SKC Insights

 

 

7 Steps to Becoming a Thought Leader

Would you like to become a thought leader and reap the benefits that come with it? Thought leaders—like Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos—are people who have visions and strong degrees of expertise in subjects, topics, or issues. But more than that, they have publicly and relentlessly demonstrated their bona fides by taking a stance, having a perspective, and voicing their views and opinions. They’re leaders others want to meet, learn from and emulate.

Thought leadership takes time and effort, but the benefits are worth it. From building credibility with investors and customers, to shortening your sales cycle, to creating a legacy for the future, your efforts will not only help elevate your industry but catapult you to a new level of success and renown. Here are 7 steps to get started:

 

1. Be a Journalistic Resource

Getting quoted in news articles and publications is a great way to establish yourself as an expert or leader in a field. To be quoted, position yourself as a valuable source and make yourself known to reporters. Put yourself out there and be visible – engage in conversations with journalists, share your great ideas and insights. Help reporters choose you.

 

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6 Reasons to Partner with a PR Agency in 2019

The beginning of the new year brims with possibilities. You have goals and grand plans for your company. You have a brand to build, products and services to launch, more customers to win over and an opportunity to scale. You have so much to do and so little time!

Yet you’re challenged. You’re dreaming up ways to stretch your 24 hour-days into 48-hour days, spitballing ideas on how to meet these goals without adding headcount. Well, you’re not alone. From brand building to media relations to digital marketing, there are plenty of reasons why so many companies have found their solution by partnering with PR/marketing firms. Here are 6 reasons why hiring a PR and marketing firm is smart business.

1. Frees Up Your Time to Focus on What You Do Best

You're building your company, designing, developing and selling products and services. That’s what you do best. The PR agency has clients and products to market. We write, message and position you, pitch media, create news stories, secure speaking opportunities and awards, execute digital marketing – that’s what we do best. When you find your trusted agency, take a sigh of relief as you can now free up your time to focus on what you do best, paving the way for you to build products that are PR-worthy.

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Going to CES? 5 Tips to Grab the Media Spotlight

Tradeshows are like marathons. They aren't for the faint of heart. The biggest ones, like CES, run for six days and are packed with early mornings, late dinners, bustling business exchanges, and constant industry buzz. Tradeshows are also popular, albeit noisy, forums for promoting your company, your successes, and your messages. But how can you make sure that your company is not swallowed up by the sea of vendors vying for mindshare and media attention?

Here are 5 ways to grab the CES media spotlight:

1. Be Prepared

While CES 2019 is almost upon us, there’s still time to uncover media opportunities -- from inclusion in tradeshow dailies to exclusive invitations to media events. Do your research on the myriad media and award opportunities for the show. Get your releases ready now so they can be pitched in advance. And now is the time to enlist the expertise of PR pros to refresh your message, update your media kits, and get your executives interview-ready.

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5 Tips to Create Media Buzz During the Holidays

Sometimes “bad timing” can be “good timing.”

Conventional wisdom dictates that companies should avoid media pitching and outreach during the holiday season. The belief is that everyone, including consumers, reporters, and editors, is too busy and distracted to hear our story pitches, look at press releases or read news articles. The truth is this is an ideal time. The news cycle is slower, creating content holes for reporters. For companies, the holidays are the perfect time to gift news outlets with story ideas.

Here are 5 tips for getting yourself some coveted coverage during the holiday season:


1. Wrap-up the Year with a Special “Wrapped” List

If your company had a great year, why not celebrate it with your customers? Share how they benefited over the past year with a summary of what they saved, enjoyed, or gained from your business. Spotify announced their aptly named “Spotify Wrapped” stats of the most streamed artists of 2018 and are giving subscribers playlists of their personal top songs. It didn’t take long before Spotify started trending on Twitter and featured in top outlets like TechCrunch, CNET, and Newsweek. Cap off the year with your own version of customer favorites. Turn it into a press release and perhaps even an infographic, and share it with local, trade and national business press. (Don’t forget to let your own customers know, too, by sending them an email and posting the roundup on your social media networks). 

 

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6 Hard Truths About PR

We hear you. The marketplace is brutal. Customers are fickle. Competitors are breathing down your neck. And worse, some prospects have never even heard of you! You need positive press coverage and brand awareness yesterday — there’s simply no time to wait.

We wish we could come in and magically wave a wand to get you some visibility right now. But, unfortunately, public relations doesn’t work this way. PR, like so many other business processes, rewards the companies who approach it with preparation, commitment and time.

Getting rid of misconceptions and myths — and facing these 6 hard truths about PR — will help you gain traction and take advantage of all it has to offer.

 

Truth #1: PR Takes Time

Effective PR takes time. Like the sales process and growing a pipeline, PR is something we can’t do one day and walk away from the next. Companies in the know start by building a solid messaging and story foundation, creating quality content and relevant news angles, and cultivating the right audiences. This takes ongoing commitment and a regular sharing of your story in a variety of interesting ways to achieve PR success. The best results come to the companies who stick with it.

 

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14 Reasons Why Companies Embrace PR

When Steve Jobs received his first big investment for the Apple – $250,000 from angel investor Mark Markkula — it was meant for the development of the new Apple II product, the first major Apple product to hit the masses. However, before he started investing in new hardware, Jobs hired the best PR professional in Silicon Valley, Regis McKenna. Jobs knew before he could focus on building the products that would launch his company that he needed to have a PR plan in place.

