Indicate Media Captures The News: Monday, March 27, 2017

If you are anything like us, you also hate rainy Monday’s. What a drag to start the week with umbrellas and wet shoes. As the saying goes, it can only get better from here. Here are the top news stories we found interesting, relevant and valuable to start your week.

Instagram Is Now Allowing Users to Save Their Live Videos
With the live-content mania raging stronger than ever, most social media platforms have rolled out new live streaming features for their users. After introducing their 'Instagram Live’ feature last year, the Facebook-owned photo-video giants announced that users are now able to save their live streams directly from their phone to their camera roll. This AdWeek article covers the ins and outs of this new feature that promises to add more spark to the way we share our stories.

Disputed by multiple fact-checkers: Facebook rolls out new alert to combat fake news
After one of the more interesting presidential races in US history, few topics have talked about as much as “fake news.” As validity concerns topple over what we share with our peers on a daily basis, Facebook announced a new initative intending to put an end to fictional stories over issues that matter. This Guardian piece further explains the advantages of this new fact check.

PR Insight of The Week
How Advancements In Artificial Intelligence Will Impact Public Relations

As technology advancements move forward, human value is being progressively overlooked as each day goes by. And, there might be a good reason for that. In a field like PR, human validity and intuition still plays a huge role in securing leads and successful results for your clients but how long will that last? This informative Forbes piece illustrates just how long we have left until machines start REALLY making their impact in the PR world.

Have a safe and productive week!

Indicate Media Captures The News: March 20, 2017

Happy Monday “Captures The News” readers! The sun is out, its the first day of spring, the snow is melting and many of us are still recovering from St. Paddy’s Day activities (we hope you didn’t spend too much of your pot of gold)! To celebrate spring, check out these three top stories we found interesting, relevant, and valuable to businesses today. 

YouTube launches Uptime, an experimental app for watching videos with friends
Do you remember the first time you saw that one YouTube video you had to share with your friends? Social interaction has come a very long way and, in fact, it’s only a matter of time until we can integrate ourselves into actual videos. Think about that for a minute. However, for now, Area 120 (part of the Google team) has developed the Uptime app that lets you and your friends all rejoice while watching videos simultaneously. The app’s dynamic design even includes “reaction” features inspired by today’s live-streaming services (e.g. Periscope and Facebook live). TechCrunch wrote this informative piece on the new app, and if you want to join in the party they even included an invite code to get you in.

The way people are talking about something in the world is in itself news. … Increasingly, the conversation itself is driving that news cycle.
Trends come and go, and so does technology. Who even remembers MySpace? Most of us hardly do. While social media continues to be reinvented with the next big thing, Twitter has remained constant. In the last few years, the 140 character social media platform has found a new home for journalists and politicians. From finding reliable sources to newsgathering via TweetDeck to reading the President’s tweets and finding trending hashtags, Twitter seems to have it all. Andrew Fitzgerald (Twitter’s Director of Curation) was featured in this NiemanReports piece on how the social media platform is changing social media’s role in disseminating news.

PR Insight of the Week
Five Common Pitfalls and Best-Practices of Measuring Marketing and Advertising Performance

One could argue (and some do) there hasn’t been a more exciting and invigorating time to be alive than the world we live in today. For marketers, this feeling is amplified. Due to ever-evolving digital advancements, marketers now have insurmountable access to audiences, data and cloud platforms like never before. However, with the positives, there is always the negatives. One wrong move can tarnish a brand’s entire reputation sending all leads and customer loyalty out the door. Thankfully, MarketingProps understands the importance of measuring performance and has compiled a list of five common pitfalls to think about, along with tips to avoid said pitfalls.

We hope you enjoy the rest of the week and remember, never iron a four leaf clover. 
You don’t want to press your luck!
 

Indicate Media Captures The News: March 13, 2017

Just when we thought winter was about to wrap and 75-degree weather was right around the corner, we are now preparing for a blizzard tomorrow. And not the one you get at Carvel. Get out your shovel's everyone, this one is expected to be big. Here we go again. Below are our three top weekly stories to accompany your hot cup of joe while we wish for warmer days.

 

Cinnamon Toast hoverboards and other sad marketing ploys to make cereal cool again
When’s the last time you woke up with a craving for that tasty bowl of cereal? Unless you’re a devoted cereal enthusiast, it’s probably been a long time. Millennials are eating less and less cereal and it’s not because they aren’t getting an awesome little prize at the end of the bag. This generation has been identified as one of the top health-conscious bunches out there, which explains their hesitancy in trusting Tony the Tiger and his Frosted Flakes. In this witty article, Mic.com shows some of cereal companies' saddest marketing ploys to make cereal cool again and why Cinnamon Toast hover boards are making millennials the “cereal killers” of the 21st century.

Most consumers not being turned on by connected home, study finds
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably noticed in one way or another how we are rapidly progressing into the digital age. From Apple Watches to self-driving cars and VR gaming, you name it; the future is happening right before our eyes. But just how comfortable are we humans, when accepting this futuristic (tech) revolution into our everyday routine? The folks at TechCrunch wrote an enticing article highlighting the public’s initial rejection of fancy tech gadgets being implemented into their homes. Just don’t go telling your friends Siri and Alexa about this!

PR Insight of the Week
Tools For Mastering Public Relations 2.0

Expanding on the notion of technology inevitably changing the way we work, think and act, it’s almost impossible to think of an easier way of delivering a message out to thousands of listeners other than through the internet. This presents an advantage to the common man or woman who is trying to promote their new small business or innovative idea. The Huffington Post put together this slick mini-list presenting the top digital tools to optimize your social media buzz. You can Tweet @ them later with your gratitude.

Stay warm and don’t forget to eat your cereal!

Indicate Media Captures The News: March 6, 2017

With spring right around the corner, it’s almost time to start putting your gloves and winter hats away and start bringing out your shorts and running sneakers! But before the flowers start blossoming and the birds start singing, we still have to make it through these last remaining frosty days. We at Indicate Media compiled these three top stories we found fascinating, engaging and worthwhile to stimulate the rest of your winter.


Music Will be Made by Robots in The Future, Investors are Betting
Ever listen to an electronic remix of a song and think to yourself, “Wow, this sounds like it could’ve been made by robots!” Well, although you’re partially right, (they were most likely created using digital instruments) there was still a DJ or a producer who was there orchestrating and putting the final touches to that Exclusive Hot Club Mix. However, as Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to progress, investors are starting to predict that AI technology will not only be producing these virtual instruments and song-recognition apps but robots will be composing music entirely from scratch! That’s right, your child’s “Symphony No. 9” might be completely stemmed from the inner boards of a computer system. Check out this story from Mic Network explaining why Beethoven might be turning over in his grave.

Amazon’s Massive AWS Outage was Caused by Human Error
If you were having a hard time finding access to that GIF to send to your pals in your Tuesday morning group chat, you can rest assured you weren’t the only one. That’s because GIPHY, along with dozens of other Internet giants such as Buzzfeed and Pinterest, were all down due to an outage at Amazon’s AWS cloud computing division, causing hundreds of websites in the World Wide Web to momentarily shut down. While it didn’t exactly break the internet, it certainly provoked a lag that left us all wondering just what exactly was going on. In this Recode article, reporter Jason Del Rey takes us through the cause of the outage and how Amazon was able to put their servers back in place.

PR Insight of the Week
A Look Back at The 2016 Public Relations Winners and Losers

From the Oscars’ Best Picture fiasco to Lady Gaga’s show-stopping 13-minute Super Bowl Performance, it’s safe to say that 2017 has already produced several astounding moments, reminding us the indispensable need for having a good PR team. In this article, The Huffington Post takes a look back at the PR winners and losers of 2016. For what it’s worth, it’s always crucial to keep in mind not only how you perceive yourself but how you transcend your image out to the public.

Have a safe and lag-free rest of the week!
 

Why 'On Time'​ Can Make or Break Your Brand

“Running late. Be there soon.”

We’ve all gotten some variation of this text message at one point or another. And it’s not just individuals running late; when was the last time a doctor’s appointment actually started on time? Tardiness – once a black mark on your grade-school report card – has become the norm in civil society and standard business practice.

You may have heard that we got an extra “leap” second on New Years. That probably wasn’t enough to make us all punctual again, but in the spirit of 2017 new beginnings, let’s make it our resolution to not be late.

But why, you ask? When we’re on the waiting end, we can’t be very annoyed, because let’s be honest: We all do it too. It’s not even our fault; it’s life as we know it. And besides, what’s a few minutes between friends and colleagues or businesses and clients?

In fact, there’s a lot at stake when it comes to business. E-commerce sites live and die by the “3-second rule,” which is based on research that shows online shoppers will bounce from your website if it doesn’t load within that time frame. A three-second threshold may seem extreme, but in this on-demand, instant-gratification world we now live in, you keep customers waiting at your own peril.

And it’s not just about sales conversions online. I would go even further and say that for any professional service business, being on time is essential to your brand. Every email that isn’t returned promptly, and each additional minute someone has to wait on the phone, can devalue your brand. Personally, I follow the “3-minute rule”: I show up on calls 3 minutes ahead of time. I’ve grown to enjoy hold music.

A writer for the BBC not long ago observed that being on time is “a dying art” except in pockets of punctuality around the world, such as Switzerland (home of those master timekeepers) and Japan (where one bullet train’s average delay is 36 seconds). But after a stint in Switzerland, where he felt peer-pressured into being on time, the author found himself agreeing with the British author Evelyn Waugh, who said, as only Evelyn Waugh could, “Punctuality is the virtue of the bored.”

Oh, Evelyn. Imagine how he would feel now, with the Internet, smart phones, and VR to keep him from ever being bored – or on time.

In the time Before Mobile Phones (B.M.P.) – and here I risk sounding like a grumpy old man – people would, generally speaking, show up at the appointed place, at the appointed time. There was simply no way to get in touch with the person you were meeting to change course or push an appointment back once that person was en route. (Unless you happened to know the number of the pay phone right on that corner where you were supposed to meet, and your friend was inclined to pick up ringing pay phones. Honestly, that’s the stuff of a 1950s spy movie.)

