Mark Schaefer Breaks Down the Content Code


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Mark Schaefer authored The Content Code to resolve the very real challenges of brands addressing the current digital marketing environment. With a glut of too much content, attention deficit disorder, and murky evolving SEO rules, communicators find their articles, presentations and other information lying fallow. We asked Mark to keynote xPotomac 2015 to shed light on what it takes to resolve these challenges. The following is an interview conducted with Mark on behalf of xPotomac. Don’t miss his xPotomac keynote on August 27th, which is designed for experienced digital marketers. (register today using the code “Geoff” and get 20% off). And you can buy The Content Code on Amazon. Any typos or errors are mine, not his. GL: I love that The Content Code is BADASS. How did you come up with this cheeky acronym? MS: As I was developing the six strategies that became the backbone of the
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When Millennials Take Over [Book Review]


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.


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When Millennials Take OverBy all accounts, Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter’s new book, When Millennials Take Over, launched to riotous success at SxSW last week. I’m going to now add my $0.02 (and yes, book reviews are back on WUL!) – it’s awesome. Go get it (disclosure: I received a free review copy but no other incentives, monetary or otherwise).

What When Millennials Take Over is about

About a month ago, Maddie authored an extremely comprehensive overview of the book on Social Media Today. You can also grab a sample chapter here (you’ll have to give them your email address, which I think is fair). And here’s a bit of how the marketing copy reads:
Is your organization ready for what’s coming? Continue reading "When Millennials Take Over [Book Review]"

Monday Roundup: Branding Inspired by Oscar


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.


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brandingOscar hangover, anyone? Yesterday marked the 87th Annual Academy Awards. Since its inception, the Oscars (you know the story behind the nickname, right?) have honored those films and actors that stand out from the crowd, creating a brand that exudes excellence. So, taking a (gold) leaf out of Oscar’s book, this week’s roundup features seven posts that examine how smart branding strategies can position your company (or you) as unique in a sea of competitors. Image: Travis via Flickr, CC 2.0 1. This 7-Step Guide Will Help You Create An Authentic Personal Brand Continue reading "Monday Roundup: Branding Inspired by Oscar"

When Content Marketing Lets You Down


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.


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Ah… content marketing. The hot new kind on the PR block. It’s all the rage these days, isn’t it? “Let’s do some content marketing!” they say. “Yes, let’s get a newsletter out!” they say. “Join the conversation!” they say. I love hearing all this. And I love it when companies do it right. And it is so, so frustrating when they don’t walk the talk.

When content marketing lets you down

Exhibit A is this footer from an (unsolicited) email I received yesterday. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. So instead I posted it on Facebook, where several of us laughed over it together. And of course, then I decided to blog about it. confused content marketing You can probably figure out where I’m going with this, but I’m going to spell it out for you (what good is a blog post if it doesn’t do that?!).
  1. I did not opt in to this email list. Not cool.
Continue reading "When Content Marketing Lets You Down"

Weekly Roundup: Reputation


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.


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ReputationYesterday marked Presidents Day here in the U.S. Before you engage in a debate over the apostrophe or lack thereof, one thing is for certain: reputation is key to presidential-type success whether at the national or corporate level. So this week’s roundup features seven posts from around the web that focus on building a great reputation online and beyond. Image: Marc-Andre Larlvlere via Flickr, CC 2.0 1. Social Silo Mentality: Is your online reputation suffering? Why: “Online reputation management is not about the latest social channel. It’s about the publishing ethos, the engagement ethos,” explains Gerry McCusker in  this IABC interview by Caroline Cornell. Continue reading "Weekly Roundup: Reputation"

Analytics: the Sideways Approach to Measuring PR


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.


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ruler in the snowA version of this post originally appeared on Spin Sucks. Do an Internet search on “measuring PR” or the “value of PR,” and you’ll find any number of blog posts and articles that purport to tell you how to do this. Unfortunately, anything that could have been useful about them usually starts and ends with the title (this post from Chris Penn is a notable exception). The posts will tell you why AVEs suck (d’oh). They’ll tell you all about clipping services (double d’oh). They’ll talk knowingly about the positive impact that “strategic, proactive PR” can have on a business’ bottom line… but stop short of giving you anything you can actually use. Drives me crazy! I think the problem with these posts is that they’re trying to address a pretty nuanced subject head on (also that they are often written by people who don’t actually understand what PR is, or how to approach it strategically). Continue reading "Analytics: the Sideways Approach to Measuring PR"

Monday Roundup: With Love, the Social Media Spotlight


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.


