Long Island PR, Marketing and Advertising Blog

Earlier this year, Google added insight reports, tailored actionable buttons (think take-out ordering or hotel reservation booking) and bulk upload spreadsheet functions to its Google My Business features. Though all are especially helpful to restaurants, the latter is a great tool for businesses with more than one location (and, thus, more than one listing on Google) as it enables page owners to collect information for all locations to one central location. For results-driven business owners, the addition of insight reports means they will have greater access to digital marketing analytics, while the other changes make it easier for customers viewing the profile to take action directly from the listing.

New Additions

With the changing landscape of social media management, and owing to the fact that Google+ never quite became the platform people expected, the behemoth company has once again adapted its platform to make it possible for companies to utilize Google My Business pages in a similar fashion to traditional social media. Using the new Google My Business API (Application Programming Interface), owners and marketing managers of restaurant and hotel chains can manage their Google My Business account in a more efficient manner.

With the latest updates, page owners will now be able to:

  • Edit location information for one or more pages
  • Read and respond to customer reviews from a centralized area
  • Update menu details, such as pricing, photos and descriptions for one or more locations
  • Create and update relevant social media-style posts
  • Add additional business photos as applicable
  • Incorporate a Call-to-Action button, such as “Learn More,” “Reserve,” “Sign Up,” “Buy” and “Get Offer”

In a similar fashion to Facebook, users now have the option to create an “event” – which can be used by restaurants to advertise a holiday special or for destinations to promote a local fundraiser, among an endless assortment of occasions.

Though these new features have already proven to be powerful marketing tools, to be effective, social media pages and listings like Google My Business must be managed properly to ensure positive results. One thing for established companies to consider is the need to migrate Google+ pages to the Google My Business social media page functions.

Taking Care of Your Social Media Profiles

The exposure of your listing works both ways. Though online exposure can draw more attention to your company in a positive way, mistakes or negligence often have a serious impact on your online reputation. Since social media is so, well… social, a business that doesn’t respond to negative feedback on its profile could face consequences from a broader audience of people looking to stir the pot. While many business owners may simply opt to ignore the naysayers, a disproportionate number of negative reviews on one or more social media pages will affect a company’s ranking on a results page on most search engines (like Google or Bing).

To take advantage of the new Google My Business features, one must regularly check up on these consumer comments and reviews. It is also important to create and manage a social media schedule that reflects the tone of your business. For example, a children’s activity center would interact with its target audience in a different manner than a fine dining establishment. And, it’s important to accurately reflect the atmosphere of your business.

Further, customers want to know that your business is active and responsive. Lack of social media maintenance will affect how search engines view your listing, so it’s important to manage social media pages like Google My Business effectively.

Ask an Expert

Though we’ve outlined the basic feature updates of the new Google My Business API, it takes a skilled web developer to fully and properly integrate some of the more in-depth functions. This includes:

  • Setting up subscriptions to push notifications for new customer reviews
  • Viewing insights for locations
  • Providing additional attributes for locations (like a hotel’s amenities or a restaurant’s menu URL)
  • Inviting and removing managers
  • Managing service-area businesses

The Public Relations and Marketing Group was established 15 years ago, at a time when social media was first coming into fruition. PRMG’s team of social media managers continually learn and grow their skills to keep ahead of changes in the industry and can help you develop your Google My Business page. We can also help to redevelop your existing Google+ and Google My Business pages to take full advantage of the latest updates.

Contact us at info@theprmg.com or call us directly at 631-207-1057, ext. 107.


There are many ways to implement email marketing and myriad articles discussing the best plan of action. In an effort to save you time, we’ve compiled some tips on the best email marketing strategies.

Some have come to associate email marketing with spam, resulting in a sour view of the company or firm that sends the email. But, when certain tactics are implemented correctly, email marketing can provide useful and interesting content to current and prospective clients, which in turn will garner business. Word of mouth is extremely important in any industry, and successful email marketing is one way to get referrals.