Even if you grew up B.M.P., it can be hard to remember what it was like not being connected 24/7, not being able to change plans on a dime. Seriously, how did people manage to get anything done back in the old days?

The convenience of technology, of course, can be a double-edged sword. Mobile phones mean you don’t have to be chained to your desk – just to your phone.

Which brings me back to sitting at a coffee shop at the appointed time, waiting for the person I’m meeting, who’s running late and will be here soon.

There are people who set their clocks and watches 5 minutes fast to try to trick themselves into keeping on schedule. Do what you must, but the point is, if late is the new norm, then it’s worth making “on time” the new standout. What if being punctual becomes an important part of our brand and image, a reflection of how we value other people’s time and, in fact, our own too? It would be refreshing.

Maybe we can start a (really efficient, really timely) revolution. We can be the change.

Gotta go – I have an appointment to keep.

Looking to Boost Your Business with PR? 5 Tips from a Pro

Public relations is a vital component of any brand’s marketing strategy. Through consistent, deliberate, and strategic storytelling, it builds a brand’s awareness and credibility, as well as strengthens relationships.

But brands sometimes use PR as a one-stop marketing strategy to fix whatever ails them, assuming that in eliciting the aid of an agency, their name will be splashed about in the press and revenue will suddenly skyrocket. And it’s just not that simple—this gap between expectations and reality doesn’t benefit either side of the PR firm/client relationship.

In an attempt to strengthen this relationship, let’s add some transparency to the conversation about how PR firms and brands can best work together.

1. Approach PR as part of a larger strategy

Most brands understand that to generate results and maximize ROI, they need to use PR, marketing, and advertising to generate leads and sales.

Frequently, prospective clients approach my firm with goals like driving sales or announcing a capital raise, asking what we can do. Before we can answer, the potential clients need to fill in blanks about upcoming news, how their products are innovative, and whether customers and investors will go on the record. Only then can we thoughtfully consider how we can work together.

PR can reinforce a brand’s presence and message, but rarely does it build one from scratch. PR is a formidable weapon in your campaign arsenal, but in the digital world, a brand shouldn’t stop there. They should also think about ad campaigns, email marketing, SEO, and social media, to name a few.

2. Understand why your company exists

Before a PR firm can begin a communication campaign, the brand must have a well-defined image, story and values. Brands that can’t identify what they stand for, where they come from, and who they’re targeting need to do some soul searching before anything else. While PR firms can help you think about and capture these things, they can’t pull these elements out of thin air.

3. Tailor your message

Like many things in life, there isn’t one PR campaign template that applies to every company. Today, brand communications is all about authenticity, which means messaging should be tailored to your unique brand and audience. The right PR campaign for your brand may not be right for your widget-producing neighbor, the biggest brands in America, or even your competitors.

4. Define and agree on objectives

While we have metrics to measure lots of data today, very little exists to standardize whether a PR team is doing a good job. You can look at traffic numbers, you can benchmark media coverage month-to-month, you can leverage Google Analytics and other platforms, but because there are no standardized metrics, PR firms and clients need to align upfront about objectives, communicating and collaborating from there.

5. Work as true partners

A PR firm should be an extension of your brand. That means clients should include PR firms in strategy meetings and work together like true partners. Without regular collaboration and insight, you’re doing PR (and yourself) an injustice—you can’t just hand dollars over to a PR firm, ask for some media, and reappear a few weeks later to assess progress. It’s not the best use of your spend, and it won’t yield the best results.

Indicate Media Captures The News: September 12, 2016

Alas, Labor Day is a distant memory and it’s back to a full work week. Who's ready for next summer? We kid, the fall is also a great time of year. Anyway, to kick the post summer season into high gear check out these three top stories we found interesting, relevant, and valuable to businesses today. 

How Algorithms Rule Our Working Lives
If you’re anything like us, you are greatly intrigued by algorithms. That’s right - algorithms. The reason is because when you dig just under the surface, you quickly begin to see the ‘not so sexy’ side of algorithms. And while algorithms have become the norm for so much of how we live in the digital world, it’s very important we identify any harm they may be causing, in addition to identifying their needed place in the world. In this article that originally appeared The Guardian, reporter Cathy O’Neil takes an extremely interesting look at algorithms and both the upside and downside to using them. This is a fascinating read. 

The FCC Has a Plan to Free Us From Our Cable Boxes
While most of us probably still have cable in some form or another, it is a safe bet that almost none of us actually follow what is happening in the cable industry. And, if you already decided to unplug from cable, why would you even care. Well, for all of us here’s why: The FCC has announced a proposal that would force pay-TV providers to offer apps that let you bypass set-top-boxes altogether. Instead of plugging a cable box into your TV, you could just use cable through a device of your choice. This not only means no more paying useless dollars to rent a cable box but also that freedom to choose has prevailed. That may be a too simplistic overview but either way, check out this story in Wired explaining the who, what, where, when and why. 

