tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/online-pr Latest Online PR content from Econsultancy 2016-04-25T17:08:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67781 2016-04-25T17:08:00+01:00 2016-04-25T17:08:00+01:00 Why do brands continue to make stupid social media decisions? Patricio Robles <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4258/princetweet.jpg" alt="" width="281" height="250"></p> <p>Case in point: last week, Cheerios, the cereal brand owned by General Mills, found itself in hot water after the Minnesota-based company posted a tweet in response to the death of Prince.</p> <p>It contained a "Rest in Peace" graphic in which the dot in the letter <em>i</em> was a Cheerio. Not surprisingly, many in the Twittersphere found the tweet to be in very poor taste.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Can't believe that Cheerios Prince ad. Incredibly poor taste to use his death for self promotion. smh</p> — Harbinger (@veebex) <a href="https://twitter.com/veebex/status/723600959960698884">April 22, 2016</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Offensive and tasteless aren't always the same thing. Inserting your brand into your memorial is the latter <a href="https://t.co/iQejKtzbRH">https://t.co/iQejKtzbRH</a></p> — Foodmancing® (@Foodmancing) <a href="https://twitter.com/Foodmancing/status/723636799986237440">April 22, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>While numerous other brands paid their respects to Prince on social media, the Cheerios tweet rubbed many people the wrong way because instead of keeping things simple and respectful, it incorporated the brands into the memorial.</p> <h3>When you have a brand, every event is not a cow</h3> <p>Why did Cheerios do such a thing? Welcome to branding in the age of social media.</p> <p>Marketers are more focused than ever on promoting their brands, and social media channels like Twitter provide plenty of opportunities to insert a brand into the conversation without much effort.</p> <p>In some cases, these opportunities are worthwhile.</p> <p>For example - and apologies for harking back to this again - when the power went out during the Super Bowl, Oreo used its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63140-eight-great-examples-of-agile-marketing-from-oreo">agile marketing savvy to seize the moment with the perfect tweet</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4257/oreotweet.jpg" alt="" width="335" height="472"></p> <p>But obviously, the death of a beloved public figure is <em>not</em> the same as a blackout at a sporting event.</p> <p>The Cheerios tweet demonstrates that too many marketers are so focused on branding anything and everything that they're not using common sense or recognizing that some things just shouldn't have a brand imprint.</p> <h3>Common sense still isn't so common</h3> <p>Unfortunately, common sense still isn't so common in social media. </p> <p>While it is true that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67765-is-there-such-a-thing-as-bad-publicity-on-social-media/">bad publicity frequently doesn't have long lasting effects in social media</a>, brands shouldn't make a habit of tweeting without thinking.</p> <p>That's precisely what Cheerios did when it attempted to turn a death into a branding opportunity.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67765 2016-04-21T14:42:55+01:00 2016-04-21T14:42:55+01:00 Is there such a thing as 'bad publicity' on social media? Patricio Robles <p> It's an interesting question to ask in the wake of a tweet posted by KFC Australia, which generated buzz around the world. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/4127/kfcaustralia-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="384" height="388"></p> <p>Not surprisingly, KFC Australia quickly came under fire for its raunchy, suggestive tweet.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Really <a href="https://twitter.com/KFCAustralia">@KFCAustralia</a>? What secret herbs and spices have your social media team been smoking? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KFC?src=hash">#KFC</a> <a href="https://t.co/n4Pgudy80y">pic.twitter.com/n4Pgudy80y</a></p> — Mike Hauser (@Hauser_Mike) <a href="https://twitter.com/Hauser_Mike/status/720769849815764992">April 15, 2016</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">"Finger Lickin' Good" was gross, but this is absolutely disgusting, <a href="https://twitter.com/KFCAustralia">@KFCAustralia</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/rapeculture?src=hash">#rapeculture</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/boycottKFC?src=hash">#boycottKFC</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZqqBA2rvZh">pic.twitter.com/ZqqBA2rvZh</a></p> — The Radical Feminist (@thirdwavefem) <a href="https://twitter.com/thirdwavefem/status/720790497308991488">April 15, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>The tweet was quickly deleted, the company apologized, and there was speculation that the person responsible for the tweet would soon be looking for a new job.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We are very sorry for our earlier tweet on H&amp;S - we didn’t mean to offend and removed it when we realised we’d made an error in judgment.</p> — KFC Australia (@KFCAustralia) <a href="https://twitter.com/KFCAustralia/status/720881570710577152">April 15, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>But while KFC Australia was taking incoming, the company found itself trending on Twitter and the subject of numerous articles, this one included.</p> <p>That led some to ask a salient question: despite the furore, was KFC Australia really benefiting overall from its faux pas?</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Whether or not you got offended by <a href="https://twitter.com/KFCAustralia">@KFCAustralia</a>'s tweet, it worked coz it's trending. The hyper-offended are now advertisers' easiest promo</p> — Flight Facilities (@flightfac) <a href="https://twitter.com/flightfac/status/721236208488087553">April 16, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Vocal non-customers, and exceptions to the rule</h3> <p>While KFC Australia's tweet might be considered distasteful by more than just the "hyper-offended," a quick survey of reactions on Twitter finds that more than a few people were willing to write the tweet off as a savvy marketing ploy.