How to determine marketing priorities as a tech startup

As a tech startup owner, you’re faced with a multitude of challenges and anxieties as you think of ways to grow your business. Budgeting, resourcing, manpower, business development are all high up on the list, but so is marketing, which often doesn’t get the due it deserves. That’s because startups don’t know where to begin and have trouble identifying key priorities. And we get it — with so many options and so much jargon thrown around, it can be a confusing.

Take a step back, breathe and focus on one thing at a time. Here’s a few tips to help you determine your marketing priorities:

Audience group

Get the ball rolling by identifying your target audience. What are you trying to sell and who is it for? Do you have a brand voice in place? If not, focus on concurrently establishing your brand voice.

Whatever your end product or service is, defining your audience group allows you to identify the best marketing and media channels allowing for a more streamlined marketing strategy. For example, if you’re in the business of developing a payroll system, consider channeling your funds towards platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter for your digital marketing, instead of consumer-facing platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.

Budget

Here comes the word that no startup owner wants to hear – budget. As a startup running on a lean budget, every dollar counts, but that doesn’t mean compromising on marketing. Expensive marketing doesn’t necessarily equate to good marketing and vice-versa.  Relying solely on your product attributes sounds idyllic, but more often than not, it isn’t enough.

We’re living in a digital age and this means you should take advantage of online channels and social media – after all, it’s free to use and easy to set up. Also, explore other avenues such as user-generated content, blogs and white-papers instead of spending money on advertising.

Define outcomes

Every marketing campaign has to have clearly defined outcomes and objectives. To do that, you need to identify where your company sits in the growth cycle.  If it’s still early days, brand awareness and data generation should be part of your KPIs. The data you acquire from these efforts will help define future campaigns too.

However, if you’re startup has taken off beyond the brand awareness stage, you should focus on ramping up sales and building a lead gen pipeline, meaning it’s time to reassess your marketing priorities and make necessary shifts.   
For B2B brands this means focusing on content marketing, while consumer-facing startups may consider giveaways and social media flash deals to excite their consumers. User-generated content is a great way to create buzz around your brand — not only is it free, it also considerably improves brand engagement.

Suggested reads:

If you need help getting started with your marketing priorities, drop us a note at [email protected] 

Gen Z: Marketing to digital natives

While everyone is focused on getting the attention of millennials, the next generation (Z) is already having an impact on the media and PR industry. But who is this Generation Z and what sets them apart? Their behaviour online and the way they consume content will be a crucial indicator for what direction the PR and media world is moving towards. Here is how they are already changing the game.

Internet & social media generation

Generation Z could easily be renamed the internet & social media generation, as they not only grow up with the internet as their primary form of communication, but they are also the first generation to use social media and the internet from a very early age onwards. In 2015, 77% of 12–17- year-olds owned a mobile phone, which is reflected in the estimated 150,000 educational apps, 10% of Apple’s App Store, aimed at them. Generation Z isn’t just media-savvy, but ‘being online’ is a given for the generation of ‘digital natives’. This means that PR folks and marketers don’t just need to stay up-to-date with the latest digital and social media trends, they need to be ahead of the curve.

No more Facebook?

Talking to people who were born at the turn of the century, you will be surprised that, although they have a Facebook account, their chosen social media channels are in fact Instagram and Snapchat. While the Facebook feed still works to amplify articles and news from websites and brands, the content form must adapt to new social media platforms. To be sure, brands and media platforms are already experimenting with Snapchat and Instagram. Airbnb, for example, used an inspirational travel video series for their Instagram Stories to create awareness and buzz for the launch of Experiences on Airbnb.

 

However, given that both platforms display content only for a limited amount of time, PR and media must adapt to craft and develop impactful content to capture the attention of these younglings.

Skipping Ads

Inundated with content, this generation has done particularly well to filter out ads and sponsored content. Simply put, they won’t react to an ad, unless it benefits them and adds value to their lives. Marketers and PR folks need to be smarter with Generation Z, but shouldn’t try to outsmart them. Advertising and sponsored posts need to camouflage themselves into something that this generation wants to see.

