Does your PR background help when it comes to content marketing?

This is a question I asked myself when I took a job within a content marketing agency, just over 5 months ago. I now feel like I know the answer and therefore decided  to share my thoughts.

Content marketing is the talk of the town, the cherry on the cake or some may say the future of Marketing. I read an article recently that was all about what we could expect from content marketing in 2016 and one of the main points covered the rise of thought leadership. I asked myself  the question – Well is this new? PR professionals have been ghost writing on behalf of clients for a very long time or media training authoritative figures looking to voice their opinion.

Although PR is usually poking out of the ‘traditional’ marketing bin, it also plays an invaluable role when it comes to content marketing. Why? well take this as an example: you have produced an Infographic that ticks all the boxes of the client brief. Great work! It’s now probably going to be uploaded to a page on a website hidden within the main website and nobody will find it, (apart from the google bots of course).

PR people remind content teams to focus on the public. What stories are the most interesting? How are current events shaping our industry, and where can we get involved to tie in with trends? By working collaboratively, PR brains can bring fresh insights, creative angles, and a greater perspective of the public into content marketing production. A PR’s goal is to share a story that is so compelling that members of the media eagerly want to publish the story on their front page. If content marketers crafted equally powerful stories for owned media channels, consumers would eat it up.The distribution vehicles may vary, but the results are the same – good stories that engage your targeted audiences.

Brands are now realising they can also be publishers themselves, so this means they produce news- worthy or thought provoking articles that gain attention. Who are the best people to make this work? Those with a PR brain tend to be able to come up with creative and unique ideas that are sure to gain attention, or know exactly how to work with influencers so that the content spreads further.

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From my own understanding, content marketers are obviously good at thinking about the end goal and taking people through a ‘marketing funnel’ and PR professionals are the ones who can see the ‘bigger picture’ and possibly reach ‘blue sky’ ideas without thinking about the dollar value.

As Jo Swan from Chocolate PR in the UK recently pointed out “Some marketeers, who are largely data and ad centred, believe that PR can take too much effort to generate ‘earned’ media, so better to just pay for exposure instead (Some content marketers prefer to create content, then pay for it to get featured via advertising, but here you lose what content marketing is supposed to be about and the credibility that could be gained through PR).

With figures showing that 66%* of UK marketeers see producing engaging content as their top challenge, PR and content marketing may have just established their relationship.

The website AWOL is a great example of a brand using their own online publication to speak to an audience. Qantas, decided they needed something that would provide thought-provoking and engaging content to appeal to Millennials.

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Westpac have caught on and started doing the same. With the Cusp

The cusp

What I am trying to say here, is, if you work in PR or if you work in content marketing, don’t rub the two off against each other because in my opinion, they support each other and the collaboration should be embraced.

All examples are from Australia but please feel free to share your examples with me in the comments below.

 

 

 

Adel de Meyer is a solution-orientated problem solver, digital marketing evangelist and social media specialist. Adel works closely with entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to identify opportunities within social media and how to use tools like Hootsuite to bring it all together.

I was very excited when she agreed to answer my questions on all things Blab.

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When did you start using Blab and how long have you been on it?

45 Days today – 30 Sep 2015

How does it differ from a Google Hangout?

Blab is different to Google Hangouts in many ways. I guess for me the most important part, it is the ease of use you have with Blab. I’ve experienced countless technical issues with Google hangouts and I gave up on using it for business. Now Blab has come along and it is welcomed by all with open arms.

Other things I love about Blab:

  1. Community interaction – anyone can join in on a seat and the comments and questions section works wonderfully when it comes to keeping viewers engaged.
  2. Hardly any bugs, although still in Beta mode and the Blab team helps out with any issues, listening to the users and improving it based on feedback.I can’t say the same for Google Hangouts.
  3. Great schedule and subscribe features – also better notifications that go out to your following when you are live.
  4. Easy control options to boot or block users – you can also swap seats and recently made available, hand over control of your Blab to another host.
Is it important to use the correct keywords when starting a Blab?

I would recommend trying to always use a relevant hashtag for your show and for your brand. The ‘Tell a bird’ function sends the Blab info directly to Twitter for others to find and subscribe or join in. So think about your Title!

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Do you get a lot of people joining in for Blabs and beers? (love this idea)

Yes, #BlabsAndBeers is starting to grow in popularity as we have a lot of regulars now joining us every Friday afternoon at 4PM AEST. My social media fans enjoy the fact that they can see me in a very relaxed atmosphere outside of work too, so a lot of them jump in to say hello if they get a chance.

We are going to do some more marketing and targeting in Australia soon as we are thinking of creative ways we can involve either sponsors or special guests. We are working on a website too so watch this space.

