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Our Pr Audit Identifies The Right Strategies For Your Small Business

For small business public relations has a particularly obvious role. These are the very companies that are greatly dependent on generating awareness, credibility and trust if customers or investors are to be convinced to do business with them. Of course, such firms have many different marketing routes to choose from, so why should they contact a PR agency?

The truth is that PR is the most cost-effective of all of the marketing methods out there for smaller businesses, catering for almost every need. It’s easy to imagine that advertising, social media or content marketing will get your small firm the results that it deserves, but there’s one crucial difference between all of those and PR: the party that is doing the communicating.

While self-promotion has its undoubted value, it just doesn’t pack the authoritative power that coverage from a well-respected third party does. Whether such a party is a journalist or an influential PR industry figure, they will have credibility that they pass on with each message that they communicate. Such messages are very much word-of-mouth marketing, of the kind that has been so effective for generations at building credibility and trust for the subject.

Such public relations are even more effective for your small company, however, when they are performed in conjunction with the other marketing methods mentioned above. This is where our own free, no-obligation PR Audit comes in here at Vantage Public Relations. When you enquire about PR from Vantage PR, you benefit from all of the expertise accumulated during our more than 20 years’ experience in the field – manifesting in a programme that is powerful, cost-effective and perfectly tailored to your small firm.

The process that follows your request of a free PR audit from us is a very meticulous and considered one. For instance, we will take the time to review the current position of both your company and its competitors with regard to media coverage, company and brand awareness. We will then recommend the PR strategy that will be most impactful in helping you to reach your desired audiences.

Finally, a PR action plan will be developed based on a central strategy, embracing all of the essential elements for getting your small business noticed by the right people, in the right mediums and in the right way. Get in touch with the friendly and professional Vantage PR team today to receive your own free PR audit.

Food Brand Resorts to Open Innovation & Crowdsourcing

In this aggressive and competitive market, every enterprise
wants to capitalize on maximum market share and have top recall value.
So why is it that some succeed phenomenally, where as others stagnate
after making some profit? More than extensive R&D, branding,
advertising, marketing and PR initiatives, what works most today is “out
of the box” thinking. The key to exponential growth and increased
consumer goodwill is effective idea management techniques that are well
implemented. Apart from coming up with innovative product development
strategies, streamlined idea management techniques helps in establishing
a deeper audience connect that helps a brand to communicate and expand
better.

Co-creation through open innovation and crowdsourcing
is what most companies focus on in order to capitalize on the
creativity and intelligence of the worldwide audience. Multinational
food manufacturing company Kellogg’s, United States undertook a creative
initiative that helped them in a creating a new product the Cereal
Straws. This project initially commenced in Spain where nine to ten
years old children discussed their breakfast concerns and ways to
resolve them. What came up from these detailed discussions was an idea
that one should not only drink milkshakes through straws but also should
be able to eat the straw afterwards that should be crunchy and taste
good. The outcome was a brand new product called Kellogg’s Cereal Straws
that already had its target audience defined way before the product
release.

Efficient techniques for idea capture not only helps
companies attain creative inputs for new product development but also to
let their consumers know that their views and ideas count. Sometimes,
brands make use of open innovation and mass idea sharing process in
order to boost up their existing product range both for attaining
increased revenue and product awareness.


Leading noodles brand Maggi sometime backannounced an open innovation
campaign where consumers were asked to share the ways in which they have
used Maggi in their lives. What was evident from this idea sharing
campaign was that people cooked and consumed Maggi not only as noodles
but also used them in other food preparation. Other than this, when the
ideas were shared in an TV ad along with the contributor’s name people
also got to know quick easy snack ideas that was tasty and not time
consuming. Through this open innovation Maggi established a better
audience connect by making people realize that their ideas count.


In today’s fast expanding and competitive economy it is very crucial to
understand the pulse of your target and potential consumers.
Enterprises who are able to master this art are the leaders in their
segment. The best way to go ahead with this is through innovative idea
management campaigns and open innovation.

Online Reputation Management Can Save Your Business

You didnt quite deliver as expected to a customer and they retaliated by placing something negative about your business online lets face it, weve all disappointed customers before by either not meeting their expectations, or by surprising them with a bill that was perhaps more than they wanted to pay. If youve become the victim of some negative press that could hurt your business, its time for online reputation management. While traditionally businesses have had to resort to expensive PR firms, and while they might even enhance online reputation management through live in-person or multi-media methods, our team of strategists work to right wrongs and we dont care who was right or who was wrong well fix whatever you need fixing with effective online reputation management that cuts to the core of the very search engines that seek to bring you down.

Notice how quickly information attached to your name comes up on a Google search? If its negative, you can be assured that the negative will come up first, because negative news garners high interest just watch the evening news and youll see. Not so with online reputation management; we kill the negative with the positive. And we keep killing on impact, because online reputation management isnt a one-shot deal; well provide constant watch and surveillance for any new news that might crop up to kill it instantly, keeping your reputation clean, positive, and managed.

How do we do it? Using social media, article writing, press releases, blogging and commentary, well build an effective campaign that will vote you in every single time youre searched on the Internet. We stay on top of your name and hunt down all negative comments placed on any number of sites: Ripoff Report, Yelp and other consumer complaint sites that continue to amass daily. We seek out bloggers, posters, news reports and anything else online that contains harmful or negative information. Online reputation management uses skillful and savvy Internet technique to beat them down, override their force, and continue to push them out of the way so that you and only you can shine. Your first page in Google will eventually contain nothing but positive press.

