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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Job - Brand-Architects Director of Public Relations

Brand-Architects Director of Public Relations

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

SIGN UP for a Behind the Scenes Look at the Minnesota State Fair!

The Minnesota State Fair. The Great Minnesota Get Together. No matter what name you use, we can all say that we look forward to a weekend filled with deep-fried goodness and amazing food-on-a-stick. But have you ever wondered what kind of communications muscle goes into the planning? Join Minnesota PRSA at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds, where we'll hear from the communications and marketing staff who will share:
   
•    Some of the most interesting challenges the team has managed throughout the fair run
•    What the annual fair planning process involves
•    What the team does "off-season"
•    The role social media has played in helping build excitement about the fair with fairgoers and media

**Register HERE

EVENT DETAILS

WHO?
•    Brienna Schuette, Marketing and Communications Manager
•    Lara Hughes, Communications Supervisor
•    Christine Noonan, Marketing & Communications Specialist

WHEN?
August 6, 2013
7:30 a.m. - Registration

8 a.m. - Program

WHERE?
Minnesota State Fair Grounds

Libby Conference Center

1311 Cosgrove St.

St. Paul, MN 55108


COST?
Members: $30

Non-members: $45

Students: $25

Event Pass Eligible: YES

Breakfast will be served.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Two New Members Join the Clarity Coverdale Fury Clan

Clarity Coverdale Fury is proud to announce the arrival of two fresh faces in the agency: Julie Salfer, who will be joining the team as an Account Manager and Abbey Jensen as Production/Traffic Manager.

Julie joins CCF from Atomic Playpen, where she was a Project Manager for clients Pentair, National Pork Board and The Mosaic Company, among others. Julie’s interactive experience is a perfect match for CCF’s ever-growing digital capabilities.

Abbey joins CCF from Periscope, where she was a freelance Project Manager. Prior to Periscope, Abbey spent time at Carmichael Lynch as well MPR. As head of Traffic and resident yogi, Abbey will be responsible for keeping everything (and everyone) in balance.

As always, CCF is excited and happy to welcome two members to the family.

Padilla Speer Beardsley to Acquire CRT/tanaka

Padilla Speer Beardsley announced today that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire long-time partner CRT/tanaka, creating one of the top 10 independent agencies in the country as measured by the public relations industry. Upon close, the agency will be called PadillaCRT, with nearly 200 employee-owners in Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, Virginia and Washington, D.C. and annual net fee income of more than $30 million U.S.
 
PadillaCRT will focus on delivering cutting-edge, results-driven integrated marketing and communications campaigns across both traditional and emerging media channels. The agency will have deep expertise in food & beverage, health care, business-to-business marketing, consumer products & services, manufacturing, technology, agribusiness, recreation and other sectors, and award-winning capabilities in Branding, Research, Corporate and Investor Relations, Creative & Digital, Crisis Management and New & Social Media. Clients include BASF, Merck, UnitedHealth Group, Girl Scouts of the USA, 3M, Barnes & Noble College, U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, CarMax, Wines from Rioja (Spain), Land O’Lakes, Cargill, Rockwell Automation, Ditch Witch, RTI Surgical, Hass Avocado Board and SAP. 
 
“We’re creating a unique agency that clients will value and prospects will want on their short lists,” said Padilla CEO Lynn Casey, who will also serve as chair and CEO of PadillaCRT. “Combined, we’ll have a continued commitment to superior client service, deep industry experience in high-growth sectors and a range of specialties not commonly found in independent firms.”  
 
The two firms have been long-time partners and have collaborated on several client assignments and joint employee professional development programs. Both firms are founding members of the Lumin Collaborative, the industry’s first multi-agency think tank. In addition, they have both received numerous local and national awards for strategic programs, client service and workplace culture. 
 
“This combination makes strategic sense for our clients and our employees,” said CRT/tanaka CEO Mark Raper, who will serve as president of PadillaCRT. “We know each other well. We have a shared commitment to a collaborative, employee-ownership culture that translates into superior client service. By joining forces, a great next-generation agency will be born.”  
 
CRT/tanaka employees will join Padilla’s existing employee stock ownership program (ESOP), creating one of the largest employee-owned agencies in the country. The deal is expected to close in late August. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Job - Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance - Public Relations and Communication Intern

Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance - Public Relations and Communication Intern

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Magic Straws names Lola Red PR agency of record


Magic Straws, the straw that adds flavor and fun to milk, has elected Minneapolis-based Lola Red PR to lead all communication efforts as its agency of record. Lola Red PR will launch the brand to trade, regional and national media outlets, as well as manage the brand’s social media platforms.
 
