Author Archives: Wendy Alpine

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About Wendy Alpine

Wendy Alpine is a public relations expert & founder of Alpine Communications in Atlanta, Georgia.

EMAIL: wendy@alpinepr.com

BIO: About Wendy

PHONE: 404-641-6170

“Do You Do Social Media?” & Other Not-So-Savvy Questions from Small Business
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Authored by , re: Business Development, MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY, on .
Do You Do Social Media & Other Not-So-Savvy Questions from Small Business | Wendy Alpine

{3 minutes to read} Recently, I was asked by a small business prospect: “Do you do social media?” I often worry about that question and how to answer it. “Yes,” I reply (because, of course, we “do” social media), but then I explain that social media is just a tool. You need to think about:

  • Why you’re using it;
  • What channels are right for your business;
  • Whether you’re prepared to keep up with it;
  • Who’s going to be responsible for it; and
  • How much you’re willing to spend.

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4 Incredibly Simple PR Tricks for Small Business
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4 Incredibly Simple PR Tricks for Small Business | Wendy Alpine

{4:06 minutes to read} It’s easy to get PR when you’re a big business like Coca Cola, Home Depot or Target. But what if you’re a small company, with less than $5 million in revenue? How do you catch the media’s eye? Here are 4 simple tricks: 1. Become a blogging star. One of our clients has a recruiting business and a specialty that involves using personality assessments to identify the right person for the job. Fortunately, he loves to write.

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Using Display Advertising As A Content Distribution Network
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Using Display Advertising as a Content Distribution Network | Wendy Alpine

{3:36 minutes to read} Successful B2B marketers are increasingly relying on content marketing to generate leads and pull prospects through the sales funnel. Reams of content are being generated, addressing potential customers’ pain points at different stages of their buy cycles. Fantastic! But…how are marketers getting their content into the right hands at the right time? Sure, they post it on their website, their blog, their social media profiles.

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Ingredients for a Winning Customer Profile
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Ingredients for a Winning Customer Profile | Wendy Alpine

{ 4:45  minutes to read}

Customer profiles (also known as case studies) are one of the best ways to promote your business. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Establish brand recognition

  • Build trust and credibility

  • Gain more exposure

  • Increase website traffic (by including it in your marketing automation campaign, adding a call to action or link to your website)

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Four Ways Content Boosts SEO Results
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Four Ways Content Boosts SEO Results | Wendy Alpine

Our technology company clients want their websites to rank high in Google and other search engines. Success with SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, increasingly relies on having fresh, quality content on your website.

What do I mean by “quality” content? Information of value to your target audience. Content that addresses your customers’ needs and pain points, that is unique and well-written. Ideally, this content will also position your company as a thought leader and help pull the prospect through the sales cycle.

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New Year, New PR: 3 Ways to Promote Your Business
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New Year, New PR: 3 Ways to Promote Your Business | Wendy Alpine

[Time to Read: 4.8 mins]

It’s 2015, a time for New Year’s resolutions, a fresh start and wiping the slate clean. There are many ways to promote your business in the new year, but here are a few to consider: Industry Targeting

Industry targeting is a great way to reach your target customer. Last year, we did that for our cloud-based software client that changed its sales model from relying on dealers to selling direct to the end user.

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Loose Lips Sink Ships . . . and Companies
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Loose Lips Sink Ships . . . and Companies | Wendy Alpine

I read a great article on LinkedIn from Lucy Marcus, CEO, BBC columnist, and host of Reuters “In the Boardroom with Lucy Marcus.” It pointed out that with all the breaches in data going on, perhaps one of the easiest and least thought of ways to spill the company beans is talking in public places. Her first example was about an executive in an airplane lounge speaking on a mobile phone about what will happen to board members and employees before the company announces its initial public offering (IPO). Here’s another insightful excerpt:

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What Is PR?
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What Is PR? | Wendy Alpine

“What does Alpine Communications do?” I’m often asked at networking meetings.

When I say “PR,” I often get a glazed look. If there were a thought bubble, what probably would appear is an ad for their company. My thought bubble would be here’s my chance to explain what I do.

