10 free tools to help with all aspects of your PR efforts

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Sometimes when you’re first starting out, finding the right tools to implement effective public relations and communications strategies can be difficult—especially if you’re strapped for cash.

Below is a list of free tools and resources that you can use in all aspects of your PR efforts:

  1. Buffer


    In order to implement any great social media strategy, scheduling is key. Scheduling not only allows you to focus on other areas of your communications outreach, but also ensures that should you be tight for time, you’re constantly in touch with your audience.

    Buffer offers a free version of their service, but this can be quite limited for companies who want to ramp-up their social media efforts. For $10/month you can upgrade to the Awesome plan which lets you connect up to 10 different social accounts and schedule up to 100 posts!

  1. Bit.ly


    When it comes to communications, metrics are extremely important. Shortened URLs allow you to track the status of your link, regardless of the medium with which you choose to share it. Bit.ly offers a free version of their service that allows you to shorten URLs and review valuable information associated with them.

    You can even integrate your bit.ly account with Buffer so that all of your links are automatically shortened!

  1. MailChimp


    Maintaining multiple touch points with your audience helps ensure that your product, service or brand is always top-of-mind. Email marketing is a great way to keep your clients, customers and prospects in the loop about new content, news or promotions your company may be sharing. MailChimp’s visual editor is one of the easiest to use, and ensures that your content is always mobile-friendly.

    MailChimp has a free service that allows you to send up to 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers each month.

  1. Bitrix 24


    All communications strategies require some level of project management. Britix 24 is a little-known project management software that allows you and your team to track time on projects, delegate tasks, communicate in a social forum, and provides your company with it’s own intranet portal.

    Bitrix 24 is free for up to 12 employees and offers 5gb of online storage.

  1. Google Analytics


    Solid metrics are both the foundation and stepping-stones of a good communications plan. Metrics allow your business to understand which outreach efforts are working, which are the most effective, and pinpoint which areas need improvement.

    Google analytics is the best tool for tracking visits on your website, as well as acquisitions you’ve obtained through other channels, such as social media. Best of all it’s completely free.

  1. Canva


    Visual elements on social media, as well as your website, have been proven to drive engagement. Now, thanks to Canva, you don’t need to be a graphic designer to produce beautiful graphics to accompany your content marketing efforts. Choose from a number of templates and fonts, and import your own images!

  1. IFTTT


    Advertisers, Marketers and Public Relations professionals are always fighting against time: sometimes there just isn’t enough of it. That’s where automation comes in handy. If This Than Than (IFTTT) helps these professionals automate different aspects of their social media efforts; from sending a direct message to a new follower, to automatically retweeting a tweet with specific keywords, automation helps drive engagement and frees up valuable time.

    Be careful, though—Too much automation makes you look like you’re a spam bot!

  1. Commun.it


    Commun.it is a Twitter management tool with a specific focus on relationship management. The simple dashboard gives key information as to who your influencers are, who you should be following, who you should unfollow, and what type of content resonates well with your audience.

  1. Hubspot CRM


    Now you may be engaging with your audience, but are you keep tracking of who you’re engaging with, or who might be a valuable lead or prime for a sale? Hubspot, a renowned inbound marketing software company and experts, has recently released a CRM system that is completely free. It allows you to track your prospects in one easy, convenient place and track emails through it’s Sidekick email add-on.

  1. Zapier


    Remember who we said some level of automation is great? Well Zapier makes it easier to transfer information from one system to another. For example, if a potential lead clicks a link in an email you’ve sent through MailChimp, you can have it automatically add that lead into your CRM, and vice-versa.

    The free version of this Godsend allows you to set-up 5 zaps, with 100 tasks a month. This number may be good for a smaller company, but larger companies that require more automation may opt for a paid plan.

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UK readers demand free news online—but expect content creators to be paid

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New research brings a critical media-consumption dilemma to the forefront—according to a new study from open journalism platform The News Hub, consumers in the UK want their online news to be free at the point of consumption, and they expect journalists to be rewarded for the great content they create.

The survey, conducted by polling expert Toluna, found near-unanimous support for online news to be free, with 96% agreeing there should be no charges to access news websites. Four people in five (80%) also agreed that journalists should be paid for great content they produce.

