Media Relations Blog
Dedicated to the world of media, public relations and marketing from TopRank Marketing.

Archive for October, 2006

How to Respond to Negative Blog Posts & Online Coverage

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Monitoring brand visibility is the first step in a brand protection program. Once you have identified negative and potentially harmful online coverage, how do you respond? The response obviously depends on whether the allegations are true or false.

If false or factually incorrect, contact the blogger or webmaster and politely notify him/her that the information is incorrect. Make sure you explain why the allegation is incorrect and, if possible, provide evidence. Then, ask for the post to be removed or the comment retracted. In most cases, the blogger will gladly remove the negative comment if notified of its factual inaccuracy. If you find that the blogger is not co-operative, post a polite but firm comment in response to the blog post explaining why the comment is inaccurate. Depending on the severity of the allegation, you may wish to consult a lawyer.

If the allegation is true, this is where consulting a team member with crisis management experience is vital. Always discuss and confirm external messaging before responding and never deny an allegation that you know is true.

Monitoring Online Brand Visibility

Friday, October 27th, 2006

Brand protection, traditionally known as reputation management, used to be a Public Relations tactic. These days, brand protection cannot be performed effectively without using online marketing tools and tactics.

The Internet and the evolution of social media such as forums, are making brand protection and monitoring a huge task. There are so many opportunities for a negative comment to appear and completely fly under the radar.

Here are some tools and tactics I use to monitor the visibility of a client’s brand:

Email Notification Services
Google Alerts & Yahoo Alerts
Enter a client name or keyword phrase to receive email notifications as online mentions occur.

RSS Feeds
Keep up-to-date on client visibility in the blogosphere by signing up for RSS feeds to blog search engines:

Type in your client’s name in the search box and then subscribe to the results page feed. Every time your client is mentioned in a blog post, you will be alerted via your RSS feed reader.

Outsell, LLC Increases Auto Dealer Sales Via Live Chat&Interactive Web Services

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

Minneapolis, MN – October 26, 2006 – Outsell, LLC, the fastest-growing automotive Internet sales and marketing firm, is taking the automotive industry online and interactive with its “Chat Live” service, which offers customers the chance to consult with car experts via instant messenger before they make a purchase.Today, more than 80% of all vehicle purchasers start their buying process using search engines like Google and Yahoo. The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has also noticed that the automotive industry is quickly moving online.“Almost every dealer in the country has an interactive web site,” said William Bradshaw, Chairman of NADA, “And it’s proven to be not only an effective information resource for consumers, but also an excellent marketing tool for dealers.”Outsell helps auto dealers take the headache out of marketing to consumers online through a complete line of services including:•    Live Chat•    Search Engine Marketing (SEM)•    Interactive Marketing•    Internet Business Development Center•    iBase InsightsOutsell guarantees auto dealers that its “Live Chat” service will increase sales by at least one car per month.  Outsell’s most successful clients are experiencing sale increases of more than 20 cars on a monthly basis.“Outsell exists for one reason: to drive automotive vehicle and services sales from the Web,” said Mike Wethington, Outsell President & CEO. “We don’t connect shoppers to their local dealership. We connect buyers.”Outsell’s “Live Chat” service was recently featured on CBS Minneapolis affiliate WCCO news. Outsell and its dealer client, Burnsville Honda, were highlighted for their leading edge Internet Sales partnership.For more information on the CBS news story, visit: OutsellOutsell provides interactive sales and marketing services that help dealers target, engage, qualify, and close more business.Outsell works with automotive leaders who believe the Internet is the best way yet to deepen customer relationships, reduce costs and increase revenue. And our track record proves it. Outsell’s success is based on delivering measurable results for its dealers. Results.Guaranteed.For more information about increasing your interactive marketing, visit: or call: 888-234-9550

Blogging Systems to Announce New Real Estate Blog Offerings at Leading Real Estate Companies of the World™ (LeadingRE) San Francisco Regional Meeting

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

Blogging Systems, in tandem with LeadingRE, to unveil new real estate blog offerings to LeadingRE members.

San Francisco, CA — October 18, 2006 — — Blogging Systems, LLC, the leading provider of blog services to the real estate industry, has announced its partnership with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World™ to provide LeadingRE members with industry-leading real estate blog offerings.

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World™ is the largest and highest-producing network of top independent local and regional brokerage firms in the residential sector of real estate, with 650 firms, over 5,500 offices and 160,000 associates worldwide.

Charles Llewellyn, owner of Llewellyn Realtors and a LeadingRE member, recently deployed Blogging Systems’ real estate blog.

