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22nd February 2013

A Good Content Marketing Case Study


If you’re wondering if all the time and expense it takes to produce free content to market your product or service works,  this case study recently posted on Forbes.com should lay that to rest once and for all.

ProjectManager.com started in 2008, they now have 10,000 paying customers and they’re projected to own 80% of the market by 2015.  I think it’s working!

What did they do right?   CEO Jason Westland says it can be summed up in two words: content marketing.

“We gained 250,000 emails by giving away lots of free resources on our website,” says Westland. “We then built the largest “Project Management LinkedIn Group” in the World and pushed our social presence on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. We now have 500,000+ Project Managers follow us socially every day.”

His successful plan is no secret –

  • Establish a community/lay the foundation
  • Develop your content
  • Create a strategy to publish your content
  • Pull it all together to see how your content can lead to new sales
  • And of course never forget about your existing customers

And as brands realize the strength of content in the marketing mix, online newsrooms are becoming more than just a PR archive for press releases. You need a place to “pull it all together” and make it easy to find and share.  A place to house whitepapers, webinars, videos, images, infographics, articles, tips, blog posts, tweets.  A good newsroom will service more than just journalists today – it should meet also the needs of bloggers, investors, analysts, prospective customers and anyone interested in the latest content from your brand.

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20th February 2013

Online Newsrooms are a Key Part of Content Strategy


Lisa Buyer’s recent article in CommPro.biz makes an excellent case for the corporate online newsroom to become a real resource for the media, blogggers, investors and the public.

“Newsrooms – if done right – can be an excellent source for new content. However, in this renewed age of content marketing, it can’t just be the press releases. Whatever content gets put up has to be compelling enough for people to want to share. It should not simply report facts, but should have some sort of human element explaining what this news means to the target audience.”
– Quote from Thom Craver https://twitter.com/thomcraver

To help drive traffic, marketers are now shifting their priorities to inbound marketing efforts like creating effective content such as such as blogs, webinars, white papers and press releases according to MarketingSherpa’s eighth annual benchmark report. All this content can be housed effectively in a social online newsroom so that it can be easily found, used or shared.

Take a look at how the city of Newport Beach, CA is doing it.


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14th February 2013

Top Company Newsrooms Still Get a “D”

Although 98% of the top 100 firms have an online newsroom, it seems that too often it is one of the check-marked actions that then gets forgotten.  The 2013 Online Newsroom  report from My Newsdesk reveals that more than a third (35%) don’t keep their newsroom content up to date.

Just having a newsroom is not enough.  You have to keep it constantly updated with content that will be interesting and useful to bloggers, the media, investors and the public.  While most firms keep their press releases current, many leave annual reports, staff bios and product listings to stagnate.

Although the media is demanding more visual content with news releases, and research shows that adding visual can get as much as 9.7X more views on a release, 70% of the top 100 do not provide any images or video with their releases.  The members of the media panel at the PR News Media Relations Summit in December all said multimedia with a release would significantly increase the chances of the release being picked up.  A Media Bistro editor recently advised PR people to “Always think multimedia.”

The report shows that only half (51%) of the newsrooms surveyed provide video content and 40% had no image library. That’s not the whole problem though – the other half that have video and images don’t provide them in a format that’s easy for the media to use.

Other findings from the survey include:

– 21% of brands used newsrooms to provide additional content such as related news, advice and blog links;

– 26% fail to provide contact details in the newsroom;

– 45% fail to provide contact details within a press release;

– 70% do not offer an email alert service;

– 39% of newsrooms have no search option.

Back in 2004 usability expert Jakob Nielsen said corporate America only rated a “D” in PR because the online newsrooms of the Fortune 500 did not meet the needs of the media. We don’t seem to have made any headway at all.

How do you get an A in PR with your newsroom?  David Armano of Edelman Digital has some sound ideas about the need for a social online newsroom.


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24th December 2012

The State of Content Marketing in the UK for 2013

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22nd December 2012

BtoB firms embrace content marketing

BotB companies are embracing content marketing.  Curata’s “B2B Marketing Trends 2012 Report” found that 87% of US B2B marketers have used content marketing this year—the most popular tactic of any queried. That was up 5 percentage points from usage levels in 2011, impressive considering the already-high level of interest in content marketing.

Creating original content is number one on the list of content challenges, followed by the time to do it and then finding great content to curate.

A good online newsroom can alleviate some of these challenges.  It saves time, makes posting and curating quick and easy and has Google analytics installed to help you track results.

