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Why Every Business Needs PR While They Grow

Michelle Garrett

Whether or not you do it yourself, use a consultant, an agency, or have an in-house PR pro, every business stage needs public relations. Since businesses need to interact with the public, government, their competition, partners, and clients (whether that is other businesses or the public), managing relationships and perceived business value are essential.

While PR is experiencing a bit of a renaissance as the value of earned media and backlinks seems to be at the top of many brands’ list of digital marketing initiatives, there are still those companies who seem to feel they won’t benefit from public relations.

The truth is, companies at EVERY stage can benefit from PR.

Every business needs PR, even companies at the top of their game shouldn’t overlook the value of what public relations brings to their brands.

Why PR Is Beneficial to ANY Brand

As ways to get the word out about your product or service increase with the proliferation of social media and consumers’ access to information, public relations still leads the pack. Why?

“PR, unlike paid marketing, creates a different dynamic,” says Peter Himler, founding principal, Flatiron Communications and president of the Publicity Club of New York

Earned media coverage, as third-party validation, still has the greatest capacity to generate action.”

Why? “Positive news stories, amplified in social media, can serve as powerful endorsements and a boost to brand reputation,” Himler says. “Unfortunately, the reverse also holds true. Think of poor Papa John.”

And because the news cycle moves so quickly now, Himler says it’s vital that businesses persist—in good times or in bad—in engaging editorial decision-makers to maintain a positive branded footprint in the media.

Brands at Different Stages Benefit in Different Ways

Companies at various stages, such as those growing, struggling or succeeding, can all take advantage of what public relations helps them achieve.

Growing Brands

Early and mid-stage companies need visibility. They benefit from media exposure and brand recognition. Well-timed articles can help boost efforts to launch new products or roll out solutions.

“Early on, PR creates crucial awareness for your company. A new business is like that tree in the forest that falls down with no one around it. If no one is talking about your business, does it even exist?” Jesse Ghiorzi, director of brand strategy at Charge

Working with a PR firm can also help early-stage brands define messages that resonate with their target audiences. Public relations pros are skilled at helping clients position themselves for success.

Yet another benefit of PR can be drawing talent to a brand. If a company is growing, it needs to hire strong employees. If it appears in publications and on social media in a favorable light, it’s more likely to be compelling to potential new hires. Further, it can help retain employees who may take pride in seeing the name of the company they work for in lights.

Struggling Brands

For companies that are struggling, a PR pro can help uncover stories they can tell that will bring them more visibility.

“If your business is struggling, you might be cutting back on marketing and ad budgets. The right PR tactics can help you stretch that marketing budget by getting your business covered in key publications at a fraction of the cost compared to a paid placement,” says Ghiorzi.

And, if a brand has spent time in the past building a following, it can leverage that audience to help support it during tougher times.

Successful Brands

Brands with momentum may believe they have no need for PR. Quite the contrary, says Himler.

“Many esteemed brands with large followings on social media may have less of a need for traditional PR, i.e., media relations. They simply announce their news via their ‘owned’ channels and it propagates from there.”

Himler continues, “However, most companies—big and small—do not enjoy the same luxury as an Apple or Google or Amazon. They must engage the beat reporters who follow their industry, or company awareness and esteem can deteriorate. Then, they may just end up in the trash heap of brands that have lost their luster.”

“When the going is good, why not start telling your story to your audience? Because there will come a time when the economy is not so good, and you need customers to know who you are,” says Brad Marley, consultant, and owner of Yelram Media

“When that happens, it’s not as if a brand can snap its fingers and generate momentum. if you’re waiting until the bust to invest in PR to generate publicity, you’ve waited too long.”

Every business needs PR, no matter their size or age.


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4 Marketing Tasks You Can Automate

Save time and amplify your brand with marketing automation tools

read more

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Why You Need to Add Facebook Messenger to Your List of Marketing Tools

Messenger is bigger than Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram combined.

You probably already market to customers on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. But have you made Messenger — Facebook’s standalone messaging app — your top marketing priority?

Ten years ago, consumers used email, AIM, and MySpace to chat. Five years ago, it was Facebook andTwitter. But today, that activity has moved to messaging apps. Over 3 billion people use messaging apps on a regular basis to communicate with friends and businesses; and messaging is the most preferred channel for customer service.

That’s why Messenger marketing has become so hot. It’s the art and science of reaching customers at scale using Facebook Messenger, much in the same way marketers have relied on email marketing and newsletters. Messenger marketing often involves using automation software or chatbot builders to send push notifications and targeted conversations to the over 1 billion people who use Messenger.

Messenger will quickly become one of your most important marketing channels. Consumers simply are moving away from the noise of email. Messenger marketing can yield over 80 percent open rates, multiples more effective than email. This makes developing a marketing strategy around Messenger critical to your business.

