Building Brand Takes Time

March 11th, 2015 by Rob Goodman

Wikipedia logoThe name of the McKenzie Worldwide blog is “Brand Trust Visions” and that name was created after much discussion. If it’s truly our mantra, then we obviously must feel that building brand is very important for companies of all sizes. However, it’s also a term that can mean many things to many people. For this discussion we’ll focus on the idea of “brand trust” which, according to Wikipedia, is about creating “…the foundation of a strong brand connect with all stakeholders, converting simple awareness to strong commitment.”

dmn_logoFor consumer products, like Coca Cola, creating their brand awareness comes from word-of-mouth and a truckload of advertising. For television shows like Lost, DM News editor Elyse Dupre says it’s important to leave consumers wanting more. She goes on to say that creating a sense of community, by providing a place “where consumers can talk about their brand freely”, such as an online chat room, goes a long way toward building trust among customers and potential customers.

But building trust and a strong brand image for technology companies can be tricky. For instance, Gatorade or Red Bull are consumer goods that you can touch and taste and have qualities that can be measured and a coolness factor that, frankly, can’t be measured. But what about technology vendors? How can a cloud storage vendor build its brand when their offering isn’t tangible?

e-Spirit logoOne way for technology companies to help build their brand is by leveraging happy customers and turning them into what we like to call brand ambassadors. Whether it’s writing about your customers on your company blog, as e-Spirit did with customers Geberit and Hamburd Süd, or jointly delivering a presentation at an industry trade show with one of your customers, the ultimate goal is to transform new and existing customers into enthusiastic brand ambassadors. How do you do this? Well, e-Spirit discussed this concept in an article (which we helped them write) that appeared in CMSWire titled Turn Touch Points into Trust Points.

Here are three steps that were discussed in the article:

  • Integrate website content with your e-commerce site
  • Help your content creators do their job
  • Get personal, but don’t stalk

Those are just three ideas about how to build brand but they’re important to a Web Content Management System vendor like e-Spirit.

How’s your company’s brand trust level? We’d love to help you build more trust in your brand…which is always a good thing.

When a key editor needed video content, Tektronix (and our agency) delivered

February 20th, 2015 by Megan McKenzie

One way that you can build trust in your company’s brand and continue to strengthen your relationship with the editorial community is to help out those hard-working editors who cover your company and its products whenever you can. Editors are typically short on time, yet they always have lots of content that they need to generate for their online publications. Therefore, providing them with useful video content that is compelling, news-style and professionally produced, such as the remote video interviews that we recently helped manage and produce for our client Tektronix, is just a good thing.

We recently worked with our Tektronix clients to develop two CNN-style remote interview videos for Martin Rowe, senior technical editor at Electronic Design Network (EDN), of him interviewing an expert at Tektronix. The objective was to help Martin give his readers/viewers who were unable to attend this year’s DesignCon a great overview of a few of the important technology issues that were going to be discussed at the show

In the videos, Chris Loberg, senior technical marketing manager, at Tektronix was interviewed via phone by Martin Rowe about trends as well as 100G standards and measurements. The videos were posted on EDN and featured a Q&A interview with Martin.

Martin loved the videos that we produced and he received such positive feedback from his colleagues at the publication that we expect we’ll be helping them out with many more videos to come.

Remember, thinking creatively about the best ways to help our editors and our clients is what we enjoy doing every day.  Please give us a call if you would like McKenzie Worldwide to help you build trust in your brand!

 

 

Recipe for Results

February 16th, 2015 by Rob Goodman

For PR pros working in the high tech sector, getting coverage for companies that are not named Microsoft, Google and Amazon has become harder than ever. With a smaller number of publications out there and fewer reporters to cover even more news, getting eyeballs to read about your client can be quite a challenge. In the absence of hard news, such as quarterly earnings, acquisitions or product launches, how can you help your clients secure the type of exposure they want?

StoresFor one of the companies we work with, e-Spirit, we’ve focused on a number of key themes that resonate in their respective markets. The overarching idea centers on improving their customer’s digital experience and is supported by such themes as personalization (STORES Magazine—Downright Personal) and creating brand ambassadors (CMSWire—Turn Touch Points into Trust Points.)

