Public Relations Tactics Roundtable

Public Relations Tactics Roundtable   cheryl   Charleston PR   Design MailJoin us as we discuss more than press releases

So many business owners focus on sending press releases to increase awareness of their business. By doing so, they put all their focus on media relations. They hope to cause the media to carry their story.

There are other ways to increase awareness

Increasing the public’s awareness of your business is not limited to the use of press releases. There are many tactics you can use to focus attention on your business, services and products.

Join me February 4th as I lead a workshop for SCORE.

Register Now!

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Announcing WP Intelligence and Beta User Offer

Over the last seven years since we began using self-hosted WordPress to develop websites, we have championed the platform’s increasing popularity. Now, it’s the dominant content management platform in the world.


New service for WordPress users

To help grow your WordPress smarts, we’ve launched WP Intelligence. Our new enterprise will help owners of WordPress self-hosted websites increase their knowledge and ability to use the platform. Our service will help coach, mentor and guide you to WordPress savvy.

WP Intelligence services include tips, coaching, video tutorials, and priority help and support. Three subscription levels provide you with resources you can access 24 hours a day.

We’re launching WP Intelligence and offering you a free beta membership to help us tune the service to be sure it’s offering you the resources most valuable to you.

What prompted us to launch WP Intelligence?

While it is the most popular CMS and many develop for it, not all developers help their clients learn to use Word Press’s powerful Dashboard and features. Even more frustrating to me, I’ve seen people deploy WordPress and leave website owners frustrated and alone as they seek to learn the features of it. Or even worse, leave them with a non-functional website. Knowledge is power.

WP Intelligence subscribers have a resource to gain help when and how they need it from ardent WordPress developers who know the platform well. And if you own a WordPress self-hosted site and need technical help or support beyond what is in the tip sheets and video tutorials, you’ll receive special pricing on our WordPress support services.

How to get your beta WP Intelligence membership

Get your beta membership by visiting WP Intelligence. Select the “Take Root” subscription and at checkout, enter our beta users coupon code BETAME to remove all expense for the service. You’ll have access to the service for a month. Hurry, because the beta user launch option expires March 15, 2015.

Upgrade and save

And if you choose to upgrade to another membership level before your beta membership’s expiration, you’ll only pay the difference between the Take Root subscription and the subscription of your choice.

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Holly Herrick’s Website Refresh Launched

Holly Herrick Cookbook Author  Food Blogger and Writer

Author launches new, fresh site

Over the last four years we’ve had the privilege of working with Charleston cookbook author, food writer and blogger Holly Herrick.

Holly has been extremely busy over the last years authoring a number of new cookbooks. In the past several months, she’s focused much of her writing on exploring Charleston with insider insights and things to see and do in our town.

Responsive site focuses on content

To support her expanded writings, Holly wanted a more contemporary, responsive site that was as fresh as her inventive recipes. Working in conjunction with Holly, we reviewed what she liked and didn’t like in websites, discussed her hopes for the new site and got busy designing a new look and feel, using her brand identity previously created by Jay Fletcher.

The new site provides a magazine format home page which allows users to jump into the site’s content based on their interests. It also updates Holly’s brand with a new sassy tagline and approach.

We thank Holly for allowing us to support her on her professional journey. We’re looking forward to more tasty adventures as Holly leads us on new explorations of Charleston and the Lowcountry.

If you would like to see your website updated with a new, responsive theme, give us a call. You’ll find our facelifts are far less uncomfortable than those from a plastic surgeon and a whole lot more fun!

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Updating A Website: Making a Website Plan

Planning your website will save you money.

They arrived full of hope

A group of open, smiling faces looked at me as I asked the question, “Has your website passed it’s sell by date?” We were gathered for a workshop sponsored by the Coastal Community Foundation in Charleston. Attendees were staff of non-profit organizations who were there to learn to plan or update their website so that it works well for their constituents and is true to the organization’s purpose.

All wanted better websites

Some in the group had crafted sites using free website builders like Wix and Google Sites. Some had outdated, legacy websites, created years ago by former staff or board members —built on platforms which shouted, “I’m from 1994.” Almost all of the sites had essential communications errors such as trying to cram too much onto a home page, or pages which lacked a purpose, or content that had not been updated in years.

Each one of these eager people were anxious to learn how they could take charge of their website so that the organization’s digital front door was welcoming and appealing. Each of them were working with limited budgets.

Planning time saves money

Over the course of our time together, everyone had “ah ha” moments about how they might improve their site. They all realized if they take the time to plan updates to their site, whether they work with website design / development professional or if they chose to go the DIY route, their planning will yield a lower cost, more user focused site that can support their organization’s goals.

As we worked together, I shared a presentation to help them work through some fundamental strategy questions and comprehend potholes, road blocks and missteps in planning, execution and design of a website.

Updating your website or planning a new site is not rocket science. All it requires is your focused time, comprehension of what your site visitors need and how you want to implement the site’s functionality. Your resulting strategy then yields insights that help you choose a template or theme or help a developer design your site. You just need to organize your thoughts and plan how each of your potential website visitors will use the site.

Start with:

  • Your website users
  • Figure out what each user needs or seeks that will prompt them to visit your site
  • Outline the functionality which will help each user get what they need

And then you plan your website content hierarchy so that every site visitor can navigate to what they need. Critical questions during your page content planning are three questions which address users’ needs:

  1. Where am I?
  2. What can I do here?
  3. Why should I care?

If each page addresses these questions, provides information and content designed to fulfill the specific requirements of that page’s audience and is true to your brand, you’ll have a winning site.

Download our tools to create a website plan:

If you find yourself stuck and not sure what to do to get a good website that works, give us a call.

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As a Leader, Brand Identity is Reflected in Your Presence

Mismatched shoes may not be a reflection of brand, just an embarrassment.

Mismatched shoes may not be a reflection of brand, just an embarrassment. By: Charlotte L

Your personal appearance is your brand identity

We’ve all had the experience — at the end of a long day discovering we’ve worn one black shoe and one blue shoe, or socks that don’t match or have worn our shirt inside out all day long…and no one noticed. When this has happened to me, I find myself wondering, “Why didn’t anybody tell me?” I also wonder who now thinks of me as sloppy, or someone who doesn’t attend to details.

For most of us, our personal appearance is important. We take care to groom ourselves to present a presence which reflects and reinforces our sense of self.

The ante is upped when you are a company delegate who speaks with the public or the media. You are an embodiment of the brand experience.

As a leader, you are the exemplar of your firm’s brand. You must check yourself in the mirror or ask your colleagues to review your clothing, appearance and presence to evaluate whether or not your appearance reflects the values of the brand.

quotation-Marks.jpgWhen you make a personal appearance representing your business, you ARE the brand.

Because of a shirt, for a moment, the world was inadvertently focused, not on the Rosetta Project’s success — as the Philae lander approached a comet — but on Rosetta Project scientist Matt Taylor’s shirt which was insensitively selected, given his position of leadership and need to appear on camera for interviews.


If the European Space Agency’s PR person had reviewed their team member’s appearance prior to interviews, perhaps all eyes would have been on mission success, not the shirt. With a bit more thought, the public relations team would not be defending the leader’s values and their congruence with the space agency’s, but would be talking more about the globally recognized accomplishment of getting a probe to land on a comet.

So, when is a shirt more than a shirt? Or a shoe more than a shoe? When worn by a leader.


Update: Taylor apologizes saying,

“I made a big mistake, and I offended many people,” Taylor said at Friday’s media briefing, his voice trembling, “and I’m very sorry about this.” Read more


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