Weekly Scripts:  Vetted links across PR and marketing. 
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Dear  <<First Name>>:

Some PR firms make personnel decisions by one number: the utilization rate. If your billable hours go down, your utilization rates drop, and you are on the list for possible layoffs.

When the dot-com bubble burst, I was a young account executive, and my firm was making cuts as tech clients imploded. To protect employees, supervisors kept some utilization rates high in alternative ways.

I was fortunate in this way. The firm put me to work on some pro-bono accounts: projects where the firm could do good, there was business development value, and the team members would learn some things.

I worked with a small VC firm that was hosting a conference to showcase startup tech companies looking for funding. The idea was to boost investment in the local economy and preserve local tech jobs.  

Since it was a pro-bono account, there weren't any of the usual management layers and I got to run the whole account - on a budget. We did great work and did good things for the community. I also learned a lot through the process.

That got me to thinking about how important continuous learning is in marketing and  PR. We are all forever students. If things are slowing down for you, consider how you might fill that time learning something new. Take a demo, sit in on a webinar, or take an online course.

That leads us to the top story in this edition of the Monthly Scripts.    

Yours in marcom,
Frank Strong

The Must-Read Articles

Every month I peruse hundreds of articles about marketing and PR. Near the month’s end I analyze those metrics with technology and human judgment to find the most important stories. 


1) You Can Now Take Moz Academy Courses for Free (Moz) If you work in PR and marketing and have never had formal training in SEO, you should consider taking the SEO Fundamentals and [on] Page Optimization courses. 

I follow my own advice and completed two classes this past weekend: Technical SEO Site Audit -- which was excellent and  Keyword Research - which you really need to be a Moz customer to get any value from.

HubSpot also offers free training through it’s HubSpot Academy.

Google offers free training too. You can’t go wrong taking a course about Google Analytics or Google Search Ads

Leadership and the CMO

2) CFOs: The Marketer’s Key to the C-Suite (Chief Marketer) “CMOs need to clearly convey to their CFOs that marketing is not a cost center....This might seem like a simple shift in mindset, but from the CFO’s vantage point...viewing marketing as an investment implies that there is going to be some ups and some downs. Not all investments work out.”

3) Welcome The CMO Club to the Salesforce Family (Salesforce) You can build an audience or you can buy one. How many CMOs are thinking about M&A as a marketing strategy? 

4) Service is the new sales (Accenture) B2B organizations that are “hyper-focused on buyer needs, personal relationships, and intelligent interactions” sell more product, keep more customers and enjoy higher margins. 


5) Four Ways to Reach and Retain B2B Buyers (Chief Marketer) “New research suggests that B2B buyers switch suppliers at an unprecedented rate, and often without warning.”

Public Relations

6) Communicating Through the Coronavirus Crisis (HBR) “Decentralized communications is understandable and even desirable in large, complex organizations. But in an emergency or fast-moving situation, you need a crisis-response team.”

7) Responding To Coronavirus: A Playbook For Marketing And Communications (Forrester) “Create flexible response plans and continuously monitor the situation to adapt to changing conditions.”

8) Should you pitch non-coronavirus stories to the press? (Ragan) “You can, according to a panel of health care reporters at last week’s Publicity Club of Chicago monthly luncheon.”

Content Marketing

9) 10 Ways Content Marketing and Sales Teams Can Work Together (Content Marketing Institute) “Don’t ever let one team gather data that the other team can’t access. Sure, some marketing data is irrelevant to sales, but more often than not, it’s not. Don’t put parameters on what either team will share and that includes ensuring marketers access to the CRM.”

10) CMO Council Urges Marketers To Increase Content To Ride Out COVID-19 Crisis (Media Post) "Becoming a thought leader in a specific market can pay off now more than ever -- not only in terms of ranking higher as an authoritative source in Google’s organic search ranking, but in the minds of customers. Authority validates the relationship."

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11) The Marketing Agency Attributes Clients Value Most (MarketingProfs) “Respondents say the attributes they desire most in agency partners are creativity (55% cite it as an attribute they value), responsiveness (54%), execution (46%), innovativeness (41%), project management (26%), collaboration (26%), and data management (24%).”