As a part of the nationwide campaign, Lola Red PR is introducing the Magic Straws brand to national media outlets, Minneapolis business and lifestyle media, and key bloggers that will serve as brand advocates. While spearheading all communication efforts, Lola Red PR will develop widespread awareness of the brand focusing on the key attributes of the Magic Straws and its Milk4Education charitable program.
 
“The team at Lola Red PR has a successful track record of exceeding expectations and securing results across the board for its clients,” says Paul Henson, Vice President of Marketing for Magic Straws. “We look forward to expanding our consumers’ awareness as a result of the work.”
 
“Our seasoned team at Lola Red is thrilled at the opportunity to work with Magic Straws and bring the brand to the next level,” says Alexis Walsko, President and Founder of Lola Red PR. “Magic Straws is an incredibly distinct and fun brand, and we look forward to overseeing its development.”

Job - The Basilica of Saint Mary - Marketing & Communications Intern, Fall 2013

The Basilica of Saint Mary - Marketing & Communications Intern, Fall 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

Wellmark’s latest Promises Matter work by Campbell Mithun presents crash survivor, mobile app

Wellmark BlueCross BlueShield launched its latest “Promises Matter” campaign by agency Campbell Mithun with work showcasing a motorcycle crash survivor and introducing a new mobile app. The effort reinforces the integrity and accessibility central to Wellmark’s identity as a health insurer who strives to keep its promises in a shifting category where providers now compete fiercely for consumers. (View all creative assets on the Promises Matter campaign dashboard.)
 
“Promises should matter to a health insurance provider, that’s why we’re here,” said Tracy Smith, director of brand communications at Wellmark. “This work reinforces that message of integrity and introduces our promise of making healthcare easy to navigate via initiatives such as this new mobile app.”
 
The “Daunting” television spot (:30) and related “Matt and Kendra” 3-minute online video feature testimony by Matt Johnson -- a dirt bike racer who survived a crash, two weeks after his wedding, that put him in a coma for days and could have meant bankruptcy for him and his new bride.  “I knew in my heart I’d make a full recovery, but would we recover from the bills?” Matt says in the voiceover. “We pictured ourselves bankrupt at 24. Turns out there was nothing to worry about. Wellmark kept their promise.” 
 
To introduce Wellmark’s new mobile app, Campbell Mithun developed a TV spot “Carded” (:30), a radio spot “Purse” (:60), digital and mobile banners and a slate of Facebook ads.  The TV and radio spots use humor to dramatize the frustration of searching for a health insurance card:  “Carded” features an older woman who surprises bystanders (and viewers) by having the app; and in “Purse,” a woman digs through her purse to find lipstick, parking tickets, mustard packets, a picture of her cat, War and Peace and a kitten -- but no health insurance card.
 
“This work delivers Wellmark’s ‘Promises Matter’ message by sharing two very different but authentic experiences: one is a true health disaster; the other, a universal and practical situation,” said Reid Holmes, executive creative officer at Campbell Mithun. “Each resonates in a very different, yet impactful way to show what it looks like for a health insurance provider to keep its promises.”
 
Production notes:  Matt Johnson’s testimonial was filmed on one of the only sunny days this rainy spring on location at a track where he used to race near Rochester, Minn. The final cuts include actual photography of his accident in 2011.
 
The work will run regionally in South Dakota and Iowa through August 2013Meers, based in Kansas City, is the media agency.
 
Credits
·         Chief Creative Officer: Heath Rudduck
·         Creative Director: Reid Holmes
·         Art Director: Randy Gerda
·         Copywriter: Joe Stefanson
·         Executive Integrated Producer: Bill Smallacombe
·         Project Management: Tracey Mercil
·         Account Leadership: Jessica Hack, Sam Heitke
·         Director: Justin Corsbie
·         Production Company: Synthetic Pictures
·         Editor/Post-Production Company: Mike Weldon / Channel Z
·         Sound: Rumble Music & Victory Records

Friday, July 19, 2013

Gage Welcomes Wealth of New Talent

Gage is pleased to announce several news hires: Steve Solmonson, management supervisor; Alli Tsatsos, senior project manager; Mary Ann Tackett, senior user experience architect; Todd Lintner, web content writer and Katlynn Amstadt, human resource assistant. Gage drives consumer and channel behaviors by creating experiences that lead them toward the results clients need to achieve business objectives. The agency’s solutions are made up of marketing, communications and technology.

