2011 is shaping up to be an exciting and productive year for Tuvel, and this is something I created as part of some big plans we have in the works.
This bridge infographic demonstrates how outreach and social media marketing/community-building go hand in hand - creating brand evangelists in the process. We believe that the two elements, while effective on their own, are much more effective and successful when working together at the same time to build community and buzz around a brand, product, event or cause.Posted by Kari Rippetoe at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
It's been a few months since our last edition of "What We're Reading", and we thought it was high time to bring it back - especially with all the fantastic posts we've been reading and resources we've found about social media, blogger outreach and online marketing. Here are a sampling of what we've discovered, all wrapped up in a handy post for your Friday reading enjoyment:
Photo credit: jalalspages
July is almost over - and it was a scorcher, wasn't it? Luckily, we've had a few cool things to read about social media, location-based marketing, cause marketing and PR - while staying indoors. Enjoy, and stay cool this weekend!
Posted by Kari Rippetoe at 10:57 AM | Permalink
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Photo by Andy Henley
An ongoing dilemma for companies and organizations is defining successful online communication and outreach programs. If this is a dilemma you’re currently facing, then perhaps your online communications program is in need of a tune-up.
But, how do you know for sure? Try asking yourself some of the questions that follow:
Many communication and marketing departments define program goals before executing a campaign. Such strategic planning allows us to compare results to expectations. For example, are you trying to drive traffic to a website or event, create awareness, sell more products or services, build a house e-mail list, or perhaps raise funds? Have you assigned metrics to these goals? Maybe you want to grow an e-mail list by 10 percent, drive 500 new attendees to an event or even raise a million dollars. Preliminary numbers or even educated guestimates can provide a baseline for future efforts.
Another way to gauge success is to compare the results that your program is getting against industry standards. Typically, a grassroots online outreach campaign is executed via email, so we’re referring to metrics such as open, click-through and bounce rates. You may also measure success by the number of responses you receive from those on your outreach list.
Most importantly, however, is how well your program is converting for you – are people acting on the communications you’re sending? Are you selling or signing up more people as a result of online communication efforts? This is where it’s important to track your campaigns from first click to final conversion using tracking URLs for your campaign links. For instance, we use tracking URLs provided by Google Analytics.
In terms of deliverability success, have you tested your content, headers and footers against a spam content checker? Doing so will help you track how your messages are treated. Another best practice to aid with deliverability is to implement a list hygiene program to routinely clean your lists by removing bad names and incorrect e-mail addresses.
Some organizations rely on customer feedback to improve outreach programs, and it is important to have that feedback loop in place. Are customers engaged and providing feedback? When’s the last time you asked customers and supporters what information they wanted to receive? Along the same lines, do customers pass your communications along to friends and colleagues? Would you even know if they passed the word along about your company or organization? Do you make it easy for them to share your communications – such as through email and social networks?
In the world of communications 2.0, consumer-generated media such as blogs and social networks (i.e. Twitter and Facebook) are helping to define success and your online presence. It’s important that you’re actively and regularly monitoring these mediums. In addition to customers, what are others saying about your organization or brand? Have you Googled your company lately? What’s the buzz in your sector or industry?
Lastly, are you doing all that you can to make your programs a success? Do you syndicate content through RSS readers and partnerships? Do you make it easy for decision-makers to find your company or offerings through search engines and your website’s media room? Have you explored other communication and content marketing vehicles, such as wikis, video and podcasts? Are you delivering a consistent message across both traditional and interactive channels?
For information on how you can put a Tuvel Communications program to work for your company, organization, product, service or event, just contact us.
In my previous post, I talked about the importance of a community outreach program to find your rock stars. To reiterate what community outreach is, it's engaging and building relationships with your influential customers (your "rock stars") in order to generate positive word-of-mouth for your company, organization, and/or products. I highly recommend reading the previous post to get a better idea of the importance of and principles behind community outreach, but today I'm going to talk about how to find your rock stars through community outreach.