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/ajplus">@ajplus</a> ppl these days get offended by evrything. It is funny and clever.</p> — Silent_D (@Asian_Darkness) <a href="https://twitter.com/Asian_Darkness/status/721351903020355584">April 16, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Additionally, some of the harshest criticism leveled at KFC Australia came from individuals who admitted they weren't customers.</p> <p>This is a useful reminder that sometimes a company's most vocal critics in social channels are not the individuals the company is trying to appeal to in the first place.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">I wish 1) I wasn't vegetarian and 2) I didn't insist on eating real food, so I could boycott <a href="https://twitter.com/KFCAustralia">@KFCAustralia</a> for promoting misogyny.</p> — Casey Phoenix (@caseyphoenix) <a href="https://twitter.com/caseyphoenix/status/720794060386996225">April 15, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Obviously, there are exceptions to the bad publicity rule.</p> <p>For example, most companies would <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/6119-bp-s-internet-response-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly">not find an environmental disaster to be a productive source of PR</a>.</p> <p>And brands probably shouldn't make a habit of trolling social media lest it leave a permanent imprint on their brand.</p> <p>But when it comes to occassional "error[s] in judgment" like KFC Australia's, for better or worse, it looks like the ill effects of any negative buzz are often quite limited.</p> <p>On the other hand, while the attention garnered is likely to be short-lived, it would seem "there's no such thing as bad publicity" can still hold true in the age of social media.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67756 2016-04-19T12:45:40+01:00 2016-04-19T12:45:40+01:00 Influencer Marketing: It’s all about the audience Chris Lee <p>The answer lies in understanding their audience, without whom there <em>is</em> no ‘influence’, and working back from there. </p> <p>The Google Trends data speaks for itself. Influencer marketing is going through the roof, probably due to Google’s focus on diverse and authoritative links, and the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67076-the-rise-and-rise-of-ad-blockers-stats/">rise of ad blocking</a>.</p> <p>What used to be one area of public relations – media and blogger outreach – has now forced its way onto the remit of content marketers keen to build links and attention.</p> <p><em>'Influencer Marketing' in the UK (Google Trends, April 2016)</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4071/Google_Trends_Influencer_Marketing.png" alt="" width="399" height="259"></p> <p>For all the positives for influencers – more press trips, freebies and paid gigs – there is also the inevitable rise in spam.</p> <p>If you are a content marketer finding yourself doing more and more influencer outreach, the below steps should help.</p> <p>And to find out more about this topic, download Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">Rise of Influencers Study</a>.</p> <h3>Influencer marketing from both sides</h3> <p>Having been in UK tech PR and media since 1998, I've seen media relations evolve from press releases being faxed and posted to print, radio and TV, to modern social media pitches linking to rich, embeddable media to bloggers and vloggers. </p> <p>As a tech journalist, my audience was IT managers. I spoke with them regularly to understand their challenges, and what kept them awake at night: security breaches, down time, capacity etc.</p> <p>Without understanding my audience, I couldn’t talk to them effectively.</p> <p>As a <a href="http://www.outsidewrite.co.uk" target="_blank">football travel blogger</a>, I can tell immediately the pitch from a PR – whose chief objective is often ‘coverage’ and opportunities-to-see (OTS) – and an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/seo-training/">SEO</a>, who wants a backlink to a target URL.</p> <p>It’s clear that I write about football travel from the ‘About us’ page, and yet that means I have ended up on a few generic ‘lifestyle blogger’ lists and been invited to the launch of new restaurants and cocktail bars.</p> <p>This breaks the first rule of influencer marketing: personalisation.</p> <p>If you don’t understand the blogger – their motivation for blogging, the way they work and their audience – then you cannot tailor the unique content you need to in order to gain traction.</p> <p>You’re aiming to build a long-term relationship with influencers. Today’s upstart with a few thousand hits per month might be tomorrow’s Zoella or Jim Chapman.</p> <p>Way before approaching them, follow them on social media. Get on their radar somehow (a Like, a relevant retweet). </p> <h3>How to pitch to influencers</h3> <p>After the homework stage, you’re ready to pitch. You already know the blogger is relevant and who their audience is. You’ve seen if they’ve covered your brand or competition before.</p> <p>You’re clear on what unique experience or content you are ready to offer. Don’t forget to check on social media to see that they’re actually around and not on a boating trip in the Adriatic or on their way to a photo shoot.</p> <p>You’ll be most likely pitching by email and they – or the people paid to filter out the bad emails - will receive potentially hundreds each day, so you really need to stand out. </p> <p>The key to successful pitching includes:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Subject line:</strong> Keep this to less than eight words. Get to the point, make it click-worthy, and don’t use caps, it looks like shouting. A <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64878-45-words-to-avoid-in-your-email-marketing-subject-lines/">catchy subject line</a> is the difference between earning a click and being deleted instantly.