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Why Public Relations Is Important For Your Company

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Getting media coverage can be a daunting task, but extremely rewarding. Paying for ad space is one thing, but having a journalist publish an article about your company or brand is another. Purchasing ad space or radio time is considered paid media, while word-of-mouth and PR-based news articles are considered “earned” media. Studies show that consumers trust news stories more than advertisements. In fact, 84% of consumers trust earned media more than paid advertisements, according to The Nielson Report. The art of Public Relations is an important component of business that all business owners should learn about. A good PR practitioner is part journalist and part salesperson to improve and monitor the perception of your company or brand in the media, in person and online. PR professionals are skilled in many different areas. Let’s explore these different services in relation to your brand or company.

Strategic Planning

Without a strategic plan birthed from a solid business plan, you are not in the best position. A good strategic public relations plan can guide your brand to success. Mapping out your direction is always a good idea. You are in the driver’s seat of your business and you need to know where to go. Otherwise, you’re driving around town, wasting precious time and gas.

The topics explored in your plan should be SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). Find your target audience, objectives and measurable goals, as well as actionable tactics, and key messages to convey to your segmented target audiences. The aforementioned is backed up by data to support your decisions. This plan is the beginning of everything and can help you figure out how to communicate the key messages of your business to the right people.

Media Coaching

When handling the media, you can either help or hurt your brand, which is why it is important to be prepared. PR practitioners deal with the media and other media professionals consistently. It is part of our job to have great relationships in place for our clients to take advantage of. It is not enough to land an interview with a well-known journalist. You must know what to say and practice that often.

PR practitioners are here to prepare you for the interview, discuss the setting of the interview, what types of questions you will be asked, and even throw you a couple of curveballs just to keep you on your toes. This is where those key messages crafted in your strategic plan will come to life.

Depending on the nature of the interview, those key messages should be repeated, using different wording during your interview. Your PR representative will practice with you and fix anything that could be potentially misinterpreted, to create the most polished and professional perception of your brand.

Crisis Communications

Stuff happens. That doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared for it. Crisis communications helped major brands like Blue Bell, BP and Tylenol. They are great examples of companies that were able to rescue their brands from an untimely death due to human error and other factors. This did not happen by coincidence. These brands had a crisis communications plan and executed it well. Having this plan doesn’t mean there won’t be flaws, but it can soften the blow.

Social Media Management

Social media is an extension of your brand. When you mix social media and public relations, it creates a convenient medium for two-way communication between your brand and your publics. Besides the fact that social media marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your audience, it gives your company a chance to compete with larger brands. If handled properly, it can turn into a branding, marketing lead-generating machine.

Event Planning

Online marketing is a must-have when considering public relations for your brand, but nothing beats face-to-face interaction with your target audience. Statista.com reports that 44 percent of marketers experience a 3:1 ROI from event marketing.

Fortunately, public relations professionals also assist with event planning. Although it is often an entirely different profession in itself, events are another great way to share the benefits and solutions your company provides to the people who need them.

From a public relations standpoint, whether attending events or hosting them, the key to success is knowing your target audience, and the messages you want to convey. This shapes the perception of your brand. The event should not only provide value for potential customers, but also align with the tone and messaging of your brand. When branding the event, everything from decor to promotional items should be strategically placed with data to support your reasoning. Simply hosting or attending isn’t enough. Careful planning and consideration is necessary to get the best ROI. It’s an investment for both you and your audience.

Being a business owner comes with its own challenges and setbacks. Public relations is important, because it builds brand credibility and strategic placement in the right areas. With our new technology-driven society, everything happens at a fast pace, making it easy to get left behind. When introducing the public to a company or brand, never go about it haphazardly. Always plan ahead.

Having a professional handling your brand is one of the keys to business success. PR isn’t the most important element of a successful company, there is no one single component that will propel your business forward. In fact, several working, moving parts are acting together. Similar to the body, they are all interconnected, moving towards a common goal. If one part is missing, the body cannot function at optimal levels. This is true for PR in relation to your company. If you cannot hire a PR professional or agency, everything I’ve mentioned can be done with a little time, research and confidence, you can become your own public relations representative.

As Chief Amazement Officer, Secret Bridgewater is the innovator behind Secret & Co, a public relations and marketing firm focused on brand integration and development on and offline. Located in Dallas, Secret & Co assists brands nationwide with services like photography and videography, branding, social media marketing, media relations, blogging, and much more.

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These Are All of the Industries Experiencing The Amazon Takeover

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amazon takeover

Amazon’s continuous growth is prompting the company to expand into a variety of industries well beyond their initial scope of electronic commerce. Beginning as an online bookstore, Amazon now represents the most valuable United States retailer regarding market capitalization. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is presently the world’s richest personA combination of success and drive for constant expansion is resulting in an Amazon takeover of several important industries. Amazon still reigns supreme as an online retailer, though clearly that title alone is not enough to satisfy Bezos. His areas of interest are vast, including the following.

