Category Archives: Digital and Social Media

Digital and Social Media Sites and Tools (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.)

Key Steps in Preparing For a Social Media Crisis

It is amazing how quickly disaster can strike. It can come from an internal or an external source. Many companies don’t realize how quickly things can get out of control. Even worse, is when crisis strikes and you don’t have a plan because you have been too busy attending to other matters that  you thought were “larger”  or “more important.”

According to PR Daily,  “you need to be continually monitoring your brand reputation, and when the worst happens, you have to be honest, admit your mistake, and share exactly how you plan to fix it. Don’t delete the post, don’t play dumb and ignore it, and above all don’t lie!”

More important is to already have a crisis plan in place that makes sense for your organization. PR Daily offers the following tips to lead you on the right path:

• List each individual social media asset. Who manages what?
• Who handles customer service, sales, and marketing?
• Get them all together in a room.
• What is a crisis? What is a negative comment? What’s the difference? Discuss it.
• Worst-case situations—what would they look like? What could diffuse it? How early would it need to be caught, in terms of monitoring? Discuss this.
• Document the discussion.
• Who should be responsible for what? Who monitors? Who responds? Who facilitates fast approvals, when necessary?
• Map this discussion to a written plan. Distribute it.

And, don’t construct a plan that is so complicated that it never gets off the ground!

 

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8 Ways to Ensure Your PR Firm Competes Well

At Light of Gold PR, we strive to execute effective strategies to reach our goals.  Here are some helpful hints in regards to running a successful Public Relations Firm.

1. Communication is Key. — PR firms should stay in contact with important figures within the company, such as product managers, marketers, customer service representative, etc.  This is a vital step to ensure your firm takes advantage of each opportunity.

2. PR and Marketing Work Together. These two departments will work hand-in-hand.  “Give your PR firm visibility into your marketing efforts. If you’re running weekly email campaigns and planning an event blitz, your PR firm needs to be in the loop” (Cross, Andrew. “PR Daily News: Public Relations News and Marketing in the Age of Social Media | Home. n.p., 26 Apr. 2013. Web. 11 July 2013.)

3. Creativity is imperative.  Thinking “outside of the box” will enhance your firm’s ideas and strategies

4. Ask for assistance in program strategy.  In addition to  beginning with a tactics-approach, requesting help may be beneficial as well.

5.The Hiring Process is Critical.  An employer must be careful when selecting an employee.  They need to be up to speed in a timely manner.

6. Check in regularly. Follow-Ups, whether by phone or email, are important to further your firm’s connection with clients.   As of summer 2013, our team at Light of Gold PR assists our clients in promoting and publicizing their work, their brands, services and their products.

7. Use your firm as a focus group. “By the nature of the profession, PR professionals are plugged in to trends in your industry, and they know what resonates with consumers, businesses, and media. If you aren’t actively tapping into that knowledge base, you aren’t getting enough value from your firm” (Cross, Andrew. “PR Daily News: Public Relations News and Marketing in the Age of Social Media | Home. n.p., 26 Apr. 2013. Web. 11 July 2013.)  This is a key step in continuing your firm’s success.

Light of Gold PR hopes these guidelines will continue your firm’s success.  Of course, the above steps are general.  Only you can tailor your strategies to create the perfect fit for your firm’s specific needs.

New Roles for PR Professionals

In current times, we must constantly adapt to change.  PR has become an industry of “many hats” in a sense, in which new roles form and often overlap.   Regarding an article on PR Daily’s website,  Arment Dietrich CEO Gini Dietrich shares a few points to an audience of PR and communication pros at Ragan Communications’ PR and Social Media Summit in Chicago.

“Technology has completely changed the way we do our jobs,” she said. “We have to learn new skills” (Wilson, Matt. “Four New Roles for PR Pros.” PR Daily News: Public Relations News and Marketing in the Age of Social Media | Home. N.p., 3 May 2013. Web. 11 July 2013.)

1. “Hyper-targeted media and blogger relations”

PR Pros need to read blog to make sure their pitching fits the audience.

2. “Content marketing and search optimization”

Posting to Google+ is a great way to increase your search results.

Other content options include- white papers, e-books, webinars, blogs, etc.  “E-books are a good way to tell if clients are serious, too. Send them a link to an e-book and monitor their reading” (Wilson, Matt. “Four New Roles for PR Pros.” PR Daily News: Public Relations News and Marketing in the Age of Social Media | Home. N.p., 3 May 2013. Web. 11 July 2013).

