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

The most underutilized reward a leader has at their disposal doesn’t cost anything. 

It can be given at any time, any place and for any reason a leader sees fit.

It’s a compliment. 

There’s brain research that suggests the human mind processes affirmations similarly to financial rewards. 

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

Yours in marketing and communications,
Frank Strong

PS: Need an extra pair of hands? More than a proactive partner: an extension of your marketing and PR team. Check out our services.

The Must-Read Articles

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


1. Value of a compliment. “Neuroscientists have even shown that the brain processes verbal affirmations similarly to financial rewards.” (Harvard Business Review).

[Also see these leadership tips for meeting with employees]

Leadership and the CMO

2. Marketing grew in importance during pandemic. CMOs say strategies performed well during the pandemic, both prestige and budgets have grown; inclusive decision-making is a blind spot (Sword and the Script).


3. Your new competition. “You are competing with the last best experience your customer had." (Harvard Business Review).

4. Storytelling. “What is wine really? Just old grape juice with a really good story. And because of that story, winemakers can charge $30 a bottle” (Marketing Sherpa).

5. Webinar attendance. 39% of people attended more webinars or webcasts in 2020 than in years before (The Manifest).

6. Branding is cool again. Strategic marketing initiatives like brand building are back in style because the pandemic and politics have put trust top-of-mind. (Sword and the Script).

7. Shiny objects. “Because it’s so new and fresh, brands seemingly have no idea what to look for when it comes to Clubhouse, they just know it’s a significant avenue that they should capitalize on” (Marketoonist).

B2B Marketing

8. CMO cliff notes. B2B highlights from the CMO survey (Customer Think).

Public Relations

9. Meet the CFO. “CFOs now playing larger roles in digital strategy and execution” (Bulldog Reporter).

10. PR needs will change. “...much of the value add from PR professionals in 2020 was dominated by reputation management, in 2021 the focus will shift back to an emphasis on marketing and reputation consulting (PRovoke).

11. From selling services to product. PR agency owner started making homegrown PR software; today it’s a VC-backed startup (Sword and the Script).

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Experience: UX & CX

12. Who decides the buyer’s journey? “The buyer controls the journey. Your company does not. Why, then, are today’s organizations spending so much time crafting pre-determined marketing journeys when it’s the buyers we should be enabling?” (Digital Commerce 360).


13. Creative problem solving. “...creative teams showed remarkable adaptability, learned new technical skills, and increasingly partnered with outside creative agencies and freelancers” (Dexigner) [disclosure: client].


14. Was it the disruption? “Consumers no longer think the exchange of free content for ad delivery is good enough–the value exchange must be reset” (IAB & PWC).

15. Straight-forward. “What people want from advertising: straight info, discounts and entertainment...What they don't want: too many, gated content, irrelevance (MediaPost).


16. No more clicks for marketing? In 2020, two-thirds of Google searches ended without a click (SparkToro).  

17. Subdomain vs. Subfolder. They perform about the same for SEO (Ahrefs).

18. SEO is harder today. 60% of SEOs say SEO is harder than five years ago (Search Engine Roundtable).

Social Media

19. Social promo. “LinkedIn is adding some new tools for brands to help boost their organic promotion efforts on the platform” (Social Media Today).

Marketing & PR Technology

20. IPO. SEMrush plans to to public (Search Engine Land).

[Recall SEMrush acquired Prowly, a PR tech startup last year]

21. PR tech sum. Cision announces plans to acquire Brandwatch; BuzzSumo introduces journalist profiles; Forbes contributor compares PR tech tools; PR tech vendor posts supporting Black History Month (Sword and the Script).

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Need expert help with Marketing and PR? 

Sword and the Script Media, LLC is a verified veteran-owned public relations agency immersed in the B2B tech marketplace. We focus on building 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.  

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Questions, comments or suggestions? Send ‘em.  I’d like 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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