ScopeWe’ve also focused on discussing and providing insights when it comes to industry trends such as content marketing (Document Magazine—Content Marketing that Serves Your Customer Experience) and mobile SEO (The Marketing Scope—7 Tips to Successful Mobile SEO.)

The point here is to make sure that your PR agency understands your business, your markets and your customers.

New agency partnership in Germany

January 27th, 2014 by Brian Edwards

One of our core beliefs here at McKenzie Worldwide is that smart, experienced PR people can do a great job for clients without the need for a lot of overhead. Rather than set up an expensive infrastructure around the world, our focus has been on working with “best of breed” agency partners.

To that end, we’re pleased to announce a new partnership with Donner & Doria Public Relations based in Heidelberg, Germany. Like many good relationships, this one will be a two-way street. We will be turning to Donner & Doria when our US-based clients need support in Germany, and Donner & Doria will be turning to us when their clients need US support.

Given Donner & Doria’s proximity to SAP AG (10 minutes down A-5), a particular emphasis will be working with potential clients in the SAP ecosystem, as well as many other high-tech clients who want senior PR representation, strategic insights, technical smarts and great execution at affordable (think low overhead) rates.

Here’s the full (English) press release

McKenzie Worldwide Welcomes Donner & Doria Public Relations to the MWW Global Communications Alliance Program

Collaboration provides both agencies with enhanced capabilities to service clients in Germany and beyond

Portland, Ore. and Heidelberg, Germany, January, 27 2014 – High-tech integrated communications and marketing agency McKenzie Worldwide and the German agency group Donner & Doria today announced they have joined forces to help clients from across the information technology landscape increase their presence in worldwide media and markets. This collaboration provides both agencies with enhanced capabilities to service clients in Germany and international clients seeking to expand their presence in the U.S. market.

McKenzie Worldwide and Donner & Doria Public Relations are independent and owner-managed public relations agencies with international experience and a strong track record of helping technology firms build brands and increase awareness of clients’ products and services on a global basis. Clients can benefit from the firms’ deep IT expertise, strategic insights, excellent media contacts as well as efficient project management. Both agencies offer strategic communications consulting, media relations, content marketing, online marketing and social media programs among other services.

“The German market has always been a key focus for us and over the years we have worked with many great clients in Germany so finding the right local partner was a high priority. Donner & Doria has a great team and we’re looking forward to working with them,” said Megan McKenzie, CEO of McKenzie Worldwide. “The MWW Global Communications Alliance offers clients a community of independent agencies that share the same spirit of excellence and quality customer service for a seamless and consistent agency experience around the world.”

McKenzie along with McKenzie Worldwide Vice President Brian Edwards will be working closely with Donner & Doria managing director Peter Verclas and PR consultant Simone Schmickl to implement effective client programs. McKenzie, Edwards and Verclas have known each other for more than 15 years and have jointly advised several IT companies, including German IT giant SAP AG, on global PR activities.

“We are very much looking forward to once again working together as a close-knit team on international PR campaigns with Brian, Megan and their team,” said Peter Verclas, managing director of Donner & Doria Public Relations GmbH. “We have many years of senior-level expertise in our respective markets that we’re confident will bring our clients tremendous value.”

About McKenzie Worldwide

Founded in 2004, McKenzie Worldwide is a high-tech public relations and marketing agency providing a range of strategic integrated communication services including PR, social media, content development/marketing and interactive programs to help companies build trust in their brands. The agency focuses on providing services to the world’s leading and emerging innovative enterprise, wireless and consumer technology companies. At the core of our work is a desire to work with smart people and smart companies – whether emerging start-ups or global brands – with interesting technology, products and services.

About Donner & Doria

The agency group Donner & Doria is the competence network for brand communication. The group offers marketing and communication services including brand management, image and awareness development, content marketing, lead generation, customer loyalty and sales support, employer branding, above-the-line advertising, public relations, online marketing and social media as well as internal communication. Customers span multiple sectors including IT and SAP, public sector and pharma and healthcare. The agency group consists of Donner & Doria Werbeagentur GmbH and Donner & Doria Public Relations GmbH. Donner & Doria has 20 employees in Heidelberg and Mannheim.

