Which change?

You can change the way people get the things they want.

Or you can change what they want.

Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are two of the wealthiest people in history. They got that way by changing how people used tools to find new ways to get what they already wanted.

Nelson Mandela and Jacqueline Novogratz picked a different mission. Trying to change what people want in the first place.

Both paths are available, but they’re different.

 

PS The only way to create action where there is none is to tell a story that resonates. I’m thrilled to offer you a preview of bestselling author Bernadette Jiwa’s new story skills workshop with Akimbo. It begins in a few weeks and you can sign up for updates right here.

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Trick or Treat: The Spellbinding Marketing Sweets the TopRank Team Can’t Resist

Spellbinding Marketing Sweets the TopRank Team Can’t Resist

Spellbinding Marketing Sweets the TopRank Team Can’t Resist Admit it. On Halloween night, the fierce competitor within you sprinted from home to home to claim as much sugary bounty as your pillowcase could carry. But the loyalist and purist in you was on the hunt for a specific candy treat. A treat that put all the rest to shame; a treat that always hit the sweet spot. via GIPHY For me, that coveted treat was: the Almond Joy. Sweetened coconut. Crunchy almonds. Smooth milk chocolate. Devilishly delicious, but ghoulishly elusive amongst a sea of KitKat- and Snickers-purchasing households. (Here’s to you, organic reach on Facebook.) As marketers, we all have our favorites. From tactical techniques that sweeten our marketing mix to the integration of marketing elements to tantalize our audience’s taste buds, the TopRank Marketing team weighs in on both fun- and king-size marketing treats they can’t resist.

Our Favorite Marketing Sweet Treats

Josh NiteJosh Nite

Senior Content Marketing Manager My favorite candy is black licorice. Black licorice doesn't appeal to everyone. That's a quality I like in candy—and in marketing, too. It's easy to make something bland and sweet that everyone tolerates—like, say, Necco Wafers—but that's not how you get raving fans. I've never met anyone passionate about Necco Wafers. Conversely, I've never met anyone who "kind of liked" black licorice. You love it or you hate it. Good marketing takes a bold stand, with personality and purpose. It draws in a target audience and excludes the rest. Love or hate black licorice, it's a perfect reminder that great marketing doesn't aspire to blandness.

Elizabeth Williams

Senior Account Manager Baby Ruth: My favorite part about Baby Ruth bars is they've got a little bit of everything—nuts, nougat, caramel, all with a chocolate coating. And, flavors all work so well together! To work well, good marketing must parallel Baby Ruths: A diverse yet integrated mix so that we can reach our audiences whenever and wherever they are and with a consistent message that resonates with their needs.

Nick NelsonNick Nelson

Senior Content Strategist Skittles. These bite-sized bursts of fruity flavor remind me of social media marketing. The bright colors reflect the vibrant imagery that stands out on feeds, and the many different flavors and colors represent the diversity of voices and viewpoints you can find across various networks.

Annie LeumanAnnie Leuman

Content Strategist Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Two incredible ingredients in their own right, come together to make an irresistible combo—kind of like SEO and content. Content is the peanut buttery center, and it’s wrapped in the perfect amount of chocolate to delight it’s consumers’ senses (and leave us all asking for more).

Ashley Zeckman

Senior Director of Digital Strategy I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for Starbursts. There are so many different delicious flavor varieties—from tropical to classic to my all-time personal favorite: All Reds. Much like the industry experts and influencers we partner with, the different flavor profiles add punch and pizzazz to the content palette. 

Tiffani AllenTiffani Allen

Associate Director of Search & Analytics Twix. To borrow from Saturday Night Live’s Stefon: This candy has everything. Chocolate. Caramel. Cookies. A clever marketing strategy. Everything, people.  The combination of three complementary, yet distinctly different flavors reminds me of a well-integrated digital marketing mix of search, content, and influence. While each discipline on its own is delicious, it’s the mix of all three that produces a truly crave-worthy treat. 

Lane EllisLane Ellis

Social Media and Content Marketing Manager From the 1850s until the 1920s my great-great-uncle Henry H. Ellis, and later his son, ran a confectionery and bakery making homemade candies. The business started first in Janesville, WI and then from 1867 on, moved to Cheyenne, WY, so I suppose my fondness for sweets runs in my family. I love marzipan and adore chocolate, so as a child over Halloween, when a particularly generous and creative woman placed a wrapped chocolate-covered marzipan candy in my sugary goodie bag, I was overjoyed. Decades later, the two mingling flavors are still a favorite, and remind me of a type of marketing nirvana in which two already excellent practices meld together to form something truly rare and beautiful, akin to when a favorite professional comedian takes over the social media channels of a company you're a longtime fan of.

