Why Saying No Is The Next Big PR and Marketing Strategy

It sucks to say no to a great public relations and marketing client. But it’s the most powerful thing you can do for your business.

This morning I had to write an email to really great company that will have a bright future and, hopefully, a great public relations and marketing campaign. The reason I said no is no indictment on them – they’re a fascinating group doing truly wonderful things – or indeed an indictment on myself. It was a choice that I made for the health of my great PR agency, for the great people who work for me and for my own mental health. Focusing on less is a good idea in PR and marketing, and that “less” may mean “one less client.”

The simplest way to put it – I didn’t think we could actually help them. This doesn’t mean we’d do nothing for them, or indeed that they’d even be that unhappy, but that it would never quite be enough for what their goals were. I would have trouble impressing more than a few reporters, my team and I would spend untold hours brainstorming trying to come up with a way – some way – to make them happy.

So today, I want you to start saying No.

Say No To Bad Clients

You know the feeling – you take the call thinking that maybe there’s something there. You run a great PR and marketing agency, you want to get a consistent flow of business – after all, you’re a profit-centered company, so you take these calls. You look at the product, and instead of that flash of brilliance you expect on the other end of the phone, your fears are confirmed – the product isn’t there yet. The CEO is dull. The industry is too new, and not particularly interesting. But nevertheless, you sign them, you pitch them and it sucks. Your workers are tired, you’re tired, it’s very tiring, and it ends badly. So – say no on that call, or say no soon after.

Say No To Rude Clients

I’ve had clients swear on calls with me, and that’s fine. I’ve had them swear in my general vicinity. I’ve had them swear at me, and that’s not great, and they’ll get an immediate talking to. This party’s over the moment they’re nasty – forget even needing to swear – to the people that work with me, and you should act the same way with your PR or marketing agency.

Rude clients also aren’t just directly rude – they’ll send you one word emails, or entire emails in the subject headlines, they’ll call or text you at 9PM and expect an immediate answer, and nothing you do is ever enough. I know it’s money, but kick them to the curb!

Say No To Bad Ideas

This is a strange one, but the next time your public relations or marketing client insists on a really, really bad idea, I’d like you to say no. Say “this isn’t going to work,” and have a good answer as to why. If the client doesn’t like it, that means you’ve got bigger problems, but the most successful public relations campaigns I’ve ever run have come from clients that would take constructive criticism. Be prepared to tell them if an idea’s stinky!

The post Why Saying No Is The Next Big PR and Marketing Strategy appeared first on The Future Buzz.

I’ve Been Working in PR for 7 Years, and My Mother Still Doesn’t Know What I Do For A Living

If you were to ask my mom today what her son does for a living, she would probably just tell you: “he works with computers or something.”

When I got my first job in public relations a little over seven years ago, I remember coming home and telling my mother about the new position I was being promoted to. I was stoked. I figured my mom would be too. Well, she would have been if she knew exactly what I was being promoted to.

After sitting there for 10 minutes explaining some of the things PR people do, she just looked at me and smiled politely. She didn’t get it. And honestly, I couldn’t blame her. I don’t think she really ever met anyone in the public relations field. Before my promotion, I didn’t really either. This is a very foreign profession for most people. Well, at least in my case. Like, I knew the industry, but it wasn’t something I ever intended on doing.

A little backstory

Both of my parents were born and raised on a tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic ocean – Sao Miguel, Azores. Technology was very foreign to them. As there wasn’t really anything out there other than refrigerators. And if there were any refrigerators, there was probably only one of them in the whole village. Thankfully for them, my parents got married and eventually moved to Boston where I would eventually be born and raised.

Being the son of first-generation parents wasn’t easy. Since my parents didn’t speak any English, my sister and I had to teach them almost everything that involved the English language. Like, I learned how to read a cable bill by the age of nine. And this isn’t a knock on my parents by any stretch. It’s just how it was.

Fast forward to today and now my mother is an American citizen. I’m extremely proud of her. But she’s still stubborn in her old ways. She doesn’t speak English fluently. I still have to update her iPhone any time there’s a new iOS update. There’s always something I need to fix when I come over. And don’t even get me started about that one time I had to set up her Facebook account.

