More Bang for Your Trade Show Dollars

24 03 2014

(Guest post by Kayla Brown, Intern)

When it comes time for your company to take part in a trade show or an event just showing up isn’t enough and it won’t guarantee the media coverage you are looking for. So this time around shake it up and try something new.KB Headshot

Trade shows offer prime opportunities to showcase your newest products, as well as opportunities to extend and amplify your messages to a broader audience.

Your company has already spent thousands of dollars on a booth, developing messaging and creating a unique experience for your customers and prospects. Why not enhance that by inviting and interacting with the media?

Engaging reporters with interviews and demonstrations will help reinforce your message by earning media coverage, which can add to your credibility and also reach thousands of customers and prospects who could not attend the show.

Best of all, this can be easily achieved. Here are some simple tips:

1. Reach out to media several weeks before the show. Let them know what you’ll be offering such as new products, demonstrations and who will be available for interviews;

2. Set up interviews or demonstration appointments a week or two before the show;

3. Prepare press materials and brief your spokespeople;

4. Have a PR expert handy during the show to engage and pitch reporters on the spot; and

5. Conduct follow-up with the media after the show to answer any questions and make sure they have all the materials they need (press kit / images / etc.).

Of course, social media is another great way to generate extra buzz before, during and after a trade show. Here’s how:

Twitter

Create and promote a #hashtag for your show presence so users can find all related tweets. Also, tweet links that lead media and prospects to where they can find information, especially if they were unable to attend.

Facebook

Post coverage and links on your company’s Facebook page and encourage attendees to “like” your page, so they can post replies, share feedback and learn more.

YouTube

If you have any videos from the show or press conference, edit the footage into short, exciting segments then promote and link videos to your website and other social media sites.

Integrating traditional PR and social media with your trade show activities can maximize your reach, credibility and impact for enhanced marketing ROI.





New Tools, Old Rules: Social Media Policy

5 03 2013

(Post by Jessica Killenberg Muzik, APR, Vice President – Account Services)

When asked about social media policy, I once heard a PR executive sum it up in this way: “It’s just new tools, old rules.

Social media has indeed given professionals a new set of tools in our collective toolbox and with that comes the need for proper use guidelines. The key is developing a social media policy that will help regulate, but won’t smother, the personal and open nature of new media within your company.JK FB color

Here are five key points to keep in mind when establishing a social media policy:

  1. A policy with a purpose. Your social media policy should have a positive purpose behind it, focusing on the things that employees can do, rather than what they can’t do when it comes to posting.
  2. Identify roles for consistency. In any organization, certain individuals are responsible for certain tasks. Pick an administrator (or more than one depending on the size of your company) for your social media sites. The administrator will be responsible for making significant, consistent announcements on behalf of the organization, responding to questions or complaints, and resolving issues.
  3. Encourage good judgment. Social media sites provide a place to be professional and helpful, not an open forum to complain or insult. Employees should be encouraged to post, but to use common sense when doing so. And, if questionable, they can always run a potential post by the social media administrator for approval before posting.
  4. Respect copyrights. Giving proper credit where credit due is a must. Employees should be made aware that they must have permission to use others’ material (with attribution, if necessary) before it is posted.
  5. Prepare for problems. Just as with any policy, there should be basic steps to follow in order to recognize and fix problems to your social media sites in a timely fashion. Again, this is where having an administrator comes in handy.

Bonus tip: Make your policy a living document. Changes and additions should be made as more is learned and experienced. When updating or revising your guidelines, keep communication open between your administrator and employees to leverage feedback. See feedback as an opportunity for continuous improvement.

For some examples of social media guidelines from various companies, see the Social Media Governance website, which has an online database of more than 200 social media policies.





A Picture is Worth … 53% More Likes and 104% More Comments

29 01 2013

(Post by Jessica Killenberg Muzik, APR, VP – Account Services)

We have said it before … “everyone reads pictures.”

