Tag Archives: LinkedIn

The Online Profile Builder is here! Bruce PR’s innovative digital marketing solution for SMEs

We’re delighted today to unveil details of our new Online Profile Builder. We developed this in response to the digital marketing needs of local businesses — businesses that are too small to have their own PR or marketing person, but too big to ignore the demand for online content.

Our Online Profile Builder is the perfect solution for businesses who want their business promoted but don’t want to do everything themselves. Bruce PR’s Online Profile Builder will solve the problem of having professionally written, high-quality content for your social media channels, and proper news items for traditional news outlets including newspapers — a crucial mix in the Highlands.

To find out more, visit our stand (Stand Number 1!) at the BNI Highlands Expo today at Eden Court. We’ll be able to show you just how our Online Profile Builder can solve your social media and publicity challenges, with one simple package. Click here to book a 5-minute telephone chat to get all the details.

The most expensive coffee you’ve had this year?

What's the true cost of this coffee? The answer may surprise you.

What’s the true cost of this coffee? The answer may surprise you.

If you’re like me, you’re constantly on the lookout for tips and tricks to be as productive as possible. We’re eager to find hacks that will help us save time, Apps to automate common tasks — keen to squeeze more out of each minute.

But when was the last time you questioned whether you should be doing that particular task at all? That’s what hit me today, when I was invited by a connection on LinkedIn to meet for coffee.

According to his message, he’s met me a few times already. My reflex is to accept. And normally, I would go ahead and arrange to meet him.

But today, when I received his invitation, my immediate reaction was: “What will this meeting cost me?”

Agreeing to meet him — and with no explicit goal for the meeting — will probably eat up at least an hour and a half. Normally, being sociable and open to the prospect of developing business, I would have accepted his invitation.

But today is different.

Over the past few months, it’s clear I have become more reluctant to accept invitations, and keener to stay at my desk — generating revenue.

This was reinforced by an interview I recently heard with Seth Godin: “I find I have a lot more time since I stopped watching television, and going to meetings.” What an eye-opener that was.

Is it just me, eager to stay put rather than take the opportunity to meet and deepen a recent connection, or are you also jealously guarding your time at your desk?

As a solo practitioner, if I am not generating revenue, nobody else is doing it for me. On days that I have meetings, I rarely get much done in the revenue generation front. And it’s not just the time I spend at the meeting, or the time it takes to travel to and from it.

For me, the biggest cost is the interruption. Getting into the flow of a new project, developing a good idea, outlining a kick-ass seminar or presentation — that is pure gold. To interrupt it to go for a coffee may cost you far more than you anticipate.

So, the next time you’re invited by a business connection to meet for coffee, ask yourself if you’re headed out for the most expensive coffee you’ve had his year.

Laura Bruce’s top 10 PR tips from two decades in public relations

Bruce Public Relations founder Laura Bruce, on the banks of the River Ness in Inverness

Bruce Public Relations founder Laura Bruce, on the banks of the River Ness in Inverness

To celebrate our 10th anniversary Bruce Public Relations in Inverness is sharing 10 of our “insider tips” to help you boost your organisation’s profile. Remember, if you have really big news to share, speak to a professional about the best ways to get the word out.

In no particular order, here are 10 simple things you can do to ensure your business has an edge when it comes to PR.

  1. Learn to identify what may be newsworthy in your organisation. Are you launching a new service? Introducing a new product to your field? Are you involved in supporting a charity or other cause? All of these things create opportunities to open up dialogue with key audiences. [Hint: it’s not always the media you should be focussed on.}
  2. Identify the most appropriate social media platforms to reach your customers and clients, and establish a presence here. If you aren’t sure which platforms best suit your business, do some homework or speak to a professional for advice.
  3. Keep your website up-to-date. If you haven’t revised your website since it was built, it is probably out of date. Take a good look at it and see what needs freshening up, and make these changes.
  4. If you have news, consider issuing a media release. (If you’re not sure if you need one, contact us.)
  5. Anniversaries and milestones are ideal opportunities to share some news. If you have celebrated your 10th anniversary, or just built your 100th house, let people know.
  6. Share good news with your own team, first. There’s nothing better to build employee relations than treating your staff as “insiders”. Share your news with them, first. They can be great ambassadors for your organisation, and can take pride in your success.
  7. Take photos. You can’t go back in time, so make sure you get them while you can.
  8. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing insights from your industry. People who work outside your field of expertise may be quite interested in your observations. If you are seeing a trend develop, write a blog post for your website, or share your thoughts on LinkedIn.
  9. Make it simple for people to contact your organisation. Whether it’s through your website, by telephone, or over one  or more social platforms, ensure there is a pain-free route to contact you.
  10. Put a company ‘backgrounder’ on your website. It should contain basic information including when the organisation was established, who the principles are, the main products or services you provide, and a link to a contact form for more information. Some organisations do this on their “About” page, while others use a dedicated page for news. Either way, help people who visit your site to get a handle on what you do, and for whom.

