How to Bring Good Energy to Your Brand.

From maximizing your marketing efforts, facilitating creativity, and achieving success, employing the ancient art of feng shui can help you build a better brand.

I recently spent some time doing some spring cleaning, de-cluttering really, and in the process, took a deep dive into the art of feng shui. While it’s widely known you can use feng shui to create a better quality of life, improve your health, attract more harmony and happiness to your relationships, even help build a more satisfying career, did you know that feng shui can also help you build a better brand, better marketing, and better communications for your business?

With all these potential improvements, is it time to Feng Shui your brand?

Feng-Shui-for-Business

“Feng shui is an ancient art and science developed over 3,000 years ago in China. In literal translation feng means “wind” and shui means water. In Chinese culture, wind and water are associated with good health, thus good feng shui came to mean good fortune.”

What I took from the experience of de-cluttering, a basic premise of the philosophy of feng shui is the importance of balance and harmony in your life; also the importance keeping things in your life that bring you joy and possessions that bring value. Along the same lines, I started thinking about the art of branding and how important it is that all your brand elements, platforms, tactics, messaging, etc. bring harmony, balance, and value to your business. Is your tagline in line with the key benefit of your business? Are your logo colors setting the right tone and evoking the right emotions? Do your logo shapes and symbols tell your story? Does your website provide an enjoyable online experience? Does your email marketing bring value to your prospects and customers? Does it bring value to your business in terms of results? Are you crafting the right message to the right audience and sending them to the right landing page? (That’s where the harmony comes in to play!) If you’re not sure, perhaps it’s time for a little digital marketing and branding feng shui.

Importance of Keeping Your Brand Clear and Simple. If by keeping your life simple, free of clutter, serenity will follow, does they same hold true of your brand? If you keep your brand clear and simple will success follow? Ultimately, there’s a lot more that goes into success than creating an awesome brand image, however, in my experience, your brand image represents and communicates the essence of who you are as a brand so if it is indeed clear and simple, brings value to your brand, and communicates the “joy” or key benefit of your service or product, then it goes to follow that applying feng shui principles to your brand can go a long way in helping to set you up for success.

From maximizing your marketing efforts, facilitating creativity, and achieving success, employing the ancient art of feng shui can help you build a better brand.


Stay tuned for our Feng Shui for Business series as we explore how it can be utilized and leveraged for all aspects of your brand and small business. Do you have a question about bringing balance, harmony, and value to your communications strategy and branding? We’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment and we will try to answer your question in an upcoming post.

Four Important Content Trends to Watch.

Is it time to double down and invest in content marketing? PR Daily says yes! Check out these 4 trends that prove content marketing is on the rise.

Is it time to double down and invest in content marketing? PR Daily says yes! Check out these 4 trends that prove content marketing is on the rise.

“Efficient production processes don’t just happen. They’re developed and refined and overseen by project managers. That’s why content marketing teams composed of creators, editors, and — you guessed it — project managers are so valuable.” – PR Daily

Success in content marketing (in 2018 and for the foreseeable future) is achieved by having the right people with the right skills empowered by the right tools and processes.

Here are four important content trends that reveal the power of content marketing teams is on the upswing:

1. Top-performing content marketers value (and prioritize) creativity in their content production process.
A major part of breaking through the noise online is creating content that is uniquely engaging— and that’s really hard to do if you’re not embracing the creative side of your content marketing brain. Thankfully, according to Content Marketing Institute, 74 percent of marketers (and 88 percent of high performers) say their organizations value that creativity.

Click here to read full article.
Source: PR Daily


Need help with your Content Marketing? We can help!

We agree that creativity is king when it comes to content! At April Neill Public Relations, we pride ourselves on out-of-the-box strategies and copy writing that is compelling, persuasive, and resonates with target audiences.

Do you need help with Content Marketing, including Copy Writing, Brand Journalism, Content Strategy, Web Copy, Branding, Blogging and/or Press Outreach? We can help!

