Race Communications

Digital presence: why is it essential to build a good website?

By Amanda Lima

When you are searching for some product, solution or service and does not know where to begin, I figure that one of your starting points is making a quick search on Google to check whether you can find one or more companies that can solve your problem. In order to analyze the results, I agree that our particularities as consumers have an important role – we may choose not to click and acquire products or services of the same company. But there is one thing that I am certain of: we search companies whose websites have better credibility among these first virtual contacts.

Migrating a bit from the consumer’s point of view to analyze the company’s point of view, a dilemma emerges: how to make my organization stand out in such a competed universe? The question is nothing more than an invitation to ponder which digital marketing strategies are valid so that a company is more easily, often and by more people found. Today I decided to talk about, maybe, the most essential of them: the importance of building visually interesting, functional and smart institutional website.

A website may be considered your virtual “business card”. Often this is the first contact between your business and your public. And, as all of us – communicators or businessmen – are also consumers, it worth analyzing: have you ever seen a brand with great credibility and visibility that does not own a website? No matter how strong the presence of microbusinesses on social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, is, I am sure the answer is most likely negative. Not having a website means not being found, like if a company did not exist in the phone book – when we compare to the old days when we were not connected 24/7.

The first impression is what counts – and what builds customer loyalty
How to create a website in a sense that it is strategic for the marketing of an organization? To exemplify, I bring you the case ABPM (Apple Producers Brazilian Association), a non-profitable organization that gathers 75% of all Brazilian apple production, 85% of commerce within internal market and 95% of exportations. Race Communications was in charge of complete reformulation of the company’s institutional website.

With full respect for the client’s history and needs, we chose to recreate the institution’s website layout from scratch in order to obtain a more responsive, intuitive and modern look:

We reinforced the seriousness and the presence of the company on the digital environment – along with a strong social media plan, topic for a future publication. The integration with social media is, moreover, another point of a good website: through widgets and plugins, it is possible to concentrate on this digital “business card” all social media where the company is present, which allows improving even more the access of the public to the brand.

Besides all the work reformulating the visual identity, we wanted to take the most advantage of the potential that this channel could have so ABPM became relevant on the web and communicated with their target audience: apple producers (mostly associated to the institution), retailers and, of course, the final consumers.

Production of relevant content

One of the main strategies to be a relevant website and, consequently, obtaining more access, is offering visitors quality content: the so called inbound marketing. Building interesting business blogs, besides having low investment when compared to other publicity campaign models, consolidates the relationship of the company with the public and also increases the relevance of the website on Google searches – being found is our goal, right?

On the ABPM example, we fed two distinctive blogs: an institutional, aimed to producers and other professionals of the field, and one with recipes, aimed to the final consumer. From these two channels, we created a “voice” to the brand and placed ourselves ahead of other association’s initiatives of producers worldwide.

To learn more about this project, go to www.abpm.org.br.

Are you thinking of building a website for your brand? Talk to us!

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Public relations briefing, essential on everyday life

By Gabriel Pedreschi

For a public relations agency, elaborating any communications action, whether it is a press release or a press conference for big media outlets, the briefing will be the kick-off to achieve, at last, the expected result and coverage. After all, complying with the customer, since first steps, is essential for a well-succeeded work. But, to this end, the briefing must contain a few important features so that it is a perfect gathering of information about the topic and/or action about to happen.

The briefing is the base for good diagnostics, even if basic, of what will happen. Without it, one cannot have ideas, information, nor the essential so that the communication occurs properly and reaches its target.

We explain here the main details for a successful briefing.

Details of what is going to be disclosed and goal

Each briefing and release are different from one another. After all, the launch of a product is different from a presentation of a company’s balance sheet. Therefore, having all details and specifications of what the customer intends to disclose, even if some pieces of information are not used in the future, will help the agency define their next steps. The goal and time of disclosure must also be explained.

Target audience

Once having the goals and details of what is going to be disclosed, it gets easier to decide who is going to be the target of that campaign. If an insurance company, for example, wants to introduce a new type of policy through a press conference, the PR is going to search the ideal outlets, such as journalists from the field and economy publications, that will lead the information to the final audience. If the action is the disclosure of a recipe through a press release, the gastronomy outlets will be preferred.