PR Insight of the Week
Why Digital PR Means More to CMOs Today

Hard data is the name of the game these days. A channel that doesn’t produce solid data is a broken channel in the digital world. Yet, PR has traditionally been a channel very hard to measure. Can you see the disconnect? In this article, Website Magazine takes a smart look at digital PR and data and gives a nice overview on ways PR practitioners can think about data. All in all, this is a good read for those of us in the industry. 

Enjoy the week ahead!

 

 

Indicate Media Captures The News: August 29, 2016

One week left until Labor Day. Begrudgingly (to at least some of us) we are about to turn the corner on summer and head into the fall. If you are one of the unlucky few working inside this week, check out these three top stories we found interesting, relevant, and valuable to businesses today. 

The Unfortunate Truth About Requesting And Providing References
If you are a service firm like Indicate Media, your references are likely a key strategic component to your new business initiatives. Yet, many times when courting potential customers they’ll ask for references early on in the process. This always creates a conundrum for us. On one hand, we understand why a potential customer would like to speak with a reference to get a better sense of our style and ability to generate results, on the other hand we can’t just give over our client references to any old company who may or may not be serious about a working relationship. What do we do? Here is an interesting article by Ian Altman in Forbes that nicely sums up the unfortunate truth about references. 

'This format has arrived' – The virtual reality revolution comes to news at CNN
We have long heard the rumors of how technology will revolutionize journalism. Of course with the advent of social media and the 24/7 news cycle, one could legitimately argue it already has. True. Yet, we have also seen many broken technology promises in journalism like the adoption of 3D or even the impact on citizen journalism. However, it looks like the next big journalistic revolution is here to stay and its name is ……. virtual reality. While you are probably not surprised, you may be shocked of exactly what this means for the relationship between the audience and stories they consume. You have got to check this out.

PR Insight of the Week
Five of the Coolest PR Strategies from Around the World

Doing business around the world usually tends to require multiple strategies. What might work in the U.S. may fall flat in say Malaysia. Kara Alaimo, an Assistant Professor of Public Relations at Hofstra University took a look at this very concept in her new book titled, “Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street: How to Practice Global Public Relations and Strategic Communication”. While this blog series isn’t designed to promote books, we did think Kara’s research was extremely interesting and worth sharing. Here is a sample of how PR professionals focus on specific audiences around the world.

Enjoy the week ahead!

Indicate Media Captures The News: August 16, 2016

“I love walking outside and sweating before I get to work,” said absolutely no one ever. It remains hot outside here in New York City. If you are staying inside to beat the heat, check out these three top stories we found interesting, relevant, and valuable to businesses today. 

It’s About to Get a Lot Easier for Apps to Talk to Each Other
There is a big trend in the digital world called IFTTT. For those of you who don’t know, that means ‘if this then that’ and it refers to connecting one thing to another. An example would be when you take a picture on instagram, it automatically uploads to your dropbox or if your fitness tracker knows when you wake up, it can automatically turn on your lights. Today’s exciting news is that developers can now embed IFTTT within apps enabling users to connect hundreds of apps together. That means that the world of apps is about to become more like the web as apps readily exchange info with other apps. This is a game changer. Check out why by reading here.

How Nike Brilliantly Ruined Olympic Marketing Forever
The Rio Olympics are in full swing and so far (with another week to go) we have seen some extremely exciting competitions. Swimming, Gymnastics, Rugby, Tennis, Track - if you are into sports and/or find yourself with national pride for your home country, nothing really compares to the Olympics. That is why brands in the digital age love to capitalize on the excitement. However, this Olympics that has proved difficult. The U.S. Olympic Committee has placed ironclad regulations, backed by U.S. trademark law, that restrain non-sponsoring brands from saying anything even vaguely evocative of the Olympics. A casual mention of Rio on Facebook? A congratulatory tweet to a gold medalist? Even tweeting the term "gold medal"? It is prohibited. While we could discuss the virtues of free speech, for this article we thought you may be interested in finding out why this is the case and what incident led to these ironclad regulations. It’s a very interesting story you can check out here.

PR Insight of the Week
Changing Currency for Investor Relations Pros

There’s been a push to get corporate CEOs to become more active on social media and begin to leverage its networking power. At the same time, investor relations professional have strived to find the right balance between using digital assets vs. using operating in the same fashion as they have for years. While it is clear there are arguments for both, everyone understands that when it comes to the disclosure of financial information, all regulatory requirements must be met. The following article does a good job at explaining the current IR / PR landscape and takes a look how things may play out in the future. 

Enjoy the week ahead!

Indicate Media Captures The News: August 8, 2016

After some time off for some fun in the sun, we're back with this week's three top stories we found interesting, relevant, and valuable to businesses today. 

Disrupting ‘I Do’: 41 Startups Transforming The Wedding Industry In One Infographic
In case you were wondering, the wedding business remains a great business. According to a recent survey by The Knot, US couples’ average wedding spend has grown to $32,000+. Our calculations tell us that is one very expensive, albeit very special day. It makes sense why numerous funded companies with strong backers are paying attention. Here is an interesting infographic by CB Insights highlighting 41 startups transforming the wedding industry,

NBC Stumbles Into the Olympics With Lowest Opening Ceremony Ratings Since 1992
The 2016 Summer Olympics are in full swing and nobody cares. The opening ceremony coverage was down 28% from the 2012 London games, which isn’t a great sign for NBC and its advertisers. After the opening ceremony, social media buzzed with complaints about NBC's decision to air and stream the ceremony on a one-hour delay, and what viewers saw as an excessive number of commercials during the ceremony. NBC of course tried to defend itself blaming the low ratings on …. binge watching. Fascinating. See what they had to say here.

