Friday, June 30, 2017

Quiz: Commonly misused or misspelled words

This article was originally published on PR Daily in June 2016.

I’ve written more posts than I can count about confusing word pairswords that are hard to spell and words that aren’t really words.

Instead of another article about usage, let’s see how you fare with a quiz.

Read the list below and make note of which words or phrases are incorrect—either from misspelling or from misstatement. Check your answers at the end.

RELATED: Improve your writing today with this free guide.

Definitions and usage guidance came from Oxford Dictionaries, Dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster.

1. Alterior motive

2. Augurs well for the project

3. Brussel sprout

4. Caddy-corner

5. Center around

6. Conversate

7. Coursing through my veins

8. Cut and dry

9. Derring-do

10. Digestive track

11. Dire straits

12. Door jamb

13. Doughnut

14. Duct tape

15. Easedrop

16. Fine-tooth comb

17. Harebrained

18. Home in

19. Mute point

20. Old wise tale

21. Per say

22. Sleight of hand

23. Thunder and lightening

24. Wet your appetite

Answers:

1. Incorrect. “Alterior” should read “ulterior.”

2. Correct.

3. Incorrect. “Brussel sprouts” should be “Brussels sprouts.”

4. Incorrect. “Caddy” is not correct; instead, use “catty” or “kitty.”

5. Incorrect. Things don’t “center around,” but rather “center on” or “revolve around.”

6. Incorrect. It should be “converse.”

7. Correct.

8. Incorrect. It should be “cut and dried.”

9. Correct.

10. Incorrect. It should be “digestive tract.”

11. Correct.

12. Correct.

13. Correct.

14. Correct.

15. Incorrect. “Easedrop” should be “eavesdrop.”

16. Correct.

17. Correct.

18. Correct. “Home” is to “focus in on a target”; “hone” means “to sharpen.”

19. Incorrect. “Mute” should read “moot.”

20. Incorrect. Instead of “wise,” it’s an “old wives’ tale.”

21. Incorrect. “Per say” should read “per se,” meaning “by or in itself.”

22. Correct.

23. Incorrect. “Lightening” is incorrect; “lightning” is correct.

24. Incorrect. “Wet” should be “whet,” which means to “stimulate an appetite or desire.”

How did you do, PR Daily readers? What words or phrases cause you trouble?

Laura Hale Brockway is writer and editor from Austin, Texas. Read more of her work on PR Daily and at impertinentremarks.

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Redfin’s IPO, and Now

After seemingly hearing the “when is Redfin going public?” question floating around industry conversations for years, it appears the answer is here.

Now.

In more ways than one.

The real big news is not that they announced their IPO. It’s Now. As in Redfin Now, a competitor to Opendoor.

I have to hand it to them. Redfin Now is smart move. They have a significant, significant advantage over Opendoor (and everyone else except Zillow’s Instant Offers). 20 million monthly visitors. Plus, they have an existing strong value proposition with sellers as a result of the massive buyer pool using their website — and the ability to feature their own listings more prominently. The buyer traffic also bodes well when thinking about their ability to resell the homes they buy directly from sellers quicker than others.

What do you think? Will you buy the stock once it’s public?

The post Redfin’s IPO, and Now appeared first on GeekEstate Blog.



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The 5 most popular stories on PR Daily this week

Survey: Are events the marketing goldmine they’re cracked up to be?

Attending events can be a great way to stay current with industry trends, increase your knowledge and network.

However, marketers’ tune changes when it comes to the affect on their organizations.

More than half of marketers view conferences and trade shows as a necessary evil, with 64 percent of them saying they’ve been disappointed when attending a major event.

Bospar’s Trade Show Success Survey revealed several reasons for that disappointment:

- Cost of attending too high relative to the ROI (45 percent)

- Not getting the right spot on the conference floor (45 percent)

- Low-value leads (36 percent)

- Poor speaker spots (36 percent)

However, the study points to a lack of media coverage—or getting the wrong type of coverage altogether—as the biggest source of frustration in communicators who attend conferences. Sixty-nine percent of respondents were disappointed by the media coverage their organizations got at a conference.

[RELATED: Master what's now, and discover what's next in PR and communications at the PR Now & Next Conference.]

Reasons for the subpar media relations results vary, according to the study:

  • Company’s news was lost in other trade show news stories (31 percent)
  • Members of the news media did not cover their company at all (31 percent)
  • Media interviews did not result in articles (23 percent)
  • Journalists were difficult to reach or did not show up for scheduled interviews (23 percent)
  • Company news appeared in a roundup of competitors (8 percent)

The study’s results can give marketers and PR pros insight into how to prepare for events.

Going into a conference, it’s crucial to ensure that journalists will be aware of your brand’s presence and have easy (perhaps exclusive) access to your top experts.

Another option is to focus on smaller events. Ninety-two percent of marketers said that smaller trade shows are a “good investment.” Here are a few of the benefits:

  • Connecting to customers (75 percent)
  • Securing leadership speaking roles (67 percent)
  • Hosting receptions or events with less competition (50 percent)

Many communicators also turn to social media to boost their brands and connect to those outside of their organizations at events. Twitter is the favored platform, with 93 percent of marketers calling it the best social platform for conferences.

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Own (A Piece of) The Evergrey

The Evergrey & their technology arm Whereby.us are building a “better way to local“.

I’m a fan (see prior writing here). They believe, and invest, in community. Proof: an event overview from November:

Are you committed to community and local? Particularly if you’re in Seattle where Evergrey is focused, I’d encourage you to invest in their fundraising round. Want to invest (you have to be accredited, and have a minimum of $500)? Further details are here.

The post Own (A Piece of) The Evergrey appeared first on GeekEstate Blog.



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7 social media lessons from ‘Pretty Little Liars’

"Pretty Little Liars” fans have finally met their endgame.

On Tuesday, the series finale concluded the seven-year-run of what has been called “the most social show on TV”—and one of the first series to usher in the era of tweeting along with your favorite television shows.

Its second season finale generated the most social media buzz of any series in TV history at the time, and last year’s episodes generated more than a quarter of a billion engagements across social platforms.

Here are seven lessons “Pretty Little Liars” can offer PR pros looking to develop their own social media campaigns:

1. Begin with your endgame in mind.

As the show moved to reveal its ultimate antagonist, “A.D.,” the final episodes were dubbed #PLLEndGame. Clues from episodes that aired years ago suddenly fell into place in a very calculated way.

The final arc showed that the show’s writers established its conclusion—or endgame—for some time ago, and have been strategically building towards it with each season.

Do the same with your social media campaigns by carefully thinking through what success might look like long before you write a single tweet or Facebook post.

Keeping the endgame of your campaign in mind at all times will enable you to take a more strategic approach to every aspect of the campaign and help you achieve your ultimate PR goals.

2. Familiarity breeds success.

#PLLEndGame rewarded viewers who have been loyal fans of the show for years by bringing back characters, locations and plotlines that had not been seen for several seasons.

Likewise, the people who follow your brand on social media are often your biggest advocates. You have a unique opportunity to design campaigns that enable you to leverage this loyalty such as Coca-Cola’s #CokeJourney campaign.

Just as the writers of “Pretty Little Liars” engaged with loyal fans since the show’s begining, you can use the familiarity that social media provides to develop relationships with consumers that can last a lifetime.

3. Don’t forget the element of surprise.

#PLLEndGame delivered shocking moments, such as revealing Mary Drake as Spencer Hasting’s mother and unveiling that Mona Vanderwaal killed Charlotte Drake. These moments mirrored the bombshell plot twists that pushed the series to the top of the social media stratosphere years ago.

Similarly, the element of surprise can also go a long way in your social media campaigns, especially as your brand seeks to stand out in increasingly crowded timelines.

Brand managers can employ several tactics to disrupt the status quo and turn the attention of a conversation toward them, including the snark that earned Wendy’s its beloved place among younger consumers.

[RELATED: Refresh your social media strategy so you can react on the fly.]

4. Listen to fan feedback.

Social media offers the ability to monitor the feedback your campaign is generating in real time, and “Pretty Little Liars’” writers consistently used online feedback to influence future storylines on the show.

For example, fans’ strong reactions to the relationship between characters Alison DiLaurentis and Emily Fields moved the show’s creator, I. Marlene King, to make their pairing a central focus of #PLLEndGame.

The ever-changing nature of “Pretty Little Liars” can underline the importance of being dynamic in a social media campaign. By listening to comments, reactions and other feedback, you can correct the course of your campaign to ensure you reach your goals.

5. Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith.