“Blogging Systems has exceeded our every expectation in the format and implementation of the community blogging platform,” said Charles Llewellyn, President of Llewellyn Realtors. “Blogging Systems truly understands the unique needs of a Brokerage and its Realtors.”

The new real estate blog services for LeadingRE members include:

  • Realtor Community Blogs – These blogs position brokers and their agents as the sponsors of a community blog for use by local organizations and residents, resulting in an effective new 21st century farming strategy.

Augment PR and Search Marketing with Blogging Tactics

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

Many people are talking about blogging being an effective PR tool. The truth is, blogging can be a great component for a variety of marketing campaigns.

Marketers are beginning to see the value of Search Marketing as an addition to a traditional PR program. Blogs complete the circle. Not only can bloggers be pitched like journalists, but blogs in themselves are an excellent way of improving search engine ranking.

We are now encouraging clients to use a blog to manage their online newsroom at the very least.


Blog are dynamic and link oriented which means that they’re great for generating Google juice. The more that new content is added to a website, the more interested the search engines become. Since a blog is essentially a website that is continually being updated with content, it is an easy way to gain credibility with the search engines.

Package Testing Firm, DDL Inc, Launches New“Industry Standards Alert”Service at MD&M Minneapolis

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

Minneapolis, MN, October 17, 2006 – DDL, a leading package testing services firm specializing in medical device package testing, has launched a brand new “Industry Standards Alert” service to help package engineers and manufacturers keep up-to-date on changing industry requirements.DDL has been heavily involved in the revision of several industry standards. COO, Patrick Nolan, is part of the Task Group that developed the revised Technical Information Report (TIR) for the new ISO 11607-01 standard.“DDL believes that it is really important for packaging professionals to be aware of revisions to all industry standards, including ISO 11607,” said Nolan. “Understanding potential changes to requirements can mean the difference between pass and fail when it comes to package validation.”John Hart, CEO of DDL Inc., will deliver a presentation on the “ISO 11607 Revisions” at the upcoming MD&M Minneapolis conference, October 24 – 26, 2006.The presentation will discuss the changes to Clause 6, the most affected part of the standard, and how manufacturers and packaging professionals can prepare themselves for a package validation under ISO 11607-01.“What many medical device manufacturers do not understand is that the revisions to ISO 11607 will seriously impact the requirements for their medical packaging,” said Hart. “There is new emphasis on compliance regulations for sample size, testing methods, labeling and documentation, just to name a few.”Join John Hart at MD&M Minneapolis 2006 for “ISO 11607 Revisions – Understanding Clause 6”, October 26 at 9 am.Sign up for the DDL Industry Standards Alert service at your ISO 11607-01 related question at DDLDDL offers expert package testing, product testing and material testing services including shock testing, vibration testing, tensile testing, leak testing and validation. DDL package testing clients find value through its growing suite of PackServices: PackAdvice, a zero-cost package testing consulting service, and PackReview, a DDL approved certification to demonstrate compliance with ISO 11607 (clause 7). DDL Testing Services maintains full service testing labs in Minnesota and California.

Project Management Training Company – Watermark Learning – Reveals Top 5 Challenges Faced By Project Managers

Monday, October 16th, 2006

Minneapolis, MN, October 16, 2006 – Watermark Learning, a leading business analysis and project management training firm, is addressing the top 5 challenges faced by project managers.As the project management industry evolves, so do the challenges faced by project managers. Watermark Learning is coaching project managers on how to communicate effectively with their entire project team and improve their project success rate.“I think there are several major challenges in project management today,” said Elizabeth Larson, PMP, CEO and Principal of Watermark Learning, “one of the largest is gathering requirements from clients who believe they already have the solution.”Communication is a key element to effective project management and many of the challenges that project managers face are relationship-based. According to Larson, the top 5 challenges are:1. Gathering complete business requirements.2. Working with teams from different backgrounds and cultures.3. Working with geographically-dispersed team members.4. Establishing trust and getting buy-in from business customers.5. Having sponsors and business customers take responsibility for the project’s requirements.“Many clients do no understand why the project manager wants to spend time defining their needs,” said Larson. “This in turn makes the project manager reluctant to ask questions that are important in determining the real business need behind the client’s stated solution.”Elizabeth Larson and Co-Principal, Richard Larson, will be speaking at the upcoming PMI Global Congress in Seattle, October 21 – 23, 2006. In a presentation entitled “Influencing Without Authority,” they will address some of the challenges faced by project managers and how they can respectfully question key stakeholders about their real business needs.Listen to a podcast on the key challenges faced by project managers and register for the PMI Global Congress.About Watermark LearningWatermark Learning is a leading project management training, business analysis certification and requirements analysis skill development company. Watermark Learning is also a Project Management Institute (PMI®) Global Registered Education Provider, and an IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) Endorsed Education Provider. Watermark Learning is headquartered in Minneapolis, MN and provides business analysis and project management training courses for clients around the world. More information about the company can be found at