Have you found these top 10 tips helpful? If your organisation has decided it’s time to start communicating, contact Bruce Public Relations. We’ll help you identify the most newsworthy information, and then help you communicate it the most appropriate audiences. We’ve been delighting our clients for more than a decade. Isn’t it time you got some PR TLC?

What your posts on LinkedIn say about you

I am reluctant to post this on LinkedIn. Why? Because LinkedIn is the reason I am writing this.

I am grumpy about grammar.

Today, I am grumpy about grammar.

Does anyone know how to spell, or use proper punctuation? I am aghast.

Catching up on LinkedIn after a hectic week, I scanned a number of posts quickly. First to catch my eye:  “Scotland wide competitions available for post graduate students” . I agree, Scotland is wide, but surely Scotland-wide isn’t such a stretch for a public sector employee on 70 grand a year? And ‘post graduate students’? Are these specialists in installing posts? LinkedIn, you really have to up your game.

Next to capture my beleaguered eye, an update from a LinkedIn connection in PR. This man who shall remain nameless, but whose job title is PR specialist mused about the future of the i newspaper, citing its “potential acquisition by the owner’s of the Scotsman”.

It’s bad enough to have to slog through the scenic images with ‘motivational’ quotes superimposed on them, or yet another picture of Richard Branson with that crinkly smile exhorting us all to ‘be part of a team’, or some nonsense. Those, I have just about come to terms with.

But the spelling, punctuation and grammar on the most generic of LinkedIn updates, well, frankly, it’s just not good enough. And when even PR people can’t use an apostrophe properly, well, you just want to cover your face with your hands and hope it will all go away.

"I'm here for the free range eggs. And if you can't hyphenate, then I ain't payin'!"

“I’m here for the free range eggs. And if you can’t hyphenate, I ain’t payin’!”

I am not sure if it is a factor of people composing nearly everything on a keypad the size of a box of matches, or if people simply never learned the rules of grammar. Whatever the cause, I would like it to stop, please. It’s bad enough with the “free range eggs” at Tesco — don’t make me face the failure on LinkedIn too.

RANT OVER. What is my point? My point is, your posts on LinkedIn reflect on you. If you don’t spell correctly, or use proper grammar, this will reflect negatively on you. People may conclude you are a careless accountant, or less than diligent with the tasks or details they entrust to you. Is this what you want?

Likewise, spell well, punctuate well, and your esteem will rise. The choice is yours.

P.S. I would have posted images of the offending posts, but LinkedIn won’t allow my screen capture software ‘Grab’ to collect these offending snippets. I suppose LinkedIn doesn’t want them preserved for posterity. No surprise there, then.

“The party’s over . . . ” Now what? 3 things to do after you have won an award

Our client Frankie & Lola's softplay in Inverness was named Most Promising New Business. We are delighted for them.

Our client Frankie & Lola’s softplay in Inverness was named Most Promising New Business. We are delighted for them.

Last week’s Highland Business Awards were a punctuation mark in the Highland business calendar. On Friday afternoon, after a motivating speech about tourism and regeneration from Steve Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Canals, twelve companies and one individual went away winners. We were delighted to help our client, Frankie & Lola’s Soft-Play in Inverness, to win the Most Promising New Business award. A number of finalists also have great reason to hold their heads high.

HM_Business_Awards_Logo_2015_200_76_80But now what? With the dust settling on the awards, Bruce PR recommends a few simple tactics to make the most of your new standing.

