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How to Create Animated GIFs on Twitter – & what is their next feature

create-gif-twitterRecently, Twitter added a native feature that allows users to upload animated GIFs to their tweets and profiles says PR Executive of 5WPR Ronn Torossian. Users of Twitter have waited many years for these features and are quite excited to start including them in their Tweets. Twitter considers these animated files to be embedded media and therefore requires users to actually press a “play” button to see them. Nonetheless, they are still an exciting feature that users can include in their Tweets to make them more interesting for followers. Below is an explanation of how users can create animated GIFs for Twitter right now.

In the past, animated GIF files were only possible on Twitter either by linking to the file or by using a third-party platform called Giphy. For many users, this was acceptable but still caused concerns for others who didn’t like having to use a third-party service. When making a Tweet, users can simply add a GIF file like they would a normal image. This file will then automatically function as multimedia and therefore display this rich media content by default. While some services take animated GIF files and turn them into static images, Twitter will now support full multimedia GIFs in this way.

Many Twitter users are now wondering what took so long to finally get these new features. Most experts agree that Twitter was most likely afraid of suffering adverse performance due to a proliferation of these animated images throughout the website. Since they have a higher file size, perhaps Twitter was concerned with hosting costs back when bandwidth was still expensive. However, these changes still raise questions as to why Twitter didn’t go ahead and support more advanced formats like .webm, which is widely regarded as more resource-efficient by many magnitudes.

Users wondering what Twitter might do next could potentially expect to see formats like .webm in the near future on the website. In addition, the platform may start to support more advanced video formats that might even include proprietary ones that the world might not know about. Only time will tell, but for now users are free to enjoy these new animated GIF features on Twitter.

4 steps to Market Immersion using Targeted PR

targeted-advertisingProduct, service, brand, or idea – nothing can penetrate a market without a successful PR campaign. You must engage the market, get enough of them to listen, and keep that conversation going and growing. How to make that happen is a mystery that many businesses fail to unravel. They pay the price for that failure by falling into obscurity.

Public Relations executive Ronn Torossian says there are four sure-fire steps to grabbing a market, and getting them to pay attention long enough to make a pitch that lands. Without them, you are entering a land of endless speculation. With them, you are setting yourself up for success.

Market Immersion through Targeted PR

#1 – Curiosity – human beings are hardwired to be all but impervious to curiosity. Honestly, we are more curious than the proverbial cat. Get someone wondering, and they just can’t let it go. That’s just how our brains work. If you can create curiosity with your initial message, you will earn the opportunity to keep people engaged long enough to make your pitch. But, don’t do it… first you must create…

#2 – Speculation – this is nothing more than a different, targeted sort of curiosity. Instead of a general wondering or interest, speculation creates an internal dialogue about a specific idea or application related to your product or service. Something that can help your target… or something that, without it, will hurt your market’s life. But, once you get them thinking, you need to deliver.

#3 – Fulfillment – nothing succeeds like success, and nothing connects a customer to a marketer like fulfilling a promise. This transaction must be set up early on, though. You need to know your customer enough to understand how they will react, and how your product or service will work for them. You set up that expectation early on in the curiosity phase, build on it during speculation, and then deliver results before they have a chance to create their own fully-fleshed expectations.

#4 – Conversation – once you have them satisfied, ask them what they liked about the experience. Keep the conversation going. Ask them to share that positive experience with their friends. Remember, you have to do that while they are still feeling good about the fulfillment YOU said they would experience. That’s when the trust level is at its peak.

If you cannot deliver your message, even these steps will not help you succeed. Partner with a PR firm that knows how to get results, and the sky’s the limit.

Take Your PR Game to the Next Level

5WPRWhat’s in a name? Everything. The most successful corporations invest heavily in their trademarks and trade dress. They spend huge sums developing just the right logo with the right colors and dimensions to project their brand image to the buying public. But keeping up appearances and keeping your company in the minds of the right people may need an extra boost. Large corporations need to do more than advertise, and large brands need more than exposure to remain relevant. They need to put themselves in the mind of the consumer in everyday situations to become a true house-hold name.

