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Which Social Network Should My Business Be On?

Deciding what social media platforms your business should be on can be nerve-racking — especially with over 800 to choose from. Don’t worry. We’re just talking about the major players today. You don’t want to be on all of them. That takes up too much time, and other areas of your business need your attention. Before we begin, there are several questions you need to understand and answer, like:

  • Which platforms are consumer-oriented vs. B2B?
  • Where is our target audience most active?
  • What are our social media marketing goals?

Don’t fret — there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s get started.

FACEBOOK

This probably comes as no surprise, but you should consider Facebook — the world’s most popular social network — for your business needs. Whether your content is consumer-focused or B2B, you can find success on Facebook thanks to in-depth advertising and targeting options. And with over 2.23 billion active monthly users, odds are you can find your target audience. Here’s another fun fact: Approximately 10% of ALL website traffic takes place on Facebook — it’s no exaggeration when people say it’s taking over the world.

So, is there any reason not to be on Facebook? Perhaps… but only because of over-saturation. There are A LOT of businesses on Facebook. That means when you spend advertising dollars, your business will be facing A LOT of competition. There’s a decent chance (depending on your niche and target audience) your best ROI might not come from Facebook — but there’s a better chance it will.

TWITTER

Twitter can be tougher to manage, mainly due to its volatility (and because you can’t edit tweets). Twitter users are notorious for trolling, especially when politics is involved. Everyone has an opinion about everything, and the Twitterverse is where those thoughts are shared without a whimsical care in the world. That being said, there are still plenty of benefits to having a presence there.

First, Twitter is made up of 335 million monthly active users. That’s a big audience, which gives you a great opportunity to expose your brand to influencers who could share your content and increase your organic reach. Second, it’s the perfect platform for managing customer service. Throw in a social media management tool like Sprout Social, a product we use in Candorland, and BOOM! You’ll be on your way to managing customer’s needs quickly and efficiently. And perhaps most useful, Twitter is great for social listening. Twitter makes it easy for you to monitor keywords relevant to your company/industry, so you can jump into any conversation, anytime. This takes a bit of work, but it’s well worth it.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram is the most visually-demanding platform, and it has become incredibly popular with a younger demographic. That usually gives B2B companies pause. But while it is easier for lifestyle B2C companies to promote on the platform, always remember Instagram has 1 BILLION monthly active users. Your audience is there — you just have to get a little creative with your creative. And did we mention Instagram is owned by Facebook? This means you’ll be awarded the same ad targeting options and seamless integration into the Facebook advertising model.

LINKEDIN

LinkedIn is a no-brainer for B2B businesses. This social network has become increasingly popular in recent years and has 227 million active users. While every social platform’s goal is to make connections, LinkedIn LITERALLY connects business professionals with each other (and recruiters). It’s the best platform to seek out high-quality talent to join your team. In terms of advertising, LinkedIn can’t quite match the powerhouse that is Facebook, but if your goal is to target other professionals across a number of disciplines, this could be your golden ticket.

PINTEREST

Pinterest is a platform many businesses don’t normally consider. But did you know the Pinterestverse is comprised of 250 million monthly active users? AND it’s the 2nd most likely platform to influence U.S. social media users’ purchasing decisions. Pinterest is perfect for businesses with aesthetically-driven content and can do wonders at driving traffic to your website, getting people to download your app or selling your product — especially with Rich Pins.

SNAPCHAT

While Snapchat is a popular platform with 188 million daily active users, there’s currently some debate between marketers on whether the platform is dying. It was down 3 million users in Q2 of 2018, and its latest update has made a lot of people upset (to say the least). It also ranked dead last in a new advertising poll. To put it simply: It takes a lot of time and dedication to move the needle with Snapchat. Some of the previously mentioned platforms can be way more fruitful for your business.

OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS

Yes, there are STILL some other social networks worth mentioning. Google+ has seen better days, but it’s still essential to be on to enhance local SEO, and it doesn’t take much to keep up with. YouTube makes a lot of sense for businesses producing video (which Candor can do in-house!). Behind Facebook, YouTube is actually the most popular social media network in the world with 1.9 billion monthly active users. You can take a gamble at Reddit, but you risk upsetting Redditors and hurting your brand’s reputation. Tumblr is comprised of over 200 million blogs publishing 80 million posts per day, making it another hot spot ripe for advertising. There’s also an upcoming platform called TikTok we’ve been keeping a close eye on. It has global audience of 500 million, and is especially popular in China. In the first half of 2018 alone, it was downloaded 104 million times on the Apple app store.

In reality, all of these social media platforms could help your business with the right care, strategy and knowledge. But — candidly — it’s a lot of work. Our digital experts have the tools and experience to help your social media channels grow, build brand awareness and bring in new business leads.

Send us an e-mail. We’re ready to chat.

4 Reasons Former Journalists Make Great PR Professionals

Every PR professional knows businesses often have insights to share with the public, products to announce and events to promote. And spreading those messages often includes getting stories in newspapers and on TV. But getting a journalist’s attention requires special skills and insight. Aside from the obvious — sharing interesting, compelling content — the best way to get the news media to take notice is to work with former journalists.

Today’s PR professionals understand the importance of adaptability. You have to be prepared to move from one thing to the next without any hesitation. It just so happens former journalists embrace the fast-paced nature of agency life better than most.

That’s why Candor’s staff of marketing communications professionals includes ex-reporters, content writers and editors (or, as we sometimes joke, “recovering journalists”). We’ve produced TV packages, cranked out daily newspapers and kept up with the latest online trends.

Our backgrounds benefit our clients in four significant ways.

Breaking News Won’t Break Us

Months of planning went down the tubes because of an unexpected event? A crisis hit you out of the blue? No problem for a newsie. Whatever a journalist has planned for the day can go out the window in an instant if news breaks or a hot tip comes in. Shifting gears at a moment’s notice comes naturally after that.

We Know What The Media Wants

What’s important to a company might not matter to a reporter or editor. Reporters think of providing value to the audience first. We know how to speak their language, appeal to their interest and even work out the right time of day to send the email or text which can lead to a prime-time package or front-page story. Being on a first-name basis with local reporters has helped Candor land several earned media hits for clients.

We Are Information Sponges

Journalists are generalists. They want to know everything about everything. Even after they’ve left the newsroom, they consume information insatiably. Keeping one eye on the wider world at all times helps the Candor team understand everything from trends in social media to figuring out how issues of the day affect our clients’ strategies. Being information sponges help produce the plans we provide, the way we target audiences and the tone of the content we create.

We Understand Businesses Have Budgets

Anyone who has been in a newsroom in the last couple decades has seen people make hard choices about where to invest resources. We know our clients have to make those decisions year by year, quarter by quarter and even project by project. Budgets aren’t an afterthought at Candor; they’re a key part of understanding the scope and scale of what we can do for our clients.

Journalists don’t have all the answers. But they’ll dig until find them. Candor’s team makes sure we understand brands’ needs and goals, and we do whatever it takes to get there – without breaking deadline.

10 Photography Tips For Taking Quality Social Media Photos

Do you find yourself endlessly scrolling through social media feeds? If you’re between the ages of 14 and 65, there’s a good chance you were scrolling right before you started reading this blog post! But, eventually, we stop scrolling. Whether we want a closer look or actually engage with the content, we’re most likely stopping because of the image we saw. A great visual leaves us wanting more and inspires our own work.

If you’re anxious about posting photos to your social media channels, here’s the good news: The basics are easy to learn and remember. And you should definitely learn them, because utilizing quality photos is key to creating engaging content, whether for your business or personal profiles. Fear not — we have tips to help you get started.

Use a good quality camera. 

Whether you’re using a cell phone camera or DSLR, make sure it has the capacity to take high-quality photos. Newer iPhones and Androids have the specs to take desirable photos, but if you’re still rocking that Moto RAZR from 2004, we’ve got mad respect for you… but it might be time for a new phone.