By the middle of the series, “Pretty Little Liars” started to feel stale, and many of the show’s relationships and mysteries had run their courses. To address this, writers moved the show’s timeline five years into the future, which injected the series with newfound creativity and excitement.

Fatigue can be common when managing a social media campaign over a long period of time, and you might write posts ad nauseam.

“Pretty Little Liars’” #5YearsLater time jump is a valuable reminder that you should never stick to what is familiar because it’s what you’ve always done. Instead, try new ideas that can capture consumers’ attention and restore social media magic to your campaign.

6. Engage fans at multiple touchpoints.

“Pretty Little Liars” creators used a several touchpoints to keep fans engaged. Throughout the series, viewers used the #PLLChat hashtag to talk with cast and crew members as episodes aired. The show has a vibrant presence on social platforms, including Tumblr blogs dedicated to deconstructing the mysteries of #PLLEndGame, a PLL Snapchat that offers fans behind-the-scenes peeks and a portal on Wish that invites viewers to take polls.

Outstanding social media campaigns do not rely solely on one platform. Instead, savvy brand managers reach out to audiences at every possible opportunity.

7. Always bring your “A” game.

As a PR pro, the most important way to ensure a successful social media campaign is to do your best work on every project, for every client, every single time.

Not all campaigns you devise will be the rousing successes, just as some seasons of “Pretty Little Liars” are favored over others. However, putting your best foot forward and focusing on crafting exceptional work ensures that at your career’s endgame, you’ll take several PR wins with you.

Drew Boehmker is an account executive at Scooter Media.

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4 PR lessons to celebrate the Fourth of July

As we prepare for the Fourth of July, your mind might wander to celebrating with friends at a backyard barbecue and watching fireworks displays light up the night sky.

However, Independence Day—and the American Revolution in general—represent the outcome of one of history’s first, and most successful, PR campaigns.

Let’s look back at our nation’s Founding Fathers.

These men were not only strong leaders with political savvy, they were also pros at using PR tactics to achieve their goals. By employing PR strategies in their fight for independence, our nation’s Founding Fathers united early Americans and led them to victory—without the internet and social platforms to help build their brand or spread their messages.

Here are four lessons from our founding fathers to apply to your PR strategies:

1. Have a plan for the long haul.

The American Revolution lasted eight years. To maintain support for their movement, leading revolutionaries needed to keep the people informed and encouraged.

From the Boston Massacre in 1770 and the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, to the British surrender at Yorktown and Great Britain’s final recognition of American independence in 1783, the consistent and strategic PR campaign promoting the revolution was a crucial part of America’s success.

There are many factors that contributed to the birth of America as an independent nation, but America’s independence would not have been possible without the application of a well-planned approach to communicating the Founding Fathers’ purpose and messages to the nation’s citizens.

Thanks to this strong PR campaign, America’s early leaders were successful in motivating the colonists to fight for and gain their independence from the British crown—no matter how long it took.

This same concept can be applied to PR today. Plan your PR with a sustained campaign lasting for an extended period of time.

2. Gather your troops.

Hosting events such as the Boston Tea Party was one way that revolutionaries gathered supporters to broadcast their messages. Organizing events for your target audience is one way you can attract media attention to promote your organization.

[RELATED: Attend the PR Now & Next Conference to learn today's essential skills and tomorrow's tools for transforming your PR results.]

Events can be a great way for you or your spokesman to interact with numerous members of the media at once, as well as provide an opportunity to showcase your brand’s personality.

Events also provide a forum to discuss industry news and trends, which can spark ideas for future media opportunities. Plus, these in-person meet ups help showcase your status as someone reporters can contact for expert quotes and insights.

3. Hone your message.

“No taxation without representation” is one of the many slogans and key phrases our Founding Fathers used to promote their cause.

In PR, it is important to always remember your core message when pitching reporters, drafting press releases, facilitating interviews and managing your day-to-day communications needs. Keeping on message ensures that your organization’s point of view is communicated in a consistent way by everyone who speaks about it.

Develop your key messages and then stick to them. They can help promote your cause.

4. Keep calm and carry on.

Despite losing 25,000 men in battles over the course of the Revolutionary War, American troops did not back down against their British foes. They persevered.

Perseverance is just as important in your organization’s PR activities.

A pitch that doesn’t receive a positive response or land media coverage on the first try doesn’t mean you should give up. Follow up with reporters and find new ways to position previously unsuccessful pitches. A second or third time might be the charm.

Creativity is a major part of this process, and having an open mind to forging new paths can make tackling your PR that much easier. America’s independence wasn’t won in a day. Keep calm and adhere to the lessons above, and you’ll be a PR powerhouse in no time.

What lessons from the Fourth of July can you apply to your PR practices?

KJ Blattenbauer is the founder of Hearsay PR. A version of this article originally appeared on the agency’s blog.

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How communicators can prepare for the challenges ahead of them

Wouldn’t being a communicator be easier if you were psychic?

You could prepare content for tomorrow’s trending hashtag, foresee what employees will be concerned about in a year, and stop crises before they happen.

Getting a crystal ball is a bit unrealistic, though. The next best thing you can do is attend the Employee Communications, PR and Social Media Summit at Microsoft.

Communicators from Microsoft, LinkedIn and GoDaddy will show you how to overcome these challenges and more:

1. Building a culture that encourages growth and innovation in your organization

2. Telling stories that engage distracted audiences, both internal and external

3. Developing a bulletproof social media response plan in times of crisis

Join us on Oct. 4-6 in Redmond, Washington to learn from experts and network with peers. New to the conference this year are training sessions on LinkedIn, Elevate and Office 365, as well as an in-depth storytelling workshop led by the Second City comedy troupe.

See why over 2,000 communicators have relied on this event for nearly a decade to gain inspiring and actionable ideas!

Click here to save $100

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Has media relations saved your nonprofit?

 

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How to make industry events worth your time

Are you making the most of conferences?

As a PR professional, you’ll attend a lot of them, partly because of executive positioning, but also because continuous learning is part of the job.

When you attend any industry event or conference, make the most of your trip for your clients and executives—and for yourself.

Here’s how:

1. Familiarize yourself with the event logistics. You’ll get questions from clients and colleagues about the conference venue or schedule. Before running to the events, familiarize yourself with the space, the locations of specific sessions and where resources/facilities are.

2. Use onsite opportunities for more exposure. If you’re staffing an event for a spokesperson or client, explore the onsite opportunities to gain exposure for your company, whether it’s broadcast media or a blog post for the conference organizers. It also helps to build relationships with journalists, because you’re all onsite and have the opportunity for face time.

3. Attend in person and on social media. With conferences attracting hundreds if not thousands of people, it’s impossible to talk face to face with everyone. Social media activity, such as connecting attendees via hashtags, is a great way to interact with others.

[RELATED: Keep leadership communications relevant in a world of shrinking attention spans and information overload.]

4. Use conversation themes to inform media pitches. At conferences you’ll hear industry experts discussing important trends. After attending a few panels, you’ll pick up on themes. These can inform your pitches and help you and clients prioritize the storylines that you want to tell (and identify those you don’t).

5. Prepare to be flexible. Your itinerary will change, and calendars will become conflicted. Anticipate changes—and don’t freak out.

6. Network when possible. Industry conferences attract professionals who do similar work or have similar interests. That means that you’ll have something to talk about with almost everyone attending. Especially for young professionals, networking is essential; you never know whom you’ll meet.

7. Think about how you can go above and beyond. Consider other ways to get involved in and around the conference. Are there relationship-building meetings you can set up with various stakeholders? Are there networking events? Can you build something original that plays off the theme(s) of the event? Be creative—everyone is in one place at the same time, and it’s a great scenario for creating opportunities.

Julia Sahin works in corporate communications at a top New York PR firm. A version of this article originally appeared on Muck Rack, a service that enables you to find journalists to pitch, build media lists, get press alerts and create coverage reports with social media data.

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dignity Health striving to make the world more mindful

The premise is simple: Everybody benefits when people are more mindful of themselves and others.

That belief is driving San Francisco-based Dignity Health to help people connect with their kinder, gentler selves.

In its Reflective Pause program, employees throughout the organization’s 39 hospitals are encouraged to spend time in “quiet contemplation” each day. The motivation behind the program was featured in a Businesswire release:

“At Dignity Health, we believe that it is difficult to be compassionate with others if you are not first compassionate with yourself,” said Christina Fernandez, senior vice president mission integration and spirituality at Dignity Health. “It only takes a minute or two a day to begin the journey of mindfulness practice, and it can make an immediate and meaningful difference in your daily relationships. That is why we make spirituality and the Reflective Pause program a focus in our workplace culture, to help our staff of caregivers connect with themselves, their patients, and colleagues in a more meaningful way.”