</li> <li> <strong>Personalise approach:</strong> Address the influencer by name. Never say ‘hi there’ or ‘Dear Blogger’, absolute no-nos! Also, is there a polite and relevant segue you can add, such as ‘I saw your recent piece on X and our recent research on Y could build to the story…’ </li> <li> <strong>Offer something unique</strong>: Is there something exclusive that you can offer to help that influencer stand out, like unique content, an experience, an interview? </li> <li> <strong>Keep it brief</strong>: The influencer has got plenty of other emails to check. Get to the point quickly and leave a call to action. Manage expectations.</li> </ul> <p>The key thing is not to hassle the influencer. If they’re not interested, so be it. One of journalists’ key complaints is the “did you get my email?” PR follow-up call.</p> <p>If they are interested in your pitch, follow up quickly and manage it all the way through, thank them when the piece appears and share on your social networks.</p> <p>Don’t ever ask them if you can proof their copy first! </p> <p>Always remember that both parties need to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67645-google-s-got-it-right-instead-of-bribing-bloggers-sort-out-your-website/">disclose their interest</a> in online content and social media.</p> <p>Now you need to build a database with relevant information to capture all the data you need on your influencer outreach.</p> <p>This should include contact information (email, social feeds etc.) and influence markers, such as domain authority (DA), estimated traffic, community size etc., and a history of your contact with them.</p> <p>Capture other data that might help ease a conversation with them and show you’ve actually researched them – where do they live, which football team do they support etc. </p> <p>Nothing beats meeting influencers face-to-face, so try to do that when you can.</p> <p>Influencers and those organisations hoping to work with them can create successful, symbiotic relationships, but many approaches can go horribly wrong – with some irate bloggers and journalists taking to social media to ‘out’ bad agencies.</p> <p>If you’re new to influencer relations, aim to be helpful and put yourself in the influencer’s shoes. It could be the start of a beautiful relationship.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66560-what-are-influencers-and-how-do-you-find-them/"><em>What are influencers and how do you find them?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67443-eight-influencer-marketing-stats-for-fashion-beauty-brands/"><em>Eight influencer marketing stats for fashion &amp; beauty brands</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66092-six-ways-to-woo-influencers-to-support-your-cause/"><em>Six ways to woo influencers to support your cause</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67731 2016-04-11T14:27:17+01:00 2016-04-11T14:27:17+01:00 Think affiliate marketing doesn’t work for luxury brands? Think again Chris Bishop <p>But no longer. Affiliate marketing has truly come of age.</p> <h3>Isn’t affiliate just voucher codes?</h3> <p>This is not just about voucher codes, cashback and last-click for advertisers, this is part of a holistic approach to digital advertising that promises real and sustained ROI for high-end brands.</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/whoaretheaffiliates.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>The modern managed affiliate programmes use sophisticated groups of content publishers, including mainstream “offline” publishing houses such as Condé Nast.  </p> <p>This is performance marketing through deep partnership, levered via tenancy, editorial, blogging, email and (yes) incentives like voucher codes or cashback. </p> <p>Partnerships with high volume and niche sites that can deliver the kind of primed-to-buy, long tailed traffic available nowhere else.</p> <h3>Are you at risk of losing control of your message?</h3> <p>No, but…</p> <p>For years affiliate networks and technology companies used the size and scale of the channel as a key selling point, promising brands access to tens of thousands of affiliates.  </p> <p>Given that they worked on tracking fees based upon revenue generated by activity, who can blame them? </p> <p>However, this wasn’t what luxury or designer retailers, already nervous about losing control of their brand’s messages, wanted to hear. </p> <p>Only now, with dedicated, digital agencies selling these solutions as part of a wider media strategy, are brands being given the whole picture.</p> <p>When properly managed, affiliate marketing allows brands to deliver relevant messages to highly-targeted customer segments.  </p> <p>But it’s the size and scale of the networks that makes this targeting possible in the first place.</p> <h3>But isn’t luxury all about exclusivity?  </h3> <p>Why would luxury brands want their valuable name bandied about on affiliate channels with everyone else’s?</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/chriscarcollection.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>Success in the digital age requires a change in mind-set for luxury brands as customers’ buying cycles accelerate and competition stiffens in every part of the market place.  </p> <p>No longer can scarcity be the strongest value in a luxury brand's armoury, as the array of choice and quality available elsewhere can fill any sales vacuum.  </p> <p>Instead, luxury today is defined by desirability, product excellence, exemplary service and, fundamentally, a brand promise.</p> <p>And affiliate channels are exactly where a brand’s promise, desirability, service and excellence are defined for its target audience.  </p> <p>They are key to the continued success of luxury brands in the digital age and are proven to send ready-to-convert customers direct to online stores.   </p> <h3>Luxury is talked about and bought online more than ever</h3> <p>Deloitte says that 58% of UK millennial luxury consumers buy their luxury goods online. What’s more, 85% of luxury consumers regularly use social media.</p> <p>According to Google one in five luxury purchases happens on the web.</p> <p>And participating in high profile online retail events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday clearly doesn’t dim the lustre of a luxury brand or cannibalize their full-price sales.</p> <p>In 2015 our client NET-A-PORTER saw Black Friday was its highest day for sales that year, with one item sold every second on its website. </p> <p>What’s more, offering deals and vouchering is not regarded as damaging to luxury brands’ reputation by consumers.  </p> <p>In fact, these luxury customers were four times more likely to be searching for deals on Black Friday 2015 than non-luxury customers (Experian).</p> <h3>Do affiliate tactics really deliver incremental sales to luxury brands?</h3> <p>Yes, they do.</p> <p>One of our retailers had always assumed cashback websites would only reach customers already on its files and has little effect on overall profit. We helped them prove otherwise.  </p> <p>A tactical trial conducted with Quidco for the brand found that 86% of consumers that bought their products via the publisher during the trial were “new to file” and their average order value was much higher than the norm.</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/shopstylesolacelondon.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>For another fashion retailer, working with affiliates achieved over 300 pieces of content coverage in a three-month period which, in turn, contributed to content websites driving 50%+ of the brand's affiliate revenue.</p> <p>Affiliate channels have proved, time and time again, to bring new customers and incremental sales to the table for every kind of brand, particularly those at the very top end of their sector.</p> <h3>Who else is using affiliates?</h3> <p>The roll call of brands that are using the affiliate channel as part of the marketing mix is impressive – Agent Provocateur, Barneys New York, Burberry, Liberty London, NET-A-PORTER to name a few.</p> <p>But if the affiliate channel was just about vouchers and cashback, they wouldn’t be using it.</p> <p>These brands know the value of curated conversation and content-led buzz to their brand; they are finding new and exciting ways to engage through affiliate marketing.  </p> <p>Crucially, they are realising that careful planning, targeted partnership and innovative execution ensures the biggest ROI alongside an extension of digital PR.</p> <h3>The lessons of affiliate marketing</h3> <ul> <li>Luxury affiliate marketing is happening... if you’re not doing it, you’re already losing out.</li> <li>Luxury consumers are savvy, switched on and impulsive – take advantage of that.</li> <li>Be led by the data and use experts to help you execute the highest quality campaigns.</li> <li>Choose who manages your affiliates carefully – your brand’s success will live or die by their experience both within wider digital marketing, the specific affiliate channel and naturally their knowledge of your brand / sector.</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/940 2016-03-23T11:50:00+00:00 2016-03-23T11:50:00+00:00 Social Media and Online PR – Digital Marketing Template Files Econsultancy <h3>Overview</h3> <p><strong>Digital Marketing Template Files: Social Media and Online PR</strong></p> <p><strong>Authors:</strong></p> <ul> <li>James Gurd, Owner and Lead Consultant, Digital Juggler</li> <li>Ben Matthews, Director, <a title="Montfort" href="http://montfort.io/">Montfort</a> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Files included:</strong> 5 files </p> <p><strong>File titles:</strong> Social Media Strategy, Checklist and Guidelines, Social Media Measurement, Social Media Benchmarking, Social Media Monthly Report</p> <h3>About these templates</h3> <p><strong>Who created these template files?</strong></p> <p>In some cases Econsultancy has created the templates. In others we have gone to leading experts in the relevant area and they have provided the files. Details of those people are given where appropriate in the descriptions that follow.</p> <p><strong>How should these files be used?</strong></p> <p>Social media and online PR are evolving all the time. Because of this, we've created generic templates that get to the core of how you should run a successful online campaign in these areas.</p> <h3>Contents</h3> <p>In this release we have a template bundle containing six individual template files for social media and online PR campaigns.</p> <p><strong>Download separate files on the report pages below.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/934 2016-03-23T11:50:00+00:00 2016-03-23T11:50:00+00:00 Digital Marketing Template Files Econsultancy <h3>Overview</h3> <p><strong>Digital Marketing Template Files</strong></p> <p><strong>Authors:</strong></p> <ul> <li>James Gurd, Owner and Lead Consultant, <a title="Digital Juggler" href="http://digitaljuggler.com/">Digital Juggler</a> </li> <li>Ben Matthews, Director, <a title="Montfort" href="http://montfort.io/">Montfort</a> </li> <li>Ger Ashby, Head of Creative Services, <a title="Dotmailer" href="https://www.dotmailer.com/">Dotmailer</a> </li> <li><a title="Starcom Mediavest Group" href="http://smvgroup.com/">Starcom Mediavest Group</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Files available:</strong> 10 file bundles, 50+ individual template files<br></p> <p><strong>File titles:</strong> See sample document for full breakdown of section and file information.</p> <h3>About these files</h3> <p>Need help with an area of digital marketing and don't know where to start? This pack of downloadable files contains best practice templates that you can use in your digital marketing activities. Feel free to adapt them to suit your needs.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jxKmQGxspc8?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Contents</h3> <p>In this release we have 10 template bundles containing over 50 individual template files for digital marketing projects.