By: Johana M. Caba, M.A.
Over the years, the main public relations tool that we all hear about is the press release. In the world of professional communications and public relations, the press release is the "it" tool for reaching target audiences through media outlets such as magazines, local and national newspapers, television, radio, podcasts, etc. We use the press release along with the media advisory and media exclusives to reach our target audiences and raise awareness for our clients. But, the press release is not the only tool in the toolbox for PR professionals. In this article, we will go over three tools that PR professionals can use while establishing the brand journalism of their organizations.
The News Release
The news release is very similar to the press release, the difference is who it is intended for. While the press release is intended for media outlets in an effort to earn media attention, the news release is intended directly for your target audience. This release can be published directly to your organizations website under one of the following tabs: newsroom, news releases, press releases. The news release as multiple functions. Although the main function is to inform your target audience without the need to use the media as a middle man, it can also be used by the media. When journalists visit your website, they will look under your press tab where they can find your news release ready for them to use to write about your organization. This is a great way to begin your brand journalism journey and solidify the brand of your organization.
Brand Journalism: Organizational Blogs
What is brand journalism? I've mentioned brand journalism a few times already, but I have not explained what it is. Brand journalism, in essence, is using your organization's owned media to share content in a journalistic manner. This is a way of sharing stories and information about your organization in a journalistic manner that can be easily consumed by your target audience but also used by journalists to write about your organization. By sticking to writing in a journalistic manner, you are making the job of the journalists easier when they visit your website to research. This can also make it more enticing for them to write about you since you have done a lot of their job already by sticking to journalism rules when writing your posts/blogs. But how does blogging fit in? Well, blogging is a great way to reach your audience with owned content. By writing a blog on your website, you are sharing content that you own and have control over. Blogging is a great way to share what's going on in your business, new products coming out, new research that you have done, ways that you are improving your community, etc. When setting up a brand blog, always make sure that you have specific rules for your employees to follow including blogging ethics.
Repurposing content is one of the smartest strategies for any business. Now that you have news releases and blog posts on your website, you can re-use the content that you already published on your website to share on social media. This is not only a smart way to be active on social media, but it is a great way to reach your audience faster and guide them back to your website for more information. Additionally, you can use social media, particularly Twitter, to reach journalists directly. You can build relationships with them while sharing your content and guiding them back to your website.
These are the three PR tools that PR professionals can use to establish the brand journalism of their organizations while directly reaching their target audiences. If you have more questions or would like to read more about brand journalism, comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Christopher Haymon
Starting a business out of your residential rental property could be a very smart and successful venture. There have been countless freelancers and companies that got their start in bedrooms, living rooms, or garages. However, you have to make sure you do it legally. Otherwise, all of your hard work can quickly go to waste.
If you’re thinking about launching a company from your apartment or rental house, consider these tips.
Look at your lease.
No matter what kind of apartment you live in, you most likely have a lease that outlines dos and don’ts that you must abide by if you want to continue living there. Oftentimes, these leases include a general set of guidelines pertaining to the building referred to as “rules and regulations.” Just because your lease is silent doesn’t mean you can do anything you want. Consider whether or not your business could potentially become a disturbance to your neighbors; if so, it could violate certain aspects of your lease.
Moreover, condominium CCRs—which stands for covenants, codes, and restrictions—tend to be stricter on home businesses. So, if you live in a condo, you’ll need to speak with the building owner or landlord to discuss your idea.
Along with looking into your lease, you’ll need to check the coding/ordinances in your area. research the zoning laws, business licensing requirements, and home businesses ordinances for your municipality. If you think that your business could violate any codes and that you might need to request a variance, you will need to reach out to the local government.
Form an entity.
As with any type of business, you’ll need to form an entity for your home business. By establishing an LLC, you may be eligible for certain tax benefits, liability protection, and flexibility in managing the entity. Depending on where you live, this can be a complex and time-consuming process. Some entrepreneurs hire a lawyer to form an entity, but you may be able to save some money by using an online formation service. Each state has its own set of regulations for setting up an LLC. So, before moving forward, make sure you have a basic understanding of what your state requires.
Set up your workspace.
