LinkedIn Proves It’s Not the Weakest Social Media Link

Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, oh my! LinkedIn might have taken a little longer to popularize than Facebook and Twitter, but it has proven successful in the professional realm.

According to a survey of 5,000 people, the top four reasons people come to LinkedIn is to reconnect with colleagues, manage their professional identity, see what colleagues are up to and to find new business opportunities.

Facebook allows for business promotion, but most people use it recreationally. LinkedIn is designed for business connections.

There are several benefits to staying active on LinkedIn: Continue reading

Posted in Interactive, Online marketing, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

White Papers: Choosing the Right Audience and Approach

The purpose of a white paper is to solve a problem or present ideas and products that may help solve problems. Most popularly, white papers have become a tool used to introduce or explain innovations and products. Other white papers may present a topic, argue a specific position and establish setbacks with suggested solutions. Either way, every white paper should make two things clear: its audience and its approach.

Who is your audience?

To decide what problems your readers are facing, you must first decide who your readers are, then decide what types of solutions are most effective. That said, different types of people face different types of problems, or better yet, different types of people view problems differently.

For example, this white paper on the differences between open source CMS and SharePoint, could be targeted in two different ways. An IT person might be interested in a technical explanation, and a CEO might be interested in the business benefits of each web solution. Understand whose attention you want to grab, make the direction clear and stay consistent throughout the paper. 

 What is your approach?

There are two different approaches you can take when writing a white paper. The first is focused on your self-promotion. These type of white papers have a clear agenda: to promote specific products or services that will ultimately benefit you. Your readers will most likely sense this self-promotion and grow suspicious of the paper’s intent. This type of writing is more appropriate for data sheets or product briefs.

If you want your customers to actually read the paper, you should try to gain their trust in the very beginning by establishing the white paper’s purpose. Make no mistake, it’s OK to touch upon certain products and services that might help solve a problem, as long as it’s done carefully and infrequently.

The second approach focuses on the interests of your readers. This type of white paper should center on a common concern or growing trend. And it should give solutions to potential setbacks or advice on how to optimize trends. The white paper “Rules of Engagement: Hospitals, Twitter and Potential Patients,” focuses on the growing Twitter trend and provides insight on how a specific industry might benefit from this movement. This paper clearly focuses on the interests of its readers—in this case, hospitals. And better yet, it has a clear target audience: hospital marketers. 

Posted in Business Development, Content, Marketing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Social Media Exclusive: Crisis Management on Steroids

Think British Petroleum is the only company that needs crisis management to repair their reputation?  OK, so maybe nobody needs it quite as much as BP does these days, but a recent press release by global communications company Porter Novelli tells me otherwise. In it they announce the launch of a new business services specialty that will help companies handle the effects of publicly damaging incidents that stem from the digital space.

The unique aspect of this for marketers and public relations professionals is in its social media application and the opportunity for real-time corporate responsiveness to potentially harmful online conversations. Porter Novelli smartly provides a digital suite of crisis preparedness and reaction services supported by “Go Teams.” These are public relations and crisis management experts who utilize online tracking and analytics tools to measure consumer and media sentiments and dispositions.

I found that by no means was Porter Novelli the first and only player in this category. Ottowa, Ontario-based DNA13 has made a business out of knowing how to handle real-time crisis management from a digital perspective. Although they cover the more traditional mediums of TV and print, they also align the online and social media fronts for clients. Check out their blog for some great examples of how social media and online public sentiment tracking played a big part in crisis management for companies such as Nestle and Domino’s.

The growing number of companies providing these specialty services lends more credence to the perceived value of corporate transparency in this digital age. Social media has further opened the two-way doors of corporate and consumer engagement. The power of this efficient platform for corporations to directly respond to negative and positive sentiments on a real-time basis is undeniable from a public relations standpoint. My advice is to be prepared because this very conversation might be coming to your corporate boardroom sooner than you think!

Posted in Interactive, Public Relations, Social Media | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Loved, Honored and Cherished at the 2010 Communicator Awards

Wax Custom Communications brought back 14 awards from the 2010 Communicator Awards, an international program that honors creative excellence for communications professionals. The awards are administered and judged by the International Academy of the Visual Arts.

Wax earned the Award of Excellence for its work on AvMed Health Plans’ Fall 2009 AvMed Magazine. This quarterly publication is dedicated to the good health of AvMed members. The Award of Excellence is the highest honor for entries whose ability to communicate puts them among the best in the field.

Additionally, Wax received Awards of Distinction for the following projects:

  • AvMed Corporate Website
  • Cleveland Clinic HealthLines Summer 2009
  • Partner (Vol. 7, Issue 4)
  • Delaware Blue Fall 2009
  • Simply Well Fall/Winter 2009
  • HAO Magazine (Spring 2009) eZine
  • HAO Magazine Fall 2009
  • HAO (Special Edition 2009)
  • Baylor Innovations Spring 2009

The Award of Distinction honors projects that exceed industry standards in quality and achievement.

Posted in About Wax Custom Communications, Awards, Creativity, Custom Publishing, Publishing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Better, Greener Publishing

Speed. Convenience. Tree hugging. 

Current printing methods and technologies are always improving. The summer 2010 edition of Custom magazine recently highlighted these advancements. Not only are they making our jobs easier, but a little greener.

Last fall, a company needed 600 copies of a publication for a last-minute conference. Using NSO Press in Denver, it received the final product in less than two days, reported Custom. Even a year ago, that may not have been possible. 

Programs like InSite certainly help. Workers in every step of the process can make corrections and approve a copy without printing so much as a page. PDF files can be edited and revamped by a multitude of people from different areas in the same day.

Even more than that, advances in proofing systems have made better how we see green. These benefits include editing on computer screens instead of hard copies and high-quality recycled paper with environmentally friendly inks that can include soy and vegetable-based types. As for Wax, we’re shifting to digital proofing, and our San Francisco Health Plan publications, including Healthy San Francisco, are printed on recycled paper.

Electronic publishing, of course, is the greenest of all, but no one can deny the benefits of the printed word in hand. And when the printed word can get the message to the consumer in no time at all, everyone benefits.

Posted in Custom Publishing, Green Initiatives | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment