Four Ways to Refresh Existing Website Content

Gini Dietrich

Guest post by: Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich and lead blogger at Spin Sucks.

In late 2011 and early 2012, the Public Relations Society of America undertook the big task of redefining public relations.

Before this happened, the industry was working with a definition that was 40 years old. It hadn’t been reviewed since 1982.

In 1982, E.T. came out. John Belushi died. Knight Rider was a popular television show. Prince William was born. Seven people died from taking cyanide-laced Tylenol. The first issue of USA Today was published. And the Times “man of the year” was the computer.

A lot has changed since 1982. Not only have TV shows and movies grown up, so has Prince William and an entire industry. Social media has completely turned the PR industry on its head and technology is changing more quickly than ever before.

The evolution of technology is so fast, it’s reaching millions -and even billions-of users in no time at all.

Consider this: It took older technologies years to reach 50 million users…and then just a few months as it evolved.

  • Radio: 38 years.
  • TV: 13 years.
  • The Internet: Four years.
  • IPod: Three years.
  • Facebook added 100 million users in just nine months.
  • iPod app downloads hit one billion in nine months.

Nearly every year we have a new social network introduced. Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, SnapChat. The list continues to grow and it’s not only the job of communicators to keep up, it’s your job as business leaders to stay abreast of the changes so you can lead your team during the digital age.

Websites are about the Customer

Technology is creating some amazing opportunities for all of us, but also causing some distress. You used to have a PR team (internal or external) that focused on employee communications, media relations, reputation management, financial reporting, the annual report, public affairs, and maybe some events.

Today PR professionals also have to be knowledgeable about web development, mobile marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing, and more.

The web, it turns out, is extremely important in the job of a PR professional. Much more important today than it was in the previous decade, as new technologies are introduced and companies are struggling to figure out how to add the latest and greatest tool to its overall marketing strategy.

It used to be your website was an online version of your corporate brochure. But times, they are a changin’. Your website now needs to be a living and breathing document that changes consistently (at least once a week, according to a Hubspot study) and becomes less about you and more about your customer.

Refresh Existing Content

The first place you want to start is your website by taking out the French – the we, we, we (oui, oui, oui – get it?!?).

  1. Find the French. Depending on how you like to work, you can either print out every page of your website (not very green, but it works) or you can go into your content management system and do a search. Look for every word that is about you. Look for “we,” “our,” “us,” and similar words. This is the copy you’ll have to rewrite.
  2. WIIFM. What’s in it for me means the copy you rewrite becomes about the customer, instead of about you. You tell them what your organization does for them. You use words such as “you” and “your.”
  3. Testimonials. Update your testimonials. Some of you will have them in text as a quote. Get these on video. We have a client who held a user’s event a couple of weeks ago. They hired a videographer to spend two hours at the conference and the marketing director got users on video talking about who they were, what they do, and how they use the client’s product. The stories ended up being really compelling. One user rescues dogs and finds them permanent homes. He talked about that and then spent 30 seconds talking about the client’s product. Mailchimp also does this really well. Rather than have the customers talk about how much they love the email software, they talk about their own businesses or interests or hobbies and how the product fits into their lives. Very compelling stuff.
  4. Case studies. This is what we’ll call social proof – the reason another person should buy from you. Most case studies are boring text with nothing interesting in them. Make them multimedia. Add images. Add charts. Add infographics. Even think about whiteboard automation. Make them so interesting, prospects can’t wait to buy.

Once this project is complete – and it will take some time – you can focus your energies on other owned media, such as white papers, webinars, blog posts, and videos.

To learn more, check out Gini’s latest book – Spin Sucks – on sale this week!


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is officially here!

Wearable Tech: Are You Ready?

Image of Google Glass, published in 2014 on ReadWriteWeb

SXSW 2014 has come and gone, and those who call Austin home are either still recovering from the constant state of exhaustion that goes hand in hand with doing SXSW right, or are beginning to venture out of their homes again into the world they had been so desperately avoiding for the last 10 days. The festival and all its visitors may have left, but the top trends are still buzzing about the tech community. Our last blog post focused on the top three hot topics we noticed at SXSW this year, but we wanted to dive a little deeper into each theme, as they all require a closer look into the current and future states of industry.

I attended a panel session titled “Come and Capture: The Future of Wearables & Content” that brought in four experts from Loopd Inc., Epiphany Eyewear, DAQRI and 4iiii Innovations to discuss the future of wearable technology and how it might evolve into a more integrated piece of our everyday world. In a room of close to 200 SXSW attendees, about 60% of people polled (via hand raise) said they would be interested in using wearable tech in the next five years. As the Interactive portion of the conference attracts innovators and early adopters on the whole, this wasn’t surprising after looking around to see three or four pairs of Google Glasses. It’s a “new” technology that seems too out there, too strange and superficial for mass consumption by the general public, but maybe we should take a closer look…

The first wearable technology technically came in the form of the pacemaker, according to the panelists. It’s embedded in the heart, and sends radio signals to another device that tracks cardiovascular activity and sustains stable functionality so that the wearer can react accordingly for long-term health. More common wearable tech accessories exist today such as fitness trackers for the wrist, ankle or as a shoe insert, which tracks activity level on a daily basis, and runs stats on heart rate, movement, and sleep so users can track their own unique health status. What more can there be to wearable technology? Let’s find out.

Wearable technology is based on augmenting the human ability in order to interact with the spaces, objects and content around you. While it can be extremely useful in many verticals, both on the consumer and industrial sides, a certain level of comfort and usability must exist. Technology used in movies like the Minority Report require constant arm movement when interacting with the content on a virtual screen, and while it may look super neat, who wants to be using their arms 8+ hours a day? Finding a balance between comfort and ease of use with accuracy will be key to widespread popularity of wearable tech.

Google Glass is the perfect example of wearable technology that is on the edge of innovation, but might have some not-so-subtle inconveniences when interacting with content. The Glasses themselves don’t necessarily look off-putting, but voice commands and gestures reveal the activity of a user when in public, causing many instances of offense and judgment toward the individual and device. As technology evolves and wearables become less foreign to the masses, the privacy issues will drop (remember when the first computers came out?), and technologists will find ways to consume content more efficiently using the devices.

But the issue of privacy may never completely disseminate, as it’s a global hot topic after the recent NSA scandal. People are wary of being tracked because they value their personal privacy, but as wearables gain traction among the general public, the moral conflict will need to be addressed. Beacon technology is growing as well, and if we’re all donning wearable devices in five years, we also need to know that those wearables are being tracked 24/7 – what’s important to you? Daily life enhanced with wearable technology vs. opening up your daily life to prying eyes…

Obstacles like these will crop up just as with any new technology pushing the envelope of what we’re accustomed to as a society. Ultimate self-realization will drive the move to widespread use, and time will tell just how quickly innovators bring on the early adopters and early majority.

To be able to walk into a room and immediately adjust it to your preferences will be an incredible thing. Temperature, lighting, application activation, news scanning and more can be controlled using wearable technology, and device interoperability will enhance our ability to consume content within every augmented object containing additional data and functionality. Today we are still using it mainly as fitness trackers and Google Glass, but more interactive features are certainly in the near future. Are you ready?

What do you think of wearable technology becoming mainstream? How might this impact your industry? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences!