutual value for the company and the customer alike.
Here, we explore some of the key points from Andrew's presentation ...
If a great product is created but nobody knows about it, does it really exist? This isn't some philosophical question without answer: of course it doesn't exist!
This is why marketing and PR is so important, especially for new businesses. Making sure people know about your product is a prerequisite for success and for obvious reasons, most new businesses see media attention as one of the best ways to introduce their products to the public.
Recently I approached a well-known internet personality about an interview. I wanted to discuss a new website he had launched and get his perspective on the market it's competing in.
Interview requests are always hit-or miss; sometimes you never hear back. I was pleasantly surprised, however, and received an immediate response.