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20th November 2012

The Social-Creative Online Newsroom

David Armano of Edelman Digital wrote a great post about the need for brands to become publishers and explained the need for a social-creative online newsroom as part of that process.

“If your company doesn’t have the above model in place a year from now, you may regret it.  It’s all going to come down to this: content, quality, frequency and relevancy.  If companies are to become media, they must master the art and science of merging marketing with a real-time news cycle,” said Armano in this article.


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6th November 2012

Visual Storytelling

There  have been a slew of articles recently about tips to improve your content marketing.  And indeed, marketers are embracing the idea of using content as a marketing tool.

Using stories to spread the brand message is not a new idea for PR people though. It’s been a core part of PR for decades.

What is new is the need for visual material to expand and enhance the story. Rebecca Lieb, author of Content Marketing: think like a Publisher and an analyst at the Altimeter Group has this to say:

“PR professionals have a natural aptitude for storytelling, but primarily their skills are more written-word than technologically based. Research we – and others – have recently conducted indicates strongly that brands are enthusiastically ramping up their content marketing initiatives. However PRs are competing with advertising agencies for this business, and agencies are proficient in technology, design, video and other forms of digital storytelling that matter a lot to marketers.

A study I conducted earlier this year demonstrates that brands are de-emphasizing the written word in favor of infographics, images, and video. In other words, visual storytelling.

This requires a skill shift in PR. Learn visual storytelling, which necessitates both tactical skills and understanding of graphic design and video.”

So as facile as we may be with the written-word – and many PR thought leaders  still emphasize the need to be able to write well –  if you’re keeping your PR eye on the technological ball you will also learn these new skills needed for visual storytelling.

Once you are producing visuals with your stories and news content make sure you have an online newsroom that can display it all in the format the media prefers and the public can easily share.


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15th October 2012

Modern Media Relations


The news and media landscape has been turned on its head in the last ten years. Newsrooms no longer operate like they used to.  Journalists have to cover several beats, watch feeds of related stories online, troll social media, find sources and then produce multimedia assets with every story. See this story about Andy Carvin of NPR and how he reports the news.

This is a marvelous opportunity for savvy companies that can see the possibilities of a collaborative media relations model.  Here’s how it is done.

  1. Do an audit of all the people in your firm who have expertise in a particular area.
  2. Create a database of experts and their topics of content.
  3. Post this list in your newsroom.
  4. Refine your media list – find the journalists and bloggers who write about those topics.
  5. Identify stories that these media outlets might be interested in developing.
  6. Put together a team that can investigate and develop the story, with supporting images, graphics, slide shows, videos that would make this story come alive.
  7. Pitch the idea to the journalists and offer your experts and your team to help them craft the story with killer multimedia assets.
  8. Add a ‘story ideas’ section to your newsroom, with elements of news stories that could be developed this way.

The new media landscape may be radically different, but it is filled with amazing PR opportunities.

To learn more and hear examples register for our next webinar


Space is limited.
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10th October 2012

HowSocial Networks Influence Travel Purchase Decisions (Infographic)

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12th September 2012

Content Marketing World – Lessons learned

This year’s Content Marketing World conference was held last week in Columbus, OH and many of the socialmedia stars were there.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

From Jason Miller of Marketo:
Only 36% of businesses believe their content marketing is effective. Back in the day advertisers used to lament that they knew only 50% of their advertising was working, they just didn’t know which 50%.   So while marketers are hot for content marketing, two thirds of them are flying blind.

I’d be prepared to bet that the 36% who are effective base their content on research and have a solid content strategy

CMI founder Joe Pulizzi went over the CMIs report highlights:

  • 54% of businesses plan to increase spending on content marketing over the next 12 months. (Let’s hope they get a content strategy in place first, so that they have a plan in place before they spend the $$$)
  • Businesses are still struggling to find a process that works and to gain C-level buy in. (If they can show the ROI there will be no problem getting C-level buy-in.  The C-suite wants to see’ beans for beans’)
  • The biggest challenge content marketers face is producing enough content, followed closely by producing the kind of content that engages. (Producing enough content can be resolved by finding an excellent and affordable resource to help you produce content.   A sound content strategy based on listening to the right conversations will tell you what content will spark engagement)

It is surprising to me that no-one spoke about delivery and distribution of the content as a key takeaway. Looking at write ups about the speakers, I don’t see anything about delivery and distribution of the content there either.  Producing content is obviously the first step.  Then you have to deliver it.  You can post it on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. But putting all your content on a content hub on your own website is something that is being overlooked. The Washington Post listed not having a content hub as one of the top 10 mistakes companies make in social media.

Turn your online newsroom into a true content hub.





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