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Bleeding HeartsSeeing as how Valentine’s Day is around the corner, the Birdie and I thought we’d focus this edition of the Monday Roundup on seven people who contribute extensively to the practice of PR today (in some cases, indirectly). So I’m taking advantage of WUL to shine the social media spotlight on them. If you don’t know them, check them out, and start learning from/talking to them. If you do know them, well then, leave them a pat on the back below! Side note: it may or may not be slightly problematic that the Birdie is starting to tell me what to do… but I should have thought of that before creating her. Image: photommo via Flickr, CC 2.0 Jodi Echakowitz1. Jodi Echakowitz. Continue reading "Monday Roundup: With Love, the Social Media Spotlight"

Seven Frequently Asked Questions on Social PR Strategy


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.


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Social PR Strategy MazeWhen I teach workshops, there are certain stumbling blocks to smart social PR strategy that come up frequently. As the workshop facilitator, it’s my job to help participants understand how to overcome these challenges or, at the very least, find a way to deal with them that’s not quite as painful. Here are the seven most frequently asked questions in my social PR strategy workshops, and how I typically answer them. 1. “Too much to do, not enough time. Now you’re asking me to add social?!” This is true. But this is true of life in general. As far as social media goes, that’s what smart tools like HootSuite, Buffer, PostPlanner, etc. are for. There are hundreds more useful tools than I can name here, though I do go into some depth in my workshops. For now, I’ll direct you to Ian Cleary’s most excellent tools directory. This is a resource to bookmark if ever there was one. 2. “Social media isn’t part of my job.” Continue reading "Seven Frequently Asked Questions on Social PR Strategy"

Monday Roundup: PR Measurement Classics


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.


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Classic MeasurementOne of my favorite sayings is, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” (It’s also 87% of the French I know.) If you’re not familiar with it (or didn’t click through – lazy!), it translates to: the more things change, the more they stay the same. And as far as we have come in PR measurement, some things just don’t change. In a salute to today’s thought leaders who are really keeping things ticking on that front, here are some PR measurement classics from them. And, remember that we celebrate five years of the #measurePR Twitter chat tomorrow – five years! It will be incredible, so I hope you’ll join. 12-1 pm ET, deets here. Image: Auntie P via Flickr, CC 2.0 Continue reading "Monday Roundup: PR Measurement Classics"

The 15 Types of Social Media Know-It-All


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.


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know-it-all posterIt’s one thing to educate yourself, including on social media. Education is a good thing. But how can you make sure you’re not constantly running into a social media know-it-all… or, worse, becoming one yourself? That’s a very real danger, in this day and age. There’s a social media “guru” wherever you turn, and it seems as if everyone and their brother is telling you how to do something on social, or not. Sometimes it gets really hard to tell the wheat from the chaff, as it were, doesn’t it? Image: bixentro via Flickr, CC 2.0

The worst kind of social media know-it-all

So I asked folks what they thought the worst kind of social media know-it-all was. And I got some great answers. Here, then, are the 15 types of social media know-it-all, as described by you (and some named by me). Continue reading "The 15 Types of Social Media Know-It-All"

Monday Roundup: 2015 Marketing and PR Trends


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.


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2015 Marketing and PR TrendsWhenever we approach the end of a year, we invariably see a flurry of “year in review” type posts, not to mention trend and forecast posts. Here are some of the most interesting posts on 2015 marketing and PR trends we’ve seen. Yes, we read them so you don’t have to… except now you do! You’re welcome. Image: infradept via Flickr, CC 2.0 1. How 4 Social Media Predictions Impact Email Marketers Why: “… with per-subscriber email volume continuing to rise every year, subscribers’ expectations are rising as well.” That’s just one of the nuggets in this excellent guest post for Jay Baer‘s Convince and Convert by Chad White. 2. 30+ Social Media Predictions for 2015 Continue reading "Monday Roundup: 2015 Marketing and PR Trends"

PR Trends for 2015: 7 To Watch


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.


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birdie in the windowYou know I’m not much of a forecaster. I leave that to weather people and roosters. So when PRSA asked me to author a guest post on PR trends for 2015, initially I scratched my head a bit. But then I started thinking. And, as I wrote over at PRSAY:
We practice public relations in fascinating times. The profession has seen changes we would never, ever have predicted. I mean, in which universe could you have imagined yourself saying:
  • “I’m pretty sure I can do my work without the Bacon’s books.” Or:
  • “Never mind about [mainstream media outlet]! Make sure [social media influencer] gets a press pass!” Or:
  • “Of course your firm can be my agency of record. So what if you’re not in the same city?”
As I was thinking about how much has changed (“plus ça change,” etc. etc. etc.), I realized there actually are things I think are on the horizon for us.

PR Trends for 2015

Continue reading "PR Trends for 2015: 7 To Watch"

Weekly Roundup: Overcoming Obstacles with Measurement


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.


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measurementSo! If you’re in the U.S., did you enjoy the first long weekend of 2015? What’s the point of measurement, exactly? I expounded not that long ago, but thought we’d pick up that thread today. So today’s roundup features seven posts from around the web that discuss what the point of measurement is – to figure out what’s getting in the way of reaching one’s goal, and then work around it. Image: Manitoba Coupon Maven via Flickr, CC 2.0 1. Why PR and Marketing Must Work Together to Measure Success Why: Historically, PR and marketing have had a hard time doing this. And in this guest post for Jay Baer‘s Convince & Convert, Heidi Sullivan argues why they should. Continue reading "Weekly Roundup: Overcoming Obstacles with Measurement"

Around the Web in 59 Days


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.