Research by the hospital system examined the benefits of being present in our daily lives. Mark Viden, Dignity Health’s VP of brand marketing, shared insights from the study on LinkedIn:

Dignity Health conducted a survey of more than 1,000 Americans and found that the vast majority (89 percent) agree that if people were more mindful (which we defined as a “state of active, open attention to the present”), they would be better able to listen to one another, understand and accept their differences, and find a common ground. More than three-quarters (77 percent) also agree that being mindful can benefit the community in which they live. Other findings from this survey point to similar trends, which you can see more here.

The Reflective Pause program and the survey results led to the development of the #Take2Mins movement.

Participation requires simply setting aside two minutes of time to meditate, breathe or reflect.

Viden told Businesswire:

“It is clear that consumers understand the benefits of practicing mindfulness, but there is often a misconception that it is something that takes a lot of time.

“Our #Take2Mins campaign provides digital resources to help people begin their daily practice in as little as two minutes. Our survey findings reveal that many agree: if everyone were more mindful about the world around them, it could have a broader, healthy impact on our communities.”

To bolster such claims, Dignity Health posted these tweets on its Twitter feed:

Feeling stressed out? This video on Dignity Health’s Facebook page takes you step by step through a breathing exercise to restore a sense of calm:

A landing page on the organization’s website offers access to a different breathing exercise to help you refocus your distracted mind, as well as a two-minute guided meditation.

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Ragan Training makes it easy to offer new ideas

It’s hard to keep your tactics fresh.

You stride into your regular Monday meeting, and a restless energy pervades the room. The numbers are down, and everyone seems to have aged overnight.

Your team is in a slump; upper management wants to try a “new approach.” You know you have to innovate, and the spotlight is on you.

Ragan Training has novel ideas for you to absorb, implement and perfect every week. 

These videos are the best of the best, audience favorites and proven winners from years of Ragan’s flagship industry conferences. Covering everything from tech platforms to linguistic guidelines, Ragan Training has you covered when you face your biggest challenges.

For a yearly subscription of $1,295, you’ll get unlimited access to sessions on:

· Crisis communications

· Internal communications

· Brand journalism

· Social media

· Writing and editing

· Public relations and marketing

· SharePoint

· And much more

Never be without game-changing inspiration again. With Ragan Training you’ll have an answer for your boss in your next meeting—and experts’ experience to back up your ideas every time.

Register here 

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Statistics to drive your marketing campaigns

Content marketing, SEO, social media, email marketing and pay-per-click efforts are all elements on the modern marketer’s tool belt.

How should a brand manager divvy up their time to accomplishthese pursuits? How does a communicator fit a message to the medium?

It seems like it should be a simple process. Take a little from column A and column B, add a sprinkle from column C and mix. Publish it, measure consumers’ responses, analyze the metrics and optimize it for the next round.

[RELATED: Learn how to create content that makes a difference to your bottom line at the Brand Storytelling and Content Marketing Conference at The Coca-Cola Company.]

Where do you begin the process, though? For many PR pros, it starts with a series of meetings, presentations, slide decks and white board discussions. Before you know it, you’ve turned your overall business goals into solid marketing tactics.

Next time you head into one of these meetings, come prepared with data.

An infographic from ClickX breaks down some of the most telling and compelling statistics in marketing. Use it to identify hot trends and build an argument for your proposed ideas:



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4 content marketing lessons from 'The Simpsons'

Have the keen marketing strategies and insights in “The Simpsons” eluded you? D’Oh!

Those might be the last things you’d expect from the animated series, but the show offers 618 (and counting) episodes’ worth of communications genius.

Let’s examine four content marketing-centric lessons all communicators can glean from Homer, Marge, Comic Book Guy and the show itself.

1. Temper snark with heart.

People love “The Simpsons”—and not just because it’s hilarious. Plenty of shows are funny yet not beloved.

Take “Family Guy,” for instance. It seems to go strictly for laughs—with minimal effort to uplift anyone or anything.

By contrast, “The Simpsons” tempers its snark with redemptive content. Homer is a buffoon, but he’s often tender with Lisa and Marge. Ned Flanders is an annoying zealot, but his compassion for Homer is admirable. Even the nefarious Montgomery Burns displays a softer, human side from time to time.

The takeaway here for communicators is not to steer clear of snark. Just be judicious, and make sure to balance sarcasm with compassion. Mean-spiritedness is not a sustainable communications strategy. Humor is great; mockery is dangerous.

Just ask Rev. Lovejoy what happens to those who sit in the company of mockers.


2. Newsjacking is effective, but think long-term.

“The Simpsons” has long skewered current events and public figures with aplomb. The show has also been masterful at tackling social issues with broad arcs.

When deciding where to invest in your content, keep the evergreen factor in mind. In two years, most will have forgotten about Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner commercial debacle—maybe.

[RELATED: Join us for the Brand Storytelling and Content Marketing Conference at The Coca-Cola Company.]

Taking a page from the show, consider piggybacking off larger narratives with staying power like climate change, the dangers of automation, female empowerment, baseball, the travails of entrepreneurship, political corruption, infidelity and the importance of monorail investment.

via GIPHY

3. Give people a reason to care.

Whatever content you produce should be preceded by a question: “Will people care about this?” More specifically, to use the words of our own word czar, Rob Reinalda: “Why does the reader care?”

It’s unlikely you’ll create a much-loved content empire like “The Simpsons.” You can, though, build a successful, respected brand by consistently pumping out content of value, whether it’s educational, enlightening or massively entertaining.

The creators of “The Simpsons” have delivered enduring characters, audacious humor and substantive storylines. What’s the hook to make your readers care?

Too much of today’s content reflects what the creator/publisher finds interesting. If you don’t give your audience a reason to care, your messaging will fall flat.

via GIPHY

4. Don’t overstay your welcome.

“The Simpsons” lurches forward, now in season 28, but how much longer can it last without losing steam or shedding fans?

Some believe season 30 will be the end, although one producer said the show will “never” end.

Like all good houseguests know, it’s best to err on the side of leaving early. Go out on a high note. Retire at the top of your game.

Don’t let your content linger until it sours. If you’ve tried getting traction on Snapchat for a year with minimal results, move to another platform. If people tell you they want more video, accommodate their wishes.

Content marketing is about giving the people—your people—what they want. A big part of that is knowing when to exit gracefully the stage.

via GIPHY

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Does Data-Driven Storytelling Threaten the Role of the Communicator? #CisionWorldTour Toronto

 

Advances in technology will revolutionize your business, but what if your job is more than just a business to you? What if you paint pictures with words and tell tales around something as seemingly boring as a brand?

While technology continues changing every industry I can think of, many communications and public relations professionals hold tight to the more poetic side of storytelling. There’s nothing wrong with holding on to the art of storytelling. I don’t want to read content generated by algorithms any more than the next person. What I want to do is explore the industry’s aversion to change and argue that technology has always changed the art of storytelling without abandoning the art itself.

There’s no doubt the way we consume stories has changed. So why should we argue that the way we tell them shouldn’t? From the start of the Cision World Tour Toronto, Cision CEO, Kevin Akeroyd set the tone by saying “the art and craft of communications won’t go away but it needs to adapt.”

The truth is PR and communications professionals are more tech-savvy than ever. Managing Partner & Chief Digital Strategist at NATIONAL Public Relations, Rick Murray was quick to point out that you would be hard pressed to land a story without some data behind it these days.

“Data is an imperative in our industry. Every story/piece of content is backed with #data insights.” @lisakimmel

The Earned Media Data Disconnect

So where is the disconnect coming from? The marketing department can be split into three types of media — paid, owned and earned. While they all report to the same CMO or CEO, they all care about different metrics. When it comes to metrics, that’s where you’ll find communications professionals lagging.

Owned media is easy to report on, you own the channels and that data should easily be available to you.

Paid media will make that data easily available otherwise you will take your advertising dollars elsewhere.

But, if the Wall Street Journal mentions your brand, what is that worth? Who saw it? How much time did they spend on the story? What did they do after they read it? Earned media has not had access to tech and data at the same level as their counterparts and that is where the disconnect comes from.

Connecting Data and Storytelling

One of the major issues behind this disconnect is that the industry has been slow to adopt the tools that are already available. Chris Lynch, Cision CMO, talked about how that three core pillars of storytelling are supported by data we already have access to.

Chris Lynch.png

Be human. Be emotive. Be original.

You can be more human in your writing by leveraging the behavioral and demographic information you already have about your target audience.

Being emotive can be based on how people respond to your messaging. Is the sentiment positive? Is there an emotional response it invites on social media? Use this information to power your story.

