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3 Signs You Need a Marketing Automation Tool

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Have you considered making the leap to a marketing automation tool like Pardot, Marketo or Act-On? Deciding to use a new technology can be a daunting decision. If you’re wavering on your decision, check out these three signs that you might benefit from a marketing automation tool.

1. You’re in desperate need of better leads

Congrats if you have a database with up-to-date leads and a full pipeline. But for those of you who are digging through dirty, outdated data and duplicates, don’t worry, it happens. There are a plethora of tools on the market that can help you clean up your data, but the best way to maintain a clean database is to use a marketing automation tool.

With marketing automation you can use tools like form builders to glean important information about your inbound leads. Once you have them in your marketing automation program, you’ll be able to keep tabs on who’s engaging with your content and who are the strongest leads for you.

2. You’re consistently a step or two behind your prospects

One of the keys to successfully selling into your prospects is anticipating their needs. Marketing automation tools provide consistent and automated alerts about the activities that your prospects are taking online and in email. Additionally, you can also set up automated actions so that they can quickly receive another piece of relevant information – without any human delay.

3. There’s lack of internal communication 

In a perfect world, sales and marketing are perfectly in tune and working together to engage and nurture leads. The reality is, though, that everyone is often so focused on their individual to-do lists that communication quickly flies out the door.

Using a marketing automation tool gives marketing departments visibility into the effectiveness of their efforts, and also into the steps that sales took with the leads. It can also improve communication within sales departments – ensuring that no prospect is being unknowingly nurtured by two salespeople.

For help deciding which marketing automation tool fits your needs, check out our post “What to Look for in an Email Automation Platform.”

 



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Reasons Brands Fail: #7 Not Thinking Long Term
You are ready to unveil your new brand. Your employees are aligned and primed to deliver on your brand promise. Sound research has helped you position your brand in the current marketplace, and you have committed financial resources to launch your brand appropriately. Surely, your brand won’t fail. Right? The seventh reason your brand could land in trouble – and the final installment in this Ward to the Wise series – is not thinking long term. Lack of...


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Linhart Public Relations Promotes Tim Streeb to Senior Account Director

DENVER, Colo., April 15, 2014 – Linhart Public Relations, a national public relations, digital media and corporate communications counseling firm based in Colorado, has promoted Tim Streeb to senior account director. Streeb, who joined the firm in 2003, was previously account director. Streeb leads several corporate and business-to-business accounts, including Comcast, CoreSite, FirstBank, Johns Manville…

The post Linhart Public Relations Promotes Tim Streeb to Senior Account Director appeared first on LinhartPR.



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Conférence Femmes d’influence, Montréal, 1er avril 2014
Le 1er avril 2014, j’ai prononcé une allocution sur mon parcours d’entrepreneure et ma vision des relations publiques. J’en ai profité pour parler de l’importance d’accepter et d’exprimer sa différence de même que de celle de vivre une vie pleinement satisfaisante. Tagged: CASACOM, conference, femmes d'influence, marie-josee gagnon, women of influence


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New Team Member Spotlight: Ross Pfenning
RLF welcomes Ross Pfenning to the team as a communications specialist. Ross recently worked as a corporate marketing associate for CSOFT International in Beijing, China. He graduated from Davidson College with a bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies. To get to know Ross better, we asked him a few questions: Tell us a little about […]


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New Client Spotlight: Camp Corral
By Alyssa Bedrosian At RLF we have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of clients—from law firms to restaurants to financial services companies, we get a taste of just about every industry. While we enjoy working with all of our clients, we are excited to begin working with an organization that provides a […]


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Reasons Brands Fail: #6 Nothing Changed Internally
Another reason brands fail is because even though the company said the brand was changing, it never really did. Perhaps your look or message changed. This attracted people, but then no real change took place in the company. Products and services remained the same. The customer experience didn’t improve. Customers who were expecting something new and wonderful from you became disillusioned, sought out another company to provide the product or service they needed, and your branding effort failed....


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Women and Leadership: Four Insights from the WILD Summit

“Lean In” and “Thrive” are book titles by two accomplished female business leaders – Google’s Sheryl Sandberg and The Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington, respectively. Those same themes were abundant at the recent WILD Summit, sponsored by the University of Colorado’s Women’s Council of which I am a member. WILD is an annual forum on women’s…

The post Women and Leadership: Four Insights from the WILD Summit appeared first on LinhartPR.



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Rise of the Contributor: How the Increasing Number of Contributors and Freelancers Affects the PR World

rise of the freelancerThe model for newsrooms and publications is changing, and with that, reporting staffs are shrinking. For PR professionals, this means finding creative ways to make media connections.

According to a recent report from the Freelancers Union, one in three Americans currently hold freelance jobs – the world of journalism is no different.