Budget

After tracing the whole strategy and having the information of the product and target, public relations and customer must find the best deadline for production and costs (when not included in the agency’s fee) to carry out the action. A press release disclosure does not generally demand extra costs nor a lot of time. A press kit, though, will require more time and costs.

Goals

This is the point that sets the success of that action for the agency and for the customer. For example, in a one-off disclosure, two TIER 2 (medium relevance) outlets of the proposed editorial is a great result. In the case of big news, the goal must be TIER 1 (high relevance) outlets.

Possible risks

It is rare. But, in some disclosures, the PR agency, along with the customer, must calculate and set a plan to avoid a possible crisis due the disclosed topic.

Are you interested on this matter? Click here and learn more about this and other services offered by Race Communications.

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Do you have an image to protect?

By Luiz Antônio Gaulia

The Word Press Photo of the Year 2018 awarded the picture of Ronaldo Schemidt’s, from AFP, of a demonstrator in flames in the street of Caracas, during protests against the regime of Nicolás Maduro, in Venezuela. According to Canon, sponsor of the competition for 26 years, over 73 thousand pictures were received in this edition. Thousands of photographers, of 125 countries, have sent their work. A research done by the company together with Word Press Photo Foundation pointed that most of the registered photographers wished to provoke new perceptions about different topics through the capture of precious moments of reality in the world.

 

It’s undeniable that the power of one unique image can change our perception of a certain situation, person or brand. Our reputations are constructed through images and memories accumulated as reference files of some institution, company, character or event. This memory might be a good one or a bad one and serve as a credibility savings account. If this account is in the black, with a positive balance and good income, it’s very likely that, in a situation of emergency, our tendency is trusting the owner of this savings account even in a moment of crisis. Something like keeping selling on the cuff even after they screwed up.

 

“What the eyes don’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over”. And so goes the popular saying, right? So, the interpretation of an image may generate criticism or praises, admiration or repel, love or hate, and the photo of the moment is the face of quality of a reputation in that context. As everything can change in a matter of two minutes, according to the Band News slogan (Brazilian news radio network), or maybe even two seconds – the world is running too fast -, I take a chance and tell you that we live in times of relative reputation, mutant credibility, trust in the waiting list or in permanent state of inspection. If reputation is the sum of a set of factors, whose value may grow bigger or smaller in time, I can assure that protecting our image is a hard, permanent and mandatory task. Not only when a crisis happens, but also strategically, preventively, with focus on learning and training, especially for big brands, whether they’re public or private companies, political leaders and their parties, actors, actresses, pop stars, NGOs and also media outlets, teachers, associations, etc. The universe is huge. In business world, the capacitation and reputation management knowledge, precautions with the desired image versus the noticed one go way beyond marketing, a public relations job or agency. In a society that watches too much, but observes little and is more and more used to judging and been judged on the first impact of an image, it’s required to be prepared to surf the waves of public opinion on undertow days.

 

The one who is not ready to navigate this media ocean, where real images now also dispute space with edited, manipulated or fake images, besides fake news, must start learning more about management of reputation, directly connected to the management of imagination and symbols of an organization. And if organizations are made of people, each one of them is responsible for the whole. A single bad example may contaminate the entire group. How many workers haven’t already caused huge damage in terms of plundered value of the image of a brand? Remember the Domino’s case, in America, when two employees filmed a bunch of nastiness they did while preparing the pizza, or the case of a FedEx employee, also in America, throwing a package over a fence with no consideration for the product inside? Or the famous image of a Brazilian post office worker receiving an amount of money and proving a pay-off scheme? Of course, good images also count a great deal. I, personally, believe that they count even in a more valuable way, as most people want to see things working properly. Most of us work to make things function in the best possible way. We all want to be well perceived and admired.

 

Business universities offer technical disciplines oriented to operation, to commercial, or even marketing, ideals, but I bet that not all of them have classes aimed to what would be the most important of business and leadership lessons in times dominated by image. Understanding more and learning how to build and strengthen the reputation of a company in moments of bonanza and also how to manage potential risks or reputation weaknesses are lessons to be learned by managers, lawyers, administrators and CEOs. But who teaches that to our leaders and managers? To coordinators or even employees? Few.

 

Managing crisis or managing risks?

