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Best Digital PR Firm Advice for Starbucks’ Cafe “No way!” Moment

Posted by mike emerton on Fri, Apr 27, 2018 @ 11:04 AM

Starbucks is closing 8,000 Stores on the afternoon of May 29, 2018 for a “racial-bias” training of its employees. But what kind of business strategy is this when it will result in an enormous loss of revenue? The answer is simple: It’s a reputation and brand reinforcement strategy that far exceeds a day’s revenue loss. But, what happened to require a global juggernaut to trade such an enormous amount of revenue for image polishing?

Starbucks had become the target of protests after two African-American men were arrested in April at a cafe in Philadelphia. Here is the breakdown:

    1. One of the men who had not yet purchased anything asked to use the bathroom.
    2. He is told, “no.”
    3. Both men then sat down and said that they were waiting for a friend.
    4. They were asked to leave by Starbucks’ employees. 
    5. The men refused.
    6. The store manager called the Police.
    7. A video of the incident went viral with 10 million shares.
Clearly, this situation required an apology, which Starbucks CEO, Kevin Johnson offered. He stated that the goal was to do "whatever we can to make things right" and promised "any necessary changes to our practices that would help prevent such an occurrence from ever happening again."

But, sometimes a mere “sorry” will not do. And in this case it was clear, due to the public outrage, that actions would be louder than words. In response, Johnson then announced that all stores will be closing for a day of racial-bias training.

Readers of this blog also found this info very helpful: How PR Helped Created a $1B Company Valuation

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Tags: High Tech PR

Slap in the Facebook; the Shocking Digital Marketing Strategy

Posted by mike emerton on Wed, Mar 28, 2018 @ 17:03 PM

"The level of what can be predicted about you, based on what you like on Facebook, is higher than what your wife would say about you, what your parents or friends can say about you. Even if we take your 10 best friends and they all give a description of who you are as a person and we combine it all together – this analysis method is still better. Your Facebook knows more about you than any other person in your life." ~ Aleksandr Kogan

The Story

Cambridge Analytica (CA), the data analytics firm that helped Donald Trump get elected, collected a vast amount of Facebook user data on 50 million people without their permission, according to a report from the New York Times.

Facebook suspended CA and also suspended CA’s parent company, Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL). The SCL Group and CA played pivotal roles in both Brexit and the candidacy of Donald Trump. European and U.S. officials have both called for Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg to explain how this breach happened.

But did you know that other major platforms such as iOS and Android also allow developers to collect people’s contact lists? Twitter has a login feature similar to Facebook Login, and so do Google and LinkedIn. Imagine cross-platform influencing! In fact, the Pew Research Center said two-thirds of Americans get at least some of their news on social media.

Readers of this blog also found this info very helpful: How PR Helped Created a $1B Company Valuation

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Tags: High Tech PR, SEO

How Hershey's Used “empowered decision-making” for SEO Digital Marketing

Posted by mike emerton on Thu, Mar 22, 2018 @ 10:03 AM

The worlds of marketing and technology are merging. Ad agencies which rely on storytelling, are becoming dependent on the data-driven technology, especially in B2B online marketing. And information technology, which once sat on mainframes and printed reports, is now running digital social media streams and is based in the Cloud. In this online age, a new way is needed to get these former independent, ‘siloed’ departments of marketing and IT infrastructure to work together.

One way to get these seemingly polar units integrated was explained in a recent Forbes article by Peter Horst and Waheed Zaman, in which they stated: what is required is a focus on overall leadership, shared departmental beliefs and company culture.


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Tags: High Tech PR, SEO

Digital Marketing Takes Gold at the Winter Olympics

Posted by mike emerton on Tue, Mar 13, 2018 @ 18:03 PM

With over 100 million viewers for this year’s Super Bowl, NBC charged $5 million for each 30 second spot and reaped $500 million in advertising revenue sales from this one game.

Viewership for the 2018 Winter Olympics was down compared to NBC coverage of the previous winter games. Yet, NBC claims is claiming Victory!

