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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

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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

How to Build Trust – 10 Lessons from Content Marketing World

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As I continue to digest everything I heard at this year’s Content Marketing World in Cleveland, themes have begun to emerge. Because it’s my fourth visit to the conference, I’ve been able to view what I’ve learned through a lens of comparison. What were the new trends this year? And what hasn’t changed?

The overarching theme that stands out to me is – TRUST. Trust must exist for any transactions to take place. But how do we as content marketers, public relations professionals and social media managers work to establish that trust that we seek with our audiences?

Here are 10 of the lessons I learned at CMWorld related to trust: Continue reading How to Build Trust – 10 Lessons from Content Marketing World

6 Themes to Watch and 8 Speakers to Catch at This Year’s Content Marketing World

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Content marketing fanatics from all over the world will be converging on Cleveland in a few weeks for this year’s Content Marketing World conference, Sept. 3-6.

A review of the sessions and speaker lineup shows once again the care that goes into planning such a packed agenda. The program is so strong, in fact, you may have trouble choosing which sessions to attend.

After taking a closer look, I’m here to help with a few tips on sessions you should star in your CMWorld app. Continue reading 6 Themes to Watch and 8 Speakers to Catch at This Year’s Content Marketing World

Caution Ahead: How a Good PR Pro Helps You Avoid Trouble

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The benefits of having an experienced PR pro on board – be they a team member or a hired hand like a consultant – are clear.

We help brands build, maintain and promote their reputations by sharing news and information via a variety of channels.

But, beyond the initiatives that skilled public relations practitioners generally handle, they bring something else to the table.

How a skilled PR consultant can help keep you out of trouble

 Whether they know it or not, companies without PR counsel are taking a risk. They could be one bad decision away from a crisis.

If you work with a public relations consultant on a regular basis, he or she can help advise you on any number of matters. And avoiding trouble is always better than trying to do damage control.

Here are some examples: Continue reading Caution Ahead: How a Good PR Pro Helps You Avoid Trouble

How Social Media Lurkers Can Boost Your Business

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Tracking the effectiveness of social media has caused many a marketer to shake his or her head in frustration. How can we PROVE it’s effective so that clients will see the value?

While much has been written about tracking its value, I’m going to make another argument – maybe the most significant benefit of social media comes from the views we CAN’T track. I refer to these as “lurker” views. Lurkers – you know, the people who see and read your content – they just don’t like it, comment on it or share it.

While that can be frustrating, its benefit still needs to be taken into account. Why? Because the lurkers may be the ones hiring you or buying your products or services.

Why should we care about social media lurkers?

Continue reading How Social Media Lurkers Can Boost Your Business