A few months ago I had the pleasure of presenting to the faculty and administrators of the California Community Colleges a lesson on “Power Listening“. It was geared to students to better understand pr marketing strategieshow to “listen”, not just hear, what is being said. This was a critical lesson when entering the business industry.

Today I saw a great article in Marketing Pros, that addressed this same issue about listening. It was from Todd Defren who has a blog called PR Squared. Todd puts the listening concept more in tune with the business world of marketing. Publicity professionals may hear, or listen to what is happening in a PR Clients market. But do they have the power, or knowledge to implement a program that responds to what they hear.

For example:

Defren says there are two ways you can “listen” to your customers:

  • Many savvy brands use active listening to monitor social media and respond when appropriate. Defren on active listening: “Quick! Somebody said something about us! Say something back!”
  • The next step is actionable listening. “The difference here,” he notes, “is that the folks doing the listening/responding are empowered to effect change within their organization, on customers’ behalf.

Much of what Todd is speaking about is social media. Knowing when and how to respond is critical. Having the power to do the response to what is said is necessary. By not acting quickly to social media comments about your pr clients product/service is a missed opportunity to gain a stronger brand and image. This is another example of showing a need to include social media and social networking in a pr marketing strategy for pr clients. If you are a PR Client, it is time to get your publicity campaign in gear with today’s pr marketing tools. Listen to what is being said about your industry, and products. Make sure you have a publicity professional or pr agency that can meet your needs.

The old way to identify a pr marketing strategy or media profile was to check the TV programs, or the radio station and place your ad accordingly to the age, and type of people you wanted to reach. That is what the media rep would tell you. This was also true for print media. But now you need to re-think how you buy media.

If your pr marketing strategy, or media plan is based on the old school of demographics, then you are probably wastingdemographic study money. Today, the new media of social networking, as well as the more sophisticated means of identifying demographics for traditional media has changed, and for the better. Let’s say your pr marketing strategy is to reach the average male/female in the mid 20″s to late 30’s. You would probably think that MTV is the best deal. What if you had a client that wanted to reach an older demographic (over 40-45), would you consider MTV, probably not. But think again. MTV actually has only 36% of its audience is in the 18-34 age category.

Here is another example of how we “used to think”. Let’s look at ESPN. Usually a heavy male and football station, but times have changed so has the demographics. No longer it is a male dominated station. Over 24% of women watch ESPN.

Want to hear another wild statistic. How about the AARP.org web site? What are your first thoughts when you see the letters AARP? Old, grey hairs, and probably in an assisted living complex, right? You would probably create a pr marketing strategy of 55+ targeted at this audience. Not true anymore. Over 46% of the AARP site visitors are under 55 years of age.

It is getting more difficult to find and target your media when you use the old school of thinking. Internet media is more focused on specific demos, and actually reach the people you want. And it is monitored easier. You can find more of these facts and a lot of great information in an article called “Time to give up on demographics”. Well written, and makes a lot of sense.

Do your research and check out other media sources for the latest ways of making sure that your pr marketing strategy is on target.

It is best you start thinking of habits, rather than age, or gender. Buying habits or viewing habits will be a good pr marketing strategy not the old school of buying media.

Search Engine Marketing is both an art and full time business. Knowing what makes them angry can help any pr client avoid being tossed off the list.

If you are a pr client, or an ad agency, or better yet, a web design company, make sure you know the rules of good web development and understand what makes SE’s (search engines)search engine marketing mad. You may already recognize a few of these “don’t do” rules, but I am sure you will find some that you did not know and should avoid.

Remember, if you engage in any of these “don’t do rules” your web site can be banned or dropped from their rankings. That can have serious effects on your web site traffic, and ruin a pr marketing strategy campaign that might have included keywords, optimizing, banner ads, reciprocal links, just to mention a few. These are a few of the things to avoid.

1- Re-Directs. Sometimes called cloaking. This could include hidden text or showing different content to se’s than what your actual site displays.

2- Doorway pages. This is a familiar term and was once accepted as a marketing tool for web designers. No longer is this accepted.

3- Linking to poor sites. Sometimes referred to as “bad neighborhood” sites. These sites have broken links, are usually part of a link farm for thousands of other sites linked together.

