Creative Concepts Suggests Strategies for Handling Negative Feedback

social strategies for negative commentsAs marketers build their online brand presence, one critical area that needs to be addressed is how to handle negative feedback.

Social Media Examiner’s recent research shows that marketers are not prepared for negative feedback.

A recent eMarketer report found that more than half of marketers do not have a plan to handle negative social media posts.

Create a Social Media Policy

If you don’t already have one, now is the time to create a social media policy.

When creating a social media policy or guideline, be sure to include a comment policy and post it publicly on your website as well as social media profiles.

Also specify what language or comments are off limits that might get people blocked from the community.

How to Respond

The worst thing you can do when facing negative comments is not to respond at all. Make sure you respond within the first 24 hours. If the issue needs more attention, then suggest a call or an email address and solve the problem offline.

Poyntner suggests putting together a response plan similar to the Air Force’s flow chart plan. It is a simple, visual guide for your employees to follow when negative comments occur.

Take the Lead

Once the plan is in place, a proactive approach that your company can take is to monitor for all types of online feedback.

Setting up Google Alerts with your company keywords further ensures you are keeping an eye on your brand.

What has worked for your brand?

Creative Concepts Looks at Social Strategies for Public Relations

ID-100256490The intersection of social media and public relations can be a complicated union.

Brands and businesses need to incorporate a process that places social media within the public relations strategy.

Forbes recently wrote “Winning Social Media Strategies for Public Relations” The article highlights social media tips for public relations professionals pulled from a pool of experts.

Here is the list of tips for better social media strategies in public relations.

1. Be brief and don’t be boring. Twitter has forced us to write in shorter snappy snippets. Images combined with messaging are powerful on Instagram and Pinterest. Brevity is key for a sound social strategy.

2. Be newsworthy. Don’t be afraid to tie into a news story. Offer your opinion on it as an expert.

3. Be helpful. Find and follow media folks and offer help. Become a valued resource and keep the sales pitches out of social.

4. Avoid Facebook. Depending on your business, Facebook works with a few strategies such as community outreach, building groups and other brand promotions. But for many other public relations initiatives, you are better served utilizing other social media networks.

5. Be live. Be responsive and real to the public on your social networks. Customer service and crisis communications are key areas in which social networks can extend your reach to customers.

What are some ways your business uses social media for public relations?

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Creative Concepts Examines Facebook Page Changes

ID-10075433New updates seem to come out weekly on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Some updates are simply cosmetic and some updates completely change your marketing strategy for that network.

Social Media Today recently wrote “Your Facebook Page’s Organic Reach is About to Plummet.” Organic page reach has been falling since Facebook has focused on building advertising opportunities on the platform. Historically, Facebook organic page reach fell from an average of 12.05% in October, 2013 to 6.15% in February, 2014. With the newest algorithm changes, organic reach is expected to be at only 1 – 2%.

This Facebook strategy means that businesses with pages will need to pay to play. Their free “trial” is over. Facebook will need to be a budgeted promotional line item. It can still be a very effective advertising tool, but at a cost.

For consumers, Facebook will remain free to use. The downfall for people using Facebook is that their newsfeed will be peppered with more advertising.

What can a business do when social networks make these types of changes?

The most important part of a digital marketing strategy for your business is your website. This is property that you own online and can control. Your website should be the central hub of your online presence. Creating a blog and sharing your expertise is also an effective way to utilize your website and introduce prospects to your company.

Facebook is still an extremely effective promotional tool. If your business page has fans, you already have a group of interested prospects and customers. And with Facebook’s detailed demographics, it is still one of the best ways to reach a targeted group of people at a lower cost than tv, radio and the like.

Social media networks can be channels used to broadcast your messaging, but the central hub of your business online needs to be your website.


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Creative Concepts Looks at PR Tools to Boost Productivity

pr toolsPublic relations professionals face many challenges in their day to day roles. In addition to multitasking daily projects, PR pros need to stay on top of the latest news about their industries and clients as well as advances in technology.

We recently wrote about social media tools that brands should be using for effective social media monitoring, listening and interaction. Here are a few PR productivity tools from PR Daily to add to your PR toolkit that are designed to make you work smarter, not harder.