To be fair, my mother is a dear. She’s a sharp gal and she generally knows what I do for a living. She doesn’t know the day to day stuff, but she gets it in a sense. And she really doesn’t have to. I mean, at the end of the day, it’s just public relations. We’re not out here saving lives or anything. Like, we literally send a lot of emails and type words on a keyboard. That’s pretty much the gist of it.

It’s not just me either

Out of curiosity, I asked my EZPR co-worker Trevor Moore if his mom had a general sense of what he did for a living. The answer he gave me is pretty spot on with what I’m experiencing.

“If one of my mom’s friends asked her what I do, she’d likely say that I do marketing, but if they pressed her on what that means, she would probably say something like “he tries to get the computers on TV.”

And that’s the point of this article. We’re not doctors. We’re not curing cancer. We do what we do best – represent our clients in the most beneficial way. I basically told my mother this: “I’m the guy who helps our clients get put in newspapers, TV, blogs, and magazines.” The rest of it is boring. Can you imagine me explaining to my old school mother what a blog is? Hard pass.

Closing this out, as PR professionals we need to do a better job explaining to people what we actually do. Keep it simple. Stop lying. Just define it in a way where anyone, including my mother, understands what it is you actually do. If you can’t do that, it probably wouldn’t hurt figuring that out.

The post I’ve Been Working in PR for 7 Years, and My Mother Still Doesn’t Know What I Do For A Living appeared first on The Future Buzz.

Smashing the piggybank

You can only break it open once.

Organizations (and political candidates) that forget this and treat their biggest supporters like bottomless ATMs learn the piggybank rule at great cost.

Every interaction you have with a customer either strengthens your relationship (because it’s mutually beneficial) or weakens it. Weaken it enough time and you break it.

The fact that you ended up with a few bucks in the meantime is immaterial compared to the long term damage of breaking the relationship because you’re in a hurry.


Want To Be A Great PR And Marketing Professional? Be A Human Being

Running a great tech PR agency is grueling, but it isn’t art. It isn’t rocket science. Hell, I’d argue it’s not scientific at all, unless you call the gastrointestinal reaction that my body has to diet coke “science.” That’s why whenever I read PR people’s failed, slightly psychotic attempts to analyze how to talk to reporters, I throw my hands in the air. The article in question from Muckrack details, at length, how a PR study I’m not going to link to analyzed over 300 responses to emails from journalists, and is written with the cadence and curiosity of a neural network fed the names of a thousand brands.

Truly insanely obvious facts came from this study – that you got a positive response when you actually gave someone something they liked, and didn’t when you didn’t. “Unsurprisingly, the most positive type of feedback my team received were compliments on our work. This makes sense: publishers who immediately approve of our content are typically forward with their praise.” Thank you, PR study person, for telling me that people are happy when you do stuff they like.

I won’t go line by line, but the thing that made me roll my eyes the hardest was “…from this, we can observe that when pitching content, PR pros should have a deep sense of what the editorial process is like for each publisher.” Yes, learning what the reporter’s work is like is how you make them happy. Jesus CHRIST.

Something that has always confused me about public relations professionals is their complete lack of self awareness. There are dozens of similar posts to this one – such as Muckrack’s “two main reasons PR people annoy journalists” which instead of two blunt points includes two run-on sentences much like this one. God damnit.

You know what? Do you want to know how to be good at this job? Be a damn human being.

Want someone to like you? Read their damn work

I don’t care if you’re pitching a reporter, trying to be a growth hacker, trying to get new clients or trying to get a client to stop hating you. If you want to succeed in this job, you’re going to have to learn about the person in question and have a conversation that’s based on an informed understanding of their life. In the case of a reporter, a public relations professional should be able to say more than “I really liked this article!” They should have read a lot of the reporter’s work and said “hey, this reporter’s good, this pitch fits them, and it’s justified based on the things I’ve actually read.”

