Posts by Greg Surber

The two things to drive success for your marketing and PR efforts

Like so much other advice, one of the best tips for an organization launching any sort of marketing or PR campaign is quite simple, yet at times, deceivingly difficult – define and differentiate. Let’s quickly explain both. Define involves clearly articulating who you are, what you do and whom you serve. Differentiate explains how your organization is different (and better) from your competitors. It might seem like basic advice, but it’s a step that often is rushed, fumbled or overlooked altogether. It isn’t necessarily because of negligence. Virtually every CEO, CMO, VP (you get the point) has an intimate understanding …

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FOIA in the Age of Ephemeral Communication (Snapchat and Instagram Stories)

“’Cause we are living in an ephemeral world, and I am an ephemeral…” OK, maybe we stop there. But in all seriousness, ephemeral communication – meaning communication lasting for a short time (e.g., Snapchat, Instagram Stories) – is becoming more and more common. People, particularly younger demographics, love the idea of sending messages and content that disappears after a day or less. In fact, teenagers prefer Snapchat over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter combined. If you’re a brand targeting teenagers, such as a university perhaps, you might be rushing to sign up for a Snapchat profile if you don’t already have …

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Why you should always give your social media videos subtitles

One of the biggest challenges facing anyone in PR or marketing is figuring out how to break through the noise to reach your customers. That’s why we’re all constantly keeping an eye out for the next big thing that people still find inherently interesting and different, which for the last year on social media has been video. Why the sudden increase? Two main reasons: 1.) it’s getting easier and cheaper to produce high-quality video content, and 2.) social networks like Facebook have made it easier to post and share videos on their platforms. It’s working too. Video content has a …

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Why (and how) you should be converting your video subtitles to blog posts

Arguably the most common challenge facing any organization implementing a content marketing strategy is developing enough content to “feed the engine.” Blog posts – like this one – are great content tools to drive traffic to your website. But they aren’t always the easiest to write – whether because of writer’s block or simply not enough hours in the day. Slice the turkey! We’re big believers in getting the most mileage out of your content and finding ways to divide and repurpose larger pieces like an e-book and white paper into a series of accompanying blogs posts, social updates, etc. …

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Online Video Content – Immediacy Versus Quality

For many veteran videographers, production quality was (and still is) sacrosanct. Any deviation from this was subject to screaming, projectiles, public ridicule – you get the idea. But part of this belief stemmed from the extreme disparity in cameras and sound equipment. The end product could look and sound horrendous or professionally done, without much for anything in between. Over the last decade though, the average smartphone is now capable of capturing video that rivals the most expensive cameras from a generation ago. Not only that, but people’s expectations for video content has changed. Some of the most shared and …

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PR may be becoming more like marketing, but that shouldn’t change our strategy

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the merging of public relations and marketing.* Even here at Hodges, some of our most successful work over the past few years has been for those clients who’ve charged us with identifying leads and supporting sales (ya know, kind of like marketing). Which shouldn’t be a surprise. Consumers are more jaded than ever with traditional marketing strategies, instead drawn to compelling stories and content designed to entertain and inform, rather than explicitly sell. PR pros also are relishing the fact that we finally have clear, quantifiable data that can illustrate our successes, …

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The (Mobile) Medium IS the Message

It’s been over 50 years since Marshall McLuhan famously stated, “The medium is the message,” kicking off countless arguments about whether that’s true. It’s my impression that as PR people, we have a bias toward the message. But technology’s rapid evolution, especially the past few years, has dramatically impacted how we communicate, tipping the scales toward the medium. Arguably the biggest example of this – the proliferation of mobile devices. Increase of mobile devices At first, smartphones were a secondary means for accessing the internet. Great for a quick check-in while you’re out and about, but definitely not the preferred …

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Sharing is Caring: Why you should add internal comms into your social media strategy

Are you one of the 91% of businesses on social media? Probably so. Here’s an important question you may not have asked yourself: Should you make your employees part of your social comms strategy? There’s a good chance you’re thinking a definitive “no.” But there are two trends that may make you reconsider your answer. Employees don’t know what’s going on in the company In the early days of social media, most businesses took a strong anti-employee participation stance with their social strategy. The problem is, the ways in which people prefer to receive news is changing – and that …

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You’ve got (owned and digital content) questions, we’ve got answers (or at least witty banter)

Measurement and public relations haven’t always been the best bedfellows. Advertising value equivalency was long heralded as the go-to metric for media relations, only to be debunked later by PR scholars. Even when the impact of a positive news story could be measured, in terms of reputation building, for example, it always was difficult not to be outshone by marketing, who could more clearly make the connection between their efforts and sales – the ultimate objective for many executives and managers. We knew our work mattered and was making a difference, but it wasn’t necessarily easy to demonstrate that to …

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The EOP Era of Public Relations

Public relations is, to some degree, always changing. There’s always some new tool or technique to stay ahead of the curve. But every so often, these changes are so severe, or culminate in a way, that they force us to alter the strategy and counsel we provide to clients, bosses and even each other. The rise of social and digital media, and concurrently, the changing nature of the traditional media landscape, is one such example. As Josh discussed in his previous post, public relations used to involve a lot of grunt work, all directed to encourage reporters to cover your …

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