PR Insight of the Week
Visual Journalism is Just Journalism

In this article Vilan Trub looks at the future of visual journalism. Vilan asks the question, ‘What does multimedia mean in the future?’ and takes a look at a Reuters Institute report titled “Digital News Project: Journalism, Media and Technology Predictions 2016” to answer his question. This is a strong read for those of us in communications looking to stay ahead of the competition. 

Enjoy the week ahead!

Indicate Media Captures The News: July 25, 2016

‘It’s hot outside,’ say most of us across the country. What better time to catch up on your reading than when it is too hot to go outside?  Check out these three top stories we found interesting, relevant, and valuable to businesses today. 

These Are The Companies With The Best Work-Life Balance
We can all agree that having a good life / work balance is paramount for long term success. For anyone who runs a business or is a direct manager of employees, it’s a no-brainer (in today’s digital and distracted world) to make sure hardworking employees have the time to explore and enjoy the many other things happening in their lives. Yet, some companies understand this just a little bit more than others. Check out which companies have the best Life Work Balance according to Fast Company. 

8 Secrets Of Great Communicators
‘Closeness-communication bias’ is a term recently used by researchers at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business to explain our tendency to overestimate our ability to communicate when interacting with people we know well. In other words, even though you think you know someone well, you may have no idea what they are thinking and if you are actually breaking through to them. However, there is some good news. Check out these eight strategies that can help to overcome the communication bias that may be holding us back with everyone we encounter, especially those we know well. 

PR Insight of the Week
5 Ways to Score a Winning Media Tour

For many of us in the PR business, media tours, when executed perfectly, can be a top moment of the year. Unfortunately for most of us outside of Hollywood and the sporting world, media tours are few and far between. However, they do roll around every so often and it’s very important to be ready when they do. Here are 5 ways to score a winning media tour.

Enjoy the week ahead!

 

Indicate Media Captures The News: July 18, 2016

Check out these three top stories we found interesting, relevant and of value to businesses today. 

Leadership Lessons from CEO Coach Bill Campbell
Leadership is hard. And in our world of 24/7 365 communication, it’s even harder to get and keep someone’s attention (even if they are sitting in the same office as you).  But every now and then someone special comes along. It has even been said that a Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs type only comes around every 100 years or so. For that very reason (and without any trepidation to place him in this category), today we pay tribute to the great Bill Campbell and the numerous lessons on leadership we can learn from him. Check this out

Line goes public: what you need to know about the year's biggest tech IPO
If you are anything like us, and we assume you are if you are reading this, then you are extremely interested in knowing what the hottest companies out there are doing and if they are doing something you can even relate to (shout out to SnapChat and the dog picture my niece took of me this weekend). As we are over half-way through the year, what better time time than the dog days of summer to check the temperature on the 2016 IPO market and learn about what’s hot. Take a look.

PR Insight of the Week
5 PR Crimes Startups Are Guilty Of Committing

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at these things) it’s no longer as easy as building a business and then sitting back and waiting for people to come. The world is busy and complex and requires strategic effort to build a successful company. You have to get out there and repeatedly tell everyone who you are and what you can do for them. Today, if you try and wing a PR campaign, you risk making a series of mistakes. Click here to learn what they are. 

Enjoy the week ahead!

Why Winning The Moment Still Matters: Series Finale

Over the course of the past few months, We’ve explored in-depth the concept of Winning The Moment. We're the first to agree that at a high level, it’s not a complex concept or revolutionary idea for the public relations industry. However, the concept does have many subtleties that shouldn’t be dismissed as too obvious. 

For instance, there’s nothing obvious about positioning your company for success by understanding that each day provides distinct opportunities to win moments with customers, shareholders, employees, colleagues and/or clients. There’s also nothing obvious about thinking several moves ahead (like a good chess player) about your communications strategy. And finally, there’s nothing obvious about learning from others how brands won them over (and thus ‘the moment’), all of which are themes I explored in our first three posts. 

In this series finale, we take one final look at how smart brands can think about and plan for the moments that are unique to their business.

Regardless of what industry you’re in, it’s likely that you deal with two facts of modern business: increased competition and an over-saturated marketing communications landscape. The result is more companies saying more things to your potential customers and clients every day. Sit back and you’ll disappear, jump in and you risk being just another voice clamoring for attention. 

You’re probably familiar with Blue Ocean Strategy, the best-selling book that described how brands like Cirque du Soleil and Southwest Airlines set themselves apart by creating new categories and positioning themselves away from traditional competitors. In a similar way, brands can find Blue Oceans in communication strategy, distinguishing themselves by finding moments their competitors may not even see and/or are prepared to address.

