Tag Archive for Social Media

How to create a newsletter that is a good read

Whether it targets customers, colleagues or other interested parties: an e-mail newsletter can be an extremely effective communication tool – provided that it is opened and read.

However, for a newsletter to be opened and read, or even – in the best case – to be looked forward to instead of just flooding the inbox, there are two important basic rules:

1) You shall not bore!

2) You shall not spam!

If put into practice, this means that a newsletter is not a waste product of old, existing texts; there needs to be an editorial staff in charge! Its contents need to be tailored to its reader’s interests and the topics covered should be both, informative and entertaining for the recipient.

Effective Newsletter

To ensure that the newsletter is a success, the first step is a precise definition of the target group.

Who do I want to reach, who should be receiving information?

Who should know what about the organization, the company?

In the second step, there are two questions to be answered – which, admittedly, is not always easy:

What are the target group’s interests?

Which content will provide additional benefit to the readers?

What will entertain or amuse the target group, which contents should be included in the editorial plan?

Lastly, use a proper style of writing and an appealing and reader friendly layout (a no-go is bright font on dark background, for example), and there is your newsletter that is a good read.

P.S: Integrated links provide additional benefits. Also, readers like to be entertained – however, please do not (!) desperately try to be funny.

Dr. Annegret Haffa

Dr. Annegret Haffa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text by Dr. Annegret Haffa. @drhaffa
http://www.haffapartner.de
Click here to access the Agency Blog

Localizing instead of Translating: How to make international press releases work

Multinational companies often face the challenge to distribute news from the headquarter based in foreign countries e.g. in the USA in other markets “with other languages as well. However, running the English piece through google translater and brush up the language a little bit, won’t do the trick. For making an adaption work properly, it needs to be way more than just a simple translation. Obviously the language is very important, but also some other aspects have to be kept in mind:

1. Topic: Before adapting the press release one question needs to be answered: Is this news really relevant for my market? Spreading news from the US headquarter does not always make sense, because not all topics are also relevant in markets like Germany, and sometimes a solution is just not available outside the US .

2. Structure: US press releases often start off very “softly” before getting to the point. These introductions “platitudes, trend-analyses or the like“ in the first paragraph(s) can be quite deterring for the German media. German journalists spend very little time on deciding whether a news piece is interesting to them or not. A press release which does not get to the point quickly won’t catch the attention of a German journalist and falls through the cracks. Therefore, in German press releases don’t waste any time and space: What’s most important, comes first!

International News

International News

3. Marketing-Talk: In a professional environment, Germans in general present theirselves more reserved than for examples US-Americans. The praising of products and services with superlatives is a taboo to German media. Every provider or manufacturer claims that his innovations are “unique” and that its success will be unprecedented. The challenge lies in stressing the actual benefits, without turning the German message into sweet talk oder adulation.

4. Quotations: US press releases often contain a lot of quotations that basically all say the same. For a successful localization, it is more useful to offer not more than one or two quotations (which cover all important messages) coming from a regional (!) speaker.

5. Customer References: The best testimonial of a satisfied customer is worthless, if the corresponding company is completely unknown in the target country. Therefore it makes sense to make use of less, but local references “ in Germany from the DACH-region or at least from internationally well-known companies.

In Germany, claiming to be “the leading provider” of anything should be proved. Because this is a rather difficult undertaking (e.g. because of lacking evidence and information) it is more secure to position oneself of being “one of the leading providers. On another note: There is no need for (registered) trademark references and legal disclaimers in Germany.

If you want to know why uniform communication does not work have a look at my colleague’s blog post covering examples of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The rules for the “DACH” region or for the US also apply to other countries. Despite the geographical proximity, press releases from France, Italy or Spain cannot simply be translated into German “at least, if you want to get positive attention from a maximum of journalists”.

Markets can be compared just as little as you can compare apples to oranges. This is why PR professionals should not try to capture the attention of the local press with news that were obviously written for another target market. Hence, for adequate localization not only perfect foreign language competence is absolutely crucial, but also detailed knowledge of the local markets and industries.