Brick-and-Mortar Retail

Just last year, the Amazon takeover included Whole Foods, where they were acquired for $13.7 billion. The move continues Amazon’s battle with Walmart to reign supreme in the retail space. On the other side, Walmart is continuing to refine their online space, while remaining America’s top employer. The battle between these two giants will continue to wage on, with Amazon’s interest in the brick-and-mortar space being no secret.

Even before the Whole Foods acquisition, Amazon’s plans to build convenience stores and curbside pickup locations shows a deep infatuation with becoming a strong brick-and-mortar presence. Beyond a mere presence, Amazon is confident that consumers will continue embracing a model that allows them to order online and pick up in person.

Amazon’s opening of the Amazon Go Store in Seattle in January marks an exciting time for these interests. Customers enter the store and scan their Amazon Go app as they do. Cameras and other sensors track customers’ activity as their browse, registering an item into their virtual cart when they take it off the shelf. Customers are charged when they leave the store with their goods. Amazon terms the idea “Just Walk Out” shopping and hopes to attract customers who despise waiting in lines, as many do.

Amazon’s reshaping of the typical brick-and-mortar presence is introducing consumers to new ideas like “Just Walk Out” shopping. Combined with the acquisition of Whole Foods, the company will without a doubt continue to redefine the brick-and-mortar shopping experience.

Delivery

amazon

Amazon has been shaping the delivery industry for many years now, especially since Amazon Prime’s introduction in 2005. The company’s vow to deliver items to Prime customers in two days or less still presents a challenge to online retail competition, who are well aware that they must match these shipping expectations or compensate in some other way, like offering lower prices. Meeting Amazon’s delivery promises and their costs is a major challenge, especially to new eCommerce businesses.

Beyond Amazon Prime’s major influence on shipping expectations among online retailers, Amazon is redefining what the delivery space means through their utilization of drone technology. Specifically, Amazon Prime Air is introducing a new delivery system, where unmanned aerial vehicles can safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less.

Amazon, already familiar with quick parcel delivery, is upping the ante even more in the delivery industry with such lofty ambition. Still, with a private trial already underway in the UK, Amazon Prime Air and the use of drones in delivery is a very real aspect of the future. Upon receiving the regulatory support, we can anticipate Amazon Prime Air to be an option for many.

Technology

amazon

It makes sense that Amazon is continuing to make significant moves in the tech sphere. There’s no doubt regarding the company’s technical expertise and how technology can accommodate access to their variety of products.

Among their technological products is Amazon Fire TV, which streams live TV and enables users to watch hundreds of shows and movies. There’s also the Amazon Kindle Fire, which capitalizes on Amazon’s vast digital library in the form of a tablet computer with a seven-inch multi-touch display. Many still view Kindle Fire as a strong competitor to Apple’s iPad.

Amazon’s Dash buttons, while simple, are also an exciting addition to their array of tech. The Dash Button is a single-function controller that consumers can place around their house near items that need replenishing. Need a new order of Tide paper towels? Order a specific Dash button for Tide, put it near the towels and press the button when you notice them running low. They will then arrive on your doorstep in a couple of days.

Entertainment

amazon

Amazon Prime offers much more than free two-day shipping. One of Prime’s most notable benefits is the increasingly impressive Amazon Video platform. The Amazon Prime Video show Transparent won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy in 2005, while 2017 Oscar Best Picture nominee Manchester by the Sea is also developed by Amazon Studios.

Amazon is increasing their influence in both TV and film by producing excellent content, including many notable releases in development. They’re emerging as a viable competitor to cable, Netflix and Hulu.

Whether a consumer prefers reading a book or watching a movie, Amazon is seeking to have the entertainment niche covered.

Is This Amazon’s Peak?

Amazon’s firm grasp across multiple industries begs the question: Is this Amazon’s peak? While it’s impossible to tell definitively, stockholders should monitor the situation closely. Amazon has been a model of consistent growth since 2000. Presently, Amazon’s stock trades for approximately 130 times the business’s projected earnings for 2018 and almost four times its projected sales for 2018.

These growth prospects rely on revenue per customer growth. Although there will certainly be customers who increase their spending on Amazon, it’s difficult to think of any huge breakthroughs or offerings that will prompt more revenue per customer, especially upon Prime’s increase to $119 per year. Many customers may opt to spend that on a Costco membership instead.

Additionally, it’s important to note that Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods plays a significant role in the stock increases the past year for Amazon. The market seems to be operating under an assumption that Amazon will make a similarly buzzworthy acquisition this year, which is far from a given.

Still, even if market projections seem a bit optimistic at the moment for Amazon, there’s no doubting that the company will continue playing a significant role in shifting expectations within several industries, from delivery and entertainment to the brick-and-mortar experience.

