Six Ways PR Can Grow Thought Leadership

With the rapid growth of technology, the PR industry must evolve. In his latest article, Chris Rosica explores how PR can create thought leadership. The piece, entitled “Six Ways PR Can Grow Thought Leadership” reveals how this approach can apply to B2B and B2C companies and brands alike. The six topics highlighted include positioning and messaging; earned media; social media connectivity; content marketing; the role people play in thought leadership; and how to repurpose earned, social and owned content to reinforce industry leadership. Together, these build a company’s presence while growing sales and brand equity. Find out how to implement these six practices by reading the full article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/six-ways-pr-can-grow-thought-leadership-christopher-rosica

 

5 Things Smart Companies Do To Integrate and Measure Marketing

In his latest article that appeared on LinkedIn’s Pulse entitled “5 Things Smart Companies Do To Integrate and Measure Marketing,” Chris Rosica discusses how earned and social media, marketing automation tools, influencer marketing, content marketing and SEO & SEM can work in tandem to create an integrated and metrics-driven marketing program.

He writes, “… the ability to measure PR and marketing outcomes – made possible through the Internet and new and improved software and social media tools – offer marketers smart solutions to their challenges, which include lower marketing budgets and ROI-based corporate decision making. Make 2017 the year that you prioritize integrating marketing communications so it becomes a reality for your organization and its leadership standing.”

Read the full post on LinkedIn Pulse https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/5-things-smart-companies-do-integrate-measure-marketing-rosica?trk=prof-post

 

 

Evolution or Extinction? In Business, It’s a Choice.

December is a month when many companies take a needed break, give their people a rest and recharge the proverbial batteries. As my friend Michael Gerber described in his best-selling book The E Myth, it’s an ideal time to work “on the business” rather than being bogged down “in the business.”

When slowing down and stepping back, business owners, managers and marketers take the time to think, rather than just do. This entails activities such as reviewing the year, looking at what worked and what didn’t, planning, strategizing, evaluating staff, setting goals, writing, re-focusing and re-aligning.

Taking the time to think and work on the business helps entrepreneurs, executives and marketing professionals not only identify the most important things to tackle – but to consider future moves and actions based on current and emerging trends and industry needs. They develop actionable plans that help their organizations evolve. The successful technology, healthcare, nonprofit, professional service and food companies we’re working with are ones that look ahead and are slightly ahead of the curve. It’s like riding a wave – you can’t fall behind or be too far ahead of it. Then, you need systems, tools and people to keep you on track, regularly making progress.

Several extremely successful entrepreneurs including Dan Sullivan, founder of Strategic Coach, simplify the planning process, employing an effective approach to goal attainment. Rather than tackling a dozen or more items on a daily to do list, they focus on the three most important things they can do, things that will exponentially increase their probability of success. In 2017, I’m committed to taking their lead and focusing on my top three – not only with daily goals, but with longer term objectives as well.

Thinking about the “big picture,” such as shifts in a company, industry or among needs that clients have, is vital – particularly given the continued barrage of smart and disruptive technologies. Growing talent, through hiring and training, M & A and strategic partnerships can help small businesses acquire the skills needed to deploy new tools and technologies, which can make or break your year…or your business.

PDI Whitepaper Discusses Importance of Mobile Equipment Disinfection in Healthcare

PDI, leader in providing Infection Prevention solutions, today published a whitepaper to educate infection preventionists, quality directors and other healthcare personnel on the importance of mobile equipment disinfection in healthcare facilities. Mobile equipment such as wheelchairs, IV poles, and workstations on wheels are often overlooked, but represent a large opportunity to improve environmental hygiene and patient safety.

The whitepaper titled, “Microorganism Movers: Mobile Equipment and Implications for Infection Prevention,” provides key information and support regarding the frequent contamination of these types of equipment as well as a lack of standardized procedures. The paper points out one 2009 study of computer stations on wheels that revealed daily cleaning of keyboards was at zero percent over a baseline evaluation period of several weeks.[1] This means that daily cleaning of keyboards in accordance with the established policy was not occurring. Barriers to compliance such as undefined roles and responsibilities, staff education and product availability and placement are also discussed. To download the paper, please visit www.infectioncontroltoday.com.

To provide a convenient and accessible surface disinfection solution for equipment on-the-go, PDI introduced its Sani-Cloth® AF3 Germicidal Disposable Wipe in a new Portable Pack format. The new package design can be affixed to or carried with most mobile equipment, keeping disinfection top-of-mind for healthcare staff. Sani-Cloth® AF3 is part of the complete Sani-Cloth® Environmental Hygiene System, complemented by PDI’s compliance accessories, ongoing clinical support and comprehensive implementation training for staff designed to reinforce proper product utilization.

