10 Apr Outreach Marketing Summit – 5 Take Home Lessons
I recently attended a virtual conference titled “Outreach Marketing Summit” on the topic of marketing and public relations outreach for businesses. I heard about this free, virtual conference through a LinkedIn post and my interest was piqued immediately by the fact that it was “virtual”. In other words, I could attend this conference from any part of the world (Toronto, in my case), sitting at a coffee shop. Apart from the fact that it was convenient and I could multi-task while “attending” the conference, I found the conference quite informative. There was a good line-up of presenters, and the topics were extremely relevant to me and how I manage my clients through effective social media and blog outreach.
The summit was organized by GroupHigh, a US-based software provider offering businesses a marketing application that enables PR and Marketing groups to “build, evaluate and manage” their client relationships through social media searches, relationship ranking, and tracking buzz, among other services.
So, here are 5 take-home lessons from the conference that I thought everyone could benefit from:
1) Social Listening Is Critical: According to Bryan Kramer, President and CEO of PureMatter, the secret to being an excellent marketer and brand communicator in today’s business climate of human-human interaction, is Social Listening. It is the process of identifying your audience, creating a listening strategy, choosing your technology, appointing a skilled designated listener, having a response strategy and finally, being accountable. What really struck me about this process is that it all adds up to making a 1-degree shift that is required to change the course of your business. In nautical terms, a 1-degree shift can alter the course of a ship by 60 miles. When applied to social media or any other communication strategy for businesses, a 1-degree shift can make or break your brand.
2) Treat Bloggers The Way You Want Them To Treat Your Clients:While most businesses understand how crucial it is to utilize blogger networks to get their message out, they often underestimate the human-ness of a blogger. In my previous engagement at a PR agency, I was often asked to create a blogger-list for the purposes of sending out press releases. After the release was distributed to the selected bloggers, I would cringe at the fact that the communication was incredibly uni-directional…from us to the blogger. The blogger was almost thought of as a jobless, freelancer who is waiting by his or her computer to receive a press release to create work for him or herself. What an erroneous thought this was. Bloggers receive hundreds of pitches daily, so it is important to make sure that they consider your pitch even remotely interesting. So treat them like you would want to be treated as a writer. Take the time to research your blogger’s interests before you pitch them. Invite them to a day of experiencing your company’s product, so that they can advocate on your behalf. Make it worth their while by offering them something of value in return for their advocacy. Let the mentions happen organically, dont force it. Bloggers can become a part of your brand if treated well. And remember, as Danica Kombol said, “your blogger has a name, use it. Don’t address them as “Dear Blogger”.
3) A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words: The days of press releases are numbered – in the world of fashion PR, press releases are already dead. Journalists, writers, your public has no more than 5 seconds to spare when you send them a pitch. Make those 5 seconds count. Send them a powerful, high-quality image that says it all. Videos are great too, provided they are no more than 2 minutes in length. Strong visuals have a longer shelf life than a written document. Business dollars are well spent when invested in a professional photographer or videographer.
4) Newsjacking Works Wonders When Done Right: Watching David Meerman Scott present on this topic was a special treat, I have to say. It was made more so delicious by the fact that I was hearing about newsjacking from the guru himself! Its as simple as taking a breaking news story, making it relevant to your industry and your business, and reporting it as soon as it breaks. What’s hard is doing it on time, and doing it right. Speed is crucial when it comes to newsjacking. You snooze, you quite literally, lose.
5) Social Media Ethics Is A Real Law: As an ambassador of your brand, it behooves you to follow the rules of safe social media outreach, to secure the reputation of your brand. Andy Sernovitz couldn’t have been clearer when he said that honesty really is your best policy, when it comes to social media outreach. Be truthful and maintain full disclosure at all times with your audience. Constantly monitor the conversation about your business and your product, and correct misstatements as soon as they appear. Most importantly, don’t pay for it. If your opinion is not based on real experience and you’ve been paid to say it, you’re in trouble. This is a good place to start to make sure that your social media messaging is in compliance with FTC rules and regulations.
by: Sohini Bhattacharya (Co-Founder & Partner, Allegoro Communications)