I recently came across a good, quick read that I thought Id share with others who are looking for thoughtful content marketing tips and suggestions. Written by Byron White, president and founder of ideaLaunch, 101 Content Marketing Tips tackles three distinct areas of content marketing: content creation, content optimization; and content testing. Each area highlights tricks of the trade that intend to help readers from all industries create a better virtual experience for website visitors, generate new business leads and consequentially improve content marketing ROI.
Considering the vast number of tips listed in this book, some of them might be all too familiar. There are, however, some bound to catch your attention and encourage you to think twice about various your marketing strategies.
I have listed a few excerpts of the book below that I found interesting, but feel free to download it in its entirety here.
Tip 22. Video
Your audience has broadband and probably watches two to ten YouTube videos each month. Site, sound, and motion are becoming the presentation media of choice for companies that are in-the-know. So why are you still presenting ﬂat HTML content? The good news is that you dont need a Hollywood production team to get the video out and the viewers inyet. Purchasing an HD camcorder and a good microphone will get you moving in the right direction. Combine that with the essential well-told story and youll join the video revolution.
Tip 24. Widgets
Lets face itweb surfers expect to be entertained these days. Entertain them with Test Widgets that engage readers and keep them coming back for more challenges. Have expert writers craft multiple-choice questions that challenge the skill and knowledge of readers in topics that relate to your products and services. Incorrect answers trigger correct explanations that inform, educate, and sell. Find free online resources to build widgets easily.
Tip 69. F-Bombs?
And now a few F-words. Research shows that web users tend to read through web pages in an F-shaped manner, so keep important images Flushed left. Put your most important informationyour message, other copy, or hero-shot image near the middle of the page (the lower prong of the F). If something is not important, move it to a sidebar or take it out.
Always make Friends with your readers. One big way to be user-Friendly is to minimize the number of Fonts you use on a page. Poor type design is a visual turnoFF. Cleaning up the type variations helps drive readers to the headlines and calls-to-action quickly. Try to stick with one Font, and dont bounce around between sans seriF and seriF Fonts.
Tip 83. Number, Please
Displaying a toll-free phone number on your site conﬁrms that you're open for business. Try placing phone numbers in different positions throughout the site and varying the size of the phone numbers. Also experiment with the words around the phone number, which can make a big difference in how the target audience uses the number.
At SpeakerBoxs Got Content? Get Government Customers event, Lisa Dezzutti, CEO of Market Connections
, presented some preliminary research on the government markets use of social media. The study looked at both government contractors and federal employees.
The research confirmed what seems to be the common perception of social media adoption in government. About one third of respondents reported utilizing social media both on the integrator and government side. It also showed a surge in social media adoption over the past six months for both groups. What this says to me is that the contractors are following their customers lead in getting involved in social media. The full presentation with detailed stats can be found here
Some takeaways for me included:
- Employee recruitment is low on the list of the ways integrators use social media (top use is customer engagement). With integrators fighting each other (and increasingly the government
) for top talent, social media platforms hold a huge opportunity to interact with employees and prospects while showing a little company personality in the process.
- Federal respondents report that Search Engines are the main way they gather info on contractors. All integrators should look at what comes up when searching their name, its likely a lot more than just your website to include news coverage and blog posts about your company. If the results are negative, increased efforts on media relations and creation of online content should unseat unfavorable search results.
The research shows (not surprisingly) use of social media is in its infancy but growing quickly (with around 40% on both sides expecting spending to increase in the next year). In that increase, Dezzutti recommended caution social media should complement not dominate the marketing mix.
Last Friday I gave my second technology lecture at the Friendship Heights Village Center
. My first, which was in June, was on Facebook
(a general "what is") that had so much interest that it lasted for two hours.
I was excited to see many repeat attendees, and this go around we did a technology gadgets overview that covered smart phones, bluetooth, DVRs and other everyday tools. This session, just like the one on Facebook, had a packed house (probably 35-50 people).