Annegret

Dr.Annegret Haffa

 

Text by Dr. Annegret Haffa. @drhaffa
http://www.haffapartner.de
Click here to access the Agency Blog

Developing an Effective Social Media Measurement Strategy

There is no shortage of advice on how to engage people on social media. But how do you know if you are making an impact? Are your tweets and Facebook posts influencing potential customers, or are they landing with a thud? Clients want to see results, so you better have an answer for them when they inquire.

Developing a method to measure and track social media engagement is key to understanding how social is performing compared to other media. At PR News’ Digital PR Summit in San Francisco on Wednesday, Maria Saltz, senior manager for social media analytics at Adobe, shared important points to remember when tracking visitor engagement with content to prove the value of your social media strategy.

  • Define business objectives and goals. This includes getting input from a number of groups, including the executive team, marketing, sales, production and customer support. Ask questions and set expectations.
  • Determine KPIs that show business impact. Key performance indicators are quantifiable and actionable. They measure factors that are critical to the organization’s success and are tied to business goals and targets.
  • Measure the value of your campaign. Use campaign codes in the URLs for each post. Employ social analytics tools to follow traffic from social content.
  • Track the long-term impact of engagement. Break down site visitors that have been referred by social sites or specific campaigns to understand the impact of visitor engagement with social content.

Don’t leave your social media strategy to chance and hope that it all works out. When armed with meaningful data, you will have the power to adjust your strategy to improve success and avoid failure.

By @RickBrownell

Top 5 Benefits for Having an Ad Agency Blog

As important as it was for your ad agency to have a website, it is now as important to have an agency blog (by Michael Gass).

Michael Gass is a Business Development Consultant to Advertising, Digital, Media and PR Agencies, Speaker and Author of Fuel Lines. Once again he has shared very useful information. You can visit his blog Fuel Lines for tons of interesting posts about advertising and advertising agencies.

Agency Blog

Your ad agency’s blog is one of the most important new business tools in your arsenal. It can quickly become the “gateway” to your agency. The ad agency website is becoming more like the agency brochure. That isn’t a bad thing.

Here are my Top 5 Benefits to Having an Ad Agency Blog:

Benefit 1: Fresh Content

From my experience working with agencies, anything you try to do for your agency tends to be a very slow process. Typically, because of overcreating, agency politics, agency turf wars, too busy doing clients work, it takes agencies a great amount of time and effort to update their website. Even more painful and slow is an agency website redesign.  Most agencies website designs are not condusive to easy content management and difficult to update. Agencies also also tend to be too self critical of their own work. It is always harder for them to do work for themselves than it is for their clients.

Blogs on the other hand are much easier to keep updated with fresh content, highlighting work and are designed for repeat traffic.

Benefit 2: Generate More Traffic

Your blog has more potential to create more web traffic than your agency’s website ever could. Your blog can attract a high volume of quality traffic from the pool of prospective clients you are trying to reach.

Blogs develop more visitors through:

  • Search visibility – blogs are organized to be search engine friendly. Plus the more content you have (well-linked) the more chances there are of attracting search traffic.
  • Click-through traffic – through posting interesting articles a blog gives a reason for other people to link to you.
  • Repeat traffic – regularly updated content and comments bring visitors back … and back … and back. Most agency websites are not condusive to repeat traffic, particularly if your website hasn’t been updated in 5 years.
  • Personality – create a blog around your agency’s culture and let your personality shine through. People will be attracted to you. People like to associate with people they like. It’s hard to make friends with a business but easy to warm to an individual with a welcoming personality.
  • Viral effects – you create something cool and visitors tell their friends, who tell their friends … and so on.
  • Authority/credibility – blogging allows you to become an expert in the minds of your prospective clients.

Benefit 3: Easy to Use

Setting up a blog isn’t like setting up a Web site. A blog is simple to set up even for the technologically challenged. No HTML coding experience is necessary.