Steve Solmonson has been hired as a management supervisor, leading Gage’s new public relations team. Most recently, Solmonson was a media relations strategist with Carmichael Lynch Spong, where he worked on some of the agency’s largest clients including Trane and other Ingersoll Rand brands. Prior to joining Carmichael Lynch Spong, he spent 10 years with Carlson Companies, primarily in its marketing group. Solmonson brings a wealth of public relations knowledge to Gage along with deep experience in home and garden, consumer brands, sports marketing and military.

Also joining the Gage team is Alli Tsatsos as a senior project manager. Prior to joining Gage,
Tsatsos was with MotivAction, where she worked on programs with a global technology leader, a
Fortune 100 healthcare company, large financial institutions and a Fortune 500 agriculture, construction and forestry company. Tsatsos brings more than 15 years of experience in product management, project management and account management to her new position at Gage.

Most recently, Mary Ann Tackett was a principal user experience designer at The Nerdery, where she directed a cross-disciplined team executing across more than a dozen client projects. In this role, she provided team-focused leadership, guidance and mentorship for several practice areas, including: project definition, user research, information architecture, interaction design and visual design. Tackett also provided support to the sales team, assisted the agency’s recruiting efforts and provided thought leadership at various industry events.

Todd Linter has joined Gage as a web content writer. Lintner brings more than six years of experience writing strategic B2C and B2B copy to his new role and was most recently with space150. His specialties include digital (from desktop experiences to mobile apps to social media), video, and print.

Lintner has written for a variety of Fortune 500 clients, including American Express, 3M, Dairy Queen, UnitedHealth Group and Land O’Lakes.

Joining Gage as a human resource assistant is Katlynn Amstadt, a recent graduate from the
Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations. While in school, Amstadt was involved in the Society for Human Resource Management, serving on the executive board. She also interned with Gopher sports marketing.

“We are delighted to have such great people joining us,” says Tom Belle, president & CEO, Gage.
“They bring a tremendous amount of experience, leadership and track records of success to our agency; but most importantly to our clients. We are designed around clients and always try to stay ahead of what’s next. We can only do that by attracting and retaining the best people.”

Job - Ameriprise - Consumer Public Relations Manager

Ameriprise - Consumer Public Relations Manager

Doug Spong to be Inducted Into Prestigious PRSA College of Fellows

You’d think founding a public relations firm at the young age of 31 and building it into one of the most admired firms in North America might be enough for most PR professionals but if you think like Doug Spong, that’s the minimum the role also requires advancing the public relations profession and helping others on their own road to success. That drive for leadership, within his own firm as well as the PR profession, has resulted in PRSA’s recent announcement that Spong will be inducted into the prestigious Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) College of Fellows. The official ceremony will be held this October at the society’s International Conference in Philadelphia.

With the induction into the College of Fellows, Spong will join a select group of just 300 PRSA members in history who have been recognized for their contributions to the PR profession and for distinguishing themselves through their experience and leadership in the industry. Individuals so honored must have at least 20 years’ experience, hold the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential and have demonstrated capability and accomplishment in the practice or teaching of public relations. It is PRSA’s highest honor.

“Doug has made countless contributions, and continues to make them on a daily basis, to the success of our firm and to the greater public relations industry, both locally and nationally. He is an exceptional leader, an innovative professional and a wonderful mentor to me and so many other professionals who are thriving in their careers based on the wisdom he has shared. We are so honored to celebrate this extraordinary recognition for Doug,” said Julie Batliner, managing director of Carmichael Lynch Spong.

Throughout his 32-year career, Spong has favorably bent the public’s perception of the PR profession through his words, work and successes. It began in 1981 at PR firm Colle & McVoy, where in nine years he rose to serve as senior vice president, managing director. Spong was then recuited by Lee Lynch to found the Carmichael Lynch ad agency’s first public relations division in 1990.

