Tag Archives: public relations

How to Build an Online Marketing Fire

Knowing how to build a fire is just as essential for survival in the online marketing world as it is in the wilderness. A blazing campfire provides warmth, light and a way to cook food. The fire you want to build online increases awareness and generates online leads.

Fire-Starting Tools

To start a fire in the great outdoors, you typically need a match and strike board, a piece of flint and steel or a magnifying glass and the sun. In marketing, we consider having a well-defined brand and a strategic plan as the bare necessities to ignite the flame for your business.

Your audience needs to understand who you are as a company, what you stand for and why you’re in business. Without a well-thought-out brand, you run the risk of looking like and sounding like your competitors, and you will be stuck in a continuous lowest-price-wins battle. Without a strategic plan, you’re wandering through the wilderness battling the unexpected and rather than focusing on what you need to do to reach your goals.

Tinder

No matter where you are, creating a flame can be a lot of hard work — and it’s all for naught if there is no tinder to catch the flame.

In digital marketing, your “tinder” would be your website. Your website is the hub, or the core of all your online marketing efforts. For your website to attract and retain traffic — or “catch fire” — it must be optimized for search engines, easy-to-use and appealing. Without a well-optimized and user-friendly website, you will end up rubbing two sticks together all night long with no results.

However, while tinder catches fire easily, the fire quickly dies out without added support.

Kindling

When building a fire, you need materials that provide more substance than tinder provides to keep the flame burning long enough for your fuel wood to catch. This is where kindling comes in.

In marketing, you can use search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertising. When following best practices, SEO and online advertising can quickly and easily increase awareness and direct traffic to your website. Just as kindling must be dry to work, your website and online ads must be optimized with keywords to work.

Fuel Wood

The fuel wood might take a little longer to catch fire, but it is what ultimately keeps your fire hot and burning. And if you notice your fire is starting to die down, you can throw more fuel wood on top to keep it going. In marketing, fuel wood is a mix of owned and earned channels.

Content marketing is one owned channel that can help “fuel the flame,” and it includes pieces such as white papers, case studies, e-books or webinars. Advertising such as print, TV or radio also add to the discussion, increase awareness and even drive website traffic. Additionally, email marketing can help nurture the fire and keep it going.

Public relations is one example of an earned “fuel” or channel. When your company receives media coverage from third-party sources, it helps boost your credibility and increase “buzz”. Word of mouth — whether it’s in person or online via social media — is also earned, and it can be a very powerful tool to build a blazing fire.

Building a fire is not as easy as it first appears. It involves a lot of knowledge, preparation, tools and hard work—similar to effective online marketing campaigns. Luckily, the GREENCREST team is ready to support you! Contact us today to get started.

 

Three Public Relations Rules to Live By

 

Try these public relations rules to live by.

Public relations is an essential part of any marketing plan. Good PR work can build brand awareness and a positive public image. Poor PR work can destroy all of that hard work almost instantly.

Successful public relations efforts are often the result of extensive planning, good research and producing quality work. These three public relations rules to live by will help your company achieve its marketing goals and establish your team as pros in the industry.

1. Plan Ahead and Be Prepared

Public relations requires much preparation and planning. Before you push forward with any ideas, you have to have a well-defined public relations strategy. That strategy becomes your plan — your roadmap — for how you plan to elevate your brand through public relations.

It’s also important for your company’s PR team to plan for various projects and to always expect the unexpected. Obstacles will always arise last minute, so you need to have a backup plan. For example, if you are sending out a press release about a new product and you learn that a competitor is doing the same, you need to be able to change the messaging and timing, as appropriate, to ensure that your message is heard and seen above all the others out there.

2. Do your Research

Good public relations requires a lot of research. You need to spend time getting to know the media and the reporters and researching relevant information about your business’s industry — third-party statistics or research that backs up your information. Without solid research, story pitches, press releases and other PR work can fall flat.

Proper research also includes learning about and getting to know the right reporters and contacts. Connect with reporters in your industry. Read their stories and engage with them. Building relationships with the media is one of the best things you can do to get a reporter to listen to you.

