For 2019 planning, here are the four ways to gauge whether your marketing and public relations investment paid off as it should:
- Engagement Growth – Take a hard look at the numbers.
- Were social media engagements up or down?
- Was the sales team getting leads as a result of media coverage?
- Did the PR and marketing team come to you with new ideas that challenged your thinking?
- Did you have full visibility into what the marketing and PR team was doing?
- Did you ever feel “blown away” by a result?
- Impact on Sales Funnel – Public relations should feed the bottom line.
- What were the web traffic report numbers prior to, during and post news announcements? There should have been spikes of traffic during and after an announcement or media coverage.
- What was the unique visitor count and average visitor time?
- Did you have the ability to collect incoming emails to develop an email response to drive them down the sales funnel?
- Did public relations turn interest in your company into a conversation?
- Media Coverage Quality and Quantity – When you’re a hammer, all the world is a nail, so of course we are hyperaware of the amount of coverage over a year. Here’s what our clients want to see:
- How much coverage and who did it reach?
- Were you in the right media outlets? If not, why? You can’t improve what you don’t know.
- How did the stories trend online? Which got the most likes or comments?
- Were you the primary source, a secondary or a mention?
- Was the coverage positive, negative or neutral?
- Did news stories get re-purposed in all marketing touchpoints such as newsletters, sales decks, emails to prospects and social media channels?
- If not, it’s time for all of marketing to get together for some holiday cheer and start brainstorming the best ways to work together to make more of your marketing and PR spend.
- Talent Impact – In this zero-unemployment market, it is more important than ever to attract and retain top talent. Have you been getting the A-Players you want?
- Did you have a recruitment component in your PR and marketing agenda?
- Were new key hires announced? Did coverage help to open doors with recruitment efforts?
- What have your employees and ex-employees said about you on Glassdoor? Most job applicants look there first.
- Have you been effectively communicating your company’s culture and core values to attract talent?
As the holidays approach, we’ve begun preparation of one of the most radically transparent acts our agency performs … Media Hit Books. People love to see how fat the books are and peruse at their leisure. Clients show them off in their conference rooms, lobbies, with investors and major prospects. This is a great reminder that public relations is the least expensive, most effective marketing tool and it makes your mothers proud.
Mental experts, including Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services’ CEO Kita S. Curry, Ph.D, recently explained the symptoms of depression to help you determine if you or a loved one may need to be assessed for a depressive disorder.
During these weeks your mind is likely occupied by what Curry describes as “persistent thoughts of failure, hopelessness or shame, and [you’re] thinking in black-and-white.”
Types of thoughts you may experience, according to Curry: “‘No one has ever loved me; it’s always been this way; it will never get better!’ That’s when you know you’re probably depressed.”
This sense of hopelessness can be so pervasive you may find yourself unable to feel joy, even when great things happen.
Read the full article here: Am I depressed or just sad? How to know when to seek treatment (NBC News)
TaskUs, a leader in business process outsourcing, has just announced that it continues to expand its back-office and customer-support outsourcing across the globe, opening five new offices in four markets.
The announcement comes on the heels of a $250 million investment from Blackstone that valued the company at $500 million.
“TaskUs grew more this year than any other in our 10-year history,” said CEO Bryce Maddock in a statement. “Our client base is primarily technology-driven consumer brands, and as they continue to expand their customer base globally, TaskUs is eager to expand into key markets alongside them. We have always emphasized the importance of the employee experience, and we’re excited to bring our world-class culture and top-notch customer service to more locations.”
Read the full article: TaskUs expands global footprint with 5 new locations (L.A. Biz)
Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services has announced that it was awarded a $1 million grant to expand its suicide prevention program, which provides services to young people under 24 and their families, including crisis intervention, therapy and support, as well as training and education.
The grant came from the Everychild Foundation, made up of more than 200 women who, annually, each donate $5,000 to fund a single $1 million grant to launch or expand a project that eases suffering of local children. It’s the 19th annual grant awarded by the foundation, which has given more than $17 million to help Los Angeles area children and their families in need since 2000.
“With its generous support, the Everychild Foundation has made a commitment to one of the most stigmatized and neglected health risks facing youth and young adults’ suicide,” Dr. Kita Curry, CEO of Didi Hirsch, said. “The suicide rate doubled among 10- to 14-year-olds in the last decade, and it is the second-leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds. Thanks to the Everychild Foundation, in our new Suicide Prevention Center, we will have the room and tools needed to expand services for this vulnerable group.”
Read the full article: Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services Gets $1M for Suicide Prevention Program (MyNewsLA.com)
Punch Bowl Social has announced a $20 million investment via CrowdOut Capital LLC, a web-based platform that allows smaller players to invest in corporate debt. This is the second time that Punch Bowl Social has received investment via CrowdOut.
“CrowdOut has been a great partner and has helped us grow to meet consumer demand for more locations,” Punch Bowl Social chief financial officer and principal Robert Cornog Jr. said in a statement. “CrowdOut provided the flexibility and efficiency we wanted because the CrowdOut loan was structured in a manner that provided the right capital, at the right terms and at the right time,” he added.
Read the full article: Punch Bowl Social names corporate chef as part of expansion plans (Nation’s Restaurant News)
Business process outsourcing leader TaskUs, whose employee-centric culture not only encourages frontline feedback, but it is also an important factor in decision-making—everything from which clients to take on to performance metrics, employee development, benefits and workspace design.