  • Muck Rack Pro – the paid version of Muck Rack connects journalists and sources online. You can receive alerts, organize media lists, send PR pitches, search for journalists and more.
  • Scripted - this online services matches freelance writers to businesses needing copywriting for various content projects like web site copy, white papers, blog posts and more.
  • Boomerang offers free online event management and registration software. Too busy to do it yourself? They also have staff onhand if you need to outsource digital marketing efforts such as email and social media marketing.
  • Dropbox for iPhone - centrally manage your important files and view, upload and share documents, images and media easily and quickly.
  • Rapportive adds a fuller profile of your contacts right inside your inbox. See their picture, contact information and social network handles within your email. And even better, it’s free. I use Rapportive and it’s a really handy tool – like having CRM inside my Gmail.

Some other tried and true public relations resources and tools include:

  • Help A Reporter Out, a free email newsletter that lists journalist queries by topic looking for sources.
  • Fiverr marketplace connects you with a services professional for low cost (starting at $5.00) graphics & design, online marketing, writing & translation, video & animation, music & audio, programming & tech, research and many more online services including fun & bizarre topics.
  • Cision’s EdCals Tool – A free search tool for editorial calendar topics so you won’t miss out on topics related to your business.
  • MailChimp – A free online email marketing service. Design snappy email newsletters for your company and your clients – no IT knowledge required. Service is free up to 2,000 contacts then there is a paid structure by volume.
  • Feedly – Stay on top of industry trends and client & competitor news with this RSS feed reader. Scan the daily headlines while you sip your morning cup of coffee.
  • PicMonkey is an excellent, free online photo editing site. Add text, use filters and create graphics with impact without the headache of Photoshop.
  • Piktochart - Design easy infographics online and share with the world, no design experience required.
  • Powtoon – Create animated videos and presentations with this free business presentation software.
  • Red Stamp – Modern correspondence in a digital world. Send thank you notes and postcards from your iPhone on the fly. They will even mail them for you.
  • Shoeboxed - Scan your travel receipts and submit digital data painlessly with this online service. Free and paid subscriptions.
  • Tweak Your Biz Title Generator – When you need to come up with a snazzy blog post or article headline, this is your bookmark.

What are your favorite PR tools that you can’t live without?

Image courtesy of Dan /

Creative Concepts Looks at The State of Google Plus in 2014

ID-10075379Google Plus is a relatively new social network that brands and companies have not yet fully embraced. With more than 1.15 billion users and 201 million active mobile users, Google Plus is certainly a network worth noting.

In November, Nielsen reported the Google Plus site had 29 million visitors who spent an average seven minutes on it, while the app had 41 million visitors who spent 11 minutes.

While it doesn’t have the numbers of Facebook (128 million users on its website and 108 million on phones), Google Plus provides a platform for personal and business use including Hangouts for video communication and the ability to share photos. Various smaller interest groups find that Google Plus Communities allow for communicating privately based on interests such as photography, technology and other topics.

Some folks argue that Google will benefit the most from Google Plus due to the centralized login for all of its properties such as Gmail, YouTube, Google Plus and more. Although Facebook collects lots of consumer personal information and interests for advertisers, Google can connect the dots on someone’s digital life through a variety of their products such as their email contacts, video preferences, map usage, G+ interests as well as web sites visited on the Google ad network.

Some companies are simply on Google Plus to boost their search engine visibility.

That said, the following infographic from wearesocial shows that 70% of the top interbrands are using Google Plus. Whether the network will be successful remains to be seen, although many brands and businesses are starting to embrace it.

Is your company on Google Plus? Why or why not?



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Creative Concepts Celebrates Chic Stock Photos

stock photosUntil now, a search on a stock photo website typically brought up photos of men and women with strained smiles in severe business suits posing next to antiquated technology like old computers and discontinued cell phones.

Marketing folks on a budget had little to no choices when looking for useful stock photo images for their messaging.

Thankfully Getty Images and Sheryl Sandberg recently partnered to create The Lean In Collection, a collection of over 2,500 images designed to make stock photos of women more empowering.

One look at the Lean In Collection and you can see fresh, interesting images of real people (men and women) in the varied roles people have today in business and in life.