</p> <p><strong>Download separate file bundles below:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Affiliate Marketing</li> <li>Content Marketing</li> <li>Display Advertising *to be published soon*</li> <li>Ecommerce Projects</li> <li>Email Marketing</li> <li>Search Engine Marketing: PPC</li> <li>Search Engine Marketing: SEO</li> <li>Social Media and Online PR</li> <li>Usability and User Experience</li> <li>Web Analytics</li> </ul> <p><strong>The template files bundle also includes a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/small-business-online-resource-manager/">Small Business Online Resource Manager</a> that </strong><strong>can help you effectively manage and own your online assets.</strong></p> <p><strong>There's a free guide which you can download to find out more about exactly what is included.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67669 2016-03-22T10:02:00+00:00 2016-03-22T10:02:00+00:00 What brands can learn from Chipotle’s Twitter fiasco Jack Simpson <h3>What actually happened?</h3> <p>In January last year somebody tweeted their thanks to Chipotle for offering free food, but one staff member felt obliged to make a snarky comment in response. </p> <p>James Kennedy tweeted:</p> <blockquote> <p>@ChipotleTweets, nothing is free, only cheap #labor. Crew members make only $8.50hr how much is that steak bowl really?</p> </blockquote> <p>Somebody showed Kennedy the company’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/topics/social/">social media</a> policy, which states that an employee cannot make ‘disparaging, false’ statements about Chipotle publicly, so (begrudgingly, I assume) he deleted the tweet.  </p> <p>Two weeks later, Kennedy started a petition about employees being allowed to take breaks during their shift, and he was promptly dismissed. </p> <p>But a Pennsylvania judge recently ruled that Kennedy was unfairly treated, and that Chipotle’s social media policy violated US labor laws. </p> <p>Chipotle now has to display signs acknowledging the illegality of some of its employee policies – particularly the social media rules – and it is also required to offer Kennedy his job back and reimburse him for any lost wages. </p> <p>Ouch…</p> <p>Obviously Chipotle hasn’t come out of this one too well, but let’s consider what other brands could learn from its mistakes…</p> <h3>You can’t control everything</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3166/the_dictator1.jpg" alt="The Dictator" width="413" height="275"></p> <p>Some companies have this huge fear of social media, as if everything needs to be tightly controlled and one negative tweet could bring the brand crashing down. </p> <p>This is nonsense. Employees saying something negative about your company on twitter is the modern-day equivalent of them shouting about it in the pub after work for all to hear. </p> <p>Yes, the potential audience reach is larger, but the principle is the same: you simply cannot stop people saying bad things about your company. They are individuals and they will express themselves if they feel like it. </p> <p>You could try and police absolutely everything, as Chipotle did. But in the end you’ll likely end up looking like the bad guy while the majority of your employees, and indeed the general public, rally around whoever it is you’re reprimanding. </p> <p>Brands should relax, take a step back, and accept that the only effective way to control what is being said about your business on social media is to give people fewer things to complain about. </p> <h3>Use social media to learn what your employees really think</h3> <p>Plenty of digitally savvy brands are familiar with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67187-four-ways-social-data-can-be-an-extremely-powerful-ally">using social media to listen to their target audience</a> and find out what they’re really talking about, their likes and dislikes in real time, so why not use the same approach for employees?</p> <p>By assessing what staff members are saying on social media, you can quickly spot where things are going wrong and people are unhappy. </p> <p>But on the other side of it you can see where employees are expressing positive sentiment about your brand, and that kind of information is equally important in order to know not only which staff members are happy and engaged, but why that's the case, so you can replicate it elsewhere in the business. </p> <p>Social media is a fantastic tool for sentiment analysis, much more agile and effective than any methods available five-to-ten years ago. Yes, you are going to read some things you don’t want to hear, but at least you’ll be aware of it and able to take action. </p> <h3>If people complain, work with them, not against them</h3> <p>Here’s a wild suggestion: your employees are complaining about a serious issue on social media, but instead of punishing them you actually contact them to find out why exactly they feel like that. </p> <p>Crazy, I know. The trouble is, a lot of companies have an attitude along the lines of ‘if you don’t like it, leave’. Which is fine, if you simply want to bury your head in the sand and put all the blame on the disgruntled employee. </p> <p>But if people are complaining about something serious and specific, you’ll get more long-term benefit from communicating with that person than simply firing them.</p> <p>Take the Chipotle example. Kennedy was voicing the opinion of many employees as the company. He just happened to be the one brave enough to say it. </p> <p>If Chipotle had contacted Kennedy to find out why he was so aggrieved then it would no doubt have heard some hard truths, but at least it would have been aware of how unhappy its employees were and could have avoided the subsequent PR disaster. </p> <h3>Don’t force positivity, encourage it to come naturally</h3> <p>The key thing to take away from all this is that, rather than trying to stifle any negative comments from employees on social media, you should instead aim to create a working environment in which people don’t feel the need to vent. </p> <p>Easier said than done, sure. But there are a number of ways you can create a positive company culture through social media. </p> <p>L'Oréal, for example, uses social media to make it a more attractive employer, but also to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67091-how-l-oreal-uses-social-media-to-increase-employee-engagement">boost employee engagement</a>. And it has had a huge amount of success in those areas.