From Public Relations to Content Relations

It’s time we as an industry evolve. But to modernize simple PR takes more than change; it takes a revolution. And we’re proud to lead the way…

 

I have an uncle who refuses to use a computer. My family bought him one and he hasn’t taken it out of the box. And this isn’t your crazy uncle Al who has no real need for technology; my uncle builds houses. In fact, he constructs multi-million dollar homes. Now, we all can see why it may be rather important that he owns a computer, or at the very least, an email address. And while he has been wildly successful and I deeply respect him and his profession, resisting change is just bad. But in his defense he is just one man, he is not an entire industry. Imagine if an entire industry resisted change to hold on to the past. Now that would be mighty irresponsible.

 

Welcome to public relations! Honestly, what does “public relations” even mean these days! It was a term originally defined by Ivy Lee in the early 1900s, and since then has undergone plenty of unsuccessful attempts at redevelopment and revival  by the World Assembly of Public Relations Associations and the Public Relations Society of America. But what may have been relevant in the early 1900s up until late 1990s is simply not today. Companies are looking to “relate” to the public about as much as millionaires are looking to “relate” to the homeless, especially in a B2B marketplace. No, companies want to “relate” to the people that matter to them, which is typically a smaller, more concentrated group and not the general public. Trying to reach the entire population or a general audience is a classic example of resisting change-something the entire industry is guilty of.

 

Let’s not even get into the fact that there are entirely too many differing marketing buckets, which makes it next to impossible to understand who does what. As Robin Thicke said, it’s those blurred lines. They’re not helping anyone in this already confused industry, where more toes are being stepped on than at a Jay Z and Beyoncé concert.

 

So, allow us to be the industry’s saving grace as we dub ourselves the world’s first content relations firm. Picture us as the cohesive glue needed to put the fragmented pieces back together and unify disparate marketing silos. Our main goal as a content relations firm is to creatively convey our clients’ messages in a way that will effectively get their products and services in front of those who matter most. Whether that means implementing innovative strategies or analyzing content, our objective remains the same: to turn simple messages into stories, and ideas into actions no matter if the content is earned, owned or paid. And since our prime focus is content, we cannot succeed without creating the most stellar content this planet has ever seen, telling compelling corporate stories in a never-before-seen way.

 

And while the PRSA may say public relations encompasses this type of focus, we beg to differ. Actually, we just blatantly disagree—respectfully, of course. To us, the traditional definition of public relations does not do our tactic justice, which is why we feel we need to rebrand ourselves and, eventually, the industry.

 

But small steps, right? For now, we are re-launching our firm under the belief that content is at the heart of media, social marketing, digital, SEO and experimental campaigns that drive action. Content fuels results and an attentive and relevant audience. Story-telling prevails over everything else. So consider this the obituary for public relations. It has died. It ceases to exist in the digital realm. And in its place a new form of marketing has emerged that is larger, stronger and more qualified for the digital world. The digital world encompasses far too many opportunities to stay narrow and traditional. Our clients are always innovating, and so are we.

 

Rest peacefully public relations. You did good, but all great things must come to an end. Luckily we have something even greater taking your place: content relations.


How Big Data Fits Into Public Relations

I bet you’re sick of hearing about how awesome big data is. I really can’t fault you there, yet the undeniable fact still remains: Big data works! I know, I know—I’m sorry, but we really should talk more about it. But this time, let’s talk about big data as it pertains to public relations.

 

Yes, big data can be and is used in public relations, and is becoming almost a necessity in the industry. Since a PR agencies key role is to provide their clients with the best coverage and media placement imaginable, we as public relations specialists need to stay current on the best industry strategies and solutions. Big data is a universal development that can be implemented into PR campaigns to better a client’s position. Here are five ways PR firms can use big data to increase media coverage, and equally as important, increase client happiness!