Hold the phone steady.

Another easy tip. Unless you’re trying to capture a photo of the Blair Witch, there’s no reason for excessive camera shake. Your photo will always come out blurry (see below). But this is avoidable! Invest in an inexpensive tripod to help, which will also be useful in low-light situations.

Let there be light.

Speaking of light, find a light source and use it. If you’re in a poorly lit area and all you have is your cell phone, it’s going to be tough to capture a properly exposed shot. This is where that aforementioned tripod comes in handy — but always move to better lighting if you can.

Use the Rule of Thirds to help compose your shot.

Pro-tip:  Justify your subject to the left or right of your photo to make it more visually appealing. This is a good rule to follow, but remember: All photography rules are meant to be broken. Speaking of which…

Symmetry is awesome, so use it! 

For some scientific reason, humans are naturally drawn to the beauty of symmetry, and you can find it almost anywhere — in a cool building, out in nature or even in a mirror! Taking an engaging photo is all about finding balance, and that’s exactly what symmetry offers.

Perspective is everything.

If a subject looks boring to you, move yourself around. By simply shifting positioning and shooting angles, you can turn the most mundane photo into something striking and original. If you don’t look like the guy below, you’re doing it wrong.

Focus on your subject. 

No, seriously. It sounds obvious, but always make sure your camera is in focus. And if your cell phone camera has a portrait mode function, try it out! This mode gives a nice, artificial bokeh effect to certain shots that can sometimes rival a DSLR. But be wary – it’s far from perfect.

If you’re using a cell phone camera, avoid the zoom.

Whenever you zoom in on a subject using your phone’s camera, high-quality pictures become a lot harder to take. Zooming means dealing with pixelated images, more camera shake, lack of detail, etc. It’s best to just use the zooming device you were born with to get in closer (yes, I’m talking about your legs).

When in doubt, keep it simple.

If your photo has too much going on, it can confuse the viewer and downplay the importance of your subject. For example, there’s always a lot happening at speaking or networking events. Instead of getting a boring shot of the whole room, try focusing more on individual interactions to breathe some life into otherwise stale photos. See a few examples below from an event Candor recently covered.

Ask other people what they think about your photos.

You might not always like what you hear, but getting constructive feedback is an important part of getting better.

Are you ready to start taking photos? These tips will put you on the right path, but the professionals at Candor are always around to offer more advice, cover events or even deliver trainings. Send us an email if you have something on your mind! We’d love to help.

You’ve Been Doing PR Since You Were 8 Years Old Without Knowing It

What did your typical day look like as an 8-year-old? You probably enjoyed snack time and recess. Play dates and sleepovers. Family road trips and awkward nightly dinners.

Eight year olds are less complex than their adult counterparts. But, without even knowing it, they are already beginning to form their sense of self and developing emotionally. They are learning more about their personalities and unique set of characteristics.

Eight year olds are grooming themselves to be PR professionals. Don’t laugh; it’s true.

Children build relationships, stand up for their friends, explain their opinions and answer problems. Sound familiar?

There’s a reason I joined the world of PR. Here are the characteristics that carried over from my childhood to my professional life.

Characteristics of a Public Relations Professional

The following characteristics have proven quite helpful in my professional career. They’ve stayed with me from an early age, and I’m still trying to develop them daily.

Curiosity

One of my favorite childhood memories stems from a surprise my parents planned for my sister and me. We piled into the car and went off on an adventure, unknowing of our destination. We pulled up to a stranger’s house, went inside and met the most adorable puppy — our first family dog. I was immediately in love with her, and became incredibly curious about dogs; I wanted to know everything about them. I immediately devoured dog facts and read countless books. I even studied to become a veterinarian.

Even though my dreams of becoming a veterinarian didn’t exactly play out, my curiosity and thirst to learn has been crucial to my role today. When I get a new client, I can’t wait to learn as much as I can about their industry, competitors, what really makes them tick and more.

