Product Review: MoShow–Slidehow Movie Maker App


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MoShowGuest Post by Dan Farkas Social video has moved from nice to necessary. Anyone reading this blog or spending any time with Shonali knows this – or will know it soon enough. It’s easy to talk about creating more content. How can we do this quickly? There are plenty of apps that promise Spielberg and deliver something more Mac and Me than ET. So when I had a chance to review the MoShow app, I was hopeful to find something that fits into a larger social video strategy. Here are my unedited thoughts: The Good: MoShow Is Fast. Actually, MoShow is Super Fast Before I even opened the app, I decided to time how long it would take to create my first video. Here’s what I put together. The time: less than four minutes. Is it perfect? No. Are my kids adorable? 100% Social video will never replace $200 an
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#MeasurePR Memory (August 2018): Travel and Tourism Edition


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#measurePR Editor’s Note: While #measurePR is on hiatus as of this writing, we couldn’t forgo the opportunity to share a recap of a fabulous chat from last year for all who may benefit. Enjoy!  Guest Post by Danielle Heiny The sky’s the limit when it comes to creativity in the travel and tourism industry! Back in August 2018, we had three incredible industry guests, who shared how they uniquely measure PR and marketing.

Volunteers Make The World Go Round: Communicating Effectively for Impact


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Guest Post by Paula Newbaker Volunteering is good for everyone! Your nonprofit, your employees, the cause and the volunteers themselves! In fact, it has been scientifically proven that volunteering is good for your health. Evidence of volunteerism’s physical effects can be found in a study from Carnegie Mellon University, published in 2013 in Psychology and Aging. Adults over age 50 who volunteered on a regular basis were less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers. A study released by Johns Hopkins University in 2009 revealed that volunteers increased their brain functioning. Volunteer activities get you moving and thinking at the same time as well as reduce stress levels. By savoring your time spent in service to others, you’ll feel a sense of meaning and appreciation—both given and received—which can be calming.
So one literally does “Keep calm and volunteer!”
Whether your organization is large or small, chances
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Volunteers Make The World Go Round: Communicating Effectively for Impact


This post is by Guest Contributor from Shonali Burke Consulting


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Guest Post by Paula Newbaker Volunteering is good for everyone! Your nonprofit, your employees, the cause and the volunteers themselves! In fact, it has been scientifically proven that volunteering is good for your health. Evidence of volunteerism’s physical effects can be found in a study from Carnegie Mellon University, published in 2013 in Psychology and Aging. Adults over age 50 who volunteered on a regular basis were less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers. A study released by Johns Hopkins University in 2009 revealed that volunteers increased their brain functioning. Volunteer activities get you moving and thinking at the same time as well as reduce stress levels. By savoring your time spent in service to others, you’ll feel a sense of meaning and appreciation—both given and received—which can be calming.
So one literally does “Keep calm and volunteer!”
Whether your organization is large or small, chances
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Top Digital Customer Experience (CX) Trends for 2019


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customerexperienceGuest Post by Angela White In the competitive market space within an ever-evolving digital age, prioritizing customer experience is arguably the most efficient way to stand out of the crowd for businesses. With the dawn of a new year and along with it, innumerable opportunities for improvement, the digital customer experience is bound to be a witness to a few significant trends. For those curious enough to know more about the same, the following will aid you in enlightening yourself about the Top Digital Customer Experience Trends for 2019 Artificial Intelligence Takes Center Stage … Again. customerexperience Ever since the inception of artificial intelligence, we’ve been exploring the never-ending implementations we can create with the same. The prior year was where artificial intelligence witnessed a sudden spike in popularity with even small businesses integrating the technology within their workspace. With the increased accessibility of artificial intelligence and machine learning-related techniques, we
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Top Digital Customer Experience (CX) Trends for 2019


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customerexperienceGuest Post by Angela White In the competitive market space within an ever-evolving digital age, prioritizing customer experience is arguably the most efficient way to stand out of the crowd for businesses. With the dawn of a new year and along with it, innumerable opportunities for improvement, the digital customer experience is bound to be a witness to a few significant trends. For those curious enough to know more about the same, the following will aid you in enlightening yourself about the Top Digital Customer Experience Trends for 2019 Artificial Intelligence Takes Center Stage … Again. customerexperience Ever since the inception of artificial intelligence, we’ve been exploring the never-ending implementations we can create with the same. The prior year was where artificial intelligence witnessed a sudden spike in popularity with even small businesses integrating the technology within their workspace. With the increased accessibility of artificial intelligence and machine learning-related techniques, we
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5 Simple Ways Small Businesses Can Ace Social Listening in 2019


