When we get new business inquiries at Clearpoint Agency we often find the potential client is trying to decide between hiring a large agency or a smaller PR agency. We firmly believe that organizations get the best “bang for the buck” when using a small firm. Here’s why:
1) No Account Team Bait-and-Switch
This is a real pet peeve of mine. My business partner and I once worked together at a larger firm. The process there: land the client with the senior team, hand them off to an account executive after initial meetings, then pass them off to a junior team member to manage and put on auto pilot. We’ve even heard from people that work at larger firms that they are happy when they actually keep a client for more than a year with this churn and burn process. That’s their goal! It works because the senior team is skilled at catching the client and the junior team is inexpensive, all of which works for the agency’s profitability. At a boutique agency, there is no “hand off” – you work with the same dedicated team you met in initial meetings.
2) More Focus on Client Needs Rather Than “Feeding” the Large Agency Team
Here’s the truth: when you sit down with that large team from different departments at the large agency, they are there for a reason – finding ways to grow your account. And the crazy thing is, you probably are paying those agency team members in billable hours to ask you questions or listen in on meetings to find more agency programs to pitch to you.
At a boutique agency, the focus of meetings is to accomplish the agreed upon scope of work. Does the smaller agency want to grow the business over time? Of course. But it’s more of an organic approach to meet client needs rather than a mission to get the monthly fees higher and higher and feed the large agency staff. #truth
3) Small PR Agencies are Agile
If you are looking for an agency team that will respond quickly and creatively to a challenge or an opportunity, go with the smaller team. With larger agencies, clients will experience more layers of communication. Bigger teams typically mean more processes, layers and bottlenecks. This slows down projects, curtails creativity and limits results. We find clients are looking for agency teams that can quickly assess situations, recommend novel approaches and get it done! The flat management structure of smaller PR firms enable them to react quickly and effectively without the typical levels of bureaucracy that slow reaction times at larger agencies.
4) Be a Big Fish in a Small Pond
Boutique firms have fewer clients, which means they have a more concentrated focus on their clients and their clients’ goals. This is of tremendous value to companies that have complicated products and services, and need focused, thoughtful effort. Being one of 10 clients feels much different than being one of several dozen, especially if you are one of the smaller clients on a limited budget. Who do you think gets the A-team at a large agency – the big client or smaller client? At a boutique firm, the entire team is usually the A-team. The smaller agency has fewer clients, making each one very important to them.
5) A True Extension of Your Team
When you hire an agency, it should be an exercise of extending your marketing team’s talents and range of resources, not just hiring a vendor. An experienced smaller firm can provide the strategic counsel you need along with the talent to pitch stories, write content, plan promotions and more. Nothing beats picking up the phone to call your agency contact and hearing “We’re on it!” knowing the work will be done, and more importantly, done well. A smaller firm becomes an extension of your internal team and knows your goals hands-down.
6) Work with People You Like . . . and Trust
Finding the right agency is a little like dating. There’s plenty of chemistry involved. It’s important to ensure there is a good personality fit and that you will enjoy working with the team. A smaller firm gives you the ability to get to know part or most of the team in the pitch phase. Is there a sense of trust? Maybe even a few laughs in the initial meetings? That’s a good sign. And since you’ll most likely be working with the team that is pitching your business, you can gauge if there will be a good working chemistry that will foster a stellar work product. A genuine and favorable working relationship leads to a long lasting and trusting business relationship.
7) Value. Period.
Believe it or not, often the only difference between a large agency charging $15,000 a month and small agency charging $7,000 a month is the $8,000 (I know my friends in PR are nodding their heads after reading this.) Leadership at smaller firms is talented enough to run their own business, often starting their firms after learning the ropes at larger ones. They bring the same tactics, contacts and best practices to their agencies at much lower fees. This means you get experienced, senior talent at lower rates. And who doesn’t want that?
This blog was contributed by Clearpoint Agency President, Bonnie Shaw
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When you hear the words pitching, hit and home run, the first thing that probably comes to mind is baseball. But after working for a PR firm and spending many of my summer nights and weekends at the ballpark, I have come to realize baseball and PR have many parallels.
