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Are You REALLY Ready for a PR Push? 10 Questions to Ask Yourself First

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It’s a noisy environment out there. With EVERY brand competing for a customer’s attention, it isn’t easy to stand out.

Often I talk with prospective clients who think public relations will be the answer to all their visibility challenges. Alas, it’s not a magic potion.

A very important question to ask yourself is: Are you really ready for PR?

Of course, as a PR pro, I want your answer to be yes, because I believe so strongly in the value of public relations as part of a thought leadership effort and digital marketing program. But sometimes, you may think you’re ready….when, in fact, you may not be.

PR can help a company capture a prospective customer’s eye – and it’s more credible than ads. 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads. And digital PR is something every client is interested in.

As the PR market grows (10.2% growth was projected in 2021), it’s reasonable to expect that more companies than ever will consider embarking on a public relations program.

But – it does take some effort to get where you want to be.

10 Questions to Consider to Determine If You’re Ready for PR

Think you’re ready to try a PR push?

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself to determine if you’re truly prepared to start a public relations effort: Continue reading Are You REALLY Ready for a PR Push? 10 Questions to Ask Yourself First

Is PR For Sale?

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There’s an unsettling trend in the PR industry that’s causing frustration for PR pros AND clients alike.

PR appears to be for sale.

Publications selling articles. Organizations hawking awards. Broadcast media peddling placements.

Public relations pros are shaking their heads. As if it weren’t already hard enough to explain what we do, now we have to explain that true earned media isn’t for sale.

True Earned Media Never Comes with a Guarantee

Continue reading Is PR For Sale?

14 #FreelanceChat Guests Offer Their Best Advice for Freelancers in 2021

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Freelancing has never been easy, but it is more popular than ever. There are now about 1.1 billion freelancers around the world.

Managing your own freelance business involves wearing many hats. As a long-time self-employed freelance consultant, I longed to support other freelancers, so I started #FreelanceChat on Twitter in Sept. 2018. As we head into a new year, I like to ask some of our guests the advice they might give to other freelancers.

Here’s what our expert guests had to say.

14 Tips for Freelancers from #FreelanceChat Guests

Continue reading 14 #FreelanceChat Guests Offer Their Best Advice for Freelancers in 2021

Making 2021 Marketing Plans Knowing That Change Is the Only Constant

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The new year has arrived. But what will it hold? As we make 2021 marketing plans, how can we place bets on the best way to organize those plans when there are still so many questions to be answered?

This time of year, many marketers make predictions on what businesses should focus on as we face the new year. But in this instance, can we even begin to predict what lies ahead?

Instead, let’s take a look at what we do – and don’t – know that can help us construct our best marketing plan.

What We DO Know As We Make 2021 Marketing Plans

Continue reading Making 2021 Marketing Plans Knowing That Change Is the Only Constant

21 Influencers Share Stellar Advice for Digital Marketing in 2021

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As we prepare to enter a new year, we all wonder what lies ahead.

2020 was anything but predictable. But what can we learn and apply to our digital marketing and communications strategies in 2021?

I asked 21 influencers to share their thoughts on this question: What one piece of marketing advice would you offer to brands as we head into the new year?

Here’s what they had to say.

Advice for Digital Marketing in 2021

Continue reading 21 Influencers Share Stellar Advice for Digital Marketing in 2021

Why Small Businesses Need to Invest in Their Digital Presence

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For years, small businesses have asked the question – do we really need a digital presence? The answer is – yes.

Research shows that much of our audience was already online before the pandemic. Studies conducted before March 2020 reported that 70 to 80% of people research a small business online BEFORE visiting the business or making a purchase from it[i]. Yet, according to research conducted in 2019, 40% of small businesses still don’t have a website. Further, 28% say it’s likely they won’t build one in the future.

It’s time for that to change. Continue reading Why Small Businesses Need to Invest in Their Digital Presence

Why Clear Communication Matters Now More Than Ever

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If there’s one thing we can agree on right now, it’s that messaging and communication over the past few months regarding COVID-19 has been anything but consistent.

As a professional communicator, it can make you shake your head.

Let’s take the messaging regarding wearing a mask to prevent the spread of the virus as an example. When all this started back in March, we heard from the CDC that it wasn’t necessary to wear a mask.

Somewhere along the line, that message changed to, “Yes, you SHOULD be wearing a mask when you go out.”

Has this caused confusion? (Yes.) Does everyone understand what they’re supposed to do? (No.) And even if the directive has now changed, does that mean that everyone will adhere to the new guidelines? (Definitely not.) Have some people – because of the confusion and mixed messages – simply given up on even trying to figure out what they’re supposed to do? (Undoubtedly yes.)

What’s the point, you may ask? Continue reading Why Clear Communication Matters Now More Than Ever

5 Reasons to Over-Communicate With Your Audiences Right Now – and What to Say

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As we catch our breath from the past few weeks of dealing with the coronavirus quarantine, one thing has become apparent – companies are anxious to keep in touch with their audiences. They’re just not sure what to say to them.

With our daily routines as we know them on pause for now, brands are searching for ways to stay in contact with their employees, customers and other stakeholders.

And, some are in doubt about the best way to do this. Should we post on social media? Should we email? Should it be business as usual?

The answers to that question are differ from brand to brand. In this time of uncertainty, no one formula works for everyone.

The worst thing companies can do right now is to stop communicating. If anything, now is a time when you should over-communicate.

5 Reasons You Want to Over-Communicate With Your Audiences

Continue reading 5 Reasons to Over-Communicate With Your Audiences Right Now – and What to Say

14 of the Best Budget-Friendly Tools to Help You Master PR, Content and Social Media

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With the new year well underway, many small business owners and freelancers may be looking for ways to streamline projects and squeeze more productivity out of the workday.

As a public relations consultant and freelance writer who sometimes dons a reporter’s hat, I’m always interested in trying out tools that allow me to get more done — but as a solopreneur, I’m also cost-conscious.  I’m often asked what my favorite free or low-cost solutions are to accomplish communications-related tasks.

Here, I share 14 of my top picks. Continue reading 14 of the Best Budget-Friendly Tools to Help You Master PR, Content and Social Media

What PR Pros Need to Know About AI: A Conversation with Christopher Penn

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While talk of artificial intelligence, or AI, permeates the public relations world, there’s little understanding of how it’s impacting what we do now – and what we’ll do in the future.

Christopher Penn, THE person you should follow to get smart about AI, and I had a chat recently about how PR pros can expect AI to improve their job functions, and what they can be doing right now to prepare for the future. Here’s a recap. Continue reading What PR Pros Need to Know About AI: A Conversation with Christopher Penn