As full-time reporters are becoming more sparse, freelancers and contributors are growing in numbers – just look at Forbes and its contributor network as an example of how the content creation cycle is changing. News outlets are moving to cut costs and use freelancers and contributors to tackle topics and stories that their staff reporters don’t have time for.

What does this mean for PR pros? It’s imperative to target freelancers and contributors as meaningful avenues to coverage.

At our most recent weekly media strategy meeting, our team planned to put a renewed focus on building relationships with the growing number of new contributors and freelancers. Many of these contributors and freelancers have more narrow coverage topics than the full-time reporters.

As a result, our team is taking more time to monitor what contributors are covering, how often they are writing and which outlets are publishing their work. This allows for us to make connections and provide valuable story ideas crafted for their writing niche.

The media landscape is seeing many changes and will continue to see more. The rise of the contributor is just one new aspect to keep an eye on from a PR perspective.

 

By: Gil Haylon Twitter: @GilHaylon


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March Madness: 3 Lessons for PR and Marketing Professionals Straight from the Court
By Victoria Dolan  Most basketball fans can sum up this year’s NCAA basketball tournament in one word: surprising. Losses by Duke University and Ohio State University in the first round resulted in real “March Madness” and broken brackets for many avid basketball fans. Whether you researched team histories, banked on expert opinions or viewed every game […]


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Aggreko to Power the NCAA’s Men’s Final Four Celebrations for the Eighth Consecutive Year


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Three Cs + Flexibility = Successful Social Strategy

Kaitlyn Viater, social media strategist, recently wrote a blog post for the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce (CWCC) website highlighting three tactics she believes create a successful social media strategy for any organization. Here are her thoughts: Social media continues to evolve with fresh functionality, updated analytics, and new ways to connect with friends, family…

The post Three Cs + Flexibility = Successful Social Strategy appeared first on LinhartPR.



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How B2B Prospects Consume Content

Consuming ContentContent marketing tends to follow a playbook: content is created, qualified leads are identified and sales grooms them into buyers.

But where does content go after a prospect gets their hands on it, and before they decide to buy?

A recent study from The CMO Council finds that nearly 95% of B2B organizations share content internally before making a final purchasing decision. The specific roles that content is shared with varies company to company, however the survey shows almost all content is shared in one of three ways:

1. From the Middle Out. 35% of survey respondent said decision makers research vendor content, make the purchase and then inform management regarding the reasons behind the decision.

2. From the Bottom Up. 30% said junior or mid-level staff share relevant vendor content with senior management, who make the call on whether to buy.

3. From the Top Down. 29% of respondents said that decision makers discover content, and push it to mid-level staff for further research and purchasing.

Of course, not all content makes it past the initial phase of research. B2B buyers are looking for specific types of content and insights to guide them through the buying process.

According to 65% of respondents, research reports and studies are the most valued and influential type of vendor content – followed by technical data sheets (50%), analyst insight (46%), whitepapers (35%) and articles found in third-party publications (30%).

What’s more, the right content plays a key role in additional purchases following initial contact. More than 85% frequently or sometimes pursue digital content for information on complimentary or add-on products, and 92% see content as validation of their decision or a way to maintain a relationship with the vendor.

Smart marketers know their buyers, the content they find valuable and who customers share content with before making a final purchase.

Check out this post for more content marketing tips.

 



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Happy 7th Birthday to RLF!
By Monty Hagler The phrase “seven year itch” is commonly used to refer to the decline of happiness in a marriage, but it also applies to the desire to either revamp other aspects of your life or move on to perceived greener pastures. As RLF Communications celebrates its seventh anniversary on April 1, I’m experiencing […]


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Reasons Brands Fail: #5 Insufficient Funding
Like so many other priorities in business, branding requires financial investment. Underfunded branding efforts usually fail. Why? Because there isn’t enough investment to provide a sound basis to validate the viability of a brand direction, or to provide the message frequency required for the brand to penetrate customers’ minds. When the latter occurs, messages aren’t communicated to the customer well, aren’t communicated often enough or worse, aren’t communicated at all. Effective branding requires a level of investment similar...


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RLF Internship Program Gives Students Tangible, Hands-on PR Experience
By Alyssa Bedrosian Just a few decades ago, attending college and having a decent GPA were enough to begin a career at a solid company. Fast forward to 2014, and the world of entry-level positions is more competitive than ever before, with companies seeking out college graduates who have significant, real-life work experience. For public […]


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Reasons Brands Fail: #4 Brand Not Based On Research
Sometimes a brand redesign takes the company in an entirely new direction – or so it seems. While branding can differentiate your business from your competitors, if it’s not done properly, it could result in some unexpected – and undesired – effects. The problem occurs when the brand change is not based on research or is not validated as relevant and meaningful to the marketplace. In other words, the brand house is built on a foundation of sand...


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What Kind of Conference Do Your Customers Want?

NetworkingThere’s a lot to love about user conferences: The networking opportunities, the industry insights and best practices, the face–to-face conversations with customers – and of course, all the excitement that goes along with it.

