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Review | Online Surveys — Create Your Own In Seconds

There are companies out there that will charge you $50,000 to conduct a survey.

Or you could conduct your own for free.

With easy-to-use online tools like SurveyMonkey and PopSurvey, it takes just minutes to create surveys that can be embedded into websites or emailed to large sample lists. You can even buy inexpensive lists directly from these companies.

Will you get more accurate results from a qualified polling firm?

Absolutely.

But you can save a ton of time and money by conducting your own poll -- and you can discover any number of fascinating things while you're at it.

For example, we wanted to confirm our suspicion that we're the best PR company in the world. So we put together this one-question poll using SurveyMonkey's free version. It took us less than 5 minutes to create -- seriously.

Does Your Organization Have a Professional Voice?

In this age of do-it-yourself podcasts and videos, it seems like everyone is producing their own audio. But the true professionals stand apart. We received this demo from a "commercial voice" today and our ears perked up. This is exactly the type of voice-and-production talent we look for in our audio. If you want your organization to have a professional voice, then hire a pro. It's surprisingly inexpensive. And the quality speaks volumes about your organization. Check out this clip to hear for yourself.

Profiles in PR | Peter Shankman

Name: Peter Shankman Business: Vocus Position: Founder, Help a Reporter Out (Acquired by Vocus), and VP/Small Business Evangelist for Vocus Twitter: @petershankman Facebook: /PeterShankman Services You Offer Vocus is a marketing services company, offering thousands of small to mid-size businesses an easy way to completely market their company, including PR Web, HARO, iContact, and all the products in the Vocus Small Business Marketing Suite. Your Niche Area of Expertise Small to Mid-Size business marketing, advertising, customer service, and social media. How Did You Get Started in this Business? I founded HARO, and grew it to the largest free PR and marketing tool in the world in under two years. I started my career back in the 90s as one of the founding editors of AOL News. Do You Have Any Advice for Potential Clients? Customer service is the new PR. Social Media is just one small facet of marketing, and not the end-all/be-all of civilization. Why Should an Organization Hire Your Company? To increase their revenue through expert advice on the best way to market their business.

Profiles in PR | Tulchin Research

Your Name: Ben Tulchin Your Position: President and Founder Your Business: Tulchin Research Twitter: @TulchinResearch Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TulchinResearch Services You Offer Tulchin Research is a leading polling and strategic consulting firm. The company conducts public opinion research...

Advice from the Media | Robert Whitcomb

>Name: Robert Whitcomb Title: Vice President and Editorial-Page Editor Media Outlet: The Providence Journal Twitter Handle: @arbustwit Personal Blog: This New England Blog 1) Describe your typical workday in 140 characters or less. Chronologically: Read news and opinion, meet with people, edit, write for newspaper, do administrative paperwork, put words and art in blog. 2) What's the best pitch you've ever received? From PR folks for Cape Wind describing the exciting potential benefits of offshore windpower. 3) The greatest words of wisdom an editor ever gave you? Assume first that everyone you talk with (and you) might be wrong and don't ramble. 4) If there was one thing you could tell every PR practitioner, what would it be? Send rigorously factually verified and typographically clean copy that looks outside conventional wisdom.

Want to know an easy way to put a fine polish on virtually any video or audio produced by your organization?

Brand it with a donut.

A "donut" is simply two short, but professionally produced, files that brand your organization and can be tacked onto the beginning and end of all your video and audio. Here's a donut intro we just produced for our upcoming video blog.

Even something as simple as a recorded-on-your-laptop podcast can be dramatically transformed into a high-quality piece by a well-made branding donut.

As noted above, our company is about to unveil a regular video blog called "Keybridge Live." We'll film it using low-cost equipment in our conference room. These videos will be posted on our website and certainly aren't meant for primetime. Nevertheless, we want them to reflect the fact that our company delivers high-quality services and doesn't compromise on quality. Also, if one of our posts goes viral, we want people to know who produced it.

So we cooked up a donut. Our weekly video posts will be sandwiched between the intro shot above, and the outro shot below. The same concept can be applied just as easily to audio.

Branding donuts give you a lot of bang for your buck. They're short, which makes them relatively inexpensive to produce, and they can be used repeatedly. The intro/outro shots seen here were produced in just a few hours, yet this donut will give a professional polish to all our future video blog posts.

In late June, Keybridge Senior Writer Rob Montz took a vacation. Unlike most employees, however, he didn't go to the beach. Instead, Rob flew to North Korea to eat clams doused in gasoline, drink soju, and work on his upcoming documentary, "Juche Strong." When he's not toiling away at Keybridge, Rob is an up-and-coming filmmaker and a fellow at the Moving Picture Institute. This week, Rob was featured in the Huffington Post. Here is a preview of his documentary, which will debut in theaters this Winter.

Profiles in PR — MarketingScoop

Your Name: Michael H. Fleischner Your Business: MarketingScoop Your Position: CEO Services You Offer We offer marketing consulting services and training. Your Niche Area of Expertise Search engine optimization and marketing strategy. How Did You Get Started in this Business? When I launched my first website nearly 10 years ago, I was excited to get into the game of online business. After six months of development and thousands of dollars spent on "the next big thing," my website was nowhere to be found on Google, Yahoo!, or Bing. It wasn't long before I was reading every article, following SEO's, and experimenting with different SEO techniques to improve my website's ranking.