And according to a recent study by HubSpot – which evaluated 8,800 Facebook posts from B2B and B2C companies – posts with photos on Facebook pages received 53 percent more likes than the average post. In addition, photo posts attracted 104 percent more comments than the average post. JK FB color

The findings of this social media engagement study emphasize a big opportunity for business.

Using photos to increase likes and comments, can increase a businesses’ EdgeRank – Facebook’s visibility algorithm – helping to boost page content to appear in the news feeds more often.

And increased visibility, in all forms, is key when it comes to marketing a business.

Here are five tips gathered from our staff and Inc. magazine on using photos to boost your company’s online engagement:

  1. Use the Right Stuff. Make sure the photo is interesting, good quality, pertinent to your business and customers, as well as appropriate for your audience. Also, if you use someone else’s photo, make sure you have permission and provide appropriate credit.
  2. Show Your Stuff. Use photos of your product or service to bring your words to life and provide a descriptive caption that will interest your audience and lead them to a link where they can find more information.
  3. Show Your Staff.  Using photos of your employees on the job or participating in community, charity or civic activities can help your customers and prospects connect on a more personal level with your company.
  4. Make it Tight and Bright. Make sure the photo’s subject is well lit and that the key subject fills the frame, so that the product or person is easy to see in the online thumbnail.
  5. Make it Searchable. Replace the image’s original, unspecific file name (i.e. IMG0123.jpg) with the name of your product or service and optimize it for online search algorithms, so the right people find the photo.

Do have any photo posting tips to add to this list? Come on, shoot …





Part 3: Facebook for the Business Professional

22 05 2012

(Post by Jessica Killenberg Muzik, APR, VP – Account Services)

Launched in 2004, Facebook users may create a personal profile, add other users as friends and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college or other characteristics.

The Basics: A Facebook page can be developed quite simply using your work email address. To establish your page, go to www.facebook.com and you’ll be directed to a page where you can set up an account. Find the box marked “Sign up for Facebook” and fill in the tabs. Choose a password and click the “Sign Up” button. Complete the form on the next page titled, “Sign Up and Start Using Facebook.” Click the “Sign Up” button once again.

You will receive a confirmation email at the address you provided during sign-up. Click the link in the email to activate and you’ll receive a message confirming that your account is ready. Sign in with your professional email and password.

Once your account is set up, I highly recommend establishing two “friend” lists – a personal list and a professional list. Why? I know the goal of social media is to be “transparent.” But let’s be honest, wouldn’t it be nice to keep our professional contacts separate from your personal contacts. (I’m quite certain that most of my professional contacts probably don’t care about the 101 images I have posted of the holidays, my baby, etc., but they probably do care about our firm’s latest PR insights, blogs, tipsheets, news, etc.)

So categorize each “friend” into one list or the other and then, each time you post, be sure to customize who you want to see the post – either your professional list or your friend list.

OK, you’ve created a Facebook account and established your two lists of friends – professional and personal – now how do you leverage it professionally? We suggest the following:

  • Fill out your profile with your professional information, as well as uploading a professional headshot.
  • Build your professional list inviting peers, customers, media and prospects to be “friends” – keeping in mind that not everyone will accept and that’s ok;
  • Post news stories, blog entries and questions to start conversations with your friends;
  • Post pictures and videos of events, products / services, news conferences, etc. tied to your professional work;
  • Create a viewable calendar of upcoming events that you and your company may be hosting and industry events that you’re attending;
  • Update your wall with current activities and projects so friends will have a sense of consistent action – although there is no need to post too many times in one day; and
  • “Like” your peers, customers, media and prospects’ corporate Facebook pages to keep track of their activities and comment when appropriate.

Here’s an example of my page:

After creating and leveraging you own professional Facebook page, if you’re interested in learning more about how to create a corporate page and how to best utilize it to build your business and its brand, check out our tipsheet, Build Your Business Using Facebook. Also “like” Bianchi PR on Facebook to see how we’re utilizing the site for our business.

Next up - Part 4: Blogs for the Business Professional








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