0to5 Blog – Zer0 to 5ive http://0to5.com Thu, 21 Sep 2017 19:52:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How Brands Benefit from Visual Storytelling – Tips from Pixar Alum Matthew Luhn http://0to5.com/visual-storytelling/ http://0to5.com/visual-storytelling/#respond Tue, 19 Sep 2017 19:13:53 +0000 http://0to5.com/?p=4038 There can be no doubt that Matthew Luhn is a master…

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There can be no doubt that Matthew Luhn is a master of visual storytelling. At only 19, he became the youngest animator to join The Simpsons while in its third season. Luhn later joined Pixar Animation Studios and collaborated on the most commercially successful and well loved movies of our time: Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., Ratatouille, Up, Cars, Toy Story II and Toy Story III.

From Hollywood to the boardroom, Luhn now advises Fortune 500 companies on how to successfully narrate their brand and connect to an audience through visual storytelling. On September 13th, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia hosted a seminar on digital storytelling and invited Luhn to be the keynote speaker. Mixing popular examples with his own experience, Luhn outlined how today’s brands can craft their own powerful stories that resonate.

Visual Storytelling Makes a Brand
Memorable, Impactful and Personal.

Statistics show that when you wrap a story around something, people remember it. Given the age of short attention spans and media oversaturation, how do we make a story wrapper that sticks?

BE CONCISE

Use as few words as possible. If you can’t explain something simply, you have to go back to the drawing board.

HAVE A GREAT HOOK

What if a rat dreamed of being a French chef?

Sound familiar? Pixar writers knew that people don’t like rats and especially don’t like them around food. What’s more, they don’t like uppity Parisians dictating good taste. Add this up, and you get the unexpected hook of Ratatouille.

What if you could fit 1,000 songs in your pocket?

Steve Jobs knew the importance of storytelling. Before unveiling the first generation iPod, he described the disappointments and drawbacks of his competition’s current technology. With the stage set, he gave his hook to create anticipation for Apple’s revolutionary products.

BE AUTHENTIC

Don’t be clever or snarky. Be vulnerable and honest. Come from a place of truth and passion. Don’t be afraid to be bold because if you try to please everyone, the message will get weaker until no one is affected.

Never state the theme in your story. Make people feel it. This comes down to the old adage, “Show. Don’t tell.” The theme of Finding Nemo was: Being overprotective won’t lead your loved ones to a better life, letting them go will. However, no character beats us over the head by overstating it. Great storytelling has to be subtle. Dory the fish says, “Well, you can’t never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him.”

USE UNIVERSAL THEMES ABOUT CHANGE

Once you’ve hooked an audience, take them on a journey of change, be it striving towards impossible dreams, facing fear of abandonment and learning about love and sacrifice. Your consumer/user needs to play the role of the hero; not your product or company founders.

The Always #LikeAGirl campaign used video interviews where young girls, both before and after puberty, were asked, “What does it mean to do something ‘like a girl?’ How would you run ‘like a girl’ and fight ‘like a girl?’” The videos demonstrate that somewhere in puberty, girls learn that “like a girl” translates to weakness and is meant as an insult. If this was something learned, then it could be unlearned. So campaign creators set out to transform “like a girl” and make it a call for confidence, as in “try, fail, learn & Keep Going #LikeAGirl.”

Stories that are memorable, impactful and personal are about the kind of transformation that inspires us to make decisions towards our own change.

Related Articles

Who Would Play Your Brand On The Big Screen

The Brand Experience

6 Ways to Incorporate Video Into Your Brand Strategy

By: Claire Brukman, Principal and Creative Director

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Maximizing Visibility for Medical Devices Throughout the FDA Approval Process http://0to5.com/medical-devices-fda-approval-process/ http://0to5.com/medical-devices-fda-approval-process/#respond Thu, 06 Jul 2017 15:28:58 +0000 http://0to5.com/?p=4016 Pursuing FDA approval for your medical device can…

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Pursuing FDA approval for your medical device can be an exciting time for any company in the healthcare space. Whether you are taking the path of the FDA’s premarket approval (PMA) process or the 510(k), the regulatory milestones along the way create multiple opportunities for a company to begin generating visibility and awareness for the product.

These key milestones include:

  • Clinical Trials
  • PMA/510(K) Submission
  • Advisory Committee Meeting
  • FDA Approval
  • Launch

A PR strategy that beings at the start of clinical trials and keep key stakeholders informed along the way will enable you to be prepared for each step, maximizing visibility throughout the process, and hit the ground running once your product receives FDA approval.