The sessions are open to anyone at any age and are marketed to my community in Chevy Chase, MD. I've affectionately dubbed my sessions "Social Seniors" because that's predominantly who shows, and I find their interest very cool. Working through the questions, you realize that we're a society that spends little time educating seniors about technology, even when it's become more integrated in and relevant to their lives. The irony is that they consume alot of information on the topic , so it's not necessarily new -- they just lack the hands-on experience.
Given all of its exposure, Twitter
has been a very popular topic during both sessions, followed closely by privacy concerns. Looks like I have my topic for Social Seniors 3...
- Lisa Throckmorton
Tuesdays SpeakerBox event, entitled Got Content? Get Government Customers, was a jam-packed workshop describing the intersection of public relations, social media, content marketing and search.
Blog posts on all the sessions will be coming soon. Ill be describing the session led by Elizabeth Shea of SpeakerBox and Janet Driscoll Miller of Search Mojo.
1. According to Elizabeth and Janet, it all starts with keywords. A companys website keywords should be reinforced in all content.
2. Quality inbound links are the most important ranking factor for Google. A great source for these links is content that is published on other sites. As Janet says, Treat links like PR efforts. If youd want press there, youd want a link from there too.
3. Blogs are a magnet for search engines, because search engines love frequently updated content. Make sure youre hosting the blog on your own domain - and promote it like crazy. Interested in more tips to optimize your blog for search engines?
4. Look for opportunities to post articles and whitepapers written by your company on quality content aggregation sites or whitepaper directories (such as ZDNets free service)
5. Use images and videos to maximize SEO by using keywords in image titles, tags, anchor text and surrounding page text.
6. Janet reminded us not to forget Twitter. Twitter is important, not just for the traffic that it drives to Web sites but because MS Bing has launched a Twitter search site and Google will add this capability in the next few months.
7. Finally Elizabeth reminded us all that content is defined broadly and also includes items like blog comments and surveys. Content can also be a key contributor to inbound marketing strategies.
If you missed the workshop, the full presentation is available on SlideShare.
Hope to see you at the next SpeakerBox event.
-- Katie Hanusik
Photo Caption: Lisa Dezzutti, Market Connections; Janet Driscoll Miller, Search Mojo; Elizabeth Shea, SpeakerBox; Stephanie Stadler Wonderlick, SpeakerBox and Julia Lim, Wonderlick
Tuesday marked SpeakerBoxs Got Content? Get Government Customers
event, which focused on new ways in which government marketers and communications pros can develop and use content. SEO, social media (particularly Twitter) and content syndication were all hot topics, but tying all of the sessions together was a use case example from Julia Lim of ScienceLogic
In ScienceLogics case, the company lacked any real news between product development cycles, and wanted to drum up interest around their presence at FOSE
. ScienceLogic wanted something more than just a press release they wanted content that could be positioned in a variety of ways. So for FOSE 2007, ScienceLogic teamed up with SpeakerBox to create the Government IT Trends Survey
The survey, which asked government IT decision-makers about current technology trends, turned out to be a huge hit over 100 attendees took the 2007 survey, giving ScienceLogic great insight into what was hot and what wasnt among their government customers. Even better, the company now had raw data that could be used for press releases, marketing materials, sales presentations, blog posts and whitepapers.
ScienceLogic conducted similar surveys at FOSE 2008
and FOSE 2009
as well, and expanded the survey to encompass industry trends as well, by asking similar questions at major IT tradeshows like Interop
. By leveraging survey data, ScienceLogic has gained:
- Increased awareness from existing and potential partners, as well as more buzz in their sales pipeline;
- Media placements in major government and industry trades, like FCW, CIO and Network World;
- Higher quality conversations with show attendees and sales prospects; the survey acted as an excellent conversation starter; and
- New content for ScienceLogics blog.
ScienceLogics example is a great one if your company is lacking content, latch onto an industry issue. Create a survey to gain some kind of insight into current trends, and talk about these issues in the public domain. Its content that is highly flexible and can be used for a variety of purposes, not just a press release.
