The Future of Independent Agencies

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Last week, we had the opportunity to attend the Worldwide Partner’s World Meeting Conference in Las Vegas. We had an incredible time learning from some of the greats about independent agencies, new business, and how to fit our models to the consumer and client, and how to become the best at what we do. The model for independent agencies is changing dramatically and rapidly. After listening to these experts speak, we decided to breakdown a list of the major ways in which independent agencies should develop in order to maximize their business and be successful in today’s markets and for the future.
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The High Cost of Ignoring Reputation Management Online

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You should never underestimate the cost of a poor reputation. – Forbes.com

If you’re not worried about digital reputation management, you’re about to receive a HUGE wake-up call. In the healthcare industry, reputation is everything, and to ignore it is to cost your practice in unimaginable ways.
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Medical Content Marketing Tips for 2013

If you want to build a remarkable brand presence online in 2013, you’ll need to refocus some of your healthcare marketing efforts towards content. Content comes in many forms, and in marketing it an mean a branded photo, a Facebook update, a Tweet, a blog, an article, a banner ad, or a press release. All forms of content marketing will need to be utilized in 2013 in order to cultivate a strong brand presence.

 

You no doubt have many questions regarding healthcare marketing with content, and that’s why we’re here! Start 2013 with a bang; check out the tips below.

 
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Healthcare Marketing to Improve the Patient Experience

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For a healthcare marketing firm, whether you’re in LA or Scottsdale, one of your ultimate goals is to improve the patient experience through social media, print materials, video and more. By improving the patient experience with your client’s brand, you can turn patients into fans and brand advocates. However, with the implementation of Obamacare’s ‘pay-for-performance’ measure, increasing a positive patient experience is no longer simply an aspect of healthcare marketing and advertising, it’s an aspect of financial necessity.

 

Pay-for-Performance and Healthcare Marketing

EASYreferrals.com points out how tricky the idea of pay-for-performance can become in an industry where “patient satisfaction greatly depends on patient health, diagnosis and medical outcomes, and is not always contingent on how friendly the staff was.

 
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Costa Concordia – What We Would Have Done

Before the shipwreck of Costa Concordia, Carnival Corp was seeing huge strides in overall sales and Wall Street numbers. Everything was looking up. Today, shares of Carnival have dropped significantly, according to Forbes.com. PRWeek estimates that Carnival will lose more than $90 million in earnings in 2012 due to this event. Here’s what we would have done:

 
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Costa Concordia and Brand Reputation Management

A huge part of public relations and brand marketing is reputation management. IN small terms, that means monitoring social networks, news feeds and blogs for any possible disgruntled consumer or unhappy fan. In big money terms, this means taking a disaster that is truly unimaginable, such as the Costa Concordia shipwreck, from becoming a brand destroying, company crushing event…no small feat.

 

Brand Risk Taking

Every brand takes risks, but hopefully these risks are calculated and are strategically taken in order to increase brand equity. The Costa Concordia, owned by Carnival Corp, took one huge risk in the name of increasing brand awareness that ultimately has tarnished the brand forever.

 
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Lowe’s Brand Reputation Management

Where you advertise says a lot about your brand message. Remember when millions of dollars in advertising was pulled from spots on Glen Beck’s Fox show? Creating a successful marketing campaign is more than just building a brand, creating some advertisements that target your audience. It’s not just about placing those ads in the magazines that your audience reads and the tv shows they watch. Success brand marketing is also about maintaining a consistency in advertising when you choose which tv shows to buy ad space on, and how you respond when it doesn’t go your way.

 

Lowe’s and TLC’s “All-American Muslim”

Recently, Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse ran an ad campaign on TLC’s new reality show “All-American Muslim.” The show, which premiered last month, followed the lives of five Muslim families from a Detroit suburb. As part of the advertising contract with TLC, Lowe’s commercials ran during this new show.
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Crisis Communication and Public Opinion

Public opinion; it’s all that matters in this industry. Public opinion can be a stronger force than any lawsuit, any criminal allegation, and any investigation. Once the media gets a hold of a public challenge to a brand’s reputation, whether it’s because of a lawsuit, investigation or recall, the public becomes the ultimate judge. And once this happens, ideally before this happens, your public relations team must step up with some crisis communication and control.

 

Reputation

Your brand’s identity and reputation are vital elements of increasing brand awareness and equity. If the public cannot trust your brand, does not feel connected to the experience, you will have trouble growing and thriving. Reputation is everything. In today’s environment where increased transparency and access to information online is abundant, a brand’s reputation can be evaluated and verified by just about anyone.
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Real-Time Brand Monitoring for PR

When it comes to monitoring your brand, there’s a lot to take in. From social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, to blogs, news publications, video sites and comment forums, monitoring your brand can be incredibly overwhelming. While a Phoenix public relations firm can take care of brand monitoring for you, it’s best to know what they’ll be looking out for and how you can help.

 

PR and Brand Monitoring

A PR professional, as one time not too long ago, was responsible for your brand image. This huge responsibility was maintained through the relationships that PR professionals have with news outlets, business leaders and other brands. If there was a disruption to the public image of a brand, the PR pro would swoop in, make some phone calls, shoot out some press releases, and fix the miscommunication, repairing the brand. While that is still a huge part of PR, repairing inaccurate perspectives regarding your business brand reaches far greater than just TV and print.

 
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Submitting the Perfect Media Pitch

Any business, whether it’s big or small, can gain a lot from just a little press coverage. As the old saying goes, no press is bad press, and while that’s true in most cases, it’s always better to have the press on your side when building your brand. Developing and cultivating relationships can take time, yet can lead to big things in terms of press coverage. Scottsdale public relations firms who have already established relationships with the press are a great place to seek help in media coverage management.

 

Developing Relationships with the Press

If you have the press on your side, no matter what the story is you will get the benefit of the doubt, which is huge in terms of branding. In order to build a healthy relationship with members of the media, start slow and be consistent. Think of this process as the Tortoise and the Hare. While the Hare will race to meet every media member available and rush into conversations about press releases and press coverage, the Tortoise will cultivate these relationships before making a business move.

 

Don’t go after every member of the media in the beginning. As with building links for Search Engine Marketing, or strategically planning your advertising platforms, seek out members of the media who have written or spoken about your industry, who have a well received audience of their own, and who have good reputations. As with seeking out social media influencers, if this person is going to represent your brand you’ll need them to be perfect for the job.

 

Everyone who is in the business of business doesn’t do something for nothing, if you catch my drift, so offer assistance and friendship to this member of the media that you’re building a relationship with. If they ask a favor of you, try to make it happen, and don’t ask for anything in return until you’ve established a strong relationship.

 

Pitching to the Media

Once you’ve cultivated that relationship, over a matter of weeks or months, and you feel that relationship is strong enough, offer them your story. One of the main reasons that so many business professionals turn to public relations firms is simply due to the fact that those individuals will have spent many years building relationships with members of the press.

 

Even if you have a strong relationship with the reporter and feel comfortable enough to pitch a story, don’t expect that reporter to jump on it if it’s just like everyone else’s story. As with everything else in advertising and marketing, you must be creative and unique. Your story is your brand, and it must convey the right message.

 

Understand what questions that reporter will ask before you pitch the story. Questions such as who will this story appeal to? How will that audience react? Make sure that you do your due diligence to have all of the answers the reporter will need. By making their life easier and having the information, you will have a greater chance of getting your story told by the media.

 

Getting reporters and members of the media to accept and ‘run with the story’ is difficult, which is why many leave it to public relations firms who have years of experience with this process. However, it can be done with enough time, dedication, patience and energy.