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Blog | Harris Marketing Services

The Marketing Murmuration

Business Goals Alignment, Virtual CMO|

It’s easy to be impressed by a lot of marketing gurus on social media. They’ve perfected the clickable headline that promises the inside scoop on how to hack your marketing. Follow a few simple steps and you, too, can have 80 million followers, earn a six-figure income on the speaking circuit, put your SaaS signups [...]

Blog Topics Venn Diagram: Finding the Sweet Spot in Content Creation

Blog, Content Development, Owned Media, Thought Leadership|

Show me a company that hasn’t struggled to generate blog topics and I’ll show you a company that doesn’t have a blog. It’s just one of those things that make content creation so tough – you need to constantly generate ideas. Every one of my clients asks me to help them generate content ideas and [...]

Virtual CMO FAQs – Is a Virtual Chief Marketing Officer Right for Your Business?

Business Goals Alignment, Virtual CMO|

Your small business needs marketing. Is a virtual CMO the right option for you? Following are the virtual CMO FAQ  I hear from business owners, founders, and startups. Did I miss yours? Reach out directly to me. I know my company better than anyone else and am the best person to market it. Why do [...]

Announcing PlanITPDQ – Editorial Calendar and Content Marketing Planner for SMB

B2B PR and Content Management, Blog, Content Development, Content Marketing, Earned Media, editorial calendar, eMail Marketing, Marketing Calendar, Owned Media|

When it comes to marketing methods, I am on Team Content: I believe every company should have an editorial calendar and content marketing planner. Content marketing is not the fastest way to build a business, but it is among the most sustainable. This comes from its roots in education - buyers no longer want to [...]

Where to Invest in Content Marketing for Your Business

B2B PR and Content Management, Blog, Communications, Content Development, Content Marketing, Earned Media, eMail Marketing, Owned Media, Thought Leadership|

Is this the year that you’ve resolved to finally get serious about marketing? If you are like 75% of marketers in North America, you’re thinking about investing in content marketing. Content marketing goes hand-in-hand with relationship building, as it’s all about providing your prospects with valuable information they need. Content marketing is e-books that provide [...]

What is a Virtual CMO? And why your small business needs one.

Blog, Business Goals Alignment, Communications, Content Development, Content Marketing, Earned Media, Team, Virtual CMO|

What do you do? That’s a question I was asked a lot this weekend when I was at a two-day conference with women from throughout the country. When I offered, “support small businesses through B2B marketing services,” I most often received a puzzled look with a follow up question, “what does that mean?” Listing the [...]

Make the most of each opportunity to communicate with clients

Communications, Content Development, eMail Marketing, Owned Media, PR|

How many times each week do you get the chance to communicate with clients? Many of these are basic transactional moments, but for those that merit something more than y/n, you have an opportunity to connect. At HMS we really like working with our clients to take advantage of these moments. This week we're working [...]

Today in HMS – Webinar Followup

B2B PR and Content Management, Blog, Communications, Content Marketing, Owned Media, Sales Enablement, Thought Leadership|

Webinar followup is the most important part of running a webinar. You've taken the time to create a solid presentation, collaborated with partners on content, and reached out to your community to build audience. But it's unlikely that more than five percent of your list will actually attend. Obviously, you need to connect with those [...]

First Impressions | Is your company memorable?

B2B PR and Content Management, Blog, Communications, Content Development, PR|

Stop. Close your eyes. Ok, open them again to read the rest of paragraph. Recall the most recent acquaintance you made. Describe your first impression. What senses were engaged? Did you react to the intonation, eye contact (or lack thereof), color of hair, clasp of hand, style of clothing, or something else? Chances are something [...]

How to Make an Editorial Calendar for your Business

B2B PR and Content Management, Blog, Business Goals Alignment, Communications, Content Development, Content Marketing, Earned Media, eMail Marketing, Owned Media, PR, Sales Enablement, Thought Leadership|

Good intentions are meaningless. Good actions deliver – that’s why we’re big fans of building an editorial calendar to guide B2B marketing efforts for our clients. What is an editorial calendar? Why is an editorial calendar important for your marketing efforts? And how can you make an editorial calendar for your business? Here are the answers [...]

B2B White Papers are for Smart People

Blog, Communications, Content Development, Content Marketing, Earned Media, eMail Marketing, Owned Media, Thought Leadership|

I love smart people. I once got into a conversation with a couple of financial modelers from a major bank at a business cocktail party. I’m way more of a words person than a numbers person, so you’d think that my instinct would have been to head for the bar as fast as I could, [...]

