Category Archives: Personal PR/Web 2.0 for Dummies

Come out from behind the brand and start operating like Sir Richard Branson…

 if you want to see your business’ social media program succeed.

As you probably know by now (or are just starting to hear), a robust social media and general web presence has become a must-have for professionals who are looking to support the success of their personal as well as their own company’s online marketing and publicity strategy. Professionals (corporate leaders to politicians or artists to small business owners like me) now need to focus on social media thought leadership, public relations and reputation in order to compete for new and future business, career advancement opportunities, and even mainstream media attention.

A 2013 article in Social Media Today (10/15/12) by Sean Royer (CEO of Minneapolis-based Internet Marketing Agency SyneCore Technologies) discusses the latest IBM Study (2012 Global CEO Study) that surveyed some 17,000 CEO’s on the subject of social media usage and engagement.

The study found that only 16% of the CEOs currently participate in social media (I was not surprised to read that!). For many executives, (their own personal) social media public relations effort is one of the least-utilized methods of customer engagement–or for marketing and increasing the visibility of their business brand for that matter. The Study also found that social media will likely become the #2 way to engage customers (57%) within the next five years.

So what’s the bottom line? According to Branson, “Whether you are launching a start-up or leading an established company, you should start establishing your social media presence if you haven’t already.”  Read the article

Over the last 10 years in particular, I have found that most busy professionals (at least 75% of those I meet), simply do not have the know-how, ability and or (mainly) the time to stay on top of the production of personal content, building of network and targeted audiences, engaging and responding to people or monitoring social media activity as it pertains to her own personal or business brand and industry, (etc.)

While internal company brand marketing or public relations managers might be able to take care of (an executive’s) personal social media presence, I have found that most just do not have the bandwidth to do this. And it doesn’t really matter if it’s within a large or small organization. Then there are those professionals who might also be in career transition or those who do participate, but perhaps have not had the success they wish they could have in social media channels.

We all need to remember that social media was built for people to communicate and publicize to other people. Facebook was not built for Pepsi to market to consumers. It was built for individual people to communicate with other people on a mass level. The whole marketing of the “non personal” brand thing came along and everything got very confusing. Read the article!  Richard Branson (among other executives, like Dell and Trump) have gotten it right and got it right from the onset of Social Media. Now it’s time for the rest of the professional leadership world to step in and stop hiding behind the brand–for the good and the growth of the brand. Why wait five years or more. It takes time to build a personal social media following and thought leadership. There is no magic to it, just dedication and work.

I’ve been working with executives for years on personal branding, but mainly on a publicity and promotional level (from job search to business development to press/media placement). Social media has provided us with a new and improved personal publicity channel. However, there is a fine line to walk when it comes to personal social media publicity (promotion) and engagement–as it pertains to the promotion of a professional brand in a leadership role.

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LINK BUILDING and Good Content…essential for online/personal PR results!

Too funny, I used my cool new WordPress App on my BlackBerry to write the original version of this post.  The App is great, but (1) I am not used to writing a blog post on my phone (too small of a screen?) and (2) the App is way to fast, I thought I had saved it as a draft, but it posted.  So this is the redo of the original WordPress Blackberry App post (ahhhh the power of technology…).  Okay back to what I wanted to say…

I am ALL ABOUT LINK BUILDING. Content is KING if you are looking for online marketing RESULTS.  Honestly, I have always known this… the key word, meta tag thing just old-fashioned, I mean we still need it (especially in social sites like Twitter), but it’s  really a gamble if you’re looking for search engine placement on an organic level.  Buying the key words will get you the results, but as more people start driving the price of the key words up you will need to pay more and you really don’t have to do that.  Continuing to build your CONTENT.  Think about all the other people using the same exact key words. How do you compete with that?  So the more you post up in the form of articles, blogs, tweets, press releases, photos and video the more content you create and the more votes of confidence you earn from the search engines. The more votes of confidence, the MORE you will be seen and found online. It’s pretty simple, yes, but remember that content must have merit or your audience will not remain.

