Category: Content Marketing

Agencies Content Marketing Social Media

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

SMACK. 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.  

Content Marketing

My Top Do’s & Don’ts For Pitching & Writing Guest Blog Posts

It’s raining outside and I’m feeling lazy, like curling up with an afghan, a full french press of coffee and a great book. Trust me, I have hundreds of books to pick from. So…. in my haste to wrap up work for the day, I think I’ll bang out a quick listicle!

Content marketing is on my mind quite a bit this week, for a variety of reasons, so we’ll use that as our topic.
Busy week! I landed a new digital agency client for strategic work in repackaging what they package, sell and deliver to their clients as they change from link-building services to content marketing – so my mind has been tackling some of their major issues in preparation for launching work.

A second client tasked me with building a list of recommended next steps to move their content marketing forward, AND I’ve been working on my own 2015 content marketing strategy for Rock The Status Quo.

See why it’s top of mind?
Don’t Overlook Its Importance
When I think of content marketing, one of the primary tactics that comes to mind is guest blogging. It’s critical and, as bloggers now outnumber journalists, it’s a public relations tactic that can’t be ignored.

That being said, here are a few dozen “do’s and don’ts” to help you in your pitching and writing efforts.  

Content Marketing

Who Can Resist Firemen & Kittens?

Okay, I’m a softie. I fully admit it.

If you follow me on Facebook, I probably drive you nuts with all the posts of McPharty Pants Phoebe, my own little feline furball of attitude and aggravation.

My home is a mecca for rescue animals of all shapes and sizes, canine and feline. I have a snaggle-tooth, one-fanged white cat with one blue eye and one yellow who likes to roll in the dirt, a golden retriever that is perpetually happy but dumb as a rock, a kitten (Phoebe) thrown out a window then rescued by my daughter, and a border collie who hides under the bed every time someone coughs or the wind blows.  My heart is wide open to all who dare enter.

So how am I supposed to resist this video of a fireman rescuing a kitten? A KITTEN! And an unconscious one, for crying out loud! It’s too much. I’m completely won over.

I have to say, this video is a brilliant piece of marketing. It might be staged, instead of authentic – it’s really hard to tell – but with over 20 million hits, either way, clearly it’s working.

Content Marketing

Why Haven’t You Subscribed To My Blog?

Is Content Curation Replacing The Need to Subscribe?
This is a common issue with bloggers today – subscribers and comments are dwindling, and social shares and post marketing are becoming the norm. Loyalty to individual authors is being replaced by curating content on social media streams.
It’s probably true for you, too, as a subscriber.
Are you reluctant to add to your already-glutted inbox?
Has content aggregation on social media eliminated the need?
Maybe it’s a bit of both??

I vote for #2. Why should someone subscribe if they already see everything you write cross their Facebook wall, Twitter stream or other social channels?

Perhaps email subscribers are a dying breed. I don’t think I’m alone in my frustrations about building an email database; all bloggers are increasingly challenged with building email lists.

I believe it’s directly related to shifts in how people digest information and decreased loyalty towards WHERE they get that information.

Content Marketing

How to Create Fabulous Videos From PowerPoint (For Under $50!)

If you already invest time in creating slide decks (PowerPoint, anyone?) for presentations, SlideShare, whatever – and you’ve been thinking about how to make videos out of them by wrapping in audio voice-overs – don’t miss this post.

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to speak at the 10th Annual Women Entrepreneurs’ Small Business Boot Camp in Scottsdale.  The topic was how to leverage Twitter to build influence and visibility (hoorah!), presenting in front of about 400 women.

Since I try to make the most of my time and, like any efficient PR pro, re-purpose content where possible – I decided to create a video of my practice run, which I could then post on YouTube.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing: Can You Use Other People’s Blog Posts?

Maybe you were reading through your email this morning, or checking your Twitter stream, and you came across an article with an interesting headline. So you clicked it. Eureka! It’s like it was pulled straight from your own brain! You have to share it with your readers!

So you copy it, paste it into your own blog, give the author a line of credit in acknowledgement for their great work, then hit the publish button. Check off “write post” on your to-do list, pat yourself on the back and move on to the next task. Right?


That’s content theft and I’ll tell you why.  

Content Marketing

6 Free, Easy WordPress Security Safeguards: Don’t Let Pirates Drop Anchor In Your Lagoon!

My blog isn’t huge but, thanks to social sharing and a little syndication, it is beginning to gain a bit of traction. I’m proud to say that traffic grew by 1,685 percent in 2013.

Like every serious blogger, growth brings content theft issues that have pushed me to make some security changes along the way.
It’s not the closet hacker down the block you have to worry about, he’s only looking to change his grades in the high school computer system and cause a bit of mischief.

It’s the sophisticated bots created by some pretty serious hacking companies that you should be concerned about, and their attacks also get more advanced every day.
Arghh, me matey, don’t let WordPress pirates drop anchor in your lagoon! They’ll kill off the mermaids, steal your treasure and fill it with poison. (tweet this)

And if it happens to your client’s website or blog when you could have prevented it? Not good. Really not good. If you handle their site maintenance or content, you could be liable.
Try These Five Free WordPress Security Solutions Even A Beginner Can Handle
Trust me, you don’t want to spend days fixing a major problem when a few minutes of prevention will keep you as safe as a teenage girl wearing a chastity belt her father welded together. (Can we still do that? As a parent, I’d really like to.) 

Agencies Content Marketing Digital PR Social Media

Say Goodbye to Brand Shaming & Social Media Criticism

One 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.


Content Marketing Digital PR

How to Choose the Best Blog Syndication or Guest Post Opportunities

There’s a lot to love about having your posts syndicated. More visibility. More reach. More traffic. More influence. More social sharing.

Same goes for writing guest blog posts – if content marketing is your strategy, mastering website selection for where to place that content is essential. Otherwise, you’ll be creating content, but not results.

If you are a public relations professional, post syndication and guest posting are absolutely critical tools in building digital influence for your clients.

Content Marketing Digital PR

Sprinkles or Frosting? Dress Up Your Content Cupcake With These 12 Fantastic Blog Plug-Ins.

Without plug-ins, a blog is a simple vanilla cupcake.

No frosting. No sprinkles. No glorious fudge center that makes your taste buds explode in joy.  Your nice looking theme makes a pretty paper wrapper, but that’s it. It’s like content cake sitting alone, in desperate need of TLC to make it delicious and irresistible. Readers won’t love it and clients won’t love it.

But with plug-ins!? You can do glorious things, all at the click of an “activate” button.
What are plug-ins? Small pieces of code that adds new functionality to your blog. Want to add SEO? Use a plug-in. Allow people to sign up for a newsletter? Plug-in. Send anyone that leaves a comment for the first time a quick thank you email? You got it, a plug-in.

Free blogs do not allow use of plug-ins, you must have a self-hosted blog. Use of plug-ins are best suited to intermediate to advanced WordPress users, not beginners, due to the customization most of them require.