Posts by Josh Dare

Our web traffic is up almost 50%. Here’s why.

One of the sometimes painful manifestations of the digital age is that it has forced we public relations types to do math. For decades we bemoaned the fact that there was no real empirical way to measure the impact of our work (except for circulation numbers which always seemed contrived and now quaintly anachronistic). Mostly, we operated under the assumption that the more people who were reading or seeing your story, the better it was…at least generally speaking. In short, we made do. But now, we have numbers. We can measure all manner of interaction with the fruits of our …

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Pandemic already changing how we communicate

I connected recently with a professional acquaintance with whom I hadn’t spoken for at least a year. In my email, I suggested that we catch up by phone, and he countered by saying that he’d send me a Zoom link so that we could converse like the Jetsons used to – face to face but from a distance. The exchange struck me as one manifestation from the coronavirus that is already changing how we interact with one another. The cameras in our cellphones and laptops have quickly replaced conference calls. And I suspect that change is likely here to stay. …

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Media relationships: Regret and responsibility during a pandemic

It’s been painful to sit ringside to so much hurt around us. Not just the coronavirus patients and their families. Not only the government leaders struggling with no-win decisions and confronting unprecedented and agonizing budgetary choices in the months ahead. But all those experiencing the brute-force whammy on the economic front. Layoffs. Furloughs. Businesses shuttering, perhaps for good. What makes so much of it especially heartbreaking is our sense of guilt that, so far (knock on wood), our agency has felt little impact from the pandemic. Of course, we are all working remotely, and our morning staff meetings are now …

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Media relations in the time of COVID

We’re in unchartered territory. Or so they say. For those of us who toil in the trenches of media relations – and who are old enough to painfully remember that there was a short-lived “Friends” spinoff called “Joey” – this moment in our nation’s history has an eerie déjà vu quality to it. I’m referring to the weeks if not months following 9-11 when pitching your client’s story to the media was not only seen as tone deaf but enough of a transgression to get your media relations hall pass confiscated for good. News outlets, including their business desks, were …

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Marketing during a pandemic: Are you crossing the line?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten the distinct impression that my health and wellbeing is the most important thing to the companies I do business with. (And by that I mean, Josh, the consumer, not Josh, part of The Hodges Partnership.) Like you, I’ve received dozens of emails from retailers and travel companies, from my bank and dry cleaner, and even my barber shop, all of whom want me to know what a high priority they place on my safety.  At a time of such limited personal interaction, it’s comforting to know that somebody out there cares.  I don’t …

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The logic and illogic of content marketing

There are some base logical assumptions in the field of marketing, and perhaps chief among them is the axiom that creating greater awareness about your product and services will ultimately lead to greater demand for it. After all, people don’t very often purchase what they have not heard of. Have you had those moments perusing the drug store or supermarket shelves when you come across a product you think might be worth buying, only to choose something else because you had never heard of it?  Google search may have disrupted that age-old paradigm. If you’re like me, you purchase things …

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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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