social media

How to use PR to promote your business

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Motarme– Quick Guide to PR

For some companies, particularly B2B and technology companies, PR is considered a little frivolous – a ‘would like’ rather than a ‘must have’. We advise anyone who thinks that way to think again. PR should be a key element in any sales and marketing program for companies involved in high-technology, complex B2B sales. Why is it such a big deal? Well, it can be one of the most effective ways to communicate with a target audience – they tend to take greater notice of news and press articles than standard advertising messages. It can also be a relatively low-cost way of raising awareness of your company and what you do. And today PR also plays a key role in improving your online visibility and improving your search ranking.

Given that it’s so important, why aren’t more B2B companies aware of its effectiveness? I think this is partly due to companies deciding that local or regional press coverage won’t provide much value. But PR doesn’t mean trying to get the CEO’s photograph in your local newspaper. It means thinking about who your target audiences are, identifying what they read and where they look for information about their industry and business. Once you know that, your job is to focus your PR activities on the media your customers use in their jobs, both online and offline.

Below is a short 8-page guide to PR which we think business managers will find useful. It discusses the value of PR and its impact on search marketing, before describing how you can develop and execute a PR program, including advice on writing and distributing a press release.

Motarme – Quick Guide to PR

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Social media and snake oil

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Who’s legit and who’s fake when it comes to social media? Two contrasting views on the topic come from Olivier Blanchard with his article “Is your social media director qualified?”, and “Attacking the social media lynch mob” by Jay Baer.

Olivier has high standards and trenchant views on who’s qualified to set the social media agenda.  He says there are three types of social media directors:

  1. the first type are “super smart, talented, experienced in a broad range of disciplines, have an established foot print in social media space”, are recognized as thought leaders and are passionate about what they do.
  2. type 2 “isn’t quite as savvy but isn’t lacking in talent, smarts and enthusiasm”.
  3. type  3 is “the bad type…. con artists… shams”. You get the picture.

I’ll let you self-diagnose.  Olivier goes on to provide some tips on how to spot your ideal candidate, including “applicant can tell a personal story involving either Digg, Seesmic or both”.  Scary stuff.  There doesn’t seem to be much room for the amateur enthusiast in this definition.

Jay Baer has a different outlook.  His view is “just because someone takes a more tactical approach to social media, just because they don’t measure ROI the way you do, just because they focus on small business and you don’t, does not mean they are charlatans… And this notion that you can’t be good at social media unless you’ve been doing it for years is utter crap.”

I’m inclined to agree with Mr. Baer.  There are a lot of bright people out there who are just beginning to turn their attention to social media, particularly those working in B2B marketing.  I don’t expect their lack of previous experience is going to prove much of a barrier, given the speed with which they’ve adopted and exploited a host of other technologies to date.

Anyway, I’d like your views on other categorizations of prospective social media directors. I’d particularly like to see some that are funny (humour wasn’t prominent among Olivier’s list of preferred characteristics).

A manager’s guide to Digital Marketing

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This is a presentation I gave recently on Digital Marketing, aimed at business managers.   The presentation lists the online tools you can use before describing each digital marketing technique in a little more detail.  Topics covered include web-site design and landing pages, Google pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization, email marketing, online PR and various forms of social media.  You can find this and other more detailed guides on the main Motarme website too.

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10 Trends for Social Media in 2010

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A great presentation on 10 Trends for Social media this year from C. Edward Brice, brought to my attention by theB2BMarketingZone newsletter.  There are a lot of stand-out slides highlighting the move of budget to social marketing, the convergence in mobile internet access with the growth of social media and touching on topics like augmented reality and social gaming.  As mentioned in my last post, there are lots of implications for B2B marketers.  For example, if people begin moving most of their personal communications to Facebook and Twitter, what happens to email marketing as a way of reaching them?  If more people learn about products and services from social networks how does this effect search engine optimization and pay-per-click?  With the prediction that more people will access the internet from their mobile device than from laptops or PCs by 2013, how does this effect social media usage and general online habits?

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