Not convinced yet? The Facebook team recently released stats regarding the insane usage of Facebook Messenger worldwide. Here are the key stats you need to know that affirm Messenger’s importance to your business:

  1. Facebook Messenger has 1.3 billion users. Yes, billion. That’s more users than Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram combined. Messenger is where your customers are communicating.
  2. Messenger adds 100 million new users every five to six months. Facebook Messenger hit 1 billion users in July 2016, 1.2 billion in April 2017, and 1.3 billion in September this year.
  3. Users have 7 billion conversations on Messenger every day. That’s over 2.5 trillion conversations every year. For comparison, Snapchat users send 3 billion photos per day.
  4. 260 million new conversations are started daily. These are not just new threads between people, but between people and businesses too. This number will only grow.
  5. There were 17 billion realtime video chats on Messenger in 2017. That is double the amount of video chats Messenger users were having just a year ago.
  6. Messenger users shared 500 billion emojis in 2017. That’s 385 emojis per user, or just over one emoji per person per day on Messenger.
  7. 18 billion GIFs were shared via Messenger this year. In the world of Messenger, GIFs are sent over 500 times per second. GIFs are a powerful communication and storytelling medium for both consumers and brands.
  8. There are over 100,000 bots on the Messenger platform. Bots (or chatbots if you prefer) are how many businesses communicate with their customers on Messenger, letting their bots do the heavy lifting of customer support or conversational marketing. There were over 100,000 of these bots in April 2017, so this number has only grown.
  9. Over 2 billion messages are sent each month between people and businesses. If you think Messenger is only for people and not brands, you’re wrong.
  10. 2.5 million Messenger groups are started every day. Private Messenger groups are like the social networks of old — it’s how people are connecting with their closest friends.
  11. The average Messenger group has 10 people. This has become a truly social platform. Imagine how much word of mouth can you create with that level of interconnectedness.
  12. 11 billion reactions were shared in Messenger this year. The most popular reaction was the heart eyes emojis

Convinced that Messenger marketing is here to stay? Here are some beginner’s tips for anyone who’s just getting started:

  • Automate your customer service. Messenger bots can automatically respond to queries, and Facebook’s Smart Replies feature lets you create responses to common queries.
  • Use Messenger marketing software. These are SaaS products similar to what Mailchimp and ExactTarget were to email. They help you create bots, send messages, track click-throughs, automate responses, and more. Facebook has a list of preferred providers on its business section.
  • Automatically recover abandoned carts. Messenger’s “Send to Messenger” plugin lets you get permission to send messages via an opt-in on your website. One of the best uses of this plugin is to send Facebook messages whenever someone abandons a cart on your ecommerce store. Many of Facebook’s preferred software providers offer this functionality.

Facebook Messenger marketing shouldn’t replace your existing marketing. You still need to do email and social marketing. But Messenger marketing can greatly augment everything you’re doing on the marketing and sales side and you’d be crazy not to be investing in Messenger as a channel for your business.

By Ben Parr


680 405 Emma Macharia


Have you thought of adding Snapchat to your marketing mix? Well if you haven’t, you should. A breakdown of Snapchat’s numbers will show you why: over 100 million daily active users, 400 million snaps per day, and over 1 billion views of stories each day.

And there’s more. For the personal user, Snapchat lets you easily talk with friends, view Live Stories from around the world, and explore news with the Discover feature. It also presents huge possibilities for your business. One of the key ways for brands to connect viscerally with their customers is to share brand stories.

Shared value has been known to create brand loyalty and with Snapchat being real-time, it provides a ready platform to showcase the values and cultures of your company in a personal and visual way.

Find out six ways you can use Snapchat for your business below:

1. Cover live events

You can use Snapchat for product launches or one-of-kind events like the 5,000th customer to shop in your store etc

2. Offer contests or promotions

You can offer promo codes or discounts to the fans who watch your entire Snapchat story, or ask them to take a snap while holding your product.

3. Behind the scenes

You could show off your company and make sure to have fun with it. Capture birthday parties, Friday afternoons or company outings. The idea is to show how your brand differentiates itself with company culture.

4. Partner with influencers

Just like with Twitter and Instagram, social media influencers on Snapchat can help spread brand awareness and reach. Allow these influencers “take over” your brand’s Snap for maybe a day to help with the promotion of an upcoming event, product launch etc. These influencers will help introduce & bring their own followers to your page.

5. Publish transparency series

Like we mentioned earlier, shared values help build brand loyalty. One of the best ways to do so is present a backstage company access to your customers. You’d be surprised how many people are interested in your internal processes.

Cisco has done a neat job of sharing the daily goings-on in the firm with their “A day in the life of an Account Manager” series.

If you are wondering what Cisco – a networking and telecommunications company is doing Snapchat – you are not alone. Telecommunications isn’t the most interesting subject to talk about, but Cisco managed to flip the script. They focused on their culture and exposed a human side of their brand.

6. Host AMA sessions

Ask Me Anything sessions can be anything you want them to be. They can be about your goofy company culture or a professional conversation about trends in your industry. It could be “We just bought a N1 million camera for our production team, ask us anything” or something a little more serious like “We got 2 billion organic impressions on a campaign last week, ask us anything.” or something random, “We can tint my eyebrows with Coffee, ask us anything.”

Find relevant topics you can start with your audience that will pull them in and engage them.

By Wild Fusion Marketing


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