Contact us today to arrange a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation at aprilneill@gmail.com to discuss your project and how we can help you achieve your goals. We love writing and love helping brands tell their stories! Whether you need help working with your internal team or you need a project manager to run point on your communications strategy, we have years of experience in both traditional and digital public relations, including securing over 100,000 million media impressions, developing dozens of successful marketing campaigns, writing for business blogs, and specialize in small business, wellness, faith-based businesses, and non-profits.

Top Tips for Getting Your Emails Opened: Infographic

Email is a potent, enduring weapon for internal and external communications. In fact, did you know that email has been shown to be 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than social media? Need guidance? Check out this cheat sheet on how to get readers to open your emails.

Click here for full article from PR Daily.

Email Marketing Cheat SheetSource: PR Daily

Need help maximizing your efforts? April Neill Public Relations can help! Shoot us an email at aprilneill@gmail.com for a free 30 minute no-obligation consultation to discuss your email marketing goals. We offer strategy and execution of email marketing campaigns, both working closely with your team or with our team!

Relevance Key Ingredient to Great PR.

 

As a PR professional, I can say unequivocally that great PR is all about intention. Knowing who to pitch; crafting a pitch that resonates; knowing when and how to pitch; all key ingredients to producing PR that gets results.

Creating PR that’s relatable is key. Check out this article from Forbes Magazine on how to make great PR by putting relevance first. Click here to read more about why relevance matters in PR.

Still need help? If you need support creating news and press releases that resonate and connect with your audience, we can help! April Neill PR has 20+ years’ experience helping businesses tell their stories, crafting messages that matter and producing PR that connects and delivers results.

 

6 Tips to Turn Your Boring About Us Page Into a Lead Generation Machine

How effective is your About Us page? Does it convince your website visitors that you are the right company for them or does it bore them to death?

If you think yours needs improving take a look at this infographic from Referral Candy which gives you 6 tips on how to acquire customers using your About page.

6 Tips to Turn Your Boring About Us Page Into a Lead Generation Machine.

Simple tips for improving your online newsroom.

OnlineNewsroom

With the growth of brand journalism and social media, there has never been a better time to build awareness and attract and build interest in your business and your work amongst journalists. A great way to do that is with the online newsroom that can act as a media hub for all your stories, videos, images, and other content you create to engage with your audiences. PR Daily recently shared eight ways to make sure your newsroom stands out:

  1. Optimize for mobile. Smartphone screens are one of the primary ways that users interact with content, so make sure your newsroom works on mobile devices. For help, download this free mobile social media press release template.
  1. Use visual storytelling. Press releases that contain images, videos, and downloadable files get nearly 10 times more views than those that use text alone, so put visuals center stage in your news releases. On your main page, use low-resolution images that load fast, and link them to high-resolution versions that can be downloaded in one click. Never hide your images behind password-protected image libraries.
  1. Make it shareable. Add social media sharing widgets to your newsroom so that it’s easy to share your content. Make sure your images and videos are automatically embedded in social posts via Facebook Open Graph and Twitter Cards. Facebook posts with images are proven to get more engagement, and tweets with pictures are 94 percent more likely to be retweeted.
  1. Make it easy to integrate into other web properties. Add an RSS or JSON feed, embed widgets, or even an API to your newsroom. This enables your media partners to integrate your content into their digital properties, giving you more visibility.
  1. Do your SEO homework. Drive more organic traffic to your newsroom by adding relevant header tags and relevant keywords, helping you get found by search engines. Check out Woorank’s SEO analyzer for a free analysis and tips to improve your SEO rank.
  1. Build it for speed. Google favors faster sites with faster load times, so take care that all your high-resolution visual content isn’t slowing you down. Pay extra for a fast server and make sure your content gets regularly cached. Aren’t sure how your load time stacks up? Use a free website speed test to analyze your load time and find any bottlenecks.
  1. Build once, use repeatedly. If you work at an agency, you’ll need to manage multiple newsrooms for clients, each with their own logos and brand guidelines. Rather than reinvent the wheel for each new client, build a reusable template that can easily be skinned for a custom look and feel.
  1. Integrate with a pitching tool. Building your newsroom is just the first step. You still have to pitch your stories to influencers, which is why you need to integrate your newsroom with a pitching tool. Choose a tool that includes automatic media previews so that you can tease your visual assets directly in your emails. Analytics and contact management are good to have, too.

