News and Updates from 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian

Tag: strategy

Difference Between Raising Money for Private & Public Companies

All companies need capital to survive. However, there are differences between raising capital for a private business versus raising funds for a public company. While all methods or raising money may have potential pitfalls, some methods are better than others depending on the type of company raising the funds. Let’s examine how a company can raise funds and what the pros and cons of each method may entail.

The Difference Between Raising Funds for a Private Company and a Public Company

Typically, a private company is going to ask for funds in return for an equity stake in the company. In other words, private investors are going to buy a stake in the company in return for the funds the company needs to operate and expand. In a public company, funds may be raised through the sale of stock, which gives each shareholder partial ownership in the company. Owners of private companies may also fund operations through personal loans, personal savings accounts or loans from family members and friends.

Pros and Cons of Raising Money for a Public or Private Company

When a public company sells shares of stock, ownership shifts from the business owner to the shareholder. However, going public may be advantageous as it adds prestigious and credibility to your company. It also shows that your company will be around for the long-term.

When a private company asks friends, family members or outside investors for a loan, it could create tension if the company doesn’t become profitable. This is why it may be a good idea to use personal funds to get the company to a point where there are sustained revenues and a proven concept that can grow into a profitable business.

What are the Best Methods for Raising Funds for a Company?

There is no single right answer to this question. For startup companies, it may be impossible to fund operations without a personal loan or a loan from friends or family members. In some cases, it may be impossible to grow a business in some industries without the right connections. In that case, having a well-connected investor is all buy a necessity even if it dilutes the owner’s equity in the business.

All companies need funds to survive, and those who have the money have the right to ask for that money back or for something in exchange. Therefore, you have to look at your business model and come up with a plan that funds the company without giving up too equity or other opportunities to make money in the future.

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What Is A Reddit AMA?

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The popular social networking website Reddit allows users to write messages in response to a submission by another user, known as a post. Reddit is divided into several categories called subreddits. One of the more popular subreddits, /r/IAMA, has over 7 million subscribers and averages nearly 12,000 concurrent readers.

An Ask Me Anything (AMA) prompt is a way for an organization to interact directly with its user base. An organization registers a username and creates an AMA, which prompts users to ask questions about the organization.
Questions can include what the organization does, how it handles its day-to-day finances, how it deals with competition, or approach mundane topics such as what brand of butter the organization stocks in its kitchen. An AMA is an open invitation to the community to ask whatever it wants, however it wants.
Some of /r/IAMA’s most popular submissions include prompts from Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Larry King, Bill Nye, Stan Lee, and Al Gore. In the case of Barack Obama’s AMA, there were a total of 23,907 comments and 5.28 million page views. Businesses make up almost 6% of the top 500 AMAs, with actors/entertainers leading at almost 16%.AMAs can provide a way for businesses to differentiate themselves from competitors. Rather than having to identify and target marketing points, a business can use the AMA format to learn what customers care about directly from the customers themselves. Not all AMA questions have to be answered; the Reddit platform allows users to sort comments by popularity, making it easy to separate serious questions from some of the sillier or more abstract questions. This is accomplished through a rating system where users vote on a comment or prompt, either approving it (upvoting) or criticizing it (downvoting) based on the nature of the submission.

Marketing through an AMA requires some initial exposure to the culture and atmosphere of Reddit. As of July 2013, Reddit’s largest demographic consists of young white males aged 18-29. Reddit users are somewhat less susceptible to traditional advertising approaches, instead preferring a more casual approach with genuine responses instead of generic pre-planned (or “canned”) responses. The benefit of Reddit’s comment system is that it doesn’t require immediate responses, allowing businesses to identify trends in user comments and formulate responses that will best answer a user’s question.

Creating an AMA is a fantastic way for businesses to gain direct user feedback without a significant time or monetary investment.

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Fallout from the Hack on Sony Pictures

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The furor over Sony Pictures being hacked may die down during the next few weeks, but the ramifications of this incident are huge. Aside from having a long term impact on movie companies, the Sony hack should be seen as a cautionary tale for any major company. If anonymous hackers can infiltrate a company as prominent as Sony, there is no reason why other major companies cannot be future targets.

Protecting Data

The most important lesson to learn from the Sony hack is data protection. Whatever data protection and encryption tools Sony used were not sufficient. Not only was their data breached initially, but it is believed that the hackers had access to this data for many days.