I realize a public relations and marketing person can be seen as the lowest form of life, below the humble cockroach and the snail. But imagine yourself in their shoes – wouldn’t you want someone who’s asking you to do something for them to know about you? To understand and appreciate you? It’s so obvious!

Public relations and marketing success stories come from actual human connections

Watching PR people try and talk to reporters on Twitter is painful. You watch them desperately try and make jokes, or try and say “wow, great article!” Most “how to make a relationship” PR posts say to read their work, to talk to them where they like to be talked to, and to share their work on Twitter. The reason this often doesn’t work is because you need to actually try and get to know them. This doesn’t need to be encyclopedic, nor does this mean you even have to meet them. It means you have to read their articles, their feed, and if you do meet them you have to talk to them not about your clients. You have to be able to discuss something other than your clients, and something other than your immediate workspace.

You have to be a semi-interesting and well-rounded person with an actual personality

If you’re a person that can only talk about your industry and your work, you’re likely dull as hell! A lot of PR people feel like they’re printed from the same boring fax machine, sent to this world to have the same asinine platitudes about doggos and puppers, or how they love running or something. Most reporters consider PR people a homogenous lump because they actually are. If your only experience – professionally and personally – leads you to be only able to talk about your clients, their industry, and whatever has happened to you at work, you’re likely a very big boring person that nobody wants to talk to. This means that you may have to open a book that’s not related to work, or learn an instrument, or broaden your horizons beyond what everyone you know likes.

I’m going to, at some point, write a series about how to make the average PR and marketing person more interesting. Maybe I’ll start tomorrow.

The post Want To Be A Great PR And Marketing Professional? Be A Human Being appeared first on The Future Buzz.

If you want to be a really good PR pro, schmooze your way into relationships

Earlier this morning, while I was trying to pour hot coffee down my throat to get me going for the day, I stumbled across this Farhad Manjoo column in the New York Times. It’s titled “The global economy runs on parties you’re not invited to.” While click-worthy in its own merit, what stood out to me was the column’s subhead: “The robots may take over, but high-end schmoozing will never die.” Hmm, interesting.

What stands out to you the most in that subhead? If you answer is robots, tap yourself on the back. While it’s not the right answer, robots are dope AF, to be fair. But the thing that pops out for me is that “high-end schmoozing will never die.” Does that ring a bell?

As PR professionals, one of the most important jobs we have is building relationships, mainly with journalists. Sure, you could always reply or like a journos tweet every time they tweet something, but you’re not really building anything here. Fact is if a journalist walked by you on the street, would they know you were? Probably not, it’s going to take a whole lot more to build that relationship than liking someone’s tweet.

And this is why this column struck a chord with me. It makes perfect sense when you factor it to the PR industry. Ok fair, schmoozing is a bit of a stretch when it comes to journalists. But, in a sense, you want to take the same approach, but in a more subtle way. The goal here is simple: Be a human being.

Set yourself apart from the rest – Ready up that expense account

If you really want to build a relationship, put a face to the name. Shoot over a quick introductory email introducing yourself. Invite them out for a coffee. Take them out for drinks. Wine and dine them at a nice fancy restaurant. You have an expense account, use it.

Seriously, you’d be surprised at how well this works. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this and had journos respond with replies thanking me for an excuse to drag them out of the office. And there are the instances where you actually build long-lasting relationships. Like, I can count at least 10-15 journalists where we text message each other regularly without ever talking about clients or work.

And sure, while many of them may not accept your offer, the gesture is surely appreciated. There may be even other times where they accept your invitation and you have a great meeting and then you never hear from them again. It happens. Journalists are human too. They have their reasons.

As someone who runs a tech blog, I get a lot of pitches. And I can tell you right now that in the span of five years running it, I’ve been sent about two or three of these sort of invitations or introductory emails. So I can tell you, not a lot of PR people are doing this, which really tells me something – A lot of us are unfortunately bad at our jobs. If you really want to set yourself apart from the rest of the scrubs, again, be human.