Jobs embraced PR, and so do Richard Branson and Bill Gates. How about you? In fact, Gates once said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” And these business titans aren’t alone in their fervent faith in PR. Many executives from companies feel the same.

Here are 14 reasons why:

 

1. Master Your Message

If you don't tell your story, others will tell it for you. Avoid negative or misleading press by presenting the best version of yourself with public relations.

2. Differentiate Yourself

With so many products and services out there now, it is far too easy for customers to get overwhelmed. Good PR programs can make you stand out from the pack. As Seth Godin says, “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.”

3. Create Buzz (and Adoration)

Do you have a product coming out? Start building that fan and customer base by influencing the influencers. Stoke that excitement with social media, bloggers, journalists, grant interviews, offer reviews and you’ll see awareness evolve to adoration.

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4 Reasons for Becoming a Thought Leader

Before the internet was everywhere, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had a vision of selling books, then everything, online. While people were happy with cell phones that were only used to make calls, Apple Founder Steve Jobs had a vision of a phone that was much smarter. And Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg had a vision for women in the workplace to “lean in” and take charge of their careers.

Bezos, Jobs and Sandberg…not only did they forge new paths, they were inspiring teachers and extraordinary thinkers. And they’ve made an imprint. They’re leaders that others most want to meet, learn from and emulate.

They are thought leaders.

Just telling people you are a thought leader doesn’t make you one. Thought leaders are people who have visions and strong degrees of expertise in particular subjects, topics, or issues. But more than that, they have publicly and relentlessly demonstrated their bona-fides over time by taking a stance, having a perspective, and voicing their views and opinions.

Being a thought leader takes time and effort. But by embarking on a strategic thought leadership program that integrates public relations and digital marketing, all the time and effort will be worth it, and here are 4 reasons why:

1) Become Well-Known by Those Who Matter

Imagine you are a startup and you’re trying to sell a new type of software that you believe will change how people interact with computers. Now imagine you’re the CEO well-known in this industry, speaking at events, being sought out by reporters and those seeking to learn more from you. How much easier will it be to have business opportunities come your way? Peer recommendations are still the most trusted across ages and countries, so having a foot in the door with your thought leadership is a great way to take advantage of that.

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10 Ways Inbound Marketing Can Benefit Your Company

The customer of today is no longer the customer of yesterday. With competitors offering more and customers’ expectations growing, companies are struggling to deliver their messages and gain market share. Think about it. Traditional outbound marketing—advertising, cold emails, cold calls, snail mail and trade shows—are not yielding results like they used to. So, what’s a company to do to stand out from their rivals and attract more prospects and customers?

Here’s where Inbound Marketing comes into play. Inbound marketing – a customer-centric approach to providing helpful content and experiences to meeting prospects’ needs and challenges – is a strategic and wholistic marketing practice that brings together a plethora of techniques ranging from blogs to podcasts to videos to SEO to social media, and more, to spur companies onto unprecedented growth.

Here are 10 ways Inbound Marketing, sometimes referred to as “digital marketing” or “content marketing,” can benefit your company:

1. Increases Web Traffic

Most company websites are static brochures. Inbound turns yours into a helpful resource that will have customers returning to again and again. Content offers (like e-books, white papers, reports), blog posts, and social media are all inbound marketing avenues that channel traffic to your website. By continuously producing content, your audience will keep returning to your site, thus keeping up your traffic while new traffic funnels through your channels.

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5 Questions You Should Ask When Selecting a PR Agency

You've put in all the time and effort building your company. You know that your technology and brand story is a major differentiator, and that having the right PR agency partner will raise your awareness and credibility, catapult you to the next level, help get your story out, earn you positive media raves, and compel your prospects to buy from you and partner with you.

You know the timing is right to bring on board a trusted PR agency. But how do you choose the agency that’s right for you? Asking the following five questions might just get you closer to your ideal agency!

 

1. What is Their Track Record for Helping Companies Like Yours?

Finding a PR firm that has helped companies like yours is helpful. Look at companies that the agency has on their past and present roster. Are they from your or related industries? Are they startups or Fortune 500s? If you are an AI startup, agencies with applicable AI experience will understand your offerings and ramp up more quickly, but equally important, it means that your team will have relationships with reporters at the media outlets where you want to be featured. Treat the agency’s track record like a portfolio and prediction of how the agency will work with your company.

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8 Tips for Creating Newsworthy Content

 

 

"Sorry, that's not news." Have you ever stumbled when a journalist tells you what you have to offer isn't newsworthy enough? You gulp. Here you are, with an exciting piece of news or scintillating insight, ready to strut your stuff, but they decide "it's not newsworthy" and don't give you a clue on what makes them tick. 

Well, we can't generalize for all media, but in our many years of working with hundreds, if not thousands of them, we have developed a good sense of the types of news and information that companies can create and package to pique the media's interest, earn their trust, and get written up in their news stories.

Here are 8 tips for creating newsworthy content:

1. Dazzle with Facts & Figures

Journalists love hard data. And that's a fact! Shining the spotlight on facts and figures, preferably with announcements about reports that shed light on industry trends, can entice a reporter to write about your organization as part of a larger trend story or even lead them to creating news just on your content. Survey data works great. When ACUHO-I's Annual State of ResNet Report was published earlier this year, media outlets picked up the story based on the strength of the numbers and infographic provided. One outlet, Campus Technology, even used the report in not one, but two articles, drawing from various newsy aspects of the report to cover multiple angles.

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