Tech PRose

February 10, 2011

You are Who You Say You Are – Especially if Someone Else Important Agrees

Filed under: B2B,Bob Dirkes,Success Stories — techimage @ 11:15 am

PR is all about projecting a presence into a target market – whether physical (like a region or city) or virtual (such as horizontal ones like Small to Mid-Size Businesses or vertical ones like Data Management Software) – in order to sell products and/or services.  Of course, that was just a boring, esoteric way of saying, as my colleague Ken Krause might put it: “You wanna sell something? Put it out there as often as possible.”

Easier to say than it is to do, especially when the clients you aim to help sell complex technology.  Nevertheless, simplicity always should rule.  Take, for example, what Ken and I helped former client Initiate do.  The overall objective of the Initiate PR program was to showcase the company’s leadership in the realm of Master Data Management.  We did it in many ways – pitched continuing Initiate business success stories, helped write & place thought leadership articles, reached out to editors & analysts on a regular basis for briefings – and one of the most fruitful efforts was pitching Initiate for industry awards.  A few notable pieces of recognition we helped Initiate land were Product of the Year designations multiple times from SearchDataManagement and CEO of the Year honors from the Illinois Technology Association for its chief executive, Bill Conroy.  But the one we enjoyed most was perhaps helping Initiate thinkers Scott Schumacher and Scott Ellard win TechAmerica’s Innovator of Year distinction in 2009.  The Scotts, as we called them, are truly brilliant technologists who achieved something that helps save lives, catch bad guys and improve services for consumers of all kinds.  The Scotts figured out how make information processing infrastructure and mathematical algorithms work together to elevate data searching & matching from a scale of thousands of records per minute to millions per minute.

I oversimplified the issue just now for this blog.  And that’s the challenge with all tech PR – oversimplifying in an understandable way.  The art of tech PR is oversimplifying it in a relatable way, too.  What Ken and I did when we pitched the Scotts was compare their work to the popular film “Pirates of the Caribbean” in an nomination entitled “Pirates of Probabilistic Search.”  Read more about it here – http://www.techamerica.org/innovatorawards-innovators . Search for “Pirates” on the page.

While clever analogies are fun to execute, we never lost sight of the strategy.  Initiate needed to put examples of its technology leadership “out there” as often as possible>  Now, through typical channels, such as sales calls and Web pages, the folks at Initiate spent plenty of time telling prospects in the healthcare, government and large enterprise markets about the grand work of the Scotts and their innovation. But they also understood their message would fly farther with the winds of someone else’s credibility under its wings.

–by Bob Dirkes

PR is all about projecting a presence into a target market – whether physical (like a region or city) or virtual (such as horizontal ones like Small to Mid-Size Businesses or vertical ones like Data Management Software) – in order to sell products and/or services.  Of course, that was just a boring, esoteric way of saying, as my colleague Ken Krause might put it: “You wanna sell something? Put it out there as often as possible.”

Easier to say than it is to do, especially when the clients you aim to help sell complex technology.  Nevertheless, simplicity always should rule.  Take, for example, what Ken and I helped former client Initiate do.  The overall objective of the Initiate PR program was to showcase the company’s leadership in the realm of Master Data Management.  We did it in many ways – pitched continuing Initiate business success stories, helped write & place thought leadership articles, reached out to editors & analysts on a regular basis for briefings – and one of the most fruitful efforts was pitching Initiate for industry awards.  A few notable pieces of recognition we helped Initiate land were Product of the Year designations multiple times from SearchDataManagement and CEO of the Year honors from the Illinois Technology Association for its chief executive, Bill Conroy.  But the one we enjoyed most was perhaps helping Initiate thinkers Scott Schumacher and Scott Ellard win TechAmerica’s Innovator of Year distinction in 2009.  The Scotts, as we called them, are truly brilliant technologists who achieved something that helps save lives, catch bad guys and improve services for consumers of all kinds.  The Scotts figured out how make information processing infrastructure and mathematical algorithms work together to elevate data searching & matching from a scale of thousands of records per minute to millions per minute.

I oversimplified the issue just now for this blog.  And that’s the challenge with all tech PR – oversimplifying in an understandable way.  The art of tech PR is oversimplifying it in a relatable way, too.  What Ken and I did when we pitched the Scotts was compare their work to the popular film “Pirates of the Caribbean” in an nomination entitled “Pirates of Probabilistic Search.”  Read more about it here – http://www.techamerica.org/innovatorawards-innovators . Search for “Pirates” on the page.

While clever analogies are fun to execute, we never lost sight of the strategy.  Initiate needed to put examples of its technology leadership “out there” as often as possible>  Now, through typical channels, such as sales calls and Web pages, the folks at Initiate spent plenty of time telling prospects in the healthcare, government and large enterprise markets about the grand work of the Scotts and their innovation. But they also understood their message would fly farther with the winds of someone else’s credibility under its wings.

January 27, 2011

Creating a Content Chop Shop

Chop Shop

You’ve just put the finishing touches a killer video for your client. It has taken hours of time to schedule, produce and edit, but the final product is a true masterpiece. Do you sit back, and rest on the laurels of your success?