Originality is hard but if you want to be in the business of telling unique stories then this is your bread and butter. Start by looking at what your competition is doing. Is there anything they are not doing that you could? Or, do you have a conflicting point-of-view worth writing about? You also need to keep up with your industry. What’s the next big thing? Lastly, you should monitor what people are talking about on social media and jump on trends you can predict before anyone else sees it coming.

The Importance of Understanding Data

As a storyteller, you need to have your hands deep in all aspects of your company’s data because you have to ensure that the data actually tells the story you think it does. Too often, marketers present metrics that look good instead of metrics that matter. We call these vanity metrics and no matter how chastised they are in the industry, they persist. The Cision World Tour Toronto keynote speaker, Scott Stratten, made an excellent point about this problem while discussing a viral video he created on Facebook. While his video had more than 30 million views, only 1.3 million of those lasted beyond three seconds and had the sound on. Just seeing the number 30 million could cause you to invest all your time, budget and effort into replicating that video, but the reality is that it was only a fraction of the success you thought it was. Scott’s message was to dig deeper into your analytics and find out the truth so that you can go and tell that story.

The art of storytelling isn’t in any danger but communicators who refuse to recognize the shift in technology and adapt to the new tools available may just find that their career is.

About Bruce Kennedy
Bruce Kennedy is a social media manager at Cision, where he manages Cision’s global brands. Previously, he worked in public relations in tech and entertainment, helping brands from early stage startups to household names like Red Bull, Disney on Ice, Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey, Techweek and more.Connect with him on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter.



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5 Steps to Creating a Strong Digital Impression

Below are five key points for making sure your online first impression lasts longer than your most recent Snapchat.

Reviews: These days, almost everyone does their research online. Anything from movies, restaurants, Uber drivers to real estate agents, is rated and reviewed by everyone. Word of mouth isn’t what it used to be, and more people are turning towards online reviews for a first, second, and ultimately the last opinion  so ensuring your online presence is positive as a Realtor is crucial. They don’t all have to be perfect, 5/5 star reviews. In fact, it’s often better if they aren’t to provide some validity. People want to see the transparent version of you that is exposed through a review to really understand how you work. A clients perspective of their real estate experience with you can help attract the right clientele.  Build up your reviews as best you can, because at the end of the day this is what many buyers and sellers are going to use to make an informed decision to choose you.

In my experience, the reviews that my team and I have grown over the years have been invaluable to our success. They showcase our talents as expressed from a third party.  We can paint a picture of our services and love for the industry, but often the most vivid example is that of a testimonial from a happy client.  Going above and beyond our client expectations is one of the best ways to gain outstanding reviews.  Due to our strong work ethic, our reviews help us grow our client base as well as credibility in the industry.

(read here for some prior thoughts on reviews and trust on Geek Estate).

Blogs: They’ve read your reviews, and now they want to hear what you have to say. As an increasingly popular resource, blogs are a great way for people to simultaneously connect with you and receive insight into your industry knowledge. Having a blog is an ideal way to expose helpful tips about the real estate process, as well as giving prospective clients an insight into your mindset. Everyone has questions about buying or selling a home and creating posts that already have the answers will help enhance your credibility.

The tricky part about a blog is keeping it up-to-date. It can be a very easy thing to start, but if you’re not maintaining your content and giving people a reason to come back, then you may lose your audience and value. Also remember, people don’t take a lot of time to sit down and read these days so entries don’t have to be essays. Snippets of helpful tips or anecdotal field experience are all it takes. Be concise, informative, and approachable.

For our Team’s blog, we include a variety of different topics. Most recently, we are going to be introducing a segment titled the “Data Dojo”. Within this segment, we will present statistical analyses pertinent to the Silicon Valley real estate market provided by our data scientist. Covering topics both typical and unique, this section is geared towards the data crunchers and engineers out there who understand life through numbers. But beyond that, we do our best to focus our writing on a timely array of industry trends and advice for readers. As a result, we can showcase our knowledge and expertise for anyone looking to learn about our real estate team and its services.

Social Media: Similar to blogs, social media outlets are crucial elements of your digital impression that go a long way with consumers. However, if your Instagram page only has 10 followers and your last post was 3 weeks ago then you’re going to have some trouble making a good first digital impression. The tricky part is understanding how to use each of the major platforms in the most effective way. Facebook is good for events (open houses, home previews etc.), Twitter is great for news articles and short thoughts, and Instagram is great for brand identity through unique pictures of listings or clients. There’s also a happy medium between posting once a century and once a minute. Don’t flood newsfeeds, but also make sure you’re posting frequently depending on the social media platform’s “social norms”. Social media is tricky, but if harnessed correctly it can be an incredibly powerful tool.

The Boyenga Team knows that there are many opportunities on social media, especially since these outlets are one of the best way to engage with our younger clientele and are also FREE.  Our platforms are compiled with up-to-date real estate news, photos, videos, and information on properties, along with our listings and happenings in our market area. We’ve found that this increases not only our presence, but also enhances our ability to share our expertise with the potential home buyers and sellers. With over 22k followers on Twitter, we’ve seen quite a large jump in our engagement with the relevant events and timely articles we post and engage with.

Website: People turn to the internet when looking for new homes in today’s real estate world. Building a website that provides a clear vision of your personal brand is key to a strong digital impression. The design should incorporate a way that promotes your brand and provides useful/current contact information. For example, I like using the platform Chime (covered here) which allows realtors to have an enhanced platform that’s attached to a realtors website, that allows me to track the leads behavior, and respond quickly to any of their needs.

Also, you want your blog integrated into your website.   This way you can provide current information on market conditions, neighborhoods, schools and any other pertinent real estate data to help educate your users and illustrate your industry knowledge.  Lastly a mobile friendly interface is a must in order to maintain a great client experience as well as providing a lasting digital impression.

Throughout the years, we’ve noticed that this industry is often a dinosaur in its attempt to catch up with the latest tech. Recently though, there are high-tech options available that are great for tracking clients both new and old. Recently, we started using Chime to help track, nurture and convert leads. Among many other things, it has an beautifully designed interface that allows my team and I to track the users coming from multiple lead sources. It then provides helpful information and analytics so we can effectively communicate with them and offer specific guidance. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that an up-to-date website connected to a powerful CRM platform is crucial to lead management and conversion. At the end of the day, that translates into what we love to do—helping people buy and sell homes.

Real Estate Portals and Agent Directories: More people are starting their search for a real estate agent on Google rather than asking their friend or neighbor, so building your profiles on real estate portals and directories is crucial. Agents should optimize popular websites such as Zillow, Trulia, Yelp, and Realtor.com to create a strong digital impression. These portals and directories tend to be at the top of the search for Google, so a lackluster profile can be the difference between a click or call, or the consumer clicking on the next real estate agent in line.

I have always taken a long tail approach to real estate portals, websites and agent directories.  It makes sense to build profiles in all that are free, and then focus on optimizing ones with the most traffic. I’ve found that Zillow and Trulia top the list with over 100 million users searching each month.  I’ve taken full advantage of these portals along with other high traffic sites. So, make sure to spend time keeping profiles up to date.  Not only this will create better SEO, but help in growing your lead generation.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, make sure your online presence is strong and diverse. You want people to be able to find you, learn about you, and feel like they can approach you within the first few minutes of their research. So, send out some review requests, spend time optimizing your profiles, put your writer’s cap on, and fire up those social media accounts, and in no time, you will have created a strong virtual presence that will land you your next client.

The post 5 Steps to Creating a Strong Digital Impression appeared first on GeekEstate Blog.



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5 millennial desires that brand managers should fulfill

Millennials have become a highly coveted consumer group.

The problem is that these young adults (born between the early 1980s and mid-’90s) aren’t swayed by the same kinds of advertising as prior generations were.

This has become a major concern for businesses, because millennials are now the largest demographic and have nearly $200 billion in annual buying power. Companies vying to earn this younger market’s business must do so by building trust.

Marketers must understand what millennials want and need. Here are some focal points:

Millennials’ mission to understand a brand mission

Consumers were once concerned only with the products a brand provided, but the focus has shifted to an organization’s actions. This trend toward purpose over products was a focal point at a recent Wharton Marketing Conference. Featured findings included how millennials support ethical and caring organizations that strive to do the right thing. The companies that base their corporate missions on these benevolent qualities earn millennials’ trust.

How can the companies aspiring to these goals convey this to millennials? Experts from the Wharton conference advised sharing proof of a company’s good will—not in a press release but by capturing its humane actions in videos and posting them on the company’s website and social media pages.

[RELATED: Attend the PR Now & Next Conference to learn today's essential skills and tomorrow's tools for transforming your PR results.]