Overcoming a confidence crisis

Blog, Business Goals Alignment, Communications, Sales Enablement, Thought Leadership|

Whether we want to admit it or not, we all struggle at some point. Personally or professionally we can lose our confidence, and wonder if we'll ever get it back. I recently took a series of steps to shed an attitude where I believed I had lost my ability to sell. I struggled with this for several months [...]

Building Your Content Library – Eight Ideas to Get Started

Blog, Content Development, Content Marketing, PR, Thought Leadership|

The most powerful way to connect with B2B customers is through education – people are eager to learn, and providing the information they need can help drive them right to your door. How can you help educate your prospective customers? The best place to start is by creating content you can use across all marketing [...]

How to Share Your Story

Blog, Communications, Content Development, Content Marketing, PR, Thought Leadership|

As B2B marketers, we spend a lot of time researching how to share your story. We’re big believers of earned media, which is when a journalist, blogger, or other person of influence writes about your company. They introduce you to their audience, and give you an opportunity to connect. Earned media drives inbound leads to [...]

Finding Your Voice

Blog, Communications, Content Development, Content Marketing|

Voice. Think about what that means for a moment. As a child we learn to use it, as an adolescent to develop it, and as an adult to define us, to detract, attract, oppose, support, cajole, admonish, praise, thank, and more. We learn early on that each voice is unique. I love watching my daughter [...]

Earned and Owned Media in Content Marketing – How it Works

Content Development, Content Marketing, PR|

B2B marketing is different from the consumer world, in part because it relies on engaging with an audience that wants a lot of information on how best to solve what can be complex and sophisticated business problems. While paid media (including advertising and content syndication) fits well in marketing plans for some businesses, there is [...]

Getting ducks in a row lines up new customers

Blog, Communications, Content Development, Content Marketing|

On my first Mother’s Day, nearly 11 years ago, my husband, our nine-month-old daughter, and my 89-year-old Grandma spent the good part of a road trip downstate making a list of all the idioms we knew. We came up with about 70. I was reminded of that trip recently when I read an article by [...]

Pitch Perfect: How to Craft a Pitch to Get Results

Blog, Business Goals Alignment, Communications, Content Development, PR, Sales Enablement|

At its core, Harris Media Services helps people communicate. We work with people in all phases of business – entrepreneurs, execs in ongoing businesses, and startups with every kind of “ask”. Before you have a shot at landing your “ask”, you need to perfect your pitch. Here are some lessons learned from the hundreds of [...]

The Human Experience Matters in Marketing

Blog, Business Goals Alignment, Communications, Sales Enablement|

Have you had a moment when someone who clearly is out of their league tells you how you should do your job? Like when the Controller tells you there is not enough white space in a brochure, the web content needs to be jazzed up, or that blog is just plain boring. My reaction inside gets all [...]

Churned Content Will Burn: Keep the Trade Press in Your Toolkit

Blog, Content Development, Content Marketing, PR|

I received an email this morning with the subject line “How to Churn Out Content”. Ugh, no. That may have worked in the early days of inbound marketing, but there’s way too much competition for your prospect’s attention today. Mark Schaefer recognized the impact of “Content Shock” back in January of 2014, noting that content [...]

How to Choose a Marketing Services Partner – Values to Work Together By

Blog, Business Goals Alignment, Communications, Content Marketing, PR, Sales Enablement, Virtual CMO|

After working with a customer on a story about its values, it seemed appropriate to codify them for Harris Media Services. It turns out that this list is a good framework for choosing a marketing service partner, including whether or not Harris Medias Services is the right firm for your organization. These values are based [...]

Marketing Automation Software – How to Make Your Investment Pay Off

Blog, Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, PR|

Have you wondered about the ROI of marketing automation software? I have, too, so I reached out to a bunch of marketing managers to ask them about the tools they use. In addition to stats on ROI, I asked their advice to those thinking of rolling out a solution. This story ran in the B2B News [...]

How to Market Complex Products to B2B Audiences: Break it Down

Blog, Content Development, Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Earned Media, PR|

Marketing complex products to a B2B audience requires a meaty content promotion strategy. The stakes are high for these purchasers, because complex products and services tend to be more expensive, usually are technical in nature, and are often deployed at an enterprise level so they have a significant impact on the organization. The good news [...]

Content Promotion Checklist: A B2B PR Strategy

Blog, Content Development, Content Marketing, Earned Media, eMail Marketing, PR, Thought Leadership|

If a tree falls in the woods and there’s no one to hear, does it make a sound? Who cares! When you are marketing a product or service, the point is to get your message heard. That means establishing a plan for content promotion in your B2B PR strategy. The old days of blasting out a press [...]

Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing – A Field Guide to Terminology

Blog, Digital Marketing, PR|

If you’re an SMB exploring new marketing options, it can be helpful to compare how digital marketing relates to traditional marketing – starting with the terminology. Following is a mini field guide to some of the more frequently used digital marketing terms you’ll encounter. You’ll notice that while some aspects are revolutionary, others offer an automated [...]