Teamwork – Both Baseball and PR are team efforts. Whether you are bouncing ideas off each other during a brainstorming session, pooling talents to develop a winning PR strategy, or making a double play, baseball and PR heavily rely on good communication, camaraderie and collaboration.
Pitching – An experienced pitcher in baseball can determine the best pitch to strike the batter out or walk him to first. Similarly, effective media pitching can either make or break an effective PR program. Landing great media hits is a way to increase your client’s exposure and ensures their message is heard or seen by a broader audience. If you do not effectively pitch, the lack of media coverage gives competitors the opportunity to hit a “home run” by landing coverage and getting ahead in the game.
Home runs – A home run in the PR world can mean a number of things – securing a big media hit, winning an award or organizing a successful event. Just like a home run in baseball, home runs in PR take patience, skill and a bit of luck.
Every hit counts – In baseball, every hit matters, and that is also the case when it comes to media hits. Earning a media hit, no matter the size of the publication, gets your client’s name out to create awareness and inform target audiences. Having a strong foundation of media coverage builds credibility and leads to those big “home run” hits, too.
Pause and “stretch”– When you work on a PR project, pitch or proposal for an extended period of time, it is a good idea to pause before submitting the final version. Just like the “seventh inning stretch” in baseball, getting up from your desk to stretch your legs, going outside for some fresh air, and pausing to get a new perspective on your PR game all lead to better results. You will be amazed to see what a fresh pair of eyes and break from your screen can unveil in something you were staring at for hours.
Whether your home run takes place on a baseball field or in the PR world, one thing is certain: a good baseball player or PR pro can always knock it out of the park if they employ teamwork, patience, skill, and recognize a lucky break when they see it, too.
This blog was contributed by Clearpoint Agency Social Media and Digital Media Coordinator, Nikki Sachman.
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Public relations, social media and digital marketing agency has been recognized by PRSA, Health Care Communicators of San Diego County, and PR Daily over its 13-year history
SAN DIEGO – Oct. 27, 2015 – Clearpoint Agency, Inc., a public relations and digital marketing firm, received three awards at last week’s San Diego Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Edward L. Bernays Awards. The agency continues its winning streak, having received peer-reviewed Bernays awards for every year in which it has entered the competition. To date, the agency has earned a total of 32 industry awards since opening its offices in 2002.
“Bernays Awards are earned by organizations that performed exemplary public relations work during the past year,” said Amber Albrecht, APR, president of PRSA San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter. “The awards are challenging to win because the judges are not familiar with the nominees and must critique the work completely on its own merits against work completed by PR teams of all sizes and budgets. Year after year, Clearpoint Agency proves its ability to create exemplary communications programs, earning them awards.”
At this year’s Bernays event, the Silver Mark of Excellence award for integrated communications was presented to Clearpoint for the integrated program for AleSmith Brewing Company, an award-winning craft brewery based in San Diego. As the brewery celebrated 20 years and opened a new brewing facility, Clearpoint created messaging, generated public awareness with significant earned national media, assisted with fundraising concepts, created mascot themes, and ensured the entire strategy from media relations to events was integrated and on track. This is the third time Clearpoint has earned the Silver award for integrated communications programs.
The second award Clearpoint earned was a Bronze Mark of Excellence in speech writing for SynteractHCR. The award-winning speech, entitled “Tomorrow’s Treatments Today,” focused on the opportunities and challenges in bringing new drugs and therapies to the patients who need them and was delivered by a President Obama look-alike at the company’s Washington DC reception for clients and media. This is the fifth award Clearpoint has earned for its work with SynteractHCR. Past awards include business-to-business marketing, website writing and rebranding, overall public relations campaign for rebranding, and internal communications.
The third award was a Bronze Mark of Merit for social media campaign strategies for Zodiac Pool Systems, a global leader in pool and spa product manufacturing. Clearpoint took a fresh approach to Zodiac’s social media to present Zodiac as a fun, approachable and knowledgeable brand. Clearpoint created social campaigns including a 12 Days of Christmas campaign based on Zodiac Pool products, and a “Did you Know?” educational series to increase engagement, followers, “likes,” and fans. This is the fifth PRSA award Clearpoint has earned for its work with Zodiac. Clearpoint was previously awarded for research and evaluation, integrated communications, and social media strategy and management for the pool product manufacturer.
