Don’t Gamble Away Your Brand Name: Buy Domain Names and Hold ‘Em

Purchase your brand's top level domain names and hold them

How valuable is your brand name?

You may think you’re not a gambling person, but if you don’t own all your brand’s top level domain names, you’re sitting at the table, and throwing away all your aces. You could take a bit of advice from The Gambler

If you’re gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right

Value can be fixed based on transactions, visits to your website and sales history. But a brand has value which extends beyond mere monetary transactions.

When you purchase your domain name for your brand, did you purchase every variable for it? If you only purchased one variant of it, you may be “out of aces” and leaving your business vulnerable to brand exploitation. As an example, no one would be better one than Ted Cruz*.

Don’t let your brand name be hijacked

Ted Cruz announced that he is running for President as a Republican candidate. His conservative stance upsets many on the left and in the middle. Opponents of his candidacy took advantage of available domain names related to the candidate’s brand/name. And It didn’t take them long to get busy with mischief. Because the Cruz campaign didn’t purchase these domains, there is now a bit of PR kerfuffle for the team to pay attention to when they probably would rather be working on other aspects of their candidate’s campaign.

The mischief makers redirected the domains they purchased (which should have been purchased by Cruz and his campaign long ago) to websites which are antithetical to Cruz’s platform and stated views.

  • readyforcruz.org is redirected to plannedparenthood.org
  • tedcruz.com has a message in support of President Obama
  • tedcruzforamerica.com is redirected to healthecare.gov

Anyone can purchase a domain name.

Back in the height of the housing bubble in 2006, homeowners who were disgusted with their homes constructed by a major national volume homebuilder, purchased a domain that was negative towards that homebuilder. They posted a website at that domain declaring for all the world how much they hated their homes and the builder. Even today,

  • www.kb-homesucks.com is still proclaiming for all to see how much these homeowners hate the builder.
  • www.kbhomesleak.com obviously states certain owner’s dissatisfaction.

Go beyond .com

When you purchase your brand’s domain name, purchase all available variants of it that you can afford. Include .com, .net, .org, .biz, .us and more. While you may never use these domain names to refer to a website, you don’t want to leave yourself vulnerable to pranksters or even competitors who decide to hijack your good brand and use it for their benefit.

As Kenny Rogers sang, “You gotta know when to hold ‘em.”


*We are not stating any partisanship nor support for any candidate by authoring this post. We are merely using this situation as a teachable moment for all business owners.

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Go Mobile Now or Risk Google Search Rank

Man using mobile device

Go mobile now

According to MarketingCharts.com In the United States, “three of every four US mobile subscribers aged 13 and older owned a smartphone during the 3-month period ending in December 2014.” The data comes from a comScore study published February 9, 2015.

People are using mobile devices to search and interact with websites in increasing numbers. In 2014 Google announced that mobile friendly websites would be denoted in search results.

MobileSearchResults

On February 26, 2015, Google announced that as of April 21, 2015 the search engine will be, “expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.” It won’t be long before Google begins demoting sites which aren’t mobile friendly in rankings in favor of those sites which are mobile friendly.

Google will do this because the search dominator wants to serve consumers useful, helpful information that works for them. That is Google’s first and highest priority. Everything they do regarding search ranking is based on websites’ meeting this criteria. In the past sites which contained malware, or poor content have been demoted. We have seen the same for sites which have backlinks to poor quality websites. Now we will begin to see the same loss of rank for sites which aren’t mobile compatible.

Google’s tools

Google provides tools to use to determine if your site is mobile friendly. If a site is mobile compatible, the tool displays an emulation of how the site appears and a message that the site is mobile friendly.

Facebook-google mobile compatibility test

If the site is not mobile friendly, this is what you’ll see:

Not mobile friendly

The results of sites which aren’t mobile friendly are detailed in the results.

If your site is not mobile friendly, what should you do?

In order that your firm’s site rank well in Google search results after April, you must upgrade your site to one which is mobile compatible. That means you can update the site with a new responsive theme, or add a separate mobile only site. Of these solutions, we favor a responsive site which conforms to devices.

You can make your site mobile compatible with software, which is acceptable, but is not quite as good a solution as a site which is natively responsive and conforms to the device.

