THE RELEVANCY SPECIALIST

Improving conversion through content & keyword relevancy

Massively Amplify Your Content With Quick Visual “Sound Bite” Images

It’s also a powerful agency value-add

Massively Amplify Your Content with Quick Visual Sound Bite ImagesContent marketing is expensive. If you’re an agency providing content marketing services, you probably invoice a fairly hefty dollar amount each month – or if you are the company, you’re investing significant budget. Why? Because great content is very, very labor-intensive.

Not paying (or invoicing) much? Might wanna compare deliverables with brands that are rockin’ it. You definitely get what you pay for when it comes to writing and placement.

It’s also becoming more and more competitive. As more agencies realize the importance of content creation to their clients and their own success AND, as more freelancers enter the fray, competition is becoming a serious issue.

Standing out with fabulous service makes a huge difference.

So how can agencies take their deliverables from expected to fabulous?

Consistently give them a PRE-SIZED SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE they can post and link to the content! Something to promote it that can easily be retweeted or shared by their audience, and that adds visual interest to grab attention. Using a quote wraps in their expertise in a nice little visual “sound bite.”

This is a simple, low-cost value-add for agencies to give their clients every time they deliver a new piece of content – especially if you have a graphic designer on staff.

If you are doing your own content development, you’ll explode your reach and awareness efforts for your content IN MINUTES. Free tools are readily available, including a few of my own personal favorites: Canva and PicMonkey.

Read moreMassively Amplify Your Content With Quick Visual “Sound Bite” Images

Four Big Secrets Digital Agencies Don’t Tell: Part 2 of 4

Digital agency pulling rabbits out of hats(Read part one here.)

Earlier this month, I introduced four truisms that many digital agencies aren’t telling their clients and prospects.

1. While they want to be a full service digital agency, they tend to excel at one thing, not everything.

2. Some are repackaging services under new labels and jargon, but what they deliver hasn’t changed.

3. They are frantically trying to hire, but can’t find the right combination of skills.

4. Knowing this, most still aren’t training the talent they already have in-house.

Why did I bring these out in the light? Because it’s time to do something different. It’s time to be more nimble as agencies and talk about our  gaps so we can more easily FIX them. If we can’t find the right skills, frankly, it’s time to aggressively begin training the talent we DO have.

And if we are selling services we can’t execute with expertise, we should either stop selling it and become more specialized where we can perform with confidence, or wait until we have the right staff and/or training in place.

To do anything less feels like an abuse of the trust clients place in us as experts.

We are here to guide them through the minefield into success with company growth and visibility, not pretend to pull warm, fuzzy bunnies out of magical hats.

Read moreFour Big Secrets Digital Agencies Don’t Tell: Part 2 of 4

Five Critical Points of Blogging & Image Law Every PR Pro Must Know

Copyright InfringementSMACK. POW. Right where it counts!

Nope, not on your kisser but, even worse, in your wallet. Agencies, PR and marketing professionals, bloggers and anyone doing social media (who doesn’t?) are unwittingly putting themselves at risk. The lesson can be expensive, with lawsuit costs and fines stacking up in a horrifying way.

What am I talking about? Copyright infringement.*

It doesn’t feel like you’re breaking the law when you save a funny cartoon or quote you like, so you can post it to Facebook later. Or when you scan then post your honor roll student’s school photo on Instagram. (You bought the big reprints package, so it isn’t stealing!) And… at work, when you use a photograph of Angelina Jolie in a blog post on breast cancer. (It wouldn’t be on Google if it weren’t okay to use!) 

Or, even more common, when you use client-provided photography in a brochure you are creating for them, with the client then promptly posting a PDF of that brochure on their website. (You paid the photographer AND agency, after all, so it belongs to you!) 

Then there’s this one – so rampant in the agency world – you post screenshots of a client’s customized Facebook page and Twitter background in your online portfolio. (After all, it’s your design work, right?) And since you’re dabbling in website edits, you might as well upload those BurrellesLuce clips of editorial placements. (Don’t they send a PDF for that reason?)

These might seem innocuous enough, but they’re legal violations that can be prosecuted. Even if it doesn’t  go to court, fines can be in the tens of thousands of dollars.  

Read moreFive Critical Points of Blogging & Image Law Every PR Pro Must Know

Four Big Secrets Digital Agencies Don’t Tell: Part 1 of 4

Digital Agencies have Challenges AheadThe more I work with digital agencies, the more I’m noticing a few trends in common across all of them.

1. While they want to be a full service digital agency, they tend to excel at one thing, not everything.

2. Some are repackaging services under new labels and jargon, but what they deliver hasn’t changed.

3. They are frantically trying to hire, but can’t find the right combination of skills.

4. Knowing this, most still aren’t training the talent they already have in-house.

I have a few ideas on why these things are true, and how you can benefit as a PR pro. Because this topic is rather lengthy to discuss and I’d like to elaborate on each one of the above points, I’m splitting it into four posts.

This is the first.  

Read moreFour Big Secrets Digital Agencies Don’t Tell: Part 1 of 4

Lost Friendships and Lost Customers

Client RetentionSitting with a parent as they fade away is one of life’s more difficult moments. It makes you think about what matters and what doesn’t.

My father is failing quickly after a five-year fight with glioblastoma multiforme, the most aggressive brain cancer with a 100% fatality rate. He’s losing the battle but is leaving this life surrounded by love and nothing left unsaid. I think we can’t ask for much more than that and I’m grateful.