Despite journalists contending with newspaper closures and cutbacks, consumers of news are optimistic about the impact of technology and the Internet on the news industry. Nearly three quarters (73%) of respondents agreed the unprecedented number of ways to access, consume and create news heralded a ‘golden age’ for journalism and journalists.

“Around the world, traditional news organizations are grappling with the challenge of making online news profitable,” said William Stolerman, founder of The News Hub, in a news release. “Some publishers have put up paywalls with varying degrees of success; others hope online advertising will meet the prohibitive cost of running news teams. We firmly believe this is an exciting time for the news industry.”

The survey was conducted for The News Hub by Toluna using its innovative QuickSurveys platform. A representative sample of 1,005 UK adults aged 18+ took part in the online survey from August 21 to August 23, 2015.

Source: Business Wire; edited by Richard Carufel

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The key elements of a press kit

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If you’re a business owner, you know getting media attention can be a struggle — once reporters bite, you’ve got to make it easy for them to give you coverage.

If you want to be featured in the press, you have to give media the tools. The press kit is designed to make life easy for anyone who is interested in promoting your company. Also known as the media kit, it is a concise document — typically housed on your website — which contains a clear outline of who you are, marketing materials, resources, and information about your brand.

When engaging in media outreach, you will be referring reporters, bloggers, or whoever is interested in promoting you to this document.

So what are the key elements of a professional press kit?

Your story: This is where you introduce your company and discuss why you got started, why do you do what you do, what purpose you serve, and what differentiates you from the rest. Describe your services or products. Keep it short and sweet and try your best to highlight whatever it is about your company that’s unique or interesting (read: newsworthy).

Fast facts: Provide a cheat sheet of quick facts so reporters don’t have to dig. How many customers have you served? How long have your doors been open? Where are you located? Where are your products made? What are your social media stats or blog numbers? Feel free to list some of your more notable clients too. These facts will not only reflect well on you, but will ensure that journalists are relaying accurate information to their readers.

High-res branding images: High-quality branding images will make it easy for content publishers to incorporate your logo. Offer one with a transparent background and ensure that it is 360 dpi so it is suitable for print as well. It’s also a good idea to include a download option for the raw version.

Who’s who: Talk about your team. Why are they experts? What experience do they bring to your business? How and why did they get involved? Putting faces to your brand keeps it personal.

Press samples: What media outlets have already featured your organization? Don’t dredge up every article that’s ever been written about you — put the spotlight on a few of the better-known publications and use pull quotes with links to the original pieces.

Contact info & social links: List the full name and email of whoever handles your media requests and provide links to your brand’s most active social networks.

If your company offers services, you can also incorporate packages and rates as well as testimonials — and it is always a good idea to list awards or FAQs.

There are no set ‘rules’ and every company’s press kit will be different; what you include and how you make it available (PDF or its own subdomain) is up to you.

The monetary and time investment in creating a press kit may be off-putting, but long term, it will add legitimacy to your business and increase your likelihood of actually landing in the press.

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Media relations: PR still needs to adapt to the Digital Age

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The reality of PR today is that while the media has changed from a print mechanism to a mobile multimedia environment, PR remains stuck in the 20th century. As consumers, we want our news on demand, and in turn demand that credible journalists give it to us immediately. And not just written stories—video, audio, live feeds, you name it. We’d also prefer it digested into cool headlines, in 140 characters, in 6-second vines and matching quizzes. Now, journalists need all these tools of the trade and more. And how do PR pros reach them?

Phone and email. Maybe a tweet.

Is it working? Sources say, no.

  • According to the social newsroom network Babbler, reporters delete 75% of pitches from unknown publicists and from wire service press releases—without ever opening them.
  • The Financial Times reports that there are 5 PR pros for every 1 U.S. journalist
  • A Forbes reporter can work on five stories/day—writing 2, editing 2 for colleagues and researching a feature story.
  • Thanks to caller ID, an unwanted call to a reporter can get you blocked and deleted, almost instantly. Bye-bye exclusive.

Your pitch—no matter how targeted—is an interruption.