I have read an incredible eBook (which will be now known as my Link Building Bible) by Back Link Building Guru, Mark Collier. His “Link Building Mastery: How to master the art of link building” provides 86 powerful link building strategies to build thousands of high quality back links to send your site to number 1 on Google (and then some). According to Mark: “Everyone knows that back links are one of the most important search engine ranking factors.” Yet again, the quality of the content is the first priority— and in my mind’s eye quality content is the baseline of online publicity, but without back links your content and your website will never be found.

The Link Building Mastery eBook is a fantastic do-it-yourself guide to will learn how to get:

* Better placement on Google
* More search engine traffic
* Direct traffic (to your website or “main hub’) from people clicking on your links
* A better online reputation
* More direct sales or interest as visitors who come from links pointing to your site are far more likely to buy from or hire you.

Get Mark’s book – a great guide, great read. Well done! If you need a good “go-to” plan, it’s a fantastic ($47) investment!

One last note: The ability to work and communicating online,  does not equate to an ability to market and promote online. This mentality drives me nuts. I drive a car, but I am not a mechanic. Follow me?  The social media “how-to” books, seminars, and coaching service are fine, but my opinion is that if you usually do not handle your own publicity, writing, marketing or promoting and/or you do not have the ability or the time to do what it takes to build and then maintain all of your web content (including websites, blogs, articles, press releases, tweets, updates/micr0 blogs) then it might be a better idea to bring in someone who knows how to connect the dots.  I’m just saying…

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Social Media = NO quick fix for instant results–please give it time and stay the course to build lasting results

Social Media IS very PERSONAL (PR) in my book — and the best and easiest way to find an audience and one that you want to be following you (whether it’s one million or one hundred).  But it’s not a guarantee of total and ultimate success.  Social media, online media/PR–whatever you may refer to it as, is another (albeit) new channel of marketing, promotion and public relations.

If one more “social media guru” comes to me (or one of my clients)  with great promises and illusions of social media grandeur (remember fad diets in the 90’s –and all the  “lose 20 lbs a week” promises?) i.e.  “Sales will flock to you…” or “New Customers Guaranteed…” a  I am going to scream.  Moving publicity and marketing into a social media venue is no different from any other traditional marketing venue.

Marketing and Advertising–in the traditional sense–is never guaranteed. You need to give it time/frequency and you need to find the right messaging or offer, but even THEN you are never guaranteed that your specific campaign or ad will rake in the big numbers or the ever-loving ROI that ever marketer, business owner and CEO strives for.

Marketing/Advertising and striving to find the right Publicity venue is a commitment and it TAKES TIME to flourish.  In order to see the numbers you must invest in it and stay the course. Again, remember when people were jumping on the fad diet bandwagon – looking for quick results, but only end up stopping because the RESULT DOESN’T COME FAST ENOUGH?  The same is happening with social media and networking.  So many people jump in gung-ho and only stop when they don’t see those “promised” amazing results and ROI. Does anything in business happen in a flash of a second? Especially as it pertains to marketing and advertising? I can’t tell you how many marketing programs I put together for the organization I worked for in the late 80’s that didn’t pull in the results we wanted.  No results though meant putting the brakes on one campaign and trying another–we never stopped.

Social media/online marketing is not a magic pill that will produce results in a matter of months or even years. It’s NEW media–we are all still LEARNING how to use it!   I wish all the Social Media guru sales people out there would just stop promising buyers things that they cannot guarantee. Yes, they may pull in the sale, but in the end (after about 2 or 3 months) the  “promised result time” comes along and their new customers throw up their hands in disgust and throw fireballs at the Social Media Gurus and Social Media itself (makes my life hell).

Come on!? Does the LA Times promise a “Guaranteed ROI” on the $250,000.00 ad they may sell to Disney or Pepsi?  No,  I don’t think so. So why then is social media production sold with so many false promises and  guarantees of great results? Drives me NUTS.