The folks over at MarketingProfs did not. After publishing an extensive research report entitled State of Social Media Marketing in December of 2009, they took to repurposing their masterpiece. From there, they created a webinar, an article and a series of smaller articles and blog posts with morsels of the original report (source: Ann Handley’s Content Rules), reaching new audiences across various channels, stemming from one piece of content.

This doesn’t mean that your team has to scramble to pen dozens of new, unique pieces of content from scratch every week. Repurposing already created content across traditional and new media channels can be quite effective for a business-to-business communications program, and will keep that content engine chugging and boost search engine optimization(SEO) without the process becoming too much of a time sink.

A company announcement that might have just merited a press release a few years ago can be sliced and diced into a corporate blog post, a topic for discussion on an industry-specific forum on LinkedIn, and even a tweet to share with followers.  Every channel has the opportunity to reach a different audience, whom content should be tailored to resonate and engage with.

Each iteration of your original killer content piece is one component of your overall strategy. When a corporate blog post is part of a thought leadership campaign, a linked tweet can serve to drive traffic to your site. This way, you have a series of small, measurable goals that work towards realizing your overall plan.

Think of it the way Ann Handley, the CCO of Marketing Profs, describes it- “as a content plan fueled by a single Big Idea.”

She elaborates: “The ensuing material can rely on that fuel as source material, allowing for new distribution and new channels, reaching new audiences along the way, and propagating your ideas through social media channels.”

Have you or your clients had success in repurposing content?  Share your stories!

by Dan McDonnell

February 15, 2010

SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life: A Four-Step Guide to Getting Unstuck

Filed under: Reviews,Success Stories — techimage @ 2:30 pm
Tags: , , ,

Do you have trouble keeping new year’s resolutions? You’re not alone.  According to research on New Year’s
resolutions, fewer than 50% of those who made resolutions are keeping them 3
months later.  I’m a relentless resolution maker, but I’m not even close to the
50%, and the reason is that I always try to tackle more than is realistic. The
good news is that I’ll make 4-6 resolutions each year, and typically see success
with one or two.  Some might be disappointed with a 30% success ratio, but I
focus on the wins and simply try to learn from the missteps, so success is
inevitable in time

Shed

One thing I’ve learned in 20 years of resolutions is that
change sometimes requires thinking outside the box.  F
or example, budgeting
didn’t work for me until I flip-
flopped the process. Rather than assuming the
left-over was for savings and emergency funds, someone suggested I set aside my
savings, tithe and emergency funds, and I now limit my spending to what’s left. 
Similarly, my goal for staying fit and having fun doing it didn’t work until
Nintendo introduced the Wii, whose EA Sports program brings an encouraging “personal” trainer into my home for a fast-changing, challenging routine that
makes me eager to go  to the “gym.”

Sadly, the resolution to get organized has been on my list
for about the last 10 years, and a quick look at my work or home office reveals
the truth of my deficiency in this area.  Not wanting to see that on my list for
the next 10 years, I called Julie Morganstern, whose talents in this area were
made famous through Oprah and more than 20 years of success.  Morganstern didn’t
answer the phone, but a quick conversation with one of her consultants helped me
take the problem seriously, as the hourly rates would quickly usurp my savings
set-aside and destroy my budget.  I took the mid-range option she suggested, and
enrolled in Morganstern’s WorkSmart workshop, which included a copy of
Morganstern’s new book,
SHED.

The workshop was pretty intimate, and provided some very
concrete nuggets, which may also help you.  I like the interaction and personal
accountability of a personalized workshop, but you can also learn about the
topics covered through Morganstern’s
blog.  Her advice not to check email first thing in the morning was probably the
biggest “Aha!” for me.  I haven’t become consistent in this practice, but
focusing the first part of my day on the most difficult tasks (vs. email) helps
ensure those tasks are accomplished and I (vs. my email) maintain control of my
day.

My resolution for this year is to implement more of these
organizing principles and to begin to SHED those things that no longer serve
me.

I spoke earlier about how we need to think outside the box
when the existing strategies aren’t bringing about the changes or success we
desire.  Through 20 years of delivering organizational support and advice,
Morganstern wrote SHED because she encountered people who just couldn’t see
clearly enough to clean up their surroundings.  This is often the case with
people who have had very full lives and want to hold on to aspects of all of
their lives even when parts of their lives no longer serve them.  She uses the
example of her professional interests in theater/drama, which she no longer
practices and needed to shed.  I quickly saw that my MBA materials and prior
marriage memorabilia were a distraction and drain on my time and space.  Rather
than holding on to past lives, and letting them take valuable space in our homes
or lives, Morganstern wisely advises readers follow the principles in her book,
SHED: 

S=Separate the Trash from the Treasure
H=Heave that which is no longer useful
E=Embrace the new you
D=Drive forward… make tangible progress on your current
theme

I encourage you to buy the book, or take the survey to see
for yourself the power of Morganstern’s out-of-the-box thinking on organization
and time management,
http://www.juliemorganstern.com/.
 My hope is that I’ll be able to provide positive proof that her system works
for the organizationally challenged.  I’m sharing this publicly because I know
how much accountability helps, and you have permission to ask me for pics of
both offices (no sooner than July) to attest to the value of Morganstern’s tools
and SHED. :) 

–Reviewed by Mary Eggert

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