 

 

1. Stay Atop of the Trends

 

If you’re not using social media as a publicity tool, then boy are you behind the times! And if you’re not using big data to better orchestrate your social media campaigns, then listen up! PR agencies can use big data to analyze and track when certain hashtags will be trending based on past triggers, and plan their campaign accordingly. They can also recognize what spurs a negative reaction from followers based on past stats, subsequently altering campaigns to avoid these damaging situations. Furthermore, Big Data can help PR professionals regulate tweets and posts based off trending topics, and more efficiently create interest around client products and offers by evaluating which audiences are best to target first.

 

 

2. Numbers Speak Louder than Words

 

Instead of telling you audience that mobile video advertising is increasing, show them! Whether it be percentages or hard numbers, giving an audience something tangible to see and read goes a longer way than basic, glossed-over statements. Big data can be a tremendous help with this. Whether it’s by using proprietary data that you created or of which you have exclusive access to; data that obtained through a survey or poll conducted by a market researcher or analyst firm; or data from whitepapers, reports, overviews and other publications accessible on the internet, data can open the audiences eyes to the extent of trends and help support client offerings. Big data is everywhere, and using it to your client’s advantage in articles, social media posts and press releases demonstrates the impact their services can have on an industry in decline or expansion. Take it a step further and use big data to show your clients impact on an industry using numbers in an interesting, even unorthodox, way. For example, if you represent an eHealth app, you can use proprietary numbers to demonstrate the apps success in catching cardiovascular problems, while also using a white paper that gives numbers demonstrating why cardiovascular problems need to be caught early. Let big data prove the point for you!

 

 

3. Dig and Combine

 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Big data is everywhere! As a PR firm, you should use that to your advantage. If you’re looking for specific data to make a point but the data isn’t all within the same study or white paper, do some digging. Combining data from different sources (while always remembering to site your source!) can give audiences a better look into industry trends. This works especially well if you’re looking for trends ranging over several years, or even ranging over several industries.

 

 

4. Collect Your Own Big Data

 

Social Media is a great way to create your own polls or surveys, especially as the biggest obstacles facing in-house data are price and pool size. Asking a well-orchestrated question to Twitter followers could garner revealing, low-cost information that can in-turn be used to better position a client. Of course the more expensive route is to hire a market researcher to conduct a more extensive survey to gain valuable data points, but if you’re looking for quick way to survey a large audience why not create your own big data? In the same vein, you can use big data to discover how to properly and effectively word certain questions in a company’s favor by looking at past trends.

 

 

5. Learn From Your Actions

 

Let me just say this one more time: Big data is all around you! All those pitches you’ve sent; social media hits you’ve received; and media traffic you’ve created—those all have big data written all over it. By analyzing these points and patterns, your agency can learn from the past and better adopt ways to garner better results in the future. By simply tracking and organizing this data, PR firms can completely transform how they target media for certain clients, as well as how to place certain news pieces to get the best results imaginable.


Video Game Marketing: 5 Tips for Positioning Success

Video game design and development undoubtedly poses the most lucrative returns within the entertainment industry. But, the video games industry is highly competitive, and so, an effective marketing strategy is imperative. Adam Dawson, Media Strategist at Emerging Insider Communications, offers integral marketing tips to maintaining an edge in the industry.

 

 

Tip #1

 

Create a custom and well-executed media equation through cross-referencing. Businesses in the video games industry must create exceptional channels through which to position their content. And not only that, businesses must be able to leverage specified content for niche demographics.

 

 

Tip #2

 

Get creative at industry events. Include demos of your video game or related technology for potential customers and industry influencers to sample.

 

 

Tip #3

 

Everyone likes a good mystery. A little bit of intrigue is never a bad thing.  Intrigue helps create buzz about the product that you are trying to position towards a target audience.

 

These marketing tips will help keep you one step ahead of the competition.  In Adam’s words, “The overall objective of each tip is simple, establish yourself within the industry and inform the public of your new product so they can make an informed decision when purchasing.”

