Marketing Works Today

Integrated Digital Marketing & PR Consulting from Brown Ltd.

Brown Ltd. Releases Executive Summary of Marketing & PR 2.1 – Download for Free

Businesses are struggling to hold onto the one-to-many, mass media model of communicating with customers and audiences.

They need to let go.

Gone is the time when you could rely on your business doing a simple advertising and PR mix, based on placing ads, sending press releases, and working with reporters to get your message out. It used to be that customers would find your information in traditional media and then make purchase decisions based on your ads, your media stories, and your sales person’s recommendations.

They might have even checked out your website.  Customers want more information than that now.  They want to feel safe in their decisions.  They want recommendations from other customers.  And they want it instantly.

A dramatic shift toward one-to-one communication is happening.  The net makes it possible.  Now it’s digital first.  Businesses must be in the publishing business to survive.

Click the Link Below to Download the Brown Ltd. Marketing and PR 2.1 Executive Summary to learn more (PDF: 3.6 MB)
Marketing and PR 2.1 Exec Summary

Filed under: Advertising, Blogging, Brand Journalism, Branding, Content Marketing, Email Marketing & PR, Integrated Marketing & Sales, Internet, Lead Generation, Marketing Measurement, Public & Media Relations, Publishing, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Traffic, , , , , ,

Cisco Launches a New Brand Journalism Site

The Network” [newsroom.cisco.com] is Cisco’s new brand journalism site. Does it work?  Are they getting more traffic?

If the number of views are any indication, their “news” site is working.  Examples:

The article titled: “HP and Cisco Deliver Cisco Nexus Fabric Extenders for HP BladeSystem” has received 2,278 views so far. It was published on October 14, two days prior to me posting this item.  Over 2,000 views in 2 days about a subject that I define mere mortals to know what they are talking about from the title.

Another titled: “Incheon Nam-Gu Office Collaborates with Cisco to Realize ‘Smart Nam-Gu’ Vision” has received 847 views, again, the total within 2 days of publishing.

Their most popular article: “A Silicon Valley in the Heart of London?” has over 2,668 views. It was published October 11.

The brand journalism site includes video, links to product and blogs, and all the social media and RSS sites.  Cisco has clearly learned that being a publisher is a solid strategy for marketing and public relations.

Filed under: Brand Journalism, Content Marketing, Lead Generation, Marketing Measurement, Public & Media Relations, Social Media Marketing, Traffic, Video & YouTube, , , , , ,

The First Blogs and Bloggers?

Blogs are considered to be a relatively new phenomenon in the last 20 years.  But are they?

In the 1500’s through the 1800’s, Ben Franklin, Samuel Sewell, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Paine, Adam Smith, and many others published what were called pamphlets – short small booklets with their news, ideas, and opinions (their content) about contemporary affairs.

Sounds like a blog doesn’t it?

There were thousands of these printed. In one reference they have more than 15,000 titles: Pamphlets in American History

How did a reader comment on another person’s pamphlet? They published their own as James Chalmers, a loyalist, did within weeks after Thomas Paine printed Common Sense.

The topics varied from war to women, civil liberties to labor, tariffs to free trade, taxes to finance, capitalism to socialism, religion to atheism, and many more.

Hmm, sounds like 2011, not 1711, doesn’t it?

A few examples are shown below:

The Rights of Man
Thomas Paine, 1791

Common Sense
Thomas Paine, 1776

Plain Truth
James Chalmers, 1776 (an answer within weeks of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense) – The first blog comment?

A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain
Benjamin Franklin, 1722

The Selling of Joseph (Is Slavery Christian?)
Samuel Sewell, 1700

Is the Governor Corrupt? – A Memorial of the Present Deplorable State of New-England
Henry Ashurst, 1707

How Does God Cause Earthquakes?
Thomas Prince, 1755

The Loyal Convert – A royalist pamphlet
Francis Quarles, 1644

Why is this important you ask?  Publishing content is an American tradition.  Anyone that could afford it, published – not just newspaper and book publishers.

The cost has come down and the form has changed (print = newsletter postcards), e-mail newsletters, and various types of Internet channels. But publish we do.

We publish on politics, economics, history, current events, religion, and of course marketing – after all at our core, Americans are merchants.

I was the first multimedia producer at the IBM PC Division. One of my roles was managing editor of one of the first professional blogging groups – 15 full-time freelance journalists that wrote about our products, services, and customers – in 1987.  The first brand journalism group that I know of.

We published on Internet Newsgroups, Forums, and Weblogs. Some of the content was used in an old medium: print [something called press releases… plus brochures, magazines, newsletters, and product packaging.]

Hey, who is that guy? One of the first bloggers? Maybe the first brand journalist.

 

So the next time you’re thinking about getting into blogging, remember, it’s not new – you’re just late in getting started.