4- Broken links on your own site. Getting a “404 errors” is not good. Fix any broken links or pages that cannot load properly.

Many other don’ts exist, these are a few to help you learn what not to do. We have other articles that address similar helpful tips, such as “Build Web Links With Publicity“. Other good reading articles you should read are: “Web Site Marketing in Orange County“, Social Networking is changing how we search“, and finally “Web Site Marketing and Publicity“.

Browse through many of the other articles on local publicity, pr marketing strategies, and email campaigns. I am sure you will find something that can improve the publicity and marketing campaign for your pr client.

Publicity is everywhere series

The term "tagging" is now part of the Internet culture. No longer is it reserved for the graffiti on walls or buildings that we see everyday.

This type of tagging is more accepted. Just like the graffiti taggers are sending a message, the Internet tagging craze is how we title messages. It can become an excellent publicity and marketing tool when used correctly.

So how does this become publicity related? Publicity is everywhere.

Public Relations professionals should be more than aware that everything around us is connected to pr and pr clients. It is all communication. No matter the source or the media outlet used, when we communicate, we are expressing some type of publicity. Reporters are always looking for a story. Publicists are always looking for an angle. So why do so many pr professionals and pr clients close their eyes to new technology? Maybe because we have grown too lax by using the same marketing and publicity tools that we tend to not want to "learn" how to change these habits.

You cannot turn away and think that social networks like MySpace, Friendster, or YouTube are just fads. These social networks are changing the way we communicate. It is a new era that will mold the next movement with the Internet. PR Firms need to stay on-board to see how this form of communication affects the world of publicity.

It is important that we don’t ignore this fast moving network. It can be a publicity source for your pr clients or for your products.

See Also

PR people need to watch closely this meida

It isn’t any surprise that a bunch of new words "Social Networking", "Active Worlds" and a host of others are becoming part of the Internet vocabulary. PR people and all publicity companies need to keep in touch with this explosion of how networking is gaining a lot of attention.

Several articles about how social sites, like MySpace, Facebook, Friendster and YouTube are now attracting advertisers to tap into this market. If you are a pr client, or have a Public Relations Service handling all your public relations activities, then you need to stay tuned with the markets as they grow. But don’t wait for the market to get saturated before becoming active in it. If you do, you will become one of hundreds of thousands trying to get visible in a crowded market.

iMedia Connection mentions these briefly in a couple of short articles on Promoting Your Brand In new Ways. They are doing a good service to keep us informed about social networking. Another writer, Cory Treffiletti, wrote an article about advertisers looking to cash in on this new media. I don’t fully agree that all of the social networks need to be hammered by advertisers. Such as Facebook, which is mainly a college "invitation" only network. If what Cory says comes true that it will soon allow political advertisers, then it won’t be long before all advertisers will have access to this media.

Notice how much attention this network is getting. Even I am addressing the issue. That’s more publicity for that market. As I have said many times before, Publicity is everywhere, you just need to identify how you can benefit from all the hype.

See Also

Publicity is Everywhere Series

I’ve mentioned Multi-Tasking earlier, but now I am going to tell you that unless pr clients and their public relations agencies are aware of the craze, you might fall behind in your market.

Let’s review the latest area of multi-tasking. Ever watch a teen at a computer? If not, this is a typical teen. They are very much into the "Social Networking" scene. Just like we refer to the peer-to-peer, which is the technology that you receive an email from a business colleague or friend asking to join a "network", teens are into social networking. For example, many business people are probably involved in networks such as Plaxo, Soflow, or Linkin.

Teens have the ability to multitask while at the computer. They can be answering and speaking to someone in a "chat", while downloading music, and talking on their cell phone. This is nothing unusual to them.

Now that you know this, as a pr client, or as a marketing publicity company, you should focus on this networking of teens. Make sure that social networking is part of your business-marketing plan. Obliviously, your company, or product needs to be something that would appeal to teens. This still works with adults, when you discover their networking patterns.

Since 1995, social networks have grown from the original site of Classmates.com to a wide array of sites that add up to over 200 social networks today. Even Google launched one in 2004 called orkut. And recently in March, Yahoo made the move of its own network called Yahoo 360. So don’t think this is going to fade out next year. Just like blogging was thought to be a short-lived fad, it has grown into a major marketing tool for businesses.

See Also