Curiosity leads to creativity.

Creativity

Imagine one of your daily struggles… how would a child fix it? Kids are fueled by curiosity, creativity and freedom.

As a child, I was a self-defined expert at papier-mâché. I didn’t limit the items I would glue and newspaper together, to my parents’ dismay. While (most) parents set boundaries, kids aren’t confined to as many rules as adults. Their minds wander freely to create, discover and problem-solve.

Creativity is used daily in public relations. Whether providing reputation management, crafting a news release or brainstorming with co-workers, thinking creatively is a basic requirement to a successful public relations career.

Flexibility

As all adults are aware, no matter how carefully things are planned, life is always going to throw a curveball. This is where children have the upper-hand. Instead of stressing over the thought of change, kids are more willing to adapt to new situations and circumstances.

I remember playing games with a friend who would consistently change the rules. It was almost like rule-changing was a game within our games. Instead of becoming frustrated, I had no problem adapting to the new way of doing things.

Being flexible is critical when working with brands and the media. You can’t always predict the weather, and you never know when a client might change their mind about something at the last minute. Your most detailed plan can quickly change on a dime. Flexibility is a must.

Clarity

When I was young, I was… I had a friend who was notorious for talking in circles when asking for what she wanted. She consistently would leave our teacher in a state of confusion. I always felt it was my job to clarify what she meant.  I learned early on how important it is to speak clearly to get desired results or actions.

Too often, people get upset over something they simply misunderstand. Communicating clearly is necessary in any profession, but especially in public relations. Reporters don’t have time to make sense of incoherent rants. Pitches must be tight to sell your clients in a way that’s interesting and concise.

Empathy

Growing up, when I would witness a classmate embarrassing another student, I would immediately redden and feel horrible. Admittedly, my empathy levels are to the extreme, which isn’t ideal in all cases. However, it has served me well as an account executive when dealing with clients and the media.

It’s important to take the time to understand where people are coming from, what their business means to them and what struggles they’re facing. Being empathetic has also taught me to be open to opposing viewpoints, which comes in handy when working for a nonpartisan firm. Empathy lends itself to patience, good listening skills and personable traits — all of which are necessary for PR professionals.

Finessing Inherent Skills for a PR Career

While these characteristics put you on the right track to becoming a PR star, it’s important to continue to develop as a professional.

Candor employees are active in a number of organizations, like Public Relations Society of America; continue to earn accreditations, like an APR; and serve on public relations committees where they continue to learn from their peers.

Do you have a public relations need? Candor would love to hear from you!

How to Grow Personally & Professionally in 3 Simple Steps

 

February is an interesting month. It’s squeezed between the excitement of a new year and the anticipation of spring. It’s also the month my daughter turns 18.

While she is now old enough to vote, I worry she may not be ready to govern her life at college next fall. These thoughts keep me up at night, but I’m learning to embrace change because, ‘what’s the alternative?’

The same is true in business. When I birthed Candor in 2012, I never imagined my “baby” would become a fully-integrated agency. Heck, I won my first client sitting in my gym shorts and flip flops while chatting on a flip phone in my guest bedroom.

Needless to say, we’ve come a long way. Today, Candor is one of the fastest growing firms in Oklahoma. We’re housed on historic Film Row near downtown OKC — which is, perhaps ironically, one of the fastest growing districts in the city. We even have a cool building! Before being converted into an office space, Candor was the home of an old Pabst Blue Ribbon ice house.

Recently, we took a big leap of faith and added a 2,000-square-foot video production studio. The space includes a Facebook Live set in addition to a full edit suite. Video has become increasingly popular as a social media tool — and it’s not going anywhere. Here are a few things we know:

In addition to our building expansion, Candor recently had triplets. We added three new professionals to help with content creation, social media and video production. Adding new team members is always exciting, but it can create challenges with office space, onboarding and company culture.

So, what have I learned through the growing process?

