Webinar Marketing II: Writing the Press Release Accuconference

Not every press release is created equal, at least not in the eyes of a search engine. If you decide to market your webinar through a press release, knowing how search engines work is critical. Below are some tips to help your press release rise to the top of the list when some company executive or manager surfs the web to keep up with the newest thing in the field.

  1. Use keywords in the title: Remember no one will be using the word "webinar" in their news engine search. If your company is well known, they may be looking for news on that as well. Use something like "Spud Corp. Offers Webinar for Hazardous Waste Engineers Handling Toxic Organic Compounds".
  2. Repeatedly mention keywords in the first paragraph: The first paragraph is where search engine rubber meets the road. It where they decide what the press release is all about. Use as many alternative spellings as you can, just in case a searcher might use "computer" instead of "IT". Whatever you do, don't use any keyword more than five times because the search engine then begins to think this is commercial span as opposed to a real news item.
  3. Put a worded hotlink to your site in the first paragraph: Most business news readers only scan the first paragraph, so no matter how much you want to put down all the info and then put the contact link at the bottom of the page. Don't do it. Associate your link with some well worded prose in the first paragraph where it is more likely to be seen and in such a way that it does not look like "marketing".
  4. Put some keywords in your hotlink: Search engines actually read the words in your hotlink not only to determine how to rank your press release, but also see if your landing page (which should be the webinar registration page) should be listed on the search engine.

Webinar Marketing I: Getting the News Out Accuconference

As technology has advanced, making on-line training and information exchange simpler and more interactive, and as businesses and users become more familiar with online distance learning technologies, the webinar marketplace has exploded. The webinar industry is expanding at a rate of 20-30% each year. What this means to you is that search engines that are already swamped with webinar offerings will soon be more than swamped.

Let's say your company wants to move into the training field, or some other information-provider-oriented area. Because the Internet can reach an international, as opposed to local, audience and everyone saves on time and travel, let's say webinars are being considered as the medium of choice. As we know, it's one thing to create a great webinar and another to reach the people who might want to take it, especially with the crowded, ever growing field of webinar providers.

Of course your company can always simply list the webinar on its website and hope someone randomly types in the right key words and goes down low enough on the list of links on their search page and then is intrigued enough by the byline to click on the link and decide it is just what they have been looking for.

It can cost big money to register for Google AdWords or some similar search engine pay-for-placement/click utility to shunt potential users to your company's webinar. But did you know you can get great visibility by sending out a press release through Business Wire, PR Newswire, or Market Wire? Releases to these news providers get picked up by search engine news sites like Google, MSN, and Yahoo News. And the cost is a generally very reasonable flat rate AND it stays visible to search engines for 21-28 days.

Every day, companies and executives surf these news sites using industry key words to find articles of interest and if you word your press release right, you could reach your intended audience more quickly (and cheaply) than you might guess.

White Water Rafting Accuconference

We are starting a new feature for our blog. We are going to post a picture of the week taken by members of the AccuConference team – so without further pause, here’s our first:

Webinar, Webcast, Web Conferencing: What's the Difference? Accuconference

There's lots of talk these days about web-this and web-that. So much so that, for many of us, it can all be very confusing. In today's world in business and communications, the Internet is by far the major growth medium. Two of the most important and widely used means of communicating a specific message or sharing fast breaking news with others are webinars, also known as web conferences, and webcasts. Although their names are similar, webinars, web conferences and webcasts are very different communication mediums, each suited for different audiences or messages.

Webcasts are where audio and/or video content is streamed to many people over the Internet. Webcasts only allow you to hear and/or see what is being transmitted. There is no way to interact with the people transmitting the content. A good example of a webcast is when a radio or TV station simulcast their show over the Internet. Today a lot of companies use webcasting to make presentations for stockholders or potential investors.

Web Conferencing is a fully interactive, live conference that is held over the Internet in real time. In a web conference people at their personal computer and log into a host site, which generally has a wide variety of different applications that can be used to display and share information as well as audio, video, and desktops. A meeting then takes place between the people logged on.