It is also important to stay up to date on what is happening in your industry and who is reporting about those topics. While doing research can be time-intensive, it is a crucial part of good PR and can result in more media placements and positive press.

3. Produce Quality, Not Quantity

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of PR and think that a thousand mentions are better than a few strategic placements. But believe it or not, your business will be more successful if you focus on quality, not quantity.

Identify 10 to 15 media contacts who write about your industry and who deliver news to audiences that your business cares about. This helps ensure your work and the media outlets are the right fit!

Public relations can be challenging, and GREENCREST can help! Let us create a comprehensive marketing and public relations plan for your company! Contact the GREENCREST experts today!

How to Choose the Right PR Agency for your Company

Choosing the right PR agency

Regardless of your business or brand, having the right Public Relations (PR) agency is the only way to make sure your successes are being shared throughout your industry.

You work hard to make your business successful — putting in long hours, taking on more work and making tough decisions. When the hard work pays off and your company achieves a new goal or level of success, it only makes sense that you want to share that excitement. However, to get your story told to the right audience, you have to find the right PR agency that knows how to do so.

Here are the most important things to look for in a PR agency to make sure you’re making the best decision for your company:

Agency Size

Whether you’re a small, family-owned business that is just starting out or a multi-departmental corporation, it’s best to find the right agency for your needs. Whether the agency is small or large, if they have a dedicated PR team with enough staff to handle your needs, you’ll be set. In the end, it all comes down to what your goal is and how intricate of a plan – and team – it will take to get you there.

Agency Approach

When looking for the right PR agency, you should consider the approach that the agency tends to take with its clients and its work. A good agency will approach each unique client with custom solutions that will help cut through the clutter of everyday news releases and pitches, to help get the company’s story heard. This will help you get a better understanding of the agency’s overall approach and help you determine if it will work for you and your business’ goals.

Agency Connections

In order to have your story heard by the right audience, it’s important that you choose an agency with a variety of media connections. This will ensure that no matter what your company’s area of expertise, the PR agency will have a reporter or contact that specializes in the same thing. If you are a B2B company trying to reach a market about a new industrial product you’re releasing, you want to work with an agency that is familiar with your trade and will be able to find media connections in your industry and geo-target.

Agency Price

While having the best representation is very important, so is your budget. Discuss all of your needs with the agency to determine if it can do everything you want within your budget. However, if the price doesn’t match immediately, don’t fret — most agencies are willing to work with their clients to create a plan that is both effective and budget-conscious. After all, a good agency will want what’s best for its clients and will do whatever it takes to achieve that for them.

The better the understanding and relationship you have with your agency, the more likely the agency will be able to fulfill your expectations. Consider these four points when seeking out an agency, and you’re bound to find the perfect fit.

Interested in seeing if the GREENCREST public relations team could be right for you? Contact us today with questions or to set up a meeting.

 

7 Ways to Succeed at Project Management

team-meeting

At GREENCREST, we’re a little biased when we say we have the best project-management team in the region. Our project managers love what they do, and they enjoy working with our clients and the various industries our clients serve. And, they’re really good at their jobs.

When it comes to project-management, it may surprise many people to know that success sometimes depends more on people-management skills than tactical and organization skills.

Yes, successful project managers need to be very organized. After all, their job is to bring a project into completion, on time and on budget. They need to determine and manage a detailed project scope, create timelines and deliver a quality product to the client. They need to be the ones who keep meetings organized and focused, and they need to create and assign actionable tasks. However, in order to implement this flawlessly, they first and foremost need to be excellent communicators.

Project managers can have a vast amount of knowledge and time-tested methods, but they need the soft skills necessary to motivate their team to perform with excellence. Their team members are their most valuable resource – the true difference between success or failure. Therefore, project managers need to embrace their role as a leader in order to provide the best for their clients.

