Category Archives: Uncategorized

Integrated Communications: Blend Well to Stand Out

Posted on: September 30th, 2014 by Erica Harbison No Comments

In today’s ever consolidating and shrinking editorial environment, individuals and companies with something important to communicate are wise to avoid relying solely on third-party editorial channels to communicate their messages. The days of simply briefing analysts and reporters and then awaiting their stories and reports are history.

Now, I am a huge advocate for the value media and analyst influencers bring to the dialogue and the marketplace. I enjoy building these relationships and nurturing them over time with great stories about how our B2B tech clients are advancing in their industries and engendering customer success.

But with the ability to go direct with their messages, companies of all types, whether B2B or B2C, need to harness new communications vehicles to reach their target audiences and influencers in increasingly value-add ways. And this makes it an incredibly exciting time for communications professionals and marketers to be innovative!

As Wendy Marx described in her recent Fast Company article, “the role of public relations has morphed into a bigger job…brands must widen the net and maintain an always-on presence. This means using a combination of third-party validation, along with branded content and social.”

At McBru, we are firm believers in taking an integrated communications and marketing approach for our B2B technology clients. Here are some tips and best practices to help ensure that you have the right blend of social media, outreach to third-party influencers, and content marketing in your integrated communications plan.

  1. Complement your PR efforts with a strategic social media influence, engagement and amplification plan, and back the campaign with high quality (aka, engaging and informative) content. B2B audiences want to be educated and informed, not marketed to.
  2. Go beyond the speeds and feeds of the news to uncover what’s in it for the customer; how can the customer win with your solution? This will help your message stand out and be better received. “Me Messages” are just not as interesting.
  3. How does your message translate to visual aids and supporting content pieces that help your message travel online? This might be a brief and descriptive video, an infographic loaded with rich customer-centric data, or an image slide show that illustrates the many customer implementations of the solution.
  4. How are you reaching those media influencers? The traditional methods still make sense – a short, sweet and very tailored email and perhaps a phone call (if you have a good rapport) – but we also believe in the power of social media to reach media and non-media influencers alike. @mentions are an easy way to get attention for your message and content. If an influencer is following your company, an @mention is a useful tactic. However, be careful not to go overboard; like traditional PR, be targeted, tailored and considerate.
  5. How is your message appearing on your company’s website and corporate blog, and are you taking advantage of paid advertising placements? All of these touches ensure a holistic and synergistic way to communicate with your audiences.
  6. Don’t forget the call to action! With so many messages, what’s your audience meant to do with the information? Make it plainly known and insanely simple. As we know, even in 140 characters, attention spans are shortening and the competition for your audience’s time is increasing. Make your message stand out in the right ways, in the right places.

Love Is Love

Posted on: June 13th, 2014 by Erica Harbison No Comments

There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.
-Mother Teresa

* * *

Love is loveIn early 2014, Team McBru was tapped to design a t-shirt to help Oregon United for Marriage raise awareness and support for marriage equality. With our strong local roots and commitment to our community—not to mention our shared values—it was a resounding “YES!” to take on this pro bono work. Our CEO, Kerry McClenahan, had already been quite involved in the cause, spearheading efforts to gather signatures from Portland area creative agency leaders in support of the freedom to marry, and by hosting a fundraising engagement at her home.

The team had a blast brainstorming unique, clever and inspiring approaches to the t-shirt design. Many great ideas poured out—from rainbow colored wedding cakes, to two Oregon state mascots holding hands (we all loved this one!). The creative process was fun and spirited. The whole agency voted on the 10 or so designs created; it was amazingly hard to choose. We could all see ourselves proudly wearing one or more around town. While the t-shirt contest did not come to fruition as Oregon United campaign had planned, it didn’t matter, because we, and many, many others were thrilled to celebrate the lifting of the same-sex marriage ban in Oregon in May.

Pro bono work is something a lot of businesses, particularly agencies, do. Giving back to the community is the right thing to do. We do it because we love to flex our creative and word-smithing muscles in new ways for meaningful, local causes. Doing it as a team strengthens the bonds between our employees, which is an extra rewarding bonus.

At McBru, we strive to support at least one pro bono or volunteer cause per quarter. In the past we’ve gotten dirty pulling ivy in the Tryon Creek watershed; we’ve cooked and served many dinners for the Transition Project shelters; we’ve help build houses with Habitat for Humanity; and we’ve provided social media and PR strategy brainstorming to the Children’s Cancer Association for their My Music Rx program. And of course, we love to support our friends at the Technology Association of Oregon and its STEM education-focused TAO Foundation.

Here at McBru, we celebrate all who walk through our doors, and all the doors through which we have the opportunity to walk. It’s our goal to use our talents and passion for tech B2B marketing to make each day a little—or a lot—better for those with whom we work, whether it’s a client or our community. Wouldn’t you all agree it’s a much better world when we seek to give more than we seek to get?