About PDI

PDI helps reduce preventable infections, control healthcare costs, and ultimately help save lives by delivering a broad range of evidence-based, market leading environmental hygiene and patient care solutions.  PDI’s expertise in making a difference in the community and healthcare environments extends throughout the United States and worldwide. www.pdihc.com   

 

[1] Po et al. “Dangerous cows: an analysis of disinfection cleaning of computer keyboards.” Am J Infect Control. 2009 Nov;37(9):778-80. 

Creating the Perfect PR Buzz

Simple Steps for Promoting Your Company, Products or Services

Public relations is an essential marketing tool for any company seeking to raise awareness, promote products and services, and boost sales. In contrast to advertising, public relations tells a story, often produces grassroots word-of-mouth “buzz” and can be extremely cost-effective. As a marketing discipline, public relations has a few inherent advantages. For starters, media placements that are generated by a public relations program serve as third-party endorsements for your goods or services. For example, an article in a prominent magazine or daily newspaper that promotes and tacitly recommends Nike sneakers has more credibility with consumers than an advertisement in the same publication about the same product. And while there are no guarantees that you will get the kind of press coverage you wish for, a focused, respectful perseverance will give you your best shot.

For firms that are planning on incorporating a public relations program into their broader marketing effort, it is important to keep in mind a few strategies. With the proliferation of media outlets and news programming, producers, editors and writers are in perpetual need of compelling story ideas. Most businesses or nonprofits have a unique narrative that if communicated skillfully has the potential to be a front-page story in the Wall Street Journal or a segment on the Today Show. Media professionals search for creative story ideas to fill their endless hours of programming. With the right tactics, your business story can fill that void. Here are some of those tactics:

Put a Voice to Your Company
Identify someone in your company who could become the official “spokesperson.” On its own, a company is an inanimate entity that has little to offer the media. With the introduction of a spokesperson, your company is transformed into a life form that pulsates with energy. He or she must be articulate, composed and project the image of a guru or expert. Companies that do not have an obvious candidate for the role of spokesperson should consider hiring a public relations firm that can train someone to become that authoritative voice. Remember, the spokesperson must project the corporate culture and be appealing to the targeted demographic. For example, an attractive female is a better choice for spokesperson of a cosmetics company than a chubby, balding male. Media professionals are in constant need of industry experts who are willing to appear on television or in print. By positioning clients as industry experts, we have had great success at generating bushels of media placements.

Capitalize on Cause Marketing
An additional tactic that has proven to be of great value is cause marketing. Cause marketing is a method of twinning corporation and for-profit entities with charitable or non-profit organizations for their mutual benefit. In the early 1980s, we partnered Famous Amos Cookies with Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA), at the time an obscure organization that promoted literacy. The partnership proved to be a transformative one for both Famous Amos and LVA. Famous Amos Cookies became an iconic national brand, and literacy became a pet advocacy issue for millions of Americans. This was realized through grassroots media events in cities throughout the United States and national print and broadcast interviews. Amos became the national spokesperson for LVA, and the PR efforts surrounding this partnership helped brand both organizations. This cause-marketing effort inspired Ben & Jerry to become environmentally involved and is credited with much of the media coverage the company enjoyed early on. Regional companies should consider partnering with regional charities in order to generate media that is appropriate for the area. A small supermarket chain with stores in New York State, for example, may want to implement a cause marketing program with a local soup kitchen in the same market, thereby ensuring that the news stories are relevant to the indigenous media. Executing a media event at the soup kitchen during a weekday lunchtime feeding with the supermarket’s spokesperson provides a recipe for media coverage success.

Besides projecting an image of philanthropy and community involvement, a cause marketing program enables businesses to connect with their customers on a more personal level. Cause marketing is a great public relations tactic because it is relatively inexpensive and highly effective and because it builds a corporate culture that emphasizes compassion and charity. There is no disputing the importance of being involved in the community, but many companies do not promote their contributions. Through in-store signage, media placements and the resultant awareness, these activities will certainly generate good will (customer loyalty) and inspire others to lend a helping hand.

Final Word: Use Your PR to Leverage More Sales
While garnering media placements is the gauge for any successful public relations program, it is equally important to measure the relationship between the media and sales. Smart PR firms enable their clients to reach their key sales influencers and have the ability to measure the impact of public relations on their bottom line. Media placements are successful only if they reach your key influencers. A segment with Lou Dobbs on CNN is worthless if prospective clients, industry executives and investors never see it. Repackage and reproduce media placements and transform them into direct mail pieces. Compile a VIP mailing list of vendors, prospective clients, industry executives, etc., and send them your media placements regularly (e.g., every 60 days). By doing so, businesses are assured that their PR results – the aforementioned valuable third-party endorsements – will reach their intended target audience.

To determine the effectiveness of these efforts, consider brand awareness surveys to gauge the impact on your “brand equity.” Guesswork and conjecture are eliminated in favor of measurement and certainty, and these survey tactics give businesses the tools they need to analyze their public relations program and measure the ROI (return on investment) generated.

