9 mistakes marketers should avoid when interviewing architects, engineers and construction pros for thought leadership content

March 10, 2022

So you read our guide on improving your subject-matter-expert interviewing skills and now you think you’re ready to rock your next thought leadership interview. If you follow our advice, you probably are. But even though you know what you should do, you also need to know what you should not do to get the best, juiciest, most innovative ideas and quotes from the architect, engineer or construction pro you’re speaking with.

A good interviewer knows how to get their subject talking without getting in their way. But there’s a lot more to being a good interviewer than just being a good listener. Do you think Oprah showed up to the vineyard to interview Meghan and Harry empty-handed? 

The answer is no: the queen of interviews definitely spent hours with her team arming herself with background information and a hefty list of questions designed to pull out those jaw-dropping soundbites that plastered headlines for weeks afterward.

I can’t teach you to be Oprah, but I can help you optimize your interviewing strategy by avoiding these nine mistakes.

Read more »

 
 

Reprint Rights 101: How AEC firms can promote media hits without getting sued

January 27, 2022
Reprint Rights 101: How AEC firms can promote media hits without getting sued

Great news! You or one of your architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) subject matter experts published an article or got quoted in an industry trade magazine, and you want everyone to know — particularly potential clients. So, you post the full text of the article to your company’s website, send it to your email lists and schedule some social media posts that link to it for good measure.

Good marketing, right?

While promoting your media coverage is important (and kudos to you for recognizing that), unfortunately you’ve left yourself open to legal action from the media outlet because you’ve just violated their copyright. 

The good news is that there are ways to leverage your media hits while staying on the right side of the law — and in the good books of the media outlets that cover your projects.

Read more »

 
 

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?”

Read more »

 
 

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.

Read more »

 
 

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. 

Read more »

 
 

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.

Read more »

 
 

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.”

Read more »

 
 

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 has errors.

Sigh.

Unfortunately, this scenario is becoming all too common. In today’s web-driven, social media-centric news landscape, some journalists can prioritize being first more than being accurate. The reality is that reporters are forced to do more with less and crank out stories faster than ever before.

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?

Read more »

 
 

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.

Read more »

 
 

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.

Read more »

 
 

Get INKsights in your inbox

Archives