Selecting a Web 2.0 PR Agency (Part II)

Based on the criteria from my previous post, we made the following short list of candidates: PerkettPR (referral from friend at ConstantContact) KEL and Partners (found them Googling) Topaz (Limeduck worked with them before and raved about working with @DougH) Version 2 Communications (Got recent LinkedIn connection from old colleague Rob Halpin who is working for Maura FitzGerald’s new agency) Waggener Edstrom (family friend Jon Bornstein just landed there) Here are some of the other well known Boston PR firms that we knew about but didn’t consider: Schwartz Communications PAN Communications Shift Communications These were under the category of “old school firms I have worked with in the past or knew their reputation”. Stay tuned for more info about how we evaluated each...

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Selecting a Boston Web 2.0 PR Agency (Part I)

It has been over two years since I last searched for a PR agency in Boston and a lot has changed since then. With all the new social media channels exploding we needed to find an organization with proven Web 2.0 chops to support Firstgiving (an online community that connects people with the causes important to them). Before I started building my Web 2.0 PR agency short list, I put together a plan for outreach: 1. They must possess tangible Web 2.0 experience. This is more than understanding how to optimize a press release for organic search. This means current clients in the Web 2.0 space with funny sounding names and real success stories. 2. They need to be active in multiple online communities. How many Twitter followers do they have? How many Facebook Friends or LinkedIn Links do they have? How active are they in these communities? 3. How connected are they with me? I have over 200 Linked contacts in Boston so I wanted to find someone with mutual friends for vetting purposes. 4. Talk with my CMO friends for recommendations. 5. Remove “old school” firms I have worked with in the past or I know their “reputation”. My process started with some simple research by Googling things like “Web 2.0 PR in Boston”. After that I reached out to each of them through a social media channel. Bonus points for quick replies through site to set-up initial calls. So, who made the short list? Stay...

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Microsoft, Still the Bridesmaid?

With all the noise about the potential “deal” with Microsoft and Yahoo, it’s easy to forget that the combined company would have around 50% of the total search traffic of Google. While a Microhoo “merger” would provide wider distribution for Yahoo paid search (if you are like Mr. Tangy who is currently ignoring Microsoft’s paid seach), it would still remain a distant second. According to recent comScore data, search traffic appears to be flattening in the US. Does this mean the battle for Web supremacy is over and Microsoft has lost? I know Mr. Ballmer is not one to give up. Proactive moves with Facebook will certainly increase Microhoo’s (Yasoft’s?) reach into the Web 2.0 arena but in the end of the day the titans of Redmond WA continue make most of their profits from desktop and enterprise software. While tinkering with file formats in Office will squeeze a few more dollars out of their legacy Windows platform, one has to wonder if they are still thinking it is 1999 and they can still win the search wars (when the real battles are...

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Unusual Unica bucks business blogging routine, retires blog

Sometimes the tone here at the ‘Slice can be a little down. So few businesses seem to know what they’re doing with social media marketing, so many techniques are overblown, so much to criticize. But the other day, I ran across evidence that some people are getting it, and doing something about it. After a bit more than a year, Unica is retiring their corporate blog. CMO Carol Meyers writes, with my emphasis: Why are we ending The Marketers’ Consortium? The Marketers’ Consortium did meet our initial goals (no, this is not sugar-coating for the public view). We have actually had more visitors than we ever anticipated and a steady stream of regular readers. But when we weighed the return to Unica and value to our customers against the investment of time and resources, we realized the blog was not the wisest investment for us right now. Brava, I say! Way to go for recognizing an underwhelming program and conserving your resources for more impactful things. Too many blog for no reason other than they think they should, then keep blogging because they don’t want to look like quitters. You can substitute all kinds of things for “blog” and “blogging” in that line. That said, I think Unica did it pretty much right. They chose a topic close to their business and they got good writers to add good content. And they measured it. Given the line of business they’re in, it would be pretty embarrassing not to, but many cobblers’ children run barefoot out there. As you mull this lesson and ask yourself if blogs are right for your business, I’ll leave you with Unica’s three blogging lessons: 1) Blogs may not rock your world 2) Blogs are not free 3) Blogs should deliver a return on investment Study them and...

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The Great Graveyard of the Blogosphere

With all the current hype for blogging, sometimes the cold, hard facts get lost. According to research from Gartner Group, the number of abandoned blogs will topped 200 million in late 2006. Jokes about creating a blog to impress your Mom aside (Hi Mom:-), they are predicting that the number of blogs will peak at 100 million in 2007 before dropping back to around 30 million. Nothing to sneeze at but a drop in the bucket for the global Web. Link What does this mean to the average B2B marketer? Content and community seem to be the key. Do you have something relevant to say? Is there an audience who cares enough to read and discuss your topic? While I presently enjoy discussing the subtleties of postal data quality can I find an online quorum? In the end, the basic drivers of successful Internet marketing still apply (event with Web 2.0) – content is king and community is his queen. The barriers to starting a blog are so low that just about anyone can have (and adandon one). So what are you waiting...

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