The network sold over $900 million in national advertising for the 2018 winter games. Their business strategy was success -- they met audience guarantees promised to advertisers -- because they figured out how to sell ads based on total viewership across its networks and digital platforms. NBC knew that it’s key to victory lied in its digital marketing strategy.

This year, NBC surpassed CBS in total viewers through the first 20 weeks of the season, the first time since 2002. Yet, this is happening in a time when television ad sales are falling -- down 8% in 2017. This is why ad agencies need to figure out the digital business aspect of broadcasting.

There has to be a way to put a number on all those viewers who stream. And it appears that NBC has come closer than anyone to finding this Holy Grail of metrics.

NBC sold advertising based on TAD …”Total Audience Delivery.”

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Tags: High Tech PR

Best Super Bowl Win Over Negative Social Media Branding

Posted by mike emerton on Thu, Feb 08, 2018 @ 15:02 PM

With over 100 million viewers for this year’s Super Bowl, NBC charged $5 million for each 30 second spot and reaped $500 million in advertising revenue sales from this one game.

Certainly this is the championship for football players as well as ad makers. For those who create commercials and the brands which pay for them, this is the Big Dance, too. Perhaps, it’s even better than winning a Clio for Advertiser of the Year. For a winning ad on this stage, assures fame for both the brand and the creative agency.

So, who wins this year’s award for best commercial? Honorable mentions go to PepsiCo/Frito-Lay for their Doritos ad with Peter Dinklage mouthing to Busta Rhymes and scorching up the floor. Also worthy of note is Budweiser for bringing water to victims of natural disasters. But, the winner this year is … Tide for their creative, "meta" public relations program!

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Tags: High Tech PR

3 Ways High Tech PR is Taking Video Creation From Ad Agencies

Posted by mike emerton on Tue, Jan 16, 2018 @ 15:01 PM

The differences between Public Relations (PR) and advertising agencies are becoming blurred. Use of visuals, always vital to PR campaigns, are on the rise as video in marketing is all the rage.  

Some experts predict that by 2019 video will make up 80% of all web traffic, and marketers report video brings the highest ROI. Companies that incorporate video marketing increase revenue by 49% compared to those that don’t.

In the digital world, it is not just about producing ad content for mass media consumption, it’s about developing specific messages that resonate with and engage a target audience. Here is where digital PR agencies have shown themselves to be adept, producing video content that’s as good as any traditional ad agency.

When it comes to amplifying and placing video content, the PR agency has the advantage over the ad agency. High Tech PR agencies develop content that integrates the company’s product or service across all media platforms, most importantly social media, allowing PR agencies to instantly connect with large and targeted audiences.

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Tags: High Tech PR

75th Golden Globe Awards: Digital Marketing of “Time is Up”

Posted by mike emerton on Mon, Jan 08, 2018 @ 15:01 PM

Empowered by Gretchen Carlson, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and dozens upon dozens of other high-profile accusers, women at the 75th Golden Globe Awards washed a sea of black across a carpet of red to call attention to the abusive and illegal behaviors they were subjected to in their working environments. When multiple sexual harassment claims can bring down media giants, such as Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer, women who thought they had no chance at justice now see possibilities to end years of suffering. Movie stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman, and Daryl Hannah can bring down titans such as Harvey Weinstein; it becomes easier to believe the cook, or the nanny, or the late night cleaning women who's been quietly enduring the abuse for years.

Though a wave of women are coming forward today to say #MeToo and name their accusers, many have historically had their reputations smeared, or been threatened with harm, while the men accused of the harassment often continued on with successful careers. One month after his resignation following sexual harassment claims, the CEO of Hewlett Packard Max Hurd found a job at Oracle, where he is currently the CEO. As recently as last January, Fox News renewed Bill O'Reilly’s 

$25 million-a-year contract after paying a $32 million settlement.

What does this have to do with search engine optimization (SEO), digital marketing and digital PR?

A lot!