The main thing PR does is:

  • Develop creative ideas to help you get known

  • Build credibility for your business

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Superman, Ironman, Captain America, and…Captain Citrus? Watch for This New Superhero!
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To combat slumping orange juice sales, the Florida Department of Citrus has developed a new PR campaign — reinventing the portly Captain Citrus into a strapping Marvel Comics superhero.

Apparently, juice sales are down 22% because of a disease called citrus greening, but also because people are drinking less of it. With all the choices these days and studies showing that fruit juice may contribute to obesity, the Florida Citrus Department needed to find another way to attract its target market: kids and moms.

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“PR Chicks” Hatch Some Great Ideas, But Often Don’t Get the Credit
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So at first glance, this headline sounds glib and sexist. But it’s not meant to be. I’m being a little tongue-in-cheek here after reading an article on Wyoming Public Media’s website about how women tech PR and Marketing professionals often don’t receive the credit they deserve for a product’s success.

The article pointed out that there are few women developing technology, and since technology is a male-dominated profession, often women are dismissed and their ideas not given proper credit. But one place you see a lot of women in technology is in PR and Marketing.

I was interested to learn that one of the main reasons for the mobile dating app Tinder’s success was due to their marketing director, Whitney Wolfe, who traveled to college campuses visiting sororities to promote the app and show women that it was safe to use. But when a reporter interviewed the founders in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, they reportedly never credited Wolfe with that innovative idea. When the reporter learned that Wolfe was the brainchild behind this strategy, he wrote another story (impressive). She later filed for sexual discrimination.

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My Son, the Pitchman
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Authored by , re: MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY, PERSONAL ARTICLES, on .

So it was the first week of school last week. I looked upon it with some trepidation, as last year was a bit of a challenge with my 16-year-old son, Zach. The first few days went off without a hitch – he woke up by himself and got on the bus. When he came home from school, we talked about his day and the one thing I learned was that this year he hates the school lunch. “I had two donuts and a bag of chips,” he said. “I want to start taking my lunch.” The next morning when I returned from my workout, I was greeted by a note on the counter: “Mom! Please iron my shirt and pants (which were crumpled in a ball on the floor outside his room). Please make my lunch (if possible). Please sign my syllabi. Love, Zach.” It was followed by a heart with the word “mom” in the middle and the kisses and hugs sign. But what really got me was the drawing he made at the bottom of the note: a bicep with a tattoo of the word “Mom” inscribed. I had to laugh.

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PR Lessons from Starbucks CEO
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Starbucks is a company that seems to be always reinventing itself.

Their latest announcement was that they’re providing free tuition for employees who want to pursue a college education. The news earned them a good bit of publicity, including Jon Stewart interviewing CEO Howard Schultz on The Daily Show. (A few days later the good news turned less rosy after it was reported that Starbucks is not footing the whole bill. The deal is the college is offering reduced tuition and students will need to apply for financial aid, although some juniors and seniors will be reimbursed.)

While the media tried to downplay Starbucks’ altruism, the bottom line is that the company offers a tuition assistance program, while many companies don’t. And they do seem to care about their employees.

But what’s this have to do with PR, you’re probably thinking.

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American Idol for B2B
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Companies, whether Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Consumer (B2C), are always looking at fresh approaches to promote their business. I recently came across this article from MediaPost about Boost Mobile and their innovative “Spokesbattle” campaign to select a spokesperson. They’re using a reality TV approach to coach the two aspiring spokespeople and letting consumers choose the winner. With the crowded mobile phone market, Boost Mobile came up with a fun and interactive approach that gets people involved in the brand.  

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6 DIY Public Relations Tips for Startups
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“Public relations is the management function which evaluates public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an individual or an organization with the public interest, and plans and executes a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance.“ – Public Relations News

Public relations can mean many things. Media, Community Relations, Reputation Management, Internal Communications, Events, Webinars, White Papers, Sponsorships, and so on. While large companies have budgets to employ many of these tactics, small businesses can also take advantage of these opportunities.

Why Public Relations is Important

As obvious as this may sound, many entrepreneurs put their marketing and public relations efforts on the backburner because they can’t afford professional services. It simply becomes another item on a never-ending to-do list. And yet, public relations is a crucial element for any startup’s success. If people don’t know about your product or service, how are they going to buy it?