There is MUCH more to social media then the perfect Key Words or “Call to Action.” Can you ever do that? Really? Think about it…

For instance, I just got this bit of jargon in my in-box today (they wanted me to “take a look at what they can offer my company”–do they read?):  We will create a presence for you {on the social networks} that delivers new customers and sales. Each one will be built around a strong call-to-action and will be professionally designed so that the first impression is a lasting one. All three will also be optimized for search within each network. This means that when someone does a search, you will be coming up in the top results.

While I cannot  say a lot about their whole approach to social media production and management, but who has the right to proclaim that they will “deliver new customers”?

Social media is an investment that has really no guarantee unless you stay the course and continue to build your audience and shape your messaging.  Take the time to figure out what works for you (personally) or your company because there is no cookie-cutter formula, but there are some basic things you can do that are generic to every social media campaign/strategy.

Stay the course and devote time to your social media plan, try different things, stay with things that work,  and don’t expect it to ever become automated or viral either.  Sadly the things you see and hear about viral marketing campaigns are not as ordinary as most people would like to think (kind of like winning the lottery – well maybe not that low of odds, but close).

Think back to our traditional PR/Marketing days–and those traditional strategies we still use to this day.  The ROI on a print mailing is usually about 2-3%.   So why, pray tell, does everyone expect social media to be any better or different?  Sure the hits will look like a higher ROI many times, but in the end isn’t it all about the balance in your bank account? Again, there is no quick fix, but give it time and your bank account will benefit if you stay the course because we have only just started!

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“Perspectives on Marketing” is a unique spin on the “he said/she said” format, giving both the agency side and the client side.

Jason (Jay) Miletsky is the CEO of PFS Marketwyse creater and co-author of the Perspectives Book Series. The series covers such topics as marketing, branding, and how to increase sales. Marketing is not an exact science, and marketing issues are often interpreted, defined, and approached differently by different people, creating the potential for a disconnect in communication. This is particular true of the client/agency relationship, which oftentimes looks at a single marketing issue in radically different ways. “Perspectives on Marketing” is a unique spin on the “he said/she said” format, giving both the agency side (with Jason Miletsky – CEO, PFS Marketwyse) and the client side (with Mike Hand – Director of Sports Marketing, Hershey’s). It covers of a number of topics that deal with marketing and the client/agency relationship. It examines over 100 compelling and important marketing issues that marketers deal with on a regular basis, such as how to best measure ROI, how to determine the best means for reaching an audience, and how to craft the most effective message. Each topic is approached from both points-of-view in a conversational, point/counter point style. This unique approach provides a frank, insightful, and enjoyable look into the whole of the marketing process, and helps promote understanding between the marketer and the client. For every copy of a Perspectives title sold on Amazon on Wednesday, September 9, $1.00 will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey. If sales reach 2,000 copies, Course Technology PTR will double the donation. Get your Perspectives Books at http://www.getperspectives.com today! Also be sure to listen to the Perspectives Show here on Blog Talk Radio (GetPerspectives).

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Baby Boomers can also create a fantastic personal publicity program with new media… (it’s there for the taking)

What more can I say… we are ALL SUBMERGED in a world of social media. We all live, breath, feel, touch it -whether we like it or not (I NOW HAVE 70-SOMETHING YEAR OLDS ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER – I plan to be in that mix until I am at least 95). That said, we had all better get used it. Right? Hunker down and “work with it” – make it useful to build our careers and businesses.  Coming from the “old media” days, I remember when I got a FAX MACHINE in my office and everyone and their Uncle would bother me day in and day out to use it – that seems like YESTERDAY.  19 years later (dating myself), I have learned to adapt to and love this new social media world. While I still like the “old-style ways” of publicity, promotions and marketing (in my blood — although I choose not to fax as much now), I am getting quite used to these NEW SOCIAL WAYS and actually kind of loving it.  That said, I am slowly but surely taking clients up the new media path and so far they are very willing to let me help them take them on this new journey—it truly is the best way to find permanent personal pr if it’s delivered and managed correctly.

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Getting a handle on your SEO and SEM will create best on-line publicity for better talent recruitment and placement!