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Tags: High Tech PR, SEO, Search engine optimization

SEO - The Best Small Business Defense Against Amazon

Posted by mike emerton on Mon, Dec 11, 2017 @ 12:12 PM


Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person, recently leaping past Microsoft’s Bill Gates. Bloomberg values Bezos’ fortune at $93.8 billion. Gates, worth $88.7 billion.

Amazon! It’s on a course to be the world’s first trillion dollar company. It’s coming through your front door with Amazon Key, it’s making movies (Amazon is now the second biggest provider of original content behind Netflix), it’s purchased Whole Foods, getting into the prescription drug business, building wind farms, and dominating in The Cloud. Will Amazon take over the world? Alexa, Amazon’s electronic assistant, is going to be the operating system for your life and it will be connected to the Internet-Of-Things.

So, how can an independently-owned small business compete?

Download the Small Biz SEO Success Story:

Causing even more concern for small business owners - in early November (2017) Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba took in more than $25 billion in one day. Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday combined last year got about 30 percent of that. Cyber Monday last year (2016) in the United States yielded $3.45 billion in sales. This year (2017) Forbes reports that it hit a new record of $6.6 billion, making it the largest online shopping day in U.S. history. Mobile sales set a new record as well, representing 33.1 percent of revenue (24.1 percent smartphones, 9.0 percent tablets). Smartphone revenue grew 32.2 percent from last year, reaching $1.59 billion, a new all-time high. With online indicators such as these, how does the future look for local business?

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Tags: SEO, website SEO

Measuring Digital PR 101

Posted by mike emerton on Tue, Oct 31, 2017 @ 10:10 AM


Public Relations...PR. Everyone in business agrees to its importance, yet the benefits are not always clearly understood. One of today's corporate worries is how to measure the value of communication and PR efforts?

The Barcelona Principles are one attempt to do this. They are gradually becoming accepted as industry-wide guidelines for effective PR and communications measurement. The aim of the Barcelona Principles is to move away from “fuzzy metrics” like impressions or clip counts that do not help give you any valuable insights into your communication programs. What the guidelines do is tell you how to set up measurable goals, suggest ways for measuring them, and provide ideas for how to put theory into practice.

Show Me How Digital PR Works

I.e, Barcelona Principles: Don’t just measure media results (like clips, reach, volume), measure impact on your target audiences (like attitudes, preferences, behavior).

One of the best ways to look at PR is as “the ultimate word of mouth.” As Molly Borchers, Sr. Communications Strategist for Huffington Post says, “Having good media results are not all about quantity (number of articles or impressions). PR addresses more important questions like: Did media convey the message you intended? Did the messages reach the right audience?”

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Tags: High Tech PR

Online Reputation Management & the Digital PR Echo Chamber

Posted by mike emerton on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 @ 14:10 PM

What Is An Online Reputation?

When customers perform a Google search to find information about your company -- to find out what others think about your brand -- the results they see on the first page typically include sites with positive comments, but also sites with negative comments.

Your online reputation is the sum of these comments. It is how you are perceived in the online community, as presented in the Google search results. Your online reputation is also based upon how you are coming across, being rated and valued. It includes what is good about yourself and brand, as well as what is bad. True or false, each post, comment, review, like, share or swipe creates a digital profile. For people and organizations seeking to polish what they find in searches, they need a qualified online reputation management approach.

Online reputation management is a dynamic intermixing of marketing, public relations, legal and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, which all combine and align to promote, protect and safeguard your online image, aka your online reputation.

Show Me How Digital PR Works

The most effective online reputation management strategy is to get positive mentions and articles about you or your company to appear among the first results, which cause the negative results to be pushed farther down and out of the Top 20. These positive articles typically include items such as: news search, social media/tags, standard search results, blogs and forums. The sites to place these positive articles include: Google Alerts, Yahoo Alerts, RSS feed subscriptions, Yahoo & Google News, BlogPulse, Social Media (via tags:,,

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Tags: High Tech PR