While massive media databases have greatly helped the industry in identifying journalists, our media lists have grown from a little black book of key contacts to 1000 person databases. The result? PR pros carpet-bomb their lists instead of making each pitch relevant and timely for the media cycle. And although there are great media monitoring systems in the market, we’re still training our PR people to pester reporters and editors to find out that critical publication date. And in the end, we’re destroying the very relationships with journalists that we’re trying to build.

The advent of inbound marketing has taught savvy marketers that “pulling” in customers with killer content is not only the way to achieve sales success, but it creates educated and loyal customers in the process. Most importantly, it puts the customer in the driver’s seat—getting and choosing the content they want when they want it.

Unfortunately, PR is still functioning like a “push” mechanism – and as a result we’re perceived as pushy, instead of persistently helpful in generating news.

What media relations needs today is a social platform that allows journalists to get the full story in one location—all the clips, photos, content, sources and 1:1 communication. That’s why we invented Babbler. We wanted to create a platform that would become the dashboard of the PR industry. One that that reporters would check daily—like Twitter. To find breaking news on the brands they cover and also plan out future stories—with sources and content—weeks in advance. A true 2-way platform that starts with the journalists’ needs and then teaches PR pros how to give it to them—when they need it, how they need it. So rather than blindly sending the same pitch to 100’s a blind list of recipients, when YouTube Vloggers want links, bloggers want tons of images and the print press want copy.

After talking to the biggest agencies and brands in the world, we designed Babbler as:

  • The first real-time media relations platform for the digital age.
  • The only opt-in network that lets media and PR pros instantly share news, content and messages in a single platform.
  • A platform that specifically matches brands with the reporters who need their news.
  • A one stop shop for PR and media pros.
  • The only 2-way communication platform for reporters and PR pros.
  • A platform that makes all content, images, releases and contacts shareable.

PR today demands real-time, personalized connects between PR pros and journalists. If we can’t do that, we’ll see not only a further erosion of our media relationships, but a rise in the already astronomical churn levels on account teams and in PR departments. PR Daily reported that our industry saw a 55% turnover rate in 2013. And unhappy employees lead to unhappy clients and executives. According to the Bedford Group, client/agency tenure has shrunk from more than seven years to less than three years.

In PR, we serve two masters: 1. the reporters and bloggers and 2. the clients or executives who invest our efforts. For the latter, we need to show the fruits of our efforts—the hits, but also reporter interest in downloads, feedback, conversations and the means to analyze and report on those interactions. In the 21st century PR world, our clients—internal or external—will demand total transparency, not to mention a solid ROI on that investment.

Today, agencies including Golin, and brands like Lenovo, Canon, Salvatore Ferragamo are using Babbler as the centerpiece to communicate with reporters and with each other. The most surprising result is that agencies who talk to their prospects about their use of Babbler report a significantly higher rate of closing new business. Babbler has become the secret sauce, helping agencies be seen as at the cutting edge of media relations, and generating the results to back it up.

Guest contributor Hannah Oiknine is the CEO & Co-Founder of Babbler, the first real-time media relations platform for the digital age. Used by more than 250 brands and 30+ agencies worldwide, Babbler is the only opt-in network that lets media and PR pros instantly share news, content and messages in a single platform.

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PR: 7 steps to a successful campaign


A truly successful PR campaign goes well beyond simply pitching and getting coverage. There are several intertwined components which take place before, during and after a campaign which help maximize the chance for success. With experience as an internal PR executive and over 16 years on the agency side, I have seen a wide range of situations and approaches. Here are my 7 keys to success:

  1. Set Clear Goals: This seems obvious, but is often overlooked. The goal of simply “getting press coverage” is not specific enough. What is your company looking to achieve with this press coverage? Are you looking to increase product sales, raise money from investors, improve employee recruiting, raise your company’s profile within an industry, etc.? The answers to these questions will dictate the kind of coverage, targets and messages that are most appropriate for your campaign.
  2. Have a Strategy-Driven Budget, Not a Budget-Driven Strategy: No successful entrepreneur has ever started their business with the thought “what kind of company can I start for X dollars?” It’s backwards thinking. First you generate the great idea, and then figure out what it costs and how to finance it. Promoting your product or business with a PR campaign should be no different. Arbitrarily assigning a budget and trying to shoehorn in a campaign gets everything off on the wrong foot. Instead, think about your goals, the ideal tactics required to accomplish them, and let them guide the budget.
  3. Align Expectations: “Success” is usually dictated by expectations. So making sure everyone is on the same page is vital. A critical but often elusive component is taking a long, honest look in the mirror and assessing where your product/brand fits into the larger landscape. Is it genuinely newsworthy and interesting? Do you have the appropriate budget to meet your expectations? The answers to questions like these will identify any gaps in opinion warranting discussion, and allow you to align the team’s expectations.
  4. Tactical Purpose: In the world of PR, time means both money and opportunity. Therefore, every single one of your tactics and activities should have a specific purpose in the campaign that marries back to one of your overall goals. Simply doing something to “check off a box” is both counter-productive and wasteful. After a campaign plan is completed, it’s always smart to take a step back to review and scrutinize each tactic to ensure its effectiveness in achieving your goals.
  5. Connective Tissue: PR activities that occur in a silo or as one-offs are rarely effective. Tactics that connect across the entirety of the campaign, build upon each other, and integrate with other marketing activities are what make campaigns successful. I like to call it “connective tissue”. In addition to employing consistent messaging, you should ask yourself: “What does this activity accomplish and how does it tie-in and build towards the next one?” If that answer isn’t clear, then you might want to rethink its value.
  6. Real-Time Evaluation: Even the greatest strategic minds cannot predict with absolute certainty how each tactic will unfold or how messaging will resonate across the wider landscape. Smart and successful PR campaigns know this ahead of time, and continually evaluate tactics and messaging in real-time, refining and reacting as necessary. The secret is knowing when/where to make changes, and not overreacting to an insufficient data sample.
  7. Agency Fit: Over the last 15+ years I’ve witnessed hundreds of criteria used in the agency selection process. Among the most common are costs, location, past success, etc. However, finding the perfect agency partner often involves less tangible elements that are often categorized as “fit.” It’s perhaps one of the most important components to a successful campaign.  Does the agency have enthusiasm for your brand or product? Do you trust their feedback and insights? Do you like them as people? All of these end up being critically important when working closely on a daily basis, and when campaigns hit a tough stretch and tensions run high, it’s important to know your agency has your back.

Guest contributor Lance Seymour is the co-founder of HighWater Group, a New York City-based PR and marketing agency founded in 1999 with clients ranging from leading global consumer electronics brands and video game publishers, to gadget and emerging smart home technology start-ups.

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Federal election: Harper gets pilloried on Twitter

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Canadians are headed back to the polls on Monday, October 19, following the dropping of the writ on August 2 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper (commencing the longest election campaign period in Canadian history).

All four major party leaders are now in full-on campaign mode. And while we’re only around four weeks into the campaign, several issues are already coming to the forefront — especially in the Twittersphere, where all the parties, leaders, and supporters are attempting to make their voices heard above the chatter.

The Conservatives and leader Harper have started the election campaign in damage-control mode, with the trial of Senator Mike Duffy and associated former PMO Chief of Staff Nigel Wright and the now-infamous (and trending) $90,000 cheque being brought to the forefront.

Of the over 30k tweets that have mentioned the Prime Minister’s Twitter handle since August 2, over 10 per cent have included the word “Duffy” (monitored and analyzed using MediaMiser Enterprise):


Prior to August 10 there was no mention of the word “Duffy” within any recent tweet that mentioned the Prime Minister’s handle

The Conservatives’ social media coverage has also suffered from a few unfortunate campaign gaffes, which have been amplified by a number of Twitter users drawing attention to them.

A $15-million nature funding announcement was overshadowed by complaints from Scouts Canada:

And a Conservative advertisement on BC’s environmental stewardship featured a picture of an Atlantic salmon, which drew the ire of several users in the province:

duffyThese examples and more have contributed to @pmharper facing an extremely negative atmosphere on Twitter right now.

In the case of the other three parties, mentions have been mostly positive — with a few notable exceptions.
Green Party leader Elizabeth May, while receiving an outpouring of support for her inclusion in federal debates, has also been criticized that votes for her party may indirectly lead to less votes for both the NDP and Liberals:

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, while receiving positive coverage for his announcement regarding education funding for First Nations, has received negative backlash from Twitter users linking his party to Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Ontario Liberal government:

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, while receiving praise for his proposed $15 minimum wage, is still receiving negative coverage associated with the $1.17 million that NDP MP’s have been ordered to repay over improper mailings.

