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FROM THE FORTE

Perspective from Double Forte Public Relations and Marketing

Month

November 2014

Infobesity Is Bad For Your Health (A Content Strategy Is the Remedy)

TurkeyIn this content-rich media world we now live in, it’s more important than ever for companies to create their own content and share it to relevant sources and influencers; this is how you deliver your message, reach your target customers, share your unique offerings and POV, and improve your search results. Content is how you control your message.

But there’s a dark side to a content-rich world: infobesity. Macmillan Dictionary describes infobesity as, “the condition of continually consuming large amounts of information, especially when this has a negative effect on a person’s well-being and ability to concentrate.”

So how does a company dish out the right amount of content? Simple, build a content strategy. Delivering content without a strategy is like serving empty calories.

A content strategy organizes your content assets so that they reach the right stakeholders at the right time – and maps the content to where those stakeholders are in the buying cycle – awareness, consideration, decision or loyalty. A smart content strategy creates a blueprint for content distribution through multiple channels (website, blog, direct marketing, sales materials, media relations, social media, etc.) so that you are always delivering the right content, at the right time, on the right channel.

Have you thought about your 2015 content strategy? What will you be serving?

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Uber Doesn’t Have a PR Problem

Spin Doctor

Uber has a values problem.

Headlines abound today about Uber’s public relations problem following a BuzzFeed report that a senior executive at the ride sharing app company suggested Uber staffers should dig up dirt on journalists. Characterizations of the aftermath range from PR storm, to PR misstep, to PR disaster. CNBC called the executive’s comments a PR gaffe. We respectfully disagree. What’s playing out across traditional and social media is a reflection of what’s happening inside the company.

According to Ben Smith at BuzzFeed, “Over dinner, (Emil Michael, senior vice president of business for Uber) outlined the notion of spending ‘a million dollars’ to hire four top opposition researchers and four journalists. That team could, he said, help Uber fight back against the press — they’d look into ‘your personal lives, your families,’ and give the media a taste of its own medicine.” That’s not a gaffe. A PR gaffe is sending the wrong version of a press release over the wire. A PR gaffe is forgetting your feature/benefit set during an interview. Outlining a smear campaign is not a gaffe.

Clearly, Uber’s values problem turned into a media relations problem. Going on the offensive against journalists, is no way to build relationships with the media. But let’s tell it like it is – Uber and its leadership team are under fire for bad business decisions and practices.

PR can do many things. PR can amplify. PR can highlight. PR can obfuscate and yes, PR can spin. But ultimately, PR tells a story – a story based on facts. When Uber decides to own up to its mistakes and rethink its values from the top to the bottom, then we can start talking about PR.

photo credit: dasmart via photopin cc

Have You Diversified Your (Marketing) Portfolio?

If you invest money, you’ve probably heard you should diversify your portfolio. Diversification helps you reduce risk, avoid expensive mistakes, maximize returns, and best meet your investment goals. Your marketing portfolio is no different.

The best marketing and communications strategies are diversified. After all, aren’t you making an investment in PR, marketing, and lead generation? Don’t you want to protect those investments? Here’s how.

  1.  Slice up your content by channel. In today’s multichannel, multitasking world, people get different types of news from different mediums. They might read world news on Circa, turn to Twitter for conversation, Facebook for celebrity gossip, the newspaper for local news, and NPR for think pieces. It’s not enough to tell one story, one time. For maximum impact, tell you story multiple ways in order to appeal to many different people across multiple channels.
  2. Remember that everyone consumes media differently, so plan accordingly. Yes, people still read (I think) but visual mediums are the fastest growing forms of communication. Citizen journalists are taking eyewitness reports straight to YouTube. Fashion designers are forgoing the tents in Paris and at Bryant Park for Vine and Instagram. Researchers are taking their reports straight to infographics. In order to maximize your marketing investment, you need to produce content in multiple formats and amplify it across both owned and earned channels.
  3. Audit your efforts. Take inventory of your current marketing and communication programs. Which audiences are you reaching? Where are you spending and how are you reaching your buyers? Where are the gaps? Now fill them in.

When it comes to marketing, just like with money, you never want all your eggs in one basket.

photo credit: 401(K) 2013 via photopin cc

Fridays With: Bob Redell, Reporter, NBC Bay Area

BOBredell2What is your elevator pitch when someone asks, “What do you do for a living?” I run and gun in the wee hours of the morning to tell stories on the tube for NBC Bay Area.

Describe the path that led you to this career. I’ve always been a performer, having done a lot of theater in high school & college.  TV news requires an element of that as well (the performing part, not the acting.)  But no one was biting on the resume tape I put together during an internship at the NBC affiliate in Tampa.  Just as I was about to give up on the whole TV thing, I got a call from a news director in Fort Myers, Florida who happened to like the shot on my tape of me walking through a barn full of dead chickens.  Funny how that worked out.  What I quickly realized: one’s writing and news gathering skills are so much more vital to the job than how you look.  Or at least it should be.

What are the elements of a successful workplace? People who respect each other’s opinions, even when they don’t agree.  And an understanding that employees do have lives outside of work.  I’m lucky to work in a newsroom that has both those elements.

What is the one piece of technology you cannot live without? My iPhone: a marvelous piece of technology that has allowed me to ditch the laptop.

What are you reading? Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre

If you could, what advice would you give your 20-something self? You don’t know nearly as much as you think you do.  Get your head out of the sand and realize you have a lot to learn.

If you could do anything and know you couldn’t fail, what would you do? Standup comedy.

At Double Forte’s San Francisco office, the conference rooms are named Rock and Roll, Motown, Hip Hop, Mambo, Jazz and Disco. Which name best describes you and why? Disco because I am always trying so hard to be cool.

What’s in your Netflix queue? Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Blood Ties, The Monuments Men, Tim’s Vermeer

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