I make a semi-annual retreat to be with a group of my agency-owner peers in an organization called Innisbrook
, where we share best practices on client services, employee development and the like. We just wrapped our most recent retreat in New York, NY, at our host agencys company, DCI
. (Thanks to Scott Mills
for the cool video shoot
of our week, and Mark Alison
for his awesome photography
of the event!)
We try to get notable speakers in to talk to us, and the Saturday, 8 am slot is hardest to fill. We usually have to arm twist and bribe anyone worthy to share that sacred time with us.
For this retreat, we were on the edge of our seats by 8:32 Saturday morning, when we were treated to a riveting, funny, informative and motivational discussion on the world of marketing and PR by the one and only Peter Shankman
If you havent heard of Peter Shankman, and youre in the PR/marketing business, Id be surprised. If you havent heard of Peter, you most likely have heard of HARO
: his entrepreneurial venture to H
elp A R
ut. Peter is an author, the founder of Geek Factory
and the 100,000 member strong community of HARO.
His thrice-daily emails of HARO began as a labor of love (or a side-affect of his syndrome somewhat related to ADHD: ADOS (attention-deficit oooh shiny
.!) for his friends in the editorial side of the business.
He speaks all over the world and his speaking fees
could even rival David Meerman Scott
. Here are some highlights of his conversation with us, as they were conveyed in their entirety by 10:30 am, certainly before most people back home had had their pancakes and coffee.
(For those who want to read the transcript of a similar speech made to the Affiliate Summit East
2009 conference, you can read the transcript
, or download audio
. Listening to his delivery is half the fun
If youre reading this blog post, however, be sure to imagine a very active man who looks a decade less than his resume suggests, with a lot of flailing, gesticulating arms, and you can be right there with us for the experience.
So, here goes the highlights:
Peter Shankman is the epitome of high energy. His attitude on trying new things stemmed from the early days of AOLhe was such an early employee he was able to snag firstname.lastname@example.org
. Since there were no rules, the only rule was to keep doing those things that worked, and dont do the things that didnt. Sounds obvious, huh?
As he segued from one topic to the next, he managed to plug his remarks into four primary buckets:
He looks to four reasons for the proliferation of social media, as well as the responsibilities of social media. While its not ubiquitous today, there will soon not be any distinction between social media and how we live our lives as humans.
As he describes the landscape today: for the past 100 years or so, the country has been run by old, white men. When those old white men died, they replaced themselves with more old, white men. Zero transparency. In the past 10-15 years, in the years of everyone having a cell phone with a camera, citizen journalism, whistle blowers, etc., transparency became the norm. Our current administration ran their campaign on transparency. Well never go back, and now is the time to set those new parameters. Companies that dont get this, and get this quickly, cant possibly survive or succeed.
The biggest point here is that most communicators have no excuse to forget, except for the fact that sometimes we choose to forget it! In a nutshell, Peters relevance refers to the ability to make sure you are delivering relevant help, support, content, solutions and ideas, to the people you want to help, support, cater to, in the manner in which they like to consume information.
As a case in point, Peter will tell you he doesnt watch TV, but he listens to podcasts; doesnt open attachments (they are Al Qaeda to anyone without an attention span), but has three flat screen TVs in his home to monitor his Twitter feed, CNN and Facebook. While he doesnt read print newspapers, per se, you still cant miss the mass of people in the morning NY subway system with a print newspaper of the day under their arms. So, newspapers arent dead, yet.
Everyone has his or her preference for consumption, learn it, and do it. And if you dont know their preference? Double Duh
.why dont you ask them?
Companies that survive will be the most succinct. Great writing will inspire in fewer than 140 characters.
4. Top of Mind
In an over stimulated world, the importance of connecting with people will never change. Peter told a great anecdote referencing Barry Diller
the former head of Paramount, who steadfastly stuck to a routine practice of calling ten people from his rolodex every day. He connected on a regular basis with everyone who helped put Paramount on top during his time. Give, dont just receive, and it pays in spades, was the lesson.
A few other nuggets to share before I sign off on this report - if you are intrigued by these points, listen to his speech:
- Social media is like the next generation of lava lamps
- Social media is more about listening, the ultimate customer service
- Our job as PR/marketing folks is to make our client's customers do the PR and marketing for them. Create raving fans. Social media enables those conversations.