Media Contact:

McKenzie Worldwide
Megan McKenzie
Phone: +1 503 625 3680
E-Mail: meganm@mckenzieworldwide.com
Internet: http://www.mckenzieworldwide.com

Donner & Doria Public Relations GmbH
Peter Verclas
Phone: +49 6221 58787-35
E-Mail: peter.verclas@donner-doria.de
Internet: http://www.donner-doria.de

 

The two-headed monster that is social media

December 11th, 2013 by Rob Goodman

“Nelson Mandela’s memorial service Tuesday was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime event where dozens of world leaders join thousands of South Africans in a massive stadium, all to honor the anti-apartheid icon. Instead, it turned into a media sensation…about a selfie.” CNN 

SAFRICA-MANDELA-MEMORIAL

Social media has changed the whole ballgame. While it’s fun to share photos with friends in real-time on Facebook and call attention to company announcements via Twitter, marketing leaders need to think clearly about what their goals are and how social media can help achieve those goals. It makes me sad that a celebration of somebody’s life, somebody who helped change the world, can get pushed aside by the uproar of taking a picture.

Remember the old adage that any PR is good PR? Well, that’s not always the case. When our team develops a PR plan and considers the social media activities to include, we think about the negative consequences of what might happen on our blog, or on Twitter and Facebook. Obviously we consider all of the potential actions we take, but who’s to say what is or isn’t potentially harmful. I’m not offended by the photo of the three world leaders, and obviously the three of them didn’t have a problem with it, but they need to realize that the reach of social media is everywhere.

The bigger issue to me is more about the yellow journalism/tabloid infected world we live in. Why is a selfie taken by President Obama, Danish Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt, and British Prime Minister Cameron considered newsworthy? To me it’s as interesting as headlines in tabloids about the Kardashian sisters.

So back to the original topic. When designing PR plans, how much emphasis do you put on social media? Do you consider both the positive and negative repercussions of social media activities for a campaign or do you only look at how many people you might reach? Do you incorporate ideas about how to react quickly using social media if something goes wrong during a launch?

Just remember that what you consider a safe move might come back to bite you…and it’s in your best interest to be prepared.

Getting Editor’s Interested In Your News

November 25th, 2013 by Rob Goodman

newsWhat is newsworthy? Or more to the point, what are good news hooks to secure interest from an editor? I was talking with a client recently about this exact topic and I shared a few ideas. Especially for small and mid-sized companies it’s hard to get attention from editors. Hard news, like an acquisition or a major product rollout, is almost always of interest to editors. But in the absence of hard news, how can you get an editor interested enough to cover your company?

AIIMOne of the organizations we work with at McKenzie Worldwide is AIIM, which is the Association for Information and Image Management. Since the group doesn’t make product announcements or acquire other companies, it can be difficult to get editors interested. How did we clear this hurdle? By talking with a reporter about a self-generated industry report – ECM at the Crossroads – which discussed industry issues. The reporter at CIO Insight was able to develop an article –Mobile Access to ECMs Needs Improvement –and a slideshow based on the research.

In today’s editorial community you must get creative in order to secure coverage. Consolidation of industry publications, fewer reporters, and a constantly moving 24-hour news cycle make it more challenging than ever to get your news out there. Here are some tips to consider when trying to generate coverage:

  •  “What trends are driving the industry?”—conduct a survey
  • “Ride the coat tails”—announcement with big name partners like Google, Apple, and Facebook
  • “Follow the money”—a funding announcement
  • “Create content”—Graphical images to catch the reader’s eye, such as an infographic
  • “And in the future…”—Q&A interviews are a good way to discuss current trends

The Paperless Office…In Our Lifetime?

July 31st, 2013 by Rob Goodman

logo_aiimIt seems like we’ve heard about the paperless office for many years now. Will it happen in our lifetime? Well, your guess is as good as mine. Our friends at AIIM just published a very interesting report about how companies are incorporating paper-free projects into their business. What I find interesting about the report, Winning the Paper Wars, are the reasons for and against going paper-free.

