A Clear View: The Clearpoint Agency Blog

When You Should Be Posting

Posted on March 15, 2016

Have you ever wondered when you should be posting on social media? We have discovered that the best days and times vary across each social media platform.  Keep our infographic on hand the next time you want to optimize the number of likes, clicks or retweets on your post.

Read our blog for more tips on when to post!

FINAL Best Time to Post Infographic

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Job Opening: Public Relations Account Executive or Senior Account Executive

Posted on March 02, 2016

Join us at the coast! We’re looking for a stellar Public Relations Account Executive or Senior Account Executive

Clearpoint Agency, an award-winning, boutique PR firm located in coastal Encinitas, is interviewing for a PR account executive with at least 3 years of experience or a Senior AE with at least 5 years of experience with increasing responsibility. We are looking for a talented, focused account executive who is proactive, collaborative, detail-oriented and passionate about public relations, writing and marketing to join our incredible team. Clearpoint Agency works with a variety of interesting clients in consumer products, technology, biotech, and financial services industries. If you are looking for a new challenge in a small, drama-free firm where your skills can flourish, contact us! www.clearpointagency.com

  • Journalism, English or public relations degree preferred
  • Strong writer with knowledge and experience of writing press releases, blog posts, and articles on a variety of topics
  • Ability and desire to develop creative PR and marketing communications strategies that meet client goals
  • Background in project management and leading teams to meet objectives
  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Track record of effective media relations and securing editorial placements with print and broadcast outlets
  • Experience in planning and managing social media for clients on a variety of social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube
  • Ability to multitask in a fast paced environment and be a problem solver
  • Desire to be part of new business efforts, networking and presenting to prospects
  • Strong command of PowerPoint, Excel, and Word required. Photoshop, Illustrator, and video production experience a plus
  • Ability to be a self-starter who can see the big picture and prioritize what needs to be done to meet our clients’ goals and grow our business
  • Desire to work in a professional, fast-paced and fun environment where people are proactive, passionate about PR, think creatively and truly work as a team

Salary commensurate with experience. Competitive salary and benefit package includes health club membership, mobile phone and ample opportunities to attend continued education seminars and events. Flexible schedules. Family friendly workplace.

Reply instructions:
Please send resume, cover letter and desired salary to Bonnie@clearpointagency.com.

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Job Opening – Digital Marketing and Social Media Coordinator

Posted on January 14, 2016

Clearpoint Agency, an award-winning, boutique PR and digital marketing firm located in coastal Encinitas, is interviewing for a digital marketing and social media coordinator. We are looking for a high-energy digital marketing specialist who is proactive, detail-oriented and passionate about all things digital to join our team.

Clearpoint Agency works with a variety of interesting clients in consumer products, technology, biotech, healthcare IT and financial services industries. www.clearpointagency.com

Education, Skills and Specifications

  • Must have at least a Bachelor’s degree. Preferred majors are marketing, computer science, public relations, English, mass communications or media studies
  • Previous experience within an agency type environment is a MUST
  • Minimum of 1 – 2 years professional experience in similar position
  • Able to work in a fast-paced environment, capable of multi-tasking and able to work on several clients’ accounts at the same time
  • Excellent communications skills, both verbal and written
  • Familiar with digital marketing strategies, principles, and processes a must
  • Strong knowledge of SEO and experience writing blog posts and developing online content for search
  • Strong command of all social media channels, as well as WordPress, PowerPoint, Excel and Word
  • Experience with Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign is required
  • Video production and editing experience a plus
  • Ability to be a self-starter who can see the big picture and prioritize what needs to be done to support account leads and clients
  • Desire to work in a fun, professional, yet casual, environment where people are proactive, passionate about digital marketing, think creatively and truly work as a team

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Works with account management to establish social media and digital content strategies that will support client objectives
  • Develops and manages client social media presence on sites including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Vine, YouTube and others
  • Ensures proper messaging is being executed online
  • Updates agency and client WordPress sites as required
  • Manages onsite SEO for agency and client sites
  • Supports and protects client and agency brands by ensuring positive messaging is maintained with consistent messages, monitoring for negative comments and responding as appropriate
  • Monitors and prepares reports to update internal staff and clients regarding SM chatter, growth of followers, usage statistics and results against objectives
  • Searches for and buys stock art, photography; may need to refine or finesse using Photoshop or other art programs
  • Manages agency and client electronic newsletters (typically using Mailchimp)
  • Manages video content; may need to draft storyboards and edit video
  • Manages in-bound marketing programs as required
  • Works with account leads to track time, stay on budget and manage expenses

Competitive salary and benefit package.

Please email resume, cover letter and desired salary to Bonnie@clearpointagency.com. Put Social Media/Digital Marketing Coordinator in subject line. Thank you.

