Impact of Failing Newspapers on Advertising and Quality of News

Mitch Leff shared this article this morning, detailing projections of which major US newspapers will fail or move to all digital before we exit the recession: The bigger question here is, what will the migration of former major dailies to the web do for you PR? 1. It will…

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Word of Mouth Marketing In Action

I took the family for lunch at Chili's after church on Sunday. I had a coupon for a free meal as part of a promotion I enrolled in through BzzAgent. I joined BzzAgent last year at the recommendation of a friend who suggested joining as a way to get advanced…

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Email that talks: Would you like that in your in-box?

Last monthI had the pleasure of lunching with Lisa Jones, the founder of Eyemail is a different kind of email marketing company not just because of Lisa but because of the way the application works. As Lisa advertises, "ours can be the only message in your in box that…

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Subject Lines That Increase Your Email Open Rates

This morning I received an email with the subject line: Al Roker is Fat Again. While I’m not an avid NBC Today Show  follower, I opened the message instantly.

Writing subject lines that catch the attention of your reader is a skill that not everyone can claim. And depending on the medium — direct mail packages, email campaigns or websites — the tactic can be completely different. But crafting a great subject lines can make the difference between capturing eyeballs and the round file.

Direct marketers have long known this and spammers caught on to this tactic quickly. Consider all of the messages that you used to open — before we all became SPAM savvy —  about subjects that had nothing to do with the headline.

So today when you’re competing with spammers and all kinds of other mailbox noise, how do you increase your open rate? Return to some of the basics of copy writing while still be mindful of the new media intricacies.

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More On Getting a Job in PR

Over the weekend I was reading Jantsch’s Duct Tape Marketing. He makes a number of really strong points that I’ll probably address later but the one that struck me as timely for today was the suggestion about how to hire a good marketing assistant. His suggestion was to pick someone who can write. While it seems fairly obvious that people who want to work in communications should be strong and comfortable writers, not all of them are. And once you get out of the communications applicant pool you’ll encounter even more people who claim an aversion to writing.

Being a strong and compelling writer makes you a good candidate for a number of positions and should just flat out be a requirement for any marketing communications position. If you can’t clearly articulate your message, don’t enjoy playing with words and find yourself compulsively editing copy wherever you go (a habit that makes my family nuts), don’t get a job in marketing.

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Improving the Response Rate on Direct Mail Campaigns

The nuerosciencemarketing blog among others are very excited about the results of a marketing effort documented in Robert Cialdini’s Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive.  The point of the study was that personalization works. To test their theory, a survey was mailed under the cover of three separate letters:

1) A laser personalized printed letter.
2) A laser personalized printed letter with a handwritten message written in the margin, at top or bottom.
3) A laser persoanlized printed letter with a handwritten message written on a Post-It note that was attached to the letter.

So which configuration would compel you most to complete the survey? I bet you’re not surprised to find that:

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Getting a Job in PR (or anywhere else for that matter)

When I finished grad school at FSU in 1991 the unemployment rate was also somewhere around 7%. Competing against experienced professionals for entry-level positions was extremely difficult. Today I find myself on the receiving end of those inquiries and feel compelled to share a few tips I wish somebody had told me 17+ years ago.

First of all, it’s all about your network. Experienced professionals and repeat job seekers know this but new graduates haven’t figured it out yet. While every person you meet may seem like a potential employer, you will be much better served if you figure out how to add them to your network first. Don’t ask them for a job. Ask them how they like their job. Learn about what they do and how they got there. Find out who they talk to, sell to, buy from, partner with and even hire. And then ask them to refer you to three associates who work in your targeted field. If you have enough of these conversations, you will ultimately network your way into a position.

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The Lost Art of Press Proofs

When I first started buying printing, we'd get a proof with everything we ordered. The customer always hated paying for the proof but it was the only way we had to confirm that the Quark file submitted (usually on an iomega tape at that time) was in order and that the…

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Prospects Opening Fewer Marketing Emails?

A recent study by MailerMailer found that overall consumers are opening fewer marketing emails. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, especially given the quantity of wanted and unwanted email that an individual user receives each day. But the truth is that we’re not going to stop sending it, we’ve just got to get smarter about what we send.

When you figure that an average email gets 5 seconds to catch the attention of the user before they delete it (a handy stat provided by the folks at Strategic Fusion when they are calculating time saved using SPAM filters), it becomes increasingly important to make the message easy to view and compelling to read. Beyond really compelling subject lines (a must have if you want anyone who doesn’t already know you to open your message), the next thing to consider is compelling and easy to view content.

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