If you are new to blogging, you will find there are a number of free blogging services that can easily get you started. You can literally be up and running in a few minutes. Blogger, is a great place to start. It is very simple to use. However, you’ll probably want to transition to WordPress eventually. Be sure to secure your own domain for your blog so that changing services wont be an issue for you down the road.

Benefit 4: Inexpensive

The only word more popular than “easy” to ad agency CEOs is “inexpensive.” There is virtually no hard cost is involved. Only your time. You will greatly return you cost on investment of time by reusing your blog content in ezine articles, emails, enewsletters, white papers and in traditional publications.

Benefit 5: A Great New Business Tool

In a recent survey of business technology marketing executives by the research firm MarketingSherpa, blogs were voted the No. 4 tool for generating sales leads. Ultimately, a blog can be highly effective and the most powerful and low-cost new business marketing tool your agency will ever use. Provided you know your target audience, have the right positioning, messaging and rich content that is of benefit to those you are trying to reach.

Blogging will take time and effort but the reward will be great. Just remember, be consistent. Provide a blog post at least several times a week and don’t sell. Instead use your blog to establish and build relationships. This new business tool is superior to any other tool that I’ve used in building relationships for new business. People enjoy working with those they know, trust and like.

Agencies have difficulty articulating who they are, why they are different, what they offer and how they do what they do. As you research and write your blog posts, an added benefit will be clarity. The old adage is true, “you don’t know what you know, until you write it down.”

Top 5 Communications and Productivity Apps From 2012

Biography

Richard McMunn is the director and founder of www.how2become.com; a career and recruitment specialist. Richard has written a number of books and helped numerous applicants prepare for and pass recruitment processes.

Top 5 smarthphone apps

There is no doubt that 2012 was a huge year for smart phones. We saw the iPhone 5, Galaxy S 3, and the Windows Phone 8 arrive on the scene. Yet, in the end it is the apps that really count and 2012 did not disappoint. There are new killer apps that save business users time, and money, while supercharging communications and productivity. The best part is the apps that aren’t free are available super cheaply. It is easy to look at longtime mainstream apps and put them into the top 5, like Evernote. While this is a great app this article focuses on 5 top notch apps that are perhaps lesser known, but deserve greater recognition. In other words, these are top apps that are must haves and you should embrace them if you are a Smart Phone business user.

The first Smart phone app we’ll look at is called CallFlakes, and it is for the Android operating system. The app is available for free, and is supported by ads. CallFlakes does all the things you might typically do after a business phone call has ended. For example, the app offers six useful follow-up options, such as text, reminder, email, meeting, share, and call. The app even offers a Google search option in the event you need to look something up fast. CallFlakes is a must have for all business users, and one tap gets the ball rolling.

Another great little app is Glyder for the iPhone. In the current down economy effective marketing is the key to being successful in business. Glyder easily allows you to create and then distribute a cornucopia of marketing messages, such as daily deals, coupons, and thank you notes. Once you have created your marketing message you can easily send them via email, Facebook, or via text message.
Unfortunately, the iPhone does not allow business users to create email groups. If you are a sales manager it is absolutely vital that you be able to communicate with your team, fast. This is where the MailShot app has you covered. This app allows you to build email distribution lists fast and effortlessly. You simply create your group and the app saves it directly to the phone’s address book. MailShot pro only costs a few pounds, and allows you to create 100 groups and send to 100 recipients.
The Maluuba Android app is your Siri Alternative, and while it looks like a Windows app, it is not. Maluuba is a voice powered app that helps schedule appointments, can check the weather, and can even find the nearest FedEx drop off box. This robust app will have you accomplishing more tasks in less time.
The last app is called WorkFlowy for the iPhone. This little gem is nothing more than a simple outliner. Yet it is the simplicity of the app that makes it so powerful. How? WorkFlowy allows you to organise your thoughts fast and be more productive on the go.
In the end, business users are busier than ever and have come to rely on their Smart Phones to be more productive. Yet, it is the apps you use on your phone that can make or break success. The apps listed offer something for everyone. Give them a try, you communicate better and can be more productive than you ever thought possible.