How To Pick A PR (Public Relations) Agency

PR Agency

How To Pick A PR (Public Relations) Agency

This is a really difficult time for businesses from a publicity standpoint. A global pandemic, mass layoffs and a presidential election are taking up most of the media space, both online and offline.

What should a business owner, who is looking to get publicity for their business do? Should they keep their PR in-house, or should they go and hire a PR agency?

To answer that question, and talk more about how do you pick a public relations agency, I spoke to PR expert Karyn Martin from Golden Thread Agency.

Do you stay in-house with a PR team or a person or do you bring in a PR agency? There’s a number of factors to consider here in making that decision. Certainly budget, bandwidth… 

Whether you’ve got somebody in-house or an agency team or person, there’s a financial commitment there that you’re making to public relations.

Certainly I’ve been an agency person for decades and now I’ve stepped out on my own, and I’d like to think that the position that I’m in now I’m best suited to be helping clients make decisions like this, to suss it out based on those factors that we can look at.

And while I do think that financially it’s going to be probably less expensive to go with an in-house person, you have to look at the trade-offs for that.

One of the trade-offs is losing the technology resources that a PR agency has access too. If you manage your PR in-house, can you afford to invest in the tools needed to accurately measure the success of your PR efforts? That’s why you have agencies who spend tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds of thousands when you get to the bigger agencies on technology.

Hybrid Model

One popular option is to hire a consultant or small PR agency to work with internal teams. The Consultant or agency can develop the strategic approach and PR blueprint, that the inside team can then go and execute against.

Six Questions To Ask Before Hiring A PR Agency

1. Is there a fit?

Your PR agency is your voice to the outside world so who will be working on your account is critical. In a big agency, the top manager pitching the agency’s service may not be working directly with you. The agency may assign the job to less experienced professionals. Ask to meet all team members who will work on the account to examine their backgrounds and track records. Meeting all the personnel will give you an idea of the chemistry that will evolve between the agency and your business.

2: Big agency versus small agency?

There are advantages to both small and large agencies. Small pr agencies offer direct, personal service. Small firms are usually more flexible on pricing. The individuals who actually do the work are usually the same individuals who pitched you. Larger firms usually operate in teams that offer more viewpoints, varied talents and experience, flexibility and manpower. They usually take on clients with larger budgets.

3: Agency and Industry Experience.

Does the PR agency have proven experience and results working with similar companies to yours? A PR agency that has experience in your vertical will be able to get results quicker, than someone who has not worked in your market before. Beware of conflicts of interest if other clients are direct competitors, and agencies that cannot differentiate your company from competitors in the sector.

4: Media Connections

Has the agency achieved the type of media placements that you expect to get across print, broadcast and online media? Is the agency well-versed in managing remote media interviews?

5: How do you incorporate social and digital media in your PR campaigns?

PR is now closely integrated with social media. Look for a PR agency or consultant who is familiar with these trends and, more importantly, knows how to harness them for PR. Ask for specific examples of how they’ve used digital or social to help a client reach their goals.

6: How do you measure success?

How will you and the agency measure success? Learning what metrics they prefer will help gauge their PR measurement abilities. High-quality PR agencies now use PR metrics such as share of voice, message resonance and changes in brand sentiment over time.


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How To Improve The Performance Of Your Business Facebook Page

How To Improve The Performance Of Your Facebook Business Page

A recent article by Neil Patel on titled How to Steal Your Competitor’s Facebook Fans highlighted one of my favorite Facebook analytics tools, Fan Page Karma .

Fan Page Karma allows you to analyze any Facebook business page as well as compare any two Facebook business pages head-to-head. The software offers tremendous insight into what is working and what is not working with a company’s social media marketing strategy.

When we first meet with clients to talk about their current Facebook business social media strategy they usually have two main concerns:

The first step in analyzing the performance of a Facebook business page is to compare it to a competitor’s. When we do that with Fan Page Karma, this is the type of data that we get:

Facebook Page Competitive Analysis

What I like about the data from Fan Page Karma is that it gives me a high level view about what is working and what is not. What is the growth rate of the fans? Are they engaged with the content? Is the company interactive with fans or are the interactions one-way?

From those results, I can dive further into a more in-depth review. For example, one of the things we analyze is the type of posts that clients make on Facebook?

Facebook Page Content Analysis

For example, the data tells me that the client (bottom right) mainly posts pictures on Facebook, while its competitors post a lot more links and status updates.

So what type of content is right? To answer that question you need to know what type of content has the highest level of engagement.

Facebook Engagement

This is a familiar four-section quadrant with the upper right quadrant being the most desirable one. From looking at the engagement level it is clear that pictures (red) do provide the highest engagement levels while video (green) and links (yellow) have the lowest level of fan engagement.

Based on this data, one of the recommendations to our client was to continue posting pictures and to cut back on posting videos and links as their fans were not as engaged with that content.