The project is a result of a study commissioned by Pam Grossman, Director of Visual Trends at Getty Images. The study tracked the changes in the representation of girls and women in the media. It evolved into a presentation that she later delivered to Sandberg and the Lean In team at Facebook.

From the website: “We are proud to present the Lean In Collection, a library of images devoted to the powerful depiction of women, girls and the people who support them. Jointly curated by Getty Images and LeanIn.Org – the women’s empowerment nonprofit founded by Sheryl Sandberg – the collection features over 2,500 images of female leadership in contemporary work and life.

A portion of proceeds from the Lean In Collection will go toward the creation of Getty Images grants for images showcasing female empowerment and to supporting the mission of LeanIn.Org.”



Creative Concepts Reviews Public Relations Then and Now

In the not-so-distant past, public relations professionals faxed and mailed press kits and news releases to media sources. News was published the next day or even the following week.

Nowadays news breaks at lightning speed over Twitter and through email, being distributed in real time via online channels. Daily newspapers seem dated if news breaks earlier the day before.

There is a new media segment to target – influencers – they are niche bloggers with their own websites and readerships.

Technology and the internet have completely changed the pace of how news and information spreads, increasing at breakneck speed.

The pressure to keep up requires that PR pros stay schooled in the latest technologies while staying true to traditional forms of relationship building. These are trying times!

The firm InkHouse Media + Marketing released an infographic that compares PR then versus PR now. What do you like most about PR 2.0? What do you miss from the olden days?



Creative Concepts Looks At Photography Tips for Better Selfies

Couple taking a self portraitNow more than ever people are sharing digital pictures of themselves online. Smartphones give people the power to easily shoot their selfies with the press of a button.

The word ‘Selfie’ was even named word of the year in 2013 by Oxford Dictionaries as usage of the word grew 17000% from the previous year.

Snapping a savvy selfie sounds relatively simple, right? Wrong!

People are making simple selfie mistakes with their eyes, mouth and jaw that can really make the difference between a flattering shot and one destined for the trash bin.

Portrait photographer Peter Hurley recently shared tips for better selfies and head shots in the Fast Company article “Always Be Squinching and Other Tricks from a Portrait Photographer for Taking Flattering Pictures.”

Among the tips, focusing on your eyes and jawline are at the top of his list. The top trick when looking directly at the camera? Bringing your forehead slightly towards the camera and tilt your face down a little bit. Another tip is always adding a slight smile.

For a wealth of great photography tips, check out this video and the article.

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee /

Creative Concepts Looks At The Death of SEO

ID-10088341According to an article on, SEO is dead.

How so? The changes in Google’s algorithm have reduced the importance of keywords and PageRank, among other things.

Their new secure search removed keyword data so companies no longer know what keywords people use to find their site. That is one downside from the changes.

“In short, Google is doing a brilliant job of pushing people away from tactical SEO behavior and toward a more strategic approach.” – Eric Enge, Search Engine Watch.

In their latest algorithm changes, it appears the Google is no longer rewarding websites based on strictly tactical measures. Digital marketers need to be more strategic with their optimization efforts.

It is imperative that you research what your target audience is looking for. Explain how your product/service can solve their problems. Provide great content on your website and communicate this information through social and digital channels.

The main idea of SEO focuses on providing a great user experience. It’s about them, not us.

SEO is not dead after all. It is simply growing up.


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Creative Concepts Studies 7 Myths of Email Marketing

Email marketing remains an effective, integral part of a brand’s marketing strategy yet it lacks the attention that the internet and social media receive in the digital age.

There are many email marketing myths floating around the web like when the best time is to send email as well as when people tend to open them. PR Daily recently reported on common email marketing myths and included an infographic from Alchemy Worx.

Here are a few of the email marketing myths cited:

  • Consumers are drowning in emails from trusted brands. Fact: Sixty percent received less than 6 brand emails per day.
  • Consumers like to click the spam button. Fact: Less than one subscriber per 2,000 will report the email as spam.
  • The subject line can get the email marked as spam. Fact: Keywords have little to no effect whether an email goes into the spam folder.

Take a look at the infographic and plan your next email campaign with confidence.

email marketing myths