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12 Fun & Fascinating PR Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

As an entrepreneur/marketer, you know how much public relations can help grow your business. You have probably partnered with an agency, researched its value adds and contemplated its ROI. And you’ve leveraged content marketing, press releases, and media relations. But did you know PR also has a rich, colorful history full of insightful stories that we can all learn from, even today? Without further ado, here are 12 fun and fascinating PR facts: 

Once Upon a Time…

1. It Started with Cave Art: PR goes back to the earliest days of civilization. From communicating through cave drawings to Egyptian pharaohs’ “sacred carvings” and Greek noblemen learning rhetoric from sophists, communications management is an age-old practice. (Source: The Museum of Public Relations)

2. First PR Book: Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack is one of the earliest known examples of content marketing. This annual publication sold thousands of copies each year, generating incredible demand for the printing and paper business that Franklin owned. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)

3. First PR Agency: Modern PR dates to 1900, when the first public relations agency, “The Publicity Bureau,” was founded by former Boston journalists. The agency operated for “some 12 years before it disappeared into the sands of oblivion.” However, PR continued to grow throughout the early 1900s thanks to popular pioneers such as Ivy Lee and Edward Bernays (we’ll get back to them later). (Source: Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly)

4. Building Trust During the Great Depression: The Great Depression touched every aspect of American life – including the communications business. Due to the economic downturn, companies primarily sought to build trust rather than sell products. The result? Most turned to PR over marketing, with PR even getting top billing on organizational charts! Advertising spending, meanwhile, plunged by more than 60 percent between 1929-1933 and would not fully recover until after World War II. (Source: MuckRack; Encyclopedia.com)

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5 Ways Inbound Marketing Stands Apart from Traditional Marketing

Once upon a time, marketers focused on buying advertisements, mailing postcards, and making telemarketing calls. But people's behaviors have changed, and the traditional marketing playbook must change with them. While cold calls once netted enormous volumes of leads, today more than 235 million Americans are registered on the FTC's "Do Not Call" list. And that glossy flier you sent to your loyal customers? It won't even reach half of them, as 58% of direct mail recipients never read, or even scan, their mailers.  

What’s a marketer or entrepreneur to do?  

Some of this may seem bleak, but there’s good news – and it’s called inbound marketing. This holistic, data-motivated approach cuts costs, builds higher trust and credibility, and generates quality traffic and leads. Sounds too good to be true?  

Here are 5 ways inbound marketing stands apart from traditional marketing:

1. Quality Over Quantity

With the average person seeing 6,000-10,000 advertisement messages each day, it’s no wonder we’re starting to tune them out. So how can marketers get our attention? It begins with crafting quality content. As HubSpot writes, inbound marketing attracts customers by “creating valuable content and experiences… they are looking for and solving problems they already have.” While traditional marketing is all about what you want to say, inbound marketing focuses on what your customers want to hear. Consider your last major purchase, such as a new car. Did you choose the car with the best commercial? Or, like 88% of Americans, did you research specific questions before deciding? If you answered “research,” inbound marketing materials likely helped you make your choice. 

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7 Reasons to Partner with a PR Agency in 2021

What a difference a year makes! With 2020 in the rearview mirror, is it wise to predict what the next year holds? Our team thinks it’s worth a shot.

While "change” might still be the name of the game, 2021 already looks full of possibilities. As COVID-19 vaccines roll out around the world, the economy bounces back, and there’s a bit more hope in the air, it’s time to recalibrate and adapt your company’s goals and grand plans. We might be a little biased, but we truly believe that now, perhaps more than ever, is the time to partner with a communications agency to be successful in a brave new world.

You might be asking, “but why should I partner with an agency?”

Ahh, we're glad you asked. This is the question that most C-suite executives have to ponder at some point in time. Before we dive into how an agency partner can help with the latest and greatest in the coming year, here are 7 reasons why engaging with a PR firm is smart business in general.

1. Reap the Benefits of Experience

When partnering with a PR agency, you’re working with an entire team of experts who know about, and anticipate, all the twists and turns in the road, and the best ways to navigate them. Leaning on the experience of an agency elevates your business by supplying the know-how you need to handle any PR opportunity that comes your way. In many cases, it’s also incredibly valuable to get another—more specifically, outside—perspective on your brand and business

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SKC's 10 Favorite Lead Generation Tips & Tricks

Generating leads - both high in quantity and quality - is a marketer’s most important objective. A successful lead generation engine is what keeps the funnel full of sales prospects while you sleep. Surprisingly, only 1 in ten marketers feel their lead generation campaigns are effective. What gives?

