#Build That Brand!: 15 Ways to Showcase Your Thought Leadership (Part 1)

Swirling Corlored Stage Spotlights

Kimberly N. Alleyne

We cannot escape it. We live, work and play in a hyper-crowded communications landscape. On any given day, we’re bombarded by information via email, online, social, print, mobile and broadcast mediums (let’s not forget digital-out-of-home and outdoor advertising). It’s an effect of the convergence of digital and traditional media. Anyone who wants to can grab a microphone and have her say.

For communications and PR pros, the room is really noisy. The digitization of everything has opened doors for practitioners to set themselves apart, and that’s great because open doors promote inclusion and level the field; but if no one can hear your brand above the noise, you run the risk of stifling audience engagement with muteness, and muffling opportunities to position yourself/your brand to shine the brightest in the crowd. Here’s how communications and PR pros can pomp their prowess and create a community of brand loyalists at once.
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Krispy Kreme’s Alliteration Blunder

Kimberly N. Alleyne

There is nothing like a fresh, hot glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut (Bow down Dunkin’ Donuts). And if you’re a genuine fan, then you know well the happiness that flashing red light evokes.

Krispy Kreme and I go way back. Since I am always exceptionally satisfied with the product, and can’t recall a negative customer service experience, we’ve had a great relationship. So I was quite disappointed to read of a UK Krispy Kreme’s recent promotion snafu. The franchise ran a promo using the letters KKK in the text. It was intended, according to the franchise, to stand for Krispy Kreme Klub. The franchise swiftly removed the promo from its Facebook page after followers called them on it, and then issued an apology. Perhaps, it was an innocent oversight, or maybe it was a dumb oversight; maybe someone thought it would be a clever play (KKK does have international branches).

Krispy Kreme KKK Promo

I won’t speculate on the intent. However, there a lessons PR pros can learn from this alliteration accident:

1. Incidents such as this are reminders of the importance of diversity–and inclusion–of public relations, marketing and communication teams. The same goes for  newsrooms. In an age where one in five Americans will be foreign born by 2050, it’s critical that public relations practitioners be cognizant of the diverse audiences/publics they often speak to and engage.

Today’s practitioner must be adept at studying and accommodating the unique needs and sensitivities of population segments — there really is no excuse for the, “We didn’t know,” excuse anymore. Corporate, nonprofit and government teams that are responsible managing the face, voice and reputation of organizations must be comprised of diverse perspectives, backgrounds, races and ethnicities. No excuses.

2. Sometimes it is wise to get points of view of colleagues outside of the pr/marketing space. You might have spent hours thinking of the perfect phrase or wording, but that does not mean that more due diligence isn’t in order. Step outside the ego box and solicit opinions; you never know what you might be overlooking.

3. Market testing, though not always plausible, is valuable and worth the effort. Testing language and potential promo campaigns on a select audience can prevent crises.

Screenshot of Hull, England Krispy Kreme Facebook page

Screenshot of Hull, England Krispy Kreme Facebook page

A short round of applause to this UK Krispy Kreme for quickly removing the offensive promo and issuing an apology.

   “We do believe this was a completely unintentional oversight on the part of our longtime franchise   partners in the U.K.,” according to a statement by company spokesperson Lafeea Watson.

Blogging to Build Your Brand | Podcast Interview with Benet Wilson

Blogging to Build Your Brand
Kimberly N. Alleyne

Image by Cristina, Flickr Creative Commons

Image by Cristina, Flickr Creative Commons

I spoke with blogging extraordinaire Benet J. Wilson to discuss her experience, best practices for blogging, tips, personal stories, and more. Though this interview focuses on building a nonprofit brand, the same rules apply for building a personal brand.

Wilson says, “It is a good idea for nonprofits to write a blog and be active on social media because it gives you a different reach. You need to plan it effectively – you need to make sure you have the right team overseeing it. And organize yourself in a way that it is not going to overtax you and your team. Start slowly, you don’t have to do everything all at once. But definitely do it and have fun with it!”

Listen to the podcast and take your blog to the next level!

Key highlights include:

  • Once you start a blog you have to keep it going. It is a beast that has to be fed.
  • Use pictures and videos, sometimes a blog post can be only pictures.
  • Videos do not have to be broadcast quality – sometimes short raw clips come across as more transparent.
  • Interview people – from your organization, the community, your industry.
  • Repurpose content.
  • You don’t have to blog every day. Pick people from your organization that have a strong voice and create a schedule.
  • Use your other social media platforms (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram) to promote your blog. Focus on the platforms that your audience uses.
  • Don’t just throw information up there; you have to interact with your community. Social media, including your blog, is not only for broadcasting – you can use it to start conversations, testing, listening, polls, and more.
  • Share the space! Highlight great work from other related groups and organizations.

Do you blog to build your brand? What other tactics do you use to lift your brand profile? Let me know at Kimberly at kimberlynalleyne.com

Happy blogging!

The Blog Tyrant’s “How to Write the Perfect Blog Post: A Complete Guide to Copy”

From The Blog Tyrant | http://www.blogtyrant.com

Blog word.

How to Write the Perfect Blog Post: A Complete Guide to Copy.

