Managing Remote Staff: The Two Most Important Things You Need to Know

December 28th, 2020

I’ve been interested in telecommuting – or what is more commonly these days referred to as remote work – for many years now. My interest prompted me to research and write a book on telecommuting in 1991. Having worked as a freelance business journalist for a long time, while also employed full-time as director of corporate communications in the education, energy, and healthcare industries, I had worked remotely with a variety of editors for many years. Why couldn’t I also work remotely as a corporate communications director for companies in other locations? Read the rest of this entry »

Communication Lessons From COVID That Will Last Long Past the Pandemic

December 19th, 2020

It’s fair to say that few, if any, companies—or their communication staff—were prepared to respond quickly and appropriately to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As millions of employees suddenly found themselves working remotely from their homes and millions of customers found themselves suddenly shut off from the companies and brands they typically engaged with, communication professionals began grappling with important questions, including the following: Read the rest of this entry »

Following the Trends in Influencer Marketing

November 27th, 2020

While it may seem like it’s a 21st-century thing, influencer marketing has been around since the early 20th century. One of the earliest influencers was Santa Claus, a character modernized and reinvented by Coca-Cola. Today’s influencers tend to be real people—PewDiePie, Logan Paul, Zoella, and others—many who leapt to fame thanks to the wide reach of social media channels, such as YouTube and Instagram. But influencers today come in a lot of forms depending on the target audience. Business-es, products, and services of all types leverage the audience, reach, and endorsement power of influencers to grow awareness and preference for what they have to offer. Read the rest of this entry »

Content IS King – Regardless of Who Said It!

November 24th, 2020

While there’s a debate about where the phrase “content is king” originally emerged, Bill Gates is widely given credit for the phrase and wrote what Fox Business calls a “remarkably prescient piece” back in 1996 in which he “accurately foresaw the content boom years before Google, WordPress, Facebook and YouTube even existed.” The rest, of course, is history.

Organizations of all kinds have jumped on the content bandwagon, recognizing that the trusted relationships they have with patients puts them in a prime position to share content on a wide range of topics of interest to, and representing value for, their audiences.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Blurred Lines Between PR, Marketing and Advertising

November 13th, 2020

There’s a raging — and quite interesting — debate that I continue to see taking place in various online forums about the relationship between PR and marketing. I’ve found it especially interesting because I recently was engaged in the same debate while teaching PR courses at a local university. Surprisingly to me, there is a group that believes quite strongly that PR is not part of marketing: that it is a separate and distinctly different function within an organization.

Frankly, that’s just “crazy talk” to me. Read the rest of this entry »

Communication Best Practices Learned From COVID-19

November 11th, 2020

Communication Best Practices During COVID-19It’s fair to say that few, if any companies—or their communication staff—were prepared to respond quickly and appropriately to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, a pandemic that has swept the world and decimated lives and economies.

As millions of employees suddenly found themselves working remotely from their homes and millions of customers found themselves suddenly shut off from the companies and brands they typically engaged with, communication professionals found themselves grappling with important questions:

  • How do we continue to communicate with a suddenly dispersed audience?
  • How do we find the right balance between standard key messages and the need to address the ravages of the virus for employees, customers and the community at large?
  • How do we strike the tone—certainly not too flippant, but also not too alarmist?

There have been some important communication lessons to be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. We asked content marketers to share their key takeaways—what has worked well for them, what hasn’t, and how the experience will shape their communications for months, maybe years, to come. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Demonstrate Your Productivity When Working Remotely

November 2nd, 2020

I’ve been thinking a lot about remote work lately. Not only because of the coronavirus, and not only because I’ve been working from home since 2008, but because my new book “Managing Remote Staff: Capitalize on Work-from-Home Productivity” was released by Self-Counsel Press, a publisher I’ve written a number of books for.

I received a lot of input for the book from both those who manage remote staff and those who work remotely. Some have been doing this for a number of years; others only since the pandemic emerged and changed the work landscape forever. Companies have historically been hesitant to allow employees to work from locations other than their official workplaces. This is true for a variety of reasons, many revolving around trust, concerns about communication, and the ubiquitous concern managers have of being able to successfully manage employees when they are “out of sight, out of mind.”

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The 3 C’s of Marketing and STP: How they Align

October 29th, 2020
The 3 C’s of Marketing (company, customers and competitors)  is a popular model used to help businesses and marketers develop marketing strategies by encouraging them to think about their customers and what they value, what they have to offer that address what customers value/need, and what others (competitors) are offering. It’s a model that also aligns very well with another three-pronged marketing approach: segmenting, targeting, and positioning.

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Email Subject Lines: It’s Not Rocket Science, But It Is Important

October 26th, 2020

Like many things we see all of the time, email subject lines are easy to overlook, especially when drafting them. Too often, though, copywriters, content marketers, and others fail to give enough thought to their email subject lines. They’re an afterthought. Something quickly thrown together and easily overlooked, not only by those writing them but those seeing them in their email inboxes! And that’s the problem.

Fail to pay enough attention to your email subject lines and your audience will too. Read the rest of this entry »

Top Tips for Getting Media Exposure Through HARO/Profnet

October 21st, 2020
Many of the clients we work with are interested in getting media coverage to help establish themselves as thought leaders and build their reputations in a variety of fields. The good news is that it’s much easier these days to get coverage than it used to be, although the PR landscape has changed considerably since the days of sending out news releases via snail mail, calling reporters, and having limited outlets for exposure.

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