3. “Issues and crisis management”

Having a crisis plan as a back-up is very important.

“It means counseling executives to go public on an issue before it becomes a crisis.  If you can, become empowered to speak on behalf of the company via social media” (Wilson, Matt. “Four New Roles for PR Pros.” PR Daily News: Public Relations News and Marketing in the Age of Social Media | Home. N.p., 3 May 2013. Web. 11 July 2013).

4. “Metrics”

Measure your progress and the direction you’re going in.

Dietrich offered this formula: “Team salaries + benefits x desired ROI ratio = goal.”

In taking on similar roles, we work with a variety of  positions in pursuing leadership roles at Light of Gold PR.

We are Ambassadors for the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce as well as to serve on their MWBE Committee.  We are also Facilitators for the Brooklyn Chamber’s Before Hours (the Networking Event will be back in September on every second Friday of the month).

Debra, the Founder & CEO of Light of Gold PR, is the VP of PR and Marketing for the NY African American Chamber of Commerce. 

We look forward to working with you soon!

17 Types of Content People Love to Share

According to an article in PR Daily, the 17 types of content that people most love to share include:

1. Lists

Thee reality is, in a time-poor world, giving people a list of things to do—for example, 10 tips for creating a great video—is the type of headline and article people click on. Lists are also easy to read and view.

Example: “10 Powerful Tips to Increase Fan Engagement on Facebook”

2. Negative stories

It’s sad but true: Most people prefer to hear bad news, or things they shouldn’t do. Take the negative angle of a story, and you’ll be surprised by the traffic.

Example: “Personal Branding on LinkedIn: 10 Mistakes to Avoid”

3. Infographics

The last two years have seen the rise of infographics—complex data and information presented as a combination of text and images. Infographics have a propensity to get shared on Pinterest and Twitter.

Example: “23 Hints for Creating Content Google Loves—Infographic

4. Curated content

Take a topic and find some of the best articles on it when you do a Google search. Package it up and serve it to your readers. By putting all that information in one place, you’ll save them time and effort.

5. How-to articles

The appetite people have for simple, step-by-step instructions never ceases to surprise me. Provide a how-to framework that’s easy to read, understand and implement.

Example: “How to Verify Your Pinterest Account and Why You Should

6. News

People want to know what’s happening, whether it’s in their industry, city or the world. Help them find it quickly and easily.

Create, publish and promote this content fast. It has a nasty habit of becoming outdated and irrelevant very quickly.

Example: “Apple Makes Huge Announcement About Twitter

7. Research

Provide research-backed facts in a well-structured article. Many people want proof before they take the first step.

Example: “How 5 Prestige Brands Innovate and Market on Facebook

8. Case studies

Research is great, but real-world case studies are proof something works. Provide a list of case studies, and your online advocates will lap it up and share it.

Example: “5 Successful Facebook Marketing Campaigns—Case Studies

9. Evergreen content

The Web demands fresh news and content every minute of the day. In this frenzy of information, people often forget to tap into the power of evergreen content—content that will be just as relevant in two years as it is today. It is content you can continue to promote and share with your readers for a long time. Create content that offers a framework or covers principles, and you will give it longevity and endurance.

Example: “10 Ways to Launch and Promote a Product Using Social Media

10. Images

Create content that uses screenshots or images to convey an idea, concept or story. Images provide an emotional impact, and see more shares on Facebook than any other content type.

Example: “A Powerful Two-Step System to Increase the Value of Your Facebook Community

11. Video

When creating content, you can share your story and ideas in many ways. Online video now streams easily on the Internet, and you need to include it in your content marketing mix.

12. SlideShare presentations

SlideShare is like YouTube for PowerPoint presentations, and is often underestimated as a way to make your content accessible and attractive. SlideShare is a visual platform that displays ideas and concepts quickly and easily. You can put your articles, research papers and blog posts into a PowerPoint and upload it to SlideShare.

Example: “How to Get Started with Social Media Marketing

13. Top 10 lists

People love to know who or what is on top in any category or sector. Create content about this and watch your traffic spike.

Example: “10 Top Pinterest Boards

 14. Tool or application reviews

Everyone is looking for tools and apps that make life easier. Make it easy for your readers to find and download the software.

