A couple of days ago, I spent some time with colleagues learning about a tool to help identify online "influencers" -- the people many of our clients would like to reach, naturally. Those influencers are mostly not reporters, although it's interesting to see as we start using the tool that reporters are at the top of many of the search results.
It used to be that PR was largely about media relations, but now we of course know we need to look far beyond reporters. Journalists matter, but so do people who blog or tweet or otherwise share info about the topics they're passionate and knowledgeable about.
Anyway, so there we sit, talking about the new tool, which seems mercifully easy to use. Everything is rolling along until the person conducting the training comes to keywords -- you need to lose the SEO mindset, she says. To find the conversations you care about, don't use your SEO keywords.
Sacrilege! How about if you tell me next that down is up and the world is flat. I had to think it through for more than a couple of seconds (which I probably shouldn't admit) and now that I've started using the software, I'm still not sure that "leave SEO aside" is the most accurate description of what's required. I'm now thinking of it as keep what you know about SEO, but add phrases that people use when writing. For example, "buy for your SMB" might accompany "database security software."
I'm glad I worked through that potentially emotional issue. I really didn't want to think that the terms people use to find information that they care about should ever be anywhere other than the very front of my brain when I'm creating any sort of content.
By now you've probably seen The Content Grid v2 from Eloqua and JESS3. If you have not, it's lovely, so cast your gaze upon it:
It seems to me that to get to the content in the middle of that grid -- white papers, demos, case studies, press releases, analyst reports -- you'll often use a search engine. If the content lives on your website, on Twitter, on YouTube, it should be optimized, right? But, you say, that will naturally happen if you're creating content that speaks to problems and interests that people really have. Are fancy techniques necessary when you have fabulous content that speaks to your audience's issues?
Personally, I agree that some marketers are so in touch with their target audiences and so able to deal with both volume and quality that they can't help but create content that appeals to search engines. That's a fantastic thing. I'm guessing that many marketers, however, could use a few pointers. The ebooks, customer profiles, demos and graphics aren't flowing so freely that all the search stuff is going to work itself out.
In a month, I'll participate in a PR News discussion of "day-to-day SEO tactics" that should give people who don't have technical backgrounds some guidelines on creating content that can readily be found online. I'm looking forward to it because I know it'll make me even more focused on the subject. I don't want to "lose the SEO mindset."
How do you work info about search into your day? If the answer is "I don't," here are a few things you might check. They'll inform you without overwhelming you:
Tags: content marketing
, public relations
, search marketing
Posted by Laura Kempke on August 25, 2011 at 7:37 PM
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There has been quite a bit of discussion lately around the costs and benefits of getting a bachelor’s degree. With state and federal budget cuts, shrinking endowments and a lackluster economy, colleges and universities are dramatically increasing tuition costs. A lot of students have good cause to be frustrated; what other commodity or service increases its rates, on average, eight percent per year?
Late last year, Peter Thiel, co-founder of Pay-Pal, re-ignited the back-and-forth industry discussion by paying 20 (incredibly lucky) students $100,000 each to put off attending college. Instead of attending classes, seminars, club meetings and athletic events, the students were paid to enter the workforce years before some of their recently graduated peers. This was a win-win, right?
Not exactly. If you’d like to get a job in this economy today (and you didn’t make it into Thiel’s fellowship), having a degree is critical. Think about how many qualified or over-qualified applicants there are for an entry-level position these days.
In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau pegs your average lifetime earnings with a high school diploma at $1.2 million. Not too shabby. But, take a deeper look into the numbers. People with a four-year bachelor’s degree can expect an average of $2.1 million. Add on a professional degree later in your career and the amount doubles to $4.4 million over a lifetime. These are direct and tangible benefits of higher education. As a comparison, take a look at what people in your area and in your profession are making using SimplyHired.com's Simply Salary tool.