Even if major companies cannot completely protect their data from hacking, there needs to be better safeguards in the event of an infiltration. If Sony had better defenses in place, they would have been aware of the hack almost immediately. Instead of stealing gigabytes worth of valuable data from the company, the hackers may only have gotten access to a few important documents.

Handling the Fall Out

Both the international media and Sony as a company have a lot to learn from the fall out following this hack. Instead of condemning the hack and protecting the values of privacy, the mainstream Western media took full advantage of this hack. Every bit of information released by the hackers was analyzed by the media, with news stories filtering through every day that damaged Sony as a company.

Instead of doing the hackers work for them, the media should place a future ban on making news stories out of company data that is acquired illegally. Since none of the information released posed even the slightest threat to national or world security, there is no moral justification for the media running those stories.

Sony’s Role in the Fall Out

By refusing to release “The Interview”, Sony played right into the hands of the hackers who attacked them. Multi-national corporations should never bow down to the demands of hackers and terrorists, even if the matters at hand seem trivial. Refusing to release a blockbuster movie may seem irrelevant to some people, but the outcome means that the hackers got what they wanted.

The moment Sony confirmed they were not releasing “The Interview”, hackers around the world discovered that they could blackmail companies and intimidate people.

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How to Optimize your Site for Maximum Holiday Sales

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When the holiday season is about to kick off, it is important to have your own unique sales and marketing strategy for your e-commerce website. Seasonal shoppers spend massive amounts of money to buy gifts for their family, friends and colleagues. The only way that you can attract these generous consumers is to optimize your site so that holiday shoppers can find your store and spend some of their Christmas budget on products that you sell.If you are not sure exactly how you can optimize your website just for this merry season, here are tips to consider.

Add Festivity to Your Landing Page

If you want your landing page to trend, you have to incorporate what is trending on the page. By temporarily changing your landing page to add festive images, image titles, meta tags and on-page keywords that are frequently searched for, you can improve your ranking on search engines when consumers type in an organic and common holiday keyword. Using a Keyword Planner, like the one available with Google, can held you research the most searched keywords so that you can optimize your landing page efficiently until the new year comes.

Choose a Graphic Design That Captures Attention

If your web design is not up to par with the web designs you can find on other optimized e-commerce landing pages, your visitors are not likely to stick on your page. If you want to extend the period of time that your traffic stays attentive as they browse your selection, a holiday-themed web design is key. Choose a color scheme that is festive, create different tabs that look like icicles or holiday lights, have reindeer and ribbons scroll down the page focusing the eye on the best-sellers, and rename some of the categories to be seasonally appropriate. By lightening the mood and giving the shopper a great experience, you can build trust and improve your sales in the process.

Get Ready to Roll Out Holiday Marketing Campaigns

Marketing is off-page optimization and it is a must if you want to be found in the midst of the millions of stores that are on the world wide web. Seasonal campaigns are all about offering discounts and promoting these discounts on the right platforms so that your target audience will see what you are communicating. Make sure you have clever but straightforward calls to action on your promotional copies, choose a platform where your followers will be social, and direct traffic to your site for the sale.

Christmas widgets, social media, holiday mobile apps and bulked up bandwidth are all considerations you cannot overlook. Be sure your site is ready for the influx, choose an eye-catching design, and attract the maximum visitors so that you can close the maximum number of sales.

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Google applauds PR mixing with SEO

When Google does an update SEOs are hanging on to every last word to find out what modifications have to be done. The latest trend that is that Google is giving more weight to content that is shareable via social media channels.

At the moment it’s about social shares and you can’t fake it that easily apparently. But Google is anticipating that some will try and “fake it” by opening fake profiles.

One of the top SEO gurus Adam Torkildson tested this theory out. He created 1000 fake Facebook accounts a year ago and they all have been banned today. He confirmed that social signals are a much bigger part of the Google algorithm.

With social becoming more important, having relevant content that is engaging is more of a priority in SEO. Creating that buzz or the PR in your content will now weigh heavily on rankings. This is where mixing PR with SEO has now reaped some benefits.

A company that does this well is Dell. They have over 1 million followers on Twitter and their team answers every direct message from their community. They are truly staying on top of their brand and their reputation online.

So what does Google really want? They want content that is relevant, shareable and that engage audiences online. Interactions must be real and have community value. Those interactions will help bring a brand up in their search engine rankings.

So what does this mean? It means that in the future there will be less of a focus on traditional SEO methods. PR will become more prominent in SEO practices and social PR will rise to the occasion and become more relevant.

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Get Out of the Dark Ages: Maximize Your Brand in the New Age of Marketing

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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 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 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.

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