Under Spong’s leadership, Carmichael Lynch Spong grew to become one of the top 25 largest PR firms in the nation. The firm operates globally and represents a portfolio of blue-chip clients including American Standard, Calphalon, First Bankcard, Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, Jennie-O Turkey Store, H&R Block, MasterBrand Cabinets, Sherwin-Williams, SUPERVALU, Tempur-Pedic, Thermos and Trane. The firm was named 2013 “Creative Agency of the Year” by The Holmes Report and has grown to become one of the most decorated public relations firms in the world. It was named “Agency of the Year” four times in the last eight years by PRWeek, The Holmes Report and PR News. No other midsize PR firm has won more Silver and Bronze Anvil awards than Carmichael Lynch Spong.

 Doug Spong has had a long history of involvement in the overall public relations community. His leadership in PRSA includes serving as co-chair of the 2011 International Conference; two-year chair of the Honors and Awards Committee; senior judge of Silver and Bronze Anvil awards; president of the 500-member Minnesota chapter, and a member of the Arthur W. Page Society. In addition to his support of PRSA as a professional society for individuals, Spong is one of 30 founding agency CEOs who identified a need for, funded and chartered the Council of Public Relations Firms. Founded in 1997, the Council of Public Relations Firms today represents the business interests of 110 of the world’s largest PR firms. Spong is a past director and treasurer. 

Recently, Spong received several individual awards for outstanding professional success, including the  SABRE Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement from The Holmes Group, the Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award from the Minnesota PRSA and the merit award for outstanding professional achievement from Iowa State University, his alma mater. 

If you ask professionals in the industry, they’ll say some of Spong’s greatest achievements include his efforts in helping them advance in their own careers. He is a dedicated mentor to current and future professionals and a frequent guest lecturer for both graduate and undergraduate programs at the University of Minnesota, University of St. Thomas and the Iowa State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
    
Given his success, Spong was recently asked to describe the best time of his career. He replied: “Right now. Today. While I cherish the accomplishments of the past and appreciate the recognitions that have come from founding and building Carmichael Lynch Spong, my finest moments continue to come every day. I learn something new every day. I'm inspired by our staff. I'm surprised by the pleasant, unintended consequences of igniting momentum for our clients. I look forward to achieving remarkable things for years to come.” 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

6 Business Benefits of Slideshare for PR Pros

By Christina Milanowski, Social Media Director and Account Supervisor at Maccabee Public Relations and co-author of the MaccaPR blog

Slideshare Why you should use it
Document-hosting social media channel Slideshare claims to be the largest community for sharing presentations. But, it's been around for nearly seven years (that's like a century in social media years), why should you care now? Because, my fellow public relations professionals, Slideshare's adoption has not reached its saturation point. Hundreds of Minnesota companies are NOT using Slideshare and missing big benefits. And, did you know the site currently logs 51.6 million monthly visitors? Yes, million!

Many companies are already creating great content in PowerPoint, Word and PDF – or content that can be easily tweaked to be in such a format. By thinking smartly about leveraging Slideshare as a new channel, you can get more miles out of your work – and in highly visual ways that will intrigue your audiences.

6 Benefits of the Often Overlooked Social Media Site, Slideshare


Slideshare Benefit #1: Rock at SEO!
Slideshare is an SEO powerhouse that we know from Brant Skogrand's recent MN PR blog post is an increasingly important focus area for PR pros. Slideshare can generate tons of referral traffic – from the link on your business channel to the links embedded in the document itself or descriptor box below it. It’s great for search, too. Slideshare auto-transcribes your entire document and puts the text just underneath it. This is genius for your keyword optimization practices! Plus, housing a document on Slideshare gives your company another robust result in Google (or Bing or Yahoo!) searches.

Slideshare Benefit #2: Amp Up Thought Leaders and Speakers' Profiles
We often recommend Slideshare to clients to augment speaking opportunities and thought leadership strategies. Has your CEO spoken to a trade or business group recently? To leverage that content and position him or her as a go-to expert, post the entire presentation to Slideshare (you can redact certain sections, if need be). Below, for example, well-known PR man Blois Olson shared his speech, tagged with the appropriate keywords. From this, Blois can expect to receive more traffic to his homepage (that’s linked to in his profile). And, the hidden bonus of housing his speech online is that he can share it more easily with interested parties. Speakers might also expect to receive comments, allowing them to connect with their audiences, get new ideas, and craft better presentations, ultimately leading to more speaking gigs.