Clinical Trials – Announcing the commencement of clinical trials (first patient enrolled) and the achievement of key milestones can be announced through press releases and promoted to the media. At this stage, it is important to identify your top media contacts and influencers so that you can keep them informed throughout the process. Phase I and II clinical trials will generate the most interest among trade publications, while Phase III trials will be of interest to a wider array of media, potentially including mainstream media.

Once the clinical trials end and the submission is being prepared, it can be a good time to launch an issues campaign that supports the need for your device in the industry, educates stakeholders and helps build awareness. This type of campaign can help lay the groundwork for the filing and advisory board meetings.

PMA/510(K) Submission – Prior to the company submitting its application for FDA approval, it’s important that all the pieces of the communications strategy are in place to support the company through the advisory meetings and begin the push toward launch. This includes finalizing key messages and supporting points, identifying and preparing KOLs, and conducting any non-clinical research that will help support the launch of the product, such as market research or surveys. The PMA submission should be announced through a press release and interviews with key reporters should be scheduled with company executives.

Advisory Committee Meetings – Advisory Committee meetings leading up to approvals are a key milestone for awareness and visibility. It is important to issue a press release in advance of each meeting – to announce the scheduled meeting date and to inform media of this important milestone – and also to announce the outcome immediately upon the close of each meeting, preferably the same day. Industry media are likely to attend these meetings, particularly if your device is high profile. You can contact the FDA communications team assigned to your device category for additional insight into which media have registered to attend the meeting or might be there. Therefore, company spokespeople should be prepared with media talking points and a QA in advance of the meeting for on-site interviews. Key media contacts not in attendance should be briefed via phone as soon as possible following a successful meeting.

FDA Approval – Assuming that all goes well, the FDA will alert the company that the product is “approvable” and a date will be set by which time your company will receive official word of approval. While it is sometimes hard to know the specific date that the approval will be received, you should be prepared with all materials and communications plans in place so that you can push out the press release immediately upon notice. All key reporters should be pre-briefed on milestones to date and the outcome of the advisory board meeting. Key KOLs, clinical trial sites that you are using for media, and others who will serve as media references should be media trained and provided with key message points. Photos, videos and other multimedia assets should be prepared, captioned and made available on your website for download (this page can be hidden until the approval is official.) Once the FDA approval is formalized, an aggressive PR campaign in support of the product can begin.

Launch

Likely there will be some time between FDA approval and the actual commercial launch of the product to target market. At this point, you should have a strong foundation of visibility and awareness for your product, which will help you build momentum towards the commercial launch. But that, my PR friends, is a topic for another blog!

Any tips to share for maximizing visibility through the FDA process? Let us know.

Related Articles

 

By: Jennifer Moritz, Managing Principal

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The Keys to Successful Media Pitching http://0to5.com/successful-media-pitching/ http://0to5.com/successful-media-pitching/#respond Wed, 28 Jun 2017 21:11:39 +0000 http://0to5.com/?p=3982 As public relations professionals, one of our main…

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As public relations professionals, one of our main responsibilities is to build relationships with the media on behalf of our clients. Developing a good rapport with a member of the media can result in interview and byline opportunities you’ve pitched as well as opportunities where a reporter proactively reaches out to use a client as an expert in an upcoming piece.

In order to foster a great relationship with a member of the media, a PR pro must first understand the keys to successful pitching. Understanding what a reporter is looking for will enable you to draft pitches that will not only be worthwhile to the reporter, but also to you and your client.

Here are five things to remember before you develop your pitch:

  1. Facts, Facts and More Facts: The media loves hard facts, so beginning your pitch with a reputable, eye-opening statistic to address a pain point is a great way to get a reporter’s attention and spur his/her interest in the topic you are pitching.
  2. Hard News Is Great News: You can pique the media’s interest by pitching them hard client news such as new products, acquisitions, partnerships, etc. In some cases – when newsworthy enough – you can even use these types of announcements to kindle their interest through embargos or exclusives.
  3. Breaking News and Events: Whether it a recent election or a major conference/event/holiday, you can use timely news hooks to get the attention of a reporter that may already be covering a related story
  4. Catchy Subject Lines: A subject line can make or break your chance of catching the eye of a reporter, as they are often working on-the-go or trying to meet a deadline. Your subject line should be as short and clever as possible, as well as readable from a smartphone or tablet.
  5. Ready-to-Go Content: Reporters are often juggling multiple stories at once, so they may pass on a story idea if it requires them to interview a source and ultimately write another piece. Having “Expert Tips” or “Top-10 Lists” at the ready can increase your chances of coverage. In some instances, it can also lead to a byline opportunity for your client.

