Web Strategy Vital To Online Visibility

Digital Success Demands Strategy

Small advocacy organizations and large corporations alike should maximize their online profile and influence. Those who understand the art and science of blogging, social media, and search are much more productive than those who don’t. Those who are disciplined enough to put their plans in writing, stick to the plan, and stay on message are following branding best practices and positioning themselves as leaders in their industries. Those who don’t are flirting with disaster.

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“We still encounter too many organizations of all sizes who think that a web presence is a web strategy,” said Gary Chandler, president of Crossbow Communications, a public relations firm in Phoenix, Arizona. “Web strategy is still one of the most neglected planning documents in corporations, SMEs and nonprofits alike. Even where they exist, web strategies are rarely implemented with optimum coordination and participation from the top level down to the customer and client levels. We all have room for improvement.”

The planning process should yield different results for every organization. Your web strategy outlines goals, budgets, and deadlines. It’s an obvious extension of your marketing plan. It determines how the business should position itself online, what messages to reinforce, what elements to borrow from the core brand and which ones to create specially for digital media. The web strategy defines what online channels to use, the tone, the messengers, what services and products to provide online, and what supporting infrastructure is required. It’s actionable and measurable.

Digital Planning Tips

  1. Audit Your Current Website Now To Establish Baseline Metrics. How many websites do you have? How much traffic is generated daily? Which pages and posts are the most popular? Where is the traffic coming from? How much time do visitors spend on the site and do they bounce to new pages or leave? Do visits convert to action? What are the traffic trends over the past two years?
  2. Audit Your Social Media Metrics. Do you have personal and corporate social accounts and pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn? How active are the accounts? How many followers, friends and connections? How often do you post? What do you post?
  3. Audit Your Competition. What are they doing right and what are they doing wrong? This is ongoing market research. Follow them on Twitter under an anonymous account.
  4. Establish Your Online Budget and Goals. Clearly define whether the outcome is sales, donations, votes, volunteers, etc.
  5. Verify Branding, Positioning and Messaging Strategy. The online strategy is a critical extension of overall marketing strategy. All leaders must demonstrate leadership online, including social media. Failure to do so is a critical branding and positioning mistake. You must defend your market share and mindshare like a leader in your industry.
  6. Personalize Your Site For Top Market Segments. As with all advertisements, clearly define your online prospects and speak to them. Do you have translation available? Targeting also includes the graphics, words, and functionality. If our target market is senior citizens, for example, it’s advisable to avoid small type (just like the old-school rule).
  7. Search Engine Optimization and Page Optimization. Make sure that prospective customers who are looking for your solutions can find you through generic searches on Google, Bing, Yahoo and other top search engines. It takes focus and commitment to get your business to come up on page one of search results for key words and phrases. If your website does not have a section for a blog, you are missing a critical opportunity to build your brand, relationships and heightened visibility. Adding a blog to your website can improve its rankings within search engines.
  8. Develop Social Goals, Strategy and Teams. Who says what, where and when? Social media takes consistent work and a dynamic web presence that involves top brass, employees and various stakeholders. Our goal is measured initially with reach, frequency, and relationships. Revenue is rarely the first step on social media. However, foolish mistakes can prove very costly.
  9. Measure, Analyze and Adjust. We built a baseline in step one. We tightened up the web strategy and turbocharged our social media tactics. What is working the best and what needs refinement? It’s critical to have analytics available to dissect your web activity daily. Where is the traffic coming from? What information brought them to the site–search, promotions, social media activity? Are we gaining connections and interactions on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social platforms? What posts are the most popular?

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Are you earning your share of the conversation on social media? Are you generating your share of prospects who are actively searching for a business or organization similar to yours? Can you gain even more traction online based on the above checklist? If so, we would like to help you raise your online profile and influence as part of an overall marketing and outreach strategy. We can help clients anywhere in the world. Please contact Gary Chandler gary@crossbow1.com

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Crossbow Communications is a full-service advertising agency and public relations firm based in Denver, Colorado. The company also has offices in Phoenix, Arizona and New York, New York. The firm specializes in issue management and public affairs.

The Private Battle Over Public Property, Democracy

Corrupt Public Servants Helping Corporations Pillage, Bankrupt Nations

Five years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its Citizens United v. FEC decision, which opened the door to corporate donations in federal elections. In a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people, with the same right to influence politics as voters.

Unfortunately, corporations can’t vote with a ballot, so they vote with cash, influence and obstruction, which blurs the lines of corruption and fascism. In many cases, the corruption eliminates competition, while promoting favoritism. Of course, such deceit undermines and erodes capitalism. It’s my perspective that any assault on democracy or free-market capitalism is terrorism, not citizenship.