There has been comparisons made between this and the Duffy trial since it began:

As the election season continues into September, we’ll cover the battle each week as it unfolds on Twitter. The rhetoric between the parties and their vocal supporters will inevitably ramp itself up in the social sphere as we near closer to October 19.

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USA Rugby comes into its own with new digital marketing channel


This past weekend, USA Rugby played one of its final tests ahead of next month’s World Cup versus Rugby Canada, trouncing the Canadians 41-23. The match saw hundreds of tweets mention #USARugby, a good portion of which zeroed in on the result, including this quippish one:

@Eat_Sleep_Rugby also chimed in, reaching its nearly 58,000 followers with this inspirational offering:  

The victory came a month after The Wall Street Journal broke news of the launch of Rugby International Marketing (RIM), a joint effort from USA Rugby and England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU).

According to a press release from the RFU, RIM “is the new commercial arm of USA Rugby, representing its commercial rights but also exploring new revenue streams to support the development of rugby in the USA.”

The major feature is the digital channel that will form its backbone, offering 24/7 rugby coverage, meant to help fulfill USA Rugby’s aim of making rugby more visible across the country.

News of RIM’s launch ━ which MediaMiser’s analysis software found was covered by 30-plus news outlets, including Yahoo! News and the aforementioned Wall Street Journal ━ comes at a time when both USA Rugby and the sport itself are experiencing significant growth.

In the five years through 2013, according to a study from the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, participation among players six years old and up increased by 81 per cent, making it the fastest-growing team sport in the country (football participation fell 21.1 per cent over the same period.) Consider too that the Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 18, and the RIM announcement makes that much more sense.

USA Rugby finds itself in an enviable position right now: the sport’s popularity is surging, it is launching what is primed to be a successful revenue-producing and marketing subsidiary, and its national men’s team is rounding into form at exactly the right time. All that’s left is to wait and see what comes of it all.

The Rugby World Cup is 25 days away.

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Which key PR metrics show bottom-line impact?

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As the lines between public relations and marketing continue to blur, PR practitioners are being faced with the challenge of driving revenue. Public relations is now an essential tool for driving traffic, leads and conversions to generate revenue. As a new white paper from PR Newswire explains it, PR drives traffic, traffic creates leads, leads become pipeline, and pipeline becomes revenue. But how do PR professionals demonstrate this strategic value to their colleagues or clients?

PR Newswire’s Why Metrics Are the Key to Getting a Seat at the Revenue Table report discusses the ways one can leverage key metrics to prove the business impact of PR efforts. In addition to earned media statistics, the study identifies these key metrics that PR must track:

  • Social Activity—Social media isn’t just a way to amplify your messages to as many people as possible; it’s also an effective approach for driving referrals back to specific websites. Keep track of these referrals, as well as how your clients’ social networks grow and improve in quality (as measured by increasing engagement numbers) thanks to your work. These efforts will continue to pay dividends for your clients long after their current campaign is done.
  • Website Traffic—Your PR activities, and the social activity that they result in, will drive traffic to your clients’ websites. By tracking how many page views and unique visitors your PR drives by using techniques like trackable links (see here for an example of how to build them in Google Analytics), as well as how engaged people were when they got to the website (as measured by time on page and bounce rate), you can illustrate the volume of high-quality leads that you are bringing to your clients. In the process, you will also be able to determine which channels are most effective at doing so.
  • Conversion Rates—Most importantly of all, track the rates at which prospects and customers convert as a result of your PR efforts. A conversion is simply a desired action that a person takes as a result of your PR, such as filling out a form, making an online purchase, or downloading an app. All of these conversions are important steps that buyers need to take as they make their way down the path to purchase.

PR is more than a tactical tool for creating brand awareness—it is a strategic advantage for nurturing relationships and driving conversions. Learn how to get PR a seat at the revenue table by downloading the white paper here.

Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel

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Communications crash course: Current trends from A to Z

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With journalism, advertising, public relations and more, the field of communications is broad and expanding further every day with the introduction of new tools like Periscope, Snapchat and their ilk.