Keeping these tips in mind, you can now confidently draft a pitch that will get a second look and help you open the door to new and greater opportunities for client coverage.

 

Related Articles

5 Tips for Building Relationship with Media

The Role of Research in Media Relations

The Anatomy of a Success Pitch

By Maggie Markert, Strategist

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The PR Times They Are A-Changing http://0to5.com/pr-times-changing/ http://0to5.com/pr-times-changing/#respond Mon, 19 Jun 2017 15:05:00 +0000 http://0to5.com/?p=3971 “What exactly is public relations?” I get asked…

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“What exactly is public relations?” I get asked this question all of the time (side note: mainly from my mother). For years my answer always included some form of “we work with the media and journalists.” While this still holds true, the answer has shifted a bit as the public relations (PR) landscape has taken on new forms and new channels.

The Media

While traditional journalists are still present and relevant, bloggers are now also regular targets to pitch. Bloggers have quickly made their rise in the PR world, and in some cases can be equally or more influential than a journalist. By definition a blog is a website on which a person writes about personal opinions, activities, and experiences. According to NM Incite, 6.7 million people publish blogs, and another 12 million write blogs using their social networks. With so many people blogging today, it’s important that PR professionals tap into this segment and build relationships with these writers, just as they would traditional journalists.

It’s also important to keep in mind that a blogger may be a journalist for a traditional publication, but who also blogs on the side- perhaps about the same beat they regularly cover, or something entirely different that they are interested in. These blogs can be as equally important for consumers, especially with 81 percent of U.S. online consumers citing that they trust information and advice from blogs.

One last distinction that should be noted is the difference between bloggers and vloggers. Bloggers typically write pieces, where vloggers capture videos. With so many social video platforms taking off- Snapchat ,YouTube channels, Instagram Stories- targeting vloggers should also be a standard practice for PR professionals as well.

Embrace Contributed Content

Pitching the same reporters, bloggers, etc., can sometimes feel repetitive. As PR professionals, it’s our job to think of new ways to get our clients into key publications. It’s easy to get a client’s hard news written about, but it’s a bit more difficult when the news is few and far between.

One popular and effective way to get clients into publications is to offer contributed content or bylines. In these contributed pieces, top-level executives or experts in a particular field can discuss forward-thinking thought leadership topics. Bylines are a good way to showcase a Company’s expertise on a certain topic. As a best practice, it’s good to vary the expert who authors the bylines to showcase the depth of leadership and experience at the company.

Social Media

People tend to think of social media as an entity that is separate from PR. However, social media is just another channel that PR Pros can use. PR pros should aim to leverage all relevant social media channels to further engage audiences and build awareness. Repackaging news or articles, or creating the perfect 140-character sound bite and hashtags are all part of the new PR.

Conclusion

It’s important for PR professionals to stay current with emerging and established channels to optimize brand awareness and engagement. Public relations goes beyond pure media relations to engage multiple publics through multiple channels- and in today’s world it’s about meeting your customer where they are, whether that’s a traditional trade publication, the daily newspaper, or the latest vlog.

 

By: Lindsay Hull

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GTM Planning for Health Tech Startups http://0to5.com/marketing-for-health-tech-startups/ http://0to5.com/marketing-for-health-tech-startups/#respond Mon, 01 May 2017 13:44:53 +0000 http://0to5.com/?p=3949 This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to be the…

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This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to be the keynote speaker at the Plexus Healthcare Innovation Hub in Philly. What an amazing place for health tech startups, especially medical device companies to get started – the space, equipment, people and networking at Plexus are incredible!

I was lucky enough to follow two amazing demonstrations that kept everyone glued to their seats and fully engaged – the first from Dr. Alan Flake of CHOP, who demonstrated an artificial womb that has the potential to significantly decrease the mortality and birth defects that can arise with premature births, and the second from Dr. Johann deSa, founder of Instadiagnostics, which is innovating healthcare at the point of care. Both companies have the potential to have a tremendous impact for patients.

