“Going organic” has become important for many people’s diets in recent years. But going organic in the internet world is becoming more important than ever when it comes to winning the search engine battle.
The internet is quickly replacing phone books and directories when we are looking to find information on a company or product. It is important that your web site can be easily found. With the massive amounts of information that can be found on the internet these days, it can be easy to be lost in the shuffle.
One way to get your company’s information on the “results page one” of a search engine is by paying for an advertisement. But many companies are finding that they can get the same results using Search Engine Optimization, while saving some money at the same time.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) promotes a web site through increased visibility on a search engine. By correctly managing the components of SEO which include accurate key word lists, ad groups and compelling ad copy, you can make it easier for Google to match your site with the search being conducted. Search engines such as Google and Bing index billions of websites each day based on their content. When all of these variables work together, you can get a measurable conversion, ending up on the first results page.
The goal in SEO is to end up in the the top, unpaid listings in the search results page, also known as the organic results. Most people do not take the time to click through the results pages, so if your web site doesn’t land in the top 10, chances are you missed a chance to get people to your web site.
Getting lost in the shuffle in search engine results is easy. But with SEO, small and large businesses can place themselves right in front of their customers or prospects.read more
Do you know what it takes to get found in today’s world of social media? Setting up and maintaining a blog is one way to engage your customers and prospects without an overt selling message.
According to E-Marketer, by 2013, 58% of the U.S. Internet population (128 million people) will be reading blogs regularly while 17% (38 million) will have their own blogs. Getting people to read and react to your blog requires some upfront planning and long-term commitment.
You can quickly create and publish new content through a blog and allow your readers to leave comments on your content as well as garner other feedback from those reading both your post and reader comments, thus creating a vibrant loop with all parties.
Creating a blog also gives your company another chance to be found via search engines. For example, you can raise your search ranking in Google just by adding content to your blog on a regular basis. Rather than a static website where content rarely changes, adding fresh content to your blog multiplies the number of keyword phrases ultimately picked up by the major search engines.
Before you leap into blogging, remember that a blog has no expiration date. You can’t start a blog and decide after two months to stop it, because you will stop talking to your customers. Put some planning into your blog by answering these questions:
- Who is your intended audience and what topics are of most interest to them?
- Do you have the time and people to blog?
- Do you host the blog on your website or have a separate domain?
- Do you use a free blogging platform (a popular one is WordPress) or pay a monthly fee?
- Are you comfortable editing the blog templates or should you get IT or an outside firm involved?
Coming soon: How to create content and how to measure your blog’s effectiveness.
Jim DiFrangia, SBC Social Consciousness AEread more
Why are many companies, especially those among the Fortune 500, blogging today? Creating a blog gives you the ability to ‘humanize’ your company and interact with your customers and prospects.
Adopting a blogging strategy may seem counter culture to some companies, where communications is tightly controlled. However, openness, sharing ideas and welcoming feedback is gradually becoming a successful communications format with corporate America.
Just getting a blog started is the biggest challenge. It is important to determine the type of content your audience is searching for and how the blog brings something of value to your readers.
Establish your expertise in a subject that is appealing to your audience without an overt sales message for your product or service. A hotel chain, for example, could start a blog on ‘best places to travel’ and garner reader comments. The blog’s sidebar could contain a blogroll (links to other travel resources), photo gallery of hot vacation spots submitted by readers and—by the way—a link to the hotel chain’s Web site.
Welcome comments to your blog even if they may be negative. A negative comment gives you the chance to solve a customer’s problem and leave a positive impression on others readers. Sometimes, comments provide you information that is important to improving customer service.
You don’t need to assign just one person to write your blogs; rather create a team of bloggers to diffuse the workload. Just make sure your bloggers have a passion for the subject matter, they enjoy interacting with readers, they know how to write and they know what they are writing about. Should your CEO blog? It’s OK if he or she meets the above criteria and is willing to devote some time to this initiative; otherwise, don’t do it.
Jim DiFrangia, SBC Social Consciousness AEread more
How do you use your web site newsroom to handle a major crisis?
As part of your crisis communication planning, you must acknowledge that one day someone may use the internet to create a problem for your company or organization. Often, a small problem can escalate into a PR nightmare if your organization looks weak or bullheaded in response to the “crisis.”
Your junior staff will not be in a position to handle these crises, so senior public relations counsel should be immediately engaged. However, by using a generic e-address such as email@example.com, messages can be easily reported to the assigned senior professional agency handling the crisis by your junior staff.
Entire crisis web sites are created by some companies. Others design a direct link on their homepage. Our advice is not to bury “the crisis” but rather make it easy for reporters and others to read your side of the story.
Remember, every crisis has a victim, a villain and a vindicator. Your role needs to be identified early in the process, and you must stand up to honest criticism. On the other hand, you need to refute unabashedly the misconceptions about your organization that need to be refuted– placing guilt on the true villain, if there is one.
Make sure that your online crisis presence must also make routine information available–photographs of senior management, biographical sketches, your news releases relating to the crisis, frequently asked questions and the like.
The more detailed online information about your organization’s crisis the better. The easier the information is to find the better. E-Crises are no fun, but the effort you take to tell the truth –the whole truth– and your side of the story will serve you well indeed. Finally, be sure to act quickly.read more
The Greater Cleveland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) honored the best in marketing and public relations on December 4, 2009 in downtown Cleveland.
Stevens Baron Communications took home the coveted “Best of Show” award for its crisis communications campaign for King Nut Companies. The firm also received three other awards for Marketing Public Relations, Community Relations and Crisis Communications.
