what we think

We don’t think of ourselves as know-it-alls, but we do like sharing our thoughts, experiences and POV from time-to-time. We are in continual learning mode and here is what we think, when we think it.

#BMA14 From Afar

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago   Since the Tell Your Story team is staffing the 2014 Global BMA Conference media room, my colleagues are front and center for BMA14. As a remote team member, I’m taking part from hundreds of miles away. It really says something when your eyes simply cannot keep up with your Twitter feed. Follow #BMA14, the official event hashtag, and watch your feed explode with quotes, observations, photos and real-time session takeaways. There is always much anticipation and excitement surrounding the annual BMA conference, the largest b2b marketing conference in the entire world, and this year is no different. The buzz is palpable, even if you aren’t there in person. ...

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Tell Your Story Wins Business Marketing Association B2 Award of Excellence

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago       The Tell Your Story team is delighted and honored to win a 2014 Business Marketing Association B2 Award.  Last night we received an Award of Excellence in Content Marketing for our social media work for client USG Corporation.  Our nomination told the story how we planned and carried out a content marketing campaign to communicate USG Corp.’s emergence from the recession to audiences that matter: Contractors. Builders. DIY-ers. Specifiers. Architects. Designers. Building products dealers and distributors. Employees. We worked to develop and share quality content to the USG community in locations across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.   [caption id="attachment_1927" align="aligncenter" width="300"] One example of social media activity surrounding USG's new brand identity and sponsorship.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1936" align="aligncenter" width="188"] #USGBuildIt activity on Twitter[/caption] The B2 Awards is the Business Marketing Association’s premier, international b2b marketing awards program honoring creative excellence and the best in...

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You Should Be Proud of Your BMA Chapter Leaders

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago     On the eve of #BMA14, we had the opportunity to attend BMA Chapter Leader Day in Chicago as a pre-conference event. There must have been nearly 75 chapter leaders in attendance from cities across North America. Some were there to figure out how to start a BMA chapter in their city. Others were there to share their knowledge on what has worked and what hasn’t. Everyone was there to learn to make their chapter better and more valuable for their members.   Bottom line is that we should all be proud of our chapter leaders. Long time national board members Elton Mayfield (Kansas City) and Greg Olson (Colorado) stressed time and time again throughout the day (and at previous chapter leader days) that the chapter is the heart beat of BMA. Without strong chapters, the national...

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Seen and Heard at Digital Megaphone’s 6th Annual Social Media Masters Summit

#ICYMI #smms14 was a trending topic yesterday on Twitter. Not surprising when 150 social media masters conglomerate in one room, but it certainly speaks to the power of sharing engaging content.       I was able to attend the 6th Annual Social Media Masters Summit hosted by Digital Megaphone in Chicago on May 15. The event hosted some of the best and brightest talent in the social world, with CMOs and social directors from brands like @Clorox, @BuzzFeed, @Threadless, @United, @ConAgraFoods, @Arbys, and @VanityFair, to name a few.   If you want a marketing career that keeps you on your toes, social media is the route to go. The always-changing, never-static socialsphere is ripe with learning opportunities and challenges. It can be hard to keep up at times, but nothing beats the feeling that comes from seeing your social media campaign take flight.   Speaking of learning opportunities, here are my key takeaways from the summit.   1. “Content...

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April 27 is National “Tell a Story Day”

[caption id="attachment_633" align="alignright" width="114"] George and Amanda at a trade show doing what they do best - telling the client story.[/caption] April 27 is National Tell a Story Day, which to us ranks above National Take Your Dog to Work Day and maybe even National Coffee Day in terms of magnitude. It’s a day to celebrate the art of storytelling and is designed to get people telling, sharing, and listening to stories. We develop and tell our great stories through fun and compelling marketing communications and what we call Social PR.   We celebrate “Tell a Story Day” every day. We know that storytelling is a powerful way to motivate, involve and connect with others. Everybody, and every business, has a great story, and by uncovering and telling those stories, we can connect with people, motivate and persuade people, and ultimately change behavior.   The story is what’s memorable. The story is what resonates with...

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Visiting Professional for the Week

    [caption id="attachment_1843" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Jerry Sloan & George Rafeedie[/caption]   This week I am the Jerry Sloan Visiting Professional of Public Relations at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. What an honor – and incredibly surreal. He was my advisor and professor when I attended OU in the early 1990s. I've loved keeping in touch with him since and am proud to serve in a teaching capacity this week in his name. Not only is Jerry Sloan a mentor to me professionally, but personally, since the day I met him, he has been a role model. He cares about his students, alum, his former colleagues and especially his family in a way that has been inspiring to me.   Also inspiring, even to this day, are memories of lectures that made vivid imprints on our brains that helped us visualize what we could achieve in this great world of public relations and marketing...

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Forget Relying on Tools. Focus on Developing Your Skills Instead

  If social media is constantly evolving, do social media experts really exist? Good question. Google changes its algorithm. Facebook changes its news feed. How do you adapt when the tools you use for marketing keep changing? The answer is simple: the tools don’t matter. Your foundation does. This article points out that the real value lies in your ability to communicate, and that’s where you should strive for expertise. We couldn’t agree more.   Read the source article at entrepreneur.com...

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Integrate Your Content Marketing with SEO / SEM

This great article states that "nearly half (45%) of all companies say content is ‘highly integrated’ with their SEO efforts, compared to just 24% for paid search marketing and 16% for mobile marketing. Organizations are more likely to integrate content marketing with their SEO strategy than they are with any other digital marketing discipline."   The phrase integrated marketing is one of those overused terms, as is content marketing. However, this study shows that more and more, integration of owned media and paid media is crucial. At Tell Your Story, we integrate earned PR media, too.   We are not sure why the SEM integration percentage isn't the same as SEO. Perhaps budget, but we have found that content, SEO, SEM and earned PR go hand-in-hand when thinking about and executing marketing plans to tell your clients' great stories.   Read the source article at Econsultancy...

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6 Habits of Great Connectors

We all know that networking is a key factor to success, whether you're a recent grad or someone with years of experience. But there's more to it than collecting business cards. At its heart, networking is about connecting on a personal level and building relationships, but in a room full of strangers that may not always be easy. That's why we love this Inc article that discusses six simple - but very effective - habits of the best networkers, starting with something as easy as "smile." Read more here:   Read the source article at inc.com...

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