My presentation was focused on how to develop a GTM plan for these types of startups that can stand up to the scrutiny of seed or first round funding. I was excited to present because not only do I love to see what’s coming next, I want to help what’s coming next get funded, get to market and get adopted.

My presentation followed the steps of the Zer0 to 5ive Roadmap™ – what you need to do to get to the point where you can develop a defensible GTM plan, especially necessary when you are looking for funding. These steps are:

0. Objectives

1. Research

2. Positioning and Messaging

3. Brand Strategy

4. Brand Identity

5. GTM Plan

As part of the presentation I also gave out this handout, which includes tips for conducting research. Basic competitive, industry and prospect research is within any entrepreneur’s grasp – you just need to know where to look and what to look for. My Tip Sheet will help!

One thing that I emphasized throughout the presentation was setting realistic and measurable goals. Too often entrepreneurs, in an attempt to impress investors, are unrealistic as to how hard it is, and how long it takes, to actually get your product market-ready, launch and acquire customers. Your objectives need to reflect your reality of time, money and resources, as well as market readiness and competition. Seasoned investors will appreciate that you understand the road ahead.

If you are interested in receiving a copy of my presentation, or learning more about the Zer0 to 5ive Roadmap™, please reach out to me via LinkedIn or at michelle@0to5.com.

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How to Leverage Cultural Fads to Maximize Marketing Efforts http://0to5.com/maximize-marketing-efforts/ http://0to5.com/maximize-marketing-efforts/#respond Mon, 03 Apr 2017 19:46:57 +0000 http://0to5.com/?p=3936 A great way to promote your brand is by leveraging…

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A great way to promote your brand is by leveraging popular trends. Through a few well-managed steps you can create a strong link between your product and a popular trend, giving you an extra boost from the association. One notable example is the recent AR/mobile hit Pokémon GO. The game itself garnered massive amounts of media attention and numerous marketing capitalization articles to follow. In light of such a successful launch, I want to detail how you can successfully capitalize on the next big trend when it gets here.

Timing

In baseball, if you swing a second too late then you’ve missed the ball. The same applies to the launch of a PR or marketing campaign. Timing is important because there will be a surplus of companies and individuals racing to produce content surrounding any trend that beings to grow in popularity.

Pokémon GO launched in mid-July last year. If you hadn’t introduced your marketing idea by at least the first week of the launch, you were already edging on late. Joining the party a month in? You missed your chance. Trends move quickly in the digital age and it’s always better to be one step ahead of the game than even a millisecond behind.

When planning a trend-based PR or marketing campaign, make sure to carefully monitor the news for any pre-buildup of the trend and make sure to launch as close as possible with the actual hype of it. This way you ensure that you can be one of the first thought leaders commenting on the trend or one of the first brands to interact with it.

Focus on the Right Trends

Everyone loves a one hit wonder, but hits like that won’t have enough traction to sustain your PR and marketing efforts. What made Pokémon GO such a great trend to promote was the longevity of the brand and the multigenerational fan base. The first whisperings of this project had both adults who grew up in the ‘90s and young fans of today jumping with excitement to see their favorite characters come to life before their eyes. Buzz for this game started well before the release, and the hype kept growing the closer we got to the game’s release date.

If you are going to use marketing efforts in line with a popular trend, make sure it’s a trend that will last for a while. Even though Pokémon GO has had a decrease in users, it’s still popular and, more importantly, successful. It might be some time before we see another trend as popular as Pokémon GO, but it’s important to keep your eye out for the next trend that will have a potent presence in the media.

Find the Connection

Anyone can associate themselves with a trend, but the more meaningful the association, the more successful the campaign will be. To ensure people are paying attention to your brand amidst the hype of the trend, you need to make sure that your brand has a logical and meaningful connection to the trend. Don’t just talk about a trend for the sake of talking about it. Talk about it because it is relevant and you have something to add to the conversation. In any media or marketing relationship, you are looking to provide each other with relevant and useful information.

So, if you are trying to promote your brand in association with a big trend like Pokémon GO, find the logical connection before you promote. If you are a floral shop, a marketing idea could be creating Pokémon-themed floral arrangements that you give away to local stores with Pokéstops, an integral feature in the game. This type of “trend ride” is relevant, fun, and helpful for others, which is a great recipe for receiving positive media praise.