“Every year, the PRSA Bernays submission process challenges our team to examine our creativity, strategy and skills as PR professionals in an ever-changing industry,” said Clearpoint Agency President Bonnie Shaw. “To submit your work and have others in your profession say it’s award-worthy is extremely meaningful to our team. We are honored to be recognized by the PRSA year after year.”
The annual Bernays Awards are open to all agencies and organizations in San Diego and Imperial counties and recognize the finest in public relations campaigns, professionals and elements in a range of categories.
See a complete list of Clearpoint’s award-winning projects here: http://clearpointagency.com/index.php/awards/.
About Clearpoint Agency, Inc.
For more than 13 years, Clearpoint Agency has developed award-winning PR, social media and marketing communications programs for B2B and B2C clients in technology, consumer products, financial and professional services, manufacturing and biotech industries. From strategy and content development to media relations and social media, the experts at Clearpoint’s team have the experience to generate buzz for your brand and creatively communicate your message to target audiences.
Website: www.clearpointagency.com Twitter: @ClearpointPR Facebook: ClearpointPRAgency
LinkedIn: Clearpoint Agency Blog: Clear View
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Videos are a mainstay for the modern marketer and for any business wanting to compete for attention online. Engagement rates are often higher with video than with other forms of marketing content today. Competing for attention in a vast marketplace is challenging, demanding and often confusing for marketers and content managers. Utilizing video will help get attention for your brand by reaching overwhelmed audiences with creative and compelling content. Here are 5 of the biggest reasons Clearpoint Agency suggests using video content in your digital marketing strategy.
- Immediacy: The Content Marketing Institute asserts that there is simply “no content on the web today has the same viral potential of video, and few forms of content can match it for immediacy.” Video impacts directly, and is absorbed very easily; with the sights and sounds an audience experiences, video provides the most direct contact besides actual face-to-face interaction.
- Traffic: Cisco recently estimated that video will account for nearly 70 percent of all Internet traffic by 2017. Using video to create traffic to your site is a great idea not only because of the size of the market, but due to the fact that 64 percent of people are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it. Having your videos in multiple locations drives customers directly to your site to make purchases.
- SEO : YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world, accumulating more than 30 million viewers per day and more than 1 billion viewers every month. High-quality videos with the proper tags and key words often earn very high search rankings. Having well-produced videos linked to your site, or to your social media accounts can really go a long way in terms of search engine optimization (SEO).
- Engagement: Videos are a great way to become more important on social media because visual content yields high levels of engagement, and video content surpasses still images. Social Media Today reports that companies with Vine (a popular video sharing app) accounts see a 400 percent higher share rate with Vine videos than any other form of video content.
- Retention: Consumers are much more likely to remember video content than other marketing materials. Text and pictures simply cannot compete for space in the viewer’s memory if there is video present. According to TechSmith, 80 percent of people can recall a video ad within 30 days – that’s the retention rate every marketer dreams of.
As the Internet and social media landscape continue to evolve, adapting to changing trends will elevate your content marketing program and drive results. Video has evolved into an indispensable marketing tool to grab your audience’s attention and boost engagement with your brand.
In short, people love video – USE VIDEO!
This blog was contributed by Ryan Sabatini, Account Coordinator at Clearpoint Agency.
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Today it seems like everyone is on Facebook. That’s probably because more than half of the United States population has a profile. Even Grandma writes “happy birthday” on your timeline. The good news is Facebook isn’t just for catching up with grandma or posting pictures of your cat anymore, it is an effective marketing tool for business! According to HubSpot social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, or PPC. So, how does your business get a piece of this marketing pie? Here are five tips to develop your business Facebook page into a successful marketing piece.
1. Always keep an eye on your end goal, otherwise you run the risk of getting caught up in all the Facebook chaos. Set up a list of objectives to accomplish through the use of Facebook. This will prevent straying from the path. Questions to consider when establishing goals are “Why should the company have a Facebook page?” or “What is the company trying to accomplish through social media in general?” For example, some companies invest in social media to increase brand exposure, to increase web traffic, or to gain market insights, according to Social Media Today. Decide what’s important to your company and stick to it. Remember to keep your expectations realistic, too.
2. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Stay dedicated to the plan you have committed to. There are many social networking sites out there, and it’s tempting to join every one so as not to miss out. However, too many companies set up a social media profile, update it once and then forget about it. The profile turns into a “ghost” of your former ambition. It looks careless and inconsistent. Best to have just one or two profiles and do a good job managing those.
3. Stay relevant. This goes back to posting pictures of cats, and other stuff people don’t care about. For example, it’s not effective social media if a pharmaceutical company posts about a celebrity’s tragic outfit. Facebook is an opportunity to present your company as a highly credible and knowledgeable industry source. Post about topics that your audience is going to be interested in and find valuable.
4. Have fun! This is a chance to swap formality with personality. People like to see companies as humans too. This opens up possibilities for great brand and customer relationships, and to build trust between the two. Show your brand’s personality and your company culture with cool images, fun pics of your team, feel-good posts about your community and other human interest posts.
5. Be generous and you will be rewarded. Share the posts you find valuable from other Facebook pages. By sharing you not only help a customer, partner or influencer reach your audience, but you will benefit from reaching a wider audience because their followers will see your share when you tag the original post with that Facebook’s handle.
This blog was contributed by Samantha Forth, Account Coordinator at Clearpoint Agency.
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Throughout the last 100 years, a number of new technologies have shaken the foundation of marketing strategy. New rules, ideas and tools capitalized on the weaknesses of the popular trends before them and opened up exciting ways to reach target audiences. Before there was TV, there was radio, and before radio, there was print. Each time a new technological innovation came along, a new trend in the way an audience could be reached emerged. Marketers adjusted and adopted strategies to be successful in the marketplace; those who failed to adapt died off. The same is true today.
The most recent shift in marketing trends has been the heavy focus placed on mobile marketing. In the first six months of 2012, marketers spent $1.2 Billion on mobile advertising, compared to $3 Billion in the first six months of 2013. The fast-growing budget isn’t slowing down either. According to a LinkedIn Marketing Solutions report on Mashable, 64 percent of marketers and agencies will increase their mobile advertising budgets this year. In fiscal terms, mobile ad spending is projected to surpass $13 Billion in 2014.
Why are these budgets skyrocketing? It’s because the average consumer spends more than half of their time online on a mobile device or smartphone. The latest TapSense mobile marketing report on Forbes.com mentions why marketers see this as a great money-making opportunity. According to the report, “79% of smartphone users are ‘smartphone buyers.’” This enormous market is still increasing in size, but there is no clear-cut path to reach them.
Currently, the most popular way to reach this demographic is through social media. According to the LinkedIn report, “17% of the time people spend on their mobile devices is on a social network.” This large target demographic already spends more than half of their online time on mobile, and a large chunk of that time is to access social media. Because of this, TapSense identifies social media as the best tactic for marketing to a mobile audience, and advises agencies to tailor their content to social network apps.
Our advice to you is to figure this mobile game out as well. The experts at MarketingProfs agree, expecting marketers “to significantly increase their investment in mobile,” because those that do “will find significant ROI from mobile marketing in 2014.”
This blog was contributed by Ryan Sabatini, Account Coordinator at Clearpoint Agency.
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A Recap of Social Fresh West 2013, San Diego, CA
Attending the Social Fresh West conference in San Diego last week confirmed for me that as much as the social and digital space focuses on technology, it takes a backseat to emotional connections. The conference featuring various au courant speakers, emphasized the need to get through all the noise, find the right place, the right time, to say the right thing in the right format AND make your customer FEEL something. At the heart of this media technology frenzy, are the hearts of people.
It’s all about great content.
Sarah Evans of @journchat fame said great content makes people want to share, care or swear. As far back as 2009, media scholar Henry Jenkins brilliantly noted: If it doesn’t spread, it’s dead.
Brian Solis, social space thought leader, made clear that businesses now compete for attention and relevance. Social is no longer a business tactic but rather a philosophy and lifestyle. Psychographics trump demographics. Solis introduced the concept of Generation-C (connected), defined by behavior, not age. Empowered by information, these individuals are demanding, sophisticated and vocal.
Closing out the celebration of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, the following are 10 take-aways from Social Fresh West 2013 that relate to great content, being relevant and creating an emotional connection in the social space.