All this may sound daunting, but launching an online newsroom isn’t all that complicated. With so many tools available to help you create newsrooms, setting it up is the easy part. Start small, use a good basic template, and most importantly, lead with great stories.

Source: PR DailyOriginally posted August 15th, 2014 by Frederik Vincx, co-founder at Prezly, a PR tool that helps you pitch stories to your media contacts that care.

Courtesy of April Neill Public Relations, a boutique PR firm serving small businesses and non-profits in Chicagoland. April Neill PR offers FREE 30 minute phone or in-house consultations. For more information, visit AprilNeillPR.com or email info@AprilNeillPR.com.

10 Online Personal Branding Mistakes You’re Making on Twitter

Check out this great little guide on personal branding for anyone who is new on Twitter, or anyone who is concerned about personal branding. Enjoy!

Courtesy of April Neill Public Relations. April Neill PR is a boutique public relations firm based in the Chicago area that specializes in increasing brand visibility and recognition for small businesses and non-profits. April Neilll PR offers FREE 30 minute phone or in-person consultations. For more information, call 815.651.0656 or visit AprilNeillPR.com.

[Infographic created by LinkingR]. Source: BIT REBELS

Personal Branding Mistakes
BIT REBELS shares this great little INFOGRAPHIC for online personal branding mistakes.

15 Tips for Garnering Media Coverage for Your Business

Garnering media coverage is a great way to boost credibility.

Getting featured in the news is a great way to boost credibility, traffic, and sales and also a great way to build trust.

Family Features recently shared their 15 top tips to help you create content that is desirable to editors:

  1. Plan ahead. Some of our best placements have 60 – 90 day deadlines. The early bird here really does get the fattest worm!
  2. Be unique. Think beyond common sense advice or information.
  3. Catchy Headlines. If it catches the editor’s eye, they know it will engage their audience.
  4. Solve a problem/inform. Less fluff = More interest.
  5. Celebrity endorsements. Readers love them and therefore so do editors.
  6. High quality HD photography. If your photos include people, make them as culturally diverse as possible – or offer alternative photos featuring Latino, African-American, Asian (et al) subjects.
  7. Cast a wide net. Don’t limit yourself geographically or demographically. Craft your message to be relevant to the widest possible audience because not everyone gets snow in the winter.
  8. Pair a video with your story. We are getting more and more requests for video content that relates to/enhances print content.
  9. Include statistical info from credible sources. Pepper your message with back-up stats from 3rd party sources.
  10. Take advantage of trends. Aligning your brand with hot topics is a big win.
  11. One size does NOT fit all. Bite size content is a consistent request. Consider crafting tips that can be published in whole OR broken into minis that will run as a series over several days. Smaller chunks = Bigger nameplate placements.
  12. Consider tailoring your message to meet ongoing content gaps. Can you authentically tie your brand to things like automotive, career, seniors, families, home buying/selling, etc.? If not, consider sponsoring a series of articles that meet these gaps. You’ll have editors jumping for joy.
  13. Pursue a target demographic with strategically themed content. Consider targeting cultural or demographic groups by selecting culture or demo-specific themes with mass appeal, i.e. Hanukkah, Kwanza, Quinceañera or Changing Careers Late in Life.
  14. Consider infographics. Make sure they are designed in a resolution that will look as good in print as it does on your computer screen.
  15. Deadlines. Did we mention the real need to plan ahead? Many publishers would LOVE to print your message….but only if you can get it to them in time. Making content available 60-90 days in advance is hands-down the best way to get visibility.

Source: Family Features Blog. Written by Vickie Rocco. Published Wednesday, July 30, 2014

April Neill is a brand strategist, lifelong entrepreneur and founder/CEO at April Neill Public Relations, a boutique public relations firm serving small businesses and non-profits in Chicagoland. You can find April on Twitter and also connect with April Neill PR on Facebook.

April Neill Public Relations is passionate about helping small businesses position themselves as experts in their industry. We offer a complimentary 30-minute in-person or phone consultation. Visit AprilNeillPR.com to make your appointment today or call 312.772.3832 for more information.