Blog Services Expert, Richard Nacht of Blogging Systems, Hosts Blogging Sessions at the Inman News Miami Connect HIGH NET Event

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

CEO of leading real estate blog services provider teaches attendees how to create their own blog.Miami, FL — October 12, 2006 — — Blogging Systems, the leading real estate industry blog services provider, announced today that its CEO and founder, Richard Nacht, will lead sessions on how to build a blog at the Inman News Miami Connect HIGH NET Real Estate Conference.Connect HIGH NET is a one-of-a-kind conference connecting luxury property, wealth management, financial analytics and metrics, technology, video and cutting-edge marketing tools.Nacht will lead sessions on how individuals can implement blogs to makeover their business by embracing and leveraging technology to increase business while maintaining a personal touch.The sessions will address the ‘how-to,’ from start to finish, of creating an online presence to help individuals gain an edge in the competitive real estate industry.“It is important for Realtors to be accessible online because consumers are going online at an increasing rate to research their real estate options,” said Nacht. “Whether they are buying or selling, if your prospect doesn’t find you online, they will find your competitor.”Blogging Systems has led the way in online marketing for real estate with the release of its flagship blog platform, Community Publisher. Community Publisher is a real estate blog solution which allows real estate professionals to:

Blog Services Provider, Blogging Systems, Takes Event Networking Online with its Blog Platform at Upcoming Inman News Event – Connect HIGH NET

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

Blogging Systems’ flagship blog platform – Community Publisher – powers Connect High Net Blog for use by attendees, staff and speakers to collaborate before, during and after event.Miami, FL — October 10, 2006 — Blogging Systems, the leading provider of blog services to the real estate industry, has developed a blog for participants at the upcoming Connect High Net event in Miami October 15-17, 2006.The Connect HIGH NET Blog is a forum for attendees, staff and speakers to collaborate and network online pre and post event.Inman News’ Connect HIGH NET is a one-of-a-kind conference connecting luxury property, wealth management, financial analytics and metrics, technology, video and cutting-edge marketing tools.Richard Nacht, founder of Blogging Systems, has over 20 years of experience in the real estate, finance and technology industries. He started the blogging ball rolling with a post to introduce participants to the benefits of collaborating online.“The event blog is a unique concept because it doesn’t limit conversations between event participants to the number of days they are all in the same geographic space,” said Richard Nacht, CEO of Blogging Systems. “The blog allows participants to network, discuss, ask questions and share ideas long before arriving making the event a larger success for everyone.”As participants sign up for the event, they will be directed to the blog and given username and password information.Event Details:Connect HIGH NET: Mastering Property, Wealth & TechnologyWhen: October 15-17, 2006Where: Mandarin Oriental, MiamiRegister at: more about Blogging Systems’ real estate blog platform by visiting: Blogging SystemsBlogging Systems provides real estate blog platforms that produce a low-cost, high results tool for Community networking (both offline and on the internet), effective communication and collaboration, competitive marketing, sales and customer relations.Blogging Systems provides turn-key Community blog networks which are the ultimate real estate marketing tool. Ours is a “soup to nuts” approach with experienced blog professionals who guide clients through the process step-by-step. Not only do we provide the most robust real estate blog platform on the market today, we back it up with training and technical support. Clients receive a turn-key system and the training and knowledge needed to use it as a complete real estate marketing system.For more information about how to add a blog to your real estate marketing tools, visit: or call: 800-985-BLOG (800-985-2564).

MIMA Summit 2006

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

Yesterday I attended the annual MIMA Summit at the Depot in downtown Minneapolis. Aside from winning an XBox 360 (thank you MIMA!), there were some very interesting breakout sessions on the latest in interactive marketing.

I attended one session about pitching bloggers. With blogs quickly becoming another channel on PR pros’ media lists, learning how to correctly communicate with a blogger is a must.

Actually, the secret to pitching bloggers is not all that dissimilar to pitching journalists – understand who they are, what they’re interested in and, most importantly, what they write about.

If you are serious about gaining coverage by pitching bloggers, you will have to conduct indepth research.

– Read your target bloggers on a regular basis
– Open up a dialogue by posting comments
– Be honest/Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not

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