Slideshare Benefit #3: Promote Your Content Marketing Strategy
Just as LinkedIn is more than resumes and job-hunting, Slideshare is more than just a document hosting service. Infuse Slideshare into your content marketing strategy to help publish and promote the content that you're already sharing via articles, white papers, blog posts, downloadable content… For example, when our agency's content marketing campaign was slow to generate new leads, we reinvigorated it by turning our downloadable content (a LinkedIn Marketing infographic) into a PowerPoint and posted it on Slideshare. It has since received 800 views and directed more traffic – and new leads – to Maccabee.


Slideshare Benefit #4: Maximize Your LinkedIn Potential
SlideShare is an approved provider for posting work samples on your LinkedIn profile. Currently, most LinkedIn users can house of-interest documents on their profiles with Slideshare, Prezi and Scribd. The feature, that is rolling out to everyone over time, allows you to display your Slideshare content in full color on a LinkedIn personal page, which could include yours or that of key staff. See how a MaccaPR blog recap document is displayed on my LinkedIn profile (bottom right) by simply adding a Slideshare link to it.


Slideshare Benefit #5: Use It as a Search Tool 
Think of Slideshare as a sort-of Google, but expect even more robust, list-based content. A search for "public relations" turns up more than 463,000 results! "[Slideshare is] also one of the best resources in terms of pure content," local PR pro Arik Hanson noted in his past blog post about great Slideshare presentations. "Go search Slideshare sometime for a particular topic–it’s full of decks from great minds across the world."


Slideshare Benefit #6: It's Highly Measurable!
Slideshare allows easy access to see how your branded content is performing. Measure Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Pinterest shares, document views, Slideshare likes, comments and embed totals, plus you can gauge your influence by the new followers and number of downloads is receiving. You can also analyze how much traffic your website receives from Slideshare by reviewing your site analytics. Below, check out the stellar metrics from the Content Marketing Institute's February posting.


6 Ways to Get Started On Slideshare 

In sum, Minnesota's PR pros should look twice at Slideshare as a social media channel. For its ability to measurably benefit your SEO, corporate/expert thought leadership, content marketing and LinkedIn strategies, it should not be overlooked. So, are you ready to get started? Here are a few ideas…
  1. Learn from the many corporations, nonprofits, colleges and governmental organizations are already actively posting and using Slideshare. Dive in by reviewing profiles and content. 
  2. Set up a Slideshare profile for the company you're working for and complete it with a company description, location, industry, homepage link, social channel links, and full-color logo. 
  3. Get your feet wet by uploading a PowerPoint, PDF or Word document (here are Tips For Preparing Your Slideshare Presentations). 
  4. Stay social, as Marcus Holt suggests in his MN PR blog post! Follow other people on the site and share, comment or 'like' interesting presentations that you stumble upon.
  5. Search the wide world of Slideshare content for future research projects. 
  6. Add Slideshare to your upcoming PR and marketing projects. 
I welcome your feedback in the comments section. In fact, I'd love to hear how YOU use Slideshare and how you've seen it done well.

- Christina Milanowski

P.S. Thanks to Ryan May for allowing me this opportunity to talk social with you! Here's hoping he is enjoying his much-deserved summer vacation.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Concept of Social Media Marketing

I was a much more trusting consumer a decade ago.  If a TV commercial told me that I needed three blades to get a clean shave, I went out and bought the first set of Gillette MACH 3 razors that I could get my hands on.

These days, my consumer mindset has changed.  I am wary of most advertisements and I now get my information from user reviews.  Why listen to the sales pitch when you can find out what the average Joe thinks of a product?

The guidelines for producing successful marketing strategies have changed dramatically since social media has emerged.  Consumers have gotten smarter.  They rely less on ads and more on friends and influencer recommendations. 

What does this mean for marketers?  It means that you must become a friend to the consumer in order to sell them on a product or an idea.  They do not want to pay attention to your glitzy ads or listen to your creative sales pitch before they really “know” you. 

When you think of social media as a marketing tool, you must not forget the word social.  Social media users can spot spam from a mile away.  Your social marketing efforts need to come from an actual human.  This person cannot simply advertise their product or service.  They need to entertain, inspire and interact.

For example, if you want to build a following on Twitter, you will not get far by posting only sales lines and links to your product pages.  Only 20 to 30 percent of your marketing efforts should be utilized this way.  However, the other 70 or 80 percent of your posts should be geared towards building relationships.  Mentioning or complimenting others, writing inspirational quotes, and posting funny content must be included in your daily Twitter activity list.