On Twitter we are @blabsandbeers. Show hosts are:

  • Adel de Meyer (me)
  • James Sutherland
  • Andre le Porte

We are all entrepreneurs and are based in Brisbane Australia :-)

What has been your most favourite conversation so far during BlabsAndBeers?

Wow I think each episode has a favourite for the day. We have tons of laughs and learn so much from each others experiences and happenings around Australia. Stories from other countries are just hilarious too. I enjoy learning about the different beers people enjoy drinking as we always discuss this as a topic during the show.

What would be your number one tip for a marketer looking to try out Blab?

First, research. Go on the platform and join in on other Blabs. Test and see what it is all about, learn the Blab etiquette and then understand how it can fit into your clients business needs. This is a very social platform and you can get really creative with it – Figure out how you can involve the community and keep their attention for longer than 5 minutes. I am seeing some great Blabs already that cover training, education and entertainment over Blab. Even teaching sign language to viewers.

How do you feel about live streaming in general? Concerned about privacy?

I absolutely love live streaming! I fell in love the moment Meerkat came out although other live streaming apps were available long before, it just never caught attention as much as Meerkat and Periscope – NOW Blab is another big player in this field. I think live streaming will change a few things in terms of marketing, social media and connectivity over the next two years.

I personally feel if anyone is concerned about privacy they shouldn’t use social media or live streaming apps, because you will never be ‘private’ on the internet – it is called social media not me media :-)

What does the future hold for live streaming?

I think the future of live streaming has some challenges around data and connection speeds globally. Live streaming uses a lot of bandwidth and for a lot of countries internet speeds are slow and the cost of data is expensive. Even right here in Australia we have issues with terrible download speeds and data costing a fortune. So I think until global connectivity issues are improved the uptake of live streaming will be slower than other platforms like Instagram or Facebook.

With that said, I think we are going to see some great uses of live streaming by big brands, individuals and companies. Live streaming is a great way to instantly and personally connect with your clients, customers, fans and followers.

Can’t wait to see how this is going to shape the marketing industry!

Have you ever made an error on social media that you regret?

Uhm, no not at all! *rolling eyes and grin*

follow on blab

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week my news feed has been full of stories about Facebook’s rumoured dislike button finally becoming an option. Speaking at the company’s latest Town Hall Q and A session, held at Facebook HQ in California, Mark Zuckerberg announced they were looking at allowing users to express their feelings about a post that isn’t necessarily positive, using another option rather than simply “liking” it.

“Not every moment is a good moment. If you share something that’s sad, like a refugee crisis that touches you or a family member passes away, it may not be comfortable to like that post… I do think it’s important to give people more options than liking it.” Zuckerberg said.

However back in December last year, Zuckerberg also said that they were conscious a dislike button may provoke voting mechanisms and possibly lead to trolling. So we are not 100% clear if the button will simply be a thumbs down or some kind of icon that symbolises empathy and concern. There is a risk that a dislike button could completely change the positivity within Facebook and obscure its purpose.

Let’s face it. if you had the option to dislike those really annoying facebook statuses, would you?

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I also think a dislike button could encourage negative sentiment when it comes to brand pages and fan groups. As soon as a customer dislikes something, the conversation will be opened up to why so? and what can we do about it?. This means community managers will need to pay more attention and be ready to react if a number of dislikes are apparent on one post.

I reached out to a couple of social media experts to get their opinion.

Donna Moritz from Socially Sorted says;

“The more I think about it a “dislike button” is just asking for trouble: “I prefer the idea of an “empathy button” or a simple “hug” or “heart” to express compassion when a story or post is sad. But I think that if a dislike button it widely available on every post, it wouldn’t take long for it to be used in a negative way. I wonder if it would eventually end up just like YouTube’s like/dislike feature, with the negativity leaking into the comments. I guess we won’t know until they experiment.. and if all else fails use an emoticon!”

Madalyn Sklar, Social Media Power Influencer in Houston, says;

“I think we need more options to express ourselves aside from the singular “like” button. However a “dislike” button could cause rampant negativity throughout the Facebook platform. I think that will be a major turnoff for lots of people once it’s in place. It will be interesting to see the outcome from Facebook’s decision.”

It’s apparent that we all agree, something new is needed to enable us to express our opinions on Facebook but at the same time it comes with a risk. Users of the most popular social media site could start to feel uneasy and not only dislike the idea but start DISLIKING Facebook and its ways altogether.

It will be interesting to see what happens next and what other changes are install for Facebook this year.

 

A big thanks to Donna Moritz and Madalyn Sklar for your valuable contributions to this post.

When I first arrived in Sydney, I was desperately trying to seek PR and Social Media freelance gigs to keep me busy until I found a stable and secure job role. You would think it would be pretty straight forward within in our connected online world but I found it a lot harder than expected.  Nina Hendy is someone I have followed whist being in Australia (or you could say stalked ;-) ) as she provides fantastic advice on how to network, approach journalists and create the content people want to read.