To find out more about how you can produce more engaging content on Facebook, contact us today.


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Want More Live Conversions From Your Google Ads?

Google Ads Call Tracking

Want More Live Conversions From Your Google Ads?

Years ago I was talking with a client about a new campaign we were launching. I asked him how he would measure success. He pointed to the telephone and said “that will ring more often!”

Fast forward to today, business owners still want their marketing efforts to make the phone ring. Nearly half of all marketers say that driving phone calls from paid search ads is their top priority. Today Google Ads allows us to build “connect to call” features right into your ads. These ads are perfect to make it easier for potential customers to reach you. Would you like to get started? Let’s Start Strong together! Start Strong is our new Economic Recovery program to maximize and optimize your marketing efforts.

What is Google Connect To Call?

Google’s Connect To Call feature (also called Google Ads Call Tracking) allows you to track the number of prospective customers called your business after seeing or clicking one of your paid ads. Paid ads include Google search ads, Google call only ads and Google My Business listings.

 Why implement Google Ads Call Tracking in your ads?

Did you know that 43% of all search-related conversions happen over the phone? And that 65% of businesses find their most valuable customers are calling them because they are ready to do business?

People actively searching for your products and services are doing their research. When they are ready to buy, they are ready to talk. You can make it easier to start the conversation using Google Ads Call Tracking features.

What are the benefits of Google Ads Call Tracking?

In addition to providing you with a reliable, accurate and quantifiable way to track the effectiveness of offline conversions and phone conversations, Call Tracking also gives you actionable insights and comprehensive reporting on the true return of PPC investment – leads.

Google Ads Call Tracking allows us to:

Types of phone call conversions you can track

There are three types of phone call conversions you can track via Google Ads:

What’s possible for your business if the phones ring more often now? Would you like to get started? Let’s Start Strong together! Start Strong is our new Economic Recovery program to maximize and optimize your marketing efforts. Let’s have a conversation!

Not sure if you are ready to advertise yet? Then check out our post on 4 Reasons Why You Should Be Advertising Right Now.

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How to Amplify Your Content in Four Steps

Social Media Logos

How to Amplify Your Content in Four Steps

The Content Marketing Institute estimates that 83% of all marketers are utilizing some sort of content marketing strategy.

With so many brands producing blogs, videos, and whitepapers every day, companies can no longer rely on just developing compelling content to get their message out, which is why so many marketers are turning to content amplification—a strategy that focuses on increasing brand visibility across multiple channels.

One of the best ways for you to amplify your content is through paid social content amplification. With the average life of a Tweet on Twitter being four minutes, and the average Facebook update being seen by less than 5% of your fans, paid social amplification is a necessity. 

Paid social amplification keeps your content from getting lost in the social media void, so your content can get more exposure with your fans AND your potential fans.

Four of the best ways to use paid content amplification:

1. Social Media Ads

Unlike PPC ads (see below), social ads give you the option to hyper-target with ads featuring specific attributes of your target audience. You can target consumers who have certain likes and interests as well as consumers who fit within traditional demographics (age, gender, location, etc.). And, if you rotate your ads every couple of days, users won’t get ad fatigue, which means—they won’t stop clicking.

2. Paid Content Discovery

While Social Ads allow you to focus on your target audience, paid content discovery is a way to expose your content to a wider audience. Companies provide services that promote your content on sites such as CNN, Slate and ESPN, allowing you the potential to reach hundreds or thousands of people who you wouldn’t have reached on your own.

3. Pay Per Click

Traditional pay per click (PPC) advertising is another way to promote your content to new consumers and obtain a higher reach.

The data from PPC analytics, as well as social ads and paid content discovery, will help you understand what your ideal audience is looking for and give you the data to enhance your content marketing efforts.

4. Retargeting

Most marketers spend all their time and effort (and money) on bringing a visitor to their website once, but they fail to focus on making that visitor a returning visitor. That is where retargeting comes in. In its simplest form, retargeting is the paid strategy of bringing visitors back to your website.

Retargeting allows you to focus on people who have already shown interest in your content and/or business. Your goal is to bring them back to your site through social or banner ads. This is a strategy that should be a part of every content marketing plan. The goal of content marketing is to keep consumers coming back to your website and retargeting does just that.

Braveheart Digital has been working with companies since 2001 to develop and execute online marketing strategies that help companies achieve their goals. Contact us today to see how we can help you drive more traffic, leads, and sales to your website through content marketing amplification.


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What is geofencing?

What Is Geofencing?

What is Geofencing? Geofencing marketing is location-based ads where a user’s location is recorded via the internet, and advertisements are only shown to people in

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The Art Of Storytelling Through Data

Five Questions With Header

The Art Of Storytelling Through Data

In this episode of Five Questions with… I am talking with JLA Analytics founder Julie Alig about the art of storytelling with data in business and how to present complex stories with data. This is part two of the interview. You can find the first episode on Visual Storytelling With Data here

How do you come up with the question that you're going to tell the story around?

