Not unlike traditional public relations, Online Publicity and Blogger Relations strategy not only identifies the right people for you to be talking to, but also connects your brand, your message with these people. In targeting the true online opinion leaders, we are able to not only hone in on the demographic communities that matter most to your brand, but also promote your products and services in a favorable light. Online Public Relations is an ideal brand awareness and brand promotion solution for small to mid-sized businesses looking to increase their visibility online. In leveraging the constant flow of online chatter, the Gerris team creates and fosters relationships based onlike-mindedness, or the opinion leader’s likelihood to be receptive to your brand and messaging. Therefore, Online Publicity is NOT an optimal solution for prospective clients who do not have the infrastructure to support maintaining relationships with interested parties.
Examples of typical Online Publicity campaigns include: Event Publicity, New Product Launches, Crisis Communication, Brand Re-Information Campaigns, Overall Brand Awareness/Promotional Efforts.
Online Grassroots and New Media Marketing
Also referred to as Online Advocacy or Online Guerilla Marketing, Online Grassroots and New Media Marketing is an integrated approach to identifying and reaching your targeted demographic from the bottom up. These programs are a quick and effect means of spreading news and information to a targeted network of online influencers within the blogosphere, message boards, video communities, social bookmarking sites, listservs, etc. This strategy involves the development of key creative and general messaging by the client and allowing our team of Online Grassroots experts to run with it, determining the best way to roll that up into what the demographic audience would be most receptive to. As opposed to the much targeted approach of Online Publicity, Online Grassroots Marketing allows us to capitalize on the “long tail,” or the complex nature of online chatter in which dialogue about our client’s brands isn’t always localized within its primary, secondary or tertiary demographic targets.
Examples of typical Online Grassroots Marketing campaigns include: Social Network Marketing, Asset Distribution, Social Media Marketing, Viral Marketing.
Collectively, the Gerris Management Team has over 5 decades of global branding and marketing communication strategy experience. It is with these years of experience that we have learned that for some clients, their bottom line is most affected by having real-time, accurate business intelligence information about market landscape and client, brand perception and its competitors. The deliverable on these initiatives is a comprehensive, detailed report, evaluating and analyzing trends within the mediasphere; blogosphere; user generated content outlets, etc.
Search Engine Services
Brand of the world, large and small, know that visibility of favorable content within key search engines can make or break your marketing and public relations initiatives. In addition to offering tailored marketing communication and business intelligence solutions to our clients, Gerris is also a full-service Search Engine Marketing agency. Programs falling within this department include: Traditional Search Engine Optimization (Promotion), Defensive Search Engine Optimization (Protection), Domain Name Protection and Domain Name Services.
Chris Abraham, CEO, President and Principal Consultant at Gerris
Chris Abraham is an Internet analyst, web strategy consultant, and adviser to the industries leading firms, specializing in web2.0 technologies, including content syndication, online collaboration, blogging, and consumer generated media. Chris is a leading expert on corporate and PR blogging with a focus on citizen journalism, new marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO).
In addition to his roles as consultant and analyst, Mr. Abraham currently acts as Chief Marketing Officer and technology adviser to Techcelerator, the Silicon Valley venture development firm headed by tomandandy.com’s, Tom Hajdu. He is also an associate of Joseph Jaffe’s New York based new media marketing company, crayon LLC.
Mr. Abraham is one of the internet’s social media pioneers, having entered the scene in the early 1980’s in the days of BBS’s via dial-up over 200 Baud acoustic modems. Throughout the 1990’s, he was a core member of the ground-breaking, Washington, DC-based Meta Network (TMN), and its parent company, Caucus Systems where in 1999 what is today known as “Web 2.0” and “Enterprise 2.0” was defined in colleague Tom Mandel’s whitepaper “How Companies Think – Creating Collaborative Intelligence Online” and executed on a daily basis for companies, universities, and organizations via the seminal social media platform, Caucus Software. For more than a decade, Mr. Abraham laid the groundwork for today’s modern social media as an online facilitator with Caucus Systems clients serving such clients as IBM and the US Government, and teaching with the University of Kalamazoo in the Education for the Arts project – the world’s first accredited online high school course in creative writing.
Before moving to his current position, Mr. Abraham was a Senior Account Supervisor and a member of the Interactive Team at Edelman in Washington, DC, doing online public affairs. Before joining Edelman, Chris was Technology Strategist for New Media Strategies, a pioneer and industry leader in online brand promotion and brand protection. At NMS, Chris directed the technology strategy for the firm, including the development, deployment, and launch of client and internal corporate blogs, marketing blogs, vertical industry blogs, PR blogs, promotional blogs, public affairs blogs, social networks, and podcasts.
Prior to joining NMS, Chris was a Washington-based technologist for over a decade. As Managing Director for Berlin-based beehive North America, Chris focused on developing web applications and offering training for corporate clients such as Pfizer. As GNU/Linux SA and online facilitator for Caucus Systems, Chris hosted virtual online events and communities of practice for clients such as IBM and eForum 2000.
Chris Abraham maintains the PR and marketing blogs, Because the Medium is the Message and Marketing Conversation. The blogs were originally designed as a laboratories in which to explore the media, the mediasphere, the blogosphere, marketing, PR, and buzz marketing but has expanded to become a media filter, including technology, blogging, pop culture, memetics, news, and analysis; meaning just about anything. Chris recently spoke about the main stream media and citizen journalism on the BBC World Service radio program World Have Your Say during the We Media conference in London.
