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Ways to achieve public relations success

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The lines between advertising, marketing and public relations have always intertwined. More and more firms are now providing services that are a combination of two or three of the services. The internet has almost completely removed all of these lines. Advertisers are now reaching out to customers on social media and press releases are being posted on search engine rankings. By keeping this in mind there are numerous ways to take advantage of this and achieve PR success.

Ad placement, analytics, customer engagement and pitching stories have left today’s marketers tasked with covering a wide territory. To improve your effectiveness there are steps to take to increase the return on your investment.

Press releases and personalized email marketing are both great ways to reach out to customers. To become more effective, personalize your approach. To stand out, supplement your PR blasts with targeted news releases to a small group of influencers.

Marketers must create value by both knowing the customer base and finding ways to reach out to it. Announcing the opening of the new store is not enough, marketers should provide information on how that business is relevant and how it will affect the local economy.

When pitching stories to reporters, be sure to focus the information that meets the reporters needs. Let the journalist know you are available to help them in any aspect from providing quotes to helping with facts.

Marketers and PR professionals have many tools available to help them reach out to both customers and journalists. Taking the time to do a little research before directly pitching a reporter, can make a greater impact and potentially build the foundation for an ongoing working relationship.

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Facebook looking at small business to invest in ads

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Facebook will not be going on summer vacation this year. The company is taking these summer months to try and persuade small businesses to invest in ads on the social network. The site hosted the first in many marketing training sessions Tuesday in New York. The event attracted hundreds of small business owners from all around the city to visit an opportunity to increase their sales.

The event, titles Facebook Fit, featured a Q and A session with various local businesses who have already advertised on Facebook. It also included training sessions on using Facebook to enhance online and in-store sales.

Facebook recently has received backlash from small business owners as their presence on the site has continued to dwindle. Facebook says the issue is a logical outcome for a social network where more and more users are posting more content every month.

“The organic reach issue is not about us making more money,” Dan Levy, Facebook’s director of small businesses said. “The natural extension of Facebook becoming popular and people having more friends and liking more Pages is there’s just more and more stories to choose from every day. We have to choose which ones are going to keep them engaged on Facebook.”

Problems over the reach has not halted small businesses from utilizing the site. Facebook revealed that over 30 million small business owners now have pages on the site. “It’s an investment in reaching the people who matter to you,” Levy said in his pitch to marketers.

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Google buys satellite startup

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Google has spent $500 million to buy Skybox Imaging, a company that uses small satellites to transmit high-resolution images from space. This announcement comes only two months after google acquired Titan Aerospace which beams Internet signals. Facebook also dropped loads of money on Ascenta, a drone maker that cost the company $20 million back in March.

Google hopes to use Skybox’s satellites to make better maps. Skybox currently has only a single satellite in orbit but plans to fly a fleet of them to cover the globe. Constantly updated satellite images would benefit numerous industries including the agricultural, oil and mechanic.

As of right now, Google has to purchase these types of services from satellite companies and supply the $12 Billion satellite-imagery market is limited. Google already has filled in the gaps by flying planes to gather these in demand images however they have recently been searching for more up to date images.

Buying Skybox transforms Google from a buyer into a supplier. But it may decide that it wants to serve only a single client in Mountain View, Calif. “Skybox will not be a commercial company; it will be a NASA for Google,” says Brock Adam McCarty, who runs image reselling business Apollo Mapping.

Given Google’s traditional focus, Skybox’s services could give users real-time information about mapping services. This vision of the future relies on Skybox’s ability to get more satellites into orbit. In addition, Google has a home-grown project called Loon, which would use balloons to transmit Internet to hard-to-reach places. It is possible to use satellites for this purpose, too—this is how airlines offer in-flight Wi-Fi.

But the Skybox purchase is unlikely to play into that plan anytime soon. “The acquisition of Skybox doesn’t do a whole lot for providing connectivity,” says Michael Blades, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “That’s not what they do.”

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Snapchat unleashes new features

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Jason GrillSnapchat is adding features on top of its very successful messaging platform. These changes include two new features that are a classic chat interface paired with a FaceTime-like video calling feature. Having a text message-like option could greatly change the dynamics of this insanely popular app.

Sending ephemeral photos back and forth is a way many users have had conversations. Seeing the photo and text for a short amount of time made users love the app, and infuriated other users. Now you can swipe right on your friend’s name in your snapchat inbox to begin a new chat screen.

There is a button on the bottom of the screen. When it turns blue it means both you and your friend are both currently in the chat screen reading messages. When you hit the button you can start a call. If the other person also hits the button you can begin a face-to-face call at the same time.

Just like when you see a snap, you need to maintain your finger on the screen to keep the video call active on your end. Below your finger, you will see a thumbnail of your camera. The rest of the screen is filled with your friend’s face. You can remove your thumb, and you will only see your friend without sharing your camera.

When you are done with your call and chat, you can go back to your inbox. Whenever you do this, your chat history will be erased, staying true to the ephemeral nature of Snapchat. You can however tap on individual messages to save them for later.

Getting into text chat is a major move for Snapchat. Many competitors, such as Ansa, tried to make Snapchat for text messages happen with minimal levels of success. It remains to be confirmed whether Snapchat’s user base will enjoy these new features. Snapchat is no longer just a service to send simple selfies.

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