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Be Your Own Publisher

Posted on October 07, 2015

The growth in digital media and social sharing has created an opportunity for all companies to be their own publishers. No longer do we write just for the news media/journalists and existing clients! We have an opportunity to direct information, education and promotions to prospects and even the world at large with the exact messaging you want them to receive.

Our infographic gives insights on why “content” is such a big buzzword today.

Being your own publisher_v8

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Misconceptions About Public Relations – An Insider’s Perspective

Posted on October 01, 2015

Hand drawn vector illustration icons set of digital marketing and media strategy doodles elements. Isolated on white background

When I was younger, I never really understood the point of public relations. The first time it was described to me, I thought it was a more upscale and esoteric version of advertising, with the occasional writing task and a lot of PowerPoint presentations. With that uninformed perspective, of course, I thought it sounded easy. But as I grew up and eventually started working at Clearpoint Agency, my prejudgment of the industry was replaced with immense respect for it. According to the Public Relations Society of America, “public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Although people say they understand it, I still hear people confusing public relations with other professions or dismissing it altogether. With that, I want to dispel a few misconceptions people often hold for public relations and hopefully give some perspective on what PR professionals do (I’ll tell you right now, it’s a lot more than just PowerPoint presentations).

Not just a cubicle job
There is always one question people ask when you tell them you work in an office: what do you actually do all day? Stereotypes from Office Space and The Office make people think every office job consists of sitting in a cubicle, endless memos, countless water cooler breaks, and more slow days than full work days. But working at a PR office is not a normal office job; actually, working in a PR office is hard to compare to any job. It’s like the beach: a wave of tasks come in, leaving you to dive into work, and as soon as you come up for air there’s another wave (and occasionally, a break between swells). Even if you go to shore, sometimes the tide is still high enough to reach you. Essentially, work at a PR agency is continuous and ever changing, which makes it varied and interesting. And if a client needs something completed, whether we are at the office or away, we get it done!

If you like sameness, PR is not for you
At a PR agency, day-to-day projects are never the same. You will spend some days pitching journalists, drafting social media posts, or creating media lists; however, most days you will spend doing all three, along with many more unique tasks. Unless you work at a specialized agency, most of your clients will have different expectations for your work. Sure, the process of writing a press release is similar every time, but the subject matter depends on your client’s audience and brand. Our job is to represent our clients, to build the reputation they want. Of course, we provide input when necessary, but we do not make decisions for our clients, as some might assume. PR pros carve the story, present compelling arguments and communicate to target publics.

“I’m a people person”

Along similar lines, prospective PR employees often qualify themselves for PR based on their people skills. After all, the term “public relations” ought to suggest a fair amount of relating to the public. However, PR is a grossly hybrid occupation. It involves social skills in addition to writing proficiency and time management among other things.

Social skills go beyond “being good with people.” At a PR agency especially, it means thinking strategically, handling criticism and being a diplomat. Every piece of original content is read at least twice and edited accordingly to ensure it matches the client’s brand and goals. People who cannot take criticism (or worse, cannot criticize constructively) do not last long in the PR business. Most accounts require work from multiple types of people, meaning there is a decent amount of teamwork involved with PR. We communicate with clients, journalists, other agencies, and coworkers on a regular basis, not just when we feel like talking, to maintain clarity between the many people involved with the business process.

PR practitioners are writers
Still, social competency does not alone make you good at public relations. Many of the services we provide our clients (press releases, website management, media relations, digital marketing, social media campaigns, etc.) require a strong writing ability. It’s not about being a clever writer who can use metaphors and rhetorical devices. It’s about clarity and making sure people understand our client’s message.

Time management is critical
While anyone can understand the merit of time management, most people do not recognize how much time creating relevant content takes. Contributed articles take hours of research, writing and editing. Even the process of creating a single Facebook post begins with a decent amount of research. PR agencies research trends and developments in their clients’ industries, which means looking at analytics from previous posts in addition to competitor and consumer posts. After finding the right content, it’s time to dress it up: proper wording, eye-catching imagery, hashtags, and buzzwords among others decide whether your post is seen at all (and even if it is, there is no guarantee).

The entire process for creating strong content often takes hours between research, writing, approvals and edits; and even then, most posts can’t gain a fraction of the attention generated by a single cat photo. In browsing sites like Facebook and Reddit every day, people have grown into “highlight snobs,” sometimes ignoring substantive posts and looking at content that has already generated volumes of attention based on a fad. Since PR firms create original content for their clients every day, they must adapt to this environment full of memes, trending topics, expectations and judgement in hopes of gaining exposure for their clients. Businesses sometimes hire PR agencies specifically for content generation and social media management because of strategic thought it requires and how time consuming it can be.

