Online PR

Mike Moran

How do I improve our online reputation?

I recently got a question from a company with a problem. They have a history of not-so-sterling treatment of customers during the sales process (think used-car dealer approach), which they've used throughout the history of the company. For years, the company has been successful, despite customer complaints, but now they are running into a snag. The company's online reputation is not good, and they are worried that it is starting to affect their sales. They asked if I could help them eliminate the negative results that are popping up about them in search......

Mike Moran

The Internet blurs the old organizational lines

Who owns the Internet? Obviously no one actually owns the Internet, but this is a question that I hear every day from big companies, because they want to know which organization within the company should take the lead with all Internet work. Big companies fail in Internet marketing every day because they waste time answering that question instead of just using the Internet. Large firms are trapped in the old thinking that problems get broken into small pieces, assigned to the right organizations, and "solutioned." But the Internet doesn't fit into any of those neat little boxes, and all attempts...

Mike Moran

What can social media do for me in a PR crisis?

When that bad story first hits your computer screen, you can be excused for feeling just a little bit panicked. If you're like most companies, you aren't prepared for a PR crisis. You might have some action plan in mothballs, but if it doesn't include social media readiness, you're not prepared for a full-blown 21st century PR imbroglio. If you haven't thought through how social media transforms your PR crisis planning, it's time to do so now....

Todd Bailey

Sloped Economy Hopes Within Internet Marketing

What's your take on the recovering economy? Has it recovered?  Contrarily, have we made less traction than expected?   A recent Reuters article reports a daunting month of May regarding small businesses.  It seems businesses hired less and cut existing hours....

Stoney deGeyter

Optimizing Your Online PR Strategy for Search & Social, Part 5: Broadcasting Your Message

So far in this series, everything we have discussed has to do with the set-up and creation of your online PR. All of the online elements need to be taken care of before you can push your story out online. Pushing it out before it's ready will lead to a colossal failure. However, how and where you push your message out is just as critical for it's success.

Stoney deGeyter

Optimizing Your Online PR Strategy for Search & Social, Part 4b: Crafting the Story p2

Search engines don't read. They are not really looking for "keywords" as we seem to think, but instead they look for word duplication and context similarities on any given page. The search engines see a bunch of words, and within that content a few repeated words stand out. This gives the search engines clues as to what the topic of the page might be.

Stoney deGeyter

Optimizing Your Online PR Strategy for Search & Social, Part 3: Background Research

The one thing PR professionals need to remember is that, when putting out online content, your target audience is not just journalists. Your online audience should be much bigger than a small group of people who may or may not be interested in writing about your PR.

Stoney deGeyter

Optimizing Your Online PR Strategy for Search & Social, Part 1: Print Vs. Web

There is a big difference between reading things online versus offline. We often want to think that reading is reading is reading. But reading here isn't the same as reading there. The mindset between on- and offline is vast.

Stoney deGeyter

How NOT to Do an Interview: The Basics

A while back, I was asked to participate in an over-the-phone interview that would be later broadcast online. This is one of those interviews where they ask you to provide a list of questions up front so they know what to ask. Sadly, I don't even remember who it was or where the interview ran. But, what I do remember is my faltering missteps during the interview. Yeah, don't pretend it's never happened to you!

Stone Reuning

Distributing your Press Releases for Maximum Impact - Part III

Creating a properly formatted and well written press release is only half the battle. You have to distribute it through various online channels for it to have much impact. Simply posting it on your site will not do very much. PR distribution outlets get your news out there for the whole world to see....

Stone Reuning

Properly Formatting your Press Release for Maximum Impact - Part II

Aside from letting the world know about what's going on at your company, press releases also help your company's website build and maintain high search engine rankings....

Stone Reuning

Properly Formatting Your Press Release for Maximum Impact - Part I

Optimized press releases not only help boost your search engine rankings but help your company build credibility and spread news about new products, events or any other newsworthy item. Properly formatting your press releases gives your company the professional look it deserves....

Sage Lewis

Google Places - Do You Know This Place?

If you aren't familiar with Google Places please watch this video. It's growing and could be significantly affecting your business without your knowing....

Stone Reuning

Choosing the web address for a new website

Our online marketing clients often ask us to help select domain names when setting up a new website. Indeed, there is an argument that the domain name may impact search engine rankings for the site. But we also think that this decision deserves a lot of attention to how it will impact the website's user experience, from the impression it creates when it's first noticed to how easily it's remembered. I'll share with you a few of the things we tell clients here....

