Blogging Best Practices

Bloggers from the public relations and marketing groupBy now, most bloggers are familiar with the phrase “content is king,” and while there really is no substitute for good content, many bloggers are simply not getting the audience their content merits.  A lack of knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) techniques is the main reason for low readership on well-written and frequently updated blogs. But even those who are not tech-savvy can optimize their blogs by improving the quality, images, tags and links (assuming you are using a user friendly website such as WordPress, Drupal or CMS). Continue reading “Blogging Best Practices”

Should You Choose a Custom Website or Template Website?

websites-multiple-devicesWhen running a business, one of the most important branding and marketing strategies is to create an informative, effective website. How can you decide if your business is better off with a template or a custom-built website? First, think about the goals, budget, and scope of your campaign. For example, if the main objective is a quick, low-cost redesign or creating your first website, a template-based website could be beneficial for your business. However, while many business owners create their own websites using templates through sites like Weebly or GoDaddy, these templates may hinder your overall marketing strategy if your company is looking for a more comprehensive set of services. Continue reading “Should You Choose a Custom Website or Template Website?”

Target Local Customers with Facebook for Business

facebook megaphoneFacebook has numerous features to its advertising to make it even easier to attract potential customers. The most popular advertisement Facebook offers, the local awareness advertisement, was created by Facebook to help local businesses target people within a given radius as small as one mile. This is designed to increase the number of local visitors to your location, ultimately generating more business and to present new business opportunities. Continue reading “Target Local Customers with Facebook for Business”

Advertising Spotlight: Holiday Greeting 2014

Holiday GreetingThe holiday season is once again upon us. In true holiday tradition, Cablevision is offering special advertising packages for the upcoming holiday season. This year, the packages offered feature a 15-second holiday greeting and can be customized to include your business’ logo, name, and contact information. These brief holiday advertising spotlights can help your business connect with local viewers, build goodwill and increase your brand’s recognition.  The holiday greetings will run between December 1st and December 28th. Continue reading “Advertising Spotlight: Holiday Greeting 2014”

New York Advertising Spotlight: NBA Playoffs

NBA Playoffs Advertising in New YorkThe 2013-14 NBA regular season is quickly coming to a close with two local New York teams having playoff aspirations. The New York Knicks, led by Carmelo Anthony, are seeking their fourth straight playoff appearance and are currently in the middle of a heated battle for one of two remaining playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.  The Brooklyn Nets are in the midst of a turnaround season and have clinched a playoff berth for the first time since the franchise moved from New Jersey in 2012. The NBA Playoffs, beginning on April 19th, will offer local businesses a great opportunity to advertise to a wide audience.

Cablevision is now offering separate packages of NBA advertising spots for the first and second round of the playoffs for both the Knicks and the Nets. Local businesses looking to attract a male audience will have a great opportunity to advertise with options available on channels such as ESPN, ESPN NEWS, TNT, NBA TV, YES Network, and MSG. All of these networks have a male-dominated audience, with viewership primarily in the 18-54 year-old range. Continue reading “New York Advertising Spotlight: NBA Playoffs”

The Better Method: Direct Mail or Email Marketing?

emailoverflowOver the past few years, the popularity of Internet-based advertising has increased tremendously. One of the most widely used methods of Internet-based advertising is through email. Email advertising offers businesses a cheap, easy way to reach out to a large number of potential or current clients. Its advantages have led to a decline in direct mail advertising, the more traditional system of sending tangible advertisements to consumers. Despite the lower costs associated with email advertising, does it bring in a higher return on your investment?

There are many advantages to email advertising. For starters, emails can contain clickable links. In addition to text information and pictures found on advertisements, links can be used to send a consumer to any web page a business desires. Also, emails are sent to consumers immediately. There is no waiting period for an email to be delivered to a consumer like there is with direct mail. However, the main advantage to email advertising is very basic: it is cheap. As long as a business is connected to the Internet, sending an email comes at almost no cost. Direct mail incurs costs such as printing and postage, which can add up quickly if a business is trying to reach a large number of consumers. Continue reading “The Better Method: Direct Mail or Email Marketing?”