Mr. Abraham is an active member and attendee of former US Ambassador Phil Lader’s Renaissance Weekend conference where together with other industry leaders, US Senators and Congressmen, former US Presidents, renowned artists and writers, and other cultural, political, and business leaders he has spoken on topics ranging from new media to technology futurism to virtual company management. He is an experienced sailor with thousands of blue water miles to his credit, an impassioned rower with his own single shell housed on the Potomac River, an avid bicyclist, a trained and qualified dive master, and an accomplished photographer with over 20 years of professional experience and thousands of images with the world’s top stock photo agencies.
Gerris Vision Statement
In the rapidly changing world of marketing and public relations, the lines between traditional strategies and new media strategies continue to shift as the line separating the two is constantly moving. What was once viewed as impossible, is now quickly transforming into more and more of a science, with the Internet emerging as a unique and remarkable platform for consumer and business communication. Faster now, more than ever, people around the world are able to communicate with rapid fire quickness. Formerly “untappable,” obscure word-of-mouth is now a medium that many brands are leveraging to disseminate information; promote their products and services; as well as protect their namesakes. In this day and age, we don’t need to remind you of the Internet’s effects (be it favorable or dismal) on many popular brands. It is this phenomenon that has made Online Conversation Marketing an ideal solution for a variety of notable brands, ranging from Internet start-ups to public interest groups to major consumer brands.
Gerris is comprised of a trained team of media, marketing and public relations experts working together to drive positive online presence on behalf of our clients. Operating in a “virtual office,” the Gerris team is spread across four continents, representing more than 10 time zones and almost a dozen languages. This dispersion has given us a notable competitive edge, allowing us to quickly and effectively employ comprehensive Online Conversation Marketing Campaigns within more than 50 countries. Despite its benefits, the “virtual office” does not provide for the ideal environment for rapid response communication, in a traditional sense. Though Gerris has proven its ability to provide crisis communication and react to changes in campaign strategy and messaging, we do not operate in a newsroom and are unable to collectively stop on a dime and refocus in the same way that traditional PR houses are able.
Online Conversation Marketing grew out of the increasing importance of relationships as it relates to effective branding via the Internet. Despite the wealth of information and opinions “out there,” Gerris understands that an elite few lead sweeping trends in Online Conversation tone, volume and reach. These Online Opinion Leaders or Influencers continue to break news and share opinions that reach hundreds of thousands, if not millions of consumers everyday. Thus, the overarching strategy of Online Conversation Marketing is influencing the influencers – much like securing online endorsements on behalf of our clients. Unlike the formalized world of traditional marketing and PR, an effective Online Conversation Marketing Program takes much longer to develop, as Gerris is in the business of securing positive relationships with often busy Opinion Leaders. We have been able to complete campaigns on behalf our clients in as little as 6 weeks, however, the turn around for the majority of brands is generally several weeks, if not months, longer. The “public” that we relate to is not the mainstream media, whose relationships can often be bought and sold; the “public” that we do relate to are the online influencers, who oftentimes, are no more than regular Internet users with a well crafted, interested blog or website that has drawn in its own audience. Although Gerris already has a sundry of these influencers in pocket, we often have to develop new relationships on behalf of our clients, given their diverse demographic targets and needs.
Gerris leverages email to conduct the majority of relationship building with online influencers, however, we are not a direct or email marketing agency. Often times, the opinion leaders that we contact on behalf of our clients are being reached “blindly,” meaning that they have not opted into any particular program. In order to effectively carry out these campaigns and still remain CAN-SPAM compliant, we pick and choose our targets carefully, ensuring that we provide them with relevant messaging and “gifts” or promotions or information that would be of interest to them. At the end of the day, much like traditional PR, a poorly thought out Online Outreach campaign (the facet of Online Conversation Marketing most like traditional PR in which we build relationships with popular bloggers and influencers on behalf of our clients) can result in little to no positive outcome for the client. It is for this reason that the ramp up time on these programs typically runs anywhere from one to three weeks, as we prepare lists of appropriate, likeminded targets that will likely respond well to our clients’ brands as well as development of appropriate, effective “messaging.”
All things to considered, it is also worth highlighting that unlike other Online Marketing and Advertising agencies, Gerris does not thoughtlessly disseminate links and off-topic messaging throughout the user generated corners of the Internet. We value relationships and act as persuaders, storytellers and attractors on behalf of our brands. In working individually with online influencers and Internet users as both a macro (Online Outreach) and micro (Online Engagement, Grassroots Marketing) level, Gerris builds relationships and drives favorable, organic conversation in a compliant fashion. The Gerris methods reflect the natural progress of organic word-of-mouth – starting small and progressively growing to reach a larger and larger audience. In respecting the online community, the Gerris team stands firmly against online solicitation (SPAM) of any kind. Both in Online Outreach and Online Engagement, we are fully transparent, or “open kimono.” We have found these methods to be the most effective when working with the “online public.”
As common conceptions of marketing relate to Online Conversation Marketing, Gerris does operate neatly into the bucket of branding, as our methods are a combination of Search Engine Optimization, Grassroots Marketing and Online Public Relations. Clients in the past have likened us to online brand ambassadors. Such being said, we do not fit any pay-per-performance or CPM model. Our metrics are based on conversation and relationships rather than conversions and impressions, much akin to tradition grassroots and brand ambassador strategies.
To conclude, Gerris is pleased to offer its unique Online Conversation Marketing services to an array of brands and organizations. Our past clients have found the mix of SEO, Online PR and Grassroots Marketing to be exceptionally effective in achieving their overall marketing objectives. Millions of people are talking online everyday – are you listening?