Monthly Archives: September 2014

Public Relations: One Quick Way to Maximize Your Tradeshow Dollars

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Reports on the death of tradeshows has been greatly exaggerated.  I don’t think Mark Twain would appreciate the adaptation of his famous misquote, but you get the idea.  We’ve been hearing for a long time that tradeshows are going away.  They’re too expensive and take up too much time. In this digital constant-connect age, where we wear our cell phones like body parts, we shouldn’t have to travel hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles to meet people.  We have email, conference calls and even sophisticated video conferencing if you want that face-to-face experience. 

So why are we still schlepping to these things?  Packing business clothes, going through the ever increasing hassles of air travel and ending up in places like Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago and Las Vegas only to spend the entire time on a convention floor or at a nearby bar.  We all have the sore backs, tried feet and drawers full of promotional pens, squeeze balls, lanyards, lip moisturizer and breath mints (otherwise known as chachke) to prove tradeshows are alive and well.

I am not sure I have the answer to why tradeshows still thrive, but the convention industry estimates there are more than 10,000 in the United States each year.  Probably, the simplest answer to the question is tradeshows work. We seem to still be social enough creatures that meeting people in person and getting a hands on look at a group of products in one place facilitates business.  That need may be die with upcoming generations.  I keep reading articles about millennials with phone phobia and if you’re freighted on the phone I can only imagine what meeting in person would do to you. It could be the ox-and-cart trade fairs of medieval Europe that have evolved into the digital-interactive-80-inch-high-def-screen events of today will, in the future, dissolve into online virtual events complete with avatars.  It’s been tried.

So, for now tradeshows are here whether we like them or not.  It’s a huge marketing expense with companies spending up to a half-million dollars on booths, displays, shipping and travel.  You would think that companies would look to maximize those dollars, but too often they don’t squeeze everything they can out of their tradeshow spend.  One often overlooked area is public relations.  I am not talking about putting out a news release with a photo.  I am talking about getting to know the editors and writers who cover your Industry and forging longer-term relationships.  They attend these events and are actively looking for industry news. It only makes sense to meet with them just like you would customers and prospective customers. By working with them you get the word out to a much wider audience and you can highlight specific products, projects, services and your overall company profile.

Here are a few ways to start:

·       Do a little research on your media.  Who are the editors of your trade publications?  What is their target audience – end-users, consumers, vendors, resellers, etc?

·       Look at what you have to offer. What’s new?  Do you have new products or services? Are you seeing new trends in the industry or do you have any success stories you can discuss. 

·       Once you have identified your news match it up with the appropriate editor. A resale trade publication is usually looking for a different angle than an end-user magazine.

·       Line up your SME (subject matter experts).  Who in your organization is the appropriate spokesperson for each of the topics?  It can be your president or a product manager depending on the depth of their knowledge and the story angle.

·       Now you’re ready to contact the editors to set up a meeting at the event.  Let them know you want to meet, what your news is and who the SME will be.

·       Put together talking points for each interview to make sure everyone is on the same page and all of the messages are delivered.

·       You will also need to follow up with each editor on any promised photos, materials or follow ups.

This process takes time and it helps if you already know your industry media. That’s why many companies use public relations firms to put together and manage this process.  It becomes the PR firm’s job to set up the interviews, manage the schedule and handle all follow up.  The result is better coverage for your news, a higher profile in the industry and long -term relationship with editors more likely to reach out to your company in the future.

If you are going to all the expense and hassle of a tradeshow it only make sense to get everything you can out of it.  A nice article in a valued traded publication is a far better takeaway then any highlighters, bottle openers, cup insulators or other giveaway you can score at a tradeshow.  Although, my favorite tradeshow swag was a Duncan Yo-Yo.  I still have it and my kids loved it.

     

We’re Hiring! Do you have what it takes?

Daum Weigle is searching for an outgoing and driven individual currently living in San Diego to work as a full-time Media Relations Specialist.

 

Job qualifications:

 

  • A bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications or a related field
  • 1-2 years of public relations or media experience
  • The ability to develop strong ongoing working relationships with the media
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience with Facebook, Twitter and WordPress
  • Proficient in MS productivity tools
  • Experience working in the media is a plus

Job responsibilities will include:

  • Pitch story ideas to local, national and trade media
  • Develop and maintain a media distribution list using PR contact programs
  • Maintain current editorial calendars
  • Develop strong ongoing relationships with media
  • Write posts for Facebook and Twitter
  • Meet and interact with client contacts
  • Create interview briefing materials for clients
  • Maintain coverage reports
  • Internet research
  • Supervise other team members

Salary

  • Commensurate with experience

Contact

Send your resume with a cover letter to pr@daumweigle.com. Please no calls or faxes. Only those considered will be contacted.