 

To check out more video game marketing tips by Adam Dawson visit:http://www.business2community.com/tech-gadgets/video-game-marketing-5-tips-positioning-success-0881732#lzPYMl4K5tjyzEhI.99

 


Understanding the TV Habits of Millennials

The Millennials are changing the television industry as we know it. As the popularity of broadcast television dwindles, Millennials become prosumers in a dynamic market. In “Understanding the TV Habits of Millennials,” Beth Principi, Staff Writer at Emerging Insider Communications, predicts that the Millennials will be responsible for the future of television due to social, video and mobile developments.

 

Our society is completely interconnected through social technology, and so, television companies must find a channel through which existing platforms of TV viewing can be integrated in order to remain viable competitors in the industry. There has also been a massive shift towards streaming content, instead of watching broadcast television. In fact, according to a report by the New York Times, 34% of Millennials watch mostly online video/no broadcast TV, compared to just 20% of Generation X and 10% of Baby Boomers.

 

This gives companies two choices: either entice viewers back into broadcast television, or adjust to the changing television habits and platforms. Finally, with the increase in TV technology, Millennials are able to watch TV on the go. Multitasking is also another evolving facet that accompanies on-the-go TV viewing. It is important for television companies to realize that the Millennial generation embodies a clear shift in TV viewing that will continue to evolve with consecutive generations.

 

To read the full article by Beth Principi, visit http://www.appmarket.tv/opinion/2436-understanding-the-tv-habits-of-millennials.html


How Big is Big Data?

I think we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves. I think the first question should be: What is big data? There are so many different definitions for big data that defining it is almost as daunting a task as sifting through it. Well, according to technology research firm, Gartner Inc., big data is “high-volume, high-velocity and high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making.” Great, but what does that mean? Let’s put this in terms we can all understand.

 

Say you begin the morning by buying a Grande Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks with your credit card. When you see that the barista spelled your name hilariously wrong you have to send out a picture Tweet with the hashtag #StarbucksFail. From there you drive to work, but when you get there, decide you don’t want to begin working just yet. So, you do a Google search to find the best seafood restaurants in the area for your impending date night. You also take a look at some at-home seafood recipes and decide to Snapchat a funny one to your friend before finally getting to work researching exotic travel destinations for your company. Once the clock strikes 5PM, you hop in your car only to hit bumper-to-bumper traffic on the freeway. Using your GPS app on your smartphone, you reroute to back roads while looking up the number for your favorite pizza place and calling in a few pies. Once you’ve finished your dinner, you log on to your Netflix account and watch another episode of Orange Is The New Black before calling it a night. But not before you update your Facebook status.

 

Sounds like a typical Tuesday for anyone, right? Well, all of these activities are part of a bigger picture—big data. Your credit card has a digital record of all your purchases, applications like Facebook; Twitter and Snapchat track and monitor your behavior; web browsers also track and record your search and website history; and even your phone GPS stores and uses your data to better route you and others in the future. So while you have gone through your day with seemingly little social interaction, that doesn’t mean people don’t know what you are doing.

 

Whether or not this is a huge invasion of privacy is a debate for a different day. Regardless of your views on big data, this is just one scenario, of one person, on one day. Multiply that by the 2.9 billion internet users of the world and you can gain a basic understanding of just how huge big data is for one day. And big data doesn’t just stop there. It has seeped into almost every sector imaginable, including the public sector, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and government. According to a study by MGI, a retailer using big data could increase its operating margin by more than 60 percent. The same study also estimates that U.S. healthcare could create more than $300 billion in value every year by using big data to drive efficiency and quality. These are astounding percentages and numbers, but it still may not be quite clear how using big data can make this much of an impact on companies and industries.

 

Well, according to the same MGI study, big data can effectively be used in a number of different ways. It can make information more transparent and usable at a much higher frequency than ever before. It can also be stored and used to collect more accurate and detailed performance information to boost performance on items ranging from product inventories to sick days. Other companies are conducting controlled experiments using big data to make better management decisions. Using specific data points allows for narrower segmentation of consumers, resulting in more precise and tailored products or services. Advanced analyzing of big data can improve decision-making for companies. And finally, big data is instrumental in improving the development of the next generation of products and services.