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How to Maximize ROI on Your Ads

In order to achieve what is considered great, many men and women have gone through various trials and tribulations just to make their dreams come true. Whatever the hurdles may be, they make sure that their will never bend and will find ways to overcome whatever denies them of their chosen fate. And as the saying goes, “Fortune favors the bold,” meaning only those with guts and wits will get what they desire the most in the end. A small price to pay for a lifetime of glory.

When you are starting a business, the most essential thing is ads. Ads are the bait to your fishing rod and will be responsible for attracting the biggest fish in the ocean, or in other words, customers! And when you are able to manipulate and maximize the potentials of your ads, you will be raking in the cash in no time. All you need is a little bit of information on how to maximize ROI on your ads and you’ll be achieving success in no time.
Important Topic
  • Website Optimization
Rigging your website with the best possible look, server and interaction interface will surely make any ad look legitimate. A user-friendly website that is easy to navigate will definitely make a customer comfortable and interested in what you have to offer, plus will have a higher chance of passing the good news to his or her friends, maximizing the room for profit.
  • Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is another way of maximizing your advertisements by making it appear more in search engines. It also helps your keyword appear closer to the first page, making it more interesting to visit and promote. This can be done through guest posting, link building and making negotiations with various websites who are also looking for advertising help. Also, page ranking will also make a difference since it defines how good your website is and will also be seen as an opportunity by other aspiring businessmen.
  • Social Media Attack!
Using social media as a tool for advertisement is only one way of maximizing the ROI potential of your ads. A simple post, picture share, video upload to facebook, twitter and other social media platforms is an effective way to reach out to people and lead them back to you. Remember that today, one word posted can spread like wildfire and turn info into instant revenue.
  • Customer Service
Lastly, Customer service is really an important factor if you want to maximize your ads ROI because it will let customers see how serious you are when it comes to your advocacy in helping them out with regards to your product. Aftersales care is also one good way to make your ads increase your ROI because it brings an opportunity to communicate and interact with your previous customers and advertise your other products at the same time. Always remember that an ounce of customer care brings a ton of money back.

The Most Easiest Way to Earn Online in 2019

Every person has some financial requirements. With the prevailing inclination in advanced technology where you get access to the internet anywhere, at all times, many individuals have been using it for earning cash. How they specifically do that is a mystery that most individuals want to understand. Other people actually start from just their hobbies like sharing their skills. A lot of successful people in various trades make money from bestowing their interest online. There are several ways on how to earn money online especially in 2019 where there is so much scope in the digital world and the best is with your skills.  


Video production and selling and uploading online

When you have expertise in making videos you can really make cash online. Earlier people used to upload their skills on YouTube which was in fact the most popular medium to upload and share videos. However now you have many other alternatives too which are becoming quite popular.  One such Udemy alternative is Skills-Co.Com where you can upload your videos on specific skills and the best part is they do every possible in the backend, polishing your content which makes it possible for the video to fetch views from the audiences on Google that come to visit the content and thus helps in increasing the potential to earn a good income. 


Boost your skills with Skills-Co.Com:

In this occasion, the website Skills-Co.Com gives the tremendous potential of monetization of your expertise, knowledge, and digital assets. This helps to market the courses that you choose to sell on the platform and also assists with crowdsourcing. The platform allows a skilful person to make their content and the website on behalf of the creator publishes the work with all the end marketing skills that will help to draw more audience. The Skills-Co.Com company focuses on boosting free internet traffic to skills, by way of SEO.  

Skills-Co.Com trusts stripe for pay-outs and all the videos that the users upload, are encrypted end to end, therefore they are absolutely secured thus the scope of breach or video piracy is zero. After you upload, as soon  as any customer buys your skill, payment will be generated without any delay. All skills are monetized individually also as an added advantage hosting to all the videos are free along with free offline streaming on the mobile app. Thus there are myriads of added advantages that Skills-Co.Com offers to its users. For all these advantages and services, the amount charges as their commission is indeed nominal at only 10% with free publishing and video hosting; after payment fees, the rest is paid directly to the pro 

Skills-Co.Com also enables the users to see the reviews and comments options on their work and thus provide with the scope to work on themselves with the help of the proper feedbacks. Thus the easiest way to earn online in this technologically advanced era and especially in this 2019 is with Skills Co. It is a great platform which has further eased out your efforts. This way you will have a great push to work for profits, create your own audience and earn plenty. 


