Intuitively you believe all marketing activities, including PR, should support your sales program. Yet, you recall that PR has a higher calling and should remain in the domain of strategic corporate activities that center on shareholder value, goodwill, and corporate citizenship. Both views are right-on, as PR is a broad discipline and can be deployed to address many needs at multiple levels within a company.

But for now, let's focus on how PR can add value and shorten the sales cycle.

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You’ve seen it. You’ve probably found it useful or informative, and it has likely influenced your opinion on something – more than once. I’m talking about sponsored content – that is, content that appears to be editorial and often mimics the look and feel of the digital environment it  appears in, but has actually been paid for and provided by an outside company with an agenda.

This type of content initially started appearing 7 or 8 years ago thanks to new (at the time), edgy media companies (think Mashable, BuzzFeed) that favored sponsored content over traditional display advertising – and it’s definitely something to consider having in your company’s communications arsenal in 2017. 

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Doesn’t it seem like the 4th quarter happens quicker every year? That magical year end milestone is upon us and there is so much to do  to plan for 2017 while striving to hit your final goals for this year. If you’ve got CES on your calendar, then this is critical path time to rally the troops to ensure you hit the mark at the year’s biggest tech confab.

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When meeting with industry analysts from firms such as IDC, Gartner, Parks Associates, Forrester, 451 Research, and Aberdeen, many executives often question the value of time and energy vested in securing and maintaining these relationships.  While industry analysts may not write an article about a product’s features and performance for example, they do play a vital role in a strategic public relations program. It is important to know how industry analysts differ from the press and how you can make the most of these relationships, while tapping into their market intelligence on trends, issues and business development.

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Harness the Power of Storytelling in Public Relations and Marketing

Tell a story and you'll attract attention and interest. Simply present your messages and you'll only elicit disinterest and yawns. Why then do all of us marketing and PR professionals spend so much time discussing messages, managing messages, and getting messages out? I suspect it is because we all know that communications, like any endeavor, requires content and a purpose – and messages are the building blocks for communications. Where we often fall short is in the execution of relaying those messages.

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The business of high-tech marketing and PR can be complex. Understanding how your company fits into the PR/media ecosystem is critical to building brand awareness and meeting company goals. It all starts with relationships – and the foundation for any good relationship is a solid understanding of the roles and objectives of each party. When it comes to media relations, take a moment to consider what you hope to achieve and contrast that to the needs of the reporter.  Finding a middle ground is the path to a win, win relationship and ultimately coverage – so consider these top 5 tips for securing media coverage.

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There’s no question. Having a Wikipedia page gives your business credibility. The online encyclopedia turned 15 this year – and it averages more than 18 billion page views per month, making it one of the most visited websites in the world. When a business is searched on Google, Wikipedia results are often the second or third listing on the page – which is coveted real estate in search results.

To make the most of Wikipedia – you must navigate through a minefield of restrictions designed to keep company entries unbiased.  Let’s start with debunking a few myths about the site and identify the rules of the game as they relate to your business presence on Wikipedia.

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Like many seasoned marketing executives, you may come from the school of straight talk and have been taught that any news release without the 5 Ws (who, what, when, why, and where) is simply not going to get read.  I often hear, ‘We have nothing to talk about; no new products, partners or customers, so we can't possibly create a news release.' 

The crux of the problem is that the role of the news release has drastically changed.   No longer reserved purely for journalists, news releases on the web reach everyone.  We call non-news releases feature releases.   Just like a feature story you may read in any publication, we use the same approach.

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Experts are everywhere.  Whether they are the nerdy neighbor next door who knows everything there is to know about Wi-Fi, the manager at the auto parts store who can rebuild an entire engine or the aunt in Cincinnati who can out-bake Martha Stewart - we look to them for their expertise. More importantly, when they recommend a product, we listen. We also look to higher profile experts like Warren Buffett for financial acumen, Microsoft's former CEO Steve Ballmer for software savvy or Andy Grove, former leader of Intel, for his wisdom.

 

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The latest catch phrase for marketers today is content marketing. Of course, we've always done 'content marketing,' creating and sharing brochures, datasheets, websites, press releases and more. The key difference is that we now have more channels to share content than ever before - from email platforms like Constant Contact to full-on blogs and a large selection of social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.

Good, solid content is like money in the bank for marketers, but if your content is lacking – it may leave your marketing strategy feeling a little bankrupt. Content keeps you front and center in the eyes of target audiences, and the ability to supply a steady stream of fresh, relevant content ensures you're remembered when your customers need you.

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