Learn more by reading Google’s guide to creating mobile friendly websites.

Need help creating a mobile friendly site? Contact us.

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Kolter Homes Selects Charleston PR & Design

Charleston PR & Design, LLC welcomes Kolter Homes as a new client. CPR&D is providing public relations consultation to increase awareness of the advantages of life in The Ponds.

Kolter Homes, a privately owned firm based in Florida, purchased The Ponds from Greenwood Development in 2014. The Ponds is a distinctive Lowcountry community near Summerville, S.C.

Located some 22 miles outside of historic Charleston, South Carolina, lies The Ponds. This charming Southern community allows you to enjoy the simple pleasures of life without giving up modern day conveniences. Eventually encompassing 1,950 new and stately single-family homes, townhomes, and custom-built homes, its distinctive Lowcountry architecture features Southern vernacular detailing and welcoming outdoor porches. With moss-draped specimen live oaks, tree-lined streets, a waterfront amphitheater, a 1,100 acre conservancy area, and extensive paths and sidewalks, the serene landscape provides unlimited opportunities for recreation and bringing neighbors together.

Kolter is noted for their superior home plans and their active adult communities located in Florida, Georgia and in Myrtle Beach. Kolter’s Cresswind active adult community is now selling at The Ponds.

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Charleston Real Estate Brokerage Firm DHM Debuts New Website

Congratulations to luxury Charleston Real Estate Brokerage, Disher, Hamrick & Myers on the launch of their new website. The site is a hybrid, combining the power of WordPress custom data types and real estate IDX listings from IDX Broker.

Of special note is the web app which provides speedy mobile home searches, and location specific listings.

Charleston PR and Design worked with the DHM marketing team to develop a site that is mobile compatible and provides customized marketing for each of the firm’s listings.

For a full overview of project specifications and details, visit our portfolio.

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When to Send a Media Alert Rather Than a Press Release

Media alerts work best for urgent, breaking news or events with a visual component

Over the last several years I’ve written a number of times about press releases. We’ve discussed online newsrooms, and how to develop and pitch story ideas and how press releases support your pitches. But I don’t think I’ve written about the press releases’ brother, the media alert which is sometimes called a media advisory.

What and when to send a media alert

A media alert is best used to call attention to an event that has components suitable for visual media coverage. That means television, digital media like blogs and more traditional print media such as newspapers and magazines.

Media alerts can be created from some of the content used in your press release but their format is quite different. They are not press releases. They are more direct and to the point. A media alert is precise and describes for the editor what visually interesting events will happen and why the outlet might want to assign a videographer, news reporter or photographer cover it. Of special interest to media is a chronology of events taking place so they may cover the visually compelling parts of the event. Frequently television news media don’t have time to hang out for an hour, but want to capture video of the visually rich bits. So help them out by providing a schedule that allows them to dispatch a videographer to capture what they want.

The advisory also contains a list of entities participating in the photo op and the organizer’s contact information so the reporter may call to get credentials organized or get more information. It’s also helpful to include a map, directions or link to a map to help media find the event location easily.

Who should get a media advisory?

Media alerts are generally sent to television news and assignment editors or reporters covering specific beats.

You can view a great example of an online media advisory from NASA. You’ll notice how NASA is making great use of the web as a hub for their advisory. This way they can tweet, post and share the content without having to send the alert as an attachment or inline content. Media interested can use the information and access it from any location or with any device.

Click through to view an example from 2013 which we created for our client. [PDF] We invited the media to a behind the scenes rehearsal event. During the event, media were able to observe an opera rehearsal and meet performers. This event resulted in great coverage because of the event’s unique nature. Generally visual media don’t get invited “backstage.”

The other time you may want to send a media alert out is if you have a “presser” or a press conference. Generally these types of events are highly news-worthy and timely. Below you can view an image of a media advisory sent to media in advance of a press conference held years ago. You’ll note that the lead-in explains the reasons for the event and who will be there.

Media Advisory Example News Story

Information to include in your advisory

Always to be sure to explain the Ws: Who, What, When, Where, Why. And describe the event so the news editor understands why your event is worthy of coverage.


Do you have questions about when to use media alerts and advisories? Just ask below in the comments and I’ll be glad to answer.

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