Struggling traditional media

This lot has little regard for traditional media and are more likely to be consuming content on social media, blogs and YouTube. Showcasing your content natively on social media and working with trusted influencers can help to make inroads with Gen Z.

Long term investment

Despite skipping ads and filtering content that doesn’t interest them, Generation Z tends to be more loyal than the generation that came before them. As Gen Z consumers stay loyal to the brands they shop at and are more likely to stick with them throughout their lives, it’s still worth making the investment as a brand.

Although the content they consume tends to be very short-lived, the investment of brands and PR agencies will be long-term. This is good news for everyone, as customer acquisition is becoming more important and might have longevity – despite constantly changing consumer behaviours.

 

Like what you’ve read? Drop a note at [email protected] to talk about how to make your brand ready for the next generation. 

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Let’s talk branded video content

From online TV or subscription services like Netflix, to free video on platforms such as YouTube and social media, folks in Asia are consuming more video content than ever before. You’ve heard this all before – and while brands now have a robust video strategy in place, creatives are still far from perfect.

Here’s our 5 key takeaways on creating effective online ads for branded video campaigns:

Optimise video for mobile

Mobile is already the primary device for accessing the internet in APAC, yet, brands still choose to produce glossy 30-second TV-type ads that do little to hook mobile users. Because content is consumed differently on mobile devices, brands need to ensure their videos capture attention and emotion from the get-go.

Make a sentimental pitch

Video tech company Unruly’s data shows that sentimental storytelling ads are the best performers for 18-34 year olds, a key audience segment for many brands. The study showed that millennials have a stronger reaction to emotional content like this 2014 campaign for Thai Life Insurance.

 

 

Make it work for sound-off

According to Unruly, 80% of millennials mute a brand’s video ads. To engage this audience, advertisers need to create content for a sound-off experience. Avoid dialogue and use text and graphics to draw consumers in

Tailor video for specific social media

YouTube users hold phones sideways to consume content, while Facebook videos are best viewed upright. Majority of Facebook video is watched without sound, while YouTube is always played with full sound. Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter come with their own peculiarities. Brands that stand out are the ones that are tailoring social media content for each channel and country’s internet speeds.

Think beyond views

When it comes to measuring a video’s success, views aren’t everything. Whether it is to increase awareness, consideration, or influence sales, it is important for advertisers to establish marketing goals for their campaigns, and then come up with a set of KPIs to track and measure campaign success.

 

Let us help you create effective content – drop us a message at [email protected]

 

 

PR is evolving, and so should you

The way we communicate has completely changed over the past decade, including the concept of Public Relations and the way we do business. Recent office chatter brought up stories of how things were done back in the day. All media clippings were processed in-house and keeping a media list up to date was a job on its own. Today we outsource these services that helps us focus on what’s important.

In a rapidly evolving industry, there is no place for complacency. PR professionals should develop a hunger to learn more and become a specialist in the field. The ability to write an impressive press release and put together an amazing pitch is no longer good enough. The scope has moved far beyond drawing up a media list, writing a press release and following up. In order to make an impact across all platforms, we now have to focus and build relations with key media in the digital and social space. PR professionals or agencies that are not evolving with this landscape will be left behind.

Clients are expecting more. They want to be relevant and make an impact where it matters most. Here’s how PR and marketing can adapt to meet clients’ growing needs and demands.

Access to information in the palm of your hand

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, the way people access information has changed entirely and continues to change. Your target audience have gone from readers to users. Information is readily available to anyone, everywhere, at any time. Make sure you change with the times and keep content interesting, relevant and easy to consume. Check out our blog 3 ways to help bring your content back to life for some tips!

