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Got a Leak? Check Your List.

As a best practice, it’s worth assuming that everything you put in writing will go public. From emails to letters to flyers posted in a break room – despite your best laid plans it’s an unfortunate reality that sometimes information leaks outside your organization and the result isn’t always positive.


Photo by Timothy Brown via Flickr

I can easily cite a number of times I or a client have received a call from a member of the media who has written communication in hand that wasn’t ready for public consumption. Start your crisis engines… it’s always a wild ride.

That said, if you’ve got a positive relationship with your key stakeholders – think executive team, board members and staff – they should be a trusted source that treats sensitive information as such. If sensitive information that you’re asking them to keep quiet until the time is right regularly leaks, it’s time to check your list.

I’m talking email lists, mailing lists, call lists and more. It only takes one ex-employee who’s now working for the competitor but still on your employee email list, or one disgruntled vendor with access to a shared Google Doc to get information they shouldn’t have and might find satisfying to leak. Read more after the jump…

Google Maps and Google Places and Google Plus… Oh My!

I think we can all release a collective sigh of relief over the news that Google Plus will no longer be required for maintaining a local business listing.

However, with Google’s recent announcement of a rebrand and shift away from Google Plus, many brands are left wondering, “what now?” If you’re struggling to keep up with all of the ever-evolving Google platforms and best practices, you’re not alone. Here are some answers to questions that we’ve heard frequently, in case they are helpful to you, too…

Can’t I Just List My Local Business on Google Maps?

Whether you put it there or not, your local business is probably already listed on Google Maps. But is that enough?

Go to google.com/maps, type in your business name and see what comes up. Go on, I’ll wait… Now that you’ve found your local business Google map listing, what do you see? Is the name, address and phone (NAP) information accurate? Is there a photo of your storefront included? Are there online user reviews for your business? That’s a good start.

Now, I can already hear that next question forming in your head…

Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – Harsh Realities and Positive Inspiration

This week our reads ranged from a kick in the gut (burn down your platforms and start over!) to drool-worthy inspiration from brands who continue to win on social by practicing what the “experts” preach—creating content that is 100 percent tailored for each intended platform.

The takeaway?

If your budgets, resources and bandwidth only allow for a one-size-fits-all approach to social and digital marketing, its pays, both literally and figuratively, to be in just one or two places. Read more after the jump…

Tips to Spark Creativity

Last month, I blogged about helping clients achieve their super powers. A key part of this is encouraging them to think creatively and dream big. I have a confession, though – despite the fact that I work in a creative industry with some amazingly creative people, creative thinking is not my strong suit. I’m much more analytical and detail-oriented. This can be a bit of a challenge when I’m supposed to be helping clients strike creative gold, so I’ve learned a few tricks along the way to help bring out my big-idea side even though such thinking doesn’t always come naturally to me.

Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – What’s Old is New Again

When social platforms evolve they often introduce functionalities that make tried and true digital marketing tactics even more relevant. Case in point, Facebook’s refocus on its “Notes” feature – encouraging more users to create long-form content, or put another way: blog. Similarly this week, we have Twitter takeaways from high-profile brands, tried and true SEO tactics and an answer to the question, “Does every campaign need a unique hashtag?”
Read more after the jump…

Buffer for Video Allows for Easy Uploading & Posting

Earlier this week we wrote about a new Hootsuite integration with Instagram that would make social media managers’ lives much easier. Right on the heels of that announcement came news from Hootsuite competitor Buffer of a new video functionality that makes uploading and posting easy across multiple social platforms.

Buffer, which is known for allowing multiple pieces of content to be loaded and once and then posted evenly over a set period of time, has made the process of posting and scheduling  video content significantly easier. Simply upload your video one time, and you can share and schedule to multiple networks. Buffer for Video works smoothly with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+, uploading to each platform natively, as seen below in a sample Facebook post.

Read more after the jump…

Beware the Donalds

RumsfeldTrumpEvery few years a mavericky, break-all-the-rules type of leader bubbles up into the public consciousness. He wows people with his “blunt” talk, “refreshing candor” and willingness to address complex issues in a very simple and straightforward manner.

A decade ago it was Donald Rumsfeld. While U.S. Defense Secretary, his treatise on “known knowns and unknown unknowns” made him the darling of the lecture circuit. It even resulted in a book deal – Known and Unknown: A Memoir. And much more recently, Donald Trump has climbed up the GOP presidential nominee rankings through a sometimes-incoherent strategy of attacking almost anything that moves. Supporters admire his “leadership” and “take-action” style, if not his depth and nuance.

Leaders like the Donalds usually have a shelf-life, but the internal and external damage they may do can live far beyond the FOX News and CNN news cycles. The Donalds are charismatic, and serve as role models for many other leaders, including C-level executives.

CEOs who tire of having constraints placed on them with media will point to people such as the Donalds as proof that they should be able to speak bluntly and without talking points. After all, the Donalds prove that people love outspoken leaders who are not afraid of saying what people are secretly thinking.

So here’s some free advice for PR people who work with C-level executives: Don’t let them listen to leaders like the Donalds. Both Rumsfeld and Trump are outliers, and CEOs who seek to model themselves after them will quickly find out that you can’t count on lightning striking every time. And if they try, the clean up will not be pretty.

The State of Digital Marketing – 2015

GFM's Saint Joseph Hospital Opening campaign encompassed web, social media, media relations, SEO and digital ad campaigns.

GFM’s Saint Joseph Hospital Opening campaign encompassed web, social media, media relations, SEO and digital ad campaigns.

If you’re in the marketing communications industry, you’re probably familiar with terms like “content marketing,” “social media marketing,” “community management” – or simply “digital.” But can you explain the difference between each one? What does “digital marketing” actually mean?

Marketing departments and creative agencies are at a crossroads. Think about how greatly our work – our strategies – have evolved in the past five to 10 years. Marketing channels, consumer behaviors, third and fourth screens, mobile, SEO, distribution methods, customer service, thought leadership, media relations, bloggers/influencers, social networks, digital content, video, social advertising…it’s all different, and it continues to evolve. Marketing departments are struggling with where to prioritize budgets (and who to hire to do the work!) – and if any of you attended the Evolve or Die SXSW session this past March, it’s clear that traditional agencies have just as many questions about navigating the digital arena. Read more after the jump…

Schedule and Manage Instagram Posts With Hootsuite

Hootsuite & InstagramAnyone who has ever tried to manage multiple Instagram accounts knows the pain of trying to remember different log-ins and receiving notifications long after you’ve signed out. Thanks to the platform’s new integration with social management tool Hootsuite those issues may be a thing of the past.

The new partnership will allow social media managers to schedule Instagram content within the  tool and then Hootsuite will remind them when it’s time to post the content (but the content still needs to be posted within the social media manager’s Instagram app). Not an ideal situation, but still an improvement on any other options to date.

Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – Engineer Your Social Content

Research, deploy, test, improve. That might sound like the process a product or software developer may use, but it’s one that can, and should, also be worked into your content development strategy. The best way to learn what works is to try and fix your mistakes while improving on your triumphs.
Read more after the jump…