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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Who does what in the newsroom? A guide to media roles

July 13, 2020

Who does what in the newsroom? A guide to media roles

Pitching to the right person at a media outlet can make the difference between having your company make the front page or helplessly watching it slip through the cracks of someone’s inbox. Even small newsrooms exchange thousands of emails every day, and a fraction of the staff is tasked with screening and collecting stories to go to broadcast, print or online. 

You must stand out and connect with the gatekeepers to enjoy the benefits of media coverage.

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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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Spread the cheer! How to do holiday marketing the right way for B2B and professional services

November 20, 2019

Spread the cheer! How to do holiday marketing the right way for B2B and professional services

Ah, the holidays. A time when we’re surrounded by warm wishes, those we love — and a never-ending sales pitch to get us to spend, spend, spend. The holiday fervor seems to start earlier every year, too (I swear I saw toy Santas alongside the American flags in one store this past July 4th). 

This is the noisiest time of year in consumer marketing, with brands of all kinds clamoring for attention. So why would B2B companies and professional services firms — which have much different sales cycles — choose to enter that fray? Wouldn’t it be best to just lie low and go big in January?

Unfortunately, that would mean disappearing from view for weeks, maybe even a couple of months. In today’s connected environment, that can be a death blow when you’re trying to maintain a consistent brand. 

Done tactfully and in line with the spirit of the season, holiday marketing for B2B companies and professional services firms can help you maintain awareness while leaving a warm feeling behind that clients and prospects will remember all year long. 

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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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8 ways to get people to sign up for your newsletter

May 16, 2019

8 ways to get people to sign up for your newsletter

Want the good news or the bad news first?

Let’s go with the good news: Email marketing is incredibly effective for B2B companies and professional services firms.

And now the bad news: Your email list degrades by about 22.5% every year. People change jobs, unqualified leads unsubscribe and others disengage after emails get trapped in spam folders.

I’m no mathematician, but with a churn rate of 25%, if you don’t grow your email list, you’ll be left with just you and your grandma reading your emails in a few short years.

Here’s more good news (you just got served a shit sandwich): There are lots of ways to grow your email list, and I’ve helpfully summarized them for you below.

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