Find the right influencers

PR professionals and brands still dismissing influencers and bloggers as real content creators are committing professional suicide. Influencers are the most connected people today. Their devoted followers trust what they say and many influencers have larger followings than many media outlets. Collaborating with an influencer in your industry is a great way to get traction and interest in your brand or product. A word of caution though — don’t go in blind, it’s important to partner with someone who is relevant and authentic to your audience and brand.

Learn a new skill

The PR scope is getting wider and clients are demanding more. To be able to keep up with the demands, learn a new skill, understand how digital platforms work – it’s the only way to improve your offering.

Content

Content is and will always be king. Having the ability to create compelling and shareable content will make you indispensable. Learn the art of writing for various platforms. Know your audience and create captivating content that will get people talking. Great content adds value to SEO efforts and it encourages engagement, which means your content or brand will be seen.

Public Relations will always be about storytelling and being able adopt a forward thinking approach to how we achieve our targets.

Need help telling your story? Drop us a message at [email protected]

How to create a Buyer Persona

Sophie is 35 years old. She’s just been promoted to Marketing Manager at the Tech company she works for. She learned the ropes in a Marketing Assistant role and her seniors expect a lot from her position. Her first order of business: improving the effectiveness of the company’s marketing.

Here’s the catch, Sophie isn’t a real person. She’s a buyer persona – a representation of an ideal buyer.

With consumers exposed to as many as 5,000 marketing messages every day, creating user personas help businesses break through the clutter and capture attention with relevant content. It humanises your customers and paints the picture of an individual buyer, identifying their problems and values.

Apple’s success story

Apple effectively uses buyer personas for its different products. Check out their persona focus technique in this iPad 2 advertisement:

 

Now watch this:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTFPB4OUqrM

 

The first features the user scrolling stocks and investment portfolios, capturing the business professionals’ attention. Suddenly, they can see how this product would fit into their work life and visualise themselves using it in their day-to- day business needs. The second shows an adrenaline junkie preparing to take on the torrential rain with his iPhone 7. Creating this persona attracts the outdoorsy types and demonstrates the waterproof features of the new device.

How to create buyer personas

Creating the profile is probably the most important stage in the process – get the wrong persona and you’re marketing to a completely different audience, not to mention wasting your time and efforts.  Here’s a couple of steps to consider to get you started when creating your buyer persona:

1. Establish the basics

Segment your target group and ideal buyer by gender, age, job title and role responsibilities. Identifying these basics will give you a strong starting point of who you are targeting.

2. Learn from example

When you create a persona, you are creating an example of your ideal consumer. From this example, you can identify your consumer needs, objectives and potential obstacles. Doing this also gives insight into how your buyers view your products and services. Use this information wisely to improve your offerings.

3. Study, study, study!

To do this study their needs, concerns, frustrations, urgency to buy and ability to buy. This helps to develop and tailor content that appeals to your target audience, resulting in greater leads and sales.

 

If you need help creating your buyer persona, drop us a note at [email protected] – we can help you to tap into your target market! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to manage your brand reputation online

The secret to becoming a world class brand? Going beyond social presence. Technology has enhanced the ability for brands to engage consumers anytime, anywhere –but you can’t just rely on the technology alone. In the fast-paced world of GoPro, Netflix, Spotify and Instagram, let’s not forget Pampers, Oreo, Dove and Charmin. And for good reason.

The success of these legacy brands proves that while creating a kick-ass marketing content strategy is vital, maintaining reputation is just as (if not more) crucial to your brand. So how do you keep up?

Here’s a few tips to get you started:

Monitor what people are saying about you

Blog posts, social media, customer comments, reviews, Tweets need to be on your radar. Every time you find a comment about your brand online, remember others can see it all over the world. However, sifting through all your online data can be time consuming. Tools such as, Google Alerts and MonitorThis, are easy to set up and allow you to filter to get the relevant notifications.

In today’s highly competitive world, tracking and listening to social conversations aren’t enough. Brands need to proactively engage with consumers – this includes responding to both positive and negative feedback and reviews. Nobody wants to do it, but to manage your online presence, you must deal with negative feedback head-on.

