Author Archives: editor

Editorial Ass-Kicking, Thank you M’am

Collaborating with a genius (yup, I don’t use it lightly) is always s11899800_10153473647035359_7547006941260957938_natisfying, albeit challenging. Disruptive thinkers and writers bring with them stubborn personalities; it’s like working with terriers. (This photo of my Pennifur, doesn’t do justice to her status as a terrierist.)

So when one of my uber-bright author clients signs a copy of our work for me, I find it’s telling what they write inside the book flap. Case in point: Perry Marshall, author of the new game-changing Evolution 2.0 book, that I helped him edit, recently signed a copy for me in his Chicago living room:

photo (1)Heather!! Thank you for the editorial ass-kicking I received from you (“Thank you, sir, may I have another?”) and for your extreme opinionated-ness and for cheering this thing on to completion. I appreciate YOU and all you’re doing to [illegible] this quest for meaning. Friends forever! – Perry Marshall

Perry’s actual dedication looks like this (right). I think |I can read it only because I am a fellow leftie. The sprawl and lack of brevity speaks to his mindset – wide, deep and fearlessly honest.

And now for something completely different (nod to M. Python)… Another author I worked with, Dan Mack, signed his book, Dark Horse, very much in the spirit of his persona, and aligned with his business book’s approach: “Heather, continue to walk in your true identity!”

Up next, a businphoto (2)ess book about mid-career entrepreneurship on press in a couple of months by Penguin Random House… I wonder what my author client, Bill Seagraves will inscribe on my copy of the book when it comes out? As a former engineer, and a methodical introvert (albeit secretly very creative), how will he express himself on the personal dedication side? Stay tuned!


Convergence of Social, Brand Journalism, SEO & Automated Distribution

All Hands on Deck for Optimized Content…

If you’re getting the impression that it’s getting more complicated to conduct successful online marketing today – you’d be correct. It takes careful juggling of several components to attain that sweet convergence that leads to sales leads:

  1. The Best Content –  Yup, I know you’ve heard this over and over, but have you considered hiring a trained and experienced journalist for your online content generation? Journalism has moved out of the newsroom and into online marketing – with a small but important twist: companies like yours pay the bill for excellence in reporting and writing and as a result, reap leads and thought leadership in their field.
  2. SEO – Search Engine Optimization is never to be overlooked, despite frequent changes in how Google’s algorithm judges your content as page 1-worthy. SEO is now empowered by the best (unique) content and by…
  3. Social Sharing – Just putting your message out there via email or your website just doesn’t cut it anymore; you have to make it (easily) shareable across various social media platforms (the ones aligned for your market) for better SEO results and more lead generation.
  4. Distribution – if content is king, then Distribution is Queen! Easier said than done, right? Fortunately, lots of automation platforms exist for content creation, curation and distribution in the most time- and cost-efficient manner. Great content needs sufficient reach and frequency to make a difference to your bottom line; and that’s virtually impossible by manual effort.

This convergence of marketing elements may sound like a tall order – but it doesn’t have to be; it can be attained in short order. Do your research, ask around your network – find a consultant who brings all of these aspects to your content marketing party.

Anything less is just spinning your content wheels, sadly.

What do you think? Tweet @prosocialmedia to share your strategies around brand journalism, SEO, social sharing, content distribution, all of the above!

Brand Journalism: Selling Out or Selling like Hotcakes?

I was being interviewed by Perry Marshall, a leading U.S. search engine marketing guru last week, and when he asked me to explain what “brand journalism” means, I found myself saying things to the effect of:

“Well, back in the day – I meant way back, like the 1980s – we journalists were trained to believe we were above commercial interests and had a moral imperative to act as society’s ‘traditional ‘fourth estate.‘ Using our trained skills in journalism entirely to benefit a specific company or brand would have been deemed as heresy, as in burn-at-the-stake heresy.”

Hah! How far we’ve come – and by we, I mean, me at least. I graduated from a leading journalism degree program in 1987 with all intentions of being that “objective voice of reason” reporting on society. That evolved within a few years to realizing my writing, research, and interviewing talents were helping my employers meet their bottom line goals. Nothing wrong with that. Enter, the Internet…

My  Road to Marketing Writer
When the bottom fell out of the print journalism market in the early 2000s, as the Internet kicked ass, I saw it coming. Hey, being a senior editor at a daily big-city newspaper and hearing, meeting after meeting, that circulation sales were down, advertising sales were down – it didn’t take a genius to see the (web) writing on the wall. I bailed, and went directly to write the website content for a multinational software company.

Regrets? Not on your life! That move got me in a position, mostly by luck (like much of life), to benefit from training in Search Engine Optimization, in person, from the SEO pioneer and thought leader, Rand Fishkin in 2007, and then onto social media and web content marketing strategies and through it all – great writing! Aka, journalism.

This past summer, I listened to a segment on CBC Radio, that included a relatively new buzzword – brand journalism – that describes my line of work. One of the subjects interviewed was  Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute, someone I follow on Twitter and elsewhere on social media.

I’d heard the term before, but it felt right, so I have adopted it as the label on one of my services. And it fits. Am I ashamed, as a former “purist” journalist? Not at all.

What do you think? Are brand journalists like myself ‘sell outs’? Or rather, are we as smart as hotcake salespeople in maple syrup country? Leave your comment below or Tweet us @prosocialmedia.

Speaking of hotcakes and maple syrup… check out what brand journalism can do for a company in the food industry. I created this Flipboard magazine compiled of dozen of brand journalist pieces for a client that I placed in national leading publications.

View my Flipboard Magazine.