Even in a specifically targeted program like communications, students study everything from advertising and public relations research design to multimedia storytelling. Here, we take a look at 26 popular communications trends that give a sense of just how diverse and multi-talented media professionals must be to tackle the field of communications head-on.

Having engaging ambassadors who will go out of their way to provide recommendations and referrals is one of the best ways to broaden your reach, gain new customers and tell your story.

Big Data
According to McKinsey & Company, big data is the greatest game-changing opportunity for marketing and sales since the Internet went mainstream. Today’s intelligent marketing technologies allow for better customer relationship management.

Cross-Channel Personalization
Cross-channel personalization is all about “connecting the digital dots” and delivering a brand experience that moves with your consumers in a personalized way.

Design Thinking
The five principles of design thinking—empathize, observe, brainstorm, prototype and test—are related to communications in a way that can help you boost the value of your organization or company by improving problem solving skills and creative idea output.

Love them or hate them, emojis are changing the way we communicate. Brands are using these small, cartoon-like images to connect with younger audiences and convey messages in new ways.

Friends and Family
According to Nielson, 92 percent of consumers around the world say they trust the personal recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising, proving that family and friends matter when it comes to brand communication.

Growth Hacking
What do Facebook, Dropbox and Twitter all have in common? They all employed growth hacking to attract and build an early following. Growth hacking is a marketing technique that leverages creativity, analytical thinking and social metrics in order to sell products and gain exposure.

In today’s overcrowded, ever-connected and uber-informed marketplace, it pays to be insanely honest. Being honest and transparent can be a powerful way to gain trust and build a loyal following.

Internet of Things
Watches, wearables, coffee pots and cars, we’ve entered an era in which everything can be connected via the Internet. Thanks to sensor technology and the Internet of Things, the expected growth of machine-to-machine connections will have countless effects on our lives and a profound impact on the way we do business.

The lines between journalism and PR are being blurred by brand journalism. This journalistic storytelling focuses on communicating messages that consumers care about. Is it news? Or is it PR? Maybe it’s a little of both.

Crowdfunding is on the rise, and Kickstarter is the king of the pack. Forward-thinking marketers are usingcrowdfunding tactics to get product validation, create brand advocates and build brands people love.

Marketers are using LinkedIn as a powerhouse online channel to attract sales leads, engage prospects and accelerate conversions that generate revenue.

Mobile Majority
Mobile devices are revolutionizing the way we keep up on current events. According to Pew Research Center’s State of the News Media 2015, 39 of the top 50 digital news web sites get more traffic from mobile devices than from desktop computers.

Native Advertising
Native ads—a tactic in which ads are meant to mimic editorial content—are less intrusive and offer brands another way to engage with customers by providing relevant content.

Over-The-Top Content
Over-the-top content refers to the delivery of audio, video and other media over the Internet without the involvement of a multiple-system operator (MSO)—think Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. It is predicted that subscriptions to OTT services will nearly triple by 2019.

Serial may not have singlehandedly sparked the return of podcasts, but it certainly helped. According to the Pew Research Center, the percentage of Americans who’ve listened to a podcast in the past month has almost doubled since 2008.

If you want to get people talking, ask them a question. All customers want to be heard, and questions provide them with an opportunity to use their voice, offer opinions and express feelings.

Ratings and Reviews
From large major brands to small local shops, practically every business can benefit from positive ratings and reviews. Also known as earned media, online consumer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising.

Sweepstakes via Social Media
Looking for a winning strategy that will attract a large social media audience? Launching a sweepstakes or contest via social media is a smart way to engage customers, reach new audiences and generate a buzz about your brand.

Total Market Strategy
With multicultural populations rapidly growing, replacing your “multicultural marketing team” with a total market strategy – via Walmart in 2011 – will make multicultural marketing a focus for everyone at the company.

User-Generated Content
For social media marketers, user-generated content (UGC) is recognized as the fastest and most effective way to generate content and engage brand users. UGC is a relevant, personal, real and powerful way to gain visibility and market your brand.

Video Marketing
The year 2015 has rightfully been dubbed “The Year of Video Marketing.” In less than 30 seconds, a video can provide customers with the information they seek in a quick, engaging format that doesn’t overwhelm them with words.

Wearable Technology
While the concept may seem simple, the potential impact of wearables on our behavior and expectations—as well as our marketing strategies—is far more complex. Imagine all the data that can be collected from technology that is worn nearly 24/7 by your customers.