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Meanwhile, many of these same neo-corporations have moved their headquarters to small tiny islands to avoid additional regulations and corporate taxes. They want access and influence, even subsidies, without any of those messy responsibilities associated with citizenship.

“We must achieve a free sort of election campaign, not financed,” the Pope told an Argentine magazine this week. “Because many interests come into play in financing of an election campaign and then they ask you to pay back. So, the election campaign should be independent from anyone who may finance it. Perhaps public financing would allow for me, the citizen, to know that I’m financing each candidate with a given amount of money.”

The Pope’s remarks come in the midst of corruption scandals in his native Argentina. Global advocates of campaign finance reform embraced his message.

“We have just gained a great new ally with a worldwide voice for public financing campaigns,” said Fred Wertheimer, founder of Democracy 21. “We greatly appreciate his words and wisdom on this subject.”

Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi endorsed the Pope’s “call for an end to the contaminating influence of money in our democracy.”

Shock doctrine and disaster capitalism

Compounding the problem is the fact that the assault on entitlements and public services in many countries goes unchecked as corporate welfare takes nations closer and closer to the verge of bankruptcy. Unfortunately, down is the new up in the world of neo-capitalism.

Crisis capitalism is nothing new. The United States helped pioneer this freak form of economics thanks to Milton Friedman and his disciples at the University of Chicago. Friedman’s handlers within the U.S. government found that with enough pain, people will turn over everything that they own, including their nation, to corporate pillagers. I urge you to explore this background for yourself in a must-read book, The Shock Doctrine, by Naomi Klein. Hopefully, you have read this powerful expose’. If not, it serves as a blueprint for the constant crises that dominate national agendas.

U.S. debt rising

As Klein reveals, the U.S. and corporate interests around the world have helped overthrow many functioning democracies with the use of debt. Shots are rarely fired. This philosophy is coming to a nation near you now. The chart above shows the U.S. debt as an example. If the U.S. defaults, the constitution could be suspended. A so-called bailout might emerge. It will look more like a looting of public and personal property. Take a look at some of the privatization taking place in Detroit as part of its bailout. In the U.S., the postal service and the VA hospitals also are prized takeovers. Look at any bailout of a public entity over the past 150 years and you will see that the pattern is time tested. Chile is a great example. There are many more. In the process, competition is not part of the process. The end game is to create unchecked monopolies around utilities, while pillaging pensions and other assets. I have no problem with privatization in many cases, but competition must remain part of the equation. Otherwise, it’s pure extortion.

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Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to give away public land and land-use permits for pennies to the right corporations. It subsidizes multiple industries. It’s gutting public schools and exploiting public lands for the benefit of private interests. It’s stalling progress on environmental protection and climate change for private profit. Make no mistake about it–the tail is wagging the dog. Citizens are being betrayed. Patriotism is being tested by all sides of the equation in every nation around the world right now. We all have a duty to tune in, stand up and speak out. Demand a return to citizen democracy.

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Crossbow Communications is a full-service advertising agency and public relations firm in Denver, Colorado and Phoenix, Arizona. The firm specializes in issue management and public affairs.

Search Engine Optimization Is An Art, Science

Search-Engine Marketing Strategy

SEO matters more than ever. Would you like to capture more business from the Internet? Is your business highly ranked by Google, Bing, Yahoo! and other local business directories? If not, you are giving away eager customers to your competitors every day.

Don’t Miss Your Target. In the digital age, traditional advertising, direct mail, and public relations campaigns are not as cost-effective as a highly ranked listing on Google and other Local Search engines. The top five listings capture 90 percent of your prospective customers who are actively searching for help.

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With Search-Engine Marketing, we can build your bottom line in multiple ways:

  • Increase your market share with higher local search rankings.
  • Build your revenues with motivated new clients who are missing you today.
  • Stop wasting time and money on shotgun marketing tactics.

 Aim Higher & Earn More. Search for your business as a prospective, first-time customer searches for help. The map generated that pinpoints businesses and ranks them with a corresponding listing is Google+ Local (formerly Google Places). Until you’re ranked on that first page of search results, Google and other search engines are working against you—and working for your competitors who are listed on page one.

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Don’t Waste Another Day or Another Dollar. Crossbow recommends Search-Engine Marketing (SEM) for most businesses as a critical first step. SEM is extremely cost-effective and measurable. You can’t afford to miss the people who are actively searching the Internet for your help. Start your SEO campaign today.

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Crossbow Communications is a full-service advertising agency and public relations firm in Denver, Colorado and Phoenix, Arizona. The firm specializes in issue management and public affairs. Crossbow has helped influence public opinion and public policy around the world. It has won state and national awards, while setting state and national records for our clients. Government relations. Media relations. Stakeholder relations. Build your bottom line and a better world with Crossbow.