The Magic Bullet in Marketing Automation is …


As someone who works with technology companies, I am pretty geeky when it comes to trying out new tech. The breadth of marketing automation tools now available is pretty exciting, and I’m trying to sample and demo as many as I can to see what works for my business as well what might work for [...]

5 Valuable Insights on Content Promotion


Content promotion is pretty much the core of B2B PR and media relations. While digital marketing and content marketing tools are getting better, the reality is that there is no substitute for analog content promotion. Graphics firm Venngage recently wrote a terrific post about how it earned 200,000 email sign-ups within a three-month time period [...]

How to Get Great Customer Success Stories

B2B PR and Content Management, Blog, Content Development, Owned Media, Sales Enablement|

The customer success story is the gold standard of content. When done right, customer success stories engage prospects and build trust. They also are a terrific way to generate earned media, because journalists are far more interested in your customers’ point of view than in yours. But these stories don’t come fully formed out of [...]

The Real Reason Why Press Releases Will ALWAYS be Valid

B2B PR and Content Management, Blog|

The press release is dead. This headline crops up a couple of times a year, and every time I see it I link to read the story. It’s usually less about the merits (or lack thereof) of the press release and more about a new favored communications approach. Blogging, Twitter, content marketing, webinars – they [...]

It’s Time to Get Real with Custom Content

B2B PR and Content Management, Blog|

There are lots of ways to increase attention to your company's website, and custom content has become the new black of SEO. As I mentioned in a previous post ("Why Content Comes First in Content Marketing"), I'm uncomfortable with the focus on trickery over substance. At a recent conference on digital marketing, I noticed a [...]

Earned Media a Powerful Lure for Investors

B2B PR and Content Management, Blog|

I love listening to technology entrepreneurs talk about starting companies. Sooner or later, the conversation comes around to raising money – entrepreneurs usually have a lot to say about it, and the listeners usually have a lot of questions. These behind-the-curtains glimpses at the less glamorous part of starting up a company often are poignant, [...]

The Value of Earned Media in a Content Marketing World

B2B PR and Content Management, Blog|

With enough time and money, it’s easy to spread the word of your company’s accomplishments and ideas. You can develop customer success stories, white papers, and product information to share. If you’ve been doing a good job of capturing leads, then you have your own list for sharing that content.  If you’re shy on volume [...]

Three Elements of a Successful Story Pitch, or How to (Practically) Guarantee Media Coverage

B2B PR and Content Management, Blog|

Clients often ask what it takes to get a story into the B2B press. There are exceptions to every rule, but if a story has these three main elements I can (practically) guarantee coverage: demonstrable need, a solid solution, and proof of value. Demonstrable Need: Your solution might be a technological breakthrough, but if it [...]

Why Content Comes First in Content Marketing Strategy

B2B PR and Content Management, Blog|

I went to a presentation last night where the speaker claimed that he was the first to use the term “content marketing”. I didn’t know whether to hug him or hit him. As someone who has written hundreds of thousands of words both as a technology journalist and on the behalf of my clients, I [...]

With Earned Media, Being Difficult Means Rejection

B2B PR and Content Management, Blog|

At HMS, we work hard to get your story into print - we craft solid stories because earned media delivers value. No fluff stuff. But there's another side to story - we often have to work just as hard with our clients to get them to deliver on time. Having been a trade publication editor [...]

Making the Most of Trade Shows

B2B PR and Content Management, Blog|

Exhibiting at trade shows can be a great way to scoop up new prospects, but it's not cheap: you have to create and ship booth materials, pony up for the never-ending on-site expenses,  and - of course - pay for travel and meals for the team. When you spend that kind of money, you need [...]

The Power of the Personal Touch

B2B PR and Content Management, Blog|

The PR business has changed radically with the advent of social media, email, and digital marketing - it's much easier to connect with influencers. I wouldn't go back to olden times for love or money (remember wrestling with the fax machine?), but I do think that sometimes we forget the power of non-electronic communications. In [...]

B2B Content Editing for Grownups

B2B PR and Content Management, Blog|

We produce a lot of content at Harris Media Services – bylines, award entries, case studies, press releases, white papers – and every piece needs to be blessed by at least one other person. Often, there are multiple people involved in the B2B content editing cycle. Here's one thing we've learned: No one cuts words. [...]

To Wire or Not to Wire with B2B Press Release – That is the Question

B2B PR and Content Management, Blog|

Social media has provided many new options for sharing information, but we still highly recommend developing a press release when you have news. They offer a solid format to highlight the most important facets of the story for journalists, and provide good content for the news section of your web site. We always send press [...]