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Decisive action prevents Zoo from being mauled in court of public opinion

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo acted quickly and decisively when a toddler fell into the cheetah exhibit over the weekend, allegedly dropped by his mother who was inexplicably dangling the child beyond the secure parameters of the exhibit’s enclosure. Once the child was recovered safely, Zoo officials quickly determined through eyewitness interviews that the mother ignored warning signs and put her child in danger, allegedly leading to the accident.

What makes this situation different than many is that Zoo officials chose to communicate their findings and intent to pursue criminal charges immediately so the media could include that important information, even in the first round of coverage. Without that decisive action, the media would have been left to speculate as to…

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5 crucial lessons Buzz Lightyear can teach us about content marketing

1)  It’s a long mission

“To infinity… and beyond!”  Those are the well-known words of Buzz Lightyear, the lovable astronaut character from Toy Story played by the voice of Tim Allen.  Buzz is the eternal optimist.  He refuses to recognize he is a toy and his goals are off the charts.  He is not just headed off into infinity, which by definition goes on forever, he is going further.

Buzz’s famous catch phrase applies well to content marketing.  Why is that?  Because, when implemented correctly, content marketing does not stop.  Content marketing is not a campaign with a beginning, middle and an end.  It is an ongoing effort that lasts forever.

In a great Q&A last year, Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute put it perfectly:  “The biggest reason why…

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Meerkat, Periscope and disclosure: livestreaming apps for investor relations

New apps are being developed and promoted every day.  There are certainly good ones that take off and duds that never go anywhere. And most may seem irrelevant for investor relations, especially at first glance. But in the case of Meerkat and Periscope, two new livestreaming apps, we urge IROs to pay attention – and get excited by the possibilities.

In case you haven’t read about these tools or tried them yourself, here’s a little background from USA Today “Assuming you have a decent connection, you can turn into an instant broadcaster by tapping a button inside the Meerkat or Periscope app on your iPhone; Android versions are on the roadmap. Video is streamed in real time over Twitter to what you hope are an adoring fan base of friends and followers.”

That’s…

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New corporate social responsibility reports: hot off the (electronic) presses!

Congratulations to our clients Aleris, Kelly Services and ITW on recently publishing your corporate social responsibility/sustainability reports. Aleris and Kelly Services are first-time reporters. For ITW, this is its first all-online report. In fact, all three reports are online-only, available as a PDF, e-book or micro-site, reinforcing a broader shift we’ve seen away from printed CSR reports.

Check them out:

Aleris’ “Beyond Aluminum” sustainability report

Kelly Services’ corporate social responsibility report

ITW’s “With Purpose” corporate social responsibility report

Other notable trends from this recent batch of reports:

Cross-functional teams – including communications, marketing, HR, EHS, legal, community engagement, operations and senior…

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Content is king in the quarterly earnings call

Quarterly earnings calls should be a win-win for everyone. Companies get to deliver their messages to a relatively captive investor audience, while investors get direct access to the senior management team and immediate answers to their questions. And yet, it’s common for both parties to feel disappointed and even frustrated at the end of the call. Management may feel the questioners focused too much on short-term or technical issues and not enough on long-term strategies, while investors might complain that the company didn’t provide any new or useful information beyond what was already in the release.

As with most communications, content is king. For quarterly earnings calls, higher-quality content in the prepared remarks can lead to a richer subsequent…

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