Definitely in a conversation, it’s a back-and-forth with the customer. That’s the way I do it. That’s the way I’ve found the strongest results come out.

I might be the person in the room who has the most experience with research methodology, with statistical tools, this, that, the other. I’m not the subject matter experts of what my clients are. In my mind, any good research project – kind of like this – needs to be a collaboration between the subject matter expert and the people with the tools and expertise. 

Working with my clients, I really like to have that kind of conversation or communication continue, and if anything I like to over-communicate, because I want to make sure that I’m going in the right direction. I think I responded to one of your posts on LinkedIn and said something like,”Let your client, or their questions, be your North Star.”

That needs to be what I’m focused on. That’s where I find the best results with my clients.

Four Tips To Successful Storytelling

I sit in all these meetings, I get Powerpointed to death, with slides with a gazillion data points on them. We spoke about taking this data, understanding the North Star, answering the questions, pulling it together so you can tell a story with it, but now you have to deliver it.

What’s your tips and tricks for boiling that down, putting it onto paper so that people in the room can understand it and so when it gets passed around outside the room they can still follow the story.

That’s the question isn’t it? That’s the 64 million dollar question!

I think that’s where a lot of your skill and expertise come into play. You really have to distill down all the findings into something very short and small. I forget who but there was a British author who said,

"I would've written a shorter letter if I had the time."

1. You have to be concise and get right to the point.

 I would say the tip is: A – keep going back to those original questions and make sure that you’re still focused on those. B – I really get a lot out of visuals.

2. Communicate so much with visuals

I was just on a call with a colleague last week, and she was talking about a process, and I whipped out my journal and drew a little picture, and held it up for her, and she was like,”that’s exactly it!” She got it.

So I think we’ve all been in those situations. The danger though is that you’re going to load up too many ideas and too many concepts into one poor little graphic or image. I really like using maybe a couple of visuals to tell a story, and in a storyboard kind of manner.

3. Stick to the basics, and throw everything else in the appendix.

 That’s kind of what I used when I was writing my dissertation in grad school. All those great supporting analyses, stick ’em in the appendix.

I love that storyboard analogy. It’s like these are the ones you can always pop out and say, “Okay are we gonna use these images in this order? Is it telling the story that we want?” Instead of “well there’s a slide, and now there’s another slide…”

4. That you and your client or customer are on the same page.

 So, especially from that first slide, statement of the problem, statement of the question, and what you’re going to do with it.


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What Is Geofencing?

What is geofencing?

What is Geofencing?

Geofencing marketing is location-based ads where a user’s location is recorded via the internet, and advertisements are only shown to people in a specific location target.

Marketing professionals use geofencing to pinpoint specific advertisements based on the target audiences exact location.

The targeted users participate in location targeting when they use applications or programs where they are prompted to enter their location or allow a web service to access their location.

Geofencing ad campaigns are ideal to find consumers based on exact locations and serve “hyper-local” advertisements and messages. Geofencing campaigns can be set up across multiple types of online advertising campaigns, such as search engine advertising, display advertising, remarketing, and video advertising.

Here are some examples of how businesses can use geofencing to enhance their digital marketing efforts and unleash the full power of geofencing marketing:

What is geofencing?

Geofencing advertising is supported by Google Adwords, Facebook and Instagram. Once you select Locations you can expand the geofencing options in the Google Adwords campaign.

For most local geofencing marketing campaigns, you will select the option of entering a location.  Most of the tools have preset locations already loaded, especially large or highly populated areas.

The best part is Geofencing is incredibly affordable. Neither Facebook nor Google Adwords charges any additional fees to set up geofencing campaigns.

Not only is geofencing cheap and relatively easy to do, it’s effective. You add more specific targeting layers to local online marketing campaigns, which boosts performance.

For local businesses, the more locally targeted your message is, the better it’s going to perform when your customers are local.


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Four Reasons Why You Should Be Advertising Right Now

Small Business Advertising Package

Four Reasons Why You Should Be Advertising Right Now

When the Stay at Home order in New England gets lifted, are you positioned to reach out to past customers and let them know that you are open for business?

The normal reaction to a recession or global pandemic is to cut company spending. And the first place they go to make those cuts is usually marketing. But that is a big mistake.

There are endless reasons why company’s that choose to invest in digital advertising when times are tough also do better in the long run.

Here are four reasons why we think you should be advertising right now. 

Small Business Advertising Package

#1 It’s cheap right now!

Both Facebook and Google have reported a decline in advertising revenue due to the coronavirus. In essence, there’s more digital ad space available right now than buyers as companies who are too focused on the short-term have paused their ad spend. 

