Lessons from Uber’s Public Relations Fiasco

Friday - 21 November 2014


Uber PR crisis management

An anti-Uber taxi protest in London. Businesses can learn from Uber’s PR mistakes. Photo credit: David Holt

Ride-sharing service Uber has been run over in the media for recent public relations blunders. 

Senior Uber executive Emil Michael, mistakenly thinking he was speaking off the record at a New York dinner club, suggested the company hire researchers to dig up dirt on private lives of journalists who criticize the company. PandoDaily editor Sarah Lacy was at the top of the hit list. BuzzFeed reported his comments, leading to a PR crisis.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick issued an apology, or what he called an apology, in a series of tweets that only exacerbated the PR crisis. A crisis that was uber-bad got uber-worse.

While most pundits lambasted the company, others took the opportunity to point out important public relations lessons, portraying Uber’s actions as examples of what not to do.

Here’s a synopsis:

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Email Pitches: The Critical Importance of Subject Line

Friday - 21 November 2014
PR email pitches to reporters

The subject line is the most important factor for successful email pitches. Photo credit: Jon Gosler

The subject line of an email media pitch is the gatekeeper to entry, according to new research.

Of 500 top-tier publishers surveyed by digital marketing agency Fractl in partnership with BuzzStream, 85 percent said they open email pitches based on the subject line, and 81 percent said they prefer email pitches.

PR pros must write subject lines that stand out if they hope to have their messages opened. Some editors, such as those in the lifestyle, entertainment and technology sectors, receive more than 300 pitches a day.

What are the key elements of subject lines and other components of good email pitches? Continue reading


The Surprising Impact of Web Forms on Leads, Sales & the Bottom Line

Thursday - 20 November 2014

Editor’s Note: The following article is a guest post submitted by Rohan Ayyar of E2M Solutions.

Marketers constantly hunt for the next silver bullet that will magically kick-start a flow of customers to their websites.

Sadly, we all know that no such silver bullets really exist. Massive site traffic, great conversions and lasting brand loyalty are all consequences of many different factors working in concert.

While we spend huge amounts of time analyzing and optimizing the big picture marketing tools like social media, PPC advertising, email marketing, content marketing, even website design, we sometimes neglect the little things that have the potential to make a real difference to your bottom line.

One such “little thing” is your web form. Continue reading


Videos: The Marketing Opportunity Many Businesses Miss

Thursday - 20 November 2014


video marketing, content marketing

Research shows that video is a great digital marketing tool. Photo credit: Bill Rice

No doubt, consumers love videos. Much research confirms that.  Unfortunately, research also shows that digital marketers have yet to deliver videos consumers want.

Levels Beyond research, reported by eMarketer, indicates that 59 percent of U.S. adult Internet users watch branded videos when they visit a company website. Most, or 67 percent, want to see how-to, instructional or tutorials videos. Other types of popular videos include: Continue reading


Organic Search Still Beats Social Media

Wednesday - 19 November 2014


organic search vs. social media

Organic search still generates the most referral traffic despite the rise of social media. Photo credit: jacinta lluch valero

Social media networks are grabbing most of the media attention these days. If you just read the news reports and don’t consider the numbers, you’d think digital marketers need only worry about Facebook, Twitter and a few other major networks. While it’s true that social media networks are sending more referral traffic to websites than ever, organic search engine results overwhelm social media in referral traffic.

A Shareaholic report on referral traffic reported results from social media networks.  Many news accounts focused on the finding that Pinterest sent more referral traffic than Twitter. Pinterest garnered 1.05 percent of referral traffic visits compared Twitter’s 0.82 percent share. Out of social networks, Facebook generated the most referral traffic, with a 6.38 percent.

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What NOT to Post on Social Media

Tuesday - 18 November 2014


social media posting

Treat some topics carefully on social media or completely avoid them. Photo credit: Yoel Bev-Avraham

As businesses aggressively employ social media marketing, some are getting themselves into scalding hot water due to inappropriate social media posts.

Social media platforms open new ways for companies to promote themselves and their products as well as new ways to engage customers.  Social media also opens new channels to offend large groups of people and seriously damage the corporate reputation.

To avoid pitfalls, businesses must handle some subjects with extreme care or even shun them altogether, experts warn.

Jayson DeMers, CEO of AudienceBloom, a content marketing and social media agency, urges companies to beware of these perilous 10 topics. Continue reading


10 Ways PR Pros Can Improve Media Pitches

Tuesday - 18 November 2014


public relations media pitching

Follow these practices for successful media pitches. Photo credit: Paul L. Dineen

With all the recent additional responsibilities PR has taken on, including content marketing, search engine optimization, and social media marketing, media relations and pitching continue to be core skills of successful public relations professionals.   

But media pitching has become more competitive than ever. The shrinking number of journalists combined with the growing ranks of PR professionals means each journalist must evaluate many more pitches each day. How does a PR pro make a pitch distinctive enough to attract the journalist’s attention and interest?  We have gathered recommendations on media relations from some top PR professionals. The experts agree that doing the reporter’s groundwork, researching publications and reporters, and focusing on a handful of news outlets are among the best ways to get better media placements. Other insights include:

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