Millennials want to drive the direction of brands

Millennials have changed the brand concept. According to Business2Community, millennials enjoy participating and having a say in the overall brand experience. They want to be involved in the creation of new products and play an active role in the direction of a brand. They want their views and voices to be heard through social media and blogs so they feel they’re part of the brands and products they love.

What does this mean? It means companies must yield some control of the brand and incorporate customer input in brand development. This makes millennials feel important to the company and engenders pride that leads to coveted word-of-mouth and real credibility.

Customer engagement is now a must. It’s no longer enough for a company to simply have a social media presence; it must respond to customers’ comments and open a dialogue. Research has shown that 62 percent of consumers are more likely to become loyal customers if an organization engages with them on social media.

Millennials express opinions, certainly, but they also want to become co-creators and help their pet organizations to develop products and content. Companies are creating unique promotions that let customers invent new items and flavors, and interest in creating content has popularized user-generated videos among this young audience. It might be hard for brand managers to give up control, but it’s important for them to encourage customer collaborations, user-generated product reviews and other forms of engagement that make a consumer a brand contributor.

Millennials rate recommendations rate higher than ads

According to AdWeek, millennials aren’t content to blindly believe an ad. They prefer to be referred to a product or company by family, friends and peers.

Studies have shown that personal recommendations are up to 10 times more influential than ads or branded content. Organizations are no longer taken at their word, but rather are the sum of what others say about them. This has increasingly led young adults to turn to blogs, social media and other sources to get a more comprehensive look at brands and products.

Though millennials mainly listen to those they know, they also trust online influencers (some with millions of followers) who share their advice and recommendations to help consumers make decisions.

More and more brand managers realize that working with online influencers gets them a large amount of millennial exposure for very little expense.

Millennials support sharing over ownership

Whereas previous generations have viewed ownership as a symbol of their success, most millennials have little interest in owning big-ticket items such as a house, car or boat.

They prefer to share, rent or borrow, elevating the sharing economy, which has affected many industries, especially travel brands. This trend has fostered companies like Airbnb and Uber, whose immense popularity with young adults has made them into major competitors of traditional travel brands for a share of this young audience.

Millennials demand authenticity

According to the Huffington Post, young adults have no interest in big promises and glossy promotions. Instead, they want honest messages, authentic brands and genuine interactions. Research has shown that 43 percent of millennials value authenticity over branded content. An organization can prove its authenticity in several ways, such as:

  • Communicating with consumers: Thanks to social media, brands have direct access to millennials and can engage in conversations. Brands should make the most of this opportunity to interact with their audiences by responding to comments in a timely, engaging way.
  • Opening up the business: Millennials’ general distrust of advertising means companies have to let their actions do the talking by offering a look inside their business. Organizations must show how they operate their businesses and demonstrate their desire to do the right thing.
  • Staying relevant: Millennials seek a connection with the brand that relates to their needs. This can be accomplished by producing content to reflect this young market’s interests, goals and desires.
  • Sharing how the organization cares: The best way to prove authenticity is by showing that the brand cares about millennials, its employees and making the lives of consumers much better. Seeing is believing, and actions speak louder than words, so show examples of how much the company truly cares.

Michael Del Gigante is the president and creative director of marketing and communications agency MDG Advertising. A version of this article originally appeared on the agency’s blog.

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8 secrets to being an all-star PR pro

Jumping into the public relations industry might seem like a glamorous career path.

People see publicists attending glamorous events, sipping wine with their coworkers and working with splashy brands, but often don’t realize how stressful the job can be.

To survive and thrive in this fast-paced industry, you must stay grounded, keep a cool head and learn to embrace stressful moments. Follow these eight tips to survive—and thrive—in PR:

1. Be organized.

via GIPHY

Between juggling multiple accounts, upcoming TV and radio segments and organizing countless interviews, it is important that nothing falls through the cracks.

Whether you live by your Outlook calendar, make to-do lists on napkins or have a beautifully bulleted agenda, make sure you have your game plan together.

2. Embrace multitasking.

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If you don’t enjoy the thrill of having your heart race and thinking multiple times a day, “How am I going to get all of this done?” you are in the wrong field. You must learn to love multitasking and PR’s hectic environment, or else it can swallow you.

Feel overwhelmed? Take a deep breath, splash some cold water on your face, stomp around in the alley outside your office and eat something covered in chocolate, because it is going to be OK.

3. Manage your time.

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Prioritize what is most important and do that first. Sometimes you won’t even touch your to-do list for the day because there are constant “fire drills,” or more pressing tasks that surface. You must learn to shuffle things around and tackle them in an order that makes the most sense. It’s a dance.

[RELATED: Attend the PR Now & Next Conference to learn today's essential skills and tomorrow's tools for transforming your PR results.]

4. Be creative and think on your feet.

via GIPHY

Nothing can save a struggling account more than a creative idea. Sometimes publicists have to make a mountain out of a mole hill to get press coverage. Whether it’s launching a PR stunt, newsjacking a recent trending hashtag or forming a unique partnership, creativity never hurts.

5. Think ahead.

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When the first snowfall hits the ground, everyone starts thinking about the holiday season that is just around the corner—except PR pros. You’ve been thinking about Christmas since July.

Working with long-lead magazines means that you are pitching stories months in advance. Your client might think you are nuts for asking about Thanksgiving menus in June, but PR pros must look ahead to successfully land media coverage for the upcoming season.

6. Unplug.

via GIPHY

PR is usually ranked one of the most stressful career fields in the country because it is stressful. Aside from essentially doing Lamaze breathing at your desk every day to relax, remember to take time for yourself once in a while and unplug.

A typo in a pitch or accidentally calling a reporter by the wrong name can keep you up at night, but put it all in perspective: At least you didn’t make a mistake when you were performing heart surgery.

7. Adjust your perspective.

via GIPHY

When you are working directly with a client who has put much time, money and passion into an organization, something that might seem trivial to you can be very important to him or her.

Look at every situation from both sides. You don’t have to hold clients’ hands, but you should understand that as a PR pro, you are a trusted business partner. You are expected to listen, understand and help positively affect organizations’ bottom lines.

8. Have fun.

via GIPHY

A career in PR might be stressful at times, but is there anything else you would rather do?

There is no other job where you talk with a reporter from People Magazine at 9 a.m., attend a photoshoot on a rooftop bar at 3 p.m. and catch the opening night of a new hit show at 8 p.m. Also, publicists drink a lot of wine.

Every day is different and brings with it new challenges.

Emily Potts is a senior publicist for Heron Agency. A version of this article originally appeared on the agency’s blog.

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6 ways to solidify your media relations

How can we improve media relations?

It begins with PR pros’ getting acquainted with journalists’ work in industries relevant to their clients and with reporters’ respect for their PR counterparts’ role in managing that relationship.

Beyond that, there are tactical ways for those of us in PR to improve our outreach techniques:

It starts with research.

Dig deep into a reporter’s beat before sending a potentially meaningless pitch. Read what they write—not just posted pieces, but their social media feeds and personal blog, as well.

It may sound creepy to learn that PR agencies keep a “dossier” on key reporters, but it’s all about knowing the territory. We must also know the story we’re pitching. Any decent journalist will approach even a softball pitch with some skepticism.

They will try the product we’re bragging about, vet the experts we’re offering (or seek their own), research the CEO’s background and look at the company’s social media reviews.

If it’s not airtight, it’s not ready to pitch.

[RELATED: Join us at Microsoft, and learn tactics and strategies to conquer all your biggest communications challenges.]

Make sure your timing is right.

Many a good story dies because journalists won’t or can’t drop everything to make a hard deadline. Allow plenty of time to pitch anything with a seasonal hook; media relations is a little like retail. Back-to-school ends in August, and the December holiday season is put to bed by early fall. (One journalist recently reported that she received a Christmas pitch this week. Sounds premature, but who knows?)

Before pitching a journalist, it’s wise to make sure he hasn’t recently written a similar story. Often clients think it’s a good idea to piggyback on something just published, but unless you’re bringing something truly fresh or taking the story in an unexpected direction, don’t pitch a “me-too” idea.

It can be effective, however, to newsjack a topic by offering expert commentary on a breaking story. When the FBI announced that it was hiring technology talent to develop a type of wearable emergency alert system, we sent out a pitch about entrepreneurs who had done just that. Our timely pitch resulted in a great Inc. magazine story.

Pitch it short, sweet and smart.

A colleague with a terrific track record treats media pitches a little like tweets. Rather than aiming for 140 characters, he shoots for pitches no longer than 140 words. Journalists appreciate brevity and clarity.