</p> <p><a href="https://instagram.com/p/4Xji9iEaYk/?tagged=lifeatloreal"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8259/Screen_Shot_2015-10-22_at_12.07.55.png" alt="#lifeatloreal social media campaign for employee engagement" width="720"></a></p> <p><a href="https://instagram.com/p/pMIo5bv32c/?tagged=lorealcommunity%20"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8261/Screen_Shot_2015-10-22_at_12.10.16.png" alt="#lorealcommunity social media campaign for employee engagement loreal" width="720"></a></p> <p>This really comes back to the point about control above. You can’t force employees to only say lovely things about your business online. If they have a genuine grievance and you do try to censor them, you can imagine the negative impact that will have on their morale. </p> <p>Chiptotle, for example, expected nobody to say anything bad about its working conditions when they were so bad they actually broke several employment laws. Tough as it might be for brands to swallow, that is not reasonable behaviour.</p> <p>What is reasonable behaviour is actually trying to create a working environment about which employees won’t feel the need to make negative comments about online. </p> <p>Again, crazy idea, I know. </p> <p><em>If you want to learn more managing your brand’s reputation online, check out our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/social-media-and-online-pr">social media and online PR training course</a>. </em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67487 2016-02-26T11:58:54+00:00 2016-02-26T11:58:54+00:00 The five components of a winning press release Patricio Robles <p>Unfortunately, many companies fail to craft press releases that contain the components necessary for success. Here are five of them that every company should keep in mind.</p> <h3>A compelling story</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1554/pr_story.png" alt="" width="411" height="193"></p> <p>If your press release fails to attract attention, the most likely reason will be that it doesn't tell a compelling enough story.</p> <p>While the launch of an upgraded product, for example, might be big news within a company, it might be of limited interest to the outside world.</p> <p>On the other hand, press releases that provide value to readers, such as unique insight, are far more likely to resonate.</p> <p>That's why it's so important to reflect on the story you're trying to tell before a single word is written.</p> <p>Is there enough to warrant attention from the media, your industry and the public at large? If the answer isn't realistically "yes," a press release might not be worth the investment.</p> <h3>A good headline</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1552/pr_headline.png" alt="" width="1060" height="69"></p> <p>Steak is a must, but when it comes to press releases, a little sizzle helps a lot too.</p> <p>Because literally thousands of press releases hit the wires daily, it can be very difficult to cut through the clutter without an eye-catching and succinct headline.</p> <p>When it comes to coming up with the perfect headline, don't just think clickbait. Instead, it can be helpful to apply the same process you might use when creating copy for AdWords ads.</p> <h3>A few meaningful quotes</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1555/pr_quote.png" alt="" width="608" height="119"></p> <p>While the journalists and bloggers most interested in your press release will likely reach out to you for additional information, there are times when your story will be covered without follow-up.</p> <p>Adding a few quotes from company leadership or key stakeholders to your press release can be very helpful in these situations because journalists and bloggers often want them and will use them.</p> <h3>Responsive, empowered contacts</h3> <p>It is crucial that the contacts listed in the press release are available and able to respond quickly to enquiries from journalists and bloggers.</p> <p>Because journalists and bloggers are often working on tight deadlines and the value of a story decreases quickly, a responsive contact with the ability to rapidly provide additional information and make connections to the right people within a company can often mean the difference between earned media and no media.</p> <h3>The right distribution strategy</h3> <p>Ultimately, the story you deliver in press release format has to get to the right people and that's where distribution strategy is so critical.</p> <p>While the broadest reach possible seems desirable, and can be sensible in some cases, it's also important not to assume that broad reach will always equate to effective distribution. </p> <p>Many wire services, including <a href="http://www.businesswire.com/">BusinessWire</a>, <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/">PR Newswire</a> and <a href="http://www.marketwired.com/">Marketwired</a>, have industry-specific and regional distribution options, which can be more effective and less costly than their national distribution options.</p> <p>Additionally, it's important to remember that wire services aren't a panacea. Direct, personalized outreach to specific journalists or bloggers often produce the biggest wins.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66189-11-useful-tips-for-prs-approaching-econsultancy/"><em>11 useful tips for PRs approaching Econsultancy</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/10556-11-friendly-tips-to-help-prs-write-effective-press-releases/"><em>11 friendly tips to help PRs write effective press releases</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67495 2016-02-09T10:23:55+00:00 2016-02-09T10:23:55+00:00 SEO for PRs: a basic guide for greater client success Damon Rutherford <p>As an SEO, my work with these agencies has increased in line with this development.