12) And according to Marketing Charts, covering the same survey, “For some businesses, smaller agencies may fulfill this attribute best, as Globality and the CMO Club found that about two-fifths of CMOs believe the small to mid-size agencies offer more creativity than larger agencies.”

13) How to Create Visual Content That’s Worth a Thousand Shares (Content Marketing Institute) “Considering how rapidly visual trends come and go and how often new creative platforms and capabilities emerge, it’s always worth taking a fresh look at ways to let your brand’s photos, videos, and graphics do the talking.”

14) Creative Works: what brands are doing for the coronavirus pandemic (The Drum) My favorite is the distillery that pivoted to make hand sanitizer.

15) How to Overcome Creative Obstacles (99U by Adobe) “Have intentional off periods where you’re relaxing, you’re not processing information, and you’re truly resting and rejuvenating.” 

Search and SEO

16) Bloomberg and What Advertising Does (Marketing B.S.) "Advertising on Google bears a closer resemblance to paying for good shelf space at Walmart than to creating demand with a television spot."

Social Media

17) 9 B2B Instagram Marketing Strategies with Examples (CXL Institute) “Some 73% of Millennial workers are involved in B2B purchase decisions, and 85% of that group uses social media to research products and services for their companies.”

18) Cowboy Tim was thrust into social media duty and boy is he hashtag killing it (Twitter) “Tim, the head of security at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma, was forced to take on a new role when the museum shut down under COVID-19 measures. A week in, it may be time to quit his day job.”

Marketing & PR Technology

19) Here’s what the role of a martech orchestrator looks like (Marketing Land) “This means that martech practitioners need to remain up to speed on what’s happening throughout their departments. Just as it’s not easy to stay abreast of all developments within the martech specialty, other types of marketing specialists face similar challenges.”


20) Q&A: Marketing Guru Seth Godin on How to Be a Better Marketer (AdWeek) "If I can’t explain it, then I’m walking around thinking that everything is just magical. And it’s not."

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Recent Posts from Sword and the Script

The Sword and the Script blog and this newsletter are two separate subscriptions: Subscribe to the blog here to receive thoughtful weekly posts. Here are the most recent you might have missed:

>> Why You Should Absolutely, Positively NOT Cut Your Marketing and PR Budget Right Now

>> A Modestly Contrarian View of External B2B Comms about Coronavirus (Covid-19) that Borrows a Few Ideas from Military Planners 

>> Long-Form Content is King: 4 Studies Show the Power of Long-Form in Content Marketing [UML] 

>> Datelines, Bylines and Credible Citations: 3 Elements of Trust You Should Include in Company Blog Posts

>> PR Tech Vendors Pitch Artificial Intelligence, Microsoft Integrations and Podcast Monitoring [PR Tech Sum]  

Contributions and Mentions from Around the Web

Here are some of the third-party sites we’ve been fortunate to contribute to over the last month or so.

>> How to evaluate if your coronavirus message is necessary (Ragan)

>> Being Social And Working In Social, COVID-19 Comms, Blog Post Dates Dilemma [Ep. 131] (Hanson & Hunt: Talking Points Podcast)

>> Media Pitching in the Age of Coronavirus – Should We? Or Shouldn’t We? (Garrett Public Relations)

>> COVID-19: How to conduct B2B media relations in a severe crisis (Detavernier Strategic Comms) 

Local to the Atlanta area? 

Sword and the Script Media organizes The Alpharetta Business Networking Club a monthly meetup that’s part business and part social. There are 3,300 members of this group in the high-technology corridor just north of Atlanta.  The April event is canceled due to the Coronavirus, but we hope to be back open for May. 

About Us

Sword and the Script Media, LLC is a certified veteran-owned public relations agency immersed in the business-to-business (B2B) marketplace. We focus on building consistent, sustainable and process-driven programs for PR, content marketing and social media. A defining difference comes down to our approach – that marketing ought to have utility. This is because marketing that helps, sells better than marketing that hypes.  

About Us | LeadershipServices  

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Questions, comments or suggestions? Send ‘em.  I’d love to hear from you. 

Frank Strong, MA, MBA
Founder & President
Sword and the Script Media, LLC
PR | Content Marketing | Social Media
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