Here are 6 “Do It Yourself” public relations tips for companies just starting out.

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HIMSS 2014 Was the Place to See or Be Seen for Health IT Companies
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Authored by , re: MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY, on .

Last month, the largest gathering of health IT professionals converged in Orlando for Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2014. It was an event marked with hundreds of exhibitors, educational sessions and networking events. Many health IT companies use HIMSS to launch products and get attention for their business.

I sat down with health IT evangelist Jennifer Dennard (@smyrnagirl), Social Marketing Director for Porter Researchand Billian’s HealthDATA, to get her take on what caught her eye at this year’s event.

What stood out the most at this year’s HIMSS meeting (e.g., sessions, booths, networking, social media, parties)?

For me, and I think a majority of other attendees and even exhibitors, networking is the No. 1 reason to go to HIMSS. From sun up to sun down, there are networking events and opportunities around every corner.

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PR Makes a Difference for HR Startup Introducing New Tool to Avoid Bad Hires
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Ravi Mikkelsen, CEO of HR tech startup jobFig, understands the powerful role public relations can play in getting the word out about your company.

“I see how PR can be critical for tech-oriented startups that don’t have the skills or language necessary to communicate with the media or their target audience,” said the San Francisco, Calif.-based entrepreneur. “I know an engineer who had no idea how to market his product and the result was ‘soul crushing.’”

He also sees PR’s influence changing with today’s instant media. “Message crafting is still very important, but I think the traditional press release is less relevant,” he suggested.

While Mikkelsen hopes to focus more on marketing and PR as his company grows, he has been doing a lot of his own marketing, relying on his advisory board, attending HR technology conferences, including last year’s Human Resource Executive’s HR Technology Conference, and being nominated for awards.

As a bootstrapped startup, he has relied on the generosity of the social community, crowdsourcing his logo from 57 designers from around the world, blogging and posting articles on social media sites like LinkedIn. Hip and cool, the name of the company was the result of him and his co-founder snacking on black mission figs outside their apartment.

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Social Media Saved the Day for #SnowJam2014
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Social Media Saved the Day for #SnowJam2014 | Wendy Alpine

It was a day unlike any other in Atlanta. Usually, we are known for our mild winters and snow is an unusual, if welcomed, occurrence.

But on Tues., Jan 28, Hotlanta became Snow Jam 2014, with commuters stranded for hours, people sleeping in CVS stores and children stuck on school buses across the city.

Coming to the rescue was Michelle Sollicito, a Marietta, Ga. mom and technology contractor, who was trying to help a friend’s husband get in touch with others in the area for help. Minutes later, SnowedOut Atlanta had thousands of members and was used to help people with food, shelter and safety.

“Wow! Is this a dream?” Sollicito posted on her personal Facebook page, along with a link to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution story about how her SnowedOut Atlanta page snowballed into 50,000 members and a social media phenomenon.

In a previous story, a guy being interviewed said her Facebook page did more to help people stranded than all the government officials. “She has done more for our city than any official,” Scott Wise of Marietta said.

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Georgia’s Researchers Reveal Their Healthcare Innovations
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Georgia’s Researchers Reveal Their Healthcare Innovations | Wendy Alpine

Creative minds in Georgia are hard at work developing new medical devices, mobile device apps, and high-tech inventions that will change lives.

That’s the message from the recent Clinical Research in Georgia Conference—a gathering of researchers from biomedical think-tanks like Emory, Georgia Tech, Georgia State, and University of Georgia.

Facts of interest:

  • Over 3,000 clinical trials are currently underway in Georgia, a “cradle to rocker” scope that impacts every stage of life, from pediatrics to middle age to senior care.
  • A recently forged partnership between Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) and Georgia Tech is a $20 million investment targeting the development of pediatric medical devices.

The event’s keynote speaker Ami Klin, MD, director of the Marcus Autism Center, has appeared in the national news recently—reporting on his work to improve early detection of autism. He and co-researcher Warren Jones, PhD, have authored a groundbreaking study on identifying signs of autism in the first months of life.

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