  1. Control is an illusion.
    Being an entrepreneur is a lot like being a first-time mom. You want to control everything, including your well-meaning friends and family who tell you to relax and let go. But here’s a not-so-surprising secret: Business can’t grow until leaders relinquish some of their power. I’m pleased to say I’m no longer afraid to ask my colleagues to change a dirty diaper or two.
  2. Surround yourself with good people.
    Relinquishing power becomes a LOT easier if you start with this rule. At Candor, we hire folks with a can-do spirit. That may sound hokey, but it works. We simply don’t have room for entitlement. Good things happen when everyone works toward the betterment of others. Remember: You can’t spell Candor without ‘can do’! Okay, that definitely sounds hokey.
  3. Get out of your own way.
    Are you sensing a pattern? Sometimes you just have to let your family or coworkers do the heavy lifting. Whether dealing with a client deadline or a college application, real growth can’t happen if one person is always in charge.

Will someone please remind of me of this rule when my kid pulls out of the driveway for her first solo trek to college?

Lessons From Small Town USA

Candor is located on Film Row, the up-and-coming district in OKC. But we don’t spend all of our time in hip and trendy spots. Candor represents multiple clients who have been expanding westward to rural Oklahoma. We’ve spent many hours in the land of cowboy boots and pie auctions, and we’ve learned a few things along the way.

I’m what some people call “city folk.” I am a type-A, on-the-go Millennial with my phone in one hand and coffee in the other. In rural areas, I’ve learned to slow the pace and focus on getting to know the people around me.

Asking questions and making conversation has become my favorite part of the job. Need to know about an event in Okarche? Ask the newspaper editor, and he’ll give you the history, the contact person and the best option for lunch afterward. Need to hold a meeting in Watonga? Call the Chamber of Commerce for a list of every event space and local caterer within 50 miles, photos and contact numbers included.

I’ve met reporters, principals, mayors, firefighters, landowners, rodeo coordinators and people from all walks of life.

These relationships are vital to Candor’s success, but they didn’t come through quick emails and cookie-cutter press releases. We took the time to send thank-you cards, learn about each town, ask for backstories and shake a few hands.

Relationships I’ve made through business became personal by simply taking the time to invest in others. Remembering details about an acquaintance or sending a congratulatory card hopefully makes me memorable and builds trust, which benefits both parties in the long run.

Maybe it’s time everyone takes a hint from people who live in other parts of the state or have different experiences. Not only do we benefit professionally, we grow personally and become more thoughtful and genuine neighbors.

Does ‘Die Hard’ Count? (And Other Thoughts on Holiday Movies)

The Candor team loves spending holiday time with friends and family. We know it’s meant to be fun, but being around people you love can also lead to strife. Debates aren’t always about politics or who should clean up the dishes: Sometimes they’re about things that really matter, like the best holiday movies.

The Candor team didn’t squabble over which film puts us in the holiday spirit. But we did select a wide range of movies to warm the heart, generate laughter or, you know… demonstrate what it takes to stop an international band of thieves from taking over a skyscraper.

Karen Wicker‘s Pick — It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

Jennifer Byrd‘s Pick — Home Alone (1990)

Jim Kessler‘s Pick — Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Ashley Neese‘s Pick — A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Alex Joseph‘s Pick — Christmas Vacation (1989)

Ally Glavas‘s Pick — Elf (2003)

Sandy Meier‘s Pick — How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Larisha Hunter‘s Pick — Die Hard (1988)

Jacqueline Sit & Adam Brooks‘s Pick — A Christmas Story (1983)

Do You Think They Did It?

What would your organization do if an executive was accused of rape and a reporter asked, “Do you think they did it?”

Stories about sexual harassment and assault by powerful men have taken over the national conversation recently. Similar stories have grabbed attention before, including during the 2016 presidential campaign. But the allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein ignited a storm.

Thousands of women around the world used the #MeToo hashtag – and variations in other languages – to tell stories of abuse. They aimed allegations at men in many industries. Actors’ shows were cancelled, news executives lost their jobs and politicians faced calls to resign.