The best way to protect your brand image is to work to resolve negative criticism. Not all feedback is bad feedback, distinguishing the harmful from the productive is key. If there is feedback that you can work with – it is often useful to keep your response visible, just make sure you are able to identify the difference between trolls and constructive criticism.  Stumbling across posts or comments that are less favourable means that your target audience can too, which is why removing negative comments from internet trolls on your website or blogs is vital too.

Create amazing content

Anyone can sit down and write a ‘standard’ blog post, but creating ‘amazing’ content — that takes time, dedication, and effort. That’s what Oreo’s Halloween 2015 campaign demonstrated when the brand created a Vine video series spoofing classic horror movies featuring cookies.

Understand your audience

This always has (and always will be) key to maintaining a relationship with your consumer whether it’s online or offline. One brand that gets it is Netflix. The video streaming company leverages its vast amount of data to dig deeper and understand who its social audience is. Whether it’s a famous quote from one of its available titles, or a GIF that summarises how most of us feel about the video streaming site, Netflix continues to create content that its users can relate to.

   

Embrace the weird and run with it 

Whether it’s fun, silly, quirky, factual or awkward – embrace your target audience’s humour and reflect that in your brand’s personality. The big names in branding don’t just use social to market products. They create a community that can come together to share advise, feelings and memories. This is simply learning to nurture your target market. The iconic nappy brand, Pampers, creates a safe online platform for soon-to-be parents to come together as they embark on the adventure together.

Big bang versus thinking small

When toilet roll company, Charmin, were faced with the difficulty of creating excitement around their loo roll, did they succumb to the challenge of coming up with a killer marketing strategy? Nope, they introduced #TweetFromTheSeat campaign, where consumers could participate in the hilarity of Tweeting while…er, doing their business. Ridiculous but effective.

Satisfy customer cravings

Whether it’s a Galaxy chocolate advert or the latest news on upcoming technology trends for 2017, it’s worth tapping into consumer insights. A great way to pique your target market’s interest is to empower users – user generated content makes the brand more approachable. This also allows you to convert their eagerness into a marketing win. Users get the opportunity to share their own story socially.  GoPro not only create great content for social but also amplify user-generated content with zero ad spend. Win, win!

The bottom line is that your online management and reputation is important, now more than ever. Brands need to stay abreast with what is happening with their image online. Once you’ve found your online voice, be mindful of your ongoing image and how you want to be seen to the world. No two brands are the same and neither is their reputation. It is about identifying the right strategy that works for your brand.

If you need help creating your personalised brand strategy, drop us a note at [email protected]

5 strategic benefits of PR

Why should I spend money on PR?”

It’s a question many business leaders and entrepreneurs ask when allocating their marketing budgets. And even though it’s possible to drive a business with minimal or no PR spend, it’s unlikely that the brand will ever gain traction in its industry or key markets.

Many businesses regard public relations as an afterthought and the PR machine is only activated when they are hit by a scam or crisis. On the other hand, brands with consistent PR efforts are able to create long-term sustainable accomplishments, and are far more successful in dealing with negative publicity.

What’s more?

  1. PR helps generate leads

A targeted media outreach backed by high-value content assets (data studies, whitepapers, opinion pieces) will gradually convert into a lead generation machine, catching eyeballs of the right investors, talent and prospects. With the right messaging and strategy, PR can increase your credibility as a stable and potentially lucrative investment target while cultivating relationships with key opinion leaders.

  1. It helps to boost your SEO

For any brand, the key to driving visibility and positive impressions relies on being top of mind. And, the importance of SEO becomes even more critical as brands must be present and found online, easily. The more media coverage a brand receives, the more links it receives back to its website. Links from reliable, trustworthy media sources rank high in Google’s algorithm, leading to better search results.

