Is all publicity good publicity?

I’ve had this conversation on many occasions, is all publicity good publicity? I watched a show recently and a group of women were talking about the fact that one of them had been in the media and she wasn’t concerned about the fact that the publicity wasn’t favourable or positive it was entirely negative but to her all that mattered was that her name is out there.  That is something I hear often, people think as long as they’re being spoken about is all that matters.

Well as a professional in the business that has had to manage crisis communications on behalf of clients I don’t agree with this statement at all. Think about it, I’ve said it before if you’re a restaurant owner and you get a huge amount of negative media attention for food poisoning and rodent infestation how do you think that would impact your sales? I think it’s fair to say that your restaurant might look like a ghost town depending on the severity of the coverage.

That’s a hypothetical example so let us take a brief look at some real crisis that has taken place. Look at the BP Oil spill in the Gulf in 2010. BP understandably received a significant amount of negative press with images of the oil gushing out, animals covered in oil and news that 11 workers died in the explosion. I’m pretty certain that bosses at BP didn’t think oh well all publicity is good when they had people boycotting their fuel stations and a media frenzy covering the incident.

Or we could look at the UK supermarket horsemeat scandal in 2013 which resulted in a whole host of jokes, info-graphics and memes be circulated across the internet. Showing just how influential social media channels can be when it comes to the public’s perception. The scandal affected bottom line sales as well as loosing trust from consumers.

Another example is the video featuring two Dominos employees doing disgusting things to pizzas that amassed almost one million hits on YouTube! As you would expect it was extremely damaging for the brand.

These are loads of examples to illustrate how bad publicity has hurt brands. I believe there is such a thing as bad publicity and while most do recover from the crisis if handled openly and transparently the bad publicity they’ve received has done some serious reputational damage for at least the short term….. and maybe longer.

Now you’ve heard from me, but what do you think? Do you believe that all publicity is good publicity?  Feel free to leave a comment!

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Five must have FREE PR tools for entrepreneurs

I am a big fan of using tools in business to improve organisation and efficiency and there are plenty out here claiming to do it all. As a PR professional I am always on the lookout for the latest technology that can add business value and ultimately enhance and make working life easier.

However a lot of these helpful tools do come at a large price for example tools like newswire services, media contacts and monitoring services like Precise, Gorkana and Cision can be very costly. They are useful tools but for this blog I have put on my frugal hat to highlight some free must have tools for PR… in no particular order.

Hootsuite or Tweetdeck  – great for managing social media allowing you to sync up your facebook and twitter accounts and schedule posts etc.

Google – this one goes without saying people Google everything these days and it comes in handy for PR research and much more.

Flipboard – keeping abreast of emerging news is very important and I really like this ‘Flipboard app’. The magazine style layout allows you to select topics of interest. If you’re not keen on the layout there are other options like Feedly.

Google alerts – I’ve always used this service and set up specific alerts for each client project to stay on top of client news. Google alerts  is a free service and is easy to use, it allows you to determine whether you want updates as and when they come or all complied into one email alert at the end of the day to avoid your inbox overloading.

Google docs  – is good web-based collaborative office software that is easy to use for your daily tasks and can save shelling out on a Microsoft office suite. Google allows for easy sharing of documents. Dropbox is also great for sharing documents and data with clients/colleagues.

Now reviewing this list you would think that I’m sponsored by Google, but I’m not, it just so happens that they have great tools that are free to use.

Feel free to comment on any free tools that you find useful.

Content marketing – five top tips

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again content is king, no doubt this is not the first time you’ve heard this saying. I do believe it is true. Content marketing is not about the hard sell, lets face it who likes the hard sell? Not me that’s for sure.

Content marketing is more about the brand story and engaging with your target audience. You may want to sell a product but someone talking about their experience of the product can be more compelling. We are living in a digital age, where we can seek out the content of interest to us and ignore the rest, with that in mind you want to peak interest.

Here are my top five tips for content marketing:

Plan ahead

The saying, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail springs to mind. To be effective and really reap results you need to plan your content and be consistent with it. It may be unrealistic for you to produce thought-provoking content on a daily basis, but if you plan to produce weekly or bi-weekly content for your business make sure that you issue it via social media channels and email consistently. If you issue your content on a Tuesday at 10am each week stick to it.

Focus

With everyone going on about the need for content, it can be easy to lose focus in the rush to just get stuff out. But before you do this you should be thinking about the reason you are producing the content, and remember who you are writing it for. Putting yourself in the shoes of the audience you want to connect with is always helpful.

Visual benefits

Now when you scroll through your twitter timeline what catches your eyes or sparks interest? Images and videos are usually the top answer and they go a long way in helping to tell a story. Marketers use video, images and info-graphics to help tell stories about brands regularly. The main reason for this is because over 90 percent of content with visuals images get more views than ones without….so get busy incorporating visuals into your content!

Recycle your content

Don’t be afraid to reuse your content.  It does take time to produce quality content so you should find ways to re use it. An example of this is, if you have recently written a blog about a new product or service, you could tweet out  key points from said blog over the course of a week.

Share you content more than once

Be sure to use all the social media platforms at your disposal and share it more than once. I do this myself, it’s helpful in building web traffic and helpful to those in different time zones across the world. I often make small changes to the text so I’m not repeating myself and to appeal to different audiences. I also like to use hash tags (click here to see my blog on social media and use of hash tags).

Feel free to comment below and share any tips you have!

 

Video content is king: 5 reasons you should use video content for your business

Go to any seminar on business or marketing these days and you’ll hear a speaker say content is king, and how important content marketing is for you business and they are right.

Well a great way to communicate your content and business messages is via video. Video is a method I often recommend to clients as it is taking content marketing by storm.

Did you know that viral video marketing campaigns can increase click through rates up to 750% according to marketingexperiment.com. With big numbers like this it’s no wonder why businesses are becoming more and more interested in video content.

Video content is the way forward, by 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco.

Cisco also predicted a good few years ago that video content will account for almost 90% of all internet traffic, so if you were or are on the fence about dipping your toe in, I’d suggest you jump right in.

Here are five reasons why you should produce video content for your business,

  1. Videos are shared more than links and text posts combined on social media platforms like Facebook and twitter.

 

  1. It’s not just a young thing; the kids are always at the forefront of technology and embrace it but over 65% of people who watch online videos are between the age of 35-64yrs old.

 

  1. Videos are a great method as they can be easily digested and shared as many people are put of streams of written information.

 

  1. Videos offer potentially huge reach with avenues like YouTube receiving more than one billion unique visitors every month, which is more than any other channel, apart from Facebook.

 

 

  1. One in three Britons view at least one online video a week – that’s a weekly audience of more than 20 million people in the UK alone.

 

I often work with clients to produce creative video content be it a corporate video, animation or hard hitting drama, we can help you achieve your goal and reach your target audience. To find out more please do get in touch.