In this two-part series, we’ll walk you through what it takes to become a SlideShare marketing ninja. In our first installment, we’ll highlight 10 steps to creating a great Slideshare presentation. In the second installment, we’ll show you how to actively market that great presentation to generate quality leads for your company.
SlideShare marketing is becoming increasingly important to B2B marketers.
SlideShare is quickly becoming a “must have” lead generation tool for B2B marketers, and already more than 40% of B2B marketers use SlideShare for marketing. We have clients who generate more leads from SlideShare than any other source. SlideShare now averages 60 million unique visitors a month and is the 120th most visited website in the world. If SlideShare is not part of your marketing mix, you may be missing out on what could be one of your most valuable, and cost-effective, marketing channels. Here are 10 tips on creating a great SlideShare:
I’ve tried making resolutions every January 1st and found that making small changes in my daily routine is what works best. For instance, instead of trying to lose 15 pounds, I’ve tried to work out every morning before heading into the office. The same goes for my social media habits. Sometimes I spend way too much time reading my Twitter feed; other days, I’ve noticed I have completely neglected my LinkedIn account and forgotten to reply to comments and messages on Facebook.
Devoting just 15 minutes per day, on the other hand, keeps social media management quick and consistent.
You may be thinking, “Only 15 minutes?” But, you’d be surprised how much you can accomplish in that timeframe! Let me break it down for you.
The end of the year gives us an opportunity to pat ourselves on the back for the things we did well and allows us to reflect on the things we could have done better. Here are my favorite successes and blunders from 2013.
Pitching the media is always tricky. Here at Sterling, we only reach out to media when our clients have something to say – something newsworthy that we believe journalists and their audiences will actually care about.
Bottom line: Media attention is short, and we want to use it wisely. To that end, we use a variety of tactics in our outreach. While email has become the de facto (beating out phone a few years back), phone is probably still the most effective.
The next most effective? Social media.
In the business of creating visual media, the hardest part is convincing a client that video is the way to go. Why? It’s expensive and putting together a strategy that’s going to get you the most bang for your buck is complex at best. So, you’ve got your video and you’re wondering, “What now?”
“The internet is inherently a visual medium,” says Lee Sherman, Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer of Visual.ly at an event titled “How to Employ Multimedia Content for Compelling Storytelling.”
“When you combine data with visuals, you’ve really got something,” added Sherman.
At 10 years old, LinkedIn has definitely figured out what it wants to be when it grows up. With 225 million users, the professional network is firmly established in the social media universe even as it looks change drastically from year to year. With the launch of channels, which brings together curated content from around the web on general topics like technology and healthcare, LinkedIn is positioning itself not only as a social network but also a resource for those looking to further their knowledge in a given field.
It’s hard to believe, but we’re already nearing the halfway point of 2013! As such, let’s take a look back at five topics that have caught our attention so far this year….
1. Security breaches
- Hacks and breaches are an unfortunate and all-too-common occurrence these days. While data security is critical work, it is not terribly accessible to those outside the industry or for executives who must balance security demands with a hundred other priorities. As such, Sterling’s Kawika Holbrook described in January the supercut that Sterling developed to illuminate the world of breaches and security through short video clips from film and TV.
2. Super Bowl ads
- Why certain advertising campaigns work is something that requires a deeper look nowadays — particularly when it comes to Super Bowl ads! Yours truly delved into the winning ad campaigns from February’s game and found Twitter, timing and titillation to be this year’s keys to success.
3. Twitter’s birthday
- March 21, 2013 marked the 7th anniversary of the first tweet. For a service that was initially met with much skepticism, Twitter has steadily become a necessary PR tool, taking its place alongside (or in some industries, ahead of) the traditional press release. In honor of Twitter’s 7th anniversary, Sterling’s Amanda Hoffman compiled 7 ways Twitter has changed the PR industry as we know it.
4. Boston Marathon
- As PR and Social Media Managers, it is often our responsibility to handle communications when a crisis occurs. One can’t even imagine having to deal with a catastrophic event like the one that unfolded in Boston in April. But, Sterling’s Ross Coyle detailed the importance of having a communication plan in place to control and effectively respond to a crisis as quickly as possible.
5. Google Glass
- There’s been a lot of buzz around the new Google Glass and its capabilities. There have also been a few predictions floating around on how the technology will change our society. Sterling’s Natalie Wolfrom offered her thoughts this month on how Google Glass will change the game for public relations professionals.
Jordan Hubert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jahubert.