Want to learn how to write the perfect blog post?

Seems like an unachievable goal, right?


What I’m going to do today is show you a very deliberate formula and list of inclusions that I follow with my posts in order to ensure that I get results.

I’m not saying that it works every time, but I can guarantee that if you start to add these elements to your own blog posts you’ll start to get wins a lot more often.

Sound good?

What makes this the perfect blog post?

Okay, so let me do a bit of explaining.

I’m not saying that I know how to write the perfect blog post and that everything I do on my blog is perfect.

It’s not.

In fact, I really don’t like my writing that much at all. (Do all bloggers feel like that?)

But I have been blogging for quite a while now and in that time I’ve been able to hone my posts by looking at what has worked and what hasn’t over the years.

It’s basically a lot of trial and error.

Today all I am doing is sharing the elements, strategies and ideas that I have seen make a big difference to the stuff I write. I’m hoping that you might read something new, apply it to your own blog and see a big difference in your own results.

So it’s more like a quest for finding your own perfect blog post based on what has worked for me.

How to write the perfect blog post: 5 things to keep in mind before you start

Let’s start this post by talking about a few background idea that you kind of need to keep in mind while you are writing your posts. This is a bit like the instructions as opposed to the actual creation.

1. Ask yourself “…and then what?” before you start writing

One of the best lessons that I ever learned as a blogger is this:

All your blog posts should form one big beautiful picture as opposed to each being stand alone items. Tweet this.

What this means is that you need to sit down and carefully figure out what it is that you want your blog, and your blog posts, to achieve every single time.

The question “… and then what?” seems to help me the most.

I’ll sit down, log in, and fiddle around with a title and an idea. Once I’m pretty sure on the topic I’ll ask myself very deliberately what I want people to do before I write any words.

Make sure your post all work together as a team to achieve one or two very deliberate goals.

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Top 10: Why Writers Need Social Media

Kimberly N. Alleyne

Facebook with HashtagTwiiterLinkedIn-InBug-2CRev


I recall a conversation with a former colleague who adamantly proclaimed that Twitter was a rapidly evaporating fad soon to be six-feet under. That convo was in 2010. I was like, “Really? You think Twitter is dying? Wait, what now?”

Clearly Twitter is still standing, and it’s in good company with a host of other social media. Though not a few platforms have emerged since the digital era dawned only to die a slow, or quick, death, many more are thriving, with great vital signs. Here are my top 10 reasons writers should make use of some of them:

1.  Trigger Creativity–Being an active socializer in the digital space can spark creativity in fresh ways. I really enjoy Pinterest and Instagram. I’ve often been inspired to step out of my comfort zone, if not in my writing then in some personal way, which is never a bad thing. See #7.

2. Build your network— I landed one of my best freelance assignments to date via someone I asked to join my LinkedIn network. A caution to be intentional about the connections you pursue. Don’t connect at abandon— make sure there is potential for value-add to both parties, and not a one-sided connection. There are other options to LinkedIn. I am on a journalism list serve for example.

3. Find story ideas–Whatever your personal or professional interests are, they likely have real estate on the Internet. Even a cursory review of your preferred platform can bubble up story ideas, new angles for something you’re already writing about, or new angles on a current topic. For one example, how might you write about #Ferguson or #James Foley in ways that have not already been presented?

4. Build your brand–Social affords a great platform on which to showcase your expertise. Don’t be shy; despite the crowded online environment, each voice has a unique perspective. You never know who might benefit from your experience, so get out there! Check out Sccop It and Rebel Mouse; these are both great thought-leadership tools.

RebelMouse logo

5. K.I.S.S.–Keep It Short Scribe. When you’re writing for an audience with a short attention span, it forces you to embrace brevity. Unless you’re a long-form zealot (like me), writing short–read concise and succinct–is always good form.

6. Diversity of opinion–Social allows individuals to trumpet their beliefs and ideologies, but whether you agree or disagree is less important than exposing yourself to new ideas and perspectives, which ultimately raises the level of your writing. Go on, expand your vocabulary of ideas.

7. Confidence booster–Exposing yourself to an audience strangers is good for building your writing confidence. More likely than not, there will be feedback. Pick out the bones and keep the meat. Own your writing DNA. The more you do, the more your confidence will grow.

8. Stay in touch— The marriage of new and traditional media and communications has been consummated. And this ain’t a Hollywood marriage, folks.  There’s no need to be on every available platform, but you do need to get in the game. Pick what you want to use and how you want to use it. Whatever your choice, be consistent. I use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for professional branding and networking. I use Tumblr for personal interests such as running and baking.


9. Need for Speed–Using social forces me to write more quickly. One can post a comment, pic or tweet in a matter of seconds, or not more than a minute. When you’re engaged in the social space, you gotta write fast to keep up, and stay relevant and in the conversation.

10. Diversify, diversify–When I post a press release on Twitter, I am confined to 140 characters. When I post the same press release on LinkedIn, the word/character count is less restrictive, but standards for language style are far different. There are two reasons for this: platform audience and platform personality. What’s acceptable on one platform is not necessarily embraced on another. Social media make you mindful to cater your writing to different audiences and platform personalities.


What social media do you use? What tips would you add to this list?


Write on.