- Elizabeth Shea
This morning I attended a very successful Washington Business Journal Breakfast with the Business Journal event at Clydes in Reston Town Center. While WBJ puts these events on quite often, this was the first one Ive attended. I was expecting a panel discussion of likes and dislikes and was pleasantly surprised to find a more open forum where you can introduce yourself and pitch away or just engage some of the reporters, editors or other folks there to network in conversation.
Alex Orfinger, however, did get up (on the bar) and introduce his staff. He also noted that in this time where we hear about print publications struggling everyday, the WBJ is entering its sixth year of increased circulation.
Overall, I think the most interesting topic of conversation in the room was the intersection of print and online media and how to succeed in an online world where people are consuming media in different ways. There were many opinions to be heard while some would chastise including locked online content on a website, WBJs circulation numbers prove that its working for them. Others were amazed to hear that Tierney Plumb, who writes mainly for the online version of WBJ, posts about 12 stories a day.
It has seemed for a while now that the definition of traditional media is changing
for better or worse, is in the eye of the beholder according to conversations this morning.
- Ali Smith
I attended this weeks well-done OnDC event, sponsored by AlwaysOn. Though attendance was limited, it was a good start for a first-time event. The sessions I participated in addressed the cross-section of policy, innovation, entrepreneurship, technology and government. Highlights for me included:
- Thoughtful discussions on green IT, Net Neutrality and the Recovery Act.
- Hearing Robin Roy of energy-efficient window-manufacturer, Serious Materials, declare his companys support for transparency (no one laughed)
- Meeting the former CTO of the CIA
All in all, it was a great day. I'm looking forward to next years event.
recently ran an interesting article
about how government contractors are stepping up marketing efforts. The piece talks to the unique needs of the government market and how to get the most out of traditional marketing techniques and introduce social and content marketing into the mix.
The article points out that old school marketing is based on building one on one personal relationships, but that tactic does not scale. A lot of our clients come to us at a stage where they know they cannot keep relying on personal network of management. They need to build a brand to grow in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
The article also details how important it is to talk about the solution rather than the technology to the government audience. This includes a lot of customer education around solutions (not your specific technology) through events, webcasts, speaking engagements, and whitepapers.
Want to learn some techniques for beginning a marketing campaign based on education? Check out an interesting seminar
happening next week
I attended the Potomac Tech Wire Social Media Outlook 2009
last week. It was an interesting panel that skipped over the typical and tired social media 101 questions and jumped into advice to overcome misconceptions, use cases, and prognostication.
In answer to the common misconceptions about social media question, the fear of the time commitment was quickly addressed. Rohit Bhargava
told the audience to lower their expectations and start small. Begin blogging to promote an upcoming event so you have an end date. Use that short time frame as a test run to see there is the commitment to take on a longer term effort. In this spirit of short-lived campaigns, he said its time to agree that archive should not be a dirty word.
In terms of what is working today, Geoff Livingston
pointed out how social media content, by its nature of links and activity level, is highly optimized for search (Search your name, your Linkedin
profile will likely be one of the top results). That attribute of social content will continue to drive the development of more and more social content.
The panel had an interesting discussion about the viability of Twitter
in the future and somewhat surprisingly most agreed that Twitter as a company will not (or should not) be around in five years. Livingston shared statistics that show even though the number of Twitter users is up, the interaction on the platform has been dropping. The entire panel did agree that whether Twitter remains a viable company, the mentality of immediate, micro-blogging will live on within the user community and should fuel the innovation of bigger and better technology solutions that theyll discuss at Social Media Outlook 2010 and beyond.
On Wednesday, I joined approximately 500 other attendees on the free Legal Rebels Webinar: Why Twitter Matters to Lawyers
, featuring LexBlog
CEO Kevin O'Keefe
. The webinar was designed to explain how Twitter and social media are changing the dynamic for lawyers, but truthfully you could have changed the name of the webinar to "Why Twitter Matters" and it would have been relevant across industries.