- Know your customer. This requires knowing how and where they will engage with you based on their current behaviors and understanding their current relationship with your brand and with your other customers.
- Know yourself, your organization, your products and your goals. This requires knowing how you can improve your customer’s life; knowing how you can change the relationship between you and your customers, and amongst your customers; and finally clearly defining what you are trying to accomplish for your organization. In “Groundswell,” Li and Bernoff list what organizations can accomplish in social including listening which serves a researching function and support which can serve as customer support or help. Knowing your organization includes understanding your limits and capacity: can you be accountable? Intuit’s Global Head of Social, Adrian Parker, shared that in order to maintain a healthy relationship with your customer you need to be able to provide 3 positive experiences to your customer for any negative one.
- Manage the “Brand Divide”. This is Solis’ term for the gap between the brand promise and the customer experience. Sometimes what you do will make your customers feel anger or frustration. This will also be shared. It will take a lot more effort to right a wrong, rather than making the effort to keeping your customers happy in the first place.
- Content must be mobile optimized. Marketing Strategist and Consultant Tim Hayden shared that more than 70 percent of social activity occurs on mobile devices. Consuming and sharing content should be effortless with minimal clicking, tapping or delay! Solis suggests having content “born digital” where experiences and services align with Generation-C’s expectations, consistently across all devices.
- Master the #hashtag. Bryan Srabian, director of social media for the San Francisco Giants (who have the most Instagramed MLB stadium), advocates simple, consistent and easy-to-remember hashtags. Tim Hayden emphasized the importance of knowing popular, no-brand hashtags (e.g. #nofilter #instagood #fail), and capitalizing on trending hashtags as discussed in Ryan’s Clearpoint Agency blog post earlier.
- Visuals are the new headlines. The importance of visuals was emphasized by almost all the speakers. Generation-C’s notorious short attention spans, allow you only seconds to grab them: visuals are more engaging and sharing inducing. Sarah Evans introduced the term the “Pintristification & Instagramization” of content. Ask yourself – is this image pin-worthy and sharable? Great content is generally great looking. She strongly recommends investing in great design when budget and bandwidth allows.
- Quality and quantity matter. Surprisingly, research has shown that more is more. Morton’s and Billboard tweet anywhere from 30 to 60 times a day. Dan Zarrella, author of “Science of Lead Generation,” shared that unsubscribe rates are higher for campaigns that email less frequently. Also, he explained that it is important to email on a customers’ schedule, not yours. Clickthroughs are highest with new subscribers. You need to be in constant contact with your consumers or you will be forgotten.
- Social trumps SEO. If it doesn’t spread, it’s dead. Sharing helps index content and contributes to the leveraging of organic search. Again, emphasizing that creating great, compelling, sharable content is essential. Also, when thinking about SEO, it is equally important to consider key phrases as well as keywords. Generation-C searches questions and phrases.
- B2Bs marketing should go mainstream. B2Bs can benefit from B2C best practices. In B2C scenarios, brands have suffered by ignoring the relationship building benefits of social and ignoring that they are dealing with people. In the B2B world, although in theory it is a business servicing another business, the transactions happen via people who are also consumers having social experiences. B2Bs should be thinking about great content and great visuals too.
- Repurpose and then repurpose again. LinkedIn’s Jason Miller, noted the importance of repurposing content. He identified B2Bs as having enormous potential to create valuable content through repurposing. B2Bs generally have tons of “pre-loved” content available. This content is prime material to be reimagined into blogs, slide presentations, infographics, webinars, videos and more!
Whether it’s pre-loved or fresh, in the end you have to find a way to make the love connections just to give your content a pulse. If it doesn’t spread, it’s dead.
This post was contributed by Erika Couric, Assistant Account Executive at Clearpoint Agency.
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In recognition of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, our content will be featuring posts all year long about the number 10. So here are 10 steps to getting paid for your marketing materials. Have a tenacious idea for a blog post? Let us know!
How often have you heard yourself say the same sound bites when speaking to and advising clients, colleagues, prospects, and other audiences?
Imagine generating money directly and indirectly from those sound bites, those pearls of wisdom that effortlessly trip off your tongue, ideas that seem so basic to you yet are crucial and eye-opening to people around you. It is completely possible to do all that – in a tips booklet. Here’s how.
