Travel and Economic Development in the Social Media Spotlight

May 15th, 2014

Social media is the leading source of travel research and traveler decision making today, and should be strongly considered as part of an economic development marketing plan. Here are a some recent examples showcasing different approaches tailored to unique markets.

Guam Social Media Ambassadors

We spearheaded a Social Media Ambassadors plan for our client, Guam Visitors Bureau, which recently launched. These volunteers will be present at all major events over 10 weeks to generate pictures, video and content that is being shared with the GVB’s global social media channels. These slice-of-life photos present a down to earth, very relatable window into Guam’s culture, and have provided fun content to encourage likes and shares to get the word out about Guam as a great travel destination.


Learn more and see some great photos here » Read the rest of this entry »

Put Your Company’s Elevator Pitch on Video

April 29th, 2014

4326411This scenario is familiar to all business people:  You meet someone and give him your business card. You’ve jammed as much on the card as possible, but it doesn’t convey your key messages. So, when your new connection gets back to the office, he remembers you communicated an elevator pitch, but doesn’t remember what you do and doesn’t have any reason to keep the card. He might look at your website but because he’s super busy, he doesn’t have time to read through and absorb the information.

The solution is the 30-second company presentation.  It is sort of like the elevator pitch, but in a fun and graphically appealing presentation. It’s a new marketing tool that lies between the business card and the website. The purpose is to define the business and inspire curiosity for further investigation. It’s not the entire story, but provokes prospects’ interest to know more.

Developing this short presentation forces you to really hone in on your key message. The 30-second presentation must answer this question: What is the one genuinely unique value your company offers? Read the rest of this entry »

With Social Media Everything is a Press Release

April 17th, 2014

How many of you have been to the CAPIO Conference? I went to my first one last week. CAPIO is the California Association of Public Information Officials. If you want to get steeped in a conference that really covers the whole concept of PR and outward bound communication, I really recommend it. If you are a Public Information Officer, it is essential.

Headline newsOne of the speakers I heard at the conference was Sergeant Dave Norris of the City of San Mateo Police. It turns out that the PR people who are hit up constantly by the press are the PIO’s of police departments and fire departments. They are often dealing with emergency news situations, from raging fires to murders and traffic accidents. You’d think they would have fabulous access to the press, and they do when a news situation is happening. That’s usually when they’d rather the press wasn’t there, so they can get the job done. Read the rest of this entry »

Three Steps to Get Publicity for Your Business

April 9th, 2014

Woman holding megaphoneGetting media coverage helps to build awareness of your business, increase credibility and possibly even get the phone to ring. Getting the attention of reporters and then having them be interested enough to cover a story takes time, persistence and creativity.

With media outlets short staffed, it takes time to get stories in print or on the air, but can be achieved by taking the following three steps. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s the Best Choice for Your Website? WordPress vs Custom Website Design

March 31st, 2014

WordPress site for real estate development firm in the San Francisco Bay Area.

WordPress site for real estate development firm in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Most of the sites we design for clients are done completely from scratch, using the client’s branding blueprint as a starting point for ideas, and often using our proprietary content management system, ELF or Drupal to run the back end for clients. But sometimes clients are on a tight budget and the better option is for us to create a quick site using WordPress for content management by tweaking an existing theme with the client’s photos and color palette.

While the sky’s the limit with what we can do with a completely custom, hand coded site, there are certain limits to tweaking WordPress themes that may be cause for concern if what you really want is complete control over every detail of the site’s layout.

Here are some things to consider when making the decision about which choice is right for your website.

Read the rest of this entry »

SEO Best Practices

March 19th, 2014

iStock_000016321920XSmallSearch Engine Optimization (SEO) is an art and science. The art is in writing SEO content, tags, and metatags that the search engines use as part of their ranking process. The science is understanding through many evolutions of hands-on experience how the algorithms of the engines, that actually do the ranking results, work. (This is something that no human does).

When very well researched, analyzed and written, a SEO campaign can achieve a remarkably high ranking on the engines in a surprisingly short time. Even though you are working with the algorithm mathematics of Google and the other search engines, it is possible and even oftentimes predictable to see high rankings for a site in a brief amount of time. This means within a few days, or a couple of weeks, your site could be successfully advertising to a targeted audience that is actively looking for your products or services. As in all business prospects, competition does dictate and shape the SEO results the engines display for visitors.  Read the rest of this entry »

Five Tips for Better Results with Email Marketing

March 12th, 2014

iStock_000016389299SmallIt’s a jungle out there in the world of email marketing. Creating an email that will make it through spam filters is a challenging trek and getting your customers to open your email can be as difficult as finding a rare rainforest bird. Here are several ways we’ve found to improve email marketing success.

1. Use a reputable email service provider that keeps up with email technology and trends.

There are lots of companies who offer email marketing. Many haven’t kept their services updated to avoid the spam trap.  Current players such as iContact, Campaign Monitor and Constant Contact get good marks for easy interface and avoiding spam. Check out this website for a very thorough side-by-side review of various services.  Also, don’t send a mass email from your work email address.

Read the rest of this entry »

Twitter Can Keep People Involved, Especially with Visual Content

March 3rd, 2014

How can Twitter help you further your marketing goals? Everyone’s talking about it! Ellen DeGeneres’s selfie with the group of movie stars around her has been retweeted over 2.5 million times already, in less than a day. And that’s what the Academy Awards sees as the use of Twitter. It’s a way to get lots of attention fast. Twitter is now the way to get people to participate with TV at an immediate pace. The whole thing is based on the visual content; this time it’s the selfie!ellen-oscar-selfie3

When we’ve talked about the uses of Twitter, the main point has been that it’s a specific tool. If something very news-oriented is going on, whether it’s the Olympics or the Oscars or some famous person caught in an embarrassing situation, Twitter is the vehicle that people are using to get their thoughts out. And TV has figured out how it can benefit them. TV advertisers have, also.

One of the big uses of Twitter has been the ease of finding things via #hashtags. Twitter has always been good if you are famous and you want people to stay involved with you on a minute by minute basis. TV networks have realized that this can work for them by keeping people emotionally involved with their show.

Twitter has accommodated this need by making it possible to tweet photos as well as links (which it has always been able to do). Now with photos, advertisers and TV shows can get a visual marker out there. In the case of Ellen DeGeneres, her picture is exploding through the world of Twitter.

So, the question is– how can you use Twitter to further your marketing goals?

How do you get your company or product in the media?

February 10th, 2014

challenges-poll

How do you get your company or product media coverage? That was the number one marketing challenge causing our readers to scratch their heads, according to last month’s informal poll. This is a topic we love to discuss and help our clients succeed at, and here are a few of our previous posts on the subject.

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Connecting the dots for media connections

January 17th, 2014

HARO_logoPR involves strategy, research, media connections and timing, as well as having the right tools to allow you to connect the dots for a reporter looking for an expert or a great angle on a story. We’ve mentioned HelpAReporter.com (HARO), before—a free service where reporters and producers request specific interview sources and list topics they’re writing about.

We often respond to requests for a healthcare expert on HARO on behalf of our parent company, HFS Consultants. As a healthcare consulting company, HFS employs numerous experts specializing in healthcare management, operations and strategic planning.

With a brief, well-crafted email, we connect our in-house expert with the reporter, and the result is a more powerful and credible story for the publication, and more visibility and perception of expertise for our client.

Read the rest of this entry »