</p> <h3>Why have PR agencies started to embrace advanced SEO?</h3> <p>The Google algorithm development rewards websites securing high quality links and mentions from dominant websites, giving PR agencies a new advantage over traditional SEO agencies.</p> <p>PR agencies already maintain relationships with media organisations and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">industry influencers</a>, making it possible to utilise these relationships to the clients’ advantage.</p> <p>This is particularly the case when compared to traditional SEO agencies that have built their business around lower quality links from blogs and such to improve their clients’ ranking ability.</p> <h3>Closing the knowledge gap</h3> <p>The gap between current, and required, SEO campaign knowledge is a challenge for PR specialists looking to provide SEO as a client service.</p> <p>In my experience, the expertise of in-house PR agencies is generally limited to understanding that keywords, meta titles and external links help with improving search rankings,</p> <p>There tends to be a shortfall when it comes to the detail of these and other, more complex, ranking factors.</p> <p>In the rest of this article I’ll cover some of these more advanced ranking factors that an effective SEO in a PR environment should know about.</p> <p>Let’s start with an overview:</p> <h3>SEO: An Overview</h3> <p>Search Engine Optimisation is a process that aims to improve website organic search rankings. SEO covers a range of activities, and these fall into three main categories:</p> <p><strong>1. On-page SEO</strong></p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/seo-applied-on-page-optimisation/">On-page SEO</a> refers the content on your website's pages, including what keywords you are targeting, and how much and what type of content is on the page. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1563/PR_google_search.png" alt="" width="619" height="377"></p> <p><strong>2. Off-page SEO</strong></p> <p>This refers to ranking factors which are usually outside of your direct control, and include external websites that link back to your content.  </p> <p>For an in-depth look at this topic, book yourself onto Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/seo-backlink-masterclass/">Building Backlinks Workshop</a>. </p> <p><strong>3. Technical SEO</strong></p> <p>Technical SEO covers the coding and build of the website, the hosting and the download speed. The majority of technical SEO work is carried out by website developers.</p> <p>I’ll cover these three areas (and how they relate to PR) in more detail below. </p> <h3>Off-page SEO factors: Links (and mentions)</h3> <p>Let’s start off with something that's understood by most people who have a basic knowledge of SEO: external links help websites rank.</p> <p>Link building is the name for getting other websites to link back to your site. In general, the more links you have, the greater chance of ranking for the target keywords. Think of each link as a vote for the site.</p> <p>Links and mentions are a PR agency's best opportunity to utilise its core expertise, incorporating SEO indicators to an outreach program. Here’s what you need to know...</p> <p><strong>What is a link?</strong></p> <p>A link (also known as a backlink) is where one website inserts a hyperlink to another website. Generally, these links are contextual, and point from one of their webpages to one of your client’s webpages that is relevant to the linking page. </p> <p>While links are key to improving search rankings for client websites, not all links are made equal - some links carry significantly more ranking power than others. A good SEO practitioner can prioritise potential target websites. </p> <p>To evaluate these websites, you need to understand how Google evaluates links.</p> <p>The factors that Google uses include:</p> <ul> <li>Relevancy of the linking domain and article to the link target.</li> <li>Strength of the linking domain and article.</li> <li>Whether the link was paid for or editorially driven.</li> <li>The location of the link on the page.</li> <li>Whether the link uses <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63955-what-are-nofollow-tags-and-when-should-they-be-used-in-seo/">a 'nofollow' HTML tag</a>.</li> <li>How many links there are on the linking page.</li> <li>Is the article positive or negative?</li> <li>The link's anchor text.</li> </ul> <p>That’s a lot of information to evaluate, and you need a fair amount of specialist SEO knowledge to be able accurately prioritise your shortlisted websites for outreach. </p> <p><strong>What is a mention?</strong></p> <p>A mention is very similar to a link except that there is no actual link between sites. Usually mentions are made in the context of a quote and citation, and the citation consists of the name, role and organisation of the person quoted. </p> <p>Google gives credit to the citations as many powerful websites have an editorial policy not to link externally. Without being able to measure mentions, there would be a big hole in Google’s ranking algorithm. </p> <p>While a mention doesn’t give you as much credit as a link, they should not be ignored. Mentions on large media websites carry weight.</p> <p>Just like links, Google uses multiple factors to evaluate the quality of a mention, and it is very important to ensure that the organisation brand and niche is clearly noted or the Google algorithm may not give your client the credit that they deserve.</p> <h3>On-page SEO</h3> <p>On-page SEO consists of the words and images on each webpage that Google uses to evaluate the purpose and quality of a page.</p> <p>Google also evaluates all pages on a domain in total to identify the main purpose of a website, so pages outside of the main topic of the website are less likely to rank.</p> <p>On-page SEO is really important to get right. I regard it, along with technical SEO, as permission to play with the big boys in search.