1. Capture your information tidbits immediately. Recording them on paper or electronically lets you grab them as they surface. Raw format is fine, jogging your thinking to refine later.
2. Let some time pass after most gems bubble up. Rarely does everything come up in that two hours on Thursday afternoon. You may get most out in one sit-down, but even more later.
3. Refine and organize the tips. Your tips usually go into categories. Editing for grammar, consistency, clarity, and flow happens later.
4. Include contact details. Your readers may want more from you beyond the basics. Making it easy to connect with you helps them and you. A brief “backgrounder” section identifies your qualifications.
5. Hire a graphic designer so your words look good. The finished printed product is a 3½” x 8½” tips booklet. The designer’s output is a PDF. You can sell and/or strategically give it away.
6. Send the PDF to a printing company. A first printing of 100-1,000 copies provides samples to hand out and inventory to sell. It minimizes angst over a missed typo or valuable tip, fixed in the next print run.
7. Think of who can use the booklet to promote their product, service, or cause. Your list grows as you ponder it. Your contacts are your clients (current and past), prospects, colleagues, vendors, audiences, and even friends.
8. Consider corporations, associations, publications, and groups appropriate for your topic. There are more prospects than you realize. Some prospects prefer printed copies. Others want to review the PDF.
9. Realize large-quantity buyers promote you while promoting themselves. Many bulk buyers want your contact details added to theirs. A sample booklet or PDF and cover letter with ways to increase their sales starts it all.
10. Expand your customer base and your checking account. You now reach a larger audience than you can single-handedly, thanks to your large-quantity booklet buyers. They pay you to market you as they distribute your booklet with their marketing message.
Those sound bites you have said for years now help your buyers, their clients, and your business. You get paid directly for your information product. You also get paid indirectly by generating new client sales from your booklet’s promotional activities. Yes, you are getting paid for your marketing materials, directly and indirectly from a single activity. Keep those sound bites coming as they improve your bottom line.
This post was contributed by Paulette Ensign. Paulette is an author and speaker who has sold well over a million copies of her own tips booklet and its content in four languages and various formats without spending a penny on advertising. Paulette and her company have helped thousands of people, worldwide, create solo-authored and collaborative co-authored tips booklets since 1991. Contact Tips Products International at 858-481-0890, San Diego, CA, or www.tipsbooklets.com; www.CollectionOfExperts.com; www.AssociationBooklets.com
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In recognition of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, our content will be featuring posts all year long about the number 10. This time it’s 10 ways you can encourage your team members to become advocates for your brand. Have a tenacious idea? Let us know!
When businesses think about marketing, they often see customers as the main and more important target audience. However, employees are the face of the company and can be your most valuable brand ambassadors. We recently attended a webinar led by Elaine Fogel, president and CMO of Solutions Marketing & Consulting on “How to collaborate effectively within your organization to strengthen your brand.” According to Fogel, employees value open communication and want to be recognized. We agree and put together a list of 10 key points based on the webinar, along with a few of our own, to consider for a successful internal communication program.
1. Put employees in the first market of the company: Fogel says that employees have to be happy and engaged in order to promote the brand before they can promote externally. Happy employees will also be loyal to your brand.
2. Let employees get creative: during the webinar we learned that employees who are given the opportunity to collaborate at work are more likely to bring new ideas. This also ties into employees’ professional development – being exposed to new projects will enhance their skills, and will make work more fun too.
3. Create an internal marketing plan: this is the way a company promotes its brand and values to employees internally. Fogel states that employees are the face of the company, so they need to understand the vision and values in order to be able to promote it.
4. Encourage employee engagement: research shows that engaged employees are happier and deliver better customer service. We’ve seen many companies strive to provide excellent customer satisfaction, but in order to achieve it they need to ensure that their employees are satisfied first.
5. Ask for feedback: leaders often think that their way is the right way. Fogel advises leaders to not be afraid to ask employees for their points of view. This way, you will not only gather feedback, but will make them feel valuable. We have found that conducting surveys, interviews and holding regular meetings helps leaders to receive the feedback they’re looking for.
