Why Sterling is on Instagram


“A picture is worth a thousand words.” We all know the figure of speech. But in the world in which we now live, where precious, expensive film is replaced by digital memory and cloud storage, it is easy to wonder if pictures are still that valuable.

Well, at Sterling we believe that a picture is now worth far more than just a thousand words. After all, that’s why marketing and public relations agencies have adopted video and photography to optimize reach to target audiences. Social media marketing once disrupted our text-heavy PR world with limiting messages to 140 characters on Twitter. Now, people want to receive marketing messages from a single glance at a photo.

Instagram is one such social media channel that has forever changed the way we market businesses. In fact, the picture and video sharing service has now surpassed Twitter in number of users. (more…)

Evaluating Bloggers: What Should I Consider?

One of the surprising aspects of managing a blogger program is the sheer number of blogs out there. I could give you a number in the hundreds of millions, but by the time you’re done reading this post, it will have grown by millions.

People read billions of blog pages each month, making blogs a major forum to influence buying decisions. Hence the birth of Influencer Marketing, where marketing efforts are focused on the people who have influence over a specific target market vs. the market as a whole. Influencer marketing centers on third-party validation by those who have become trusted sources of information by their readers.

As you comb through the blogosphere looking for the right blogger to promote your product or service, here are some key elements to consider: (more…)

Lifestyle Bloggers vs. Traditional Media


Are you thinking of adding a blogger program to your PR efforts? You may think working with lifestyle bloggers is just like working with traditional media. Well, it’s about as similar as stripes and spots. Understanding the differences between the two is key to getting the most out of your blogger campaign.

Below I share some observations about establishing and growing successful blogger campaigns and insights I’ve gained by doing work with WiFi Family (NETGEAR & AT&T) over the past year. If you’re working with lifestyle bloggers (or want to), here are some tidbits you may find useful:


4 Social Media Monitoring Steps To Support Your Business Strategy


Social media is now recognized as a vital part of a larger business intelligence strategy, not just a component of a PR or marketing strategy. With LinkedIn predicted to widen the gap as the B2B social network, and Instagram overtaking Twitter in monthly active users, whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, harmonizing social media is important to understanding and communicating with your customers.

A substantial part of your customer base is already active on social media, and while many companies do take advantage of social media managers to atomize company messaging across their approved channels, most haven’t considered monitoring as one of the most important functions of social media. Big missed opportunity.

Social media monitoring can have an impact on your bottom line. Yes, you heard me right. A solid social media monitoring strategy will enable you to listen, discover, connect and pivot in deliberate, calculated ways. Put another way, social media monitoring will help you bring the right products and services to market faster, helping you take market share from your competitors.


6 Family-Focused Blogger Events for Your 2015 Marketing Calendar

Senior account executive Pouneh Lechner attended Blogger Bash in New York City this year with our client NETGEAR.

Senior account executive Pouneh Lechner attended Blogger Bash in New York City this year with our client NETGEAR.

Sadly, I’m not a mommy so until a couple of years ago, I hadn’t read many so-called “mommy blogs.” While aware that traditional corporate branding is under siege by word-of-mouth marketing, my attention used to gravitate toward B2B influencers and mainstream media. However, a year ago, Sterling began working with the WiFi Family sales team within NETGEAR that promotes mobile WiFi hotspots designed for AT&T service. Our top target for hands-on product reviews: mommy bloggers! I had to get up to speed quickly on the personalities and the events.

“Mommy blogger” is too narrow a definition to encompass the broad variety of people who review products on personal blogs, and it has a condescending ring. Yes, many are indeed parents and grandparents who blog as a hobby, but many are also sophisticated entrepreneurs who offer vendor sponsorship opportunities through an extensive network of partners. As my colleague noted in her post last month, you’ll meet ex-Fortune 500 executives turned fashion bloggers, stay-at-home moms turned tech evangelists, and spouses or siblings that use their blogging activities to promote a family business.

For all the gnashing of teeth of how technology and social media are ruining “true” social relationships, face-to-face events — conventions, really — are increasingly popular in the blogging world. Bloggers and brands want to connect with each other for sponsorships, advertisements, giveaways, and product reviews, and nothing beats an in-person meeting to boost trust on both sides. Moreover, these events provide bloggers who may be stay-at-home workers an opportunity to network with their peers and share lessons learned about growing their social businesses.

Through our work with NETGEAR WiFi Family, we’ve had the pleasure of attending a number of events scattered across the US. Below is a snapshot description of a half-dozen of these events:


A Reflection on Brand Marketing and the 2014 World Cup 

I was in Brazil for the first two weeks of the World Cup and was lucky enough to be among the over 154,000 American ticket holders, the largest contingent of traveling supporters outside of the host nation. It’s estimated that over 40 million Americans streamed the games, up 44% from the 2010 World Cup. With such a large audience, it’s only natural that some brand marketing lessons should emerge, right?

As all good communicators know, reputation is forged by all stakeholders in the brand or organization, and soccer teams are no different. The players, management, and fans are brand representatives, on and off the field. Every player, fan, coach, manager, government, and organizing body contributes to — or detracts from — the team’s reputation with their words and actions.


Live Tweeting at Conferences

texting at conference

The warm summer weather ushers in a flurry of high tech conferences and events, ranging from the consumer-focused Apple Worldwide Developers Conference and E3 to enterprise-focused events like GigaOm Structure and Fortune Brainstorm Tech. Thousands of people attend these events, with many more following the news from home. Leveraging Twitter enables conference attendees to share/discuss the experience with other attendees as well as their followers. For those who are new to live-tweeting at events, here are a few pointers to get you started:


Oops! PR Oversight Burns Goodwill with Om

Today should have been a great day for Acompli, the mobile email app provider that recently raised a $7.3M round led by Redpoint. Founder Javier Soltero is clearly excited about this news, and the TechCrunch coverage:
Unfortunately, the company forgot to tick at least one item off of their launch checklist: prepping Om Malik (or, now that he’s moved on to True Ventures, perhaps Stowe Boyd) at GigaOm about the App Store launch. Now, it’s not as though Acompli hasn’t been in touch with GigaOm over the past few months; the company briefed both Om and Stowe back in February when they announced funding.
The downside of this “miss” is having Om’s 1.38M Twitter followers see this tweet from Om today:
The world of social media is real-time, transparent and often emotional. Now, it’s quite possible that the upside of having 1.38M Twitter followers see Om’s tweet will result in a few thousand more Acompli downloads this week. (Then again, had they given Om the heads up, I’m sure there would have been a tweet from Om today as well – and it most likely would have been the congrats note with a link to a positive GigaOm story.)

As things stand, I’m guessing that it just might prove a tad more difficult for Acompli to get a GigaOm briefing or speaking slot at one of their future conferences. The devil, as they say, is in the details, so definitely make sure you don’t inadvertently ignore any of your top media/social media influencers at launch time.

Marianne O’Connor can be reached at marianne@sterlingpr.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @marianneoconnor.

Unleash Your SlideShare Marketing Ninja: 10 Ways To Promote Your SlideShare & Generate Leads (Part 2)

This is the second installment of our two-part series on how to become “a SlideShare marketing ninja” (successfully using SlideShare as part of your B2B marketing campaign.) In this installment, we’ll outline a plan to actively market your SlideShare that will generate quality leads for your company. Please also read our first installment focused on creating a great SlideShare presentation.