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Showing posts from November, 2006

Business Blogs: PR Tool or Marketing Tool?

While working on a PR and marketing plan recently, the question came up: are blogs more of a PR tool or a marketing medium? Seems like an interesting question, yet there has been surprisingly little written about it. "Blog marketing" outscores "blog PR" on a Google search by a margin of about five to two, and you'll find four times as many books about blog marketing at Amazon as you will about blog PR.

However, Online-PR.com (which has a very nice list of blog directories and aggregators, by the way) lists about three times as many blogs devoted to PR as focused on marketing. InternetNews predicted a couple of years ago that blogging would make corporate PR and marketing obsolete, but clearly that hasn't happened yet.
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This post sponsored by Marketing Tools from VerticalResponse

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Try Base Camp To Achieve All Your Goals

Marketers have projects. So unless you're one of those rare individuals who can not only keep a multitude of details straight in your head, but also magically keep your team on the same page with your brain, you need project management tools. Base Camp is a reasonably-priced (there's even a free version) online project management collaboration tool that's worth checking out, despite a few quirks and shortcomings.

Base Camp, first recommended to me by John Sundberg, president of Kinetic Data, is great for coordinating the efforts of inside people and outside vendors (graphic artists, writers, agencies, web developers, etc.), and is particularly helpful for marketing consultants and contractors who need a practical, affordable project management solution. It offers a useful set of project management features:

- To-do lists with task assignment
- Milestones with date assignment and automatic e-mail notification as due dates approach
- An online document/message creation tool …

How to Increase Traffic to Your Website

Two words -- valuable content. As Mike Kaselnak, CEO of Hoard Client Systems wrote in response to my recent RainToday article How To Build Website Traffic With Content, "The days of trying to trick the search engines are over. Content is King!"

Actually, neither search engines nor people are fooled anymore by tricks with hidden text or metatags. What's more, human visitors expect more from business websites than just product details (marketing), "about us" pages, and a list of your office locations. People want to do business with companies that are smart and helpful, and they expect companies to not only say that on their websites, but prove it by offering content that helps users solve problems, or gives them a one-stop source for information they would otherwise have to scan several sites to retrieve.

What kind of content? Items such as newsfeeds, white papers, blogs, podcasts, reports, book reviews, glossaries, and (truly useful) directories are all generat…

Using Podcasting and Online Video to Improve Your Business Communications

Curious about what podcasting can do for your business? Check this out. The experts at Twin Cities marketing agency Provident Partners are offering a hands-on presentation and workshop on video and podcasting. This session will save you time and help you understand how new-media formats such as audio podcasts and digital video are being used as powerful tools in the marketing mix.

The seminar will be led by Albert Maruggi, who's been recognized by ClickZ and many other sources for his expertise in new media. He is among the first marketers in the country to actively host a regular podcast, the Marketing Edge, and he advises dozens of organizations on new-media strategies.

The seminar will cover topics such as how podcasting works, how to develop podcast content, how to measure podcasting results, using podcasting in your marketing mix, and the PR opportunities of podcasting.

Details of the seminar:

Thursday, November 30, 2006
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
790 Cleveland Ave. S., St. Paul, MN

Want To Participate In A Survey? Lead Generation for Professional Services

The experts in professional services marketing at RainToday are conducting a survey among professional services firms regarding lead generation. All survey participants will receive a complimentary executive summary of the final report (due out around January), as well as 50% off the group's current research report, “How Clients Buy: The Benchmark Report on Professional Services Buying and Selling from the Client Perspective” in the RainToday store. Click here to participate in the study.

The current report addresses services selling challenges in a variety of vertical segments (e.g. accounting, legal services, information technology consulting, marketing) and answers questions such as:

- What can you do during the business development process that will have the most influence on the decision maker?
- Which methods are buyers most likely to use to identify professional service providers?
- Do buyers attend seminars, conferences, and webinars (and, if so, how do they find out abou…

The Last Word on E-Words and Ewords

In response to this comment to my previous post on web writing standards (capitalizing "Internet," "web site" vs. "website," etc.), here is the consensus (such as it is) on e-words.

According to Google Fight, "e-mail" wins over "email" by roughly a 5-3 margin. Spellweb also uses Google searches as the authority, favoring "e-mail" over "email" by a 3-2 margin. Meryl's Notes Blog comes down firmly in the middle ("It's a toss up!"), though she insists that "web site" is two words.

However, Professor Donald Knuth of Stanford argues for "email" - "Newly coined words of English are often spelled with a hyphen, but the hyphen disappears when the words become widely used." http://openmap.bbn.com/~tomlinso/ray/hyphen.html agrees, citing Google searches as the authority. Slashdot had an incredibly active forum discussion on the topic that seemed to settle on "email," …