Are Energy Companies and Brand Marketing Strategy Like Oil and Water

Every so often, an oil company experiences an environmental catastrophe of disastrous proportions. As evidenced by the recent Gulf oil spill, the Exxon Valdez oil spill and countless other eco-disasters, these occurrences are a tragic occupational hazard of the energy industry. In theory, they should not be a surprise — anymore than an earthquake in California would be a shocker. Of course, a big enough tremor in Los Angeles will generate nationwide news coverage. The question from a brand marketing standpoint is simple: is there anything oil companies can do, given the probability of an oil spill?

In order to answer this question, it is helpful to back up and look at the consumers’ view of the industry. When it comes to the consumer, oil companies have a unique advantage over, say, a perfume company. This is that the oil companies offer a necessity. Everyone needs oil; perfume is a luxury.

From a branding and marketing standpoint, this advantage actually has negative connotations. The oil companies are really big and really profitable — even when the economy is in the proverbial toilet. In the deep recession year of 2009, when almost everyone was suffering financially, the oil companies made billions of dollars in profits. A 2006 FTC study of gas price manipulation found that the record increases in gasoline prices were “not substantially attributable to higher costs.” It seems the oil companies always take advantage of their financial opportunities with no regard to consumer goodwill. These companies are often viewed as monopolistic, money-grubbing, price-gouging, predatory goliaths. In a 2008 Harris poll of 20 major industries, only the tobacco industry had a lower rating than the oil companies on the topic of how good or bad a job they perform in serving the needs of consumers.

You could say, from a branding perspective, energy companies are already starting off on the wrong foot. After all, what is there to love about an oil company? Do you trust them? Do you have any affinity to any oil company? Do they do anything for you as a person? Do they make you feel good in any way? This makes it all the more difficult for an oil company to perform branding and marketing tactics that prepare for the worst. The energy industry has to rank among the worst PR and branding industries. We know all about the 1989 Exxon Valdez nightmare which was widely considered the worst corporate PR fiasco of all time. But what has the industry done to counter its image since then?

One could argue they actually have made some positive strides. Let’s take the current Gulf oil spill. BP has a real disaster on its hands, and they have clearly learned a lesson from Exxon’s PR disaster. The CEO of Exxon was nowhere to be found until six days after the Valdez disaster. When he finally did appear, it was only to hold a press conference to deny responsibility to disclose the plan to clean up the mess. He also blamed the media for turning the spill into a big deal. His refusal of media interviews and complete lack of remorse highlighted one of the worst PR gaffes in history. It conveyed an “ivory tower-esque” tone of arrogance. To his credit, the CEO of BP, Tony Hayward, has learned from Exxon’s PR mistakes and has been on air and is taking full financial responsibility for the spill cleanup.

Top 3 trends in energy PR

Energy PR trend 1:

Integration of conference, social media, and traditional media. To illustrate this trend, let me tell a story around one of our clients–MyCelx, a company that removes oil from water streams to 99.9% purity, and works globally. This year for Offshore Technology Conference, we submitted an application for their consideration as New Technology Spotlight. As a first time OTC attendee, the company was thrilled to be selected by the Society of Petroleum Engineers for this honor–which given the competition level, USED to be enough to drive booth traffic and create a terrific event. But in today’s more integrated age, close coordination with the on-site newspaper, with the pre-show weekly enewsletter, and Twitter outreach on site is what created an outstanding presence. No one thing can be identified as a “game changer” in today’s energy public relations successes–given a great product or service offering, the game-changer tends to be “integration.”

Energy PR trend 2:

Social Isn’t Stupid. To put it bluntly, while you can hear that the decision makers in energy aren’t on social “yet” and so it’s a waste of effort, two key groups ARE on social media–major business and trade journalists, and energy consumers. Enough said. Not all publicity is designed to reach only a c-level executive at a multi-billion dollar company. One of Write2Market’s energy PR clients was recently interviewed for an hour during Energy Week on MSNBC–terrific placement for investors and building the firm’s value. One of the anchor’s last questions was, what’s your Twitter handle. He created one right after the segment.

Energy PR trend 3:

Weave Awards. Often overlooked, as different media properties such as Forbes, Inc Magazine, Crain’s, and Platt’s are pressured to distinguish themselves and develop deeper reader followings, one of the avenues is by creating a signature award. Winning these awards takes a terrific application, but our energy public relations clients like Mansfield Oil have found awards to be a key component of building better relationships across the industry. For example, by winning both the top energy award from Information Week 500 and one of the top 10 CIO awards, the downstream distribution giant has hard evidence to help convince the Fortune 250 that their IT infrastructure is second to none in the sector. Not only that, but they get “in the room” with other CIOs and industry leaders with whom relationships can be forged.

What’s your favorite trend? We’d love to find out! Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or email.

Energy PR:

As the leading Atlanta PR firm, we at Write2Market evolve and constantly monitor the progressions of numerous industries. With energy PR, we have offered some insight in how we observe the industry to be headed in a direction of increasingly integrated media platforms. Contact us today to learn how we create industry leaders.

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