 

The reality is big data is all around us and quickly becoming mandatory for all sectors. We are all part of the big data game whether we realize it or not. And even if you haven’t noticed its affects as a consumer, they are happening both in the background and foreground. Big data is big—astronomically big. In fact, big data is projected to grow into a $53.5 billion industry by 2017, up from $10.2 billion in 2013. And while it may seem unmanageable, businesses will need to find a way to successfully use specific data points to make the internal and external operations run as smooth as possible. The future of every industry depends on it.


Net Neutrality Legislation will Threaten the Emergence of Cloud Gaming

cloudgamingLately, media outlets have been rabidly covering the Net Neutrality legislation and the crippling blow it could inflict on the web. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) favor restrictions on it because it allows them to unequally value data and potentially overcharge customers who use excessive amounts of bandwidth for services like media streaming and online video chats.

 

One particular innovation that could suffer from the Net Neutrality legislation is cloud gaming. This service enables users to stream high-quality, full-length titles to multiple devices ranging from PCs to smart phones.

 

Through video streaming, games are stored on and streamed from servers that do the performance intensive work, making the power of the consumer’s device less important. With file streaming, however, games are downloaded to a machine capable of running them, then streamed to other platforms within its radius. This has the potential to disrupt the video game industry and revolutionize the way games are played, only if the internet remains neutral.

 

Introduced to the public several years ago, it seems the service is finally ready to take off considering the PlayStation Now Beta is running, and the recent announcements of OnLive’s compatibility with the WikiPad and the MadCatz MOJO console. Don’t get too excited just yet, however, for it will require massive amounts of bandwidth to stream full-length games, leaving the future of cloud gaming dependent on the upcoming legislation.

 

Hopefully we can play great games on-the-go without dishing out too much money

If Net Neutrality were revoked, ISPs could charge high rates to cloud gaming providers that require large amounts of bandwidth to operate. Through this extortion, affected companies would need to overcharge for services, making many reluctant to adopt them. ISPs could also put bandwidth caps on consumers, monitoring how much they use each month and subjecting them to extra costs if limits are exceeded.The open internet would become as authoritarian as Putinism, intimidating people from using the web as they please.

 

Latency could become a major issue in discriminatory web environment. If you think lag is bad now, you have another thing coming if the Net Neutrality legislation moves forward. Through bandwidth throttling ISPs can cruelly slow a user’s internet speed once they’ve reached a limit or are partaking in activities like media streaming.

 

They then could offer premium packages and upsell clients to pay more for higher quality internet services, charging them more for speeds similar to what they had in a neutral web. If gamers have to pay extra to stream games at a low latency, it won’t bode well for the success of cloud gaming. It’s as unfair as ordering food at a restaurant, but receiving it after those who ordered later than you because they paid more for faster service.

 

In order to convert some gamers into customers, ISPs might give advantages to services they already have stake in. For example, Comcast has exempted its own video streaming service from data caps before, while still monitoring over-the-top content providers (OTT) like Netflix and Hulu. In doing so, it makes its own program more desirable than OTT competitors because consumers can stream as much content through it without worrying about exceeding their cap.

 

Instead of a fair fight, ISPs are more interested in crippling companies more innovative than theirs so they can win with less effort, or force them to pay more. It’s similar to how Commodus stabs Maximus with a poison blade before their fight in the movie Gladiator. Commodus is afraid of the stronger, more talented Maximus, so he injures him to improve chances of victory.

 

The same can be done in regards to cloud gaming. AT&T once owned a percentage of OnLive and could’ve used it to its advantage in a non-neutral web. It could’ve converted gamers to its services with the promise of a game streaming experience that didn’t risk pushing bandwidth caps. If the Net Neutrality legislation passes, success for cloud gaming providers could become dependent on having part of their company owned by ISPs in order to maximize potential.