</p> <p>The principles are pretty straightforward to grasp and once you are used to implementing them you will quickly find yourself automatically writing optimised SEO content with a greater ability to rank in search.</p> <p><strong>Keywords</strong></p> <p>When looking at on-page SEO it is important to remember that it all starts with using the keywords (and synonyms of these keywords) that users are searching with.</p> <p>The easiest way to search for the most relevant keywords is with <a href="https://adwords.google.com/ko/KeywordPlanner/Home" target="_blank">Google Keyword Planner</a> (you need to sign in, but it is free).</p> <p><em>Information from Google's Keyword Planner on search term 'London PR agency'</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1565/Google_keyword_planner.png" alt="" width="800" height="413"></p> <p>Once you have identified your primary keywords, find a range of close synonyms for each keyword to give yourself the chance to rank for a range of search terms (and avoid being penalised for overuse of your primary keyword).</p> <p><strong>Competition</strong></p> <p>Once you have identified the keywords you want to rank for, do a Google search for these keywords and evaluate the top three results.</p> <p>As a minimum you want to aim to match the quality of these results with your page. </p> <p>It’s important to remember that Google wants to give searchers the best answer to their query. </p> <p><strong>Titles, URLs and headings</strong></p> <p>Once you have decided on your primary keywords and synonyms you should put some thought into the structure of your page. </p> <p>It is important to use your primary keywords in the title, URL and main heading, but once this is done you only need to use your primary keyword a couple of times in your sub-headings and main content to get the job done, and synonyms elsewhere. </p> <p><strong>Main content</strong></p> <p>It is important to break up your content into logical sections using headings and sub-headings, and I recommend that all lists are bulleted.</p> <p>This makes content easy for users to scan quickly to find what they are after. Make sure you use a few instances of your keywords in the main body and headings, but don’t overdo it.</p> <p>Make sure you incorporate synonyms of your primary keywords as well to help you rank for related search queries.</p> <p>It’s important to keep in mind that, on average, top three search results are over 2,000 words in length.  </p> <p><strong>Images</strong></p> <p>It is important to optimise your images for SEO – Google can’t see what an image is yet, and large images can slow down your website and affect your rankings.</p> <ul> <li>Use relevant, descriptive words in the image filename.</li> <li>Use <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63845-the-basics-of-using-alt-text-for-seo/">alt text</a> to describe the image.</li> <li>Optimise the image size and quality for web (i.e. make sure the file isn't too big)</li> </ul> <h3>Technical SEO  </h3> <p>As the title suggests, this covers the technical aspects of a website's performance, some of which are obvious to the user, some of which aren’t.</p> <p>These factors include:</p> <ul> <li>Website load speed.</li> <li>Website page size.</li> <li>The number of page calls and redirects.</li> <li>The number of pages indexed in Google.</li> <li>Sitemap(s).</li> <li>robots.txt file.</li> <li>404 pages.</li> <li>301 pages.</li> <li>Navigation design.</li> <li>URL structure.</li> </ul> <p>Technical SEO really needs to be undertaken by a specialist – it can get quite complicated.</p> <p>The good news in that once a technical SEO audit has been carried out and recommendations have been implemented, technical aspects of SEO usually only need to be monitored.</p> <p>There shouldn’t be any changes to your technical website performance unless significant technical changes are made to the website.  </p> <h3>Summary</h3> <p>To summarise, I believe that there is a huge opportunity for PR agencies to incorporate advanced SEO into their day to day client activities.</p> <p>Google has introduced search algorithm changes recently which have created opportunities for PR agencies to embrace SEO and expand their client offering.</p> <p>I believe that the PR agencies who do this will differentiate themselves from their competition by creating additional value for their clients.</p> <p>This additional value will help secure their long term client relationships, and also make it easier to win new business.</p> <h3>For more information</h3> <p>Econsultancy has a range of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/search-marketing/">Search Marketing Training Courses</a> to suit all levels and requirements.</p> <p>And to get it all from the horse's mouth, <a href="https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769?hl=en" target="_blank">Google's Webmaster Guidelines</a> is the first step to developing a good understanding of SEO.</p> <p>You could also check out <a href="https://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/updating-our-search-quality-rating.html" target="_blank">Google's Search Quality Rating Guidelines</a>. Just released, Google's previously confidential internal guidelines are used by the company's website raters to manually analyse and rate sites for quality.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/2929 2016-01-27T10:14:29+00:00 2016-01-27T10:14:29+00:00 Fashion & Beauty Monitor - Social Media and Online PR <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0976/fashion-monitor-strap.jpeg" alt="" width="295" height="92"> <strong><em>Powered by Econsultancy</em></strong></p> <p>Fashion &amp; Beauty Monitor and Econsultancy team up to offer one of the UK’s most popular social media and online PR courses, now specifically tailored for fashion, beauty and luxury brand professionals.</p> <p>You’ll be able to plan and implement your ideal strategy using user-generated content, including monitoring positive and negative brand perception through tools such as Facebook and Twitter, and increasing brand engagement.</p>