Witch Way to the Candy?

Sorry. Bad pun. Moving on … Regardless of where your loyalties lie in the marketing sweets realm, perhaps the nuggets above will encourage you to reach into the candy bowl for a new variety. What marketing sweet is at the top of your trick or treating list? Tell us in the comments section below.

The post Trick or Treat: The Spellbinding Marketing Sweets the TopRank Team Can’t Resist appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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Trick or Treat: The Spellbinding Marketing Sweets the TopRank Team Can’t Resist

Spellbinding Marketing Sweets the TopRank Team Can’t Resist

Spellbinding Marketing Sweets the TopRank Team Can’t Resist Admit it. On Halloween night, the fierce competitor within you sprinted from home to home to claim as much sugary bounty as your pillowcase could carry. But the loyalist and purist in you was on the hunt for a specific candy treat. A treat that put all the rest to shame; a treat that always hit the sweet spot. via GIPHY For me, that coveted treat was: the Almond Joy. Sweetened coconut. Crunchy almonds. Smooth milk chocolate. Devilishly delicious, but ghoulishly elusive amongst a sea of KitKat- and Snickers-purchasing households. (Here’s to you, organic reach on Facebook.) As marketers, we all have our favorites. From tactical techniques that sweeten our marketing mix to the integration of marketing elements to tantalize our audience’s taste buds, the TopRank Marketing team weighs in on both fun- and king-size marketing treats they can’t resist.

Our Favorite Marketing Sweet Treats

Josh NiteJosh Nite

Senior Content Marketing Manager My favorite candy is black licorice. Black licorice doesn't appeal to everyone. That's a quality I like in candy—and in marketing, too. It's easy to make something bland and sweet that everyone tolerates—like, say, Necco Wafers—but that's not how you get raving fans. I've never met anyone passionate about Necco Wafers. Conversely, I've never met anyone who "kind of liked" black licorice. You love it or you hate it. Good marketing takes a bold stand, with personality and purpose. It draws in a target audience and excludes the rest. Love or hate black licorice, it's a perfect reminder that great marketing doesn't aspire to blandness.

Elizabeth Williams

Senior Account Manager Baby Ruth: My favorite part about Baby Ruth bars is they've got a little bit of everything—nuts, nougat, caramel, all with a chocolate coating. And, flavors all work so well together! To work well, good marketing must parallel Baby Ruths: A diverse yet integrated mix so that we can reach our audiences whenever and wherever they are and with a consistent message that resonates with their needs.

Nick NelsonNick Nelson

Senior Content Strategist Skittles. These bite-sized bursts of fruity flavor remind me of social media marketing. The bright colors reflect the vibrant imagery that stands out on feeds, and the many different flavors and colors represent the diversity of voices and viewpoints you can find across various networks.

Annie LeumanAnnie Leuman

Content Strategist Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Two incredible ingredients in their own right, come together to make an irresistible combo—kind of like SEO and content. Content is the peanut buttery center, and it’s wrapped in the perfect amount of chocolate to delight it’s consumers’ senses (and leave us all asking for more).

Ashley Zeckman

Senior Director of Digital Strategy I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for Starbursts. There are so many different delicious flavor varieties—from tropical to classic to my all-time personal favorite: All Reds. Much like the industry experts and influencers we partner with, the different flavor profiles add punch and pizzazz to the content palette. 

Tiffani AllenTiffani Allen

Associate Director of Search & Analytics Twix. To borrow from Saturday Night Live’s Stefon: This candy has everything. Chocolate. Caramel. Cookies. A clever marketing strategy. Everything, people.  The combination of three complementary, yet distinctly different flavors reminds me of a well-integrated digital marketing mix of search, content, and influence. While each discipline on its own is delicious, it’s the mix of all three that produces a truly crave-worthy treat. 

Lane EllisLane Ellis

Social Media and Content Marketing Manager From the 1850s until the 1920s my great-great-uncle Henry H. Ellis, and later his son, ran a confectionery and bakery making homemade candies. The business started first in Janesville, WI and then from 1867 on, moved to Cheyenne, WY, so I suppose my fondness for sweets runs in my family. I love marzipan and adore chocolate, so as a child over Halloween, when a particularly generous and creative woman placed a wrapped chocolate-covered marzipan candy in my sugary goodie bag, I was overjoyed. Decades later, the two mingling flavors are still a favorite, and remind me of a type of marketing nirvana in which two already excellent practices meld together to form something truly rare and beautiful, akin to when a favorite professional comedian takes over the social media channels of a company you're a longtime fan of.

Witch Way to the Candy?