 

Since large corporations would own a major stake, cloud startups would have less say in the direction of their companies, leading to limited innovation in the space. The once-thought revolutionary technology could potentially become a gimmick used by ISPs to sell their services.

 

With more money than most will see in their lifetimes backing it, the Net Neutrality legislation seems like it will inevitably move forward, potentially burying an innovative idea before it has a chance to shine. Cloud gaming, unfortunately, has been extremely slow in its emergence and is unproven to this point.

 

Most gamers won’t stray away from tried and true gaming methods if streaming ends up costing more than it’s worth. Adoption will be minimal, viscerally crushing the service and forcing practitioners to shutter their doors. Ultimately, this will lead to an innovative Depression within the video game industry because technological limits must be pushed in order to create something fresh. With limited resources due to a constricted web, that won’t be happening as rapidly as it currently is.


In the Age of Content Overload Simplicity Stands Out

The notorious adage “Keep It Simple and Sweet” or “KISS” is explained in relation to marketing campaigns within Charles Grieser’s article, “In the Age of Content Overload Simplicity Stands Out”. Charles, Creative Director at Emerging Insider Communications, champions simplicity when marketing to America’s endemic short attention span.  Charles offers minimalism and relevancy as cures for today’s overpopulated and oversaturated data market.

In order to strike an emotional chord with consumers, businesses should focus on crafting a simplistic design of the product or service being marketed.  Similarly, on the content side of a campaign, relevancy is imperative for the success of the product or service.  It is important for businesses to realize that these two strategies must be applied in tandem in order to create a successful marketing campaign. In Charles words, “The ultimate goal in all of this is to pull simple content and design together into one package. There is no way to separate a good design from attention-grabbing written content — they go hand-in-hand. If one doesn’t work, the package as a whole fails to deliver.”

To check out the full article, visit TalentZoo at http://www.talentzoo.com/news/In-the-Age-of-Content-Overload,-Simplicity-Stands-Out/19360.html


Ten Predictions for the Future of TV

The ways in which we experience TV are constantly evolving.  Though recent changes within the TV industry are not comparable to the shift from black-and-white to color, they are nonetheless important.  Zachary Weiner, CEO of Emerging Insider Communications, outlines the future of TV technology in “Ten Predictions for the Future of TV”.  Zach’s article is separated into two influencers in TV technology: changing consumer behaviors and changing technologies.   Gone are the days where the physical TV box was the only platform for video engagement.  With the powering of HTML 5 capabilities on consumers’ phones and tablets, video will be consumed from any platform, at any time.  Social TV is a prime exemplar of shifting prosumer engagement, with consumers actively curating a deeper social network and innovating communication between media platforms. In the second section, Zach discusses the future trends in TV technology and predicates that user-experience demands will decide which technologies become mainstream and which fall short.  Another interesting trend that is poised to become massively important is the use of big data for recommendations, ad preferences and the enhancement of viewer engagement.    Zach’s article emphasizes the inseparability of consumer TV habits and emerging TV technologies.  This is important for TV technology companies because the proposition will affect how TV technologies are marketed. To read more about Zachary Weiner’s predictions in the TV technology industry, visit http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/35972.asp#multiview


Who We Are: Meet Our Media Specialist, Gabby Corral

Good stories don’t just happen. Journalists don’t typically take it upon themselves to contact a company and say, “Hey, got anything good going on?” Effective story placement and publicity only comes after much behind-the-scenes hard work and relationship building. Without team members like Gabby Corral, media specialist at Emerging Insider Communications, our clients’ stories wouldn’t get the great placement and attention they deserve. With a strong background in public relations, Gabby is responsible for researching and placing stories with publications that will garner the best exposure for clients. That’s easier said than done, as Gabby eloquently points out…

Why is it important to build a rapport with members of the press?