Remember, smart brands don’t wait for good fortune to shine upon them, nor do they rush headlong into the crowded waters without a plan. 

Below I’ve outlined four things to think about when developing strategies to identify, create and leverage these Blue Ocean moments. 

Not Big Data, Smart Data
By now, most brands have accepted that marketing is both an art and a science. In fact, it’s likely that your marketing department has access to too much unstructured data, and because of this they’re either focusing on the wrong things, or not sure where to focus at all. Social Media analytics have come a long way, and with SaaS platforms like Unmetric’s Discover product, brands can uncover real insights into past social media campaigns and find under-utilized opportunities to speak with customers and prospects. It is about using all this data to know and understand what has worked in the past and leverage it for the future. 

Culture Club
In the past, marketers had a tendency to focus on themselves and forget that people think far less about their brands than they do. Understanding significant cultural touchpoints of your audience is often a pathway to creating moments. This is more than just throwing money at a relevant celebrity, it means understanding the language, preferences and behaviors of your audience. Hard work, yes, but the type that can pay huge dividends when you send just the right message. Leveraging all the latest technological advances in email marketing is an excellent way to speak to a customer on his or her terms. 

Back To The Future
It’s become a cliche, but there’s wisdom in hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s words: “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.”  Winning the moment often means seeing when the moment is going to happen, before it happens.  Smart marketers use their experience to create theories about what will happen in the future, and then build marketing communications strategies to position their brands accordingly. Looking towards the future allows you to not only share your vision, but explain why your company is poised to succeed in that future. 

This Time It’s Personal
Moments are often personal. Instead of listing off 11 new product features, most of which your prospects don’t care about and never asked for, share the story of how your designer created one feature because it addressed a personal pain point. 

Today’s successful marketers use a potent blend of art and science to put themselves in a position to win the moments that matter. Now is the time to create your winning strategy before the next moment passes you by.

We hope you have enjoyed the series. If you are interested in learning more and speaking with Indicate Media about your PR objectives, please let us know.

Indicate Media Captures The News: June 27, 2016

We hope everyone is having a great summer. As we race towards the July 4th holiday weekend, we remained focused on kicking off the week by sharing three top stories we found interesting, relevant and of value to businesses today. Check them out below.

How NYC is Shaping Into a Major Hub for Virtual Reality
Virtual reality continues to be all the rage with numerous companies entering the ecosystem weekly. Adoption in sectors such as media, entertainment, design and education continue to push the technology into the mainstream. To date, we have seen a large convergence of VR companies popping up in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and one stealth company in South Florida.  So it should come as no surprise why NYC companies are not only getting into the mix but beginning to dominate the market. This is a great article to learn which industries in New York are ripe for VR disruption. 

Who owns the news consumer: Social media platforms or publishers?
This is a great question considering there is millions of dollars at stake. The relationship between news organizations and platform companies have become far closer far more quickly than anyone predicted. This intriguing question prompted the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School to conduct a study looking at how newsrooms are adapting to the rising influence of technology companies. Take a read to see all the results. What we found perhaps most interesting is during the research, newsroom personnel at every level expressed anxiety about the loss of control over the destination of stories, the power of their brand and the relationship with the reader. 

PR Insight of the Week
The best social media campaigns of 2016 (so far)

With half of 2016 already over and with summer now in full swing, we thought it made sense to take a look back at the social media campaigns that so far this year have made headlines.  You may be wondering why PR people should pay attention to social media campaigns? The answer is simple: it’s our job to understand the pulse of the industries we work in. What makes an audience tick and what gets them excited. By understanding this, we are better able to counsel our clients, create the right messages, and land top media opportunities.  Rarely do things happen in a box anymore so the more we know, the better. Take a look

Enjoy the week ahead!

Indicate Media Captures The News: June 20, 2016

Happy first day of summer! We hope everyone gets in some nice beach time while the sun is shining bright. Below please find Indicate Media’s weekly roundup of industry news, reports and insights from today’s leading voices. We focus on news stories we find interesting, relevant and of value to businesses today.

The Secret to Negotiating Is Reading People’s Faces
In this extremely interesting Harvard Business Review article, Kasia Wezowski, founder of the Center for Body Language, explores the art of negotiating. In business, the ability to read your counterpart in real time can be the difference between winning and losing a deal and/or simply being able to charge more money for services. The good news is, as Wezowski explains, you can always learn to be a better negotiator. Check out this article for tips and insights. 

How To Put More Emotion In Storytelling
Why have digital advertisers forgotten how to make people feel something? For any of the millions of us who faithfully followed the show Mad Men, we understand that advertisers in the 1950s and 1960s understood one fundamental thing: the goal of advertising is NOT to convince people, or to make them think something. It is to make them FEEL something. Numerous studies have shown that people don’t make decisions with the rational parts of their brain. All big decisions are made with the right side of our brain based on feelings. We later justify those feelings with the rational, left side of the brain. So, what does this all mean when it comes to storytelling? Pixar veteran, Matthew Luhn explains. For anyone in the business of storytelling, this is an article not to miss. 

