Archive for the ‘communicate’ Category

Do you suffer intolerable sinus congestion when in search of a new perfume or aftershave in the fragrance department? Suffer no more.

Swiss fragrance maker Givaudan has launched an Apple iPhone App to help younger consumers select the right fragrance.

The app helps consumers confused by an over-abundance of choice, in addition to helping combat the problem of determining suitability online, where an increasing number of fragrance purchases are made.

The iPerfumer App is developed around a database of 4000 male and female prestige fragrances, derived from Miriad 2.0, winner of this year’s FiFi Technological Breakthrough of the Year.

Available free of charge from the Apple Store, the programme uses algorithmic calculations derived from personal profiles and preferences to determine the fragrance type best suited to specific individuals.

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Phew! I’ve just completed a timed media release written test, one component to a job screening process. Thankfully that is now over!

Before my assessment I did a last-minute google search for inspiration on media release writing tips from innovative global agencies like Ogilvy.

I came across PR Leap Blog that summarises key points to media release writing from David Ogilvy’s book Ogilvy on Advertising. Geared as an advertising resource for copywriters on how to transform copy into a media release, Ogilvy’s tips are equally valuable to Marketing and Communications people who can momentarily forget a media release must have newsworthy content to attract media interest.

Wanted: Renaissance In Print Advertising.

In Chapter 7, “Wanted: a renaissance in print advertising,” Ogilvy called for change in advertising based on the findings from studies commissioned by his agency, results of direct response tests, and his own observations. He wanted copywriters to acquire the know-how for developing “advertising that sells.” Although his book was written in 1983, many of his copywriting principles still hold today.

How does this apply to press release writing? Ogilvy discovered that advertisements that include news produce better results. Therefore, a press release should never look and sound like an advertisement.

Five Ogilvy copywriting principles applied to press release writing:

“On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.” He added: “unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money.”
Press Release Optimization Tip 1: Include your brand name in the headline of your press release. Ogilvy added: “If you don’t, 80 percent of readers (who don’t read your body copy) will never know what product your advertising.”

“Headlines which contain news are sure-fire. On average, ads with news are recalled by 22 percent more people than ads without news.”
Press Release Optimization Tip 2: State your news loud and clear in your headline. Write your headline from a news perspective.

“Specifics work better than generalities.”
Press Release Optimization Tip 3: The headline of your news release should make it findable on the search engines and grab the reader’s attention. Be concrete. Avoid double-meanings, puns, and other obscurities.” Copy should be written in the language people use in the everyday conversations,” Ogilvy said. Use the keywords that match your prospective customers’ search queries. Using the right vocabulary will bring you closer to your target audience.

“All my experiences says that for a great many products, long copy sells more than short.”
Press Release Optimization Tip 4: A press release that is too short (150 words or less) tends to read like advertisements. This will stop your news releases from getting included in News Search Engines. However, your release should be no more than 600 words or a maximum of two printed pages. Ogilvy added: “But I must warn you that if you want your long copy to be read, you had better write it well.” I recommend that a press release have at least 250 words.

“It is no bad thing to learn the craft of advertising by copying your elders and better.”
Press Release Optimization Tip 5: Look at your competitors for inspiration and style, primarily the biggest player in your market. They have big budgets and hire the best press release writers. Learn from them and apply it your business.

Recently I assisted with an online public relations campaign that provided me with an opportunity to learn about the capabilities of LinkedIn. It’s certainly a valuable research tool which can provide information on companies and the people working there. I located a useful article entitled Ten Ways to Use Linkedin that I thought I’d share. Read, learn and use!

Increase your visibility.

By adding connections, you increase the likelihood that people will see your profile first when they’re searching for someone to hire or do business with. In addition to appearing at the top of search results (which is a major plus if you’re one of the 52,000 product managers on LinkedIn), people would much rather work with people who their friends know and trust.

Improve your connectability.

Most new users put only their current company in their profile. By doing so, they severely limit their ability to connect with people. You should fill out your profile like it’s an executive bio, so include past companies, education, affiliations, and activities.

You can also include a link to your profile as part of an email signature. The added benefit is that the link enables people to see all your credentials, which would be awkward if not downright strange, as an attachment.

Improve your Google PageRank.

LinkedIn allows you to make your profile information available for search engines to index. Since LinkedIn profiles receive a fairly high PageRank in Google, this is a good way to influence what people see when they search for you.

To do this, create a public profile and select “Full View.” Also, instead of using the default URL, customize your public profile’s URL to be your actual name. To strengthen the visibility of this page in search engines, use this link in various places on the web> For example, when you comment in a blog, include a link to your profile in your signature.

Enhance your search engine results.

In addition to your name, you can also promote your blog or website to search engines like Google and Yahoo! Your LinkedIn profile allows you to publicize websites. There are a few pre-selected categories like “My Website,” “My Company,” etc.

If you select “Other” you can modify the name of the link. If you’re linking to your personal blog, include your name or descriptive terms in the link, and voila! instant search-engine optimization for your site. To make this work, be sure your public profile setting is set to “Full View.”

Perform blind, “reverse,” and company reference checks.

LinkedIn’s reference check tool to input a company name and the years the person worked at the company to search for references. Your search will find the people who worked at the company during the same time period. Since references provided by a candidate will generally be glowing, this is a good way to get more balanced data.

Companies will typically check your references before hiring you, but have you ever thought of checking your prospective manager’s references? Most interviewees don’t have the audacity to ask a potential boss for references, but with LinkedIn you have a way to scope her out.

You can also check up on the company itself by finding the person who used to have the job that you’re interviewing for. Do this by searching for job title and company, but be sure to uncheck “Current titles only.” By contacting people who used to hold the position, you can get the inside scoop on the job, manager and growth potential.

By the way, if using LinkedIn in these ways becomes a common practice, we’re apt to see more truthful resumes. There’s nothing more amusing than to find out that the candidate who claims to have caused some huge success was a total bozo who was just along for the ride.

Increase the relevancy of your job search.

Use LinkedIn’s advanced search to find people with educational and work experience like yours to see where they work. For example, a programmer would use search keywords such as “Ruby on Rails,” “C++,” “Python,” “Java,” and “evangelist” to find out where other programmers with these skills work.

Make your interview go smoother.

You can use LinkedIn to find the people that you’re meeting. Knowing that you went to the same school, plays hockey, or shares acquaintances is a lot better than an awkward silence after, “I’m doing fine, thank you.”

Gauge the health of a company.

Perform an advanced search for company name and uncheck the “Current Companies Only” box. This will enable you to scrutinize the rate of turnover and whether key people are abandoning ship. Former employees usually give more candid opinions about a company’s prospects than someone who’s still on board.

Gauge the health of an industry.

If you’re thinking of investing or working in a sector, use LinkedIn to find people who worked for competitors—or even better, companies who failed. For example, suppose you wanted to build a next generation online pet store, you’d probably learn a lot from speaking with former Pets.com or WebVan employees.

Track startups.

You can see people in your network who are initiating new startups by doing an advanced search for a range of keywords such as “stealth” or “new startup.” Apply the “Sort By” filter to “Degrees away from you” in order to see the people closest to you first.