Webinars- Free Education!

I’m a big fan of online webinars. Since I’m still relatively fresh from college, I’m still in the learning mode, and tend to jump for any free education on my area of expertise. Just this week, for example, I’m signed up for seven free webinars, all on various e-marketing, marketing, and related topics. Since these events are scattered throughout my day, I may not be able to attend. If that’s the case, I’m usually emailed an archive, or recording of the event so I can still benefit from the knowledge presented by the professionals and the questions asked by the viewers.

Webinar: a live meeting or conference over the internet, often involving one or more of the following features: PowerPoint presentations, audio, video, viewer polling, viewer Q&A, and more.

Michael RussellBob DurstenfeldThis afternoon, I participated in a webinar sponsored by Precision IR and Vocus. The event, entitled “Creating a Unified Message for Key Audiences,” featured two panelists, Michael Russell from Pierpont Communications, and Bob Durstenfeld from RAE Systems. These marketing and PR professionals talked about the importance of aligning the message of all of your companies “Relations” department, including PR, Investor Relations, Employee Relations, and Public Affairs. Since I usually work with smaller companies, who usually have one person to deal with all of these “departments,” it still offered some valuable information that I would like to share with you.

These areas of relations often have overlapping goals:

  • Build and maintain credibility: very important in Investor Relations, as investors seek credible, promising companies when deciding which to invest in.
  • Image: important all around, especially in Investor and Public relations for a company to have a positive public image. Without one, an individual will not invest in nor buy from your company.
  • Positive Identity: companies should not only have a positive image, but a positive identity, as well, to back up the image. A quality company attracts quality customers and large investors.
  • Responsibility: all around, companies should be responsible in their best practices, honoring contracts and warranties, keeping all parties involved informed on the status of the company.

Because these departments’ goals overlap, so do their messages. A discussion between all of the “relations” committees is recommended, in order to discuss what the overall strategy and message for the year will be. The webinar consisted of much more less relevant information, including communication drivers, the different audiences that are targeted by the relations, and a touch on the mediums used to reach customers. I was glad to see that a few in the “new media” category were mentioned, including blogging and email marketing. Email marketing was actually discussed quite extensively, as it is used often and frequently by Bob Durstenfeld’s company, RAE Systems.

Michael Russell had some insightful opinions on blogs when dealing with reputation management. He pointed out that you can’t control what others are saying out in the blogosphere. But you can always respond with a post on your own company’s blog, as well as return to your company’s message. The key idea to take away from this webinar is that your company should have the same general message and strategy for all divisions when dealing with relationships.

I’ve attended many webinars before, and this one, I believe, contained content that was not as quality as some other webinars I have attended. It was obvious that the panelists were extremely knowledgeable about the topics, but the way in which it was presented, as well as the flow of the presentation was poor. However, I would encourage anybody that wants to learn more about e-marketing and new media, search for webinars relevant to you and your profession.

I’m attending two webinars tomorrow that I would invite you to attend, if the subjects interest you. At 1pm EST, I will be attending “How Large Enterprises Effectively Integrate Paid & Natural Search Marketing.” This will be followed by another presentation at 2pm concerning small businesses. Learning Objectives in this event include how to increase and improve target marketing, and decreasing risk management. I encourage you to register for these two events!


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