Photo credit: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57560230/3-financial-predictions-for-2013/
Watching the aftermath of the Boston Marathon tragedy really hit home for me. Boston was the place I called home for 11 years. I have family and close friends who live there. As a proud graduate of Boston University, I remember enjoying sunny afternoons on Patriots’ Day cheering on the valiant runners as they came through Kenmore Square on their way to the finish line. I was deeply saddened to hear the news that one of the victims killed was a BU student. During my days as a broadcaster in the area, I often stood right at the finish line just steps away from where the explosions went off, waiting to interview local runners as they reveled in their accomplishment. It’s hard for me to comprehend how such a joyous event can turn into a horrifying disaster in the blink of an eye.
Over the past few days, I’ve been consuming the news coverage, reading the latest online reports and viewing the responses stream across Facebook and Twitter, and it amazes me the power that social media has over traditional media channels. This coming from an old TV guy. At the time of the blasts, people began sharing the images of the chaotic scene across social media channels. It continues today with a tremendous outpouring of support for the City of Boston and the victims of this unspeakable tragedy. Folks from around the globe – celebrities, politicians, even the rival New York Yankees have joined together to demonstrate to all this city’s unity, strength and resilience. Seeing hashtags such as #BostonStrong, #PrayforBoston and #OneBoston littered across Twitter reinforces my belief that social media is not just another medium to promote the news, but a means of connecting human beings especially in the face of adverse conditions.
As PR and Social Media Managers, it is often our responsibility to handle communications when a crisis occurs. One can’t even imagine having to deal with a catastrophic event like the one that unfolded in Boston, but regardless of the situation, it’s our job to have a communication plan in place to control and effectively respond to a crisis as quickly as possible. Disseminating accurate information in a timely manner during a crisis is a priority, but social media has certainly changed the game. Too often media outlets put a priority on getting the news out first rather than getting it right. The Huffington Post learned this the hard way when it incorrectly reported that BU graduate student Zhou Danling was one of the fatalities of the Marathon bombings, when it fact, she survived the ordeal. They’ve since posted a retraction. This rush to report and scoop your competitors mentality can backfire and has certainly drawn its share of criticism.
You can never be too prepared when it comes to crisis management. Having a plan in place will help you deal with a terrible event like the one we saw this week. Here are a few guidelines to remember when dealing with a crisis situation:
- Plan ahead – Don’t wait until crisis hits to put a crisis management plan together.
- Act like a human being – Express empathy and concern when victims are involved.
- Activate appropriate mechanisms to keep the public and media informed on an ongoing basis.
- Integrate social media into your plan – Be quick, but get it right.
- Keep your message simple and clear.
- Select a primary spokesperson to represent the organization throughout the crisis process.
- All communications should go through one channel.
- Respond to incorrect information that may be circulating as necessary.
Ross Coyle is an Account Supervisor at Sterling Communications. Follow him on Twitter at @rossjcoyle
International Data Group (IDG) is the world’s leading technology media, events and research company. IDG’s brand reaches an audience of more than 280 million technology buyers in 97 countries. So when IDG’s managing news editor, Nancy Weil, offered insight into connecting with their influencers, you bet our ears perked up.
Read below for Nancy Weil’s tips on building relationships with reporters, writing strong pitches, subject lines, and press releases.
Pitching is not what it used to be. There are so many ways to contact and build relationships with journalists via the Internet, email and social media — it can get complicated. Nancy suggests…
- Keep it Light: Initial email pitch doesn’t need to be so heavy in technology details. Be direct and as brief as possible.
- No Stalking: Send your pitch and maybe one follow up email. Many reporters are overwhelmed by what their inboxes look like everyday. If they are interested, they usually get back within one day. It’s okay to pick up the phone and give a call to make sure they received it. However, typically, they do check out their spam filters at least once a day. If they are interested, they will contact you.
- Bring Something ‘Valuable’ to the Table: Our journalists are less interested in talking to a CEO. Generally, they don’t want to know the business side, they want to know the technology side. IDG is more inclined to speak with the CTOs or CIOs, or even product managers—someone who can answer technology-driven questions.
- Lean is Mean: Keep subject lines lean and to the point. Don’t put “urgent” or “important” tags unless it is actually major breaking news that you know is a top priority story. The more concise, the better. Nancy shared, “I think that the subject lines on emails coming from PR people I know, I tend to always open. Give a headline of the news in a succinct kind of way. Write the subject like you would a news headline.”
- Try ‘Twitching’ (Twitter Pitching): Pitching via Twitter is actually socially acceptable. Nancy explains, “Almost all reporters are on twitter now. Some also use Facebook as a vehicle for finding news stories and connecting with PR professionals, as well.” All beat reporters have their contact information, including social media usernames, listed at the bottom of their articles. Many will use Facebook to be pitched and track information, later to be used in upcoming stories.