 

Here are some key public relations and marketing ideas written by Ronn Torossian CEO of 5WPR, to take your Public Relations game to the next level: Make it Personal Put a face with the name. Put your CEO out in the public eye. Have him or her give interviews. Don’t shy from the press. Have key corporate personnel develop a relationship with the press.

 

Build public trust by telling people what you are doing, and why, and how it will benefit the market. If you’re hiring, talk about how your company is helping the economy, be it local or international. Investors and customers alike love to be able to put a face with a name. Building a stronger and better brand image means associating your company or your product with positive personal commitment and contributions to the community.

 

Taking Public Marketing to the Next Level

You’ve created a catchy and user-friendly website. Your page has interactive features and informative links to provide your customers with timely information they need. Now take your public marketing a step higher. Endorse a civic event with high visibility. Have your name or brand displayed in public places like a soccer field, a ballpark, or a concert hall. Sometimes, for surprisingly little, your company can sponsor the arts, sports or local events and enjoy increased and continuous public appreciation as a result.

Put It Front and Center

Product placements have become widely accepted in television, pay-per-view movies, and specials. It is no accident that some serials have featured top-named beverages such as Coke, Budweiser and Nike. Everyone loves a winner. Is there a well-publicized marathon in your city? Consider placing your shirt on the runners. They will run by the camera, or be interviewed, and your logo will appear wherever they do. You can also get a lot of mileage by sponsoring a local school team. Parents, team members, and people in the audience will see your name on the marquee, or in a sideline display, and associate your product name with the sport or event that is part of their everyday lives.

Bank of America Paying Up

bank-of-americaWhen you make a minor mistake with your bank account, it can lead to a very uncomfortable “hat in hand” trip to the office to try to sort things out. But, when the bank itself makes a mistake, it can lead to a massive crisis Public Relations scenario.

CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations,  Ronn Torossian explains: One of the nation’s top banking institutions, Bank of America, is currently negotiating a deal with the Justice Departments, as well as several individual states, that could mean a $12 billion settlement. The deal is based on allegations of misdealings related to the institution’s mortgage practices. While many banks have been tarred by the specter of selling risky loans, this particular claim involves misleading buyers of mortgage backed securities about the quality and risk level of the investments.

Even after the deal is done, and the pound of flesh is taken, BOA will have a tough row to hoe re-establishing its record among investors, particularly those prone to looking for less risk and decent return. When the most careful investors see their money suffer due to mistakes, they are much more reticent to reinvest, at least with BOA. And, let’s face it, there are plenty of other potential investment opportunities out there.

That’s why Bank of America’s subsequent public relations campaign must make their good decisions and their course corrections very public matters. People need to see, not exactly what went wrong, but what BOA is doing to make sure it does not happen again. Depending on how calculated and effusive BOA chooses to be, the process could be a long slog back to the top or it could be a much shorter trip.

Should be an interesting public relations effort to watch.

The Sincerest form of Market Saturation

one-57-towerIt has been argued so much it is cliché. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Couple that maxim with another equally familiar saying: nothing succeeds like success, and Founder and CEO of 5W Public RelationsRonn Torossian says it’s easy to understand why there are so many luxury towers popping up just south of Central Park.

Extell Development has enjoyed huge success with its ultra-luxurious One57 tower, so, of course, rival developers are fighting each other to snap up the remaining available property, and try to make lightning strike multiple times. Each of these developers, if they have been in the game any time at all, know the importance of timing and order. You don’t always have to be the first, but you must get in before the tipping point.

Torossian describes the tipping point in two ways. Commercially, it is the point at which the idea has reached optimum profitability. Everything else in a similar station, location, or market will be increasingly less profitable. Further, in a Public R context, the tipping point is when your warm market goes from being excited to being merely noncommittal. It can happen quickly, and when it does, there may be no bringing sexy back for that market.