In a weak economy like this, job boards and search engines get used more than ever before (Read).

So recruiters have more applicants than ever.  So why doesn’t your applicant quality for niche roles seem much better?

The answer begins with two questions: 1) How well are job postings being seen on job boards, as well as major search engines like Google and Yahoo, and job-specific engines like SimplyHired.com and Indeed.com?  and 2) What about the company’s online brand exposure (Web 2.o/Personal PR)?

Yes, dull job postings are a part of the problem!  Most lack the “what’s in it for me” motivating appeal that lets a passive candidate visualize the role, challenge, environment, etc. and want to get off their rear and apply for the job!  Even if you rewrote a job posting to make it “sing,” that’s not going to solve the dilemma in the age of Web 2.0.

Nowadays, professionals don’t necessarily think to go to a completely different kind of website for jobs.  They naturally search in the same place they go to find everything else:  their favorite search engine.

NOTE:  Google alone has over 150 million searches per month for jobs!

Or if someone uses a job-specific search, it’s increasingly on a job aggregator site that pulls job postings from multiple boards:  Indeed and SimplyHired are now both in the top 7 of *all* US job-related sites. In either case, job postings get buried almost immediately.  Did you know that approximately 60% of on-line users don’t look past the first page of their search engine results?  And almost 9 times out of 10, users don’t venture past the first three pages of search results?  Today, it’s not how new your postings are that determine their visibility, but their search relevance.  Even most career websites are pushed far down the results where you’d like to rank high, deflating your employer brand.

Here’s a recommendation:  Consider this 90-minute webinar next Thursday, Aug. 13, that will really explain search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing (SEM) for recruiting and employer branding. Learn how to leverage these two things to your advantage. 

Save the date for: 

“SEO & SEM for Recruiters: An Introductory Guide to Improve Your On-line Visibility.” 

Whether you want to do it on your own, or you already use a consultant (me, for instance!), this session will give you the confidence to make intelligent decisions and act purposefully:

http://aces.arbita.net/webinars/SEOSEMforRecruiters-aug09

THIS WEBINAR LETS YOU TAP AN EXPERT!

When MY GUYS (I am a big fan) and SOCIAL MEDIA GURUS (when it comes to recruiting),  Shally Steckerl and  Glenn Gutmacher of theJobMachine, Arbita Consulting & Education Services (ACES) http://aces.arbita.net have a question about search engine optimization (SEO) or marketing (SEM), they turn to one expert at Arbita ACES:  Nicole Bodem. 

With seven years of SEO experience, the last 2.5 of which specializing in recruiting, Nicole Bodem is a guru at helping you increase your online visibility.  (Check out her recent excellent blogpost at http://aces.arbita.net/Optimizing-your-Social-Media-Profile about optimizing your social network profiles, too.)  Just as importantly, she clearly explains what’s in the way of your recruiting success online, and how you can do many of the improvements yourself, regardless of budget. “Nicole is clearly among the best in this space, cuts through the clutter and tells it straight,”said Shally. “When she makes a search recommendation or implements something herself for a client, I know it’s going to make a real difference in their online recruiting results.”  Today’s tools also allow you to understand where your job postings appear and who’s coming to your career website as a result.  Now, the metrics and platforms to track source exist — and don’t depend on flawed candidate self-reporting.  You can determine which channels deliver the right talent.

What surprises most recruiters is that it’s not just job boards you need to focus on.  Through a combination of SEO and SEM, you can tilt the playing field your way by targeting relevant passive talent on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, job-specific engines like SimplyHired and Indeed, social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook, as well as job boards. Even if you’re new to SEO or SEM, this online workshop on Aug. 13 at 1pm US EDT will cut through the hype and give you the understanding to take action, not dependent on any particular vendor or product.  Make a noticeable difference in your job posting and career website success.  Get details about “SEO & SEM for Recruiters: An Introductory Guide to Improve Your Online Visibility” and register today for just US$99.97 at http://aces.arbita.net/webinars/SEOSEMforRecruiters-aug09

 HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL LEARN IN 90 MINUTES NEXT THURSDAY (8/13/09):

– A clear understanding of the difference between SEO and SEM:  how each channel works, what it costs and how to control it

– Real-world examples of good and bad job ads, including tips and techniques you can implement immediately

– Effective ways to optimize your job advertisements, ensuring your latest postings have strong presence on the major search engines

– Analytical tools to track responses and understand which metrics are important to track

– How to evaluate your website for search engine friendliness, including which technologies to avoid that may prevent search engines from finding your job postings

– The 3 cornerstones of SEO — technical, content and trust — and how to remove barriers so all three are present, with some simple changes you can make today to increase your search engine visibility

– Quality score:  Bidding is not everything with search engine ads: your competitor can pay less yet still get more clicks! Learn how that works.

Recruitment and really all SEO and SEM are key to have in order to succeed in the Web 2.0 age.  They are the route to the success metrics that talent operations increasingly need to deliver to management.  I realize this is new territory for many, so  to make it easy for you:  The folks at ACES are so confident this webinar will make a difference in your recruiting and sourcing success, that if you decide afterwards it wasn’t useful, Shally has agreed to let you take a completely different Arbita ACES webinar workshop anytime in the next year, at no charge or obligation.

So what else can you learn by getting a handle on SEO and SEM?:

– Precisely control and track your job-related keyword spend

– Generate metrics for your site visitors & where they’re from

– Target talent by location and other criteria – even those seeking jobs among your competitors

– Customize your messaging to applicants

– Drop Your Cost per Click and per Applicant

– Turbocharge Your Employer Brand

This professional seminar offers you, without travel and from the convenience of your own computer, an ideal way to learn the latest ideas surrounding search engine optimization and marketing for recruitment.  With hundreds of millions of job-related searches done on search engines, job boards, job aggregators and other web properties per month, it only makes sense to learn how to use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to your advantage.  And there’s no easier or clearer way to get your jumpstart than this webinar on Aug. 13 by Arbita’s acclaimed SEO/SEM guru, Nicole Bodem: http://aces.arbita.net/webinars/SEOSEMforRecruiters-aug09

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It’s not what you say, it’s what you DO (with your Personal Brand).

Last month, Blogger and Senior Executive Business Development and Operations Strategist, Jeff Plante wrote piece about branding in business and why it’s necessary and essential to “back up” up words with actions (within operations, policies and procedures)  in order to continue build a company brand and have it continue to be successful for an organization long term.  In his post on July 24, 2009 (read the complete version on his Growing Profits Blog), Jeff wrote:  

Branding, as a concept, is easy enough to understand. It is the process by which an entity takes certain actions and creates messaging around itself to project an image associated with the entity. The image that a person or company seeks to project is referred to as “the brand” in a company’s or person’s eyes.

He goes on to say:
Success in branding is truly about the journey.  In other words, a business has to be brutally honest with its own self when it comes to defining a brand. What is the image that comes to mind in the market when your company name is heard or signage is viewed or a product is purchased? That is the starting point. The end result point is aligning an executive leadership team and the employees on the brand or image you wish to be seen in this manner in the future. What do you want people to think? What do you want them to feel? When they hear the name of your company? 

A company that understands what a “branding campaign” is really about is truly interested in changing or improving its brand. It will embrace this understanding and will actually tie in its messaging and communications with company operations, polices and procedures that reflect and support this message!

A strategic plan associated with annual operating plans and which ties in the desired brand to specific improvements and changes in the company’s operations, policies and procedures that impact the external environment is a key approach.

The very same practice can and should also apply to every individual out there who is currently looking to build on and HAVE a well rounded and LIKABLE brand.  So I  have rewritten some of  Jeff Plante’s observations as it applies to building a great PERSONAL BRAND AND KEEPING PERSONAL PR in continuous movement.  Please keep in mind that I have learned a lot of this “the hard way” over the years, but glad that I went through what I did  via my own and my clients’ campaigns (especially in the last few years as the term Personal Brand started to come into play) to truly understand that it takes more work than just words to build personal branding, thought leadership and great publicity! 