Overall, trend-based campaigns are an exciting and creative way to help promote your brand. With the correct attention to detail, you can create an interactive campaign that helps form a meaningful bond to a trend and successfully promote your brand. Pokémon GO may have had its time to shine, but will you see next year’s hit trend before it’s here? And, more importantly, will you catch it in time to capitalize on it?

By: Jaimie Yakaboski

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Four Tips to Getting Client Coverage When They Have No News http://0to5.com/coverage/ http://0to5.com/coverage/#respond Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:10:21 +0000 http://0to5.com/?p=3906 A client with a strong pipeline of newsworthy announcements…

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A client with a strong pipeline of newsworthy announcements is as exciting as winning the lottery to most PR professionals. The media craves hard numbers, customer partnerships, funding, and new products. More often than not, however, early stage companies don’t have a never-ending stream of announcements. This can be a major challenge, but nearly ten years in the industry and numerous start-up clients have given me some great ways to make sure that a lack of hard news doesn’t mean a lack of great hits.

Look to Executives and Unique Employees

It might be time to refresh your media contacts that cover entrepreneurial journeys. There are full publications that solely focus on productiveness, leadership, and management styles. Entrepreneur.com and Inc.com often feature small companies and start-ups with distinct perspectives. The New York Times has a recurring section called “Corner Office” dedicated to leadership and management.

In addition, find out if any of the company’s employees have any extreme hobbies or interests that impact their business style. Does the CEO fly a plane or volunteer with his therapy dogs? Sometimes it’s the people at an organization and their stories that grab the attention of reporters, which can lead to coverage of the company.

Stay Local

Local publications like to see the impact that your client is making in the community. Does your client participate in local volunteer work? Has their company grown recently in size and/or revenue, adding more jobs? Do they simply have a cool office space? All of these angles can lead to securing media coverage. Explore the various news sections of your clients’ local media outlets and see what angles are available.

Create Your Own Content

With a 24-hour news cycle, publications are always looking for high-quality, pre-packaged content from experts. Now is the time to pick a couple of “topics to own” – areas where your client is expert – and pitch targeted bylines to publications that accept them. If you’re not sure where to start, set up an interview with the executive you’re working with. Ask good, reporter-style questions and look for an angle that’s a little bit different than all of the other articles on the topic.

What’s Trending?

Chances are that you are already monitoring news in your clients’ industries. Use this to your advantage. If a competitor is getting covered, pitch those same media contacts. If a certain topic is trending that your client can speak to, introduce them to the relevant reporters and editors for follow-on stories. In times of sparse news, it also pays to think outside your core media list and look to writers in associated areas or verticals.

There is no shortage of PR professionals working to get their clients media coverage. In fact, it is estimated that there are four times more PR pros than journalists in the U.S., all competing to get their clients coverage. With that in mind, it’s important to remember that no matter which path you choose to secure media coverage, knowing your audience and standing out from the crowd should be at the core of your strategy. Happy pitching!

By: Alyson Kuritz

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Content Marketing vs. Public Relations: Why New Ways to Publish Don’t Replace PR for B2B Companies http://0to5.com/contentmarketing/ http://0to5.com/contentmarketing/#respond Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:36:16 +0000 http://0to5.com/?p=3893 The last five years have seen a marked changed in …

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The last five years have seen a marked changed in the way content is generated online. Instead of relying on a newsroom staffed with journalists, online media platforms are trading on their infinite column length of free content from outside sources. What was first a cost-cutting measure is now a potential money maker has the views generated help bolster advertising revenues at a fraction of the cost of internal writers and editors.

This change has given individuals the ability to publish their work alongside journalists with only small cues to differentiate them to the reader (e.g. Crunch Network on TechCrunch or being labeled Contributor on Forbes instead of Forbes Staff). Becoming a contributor can build personal brands for an executive, but often times the company’s presence is reduced to a line in the author bio.

In parallel, the value of the company internal blog is diminished (setting aside the SEO and long-term thought leadership benefits). There is more reach to be had in writing content for an external platform with vastly greater views and social media presence than a company blog where it can be hard to break out beyond an existing bubble.

In addition to contributing content to online publications, the rise of Medium and LinkedIn Pulse adds another channel for companies and individuals to share their story. These platforms facilitate sharing and “following,” which makes them a stronger blend of social media and publishing than other “unconnected” platforms.