  1. Trust for editorial content is more valuable than ads

PR’s approach to positioning your business in the public light differs greatly from that of advertisements. Media reports suggest that consumers trust third-party editorial content (which is shareable and can be re-purposed), more than any type of advertising or endorsement.

  1. PR builds successful thought leadership

Thought leadership is one of the more strategic approaches to building up the credibility of CEO’s and business leaders. It provides a great opportunity to accomplish critical business objectives, evangelise company culture, support recruiting efforts and gain partnerships and endorsements. A well planned out thought leadership campaign is not just limited to publishing opinion articles but also creates a pipeline of events, conferences, speaking opportunities, and of course social media.

  1. PR enables cross-channel messaging

Creating a digital editorial calendar is critical to keeping your company’s messaging consistent across your key distribution channels. By combining information for your blogs, email marketing and PR efforts, you ensure consistency and one unified message directed to all your content channels.

With the rise of digital and social media, the fight for attention has never been greater. Trust can be difficult to build and reputation has become even harder to protect. PR helps build brand honesty and credibility, and it’s one of the best investments a business can make.

“If I was down to the last dollar of my marketing budget I’d spend it on PR!”
– Bill Gates 

 

If you need any help with your 2017 PR efforts, drop us a note at [email protected].

5 PR tips to get you through the festive season

So, you’ve made it to December. You’re probably wondering where the last 11 months have gone, but hey ho, it’s now time to start looking ahead.

December is a month that is notoriously filled with back-to-back celebrations. From year-end parties to Christmas and New Year gatherings, it’s full on – but it’s also a time where some people (and businesses) slow down as they mentally prepare for the next year.

However, the media doesn’t stop. Newspapers and magazines are still being published, and TV news doesn’t take a holiday either. Journalists are always on the lookout for new stories and ideas – in fact, this slower time of year often means journos are keener than ever to be approached with thoughtful content. It’s basically a prime time to pitch!

Here are some PR tips to help arm you throughout the festive season and keep your business on track well into the New Year:

  1. Pitch, pitch, pitch!

The worst thing you can do is go silent during this month. Instead, keep pitching and stay in touch with key journalists. Research what’s trending and create content pieces or use past ideas and share them with the media. Keep things fun, and where possible make it relevant to the festive season. Even if your story isn’t immediately picked up, the journalists have you on their radar for any future stories, and you can follow up come January with a fresh pitch.

  1. Become a social butterfly

It is the party season after all! So get out there and spread those wings. Meet new people, attend industry events, parties and talks. Chances are you’ll bump into members of the media or like-minded people that may have an interest in your business. Have fun, but keep your PR radar on for any opportunities to spread the good word about your brand!

  1. Keep connected

Yes, your usual media contacts may be away enjoying their holidays but there will be other writers and editors you can connect with. This will also help expand your PR network and database in general. Stay on top of your target publications and check out who’s writing stories that are relevant. If you’re not sure who’s holding the fort while your closest journalist contacts are away on holiday, pick up the phone and find out.

  1. Stay socially active

Whatever your do, don’t forget to remain active on social media. Today’s consumers live and breathe social all year round, and this includes Christmastime. Whether you are manually posting on your company’s chosen platforms or using management and scheduling tools such as Hootsuite, make sure you have a strategy in place – even if you are on holiday. Staying active helps keep your brand top of mind and maintain the traction you’ve built up throughout the year. Download our social media content calendar template to help you map out your social plans across the next month and into the New Year.

  1. Plan ahead

Given December is a quieter month, use this time to plan your PR calendar for the New Year. Map out your communications goals and get prepped for new announcements or launches which you know are happening in 2017. Create plans, make calendars and add in tentative timelines to stay on track with execution, ensuring you start the New Year off with a bang!

So what are you waiting for? If you need advice on how to use the festive period to your advantage, get in touch with us at [email protected].