Stone Reuning

Reputation Management - Tips for Using Testimonials

Your prospects want to know what other customers think of their experience with you before buying, booking or signing up. And they'll go wherever they need to go to find out. Hence the growth of online review sites like Yelp.com. If you sell in the B2B space, you may be faced with providing references, another form of testimonial. Making customer testimonials available on your own web properties is a great way to keep shoppers and prospects engaged on your site while you provide credible feedback from others....

Aditya Mahesh

A Guide to Pitching Bloggers

From an SEO standpoint, the blogosphere is a goldmine. It provides the opportunity for marketers to build targeted natural "in-content" links which are not only great for increasing search engine rankings, but also can drive significant amounts of targeted traffic...

Karri Flatla

In Blogging You Need Only Think Small to Get Big Results

When I started a blog on my website a few months ago I felt overwhelmed by the sudden responsibility to post fresh content often. It was as if the minute I created a section on my website called "Blog" I was inaugurated into a writer's hell where I felt both stumped and compelled to write all at the same time, all of the time. Then I realized that I was missing the point of blogging, which is to keep a lively conversation going (even if it's sometimes only between you and the WordPress Dashboard). And if you're a decent conversationalist,...

Mack Collier

Social Media is NOT a Silver Bullet

For many businesses, social media can seem to be this mysterious black box that they don't really understand.  But a recent conversation with my friend Tim Jackson reminded me that social media really isn't as mysterious as many companies think....

Mike Moran

More Journalism, Less Marketing

I read a recent interview with marketing guru Guy Kawasaki by Lee Odden, where he said he didn't know anything about search marketing except to "write good stuff." It sounded almost apologetic, but you should know that producing content that people want to spend time with is, in fact, the most important part of search marketing. And small businesses will be happy to know that it doesn't cost much more for lousy content than it does for good stuff—although it does take more talent and more time. So, what is a small business to do about creating good content? My...

Karri Flatla

My Relationship with Facebook: Can We Talk?

I'm probably going to lose a lot of Friends with this post, but I need to get some stuff off my chest about Facebook. If you're a real Friend, you'll listen without judgment. If not, it was nice Facebooking with you. I hope there are no hard feelings left in my wake....

Jennifer Laycock

Spite is Not a Marketing Strategy

Over the past few weeks, I've seen multiple instances of companies using spite and or attacks to try and push themselves ahead of their competitors. I imagine in their minds, painting the competition in a poor light makes their own products and services look that much better. Unfortunately for them, they've missed a key lesson in both life and marketing. If you have to make someone else look bad in order to make yourself look or feel good, you've got a long way to go.

Liana Evans

Most Public Relations Firms Are Not Online Marketers

If you are a small business and you are looking to hire an online marketer, be weary of public relations firms that claim "we can do that" or "we'll bundle that with our services".  Public Relations companies that truly understand online marketing are few and far between, and the ones who really do understand it and do a good job at it, are usually swamped and not taking on new clients....

Sage Lewis

Video: Would your company be missed if it closed today?

Sage highlights an article by Search Engine Guide's Jennifer Laycock that asks vital questions of small businesses in 2008. "Would your company be missed if it closed today?" and "Is your business able to keep its promises?"

Jennifer Laycock

Don't Give Up on the Newspaper Yet...

It's no secret bloggers are the hot new target of new media savvy public relations professionals. Everyone wants to get coverage on the hot blog in their industry. What may be overlooked, however, is the continued power of newspapers when it comes to sparking a trickle-down conversation through the most popular blogs. Joe Mandese at MediaPost shares data on a new Millward Brown study showing that individuals who read online newspapers are more likely to be top "influencers" in the blogosphere than non-newspaper readers.

Jennifer Laycock

Floundering in Blog Obscurity? Join the Conversation!

One of the most common complaints I hear from small businesses who have launched blogs is how difficult it can be to get on the radar. After all, it doesn't matter how great your content is if no one can find it. One of the best ways to build up your reputation in this situation is to leave quality comments on other blogs. Caroline Middlebrook offers up another fantastic post this week discussing this very topic.