The victims’ stories are devastating. We feel sympathy for their trauma and damaged careers, and we think about the harm inappropriate behavior causes to our nation.

With the spotlight on exposing dirty secrets, every organization should start thinking about how it would handle allegations against senior leaders or other employees.

As with any crisis, the most important thing is to have a flexible plan and to make sure key players inside the organization know what to do in an emergency. It’s like a first-aid kit for your reputation.

Candor helps organizations prepare for crises. Some important questions we ask include:

  • Who is authorized to speak for the company?
  • Who holds the keys to the social media accounts?
  • Which executives should have media training in advance?

Nobody can anticipate every crisis. But every organization should be ready. Sooner or later, a wave will hit, whether it comes from a natural disaster, workplace accident or from an executive’s misdeeds.

How will you respond?

3 OKC Businesses Doing Social Media the Right Way

 

Tell me if this sounds familiar. It’s evening. Dinner has been made or bought. You’ve got roughly two hours to kill before you should be in bed. For just a moment, you consider doing something productive.

Then you remember you have a phone. A laptop. Netflix. Literally anything you want to watch for the next few hours is a click away. Plus, you haven’t scrolled through social media enough today.

For the next seven hours, you’re simultaneously absorbing as much as you can from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat, all while vaguely listening to a group of weirdly qualified kids try to defeat a demogorgon in rural Indiana on Stranger Things.

You may be reading this blog solely because you saw the link to it on social media while doing something else.

That means I’ve done my job. And I guarantee this isn’t the only thing you’ve clicked on while you were scrolling. Somewhere between the seventh photo of a newborn and the 28th I-promise-you-I’m-having-fun selfie, you saw something from a local business that caught your eye. That is the holy grail for a local business’s social media presence. They don’t need you to see every piece of content; they just need you to see the right content.

You’re probably sick of being targeted with ads. Social media pros get it. But with the way social media has evolved, that’s the primary way to be seen. Here are a few local brands worth following — they do social media the right way.

Facebook

Facebook has made it increasingly difficult for brands to stand out. The platform prioritizes posts from friends and family over organic content from businesses. If an organization doesn’t have an advertising budget, frustration levels can run through the roof because posts aren’t getting the reach or engagement they deserve. But brands can fight back.

Facebook prioritizes video over graphics or text-based posts. And if it’s a Facebook Live video, that’s even better. Facebook will curate an interested audience and push your video to the top of newsfeeds.

In Oklahoma City, one organization stands out for getting seen.

Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau

Oklahoma City is getting more impressive every day, and the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau does a fantastic job showcasing growth and revitalization. In the past month and a half, @VisitOKC has created nine videos on a myriad of topics, including planning the perfect girls’ getaway, finding adventure indoors and a series of five things to try around the city.

Those nine videos have garnered over 88,000 video views.

Here’s something to remember: You don’t have to be a professional videographer to create quality video on Facebook. Use your phone. Use your camera. It may take some practice, but you can improve your engagement rate through video.

Twitter

Candor gets asked a lot whether every brand should have a presence on Twitter. If content fits a target audience and someone has the resources to run Twitter correctly, it makes a lot of sense. But a great Twitter handle doesn’t mean scheduling out a few tweets a week and never checking responses. Twitter is all about engaging with brand advocates (and even haters). If mentions and messages aren’t getting blown up, then you should be tracking relevant keywords and responding to conversations.

One Oklahoma City brand has really stepped up its Twitter game.

Commonplace Books

This indie bookstore hasn’t even celebrated its one-year anniversary, but it has already made a huge impact. Showing traditional Oklahoma hospitality, Commonplace welcomes visitors with open arms. On my first visit, I was greeted as soon as I entered and treated like a family member. Ben offered a tour, a coffee and I met who I believed to be his young daughter (who happened to be the one who rang up my purchase). On my most recent visit, I was offered a mimosa, my books to be gift wrapped and a few minutes of cuddles with Boz (the giant shop dog).