So what about the unquantifiable benefits of higher education? The new concepts, networking, social clubs, discipline and well-rounded outlook to solving the world’s problems today? You might not be able to see these things in the Greek and Latin inscriptions on your diploma, but they’re there.
Student loan debt is also an issue for students who have attended private and public universities. A graduate from a public university had, on average, $16,000 in debt; a graduate from a private school accumulated approximately $26,000 in debt.
There are resources out there to help pay your tuition and your debt. The first, of course, is FAFSA (www.fafsa.ed.gov) – the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. One you might not have heard about is CollegeNET.com*, which has opened its weekly scholarship (up to $5,000) to anyone with student loan debt.
Taking four years out of your professional and personal life certainly seems daunting, but in a 21st century economy and with so much intense global competition for quality jobs, it’s not a luxury people can afford to lose. The bottom line is pretty simple: college is worth the time and the expense.
As a history major and a PR practitioner, I never thought I’d say this, but do the math.
Written by Tommy Owens
*Full Disclosure: I work on the PR team for CollegeNET.
, student loans
Posted by Kim Angell on August 18, 2011 at 6:11 PM
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If you haven't already submitted a speaking proposal for Mobile World Congress 2012, you can now breathe a sigh of relief: the deadline has been extended to 23:59 GMT on Thursday, 8 September 2011.
This year’s conference programme will focus on topics that demonstrate the power of mobile in the 21st century and what this power can enable. Competition for a spot on the agenda is fierce, with more than 2000 submissions expected this year. The GSMA's research team will review nominations with a critical eye, asking: "mobile is re-defining how we connect with people, places and information. How are you contributing to this transformation?"
The research team has identified 22 areas on which they'll focus for the 2012 Congress but also welcomes submitting companies to suggest their own topics for inclusion. The full list and descriptions of key themes can be found here.
For more advice about public relations and marketing at Mobile World Congress, download our free ebook, the Blueprint for Barcelona.
, Mobile World Congress
Posted by Annie Klein on at 10:11 AM
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Have you ever counted the number of Google applications you use on a daily basis? Google, Gmail, Google Reader, Google Talk, Google Maps and Google Docs are indispensible to me personally (the jury is still out on Google+) and it seems like at least once a week someone tips me off to a tool that makes my professional life more efficient as well.
Many of Google’s tools are designed to assist in ad targeting, but they can be incredibly useful for PR as well. Here are three you really should try if you haven’t already:
• Google Analytics
: It came as a shock to me today that one of our clients wasn’t already using Google Analytics on their website and is the real impetus for this post. There is no reason why anyone with a website shouldn’t run Google Analytics, in my opinion, and hundreds of reasons why you should. This free tool enables you to better understand where your visitors are coming from and what they are doing on your site. Many of our clients share access to Google Analytics with us, and this allows us to examine the impact of media coverage we generate based on the traffic it sends. It helps us fine-tune our outreach and ensure we’re targeting the most important media outlets for our clients.
• DoubleClick Ad Planner
: Enter a URL and Google will present you with traffic statistics and, more crucially, detailed demographic data. For example, the mom blog ConsumerQueen.com had 140,000 unique visitors last year. 88% were female, 61% were between 35 and 44, 73% had attended some college and 46% had a household income of $25,000 - $49,999. You can also see the sites those visitors also visited as well as their interests. This is valuable data for evaluating bloggers and getting the real insight behind a publication’s circulation numbers. The only downside is it doesn’t work for lower traffic sites.
• Google Adwords Keyword Tool
: There have been loads of gripes about the accuracy of Google’s Keyword Tool but word on the street is that they’ve changed the algorithm and earned back respect from SEO experts. From a PR perspective, Google’s Keyword Tool helps you determine the best keywords to use to optimise the content on your website and in press releases by telling you how many searches there are for your search terms, and related terms, and what the competition is like.
Please do tell: what are your favourite Google tools for PR?
, PR tips
Posted by Annie Klein on August 3, 2011 at 11:04 AM
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