Archive for 'media'

OJ–Why Won't You Just Go Away? (A Personal Rant)

I’m sitting here watching the news this evening and a story about America’s favorite murderer appears talking about how News Corp (a.k.a. Fox) has pulled the plug on the book and the pending interview to promote the book like we’re somehow being deprived of quality “content.” Thank God someone came to their senses before a major public faux pas!

I keep wondering every time I see this joker masquerading around on television like everything is great and he’s a just a swell guy, “what WON’T this guy do for money and publicity?” It never fails—every six months or so the “Juice” makes the news for something that really isn’t noteworthy, but the media can’t get enough of this cat. Maybe the public can’t get enough of him so that’s why the media pours over every bit of “news” about this guy like he’s contributed something to society worth a damn. I’m confused as to why anyone would care though. The guy whacked two innocent people in a jealous rage, got away with it and tries to play it off like he really didn’t do it. I’m sorry, DNA evidence is a pretty strong indictment of guilt in my book. Newsflash—he did it! I don’t care if the stupid glove didn’t fit–he’s still guilty!!!

Can we just get over this guy already and quit promoting his self righteousness at every turn? He obviously needs money although he finds plenty of time to hit the links which I know can’t be cheap. I suppose he’s still hunting for the “real killers” on the golf courses throughout the country as that’s where most hardened criminals hangout right? Where is he getting his money anyway? Shouldn’t every penny he has go to the Goldmans and Browns?

While OJ remains a large mystery to me in terms of his popularity, he’s not fooling anyone with half a brain—he’s a guilty man who got an innocent sentence. That internal guilt has to eat at one’s soul like nothing else. However it ultimately ends, I’m ready for our television and news airwaves to be freed of this low-life fraud once and for all.

I received an e-mail today from Business First stating they may publish a couple of my articles. This is big news for me and my firm as I’ve been trying to get published in print for a little while now in order to market the consultancy to a broader, yet localized, audience.

One of the things I try to weave into website owners’ heads is offline marketing is still important when it comes to your business. We’re still a society that reads print publications even though the subscriber numbers are coming down for almost all print media. That doesn’t mean it’s not a viable medium for marketing a business especially if you can get something published for free like an article. Technically, the article isn’t free as time is money, but your time is hopefully rewarded with an increase in business. Even if you only capture “bathroom impressions” from print media, those are still valuable hits you wouldn’t get otherwise.

It’s still more cost effective to market online since you can reach a seemingly endless prospect base, it’s real time, and you can achieve a quantifiable ROI from online marketing unlike that of television or print. Who is to say that your television commercial or print ad gets viewed as often as suggested? Since the marketing firms are against Nielsen releasing television commercial statistics (I’d love to see those numbers!), it’ll be awhile until we can put a definitive number on viewership, but we can regularly get that data online. Same with print media–how can one be sure if their article or ad receives the “impressions” or “eyeballs” the publisher suggests? It’s hard to accurately quantify those numbers, but I will gladly take the exposure print media can provide.

I’ll report back once one of my articles gets published and share the online traffic numbers after publication. It should produce a noticable spike, but there’s no way to tell until it actually happens. We’ll monitor this “campaign” just like we would an online effort.

Before Tackling SEO In-House, Weigh Your Options

Have you ever wondered “can’t I just perform search engine optimization in-house?” The answer is a resounding “yes, you can,” but there are many things to consider prior to starting your own in-house SEO program. If everything does not line up at the moment, it may be a wiser decision to bring in an outsider to optimize your website properly. Let’s look at some common considerations.

The initial question you should ask yourself prior to undertaking an in-house SEO program is “do I currently have the staff expertise to tackle SEO effectively?” Good candidates for SEO have traits such as: good research skills, learns quickly, high attention to detail, adapts well to change, enjoys solving fairly complex puzzles, is technologically savvy, and isn’t afraid to try various approaches to solve a problem. If you do not spot these basic traits in someone on your staff which could transition smoothly into an SEO role, it might be wise to look externally for some help.

If there is no one obvious on board currently, who else might be an ideal choice within your organizational ranks to learn SEO? Perhaps training someone that is unhappy in their current role, yet is still considered an asset to the organization, may provide a good opportunity to transition that person over to an important new role. Maybe there is someone that is very intelligent which isn’t so happy dealing with people on a regular basis—they may make a good candidate also.

Once you have a candidate or team sketched out, how will you train them? There are several places to look for training and several sources of basic information, but it may be best to hire an outside firm with the sole purpose of training some of your people as they perform the actual services. Many reputable firms will agree to this type of arrangement provided you are clear with your objectives early on in the relationship, and you set a realistic timeframe. This presents a potential win-win outcome in many cases because the outside firm can lay claim to improved ratings as a result of your partnership, and you can build your new team while sharing in the publicity your site brings to both parties. Keep in mind it can take anywhere from two solid months to a year to get someone up to snuff so don’t expect miracles overnight just because you’ve pegged some folks to take on this role. If someone is really passionate about learning, the curve can be shorter, but that is an exception rather than a rule. Most people are resistant to change which means they won’t fully invest of themselves immediately.