Webinars are a type of web conference. Although many times a webminar is a one way transmission of information, generally a slide show. from a presenter to an audience who are attending over their personal computer, it can be designed to have elements of interactivity. Generally, in addition to logging on with a computer, attendees also call in on their telephones like is done for a conference call. Via the telephone, the presenter discusses the information transmitted to everyone's computer screen and participants can ask questions in real time over their phone. Like web conferences, a webinar is live and has a specific starting and ending time.

Webinars, Webcasts, and Web Conferencing: Getting Your Info Out Accuconference

One of the more common ways of supplying information to a large and distributed group of users is called a web conference or webinar for short. This is where people sit at their computer, which is connected to a host company through the Internet. The host then provides information via various audio visual formats. Even up to a few years ago, information generally traveled only one way. From the presented at the host company to the participants personal computers.

Today, webinars can be much more interactive and combined with teleconferencing with participants responding over their own telephones. They can include slide presentations, live video, or a whiteboard that allows annotations by the presenter and/or attendees, depending on the sophistication of the presentation and the capabilities of the host site. There can also be provisions for live text chatting, polls that let participants vote on issues, and sharing of documents or spreadsheets.

Webinars are generally billed one of two ways, as a fixed “cost per minute” or on a “per participant” basis. Either way, this is one of the least expensive means of presenting the same information, simultaneously, to a lot of people who are widely distributed. Webinars are becoming popular not only in the training field, but also in the financial and business sector in terms of reaching a broader spectrum of stockholders and investors.

Good Video Conferencing Etiquette – Putting Your Best Face Forward Accuconference

Unlike a teleconference, a video conference let's people see you or you and your team sitting across a table from them and interact almost as naturally as you do in a face-to-face meeting. Just as in the world of teleconferencing, organization and planning is the backbone of a successful videoconference. Because of technical issues, there are also rules of etiquette similar in nature to those in conference calling, but different because of the added visual element in the video environment.

In addition to issues like wearing the appropriate clothes and accessories that we talked about in a previous blog which was related to video job interviewing, there are a number of other things that are particular to the videoconferencing environment. Abiding by these guidelines will make your video conference work as you hope it will.

  1. As for conference calling, make sure you have an agenda for the meeting, distribute it to the participants in advance, and then stick to it.
  2. Be sure to get to the video suite early and check all the equipment to make sure it is working well and that you know how to make it work of have technical help at hand to do so. What ever you do, don't be late.
  3. Your camera settings should focus as much as possible on the people in the room and minimize showing a large expanse of table or wall. At all cost avoid having ceiling lights included in the view.
  4. Clothes with simple styling in muted colors help the camera stay focused and don't distract your audience from your face, which is what you hope they will be watching.

The Video Conference Zone – The Twilight Zone Revisited Accuconference

So your starting up video conferencing at your company or university or non-profit organization and want to really know what you're in for and how to avoid the most common problems? Well go online and check out the video on the University of Washington TV's "How to" production video webpage. You can do this by going to "the video conference zone".

The video is a take off of the classic 60's television show "The Twilight Zone" and shows you, for real, what things that can, but shouldn't, happen in your video conference or distance learning class. It is really quite humorous and if you have ever video conferenced before or taken any distance learning classes, you will recognize some of the classic faux pas.

Of particular note are the great suggestions the moderator, a Rod Serling clone, has for video conferences in which there are multiple sites participating. One of the best is to have one moderator at each site who orchestrates that sites interactions and an "uber" moderator whose job is to be sure that all sites are cooperating and functioning so the video conference maximizes its return for all participants.

Even if you have done a lot of video conferencing, the "Zone" is definitely worth a look, even if just for the chuckle.