This goes for the subject line as well. Tailor yours to the writer’s beat, and shoot for fewer than 60 characters—with the key terms in the first three or four words. Look into studies analyzing subject lines, and consider sending your team members a test email for review.

Some journalists recommend dispensing with pleasantries, but that varies according to your relationship with the person you’re pitching.

Know when to follow up or fold.

The media follow-up discussion is a burning issue in public relations circles. Our rule is to follow up with a short email a couple of days after first pitching. If we don’t receive any response, we add something new to the original pitch and modify the subject line to reflect that.

After a second round, if the silence is deafening, move on.

Also, some journalists prefer a follow-up (or initial) email; others favor a phone call. Ask about preferred channels.

Never lie.

Establishing credibility and forging a good relationship with a journalist is all about trust. Although some pitches can employ a little license to garner attention, once you’ve secured a journalist’s interest, play it straight.

Know whom you will offer for interviews, and make sure they’re prepared. Don’t bait and switch. If you’ve quoted financials in a pitch, vet the numbers. If you’ve promised additional materials, images or quotes by a certain time, make it happen.

Most PR strategists would agree that you get only one strike with a contact before you’re added to their own personal “no-fly” list.

Put yourself in their shoes.

The pool of journalists has been shrinking for the past decade; the swarm of PR pros has not. This disparity means journalists will be pitched more story ideas than they could ever use.

A writer friend said she often starts work with an inbox of 300 emails and is pretty certain that 99 percent of them are PR pitches. Don’t let that statistic scare you away from developing smart, on-target pitches for the right reporters. Just be painstaking when crafting each, because that same writer said that if a pitch is worthwhile, it will rise to the top.

A version of this post first appeared on the Crenshaw Communications blog.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Survey: Creatives struggle with insularity and unconscious bias

Creativity has a diversity problem. ­­

According to a Ketchum/Fast Company survey of 500 creative staffers, there is a pervasive sense that diverse viewpoints are lacking in their place of work and that conformity is thwarting original thought. Eighty-five percent of respondents said that companies must do more to seek out, consider and promote “diversity of ideas.”

The homogeny of creative workers’ backgrounds and experience is not a new concern, nor is it a small matter. Far beyond just an inequality problem, lack of diversity is bad for business. It’s a survival issue, even. Yet nepotism, cronyism and hesitance to hire people from different cultures or outside the network are preventing the promulgation of fresh ideas.

Ketchum’s chief strategy and creativity officer, Karen Strauss, said about the study’s findings: “This survey is a wake-up call. The effect social media has had on limiting interactions with people who disagree with us and filtering information so it confirms existing views extends to our creative process. These findings underscore the need to seek and embrace dissent to break free of conformity and groupthink.”

[FREE DOWNLOAD: 2016-2017 Internal Communications Survey Results]

As for ways to dismantle the creative echo chamber, nearly 35 percent of survey respondents suggested “targeting those with non-traditional experience—not just writers and designers.” Twenty-one percent recommended “prioritizing the inclusion of people with diverse backgrounds and ways of thinking.”

Almost everyone polled agreed that speaking to people with opposing beliefs and learning about other cultures is a reasonable place to start.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Sixty-six percent of respondents affirmed that senior creatives were the driving force behind decision making, yet 72 percent said it’s junior professionals who more frequently offer bolder ideas.
  • Seventy percent of those polled said “work experience” is the most important creative influence on idea selection; 26 percent said “gender,” and 25 percent selected “race.”
  • Sixty-four percent of respondents identified “company leadership” as a main factor contributing to the creative echo chamber.
  • To foster true diversity, the report suggests “actively recruiting and giving a voice to people from varied socioeconomic and academic backgrounds, people with work experiences outside the creative industries and people with beliefs that may not align with so-called industry norms.”

You’d think the creative sector would be an inclusive bastion of divergent opinions. Far from enclaves of iconoclasts and vibrant hives of free thought, many creative companies—whether in advertising, PR or marketing—seem content to ride the status quo and hire mostly similar people. This survey is a reminder of how costly that can be.

You can read more about the Ketchum/Fast Company research here.



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Now even the most inexperienced writers can become skilled wordsmiths

The blank page stares back at you from your computer screen. The words are in your head but you can’t seem to get them out. Your deadline is coming up faster than you can type.

Sound familiar?

If writing isn’t your specialty, having to whip up stories and presentations can be stressful and intimidating—but it doesn’t have to be.

Veteran editor Rob Reinalda wants to show you—or your colleagues new to writing—how to get your message on paper with ease.

After spending a day at Ragan's Business Writing Clinic on July 27 in Chicago, you’ll be able to:

· Identify your audience and the channels they frequent

· Understand the importance of syntax in getting your message across

· Edit your work for clarity and brevity

· Fix stubborn punctuation mistakes

· Persuade audiences to act on your central message

Even the most novice writers will leave prepared to craft engaging and concise copy. Register today—or refer a colleague who wants to add writing to their list of skills!

Register here to save $100

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PropertyBase, Boston Logic, and Providence Equity Partners. A Q&A with Max-Michael Mayer

Some of you heard about the acquisition of Propertybase by Boston Logic earlier this month, a CRM startup we covered way back in 2012 and again in 2013. I know many founders read Geek Estate, many of whom have contemplated a strategic acquisition at one time or another. I thought I’d take some time to have Propertybase co-founder Max-Michael Mayer answer a few questions about the recent acquisition. Without further ado…

1. What is Propertybase? Where did the product/business start, where are you now, and can you tell us about any pivots along the way?

Propertybase is the leading global provider of real estate CRM and Marketing Software-as-a-Service (Saas) used by real estate professionals around the world. Our software solutions and services allow brokerages to manage their entire contact database from lead-to-close, giving brokerages the freedom to manage and close more deals while gaining complete transparency into their business and pipeline.

When we first began, we were the first to add real estate specific features into the Salesforce CRM platform. As market needs evolved with the addition of new clients, we learned that we needed much more than just Salesforce to provide what the real estate industry was really looking for. As such, about five years ago we started to invest in our own proprietary technology platform, while continuing our partnership with Salesforce. While this move could have happened sooner, the first few releases we executed were bootstrapped to Salesforce, and at that time we didn’t have the resources to execute everything concurrently. Since then, we have evolved the product immensely. We have added more than 1,000 clients in over 60 countries, and opened regional offices around the world in Europe, Australia and the U.S to service clients on a global and continuous level.

2. What led to the acquisition by Boston Logic?

Both, Boston Logic and Propertybase, have been acquired by Providence Strategic Growth (PSG), a growth equity affiliate of Providence Equity Partners with USD 40 billion under management. With the acquisitions of Boston Logic and Propertybase, together we can now leverage two very robust and ultra-scalable technology platforms as a starting point for future acquisitions. All this with a goal of creating a true one-stop-shop experience offering all the tools successful real estate companies need to outperform their competition.

From the Propertybase perspective, the acquisition allows us to add more resources to product development, customer support, sales and marketing. Propertybase will benefit from the partnership with Boston Logic and Providence, but will enjoy the ability to continue to provide world-class software solutions and customer support for our client base as we move forward.

3. What strategic advantages are you looking forward to being part of the Boston Logic family?

Propertybase and Boston Logic can now cover the full range of real estate features necessary for running a brokerage of any size. The combination of the two platforms allows us to own one of the most valuable data sets in real estate today, both nationally and globally (giving us insight and understanding around pricing on a global level). The partnership also gives us access to first-hand market data which will be a very unique competitive advantage, allowing us to make our products even smarter and deliver more value to our clients.

Both companies are catering to different segments of the market. As with most SaaS offerings, one size does NOT fit all. While Propertybase is widely adopted by small to medium sized regional brokerages, Boston Logic serves mainly larger, national brands. Through the new partnership, clients of all sizes can now confidently buy into our platform, knowing they are getting the best the industry has to offer. So whatever their growth strategy might be, we will have them covered.

4. What are one or two pieces of advice for real estate tech entrepreneurs who are considering a strategic acquisition offer (or going through due diligence)?

Great question. I’d advise them to make sure they understand exactly why the investor – in our case Providence Equity – is considering the acquisition. Our goal at Propertybase was always to eventually provide a full range of features and services to all sizes of clients. Our goals were perfectly aligned with Providence, who is looking to build leading platforms in every vertical they enter. Add to that a solid product with high client satisfaction and great things will happen.

The post PropertyBase, Boston Logic, and Providence Equity Partners. A Q&A with Max-Michael Mayer appeared first on GeekEstate Blog.



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30 jobs in the PR and marketing world

We’ve all been there—walking through the grocery store, picking up our favorite delectable delights, when suddenly the hunger hits.