FYI: To spend more time with my dad at the hospice facility, there will not be a Rock The Pitch post this Friday.

Because of a few things I’ve shared on Facebook about what is happening in my personal life this week with Dad (a huge thanks to those who have shared support!), I heard from a long-ago BFF today on Facebook. Friends who met in college, we shared a deep love of horses and similar timing in falling OFF said horses when jumping a course in our final exams for a riding class. I was the one who made her laugh through the pain as the doctor stitched up her butt (she fell on a metal cup that holds up the cross rail). I wish she were helping me laugh through my pain today.

Once we left college and started our lives as adults, she joined the military to fight for our freedom, then we both had children. We didn’t try hard enough to talk about what really matters over the years, so the friendship became superficial and faded away.

She only realized it today, but I had unfriended her almost three years ago. The unfriending was a passive-aggressive way to lash out, I think. My son had almost died and I needed her, but she just wasn’t there. I gave up. Since I had reached out many times over years prior with no response, then she stopped returning my calls for years at a time, I gave up. I was hurt  and I mentally walked away from a twenty-some year old friendship.

Perhaps the fact that she only realized it today is telling, since I did it years ago, but her hurt reaction made me stop and think.

Was it my fault? Did I try hard enough?

Or did I blame her lack of response on the failure, when perhaps I wasn’t there for her before that point and never even realized it.

Agency-Client Communication

Customers can be like that. Sometimes, the relationship is lost and the easy solution is to blame them for being difficult or stubborn. But the road goes both ways and if fingers are pointed, they usually should point both directions. But it’s easier to blame than accept responsibility, and use it to drive change.

Read moreLost Friendships and Lost Customers

Say Goodbye to Brand Shaming & Social Media Criticism

Say Goodbye to Brand ShamingOne of the things I love the most about how our industry is changing is that it puts EVERYONE on a level playing field. Every single day, each one of us is learning and testing something new, adding to our personal knowledge base and improving our end results.

Nobody knows it all. It’s just not possible.

Granted, some aren’t heavily focused on learning, BUT MOST ARE. And many companies are making a concentrated effort to hire better talent and improving their activity.

Sometimes, I feel bombarded with negative rants, complaints about poor pitching or media relations skills, and people pilloried because of a public mistake. It’s easy to write about and easy to jump on the  bandwagon. BUT NO MORE.  It doesn’t matter if it is an individual or a company who should know better. Let it go, ignore it or see how you can transform it into something positive.

I won’t take part in shaming and I hope you won’t, too.

LET’S MAKE A PACT. 

Read moreSay Goodbye to Brand Shaming & Social Media Criticism

The Advertising Debacle That Nobody Discusses.

Advertsing SecretsIf We Did, Would It Change?

As a consumer, it doesn’t surprise us to see the same commercial shoved under our noses a dozen times during a single episode of one TV show. It’s annoying, yes, but we don’t switch the channel. And it doesn’t make us more likely to buy that product, and probably doesn’t raise the bar in terms of making it top of top of mind.

It is what it is.

I’m sitting here tonight watching Bones on my computer because my daughter is monopolizing our large TV for her favorite teen show on Netflix. In the course of three episodes, every single commercial break shows the same four commercials: a Nissan Rogue commercial, a Kindle commercial, a Verizon commercial and a Reese’s candy commercial.

Every. Single. Break. 

Read moreThe Advertising Debacle That Nobody Discusses.

Want Agency or Career Growth in 2014? Try a Little SMART Planning.

Heaven or HellThis week, I’m all about doing my planning for 2014. After all, you can’t make something manifest itself if it isn’t front-and-center.

You need to think about it, write it down and have it posted under your nose every day. It has to be a priority, right? Otherwise, they remain wishes instead of reality. And I have big plans for my digital public relations consultancy in 2014.

If you’re not doing the same thing this month – building your strategy for next year – it’s time.  Want a waiting list of new business? A promotion? Bigger clients or larger budgets? Stronger digital PR skills?

It won’t happen by accident. 

Read moreWant Agency or Career Growth in 2014? Try a Little SMART Planning.

The Best Kept Secret: The PR Industry Is Exploding With Beginners.

Every Expert Starts Out as a BeginnerA good friend of mine made a comment yesterday that shocked me, but then, after thinking about it, IT TOTALLY MADE SENSE.

Our industry overflows with beginners and “experts” with entry-level skills.

Every week, she told me – journalism,  public relations and marketing pros reach out to her privately asking for help on social media, completely embarrassed and ashamed about their lack of skills. They were overwhelmed with all of the information out there and had no idea where to start. Clients (or employers) were asking for their help but they didn’t have the skills yet.

Is this you? You’re not alone. There is nothing to be ashamed of and you might be shocked to find out you are NOT in the minority. It seems to be one of our industry’s best kept secrets.

But it is time to start learning. Your clients need your help.

Read moreThe Best Kept Secret: The PR Industry Is Exploding With Beginners.

25 Best Digital Marketing Take-Aways & Tweets From #BOLO2013

BOLO 2013Whew. If you were at the BOLO Digital Marketing Conference in Scottsdale two weeks ago at the Valley Ho, you’ve probably just barely recovered from three days of learning and networking.

Intended to focus around online marketing and agency “must know” information, the three-day conference was packed with agency suits and some VERY smart people.

Didn’t attend? See the Isebox folder of presentations, videos and images here.

Read more25 Best Digital Marketing Take-Aways & Tweets From #BOLO2013