  1. Put something on your blog about the awards. Mention that you went along and how much you appreciated being named a finalist. Maybe talk about how your team put the application together, or how you found the process. Did you take photos at the event? Here’s a great place to put some photos.
  2. Share the blog story onto your social media platforms. Update your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram. . . you get the picture. Share those photos, and give your followers and friends an insight into the event, and what it meant to you and your team.
  3. Incorporate your new status into your company’s corporate identity. Were you a finalist? Add “Finalist, Highland Business Awards 2015” to your home page and marketing materials. Don’t be shy. Did you win? Plaster your status and your award category all over your site, your social media, and share the news with your email list. People love good news. Especially your friends and colleagues. Give them something to smile about.

If this kind of stuff doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t worry. The team at Bruce Public Relations in Inverness has been helping our clients to have reasons to celebrate for more than 20 years. We’re pretty good at it, if we do say so ourselves. Get in touch if this is the kind of expertise your organisation would benefit from. We enjoy sharing our expertise, and helping your business grow.

Did you know it was Women’s Entrepreneurship Day?

Untitled design (1)I didn’t. I am a woman, and an entrepreneur, but I had no idea about this celebration of women’s enterprise. That is, until my pal Nicky Marr posted on Facebook about being included in a compendium of women entrepreneurs published on the Women’s Enterprise Scotland website here.

According to their website:

WES plays a vital role in the promotion of women’s enterprise, through the media, and across the wider community. We provide spokeswomen, role models and contributors for the broadcast media and the press, for events, conferences, seminars and presentations.

We champion women-led business from every sector across the entire country. We challenge existing perceptions to gain recognition of the economic importance of all women’s enterprise, whether micro business, SME or stock market listed multinational.

We encourage courage, confidence and self-belief that women-led business is a positive, rewarding and achievable option for women everywhere, no matter the scale of their enterprise ambition. And we cheer on those agencies already providing gender specific business development, and cite best practice wherever we find it.

We’re active digitally, and use social media and online platforms to promote women’s enterprise, to share information and learn from each other.

#WESchampions

They sound like a great organisation, but I hadn’t heard about them, either!

And then it struck me: the problem with entrepreneurship — besides the difficulty I have spelling it correctly — is that as an entrepreneur, running a (thankfully!) busy business, I am not on their radar. (I did get in touch with them subsequently, to do just that.)

So, not only did I not know about WES, I also wasn’t aware of the global celebration that is Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. Apparently, it’s a very big deal. Complete with a huge global sponsor (and former client), pwc. Here’s a link to the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day website: http://www.womenseday.org and a hashtag: #WomensEDay.

This whole thing of not being aware of something that is specifically targeted at you brings home the awareness that, when you are busy running your own business *and* haven’t sought public funding to start or perpetuate that business, you simply aren’t going to be on the mailing lists for a lot of things that people in the public sector may be aware of. That is to say, the very people trying to target you, are not aware of you.

I am delighted that Nicky Marr is part of my network. Here's the two of us with her gold medal at a recent networking event in Inverness

I am delighted that Nicky Marr is part of my network. Here’s the two of us with her gold medal at a recent networking event in Inverness

Which brings me to my point: the importance of networking. I never would have heard about Women’s Enterprise Scotland today if I hadn’t been a part of Nicky’s network. Hopefully, having now contacted them, and tweeted about Women’s Enterprise Day, they will know about me. Moreover, my network of Twitter followers and followers of our Bruce PR Facebook page will also become aware of this organisation. Because ultimately, it’s up to every one of us to help our fellow entrepreneurs get a hand up. So after this post is published, I will also put it on LinkedIn, where — ideally —  another group of fellow entrepreneurs will also see it.

Happy Women’s Entrepreneurs Day everyone! And thanks Nicky!

“Sex and Social Media”: gender differences & participation in social technology

According to Diana Nyad, women are learning to leverage the power they hold in social media (http://womensvoicesforchange.org/wed-5-13.htm)

Recent research suggests women are learning to leverage the power they hold in social media (image source: Women’s Voices for Change)

Marketers looking to make the most of social media would do well to understand the unique ways in which each gender interacts with each platform. This was the message from David Sim at a recent Highland Social event in Inverness.

Organised by Michelle Russell of Snow Marketing, Highland Social events bring together people working in social media, as well as those looking to learn more about the landscape as they dip a toe into using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo or any of the other social platforms.

Belying its risqué title, Sim’s breakfast talk, “Sex and Social Media”, examined gender differences in the way men and women use social media. It was a salutary message for anyone hoping to make the most of the time they invest into social media — for themselves, and for their clients.