Surrounded by food, all we want to do is grab a bite to eat.

From these cravings, the “grocerant” was born.

Grocery stores have turned this combination of grocery store and restaurant into a multibillion-dollar industry, according to a report from The NDP Group.

Consumers—especially millennials—are loving this concept that allows them to get a restaurant-style meal without leaving the grocery store. Often these grocerants even offer full bars.

USA Today reported:

Grocerants generated 2.4 billion visits and $10 billion in sales in 2016 by promoting restaurant-quality freshly prepared foods, which are on trend with the contemporary palate, reports The NPD Group, a research outfit. Grocerant visits have increased close to 30% since 2008.

While many grocery stores have implemented this concept, Whole Foods stands out as one of the top grocerants. The supermarket titan is looking for a metro marketing and community relations liaison at its offices in Bellevue, Washington.

In this role, the successful candidate would produce strategic marketing plans and develop social media strategies. The position is also “responsible for the cultivation of community partnerships, giving days, and donations.”

Interested candidates must have a minimum of three years’ marketing experience.

[RELATED: Join us for the Brand Storytelling and Content Marketing Conference at The Coca-Cola Company.]

Not the job for you? See what else we have in our weekly professional pickings:

Public relations account director—Ogilvy & Mather (Illinois)

Social media marketing manager—Magic Memories (Florida)

Vice president, public relations—Finn Partners (Michigan)

Media relations, public relations assistant—Tiffany & Co. (NewYork)

Social media manager—MGM Resorts International (Nevada)

Director of communications and public relations—College of Saint Mary(Nebraska)

Social media manager—Trupanion (Washington)

Public relations manager—Tourism Fiji (California)

Global social media manager—MoneyGram International (Texas)

Editorial director—The Estée Lauder Companies (Minnesota)

Social media marketing executive—Funko (United Kingdom)

Manager of media relations—Illinois Policy (Illinois)

Social media coordinator—Casual Fridays (Georgia)

Communications manager—JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Ohio)

Social media marketing and content development internship—MiaAcquisitions (Texas)

PR and social media manager—Freshii (Canada)

Public relations associate—Kate Spade & Company (New York)

Marketing manager—Fox (Wisconsin)

Strategic communications specialist—Mercer (Kentucky)

Marketing coordinator—Museum of Contemporary Arts Australia (Australia)

Director of media and public relations—Johns Hopkins University(Maryland)

Marketing manager—YMCA of Greater Boston (Massachusetts)

Social marketing integration and agency management—Verizon (Colorado)

Director of public relations and social media—Munchkin (California)

S ocial media specialist—L’Oréal (Canada)

Strategic marketing associate—Carolinas HealthCare System (NorthCarolina)

Social media coordinator—beIN Media Group (Florida)

Communications manager—Temple University (Pennsylvania)

Social media strategy associate—Eli Lilly and Company (Indiana)

If you have a position you’d like to see highlighted in PR Daily’s weekly jobs post, please email me a link to the listing.

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11 signs that showcase polite writing

United Kingdom’s manner of speaking is often seen as genteel, especially to communicators in the United States.

As an unabashed word nerd visiting the United Kingdom, I was instantaneously struck by the differences between British English and American English (“luggage enquiries” versus “luggage inquiries” at the airport), but also by the general politeness of the country’s public signs.

[RELATED: Learn secrets and best practices to discover your brand's stories and write compelling copy.]

Whether by poetry, pun, or understated word play, these communicators know how to get their message across firmly and politely. Below are a few examples:

  • “Please queue here.”
  • “I’m a bin. Drop your liter in.”
  • “Be a mate. Don’t block the gate.”
  • “We have a selection of Champagnes to entice and delight, featuring a variety of styles of the world’s best and most beguiling aperitif.”
  • “Please do not allow your dog to foul in this area.”
  • “The spa water is currently unavailable due to maintenance works. We apologise for the disappointment that this may cause.”
  • At the home of author Thomas Hardy: “Max Gate’s plumbing system isn’t always as ‘hardy’ as we’d like. Please use tissue sparingly & the bin provided for all other items. Thank you.”
  • “Give way.”
  • “And if you’re peckish between meals, the Club Kitchen is always open for you to tuck into a range of healthy snacks or naughty treats.”
  • “We welcome careful and friendly drivers.”
  • “Polite notice. No parking. Please leave clear.”

It’s your turn, PR Daily readers. Please share your examples of polite or clever public signs below.

Laura Hale Brockway is an Austin-based writer and editor and a regular contributor to PR Daily. Read more of her work at impertinentremarks.com.



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Maintain trust and honesty in the era of ‘fake news’

Since President Donald Trump uttered the words “ fake news” to CNN’s Jim Acosta in January, PR pros have been operating in a time when trust in the news media is minimal at best.

It’s not just because of Mr. Trump’s declaration. The “fake news” statement only hammered home the truth: According to Edelman’s annual Trust Barometer, trust in the news media worldwide is at an all-time low.

The credibility of business leaders is dangerously down as well. Edelman’s report states that CEO credibility has hit a new low of 37 percent.

Why has trust in leadership and the news media plummeted to this point?

People nowadays have many outlets for getting information. We have Facebook and Twitter, liberal and conservative websites, blogs and message boards. These have all contributed to confusion about what’s true and what’s not.

What can public relations professionals do to combat the belief that their clients or bosses aren’t trustworthy? It’s actually very simple:

Be honest.

Some will say it’s virtually impossible to be honest in today’s world, where news and information come at you at warp speed.

I say those people are dead wrong.

This does not mean you should open up the floodgates and divulge every single detail about your organization. It means that you should be providing opportunities for open and honest communications. During a crisis, don’t hide behind the curtain. Show your stakeholders, in words and actions, that you are putting their well-being above the bottom line.

PR needs to focus on relationships—both building them and fostering them.

Think for a moment about a large building. It starts with a foundation. From there, steel climbs upward. Finally, glass and drywall complete it. If you do not have a strong foundation, though, the building will fall.

[RELATED: Attend the PR Now & Next Conference to learn today's essential skills and tomorrow's tools for transforming your PR results.]

The same goes for relationships. With no foundation of trust, a leader cannot lead. PR can help a CEO’s personality come to life by stressing the importance of the human element. A blog can’t do that; a podcast or video interview can.

We can never think for a moment that hiding the truth is OK. If you are part of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), you adhere to the Code of Ethics. The moment you discard your ethics, you will begin to lose the trust you’ve built over time, both for yourself and for the people you represent. Once you are labeled as dishonest, it’s pretty hard for anyone—particularly a fellow PR pro or a reporter—to trust you again.

Trust should never be seen next to the word “failing” or “losing.” To maintain trust, PR pros should be honest at all times.

There is nothing fake about that news.

Jason Mollica is the president of JRMComm, a public relations and social media marketing consultancy. A version of this article originally appeared on Muck Rack, a service that enables you to find journalists to pitch, build media lists, get press alerts and create coverage reports with social media data.

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Our industry experts want to write for you

Every company is a media company.

It has never been easier to publish. Technology and social media continue to drive the plummeting costs of promotion, distribution, and self-publication. Every day seems to bring a new platform online, to open new outlets and channels. This is the golden age of information and technology.

In a world of ubiquitous content, however, a new conundrum emerges: How do I stand out from the crowd?

Two words: Custom Content.

It’s a daunting task to produce all the material required for your organic media presence. You can have something to say, but lack the professional workforce to write pithy, concise stories that cut through the chatter. You can have an audience and thoughtful, persuasive employees, but lack the strategy to engage new customers. Your business can change the world, but no one will know if you can’t communicate your success.

We’re here to help.

Ragan’s Custom Content Division is the perfect fit for a brand with a story to tell. With an array of services from editing and design to complete fabrication, our team is ready to put years of journalism and communications expertise to work for you.

We offer:

  • Copy-editing
  • Blog posts
  • Feature Stories
  • Custom Publications
  • Surveys/Questionnaires
  • Speechwriting
  • Infographics
  • White papers/freelance writing

It’s no longer just about marketing. It’s about being a media source. Contact Paul Witcoff at paulw@ragan.com and get the experts to transform your communications into a content powerhouse.

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Announcing PR Daily’s 2017 Media Relations Awards finalists

Making the most of your media connections is only part of a PR pro’s recipe for success. Landing coverage from just one high-profile media outlet can change the game for your organization. The brands and agencies that entered PR Daily’s 2017 Media Relations Awards worked tirelessly to get their message out into the world.

We’re honoring the most impressive videos, press events, thought leadership campaigns, crisis management case studies and more.

