January 4, 2013
Your business is your lifeline and you devote enormous amounts of time, energy and money towards making it the best. Despite your best efforts, unfortunate incidents can hit your company without warning and beyond your power. You need to stem the flow of negative publicity before things spiral completely out of control, and direct attention elsewhere to put your company back in the positive limelight.
Unless you’re completely disconnected from pop culture, you know that the best PR companies for celebrities often have their hands full cleaning up the regrettable moments of their clients. Fortunately, you can incorporate some of their tactics when faced with less than stellar chatter about your business.
You can’t turn back time to erase a disastrous episode, but you can turn the spotlight on a more positive picture of your company. Monetary donations, dedication of time, and other efforts to charitable causes can be coordinated to defeat bad press – or at least distract some attention away from it.
Taking first the concept of financial contributions, I want to stress that these are important only when used in conjunction with other measures. After all, we’re talking about making a swift and immediate impact to divert eager cyber minds away from negative chatter. Your money is obviously a generous gesture, but 5WPR has seen firsthand that writing a check is not going to buy a shiny new image.
The truth is that donations of time toward charitable causes go further than money alone. You don’t necessarily need to spend a year abroad with Doctors Without Borders to draw interest away from your medical practice that got hit with a malpractice suit. But a presence of some sort at popular, local events with a charity angle is easy and can be accomplished on a modest budget.
Even before you have the need to work out damage control, it’s wise to cultivate and develop relationships with charities. You will be first in line when they consider which company is the right fit for their silent auction or event sponsorship.
Participating in a meaningful way to charitable causes has an impact that will resonate with the online distribution channels when properly focused. The best part is that the charity itself usually takes the lead role in publicity of an event, whether it’s a gala for community leaders or plunging into a frigid lake in the middle of January. Society websites in larger cities and social media events pages are filled with pictures of the past weekend’s fund raiser and announcements of upcoming festivities. This visibility is priceless to your company’s image.
You’ll also need to do your part to circulate your company’s charitable contributions. Post your involvement on all of your blogs, and include links to the charity’s page of sponsors and participants. Take your own pictures at the event, and upload these to your website and blog posts. Of course, charity events are perfect newsworthy pieces to include in a press release. Focus your content on how your company is generously invested in the community and involved at a local level.
January 1, 2013
If you have spent any time at all on social media recently, you probably ran across something sponsored by ListChallenges. The website is a clearinghouse of surveys that works overtime to capture users’ attention, and then their information. Ronn Torossian says this list building tool is also a tremendous PR tool taps into several factors that humans tend to find irresistible.
The premise is simple, you go to the website and complete a quick “click if you’ve seen it” survey list. There are also “heard it” or “know it” options. Your answers are scored against the entire list. When finished, users are given the option to “share”, or “post” their results. Or invite their friends to play. It’s almost irresistible. But why? Torossian explains:
#1 – We want to test ourselves
Humans love to see how good we are at stuff. Particularly if there’s no one there to see, or hear, or critique. It’s why we sing in the shower, or dance when no one is watching. These tests are also completely meaningless. We won’t have to “remember” anything, and there’s literally no way to lose.
#2 – We want to belong
Hey, this invite was sent to you by a friend, presumably a friend that you are about to discover something in common with. This is a massive need for the vast majority of people in the world. We desperately want to belong to something. Anything.
#3 – We want to be better than others
Now, this is a funny one. See, for the most part, we don’t want to think we are superior, or better. We want to feel like we are, silently…and we don’t want to feel like a jerk for wanting to feel this way. These surveys allow us to harmlessly “prove” our superiority in a way that, we all know, “really” doesn’t matter. But it does.
Taken together these psychological experiments can be incredibly effective at capturing people, and getting them to volunteer information they would NEVER offer to a stranger.
December 20, 2012
If you don’t have an online presence across several media channels, you and your brand suffer. Whether or not you have a brick and mortar business, it’s no longer enough to utilize direct mail tactics, or take out an ad in the in the local yellow pages. Even if you have a web page, you are only passively sitting out there in cyberspace, waiting for the right user to type in words that trigger your domain name or meta tags.
To really drive traffic to your site, you need to aggressively attack online marketing channels and force your company to the top of the Google hit list. There is nothing passive about hard line tactics, and simply updating your webpage to announce a new product or service is an unsuccessful approach. In order to propel your brand and your company to the forefront of the results page, you need to inundate online media channels with stories that relate to your business.
However, even those companies that have a grip on the concept of “content is king” tend to focus it in one direction. It’s wise to have a blog, better to have several blogs. Perhaps your business relies on a public relations company like 5WPR to churn out press releases to get your name and brand in front of users as they meander through online distribution outlets. 5WPR is not like the other PR companies: it picks up where these let off by providing the necessary internet content as support to drive traffic. Manipulating content across multiple channels of distribution is the priority of reputation management.
Don’t me wrong, the blogosphere is an enterprising – and necessary – way to maximize your online presence. But in the new age of online marketing, businesses that have just begun to comprehend the importance of having an online presence have not yet grasped the idea of diversified marketing on the internet. Adding a press release or two on a regular basis doesn’t pick up the slack. Think of your business is being at war with your competition. Would you make the mistake of attacking from one front and facing your enemy from a one dimensional stance? No great general would find this acceptable. From a reputation management standpoint, you need to elevate the battle and command the assault from several fronts.
Such a strategy would command countless hours, time that should be spent dedicated to your business’ specialty. A more shrewd investment is to retain a company with expertise in maximizing your online presence and manipulating content to direct attention to your site. 5WPR engages a multi-dimensional methodology to successfully accomplish this goal for its clients and position them among the highest ranks. Anything less would be medieval.
September 12, 2012
Ronn Torossian’s Book For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations reveals how public relations can do just that-while also defining brands; helping companies and individuals court the press or avoid it; growing business without alienating loyal customers; resolving crises quickly; and improving first page results on the most powerful search engine in the world.
- “In the long run it is the daily actions of a brand that determines its overall image.”
- “If you are the boss you often have to be the face of the crisis and the source of the apology.”
- “If the people you’re addressing like you, your problems will be less severe in the long run.”
- “Speak passionately and honestly, and don’t pretend to be on a higher level than your audience.”
- “The right kind of charity, timed well, can help restore a tarnished image.”
- “Optimism breeds optimism and that in turn breeds success and happiness”
- “When charity fits with a brand and comes from the heart of a company, it works.”
- “PR has been and will always be about building relationships”
- “Understand the value of communicating properly, particularly in press releases because they will often be used in verbatum”
- “Under-promise and over-deliver: consistently exceeding expectations builds loyalty and great word-of-mouth PR.”