 

 

 

If you need some help, contact me. My name is Mike – and I’m your publishing friend. MikeBrown (at) BrownLtd (dot) com

Filed under: Blogging, Brand Journalism, Content Development, Content Marketing, Print, Public & Media Relations, Writing, , , , , ,

Need A Freelance Writer, Editor, Blogger for Recession-Proof Results?

Mike Means Business

You need a pro. Someone that can see today, and the future, and act on it before it happens.

I’ve been a writer, managing editor, the first multimedia producer at IBM, and I started the first professional corporate blogging group at IBM in 1988 with 15 full-time writers.  That’s right, it’s not a typo – 1988.

“That kind of future-vision experience will get results for your business.  My recession-proof marketing writing will get more traffic, leads, qualified prospects, and sales for you – for the lowest cost per customer – in today’s market.”

From there I went on to win a NY Film Festival Award in 1989 for showing the world what the Web would become 6 years before the Web went live in 1995. My 1989 production was featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Discovery Channel, magazine covers, and local TV affiliates all over North America.

Editors at the NY Times looked baffled when I showed it to them in 1990. They still haven’t caught up.

“How did I know?  I’m plugged in. I have 1,478 real contacts in my smart-phone including thought leaders, teammates, future visionists, media pros, and entrepreneurs. Together we see the flow, the trends, and select strategy wisely. I’m an early adopter. I learn new technologies, channels, and techniques before most others and implement at the right time – not too early, never too late.”

Then Motorola stole me away from IBM and I used the Internet to launch a little company called Nextel. I got them Business Week Magazine’s Product of the Decade in the 1990’s.

“Do you need these kinds of results?  Hire a pro. Someone that is plugged into the markets, knows how to research for now and the future, uses cutting-edge information strategy, and can drive traffic to you.”

Since then I’ve been helping organizations take advantage of the Internet. I cut $9.8 million from the Pulte Homes Florida annual advertising budget by moving them out of traditional media to the Web. In that same year, I increased their lead-bank from 70,000 leads to over 300,000 qualified leads for 80 communities. Their sales went to 4,200 homes per year – over a $Billion. In 2009, they had 3,200 home sales. Down, but not out, still using my methods and systems.

During the worst real estate crisis since WWII, I helped a boutique new homebuilder grow from 24 home sales in all of 2007 to 204 home sales [in 6 months] in 2008 – for $84 million in sales. What real estate bubble bust? Not when I use my methods.

“I’ve specialized in tech, science, healthcare, real estate, non-profit, and public policy. Call me right now to get a free quote!”

If you are looking for a REAL pro, that has the strategic vision, background and skill, and hands-on writing experience to increase traffic, leads, qualified prospects, and sales, see my portfolio:

www.RMichaelBrown.Wordpress.com

“You won’t get the same winning results from part-time bloggers, students, interns, or all the posers working from home out there. Getting $million results is not like writing a letter to home or an email to the boss. It takes strategic thinking, creative talent, and a track record of big wins to give you the confidence in the decisions you make.”

Hire a pro.  Get results.  Call me today: 561-756-1674

Mike

Filed under: Advertising, Blogging, Branding, Content Development, Content Marketing, Email Marketing & PR, Future Vision, Integrated Marketing & Sales, Internet, Lead Generation, Marketing Measurement, Non-Profit Marketing & PR, Public & Media Relations, Real Estate Marketing, Reputation Management, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Traffic, Video & YouTube, Websites, Writing, , , , , , , ,

Media Relations is not Public Relations

David Meerman Scott has done it again. He makes an important point in the public relations / media relations industry.  Read his blog post, including the comments, and understand the differences:

http://www.webinknow.com/2010/04/media-relations-is-not-public-relations.html

Filed under: Blogging, Public & Media Relations, Social Media Marketing, , , , , , , , ,

Blogging, Free Speech, the Law, and Reality

I was recently criticized by an idealist blogger about my position on blogging, publishing, and why you should be careful when publishing negative content. 

One of my specialties is Reputation Management and Crisis Communication.  I’m not a lawyer, but I have prepared Rep and Crisis Communication Strategy and Plans, and had to execute them for many companies and clients.  Plus, I’ve been on both sides of the fence as a journalist and PR pro – including communication law cases.

I’m a 30-year professional journalist and college j-school teacher.  I’ve taken and taught media law for a long time. You should know there are consequences for libel and slander.

This post isn’t a class in media law; but, it is a practical overview of the issue on the street.

I encourage you or anyone to speak your mind anytime you want. Freedom of speech is of vital importance to our country and liberty.  I get it.

Supreme Court

But the truth matters. Facts matter. So does reality.

If you purposefully lie, distort the truth, publish outright false information, and it materially damages someone or their reputation, and they can prove it, the legal action could be a real drag.

I’m not talking about opinion. That’s different.

If you want to publish that you don’t like something or someone, it’s not illegal. Most companies or individuals won’t take legal action. It’s a business decision. Cost vs. bad press, reputation, or customer relations. Public companies usually won’t take action.

