King Content

Richmond is a groovy town for many reasons. One of them is the neat partnerships that emerge and the overall attitude that we have to create and grow. Today I went to a (free!) Digital Marketing seminar put on by the Retail Merchants Association, and the Richmond Times Dispatch. The four hour seminar was held at J. Sargeant Community College.

The three presenters were:  Adam Lloyd Bell, Owner, ALB Tech LLC, Andrew Rountree, the Managing Partner at Addison Clark, and Brent Renken, the Director of Advertising at Richmond Media Group, To be fair, Richmond Media Group owns the Richmond Times Dispatch, and was selling a service to help boost local business’s profiles, but they were up front and clear about it too.

While I didn’t learn anything earth shattering, it was affirming to know that Mint is doing all the right things, and offering wise counsel to our clients. This seminar was directed primarily to retailers so I didn’t think the advice was always appropriate for EVERY business, but in general the advice was good. In the spirit of RVA, where we share nice, here’s a brief rundown of some of the key points!

  • Most businesses need a website. If you don’t have one, get one! (If you’re small, try Square Space!)
  • Your site should have a built in SEO tool. Try not to freak out about this!
  • The point of all social media platforms is to drive traffic to your site, and get you more sales or customers or business.
  • It is imperative that you either maintain a regular posting schedule for your blog and social media postings OR hire someone (like Mint!) to do it for you! Why? Because the web crawlers are looking for updates so providing fresh content is the best way to get noticed by them, and as a result, show up in web searches.
  • Try to have your contact information on each page of your site.
  • Try to have something from every page on your site, on your home page.
  • Mobile is quickly outpacing traditional laptops and desktops, so your site better look good on mobile!
  • When people DO freak out about SEO, what they’re really talking about is inbound marketing. This comprises all your activity whose aim is to build your audience, connect with customers, and drive traffic to your site.
  • Meet your customers and clients where they are! You might not enjoy Facebook, but if your customers do, you’d better be there!
  • Be consistent with your brand across platforms.

Sounds easy enough, right? It DOES take time, however. In order to be successful, someone has to be given the responsibility to maintain and manage all this. In a shameless bid for business, this is what Mint was created for. We want to provide this content management for small businesses who struggle with finding the time or expertise to do it. And it isn’t a “nice to have” option in this world. It is a “must have!”

The Blogger’s Blogger

Over the years, Stephanie and I have written “for” scores of people and companies. We’ve written executive messaging and messages for HR about benefits and such. We’ve written for a whole slew of departments within a corporation, and for users of software, hardware, and new programs. We’ve written copy for websites, brochures, newsletters, Twitter, and Facebook. So when we say that we can blog for you, we know what we’re doing.

Not getting credit for our writing is part and parcel of the Communications and PR gig. So, while it’s hard for us to point to many of our published writing, we are pretty certain you’ve seen our work. It’s all over the place!

You may wonder how we can blog for your company when we might not be expert tennis players, lawyers, designers, doctors, insurance masters, or retailers. We are a little bit like reporters. We do research:  about you, your company, and your industry. We identify trends and key messages. We tap into the “voice” that you’ve established (or would like to!) and proceed to write clear blogs that do the job–whether the job is to educate, inform, highlight something like a product or service, or position you as an expert in your field.

HARRASSMENT!  Also, I’m sorry to say, we sometimes act like nudges. We nudge you to commit to a publishing schedule. We nudge you to thoughtfully consider a publishing plan, so that not only are your blogs published regularly, but that we plan out the topics and timing. You know that old adage:  Plan your work, and work your plan. We totally believe in that!

COLLABORATE A lot of the blogs I write are truly collaborations with my partners. Our discussions about the blog are fruitful and form the publishing schedule. One of my clients likes image heavy blogs. So sometimes, she will “dump” a lot of images into our blog, as a draft, and I will go in, write the copy, edit and publish. She is the expert on design but I am the communications expert. I help whittle down the topic so that it is digestible for our audience.  The result is a beautiful blog that is getting noticed and shared, and results in an expansion of her reach, and more sales!

Cleveland Rocks!

CLEVELAND ROCKS!

Being Judgmental is something to which I’ve never aspired. BUT. When I was asked to serve as a judge for the PRSA awards for Cleveland, I had to accept.

Why Cleveland you may ask? Though I believe I have been in the airport and attended at least 2 swim meets in the state of Ohio, here is the sum total of my Cleveland knowledge:

 1. Drew Carrey is from Cleveland, and set his show there.

2. There is a character named Cleveland on The Family Guy.

So clearly, I’m no expert, but you see, that is exactly what we go for at PRSA. Objectivity. It’s easy to assume that the biggest firm in town did the best job and it is really impossible to tease out your own prejudices. So the best thing to do is get judges from out of town.

And in the internet age, this is even easier. There was a day when huge binders were turned in for each submission for a PRSA award. Now most chapters manage their awards online, which is better for applicant and judge alike.

I’m not going to lie to you, though. It was nerve-wracking being a judge. I didn’t want to be discouraging. I wanted the applicants to feel good about their work. (That’s the school teacher in me, I guess.) I know how hard it can be to put yourself out there and invite criticism. So I like to be kind.

But I think I was the big winner in this whole process. I learned more about awards, and how to be successful from acting a s judge than I have from all the awards I’ve been involved with on the application end of things.