These are just a few of the many misconceptions about the public relations industry. It is not, as I once thought, a different form of advertising; nor is it a single-variable profession. Understanding the truth behind the myths will show you that public relations is an important element to communicating what an organization stands for and what it wants to communicate. I know my time at a PR firm has shown me the incredible value a good PR firm provides to its clients; a value not measured in dollars, but in sense.

This blog was contributed by Clearpoint Agency intern, Conner Shaw.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Hosting a Webinar

Posted on July 09, 2015

We have been working with several clients to host webinars, an effective way to engage with customers, generate leads, and educate prospects on your offerings. To ensure you are doing all the right things (and none of the wrong things) when planning for a webinar, we’ve created this infographic for you to use as a checklist.

Webinar Do's and Don'ts_final

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stop With ALL the Words: 11 Tips on How to Write for Today’s Busy Reader

Posted on July 19, 2012


We don’t need to tell you that it’s a competitive marketplace just to get a few shares and likes these days.  According to an infographic put out by Digital Buzz the average daily online activity involves:  294 billion emails, two million blog posts, 864,000 hours of uploaded video, and 35 million apps downloaded… and that’s just a snippet.

As a result of the many digital distractions, people are skimming for information that is digestible, valuable, and easy to fit into their already busy lives. So, if you’re a blogger or web content manager, here are a few quick tips on how to write for today’s internet user:

  1. Stick to the facts – cut out the fat already. Leave the opinions and long winded examples for your next dinner party.
  2. Bullet point or list – make the most important points bolded so they stand out quickly.
  3. Use images/ videos  – not only can an image replace a 1000 words, but it helps break up the text and can add substance.
  4. Use social share buttons – if you make it easy, people will share.
  5. Stick to one topic – not only will this help you to spread out your content ideas, but people like their information in small spoonfuls these days.  Sticking to one topic won’t overwhelm your readers.
  6. Use links – linking within can keep viewers on your site, and also save you from veering off subject with explanation.
  7. Pull out quotes – and pull your reader in.
  8. Think quality over quantity – we tend to share everything on the internet, but that doesn’t mean everything should be.  Before you write, ask is this relevant to my industry and will my readers find this of value?
  9. Be unique with your titles – titles are the first thing people see in the search engines, so you’ll want to grab their attention then. *Tip: Use numbers in your titles to signify a list of short, valuable tips to your readers.
  10. Use a conversational tone – the internet is all about building a human connection with your readers and fans. Do you actually read the “Terms of Service” agreement?  We thought so.
  11. Think keywords – if you’ve got a great article, make sure people can find it. Use Google’s keyword tool to find the right keyword phrases to implement into your text and title.

Remember, we are a society that tweets in 140 characters so be fast. How did we do? Does anyone think this post was too long?

This post was contributed by Morgan Ketterman, Clearpoint Agency Account Coordinator

Posted in Blog, Branding, Google+, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Like Higher Search Results? Like GOOGLE+

Posted on March 01, 2012

Google+ is here to stay, so it’s time you figure out if it’s right for you or your clients. Google+ helps with organic Google search results, and Google.com attracts over 1 billion unique visitors per month, making it the web’s most visited website. It has a lot of similarities to facebook fan pages, but it also has features Mark Zuckerburg would kill for. The similarities are that you can customize your profile with a logo, link back to your website and get page updates via email. Example of sample Google+ page here:

The big difference between Google+ and facebook is the targeting of information. Targeting means that your followers can be sorted into groups (called circles), so information can be shared with only certain groups of followers/circles.


FEATURES –
• TARGETING via “circles”— You can choose to share information via circles or public. Circles info is only shared with people in that circle. If they aren’t in your circle, then they can’t see it. “Public” is visible to anyone who’s added you to a circle, as well as on your public profile.
• PROFILE VISIBILITY — Choose visibility settings for specific profile sections. Profile information can be made public, private or in-between.
• MEASUREMENT — Google+ allows us to measure how your page is doing, and learn more on how your followers’ interactions affect your business and brand. Google+ also offers ways to improve the page.
EXTRA INFO –
• Google recommends directing customers to your Google+ page with a Google+ badge on website. This also extends organic search in Google results.
• Sparks is a great feature that is similar to Google Reader, except it brings content automatically based on user interests. Google+ will provide content to related articles, videos, photos, etc. based on the keywords that you search, or in this case ‘spark’
• The Hangout feature in Google+ are virtual rooms where people can video chat with people in their circles.
• Instant Upload lets you snap a photo on your Android phone and it’s automatically uploaded to Google+, but is unfortunately not available for iPhone users.
• Public profiles can decide if they want to be indexed by search engines. This helps you be as visible as you want to be.
ADMIN –
• Anyone can follow a page and put a page into their own circle – there is no way to stop people from following your company or adding your company to their own circle. However, these people can only see information the company wants them to see. So when the company makes updates, they choose if they want them to be public, meaning anyone can see, or make them private – only to certain circles. The private information and subsequent comments are protected within that circle.
• Pages choose what page followers go into what circles. So when they update information they can choose which groups of people or circles will be given the updated information. They can also view their page from each of those circles to confirm that the correct information is there.
• You can also lock a comment so it cannot be shared or commented on. When you lock a post, people you’ve shared your post with will no longer be able to re-share it with others.
• You can also disable comments.
• You receive an email of new comments and are notified of new activity on your page by a red box by your name – that looks like this :