Jennifer Laycock

Fighting Back Against Bad Pitches

It's no secret that blogs and social media sites are a great way to get coverage of your web site or your products and services. In fact, teaching small businesses how to approach and pitch bloggers is one of the things I most enjoy writing about. The archives here are full of suggestions and blog posts pointing out the right way to approach people and the wrong way to approach people. That's why I thought it was worth mentioning Wired Editor Chris Anderson's controversial post outing bad PR pitchers.

Jennifer Laycock

4 Lessons in Online Reputation Management from a Small Town Grocer

It's funny how once you get in the mind set of online marketing, you find examples in the least likely places. A few weeks ago while visiting my small hometown in Northeast Ohio I was surprised to find a great example of reputation management from a small company. While the example takes place offline, the four steps they took to manage their reputation could easily (and inexpensively) be reproduced online by any small business.

Jennifer Laycock

One Wrong Way to Approach Bloggers

It seems like the type of advice you really shouldn't have to offer, but apparently companies still don't get it. Each week I sort through link requests, PR pitches and requests from small companies to blog about or write about their product. Sometimes these pitches are exceptionally well thought out, sometimes they're simple, but engaging. Other times, they leave me shaking my head.

Manoj Jasra

Hitwise Expands Targeting Tool

Hitwise, recently announced the launch of a new version of Hitwise Lifestyle, an online targeting tool, which now features Experian MOSAIC™, a preferred household consumer segmentation system. Hitwise Lifestyle provides marketers with robust attitudinal and behavioral customer segmentation data on more than 30,000 websites.

Jennifer Laycock

Building Relationships Works for the Media Too!

More than a year ago I started pushing the idea that link building is relationship building. It's since become a cornerstone of my small business marketing advice. After all, small business has almost always been about networking and word of mouth marketing. It only makes sense to carry those concepts over to the web. Unfortunately, many small businesses limit their relationship building to business associates and social networking communities. Duct Tape Marketing's John Jantsch explained over the weekend why relationship building should also extend to the media.

Debra Mastaler

How To Pitch Bloggers and Journalists

Do you want to get your link embedded press release published on influential blogs? Then read on...

Jennifer Laycock

Don't Just Manage Your Reputation, Respond to Your Competitor's

I've done a fair amount of speaking and teaching about online reputation management in the last two years. After all, you can't effectively play in the social media and search engine optimization fields without an understanding of how to respond to negative mentions. Most of the time, businesses seem to want to learn about the best way to address (or avoid) negative press. Often, I find myself reminding them they should also be focusing on how to address or respond to their competitor's negative press.

Jennifer Laycock

Make One Blogger Happy and You'll Often Make a LOT of Bloggers Happy

With so many companies trying to figure out how to leverage social media and blogs to their marketing advantage, one key point often gets missed. "Just talk to them!" If more companies would spend half the time reading blog posts and responding to them that they spend obsessing about how to get more people to blog about them, they'd be way ahead of the game. In fact, Mack Collier points to a great example of a big company doing exactly that and taking the time to engage their customer evangelists in conversation.

Jennifer Laycock

Why You Should Embrace the New Social Media News Release

The Social Media News Release is designed to encourage a new format for the online press release that does a better job of speaking to media, bloggers and consumers by offering up information in a variety of formats.

Debra Mastaler

Becoming A Media Darling

A couple weeks ago I talked about surveys and how to use the information they provide in your link building efforts. I didn't really think too much about reversing the concept until this popped up in my Bloglines......

Diane Aull

How to NOT Win Friends and Influence Journalists

What happens when you take a basically good idea -- the press release -- and get carried away? Even major companies sometimes engage in tactics that backfire. How can you make sure you don't make a similar mistake?...

Jennifer Laycock

Zipatoni and Sony Slammed for "Flogging"

Wondering what "flogging" is? No, it's not when you take a big old strap and beat yourself senseless with it... (though Sony may be considering the idea right now) it's when you set up a "fake blog" in order to promote a product or service. Internet users are a savvy bunch and they have a way of ferreting out the companies that try to scam them. That's what happened to Sony and the reactions haven't been pretty....

Jennifer Laycock

Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days - Day 28 - Finishing up the Press Release, Making My Mark in Froogle and Learning to Squidoo

The last few days of the Lactivist project were going to be all about wrapping up plans for my press release and solidifying my ongoing marketing plans. That meant day twenty-eight was spent reviewing the final press release copy, making plans for distribution, and exploring a new marketing outlet that might have potential....