Our judges reviewed more than 130 submissions to find the best in media relations from around the world. Next, the judges will review this pool of finalists to name the category winners of PR Daily’s 2017 Media Relations Awards. The PRDaily.com Special Edition announcing all the winners will be released in late July.

The PR Daily staff congratulates all our finalists and wishes you the best of luck in the final round of judging!

Brand Messaging or Positioning

  • VSC Delivers as Zume Bakes Pizza on the Way, VSC with Zume Pizza
  • Elevating Bank of America’s Leadership Through Exploration of Modern Homebuying Trends, Burson-Marsteller with Bank of America
  • Nanit: The Biggest Baby Monitor Launch of All Time, VSC with Nanit
  • Trend Micro 2017 Security Predictions Report, HCK2 Partners with Trend Micro Incorporated
  • Neurala Announces $14M in Funding, Bospar with Neurala
  • Unhungry India—A Beginning, Adfactors PR with Godrej Appliances
  • Dream Big with Ola, Adfactors PR with Ola

Cause Advocacy Campaign

  • Away from Blame: Cigna’s Initiative to Fight the U.S. Opioid Epidemic, Cigna
  • Investing Capital to Create Change: State Street’s SHE Gender Diversity ETF Campaign, State Street Corporation
  • Yes on I-732: Accelerating a National Conversation on Climate Action, GreatWork Strategic Communications with Carbon Washington
  • When Laureates and Leaders United for Children, Adfactors PR Pvt Ltd. with Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation
  • Down’s Syndrome Art Winning Hearts, Adfactors PR with Om Creations Trust
  • Care Counts™ Laundry Program, Ketchum with Whirlpool

Crisis or Reputation Management

  • Customer Service Crisis Response, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
  • Communication Efforts in Support of Hurricane Matthew, Florida Power & Light Company

Executive Visibility

  • AmFamJack: The Social CEO, American Family Insurance
  • Executive Visibility for PeerStreet’s CEO, Vested for PeerStreet

Global Media Relations

  • Global Fishing Watch Launch, Oceana
  • Establishing Puerto Rico as a Global Destination, Puerto Rico Tourism Company, led by Hill+Knowlton

Governmental or Public Affairs Media Relations

  • Yes on 792, Candor
  • Elephants Can Fly, Adfactors PR with Government of Jharkhand

Innovation in Media Relations

  • T.R.I.P. Album + Beer Launch, Adam Ritchie Brand Direction with The Lights Out + Aeronaut Brewing Co.
  • For The First Time Ever, TV Doctors Save Real Lives!, Cigna
  • Investopedia Anxiety Index, Vested for Investopedia
  • Defining Cognitive Creativity with IBM Watson, IBM
  • Driving Rural Prosperity Through Trringo, Adfactors PR with Mahindra & Mahindra
  • Introducing a World Beyond Wallets, Adfactors PR with ItzCash Card Ltd.
  • Thomas’ Bagels Celebrates the Convergence of National Bagel Day and National Pizza Day by Creating the Ultimate Mashup, Vault Communications with Thomas' Bagels

Integrated Marketing Communications

  • Get More from Your Budget with Cash Back, Bank of America and Burson-Marsteller
  • The Long Lines of Summer—TSA PreCheck to the Rescue, Raffetto Herman Strategic Communications with MorphoTrust USA
  • Norton Children's Hospital: New Name. Same Great Care, Norton Healthcare
  • Elephants Can Fly, Adfactors PR with Government of Jharkhand
  • Do The Difficult, Adfactors PR with ICICI Lombard

Media Relations Video

  • Kingsford's Take Back Opening Day, Current with Kingsford
  • UCLA Health Kidney Voucher Program, MediaSource with UCLA Health

Product or Service Launch

  • Outback Steakhouse Goes BIG with the Loaded Bloomin’ Onion, Hunter Public Relations on behalf of Outback Steakhouse
  • Investing Capital to Create Change: State Street’s SHE Gender Diversity ETF Campaign, State Street Corporation
  • Wedding Registry, Domino's Pizza
  • Kérastase Hair Coach Powered by Withings, L'Oréal USA
  • TD Cash 2.0 Launch, TD Bank
  • Beloved Geek Tool IFTTT Goes Pro and Rebrands Its Core Product, Coderella with IFTTT
  • Sara Lee Artesano Bread Launch: National Grilled Cheese Month Campaign, Vault Communications with Sara Lee Bread

Pitch

  • The 2016 Aflac Open Enrollment Survey, Aflac and Hill+Knowlton Strategies
  • How We Turned Halloween Into a Big Treat for Plan B One-Step, Rx Mosaic with Teva Women's Health/Plan B One-Step

Press Event or Media Tour

  • Camp Ignite, City of Mississauga, the City of Mississauga with Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services
  • Drink Amazing, Current Marketing with Brita
  • Activia “It Starts Inside” Media Tour with Sarah Thomas, Hill+Knowlton Strategies with Dannon Activia
  • Quenching the Public’s Thirst for an Unconventional Business Book, Stanton with The Boston Beer Company
  • Lenovo Tech World Rocks The Masonic in San Francisco, Text100 with Lenovo
  • iHeartRadio Music Awards, iHeartMedia
  • Reimagine LOVE Park: Saint-Gobain’s Presenting Sponsorship of LOVE Park’s Welcome Center, Brownstein Group/Saint-Gobain North America

Stunt or Special Event

  • Amy Craton: Success Worth Celebrating, Southern New Hampshire University
  • Binge Watching to Victory: How to Break a World Record and Launch CyberLink’s PowerDVD to Mainstream Audiences, Diffusion PR with CyberLink
  • The Red Door to Rio, Canadian Tire Corporation
  • When Laureates and Leaders United for Children, Adfactors Pvt Ltd. with Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation
  • Rocks for a Reason, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
  • Wines of Chablis' Escape Room Game, Sopexa USA with Wines of Chablis
  • Las Vegas Hosts Final 2016 Presidential Debate, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Thought Leadership Campaign

  • Centennial Project Thought Leadership Campaign, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Transforming Invoiceware's Industry Expertise into Engaging Education for Prospects and Stakeholders, AR|PR with Invoiceware by Sovos
  • A Systematic Approach to Rapid Response and News Hijacking, March Communications with Mimecast
  • Recall and Response: Reuters Syndication for Fusion Worldwide, HOLLYWOOD PUBLIC RELATIONS
  • Voicing the Unique Healthcare Needs of the African-American Community, Ascension
  • Shaping Education and Learning: Jessie Woolley-Wilson’s Thought Leadership Journey, Raffetto Herman Strategic Communications for DreamBox Learning
  • Raising the Profile of a Main Street Economic Thought Leader, The Harbinger Group, on behalf of The Federal Savings Bank
  • Centennial Project Thought Leadership Campaign, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Use of Celebrity or Personality

  • Genius 3D Mammography Exam—Breast Cancer Awareness 2016, Vault Communications with Hologic, Inc.
  • Kingsford's Take Back Opening Day, Current with Kingsford
  • Glad to Waste Less, The Glad Products Company
  • Get More from Your Budget with Cash Back, Burson-Marsteller with Bank of America
  • Creating a More Pet Friendly Australia with Mars Petcare and Dr. Chris Brown, Palin Communications with Mars Petcare

Social Influencer Campaign

  • Huawei Fit, High Road with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.
  • Glad to Give, Current’s Akela Influencer Marketing Practice with The Glad Products Company

Social Media Campaign

  • Accu-Chek U.S. Social Media Takeover, Rx Mosaic Health with Roche Diagnostics

GRAND PRIZE

Media Relations Campaign of the Year (Over $50,000)

  • Investing Capital to Create Change: State Street’s SHE Gender Diversity ETF Campaign, State Street Corporation
  • Ebates Online Cash Back Shopping Media Campaign, Bospar with Ebates
  • Color, Way of Love ART+, Nippon Paint, Nippon Paint
  • New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau 2016 Public Relations, DEVENEY with New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Care Counts™ Laundry Program, Whirlpool
  • The 2016 Aflac Open Enrollment Survey, Aflac & Hill+Knowlton Strategies
  • Dream BIG with Ola, Adfactors PR with Ola

Media Relations Campaign of the Year (Under $50,000)

  • The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Neural Bridging Breakthrough, MediaSource with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
  • Reword, InsideOut Public Relations
  • Conversica Series B Funding Announcement, Bospar with Conversica
  • Pioneering CX In the Call Center, PAN Communications with Cogito

Media Relations Campaign of the Year (Under $10,000)

  • Introducing a World Beyond Wallets, Adfactors PR with ItzCash Card Ltd.
  • Using Infrared Technology to Capture Poachers, World Wildlife Fund


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