Quick Tips

  1. Send Out Frequently
    E-newsletters should be sent out monthly, or at least quarterly.
  2. Don’t Blast from Home
    Don’t send to hundreds or thousands of people from your personal or work email – use an expert email marketing service.
  3. Create Valuable Content
    Don’t clog up your e-newsletter with unrelated links. You want your content to be compelling and related to audience interests
  4. Hone Your Audience
    For instance, if you own a local service business, you don’t want to waste your time targeting interstate or international clientele. There would be very little return-on-investment (ROI) and it could negatively affect your reputation with search engines.

How to Build an Email List

Start with the basics – you can use the contacts you have on file from happy customers. If you’ve been in business for a long time, this list will likely be a good starting point. Be sure to ask yourself “Would this contact be interested in receiving emails from my company?”

After that, you will need to actively build your list. There are many ways to do this:

  1. Add a “Subscribe to Our Email List” option on your website.
  2. Offer a giveaway – in exchange for the reader’s email address, he or she is entered into the raffle (for a gift card, for instance).
  3. Ask for emails in the middle or at the end of your website content
  4. Create an exit-intent pop-up – when a reader is about to leave a site, this small ad will pop up asking them if they’d like to stay up-to-date on the latest company news.
  5. Offer downloadable content, such as a how-to guide, for which readers will need to provide their email to access the content.

Take advantage of one of the many companies with nominal fees that will ensure your email address isn’t blacklisted, such as Constant Contact, StreamSend, or MailChimp. These services have e-newsletter templates that can be altered to meet your brand. If you don’t have the time, seek out the guidance of an experienced marketing team that can take care of it for you.

How to Create Valuable Content

Throughout the month, try to make a list of instances of the following:

  • Positive company news, especially external recognition like reviews or awards
  • Topical news related to the company’s industry – be sure to add a sentence or two describing how the news item might affect your audience
  • Common questions from clients or customers that you could answer in 6-8 sentences
  • Events your audience might be interested in attending
  • For retailers: the latest company offerings – such as forthcoming specials or sales
  • For service professionals: reminders about important deadlines or annual projects

Implement these details in two- or three-sentence paragraphs in the body of your e-newsletter, with pages that jump out to expand on the content. In the case that you don’t have a lot of news to share, write original content to educate your audience about your experience and your business – including why your business stands out in its field.

When to Schedule Your Campaign

You want the optimal opportunity for visibility and follow-through. Think about the day-to-day business of your audience and schedule the campaign to go out when your readers will be able to sit down and read it.

Consistency is key for email marketing; e-newsletters in particular. You want your audience to anticipate and look forward to your monthly letter, which is full of free, valuable and interesting content. If you’re getting a lot of click-throughs, think about implementing a “Forward” option. Let your audience know you’re on the lookout for new subscribers and ask if they’d consider forwarding your content to a friend or colleague who might likewise benefit from it.

Long Story, Short

Emails are a great marketing tool, because they are not only highly accessible, but also because they are easily shareable (via forwarding). Email marketing also increases your company’s visibility and keeps your name in front of current and potential customers or clientele.

Email marketing can be a useful method to garner new business. However, you may not have the time to write, research and implement your content into a monthly E-Newsletter, especially if you are a small business owner.

The Public Relations and Marketing Group is a full-service marketing firm that specializes in digital marketing for professionals, services, retailers and hospitality businesses alike. For more information about our email marketing service, contact our Long Island marketing agency, serving the greater New York City metropolitan area. Call 631-207-1057 or email info@theprmg.com for a free consultation.

 


Don’t lose out on your chance to take advantage of one of the biggest sporting events of the year! Altice Media Solutions (formerly Cablevision) is serving up deals for this year’s US Open, tennis’ marquee event, which takes place August 28th – September 10th in New York City.

Reach the sport’s most enthusiastic fans, who tune in to watch top players like Roger Federer compete for the year’s biggest championship. Everyone will be talking about the US Open! Now’s your chance to grab their attention with your commercial.

The packages are broken up by geographic zone and include 30 spots which will air during the US Open matches on ESPN and ESPN2, (at least one per session) as well as 60 additional spots (20 per network) which will air Monday – Sunday on ESPNews, FOX Sports 1, and NBCSN between 6 a.m. – 12 a.m. (midnight).

