Facebook cover photos give brand a great opportunity to express their unique style and brand messages and these are 50 of the best designed pages...
[Lots of content marketing inspiration here ~ Jeff]
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Resources for journalists and storytellers who are learning to use multimedia tools and techniques.
Soundslides is a simple tool that builds simple audio slideshows, with optional captions. That’s all it does. But that’s actually quite a lot — especially because Soundslides is truly “ridiculously simple” to use.
Soundslides does not produce video files, and you cannot import video into Soundslides. (If you have paid for your copy of Soundslides, see this page.)
Soundslides uses still photos, a single audio file (MP3 format) and text.
To see a good example of what Soundslides can do, watch this story from National Public Radio: Crafting China’s Future Champions (2008)....
[Mindy McAdams reviews this useful tool in detail ~ Jeff]
A picture is worth…. You know. But the newest research on social media suggests a picture is worth even more than a thousand words when it comes to strengthening your company’s brand.
There’s a strong trend in social media toward all things visual. A 2012 study by ROI Research shows that with more people engaging with social media from smartphones (63% of the 1,297 people queried), they’re discovering that taking pictures on the go with a high-resolution smartphone is much easier than typing out a status update....
[Pictures deliver results. ~ Jeff]
Tweet Tweet Social media marketing may not be rocket science, but there is still a large science component to it. If you want your content to spread, you have to look at the numbers and stop making gut decisions.
Over the last 5 years I’ve learned how to successfully push content out on through social media so that it spreads virally. And more importantly I’ve learned what not to do.
So if you want to ensure that your content spreads, avoid the following 7 mistakes...
[Quick Sprout CEO @NeilPatel shares valuable insight and social media experience ~ Jeff]
Press releases need to be promoted socially in order to get maximum exposure. Which social channel drives greater brand awareness for businesses?
Are you using social media platforms to augment your PR efforts? If not, consider these PR tips for the two most popular social media sites: Facebook and Twitter....
The power of stories has become a part of our cultural dialogue. From articles in Fast Company to The New York Times, and applied across different topics from sports to business to marketing, story is the genre of choice for 2012.
In fact, Direct Marketing News forecasted this to be “the year of the story,” and London-based agency BergHind Joseph identified it as a trend among the Global Fortune 500, even dubbing its 2012 Global Players study, “The Power of Storytelling.” We also find companies such as Nike, Google, Kimberly-Clark, and 3M, among others, using storytelling as a means of communication and leadership.
When it comes to brands and marketing, the application of story now needs to go beyond the traditional and ubiquitous tool of brand story; rather, it’s about engaging consumers in a brand’s stories and using the construct of stories and storytelling to create powerful connections. While the transition to digital media drove a focus toward content, today with ever more social tools and communication media, there’s a need for cohesive and meaningful connections in a marketing world that is now labeled “always on,” demanding more of brand communication. This is where story comes into play....
[Storytelling hits its stride as large organizations look for breakthrough opportunities to connect with customers or other key audiences ~ Jeff]
Storytelling is a powerful approach that can, when done right, compel users to convert more effectively than what any amount of optimization, crazy visual callouts, or awesome interactive elements can do otherwise. Much like how we expect to see a moral at the end of a book, we expect to find a purpose at the end of a site with a storytelling experience. When the path to the “moral of the story” (or conversion point, to be more specific) is laid out clearly in front of our users’ eyes, the rest of the work lies simply in convincing them that the purpose is really worth grabbing on to… which is great since with storytelling, a user is normally in the mindset of learning more about what the story has to offer. So take a look at the examples below and experience how their visual storytelling compels you to continue scrolling down their pages!...
[30 very inspiring examples of storytelling online for bloggers, writers and content pros. Just dive in! ~ Jeff]
As a facilitator, I have learned to have great empathy for the people attending day long sessions. Personally, I can’t bear sitting for four hours in a meeting, let alone eight. Having empathy for people you are communicating with in any environment is a good starting place. At the gym this morning there was a woman chatting loudly and being quite giggly to another woman on the elliptical. The quiet, non-giggly woman was looking around sheepishly to see if her pal was irritating others while Ms. Babylon chit-chatted on. Rather than frown, I gave her a small nod and smile to let her know I felt her pain.