Advertising Spotlight: Special Child Magazine

The PRMG

Special Child Magazine is a twice-annual publication with about 40,000 readers. Some of these parents have elected to have the magazine sent to their homes, while the rest are distributed in high-traffic community locations, such as therapists’ offices, pediatric offices, libraries, special-needs schools, after-school activities and non-profit agencies. The magazine features editorial content to educate and enrich families throughout Long Island. They also have a New York City edition.

Special Child Magazine is now reserving space for its fall issue. If your business serves children and families with special needs, this issue may be the perfect way to get your back-to-school advertising planned so you can enjoy the summer! A full page is 7.25” x9.125” and costs $1,640. You can get a smaller ad for as little as $290.

For more information on advertising or design services, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or email johnzaher@theprmg.com.

5 Web Skills Every Public Relations Professional Should Have

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More than ever before, we live in an age of lightning-fast exchanges of news and a seemingly endless stream of information at our fingertips. While traditional public relations techniques are still important, being able to adapt to recent Web and social media trends is essential for success in this industry. The ability to create content, build relationships and convey information is as important as ever, but there are a variety of new, digital methods to doing this. This article will provide you with an overview of five important skills that every public relations professional should have, including creating content for online sources, proactive monitoring, visual communications, adaptation and consistency.

  1. Online Content Creation — It has always been important for public relations professionals to create strong and compelling content but, especially in this age, it is equally important to optimize this content for the Web. Even if your online press releases or social media updates contain quality content and writing, your efforts will go unrecognized if no one can find it online. Using methods to optimize your content for search engines will help your content get found. Make sure to always include keywords throughout your copy and include hyperlinks and relevant tags whenever possible. For more information on content creation and search engine optimization, read our articles, “Why Quality Content Reigns Supreme” and “What You Need to Know About SEO.”
  2. Proactive Monitoring — It’s important to set aside some time for a Web and social media monitoring strategy to keep informed of what’s being said online. For anyone in the field of communications, it’s helpful to monitor conversations, mentions of brands and businesses and current trends and to get involved in online discussion groups. If you haven’t already, set up Google Alerts for phrases that either interest you or are related to your business or clients. For example, create alerts for business names, products and areas that you want to receive updates from. Always keep yourself informed with what’s being said about your business or client on the Web and stay up-to-date with industry updates and tips on how to grow professionally. For more information, please refer to our articles, “Social Media Publishing 101” and “How to Monitor Your Facebook and Twitter Success.”
  3. Visual Communications — Strong visuals have always been powerful in regards to public relations efforts. Many people are able to connect stories and information more easily on a visual level rather than through text alone. Infographics, charts and traditional photographs have become immensely popular online thanks to the rise in photo sharing websites such as PinterestFlickr and Instagram, which can be downloaded on iPhone or Android devices. It’s important to include a multimedia element, such as a photo, video or graph, in press releases, social media updates and blog posts whenever possible. You may even consider creating a Flickr or Pinterest account to store and categorize your photos. For more information on the importance of visual communications, refer to our article, “How Photo Sharing Sites Can Help Your Business.” Public relations professionals should be able to harness multimedia to engage audiences and encourage them to share this content.
  4. Adaptation — Especially in the ever-changing realm of social media, there are constantly new updates and tools to be explored. With Twitter redesigning its interface and Facebook’s new Timeline for business pages, professionals should be prepared for these changes and implement new strategies and techniques accordingly. Being able to adapt and take advantage of new tools can keep you one step ahead of the competition.
  5. Consistency — With the majority of online and social media outlets, it’s imperative to find the right balance with your efforts. If you don’t update your pages enough, your efforts will go unnoticed. Yet on the other hand, if you overdo it with postings that are too frequent, you could push your audience away and this could work against you. It’s essential to commit to a consistent updating schedule. Updates don’t have to be exact, but at least have a loose idea of how often you should update each platform. For example, blogs should be updated twice a week while Twitter should be updated daily, if possible.