Implementing a public relations program can be a challenging process, but the rewards are numerous. The tactics and ideas offered here are by no means exhaustive or sufficient to begin a media program. They are, however, a snapshot of the opportunities that are a result of a public relations program. As you consider your marketing mix, remember that there is a significant bang for your buck with a strategic public relations initiative.

Turn Your Company Into a Media Event

Tips from a media expert on how to build the kind of event that will put you in the spotlight
By Chris Rosica

How many times have you watched the new and seen a small business being featured? Ever wonder how that company got the television cameras to show up at its event? And more to the point, ever wonder how you can be the next business to be featured on that very same news show?

In order to start the process, you need to put on your creative hat. What will the media find interesting about your business? When we propose a media event to a client, we typically look for a compelling angle. Here are the questions we ask our clients at the start:
Are you:
• introducing a new product?
• promoting a new cause relationship?
• bringing awareness to a new location or a new company
leadership?
• announcing a new business partner or venture?
• doing something charitable?

Unless you are announcing the newest breakthrough in medicine or a candidacy for president, you will need a creative idea to pique the media’s interest. To that end, it’s a good idea to watch the news to determine the types of events and venues that the media covers. Then take a good, hard look at your product or service: What are you doing that is truly new or perhaps even controversial? Will what are you doing, even in some small way, set you apart from the competition in a way that you can capitalize on in terms of a media event?

Examples: All the News That’s Fit to Race
• A shopping cart race throughout a supermarket was created to
benefit the Children’s Hunger Alliance. The event was created to position this retailer as a caring member of the community. The race produced an irresistible visual for the cameras – pictures of people racing their supermarket carts down the aisles.
• Nice-Pak Products, Inc., makers of disinfecting wipes for hands and the home, joined together with a local elementary school and staged a “health fair” in the classroom to demonstrate proper hand hygiene during allergy season and, using a special blue light, showed how germs spread on kids’ hands.
• A chainsaw buzzed in the hands of an executive chef and the local mayor as they cut a giant ice-sculpture ribbon to mark the grand opening of Blend, a new dining and entertainment venue in Ridgewood, N.J. In addition, representatives from nearly a dozen local charities, from disease research to women’s and children’s groups and the arts, were in attendance to help promote the restaurant’s pledge to donate a portion of each month’s proceeds to charity.

Give Someone the Title of Media Magnet
Although they are inundated with press releases, pitch letters, e-mails and phone calls from companies and organizations like yours vying for their attention, the media isn’t as elusive as you might think. If your event has all the proper elements to make it newsworthy and you have done your homework with persistent outreach and follow-through, you can get the news media to show up and cover your company.

After you have come up with your idea, assign one person in your organization to serve as your media relations liaison. This person will be responsible for disseminating information, handling media inquiries and coordinating interviews and appearances. All materials distributed to the media should include the name of your media liaison with his or her daytime and evening telephone numbers so reporters can get answers to their questions at any time.

Your media relations liaison will need to:• Develop a list of all broadcast and print media in your area. To
obtain a media list, contact your local chamber of commerce or look in the yellow pages. When you have decided which stations and newspapers to include on your media list, call and confirm contact names.
• Research, identify and contact the appropriate writers, editors and producer. If an editor or producer takes a pass, pitch the event to a different editor or producer at the same media outlet (e.g., if you are a computer products company staging an event to roll out a new version of your software, you’ll want to call the technology editor at the newspaper; if they aren’t interested, move on to the business reporter).
• Contact the media at least two weeks in advance of the event.
• Consider faxing a “media advisory” a few days prior to and on the day of the event. Media advisories are concise “who, what, where, when and why” updates that include information about interview opportunities.

Put a Little Magic into Your Media Event
Here are some considerations for a successful media event:
• Because we are a graphic society and the print and broadcast media outlets use pictures to tell stories, make sure to create a “mediagenic” event that commands attention. Try to imagine what images or sound bites the media will broadcast or publish.
• Aligning your event with a charity or cause is always a good idea because your company will be viewed in a positive light and it “de-commercializes” your news. When choosing a charity, think about the goals of your organization and how they align with those of the organization. For example, if you are a bakery owner launching a new line of healthy breads, you could bring a nutritionist in to talk with patrons of the local food shelter and announce that you will donate your day-old breads on a weekly basis to the organization.

Timing is Everything… When executing a media event, make sure to schedule it in mid-morning. Avoid Mondays and Fridays, since the media is more difficult to reach and less dependable.

Finally, remember to think big: A media event is a public relations tool that can be a powerful way for virtually any small business to get a lot of exposure. Don’t think that holding an event is just for the big guys. Find your angle, and make it newsworthy – and they will come.