It seems contradictory, but it’s not. A well-known analogy is the two faces of the same coin, heads or tails. One side may represent victory in a bet and the other, the loss. Companies and businesses are bets on the market board. Our career and choices are bets as society and as individuals. However, the two sides are inseparable from the whole. Therefore, opportunity walks close to crisis. Successful brands can very well manage their set of symbols, perceived values, images and also the quality and excellence of services and products aimed to customers, as well their finances, relations with multiple stakeholders and their sustainability programs. But image is very important. “It’s not enough to be honest, one must seem honest”, goes another popular saying. Speech and action gain more value when are in harmony to the shape and content. Images inhabit our imagination and prove our speech.

 

The flames on the Venezuelan demonstrator’s body as much as the brown mud stain of the disaster involving the mining company Samarco, flooding the Espirito Santo’s sea, Brazil, or the shipwreck of the Italian ship Costa Concórdia enhance the crisis and the shock in reputation as much as the eternalized image of our victorious Ayrton Senna consecrates the discipline, merit and the reputation of an impeccable champion. A good image may last forever!

 

Risks, crisis and opportunities

Companies, brands, leaders and ourselves, distinguished normal citizens (connected and with hundreds or thousands of likes on the Babel of digital networks), live under permanent influence of opinions, comments that multiply on social networks. We’re in connection with the planet and our images circulate the world. For good and for bad.

 

But what to do before such unpredictability? How to protect businesses and millionaire investments not only from fake news, but also from potential reputation risks? How to take good care of our image? The answer is quite obvious. Learning from mistakes of other brands, studying image and reputation risk management cases, being prepared for when the skeletons fall off from inside the closet and reveal mistakes that, apparently, no one knew existed. Learning which are the greatest risks that a business faces. Thinking communication, reputation and image as vitamins and preventive vaccines for crisis and training to face hard times, after all, err is human. But it’s not a good excuse. Think about it.

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Public relations for the food industry

By Bruno Uehara

In 2017, the food industry in Brazil took up their growth pace and billed over R$642 billion, according to ABIA survey (Food Industry Brazilian Association). The current time period is favorable to the segment and, like in supermarket shelves, there is a highly brand-disputed scenario, especially when we talk about space in media outlets and publications of influencers.

In such a context, communications consultancy is as strategic as the company’s market plan. In order to convince consumers that your product is more beneficial than another one on the shelf, investing in announcements and TV ads is not enough. One must also be present in communication outlets of the field and on social network pages that approach topics like food and gastronomy, for example, highlighting spontaneous messages that can generate the audience’s trust

Currently, the market offers brands that serve to several profiles: fitness, vegetarians, celiac, lactose intolerants or even those who are just searching for convenience. The communication consultancy not only identifies the most strategic outlets to reach potential consumers, but also is capable of identifying good opportunities for disclosure, whether in magazine, newspaper, radio or TV show reports.

The work with micro-influencers is also an efficient way to disclose a product, besides offering the possibility of trial through the sending of press kits. Besides resulting in posts on social media, the action also enables the engagement of followers, generating brand acknowledgment or the famous “word-of-mouth marketing”.

If you need public relations for your brand or product in the food industry, get in touch with Race Communications and ask for a quote.

 

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United Airlines – A Communications Case To Be Forgotten

By Daniela Dalio

It has already been a year since the scandal were an United Airlines passenger was dragged out of the aircraft, which generated negative response for the airline company all over the world. It is one of the worst examples of communication and crisis management in the history of PR and  an example never to be followed.

Just for us to remember what actually happened: Due to an overbooking of the flight and the refusal of any of the passengers to voluntarily leave the plane, the company itself “elected” the passengers who would have to leave the aircraft. As one of the chosen passengers refused to comply, the crew called for assistance to remove the passenger by force. The drama was filmed and quickly spread on social media and all over the press.

The first responses from United Airlines, with the active participation of its CEO Oscar Munhoz, were disastrous and the defense of the employee involved and the forceful removal of the passenger. Rather ironically, this all occurred just one month after Munhoz having been elected as “Communicator of The Year” by PRWeek. Specifically for having a serious and transparent communication with the media.  