In the World Series of Poker, there is a point when the last guy busts out before the money starts being awarded. That player is know as the “bubble boy,” because he played well, but not well enough to finish in the money.The idea here, whether in building a concept or marketing it, is that you don’t have to be the first, you just have to be faster than they guy who finds himself in the bubble between marketability and apathy. Sort of like the old joke about not having to outrun the bear, just the people the bear gets to first.

Call it a tipping point, or a bubble, or the guy who’s gonna be lunch for the grizzly, by any description, getting in after a market is saturated is a losing proposition. But, what do you do if you are in 3rd or 4th position but still ahead of the curve? Well, Torossian says that is when PR really kicks in. If you can find a niche in the market and then tell a bigger, better story to more and better prospects, you might get into the market late, but you can make up ground with connectivity.

In fact, when played right, 3rd position can be a prime spot for playing spoiler.

Your house under water – Ronn Torossian and Climate Change

charity public relations new york

The climate change “debate” continues to rage. You can see, hear, or read the conversation just about everywhere. And, Ronn Torossian points out, for the most part, the conversation is less about facts, and more about successful consumer PR. People do not understand all the science, and they have little time to gather and read all the research, so they are depending on their chosen sources to break it all down for them. They want to trust those sources because they know they need to.

But, what if those sources are wrong? What if climate change really is man made, or what if it isn’t? Who can you believe? Well, correctly understanding this is less about being right, and more about being trustworthy. One group is cutting through all the assembled noise and factoids and just showing people a ton of water … Right where their house used to be.

http://worldunderwater.org/

At the World Under Water website, people can type in their address and see what it would look like where they live under six feet of water. The six feet is how much many people have said sea levels would rise. Predictably, everywhere looks bad under water. The video images are shocking, particularly for those living in coastal areas.

Naysayers have criticized the site as just throwing water on top of everywhere, correctly pointing out that six feet of water would not hurt someplace thousands of feet above sea level. But here’s the thing, the site is not about precision, it is about shock value and empathy. Sure, YOU Might not be under water, but what about all those other people who would be? Can’t we get together and find a consensus on this issue, just in case the doomsday predictions turn out to be correct?

It is in forcing people to consider this question that Torossian says the site is accomplishing its goal. This trick of technology may end up doing more to push the issue along than any amount of shouting.

What a SoundCloud Acquisition by Twitter Would Mean for Both Companies

twitter_soundcloudTwitter is one of the world’s most popular social media sites, with over 255 million active monthly users, sending out more than 500 million Tweets each day according to 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian. Even though it is recognized as being a brand-name in the world of social media, Twitter has recently had disappointing numbers as far as user-base growth. Thus, the company is actively seeking out ways to expand in order to please its investors, which is probably one of the reasons why they have recently expressed an interest in buying the music sharing site SoundCloud.

If the deal goes through, it will certainly not be a small acquisition. SoundCloud is valued at over $700 million and has more than 250 million registered users. This acquisition could thus become the most expensive acquisition that Twitter has made so far.

SoundCloud is widely known to be the YouTube of music. It is an audio sharing company that gives Internet users the chance to upload and share music for free. SoundCloud is popular with many in the music industry. It gives a platform for big name artists to stay in the spotlight, but it also helps up and coming musicians and Djs share their creations with a wider audience.

If the acquisition happens, Twitter could have the opportunity to grow their user base significantly, expanding the microblogging service’s reach independently from it core platform. As SoundCloud links are already the most shared ones on Twitter when it comes to music, there is an indication that there is already some overlap between both site’s user bases.

The deal could have numerous positive effects for SoundCloud too. The site may be able to sell ads on Twitter in conjunction with the music streams that it hosts. Currently, SoundCloud makes money by selling premium accounts and ads, but its advertising platform simply doesn’t have the reach of Twitter’s, which is set to generate more than $1 billion in ad revenue in 2014.

Making a deal with Twitter may also let SoundCloud partner up with many of the world’s major musical labels, which could potentially give them right to distribute copyrighted songs. Twitter would finally have a music service in its portfolio, which is a feature that would certainly interest many social media users. Previously, Twitter tried to create a music service called the Twitter Music App. While the project seemed promising at first, it never really got off the ground and was finally discontinued.