Community outreach is more of an art than a science – it is, after all, about relationship-building. There are certainly different methodologies depending on the audience and marketing channel (blogs, forums, groups, social networks, etc.); however, there is a set of best practices that form the foundation of any community outreach program.
Today, I'd like to share with you Tuvel's outreach methodology in the hopes it gives you a better understanding of these best practices.
Step 1: Articulate Goals & Develop a Plan — Like with any marketing and communications campaign, it’s very important to define achievable goals and lay out a clear plan for your community outreach program. Ask yourself these questions:
Step 3: Identify & Validate Groups — As you conduct your research, be sure to validate each group and individual for overall effectiveness as message carriers, based on criteria such as marketing opportunity, activity (has anything been posted recently?) and relevance. Actually read some of the posts on each blog, forum, or group to get a good idea of the hot topics and how you can best be of benefit to them.
Step 4: Create Contact Database - Include information for researched bloggers and other new media publishers. Each entry includes the name of the communication vehicle, marketing channel, contact name and e-mail address.
Step 5: Communications Planning - Develop appropriate campaign messages based on audience, marketing channel and mode of communication for those identified, then test messages to determine the most appropriate formats for online dissemination. It’s also important to give a very brief background and get to the ask as quickly as possible – don’t make the message too long or heavy with marketing-speak. Speak to your community in their language.
Step 6: Program Execution — Once messaging is right, begin rolling out the campaign:
Step 8: Program Reporting and Analysis - You’ve already determined your metrics for success as part of step 1, so now it’s time to analyze the effectiveness of your program and return on investment. This also includes gauging response and feedback to your program from those to which you reached out. Don’t wait until the end of your program to do this – it’s important to gauge effectiveness throughout the campaign (see step 9).
Step 9: Revise, Improve and Do It Again —Revise your messaging based on feedback and campaign response. Test different messages to determine best response.
Our methodology will, of course, differ from other methodologies for outreach programs – but this will still give you a basic idea of how you can find and reach out to your rock stars – and build lasting relationships with them. For examples of how Tuvel has implemented community outreach on behalf of clients, check out our case studies for the National Association of Broadcasters and Share Our Strength.
Welcome to the newest feature on the Tuvel blog, "What We're Reading"! This is a weekly rundown of the articles, blog posts, videos, and other media we found interesting and thought-provoking enough to share with you, the discerning reader.
Here's what we were reading this week:
Photo credit: DavidDMuir
How do you use PR to reach your buyers? Do you issue press releases and pitch to your media list of journalists, hoping to get a write-up or some sort of media exposure? Or do you reach out directly to the people who are actively buying and evangelizing your products or services and influencing hundreds or thousands (hundreds of thousands, even) other buyers via blogs, forums, social networks, news sites, podcasts, and other consumer communities – your rock stars?
Let me ask you another question: which one of these methods just mentioned do you think is more effective?
OK, I didn't mean to lead you on this, because even if you're using the former method (press releases to a media list), you may be getting the results you want – and that's excellent. I'm not trying to say that there's a right answer and a wrong answer, but I am telling you that in the last 5 years, outreach has become so much more than simply media outreach. The PR landscape has shifted to community outreach. According to David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR (an excellent book I highly recommend, by the way), "The Internet has made public relations public again, after years of almost exclusive focus on media."
What is community outreach? It's about generating positive word-of-mouth and building relationships with your influential customers in order to drive conversions (whether that's buying a product, attending a conference, subscribing to a publication, getting donations or another action taken). It's also about finding, as I mentioned before, your rock stars. These are actual customers who are bloggers, forum admins, list owners, group leaders, or other thought leaders who are actively talking about your products and spreading the good word about your company to other buyers like them; but, most importantly, they are influencers within your customer community. When they talk, people listen.
