December 22, 2011
AtTask and Ancestry.com Advise Executives
Thought-leadership content is key to thriving in the blogosphere. It is vital that companies combine new and traditional public relations practices with both local and national media in their media outreach, leading regional PR executives said.
Ty Kiisel of AtTask and Heather Erickson of Ancestry.com, two of Utah’s most progressive technology companies, shared their expertise, tips and newest secrets with attendees at the Utah Technology Council’s (UTC) (http://www.utahtech.org) Annual PR Event.
Kiisel discussed the benefits and importance of a company providing valuable, information-rich content through thought leadership via a company blog.
“Don’t push your products on your blog,” said Kiisel, manager of social outreach at AtTask. “The best way to utilize your company’s blog is to become a key influencer in your space and provide valuable information to people that are seeking it. This is the best way to utilize your blog to your organization’s advantage.”
Kiisel also discussed the goals set for their company blog and how they’ve been able to achieve them.
“We set a goal to become a key influencer in the project management space,” said Kiisel. “We did this by carefully studying the space for an entire quarter. Doing this enabled us to have a strong knowledge of the industry blogs and quickly rise to the top in project management. The influence gleaned by our organization through its blog is invaluable across all parts of our business. The main measurement of success: In the project management industry, everyone knows who we are. This influence is the most important metric.”
Kiisel issued a warning that effective blogging is a challenge and said, “Keep in mind that patience and perseverance are the most important elements in building a solid company blog.”
Erickson discussed the importance of using media outreach to achieve the company’s corporate goals, particularly in its growth strategy. Ancestry.com set a goal to become better known in Utah so it could recruit more local talent.
“We faced an unusual challenge,” said Erickson, director of corporate communications for Ancestry.com. “Though many in Utah may know of our company, we wanted to ensure that they knew we were headquartered here in order to help with recruiting local talent for jobs available in the state. To do this, we needed to increase our media outreach in Utah as some of the most qualified talent for us is right in our backyard.”
She discussed how strategically increasing local outreach helped Ancestry.com achieve more visibility in the state and ultimately raise the awareness about jobs available in the area.
“In conjunction with our strong national media relations program, our local media outreach helped increase the number of Utah job applications we received,” said Erickson. “By utilizing all forms of local media and becoming a contributor to several local media outlets our efforts have truly paid off.
Both parties agreed that building a strong national and local message is key to achieving success in the 21st century.
Mark Fredrickson, APR and director of corporate communications for TechMediaNetwork and co-chair of the UTC Communications Committee, moderated the event.
“What these companies have done and are doing in terms of media outreach and overall message is phenomenal,” said Fredrickson. “All of us can take cues from these two Utah-based organizations on how to make our company’s presence better known among both local and national media outlets and mediums.”
For more information on the UTC, including future events, and to become a member, please visit www.utahtech.org or call (801) 568-3500.