There can be a lot of moving parts in any lead generation campaign and often times it’s difficult to know which parts need fine-tuning. To break it down, the best lead generation campaigns contain most, if not all, of these four crucial elements: an offer, a call-to-action (CTA), a landing page, and a form.

Here are SKC's 10 favorite tips and tricks for lead generation:

1. Leverage Newsjacking

When something is buzz-worthy, it creates high demand. In situations like this, you can align offers with "what's trending." Companies will often leverage newsjacking for this type of technique and it works very well for offers, too. For example, when the personal information of millions of people were exposed by the Equifax and Capital One breaches, SKC client Stellar Cyber took the opportunity to display how their security AI could have prevented it. 

2. Create Offers for Different Buying Stages

The most common offer is "Contact Us." Sure, you want all your prospects to talk to sales, but not every one is ready. Someone at the top of the buying cycle may be more interested in an informational piece like a guide or ebook, whereas someone more committed at the bottom of the cycle might be more interested in a free trial or demo. 

3. Use High-Value Offer Formats

Not all offers are created equal. Some "formats" of offers perform better than others at converting leads. For example, what's more valuable, a whitepaper or an ebook? It's important to test different types of offers with your audience to determine what works for them. While ebooks tend to generate the most leads, you may find that reports, videos or other formats do better for you.

4. Blogging Brings in the Leads 

According to HubSpot's recent State of Inbound report, marketers who prioritize blogging efforts are 13x more likely to see positive ROI. This proves that blogging is a highly effective channel for

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5 Ways HubSpot and Other Marketing Technologies Can Boost Your Business

Once upon a time, companies large and small relied on an overwhelming number of tools to market and promote their companies. Marketers were inundated by clumsy spreadsheets, a plethora of e-newsletter programs, separate social media accounts, blog extensions, and analytics tools galore. Then along came marketing automation platforms – HubSpot, Marketo, Infusionsoft etc. – with a unifying automation approach that changed the way we do marketing forever.

Today, many companies are reaping the benefits of martech and marketing automation and their belief in it is evident in their spend, now expected to reach $25.1 billion annually by 2023. This spend translates to coveted lead generation and conversion for many marketers, with 77% stating that they convert more leads with automation. What have these companies gained by leveraging marketing automation? How have their businesses and marketing and PR processes improved?

Here are 5 ways HubSpot and other marketing technologies boost your business.

 

1. Magnify Results for Your Business

If you think your marketing team is already doing amazing and don’t need any supplemental technology, think again! As Bill Gates said, “Automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.” Any team can benefit from marketing technology to amplify their best qualities and minimize their faults. Take I-Vitae, a company whose adoption of HubSpot turned their static webpage into a conversion funnel that brought in leads 34 times more than just their non-supported efforts alone. Their team members were very good, but with supplemental technology, they were gangbusters!

2. Your One-Stop Marketing Launchpad

Nowadays, businesses have multiple social media accounts along with websites, blogs, emails, and analytics pages. Logging into five, six or more different accounts doesn’t give you a complete picture. But consolidating your channels

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4 Reasons a PR-Digital Marketing Marriage is Good for Business

Public Relations and digital marketing have a common goal. Both want to increase visibility and awareness, but while one is about your relationships with customers and prospects, the other is more about your relationships with reporters and media outlets.

A healthy marriage of the two disciplines benefits each side — making each one stronger than it would be on its own. PR gets access to digital audiences beyond their traditional sphere, and digital marketing gets the experience of tried-and-true methods of communication. And you get a cross-channel strategy that can’t be matched that provides the following 5 key advantages to your business.

1. Amplifies Your PR Efforts

By incorporating digital marketing tactics into your PR activities, press releases, thought leadership articles, case studies, and press coverage can be spread and amplified through new channels. Reporters will be able to find information on your business through twitter or a google search. Backlinks and/or SEO key phrases in your press release can boost viewership of a piece of news to a whole new audience. Sharing contributed articles or coverage clippings on social media extends PR to your followers and beyond. PR materials are also a great source for content-hungry channels and for content marketing where you can chop up a release for a blog post or whitepaper.

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14 Reasons Why Companies Embrace PR

When Steve Jobs received his first big investment for 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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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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