Example: “10 Must-Have WordPress Plugins Every Blogger Should Know About

15. Stories that solve problems

Provide step-by-step instructions about the major issues that plague your industry. This content offers enormous value to your readers, and content creation is always about adding value.

Example: “20 Ways to Increase Your Facebook Likes and Engagement

16. Statistics and facts

Content that outlines the latest statistics and facts is always an option that produces clicks and shares. People are intrigued by the bigger and better, and articles about this are always a hit.

Example: “72 Fascinating Social Media Marketing Facts and Statistics for 2012″

17. Quotes

Put a quote on Twitter or Facebook and watch the likes leap. There’s nothing like an inspiring quote to put a gleam in someone’s eye.

Example: Stephen King on what it takes to be a good writer: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

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Get more Brand Interest with Pinterest! Connect and Pin your way to success!…:)

Are you looking for ways to get more benefits out of using Pinterest? Try these tips:

Based on suggestions from PRSA [the Public Relations Society of America], the following tips can be implemented to boost results on this platform:

  • Create a Pinterest newsroom including blog posts, pitches, expert opinion, or video that can mirror or enhance your website’s newsroom.
  • Think visually, the more immediately captivating the pin is, the more likely it is to be repinned. Also try to write things in a list form so it is easy to read.
  • Have a guest pinner board, to get the guests involve with your board is a great way of networking.
  • Utilize an executive staff pinboard that links headshots to biographies, bylined articles, and content that demonstrates their credibility.
  • Create a pinboard that fits your news topics to capitalize on search traffic.
  • A niche pinboard can target your audience and complement your press releases.
  • Make use of SEO (search engine optimization.  Optimize pins by using the same keywords that your press release does.
 Check out Light of Gold’s Pinterest page at http://pinterest.com/lightofgoldpr/
Visit us at http://www.lightofgoldpr.com.  See you soon!…:)

Online Marketing Campaigns

The internet is a great place to generate business, and with social media generating business has never been easier. Business have been taking the opportunity to launch online campaigns to sell their products using the social media available to them. This isn’t limited to small businesses—big businesses have found success as well. According to the Times Online (London), big businesses such as Nike and Diet Coke have found much success in selling their products due to video campaigns. Most recently, according to Mashable.com, a YouTube video campaign for Old Spice featuring the Old Spice Guy has doubled the sales of the company.

The great thing about online campaigns is that once a campaign is started, other people online start spreading the word. Here are a few tips on how to make an online campaign work for your business:

-Incorporate the campaign into all of your social media outlets. That way, anyone visiting any of your sites will be aware of this campaign and it will be easier for them to spread the word via whichever social media site they happen to be using.

-E-mail campaigning can also be successful. People can forward your e-mails to their other contacts, and your e-mail can include links to all of your other social media sites.

-Consider a video campaign. Some of the most successful online campaigns have been done using clever video advertizing, as in the case of the Old Spice campaign. If you can come up with a video advertisement people will enjoy watching, and will want others to watch, don’t hesitate to make that video.

-Remember to keep the message constant. You may end up using various social media outlets and forms of advertizing, but you can’t let your main ideas get scattered. People will understand what your business is about much faster if your main message is kept constant between all sites and all forms of advertisement .

-Get creative. Some of the best advertizing campaigns have been based on creative ideas using social media resources. A good example of this is Ikea’s Facebook campaign for a store in Sweden, in which the store posted pictures of sample rooms online and the first person to tag an item would get it. This resulted in increased business for the store. By finding creative ways to use the social media resources you have, you can generate an online campaign that customers will be excited about.

Online marketing campaigns involve a lot of strategy and creativity, but if you can get it right the amount of success is worth the hard work. Happy Campaigning!

Five Easy Tips In Social Media Etiquette

Social media has become overpopulated with usage by millions of people globally. Twitter has been frequently experiencing “Too many tweets…” as shown on Twitters over capacity page. Now that businesses have also begun to take advantage of social media, professionalism and the etiquette of how to use social media properly has emerged.

There is a whole new culture forming with social media etiquette at the center. Even the Associated Press recently released a guide to social media that includes commonly used terms, such as ‘follow’ (for Twitter), ‘friend’ (for Facebook), and abbreviations commonly used in internet and text messages, such as ‘lol’ for ‘laugh out loud’. Getting accustomed to the new wave of communicating while practicing professionalism and etiquette may be a challenge for many professionals if proper etiquettes are not being utilized

Here are 5 easy tips on social media etiquette:

-According to Forbes.com, messages received by phone and e-mail are priority and should be answered first before responding to social media messages. This should also give you an idea of how to send/respond to more urgent messages. If a message is deems your attention, send it by phone or e-mail first. Social media outlets are for less urgent messages.