“This is wonderful recognition from our peers for a classic crisis communications effort that was designed to save a company’s reputation,” said Edward Stevens, Stevens Baron President. “It did just that.”
The Greater Cleveland Chapter honored a total of 75 entries with Cleveland Rocks Awards at the ceremony.read more
How much time and effort should be dedicated to developing an environmental strategy for your company? I would say just as much effort as in product, price, promotion, and distribution strategy. Here’s why:
Whether you are in product or service marketing, your customers are defining the way your company is positioned in the marketplace. It’s no longer a competitive advantage to focus strictly on price, service, quality, speed of delivery or other factors.
Customers also want to see you as an environmental leader, a company that is sending a message that you have a concern for our limited natural resources and is taking positive steps to make a small difference.
How do you get started by developing and executing an environmental marketing strategy? Clients we have developed marketing materials for start with clear-cut reasons for this strategy, then expand. For example:
- Meeting the triple bottom line: environmental, social, financial
- Opportunity to set yourself apart as an environmental leader within your industry
- Immediate and positive on employees, customers, stakeholders
- Demonstrate corporate responsibility in multiple ways
- Greater customer loyalty = increased revenue
- Provides outstanding opportunities for significant public relations exposure
- Constant interaction with public, customers, employees, media and community
- Continual promotion of reduce, reuse, recycle.
The above criteria then become a basis for your environmental mission statement, which I will discuss in a future post.
Copy Contact Account Executive/Green Initiatives
The role of companies in restoring and maintaining the environment is changing dramatically. I found these questions from The Environmental Leader by Twyla Dell to be especially relevant in our business climate:
- Can companies become environmental leaders?
- Can you save money by becoming eco-efficient?
- Can you afford not to do your best by the earth?
- Is environmental technology a market position?
I found other research indicating several reasons why a company would become an environmental leader. Which one fits your business?
- Environmental marketing can be used to achieve corporate objectives.
- Companies believe they have a moral obligation to be more environmentally responsible.
- Governmental bodies are forcing firms to become more socially responsible.
- Competitor’s environmental activities pressure companies to change their environmental marketing activities.
- Consumers are shifting focus and buying from companies that demonstrate environmental leadership.
Undertaking an environmental leadership strategy today is just as important as spearheading initiatives for sales, marketing, employee training, product development and HR.
Copy Contact Account Executive/Green Initiatives
I came across a report showing that as many as 1 out of 4 workers in the U.S. will be working in the environmental, renewable energy or energy efficiency industries by 2030…and many of these jobs will be right here in Ohio.
Under an advanced scenario, by 2030, the renewable energy (RE) sector could generate $18 billion in revenue and 175,000 jobs in Ohio and the energy efficiency (EE) sector could produce $200 billion in revenues and more than 2 million jobs in our state.
Ohio is poised to recruit many RE and EE companies because of its manufacturing workforce. Our workforce can be trained for jobs in wind turbines, biofuels, waste management, HVAC systems among others, according to the report.
Ohio must recognize that it is in fierce competition for the RE and EE jobs with traditional high-tech metropolitan areas like San Jose, Colorado Springs, and Washington, D.C.
The state must also compete with university-centered research areas including Palo Alto (Stanford), Ann Arbor (Michigan), Boulder (Colorado), Trenton (Princeton) and Albany (SUNY-Albany).
Ohio needs to market its strengths in manufacturing, research, education, construction and operation, according to the report.
The report was compiled by the American Solar Society with assistance from the Ohio Department of Development and Green Energy Ohio.read more
This year a lot of the people that I talked to were interested in what we are doing in social media. There is plenty in the works. I can send any of you an overview of the kinds of things we are doing for a number of different kinds of clients. That is, if you are interested. Write firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Public Relations practice appears to be getting exceptional results for clients producing 10 or more times the amount of investment dollars and up to 50 times in terms of sales attributed to PR. I am proud that we continue to win awards for our work for Eriez, but even more happy that their business is still good during these challenging economic times.
Have you given any thought to your Crisis Communications Plan? Is it time for an update? Or maybe it´s time for your first Crisis Plan. We were recently engaged to handle the peanut butter salmonella outbreak for one of our clients, and we have been on the front lines when it comes to crises. Perhaps, we can help you?
Advertising, green marketing, new sales literature concepts, brand centers and print centers are also occupying our time at Stevens Baron. We would welcome the chance to visit you to discuss your situation. We can help your business bounce back more quickly as our economy turns around. We are already seeing things turn in an upward direction over hear.
I was sorry to hear that Dave McHenry passed away this past weekend. He was the advertising manager when we first started working for Eriez. God bless you Dave.
We´ll be trying to do a new blog for you every week as our minimum. Let me know what you want to read about.
Thanks for your time,
Ed Stevens, APR, CBCread more
PGRN finally completed their video production from our Brazil meeting. Our videographer did a great job and actually got 3 videos out of the project.
So, there is now a PRGN YouTube Channel!
The videos include:
a. Meet PRGN – this includes introductions from all the members who attended the Brazil meeting – quite fun to see everyone, check it out.
b. PRGN and Social Media – an interview with David Landis and Marcelo Coutinho about social media and the future of Public Relations
c. PRGN – An Introduction – this is an edited version with a little bit of the first video and a little bit of the second (with an introduction by David Landis).
Here´s the link you should go to:
Thanks for your time,
Ed Stevens, APR, CBC