Empathy is a great connector. I often acknowledge that people are giving up a weekend with family or sitting indoors on a bright spring day when starting my sessions. I know they are thinking about the 10 other things they would rather be doing. Usually by the end of the day, they have forgotten all about their preferred plans as they are engaged and, hopefully, feel somewhat entertained and enthused by what they have accomplished. The three E’s, empathy, engagement and entertainment, can frame any encounter from a lunch with a friend to a major presentation....
[A thoughtful perspective on communications and facilitating from Della Smith ~ Jeff]
News is hardwired into the PR psyche. Need to gain some coverage? Then cook up a news release.
To write news well, you have to wear a thinking hat called ‘events’. Features requires a different mindset: you need to put on a thinking hat named ‘ideas’ or ‘issues’.
[Richard Bailey offers a three step program for more effective media relations ~ Jeff]
Building relationships with technology journalists can go a long to way opening the inroads to the national media.
It can be challenging for technology companies, especially non-public organizations, to get media placements for their products or services. Securing national coverage takes more than having a good story. With the contraction in the industry, many technology reporters feel overwhelmed and simply don’t have time to deal with marketing and PR professionals who are not valuable resources.
3 tips to secure national media coverage by technology journalists...
[Just the basics... ~ Jeff]
More than 1,200 people who struggle daily with homelessness and survival attended the Community Resource Exchange. I saw a story in each person – it was my job was to tell their stories with pictures and tweets.
This was a task I thought a lot about the night before the event. I wanted to tell stories, but I also wanted to be careful to be respectful and not invade privacy. I often cringe when I watch news coverage of such events showing the faces of people – in an unemployment line, at foreclosure help conference, those type of events. I worry about the dignity and privacy of those people.
The most difficult part of the day was looking into the dining room as the tables filled. I saw men who looked like my brothers, women who could be my mother. I didn’t want to go in, I wanted to be on the outskirts where I could stay somewhat removed. I had a lump in my throat and tears filled my eyes.
[Nice storytelling by @ImeldaDulcichPR ~ Jeff]
The way Pinterest grew had little to do with Silicon Valley wisdom.
Pinterest, which CEO Ben Silbermann describes as a tool that helps people find inspiration, is now the third-largest source of referral traffic on the Internet.
[Really like Silberman's thinking about launching a product and avoiding groupthink ~ Jeff]
A blog post on search engine authority SEOMoz titled "How I Got a Link from the Wall Street Journal" offers some real instruction for PR pros on linking content - and public relations outputs - with measureable, top-line business results.
It's worth noting that the author of the post - and the content marketing campaign discussed - is Larry Kim, the founder and CTO of Wordstream, a search marketing firm. (There's another link for you, Larry - I know you're counting.) In short, he is a data-driven quant, C-suite denizen and SEO guru. And within his case study is some very important guidance for public relations pros....
[Some good ideas about using content marketing to develop stronger SEO ~ Jeff]
This is a project I have enjoyed working on this past summer. This year, The Duke Endowment released their annual report using storytelling as the main communication initiative.
I worked with them to find and tell stories inside each of the grants they support, exposing the audience to true core of this initiative.
I love how they used an integrated communications approach on so many facets...
[Storytelling has impact when it's done right ~ Jeff]
This weekend I saw a perfect example of a great piece of PR.
Richard Herman has spent the weekend being interviewed by national newspapers, TV news channels and radio stations after he successfully charged £220 to a cold calling company for wasting his time. Why is that a great PR story? Because, as the Daily Mail pointed out quite blatantly in its story, Richard runs a company that sells call recording equipment. It was his experience doing this that gave him the knowledge to achieve his goal of exacting revenge on a company that kept calling his home phone when he had asked them to stop.
