The importance of email service providers (ESPs): Why you should never send mass emails with Outlook or Gmail

July 8, 2021
The importance of email service providers (ESPs): Why you should never send mass emails with Outlook or Gmail

Email marketing is the most profitable marketing channel, garnering an ROI of $42 for every $1 spent. However, if you try to start a mass marketing email campaign through your Gmail or Outlook account, you’re going to be hampered by send limits and you could even end up having your personal email or your entire organization’s domain blacklisted (more on that in a moment).

So how do firms manage to conduct email marketing campaigns that send hundreds or thousands of emails and still hang on to their online reputation? Email marketing services or email service providers (ESPs) are third-party services that handle mass marketing email sends. ESPs take a number of measures to ensure they remain whitelisted and retain agreements with internet service providers (ISPs) that allow them to send emails in bulk. 

You might be asking yourself, “Why do I need to pay extra to send emails when that’s what I do all day, every day? Why not just send each marketing email individually from my individual email address?”

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Attending virtual conferences: How to get value from a socially distanced event

October 27, 2020

While attending a conference used to mean skiving off work for a few days to listen to industry-specific keynotes with boutique coffee in your hand, these days … not so much.

Conferences are now being held entirely online, with participants watching presentations on one screen while checking in with work on another. This is all before we take into account that the farthest most of us can travel these days is to our porch. 

So even if you’re a rare unicorn of a human who can focus entirely on days worth of online presentations, odds are you are sharing your space with a partner, enthusiastic pet or homebound children.

This doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel.

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What to do when there’s no news: 7 proactive PR tips for law firms

September 4, 2020

What to do when there's no news

We always tell our law firm clients that it’s important to have sustained legal PR efforts. Media relations isn’t something you can do in fits and starts and expect consistent results. It’s hard to stay top of mind with journalists if they don’t hear from you that often. You must come to them fairly regularly with quality story ideas so they remember you’re out there.

But what if there’s nothing going on that’s worth pitching? It’s not like big litigation victories or massive M&A deals happen on demand. There are lulls in the practice of law — and that’s when savvy lawyers have to get proactive with their PR efforts.  

Here are some ways to keep the pitch hopper full when there’s no breaking news to trumpet. 

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Media exclusives: how and when to use them

July 27, 2020

Media exclusives: how and when to use them

When I was working at a television station, the first question the news director would ask after a reporter came in with a juicy story was, “Is it exclusive?”

She wanted to know if her station was the only place viewers could find the story or if they would at least be the first to break the news. In a time when just about everyone has 24/7 access to information at their fingertips, regardless of when the 5 o’clock newscast airs, media outlets are looking for any edge they can get over their competitors.

For PR purposes, exclusives can help you squeeze all of the “juice” you can get out of a story and make sure it’s placed with an outlet that will give it the coverage you think it deserves.

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How much should you spend on marketing during a recession? Here’s what the research says

April 13, 2020

Image source: Vaile, Roland S., “The Use of Advertising During Depression,” Harvard Business Review, 5 April, 1927. 

As COVID-19 sweeps the world, our economy is quickly going down the toilet (along with stockpiles of toilet paper). Unfortunately, we are likely already in a recession. For marketers, recessions have historically been scary times. Often, marketing seems like the easiest thing to cut. But is that wise? 

As a marketer, if I wrote a blog post telling you to increase marketing during a recession, I’d look a little self-serving (to say the least). So instead, I decided to look at what the research tells us about marketing during recessions.

What I found is overwhelming evidence that it pays to maintain — and in some cases increase — marketing expenditures during an economic downturn. As Peter Fader of the Wharton School said, “As companies slash advertising in a downturn, they leave empty space in consumers’ minds for aggressive marketers to make strong inroads.”

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What to do when the media gets it wrong

July 17, 2019

What to do when the media gets it wrong

You carefully craft a press release. You go through rounds of internal edits and approvals. The quote is massaged more than LeBron James’ ego. You send it out to the media… and the published story is chock-full of errors.

Sigh.

Unfortunately, this scenario is becoming all too common. In today’s web-driven, social media-centric news landscape, some journalists value being first more than being accurate. Reporters are forced to do more with less, crank out stories faster than ever before and are increasingly focused on clicks and views at the expense of solid, introspective reporting.

At the same time, misinformation now spreads faster than measles at an anti-vaxxers convention. And, once people are exposed to misinformation, it’s incredibly difficult to remove its influence. As the saying goes, mud sticks. So what can you do if the media gets your facts wrong?

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7 decisions to make before beginning a content project

June 6, 2019

7 decisions to make before beginning a content project

Content projects — such as website updates and new bios, practice group descriptions, case studies and project descriptions — may seem simple at first glance. Just figure out what needs to be written, do the research, conduct subject-matter-expert interviews and start writing…. Right?

Not so fast.

Before you ever set fingers to keyboard, you must first make several key decisions that will guide your content project, saving you from future headaches, disagreements and inconsistent (and thus unprofessional) content.

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6 ways to get the most from your public relations agency [updated]

March 5, 2019

If you’ve ever worked with a public relations agency — or any consulting firm or professional services provider for that matter — you know that the outcomes can widely differ. There are many, many PR firms out there, and their level of expertise, experience and ability to consistently deliver results varies greatly.

But let’s say you lucked out and hired a high-quality public relations agency (yes, that hyperlink is to us… wink, wink). What’s your role in ensuring the success of the relationship?

It’s pretty significant.

As with most things in life, you get back what you put in. A successful PR initiative requires investment — not just the cost of the PR agency, but your own time and expertise.

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Crisis PR and the FIU bridge collapse: 8 ways to prepare your AEC firm for the worst

March 30, 2018

8 crisis PR tips

“By the time you hear the thunder, it’s too late to build the ark.” —Unknown

It’s everyone’s worst nightmare in the architecture, engineering and construction industry: a catastrophic incident with multiple fatalities, and your company is on the line.

That’s the reality right now for FIGG Bridge Engineers and MCM — the designer and builder, respectively, of the pedestrian bridge at Florida International University that collapsed March 15, killing six and injuring 10 others.

The focus now is on honoring the lives vendita gonfiabile percorso ad ostacoli lost, determining what led to the collapse and ultimately holding anyone negligent accountable. However, the incident is a reminder of how incredibly important it is for AEC public relations professionals to prepare to respond to such worst-case scenarios.

While every situation is unique, and the experience of a crisis PR professional is invaluable during an event, here are eight ways you can prepare now to protect your firm’s reputation as much as possible in the event the worst happens.

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A Q&A with Cosential: The CRM made especially for AEC

March 30, 2017

 A Q&A with Cosential: The CRM made especially for AEC

Our team recently had the pleasure of mingling with movers and shakers in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry at the SMPS SunBuilt conference, an annual regional event for AEC marketing and business development professionals.

One of those people was Bobby Hollis, VP of Marketing for Cosential, a CRM and proposal tool for AEC firms. We wanted to pick Bobby’s brain about what the industry-specific CRM means for AEC lead-generation efforts. Luckily, he agreed (without us pinning him down).

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