 

Choose the right team members

When hiring or choosing people for a project team, it is important that team members have the right skill set and attitude to create high-quality, creative and strategic solutions. They should thoroughly enjoy what they do and desire to stay current with industry trends and changes. They should be experts in whom the project manager can trust to provide the best solutions possible for the project.

Define roles and responsibilities  

It is critical for the project manager to define and communicate every team member’s role and responsibility in order to follow the proper processes and procedures. Who is responsible for each stage of the project? Who makes the final decisions? Who needs to be consulted before decisions or actions are made? Who needs to be informed of certain changes?

Motivate your team and celebrate success

As leaders, it is important for project managers to understand what motivates individual team members. Not every team member is going to be enthused about every project. Project managers need to find and use an aspect that will get a specific team member excited and eager to take ownership of his or her role in the project. Equally important is the celebration of success and accomplishments. There is nothing more motivating then being recognized and thanked for quality, hard work and creative ideas.

Listen before making decisions

No matter how much technical knowledge a project manager may have, it is important for him or her to rely on the expertise of the team, their boss and the client. Project managers must listen to what the client has to say about the problem, the situations surrounding it, the business goals, objectives and the industry. They must listen to different team members’ ideas and solutions, and they must respect and value everyone’s opinions. The project manager must also take detailed notes and ask the right questions to challenge and make team members think through their solutions and answers. This will help create empathy and build rapport with your team and clients, and challenging them will help procure the best results for the project and for the team members’ professional growth.

Know your strengths and limitations

Project managers should know their own strengths and limitations, as well as those of everyone on their team. This will help determine who is best fit to implement certain tasks, and it will help the project manager to create reasonable expectations. For example, when developing a project timeline, the project manager should consider the different pace at which each team member works and leave room for revisions in the timeline and budget.

Delegate wisely

Knowing everyone’s strengths and limitations also helps project managers delegate wisely. Good project managers know what they can and should delegate, as well as to whom they can delegate certain tasks. Delegation also enables team members to take ownership of the project and develop leadership skills.

Stay calm and strong when problems arise  

When issues occur, a project manager’s job becomes increasingly difficult. As leaders, it is critical they keep a calm demeanor and focus on working with the team to find a solution. When a project manager becomes visibly stressed or frustrated, it can affect the entire team and weaken morale. When they stay cool, calm and collected, it helps the team stay focused on the goal rather than the problem. It also mitigates the risk of ruining relationships, trust and respect.

 

Overall, project managers need to have excellent communication and people-management skills in order to flourish at their jobs and deliver a quality project. They must stay flexible, listen and constantly communicate details and updates. Building trust and respect with clients and team members will lead to successful, quality results.

Have you had a chance to work with the GREENCREST project-management team? If not, contact GREENCREST today to learn how we can help you with your marketing, advertising, public relations, website and social media needs!

 

Public Relations Tools You Can’t Live Without

Business Strategy

 

Smart marketing plans include public relations, which requires a dedicated staff using the right public relations tools to get the job done. Public relations is a crucial component of marketing and, when done effectively, can change the game for your company’s overall marketing strategy. Today, there are many helpful tools to help you stay at the top of your game.

 

Traditional public relations — such as media relations, sending press releases and pitching story ideas — and public relations technology — such as website SEO and social media — are both important for a successful marketing campaign. These public relations “tools” will help with all aspects of public relations, from pitching stories to monitoring social media.

 

A Passion for News

If you don’t follow the news, your company could be missing out on some big coverage opportunities. Read or watch stories so if you see a story developing that could relate to your product or service, you can capitalize on that and share your own news. If you don’t know what’s going on in your community and in your industry, you can’t take advantage of relevant stories.

 

Relationship Building with the Media

Just as reporters have to know their sources, you have to get to know your reporters. If you have a good relationship with a reporter, they are more likely to reach out to you when they cover a story in your industry. Relationship building takes time, but has a big payout.

Start building these important relationships by calling publications to find out which reporter covers your industry and ask for their contact information. Although it takes a while to build a media list of contacts, it’s worth it. Once you’ve identified these reporters, read their stories, follow them on social media and keep in touch with them — even when you don’t need anything from them. That way, when you do pitch a story to them, they will know who you are — putting you one step closer to getting the story you want.