So, what went wrong this time? Not acting rationally. Moments of crisis affect everybody involved emotionally. However, it is entirely necessary that you act rationally, especially when we are talking about the main leaders of an organization. Declarations to the press guided solely by emotions should not be made. Here, the role of the communications professionals is extremely important, working consultatively and orienting towards the correct action.

A case such as that of United Airlines can ruin the credibility of a company forever. Years of effort are needed to create respect among consumers and clients. But it is enough with just one mistake, one wrongful attitude or speech, moved by emotion, for all that effort to go out the window.

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Negative SEO

By Lívia Caixeta

SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, optimizes the mechanisms for keyword searches in search engines and is an increasingly important tool for content managers to improve the positioning of sites and blogs in the organic (unpaid) search results on Google. This strategy promotes visibility and credibility to the site or blog in the online context. Negative SEO, in its turn, is a tactic used to damage this strategy.

This type of attack is done with the sole purpose of worsen the positioning of a site, usually a corporate such, and in many cases it is done by competitors who wish to improve the positioning of their own site by affecting negatively the positioning of another. With the recent updates of the Google algorithms the discussion about this practice has received dueful attention.

So, is negative SEO a form of hacking?

It depends.

Insofar as a tactic changes how a site looks or operates, or gives you unauthorized access, it may be considered hacking depending on one’s jurisdiction. Depending upon one’s culture and national laws, the application of the definition may vary considerably. For instance, some countries may take a stricter approach to what constitutes unauthorized access, and some may have a more laissez-faire attitude as it pertains to information tampering.” (Joe Sinkwitz – Search Engine Land)

The practice of negative SEO can cause damage such as:

  1. It can damage the duplicity policy of search mechanisms, particularly Google’s, which can result in sanctions;
  2. It can affect the links on your site negatively, resulting in poor quality or a violation of the directives;
  3. Hacker invasion.

For these reasons, it is important to keep your site safe:

  • Avoid programmes that can allow for virus or malware;
  • Beware of duplication of information so that it is not done in an inappropriate manner;
  • Be careful with mentions in social networks;
  • Don’t forget to check your Backlink list;
  • Monitor the velocity of your site.

In other words, good content management planning is an important ally in a corporate site avoiding punishment and maintaining itself, not only on top of the search results, but also, free of negative SEO attacks.

Learn more about the services we offer in content production and SEO.

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The Pharmaceutical Market and The Segmentation of Media Relations

By Filipe Andrade

Media relations are not all the same! There are many different sectors and markets, all with their particularities and different opportunities. One example is media relations for the pharmaceutical market, an area that is rather specific, and with great potential to be explored.

Within the pharmaceutical market, generally speaking, we can say that there are, at least, four subdivisions – pharmaceutical companies (laboratories), distributors, chains and/or independent pharmacies and organisations representing pharmaceutical professionals. Consequently, the media relations professional needs to define his or her space in these contexts.

Being a market in the health sector, there are, obviously, a series of requirements, legislations and rules that define the work on this market and, consequently, the communication needs to be planned according to these criteria. For example, the promoting of new products (drugs) to the public is only authorized when these are so called over the counter drugs (medication that does not need a prescription). In all other cases, according to the legislation, the promotion can only occur directed exclusively at media outlets specific to the health segment, with clear information about indicated use, contraindicated use and dosage.

Specialized media relations consultancy, such as that of the pharmaceutical market, also requires extra attention to the language and to the interpretation of technical terminology and technical topics. It is important that the media relations professional has a good capacity of “translating” the technical and scientific topics to a more casual language, suitable both for the journalist as well as the public.

One of the conditions for the media relations consultancy, generally speaking, is the increasing segmentation of content, including content related to the pharmaceutical market.

Important: when speaking of segmentation of media relations consultancy, this does not mean that mainstream media should be downgraded to a plan B status. Quite the contrary, they should be a central part of the communications strategy, sharing the space with segmented media.

For this reason, it is worth exploring the inumerous health blogs, YouTube channels, Instagram profiles and other social media channels, which the democratization of the digital communication made possible, in order to make messages accessible to the end consumer.

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Why Do Integrated Communication?

By João Pedro Andrade

Integrated communication is a marketing strategy which has become popular over the last decade. The concept is rather basic: Planning the communications actions for a brand or for a specific campaign in a way that they are carefully connected and communicates aligned messages. In other words, integrating all the communications tools so that they coexist in harmony.  

