public relations

Monday Ann-Sense: Goal Setting

Written January 5th, 2014 by
Categories: Monday Morning Ann-Sense, public relations

2014 GoalsWe are nearly into a week of the New Year already. The rush of the holidays has creased. Everyone is done talking about what they did on their holidays. Your in-box should be down to at least twenty emails by now. And voice-mails cleared from your phone. You can now exhale and refocus your thoughts on the future.

If you haven’t jotted down goals for yourself and/or business, it maybe a time to do so now. I’m for the KISS model, which is Keep It Simple Stupid. Goals don’t have to be complex. And they don’t have to be big ones. They do have to be actionable and attainable. They have to stretch you either mental or physically. Or both. They have to be important to you.

For the first time ever, I am actually going to write my goals down in Notes of my iPhone so they are with me everywhere. Notice I haven’t used the word “resolution.” They always seem to fail. That’s why I prefer to use “goals.” They are something to work towards.

We are immersed in all things digital and it can become overwhelming. I’m planning on following my own advice in my newspaper column on reducing the digital clutter as one of my goals to cut down on the digital clutter in my life.

On that note… let me go write my goals. So what are your goals for 2014?

Remember a goal is part of plan. And plan is verb meaning it changes and moves. You should always be in beta… ever adapting and changing.


2014 Marketing & Social Media Trends: What you need to know now.

Written December 30th, 2013 by
Categories: newspaper column, public relations

2013-12-25 17.24.05As this year comes to the end, we look to 2014. What trends do you need to be aware of in the realm of communications in the coming year as a business owner to reach your customers more effectively?

There are some clear trends developing you need to be aware of, understand, and then incorporate into your marketing strategies.

Attention Economy. People see more than 34 billions bits of information daily according to a report by the University of California, San Diego. The figure equals to reading two books a day. We are moving to the attention economy where people’s attention is treated as a scarce commodity.

That’s a lot of information to process and more and more people are starting to tune out. Currently there is too much content on too many platforms, says Maggie Leifer McGary, a digital content strategist based in Washington D.C. That said she believes that images/video will continue to gain as a preferred content source for users.

Businesses will have to work smarter truly understanding their product and audiences within the attention economy. Jennifer Stauss Windrum, founder of the social business, Sock Monkeys Against Cancer (SMAC) echoes McCary’s thoughts and adds that organizations need to make their messages visual and shareable in our highly “Pinterest-ized” social media world.

Mobile. It is making the list for a second year and for a good reason. It continues to dominate, as a business must.  People are moving away from desktops to smart phones and tablets in greater numbers. Mobile is important to your marketing.

According to research published by The Pew Internet & American Life Project, more than 90 percent of Americans own cellphones and 57 percent of all Americans go online using their mobile phone. With smart phones now outnumbering their less intelligent ancestors and cell providers offering a multitude of data plans, the mobile revolution has arrived.

Organizations need to move from just mobile optimization of their digital properties to responsive and adaptive designs, which are designs that fluidly change and respond to fit any screen or device size. Geoff Livingston, founder of Tenacity5 Media shares that thanks to diverse mobile media properties, business can now deploy customized campaigns to attract customers on the go.

Kami Watson Huyse, CEO of Zoetica, concurs adding that customers expect real time information based on location and relevance. This will require organizations to think more in terms of one-to-one personalization. Mobile can provide this to them.

Predictive Tools. We are moving away from the simple analytic tools, which only give the basic information. The tools are become more predictive, which means various techniques from statistics; modeling, machine learning, and data mining can analyze historical and present day information to make predictions about unknown events in the future.

Lani Rosales, Chief Operating Officer at AGBeat where business meets web, explains the era of simple tools no longer excites and the world is looking to discover what to do with all of their data, so predictive technologies will gain traction in 2014. She believes that all of the current tools we are using can not only play better together, but also produce more meaningful results.

The trends of the attention economy, mobile, and predictive tools feed into a positive customer experience. Customer service should always be a cornerstone for public-facing organizations. Social media is becoming a more subtle extension of things where some brands understand it is a slog of real business says Howie Goldfarb, CEO of Blue Star Strategic Marketing. Organizations need to continue to improve customer service and communications on social channels.

The New Year will be about effectively understanding then reaching your customers. Reaching them where they are, not where you want them to be with information in a format they want. And providing them with the best customer service on all communication channels. Here’s to a great 2014!

This column was originally published in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Monday, December 30, 2013.


Social Media Crisis Communications Avoid a PR #failThe Book

Social Media Crisis Communications: Preparing for, Preventing, and Surviving a Public Relations #Fail is now available in eBook format. Buy it now! (If you like the book, please  leave a review; it is greatly appreciated)

TIME CRUNCH? Are you putting your crisis communications plan together and need help? Or are currently dealing with a crisis and need crisis communications assistance? Get help NOW. Contact Ann Marie at or +1 302.563.0992 today.

Monday Ann-Sense: 2013 In Review

Written December 29th, 2013 by
Categories: Monday Morning Ann-Sense, public relations

Social Media Crisis Communications Avoid a PR #failAs 2013 comes to an end and we transition into 2014, I’ve taken stock this year. It have been an amazing year:

• I published my first book, Social Media Crisis Communications: Preparing for, Preventing, and Surviving a Public Relations #Fail (Que, 2013). The title says it all. I wrote it to help professionals understand the new dynamics of social media and crisis communications. Social media has been around for more than five years now, yet organizations are still making what I call ‘rookie’ mistakes.

• My newspaper column I’ve proudly written for the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader for the past three-and-half years recently went national on McCatchy-Tribute Information Service and is available to over 400 newspapers. For three years in a row, my column was recognized by peers with first places in the Delaware Press Association Communications Contest. Writing the column keeps me focused on cutting-edge topics businesses need to know about.

• This very blog, Ann-Sense, won a Second Place in the Delaware Press Association Communications Contest. Speaking of Ann-Sense, the addition of Monday Ann-Sense feature has been well received and has become one of more popular posts on the blog. Ann-Sense continues to evolve.

• Mind The Gap Public Relations refocused our core offerings to focus more on online reputation/crisis management and digital management.  While we still provide a host of “traditional” public relations services such as media relations and branding, we are emphasizing our fifteen year depth of knowledge in digital around online reputation and crisis management. More later on that in 2014.

All that said, what were the top five posts in Ann-Sense this year? I know that’s what you are waiting for… These post are diverse and hit a cord with readers. Here are are:

Monday Ann-Sense: Spirit of Social Media & #LostBear

Paula Deen: What not to tweet when your brand is in crisis

Social Media Campaign Risk: #VineInLine on Black Friday

Take the Social Media Blinkers Off

Syndication Network or Reciprocal Social Sharing: Platforms not to blame

Thank you for being part of Ann-Sense by reading, sharing, and commenting! Here’s to a great 2014!

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