The original agenda for the webinar was as follows:
- How is Twitter being used by attorneys and other industry leaders today?
- Who are some of the "big guns" in the legal industry using Twitter? What are some examples of how they use it?
- Which Twitter applications are worthwhile and which are lame?
- What are some etiquette tips on using Twitter for professional social networking?
I was most interested in point number two, so shared a little disappointment
with others that the content focused more on the "how-to" of Twitter and desktop tools like TweetDeck (admittedly, O'Keefe said during the webinar that many of the attendees were non-Twitter users) but he did make some great points during the webinar that are worth reiterating here:
- Twitter use is pervasive and anything but a trend. Twitter is at the New York Times; Twitter is at CNN. "Twitter is everywhere."
- When it comes to breaking news, Twitter is unparalleled. In the last year alone, we've witnessed some fantastic examples of times where Twitter brought us first hand reports of major news events significantly before the mainstream media. This same trend is trickling down to business and industry-specific news as well.
- Protect your brand! Even if your firm or business is not currently on Twitter (or prepared to jump in), claim your firm's name before someone else does.
- There are significant marketing / business benefits to being on Twitter. O'Keefe walked through the major benefits as he saw them, including: brand-building; relationship building (an opportunity for firms to begin, nurture and develop relationships); information sharing (share interesting industry developments); and news distribution (one way firms are already using Twitter is to share the content they are already developing, from newsletters to press releases and client alerts). There is a big opportunity for law firms to promote its lawyers, firm events, community service activities and major news in the legal world and, to date, many firms haven't taken advantage of this opportunity.
- "Don't forget that social media is SOCIAL."
- Return on investment for time on Twitter? O'Keefe advises lawyers and law firm marketing managers alike to "Relax. Be a person. Build relationships. The more people who get to know you as a person, as a lawyer, the more business your firm will get." O'Keefe says firms need not take a shotgun approach to Twitter - he says he connects with people who may lead to new business opportunities.
If you're interested in checking out the archived webinar and its associated mindmap, you can find them online here
One thing I was very interested in that the webinar didn't address: how many AmLaw 200
firms are using Twitter, and how are they using it? Kevin O'Keefe does a great look at the AmLaw 200 blogosphere
every year, but I haven't seen an equivalent for Twitter. I might take this on next month, similar to my look at Washington's Tech Titans on Twitter
last summer.UPDATE (Nov. 2):
Shout out to Erin West, a former colleague and Communications and Marketing Manager at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC
for pointing me to some links that answered my final question about AmLaw firms on Twitter. Erin pointed me to this great post by Patrick DiDomenico at the LawyerKM blog
from January 2009 on AmLaw 100 firms on Twitter
. I'm still looking to do an update on this, so watch for that soon. Erin also pointed out this list of 145 Lawyers (and Legal Professionals) to follow on Twitter
. Worth checking out, especially for anyone who is jumping into the new Twitter Lists
functionality! Thanks Erin!
Tonight commemorated the launch of "No One Path:Perspectives on Leadership from a Decade of Women in Technology Award Winners." The book profiles 54 women who share diverse perspectives on leadership and its wide ranging milestones, influences and lessons. I'm proud that Elizabeth Shea and I are two of those profiles. We actually met through WIT more than eight years ago, which made tonight's book launch that much more meaningful. A special thanks to our colleague Piper Conrad for writing our profiles. There is alot of networking that transpires in the D.C. area on a daily basis, and the quality of those interactions vary wildly. As I socialized around the room tonight, it felt a little like Homecoming--that feeling of familiarity and energy from connections that have evolved over the past 10 years. Everywhere I turned there was someone I knew, and knew pretty well--it actually didn't feel like networking at all. The evening was a great reminder that when it comes to networking organizations, you get back what you put in (I've definitely gotten alot back from WIT) and while there is merit to being seen everywhere, perhaps it's more important to be known well by one or two communities.
