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The social (media) pedagogy

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Did you know HGI offer training courses on all things social media and SEO?  We can help you gain your voice and be heard.

Learn to achieve better brand awareness, improved customer service, deeper engagement, and broader reach.

Understand your social media landscape and get to grips with the importance of content, social listening, influencers, and communities through our easy half-day and full-day courses.

Contact ashley@henley.co.uk  to find out more about what is on offer…

 

The tweet to woo

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social-1834013_19207 essential tips for Twitter that will help make your tweets ‘sing’

1 – Tweet daily – a maximum of three tweets per day is advised.  Keep tweets to a mix of industry news, product showcases, and links to online content.

2 – Retweet – keep an eye out for news by utilising such platforms from Twitter.

3 – Do you have the best handle on things? Is your Twitter handle the best available?

4 – Create unique hashtags for building brand awareness – for product launches create individual campaigns.

5 – Utilise keywords and become a Trend Jacker.

6 – Use images when you can.  Remember that they no long take up valuable characters withing tweets.

7 – Keep it short – you don’t need to use up 140 characters – sometimes a strong image and a link can provide a great teaser for readers.

Contact ashley@henley.co.uk if you would like to discuss social media more.

SEO In Numbers

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SEO in Numbers - The Henley Group International

Why SEO?  

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an important element in making your website easy for search engines and users to understand and discover.

Content is essential for SEO as it helps the engines ‘read’ pages and trigger how it will be useful for users.  In all content, you need to be targeting certain key phrases that you want to rank for on Google.  The key phrases you try to target in your content need to be phrases that will bring targeted visitors to your website.

Remember – search engines are taking notice of social media.  Incorporating a URLs presence on social media into their ranking algorithms. If a page is highly shared, it positively affects its search engine rankings.

Here is a snapshot of the current SEO climate in numbers:

1. There are over two billion people online – 38 million of them are in the UK

2. 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine

3. Google owns 68% of the search engine market share

4. 70% of the links search users click on is organic

5. 70-80% of users ignore the paid ads, focusing on the organic results

6. Search is the #1 driver of traffic to content sites, beating social media by more than 300%

7. SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate

8. 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results

9. The higher the rank position the better on Google: 18% of organic clicks go to the #1 position 10% of organic clicks go to the #2 position 7% of organic clicks go to the #3 position

Reference: www.searchenginejournal.com

 

 

Welcome To A Brand New Year – How About Making 2017 The Year You Re-energise The Press Release?

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Welcome to a brand new year.  I am sure you have already started a few lifestyle changes for yourself, but have you thought about giving your press releases an extra boost?  

Here are some helpful tips on what you could do to transform your press releases for the better.

1. Use hyperlinks that add depth and provide context

Crucially, these should not simply point readers to the organisation’s own website. Instead, they must provide context for the story through links to relevant statistics, research or background on a particular issue. This makes a journalist’s life easier and may nurture his or her longer term interest in the story, and the issues it may address.

2. Ensure the release is freely available It sounds obvious, but supplying press releases as locked PDFs, and in formats that don’t allow for easy copying and pasting of text, don’t lend themselves to use. Hiding them away in the poorly-indexed, irregularly updated news section of a website doesn’t help journalists find them.

It sounds obvious, but supplying press releases as locked PDFs, and in formats that don’t allow for easy copying and pasting of text, don’t lend themselves to use. Hiding them away in the poorly-indexed, irregularly updated news section of a website doesn’t help journalists find them.

3. Tie the press release to SEO strategy

As much of the story will end up online, a press release should include relevant keywords to support broader search engine optimisation efforts. Simply stuffing the release with keywords can impact on style and sentiment and is not recommended, however.

4. Repurpose the release in different formats

Content, as we are continually told, is king. To provide greater interest to readers, and further improve SEO, a press release can be turned into a short video, a series of informative tweets or, if data-driven, an infographic. 5. Target the right media The most clever and well-written press release will not generate coverage if it is provided to the wrong media. The recipients of each press release should be researched, identified and refreshed each time a release is produced. Particular attention should be paid to those vertical sector media, bloggers and industry associations who might also be interested in the story. Journalists can be targeted on the basis of their given interest in a subject area, whether they have written around similar subjects in the past, or whether a story meets a specific news requirement.

5. Target the right media

The most clever and well-written press release will not generate coverage if it is provided to the wrong media. The recipients of each press release should be researched, identified and refreshed each time a release is produced. Particular attention should be paid to those vertical sector media, bloggers and industry associations who might also be interested in the story. Journalists can be targeted on the basis of their given interest in a subject area, whether they have written around similar subjects in the past, or whether a story meets a specific news requirement.

 

 

 

 

What To Look For In An Agency – A Checklist

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CAPABILITY: Many agencies will claim to offer PR services, but that may not be their main area of focus. The websites of design agencies and SEO providers may list PR as an additional service, but if it’s not at the very core of the agency’s business then it may play second fiddle to the rest. And if a PR agency claims to offer social media, but its Twitter feed lacks engaging, original content or, worse, is not regularly used, beware.

SERVICES: Draw up a list of the services required. Depending on your needs, media relations, corporate communications, crisis management, social media and content development might all be on the list. Many agencies provide only some of these. Look for examples of their work in these fields.

SPECIALISATION: Ask the agency about the industries and sectors that it has worked in, and any that it considers an area of specialisation. Sectors aside, what are the broader business and regulatory issues that its clients have faced, and how has it helped clients develop a stance on them? Experience gained handling these issues may be of direct relevance to your organisation.