FINDING PEOPLE-
• You can add people easily by name if they are on Google+. If they aren’t, you can put in their email to add them and they get an invitation to join. They can choose to join Google+ or have page updates via email inbox.
• When updates are sent out – the page chooses if they want to send info to people outside Google+.
Google+ does provide some valuable features that facebook just can’t match, yet. True, not a ton of people are on Google+ so far, but give it time. Google isn’t going anywhere and if you need the ability to target information, than Google+ is probably what you’ve been waiting for.

This post was contributed by Rachel Hutman, Clearpoint Agency Account Executive

Posted in Blog, Branding, Google+, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Holidays from Clearpoint Agency!

Posted on December 13, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it just us or did the holidays come extra fast this year? Clearpoint hosted our annual holiday party for employees and family on Friday, December 10th. We look forward to this event all year, since it’s such a great opportunity to catch up with our co-workers and their families. We had delicious food too, everything from Bulgarian to Japanese, to Italian, and German. It was all so good and we’re still enjoying the leftovers.

We had three new additions to the Clearpoint family this year: babies Davey, Cameron and Philip! Counting these “newbies,” we had seven children at the party. They all received a special gift from Clearpoint Agency to entertain them while the adults played “White Elephant.” After much debate over East versus West Coast rules, the game got underway and there was plenty of gift stealing. The game was great fun, even for those who ended up with less than stellar gifts! We are already looking forward to revenge, ahem, we mean, a repeat game next year.

Between happy children, fun games, and delicious food, we were very grateful to celebrate another great year with the Clearpoint team. We’d like to wish all of our friends and clients a wonderful holiday filled with love and laughter!

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Corporate Gift Giving – An opportunity to communicate values and culture

Posted on December 08, 2011

Clearpoint Crew

The Clearpoint staff and Valerie Chereskin pose with their food donations for the holidays.

It’s that time of year, when business people everywhere start thumbing through catalogues to select the gifts for their clients. We’d like to suggest you use corporate giving as an opportunity to share your business values and culture. By thinking creatively, you can give gifts to your clients in ways that make a much bigger impact than goodie baskets.

Creative corporate gifts can come in all forms, but we’d like to focus on charitable giving. There are many reasons to incorporate charitable support into your corporate gift giving program:

  • Help nonprofit organizations and people in need within the community you do business in
  • Improve the reputation and perception of your company
  • Get greater exposure for your company, products or services
  • Share corporate messaging, values and culture
  • Increase networking or leads opportunities
  • Receive tax benefits

Clearpoint is a great example. Several years ago, we decided a better use of Clearpoint’s resources would be to support the community while showing appreciation to our clients during the holidays. Instead of giving large and expensive treat baskets to clients, we opt for cards and small boxes of candy as gifts, and use the rest of our gift-giving budget to donate to a charity in all of our clients’ names. We feel good about the change, and clients appreciate it too. Oftentimes, we buy the candy from a local small business or, as is the case this year, from local high school band students. This year, Clearpoint’s holiday giving is: 1) giving delicious treats to our clients, 2) donating to a charity, and 3) supporting a local high school – it’s the trifecta of gift giving!

Charitable giving is such a great opportunity to demonstrate your company’s dedication to a cause or community, and can be a powerful way to create awareness and good will for your organization with external audiences. Your internal audiences will appreciate it too. Supporting a charity is much more motivating for employees than boxes of client gifts that don’t relate to them.

Charitable giving also has its benefits to your tax return. Whether you donate money, products, or services, there is a good chance that a charitable gift can be a corporate write off. Just remember to check with your tax advisor if a gift will qualify as a deduction. A good rule of thumb is to work with nonprofits with the 501(c)(3) designation.

When choosing a charity, look for a cause that matches your corporate culture. If your employees really care about the environment, support an environmentally-conscious charity (Like Clearpoint’s lagoon support). Or match your services to your cause. If you sell sporting equipment, support your local little league team. These small steps go a long way toward expressing who you are as a company.

To get you started, check out our examples: in years past, Clearpoint has supported the San Diego Food Bank, the American Heart Association (AHA), CARE, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). In addition, Charity Navigator is a good website to find a charity, and Wikipedia has a very inclusive list. Good luck, we look forward to seeing more businesses support charitable causes this season and throughout the year!

This post was contributed by Lexy Haynes, Clearpoint Agency Senior Account Executive.

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