This is the fun part—getting your office set up! Much can be said about what it takes to establish a comfortable and productive workspace when you’re running a business out of your apartment. But suffice it to say that your office should be attractive, minimize distractions, ergonomic, and comfortable both for you and any visitors you may have. Your workspace should also reflect some of your personality, be equipped with any tools and equipment you need to fulfill your daily duties, and include any other elements that will help you stay productive.
Establish your schedule.
Lastly, working from home comes with tons of advantages, but it also has its drawbacks. One of the more significant challenges you are likely to face is staying on task, which is considerably harder outside of a traditional office environment.
Figure out your most productive hours of the day, as well as your personal activities, and craft a schedule that allows you to succeed at all of it. This might take time, so don’t be discouraged if you feel like you’re constantly up a river without a paddle at first. The key is to find your rhythm and structure your workday in a way that helps you to minimize distractions and stay productive day in and day out.
If you’re considering starting a home business from your apartment or other rented property, it could be the best decision you ever make for your career. But in order to make the most of your opportunity, you must approach it carefully and make smart decisions along the way. Follow the tips above, keep researching what it takes to be a successful home business entrepreneur, and maintain an open mind to any strategies that you can pick up on your journey that will help your company flourish in the long term.
By: Johana M. Caba, M.A.
The Old is the New Marketing
Last year, one of the marketing trends that saw a rise in the virtual world compared to previous years was podcasting. Marketing and advertising teams were spending more money on podcast advertisements which led to the trend being classified as “the old is the new marketing.” Podcasting, in essence, is the same thing as radio. So, now marketers are spending money on getting featured in podcasts which are the new spin to a traditional media outlet.
A few years ago, the trend was influencer marketing where companies were spending millions in collaborations and partnerships with influencers from social media and YouTube. Now, people are also spending more time on more traditional media outlets that have been modernized for a virtual world. Like we discussed previously, radio has been adapted to the virtual world through podcasting while TV has evolved into streaming services. Advertisers and marketing teams spend a lot of time in buying advertising spots on radio, podcasting, TV, and streaming services. So, the new is not necessarily completely different from the old.
The traditional media outlets have evolved to fit into the new norm of society. Everything is virtual. We can conduct interviews from anywhere in the world, as long as there is an internet connection, and promote products all over the world by having access to various communication platforms. The one media outlet that was never traditional, and continues to see a rise in user growth and engagement is social media.
Social Media for Branding and Marketing
While social media is considered to be a part of the new style of marketing and has its own set of programs to learn compared to traditional marketing, it is still marketing. At the core, marketing is about promoting and selling. On social media, brands can promote their products to a larger audience with a lower budget. This is particularly beneficial for smaller businesses while larger businesses with bigger budgets tend to make the most of social media marketing. These businesses tend to employ a mix of social media and influencer marketing to get their products out to millions of people.
Marketing is not only about promoting and selling, it does not always lead to the outcomes you expect. Before you begin marketing, you need to do your research and you need to build a strong reputation. Strong brands do not come about in days or weeks, it can take years if not decades to develop a strong and strategic brand that lasts. This is why branding is so important with social media. In this almost fully virtual or remote world, your social media presence is just as important as your presence in person. And, this does not only apply to people, it applies to businesses and brands.
To ensure that you develop a strategic brand online, it is important for you to distinguish yourself from the competition. You must research your competition to really figure out what makes you different and what will be that final factor that will convert potential customers into paying customers.
The New Face of Strategic Marketing and Branding
The new face of strategic marketing and branding is not really new, but rather evolved. Strategic marketing and branding are still about the same thing that they used to be decades ago, but have now evolved to more avenues and outlets. Things now change in a matter of seconds, so it is important for brands to be flexible and adaptable to changing times. But this is why it is also important for businesses to develop a strong and strategic brand that withstands the test of time. They must focus on building a trusting, honest, and relatable brand online with their target audiences.
By: Johana M. Caba, M.A.
How often should you post on social media? This is a question that will always vary. Some people say to post multiple times per day on every platform while others will say once a week is fine. The truth is that it depends on both the platform you are using and your audience. Below is an infographic of recommended posting frequency for different social media platforms.