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Why Amazon’s Second Headquarters Should Choose Northern Virginia

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Amazon’s second headquarters

Among the top 20 shortlist for Amazon’s second headquarters, Northern, Virginia is not a stranger to the massive tech company. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos have frequently conducted business in the region. Bezos is known to own The Washington Post and Amazon’s cloud service AWS is situated in a huge data center in the northern Virginia region. It is no surprise that Northern, VA is listed on the list. This region proved to be a safe home for Bezos’ businesses, it would only make sense that Northern, VA is the next home for HQ2.

While the nation waits for the announcements of Amazon’s second headquarters, speculations rise as Amazon employees crowd ARLnow.com. The local news-source for Arlington Virginia have reported major traffic from an internal Amazon site. The article reporting the county’s green building council had received over 6,000 page views and 3,500 visitors from an Amazon web page that is only visible to Amazon employees. Amazon’s interest in the community’s dedication to sustainability is predicted to help the company’s future development of a sustainable building of their own.

The area is surrounded by copious international airports including Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Richmond International Airport for Amazon’s consideration  of transportation. The bid for Amazon had reports of the Hub property as a potential site for Amazon’s second headquarters. This 85-acre undeveloped location is near the Dulles Airport, perfect for Amazon’s demands.

Amazon’s second headquarters

Amazon announced that they are developing a second headquarter of up to 8 million square feet in order to accommodate 50,000 workers. The plan to bring in 50,000 lucrative jobs to the new location will create billions of dollars in investment for the community. This opportunity for economic expansion does not come often, but neither does a perfect business location in Northern Virginia that is close to Bezos’ other businesses.

A possible site for Amazon’s second headquarters is on the border of Fairfax and Loudoun counties along Metro’s Silver Line. “We are very excited that Northern Virginia is included on the short list as a potential location for Amazon’s second headquarters,” spoke the chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Sharon Bulova. “Fairfax and Loudoun counties are able to offer a great quality of life coupled with an innovative and business friendly culture for future Amazon corporate neighbors and employees. With our highly educated and talented workforce and a location close to Dulles International Airport and a new Silver Line train station, we hope we will have the opportunity to welcome Amazon HQ2 to Virginia.”

Small businesses and agencies within Virginia are able share their professional insight to Amazon now as well. This is why Amazon HQ2 Should Choose Virginia.

If you are an agency from Virginia, and wish to contribute, please fill out this form here: https://ownersmagazine.com/need-talk-marketing-pr-agencies-amazon/

*Sponsored by Penji

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Why Amazon HQ2 Should Choose Chicago

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HQ2

Most of the cities on the top 20 shortlist for Amazon HQ2 had given some extreme proposals. The majority of the pick is located on the East Coast with an important city that is Chicago, Illinois. The city of Chicago is an important business hub that is currently attracting millennial entrepreneurs and corporate talents. The region offers a broad selection of professionals that are specialized in tech, logistics, advertising, and more. This is a huge bonus for Amazon if the tech company picks Chicago as the rightful city for HQ2.

Chicago ranks high in tech, affordability, and infrastructure. These benefits will fulfill Amazon in their search for employment, land, and logistics. The city offers the O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport to the company for traveling affairs. This is just one of the city’s proposal, the entire bid for Chicago was put together by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Bruce Rauner. There is a promising bid that if Amazon chooses Chicago, then the massive tech company will collect at least $2 billion in incentives and $1.3 billion in tax revenue back. Employees are still expected to pay the taxes, however, it would be Amazon who is receiving that money back and not Illinois.

HQ2

Image From PBS

There are 10 total potential sites to situate HQ2. One includes the Sterling Bay’s 70-acre Lincoln Yards, and many more sites including the Illinois Medical District. The forefront for a new location is The River District, Riverside Investment and Development in River West. This 37-acre site connects to Chicago’s downtown, River North, Fulton Market, and more. The best deal for any other location. 

Amazon will be able to create a substantial amount of benefits from Chicago’s bid for Hq2. Illinois has given over $1.4 billion of tax money to companies like Amazon ever since 2001 when EDGE was created. The EDGE Tax Credit Program provides tax credits for businesses that make capital investments in Illinois and more. The massive tech company is more than qualified for this program and this will be deemed beneficial to Amazon if they participate. 

The Chicago metro area grew by 0.6% and it will only get better from here. The region is populated by a big number of young and educated students from the notable schools of University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Loyola University Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The work force in Chicago are tech driven and strives for professional support, which is an attractive atmosphere for all companies. Amazon  should be using up that advantage as well. 

HQ2

Proposals are still being presented to Amazon by representatives. Small businesses and agencies within Chicago are now able share their professional insight to Amazon. This is why Amazon HQ2 Should Choose Chicago.

If you are an agency from Chicago, and wish to contribute, please fill out this form here: https://ownersmagazine.com/need-talk-marketing-pr-agencies-amazon/

*Sponsored by Penji

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