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Public Relations Tips


A targeted public relations campaign is an integral element of any social media program, and while media outlets are facing a prolonged period of flux, it is still critical to pursue the conventional activities of building solid press and analyst relationships, planning and implementing corporate and product campaigns, creating memorable content through press releases and case studies, shaping the opinion of targeted audiences and securing informed public understanding, all of which deliver measurable results in the form of increased media presence and sales opportunities.

The sustained use of key words throughout all facets of corporate communications ensures that links are constantly being created and that traffic is being driven back to the corporate Web site. While not every announcement is worthy of a feature article, each release that is picked up by various news wires helps create endless opportunities to link to key words.

In addition, savvy PR professionals can leverage social media to build relationships with online influencers by creating compelling corporate videos to improve communications initiatives, using the Web for outreach and measuring online communications. It is critical to be knowledgeable about the most innovative social media tools and how they can be used to engage customers and raise awareness, as well as to respond to impending crises.


Website Design Tips


A major strength of Kirk Communications is creating Web sites that look great and are exceptionally easy to navigate. Web sites are no longer simply a business card or brochure for a business; they afford the opportunity to give visitors a positive experience and launch a productive relationship. Dynamic Web sites that create interaction and involvement with potential customers are more effective at achieving business goals.

The Web design or redesign process should begin with a clear idea of the purpose of the site and the target audience. Once you know what you want to accomplish and who you are trying to reach with the site, you can develop a plan and scope for design, applications, multimedia, flash animations and basic content in an easy-to-use, well laid out format.

Functionality should be built in a way that is easy for visitors to navigate to the information they are looking for and for the business to be able to lead them to information or products that they may be interested in. The purpose of the site should be supported in the functionality and applications the site offers. It should be easy for Web site visitors to contact the business for information, a key to converting a visitor into a contact.

Commenting on a Kirk-designed site for Madeleine’s Daughter Bridal Shop

( / Bridal Salon),
Elena Maltese,
director of communications, Whittemore School of Business at the University of New Hampshire, said:
 I have been a bridesmaid 16 times, so I know; the Madeleine’s site was elegant and easy to use. You could find what you were looking for without having to spend a lot of time. 

Connections on the Web site to social media sites are another way to interact with site visitors. Utilizing social media and its connection to your Web site is becoming more important across all industries. And of course, the Web site needs to optimized, otherwise how will potential customers find you?


Web Trends – Facebook hits major milestones


This month Facebook hit a major milestone: the social networking site has passed 500 million users in only six years of existence. To put this into perspective, the United States started 2010 with approximately 308.4 million people.

So the question is, how can Facebook be useful to your company? Facebook pages offer an enormous opportunity for companies to directly engage with customers. By sending updates to fans of your page, your company has an opportunity to reach out to interested customers. Starbucks, for instance, used Facebook to promote its free pastry day, which ultimately drove more than one million customers to stores around the country. Yet another benefit of Facebook Fan Pages is that they are public, and search engines can index them. This gives your company a chance to get links for free.

In talking about Facebook, we should mention that the social networking site has a PageRank of 10. For those who are unfamiliar, PageRank was named after Larry Page at Stanford. Essentially, it rates the billions of pages based on a 0-10 scale regarding the number of links. Only a handful of Web sites ever receive a perfect 10; the vast majority remain at lower rankings. Google has since distanced itself from considering only this score when ranking pages, but it is still like gold to search engine optimization.

What this means is that any link from Facebook will now carry more weight to influence rankings than almost anywhere else online. So linking from Facebook to your company’s Web site or blog could have an incredible impact on your SEO.


Enhancing your image – Google image search


Google has recently implemented a new version of its Image Search function, which contains a number of new features. These additions include instant and continuous scrolling so viewers no longer look at a static image, and a hover function that enables viewers to see more than just a thumbnail.

The filter functions in Google Image Search might be my favorite. Not only can you filter images by size, you can filter for the type of image (faces, line drawings, clip art etc), and lastly by color. Users can filter for black and white images, but are also given an array of colors that they can filter for. By clicking on red, for example, Google Search will pull up images that are prominent in the color red.

HTML 5 – The NextStep in coding


HTML5 is the next step in the evolution of HTML coding, and is a standard for structuring and coding content on the Web. Two of the new features incorporated are video playback and drag-and-drop, both of which were previously dependent on third party plug-ins like Adobe Flash.

Web designers now have the ability to include animation without having to utilize flash. The Apple iPad has made an incredible splash in the technology world, but one of its weaknesses is its lacking inabilty to run flash. The good news is that with HTML5 coding there is no issue with showing animation on an iPad. Pulling out a sleek looking iPad to show a potential customer your Web site or products certainly would make a lasting impression.

SEO Trends


SEO, or search engine optimization is still seen by many as a black art. With so many unscrupulous companies it is no wonder why this notion is perpetuated in the marketplace. Organic SEO, if done well and consistently, can bring a steady stream of leads to your Web site. These are people that are searching for your product and service. There are several truths that hold true in doing good SEO:

  • Develop a Long-term Plan
    An SEO plan that lasts a week will not work. A good SEO plan spans at least a year and will include practical pieces such as adding additional content to the site and issuing regular press releases with your key words sprinkled in and constant social media updates.
  • Key Word Research
    What words do you or can you optimize for? If your company sells shoes, you can’t own every term related to shoes. Not only is there not enough space on your Web site, but there is lots of competition out there. You need to pick terms that directly relate to your specific product. For example, if your company sold a specific type of orthopedic shoe, then one of the terms that you might focus on is “Orthopedic shoes” or “Orthopedic shoes for children.”
  • Add Analytics
    Even for companies that have a plan, few people check their analytics regularly. Have your IT staff add in Google analytics for some basic analytics, and to track all of your SEO and social media activity, use a tool like JungleTorch, ( which tracks SEO and social media metrics real-time.
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