Top photo (left-to-right): Charlotte Pelliccia (Pelliccia Communications), Sue Liblong, Toni Townes-Whitley (Unisys) and Maureen Bunyan (WJLA - ABC 7). Bottom photo (left-to-right): Valerie Voci (Voci Media Works East), Me, Eva Neumann (ENC Marketing)
I had an opportunity to talk to WIT past presidents Angela Drummond (SiloSmashers) and Dede Haskins (NewVision Health) about the book. Here are their quick thoughts:
- Lisa Throckmorton
2009 is the inaugural year for OnDC a conference that highlights the significant economic, political, and commercial trends affecting global innovation running from October 19th 21st. With a goal of identifying the most promising entrepreneurial opportunities and investments, and uncovering how to best capitalize on government initiatives, OnDC focuses on the sectors most impacted by the federal government including greentech, on-demand computing and IT security, education, and the life sciences.
As an added bonus, this year, Brian Jones, Senior Counsel focusing on postsecondary education at Dow Lohnes (a SBX client) will be presenting on a panel entitled Next Generation Education with moderator Jay Matthews of the Washington Post. Other panelists include: Jeff Shelstad, CEO, Flat World Knowledge, Jose Ferreira, CEO, Knewton, Inc. and Saad Khan, Partner, CMEA Ventures. They will discuss new technologies that empower educators and walk the line between traditional teaching methods and new IT driven teaching tools. Their panel is on Tuesday October 20th at 5:00pm.
Hope to see you there
For all of you out there who love numbers and are interested in content marketing, listen up. I came across a recent survey, put out by King Fish Media
, that compares companies who create and market their own content versus traditional advertising and communication tactics. Reaching 230 corporate management and marketing/sales management personnel, the 2009 Survey on Marketing, Media and Measurement
found that more and more companies are directly communicating with their customers and prospects via homegrown content marketing. Companies are realizing that they can recruit the same audience that media brands were once solely relied upon for doing.
The study states, Nearly two-thirds believe that content from a brand or company is perceived as having the same or more value than content from a media brand. More importantly, they feel that having their own original content will produce a better return on marketing dollars than traditional advertising, and they have reallocated their budgets to invest more in original content development.
According to the survey, companies are reallocating dollars that were once spent on print and broadcast advertising and are instead using it for the development of their own content for platforms such as websites, social media, custom events and lead generation. Having a direct reach to customers, companies can better measure their ROI and see first hand how their marketing dollars are paying off via new customers, leads and increased overall sales. In an economy such as the one were in, those statistics are often times the key to keeping doors open.
Below are a few results that I found interesting, however feel free to download the entire survey here
and share with us what your company is doing in terms of content marketing efforts.
Q: Does your company create or plan to create original content for your customers and prospects?
A: 86% Yes
7% Plan to in the next 12 months
3% Dont know
Q. Do you think brands and companies can create content that is as engaging and informative as content created by media companies?
A. 81% Yes
Q. How do you think information from a corporate-sponsored source is perceived compared to information from traditional media sources?
A. 20% More valuable
36% The same value
32% Less value
12% Dont know
Q. Based on your current experiences, which type of marketing communications is more effective for generating marketing ROI?
A. 4% Advertise in a traditional advertising vehicle
74% Create your own original content and media
16% Both the same
5% Dont know
Q. Please characterize how the allocation of your marketing/media budget has shifted in the last three years.
A. 70% Spending more to reach customers and prospect directly with our own content
6% Spending more on advertising
22% There has been no shift in spending
-- Mary Evans
Public relations has evolved as an industry - you can tell because there is now a 2.0 involved. Public Relations 2.0. Which means that everything that the profession entails has transitioned to the latest and greatest version Measurement 2.0, Client Relations 2.0, Event Management 2.0
everything, that is, except media relations.
I know what youre thinking look at this fool who says that media relations hasnt changed. Hes ignoring social media! BURN THE WITCH!
Of course the tools are going to evolve and thats the entirety of what social media, from Twitter to Facebook to LinkedIn, is in the case of media relations a set of tools. Its just another range of touch points for monitoring and interacting with the media. It allows for better relationships, better research, better understanding of journalist and blogger deadlines, real-time feedback and a better feel for whats trending in their respective worlds.