Video Conferencing Tips for More Effective Meetings Accuconference

A good video conference is more than just knowing your equipment and making sure you are not wearing anything that will distract from your message. As in conference calls speech habits are important. Video, however, adds another important element. Motion and body language. These are also important to keep in mind so you project the image you want to send to the viewer.

  1. Speak clearly in a natural tone of voice and more a little more slowly than you might otherwise. Make sure there is a short pause between speakers because there is commonly an audio delay of about a second in transmission. As in teleconferencing, don’t let people interrupt or speak over one another and be sure to leave pauses between points to let people at the other sites speak up and express themselves.
  2. As for conference calling, keep all side conversations to a minimum. Concentrate on what people are saying at the other sites. Since they can see you, it is all the more important to show your respect by paying them your undivided attention.
  3. Be careful of where you put the phone. Do not place it near papers that might be shuffled or where other extraneous sounds might get picked up. In this regard. If you have a habit of tapping your pen on the table or drumming your fingers to release nervous energy, please remember the microphone will pick this up, and concentrate on trying to keep them still.
  4. Similarly, try to minimize body movements. Swaying or rocking or any other repeated movements or large gestures are distracting to people on the receiving end of the video and you don’t want your physical behaviors to be the topic of water color conversations on the other coast once your video conference is over.

What is Good Customer Service? Accuconference

Frequently, our office orders in lunch when we have a large event, celebrating a birthday – or frankly because we want to.  We tend to use the eateries nearby, promoting community support to the locals. One of our favorites is Baker Bros. Deli.  Today, was one of those days we ordered in lunch.

Our lunch was picked up by a staff member and upon him arriving back & distributing the food, it was discovered we were missing salad dressing for all the salads ordered. Who likes eating a salad without dressing? Moreover, who had the extra time to go back downstairs, into their car, drive over to Bakers and get dressing and come all the way back? No one. 

No sooner was it discovered that we were missing the salad dressing, than our office door opened and in walked Mike a Baker Bros. employee with all the missing dressings.  Were we surprised? You bet! They could have said "oh well" and left it at that, but no – they delivered individual, hand-poured sides of dressing for all the salads we ordered. And during their most busy time of the day – lunch hour.

Going above & beyond the call of duty is good customer service. Delivering something which could be deemed as insignificant as salad dressing to a patron – that is GREAT customer service!

Baker Bros. hasn’t seen the last of us. In fact, we just might be on a first name basis with the employees before long!

Baker Bros Deli
FORT WORTH: CAMP BOWIE BLVD. (Village at Camp Bowie)

6333 Camp Bowie Blvd, Suite 244
Fort Worth, TX 76116

Dress for Success – What to Wear to a Videoconference Accuconference

When you can't meet someone face-to-face because of time pressures or just because it makes economic sense, a video conference is the next best thing. This lets you see the other person and let's them see you. There's a lot to be gained in person-to-person interactions where you can pick up a lot of subtle non-verbal clues as to how the other person is receiving or reacting to your message.

Being shown on video, however, is not just like being there in the room, so you have to be a bit more aware of how you present yourself and what you wear than you might be if you were sitting down with someone in person. You don't want anything, not your hair, not your clothes, not the room, not the technical aspects of the system, or any other number of things to distract the people on the other side of the transmission line from your message.

One of the easiest things to control is what you wear. Believe it or not, this does make a difference. Some colors and patterns just do not work well in the video environment. For example, for men striped or patterned shirts sometimes do not display well on remote sites, white shirts also can be a problem because of glare. Light blue or pastel shirts work best. For the same reason women should not wear white or bold highly patterned dresses, tops, or jackets. Red and black can also be problematic in transmission. Solid colors or pastels are the best.

For women, watch your jewelry, especially if it is shiny or dangles. You don't want anything to brush against the microphone or tabletop or cause feedback during the call. And you don't want to wear anything that would be distracting due to its own motion. For men, silver tie clips can also reflect light and become a visual annoyance. Tinted glasses are also a no-no because they mask your eyes and cover part of your face, the open appearance of which is an important part of the visual experience.

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