The New PR Toolbox


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Business Wire presentation on social media and the new PR toolbox, presented by Tom Becktold, SVP, Marketing, at the Business Wire Newport Beach media breakfast, August 12, 2009.

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  • Through their social media efforts, these brands have achieved the perception that they are serious about customer service, on any number of platforms (like Dell on blogs & Twitter, & ComcastCares on Twitter), or that they are always looking to improve their brand experience (like Dell Ideastorm & MyStarbucksIdea).
  • Search engines place the most importance on the early part of a document, so focus keywords & links there to maximize optimization. Additionally, people tend to not read very far into a release, so if they click on a link, they’re more likely to do it early.
  • Brands excelling at blogging include Dell’s Direct2Dell blog (, which is customer service/troubleshooting based, & draws 3.5 mil visitors/month, & Southwest Airlines’ Nuts About Southwest (, one of the best examples of a blog acting as an extension of brand image.
  • There are social networks for just about any interest. The big 3 right now: FB, LinkedIn, Twitter MySpace now skews younger, still has a music focus Last.FM is a popular music community Flickr (owned by Yahoo) is a major photo-sharing site (but is significantly more “social” than similar sites) GoodReads is a book review community Eons is a social network for baby boomers (EXTREMELY popular) FriendFeed is a aggregate for social networks
  • Rule for brands on a social network: provide value. This is a place to let your brand evangelists celebrate your brand & a place to provide access to you for those customers who want to talk to you. Even if they have a problem with you, if you provide a good experience, you have the opportunity to turn them around.
  • If you’re on Facebook, provide extra content that’s not on your website, whether that’s multimedia or a forum for discussion. e.g. the Coach FB page has downloadable desktops, IM avatars, etc. You can enter FB-only contests to win free bags, etc. Monitor your page closely for fans that want to interact with you. FB is a terrific community to let fans celebrate your brand. You’ll see them posting pics, videos, commenting & interacting w/your brand.
  • Twitter has been remarkable on a customer service level for brands. Brands like Dell & Comcast have significantly improved the perception of their customer service by having dedicated reps on Twitter answering questions & providing fast, helpful responses. They’ve provided value for their customer by being where they are talking about their interactions with the brand & responding.
  • -Social bookmarking sites let users “bookmark” articles or website they like & tag & organize them -Often, other users can then vote for the bookmarked articles they like
  • AlumnIdea is a new crowdsourcing platform for alumni of UCSD to suggest & vote up & down ideas to improve alumni relations. The most important thing to do in crowdsourcing is ACTUALLY IMPLEMENT the popular ideas if at all possible. MyStarbucksIdea famously produced the coffee cup plug that prevents spills & also the new Starbucks black card.
  • The New PR Toolbox