“X” Marks the Spot (Location-Based Marketing)
The use of beacons is on the rise – from Macy’s to Starwood Hotels – companies are using these in-store devices to connect with shopper’s smartphones and improve their retail experience.

With 1 billion (and counting) users, YouTube has surpassed the popularity of live television. “The Business of YouTube,” an infographic developed by Communications@Syracuse, illustrates YouTube’s growth popularity and profiles some of today’s rising stars.

Generation Z
Move over, Millennials and make way for Generation Z. They are our nation’s most diverse consumers, and our largest population demographic—those born in or after 1995 make up more than a quarter of the U.S. population. As their influence inevitably grows, so will the need for marketers to adapt to engage this audience in new ways.

Guest writer Jenna Dutcher is the Community Relations Manager of the Online Master’s in Communications program, Communications@Syracuse, and current Communications@Syracuse student specializing in Journalism Innovation. Dutcher earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary.

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Amazing Race Canada, Season 3 Ep. 7: Math with Air Canada & Reminiscing with James Duthie

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In episode 7, the Amazing Race Canada left the outdoor playground of Sudbury, Ontario and travelled to the city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

As mentioned in last week’s blog posting, the citizens of Sudbury mobilized during the previous airing of the Amazing Race Canada. Because of this, the Amazing Race Canada’s Sudbury episode saw a 114.1-per-cent increase in Twitter activity from the previous week.

The citizens of Saskatoon were also excited to have the Amazing Race Canada visit their city and it shows in our social media analysis. But with the city of Sudbury hosting a public airing, Twitter activity from last week was unusually high and — as a result, this week’s episode for the airing saw a 31.7-per-cent decrease in Twitter activity, and more traditional regional patterns emerged.

Social media activity by city

Toronto Ontario Canada (GTA) 27.4%
Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada 13.5%
Winnipeg Manitoba Canada 7.4%
Ottawa Ontario Canada 6.1%
Calgary Alberta Canada 4.8%
London Ontario Canada 3.5%
Halifax Nova Scotia Canada 2.6%
Sudbury Ontario Canada 2.6%
Edmonton Alberta Canada 1.7%
Hamilton Ontario Canada 1.7%
Kitchener Ontario Canada 1.7%
Regina Saskatchewan Canada 1.7%
Vancouver British Columbia Canada 1.7%
Barrie Ontario Canada 1.3%
Waterloo Ontario Canada 1.3%
Other 20.9%


On average, episode seven’s social media activity was still fairly robust: the show did benefit from an After the Race segment, hosted by James Duthie, which discussed the show with contestants who had been eliminated. This follow-up show promoted its own hashtag, #AftertheRace, and represented 17.6 per cent of all Twitter engagement this week.

The always-popular James Duthie was also mentioned in 15.2 per cent of tweets.

Most viewers expressed disappointment of seeing their favorite contestants eliminated, especially Hamilton Elliott & Michaelia Drever.

During After the Race, show sponsor Air Canada presented Elliott & Michaelia with new luggage and lanyards for their passports, playing off the theme of how  Hamilton & Michaelia got eliminated from the show.

Air Canada actually received significant positive mentions during both the ‘After the Race’ segment and episode seven.

Air Canada also had both contestants and viewers scratching their heads with its task/roadblock, where contestants had to figure out a math problem based on flight schedules. The challenge had many viewers tweeting:

The other tasks were also well received by views on social media, such as building teepees and hoop dancing at Wanuskewin Heritage Park, jumping on trampolines at Apex Trampoline Park, and finding beer caps at Great Western Brewing.

amazing race

Contestants’ Share of Voice:

  1. Brent & Sean Sweeney 30% (Winners)
  2. Neil & Kristin Lumsden 24.8% (Eliminated)
  3. Nick Foti & Matt Giunta 16.1%
  4. Simi & Ope Fagbongbe  14.0%
  5. Jesse & Gino Montani 7.3%
  6. Brian & Cynthia Boyd 3.3%
  7. Dujean Williams & Leilani Ross 2.3%


MediaMiser actively blogs about Amazing Race Canada, and leverages MediaMiser solutions to compile analysis on the show.

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