[He won his cse in court and the court of public opinion ~ Jeff]
TEKGROUP 2012 Online Newsroom Report highlights best practices TEKGROUP's 2012 Online Newsroom Survey Report highlights several important trends and offers clear direction for those planning a newsroom or revitalizing their existing one.
[Here's a look at online newsrooms, several exaples of best practices and tips for better results ~ Jeff]
Whether you work in brand marketing or corporate communications for a consumer brand, not-for-profit, b2b company, or at an advertising, public relations, branding or social media agency – there is one constant about the space: creativity.
[Like many PR pros, I get frustrated when "PR" gets branded as a problem when it is often thoughtless marketing or shallow publicity attempst that create a problem or crisis. Guess who usually gets called in to clean up the mess? ~ Jeff]
Via Sara Duane-Gladden, Janine Lloyd
The following are 35 resources including networks specifically created to help you connect with bloggers, guides for guest blogging and blogger outreach, and guest post opportunities for marketers.
If you want to increase exposure for your business (beyond optimizing your website for search and growing your social media audience), then guest blogging and blogger outreach are avenues you may wish to explore. When you connect with bloggers in your industry, you are given platforms for communicating with your potential customers like never before....
[What a great resource for bloggers, PR and marketers from the folks at KISSmetrics! ~ Jeff]
The Stratos extravaganza is an example of the pinnacle of a brand as media company. While Red Bull is unique, its success has lessons for all marketers.
The marketing world woke up today with Red Bull envy. At a time when brands talk of being publishers, Red Bull showed how this can be done on a grand scale: enabling Felix Baumgartner to complete a historic (and awfully cool) skydive from “the edge of space.”
The Red Bull Stratos spectacle drew millions to Red Bull’s site, with YouTube serving over 9 million streams of the leap. The Austrian energy drink brand cemented itself as the Coke of the sharable content era, willing to spend freely to produce content so good that it is indistinguishable from non-marketing content. Red Bull truly is a media company that happens to sell soft drinks.
You can imagine how many brands will look at Stratos and ask their agencies to “get me one of those.” Easier said than done. Red Bull has spent many years building up a powerhouse media arm that’s central to the company. Yes, there are lessons a GE can draw from Stratos, but there are just as many risks....
Elminate the excess -- from your products, your organization and your own mind.
In our world of excess everything, savvy innovators realize that less is actually best. They know that delivering a memorable and meaningful experience hinges on user engagement, which is best achieved through a subtractive approach. Anything excessive, confusing or wasteful is intelligently and cleverly removed, or never added in the first place.
Over the past six years I've looked at more than 2,000 ideas — products, services, processes and strategies. Those that achieved the maximum effect with an elegant, minimalist approach all had a few common characteristics....
[Quick read, great advice from Matthew May. ~ Jeff]
Senior editor of Bulldog Reporter Richard Carufel talks to Heidi Sullivan, global vice president of media research at Cision, to discuss our products, influencers, and content marketing.
“A lot of trend spotting you need to do at niche level with bloggers,” Sullivan says. “It’s not always about eyeballs and impressions.”
According to the Content Marketing Institute, the biggest goals of content marketers are brand awareness, thought leadership and engagement with community.
“That’s really at the heart of what PR does,” Sullivan says. “As we look at ways to amplify content, we need to go away from just the traditional press release and pitching the media and find ways to connect with our end users.”...
[Heidi Sullivan looks at "story marketing." ~ Jeff]
It’s that time of the year again. New students are embarking on new courses, full of expectations. Yet this most obvious of questions is not that easy to answer.
[I really enjoyed these thoughtful responses from first-year public relations students ~ Jeff]
What’s the value of a media list?
These apps can help you snap better visuals, edit them and then post to the web.
Whether for business or personal reasons, people are snapping pictures with their mobile devices and sharing them online and over social networks.
We recently published the App 100, a collection of the best apps across all platforms. Realizing that 100 apps is a lot to digest, we decided to break up the list by category. Many, we realized, are apps for taking, editing and posting your photos and videos.
Here's our definitive list of the best photography and video apps you can get today...
Several new, several useful ~ Jeff