To understand the importance behind integrated communications, it is enough to just use simple logic. When communications actions converse harmoniously and in one unison voice at all times, it is much more powerful than the actions separately.  

One good example is the campaign Like a girl, by the personal hygiene brand Always, in 2015. With a focus on reaching girls in puberty, the brand promoted a positive redefinition of the prerogative expression “like a girl”, which assumes that men who do things like girls, hold to an inferior standard.

 

The campaign was promoted in print media, social media and television, with its main appearance in the Super Bowl commercial in 2015. Apart from promoting the brand, the campaign promoted the elevation of adolescent girls’ self esteem, who started viewing the expression ”like a girl” as something positive and as a source of pride.

 

A good communications campaign usually involves a fair amount of work to be elaborated in an effective manner. However, once the hard part is done, this can be turned into profit by contributing to increased sales and a competitive advantage in relation to competitors.

Last but not least, if we consider that successful communication is that which is done with a minimum of interference (that is, with as little unwanted external filters that difficult the interpretation as possible), integrated communication becomes a strong ally, considering that it is developed with the purpose to act on several fronts and in an integral manner.

 

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The Impact of GDPR On Companies Outside of The EU

By Malin H. Teles

No one has escaped the information that the GDPR (The General Data Protection Law) came into effect on May 25th. It has a huge impact on businesses in the EU and EEA, but what does the regulation mean for businesses outside Europe?

To be able to understand this, we first need to understand what the GDPR is.

The law aims to provide citizens of the EU and EEA with better control over their personal data. Personal data in this context are considered any information related to a person such as, for example, name, photos, email address, bank details, updates on social networking websites, location details, medical information, or a computer IP address.

Companies need to offer the possibility for people to find out exactly what personal information the company has stored about them as well as demand that the information is permanently removed.

Moreover, the company needs to ask for permission to use the personal information every time the data is processed. A given consent can also be withdrawn at any time. This means that the company has to be able to prove that the individual agreed to the action in question – for example, to receive a newsletter.

So, what does this all have to do with businesses outside the EU or EEA region?

Well, quite a lot, it turns out. The regulation applies not only to EU based companies but to all organisations selling to and storing personal information about citizens (customers and employees alike) in Europe, including companies on other continents. The GDPR applies regardless of whether the data processing takes place in the EU or not. In other words, as an example, if you are a Brazilian based company that keeps a mailing list of customers in Europe, you will need to comply with the GDPR.

For companies that don’t comply with the law there are harsh penalties to be paid. The fines are estimated to up to 4% of annual global revenue or 20 million Euros, whichever is greater.The Impact of GDPR On Companies Outside of The EU

In practise, the GDPR changes many marketing and sales activities for a company. For example, the possibilities for prospecting, creating leads, mailing lists and the sending of newsletters and email marketing. Not even if you buy marketing lists from an outsourced provider are you free from responsibility. You must make sure that the information has the proper consent from the user.

 

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Owned Media and Its Advantages

By Evelyn Spada

Every single day is like a championship final, where the competition for the best positioning in search engine rankings is increasingly fierce. Making a purchase decision, be it to buy a new mobile device or hiring a new communications agency, normally does not happen spontaneously, but after conversations and research on the best options available. For this reason, for any business the goal is to be the answer to what whomever is searching is looking for.

However, for this to happen in an efficient manner, it is necessary to offer relevant, high quality content. Here is where the owned medias come into play: why not create your own channel to distribute content?

Today, many brands and companies dedicate part of their communications efforts to creating owned medias. One good example, are cosmetics companies that invest in portals, videos and even tutorials to provide their consumers with beauty related content. Other companies transform their sites into electronic magazines.

For the communications professional João Pedro Andrade, investing in owned media is a great way of building a relationship with your public. “ To be successful, it is necessary to invest in content production and in building channels. Moreover, the team behind the channels need to be experienced and very professional. Since everything surges in the digital environment, being a source on the subject that you master can be a great possibility.”

Regarding the content, João Pedro has a word of warning: “Just as in the production of journalistic content, content for owned media can not only bring up institutional or commercial topics, such as promotions of products. Those consuming the information are searching for reliable and independent sources.”

Would you like to know more about the possibility to create owned medias for your company? Talk to us at Race Communications!

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