 

4 things Casey Neistat can teach you about PR

This week CNN announced that it has acquired shortform video app, Beme – the product of a collaboration between ex-Tumblr(er) Matt Hackett and filmmaker Casey Neistat. Never heard of Beme? You’ll be forgiven. Despite a promising kickoff, the video messaging app (akin to Snapchat) never achieved widespread appeal and suffered a ropey adoption curve.

The acquisition (reported to be $25 million USD) represents a logical skip-jump for CNN, who have come along way from their broadcaster roots to become a 24-hour global multi-platform network, and a consistent adopter of new mediums. In an age where anyone with a smartphone can become a news correspondent, it was only a matter of time before a global network like CNN dipped its toes into shortform video.

What seems clear though, is that CNN is really buying Casey Neistat, the filmaker turned vlogger who regularly draws over 20-million views to each of his daily vlogs and, who arguably changed the entire vlog medium by bringing a filmmaker’s lense to a disposable, low-fi format.

Here are four key PR lessons you can learn from Casey Neistat:

1. Be open and real

Neistat leads a successful tech company, yet he talks to his audiences through channels and forms that they understand and can connect with. When Beme started having technical issues, rather than a smoke and mirrors approach to hide his company’s shortfalls, he was open and sincere about the mistakes. As a result, he was able to build greater trust and buy-in from the public and key stakeholders.

2. Trust a influencer’s integrity – it’s what makes them valuable

With nearly 6-million subscribers, Casey inevitably monetises his activities with brand partnerships. However this doesn’t mean Neistat becomes a starry-eyed spineless brand ambassador. Instead he’ll often work closely with brands such as Apple or Canon, only to criticise the products, albeit in a constructive and level-headed way.

Working in PR, we often bang our heads in frustration when a story hasn’t gone quite the way we planned, or didn’t even land at all. But it’s the influencer’s ability to speak honestly about products that separates the role of PR from owned media and is precisely what gives it true value. Brands who understand this will always work with influencers like Neistat, respecting their unswayable integrity, rather than treating them like glorified infomercials.

3. Storytelling is everything

 

casey-neistat-content-strategy

Neistat hammers this home with every video he creates, from ads with Nike, to vacation vlogs in Vietnam, to Beme itself. With a growing emphasis on native and content-based advertising, it seems that many marketers get distracted by the medium over the message. In essence though, nothing has actually changed. Storytelling is and always will be the most crucial element – irrespective of platform, medium or screen.

PR’s value-add is its ability to really understand the audience and convey a story to audiences with unparallelled authenticity and sincerity. Consumers and the media are now more savvy, discerning and BS-resistant than ever before, so make sure your story is compelling, interesting and not just a sales pitch.

4. Know when to zip it

Neistat’s usual topics cover technology, gadgets, filmmaking and storytelling. However, on a few occasions, Neistat has stepped off-piste into commenting on areas outside his usual content, such as the US election. He was met with quite a violent backlash from the YouTube community who didn’t appreciate him stepping off his impartial boosted-board.

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So what’s the lesson? Make sure you understand where your area of knowledge lies and stick to it. The media may often look for outsiders to comment on subjects outside of a spokesperson’s field, either to offer a fresh perspective or draw them out of their comfort zone. Succumb to the temptation to enter another arena – even slightly – and you risk alienating your brand, diluting your core messaging or, at worst, diving headfirst into a PR disaster.

As a hybrid of consumer, creative agency, tech evangelist and influencer, Casey Neistat has made more impact on the content marketing ecosystem than can fit concisely into this blog, and nothing says this more than CNN’s latest purchase. It’s certainly an exciting time to be in content marketing and PR.

If you need help spreading your brand message, get in touch with us at [email protected]

Image source YouTube

The rise of digital: How an online strategy can complement traditional PR

Let’s face it, we’ve moved into the digital age. APAC is now home to more than half of the world’s internet users, where there are currently 1.83 billion Internet users and 1.43 billion social media users. Comparing this with 2014’s figures of 1.2 billion internet users and 9.6 million social media users, that’s a whopping 52.5% and 47.5% growth in each category.