David Sim from Open Brolly, with Jo Adams, left, at Highland Social

David Sim from Open Brolly, with Jo Adams, left, at Highland Social

Sim is a project director and co-founder at OpenBrolly. He designs bespoke web and mobile systems, and project-manages their implementation.

Science, he said, has shown that women have a deeper interest in people and relationships, generally speaking, whereas men are more preoccupied with practicalities and logical deduction. Our respective use of today’s social technology is a prime example of how these differences are manifest.

Men, David said, see business as highly competitive, and can be disappointed when they don’t see an immediate benefit from their “investment” in social media. Women on the other hand, are more interested in forming lasting relationships, and look to social media to share experiences with people. Women are disappointed when companies just talk about themselves. As women are a key audience for many brands, this insight is important for marketers attempting to reach us.

David had some interesting statistics:

  • 16% of adults have a Twitter account; 62% of Twitter users are women.
  • On Facebook, 58% of users are female. Women comment more on Facebook, while men tend to “lurk”. Both men and women have more female friends on Facebook.
  • Pinterest, David described as a “magnet for women”: it has the same number of users as Twitter, but 70% of them are women. Women see it as a form of window shopping.
  • YouTube has a slightly higher percentage of male users, at 54%. However, as 25% of men watch a YouTube video daily, it is a great platform to reach them.
  • Like YouTube, LinkedIn also has an audience of slightly more men than women, with 54% of users being male.

Social media provides us with a great deal — from education, to entertainment, to sharing personal experiences. What social media research tells us is that how you present your content is crucial. Depending on what audience you are after, you may be better off trying to create a dialogue, rather than presenting “Top Tips”.

Hearing David’s insights, it occurred to me that even SMEs and small local businesses should  consider a multi-platform approach to their social media activities to make the most of each sex’s way of interacting with social media.

Who makes the decision about whether to use or even investigate your client’s services or product in the average household? News that women — despite earning 60% less than men, on average — control the majority of discretionary spending, means that reaching them is paramount for your social media activities to be successful.

Understanding what women are interested in is a good first step to creating a dialogue on social media. But it’s only the beginning. The capacity to create good content, coupled with a comprehensive communications strategy, is the formula for long-term success when it comes to social media management.

If you would like some help reaching your audiences — with social media or traditional media — please get in touch.

“Marketing tips in the digital age” – Tip #1: give it away

Pen, notebook and laptop: the keys to success

One of the best ways to establish your expertise is to share your insights

There’s an intriguing paradox in this age of digital media. The best way to establish yourself as a professional, is to give away your insights for free.

Confused? Don’t be. All the articles you read on LinkedIn? They are full of advice. “How to establish your personal brand”, “Ten secrets of powerful presentations”, “How to make the most of meetings” — it’s all advice, and most of us are quite keen to review it and incorporate any new information. What we may not realise, however, is that our enthusiasm for this information has created a tremendous demand for content. And the paradox is that by being willing to give away advice, you have the opportunity to establish yourself as an authority in your field.

In the old days of PR, when people read newspapers and listened to the radio, one of the best ways to get exposure was for your client to write an advice column or be a guest on a phone-in show. This format is perfect for people in professions — and in particular, accountants, financial planners, and solicitors. They have the expertise, and typically know their stuff inside-out. “Year-end tax tips”, “Ten ways to reduce inheritance tax”, “What you need to know about Power of Attorney” — these are the sort of topics that have a wide audience in a local newspaper. By authoring the piece, the accountant or solicitor would get some exposure.  With each monthly column, she would establish herself as an authority in her field. When a new piece of legislation came along, who did the local paper turn to for insight? Their own local expert.

Fast-forward to 2014. Has anything changed? Not really. We are all still looking for ways to be successful, to make more money, to save more money, to be more effective in our roles, and to have a bigger impact. Which means there is still a role for advice columns and sharing professional tips and suggestions. The only thing that has changed, is how this advice is dispensed.

Today, you don’t need the regional editor of the local paper to agree to publish your monthly column. You publish it yourself. On your website, on your blog, in your e-newsletter to clients, on LinkedIn — there are now more outlets for your “content” than ever. The only proviso? Your advice must be sound, and ideally, well-written.

And keep in mind — you don’t have to be a professional to have valuable advice. Not everyone is focussed on business. Some people are interested in their gardens. Or their homes. Or baking. Or electronics. If you have a specialism, you can bet there is an audience for your advice.