EXPERIENCE (AGENCY): Look for names of businesses in your core market, or in vertical sectors where you are active, or intend to be active. Find out if any are current clients of the agency and how long they have been working with them. A longterm working relationship with a client suggests that the agency works hard to understand a client business and delivers consistent results.

EXAMPLES OF WORK: Agency activity for clients should be supported by case studies that clearly show how an agency met client objectives. Campaign results should be clearly demonstrable and backed up with metrics. Many can provide an indication of return on investment, although be aware that some will employ Advertising Value Equivalent analysis to establish this ROI, a subject addressed in a previous Passnotes.

EXPERIENCE (INDIVIDUAL): Find out about the team that will be working on the account if they win the business. Did they work on the case studies that the agency provided to establish its experience? How long has the team been together? What other work have they done at the agency, and outside? Is there a broad mix of experience, talent and skills? Are the roles clearly defined? WRITING The stock in trade for PR agencies is the written word, and this remains as true for social media as it does for traditional print media relations. A prospective agency should be able to provide copies of case studies, blog posts, articles and news releases to show that its writing is engaging, persuasive and of a high standard.

MEASUREMENT: Find out how a prospective agency will capture, measure and report campaign achievements. It should be willing and able to incorporate metrics that align PR activity with a client’s broader business objectives. Insist on metrics that capture the agency resources that are being put into account activity, and a system that highlights any activities that are starting to drag behind.

CHARGING: Agencies employ different charging models, so it’s important to understand how these work. Broadly, these break down into two areas. Some agencies charge for their time – by the hour, half‑day or day – and dedicate a specific amount of time to a client account each month. It’s important, therefore, to determine from the outset what will be achieved with that time. And it will be important to control additional requests for agency time to handle unforeseen requirements each month unless an allowance has been made for the extra hours involved. Others charge a retainer, or management fee, typically paid monthly or quarterly. For the client, this provides certainty when it comes to budgeting and usually allows for a closer and more flexible relationship, as the agency should be able to price in a level of support to meet unforeseen client requirements. However, the agency should agree to a specific number and type of activities in return for a retainer, while any disbursements associated with the account should be subject to a cap unless separately agreed on a case-by-case basis.

THE FEEL-GOOD FACTOR: Finally, PR and marketing is very much a ‘people business’, and the wider team needs to get on well. How personable, open and helpful is the agency team? How willing is the agency to make regular meetings and visit the client to discuss story leads and new opportunities? It’s also important to ensure regular access to senior agency executives – ideally, they will be involved in day‑to-day client activity

The Top 10 Benefits Of Social Media

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  1. Learn more about your audience
  2. Target the audiences more effectively
  3. Find and support new customers and affiliates
  4. Increase web traffic and search ranking
  5. Get content shared quicker than before
  6. Utilise advertising and generate new leads
  7. Provide customer service through social media
  8.  Reposition existing content (press release/case studies) to a new audience
  9. Gain and influence other thought leaders in the sector
  10. Spot the trend and new products through competitor handles

10 Tips For A Top Press Release

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At the risk of revisiting what is a well-trodden path, it might be useful to consider what exactly makes a good press release. The following tips are the result of many years of experience, and a seasoned understanding of what the media looks for in the releases it is sent.

1. Consider closely whether the announcement really is news; if it is timely, and if it is of interest

2. Focus on the Who, What, When, Where of the story – but most importantly, Why?

3. Consider that many journalists edit a release from the bottom up, so put the crux of the story first

4. Adopt the correct tone, avoiding ‘ sales speak’ or marketing terms – it’s not a brochure

5. Banish jargon, buzzwords, acronyms and highly technical terms from the text entirely

6. Use correct grammar and punctuation and adopt and maintain the third person throughout

7. Keep the release short and to the point – use 500 words at most. It’s not a feature article

8. Provide interesting quotes that add something to the story. Consider that one is usually enough

9. Ensure the press release is supported by striking images with suitable captions 10. Include a boilerplate and list contact information, background details and any editors’ notes

Download The Evolution of the Press Release: Staying Relevant in a Digital Age passnote by clicking here…

10 Tips For Better Case Histories

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The case history provides an overview of a customer experience or end user application, demonstrating how a product or service meets the needs of the user in question.

Done well, a case history is a powerful sales tool that can be put to a wide range of PR and marketing purposes. It is highly valued by editors and represents once of the best ways of achieving detailed, in-depth coverage in the trade and business media.

Below are ten tips on what to remember when drafting and orchestrating a case history:

1. Consider the primary audience. Sales channel or end user? If sales, then direct – or dealers and distributors?

2. Highlight any challenges the application presented and explain clearly how these were overcome.

3. Focus on the business benefits that have been achieved, such as efficiencies gained or processes improved.

4. Underline any financial savings made; expressed in monetary terms if possible, or percentages if not.

5. Obtain written approvals from all parties – especially the end user and share target
media lists if requested.

6. Source visually arresting images to accompany the case history, even if these are only library shots.

7. Tie the case history to any regulations that govern the use or specification of the product or service.

8. Include supportive quotes from the end user or the customer wherever possible.

9. Produce a more sales-orientated version of the case history to form the basis of
powerful sales collateral.

10. Consider turning the case history into a brief video – especially if end users are willing to talk.