- Utilize LinkedIn: Using LinkedIn as a way to connect with journalist is also acceptable. According to Nancy, “Most of us actually prefer LinkedIn as the means to be contacted.”
- Steer Away from Multimedia: IDG doesn’t usually run multimedia content, other than photos. Every now and again, a reporter might ask for a video if someone has it, but generally are less inclined to use multimedia content. Photographs are definitely welcomed. IDG also won’t publish info-graphics, apart from their own, created by staff designers.
- Forgo the Embargo: If you usually send out embargo press releases, think again before sending to IDG. They have a policy in which they will not read the release, unless you have “agreed to terms” prior to sending to the reporter.
- Urgent Times Call for Urgent Measures: Can’t get a hold of anyone and you know your story is a top priority? Nancy suggests calling the managing editor, and she will be able to provide direction. Generally they are happy to direct you to the right reporter for your story, if they agree it is newsworthy.
Some things should never change, and this includes getting quality face time with reporters and editors whom you want to build a positive relationship with.
- Say ‘Hi’: Nancy suggests introducing yourself via email, even if you don’t have any news for the reporter yet. Let them know that you would like to pass along potential story ideas in the future, but would like to get acquainted. Reporters will more likely respond and remember you when you have something for them in the near future.
- Meet Up and Discuss: Nancy also shared that it is completely acceptable to meet with reporters for lunch, dinner, or even a beer after work! She states, “We like to build up those relationships for future possibilities. For the most part we do read what we get and keep track of possible news for future stories.”
Keep these tips in mind when connecting with IDG or any other reporters. Happy pitching!
Natalie Wolfrom can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @nwolfrom415.
Yesterday marked the 7th anniversary of the first tweet. For a service that was initially met with much skepticism (why does the world care that I’m eating a sandwich?), Twitter has steadily become a necessary PR tool, taking its place alongside (or in some industries, ahead of) the traditional press release. In honor of Twitter’s 7th anniversary, we have compiled 7 ways Twitter has changed the PR industry as we know it.
- Information dissemination. Perhaps the most tangible use of Twitter today is the ability to quickly distribute news to a mass audience. Twitter moves fast, and its users are constantly checking to see what’s happening now. The downside is that it’s easy to miss the opportunity if you don’t jump in quickly, and in some industries or organizations, a lengthy approval process can translate to missed opportunities for the organization. The solution? Sit down with executives, legal, investor relations, and anyone else who may be skeptical of the process and come up with a list of best practices and approved topics.
- Scandal. No doubt about it, Twitter can be a double-edged sword for PR pros. While the ability to quickly distribute news and opinions makes for more timely and relevant opportunities for a brand, it can also spell disaster when tweets are not thought through carefully before posting. Just a quick search in our own blog archives shows numerous instances where a Twitter faux pas has been the cause of a major cleanup job for a brand’s PR team (none of our clients, of course!).
- Engagement. PR used to primarily serve as a one-way communication function — and often a third party function at that. The traditional chain of command was brand –> journalist –> target audience. With Twitter, conversations look more like brand <–> target audience.
- Media relations. In addition to serving as a great channel for connecting brands to their audiences, Twitter has also become a great way for journalists and PR pros to converse, giving journalists story ideas and real-time feedback on their articles, in addition to discussing industry news in general.
- Humanization of brands. Whether a large enterprise, your neighborhood coffee shop or a celebrity, Twitter has enabled consumers to feel personally connected to people and organizations they wouldn’t have such close contact with otherwise. This human touch can go a long way in terms of making consumers feel more connected to a brand, knowing there’s a real human on the other side of the computer screen.
- Customer service. In the same vein that Twitter has humanized brands, it has also provided a valuable customer service channel. While some brands may shy away from having their dirty laundry aired for all to see in the way of customer complaints, how a brand chooses to address these issues can go a long way in shaping public perception. A brand that’s responsive – even if it’s just to say “email me at ___ and we can discuss this further” – looks more in-tune with the customer than a brand who turns a blind eye to customer complaints. Remember, conversations are happening about your brand, whether you’re a part of them or not.
- Viral tactics. How did things go viral before Twitter? Or was this term even a part of our lexicon before then? Whichever the case, there’s no denying that Twitter has been essential in viral marketing campaigns. The very nature of the retweet makes sharing as easy as one click, enabling links, videos and articles to spread like wildfire across a large audience.
So there you have it. 7 ways in which Twitter has changed PR as we know it. Did I leave anything off? Fellow PR pros – how has Twitter changed how you work?
Amanda Hoffman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @hoffmandy.