Obviously Im not putting enough emphasis on blogs then, right? Look at this guy, thinking that the era of citizen journalism wont impact the way public relations approaches the media!
There is no doubt that the interactions are changing. Bloggers arent necessarily looking for the same things as traditional reporters and editors, and they can run on a completely different set of editorial principles
and deadlines. But even so, blogs dont represent a wholesale change from what media relations is all about.
My point is that media relations is about the story
. Its about getting the right information and the right news to the right people
at the right time. Yes, our means of getting the story out there have changed, and changed dramatically. And yes, the way the story has to be told needs to be adapted to your key contacts within the media, whether they be bloggers, editors or beat writers.
But the slickest social media strategy in the world, replete with Twitter accounts, blog commenting plans and Facebook fan pages, wont save you if your story is weak.
Last week The Washington Post launched a new blog focused on technology Post Tech will replace Post I.T. and will provide analysis, related news and coverage of technology policy. Cecilia Kang, who has more than 15 years of experience reporting on policy, technology and business, will be the main contributor to the blog. Most recently, she has been covering technology policy for The Post, exploring how decisions made in Washington impact the business plans and technological innovations of the high-tech economy and will continue this focus in the blog.
Post I.T., that provided tech news from several Post reporters, is now gone however, the archives are still available here. Rob Pegararos Fast Forward, Security Fix and @Play live on.
I attended last weeks Government Communicator event
hosted by Vocus
and Capitol Communicator
. The panelists were four senior communicators with extensive experience in the public sector.
The latter half of the discussion focused on the government agencies use of social media. All of the panelists agreed that social media is a necessary part of the public affairs job for all the usual reasons. However, the need to respond to false information that spreads quickly online often has bigger consequences for many government agencies.
Case in point, John Verrico, Science & Technology Spokesman, Department of Homeland Security, told a great story about a fraudulent rumor started last year that TSA was pursuing the purchase of safety bracelets that would be worn by all airline passengers. The bracelets would link passengers with their bags, and track passengers through security and onto the plane. The bracelets would offer the added bonus of allowing the stewardess to electronically shock the wearer (with the power of a Taser) should they become a security risk. The story was picked up by the Washington Times blog and FoxNews
before it could be squashed by DHS and TSA
These situations can quickly become out of hand, especially as mainstream media is increasingly willing to run stories that they admit are unsubstantiated in an effort to avoid being scooped.
While he did not have the opportunity to diffuse the story ahead of time, Mr. Verricos blog response allowed him to address it as quickly as possible (and with a slight touch of humor love the title) that gave him the upper hand in the situation.
- Katie Hanusik
One of the best parts about representing great clients is seeing them receive the recognition they deserve! Last night I had the honor of watching two of our clients receive a very prestigious award from The Washington Business Journal
for being among the top 50 of the Fastest Growing Companies
with headquarters in this region.Apptix
our client whose hosted Exchange
products are so great (and cost-effective) we moved to them ourselvescame in at #21 with 44.02% growth. This was their second year in a row on the list! Chris Damvakaris
, VP of Sales and Business Development, took a moment after holding up his award with pride, and shared his appreciation for the honor:Carahsoft
-the master of understanding the government software and solutions marketplace for its top tier software
vendors-received the award for the third year in a row. If you know how the numbers work, thats not easy to do as your numbers grow into the hundreds of millions. Craig Abod, the CEO, has been building this business relentlessly and organicallynone of his growth is attributed to acquisitionsfor the past 6 years, and the numbers are unprecedented.
At #6 with 101.54% growth over a 3 year period, Carahsoft grew from $91M to $228M to $347M in three years. Keep it up, Craig and Carahsoft, we are very proud. Since you closed down the government fiscal year at 2:30 in the morning the night before, you were a double champ to keep your eyes open and hang out for the networking. So, I wonder how many companies have actually made it three times in a row? And how many of them make it to 4???
Carahsoft and Apptix, heres to continuing the tradition into 2010!
- Elizabeth Shea