Naturally, many businesses want to harness that excitement and grow their conference into the biggest event of the year. But you don’t necessarily have to.

We’ve been lucky enough to experience many successful user conferences with our clients – and the truth is that there’s more than way for your conference to provide enormous benefits to attendees.

On one hand, the large, multi-day circus generates an enormous amount of excitement and buzz for your company. Larger events also tend to provide more opportunity to attract a large number of industry influencers – media, analysts, consultants, industry partners – that your customers would love to connect with. And by transforming your event from a user conference to an industry-wide show, it’s possible to heighten your position as a leader in the market.

But on the other hand, there’s something to be said for quality over quantity. Small-scale, more intimate gatherings typically offer stronger networking opportunities, where your customer can have extensive and in-depth peer-to-peer conversations – without distractions – that provide more relevant and actionable insight. With a smaller crowd, you can also invite presenters that actively engage and involve the audience. And perhaps most important – your team gets more quality face time with customers.

Neither approach is fundamentally better than the other – the key is determining what your customers value the most, and delivering an experience that meets their needs.

For more insights on conferences, check out our post on trade show ROI.

 



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Inside Perspectives: Two College Students Shadow Linhart PR Team

Each spring, our active Colorado Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) hosts an annual “Shadow Day,” where local college students are paired with agencies and companies to get a peek into the daily lives of PR professionals. Linhart Public Relations recently played host to two Colorado college students, and here’s what Marissa…

The post Inside Perspectives: Two College Students Shadow Linhart PR Team appeared first on LinhartPR.



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Five Natural and Organic Product Trends to Watch in 2014

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending New Hope Natural Media’s Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif. The annual event brought together a record-breaking 67,000 industry members and more than 2,600 exhibitors. While walking the floor, I noticed an astonishing array of products from hemp energy bars to vegan frozen meals to…

The post Five Natural and Organic Product Trends to Watch in 2014 appeared first on LinhartPR.



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4 Tips on Tracking Metrics and Your PR Campaign Decisions

Tracking metricsPR has changed over the last decade, and gone are the days when campaigns were measured on “buzz” and “excitement.”

Now, nearly every type of PR campaign is tracked and measured from start to finish, and for good reason. Understanding the effectiveness and ROI of a PR campaign allows decision-makers to best allocate resources going forward.

Here are four tips for how to best measure and analyze a PR campaign:

1. Measure as you go. Before launching a campaign, ensure that you have proper tracking mechanisms and baselines in place. Whether you’re tracking click-through rate on an email campaign or interactions on a social media campaign, it’s important to understand how and why your campaign was or wasn’t successful.

2. Don’t get fancy. Measurement tools and metrics for almost any type of PR campaign are becoming more complex and detailed. This can be helpful, but it’s important to keep track of what matters to your company’s bottom-line, not what the tools allow you to measure.

3. Metrics are only half the battle. Anyone can track metrics, but if your company isn’t analyzing and making informed-decisions from this data, it becomes useless. Understanding the value of each metric allows you to understand where a campaign might be failing and what can be done to adapt. Use the data to change your campaigns for the better in the next go-around.

4. Don’t put blind faith in the numbers. It’s easy to become too data-focused. Be able to step back and realize where the numbers might be offering falsities. You know your business, use the numbers to guide your decision-making, not control it.

Understanding the value of a PR campaign is critical, but getting caught too deep in the numbers can be detrimental. Use metrics to ensure that a campaign is hitting a targeted audience successfully, and follow these tips to keep it running successfully.

By: Gil Haylon Twitter: @GilHaylon


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Giving Credence To A Fugitive
He has been called many things, ranging from a traitor to a whistleblower to a protector of privacy rights, but what no one can argue with is that he is a fugitive from the USA because he has broken laws -- such as stealing documents that are not his to steal, and revealing them to international audiences that are not his to reveal, and setting himself up as the judge and jury, in violation of his contractual agreements.
[...]

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Facebook Is Ten.

There is no question that in its first ten years, Facebook has transformed the way we live. There is no argument. We may now know more details of people we met only once in our lives, than we do of our neighbors’ lives next door or across the street. Our kids can interact with “friends” across the world and may know more about them than they do about the ones they see everyday at school. Our employers know more details about people they are recruiting than they ought to know. The community is the world, but it is not the neighborhood. [...]


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USA TODAY Features the Most Memorable New Products of 2013
USA TODAY featured a snapshot of our Most Memorable New Product Launch (MMNPL) survey on the front page of the Money section in yesterday’s edition.


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Announcing the Top Ten Most Memorable New Product Launches of 2013
We have just announced the Top Ten Most Memorable New Product Launches of 2013! Head over to http://www.schneiderpr.com/blog/ to find out which products made the cut. We’ll also be releasing an ebook with full findings and insights from this year’s survey. Email launch@schneiderpr.com to receive a copy!


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