Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Want to get your message across, start listening!

By: Cole Buergi, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

Communication overload is happening more and more every day. It seems that everyone is being bombarded with information, in all forms including verbal, email, texts and social media. In some ways that’s great because we can get much more work completed in a shorter amount of time than 20 or more years ago.

The problem is, with the amount of information coming at us, are we really taking the time we need to truly listen and understand what the message is?

That’s important because, in order to be an effective communicator, you need to hear and process what others are saying. Unfortunately, in today’s fast paced world, thoroughly listening to someone and truly processing what they are conveying goes against most people’s desire to reply instantly to everyone, all the time. Right or wrong, it’s the world that we live in.

I can remember a time (and, yes, I’m old enough to say that now) when the only people you talked with were the ones you were spending time with at that moment. And you listened to what they had to say and responded appropriately. Now you put a group of 20 somethings in a room, and it seems like the only person they are not talking to is the person sitting next to them. Most, if not all of them, will be on their smart phones and only partially engaged in what’s transpiring around them. 

I understand that’s not all bad. In a sense, it almost allows us to be in two or more places at once. However, at some point in everyone’s life, there will be a need to be able to communicate face-to-face, particularly when it’s their boss. And, in these situations, you better be listening to what they are saying and be able to communicate accordingly. 

Not too many employers I know will accept an emoji smiley face as a response to a question.

What do you do to take time to truly absorb the important messages you receive and prepare to respond?

Friday, July 8, 2016

What are your best practices for social media video?

By: Scott Stein, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

There’s no question that video is now a key component for social media marketing. More and more brands are using video effectively and consumers have come to expect it. Even small enterprises are finding ways to incorporate video in their social media strategy.
I recently came across a piece that discussed the “26 Ways to Use Video for Your Social Media Marketing.” Some of the recommendations apply to most areas of public relations (grab attention early, appeal to emotion, choose the right headline, focus on one message), so I certainly don’t want to discuss all 26 suggestions. But there several good ideas to keep in mind when delving into video for social media.

  • Create how-to videos – How-to videos have become very popular on many social media platforms. Think about all the food videos you come across. But be sure your video is simple and to the point. 
  • Fine-tune your video – there are a number of good editing tools available. Spend a little time researching the options and soon you’ll be adding voiceovers and deleting sections of video that aren’t needed. 
  • Optimize for autoplay – OK, I’ll admit I do get annoyed when videos start up automatically on my feed. Then again, if the video grabs my attention, I just may stick around the watch the whole thing.
  • Ensure good sound quality – Bad sound quality distracts from your message. 
  • Add subtitles – People can’t always listen to what they’re watching. With subtitles, they can still watch and understand your video while in the waiting room at the doctor’s office or even in a work meeting.

Those are just a few of the tips that jumped out at me. What would you add to the list?

Thursday, June 30, 2016

How to Revamp Your Website With Flying Colors

By: Christina Thor, Account Assistant, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

Is your business keeping up with today’s social media, like Facebook and Twitter? Great! But what about your website? Even though your website is not constantly updating with statuses and tweets, it should also be changed frequently to keep up with today’s internet trends. Looking to increase traffic? Sales? Awareness? Here are a few tips to keep in mind when revamping your website:

Check the back end of your website. How do you get to know your consumers through a website? Knowing your audience is easier than ever with Google analytics or web analytics telling you who is visiting your website, at what time of the day, how long users stay on each page and what directed them to your website. This type of data collection can help you tailor your website to your target audience and see what’s working, and what’s not working. 

Optimize your web content. How do you get people to find your website? Put SEO, or search-engine-optimization, keywords and phrases in your content to allow search engines like Google to easily screen and recognize those frequently searched terms. Websites land higher on search listings based on relevance to search topics and phrase matching. If you haven’t gone through some old copy on your website, now may be a good time to saturate your web content with SEO keywords or phrases.

Keep up with technology. Know what type of media engages your audience, and provide it. In addition to copy, be sure to include videos, photos, social media links, QR codes and any other multimedia feature on your website. This takes away the flatness of your website and allows more engagement on all the branches of media your brand offers. A mobile version is also a must, since most users access websites through their mobile phones.

Usability is vital. When navigations, copy and links are easier to read and find, visitors feel more comfortable and stay to snoop around. It’s helpful to keep up with today’s best practices, as it’s always changing. You have seven seconds to catch your visitor’s attention on your home page, so be sure the most relevant, or eye catching, material is above the scroll line. Logos are usually placed on the upper-left corner of the website and social media links are usually placed on the bottom right of the website.

The best thing about websites is that it’s not written in stone, and you can always change it up whenever you want. Did you find your website missing any of these four tips?

The PR Experts

Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.
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