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4 Ways Your Content Just Killed Trust & Buyer Confidence

Brushstrokes Building Trust image

Trust – it’s so fragile. It takes forever to build and moments to crush.

My brain is teeming with ideas about how to build trust, and how it’s impacted by the content we create and the social media posts we share. As I wrap up the last half of my book, I’m very focused on the topics of trust, value and reputation – and how they intersect to create a bigger picture.

Trust is a complex thing. It’s built up over time based on small everyday interactions, subjective opinions, our own unique perspectives and experiences, and what people tell us.

The internet is no different. Online, trust is built on a foundation of reputation, consistency, professionalism and demonstrated expertise. It’s a collective accumulation of impressions, with each exposure forming an imprint, like individual brush strokes together create a larger image, a larger truth.

Excerpt from Above The Noise (coming this fall!).

We can’t build trust if the content we create is unfocused, and we sure won’t build any kind of meaningful awareness or audience.

Each brushstroke – each piece of content and layer of social media – adds to a larger truth. How trustworthy does your content appear? What perception are you creating as the bulk of your content grows over time? Are you creating a masterpiece or something you can’t give away at a garage sale? Are you creating a bigger picture that is intentional or accidental?

Read more4 Ways Your Content Just Killed Trust & Buyer Confidence

The Often-Overlooked PR Gold Mine: Online Public Speaking

Overlooked PR Goldmine: Speaking, Podcasts and WebinarsIt’s easy to fall into the habit of looking for the more traditional PR placements – press release pick-ups, bylines, guest blog posts… But public relations opportunities aren’t limited to editorial.

What better way to build visibility and relationships with a specific target audience than landing speaking opportunities? It builds credibility and influence, plus it’s fantastic for generating leads. In fact, some use it as their primary lead generation tool or a valued revenue stream, and the PR agency or employee that can generate active leads is an extremely valuable part of the team. (This impacts client retention or job security nicely – whoot!).

There’s a gold mine of opportunities waiting for you. If you haven’t added them to your overall strategy, now’s the perfect time to take a closer look, and be proactive bringing up this tactic before it’s requested.

[Tweet “Webinars, chats and podcasts are amazing sources of #PR visibility – seek them out!”]

For agencies, the research can also be a nice way to upsell an extra project fee that is worth every single penny to their client, or a value-add to wrap into an existing retainer as time allows. And for in-house PR pros, it can be a project that has a major pay-off in bringing you to the attention of company leadership.

Most people who handle traditional public relations think of speaking opportunities – but they overlook the ONLINE SPEAKING opportunities: webinars, podcasts, Twitter chats and Google hangouts. They are all viable speaking opportunities and essential ways to build visibility online. They also give significant credibility to the speaker and build their reputation as a sought-after expert in their industry, in exactly the same way speaking does but with a potentially larger audience.

Read moreThe Often-Overlooked PR Gold Mine: Online Public Speaking

Ten Awesome Free Digital PR eBooks to Put on Your iPad Tonight

Spin Sucks Scavenger Hunt - Free EbooksWondering what my favorite eBooks are? Here are a few you can download to your iPad or smartphone tonight to read as time allows. Not all of theme are recent, but I found each one of them to be valuable.

Registration is required for many of them, but don’t let that stop you. After all, who doesn’t want to grow their knowledge using freebies, right?!

Did you know reading makes you learn great things almost via osmosis? Become an avid reader and you magically become an avid LEARNER almost effortlessly. It fills up your brain with juicy little pieces of information that seem to pop out front-and-center right when you need them.

If you don’t read, you probably aren’t learning – a big mistake in today’s environment.

Glance these over and let me know if you find one particularly useful.

Five Free eBooks (or Presentations) To Download Now

  • Strengthen Your LinkedIn Skills: The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn by…. um….. LinkedIn! Can’t get any closer to the source than that, right? It includes some very useful details.
  • Learn to Podcast: This new SlideShare deck from Jay called How to Produce a Podcast in 15 Steps is youtility at its best, including tips AND specific tools Sir Baer uses to fuel some of his success! And I LOVE his idea of sending guests an audio headset! It is a useful gift that also ensures the podcast is successful. If you haven’t tried them yet, podcasts are a fantastic way to create effective content. Just remember to make them educational, not just promotional! Word on the street is that audio is (re)emerging as one of the fastest growing content platforms for 2015.
  • Freshen up your skills with metrics: CyberAlert created a wonderful resource called The 2014 Measurement Handbook for PR, Marketing and Social Media. It has three parts, but if time is short, start with Part Three: Marketing Measurement: Implementing Metrics That Matter. Good stuff, Cyberalert!
  • Polish up your media relations smarts: BusinessWire’s 2014 Media Survey Results are very enlightening. I’ve blogged about them before, but if you haven’t checked it out yet – go take a look.

Read moreTen Awesome Free Digital PR eBooks to Put on Your iPad Tonight

As Trust Declines, How Are You Helping Clients (or Your Agency) Earn It?

And is a declining trust in media real?

As TRust Declines, Are You Earning It?According to the new 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer Study posted just six days ago, we are more jaded than ever about news – trusting what we hear about on social media far more than from media sources.