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social listeningGuest Post by Amos Onwukwe Big business bureaucracy stifles B2C communication. Small businesses on the other hand, are like the local government, they’re closer to consumers. However, most SMBs haven’t a clue how they can profit from this proximity which gets even better with social media via social listening. 2018 SBA reports show there are 30.2 million SMBs in the US, 90% of which analysts say fail. One of the reasons for this is brand deafness. Brands start out small then become big, then become too big to listen to consumers until they’re consumed. BlackBerry and Nokia are currently playing catch up because they failed to listen. Sadly, some other brands aren’t able to start over and bounce back like the aforementioned. They go straight from deaf to dead. In this post, I’ll be sharing tips on how to win customer attention for keeps. So keep reading, but
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A Case Study: Orchestrating a Harmonious Message


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Harmonious MessageGuest Post by Heather Whaling

Geben Communication is a platform to do good. The more we give, the more we grow. And, the more we grow, the more we give. We want to do work that matters with people we like. We want to be impactful. And that is why we partnered with the Harmony Project.

Since 2009, the Harmony Project has connected thousands of people in Columbus, Ohio across social divides through the arts, education and volunteer community service. The nonprofit has evolved from an annual choir concert into an organization with dozens of programs and hundreds of volunteers who contribute more than 16,000 hours of volunteer service each year.

However, as the organization has evolved, Harmony Project struggled to evolve its messaging to accurately convey its current role in the community. Notably, almost all stakeholders (choir members, concert-goers, community investors and advocates) simply refer to the organization as

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Using Livestreaming to Grow Your Brand, Community, & Influence


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livestreamingGuest Post by Ai Addyson-Zhang Imagine this: You’re about to go on stage in front of thousands of people. You do this every single week. You’ve got a loyal fanbase that follows you around the world. You are a global traveler and thought leader. People are excited to hear what you have to say on your topic and field. You find yourself becoming a “big deal” in your field. Does this sound like a dream? Like this only happens to “famous” people? Let me tell you, friends, that with the power of social media and technology, this can be a reality. It can happen to anyone who knows how to leverage technology to their advantage. I know, because it happened for me. Over the past two years, I have significantly grown my online community through the power of livestreaming and video content. I did it all through the comfort of
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Transformational CSR: When a pro-bono client metamorphizes into a cultural change agent within an agency


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CSRGuest Post by Lisa Holtorf and Dawn Buzynski For most companies, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) means giving back to the surrounding community. It’s typically done by supporting specific organizations either financially, through time and resources, or both. Companies choose to give because it’s the right thing to do, and it directly impacts the communities in which their employees live and work. For creative marketing agencies, CSR often takes the form of pro-bono services. Sometimes, that pro-bono relationship can help transform an agency’s culture. It did for Strategic America (SA). Ten years ago, our agency embarked on a journey that imprinted in our minds the impact we could make as strategic communicators and marketers. It began with a meeting where two women shared a story of profound loss, a story they wanted to turn into one of immeasurable hope. These women, along with three others, suffered the worst kind of loss—a
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Become the Pied Piper of Community Building


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community buildingGuest Post by Samantha Lake Communities have been around for centuries, however online communities have only been around for a few decades. According to Computerworld the first “online community” came about in 1973 when Talkomatic for the PLATO time-sharing system released a text-based group chat. From there it evolved into email discussion lists (who remembers LISTSERV?), Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs), finally leading us to modern day social networks. One thing that all of these have in common is the notion of community building. So how can you, as a communications professional, leverage the power of community building for your brand? Well it’s simple, in order for a community to thrive it needs to be interwoven with relationships. Now the hard part, building those relationships to reach your prospects and build brand advocates (your fans who will share your messages on their own networks). Building those relationships will take a
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How AI May Impact PR Pros


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Guest Post by Geoff Livingston Are you confused or concerned about the coming AI revolution?  If so, you’re not the only one. Between media overhype coming out of the tech industry and the job-replacing society-ending fear drummed up by the mainstream press, one must feel caught. Should you be thrilled by the coming improvements or terrified that an AI-fueled robot may take your job. Or worse, that AI will end civilization? After working on Welcome to the Machine: A Primer on AI for Marketers (coming later this year), for almost a year now, I can offer you some quick insights that may help. Here are four questions my peers often ask and some insights. Will people (e.g. will I) lose my job to AI? If you are a PR professional, it’s unlikely. AI is not inherently creative, nor is it good at crafting messages. It can help hone
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Technology Makes Us Lazy Communicators


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technologyGuest Post by Matt LaCasse When Shonali reached out to me to ask if I’d write a guest post on technology in communication, I immediately jumped at the chance. My brain then said, “That’s like writing something about fish in the ocean, man.” Fair point.
There are as many different angles to take on that topic as there are grains of sand on the beach.
In this post from last May by John Friedman, he wrote about a job where he traveled across North America to discover a company had lost the plot of what it was doing. I won’t spoil the story or post for you, but suffice it to say that the company had lost focus of what it was they were in the business of actually doing. That speaks very strongly to me at this point in my life right now as I’m taking on
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Communication at the Speed of Technology