With the shift to digital, comes a lot of change in the way we communicate and absorb information. Consumers are expecting different forms of interactions, which means the way we communicate with our audience should evolve too. Here’s a few things to consider:

1. Establish your online presence

A key component of PR is working with the media. But in today’s context, the media is not restricted to solely print media – it extends to bloggers, social media influencers, e-magazines and more. Firing off press releases to engage only traditional media is simply not enough anymore. These days, people are almost always online. Failing to be where your audience is could harm your business and you’ll get left behind. A digital strategy establishes your online presence, builds brand reputation, and engages your audience with relevant and useful content. This results in increased visibility on search engines and following count on social media platforms.

2. Apply personalised communication

A digital strategy creates two-way communication and brings the audience into the conversation with options to share their opinions and thoughts. It also offers a personal look into your organisation – afterall you are reaching out to real people.

3.  Grab their attention

Attention spans are dropping, and long-form content from print does not work in the digital landscape. Instead, a good digital strategy delivers bite-sized attention-grabbing information to readers, with links to longer content such as formal press releases, blogs, or media coverage.

Traditional PR no doubt still has a place, but a digital strategy can complement those efforts and elevate it further. A smart mixture of both extends the reach of a purely traditional PR approach, and ensures your business stays on top of its game.

If you need help seamlessly executing a comprehensive PR campaign, drop us a note a [email protected]

 

What Trump’s victory can teach us about today’s media

His quaff has been compared to everything from salmon nigiri to the silky tassel on the tip of corn on the cob.

His triumph as President Elect has confused everyone from his own supporters to my grandma.

He’s… *sigh*. He needs no introduction.

The US Presidential Election results had us squirming and swivelling in our office chairs all year. Not because of our respective political views, but because we’re in the business of communications. As specialists in the marketing and PR field, we were just cringing about how fast his controversial messages moved with the right format. Sadly, in the days of partisan Facebook groups, memes, and Twitter, false messages can go viral quickly.

What can we learn from this? Is there a silver lining to this mayhem? Whatever your position on Trump’s politics and message, his win says a lot about the type of content that travels. The shorter, the better. The more conviction, the more viral.

We could have written a Mutant blog about what NOT to do according to the 2016 Presidential Election, but we want to keep it light (and we weren’t sure if WordPress could support 5000-page manifestos, TBH.) So, while the first debate taught us how to live tweet, here are some brand messaging lessons we learned from the Trump win:

1. Sound bites make the news

“I’m gonna build a wall.”

“It’s freezing and snowing in New York – we need global warming!”

Sure, it’s a whole lot of crazy, but these words received media coverage – not just because they were outrageous, but because they were short and said with conviction. It’s not uncommon for politicians to drag on about unpopular policies, but people just tune out. In Trump’s case, his short, syndicated quotes travelled fast. In any news event, journalists literally sit through press events waiting to pick up on a soundbite that will draw in viewers or clicks.

Trump was at goldmine for these. The Cheezel-hued President Elect received a ton of free media coverage because his messages were easy to digest by mass media.

Ensure your own (less crazy) company message is short and concise. For example, when telling people what your business believes in, say it with conviction, and make it easy to digest and repeat to others.

2. The general public is THROUGH with jargon

One of the reasons some citizens don’t vote is because politics can be confusing. The dialogue is full of inconsistencies, and it can be hard to follow if you’re not regularly tuning in. Trump wanted to appeal to the general public and the working class, so he avoiding talking too much about policy and spoke to the people about their everyday problems.

You’ll easily be able to see some parallels between politics and business. Both are important for mobilising people; they’re hard to understand unless you’re in the industry, and both topics can be dryer than Donald’s throat during Debate #3. Here is how he explained his stance on illegal immigration:

“I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. Mark my words.”

Ok, ok, it sounds like it came from a children’s story book. Be simple, but still sound smart.

