Insights on effective public relations, marketing communications, and business plan strategies.
Author: Gordon Benzie
Gordon Benzie is a marketing, communications and public relations consultant that is passionate about elevating brand awareness. He builds corporate narratives, writes business plans, and identifies unique value propositions. This intelligence can then be used to define and execute PR and awareness plans that improve sales and marketing effectiveness.
If the worlds of PR and marketing are set to further converge over the next five years, we should start to see evidence that this shift has begun (see related article). The viral sensation surrounding the recent Game of Thrones Starbucks coffee cup incident is a great data point that validates this transformation.
What struck me was what an amazing PR and awareness opportunity this became from a blurred, barely visible image shown for a split second on a television show. The way brands get promoted and recognized today certainly has changed!
I just read a Global Communications Report published by the USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism. The findings were very interesting. One of the figures that really caught my attention was that 87% of PR professionals believe the term “Public Relations” will no longer accurately describe the work they will do in 2022 – nor may it even exist as a separate discipline!
As a Public Relations practitioner, these findings caught my
attention enough to read the rest of the report. If this big of a change is on
the horizon, then it is probably a good idea to understand the best road to
take. Advance planning will help to navigate this potentially significant
It doesn’t matter if you are a social media expert or novice – we are all impressed when you hear about the amazing number of followers some brands and celebrities achieve on social media channels. Did you know that Selena Gomez had 139 million people following her on Instagram at the end of 2018? How did she do that? You might wonder how it is even possible to achieve this level of engagement. Your next question might be, “Who cares?” Does it even matter?
Yes, it does matter.
Likes and followers are a very quantifiable metric that provides insights into your brand’s popularity. Beyond simply being an emotional boost, having a large following translates into a stronger brand, greater awareness and more revenue opportunities.
Analyst Relations is a term used to describe the practice of working with industry analysts to help with marketing awareness and sales acceleration programs. The best strategy depends upon your objective. Many analyst firms exist today. Gartner, IDC, and Forrester are three of the more well-known firms, however, many others exist. In terms of revenues, IHS Markit leads the pack with almost $4B and 13,000 employees. Gartner follows closely behind with $3.3B and 15,000 employees (source).
One can trace the origins of this industry to when technology solutions became difficult to understand and compare. In other words, when the technology purchase process became complex, which began back in the 1980s. Since that time, there has been quite a bit of specialization and fragmentation of the IT, technology and software markets. As new technologies continue to be introduced (cloud, AI, machine learning, etc.), systems and platform interoperability have only further added to the complexity!
I am a firm believer that deep down inside, people want to do the right thing. Perhaps it is my Economics training – a key foundation for this field of study is that consumers will typically make a decision that improves their well-being. Of course, if that decision is good for you, but not good for society, then the theories of Economics don’t always explain how decisions are made or necessarily lead to decisions being made for the greatest common good. In these cases, we need a trusted advisor.
I was most amused when reading about a new Scotch whisky that now carries the Lehman Brothers name. The product is called “Ashes of Disaster,” so is clearly meant to evoke memories of the failed financial services company. As a reminder, some consider the failing of Lehman Brothers the catalyst that triggered the 2008 global financial meltdown.
According James Green, a 34-year-old London entrepreneur that is launching the whisky, “It has a contrite, bereft peatiness,” as quoted from the Wall Street Journal article. Mr. Green plans to offer his spirits online and has gotten orders from bars in London and New York.
In the world of content marketing, every marketer must make a decision on what information should be provided openly, and what should require registration to access. Traditionalists will argue that the concept is straightforward – information that is more valuable should be deemed “worthy” of registration to gain access. With registration, however, comes an expectation of future follow up, be it in the form of a call or email from the sponsoring party. This knowledge dissuades the reading of your material, working against your desired objective.
Today these lines are blurring, which is causing some angst for those of us involved in content marketing.
I have already written about the important role “influencers” play in the purchase process – from the choice of what ice cream flavor to eat, to the complex purchase cycle of an enterprise software solution (link to prior post). This article will take a closer look at how social media has taken on an important role in helping influencers connect with buyers along their purchase journey.
It wasn’t long ago when Facebook was an application just used by college students looking to make plans for the weekend, or to catch up with others on recent news or activities. The amazing growth of members quickly validated how popular and how much value its members place with this social community.
I find it quite interesting to observe how purchase decisions are finalized. This process is even more fascinating when you look to see how the process has changed over time. As a marketing professional, it is critical to understand just how your target audience makes a purchase. If you don’t understand this process, you will likely waste precious resources, time and effort trying to encourage a behavior that might never occur.
Let’s first take a look at what I would consider to be a pretty basic purchase process – the decision to buy an ice cream at the beach.
It should come as no surprise that the way we get news today is quite different than in the last decade. Daily Newspaper circulation, which stood at 62 million in 1990, fell to 43 million in 2010, a decline of 30% (source: The State of the News Media 2011). There are many reasons behind this decline. One is a drop in advertising revenue, which has resulted in staff reductions, less content and reduced deliveries.