I received an email about Nina’s new project The Freelance Collective and instantly wanted to know more. The guest post below explains why and how this community for ambitious freelances in Australia all started.

Freelancing Made Easy

Spruiking yourself as a freelancer can be difficult, not to mention expensive. Aside from that, it’s not something that comes easy to most of us.
I’ve been freelancing for more than a decade, and have a bit of experience in the delicate art of self-promotion. And it hasn’t been an easy road, let me tell you.
I started out with a decent LinkedIn profile, learning that the summary section is best used to sell your skills, while upgrading my subscription to a LinkedIn Premium account (which costs more than $700 a year) gave me the ability to see who was looking at my profile. It bought in a little work, which was great.

Upgrading my ordinary website to something more professional was the next step. While it is possible to build a site for free, it wasn’t my core strength as a journalist and wordsmith, so I made the decision to outsource this task to a website developer. It ended up costing a lot more than I thought it would, but I was thrilled with the results. It’s pretty different to what others in my field are doing, and I decided to update my red typewriter logo while I was at it.

My name and number was listed on a few sites like mUmbrella and the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance under their freelance listing section, but it only gave me the chance to list a bit of a brief blurb on what I do and my name and number, which made it pretty tough for a potential client to decide whether I was the right fit for them.

While my organic search results in Google for my name were great, I was finding it impossible to get found if someone was searching for a freelance journalist or wordsmith. So, I made some enquiries into hiring an SEO expert to help with this, who quoted close to $1000 for the work. And given I didn’t want to take a paid advert as a journalist because I didn’t think it was a good look to have to take an ad as a journalist, the SEO expert wasn’t able to give me any guarantees that they would be able to get the results I was going for.

It presented an interesting case for an entirely new approach to marketing as a freelancer, and prompted a series of video conferences with others in my network and website developers to see if the idea in my head could actually solve a massive problem for others just like me.
Why not build a place for freelancers to actually create their own profile page; tell their story in a compelling way, provide links to their social media feeds, website, and samples of their work?

A New Idea

The Freelance Collective was born, giving creative freelancers across 23 industry sectors the chance to join, and sit back and let the clients find them when they’re in the market for someone with their skills. Freelance PRs, bloggers, copywriters, photographers, website developers, journalists, editors, marketing folks and those in related fields are jumping on board, excited about the possibility of telling their story in their own words and letting the clients find them.

The other beautiful thing about The Freelance Collective is that it gives quality freelancers real visibility in a cluttered and confusing freelance market. What a freelancer ‘does’ and the service they offer can be pretty broad, after all.

Aside from that, somewhere along the line, freelancers have become a faceless economy. I believe this has come about because a client will hire a content marketing agency to create a series of blogs, for example, who will then outsource the actual writing work to a freelancer. Usually, that freelancer completes the work and sends it in to the content marketing agency, not speaking to the client at all. The problem with this is that the client forking out for an expert to write for them has absolutely no idea who actually did the work, and whether the freelance is an expert in writing about startups for example, or someone based in India who has absolutely no clue about the Australian startup scene, except for what they’ve read online.

But profile holders on The Freelance Collective are vetted to ensure they’re good quality. They also have to be based in Australia and be available for work.
We wanted to level the playing field, too, so freelancers aren’t required to add in how much they charge or where they’re based, because the best freelancer for a client based in Sydney could well be living in the back of Ballarat.

It costs $9/month to sign up to The Freelance Collective and we’ve got weekly freelance tips and advice, and a private Facebook page for profile holders to bounce around ideas, find collaborations and feel like they’re part of the freelancing community.

NinaHendy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nina Hendy is the founder of The Freelance Collective – Australia’s home for creative freelance talent.

Follow Nina on Twitter @NinaHendy

 

 

By attending events in Sydney, I’m constantly learning new things as well as meeting interesting people from all different backgrounds. I attended a Zomato meet-up last week, which is where foodies within Sydney gather together to enjoy a taste experience. Yes it’s as good as it sounds! I met a lot of new faces at this event and also bumped into the lovely Laura, who runs an Instagram account called Coffee Sydney ( a page for coffee enthusiasts wanting to find out about the best coffee of Sydney.)

Laura was keen to tell me more about her coffee adventure and below is a little interview that covers why she started and how it has grown through the power of social media.

Coffee Sydney

Why did you turn to Instagram?

Living in an age where the ubiquity of technology is somewhat overwhelming, we begin to incorporate it within our everyday lives, and it becomes a part of us. Since the age of 13, I have been an avid social media user. My teenage years were spent using MSN, Bebo, and Myspace. I then moved on to Facebook, which I still use until today. More specifically, Instagram is a platform I only started using in 2012 and has been my favourite social media platform yet. It was here that Coffee Sydney was born.