15 Grammar Goofs that Make You Look Silly

Posted by April Neill, CEO/Founder April Neill Public Relations

With the rise of content marketing, being able to write effectively is hugely important. Avoid some common grammar errors with this really cool info-graphic. Enjoy!

We’re big advocates of conversational writing that’s engaging, persuasive, and fun. So that means it’s perfectly fine to fracture the occasional stuffy grammatical rule (and many times it’s preferable).

Grammar Goofs
Grammar Goofs from copyblogger

On the other hand, making some grammatical errors just makes you look bad, and hurts your effectiveness. Sometimes we even misuse words simply because we hear others use them incorrectly.

So, we’ve assembled the 15 most egregious grammar goofs into one helpful infographic. With this handy reference, you’ll never look silly again.

Via Brian Clark, copyblogger.

April Neill is a brand strategist, lifelong entrepreneur and founder/CEO at April Neill Public Relations, a boutique public relations firm serving small businesses and non-profits in Chicagoland. You can find April on Twitter and also connect with April Neill PR on Facebook.

April Neill Public Relations is passionate about helping small businesses position themselves as experts in their industry. We offer a complimentary 30-minute in-person or phone consultation. Email AprilNeill@gmail.com to make your appointment today or call 312.772.3832 for more information.

Crafting and Delivering Education-Based Marketing Messages

strategyBy April Neill, CEO/Founder April Neill Public Relations

In our last post, we talked about the value of Education-Based Marketing. You know it’s important, but how do you craft messages that reach and resonate with your best potential customers?

Have you ever wondered what the best content marketers do differently? How they create content that not only captures interest and engagement, but drives leads as well?

If you’d like to create content that’s powerful, relevant, informative and engaging to your target audience, you need to first match your marketing strategy and education-based messaging with buyer behavior.

There’s no content marketing success without strategy.

Imagine stepping into the minds of your future prospects and listening to their thoughts before they decide to begin shopping for a wedding photographer. What questions are they asking themselves? The secret to attracting qualified prospects early on in the sales cycle is to find out the answers to those questions and use them as the basis for your education-based marketing strategy.

For instance, if you were to offer your prospects the choice between two free special reports, one titled “Why Brand Z is the Best Wedding Photographer” and the other titled, “Seven Little-Known Secrets to Hiring the Best Wedding Photographer,” which do you think would get the most downloads?

Based on the latest statistics, the second report will out perform the first report by 10:1. Educational information that helps your prospects solve problems and make better buying decisions is the type of information that attracts prospects and drives leads and engagement.

How To Package Educational Marketing Messages to Generate Qualified Leads

Once you’ve developed your educational strategy and message, you need to package it and offer it for free in exchange for your prospect’s contact information. This is crucial. Effective education-based marketing isn’t just about getting your messages out and reaching your audience, but more importantly, it’s about getting a response back and building a list of interested prospects. You need to make this your goal.

Generate Qualified Leads & Build Your Email List By Giving Away Goodies

You can package your educational messages in formats your prospects will respond to such as FREE white papers, audiocassettes, videos, email courses, or even webinars. It’s a great way to attract customers to you!

Give Your Message an Exciting Title

An important aspect to making your educational message engaging is to give it an irresistible title. People love how-to articles, numbered lists, and getting information (secrets) that others don’t have.

Resist the urge to give a sales pitch.

The beauty behind Education-Based Marketing is that you give prospects what they want, information and advice, without the sales pitch — and you get what you want, their contact information which will help you kick your business revenue into high gear. By offering helpful advice, you establish yourself as an industry expert because prospects see you as a reliable source of information, making them more willing to receive your updates and offerings.

April Neill is a brand strategist, lifelong entrepreneur and founder/CEO at April Neill Public Relations, a boutique public relations firm serving small businesses and non-profits in Chicagoland. You can find April on Twitter and also connect with April Neill PR on Facebook.

April Neill Public Relations is passionate about helping small businesses position themselves as experts in their industry. We offer a complimentary 30-minute in-person or phone consultation. Email AprilNeill@gmail.com to make your appointment today or call 312.772.3832 for more information.