Many of the companies involved in the research indicated that their legal departments and some executives are not comfortable using 5-more-simple-tools-for-a-paperless-office-508f814ec9electronic signatures and electronic documents due to legal issues. The reality is that e-signatures and e-docs are 100 percent admissible in court. Conversely, the growth of mobile workers and mobile devices/applications has helped spur the need for the paper-less work environment.

mobile worker - man on his phone and laptop in a fieldFor those who work in PR and marketing, do you find that your clients like to publicize the fact that they are paper-free or that they’re using workflow and business process technology to reduce the use of paper and increase worker productivity? From a business perspective it makes a lot of sense to go this route, but does it help from a communications standpoint?

Customer experience and mobile e-commerce sites

July 29th, 2013 by Rob Goodman

I’m not exactly what you call a shopaholic but I do enjoy shopping online since it saves me a lot of time. Get in, get out, done. Viola! So the other day I was reading e-Spirit’s Content Unlocked blog and came across some statistics created by research firm Invesp that jumped out at me. According to Invesp, the top 10 U.S. online retailers by unique monthly visits are:

retailers

OK, no surprise there.

But what really caught my eye was that Invesp predicted that “mobile devices will account for 15% of the total U.S. online retail sales in 2013, which is estimated to reach 25% by 2017.” Wow! I realize that we’re living in a mobile world and that most people have smartphones or iPads or other handheld devices, but talk about multi-tasking! Now I can walk down the street, talk on my smartphone and receive an alert from one of my favorite retailers about a sale item.

The key issue to me is how can retailers duplicate the easy-to-view, easy-to-navigate style of their web sites and shift them over to very mobile shoppingsmall handheld devices? For example, I subscribe to ESPN’s publications and am constantly checking for updates on their web site. However, when I’m using my smartphone I get so frustrated when I click on a specific login area and it sends me somewhere else by accident. Or when I try to expand a page with two fingers and I accidentally click on another link. It drives me nuts!

The point I’m trying to make here is that retailers know that their e-commerce sites are very easy to use on a computer, but they must make sure that they use a powerful content management system to ensure that I get the same experience (it’s all about the customer experience) regardless of whether I’m in their store, on their web site, or viewing them on my smartphone. Sounds simple but you’d be surprised how many people I’ve talked with who have had the same type of negative experiences that I have on other retailer’s sites.

What do you find most annoying when you’re trying to navigate an e-commerce site when you’re using a mobile device?

 

 

Content, Content Everywhere…But Is There A Plan?

June 27th, 2013 by Rob Goodman

I read many industry publications each week to make sure I’m up to date on my clients and their markets. Lately I’ve been reading quite a bit of marketing pubs and Content Management Systems websites and I must say that I’ve seen a ton of discussion about content marketing. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute recently wrote an article called “34 Essential Research Reports for More Effective Content Marketing”. You read that correctly…there are 34 reports to check out solely about content marketing.

5-Link-Building-Strategy-EssentialsOn the one hand the growth of social media has given companies new channels to tap into to reach their customers and potential customers. Yet at the same time, it’s important to realize that simply pushing out content across many different channels can be annoying. What’s important is that your PR and marketing leaders understand that simply publishing vast amounts of content isn’t going to move the needle. You must build a strategy which clearly defines your goals so that you can use your content to support those goals.

As our client, e-Spirit, discussed recently in their blog – When It Comes To Content, Don’t Simply Throw Darts At The DartboardDarts_in_a_dartboardSuccessful marketing executives are the ones who understand that content cannot be created in a vacuum and a well thought out content marketing strategy can mean the difference between success and failure.

Buried in Information

June 20th, 2013 by Rob Goodman

Every company I’ve worked for has had some type of system for capturing and storing important information. It’s great that technology allows us to share important work documents with other employees, even ones we may not know personally. But is all of that information good for us? I stare at my computer screen all day and read a ton of stuff, then go home and read for personal enjoyment as well. But, frankly, I find that there’s just too much data to process.

logo_aiimOn a grander scale, how do enterprises deal with capturing, storing and sharing so much information? Well, the folks at the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) have some good ideas for how to deal with all of that data. Check out today’s article in CMSWire by AIIM president and CEO John Mancini to learn more.


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