Pricing by zone is as follows:

Zone Package Price
North Nassau $1,700.00
South Nassau $2,400.00
Hauppauge $2,050.00
Brookhaven $1,150.00
Babylon/Huntington/Riverhead $1,000.00

 

US Open 2017 dates, sessions, and featured matches are as follows:

Date Session Time Featured Matches
Monday, August 28 (1) Day 11:00am Men’s/Women’s 1st Round
Monday, August 28 (2) Evening 7:00pm Men’s/Women’s 1st Round
Tuesday, August 29 (3) Day 11:00am Men’s/Women’s 1st Round
Tuesday, August 29 (4) Evening 7:00pm Men’s/Women’s 1st Round
Wednesday, August 30 (5) Day 11:00am Men’s/Women’s 2nd Round
Wednesday, August 30 (6) Evening 7:00pm Men’s/Women’s 2nd Round
Thursday, August 31 (7) Day 11:00am Men’s/Women’s 2nd Round
Thursday, August 31 (8) Evening 7:00pm Men’s/Women’s 2nd Round
Friday, September 1 (9) Day 11:00am Men’s/Women’s 3rd Round
Friday, September 1 (10) Evening 7:00pm Men’s/Women’s 3rd Round
Saturday, September 2 (11) Day 11:00am Men’s/Women’s 3rd Round
Saturday, September 2 (12) Evening 7:00pm Men’s/Women’s 3rd Round
Sunday, September 3 (13) Day 11:00am Men’s/Women’s Round of 16
Sunday, September 3 (14) Evening 7:00pm Men’s/Women’s Round of 16
Monday, September 4 (15) Day 11:00am Men’s/Women’s Round of 16
Monday, September 4 (16) Evening 7:00pm Men’s/Women’s Round of 16
Tuesday, September 5 (17) Day 11:00am Men’s/Women’s Quarterfinals
Tuesday, September 5 (18) Evening 7:00pm Men’s/Women’s Quarterfinals
Wednesday, September 6 (19) Day 11:00am Men’s/Women’s Quarterfinals
Wednesday, September 6 (20) Evening 7:00pm Men’s/Women’s Quarterfinals
Thursday, September 7 (21) Evening 7:00pm Women’s Semifinals
Friday, September 9 (22) Day/Evening 12pm/4pm Mixed Doubles Final/Men’s Semifinals
Saturday, September 10 (23) Day/Evening 12pm/4pm Men’s Doubles Final/Women’s Singles Final
Sunday, September 11 (24) Day/Evening 12pm/4pm Women’s Doubles Final/Men’s Singles Final

 

Interested in running your ads? Don’t have a commercial? We can produce a spot for you and waive production fees with a minimum $10,000 buy. Contact our expert advertising team at info@theprmg.com, or call us at 631-207-1057 ext. 107. *Limited availability on inventory


What makes a company website successful? Many will say it’s search-engine optimization, some will say it’s design, and a few will say it’s user experience. The answer is: all three. When designing a website for business, it is important to keep this in mind and not prioritize one of these aspects at the expense of the others. Individuals are often surprised to learn that both design and user experience play a substantial role in how a website ranks on search engines.

search-engine optimization

Why Design and User Experience Matters

Nowadays, many competitive businesses know to incorporate search-engine optimization in the design of their website. This focus does not need to overwrite the design and user experience (UX), however. With the development of coding languages and the upswing in Internet use, there are now many options for inclusion of both beautiful design and fluid UX.

How Google Measures Design and User Experience

To ensure visibility online, your website needs to rank highly in search engine results. Websites designed with HTML and CSS are able to tackle the problem of website ranking, or search-engine optimization (SEO). SEO allows a search engine bot, a software application that runs automated tasks, to read and understand your content,and rank it accordingly. This is how you are able to find relevant information on the web through a simple search. Optimization increases the chances of your site ranking highly in search engines, so your business is organically seen by more people.

One issue many companies encounter is the sacrifice of user experience (UX) in favor of SEO – a compromise of design in the name of site ranking. But this doesn’t need to be the case; web designers can incorporate user-friendly and beautiful designs with code that speaks to Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.

What Can Be Done to Improve Design and User Experience

Though search engines need text, there are ways to preserve a visual-based site (such as an online clothing retailer). Once such method is adding an expandable division tag (div) to the images. The div might give the user a compelling product description, information about the store, or general contact information, for example. Including text in this way allows the different pages of a website to be ‘read’ by processors that rank it.