6. Establish a reward program: it will only reassure employees that they are doing a great job and that you appreciate their hard work. It doesn’t have to be a big bonus. If you are tight on the budget, even praise, a gift card or a random day off can be enough to make an employee feel acknowledged. Remember, every gesture counts!
7. Use the Intranet: we get dozens of emails a day, and they often get buried. Fogel suggests using the Intranet to its fullest potential. Post content, interactive displays, video presentations and more. The intranet will serve as a portal where employees can receive all the information they need from one place. We also recommend sending an employee e-newsletter or creating a marketing group that everyone is required to follow. Share stories and clips you find from the web that they might find interesting to talk about.
8. Organize team building events: we have learned that you don’t have to go crazy to spend quality time with your employees. If the company is too big, group teams together and have them go to off-site meetings. This way they will break away from the routine and will be even more productive.
9. Communicate openly: at Clearpoint, we believe that open communication at the workplace is essential. If you want employees to trust you, make sure they are “in-the-know.” For example, if the company is undergoing rebranding, tell employees and ask them for their opinion. Hold brainstorming sessions, ask them for new ideas and feedback on upcoming milestones.
10. Focus on brand building as a long term play: to motivate employees as brand ambassadors, keep them engaged throughout the year. There is usually a combination of things you need to do – and it all takes time. It all depends on your company’s culture – as PR experts we can tell you that what works for one brand, may not work for another and vice versa. So, don’t be afraid to try new strategies and tactics over time to see what’s best for your brand.
This post was contributed by Antonia Genov, Clearpoint Agency, Account Coordinator
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In recognition of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, our content will be featuring posts all year long about the number 10. From “10 Social Marketing Tips You May Have Missed” to “10 Reasons to Blog,” we’ll brighten your appreciation for all things 10. Have a tenacious idea? Let us know!
1. Prepare ahead of time: this is the most important step so you can accommodate both the reporter’s and your own goals. Review background on the reporter and previous articles, understand the topic, and know the reporter’s audience. Then identify your objectives, and know the key messages you want to cover. Many times, your PR team can provide this information to you.
2. Be human and approachable: be energetic, smile (even on the phone), and display a confident, yet approachable attitude. And remember to be honest, and by that I mean, provide honest information, but be honestly yourself and don’t be afraid to show your personality.
3. Avoid clichés and overused concepts: in your answers, avoid clichés such as “burning issue” and “tip of the iceberg,” as well as over-used phrases such as “innovative solutions,” and “we have no competition.” Be original and creative. Skip the fluff and get to the truth of what you’re trying to say about your company, products or services.
4. Don’t go off the record: nothing is ever “off the record.” If you don’t want something printed, don’t say it. If a reporter finds something interesting, they will find a way to use it.
5. Be credible and relevant: during the interview, provide information that relates to the reporter’s audience and to your customer’s needs. Use statistics to support your statements when appropriate. In addition, quote an industry guru or third-party report to add credibility to your messages. To make the interview interesting, use simple analogies or comparisons that people will understand easily. For example, “The Internet is like electricity. Customers do not care how it works; they just want to be able to plug into it and use it.”
6. Make friends with brevity: make your points quickly and concisely. At Clearpoint Agency, we always recommend giving the short answer first, then filling in with additional detail if the journalist asks. Remember reporters are interested in the five Ws and one H—who, what, where, when, why and how. So answer accordingly, then go beyond those to address the reader’s question of “What does this mean to me?” Personal and customer experiences can illustrate your main points and help the audience relate to a real world example.
7. Use bridging: bridging is a conversation control method that allows you to move from one subject to another. It incorporates briefly answering a reporter’s question and then following that response with your specific messages that relate.
8. Use flagging: this conversation method is used to highlight your most important messages by calling out and emphasizing their importance. For example, say, “The three most important things to keep in mind are….”
9. Incorporate images: a picture is worth a thousand words. Whether it’s a company photo related to the topic, an appropriate chart or graph, or even a headshot of you, an image will make the content more interesting, so reporters may give you more space or better placement.
10. Rely on your best tool: remember, a good PR agency just might be your best tool to nail media interviews. We know the reporters, the audiences, your key messages, and the best ways to prepare, train and support you.
This post was contributed by Alexia Haynes, Clearpoint Agency Senior Account Executive and Bonnie Shaw, Clearpoint Agency President
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