PR Insight of the Week
Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2016

At Indicate Media we love taking a look at the latest reports to come out highlighting all things related to media, marketing and public relations. This time around, we take a look at the 2016 Digital News Report from the Reuters Institute. The report focuses in-depth on how people today are finding, reading and digesting their news. Spoiler alert: It should come as no surprise that social media is at the top of the list for news consumption today. What we found most interesting perhaps is that publishers around the world are facing unprecedented levels of disruption to their business models from a combination of social platforms, the mobile revolution and the consumer rejection of online advertising. There is a lot to learn by checking out this report.

Enjoy the week ahead!

Indicate Media Captures The News: June 13, 2016

It is tough times in the world these days. We feel it and see it on a regular basis. Indicate Media sends its condolences to every single person affected from the Orlando shootings. While as a rule we try and stick to business, sometimes it’s warranted to rally with those who are suffering. We are decided to keep going and bring to you below our weekly roundup of industry news, reports and insights from today’s leading voices, but today we do it with a heavy heart. 

The C Suite of the Future
Changing industries require changing business models and the C Suite is evolving to meet these needs. New roles, new technology advancements and new entrants into legacy businesses all lead to redefined management teams with renewed focus. Here is an interesting look at what the C Suite of the future may look like. 

Warren Buffett Thinks Every Entrepreneur Needs To Do This 
It is no secret how important customers are to any business. If your customers are dissatisfied, logic says you are on your way to shutting the doors and closing shop. Every once in awhile, our fearless leaders are able to capture exactly what entrepreneurs need to do to succeed in business. Is it brain surgery - no, is it something you have never thought of before - no, but it is great advice from one of our most praised and successful entrepreneurs - DELIGHT

PR Insight of the Week
Strategic Media Relations in a Social Media World
There continues to be a lot of discussion inside marketing circles around whether earned media is still as effective as it once was. Should brands place a majority of their spend on public relations (earned), content marketing (owned) or advertising (paid)? While we have found that the numerous studies vary, generally reflecting the opinion and/or best interest of the author, here is an interesting study that shows why earned media is still the most effective source of information in impacting consumers along all stages of the purchase process.

Indicate Media Captures The News: June 6, 2016

After taking a week off for a sun filled Memorial Day weekend, Indicate Media is excited to bring to you our weekly roundup of industry news, reports and insights from today’s leading voices. We focus on news stories we find interesting, relevant and of value to businesses today.

2016 Internet Trends Report
It’s that time of year again for Mary Meeker and her team at KPCB to release their annual 2016 Internet Trends Report. The report looks at themes ranging from global Internet trends, advertising, communication and brand trends, China and emerging markets trends, data, privacy and everything in between trends. All businesses and entrepreneurs who need to understand global commerce will benefit greatly from taking a look. 

Artificial intelligence is changing SEO faster than you think
SEO has been around long enough now that almost all marketers understand there are many benefits to utilizing and executing an SEO campaign. Even if most of us have no idea what that really means and/or how it’s actually accomplished. For those of you that have gotten your heads around it, Google has once again changed the rules with the release of Google RankBrain, its artificial intelligence machine learning algorithm. Experts have begun touting how fast the SEO industry is now changing because of RankBrain. Check out this article to see some clear examples of how many of the old SEO rules no longer apply and steps needed to stay ahead of the curve when executing a successful SEO campaign moving forward.  

PR Insight of the Week
Global Communications Report 2016
For those of us who follow the communications industry closely, is there any more exciting time a year than when the 2016 Global Communications report comes out? Prepared by the University of Southern California Center for Public Relations and the leading industry trade magazine The Holmes Report, the report highlights the communications industry as it stands today and makes predictions of what’s to come next. Here’s an excerpt: Agency leaders predict robust growth of 33% over the next five years, with industry revenue worldwide reaching nearly $20 billion. In-house growth estimates are more modest at 13%. Both agree that growth will be driven primarily by creating compelling content and distributing it across multiple media channels. So, while we wouldn’t say there are drop the mic surprises in the report, there is a great amount of information that is valuable and worth understanding and learning from if you are in the communications industry. 

Indicate Media Captures The News: May 23, 2016

Indicate Media is excited to bring to you our weekly roundup of industry news, reports and insights from today’s leading voices. We focus on news stories we find interesting, relevant and of value to businesses today.

Google's plan to bring VR to the masses
If you’ve been hearing A LOT about virtual reality, but like the rest of us, wandered how and when you can get it for yourself, say no more. At its annual Google I/O keynote last week, Google announced a new virtual reality ecosystem called Daydream. Google’s approach focuses on reaching the widest number of people instead of creating the best, most immersive experience. Finally, the wait is almost over.

4 Common Sayings in Business Translated -- Finally!
People in the business world use a lot of jargon and idiomatic expressions, but as common as certain words are, people sometimes find themselves asking, "What does that even mean?" Finally, some answers. Click here to learn what these cliches really mean, and how you can act on the advice behind the adage.

PR Insight of the Week
Pitching Media continues to be one of the most important aspects of PR. In almost all cases, solid media placements define a successful campaign. At Indicate Media, it is our #1 focus on any given day. Here is a great article titled, 'Is Your Media Relations On Point? How to Deliver a Compelling PR Pitch' from Steve Beale, editor of Bulldog Reporter, discussing how to approach media relations. 