Lastly, are SEO tasks performed in-house really cost effective for your organization at this stage of the game? Many SEO firms charge, on average, anywhere from $2,000-10,000 per month to perform their services. That’s a somewhat broad price range, but it takes into account several factors such as: how competitive are the keywords you’re wanting to rank well for, how many high ranking back-links might it take to improve your site’s ranking, will original content generation be a major factor, how well does the site rank today, how long until consistent results may be evident, and so forth. SEO is not a quick fix project and should be viewed as a long range strategic investment versus a one-time project.

If, after reading over this brief list of considerations, you even slightly believe it would be of greater long-term benefit to your company to hire an external firm, it might save some headaches down the road to just bite the bullet and hire someone now. SEO can definitely be done in house, but it takes appropriate planning and allocation of resources just like anything else.

For more Search Engine Optimization information, please visit our company site.

5 CEOs That Must Go

One of the toughest things for a CEO or business leader to handle is their own transition plan. When you’re in the everyday running of a business, it’s difficult to instinctively know when it’s time to get out of the way. To that end, we’ve come up with a list of five current CEOs that should transition themselves out of the head cheese role.

  1. Bob Nardelli—Home Depot. Good old Bob has managed to screw up one of the best home improvement retailers in the land by taking away customer incentive programs and overdoing cost cutting measures. High level management changes haven’t addressed the root of the problem—Nardelli! Is it any wonder Lowe’s has become the preferred home improvement retailer?
  2. Michael Cherkasky—Marsh McLennan. This guy has seemed to be out to lunch on repeated conference calls and doesn’t seem to understand the company’s business. Revenue has flattened the past three years, and Putnam has declined tremendously. It’s time for someone who understands the business model to take over the helm and get this company growing again.
  3. Meg Whitman—E-Bay. Meg is more concerned with crashing the upscale “benefit” (term used very loosely) circuit and being liked than she is capitalizing on E-Bay’s unique position in the market. They have virtually no competition, but they could do so much more with their cash than an undesirable acquisition of Skype which E-Bay vastly overpaid. That poor decision in itself is enough reason to make a change at the top.
  4. James Tobin—Boston Scientific. The Guidant purchase should seal this guy’s fate all by itself. Talk about an acquisition that made little sense and didn’t contribute to any corporate “synergies.” This bad deal was all created when Johnson & Johnson initially bid on Guidant then backed away once Boston Scientific decided to overbid in their haste to acquire another company. Guidant had all sorts of lawsuits surfacing as others were bidding so it’s a puzzle why both companies didn’t immediately retract their bids and walk away to leave Guidant to figure out their own legal problems. Kudos to J&J for ultimately outfoxing Boston Scientific and James Tobin!
  5. Terry Semel—Yahoo. Yahoo has been slow to act as Google continues to gain world dominance in the search arena. Yahoo should be strategizing for growth and considering buying smaller niche companies, but the management seems to be absent minded to doing anything. Message to Terry: sell the company to Microsoft and enjoy the proceeds.

There you have our short list of CEOs that ought to start their succession planning now if their companies are to return to the glory days of eye-popping growth.

Have comments? We’d love to hear from you.

SEO Considerations

Things to Consider before Embarking on an SEO Initiative
1. How long have you been in business?

2. How long has your website been “live?”

3. How much traffic does your website generate per month?

4. Have you submitted your site to all of the major search engines?

  • a. If so, when was this done?

5. Have you submitted your site to any directories?

  • a. If so, which ones?
  • b. Is your site still listed on those directories?

6. Who are some of your potential linking partners?

  • a. Friends
  • b. Co-workers
  • c. Clients
  • d. Similar businesses which aren’t competitors
  • e. Business journals
  • f. Local chambers
  • g. Complimentary products/services
  • h. Affiliates/distributors
  • i. Suppliers

7. Do you currently distribute press releases about your business?

8. Do you currently distribute articles on topics related to your business?

    a. If not, do you know of anyone within your organization that may be a good candidate for writing these types of articles?

  • b. Do you have case studies or white papers you could share?

9. Does your company have a blog?

10. What other forms of advertising and marketing does your company utilize?

11. How much have you budgeted for a complete SEO Program?

  • a. Is this budget specific to the SEO effort, or is it a percentage of your overall marketing budget?

12. What are your plans should an SEO program not produce immediate (1-3 month) results?

Please Note: Most SEO programs take a minimum of six months to begin to reap benefits. We suggest utilizing traditional marketing methods until the SEO program begins to produce the desired results. Backing out of an SEO program after 3 months will likely produce minimal results although it is not impossible to see results that quickly.

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