Caution: Don’t Let External Audiences Kidnap Your Brand!

December 1st, 2016

A fundamental principle in the world of marketing is that an organization does not control its brand. This may seem counterintuitive at first, but the truth is that the market, your current and potential customers, and consumers define your brand. You can try to influence your brand through your marketing communication efforts but, ultimately, no business can fully control the perceptions of the masses.

This is a lesson that athletic shoe company New Balance recently learned — and is still learning — the hard way. Read the rest of this entry »

Is There Such a Thing as Negative Publicity? We Think So.

November 29th, 2016

We’ve all heard the old adage “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” The rationale for this is that even if the portrayal of your brand or organization is negative, you’re still getting your name out there. But let’s be realistic. Nobody wants negative publicity. Even if it does mean getting your name out there, it really can be quite bad.

There’s no magic bullet to make bad publicity simply go away once it happens. Still, there is a simple formula to deal with negative publicity. Read the rest of this entry »

Making Friends With Finance

November 10th, 2016

MentorIt’s not uncommon for the finance and marketing functions to be at loggerheads in the office. Whether it’s about the wisdom of embarking on an expensive new marketing effort or finance professionals refusing to share the praise for positive financials with their peers in marketing, conflicts can abound. While Lincoln Martin amusingly compares the two functions to the Starks (marketing) and Lannisters (finance), a la HBO’s Game of Thrones, it generally isn’t the case that finance people don’t like or trust marketing people. It’s often an issue of poor communication. Marketers are in a good position to leverage their communications skillset to help bridge that gap. Read the rest of this entry »

Two Must-Haves for a Strong Employer Brand

November 8th, 2016

Big conference roomWhen we talk about branding, we focus a lot on an organization’s corporate image, the impression the market has about its service, the quality of its leaders and key or, if a service organization, the personal touch its employees provide. These are certainly important areas of focus for branding; however, in a service-driven marketplace, employers are becoming more and more aware of the importance of human capital. From senior leaders to front line employees, organizations need to attract the best and brightest to remain competitive for the long run. There are plenty of strategies and tips for effective employer branding, but here we focus on two: Read the rest of this entry »

5 Steps to a Strong Employer Brand

November 3rd, 2016

executing your strategic plan, strategic planning, strategic communicationWe’ve written previously about the importance of employer branding and why consistency and coordination between the marketing arm and the HR arm are crucial to ensure alignment. In this post, we’re going to look at a practical, step-by-step approach to building that brand by applying some fundamental branding tips in the context of employer branding.

Generally, in working with organizations on these types of projects, the steps are: Read the rest of this entry »

Contributed Content and Thought Leadership: Two Ingredients for Great Media Coverage

November 1st, 2016

Creative business corporate work concept: tablet computer PC, modern black glossy touchscreen smartphone with news internet web site, stack of newspapers, cup or mug of fresh coffee and metal ballpoint pen on wooden office table

Marketers are often on the lookout for opportunities for free publicity, and why not? Marketing can be expensive, and it’s hard to beat free when it comes to getting bang for your buck. While some businesses have found success in outlandish publicity stunts, we certainly don’t recommend such a dramatic approach, especially for those working in more conservative industries—e.g. healthcare, financial services, etc., where so much of the organization’s focus relies on promoting an image of safety and responsibility. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still opportunities for free or inexpensive publicity, even in super conservative organizations. Here are a few tips we and our clients have had steady success with: Read the rest of this entry »

Crisis Management in a Digital World

October 27th, 2016

Public Relations word cloudAt Strategic Communications, we are firm believers in the value of social media and online publicity for any. It’s a huge part of what we do and what we advise our clients to do. While the impact of social media can be overwhelmingly positive, there are occasionally situations that can be extremely damaging to the reputation and livelihood of an organization. We’re talking, of course, about the dreaded social media crisis. Read the rest of this entry »

Building Your Digital Marketing Team

October 25th, 2016

MentorDigital marketing is a key aspect of any organization’s marketing mix. As digital marketing grows to represent a greater proportion of your marketing mix, at some point you’ll need to start thinking about splitting up the digital marketing responsibilities among multiple employees. Below we look at some tips and strategies for putting together an effective digital marketing team for your organization. Read the rest of this entry »

Networking in the Digital Age

October 23rd, 2016

It simply can’t be overstated just how important networking is for business professionals. But, in an increasingly online world, the game has changed significantly from the days of handing out business cards at cocktail parties. Here we explore the concept of online business marketing. Read the rest of this entry »

Get These Two Things Right For Effective Content Marketing

October 20th, 2016

content marketing, writing content, writing, copywriting, Content Marketing Institute, CMI, Joe PulizziContent marketing has been a hot topic in recent years, and it’s an area Strategic Communications has been engaged in for some time. We have written about and given presentations on content marketing frequently, most frequently for EContent Magazine.  This June, we gave a presentation on strategic content marketing at the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) annual international conference in New Orleans.

As we talk with others about content marketing, we’re often surprised that many mistakenly think of content marketing as a business-to-consumer strategy; however, it’s also an important tool for business-to-business (B2B) strategy as well.

So, what exactly is content marketing? Read the rest of this entry »