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technologyGuest Post by Gloria Bell Warning: This post is not going to give you some brilliant insight into some new lightning speed piece of technology. (Sorry! Maybe next time!) What it will give you is some questions to ask yourself about communicating at the speed of technology. There is no question that technology has had a huge impact on the ways and the speed at which we communicate. In less than 30 years, we went from two basic options – slow (mail) or faster (telephone) to a multitude of methods to get a message from one place to another, literally at the speed of technology. Recently, I had a discussion with a young person that made me stop and think about the ways communication has changed and whether or not these changes are always good. This young person had slid on some ice and hit a parked car. Fortunately
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Fostering Community and Hope One Story at a Time


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communityGuest Post by Christy Silverthone It wasn’t long ago that I was on one of Shonali’s Pioneer Calls, seeking advice for a campaign I was working on called, “Safe Families for Children,” a volunteer-based respite resource for families going through a crisis as well as an alternative to foster care. I was helping the local initiative get off the ground and needed some ideas on how to let the people in need know about the program. Walk In Their Shoes Following Atticus Finch’s quote from “To Kill a Mockingbird”- “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” I decided that first off, I needed to look at this campaign from our target market’s point of view. Even on our limited budget, deciding to use social listening and
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5 Creative Strategies for Link Building


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Guest Post by Stuart McHenry personal successWhen it comes to SEO and building links to your website you can’t just go willy nilly. At least not if you want the link building strategy to work. Google has gotten much more sophisticated over the years. And you shouldn’t jump on the latest link building or optimizing SEO fad because it very well may come bite you in the butt in the long run. Interview Experts People love interviews with industry experts.  The knowledge and tips which are given can be extremely valuable to readers. There are tips and tricks to using this strategy to build high-quality backlinks. After the interview is complete start looking for industry blogs that frequently write about experts or interview them – also you can look for outlets which put together weekly roundup posts.  If your interview is thorough enough and adds value, there is a
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What’s your personal success strategy for 2019?


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personal successGuest Post by Janet Fouts As professionals we often have very specific ideas of what success will look like from the perspective of our job description and our goals for promotions, etc. Sometimes, we also forget that success is more than just income, status or recognition. After all, successes don’t mean a whole lot if we don’t feel good about who we are as human beings when we reach them. That includes taking care of our own health and sanity, and not over-tasking ourselves to the point that we are not functioning at 100%.
Success is a feeling of satisfaction, of respect and of accomplishing our heartfelt goals.
Let me give you a scenario; Jim has been itching to move up to a director position and his supervisor keeps dropping hints about “small tasks” that are just not getting done by others in his department. It’s not Jim’s responsibility to
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Nurture an Oasis During a News Dry Spell


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newsGuest Post by Heather Caouette Most companies have gone through them – periods without clear cut news. A product release has been delayed, new customers have paused in the sales pipeline and there are no plans to open a new location anytime soon.
How do you stay relevant and in front of your target audiences when traditional reasons for communicating have temporarily evaporated?
There are several ways to keep your name out there in a manner which continues to build brand equity: 1. Develop a Content Calendar This is recommended regardless of how much your news is humming. Content calendars help you schedule a steady cadence of materials and avoid the inevitable peaks and valleys. A plan enables you to more effectively leverage evergreen content and make use of it across multiple media venues. This is especially important as companies add additional social channels or other communications outlets. Creating a
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Don’t Lose Clients Due to Lack of Content Strategy


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content strategyGuest post by Brandon Andersen Losing a client sucks. Losing a client because of something you could have easily addressed is worse. But when it comes to demonstrating actual business results, many agencies scramble to pull together whatever they can to prove success. This often results in showing vanity metrics that don’t tie to bottom line results. So brands move on to the next agency that promises them something shinier or cheaper. Are you essential … or a commodity? Agency life is tough. That one big client you have had for five years and makes up 50% of your business finally decides that the grass is greener on the other side, and they leave. Or you land a big new client, only to have them jump ship at the end of a short contract for a cheaper agency. Suddenly, you’re not worried about growing your agency, you’re worried about just
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I Need to Develop a Strategy. Now What? The Winnie-the-Pooh Way Forward


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strategyGuest Post by Paula Newbaker Aren’t word clouds great? They highlight what is important within a mishmash of related ideas. What stands out here? Vision, Statement, Mission, Goals, Organization, Strategic, Planning, Analysis. When planning and strategizing for your entire brand or a specific campaign, all the above come into play. Organization is paramount in moving from planning to developing, and then executing, the strategy. As A.A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh, said:
“One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries.” 
And from Pooh himself:
“I’m not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” 
Also from Pooh:
“Always watch where you are going. Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the forest that was left out by mistake.”
And then Milne FINALLY said …
“Planning is what you
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