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“Inspiration doesn't respond to meeting requests. You can’t schedule greatness.” – Jay Baer (@jaybaer) 

The grind of everyday life can get to even the most motivated marketers. Sometimes we have to go the extra mile to stay passionate day-in, day-out. It’s just one of the many reasons we are strong believers in the impact of conference season. 

Conferences are key to feeling more connected to the marketing community, staying inspired by your profession and learning from the successes (and challenges) of our peers.

The PR 20/20 team is gearing up to see many of our marketing idols, here in Cleveland and others a bit further from home. Below, I’ve highlighted the full team conference circuit, plus where you can catch a session from our CEO and founder, Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer).

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Managing your company’s reputation online is one of the most important things you can do to protect your organization. Yet, despite how easy it is, many business owners and marketers ignore what’s being said about their company online. The result of this ignorance could mean major losses in revenue.

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This is the first in a series of university spotlights, highlighting how higher education is bridging the marketing talent gap. 

90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years. — IBM

For the first time in history, marketers have comprehensive, real-time insight into the buyer journey. As consumers, our actions can be tracked, plotted and aggregated to an unprecedented degree. Open APIs enable integrations with the click of a button, connecting data points across devices. Sophisticated advertising platforms and contextual content make it truly possible to deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time.  

And yet, marketers are underprepared, and underperforming. Possibly one of the greatest deficiencies in the marketing skillset is that of data analysis. With innumerable data points and a rapidly expanding technology toolkit, marketers struggle to integrate systems, interpret data and pivot strategy based on performance. 

Marketers that began their careers yesterday are not prepared for the realities of today. And higher education is burdened with preparing future marketers for the uncertainties of tomorrow. Fortunately, universities across the country are up to the challenge. 

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3,500 attendees, 225 speakers and more than 550 companies, all in 123 hours … and all in Cleveland, Ohio.

The much-anticipated Content Marketing World (CMWorld) is back, and only two weeks away. 

From September 8 – 11, thousands of marketers worldwide will unite at the Cleveland Convention Center to hear from some of our industry’s greatest voices. Guest speakers include John Cleese (@JohnCleese), Kristina Halvorson (@halvorson), Jay Baer (@jaybaer), Rand Fishkin (@randfish), Marcus Sheridon (@TheSalesLion), Robert Rose (@Robert_Rose) and Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer), among many others. 

And of course, CMWorld wouldn't be the same without the man in the orange suite, Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi).

If you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time. And, if you’re gearing up for a trip to Cleveland, below we’ve listed 5 things not to miss in Browns’ town, and how to get the most out of CMWorld.

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Owned, earned and paid media may be converging, but that doesn’t mean marketers should ignore the distinct differences between the three.

Owned content is your foundation. It exists on your website, blog, social media channels and emails. It’s consumed by your newsletter recipients, subscribers and email lists.

At PR 20/20, owned content is often part of builder campaigns: long-term efforts that create the necessary platform on which you will develop your brand, differentiate from competitors, and expand your reach and influence. It also presents the most flexibility and control. In other words, it’s the perfect place to fine-tune your inbound strategy. 

Below, I outline easily overlooked ways that owned content can be used to fuel inbound marketing campaigns. 

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Only 50% of all boardrooms are convinced on the value of social media, according to The Guardian.

But, from a marketer’s perspective, we understand the value social brings for brand awareness, positioning and more human engagements. In fact, 92% of marketers say social media is important for their business, and 80% indicate their efforts increased website traffic.  

If you can’t prove the ROI your social media efforts are delivering to the ones that matter––whether clients or c-suite executives––then it may be time to give your overall strategy a checkup. 

To ensure you’re delivering tangible impact and delivering value to your organization, build a custom social strategy that fits with your brand, industry and audience. Read below to learn the importance of performing a social media checkup, including 3 simple variables you can monitor to tailor social activity to targeted audiences. 

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Below is a guest post by Elizabeth Victor, a brand advisor for Isentia. She enjoys sharing tips on media monitoring and analysis, as well as PR measurement. You can find her on Twitter and Google+.

Monitoring and measuring your brand's online reputation is a critical responsibility. Your brand reputation impacts every aspect of the business.

Not sure what consumers are saying?

This article will focus on the top considerations to keep in mind while setting up media monitoring for your brand, from foundational strategy, social awareness, keywords and alerts, to reporting.  

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More than 40% of the world’s population (roughly 3 billion people) are online today, as compared to a mere 7% in 2000, according to the International Telecommunication Union. It’s no wonder the marketing industry has experienced a disruptive shift over the past few years. We have more data, more technology and more channels to engage with customers on than ever before.  

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The first time I pushed “play” on Are You Experienced? by Jimi Hendrix (on a cassette if you remember those!), it blew me away. This was in the ‘80s after already having heard guitarists like Eddie Van Halen and Eric Clapton. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to hear that sound in 1967 for the first time when there was no other guitarist like him.

The ground-breaking impact he had on guitar and the state of music itself is incredible. From the sounds he created to the way he performed on stage, Hendrix changed the face of music.

Just like Hendrix ushered in a new era of guitar playing, Robert Rose (@Robert_Rose) and Carla Johnson (@CarlaJohnson) are ushering in a new era of marketing—Experiences. But this time, instead of catching up after the fact, I’m witnessing it firsthand.

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There is one tactic that top-of-their-game professionals use to create wealth, seize opportunities and drive success: cross-disciplinary thinking. They expose themselves to ideas outside their field and, as a result, make connections others don’t.

These connections create new business opportunities, creative (or even world-changing) ideas, and massive personal and professional growth.

Steve Jobs was a fan of this strategy. And plenty of top minds in every professional field use it daily to deliver results and lead better.

Marketers can receive the exact same benefits. By exposing themselves to ideas outside of marketing, they can, in turn, achieve better results in their campaigns and careers. This post is designed to start you down the cross-disciplinary path, if you’d like to reap the rewards it offers.

I’ve collected what I believe to be some of the best non-marketing resources to learn something new. I’d love if you offered your own suggestions in this post’s comments.

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