 

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a tool Google offers that helps you monitor various topics, people, etc. For example, if you created a Google Alert about McDonald’s, you would receive an email notification anytime a story was posted about that company.

Google Alerts are helpful in media relations as well. Once you create the alert, you will receive emails when a story runs that mentions your company. This is not fool-proof — sometimes stories run in the media yet they won’t show up in a Google alert if the story isn’t posted on a website. However, using Google Alerts does lessen the need to scour the web for hours, searching for news mentions.

 

Social Media Management Tools

Social media greatly changed the marketing game, giving people unlimited access to companies. Customers can now interact with brands all day — whether that be at 2 a.m. or midnight — so it is important to monitor comments, likes, shares, etc., constantly to address any issues.

Social media management dashboards have grown over the years and can now provide comprehensive reports about your followers, their locations, their activity and more, for multiple social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These tools help identify which social media strategies are working and which aren’t. In order to stay on top of your social media efforts, your public relations team should have some form of social media management.

 

With these four public relations tools and more, you’re sure to find success in your marketing strategy. Take advantage of all of the tools available to ensure you’re doing the most for you company!

 

Does your company need help with public relations? GREENCREST has you covered! Let us create a comprehensive marketing and public relations plan for your company! Contact the GREENCREST experts today!

 

5 Marketing Myths that Cost Companies Customers and Sales

 

website design and development

 

There are dangerous marketing myths that are currently holding companies back from increased profits. The truth is, good marketing is integrated and includes a blend of social media, brand development, advertising, public relations, and website and search engine optimization (SEO).

Many companies are still struggling to incorporate essential aspects of digital marketing into their business plans — such as social media and mobile marketing — because they think it is too expensive or they don’t need it. However, with the continuous growth of e-commerce and social media, companies can’t afford not to invest in marketing.

 

Let’s take a look at the five most common marketing myths and how to overcome them.

 

1. “I have a small budget and I can’t afford marketing”

Some companies don’t want to invest in marketing because they don’t see the value. However, a solid marketing plan can help boost awareness, improve sales and help a company gain more customers. Marketing is an investment, not a one-time purchase.

 

2. “I already have a marketing plan”

 While companies may have a marketing plan, it is often incomplete. The best marketing plans encompass an integrated approach — such as print advertising, public relations and trade shows — and digital media — such as social media, website/SEO and mobile marketing.

A comprehensive marketing strategy evaluates the worth of various marketing tactics and implements the best traditional and digital media options for a company and its budget.

 

3. “My business is doing well, so I don’t need to invest in marketing”

While business may be doing well, that can change in an instant. No new business pipeline can mean you’re out of business if a customer has to cut their budget or chooses to go in a new direction.

Marketing is a great tool to engage with customers, nurture prospects, generate leads and boost sales. Positive interaction with clients will help them remember your company and create a lasting relationship. And, nurturing inactive clients can encourage them come back to you.

 

4.  “We already advertise, so we don’t need marketing”

Advertising is an important part of an overall marketing strategy, but it’s not the only part. Various tactics contribute to a successful marketing plan, not just advertising.

It can be difficult to select which marketing strategies to implement, but it’s important to evaluate which will work best for your company.

 

5. “Social media is a waste of time for my business”

Not being on social media is a lost opportunity—it decreases your business’s online credibility in the eye of the consumer. In fact, many customers, especially the millennial generation, research a company and their social media sites before making a purchasing decision.

While every social media outlet isn’t the best option for all companies, it is important to research the target audience. Social media allows companies to interact with clients and build meaningful relationships that can greatly impact customer purchasing decisions, thus affecting the bottom line.

 

We can help!

If you’re not sure where to start, GREENCREST can help. GREENCREST specializes in traditional and digital marketing strategies. We can help your organization navigate the marketing world and create a solid, integrated marketing strategy. Speak with a marketing expert today!