Plus the burden of proof to prove libel is all on the person bringing the lawsuit and it’s hard to prove to the standards set by the law.  Congress and the Supreme Court made it that way to protect free speech.

What I’ve explained so far is the ideal world.  Now for some reality.

 

Front & Backroom Legal Action

Private individuals or privately held companies are a different matter when you attack them with a blog, especially ones with deep pockets and no board of directors to report to, when they decide they personally don’t like something a blogger publishes.

I witnessed the president of a privately held company legally and financially game and drain someone dry because of blogging.  The blogger is living with his mother now. 

Would the president win in court?  Probably not, even though the blogger was a jerk.  However, the legal amusement from a vindictive person with lots of money is endless and so is the cost – for the other party AND YOU.

The question is… as a blogger, how much time and money do you want to spend with lawyers?  How much do you have?

How much do you have?

If you turn your publishing into a full-time rant, the savvy will launch their reputation management system and make your posts irrelevant or worse – you can ruin your own reputation.

If you’re really nasty in your posts, with the sole purpose to ruin someone’s reputation, some will take legal action based on “poison pen” law. I just read that a ranter just got found guilty of that.  They’ve gone for years in the legal process. Great fun for them I’m sure.

By the way, this isn’t just about one or two court cases.  There have been many.  Most don’t make the press.  You have to read the court records.

Many posts and blogs have been taken down by an ISP or blog hosting company because of violations of terms of service.  Most article directories won’t even allow you to mention a company name unless it’s yours.  They don’t want the grief.  Censorship?  Yes.

In an ideal world, you’re right.  Nobody should censor.

Unfortunately, this is a hugely litigious country and the folks with the biggest bank account can bleed you dry.  Is it right?  No.  Does it happen?  Everyday.

Here’s how it works.

In almost all cases, lawsuits settle – you never get to court to have a “decision” based on what is right.  Most of the time there is a signed agreement by both parties – and the judge that you never get to meet – requiring you to shut up about the case.  So you won’t read much about it or the litigant that leaked will have to go before that judge and defend against contempt of court.

Usually they settle somewhere in the middle after both parties are tired of spending or the hassle.  Your time and cost will be yours – at $150-$350 per hour for your lawyer, who usually wants to keep it going, plus mediators at $750 a day.  When all is said and done, the lawyers got richer and you got poorer.  Is it worth it?

My point is: there is an ideal and purely constitutional law side to this – and there is a practical and real-world (and some would say cynical) side.

The ideal is a free flow of ideas and honest discussion, agreement, and disagreement. That exists most of the time and it’s good.

But get your facts wrong and in the process harm someone badly, or go over the top with opinion to the point that you anger someone with deep pockets, and I guarantee you’ll wish you never wrote that post.

I know: reality stinks.  You can live in an ideal la-la land in your head.  Or you can live in the real world.  It’s your choice.  The key is to pick your battles.

Sometimes, it’s just better to listen to what your mother taught you, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all.”

Filed under: Blogging, Crisis Communication, Media Law, Public & Media Relations, Reputation Management, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Marketing Works Today

This blog is to help you learn how to connect with customers. The goal is to show you how to get the most qualified leads, traffic, relationships, and sales for the lowest cost/customer. I'll write and aggregate content that relates to the goal. You're welcome to subscribe, comment, and post. Send me your news tips!

What’s In A Title?

I've had a lot of titles [Director of Marketing, Communications Director, Advertising Director, Multimedia Producer, Managing Editor, Reporter, Copywriter]; but, I approach every project as a digital producer... what does the audience need and how can I deliver it most effectively and for the lowest cost?

Sometimes I write with pictures or video, sometimes with words. I always keep the goal in mind: sales, leads, traffic, a better brand image or awareness, or just a really good story, etc.

Yeah I create content for money. But you'll see from my background that I'm way better at making money for others than I am for myself.

I wish I had 1%. I'd be surfing with my kids all the time now.

Contact me and I'll make some for you.

Mike Brown
www.BrownLtd.com
MikeBrown@BrownLtd.com

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Search Engine Advertising

I have 8 years experience setting up, writing, and managing small business and simple product campaigns ($100/week Google Adwords) and large business campaigns with multiple divisions and product lines (up to $20,000/week in Google Adwords – more than $1.1 billion in annual sales). Contact me to create your campaign! MikeBrown@BrownLtd.com

R. Michael Brown
Marketing Consultant, Public Relations Consultant, Freelance Writer: West Palm Beach, Florida

"I help organizations increase sales, and pump up the value of their brand, using media, for the lowest cost per customer."

Digital Marketing and Public Relations consultant, writer, and producer with over 20 years experience launching brands like DiVosta Homes, IBM Multimedia, Nextel, Motorola business and government sector, and SunFest Jazz Festival.

MikeBrown@BrownLtd.com
561-756-1674

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