Marketing with a social mindset will help you gain consumer trust.  In turn, it will be easier to turn them into a customer.  An additional advantage is this: once you have won the trust of one consumer, that person will recommend you to their friends, relatives and their online connections. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Understanding the Basics of SEO for Public Relations

Occasionally the Minnesota Public Relations Blog has touched on search engine optimization (SEO), a discipline that public relations professionals should have some awareness of.

SEO has a strong intersection with public relations and social media, given the importance of online presence to brands. If SEO is new to you, this overview will be helpful.

Search engine optimization definition

According to Search Engine Wiki, SEO is "the use of search engines to draw traffic to a website. It's the technique of attaining a higher ranking in search engines and directories via alteration of website code and copy to make it more search engine compatible."

SEO is important because 75 percent of users never scroll past the first page of search results. I know that's generally the case with me. If I'm really digging for something, I'll go all the way to page four.


Keyword research

Keywords are the most crucial element to SEO. Search engines work to match queries that have appropriate keywords in them with the most relevant content on the Internet.

Keywords are phrases you wish to target. They are the terms that potential website visitors would use in search engines. As an example, think about what you would type into Google to find an excellent Italian restaurant in the Twin Cities. You might type in "Italian restaurant Minneapolis," "Italian restaurant St. Paul," "best Italian restaurant Twin Cities," or "best Italian restaurant Minneapolis St. Paul."

To come up with relevant keywords for your project, think about your target market. Is there a specific geography, age or gender with which you want to connect?

Write down as many keywords as you can think of, and then do some research to find out how frequently they actually are used. Some tools to determine how popular keywords are include:  Google AdWords, SEMrush and Raven Tools.


Optimizing press releases

Like it or not, search engines don't have a sense of humor, and that impacts how clever one can make the headlines and copy in a press release. One aspect of effectively optimizing a press release going out on a wire service (Business Wire, PR Newswire, etc.) is to use a clear (not necessarily clever) headline. Another important tip to take into account is to place your key messages at the beginning of the press release, as search engines consider the copy near the beginning of the release more important than the rest of the copy.

To use the most appropriate number of characters for readers (and online news services like Google News), noted writing expert Ann Wylie recommends keeping the headline length to eight words or fewer, the deck/subhead length to 14 words or fewer, and the lead paragraph to 25 words or fewer.

Now back to the relevant keywords. Hyperlinks to the respective page on your organization's website are important to the algorithms of search engines.

The keywords that you consider important should be hyperlinked in your press release, but use caution. Yahoo! Finance, one of the leading Internet news sites, has placed restrictions on hyperlinks in a press release, such as: one hyperlink per every 100 words, a maximum of six links within a press release, and a maximum of three consecutive words can be hyperlinked.


Using photos for SEO opportunities

Search engines are visually impaired, which is why keywords are so important. Search engines can read the words on a page, but not see photos.

However, a related way that search engines can "see" photos is the associated text that can be assigned to each photo. In a press release, the associated text comes into play when publishing a multimedia press release using a wire service. Remember to use the keywords that you deemed relevant.


Understanding META tags

META tags are HTML tags that are in the code of a website. I mention them here just because they are important to SEO, and you see them everyday in search engines.


In the example above for Sparkweave (a client that I work with through KC Associates), the TITLE tag is the top line, and the META description is the phrase that starts with "Sparkweave" and ends with "today." Other aspects of META tags include the keywords tag and ALT IMG/associated text for images. (The keywords tag and the ALT IMG/associated text don't show up in search engine results, but are in the HTML code.)


Optimizing your online pressroom

Having a pressroom that is very easy for journalists to find and has the information that they need can make the difference between your organization making the cut in a news story or not.

In research that I conducted with journalists for an article (opens PDF) that ran in "Tactics," here's what I found:
  • Keep it simple.
  • Make media contact information prominent.
  • Ensure easy access from your company's home page.
  • Provide RSS feeds.
  • Keep your online pressroom organized.
  • Use the terms "media" and "press" in your online pressroom.
  • Offer a search box.
  • Provide more than just press releases.
I will be sharing these SEO insights at the Public Relations Society of America Midwest District Conference on July 25. I hope to see you there!

-- Brant Skogrand, APR, MBC / Skogrand PR Solutions, LLC 

Vacation

I am headed out of town on vacation for the week. I will be out from today through Friday, July 19. Don't worry I have lined up some awesome guest bloggers. Brant Skogrand, Christina Milanowski and Marcus Holt. Thanks guys. See you next Monday!