What led to this happening? Social media is stealing their value away as the first source of breaking news and content marketing has exploded into a rich source of fresh perspectives, opinions and expertise in an unprecedented volume.

But I feel this survey is extremely misleading, even detrimental to the importance of media.

Read moreAs Trust Declines, How Are You Helping Clients (or Your Agency) Earn It?

Can Product Review YouTuber’s Become Brand Ambassadors?

YouTube Product Reviews Become Brand AmbassadorsOkay, maybe YouTuber is a bad word… It makes me think of tubers, as in potatoes. Inner tubers, even. Shall we agree to call them “YouTube product review queens? A bit cumbersome, maybe, but crystal clear.

I came across this fantastic product review video recently when writing up a new business proposal. I was looking to understand a product’s digital presence and reputation, and fill in the proposal with some creative ideas on how to amplify and improve it. Check it out.

When I watched the video, I thought, “How fantastic would it be if product manufacturers actually PARTICIPATED in the reviews? Not in the actual review, since that would negate the value of an unbiased third-party review – but on social media. Why not thank them? Send them a hand-written note of appreciation for the good reviews, and pick up the phone and call them if it ISN’T good. Wouldn’t that make an epic impression on consumers? It might even transform those product review queens into unshakable, unstoppable brand ambassadors.

And seriously, it would take virtually NO effort.

Read moreCan Product Review YouTuber’s Become Brand Ambassadors?

Five Signs You’re Too Focused on Meaningless Vanity Metrics

Meaningless Vanity MetricsThere’s nothing cuter than a puppy (or kitten!) chasing its own tail. Around and around, the silliness of it all is delightfully young and pointless.

But it isn’t so funny if you’re chasing your own tail in a business setting, and nothing exemplifies this more than pursuing vanity metrics.

So what are vanity metrics? Ones that feed the ego or build audience but are missing an actionable return on your investment.

They aren’t always meaningless, but they don’t tell the whole story about what’s actually working to drive business growth. Think of them as step one.

As we all continue to grow in sophistication and learning related to digital PR and marketing, the ability to tell the difference between a vanity metric and one that is truly valuable is growing in importance.

Read moreFive Signs You’re Too Focused on Meaningless Vanity Metrics

The Uber-Awesome, Not-So-Secret Weapon For Making Your CEO More Visible

Focus on Your CEOSometimes it’s not about actually HAVING a secret weapon – it’s about grabbing low-hanging fruit when your competitor’s aren’t. (tweet this)

LinkedIn is a perfect example. Most companies still aren’t taking advantage of company pages, showcase pages and other free features that don’t require a paid membership upgrade.

It may not be sexy or glamorous – but if you are integrating digital tactics into your PR, a simple solution to gain visibility for your CEO (or other leadership executive) is this:  use LinkedIn’s publisher platform.

What is it? LinkedIn’s on-site blog platform allows a member to post articles on LinkedIn. Not only will it show up on the feed of those who are connected to the member’s profile but, if you’re lucky, it will show up on the new LinkedIn Pulse industry news feed.

Anyone with a pencil icon on the right side of their status box can publish a long-form post. It works like most blog platforms, so you can upload photos, highlight a quote, create hyperlinks and change basic font and size settings.

Read moreThe Uber-Awesome, Not-So-Secret Weapon For Making Your CEO More Visible

My Alternative to the Suddenly Expensive

stock photography alternatives to iStockPhotoUntil last week, I was a staunch supporter of

At three credits for a low-res image suitable for blogging, it was my go-to resource for stock photography. Depending on how many credits I purchased at a time, it would run from $1.59 to $2 per credit – so my image would cost $4.50 – $6.00. Not too bad. I can live with that.

But last week, we broke up. I’m not giving them my monetary love any longer.

Why? They changed their pricing structure to one credit per image, with a price leap to $15 per credit. They are now selling only high-resolution images, instead of letting the customer chose the size they wanted and spending fewer credits for lower resolution. Not only is the cost twice as much (I’d be spending over $100 on images each month!), but I would now have to spend time resizing each image. After all, larger images take more time to download, significantly reducing website performance (and hence, SEO results).


I’m not much of a photographer and am often short on time, so creating my own images wasn’t much of an option. I went in search of a new vendor for stock photography.  Enter, Dollar Photo Club.

Read moreMy Alternative to the Suddenly Expensive

How to Create an Online Newsroom That Journalists Love

Online NewsroomsCreativity counts when it comes to a media pitch, the headline of your press release and share-worthy blog posts. But what about your online newsroom?

An archive of press releases is useful…. but investing a few hours to add fresh resources can take it from meh to fantastic.

Most companies treat the news section of their website as a laundry list of press releases, never aiming higher, yet it’s the first place a journalist looks when something about your company sparks their interest.

And when they need a well-packaged story? A robust newsroom that delivers exactly what they need can make or break that story opportunity.

Have you given it enough TLC… or is it a snoozefest of corporate-speak with minimal value?

Read moreHow to Create an Online Newsroom That Journalists Love