-Certain etiquette rules are unique to certain social media sites. Twitter users, for example, should be mindful of postings; according to CNN.com “Every 140-character snippet of info you’ve ever shared publicly on twitter will soon have a home next to the declaration of independence.” The United states library of Congress have started archiving tweets. Facebook users should be careful as well, in regards to their wall posting or on those of other users, since all postings appear in the public newsfeed. Anything you don’t want anyone to see should be sent in a private Facebook message or even through other means, such as e-mail.

-Social media has allowed businesses to communicate with their employees outside of work, using sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and technology like the Blackberry. It is important to strike a healthy balance between your social and professional time, while keeping in mind vital obligations, such as family.

-According to baselinemag.com, businesses can also monitor employees’ social media usage. While some businesses encourage social media usage as a way to advertise, other businesses punish employees for inappropriate use. If you are looking for employment, some companies monitor Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, so it would be wise to watch what you post to either. It may cost you a job.

-Don’t spend too much time on social media, especially in a business setting. Some businesses allow employees to use social media during work, while others would discourage it. Either way, your career or job is always more important than any social media site

Hopefully this Social Media Etiquette Tip Sheet will give you the guidance you need to navigate the world of social media with traditional communication.

Blackberry vs iPhone for Business

About 3 years ago, I took the plunge and grudgingly purchase my first Blackberry. I fought purchasing a Smartphone because I’ve always heard what an “electronic leash” a Smartphone or in my case, a Blackberry, could become. Needless to say, my Blackberry has reinvented how I do business, allowed me to be more mobile, organized, and even global while extending my digital reach.

iPhone vs Blackberry

So which Smartphone is best? When it comes to deciding which Smartphone is best, businesses may find themselves at a standstill in comparing the Blackberry and the iPhone. Numerous media including Youtube, Facebook and even Twitter involvement has increased awareness and in some cases answered this business woe.

The Blackberry has been around since 1999 but with new models, such as the Blackberry Bold, the Blackberry Curve, and the Blackberry Storm, Blackberry has increased its awareness within the last 6 years with over 2 million subscribers worldwide. Also originating in 1999, the Apple iPhone before the addition of its touch features was launched and in June of 2007 the iPhone as we know it debuted; by October of the same year it was given the titled, invention of the year by Time Magazine. The newer model, iPhone 3G is gaining in popularity and according to TechCrunch.com, the Apple iPhone makes up 50% of Smartphone’s web traffic, while the Blackberry makes up 21%.

Choosing between a Blackberry and an iPhone may be more of a matter of preference than of functionality. According to the consumer debate on iphonevsblackberry.com, “…the blackberry was the best phone in 2007 hands down, but the iPhone is the phone of 2014.” Need help deciding on which phone is better for your business needs? Here’s a quick comparison between both Smartphone’s:

-The Blackberry uses Verizon Wireless as its service and generally has not experienced problems. The iPhone recently experienced reception problems with their service, AT&T.

-The iPhone runs iPhone OS, which is the most advanced Smartphone technology in the world. The Blackberry runs Windows Mobile, which is less advanced. Essentially, comparing the iPhone system and the Blackberry System is like comparing Mac to Windows.

-Blackberry has an enhanced e-mail system, in which documents can be downloaded and edited.  iPhone documents can’t be edited. If you’re needs include editing documents on the go, this would be an important point to consider.

-Both have a 480 x 320 pixel screen. The Blackberry would seem to have a better quality picture, but the iPhone is not far behind. As an added bonus, when not using the keyboard the iPhone has the advantage of having images expand for full screen viewing.

-Blackberry allows you to access Microsoft Outlook, and has the look and feel of a desktop (complete with a keyboard). The iPhone still needs work in the Microsoft software arena, however it has a fully functional on screen, touch keyboard that adjust with the shifting of the of the phone from portrait to landscape viewing.

-Both the Blackberry and the iPhone are roughly in the same price wise, between $199-$299 with a contract with a service provider and depending on which model and applications you choose.

Generally, the Blackberry has been a tool for businesses, while the iPhone has been a consumer product with improvements to be made for business use. Both phones, however, are excellent, and depending on your business needs either one would be an asset. It’s all a matter of preference.

Happy Shopping!

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Making Sure Your Brand is Personal AND Successful Online

Personal branding using social media sites is becoming increasingly
popular as the number of social media users continues to rise. Not
only is online personal branding popular, it also might be a
requirement. According to businessweek.com, during this recession
personal branding using social media is a necessity. Using social
media isn’t just about having a profile here and there. The ‘branding’
part of online marketing takes a little more involvement. Mashable.com
recently posted a list of their Top 10 Smartest Big Brands, in which
they revealed the branding strategies of successful businesses:
Comcast uses Twitter as a line of communication for customer service,
IMB allows their employees to blog about their experiences, Starbucks
set up a website to get suggestions from customers (which can then be
voted on), and Burger King took Facebook by storm with an interesting
new application.—-Here are a few tips on how:
-Have a logo that’s consistently displayed on all your profiles and
websites.  This will make it easy for people to recognize your
business and remember who you are and what you do.

-Google yourself. It’s good to know what comes up about you or your
business in a search, as well as how much comes up. If you feel that
your business isn’t showing up well on search engines, add more tags
to your posts, more text content to your website, and remember to
update frequently (Special Tip:  Set up a Google Alert on you & your
company name.  Light of Gold PR did this and we get an Alert whenever
someone mentions us in Blogs, Articles, etc.  It works and helps us to
monitor our brand.)

-Pay attention to what your customers are saying. Social media makes
it easy to have a two-way conversation between business and customer.
If people are giving you suggestions, take them
-Be aware of your audience. It helps to know who’s keeping track of your
profiles, and what to post; as well as what NOT to post.
-Be helpful. In order to gain people’s trust you have to help them out by giving them relevant information and advice that they can use. Once they see that you’re a
reliable source, they’ll come back and bring others with them.

-Take advantage of the great features that social media sites offer.
Twitter and Facebook allow for quick status updates.  Tell
people what you’re doing or what cool article you’ve found online.

-Get creative.  If you have a blog, go into detail about what’s going
on in your company. The most successful businesses have taken social
media and ran with it. You could create a fun Facebook App like Burger King did or create polls like Starbucks did to vote for the best suggestions. And with YouTube you have the freedom of expression with videos.
If social media gives you the tools, USE THEM TO THEIR GREATEST POTENTIAL.
Happy Personal Branding!

Search Engine Marketing

Search engines have been an integral part of the internet, even longer than the social media sites, and now the businesses are taking advantage. The big search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and now Bing, provide areas for a whole new level of marketing that is not only different from social media marketing, but also enhances the social media aspect. The small businesses are taking notice. According to imediaconnection.com, since the end of 2009 small businesses spent 30% more on search engine marketing. The social media sites also realizing the advantages of search engines. According to mashable.com, Google has made deals with Facebook and Twitter, and Yahoo! And Bing have followed close behind, allowing for information to be more easily accessible.

The great thing about search engines is that the results are, for the most part, what you are looking for. If someone types in ‘pianos’, the websites for businesses that sell pianos would show up, as well as any paid advertisements.

If you’re looking to make yourself more accessible to the search engines but want to hold off on spending money for advertisements, don’t be worried. There are plenty of ways to get search engines like Google to pick up on your business. The main thing is to make you searchable. Here are a few tips:

– The web address of your website is very important. If you want your business to show up on the search engines, make sure that the name of your business appears in your web address. You may want to opt for an address like this one: http://www.nameofyourbusiness.com

–  Make sure the content of your home page, including your title, includes relevant information. The title should be that of your business and perhaps what it does. The rest of the content should be a description of your business. This way, certain search terms will pick up on the textual content of the page and direct users towards your site. This allows people to find you if they don’t know the name of your business.

-If you have multiple web outlets, such as your website and various social networking profiles, make sure everything is consistent between them. This will make all of the sites easier to find.

– When you link to any website, make sure that it has good quality content related to the context of your business. Similarly, make sure that websites linking to you are of good quality. Potential customers will trust more in legitimate and helpful links.

-Make sure to update your website frequently with current and up-to-date content. Search engines pick up on more recently refreshed items, so you’ll have a greater chance of showing up in a search.

In short, make sure that your site can be easily found. If you’re not sure, Google your business to see what turns up. Happy Marketing!