PRMG Hosts Fall Lecture Series at its Education and Training Center

PATCHOGUE, NY — The Public Relations and Marketing Group, LLC (PRMG) announces it is offering a series of lectures on how attorneys, restaurants, retail stores, companies and non-profit organizations can grow their business and protect their reputation. All lectures will be held at PRMG’s Education and Training Center, located at 156 North Ocean Avenue in Patchogue.

On September 23, PRMG will host a PR and Marketing For Lawyers CLE course from 11:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. In this program, John C. Zaher, Esq., a leading attorney marketing expert, will review the attorney advertising rules and provide an overview of the tools needed to develop and implement a successful marketing program. Those in attendance will receive two CLE credit hours for Ethics & Professionalism. Registration is $65 in advance ($85 at the door) and includes lunch and materials.

The following presentations will provide those in attendance a multifaceted marketing approach to their organization, including an overview of strategic planning and research, Web development, search engine optimization (SEO), public relations, social media, marketing, advertising and more:

Competing with the Big Boxes (and Little Boxes) Without Going Broke: A Marketing Seminar For Retailers on October 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Registration is $25 in advance, $35 at the door.

Non-Profits Need Marketing, Too: A Marketing Seminar for Non-Profits on October 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Registration is $25 in advance, $35 at the door.

Bring More Guests to Your Table: Marketing Strategies For Restaurants in Today’s Economy on November 1 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Registration is $25 in advance, $35 at the door.

Negative publicity on the Internet can cost businesses both money and customers. A strong online reputation management strategy is essential to the success of any organization in today’s business world. Getting Started with Reputation Management will provide an overview of a comprehensive reputation management strategy for business owners to monitor their online reputation, publish positive publicity, engage with their audience and take legal action if necessary. The presentation will be held October 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Registration is $15 in advance, $25 at the door.

Social media and the Web are essential components of any multifaceted strategy to make the most out of your business’ marketing efforts. Using Social Media and Web Marketing to Build Your Business will offer those in attendance with an overview of how to strengthen their business’ Web development and SEO, Web advertising efforts, social media presence and more. The presentation will be held October 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Registration is $25 in advance, $35 at the door.

It is imperative to include a marketing plan as part of a business plan and to budget funds for at least six months to a year. Starting a New Business: “If You Build It, They Won’t Necessarily Come” describes the steps PRMG recommends towards developing and implementing a cost-effective marketing plan for the new business owner. When starting a business, there is no room for error. This program, which be held on October 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., will review strategies that work. Registration is $15 in advance, $25 at the door.

Registration fees include breakfast or lunch. For more information, call (631) 207-1057, email: johnzaher@theprmg.com or visit www.theprmg.com.

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About PRMG
Founded in 2002, The Public Relations and Marketing Group, LLC (PRMG) is a full-service public relations and marketing agency based in Patchogue, New York. PRMG is dedicated to helping businesses, professionals, non-profit organizations, government entities, attorneys and law firms leverage their time, talents and resources by using effective public relations and marketing techniques, as well as advertising, graphic design, website design and development, digital video production, website search optimization and social media. PRMG has launched a variety of website-based entities, including Long Island Policy Forum, PatMedNews, Dining Out Long Island and New York Lawyer Pages. For more information, call (631) 207-1057 or visit www.theprmg.com.

Getting Started with Reputation Management

Negative publicity on the Internet can cost your business in both revenue and customers. While blogs and social media have transformed the way businesses communicate with the public, it’s also easier than ever for people to post negative, false or scandalous claims about businesses in a public media outlet. By simply posting damaging comments on review sites, blogs and social media sites, people can tarnish your business’ public image and reputation. Implementing an online reputation management strategy is crucial for any organization’s success in today’s business world. Managing your online reputation requires a multi-faceted and integrated approach including monitoring your online reputation, engaging your audience, and by publishing content to help develop your organization’s Web presence. Lastly, in certain necessary circumstances, take legal action.

Monitor

It is essential for businesses to monitor what is being said about them online. In order to succeed in enhancing your company’s online reputation, you must be a good listener. Listen to and address your friends, followers and fans’ comments and concerns. Interaction, communication and awareness are keys to creating a positive image for your business. Your company must implement a listening platform so that you may quickly spot and address any complaints or damaging comments.

Helpful Tools

One helpful tool is Google Alerts. Set up Google Alerts for your business to keep track of keywords, such as your business name or products, and receive updates whenever they are mentioned online. This service will allow you to monitor everything that is being said about these keywords online. Another useful tool is the Twitter search engine. Search and use hashtags (#), followed by the name of your organization, products or services. Twitter will then compile everything that has been said about this subject for you to browse through. The advanced Twitter search engine will provide you with auto updates of key terms. There are also a variety of social media monitoring programs. Another program, Icerocket, allows you to monitor Twitter, blogs, the Web, news, images and more, while offering the ability to bookmark your search results for later reference. Other social media alert tools include Addict-o-matic, Boardtracker, Twazzup, socialmention, Tweetdeck and Radian6. All of these tools report alerts when your keywords are found on social media sites and other online platforms.