Let me know what you think:

Branding, as a concept, is easy enough to understand, but it is the process by which a PERSON takes certain actions and creates messaging around HIS/HERSELF to project an image associated with “HIS/HER PERSON.” The image that a person seeks to project is referred to as “the brand” in THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER.Success in branding is truly about A PERSON’S journey.  In other words, a PERSON has to be brutally honest with HIS/HER own self when it comes to defining HIS/HER OWN brand. What is the image that comes to mind in the market when YOUR (INDIVIDUAL) NAME is SEEN OR HEARD or YOUR POST/signage is viewed or YOUR PRODUCT is purchased? That is the starting point. The end result is  being able to get OTHERS  to align (your staff, your publicist, your agent, your colleagues, fans, attorney .. etc.) with YOUR brand or the image NOW and in the future. What do you want people to think or feel (even believe) when they see and hear YOUR NAME?

THE PERSON who understands what a “branding campaign” is really about is also truly interested in also providing a human spirit to as well as always developing, changing or improving upon THE PERSONAL BRAND.  A SUCCESSFUL PERSONAL BRAND will embrace this understanding as well as actually tie in THE RIGHT messaging and communication pattern with HIS/HER own personal (or company) viewpoints and concepts that reflect and support the message!

A strategic plan and a consistent campaign that ties in A PERSON’S DESIRED BRAND to specific qualities and practices that HE/SHE can offer on a consistent basis (again, WITHIN A BUSINESS OR CAREER PATH –for instance) to impact an external environment or audience in a positive way is THE  BEST approach TO BUILDING A BETTER AND  MAINTAINING A CONSISTENT PERSONAL BRAND THAT WILL SIMPLY DOVETAIL INTO EXCEPTIONAL PERSONAL PR.

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Personal PR/Branding is what you need in today’s job market…

Had the local CBS Los Angeles evening news on yesterday (Thursday 7.30.09) in my office as I was busy creating new “social media” messages for my clients. I am usually an NBC watcher (since they are really good to me here in the LA market – I am quite loyal to my NBC Channel 4 News in the evenings (Fox11 in the a.m.s!), but it was meant to be. Amongst the tidbits about the day’s local and national news, all of a sudden the announcer starts an intro to the next report saying something like: “Personal Branding is what you need in today’s job market…” Of course I starting freaking out. I just love it when the news media talks about personal branding!

The last few pieces on the news like that revolved around my client www.RezBuzz.com and their impact on the use of video branding for job search and career movement within a social network platform. That report ran on NBC Channel 4 and in and around NBC and MSNBC over the last month! So I was 1. mad that it was not me they were talking to (LOL), but 2. I was excited to see that CBS was in fact talking to “the” personal branding guru himself (who I am honored to have following me on Twitter no less!)…Dan Schawbel, the author of “Me 2.0” which I think is one of the best reads around (THE BIBLE of personal branding if you will…) for anyone who is on the job market OR looking for new business (i.e. consultants and other solo professionals).

I have been at this personal branding thing for a long time now. I am in the throes of trying to complete my own “Got Personal PR?” book, but quite frankly I have been so busy doing the producing of personal branding and publicity for my clients — I just don’t have time (you know, the “plumber’s leaky faucet syndrome” and all). Most of the people who come to me need help not only to build a brand and personal publicity, but more so to PRODUCE IT… let’s face it you still have to be able to find the time, the desire and the ability to be able to do it. There is also a thick learning curve and time availabilty factor to truly be able to build a brand and develop a following. This is a niche that I think I have developed over the last 10 years that is much akin to the making of a movie, production of an event or even the raising of a family and sometimes it does “take a village” (more than just one’s own self) to develop a unique and highly visible personal brand. It’s also kind of cool to have a personal publicist tooting your horn and going to bat for you when you need that extra edge as well as someone to speak up for your greatness when you might not feel you should.

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