TaskUs launched 10 years ago as a virtual personal assistant service that catered primarily to entrepreneurs and startups. Within the first couple of years, the company expanded its business model to provide customer experience and content management services to tech-enabled businesses across industries. Today, TaskUs has offices in the Philippines, San Antonio, Mexico, Taiwan, and it is soon to be in Albuquerque, N.M. It has been listed among Inc.’s fastest-growing companies in America for six consecutive years.
Read the full article: Inside View: TaskUs (Contact Center Pipeline)
Dr. David Luna, MD., CMO of L.A.-based Saban Community Clinic, just ranked among Becker’s Hospital Review’s 112 physician leaders of hospitals and health systems for 2018.
Dr. Luna’s passion for healthcare stems from his childhood in New Mexico, where he discovered poor populations and ethnic minority groups did not have adequate access to high-quality healthcare. As CMO of Saban Community Clinic, Dr. Luna oversees the medical team and clinical operations for the clinic’s three health centers, which serve more than 100,000 patients annually.
The physician leaders featured in the rankings are hospital and health system presidents, CEOs, C-suite executives and leaders who also hold medical degrees. These individuals have committed their careers to advancing healthcare access and delivery both as clinicians and strategic leaders.
See the full ranking: 112 physician leaders of hospitals and health systems | 2018 (Becker’s Hospital Review)
CEO Blog Nation recently compiled 28 leadership tips from top entrepreneurs, including OWC’s Tracy Williams. These are key tips to keep in mind as you build a leadership profile.
“Leadership is all about what you can do to help the people you lead,” says Williams. “When I sense someone struggling, I try to lead with a servant’s heart. In other words, carefully consider what tools people need and motivators and then give them what they need. As a CEO and leader, my job is to help people with their job and vice versa.”
Read the full article: 28 Entrepreneurs Offer Their Best Leadership Tips (CEO Blog Nation)
TaskUs, the leading back office and customer support solutions provider for high-growth tech companies, today announced it has tapped Mike Ferguson to be TaskUs’ first Chief People Officer. Ferguson will play a crucial role in preserving and continuing to build TaskUs’ reputation as a “people first” employer as the company embarks on another year of global expansion.
“Mike knows how to create and maintain programs that support an exceptional culture because he’s been doing it for over twenty years,” said CEO Bryce Maddock. “Mike managed a workforce larger than our 14,000, so we are confident he brings the insight and values that fit our culture.”
Read the full article: TaskUs hires first chief people officer from Chipotle (L.A. Biz)
Last month, we discussed reputation and business risks in today’s amplified and weaponized social media world. Here’s six key steps you need to take should you experience a reputational hit:
- Be first, be fast and be sorry. Companies and executives establish trust and confidence from stakeholders when they address issues immediately. ‘Scandals’ are born from trying to hide information. To get ahead of an issue, set the record straight quickly, schedule conference calls with the investment community including analysts. Have a call sheet with top clients and phone them directly. Since social media moves constantly and within seconds, check all channels, know the right hashtags and post your side of the story.
- Prioritize the audiences. There is a common misconception that if you’re a public company, your first duty is to your investors and the analyst community. But there are some situations where it may be more important that your employees don’t walk out the door because when they leave, you’re really out of business. Where’s your biggest danger? Get there first, then move on to the next leak in the system.
- Drive knowledge-based actions. If you don’t have one, get a monitoring and tracking system for company news, social media channels and any other touchpoints you have with customers, investors and employees. You and your team need to have visibility into the reporting and be empowered to act and use the pre-drafted and approved holding statements, which are no doubt in your crisis communications plan, right?
- Build a reservoir of goodwill. More than three-quarters of business executives (76%) feel an organization’s role as an ethical company and good corporate citizen has a very strong impact on the brand’s reputation. Positive news about new customers, executives, initiatives, offices and community outreach programs creates friends and generates goodwill with customers, business partners and media. Some of the simple things, such as reporting your good news with press releases can be overlooked in the heat of the moment. Paying to have them posted on wire services like Business Wire and PR Newswire (approximately $800 to $1,000, depending on word count) is well worth the money in SEO and online visibility. Also, post on social and pay to boost posts.
- Activate third-party explainers. Whether it is research analysts and industry influencers or an employee, a second opinion on an issue can provide credibility. In fact, employees are the first line of defense for a brand. They’re an important advocate. Weekly or monthly Q&A sessions with all employees can dispel rumors and create buy-in for all external touchpoints. We have clients who have “Ask the Founders” meetings where questions from employees are drawn anonymously – nothing is off limits. True transparency is a strong reputation management tool.
- Put a face on the brand. Nothing can tell the story like a well-trained spokesperson. Typically, the company CEO is the spokesperson. They need to speak honestly, openly and authentically with no room for interpretation. Clear, concise and compelling messaging can be converted into Op-Ed articles and byline stories in business and trade outlets that may also result in media interviews.
We can’t hide from a crisis in 21st-century communications. A change in your company’s market value is just a tweet, online petition or viral photo away. The story will be told, written or broadcast with or without our cooperation. But, nearly three-quarters (73%) of business executives are not as ready as they could be to react to an unexpected crisis even though more than 25% of a company’s market value is derived from its reputation.
Stay ahead of future crises by doing a thorough reputation risk assessment to see what threats your company is facing. Only 50 percent of companies have a ready-to-go crisis plan. Don’t let that be your company.