So whatever your business, if you want to raise your or your company’s profile, start sharing your insights. Before you know it, you may find out you’re an expert in your field.

If you’d like to become better known in your field, contact Bruce Public Relations in Inverness. We have a wealth of expertise in this area, and we would be happy to share it with you.

New Year’s Resolution: Incorporate Social Media into your organisation’s communications

Social Media icons

Whether it’s Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest — what matters is that you start

Is using social media one of your organisation’s goals for 2014? If so, read on.

In only a few short years, social media has become a priority for our clients. Gone are the days when your Twitter account was something you did for a bit of fun. Today, Twitter is an important business tool. And it is the same with LinkedIn and Facebook.

Maximising your company’s presence on social media

Many companies find themselves feeling pressurised about using social media. If you feel you are playing catch-up when it comes to social media, take a step back and consider what you hope to achieve. Bruce Public Relations can help you to incorporate social media into your overall communications strategy. What’s that? You haven’t got a communications strategy? Well, we can help you with that as well. It’s what we do.

Understanding the fit between social media and PR

For many companies, the urge to “get on” social media leads to a series of false starts. Somebody created an account, but no one is managing it. Worse, no one has considered how it will fit within your existing corporate communications. There are some important questions to ask, before you get too far along.

Five things you and your colleagues should consider before embarking on social media:

  1. Who will manage our social media accounts?
  2. What is our social media policy?
  3. What do we hope to achieve with social media?
  4. What about traditional PR? Do we still need that?
  5. How much time should we devote to social media?

Get a free social media audit from Bruce PR

Social media can be an important business development tool. To help you develop a social media strategy that suits your company’s objectives, drop us a line. We offer a free social media audit for UK and Ireland-based organisations. This can help you understand where you currently sit vis a vis your competition, and how you can set your organisation apart with some specialist advice.

Please note that our free audits will be conducted beginning in February 2013. If you feel you need assistance more urgently, please get in touch and we can discuss your needs more promptly.

4 reasons not to fear social media

Social Media icons

Facebook, Google+, ways Twitter and Pinterest — what matters is that you start

For many businesses, coming to grips with new modes of communication can be more than a little challenging. Remember those fancy new phones with your all those buttons across the top and that LCD screen, the ones that could hold your voicemail messages? Remember how difficult they were when we first used them? But eventually you got the hang of it, and even discovered the “Do No Disturb” function!

In a world where Twitter and Facebook are a key part of customers’ lives, it’s crucial for a business to at least consider what role social media may play.

For many businesses, a website is as far into Buy the virtual world as they have ventured. For them,  this brave new world of social media may feel like 16 a bridge too far.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Here are 4 reasons why you don’t have to be afraid of social media.

1. Do you use Facebook? Yes? Well then, you already know about social media. Facebook is the most popular of all social networking sites. So, if you can do Facebook, you can probably stretch to Twitter! From there, it’s a simple skip over to LinkedIn, and before you know it, you are sharing things on Pinterest!

Don’t laugh — it’s easier than you might imagine to get the cheap nfl jerseys hang of these social media sites because. . .

2. There are loads of resources available to help you navigate this new territory. Bespoke products are available from from organisations like Hootsuite and Hubspot, and their tutorials and blogs can help point you in the right direction. For businesses with greater aspirations but lacking an in-house communications team, there are organisations available to lend a hand.

3. Millions of people use social media everyday. You may not think of it as “using social media” but if you are watching a YouTube video a friend emailed you a link to, or updating your Facebook status, that is social media in action.

4. It’s not rocket science. The key to social media is to understand what it can do. But that takes time, and understanding its potential will take some research. If you think social media may offer something you are looking to harness to grow your business, then you should spend cheap jerseys some time thinking about how you can integrate social media into what you already do.

Social media need wholesale jerseys not defeat you. Like your tax return, it simply requires a bit of time with the appropriate resources devoted to it. For a free consultation to discuss your needs, get in touch with us here. Let’s have a chat to see how Highland Social Media can help Hi? give your business cheap jerseys a competitive advantage in this challenging environment.

Established recently in Inverness, Highland Social Media helps businesses and organisations harness the power of social media to help business. achieve business objectives. Highland Social Media is Football the social media arm of Inverness-based public relations firm Bruce PR. To Organo get in touch, click here.