As we come to the end of another year I thought it would be a good time to reflect on all that has happened in 2015. I have been blessed with a wonderful family, good friends, exceptional business partners and a stable of clients who make coming to work every day fun.
I get to do what I enjoy and work with others who enjoy what they do as well. I can’t believe that Garton-Miller Media will be entering its third year in 2016. From everything I have read, most businesses fail within the first year, so I must be doing something right. I will let you in on the secret when I figure it out.
That’s not to say running a business is all fun and games. There are many things that involve accounting and bookkeeping that I would prefer not to have to deal with, but thanks to a wonderful (and very patient) woman who handles my taxes and takes my calls and texts on a regular basis, it’s been a lot easier. Thanks Maria!
I get to work from home and be there for my kids when they need me. I also get to work with my Golden Retrievers at my feet – it doesn’t get any better than that.
My nonprofit clients do so much good, it’s been a humbling experience to work with them.
When I was a journalist one of the things we were told to do is to keep it simple. In fact, the rule of thumb was to write at an 8th grade level. While in practice that may not always work, the idea is to avoid jargon and to take difficult concepts and make them simple.
As someone who wrote many articles relating to complex legal, business and healthcare issues, that often meant conducting a lot of research and then boiling down the concepts into understandable, bite-sized nuggets of information.
The same holds true for bloggers. Usually, bloggers are writing for customers and clients, not for their peers. Often, while doing research, I come upon other blogs that are so complex, and that use so much jargon, they are understandable only to other experts in that particular field. Just because a topic is complicated, it doesn’t mean you have to write your blog in a complicated way. In fact, it’s often harder and more time-consuming to break down complex subjects. However, I can assure you that your readers will appreciate it.
There’s been a lot written about the importance of having a blog. But once you have managed to get one started, and more importantly keep it going past a few weeks, how do you get others to read it?
First and foremost, share. Does your website’s blog have a share button? It should. Not only does it allow you to share, but it also allows others to do so without having to copy and paste the link. While you don’t need to share on every social media site, select a few where you think your target audience might be. I share mine on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. Always add art to your blog, this makes it possible then to share it on such social media sites as Instagram and Pinterest.
Ask others to share. This can be tricky as you don’t want to become a pest. Find someone who you think might be interested in what you are writing about and ask them for their opinion. You might then suggest that if they think it’s worth it you would appreciate their sharing it with others.
There’s no business like the PR business. Our job is to make clients look good and get positive media exposure, which in turn should help grow their business. But sometimes PR goes woefully wrong. Today, not only must companies deal with reporters asking the tough questions, but they also have to deal with the mass disapproval of customers who, via social media, are quick to voice their disapproval.
As we come to the end of the year let’s take a look back at five of 2015’s PR and social media mishaps.
You can just hear the excited chatter that must have taken place before state-owned Banco de Costa Rica launched Banca Kristal, a subsidiary dedicated exclusively to female customers. “What a great idea,” some male executives must have said. “Let’s create a bank that looks like Barbie’s dream house, women will love it.” And, “Yes, and let’s have a giant pink castle outside one of the branches so they will feel like royalty when they walk through the door.”
The five branches that have opened so far are decorated in white and pink, which has many calling it the “Barbie bank.”
With the launch has come a firestorm of criticism from just about everyone, including its target customers – women. Hundreds have taken to social media to blast Banca Kristal, calling it, among other things, sexist. Wrote one woman on the bank’s Facebook page “GIVE US WOMEN BACK THE 100 YEARS YOU HAVE TAKEN AWAY BY DOING THIS BARBARIC THING.”
Garton-Miller Media is a full-service, South Florida-based public relations firm. Founder Susan R. Miller has 30 years of experience as a writer, journalist and PR professional.