So, if a press clip and media exposure is what you want, then the media is who you reach out to. If you want buyers, though, you find and reach out to your rock stars. This is why community outreach is so crucial to both your PR and marketing efforts. Besides, if you don’t find the influencers, you can be sure that the competition (or even your "coop-etition" – a cross between a competitor and someone with which you're in cooperation/partnership) will!
But you don't just pitch to them like you would a media list of journos – you have to build relationships by following these principles:
Posted by Kari Rippetoe at 12:58 PM | Permalink
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Here at Tuvel Communications, we have executed conference and expo social media programs for clients like the NAB Show and 1105 Government Information Group. We've learned several lessons along the way, and I thought it would be useful to get these thoughts down on digital paper to share with you so can be better prepared when it comes to social media marketing at events.
Having said all of that, don't underestimate the importance of feedback from conference organizers, attendees and exhibitors. It's easy to feel excitement in the air when you hear comments like "you guys are doing something different this year" or "there really is a lot of activity, I notice it."
We were recently approached by a non-profit who wanted some quick advice on how to target the distribution of their press release to a specific city (known as "geo-targeting"). This is a great question, because there are so many press release distribution services that boast national exposure to major outlets; but what if national distribution isn't what you want? What if you just want local coverage of your news?
Now, it should be pointed out that before you think about distribution, you should think about how to geo-target the content of the press release itself by using city- or region-specific keywords. There was a fantastic suggestion we received via LinkedIn: “Lots and lots of freelancers and journos cover areas in which they aren't located physically. You wouldn't want to miss coverage by focusing the actual distribution of the message on a specific area.” With this in mind, you may want to consider national distribution.
We set out looking for the best tools and methods for local distribution of press releases, and we came up with some very interesting solutions that are simple and either no-cost or low-cost.
Update: see Stowe's updates and summary here
as posted to AdMarketing
Well, you should. The 'kill or revise the press release' debate has been going on for some time but seems to be picking up steam. At the moment, there's an argument raging about last week's Third Thursday SF event on new media press releases. I think that Chris supports revamping the press release through standards like Microformats. I think that Stowe is saying the press release is wrong and adding new media tools as window dressing won't help. He is actually questioning "the outmoded thinking about PR and social media."
As you probably know, press releases are beginning to include community building features such as Del.icio.us, Furl, Digg and, of course good old fashioned RSS. New media tools are being added to increase traffic (although it's up for debate whose traffic is being increased!), engage and listen to the conversation. As companies open up the communications process and become more transparent, there's also something to be said for getting away from the broadcast, corporate speak mode.
The bigger issue might be the changing or evolving face of PR. In addition to the media, are you writing press releases for people that read Yahoo! and Google News? Are you incorporating social media tools in your press releases? Are clients asking for these services? Or, is all of this just blogger talk with the original press release format here to stay?
What do you think?
Technorati Tags:Posted by Mitch at 02:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
What's interesting is that some PR folks tell me that clients aren't asking for blogging, tagging and social networks. What companies and orgs know though is that things are changing. They sense that customers and supporters are getting info and news from different sources these days-- away from the mainstream and their Websites. 'Engagement' seems to be a word that Corporate America, not only the non-profit sector is picking up on.
I don't necessarily hear it alot but also sense that most corporate communication departments know that they've already lost some control over the message.
So, the question is: are the agencies leaving money on the table by not listening to the conversation or even asking the right questions?
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This comes from the DC Communicator broadcast (no link to their website- it's down at the moment).
Social Media and the Press Release
The concept that more and more people are consuming information when and where they want also is of interest to Dan McGinn who heads The McGinn Group. McGinn, a regular contributor to the DC Communicator, has these observations:
Social media sites like MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, Second Life and Facebook are rapidly gaining on more established portals/search engines such as Google and Yahoo! People with common interests come together on these sites to spend time and share their creations, information and experiences. In June, two out of every three people online visited a social networking site.
You can read the rest of the post here.
One of the best reads on the new press release stratedgy is The New Rules of PR :: How to create a press release strategy for reaching buyers directly by David Meerman Scott.
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