Are you making a fool of your brand on Twitter?

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 11.06.10 AMLast week the Twitter-sphere was a buzz about the “Why I Stayed” hashtag. It went viral after a video surfaced of now suspended NFL running back, Ray Rice, punching his then finance in an elevator. Many people took to Twitter using #WhyIStayed to share their personal stories of domestic abuse. Unfortunately, DiGiorno did not get the message and used the hashtag to promote pizza sales. After much backlash, DiGiorno took down the tweet and later apologized, saying that they did not know the meaning of the hashtag prior to posting. Although this was a large- scale embarrassment that doesn’t happen everyday I think we can all agree that we have been guilty of Twitter blunders. Here are some common mistakes we all make:

1) Improperly using trending hashtags

Sure, you probably haven’t angered everyone on Twitter by making a joke about domestic violence, but companies often attempt to use trending hashtags that have nothing to do with their brand. Just because a hashtag is trending doesn’t mean you have to use it to get noticed. You can customize your Twitter trends based on your location and your industry to get your hashtags noticed by the right people.

2) Not reading what you are retweeting 

Retweeting is key to organically growing your Twitter account. That being said you need to be smart about retweeting. It’s easy to look at your newsfeed and retweet the first headlines that relates to your industry without reading the link. Often companies tweet out self- promotional content disguised as helpful insider tips. While this information may be valuable to your industry and your followers you don’t want to promote your competition.

3) Not planning your tweets

If your tweeting content that isn’t time sensitive plan out your tweets in advanced to insure you’re putting out the best content. You can still leave plenty of room for spontaneity.

4) Not scheduling your tweets

This is similar to number three. Not only do you want to plan out in advanced what you say, you need to plan when you want to say it. You want to be tweet at least three times a day. Tweets are most likely to be seen and retweeted from 1 to 3 p.m. EST. Use a Twitter platform like HootSuite so you can schedule your tweets in advanced. You want to space out your tweets at least an hour apart from each other. The worst thing you can do is put tweets out back to back. People will start to view you as spam.

5) Not adding pictures

Visual culture is crucial in getting noticed. In a sea of texts it’s always refreshing to see a photo. Tweets with photos get 2x the engagement rate than those without.

 

Tips for Building Up Your Business on LinkedIn

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An average of 45 million profiles are viewed on LinkedIn each day.  As a result, LinkedIn has become a key tool to help market your business and professional life. LinkedIn company pages don’t have the accessibility as a personal LinkedIn profile. Joining groups is one of the key ways to put your company’s name and expertise out there as well as gain new connections and opportunities. 

 Tips for LinkedIn Groups

1)    Don’t join too many groups.. Join five to six groups at most  so you will have time to participate, engage and build a strong presence with each of them.

2)    Join Content Niches. Be specific in your posts to find people who have similar interests.

3)    Connect with people who frequently talk/ comment in your groups and conduct private conversations, follow them on Twitter or other forms of social media.

4)    Add “Follow us on LinkedIn” on your company website and email signature.

5)    Don’t just join communications or PR groups. Join groups that relate to your clients interests as well.

6)    Follow the rule of thirds. What’s that in this context? I remember learning about it in photography class

Tips for Company Pages

About 80 percent of LinkedIn members want to connect with company pages. Even though company pages do not have the same accessibility, it is still important to have them.

1)    Brand your page to make it SEO friendly. Google previews will show 156 characters of your description page text. Use industry keywords in your description. Members will find your company page by searching those keywords.

2)    Post in the morning. This is gives your post a longer shelf life and insures that more people will view and engage with it. Updates with links have a 45 percent higher engagement rate.

3)    Link your website and other social media on your LinkedIn page to ensure that potential clients can easily find you.

 

Meh? No, this is a good thing

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One of the fun things about language is that it constantly changes, driven by new words derived from the culture and technology of each generation.

A good example is the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, released recently by the dictionary kings, Merriam-Webster.  It’s been 10 years since the 66-year-old board game’s last dictionary update.

The result: 30 additional pages and 5,000 new words. With the right tiles, you can now spell “hashtag,” “webzine,” “texter,” “buzzkill,” ’selfie” and my favorite, “meh” without a successful challenge.

It’s all about keeping the game relevant to a new generation of players. Without regular updates, Scrabble would follow the path of dial-up modems.

That’s also true about the way businesses communicate with each other and with consumers. Those of us who communicate for a living have to stay current with the daily language. Even the way people communicate — social media, the Internet, texting — continues to change. That’s a good thing as it helps keep our language vibrant.

— JD

Twitter: @jdaum