Building strong relationships with the media is essential, especially in B2B markets. Journalists receive a high volume of pitches a day. So whether or not your story is newsworthy, you still risk the chance of being overlooked. Having a secure relationship gives your pitch or news a huge advantage over the large number of emails hitting a journalist’s inbox. Once you have built that foundation, sustaining that relationship is key. Knowing when to hold off on a pitch that is irrelevant or tailoring a story to a journalists needs shows that you did your research and aren’t just shooting off thoughtless, generic pitches. Ultimately, creating genuine relationships will benefit both parties in the long run.

How do you provide client support on PR campaigns?

First and most importantly, I gather a client’s brand elements and collateral needed for any given campaign and organize it in a way that makes sense. This can include anything from specific graphics and logos, to more intensive videos and articles. It‘s these aspects that make each client unique and help to tell their stories to the media. Once we have all the assets needed to tell a compelling story, I work to discover and strategize media locales that will garner the best results for the given campaign. To make an incredibly long story short, I proceed to develop and facilitate relationships between a client and the media sources that will make a lasting impression, and hopefully lead to some great articles.

Are there certain media strategies that speak better to clients in the emerging media and technology field?

Clients in the emerging tech and media field require a lot more work than most typical B2C clients. It’s also a rapidly changing industry, which requires a lot of evolution on our end. A far greater foundation needs to be set up for these clients and there is usually a lot more going on behind the scenes. In order to properly convey an amazing development made by a tech innovator, sometimes we need to educate the media on not just that client, but their industry, related technology and their overall place in the industry. We also need to be able to speak very clearly on industry shifts and how a specific piece of technology plays into this shift. In short, they require a far more comprehensive educational process. They also require a more detailed strategy to reach their targets directly. With specialization comes an enhanced need to drill down key ideas, enhance methods of targeting, and put an emphasis on finding media that is delivered to incredibly specific audiences.

Is there a difference in pitching B2B companies as opposed to B2C companies?

Definitely. B2B brings some challenges because it’s typically a small and targeted market. I would say B2B is more content-driven. And seeing as B2B audiences are other businesses, these businesses are looking for experts in the field who are educated. That’s why creating extremely detailed content is a must. Since the target audience isn’t the general public, being able to relate to consumers isn’t necessary. B2B is more relationship-driven. The audience—other businesses—wants to build relationships with these brands and know what sets them apart from their competitors.

What do you find to be the most effective strategy for supporting clients?

Understanding a client’s goals and the message they want to convey to their audience. Brand awareness is a must and will help create a message that really resonates. Also, this may seem obvious, but knowing your audience. Making sure content is going where it matters in order to create meaningful press. Clients may only want to be well known in a niche market, which means a larger scale campaign may not be of interest. Every client is different and has a different story to tell. Being able to tell it in a way that grabs the audience’s attention is the most effective strategy.


“B2B PR: Separating the Hype from the Hope”

Valorizing the hype in B2B PR is a problem.  But no need to worry, Beth Principi, Staff Writer at Emerging Insider Communications, is here to rescue you from B2B PR blunders.  Within her article, Beth discusses three equally important facets of B2B PR.  First, she encourages companies to remember who they are and who their clients are. Once it’s clear that they are, in fact, a B2B company, it’s further recommended that they target niche oriented publications, even though the route is usually devoid of glamor.  Secondly, Beth urges companies to remember who the media is.  Targeted magazines are essential for B2B PR, mainly because B2B’s mission is to communicate the effectiveness and overall competency of the team who will be running the behind-the-scenes action.  Finally, the last recommendation is for B2B’s to understand that media placement goes beyond simple “media placement,” meaning that, businesses must first develop an identifiable story in order to gain traction within the business world.  Media placements require hard work and are not simply a product of happenstance. Beth’s article is important because it sends the message that results, not hype, are what truly matter in PR.

To check out the full article visit http://www.mediabistro.com/prnewser/tag/emerging-insider-communications at PRNewser.