According to a study from IAB, digital ad spend for the March-to-June period is expected to be down 33%. It has not been this cheap to acquire a customer from paid advertising in years. That window will close soon.

#2 You need to maximize sales

If revenue is an issue, you need more sales. To get more sales, your consumers need to know what you’re offering. That’s where advertising comes in.

Companies have been using Braveheart Digital Marketing for close to two decades to drive leads, sales and revenue through their website. Let’s Start Strong together! Start Strong is our new Economic Recovery program to maximize and optimize your marketing efforts. Let’s have a conversation!

#3 Maximize what you get from your ad budget.

Did you know that 43% of all search-related conversions happen over the phone? And that 65% of businesses find their most valuable customers are calling them because they are ready to do business?

Let us set up an advertising campaign where you only pay when a conversion (lead form completion or phone call) actually happens. This is a great way to maximize your ad budget.

#4 You’ll gain market share

While your competitors are cutting back on spend, there’s a room for your brand to take precedence in the mind of your target consumers. This is a rare opportunity for smart brands to shift the whole competitive landscape in their favor in the long run.

If you have gone dark with your advertising and are ready to emerge stronger and clearer, we can help you with our Let’s Start Strong together!

Start Strong is our new Economic Recovery program to maximize and optimize your marketing efforts. Let’s have a conversation!  Contact us today to get started.

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Visual Storytelling With Data

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Visual Storytelling With Data

In this episode of Five Questions with… I sit down with JLA Analytics founder Julie Alig to talk about visual storytelling with data. This is part one of a two-part interview.

Can you tell the audience a little bit about your background Julie?

At heart, I’m basically a storyteller. As I look back I’ve really always been interested in stories. It was in grad school that I really got interested a lot more in data, using data and marrying that with stories to be able to really have an impact. I went to the University of Chicago, I got my doctorate in Political Science, I did a lot of work in quantitative methods, survey research, that sort of thing.

What I really wanted to do was be able to understand how to use data, and how to use it in a very honest, methodologically rigorous way, so that people could really feel what the story is in it, and beyond that to figure out, “what do we do with that? Where do we go next?” 

And so that’s what my company does. We work with clients that have a lot of data and don’t know what story it’s telling, and who need someone with the tools and the expertise to come in and work with them to figure out what’s going on and plot a course for going forward.

Common basis of understanding

With COVID-19 there’s just so much data that’s out there. I think Andrew Cuomo has done a really good job of visual storytelling with data by condensing it down into understandable parts.

Most data analysts do not do this. When you have a complex dataset, what are some of the tips and tactics that analysts can use to sort of take that and tell a story around it that people understand.

With a complex data set, you can answer a whole lot of questions, and you can do a lot of really fun stuff. I think we’re all pretty aware of all the powerful machine-learning algorithms out there, a lot of these very, very complex statistical analyses. I find, honestly, that if you can’t tell a story, even if it’s a complex story, if you can’t tell it in a very simple way then what good is it?

 You might have all of this data, you might have these really cool hierarchical clustering algorithms or whatever you call them – logistic regression of whatever – but if you can’t get down to and answer that question that your customer or client has then what good is it?

I think that’s where thinking of this in terms of visually telling a story with data helps me, and I think it helps other people to think about breaking that down. The first thing you need to do as a practitioner when you start having a conversation about a really complex topic is to make sure you find a common basis of understanding with your audience, with our client.

If you don’t have that common basis, that foundation from the get-go, you’ve lost them. It doesn’t matter how great your R2 is or this, that, the other. It’s over their head and you’ve lost them, and what good is it then?

So I really try to stay true to what the original questions were, and really think about how someone is going to use the data. We all fall under these traps of going off on tangents or going down rabbit holes. For me, analysis is really iterative.

Coming back to the questions, answering a few more questions, coming up with a few more findings, and then going back and iterating. Almost like a palimpsest.

Presenting too much information

What I find a lot of times is that analysts we work with or have seen elsewhere, they’re so focused on showing that they’re the smartest in the room that they just go really deep. They lose everybody, because yes they are the smartest one, because they own the data, but you have to be able to – as you say – bring that up to that story point at the top that says, “these are the terms that we can all understand, and this is the story part that’s around that.” 

That’s powerful when it works, it’s a really tough meeting when it doesn’t, when you go too far with that.

Yes And full disclosure, I’ve been doing this for 20, 25 years, I was a young analyst way back in the day! There is something really cool about when you’re able to find something that allows you to dig and dig and dig, and come up with something. You get excited about it and you want to share it!

I’m sure I’ve been guilty of that in the past, but you need to come back to,”Okay, so what? What are we gonna do with this? Does it really answer the question?” 

And if it doesn’t, okay, let’s stick a pin in it, stick it over here in the parking lot and get back to the question at hand: how can we really help the client or the customer to make a difference?



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