In spite of these new ways to publish content and drive reach, earned media generated by public relations holds onto its value for three key reasons:

Credibility

While Americans have flagging trust in mass media, the outlets and topics relevant to B2B companies, especially in the technology space, still hold relevancy. If a journalist or blogger who is a respected subject-matter expert writes a positive piece on a company or product, it provides outside validation that cannot be matched by a self-written or self-published article.

Visibility

Visibility can be twofold when talking about media coverage. First is the impact in the search engines. According to Google, 89% of all B2B buying researchers use the internet as part of their process. Odds are, the weight assigned to a media site by Google outranks most corporate sites, so if a media article hits a powerful keyword phrase that reaches buyers, it creates a new indirect path to a company.

Second is the audience of the publication and writer in terms of daily readers and social media followers. Anecdotally, editorial pieces often receive better placement on websites and more attention on social media. This varies from site to site, but typically when time, effort and cost have been placed into a story, the media promotes it at a higher volume.

Subject Matter

Surprisingly, when comparing editorial coverage to self-generated content, companies can see more of their message come across in the pieces they don’t write. That’s because when contributing content, pieces must remain vendor-neutral, and when self-publishing on a blog or social publishing platform, it’s poor form to drop in self-serving superlatives to thought leadership content.

Yet in media coverage, when executives are interviewed for a story, their words are often printed verbatim and can be reinforced by the writer. One company’s talking points can become anchors of a trend story or industry roundup that has broader appeal than a single company profile.

Content marketing has its place in the quiver for B2B companies looking to drive leads, engage audiences and build brands. However, to truly hit the bullseye, classic PR and media relations efforts must remain a constant and core part of the communications strategy.

By: Bob Minkus

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What Does Leftover Turkey Have to Do with Public Relations? http://0to5.com/leftover-turkey-public-relations/ http://0to5.com/leftover-turkey-public-relations/#respond Tue, 07 Feb 2017 14:18:03 +0000 http://0to5.com/?p=3887 In Jason Miller’s 2014 magnum opus, Welcome to

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In Jason Miller’s 2014 magnum opus, Welcome to the Funnel, he riffs on several high-level concepts related to marketing, including the Big Rock, the blogging food groups and the 6 golden rules of social media. While each one of these concepts can stretch well beyond the world of marketing, one in particular carries over to public relations better than the rest: the Leftover Turkey analogy.

Imagine your typical Thanksgiving. You cook up a giant turkey and serve one glorious meal to your entire family. Afterwards, you proceed to slice and dice the remaining meat for weeks, repurposing the bird for tasty soups, sandwiches and casseroles. The same can be done with content.

Miller describes Leftover Turkey as a method that you can use to feed the marketing machine by looking for opportunities to repurpose content that you already have created. Some examples in regards to content marketing include turning:

 

  1. Research reports into infographics
  2. Webinars into blog posts
  3. White papers into SlideShare presentations
  4. Interviews into podcasts
  5. Evergreen content into updated and improved content

The basic premise of Leftover Turkey is to look for opportunities to repurpose information that you already have, which can also be part of a larger PR strategy. You just need to find pre-existing content, or even fresh content, that can be diced up into something new and exciting. When used just right, those PR turkey slices can spread existing ideas that align with your core message to a wider audience.

Some examples of how the Leftover Turkey analogy can be applied to PR include:

  1. Turning blog posts into bylines

When we’re writing a blog post on how a certain technology works or why we’re a great alternative service to a specific pain point, we can repurpose these posts and put a different spin on them for a byline. We wouldn’t make them carbon copies of the original post, but we wouldn’t need to reinvent the wheel if the information is already available. We would just need to make them easily digestible and apply changes where necessary. The whole idea here is that if we have a topic that we find to be media friendly and relevant to readers, we can push it out to a larger audience simply by modifying it into a different format.

  1. Turning case studies into pitches

Chances are you have many success stories with customers who have raved about the benefits of your products or services. Why keep those case studies confined to your website? Many times, PR professionals can write up a pitch that outlines those success stories specifically for media outlets. The press generally wants an outside voice regarding your products or services anyway, so this is an easy win-win that often gets readers interested.

  1. Turning almost anything your company does into a blog post

Press releases, company announcements, executive speeches, media hits, events attended, thoughts on a topic and awards won can all be repurposed into a blog post. In Welcome to the Funnel, Miller explains that your blog is a symbol of your company’s wealth. It’s a form of social currency and a harbinger of future revenue. So you should be consistently adding information to your blog that you already have on tap. As a bonus, this will also improve your SEO and influence search rankings.

