EXPOSED! How To Go Evergreen.

A Manual to Making Your Story Timeless

As a public relations professional, I took notes, but as a person, I internalized his message. The presentation was about storytelling and how to craft the perfect content. The message was “why.”  It is a very humbling question to ask yourself why you do what you do.  

So, there I was intrigued; then out of nowhere, Jim Olson, founder, and president of Hangar 6 Strategic Storytelling mentioned evergreen content. This is just a term for stories that are “always relevant.” I don’t know about you, but in the past, I had always been taught to craft a very personal story that speaks to the emotions of another person. Of course, the concept of evergreen content blew my mind, so to make sure I fully grasped the term, I related it back to beauty. 

Beauty. What does that word mean to you? What comes to mind? Is it your partner, the Eiffel Tower, your dog, a supermodel, or maybe it’s your mom. Whatever beauty means to you and whoever you thought of, like me you should realize that you just created evergreen content. 

For a moment I want you to imagine that you own a multi-million dollar cosmetics company; diversity is your slogan and innovation is your bread and butter. How do you make that last? How do your company and its ideas remain relevant? The answer is, you get very comfortable with creating evergreen materials. 

Of course, in the digital age, we’re living in, creating material that is “timeless” seems almost impossible. With social media platforms become a breeding ground for the latest trend of “outrage culture,” how does one break through the chaos and remain relevant with an everlasting story? In my opinion, the answer is research. Yes, I know it sounds both simple and really inconvenient, but I promise if you ask most public relations professionals, marketers, or advertisers what they do before implementing any campaign, approach media, post a billboard, etc. they’ll say research.

Picture of a photo showing Google Analytics on it.
Photo by Edho Pratama on Unsplash

 I just so happened to be reading Forbes the other day, with the hope of reading something inspiring, and I found this quote: “The common facts of today are the products of yesterday’s research,” said Duncan MacDonald. Nowadays we’re so lucky to have access to some amazing research tools, no longer do we have to search for a book on the shelf, the inconvenience related to research shrinks every day. 

I can’t recommend enough that everyone knows how to use Google or Bing.  I’m not saying that these search engines have all the answers, but if you ask the right questions they’ll get you close. Evergreen stories don’t just happen. They take a deeper level of thinking, which I’m sure if you’re reading this you’re already thinking deeper than the ocean. 

Some of the things I suggest you look for to get started are why you and other people care, now or in the future; and what is the best way to get your point across. Answering questions like these take your story from talking about the latest lip gloss that will soon be replaced by the newest lip gloss, to talking about the latest lip gloss and how it’s reshaping the beauty industry. Which one would you rather read?

So, the next time you’re thinking of writing a timeless evergreen story, take a moment to do your research. Because if you don’t know what you’re talking about and why it matters, how can you expect anyone else to? 

Shh! I’m Trying to Boost My Voice

Your guide to strategic brand analytics in the digital age

Have you ever thought about breaking away from the crowd? Yes? Great! This post offers an in-depth summary of how you can raise your voice higher than most people online.

What is the key to standing out?

Digital analytics may be one of the best-kept secrets in the marketing, advertising, and public relations industries. The reason for the secrecy, well,  if everyone knew the power of data and how to interpret it, there would be no need to outsource. You’re in luck! This post has broken the complicated subject of digital brand analytics and market share into three easy to digest parts.

Brand, what does that mean to you? Some people may think of Nike, MAC Cosmetics, Target, Chanel, Starbucks, etc. Those are all great corporations and brands with several things in common, one being the ability to effectively analyze content and engagement.

Three hands holding cell phones that say branding on the screen.
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Of course, you are an individual and small-business that may not have the available resources like those of Nike or similar companies. To be successful, you don’t need them. Take this quote from Chuck Hemann and Ken Burbary in Making Sense of Consumer Data in a Digital World: Digital Marketing Analytics, “to stay consistently relevant, you must have your finger on the pulse of your digital brand health.”

With that said, here is the first step you should take when growing your brand:

Brand share begins with measuring what category and audience your brand reaches and occupies. The easiest way to think about brand share is to break it down into three equally important parts:

  1. What people say – Also known as share of voice (SOV), is easily broken down as: conversations about your brand / total conversations in your brand category. For example, take all the conversations happening about Nike, then divide those conversations specifically about Nike, by all the conversations happening in the apparel category.
  2. What people do – More commonly known as share of search (SOS), equals searches about your brand/total searches in your brand category. This may be self-explanatory, and just refers to how many people are searching for your brand compared to your competitors.
  3. Who’s your audience – Or share of audience (SOA) is equal to the total audience for your brand / total audience per competitor within a category. This part is a little more complex and should be broken down. Start with focusing on one platform like Facebook, then move onto your other platforms collecting the total sum. After you are done calculating the total of your own audience, do the same for your competitors. By plugging in your total audience with that of one of your competitors, you will then discover your SOA.

If you can remember these three parts, then you’re well on your way to understanding market share, solidifying your brand, and having a competitive advantage over your competition.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Tom Peters in Fast Company, “all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”

MANEATER: A Metallic Matte Poem

she feels the ruby red flush across her lips

for in these moments, her quest remains motionless

she has conquered all

for the heat of the poison demands her attention

she puckers

for the sun has finally broken the facade

she is no longer alone 

for a new day has come.

 

*This poem was inspired by the women who dare to wear Maneater, an Always on Matte Liquid Lipstick by Smashbox Cosmetics.