You should always research your audience before deciding on a posting schedule Depending on the industry, your audience, and the platform, you will need to adjust your frequency. The most important thing you should remember is that the formula that works well for one brand or person, is not going to work exactly the same for someone else. It will always depend on your industry, audience, and the platform. If you have more questions, comment below and I will help you.
By: Johana M. Caba, M.A.
Integrated marketing communication can be defined as the approach of creating a unified marketing experience for consumers in an effort to have them interact with the brand in various ways. This approach focuses on integrating various aspects of marketing communication including advertising, sales, public relations, social media, and digital marketing. As a small business, you can also work on an integrated marketing communication strategy by understanding the various channels of communication in which your target audience interacts with your brand/business. If you need more help in creating your own integrated marketing communication plan, take a look at my blog post for a quick guide or fill out my contact form on my services page for 1-on-1 help. In this post, we will discuss the difference between organic reach and paid ads on social media, and why you should consider integrating them for a better marketing strategy.
Let's begin by discussing organic reach and why it is important for your small business or brand growth on social media. Organic growth refers to the engagement, followers, and reach that your social media posts gain organically or without paid ads or boosting posts. You can earn a lot of organic engagement and reach a lot of people in your audience by implementing a few simple tactics. For example, you can do some hashtag research to see what the most popular and top hashtags are for a specific product or your industry in general. Use a couple of these for a boost in reach. Remember to use proper social media hashtag etiquette and capitalize the first letter of every word in the hashtag.
You can also take advantage of algorithm changes. For example, right now on Instagram, Reels are getting pushed over other content. Reels are automatically pushed on the Explore page as they are favored on the platform. Their reach is also exponential because their lifespan is about 3 weeks compared to the lifespan of regular posts which is about a day or two (if not, only a few hours). The lifespan of regular posts depends on the type of post, but in general, due to algorithm changes, reels are it right now for organic reach and engagement. Finally, a third simple tactic that you can easily implement is posting more often. Try to post at least one regular post, one story, and one reel per day if you are short on time. You can do this by scheduling regular posts ahead of time for Instagram so that you only have to focus on posting stories and reels daily. A good tip here is to plan and record your reels ahead of time so that you have your content ready to post rather than having to create something on the spot. For on-the-spot content, use stories because they are easier and faster to make without planning ahead.
Moving on to paid ads, these are the posts that you pay to boost to reach a larger audience or planned ads that you pay for and schedule to run for a certain period of time. These can be helpful if you want to raise brand awareness, retarget audiences that have engaged with your posts or website previously, and guide your customers down your Marketing Funnel. Although they are paid, you should keep in mind that you do not need an overly large budget for these ads. For brand awareness, you can spend $20 over one month and reach over 10,000 people. That's 10,000 more people that are now aware of your business or brand.
Integrated Paid & Organic
Integrating your paid ads strategy and organic posting strategy can be beneficial for your small business or brand. First, you will continue to increase your organic reach as more people in your target audience become aware of your brand through consistent posts that are optimized for the platform in which you post them. Second, a paid strategy can always be a great help when you are trying to get your brand in front of more people. Some of the most popular platforms that you can use to integrate these two strategies into a moreintegrated marketing communication plan are Facebook and Instagram.
Paid ads on Facebook and Instagram are a great resource for increasing brand awareness, getting leads, and guiding more people to your website. There are a few different reasons why you should focus certain things on Facebook and certain other things on Instagram. For example, when generating more leads for your business through a paid strategy, you should focus on using Facebook ads that will be seen throughout the various Facebook platforms. For brand awareness ads, you can add in sponsored Stories or just boost posts that are getting good organic engagement on Instagram.
A tip here is to manually select the placements when you are editing/creating your campaigns and ad sets. Make sure that your ad creative matches the dimensions of your selected ad placements. An example here is ensuring that when you want your ad placed specifically on stories, you manually de-select other placements because the dimensions will not work out. Same goes when your ad creative is focused on regular post dimensions, make sure to de-select the stories placement. By manually selecting placements you have more control of where your ads are seen. You don't want your creative to turn potential audience members off because they are the wrong dimension for the platform in which they were placed.
As always, thank you for reading my post. If you need more help, make sure to follow the links to previous blog posts that explain certain topics more in-depth. And, if you need social media marketing or public relations help with your small business or brand, make sure to reach out by email or fill out the form on our services page.
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