    1. 2. The New PR Toolbox Tom Becktold, SVP, Marketing, Business Wire August 12, 2009
    2. 3. If you’re tweeting from this event… Hash Tag #bwevents
    3. 4. The Tools You Know and Love <ul><li>The Press Release </li></ul><ul><li>The Web Site </li></ul><ul><li>Media Relations </li></ul><ul><li>Press Events </li></ul><ul><li>Reputation and Crisis Management </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing Campaigns </li></ul>
    4. 5. And the New Tools <ul><li>Blogging </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Podcasts/Vidcasts </li></ul><ul><li>RSS </li></ul><ul><li>SEO/SEM </li></ul><ul><li>User-Created Content </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Social Bookmarking </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis </li></ul><ul><li>Crowdsourcing </li></ul>
    5. 6. True or False: Social Media is Bad for Brands <ul><li>False. Social media is just another channel for brands to communicate with their customers. </li></ul><ul><li>Brands who use social media right---like Dell, Comcast, & Southwest Airlines---have greatly enhanced their brand image. </li></ul>
    6. 7. What Do I Need to Know?
    7. 8. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) <ul><li>SEO is about making the content you can control as relevant as possible for specific search terms, so Google ranks them high on a search engine results page (SERP) </li></ul><ul><li>Why is it important? </li></ul>
    8. 9. The Importance of Search Ranking Organic Ranking Visibility (shown in a percentage of participants looking at a listing in this location) Rank 1 – 100% Rank 2 – 100% Rank 3 – 100% Rank 4 – 85% Rank 5 – 60% Rank 6 – 50% Rank 7 – 50% Rank 8 – 30% Rank 9 – 30% Rank 10 – 20%
    9. 10. First Step: Pick Your Keywords <ul><li>Looking for the keyword variations users most often use to find your site or release </li></ul><ul><li>Free keyword research tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google External Keyword Tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business Wire’s Press Release Builder Tool </li></ul></ul>
    10. 11. Press Release Builder
    11. 12. Press Release Optimization <ul><li>The Press Release. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not just for journalists’ eyes anymore. </li></ul><ul><li>These days, </li></ul><ul><li>if you’re not writing for , </li></ul><ul><li>Your release might as well be inv isi ble. </li></ul>
    12. 13. Press Release Optimization Tips <ul><li>Focus on keywords in the headline, subhead & first 2 ¶s </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t try to be cute---search engines don’t get puns or plays on word </li></ul><ul><li>Link spokespeople to company bio or LinkedIn </li></ul><ul><li>Link out as much as possible in the first 2 ¶s </li></ul><ul><li>Link deep to specific pages on your website </li></ul>
    13. 14. Formatting Adds Google Juice <ul><li>Bold , Italics , Symbols *@ # </li></ul><ul><li>Subheads and bullet points </li></ul><ul><li>Improved Financial Tables </li></ul><ul><li>Anchor Text and Hyperlinks </li></ul><ul><li>Foreign language characters </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networking Tags </li></ul><ul><li>= FREE Improved Search Engine Visibility </li></ul>
    14. 15. Logo branding, formatting, multimedia content and links built into the release from the start Smart links & anchor text Formatting
    15. 16. Social media sharing links
    16. 17. Releases on many web sites will include photo, logo, links and formatting Yahoo Finance
    17. 18. Google News
    18. 19. Blogs <ul><li>What can blogs do for brands? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Help reinforce brand image </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Humanize a brand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Position a brand as a resource, expert or thought leader </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be a customer service channel </li></ul></ul>
    19. 20. Who is Blogging? Experts Agencies News Media Brands
    20. 21. Should CEOs Blog? “ Executives should only be allowed to blog if they can be trained to have a personality again.” - Greg Peverill-Conti (@gregpc), VP of Emerging Technology, Weber Shandwick
    21. 22. A Few That Do it Right <ul><li>Sun Microsystems – Jonathan’s Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Marriott – Bill Marriott’s On the Move </li></ul><ul><li>Dallas Mavericks/HDNet – Blog Maverick </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    22. 23. Podcasts <ul><li>Great examples of PR/marketing podcasts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Managing the Gray </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For Immediate Release </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>American Copywriter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Or check out ours…  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All Things Press Release Podcast </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>category/podcast/ </li></ul></ul></ul>
    23. 24. Social Networks
    24. 25. Brands & Social Networks <ul><li>The rule for brands on social networks: Provide Value . </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity to engage with customers at the grassroots level </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Give brand evangelists a place to do flourish </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide access for those customers who want to talk to you </li></ul></ul>
    25. 26. Great Brands on Facebook Coach Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
    26. 27. Great Brands on Twitter Dell Comcast Southwest Airlines
    27. 28. Social Bookmarking <ul><li>Powerful tool for driving traffic to websites, press releases, blog posts, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Also helps SEO by associating content with more general categories (e.g. ‘health,’ ‘tech,’ ‘business,’ etc) </li></ul>
    28. 29. Crowdsourcing <ul><li>Very popular platform right now, allows users to suggest ideas for the brand & lets other users vote them up & down…the brand then implements the most popular ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Dell IdeaStorm ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>MyStarbucksIdea ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>UCSD AlumnIdea ( ) </li></ul>
    29. 30. MyStarbucksIdea
    30. 31. Social Media News Release <ul><li>Ford Example (brand-produced) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides easily downloadable multimedia, including photos & embeddable video </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy-to-pull facts, quotes, suggested tags & links to additional info & related discussions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Convenient social media sharing links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brand-produced SMNRs tend to be costly </li></ul></ul>
    31. 32. Brand-Produced SMNR
    32. 33. Business Wire’s Smart News Release (SNR) <ul><li>Logo/Photos/Multimedia downloadable in multiple resolutions </li></ul><ul><li>Embeddable video & audio </li></ul><ul><li>Social media sharing links </li></ul><ul><li>Company profile </li></ul><ul><li>Permalink archiving </li></ul>
    33. 34. Smart News Release
    34. 35. Smart Marketing Pages
    35. 36. It’s Not About the Technology <ul><li>The most important thing to remember about social media for brands is: it is not an item on a checklist. </li></ul><ul><li>A blog, or Facebook page, or Twitter feed, is not always going to be the best thing for that particular brand. </li></ul><ul><li>Know where the conversation about your brand is. And go there. </li></ul>
    36. 37. Thank You! Questions? Tom Becktold, SVP, Marketing Business Wire Los Angeles Twitter: @becktold Follow Business Wire on Twitter! @businesswire
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