The bottom line is that Leftover Turkey enables you to produce more PR content faster, and therefore increase the likelihood of a media hit. More importantly, those irresistible turkey slices help you extend your story to a larger audience by obtaining more potential hits on a variety of platforms and outlets.

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Tips for Creating an HTML Email That Renders Universally http://0to5.com/tips-creating-html-email-renders-universally/ http://0to5.com/tips-creating-html-email-renders-universally/#respond Mon, 09 Jan 2017 16:58:32 +0000 http://0to5.com/?p=3854 Satisfying the rendering differences between …

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Satisfying the rendering differences between the vast selection of email clients out there is an ongoing battle with web developers. Here are a few tips that can help save you hours of coding headaches.

Use Inline CSS

When possible, write your CSS inline. Some email clients, notably Gmail, will ignore most CSS wrapped in the <style> tag. Inline CSS is implemented with the style attribute and is written on a single line, like so:

<td style=”color:#333333;font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;”>

Writing this way can get long and confusing very quickly, so keep your line formations consistent by grouping similar properties together and in the same order for every tag.

Do Not Use Shorthand

CSS shorthand is taking a set of properties and condensing them into a single one. For example, instead of

padding-top: 10px; padding-right: 15px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding: left: 15px;

you would write

padding: 10px 15px;

For hex codes, instead of color: #66cc00;, you would write it as color: #6c0;. Unfortunately, some email clients will not parse this shortened version correctly, so everything must be written in long form. It’s a pain and a bit more difficult to read as inline CSS, but it’s definitely a must!

Use <table>, Especially for Lists

It is usually best practice to use <div> as the framework for a webpage, but this is not the case with HTML emails. With how finicky email clients are, <table> tags are the best way to keep everything in its place.

Lists are another element that is difficult to tame, as some email clients will completely ignore the CSS that you assign to them. The best way get them to display correctly across different clients is to use <table> instead of <ul> or <ol>. Below is an example <table> list:

<table>

<tr>

<td>•</td><td>List Item One</td>

</tr>

<tr>

<td>•</td><td>List Item Two</td>

</tr>

<tr>

<td>•</td><td>List Item Three</td>

</tr>

</table>

Zero Out All Padding

Some clients, like Outlook, add extra padding around all table cells, which could be a problem if there are a lot of tables in your code. You can prevent this disaster from happening by applying

padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px;

to all <td> tags and adjusting the pixels as needed.

Section Out Paragraphs with <div> and <br />, Not <p>

The <p> tag is another target of unwanted padding, and zeroing out each one will add unnecessary bulk to your code. Save time by wrapping them with <div> and using <br /> for hard returns, as both have zero padding by default.

Use Media Queries to Make Your Email Responsive

Media queries tell the browser or client what code to use depending on the screen size. This enables you to break down an email for smaller devices like smartphones.

The media query goes in the head of your code within a <style> tag and all CSS is wrapped within

@media screen (max-width: XXXpx) {

/* your CSS here */

}

One useful media query attribute is converting all the <table>, <tbody>, <tr>, and <td> tags to display: block!important; to break the grid formation and prevent your email from looking cramped on small screens.

Make sure to add

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width">

in the <head> of your code so that the media queries actually work!

Eliminate Whitespace Before Sending

Some email clients will automatically add a <br /> tag to every hard return in your code, which may cause display issues. Before sending, run your entire code through a compiler like HTML minify to compress it as much as possible and remove all whitespace. Be sure to save an uncompressed copy of your code should you need to go back to update it.

When Testing with Dummy Links, Use a Complete URL

This is something that I eventually discovered after many frustrating experiences with Outlook. If you have a few dummy links in your copy with # or javascript:void(0) as the href, they will break your email. You can avoid this by using a complete placeholder URL, like http://domain.com instead. Just don’t forget to replace it before sending out the email!

Finally: Keep It Simple

Make your HTML emails simple and to the point. Remove any unnecessary imagery, borders and accents to reduce the amount of items to code. Minimal design elements also mean less to worry about when making your email responsive. After all, the main focus of an HTML email should be the message and its readability.

These are just a few techniques to help you make your HTML emails work better. I also recommend subscribing to the Litmus blog to stay current on all of the best practices for email marketing.

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