Have you always been passionate about coffee?

I have been a regular coffee drinker since 2013 (I know, only two years ago I started drinking it!) and I have been in love ever since. I have known since high school that my passion and personal interest has revolved around digital technology and media, specifically social media. To have a strong presence online is pretty much a prerequisite to enter the field of social media and digital marketing, and this is a part of the reason why I started Coffee Sydney.

Coffee new

Why Coffee Sydney?

Coffee Sydney aims at showcasing the best coffee, and the best places to drink it in Sydney, Australia. I noticed there was no Instagram that regularly presented hot coffee spots in Sydney, and so this was the perfect time for me to start. I Instagram images of coffees I purchase when I am out and about, and also regram other peoples images. I have been maintaining this account since late February 2015, and it has now reached a following of 6K+ users. I do classify myself as a coffee connoisseur, and I thoroughly enjoy running this account! I have now expanded to blogging at coffeesyd.wordpress.com, and have started using Facebook and Twitter.

As I enter my last semester of University, I am trying to create an online portfolio and profile for myself, to show that I can generate interest in the online community through my posts about Coffee. Coffee Sydney has allowed me to show I can create posts that interest other users, and shows that I understand the functioning of Instagram and other social media platforms. Coffee Sydney has further allowed me to understand Sydney’s coffee scene and be able to experience incredible opportunities I thought I would never experience. Being present online and obtaining an online identity has never been so advantageous, and I believe that through this we can network in ways that have never been done before.

What can we expect from Coffee Sydney?

Coffee Sydney is continually growing through social media, and there are endless opportunities arising for myself through these channels. I have seen this single-handedly through the exponential growth of my Instagram account, and now through my blog. Coffee Sydney is an idea that has helped me expand my presence online, and with two billion internet users, the digital world never sleeps and Coffee Sydney will always continue to grow.

Follow Laura Currie on twitter @lauracurrie_

This week I have constantly been captured by interesting campaigns and social media updates. I have selected a few of my faves to share with you in true weekly wrap up style. I am going to make it my mission to do this each week, promise!

Drones in Switzerland

If you live in Switzerland, you may shortly be receiving your post by drone. Swiss postal services are testing out drones for the next month to see how they perform during wide scale use. The postal drone that carries parcels, is made up of an extremely light construction and is capable of transporting loads of up to one kilo over more than 10 kilometres with a single battery charge. It could be another 5 years until the drones are put out into the market but this really is a glimpse into the future. Amazon talked about this idea back in 2014.

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Krispy Kreme Virtual Lickable Donuts

As Krispy Kreme will be bringing out Decadent Dessert treats – New York Cheesecake, Black Forest, Lemon Meringue, and Tiramisu, they have put together a virtual taste testing platform so that smart phone users can try before they buy.

The new “lickable” donuts advert means that you can virtually lick off the topping of the flavour that takes your fancy. Users will race against the clock to gain the fastest lick time and will be able to challenge their friends by sharing their times via social media. Hmmmm not sure about being seen licking my phone?

Big Facebook News

Facebook has updated it’s algorithm to favour video content. More videos will now be appearing in the news feed depending on your interests and how and when you watch videos. It’s the latest move in an ongoing battle for views between Facebook and other video services, primarily YouTube, and one that puts Facebook’s data capabilities to good use.They are also testing an option for video advertisers to pay only once their ad has been viewed for at least 10 seconds, on a ‘cost-per-view’ basis.

Small Facebook News

Facebook makes a tiny tiny tiny change to the friends logo.

Facebook’s design manager made an ever so slight changes to the Facebook ‘friends’ icon that we all see in the top right hand corner of the homepage. This was due to a chip on the ladies shoulder (excuse the pun) a dodgy hair doo and the fact that the female icon was hidden by the male. All is equal, bring her forward I say.

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Thoughts on the change?

 

 

 

Users head to Voat from Reddit

Reddit users have become fed up with the recent changes CEO Ellen Pao has made and the recent firing of talent director, Victoria Taylor. Analytics show that a new platform called Voat has seen a huge increase in traffic. Voat operates very similar to Reddit but it seems like they offer more freedom for people to voice their opinions.

David Beckham catches a ball at Wimbledon and everyone goes crazy

My favourite bit of social media goodness was only brought to my attention this morning, when the most charming and fairly good-looking man ;-) used his quick reflexes to catch a ball during a game at Wimbledon yesterday. David Beckham was spotted looking very pleased with himself and the crowd go crazy with an instant round of applause taking place. Nice one Becks.

Watch the video below:

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