For more information about public relations skills, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com. You can also visit our blog for more valuable articles, advertising spotlights and more.

Top Five LinkedIn Mistakes to Avoid

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LinkedIn is the world’s largest business-oriented service and allows users to network and keep in touch with business contacts and potential clients. When used properly, LinkedIn can help members build stronger personal relationships to facilitate more direct contact and business opportunities. This article will explain several common mistakes that can impact the effectiveness of your LinkedIn marketing strategy. Those who are new to LinkedIn can first read our article, “Making the Right Connections with LinkedIn.”

  1. Having an Incomplete Profile — Having a LinkedIn profile that is 100 percent complete with an accurate description of your professional experience, skills and qualifications will help to optimize your LinkedIn profile and establish your professional identity online. In today’s technological world, a LinkedIn profile is becoming the new resume. To complete your profile, add a photo, list your professional work experience with accurate dates and responsibilities, include skills and expertise keywords in each section and request professional recommendations from your connections.
  1. Not Participating in LinkedIn Groups — There are no benefits to joining dozens of groups on LinkedIn and then not participating in group discussions. LinkedIn Groups are powerful online networking tools for business professionals. We recommend searching for groups that are related to your industry or groups that your potential customers and clients are likely to be active in. Once you’ve requested to join, start participating in discussions and sharing your professional expertise. Users can also participate in the LinkedIn Answers section, when appropriate. By answering other users’ questions in this section, you can boost your authority, online reputation and exposure.
  1. Not Requesting or Giving Recommendations — To build authority on your profile, always request professional recommendations from your contacts and return the favor. These can greatly enhance your profile by giving potential clients and business contacts a clear indication of the quality of your company’s work.
  1. Not Having a Custom URL — One of the most overlooked yet valuable features of LinkedIn is that users can create a customized URL for their profile in place of the default URL. By creating a customized URL with either your full name or your business’ name, prospective clients or customers will have a better chance of finding and recognizing your account. To customize your URL on LinkedIn, click here and then “Customize Your Public Profile URL.”
  1. Requesting to Connect with People You Don’t Know — We don’t recommend sending emails to users who you have never met or spoken to. In some cases, this can get you banned from LinkedIn if enough people report “I don’t know this person.” If you want to connect with someone who you don’t know personally, see if there are any shared connections who may be able to introduce you. You can also develop relationships with users through the LinkedIn Groups’ discussion boards and then send an invitation to connect once you are comfortable enough to do so.

Most of all, it’s important to stay as active as possible on LinkedIn. At a minimum, users should make sure that their profile is 100% complete and use about a half hour per week to browse through LinkedIn Groups and join in the conversation. By consistently updating your LinkedIn profile, maintaining your company page and participating in group discussions, you’ll find that this social networking site is essential when it comes to online marketing, especially for B2B professionals.

For more information about how to avoid LinkedIn mistakes, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com. You can also visit our blog for more valuable articles, advertising spotlights and more.

Advertise with The Gazette this Spring

With Mother’s Day around the corner and spring in full bloom, Long Island businesses may benefit from advertising with The Gazette’s May issue. The Gazette features community events, children’s happenings and local news surrounding individual towns on Long Island. This free publication is dedicated to providing residents with a community-oriented and localized view of the news.

This advertising opportunity is appropriate for companies that are active in the springtime and looking to reach their target audience. For example, landscaping companies, lawn services, home improvement organizations, flower companies and gardening services may benefit from placing an advertisement in this issue. Businesses who buy three months worth of advertisements can also get the fourth month free of charge.

Please keep in mind that the deadline for this issue is May 8. If your business is interested in placing an ad, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group as soon as possible at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com.