Calls to action and other page elements which are often presented as images would also benefit from background code. When these are created with webfonts and coding languages such as CSS and HTML, bots are able to crawl (browse and index) these elements, giving your firm a better reach online.

The Importance of a Strong Web Presence

While 96% of Americans have purchased items online, 51% prefer online sales to brick-and-mortar stores, and 85% of consumers use search engines to find local businesses, creating and maintaining a strong web presence is crucial to business survival.

If a website is not designed with SEO in mind, it is difficult to rank highly in search results and is therefore difficult to achieve the desired result of an increased consumer base. The experts at The Public Relations and Marketing Group are knowledgeable and experienced in search engine optimization and digital presence, including advertising and social media. For sample site designs, please visit http://for-your-impact-online.com.  For more information, call us at 631-207-1057, or email us at info@theprmg.com.


Online reviews and forums have made it much easier for people to communicate their experiences with products or places, which, for businesses, can be a blessing and a curse. Although reviews are a reliable mode of expanding brand awareness, one bad streak in online reviews could scare potential customers away. Management must act quickly and respond thoughtfully to customers in order to protect the company’s brand reputation, but also want to avoid appearing overly eager to please. It’s a delicate balance between satisfying an unhappy customer and standing up for the business you believe in.

Companies are run by people, and people make mistakes. Even large companies like United Airlines and Johnson & Johnson occasionally have a misstep that casts doubt on the integrity of their business. Whether your company’s mistake was real or just perceived, it’s up to you to restore faith in your brand.

Here are some basic steps to follow when encountering a crisis:

1. Be Honest. When a public relations crisis occurs, honesty is the best policy. Own up to your mistakes and take a leaf out of the humility handbook. Excuses make your business look bad, and it’s especially damaging to indicate that the jilted customer is to blame. Accept the blame for the problem, note that you understand the customer’s frustration, and apologize.

2. Empower the Customer. Put yourself in the shoes of your unhappy customer. How would you like the problem to be fixed, if you were her? Ask the customer outright what you can do to assuage the situation. Listen to her response, and if it makes sense to you, implement it. A customer is much more likely to forgive a business that makes changes for the better.

3. Make Changes. To restore confidence in your brand, you need to make adjustments when you goof up. Customers will see the way that you react in times of trouble. Thanks to the Internet boom, communication between the business and the customer is an all but public platform; the way you respond to unsatisfied customers is likely to affect the opinions of both new and returning customers. Though it may be costly to you, it’s important to make your customers whole. In the long run, you’ll make back what you’ve lost by rebuilding customers’ trust in your business.
Customer loyalty is a crucial part of survival in the business world these days. Online reviews can be an extremely useful and empowering tool, as long as they are monitored and responded to with honesty and empathy.

A full service public relations, marketing, digital advertising and communications firm, The Public Relations and Marketing Group has over a decade’s experience with brand reputation and online brand recognition. For more information, please call 631-207-1057 ext. 107, or email us at info@theprmg.com.


Twitter’s trendiness has made it a hotspot for advertising. The social media site, infamous for its 140-character limit, has rapidly gained popularity since its release in 2006 by founders Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone. By the end of 2010, the service had gained 50 million monthly active users. That number tripled just two years later in 2012, and, despite a small dip in 2015, the number of users continues to grow. As of December 2016, 319 million people used the platform on at least a monthly basis.

Businesses are joining the Twitter community in efforts to reach those who might not be so keen to comment on other social media platforms (such as Facebook or Instagram). Twitter users often opt to “mention” businesses, friends or famous people in their tweets, a feature which enables those mentioned to view and respond to said tweet instantaneously. This effectively provides users a direct line of communication with businesses to which they previously may not have had access.

Politicians, athletes and entertainers (among others) use the social medium as a resource for indulging pertinent information (such as the status of a recent bill in Congress, the current score of a soccer match, or the release date of a musician’s new album) in a concise and personal way. News and media outlets similarly utilize Twitter to reach out to mass audiences with crucial and critical news updates, a helpful and potentially life-saving feature in states of emergency, such as 2013’s Boston Marathon bombing. The ability to immediately reach a wide and varied audience is Twitter’s strongest suit, for business, celebrity, news and personal use alike.