Indicate Media Captures The News: May 16, 2016

Indicate Media is excited to bring to you our weekly roundup of industry news, reports and insights from today’s leading voices. We focus on news stories we find interesting, relevant and of value to businesses today.

Facebook news selection is in hands of editors not algorithms, documents show
Last week we saw an uproar (that is still ongoing) about whether Facebook’s news selection was being controlled or influenced by algorithms or editors. According to The Guardian newspaper, “Leaked internal guidelines show human intervention at almost every stage of its news operation, akin to a traditional media organization.” The ramifications of this are still ongoing but click here to get up to speed on the situation and what it really means. 

Another Company With a Cause: Is Google Just Being a Good Citizen?
Has Google entered the ethics business? Interesting article in the NY Times that reports on Google’s decision to no longer run ads for payday loans, the short-term loans that typically have annual interest rates of over 300 percent. Is this censorship? Check it out!

PR Insight of the Week
The following comes from our friends at Ketchum. In their article titled, “Paid Media Makes Earned Work Harder,” Christi Burnun tackles head on the opportunities that paid media, if done right, bring to the PR industry. According to Burnun, “If you are looking for new strategies, there are so many ways paid media brings additional return on investment beyond your primary key performance indicator (KPI).” For those in the PR/Marketing industry, this is an important read. 

 

Why Winning the Moment Still Matters: Part Three

Tips from Experts on Winning The Moment

Tips from Experts on Winning The Moment

In the first two parts of this series, we introduced the Winning the Moment concept in both philosophy and practice. With this third entry we’ll bring the idea to life, sharing examples of winning moments from the perspective of two different audiences: potential investors and the media. While these are distinct audiences, they are both vital to young companies looking to get a foothold in the market.

The fact that investors and the media are so different underlines the importance of the winning the moment concept. A focus on strategy and understanding the needs of your audience - whomever they may be - is critical to your communications efforts.

Winning the VC Moment

At times, over the past 15 years, it can seem like VCs are more like ATMs, doling out sums of money to anybody with an idea and a website. But for every great new business that gets funded, dozens, if not hundreds, fail to secure funding. Many of those fail because the idea is bad, or they haven’t found a product-market fit, but many good ideas disappear because company founders simply haven’t crafted their messages in ways that are most likely to resonate with potential investors.

Brad Feld is managing director at Foundry Group in Boulder, Colorado. He invests in software and Internet companies and works with startup CEOs to help them with their pitches. He’s seen firsthand how challenging it can be to have a pitch that resonates with people like him:

Recently I was on the receiving end of a description from an entrepreneur, who has a great idea that I love, that had the emotional impact of a TSA inspection at the airport. He was going through the motions with almost zero emotional content. At the end of it, I said one sentence – “Don’t get sick of telling your story.”

That idea of telling your story, and telling it with real emotion, is echoed by others in the VC community. Carmine Gallo, author of The Storyeller’s Secret, relayed the following anecdote recently in an article in Entrepreneur:  

“Storytelling is the most underrated skill,” says Ben Horowitz, general partner with venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. “The company story is the company strategy. If you don't have a clearly articulated story, you don't have a clear and well thought-out strategy. The story must explain at a fundamental level why you exist.”

In the same article, Barbara Corcoran, one of the featured stars on the show Shark Tank, says, “Show me an MBA and your sales numbers, that’s fine. But tell me a great story about how you got started and your vision, and we’ll talk.”

Winning the Media Moment

The story you tell to the media may not seem as pressure packed as an investor pitch, but it’s a critical touchpoint for connecting with potential customers. The media landscape has changed considerably during the Internet and social media eras, and as a result, reporters think differently about what stories they are going to write.

“Will this story get views/clicks/shares?” is a question every journalist must consider when making choices on what they are, or are not, going to cover.

Veteran journalist Michael Humphrey writes for a variety of outlets, including Forbes, The New Yorker and Salon. His focus, online video, was foreign to him before he had interaction with a PR professional who understood how to win the moment. Michael commented:

“I was kind of poking around for six months in the digital video space when a P.R. person pitched an idea that changed my career. She saw a piece I had written and she was representing Google at the time. She could tell that I was interested in digital video as a disruptive technology and how that gave viewers a new kind of agency. That led her to pitch me a series about emerging YouTube stars, which was still pretty undercovered in early 2011. That series dominates my most-read list and led me into the field I cover now.”

“I tell this story because she understood that I needed content and access to good stories. She read my work and figured out how to shape her clients’ needs to my beat. Then she approached me with a newsworthy idea. We tweaked it some, but really we both were amazed at how successful that relationship became.”

We hope we’ve made clear what meaningful engagement can look like with well thought out, planned and rehearsed preparation. Focusing your strategy and efforts on successfully delivering your message, ahead of everything else you do, can make all the difference. If you’ve been inspired by this series, have questions or would like to explore the idea of winning the moment for your brand, get in touch with us to set up a meeting.