Why aren’t you into makeup? It was made for you.

I am really excited about this week’s topic. I want to discuss what the beauty industry does behind the scenes in preparation for a new product launch. I will begin with the process of analyzing sentiment.

In case you have been living under a rock, makeup is the brand-new buzz word. With four out of five women opting to cover their natural freckles or an unexpected breakout with makeup, how could the industry be considered so controversial?

It is 2018! With megastars like Alicia Keys standing for natural beauty and the #NoMakeup movement, the industry is facing a “trial by Twitter.” Of course, to an industry that is projected to be valued at over $800 billion in the next five years, criticism is just a part of the territory. To me, the beauty industry is like the best lip plumper in the market, thriving.

The “no-makeup makeup” is a huge trend and has overtaken the original stance of #NoMakeup. I agree this is somewhat disheartening; what was a very powerful movement has been buried under CC cream and ultra-lightweight foundation. What most people don’t know, is just about every campaign was carefully crafted to adhere to the response of the last one.  Meaning, nearly everything from foundation to nail-polish was planned around the latest trends.

What happens after all this sentiment data has been collected? If the company wants to be successful, it should continue by doing more research. According to Forbes, the first four out of 17 steps anyone should take before launching a product, are centered around having an intimate understanding of your audience. Social listening should be utilized, and with the help of platforms like Meltwater and Twitter, it is easier than ever.

For example, here is one of my recent tweets to MAC Cosmetics:

Tweet with a comment from MAC Cosmetics to Janet Diane White
Comment from MAC Cosmetics to Janet Diane White

I am sure the company deals with hundreds of mentions every day and probably has a database of automated answers, but the fact that they are listening should be what we care about.  Imagine if 100 of my friends and I stated our opinion on the company’s lack of sonic blue blush. MAC would then have a choice, to either make the desired blue blush or not.

For argument’s sake, let’s say the company is moving forward with launching the blue blush. One of the next steps would include creating a demo or tester. After successfully completing the product safety testing and quality control, it is time to spend the blush out to the company’s list of influencers. In a perfect world, each influencer is loving and raving about the blush, and their audiences are ecstatic about the innovation.

Before MAC officially launches its sonic blue blush, the company should ask itself “why,” one more time. Why does the world need this blue blush? Why do people want a blue blush? Why did we create a blue blush? The fact is, the answers to these questions can be found with research, and MAC should be obligated to answer them without hesitation.

It is go time; the blue blush has hit the market. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and there are a few loud disapproval’s. Good thing the company did its research and has already blocked @WeHateBlue because of its habit of publicly posting inappropriate comments.

Congratulations! You now have a foundation on how to do a new product launch. What are you going to launch next? I encourage you to read the entire, “17 Steps to Take Before You Launch a Product,” and then let me know what you think the next biggest trend will be.

It’s Time To Get Honest About The Truth

After listening to the recent S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications conversation with NPR’s David Folkenflik, I can tell you true and honest media is more important than ever. In the first couple of minutes of Folkenflik’s opening statement, he brought up the question as to why media may choose to publish articles that may be far from the truth. This idea of dishonest media or fake news got me thinking of ethics, and whether or not the truth really matters.

WAER news director Chris Bolt was one of the mediators for the discussion with Folkenflik. Bolt, brought up a pretty important question – Why doesn’t the media focus on things that are less sexy? Like the environment, local elections, education policy, etc.  The two men were able to get to the conclusion, that at the end of the day, media gives people what they want.

In a recent poll by Gallup, nursing was ranked the number one most trusted profession with 82 percent of participants agreeing for the 16th year in a row. The highest ranking communications profession are newspaper reporters holding steady at 25 percent trustworthiness. Advertisers were ranked low at 18 percent and public relations practitioners did not make the list.

Let us take a detour for a moment and imagine a successful beauty campaign. What made it successful? Can you point out what appealed to you the most? The fact is most beauty campaigns are meticulously crafted, researched and tested before the public ever sees them. The reason for all of this painstaking work is not to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes, but to create a connection and beneficial relationship. As Folkenflik said, “we are in a time of extremely short attention spans.” The task of creating a relationship within seconds is daunting and at times may be seen as jarring to the consumer, but who said love, at first sight, was easy?

As you might already know, I am currently studying public relations at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. I have spent quite a bit of time and my money in efforts to become a public relations expert. I think we can all agree that education is very important, but so is your time and money, so here is the truth. Public relations no matter the industry, or position, focuses on building mutually beneficial relationships.

I know our society is in a time of media scrutiny and most people are finding it hard to trust anything, so I think this is a perfect time to remind anyone reading my blog of the six values held by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and me:

  1. Advocacy: We provide a voice in the marketplace of ideas, facts, and viewpoints to aid informed public debate.
  2. Honesty: We adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth in advancing the interests of those we represent and in communicating with the public.
  3. Expertise: We advance the profession through continued expert-level development, research, and education.
  4. Independence: We provide objective counsel to those we represent. We are accountable for our actions.
  5. Loyalty: We are faithful to those we represent, while also honoring our obligation to serve the public interest.
  6. Fairness: We respect all opinions and support the right of free expression.

Signed PRSA Code of Ethics Form
PRSA Code of Ethics, Signed by Janet Diane White

I have proudly taken the pledge putting honesty at the top of my priorities for this blog and the rest of my career.

Next week, I will be returning to my regular content and am excited to describe the process of a new beauty product launch. In the meantime, please let me know what you think of this type of content in the comment box below.