Sorry. Bad pun. Moving on … Regardless of where your loyalties lie in the marketing sweets realm, perhaps the nuggets above will encourage you to reach into the candy bowl for a new variety. What marketing sweet is at the top of your trick or treating list? Tell us in the comments section below.

The post Trick or Treat: The Spellbinding Marketing Sweets the TopRank Team Can’t Resist appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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The New Plank Center Report Gives PR People C+, PR Industry Has Learned Exactly Nothing

The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations is the University of Alabama’s PR school, focused allegedly bettering the PR industry. Every two years (I don’t know why) they put out a report card on the PR Industry’s performance (read: a very big survey), which then invariably causes PR people to get mad at anything even remotely critical. This year’s report card gives communication leaders a C+, which caused the whiny babies at PRDaily to have a very civilized tantrum, questioning the co-author of the study and professor emeritus at the University of Alabama Dr. Bruce Berger about why all the grades aren’t A+, and how he could be so mean.

The study is good because A) it annoyed PR Daily, and B) it actually presents things based on a survey without attempting to make the PR people feel better. The study highlights the basics of what every PR person who hasn’t succeeded in their industry by not getting fired for 10 years – that the top leaders are very engaged with their jobs – the top crop of leaders are very engaged, as they have reached the point in their jobs where they can take the credit but outsource the work, and those below them are becoming increasingly less satisfied.

“Engaged employees give greater discretionary effort, work with passion and feel strongly connected with their organization. Not engaged employees do the minimum, just enough to get by. They show up, go through the motions, but bring no energy or passion to the workplace. Actively disengaged employees can harm or weaken their organization. They act out their unhappiness or resentment on the job and adversely influence others—they can undercut organizational programs and goals.”

The Plank Center Report Card, 2019

This absolutely sounds like 95% of PR people I’ve met in their first five years.

PR Daily also called out a particularly damning part of the report – that women aren’t involved enough in strategic thinking and decision-making – and immediately decided to move on to ask why scores in general aren’t improving:

Women’s perceptions of shared power in decision-making, two-way communication, and the valuing of their opinions differed significantly as reflected in trust in the organization, culture and engagement issues. Women said they want more involvement in strategic decision-making, they want their opinions to count for more, and they want a communication system that places greater emphasis on two-way communication.

The Plank Center Report Card, 2019

Maybe it’s because the PR industry has a massive issue with sexism! Quartz wrote a great piece in 2016 about how women dominate the PR industry, but the men are leading the agencies. I realize I’m a white man that runs a PR firm, talking about a problem about men running PR firms – the truth is, there is an ongoing issue of how women are treated extremely poorly in PR, and a large part of it goes to PR’s total inability to critique itself. Just take a look at PRWeek’s awesome 2017 panel of men, at a conference about women in PR, where Lord of Castle Greyskull himself Richard Edelman said that women should “speak up more loudly,” two months after Edelman themselves put out a blog about combating casual sexism. There is a power imbalance. It must be discussed and challenged.

Funnily enough, Dr. Berger actually said:

“Ego is what gets in the way,” says Berger. “There are some leaders who do not want to hear complaints and do not want to hear criticism.” The second-most-common barrier to self-reflection was time.

PRDaily, “Why are they all being so mean to us in their report cards :(” October 2019

PRDaily then proceeded to move on from any kind of consideration of this subject and simply continues to say exactly what was said to them. I mean, it’s not like one of, if not the most popular PR website should have any kind of self-reflection? Right?

I mean, the fact that PRDaily can publish the following with a straight face is almost admirably

Why aren’t the scores improving? Again, Berger cites the difficulty in transitioning from recognizing you have a problem to doing something about it.

The piece, which features a moody-looking woman holding up a test graded “C” (guess they couldn’t photoshop it to C+, but whatever), which is exactly what you should expect from PR people – a deep, childish sigh that someone would dare attack them.

As an industry, we should be extremely worried that one of the easiest jobs in the world has dwindling engagement numbers. Maybe it’s because we’ve created a culture of pumping up our own work, and tolerated decades of managers that believe management is “I will make you do my work and then I will take credit for it.” Satisfaction is declining year over year – men are nearly 9% more satisfied than women by their job – and nearly half of all PR people in non-leadership roles are neutral or dissatisfied with their jobs.

The industry’s lack of reaction to this report – created by an actual school of PR founded in the name of someone who actually did work at their job (which I understand is an affront to all that middle management in PR stands for) – is proof that it’ll get swept under the rug again. Great stuff, everyone!

The post The New Plank Center Report Gives PR People C+, PR Industry Has Learned Exactly Nothing appeared first on The Future Buzz.

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