Latest Netflix Price Increase avoids PR disaster

netflix prices

netflix prices

Anyone who has been following entertainment, technology, and public relations over the past few years is familiar with the Netflix debacle. In an attempt to split its two subscription offerings, Netflix grossly overestimated its customers’ tolerance for paying for its services. When subscribers instantly and unilaterally protested, Netflix reversed its field; narrowly avoiding a PR disaster and needing serious Crisis Public Relations.

It took some time, but now the company believes the smoke has cleared enough to try another rate increase. Ronn Torossian believes that, now, they have chosen wisely. For several reasons.

First, the latest increase is only a buck. A price hardly worth noticing for most consumers who have grown accustomed to paying a dollar premium for a single HD movie on other streaming services. Because the market is already used to paying a bit more, there should be much less backlash.

Another reason Torossian believes Netflix is safe from another PR disaster in the wake of this decision has to do with timing. Amazon recently released an increase in its Prime service, which includes a streaming component. Though the increase is an annual one, it “feels” larger to customers. When most barely blinked – they seem more upset about having to pay taxes for ordered products – Netflix saw an opportunity to nudge its own margins up a tick.

But, Torossian said one of the key reasons why this decision was so easily accepted by the marketplace has to do with Netflix’s successful original programming. With one moderate hit, and one legitimate smash on its hands, Netflix has shown its customers that the company is looking out for their entertainment interests. Instead of the black hole of B-movie entertainment, Netflix has become a true trendsetter in the industry.

Because of these reasons it appears that Netflix will be able to make this increase without incurring the ire of its fans, which is always important, but even more so now that so many other players have entered the streaming marketplace.

Udi Avshalomov: Smart Entrepreneur Of The Week

Udi Avshalom

Udi Avshalom

In this weeks’ write-up of the latest smart and innovative entrepreneur, its Udi Avshalomov, an Israeli – born business magnate, investor, and footwear guru. At age 6, Avshalomov emigrated from Israel and then grew up in Brooklyn, New York. From a young age, he designed — and then became a retailer where he opened the legendary Training Camp store in 1997. Since then, it has grown to be one of the most sought out urban retailers in the United States with stores throughout New York City, Miami and elsewhere – which attract sneaker-lovers from all over the globe.

Subsequently, Udi Avshalmov has become Founder, President and CEO of a leading footwear licensing and branding agencies, 2 Feet Productions Inc. With over 20 years in the industry, Avshalomov has partnered with some of the most lucrative brands, Adidas, Nike and J.Crew and with leading names in the hip-hop industry including Sean “Puffy” Combs, Jay-Z and the Wu-Tang clan.

This footwear connoisseur and family man currently resides on Long Island with his wife and children.

What Implied Links can Mean for Your PR

google-links-featuredIf you follow tech news you likely heard about Google being awarded a patent for its Panda algorithm back in March, says 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian.. Well, tucked away inside that announcement is big news for everyone in the public relations business. Particularly those who use online integrated public relations, and any web-based marketing. Ronn Torossian explains.

First, let’s begin with a definition of “implied links.” Direct, or actual, links are words or images that directly link to another page or place online. Indirect links are words or images that discuss other content elsewhere on the web, but don’t physically link to anything.

Implied links are expected to play a bigger role in page ranking going forward. PR companies can use indirect links as brand building tools in various different applications across the web from blogs, to press releases, to social media, even images and video.

When an internet user searches a particular term – usually a brand name or specific descriptive term – and then clicks on a particular website, Google recognizes the connection. The search engine will then store this information to help create a context for results going forward, including, but not limited to, the ranking of the related sites.

Because the point of PR is building brand awareness, audience connection, and to increase relationships, these new implied link connections increase brand credibility and ranking opportunities. It also provides a sketch framework of how brands can cross post information, and network across various websites in order to increase brand awareness and market connection points.

While direct links are still the way to go for landing pages, squeeze pages, and other sales directive content, implied links can provide a simple way to push brands without creating blatant link seeded content that offers no real benefit to the reader, or the web.