Commonplace carries its one-for-all persona to Twitter by constantly engaging with followers and reaching out to other local businesses. Twitter is all about showing the human side of a brand and making the audience feel welcomed. Commonplace does Twitter the right way.

Instagram

If an organization doesn’t have engaging visuals to share, then it probably shouldn’t be on Instagram. That’s why the best Instagram feeds often belong to restaurants, retail shops and friends who travel.

But what if you don’t have enough engaging content to last through most weeks? That’s where UGC (user-generated content) comes in handy. That means sharing/posting content created by other users. This could be a follower sharing a picture of something from your store, food selfies from your restaurant, etc. It’s an easy way to deliver content without putting in a lot of effort. According to Social Media Today, UGC has a 4.5 percent higher conversion rate than regular posts.

The ultimate Instagram goal, however, is being able to package UGC with interesting, original content. Several OKC brands do this well, but one really rises above the rest.

Blue Seven

Specializing in locally crafted apparel and quirky home furnishings, Blue Seven has become a local favorite for stylin’ wardrobes and secret Santa gifts. The Blue Seven team has enough interesting material in their store to create several quality posts per day. But having great material to work with isn’t enough: Brands must craft great posts. 

You might assume a professional photographer came in and took all these photos. The lighting, the placement, the editing — everything is spot-on. I want to buy literally everything they post about. I can’t be the only person that feels that way, either. Great job, Blue Seven. Now take my money.

The Horror: 7 Scary Things Clients Say to Agencies

scary things clients say

Want to give a PR pro nightmares?

In honor of Halloween, here are seven of the scariest things we hear from clients and prospects.

“The intern runs our social media.”

Although young people are often familiar with social media platforms from personal use, they usually aren’t brand experts. One inappropriate post can haunt a company’s reputation forever. Make sure there is a training process and someone experienced approving content if interns have access to social media accounts.

(And remember: A true pro will know all the tricks to delivering a high return on investment.)

“We don’t have Google Analytics.”

Google offers a free tool to track website traffic. It’s an effective way to peek behind the mask and measure the impact of advertisements, messaging and other tactics to raise brand awareness or sell a product. Analytics tools, combined with experienced interpretation, help brands determine what’s working, what’s not and how to adjust.

“We told the reporter ‘no comment.'”

Candor’s philosophy is to be honest and transparent with the media. Having nothing to say implies an organization has a skeleton in the closet. “No comment” robs an organization of the opportunity to provide context, especially on potentially damaging stories. It is better to be forthcoming and tell reporters when more information or answers will be available.

“I don’t know… could you just jazz it up a little?”

It’s part of a PR firm’s job to use its expertise to make things “pop.” But professional communicators need to fully understand the client’s goals and audience to create exceptional materials. They need partners who provide input and offer descriptive feedback; they aren’t gypsy mind readers.

“We’ll just print that in-house.”

Everyone wants to save money. But do-it-yourself printing can mean wasting staff time or sacrificing quality. Office printers don’t deliver true color, proper margins or full-bleed printing that really make a piece look professional. If you must print in-house, make sure the graphic designer is aware so she can design it accordingly.

“We want this story on the front page of the Sunday paper.”

Scaring up exceptional placement is always the goal when pitching stories. However, not every story meets the criteria for banner treatment, and reporters rarely determine where their work runs. When clients help us dig up a story that appeals to a news outlet’s audience, it increases the chances of getting on the cover.

“What have you done for me lately?”

If you hand out king-size Snickers bars one year for trick or treat and raisins the next, you’re going to end up with something unpleasant on your doorstep. That’s why PR pros always look for ways to deliver more to clients. We focus on providing sweet metrics – such as website traffic, media hits, video views, sales conversions, etc. – to demonstrate the value of our work. We survey consumers to understand how they feel about brands. And, especially at Candor, we try to look around the corner and suggest new ways our clients can reach their business and marketing goals.