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birdie in the windowJust two weeks into 2015, it’s already been incredibly busy. Oh, and I celebrated my birthday yesterday – whee! So much has been going on/is coming up, I thought I’d pull together where we have been/will be around the web, so that you could either mark your calendars, add to your reading list… or both! Or, honestly, more; who knows what you’ll decide to do with all this great info? Btw… what’s your take on where the “59 days” in the headline comes from?
  • We had a lot of fun designing and sending out our 2015 eCard. That Birdie sure knows what he’s talking about! I hope you received it; if not, I don’t think it’s too late to still wish you well for 2015. And you know, a great way to keep up is to sign up for A Little Birdie Told Me…
SBC 2015 NY greeting

Monday Roundup: New Beginnings


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.


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new perceptionsEven though the new year is barely two weeks old, it’s easy to fall back into old routines and habits. To help you avoid that trap, this week’s roundup features seven posts from around the web that might help you craft new beginnings for old issues, as it were. Enjoy! Image: mario via Flickr, CC 2.0 1. How Do You Start Over After Building a Successful Blog? Why: How does one start from scratch after building a successful blog and community? In this guest post for Mark Schaefer‘s {grow}, super-blogger Jason Falls recounts his experience. This is a remarkable read. That’s why we started with it – don’t miss it. 2. Falling Behind on Content? Catch Up With These Content Repurposing Tips Continue reading "Monday Roundup: New Beginnings"

The Point of Measuring (Anything)


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.


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ruler in the snowWhy bother doing what you do? I’m not being facetious. So, seriously: why do you bother doing what you do? After all, everything has an opportunity cost. That is, whenever you decide to do something, there are other things you are deciding not to do. Right? You’re making a conscious choice to invest the bulk of your waking hours (and perhaps some of your dreaming hours as well) into a certain type of activity, at the expense of others.
So why bother undertaking it if it doesn’t benefit you in some way? And how will you know whether or not you’re benefitting from it unless you are measuring your work?
Let’s be clear: I’m talking more than “bringing home a paycheck” here.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small business owner, corporate honcho, nonprofit executive … fill in the blanks. It certainly doesn’t matter whether or not you took math in school. Continue reading "The Point of Measuring (Anything)"

Announcing: Simple Yet Smart PR Measurement (ebook)


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.


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cover for Shonali Burke's "Simple Yet Smart Measurement" ebookWhat do you do if you’re constantly inundated with questions on PR measurement, even if everyone seems to have written a book on them? Why, you write a book, of course!

Writing the book on PR measurement

Yup. I did it. I wrote a book. So now everyone can stop asking me when I’m going to write a book! I’m looking at you, Geoff Livingston… If you talk to me frequently on the fascinating (IMHO) topic of measuring public relations, you’ll know that I really luhv numbers. And measurement. So much so that I keep a measuring tape in my handbag. It’s true, ask Geoff Livingston. And since many of my FAQs are on measurement, I finally (!) realized I should just write ‘em all down. And the result is Simple Yet Smart PR Measurement for the Rest of Us. Continue reading "Announcing: Simple Yet Smart PR Measurement (ebook)"

Monday Roundup: Measurement and Metrics


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.


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Measurement MetricsHappy New Year! I hope everyone had a safe and fun holiday. Are you ready to #bringit in 2015? Since January at SBC kicks off with measurement – literally, as tomorrow is the year’s first #measurePR chat (12-1 pm ET, Rebekah Iliff and Deirdre Breakenridge will be guests, so don’t miss it!) today’s roundup follows suit. Image: Steve Harris via Flickr, CC 2.0 1. 5 Shifts to Fix Your Social Media Metrics Why: Social media metrics aren’t about social media, they’re about business. The always brilliant Jay Baer shares excellent tips on improving social media metrics and the reporting thereof. Continue reading "Monday Roundup: Measurement and Metrics"

Monday Roundup: Closing Out 2014


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.


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Dawn It’s the end of the year, a time for reflection and a chance for a fresh start. So, for the final roundup of the year, as we’re closing out 2014, we thought we’d feature seven posts from around the web that will help you start the new year right. Don’t skim the post too quickly, though – there’s an important event announcement in there as well! And yes, you read that right. This is the final roundup of 2014 and the final post of 2014, as we’re going on vacation through Jan. 2, 2015, back on Jan. 5. So… have a peaceful and blessed holiday season! And you have every good wish from us to you for a wonderful start to 2015. Image: James Jordan via Flickr, CC 2.0 1. Give Your Brand A New Year Makeover Continue reading "Monday Roundup: Closing Out 2014"