Once the negative content is found, some defaming pages can be removed by contacting Web administrators. However, the goal is to prevent negative content from ever appearing, and when it does, to push it to the later pages of search engine results by deploying an integrated and proactive strategy. It is also essential to implement some form of damage control and prevention before the issue gets out of hand. Having good customer relations and engaging your audience is essential in this area.

Engage

Always encourage customer communication and feedback. Reach out to your audience and respond to any criticism in a professional and compassionate manner. Your audience will appreciate superior customer service and the effort you made to address their concern. Don’t limit yourself to responding only to negative feedback. The goal is to reposition your business on the Web as a more customer-oriented organization.

Negative Feedback — Index all negative reviews in one document. Try to match reviewers with past clients and send them all personalized emails or notes at home, addressing each individual concern and specific case. Apologize, if necessary, and offer them a great deal to get them to give your business another shot. If the matter has been resolved, invite reviewers to withdraw their negative review if their next experience has proven to be better than the last. If they cannot withdraw the comment, then invite them to post again. With the high presence of anonymity online, it isn’t always possible to track down the culprits behind damaging material. For reviewers who cannot be identified, respond with an “owner’s reply” online, addressing their concern and promising to do better next time.

Positive Feedback — Responding to praise and gratitude is just as important as addressing negative publicity. Always thank customers for positive comments and reviews. Facilitate positive postings in forms, emails and comment sections by thanking your audience for their time and encouraging feedback so that you may improve their experience.

Improve Customer Relations — Promote your business as a client-friendly organization, with their best interests in mind. Cater your content to what would be most valuable for your target audience. Write educational articles and post helpful videos. Another tip is to create and maintain a blog with a weekly question from a customer, responding in helpful and compassionate terms. This will demonstrate that your business is open to conversation.

Publish

Develop Your Web Presence — Carefully consider all content before you publish it online. When you post on a social media site, or anywhere else online, you are speaking on your business’ behalf. Despite its casual feel, take social networking seriously. All content should be positive, accurate and put you and your organization in a good light. It is important to generate more positive publicity for your business so that the major search engines focus on this to create and maintain a positive online image. By creating lots of favorable online content, published on several online platforms, you will not only nourish your favorable reputation online, but also improve your search engine presence. You want your social media pages, blog, website and any positive media coverage to appear on the first two pages of Google when someone searches for your business. This will help to push negative publicity, if it cannot be removed, to the back and out of sight. Another tip is to create microsites to publish positive content and increase your organization’s Web presence. Microsites tend to rank high when people search for your company, allowing you to have greater visibility in search engine results.

Optimize Content — Using the right keywords is essential to having your site found on Google and the other major search engines. The typical Google search consists of three words so you must choose your keywords wisely. They must be relevant, important, generate sufficient search volume and reach your target audience. Further, always maintain and update your website(s), blog and social media accounts with fresh content to ensure that they rank high in search engines when someone searches for your business. However, in your goal of optimizing positive content and pushing negative content out of sight, you cannot manipulate the search engine’s system. Violating Google’s guidelines may result in a negative adjustment of your website’s presence on Google, or even the removal of your site from Google’s index. There is no issue in using positive content to overcome negative content, but it must be done within Google’s guidelines. This area can become tricky and a professional reputation management service will guide your organization through the process.

Social Media — Social media is all about enabling conversations. While you cannot control conversations, you can influence them. Create and maintain accounts on popular social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Actively engage your audience through social media. For example, publish a tweet asking customers if they need help or assistance with anything and when they respond, address their problems accordingly. Upload a valuable how-to video to YouTube to demonstrate to your audience that you have their best interests in mind.

Earned Media — Continue to gain earned media through the development of positive news media stories about your organizations. Send press releases, articles and photos to media sources and participate in community events that may garner positive media coverage for your organization. News outlets generally have a high degree of authority online and rank high with the major search engines.

Free Postings — As press releases and articles are generated for media distribution, your blog or newsletters, post the content on appropriate local and national websites that accept press release and article submissions. Thousands of article directories will publish your content for free, enhancing your online visibility. When you publish an article on one of these directories, that directory will give you a link back to your website, driving traffic there. Some free posting sites include:
www.PRLog.com
www.getyourcontent.com
www.articlesnatch.com
www.joinandpost.com
www.articlecube.com
www.businessknowhow.com
www.bpubs.com
www.articlesbase.com
www.buzzle.com
www.ezinearticles.com
www.isnare.com
www.articlealley.com
www.articledashboard.com

Legal

In appropriate circumstances, businesses should consider legal options to help address damaging content online. For libelous and defaming comments made about your company online, you may want to take legal measures, including filing a lawsuit for defamation, tortuous interference with business relations and even criminal cyber-bullying or harassment.