The great thing about social media is its flexibility – the platforms change and update rapidly, which reflects the ability of the human mind to change and update, and easily keep their users’ ever-distracted attention. Facebook’s major success with new video advertisements has prompted Twitter to follow suit, shifting away from promoted tweets and toward video advertising.

Advertising on social media is useful in expanding brand awareness, increasing website traffic, and generating leads. When organic reach on social media platforms declines, ads are inversely on the rise. As Twitter rolls out its new video advertising campaign, businesses that take advantage of this new feature will be ahead of the game.

If you think your business would benefit from target-audience lead generation, you should consider video advertising on Twitter. Call the experts at The Public Relations and Marketing Group for advice and guidance, as well as ad scheduling and implementation. Please reach out to us at 631-207-1057 x107 or email us at info@theprmg.com.


Facebook video ads allow you to reach more people who matter to your business. With over 50% growth in viewing, video ads on Facebook are a great way to drive awareness, capture lead generation and close online sales for your company. According to an IDC “Always Connected” report, people return to Facebook’s news feed on average 14 times a day. By advertising on Facebook with video, you can target real people based on their interests, behaviors, age, gender and location across a range of devices such as desktop, tablet, or smartphones.

According to its own earnings reports, as of the third quarter of 2016, Facebook sees 1.79 billion active users a month. Also, as of January 2016 (the most recent information), more than 100 million hours of Facebook videos are viewed daily. Needless to say, that’s a large potential audience for you to market your goods and/or services to. Not only is it a large potential audience, but video advertising on Facebook is also more cost-effective than traditional advertising such as television, Facebook video ads we have run for our clients see an average CPC (cost-per-click) of $2.15 and an average CPM (cost-per-1,000 impressions) of $15.92.

Facebook video ads work on an objective-based system. Whether your objective is to increase overall brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, increase lead generation or online sales, Facebook video ads are effective in engaging your target audience and achieving your business objective.

A Facebook video ad could increase brand awareness by showing your video to as many people within your target market as possible, as per your allotted budget. Facebook video ads can drive traffic to your website by encouraging users to click on a “Learn More” button and also drive prospective buyers with a “Shop Now” button. By attaching a form to your ad, Facebook users can exchange their contact information in a request for more information from your company. Similarly, if you want to drive traffic to and capture leads from your site, we can develop a landing page with a contact form which stores that information as well.

Right now when you create a video ad on Facebook, that ad gets shown in the News Feed of your target audience, just as if it were any other type of content a user views on a daily basis. As stated earlier, these videos garner more than 100 million hours viewed on a daily basis.

As recently reported by the Wall Street Journal, Facebook is going to start testing 15-second advertisements mid-roll of organic videos. This means that, if you are viewing a video posted by your favorite news outlet, chances are there will now be a 15-second ad in the middle of that video you started watching. This is just one way that Facebook is experimenting with expanding their video ad presence, and it indicates that they don’t plan on dropping it anytime soon.


The NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament, appropriately named March Madness, gets the ball rolling on March 14-15, 2017. According to the International Business Times, 2016’s championship game between North Carolina and Villanova clocked in around 22.3 million viewers.

This year, Turner Networks will continue to share NCAA Tournament coverage with CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV. A total of 43 games will air on cable channels, including exclusive coverage of the Play-In Round and 24 games in the First Round, as well as coverage all the way through the Regional Finals (Elite 8).

Altice USA (formally Cablevision) advertising packages for the 2017 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament are broken up by zone. Each game airs across TNT, TBS and TruTV. In addition to the 43 spots available, Altice Media Solutions will include 100 added value spots across applicable networks, excluding News 12, competitive sports networks or top 20 networks.

Altice USA NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament packages and prices are as follows:

Zone Package Price
North Nassau $4,039.00
South Nassau $7,679.00
Huntington $2,169.00
Babylon $2,509.00
Hauppauge $6,619.00
Brookhaven $3,359.00
Riverhead $2,929.00

 

However, there are zone discount rates available. For instance, if you select two zones there is a 2% discount; three zones there is a 4% discount; four zones there is a 6% discount; five zones there is a 7% discount; six to eight zones there is an 8% discount.

NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament rounds, dates, and # of games/spots are as follows:

Round Dates # of Spots # of Games
Play-In (First Four) 3/14 – 3/15 4 4
First Round (Round of 64) 3/16 – 3/17 24 24
Second Round (Round of 32) 3/18 – 3/19 9 9
Regional Semifinals (Sweet Sixteen) 3/23 – 3/24 4 4
Finals (Elite 8) 3/25 – 3/26 2 2
  Total: 43 43

 

Contact us for more information about these available packages at 631-207-1057 or at johnzaher@theprmg.com.


Facebook Audience NetworkEarlier this year, SocialTimes reported a change to Facebook’s Audience Network that will allow even non-Facebook users to see Facebook-powered advertisements as they surf the web. Since its launch in 2014, the Facebook Audience Network has become one of the largest ad networks in the world. So what does this new policy mean for businesses and organizations trying to gain a cutting edge in the cutthroat world of digital advertising?

Originally, advertising partners with Facebook simply reached Facebook users through ads displayed on the site. But with the launch of the Facebook Audience Network two years ago, the social network enabled advertisers to extend the impact of their ads beyond Facebook. On a select number of mobile apps, partners could display ads with the added capabilities of the same targeting and measurement tools used on Facebook. However, these ads only reached users who were simultaneously logged into Facebook.

Facebook’s recent announcement removes even this restriction. Ads that take advantage of the Facebook Audience Network now have the capability to reach even users without Facebook accounts. This offers a further incentive to advertisers looking for the convenient and comprehensive metrics Facebook’s business program provides. In addition, it increases Facebook’s clout in the world of online interest-based marketing, alongside other services like Google.

Ultimately, Facebook has stated that they aim to improve users’ experience through their new advertising program as well. One of the benefits of the common ad platform will be to improve the overall quality and relevance of the ads users see, while individuals’ tools to opt-out and control their ad preferences are maintained. One can hope that the increased reach of the Facebook Audience Network will prove to enhance both advertisers’ and users’ online experience.

At the Public Relations and Marketing Group, LLC (PRMG), we can help your company develop strong and well-coordinated Facebook advertising campaigns to broaden your exposure and drive people to your business. For a free consultation or for samples of previous digital advertising campaigns, please contact us at (631) 207-1057 or at johnzaher@theprmg.com.


Now that it has surpassed Twitter in daily users, Snapchat is one of the most popular social media apps. With the introduction of personalized geofilters for photos to increase user engagement with businesses, it can now be used as an influential marketing platform.

Snapchat is a photo- and video-sharing social media app, famously known for its vanishing element: users may to choose set a timer for their photos so that their friends can only view the photo within a certain (and short) timeframe.

Filters are a way to frame or otherwise ornament photos that users have taken with their mobile devices and will share through the Snapchat app. Geofilters take this one step further, as they are based upon the user’s specific geographic location. Many geofilter designs include logos, pictographs, words or phrases (including slang) and other fun images associated with a certain state, town, restaurant, etc. The filters were originally designed for exclusive use in public places, such as the Grand Canyon or the Washington Monument. With the introduction of on-demand geofilters that can include company logos, your business could benefit from substantial new branding and reach.

These “on-demand geofilters” won’t go unnoticed, particularly if your customer audience is made up of teens and young adults, the largest demographic to use Snapchat. According to Business Insider, 77% of college students use Snapchat every day and 58% of college students would be likely to purchase a brand’s product or service if they received a coupon on Snapchat. Additionally, Snapchat users are very actively involved with the medium, watching over 10 billion videos per day, according to a report published in Bloomberg back in April.

Your company would also benefit from the use of Snapchat geofilters for and during your planned events, as photos with filters are more likely to be shared on the social media platform than those without filters, and these shares attract attention.

A personalized geofilter for your business would appear to a Snapchat user after he or she takes a photo and swipes to the right; the filters could highlight either your brand or your particular event.

The cost for these personalized company filters depends on the size of the location where the filter will be displayed (called the “geofence”) and the length of time the filter will be displayed (from one hour to 30 days). If your business could profit from increased exposure, contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group for filter designs and other social media expertise. To learn more, call (631) 207-1057 or email us at info@theprmg.com.