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Public Relations Services

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Cox eLearning Consultants (COX) provides a wide range of public relations (PR) services to our clients. PR is a great way to publicize a brand to a wide audience, both targeted and general, and its numerous tactics can reach different audiences which typically would not be reached via direct marketing efforts. COX can help communicate everything from name changes, branding, and services offered, to executive leadership changes, awards, case studies, and more. Some of the more popular PR services that COX provides include:PublicRelations_word mash

  • Case Studies
  • Feature Stories
  • Social Media
  • White Papers
  • Product Reviews
  • Blogs
  • Press Releases
  • Client Testimonials
  • Branding Services
  • Bylined Articles
  • Client Success Stories

Most of these services involve written communication, labor and associated project management. In general, these items will be delivered on a time and materials basis, plus any hard expenses (typically minimal). Most services require a deposit prior to the start of the engagement.

As clients of COX attempt to sell something to their clients, to eliminate confusion, we define a COX client as a “Vendor,” and a Vendor’s client as a “Client.”

Case Studies

A Case Study is normally a 750- to 1,000-word document that describes a Client problem and how the Client solved it using the Vendor’s product or service. Case studies:

  • Highlight specific success that a Client has had with a Vendor’s product
  • Examine multiple variables and provide an in-depth summary of the problem that was solved by the Vendor’s product or service
  • Act as a concise educational tool to help customers better understand a product’s applications

White Papers

A White Paper is usually a 1,500- to 3,000-word document that describes, with some technical detail, how an industry problem is solved or a new solution was pioneered by a Vendor. White papers typically explore a particular solution in depth, are often technically-oriented, and may or may not feature Clients who have used that solution. In addition, white papers:

  • Help to educate readers, especially with complex or highly technical products
  • Assist readers with their decision to purchase the product or service
  • Are useful for educating channel partners, investors, and the media
  • Illustrate the business benefits through the explanation of technical details, in one document

Press Releases (News Releases)

A Press Release is generally a 400- to 800-word document that announces a specific and noteworthy new Vendor product, service or event. An “event” can include items such as (a) earnings reports, (b) a corporate name change, (c) launch of a new product or service, (d) securing a new Client, (e) hiring new, key personnel, (f) promotions of key personnel to new positions, (f) partnering with new channel partners, etc. The purpose of a news release is to regularly and frequently get the Vendor’s name (or its product’s or service’s name) in front of the media, Clients, potential Clients, and competitors. Press releases:

  • Quickly get the Vendor’s product and company name in front of a mass audience
  • Help drive traffic to a Vendor’s website
  • Can create “buzz” in the marketplace when used with social media communications
  • Can be used to help generate a Feature Story, Product Review, or Bylined Article

Bylined Articles

A Bylined Article is a short, 250- to 500-word item written about a specific product or solution and placed in an industry publication. These placements may or may not require a fee, often assessed in the form of advertising, either in a printed publication or on a website. Bylined articles:

  • Are typically “ghost-written” by a PR professional but feature a Vendor executive as the author
  • Provide exposure for the Vendor and product among industry professionals and potential Clients
  • Drive traffic to a Vendor’s website
  • Position the Vendor as an industry expert

Bylined articles must be “pitched” to industry publications. Unlike feature stories, bylined articles have high placement rates because the content is submitted “press-ready” to the publication.

Feature Stories / Product Reviews

Feature Stories and Product Reviews are 1,000- to 1,500-word news pieces that are written public_relations_woman on hill with megaphoneby a third party – usually an industry reporter or expert – based on interviews with a Vendor’s executives and a trial of a Vendor’s product. Alternately, these pieces can be written by COX, providing third-party, objective credibility to the Vendor. Feature stories and product reviews:

  • Vary in length, which is sometimes dictated by the publication or reporter
  • Use product and executive photos
  • Create a relationship between a Vendor and a reporter, positioning the Vendor as a “go-to” entity when the reporter next needs industry information or a quote
  • Provides credibility for the Vendor and the product with an objective third party’s perspective

These PR pieces must be “pitched” to reporters, although there is no guarantee that an article will be written.

Client Testimonials (References)

Building a list of Client Testimonials is a powerful selling tool. Obtaining permission to be a reference, by itself, is a fairly easy process. The most time-consuming activity is working with a Client to formulate a testimonial that benefits the Vendor and is acceptable to the Client. Sometimes, the PR staff is required to interface with the Client’s legal department. Client testimonials:

  • Provide a favorable description of a Vendor’s product or service from a reputable third party
  • Lend credibility to the Vendor and the product or service
  • Can act as a Vendor’s best indirect salesperson

Client Success (Application) Stories

A Client Success (Application) Story is typically a 250- to 750-word document describing the success that a Client realized from using the Vendor’s solution. Client success stories are more in depth than a testimonial but are less detailed than a case study. Client success stories:

  • Provide a brief synopsis of how a Vendor’s solution solved a Client’s problem
  • Typically include a product’s specific features and benefits, written in a sales-oriented manner
  • Allow readers to quickly understand a product’s usage in a specific industry or environment

Social Media

public relations_media_social-networkThe latest tools in the public relations world involve communicating with potential customers and others via Social Media – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. As simple as these tools might be to use personally, there are certain techniques to utilize when establishing those accounts for a business. COX can establish your organization in these systems, and develop a regular communications schedule for updates and tweets. Social media:

  • Keeps your organization in front of your customers, maximizing reach and frequency with the most cost-effective tools available
  • Reinforces your brand and key messages
  • Enables easy communication with numerous audiences, including customers, leads, employees, senior management, channel partners and the press

Blogs

Similar to Social Media, Blogs are one of the newer public relations tools available in marketing. Blogs are generally 100 to 250 words in length and frequently tie external headlines and events to a Vendor’s product or service in an interesting way. COX can enhance your marketing efforts by developing blogs on topics specific to your products or services, as well as develop a regular communications schedule for subsequent blog postings. Blogs:

  • Utilize first-person commentary to create “buzz” about a Vendor’s products and services
  • Put a “face” onto the messaging, lending a personal element to communications
  • Reinforce your brand and key messages
  • Enable easy communication with numerous audiences, including customers, leads, employees, senior management, channel partners, the press

Creating a blog strategy, schedule and corresponding topics is a critical part of this process. Once those are established, the writing of content typically flows smoothly.

Branding Services

Establishing and defining a brand is a complex yet critical process. COX can assist with the development of specific branding items that will help you to define your brand’s position in the marketplace, distinguish it from its competitors, and provide a framework upon which all other communications can be built. A well-defined brand:

  • Establishes credibility in the marketplace
  • Is strong enough to stand on its own against the competition
  • Creates a specific image among Clients, potential Clients, and competitors every time it is used
  • Creates a framework for all other communications

The three branding components that are defined in this process are (a) definition of the brand itself, (b) definition of the unique selling proposition, and (c) identification of the brand’s key selling points. Through a series of interviews and via secondary research, COX will write characterizations for these items.

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