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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

How Can Small Businesses Prepare for the Recovery? Nine Marketing Pros Give Their Best Advice

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Marketing during a crisis can be a challenge. As small businesses struggle to get their bearings, many wonder how to market themselves.

More than 60% of small and medium business owners surveyed said they felt their revenues would shrink for the next six months.  Given the shaky economic conditions, they want to retain current customers and appeal to new ones, but how to communicate without sounding opportunistic can be tricky.

So what can they do to market effectively now and as we move forward? To provide some help and direction, I asked nine marketing and communications pros for their best advice.

I asked: “If you could give one piece of advice to small businesses as they prepare for the recovery, what would it be?”

How Can Small Businesses Prepare for the Recovery?

Continue reading How Can Small Businesses Prepare for the Recovery? Nine Marketing Pros Give Their Best Advice

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

Freelancing in 2020? Here Are 11 Valuable Tips from the Pros

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The freelance businessperson faces many challenges. As a long-time self-employed consultant – or freelancer, as it’s sometimes called – I know what it’s like to struggle with the questions that come up when one is trying to run one’s own business. So, I started #FreelanceChat in Sept. 2018 to help bring together freelancers interested in supporting each other as we address some of these challenges.

Over a year later, the Twitter chat is going strong. In 2019, we had a number of guests join us to chat about topics ranging from how to find clients to how to market yourself to how to get paid on time.

I asked some of these experts what advice they’d share with freelancers as we head into a new year. Here’s what they said:

Continue reading Freelancing in 2020? Here Are 11 Valuable Tips from the Pros

12 Ways to Leverage PR to Fill Seats at Your Events

Are you promoting your events

Events. Each month, there are hundreds, thousands of events taking place locally, regionally and nationally.

It’s clear that event marketing is on the rise. 85 percent of marketers cite event production as “essential” to their marketing strategies, while 41 percent consider event marketing the most crucial channel to achieve their goals[i]. Two-thirds of those surveyed say they plan to increase spending on live events in 2019.

Why are events so popular? They allow face-to-face interaction, which is vital as companies try to build that human connection with their customers and foster a sense of community.

With the uptick in the number of events, why is it that you often hear of them AFTER they happen? Or maybe you never hear about them at all.

Is Your Event a Well-Kept Secret? Continue reading 12 Ways to Leverage PR to Fill Seats at Your Events

5 Things You Should Never Hear a PR Person Say

PR pros, stop saying these 5 things

Working in public relations, you know you’ll face some challenges. One stumbling block is the preconceived ideas people seem to have about PR practitioners.

Whether this is based on previous experience or simply on the reputation some in PR have as being “spin doctors,” we sometimes battle the stereotypes.

While this can be frustrating to those of us who work hard to ensure we put integrity first, sometimes we have only our fellow public relations people to blame. When they promise what they can’t deliver, it can give us all a bad name. Continue reading 5 Things You Should Never Hear a PR Person Say

7 Ways Manufacturing Companies Can Take Advantage of PR

Manufacturing companies need PR, too

If you have a company in the manufacturing or industrial markets, PR may be an element that’s missing from your marketing program. Many companies in these verticals overlook PR because they may feel it won’t be worthwhile for them. They may think, “What in the world do we have to talk to the media about?”

The truth is, a lot! The trick is figuring out the most effective way to leverage PR to make it work for you.

For example, I’ve worked with many companies in these markets who have interesting stories to tell. What they needed help with was unearthing these stories, then figuring out the best channels to use to get them out.

“You need to not only create great content, you need to make sure people see it,” says Jay Scheer of Thomasnet.com. “Too many manufacturing companies seem content waiting and waiting for those prospects to magically find their websites, pick up the phone, and sign on the dotted line.”

Traditionally, manufacturing companies have turned somewhat of a blind eye to marketing and PR. But, “As vendor loyalty erodes in the B2B market, manufacturers find ‘they’re almost having to resell their clients,’” said a recent article in Crain’s Chicago Business.

What PR approaches work for manufacturing businesses?

For manufacturers who want to take advantage of public relations, here are seven ways to get started: Continue reading 7 Ways Manufacturing Companies Can Take Advantage of PR