By using soft, simple terminology that anybody can understand, not only will your message be loud and clear, but it will be easier to spread. Start with the need of your audience, before you start to sell your product. If you’re a tech company, for example, talk first about what need you’re appealing to, then talk through the product.

3. Branded content trumps traditional advertisements

Trump became a walking billboard for his campaign. In fact, he has allegedly spent only a fraction of what Hillary had on ads. He is a walking content strategy, so much that the camera follows him, not the other way around.

To maintain this level of consistency, company leaders need to always be preaching their values and conveying them in everything they do. To C-Suite leaders, whether you are writing a blog, speaking at an event, or speaking on television, be consistent and stick to four or five core values. You know you will have succeeded when you people are unable to differentiate you from your brand and values. For some, Trump is a symbol for change; for others he is an unpeeled, boiled sweet potato headed for Office – but his message has been consistent. It’s just his audience that varies.

There you have it. The Donald’s message is what it is, and there’s not a lot we can do but learn from it.

Need help with getting noticed in the media? Write us at [email protected].

 

Image credit: marieclaire.co.uk

 

5 myths about Public Relations

Working in public relations (PR) has it’s fair share of benefits – cool product launches, exclusive parties, and getting to meet some great leaders and innovators – but the profession has been somewhat glamourised by a few Hollywood films.

public-relationsFact: It’s unlikely you will lead a life like Samantha Jones

Don’t get us wrong, life in the PR fast lane can be glitzy, but behind the scenes there’s a lot of hard work, research and pressure for results. Let us bust a few of those common PR myths.

  • MYTH 1: PR is just press releases
    “Why are we paying you so much to just sent out a couple pages to media?”

Reality: PR does not stand for press release. Public relations is about building long-term relationships with the media and the members of the public through a defined strategy and campaign. Anyone can send out one press release – but what you’re paying for is experience, relationships, strategic insight, networks and expert advice and account management to portray yourself and your business or product in exactly the right light. If you’re doing this across multiple countries, it’s even more work. Don’t underestimate how much work goes into getting your name out there.

  • MYTH 2: PR is easy
    “Anyone could do it.”

 

Reality: Yes, well, you could try but you won’t necessarily succeed. Good PR takes time and a lot of research. You need to constantly be in the know about what journalists are writing and which topics certain journalists cover, and how to pitch your story in a way that will capture their attention. If you don’t do this right, you risk embarrassing yourself and your brand, offending a journalist, and losing the game before you even begin. PR is not just parties and fun – there is real work that goes on to get the right coverage with the right results.

  • MYTH 3: Public relations will make me an overnight sensation
    “Following this press release, I’m gonna be a millionaire overnight.”

Reality: While you will definitely see an uptick in sales, sales or website traffic, understand that PR is about long-term engagement. A strong public relations and marketing strategy will undoubtedly help grow your revenue and help make you successful, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Building brand awareness, trust and credibility is a slow and steady burn that needs to be managed well.

  • MYTH 4: Only large public relations companies can do the job
    “They will have the resources and staff to handle my needs”

Reality: Big agencies are obviously good at what they do, but depending on your needs and your brand, a smaller, more nimble agency can become your ideal partner. And it’s not just because it saves you money – it’s a combination of less bureaucracy, being quicker to adapt, and the ability to have more senior managers on your account. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better.

  • MYTH 5: My business is doing well, so public relations has no value
    “Only bad products and images need PR.”

Reality: PR has more value than you think, even if things are going well. It’s not true that PR is only necessary from a crisis point of view, when things are going wrong, or when you want to change an audience’s perception. That can be part of the role, but more often that not, PR is about letting your customers know about all the great things you’re doing. Customers today are savvy – they know the deal. They turn to the Internet for credible write-ups and reviews of a product or service before they decide to purchase – and this is something your advertising dollars alone can’t buy.

So there you have it! There is a lot more to PR than meets the eye.

If you need help in spreading your brand message, drop us a line at [email protected].

 

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