Posts by Josh Dare

Staying on brand in your content marketing strategy

This will likely expose my nerdiness – to the extent that it already hasn’t been widely exposed – but I’m not one of those people who uses social media to stay abreast of my favorite celebrities. Although I will confess to following Michael Palin – wait, that’s now Sir Michael Palin – on Facebook, there’s not much else. I don’t see what famous people are opining about on Twitter. I have scant interest in seeing the latest red carpet fashions on Instagram. And I subscribe to just a single, solitary channel on YouTube. And that’s where my nerdiness comes in. …

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Changing Careers to PR: A Tactical Approach

I talk to a lot of young people who are interested in finding a job in public relations. They typically fall into two buckets. There are the recent graduates, wide-eyed and earnest, who really just need to catch a break and find that entry-level opening. If they’re lucky, they have some PR-related internships under their belt, and I have a personal prejudice toward those who wrote for their college newspapers, although, sad to say, that is a rarity these days. But between their degree in communications and some extra-curricular experience in public relations, they ultimately just need to find that …

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The third degree: How to use third-party content to boost your content strategy

An effective content marketing strategy is largely built on creating original content that projects your organization’s expertise and experience in ways that resonate with your target audiences. The foundation for such a program is typically laid brick by brick through regular blog posts. And as the contractor, you can build your blogging strategy as you see fit, showcasing the various parts of your business that highlight your knowledge and skill in your line of business. As long as you refrain from being too salesy, you can go a long way toward building your reputation and market position on the back …

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Marketing’s Age-Old Question: Advertising or Public Relations?

Of all the venerable questions – paper vs. plastic? the chicken or the egg? Ginger or Mary Ann? – the one that marketers struggle with most is whether to invest marketing dollars in advertising or public relations. Driving awareness through traditional advertising There was a time, not all that long ago, when the answer was more clear-cut. If you needed a campaign to drive awareness by hitting target audiences with a sustained frequency, then advertising was the way to go. Your only limit to reaching your prospective buyers was the depth of your pockets, and if they were deep enough, …

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Need a Communications Audit? Answer These 10 Questions to Find Out

I get excited about preliminary meetings with prospective clients. It’s not so much the possibility of helping solve their communications challenges – though I love that – but I like hearing folks tell us their story – how they were founded, what they do better than their competitors, how they came up with their latest big idea? Inevitably, layered within that story are varying degrees of uncertainty. How can we do a better job at communicating who we are to our important constituencies, including sales prospects? How do we make the best use of our limited budget? What should our …

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The College Admissions Scandal: A Lesson in Reputation Management

I was on a long car trip a couple weeks back with an old college friend, and as the miles rolled by, we got a chance to share our perspectives on the issues of the day. He’s among my smartest friends (I tell him he’s easily in the “Top 50”) and works as an international consultant advising technology companies about go-to-market strategies. Like me, he stays up on the news, and despite the fact that we live 3,000 miles from one another, we seem to share common wisdom on many issues. When the topic came to the recent college admissions …

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Writing Woes: The Losing Side of a Particular Punctuation Point

And Now This Important Communications Issue: The Exclamation Point

My eyes caught an article online the other day that included this sentence: “Officials also stated that an innocent 35-year-old passerby who found himself caught up in a long-winded dispute over use of the serial, or Oxford, comma had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.” My first reaction was, “damn, so it’s come to that.” I know many people whose ardor toward their preferred rules of grammar and usage is consummate. But it’s hard to believe such passions would end so tragically. Only upon reading further did I realize I was hoodwinked again by a satirical piece from The Onion. …

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Blocking Critics on Facebook Is Not Just Illegal, It’s Bad Business

More than a few years back, we had a client that had an aversion to social media. A small government agency, it was intrigued by the idea of being able to post its news directly to its constituencies on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. After all, such tools were changing – and have changed – the face of public relations and put several target-seeking arrows into the PR quiver. But when the agency realized that citizens would be able to comment on its otherwise oh-so-positive news, it put on the brakes, recoiling over the prospect of John Q. Public not …

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My Take: The Most Influential Marketers of 2018

With apologies to Weiden + Kennedy, whose Nike spot featuring Colin Kaepernick was no doubt the most talked-about spot in 2018, my choice for marketer of the year reflects a strategy that is older than marketing itself and yet has now reached such a critical mass and level of sophistication that it’s difficult to point to anything else that is as effective. I’m talking about influencers. Influencers, of course, have been around for a long time. Asking your friends and neighbors for a recommendation on a plumber or cat food or a financial planner, that’s leaning on them as an …

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PR at Its Core: Actions over Words

Anyone who has received an email from me may have noticed a rather abstruse quote as part of my email signature. It’s an observation by T.S. Eliot in which he asserts that “Being is intelligible only in terms of becoming.” I like it for two reasons. First, it’s derivative enough to demand that you ponder it a bit, like good poets are wont to do. But perhaps more importantly, I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment, which if you were to reduce it to a bumper sticker basically means “you are what you do.” That’s really the essence of public relations. …

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