5 Questions About Ad Rank You Need Answers To Right Now

You know those blog posts that attempt to answer questions about something you’re keenly interested in, but then the first 80% of them beat around the bush until they actually provide the insights you’re looking for (if at all)?

This isn’t one of those posts. Neither you or I are interested in wasting a few minutes of your life only to be let down wishing you could get your time back.

Paid search. Google Ads. Ad Rank. You have questions. We’re going to answer them. No fluff. No bullsh*t. Here you go.

1. What Is Ad Rank?

Google defines ad rank as “a value that’s used to determine your ad position and whether your ads will show at all.” Your ad rank is the result of any given paid search auction and is compared to those of your competitors to determine if and where on the SERP your ad will show in relation to these competitors.

2. How Is Ad Rank Calculated?

According to Google, ad rank is calculated using several factors, including your maximum CPC bid amount (and whether or not that meets a minimum threshold), your auction-time quality score, the context of a user’s search, and your enabled ad extensions. Your ad rank is also recalculated each time an ad is eligible for and competes in an auction. Therefore, it’s entirely possible that an ad for one of your keywords will show up in position #1 at the top of the page for one user’s search and in a different position for another’s.

3. Can I Just Bid More to Get the Best Ad Rank in an Auction?

Not necessarily. Don’t forget about the other factors; quality and context matter! If your quality score is high and your assets (keyword, ad copy, etc.) are highly relevant, you can still wind up getting the best ad rank in an auction while bidding less than your competitors. Likewise, if your quality score is low and your assets aren’t as relevant to your user’s context (where they are in the funnel, for example), you could bid higher than all of your competitors and still not get the best ad rank.

4. How Are Ad Rank and Quality Score Related?

While your keyword quality score factors into determining ad rank for a given auction, your ad rank does not directly impact quality score as a result of that auction. Quality score is, however, determined in part by your expected click-through rate (CTR) which takes into account your historical CTR trend. That trend can be influenced by an improved ad position, which is determined by your ad rank.

I know that seems like circular logic but stick with me for a moment.

It’s common for ads that show up first at the top of the SERP to naturally have an advantage at acquiring a higher CTR. Because your positioning is determined by ad rank, that positioning can (but is not guaranteed to) help improve your CTR trend which, thereby, positively impacts your quality score. That improved quality score then directly factors into your ad rank for future auctions.

5. How Do I Improve Ad Rank?

Having a better ad rank means better visibility on the SERP. The more visible you are, the more likely someone is to click on your ad. There are a few ways to directly improve your ad rank, which all refer to the factors mentioned earlier in question 2:

  • Increase your maximum CPC bids
  • Improve your quality scores
  • Ensure your keywords and text ads are highly relevant to the search queries which may trigger them
  • Optimize ad extensions and use as many as are relevant to your account

There you have it! Hopefully, your questions have been answered, and you’re well on your way to improving your ad rank. And don’t forget to bookmark this page in case you need to reference it in the future.

The post 5 Questions About Ad Rank You Need Answers To Right Now appeared first on Portent.

The solo marathon

The usual marathons, the popular ones, are done in a group.

They have a start time.

A finish line.

A way to qualify.

A route.

A crowd.

And a date announced a year in advance.

Mostly, they have excitement, energy and peer pressure.

The other kind of marathon is one that anyone can run, any day of the year. Put on your sneakers, run out the door and come back 26 miles later. These are rare.

It’s worth noting that much of what we do in creating a project, launching a business or developing a career is a lot closer to the second kind of marathon.

No wonder it’s so difficult.


Fanocracy Stories: What is Presidential Candidate Jay Inslee a Passionate Fan of?

We travel to 2020 Presidential town hall events in New Hampshire to ask a simple question of each candidate: “Outside of your work and your family, what are you a fan of, what are you passionate about?” Today we share what Jay Inslee, the Governor of Washington state, told us.