News & Updates

News and Perspectives from Integrated Media Strategies

 

b2ap3 large ransomwaredirectory3In an internet age, regular reviews of your company's digital footprint and how it may have been appropriated by bots scraping your content is important to do on a regular basis. Sites seeking to mash ransomware with customer reviews are now popping up. The way it works is your information is scraped from your site or social media pages and then a page created for your company.  Reviewers can then post whatever they choose about your company.  You are required to log into the site and 'claim' your listing.  In some instances, you may be charged to transform your 'free' listing into some kind of service-based listing - for example, premium accounts have the additional options they can take when a negative review is posted. In many instances, the identities of the reviewers are obscured so that it is impossible to tell whether the reviewer is a real person or not, or an employee of the review site.  An additional danger is the site may be actively soliciting you to claim the listing with incorrect information and requiring additional information with the goal of data mining, identity theft or levying charges to your bank account.  Treat sites like these in the same way as you would treat spoofed emails from legitimate accounts you own such as your bank account and do not give them your information.

Yahoo was hacked in 2014.  Shamefully, the news was released only in September 2016.  It was one of the biggest data breaches in history and even encrypted passwords were stolen. So, firstly, if you have a Yahoo account, change your Yahoo password now.

But the breach may impact you beyond just your Yahoo account.  When Integrated Media Strategies builds websites for clients or helps them with their small business email accounts, we create long, randomized passwords like s0cnZS)XD'H[4RmkL. We'll get grumbling that they are impossible to remember.  We usually spell out the cost of a site brought down by malware or that's been hacked because of poor security practices.  "Username: Admin Password: Admin" is something we've seen too often.  Clients will also entrust us with access to their hosting and other accounts, and when we see their passwords, it's often a variant of their children, dog or something like "Passw0rd".  They reuse that same password everywhere to save the hassle of remembering multiple passwords, unaware of how a breach in one place can have a cascading impact on all their accounts.

b2ap3 large snakeoilOne area of the work we do is helping small and micro businesses as a digital communications service provider and coach.  Having been involved in more than a dozen startups over my career, I know that money and resources are usually tight at startups. So nothing irks me more than getting the type of call I did recently from a client saying they were going to work with a 'SEO specialist' who had told them the web platform their site was built on was unsuitable for SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, and that it needed to be redone and then they could get them page one rankings in a week. 

The platform on which their site was built is a leading open-source solution well-suited to the application for which it was built. For small business owners, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

So let's look at the changing landscape of SEO and whether a technical solution will produce the results promised.

b2ap3 large VidProdOne place where organizations may be able to get more bang for their buck is in how they are producing or procuring video. Video is an expensive medium and video services departments are often hard-pressed keeping up with the multiple demands they face.  

This is because more and more media-rich information is online, smartphones play video, and video is a key element in digital communications, social media, marketing and customer retention. Given this, it makes sense to evaluate how organizations' video services departments are meeting strategic communications needs - or not.  


Nationally, community college budgets are tight.  They are being called upon to do more with less. Most community colleges have never been particularly well-resourced by comparison to universities. One place where colleges may be able to get more bang for their buck is in how they are producing or procuring video. Video is an expensive medium and video services departments are often hard-pressed keeping up with the multiple demands they face.  

Fayetteville Technical Community College in North Carolina contracted Integrated Media Strategies to review operations. The brief was to produce a report that looked at several key areas, including:

Integrated Media Strategies has formed a strategic partnership with Malteez, a South African digital agency.  The partnership will provide clients in Africa seeking access to the American market and wanting a digital agency that is African and at the same time, is well-established in the US market. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, English is what divides the English-speaking world and the United States.  Companies seeking to do well in the U.S. must be capable of adapting to the idiosyncrasies of a country made up states - each with their own laws and cultures - and a national, federally-governed marketplace.  This is even more true when seeking entry into regulated sectors such as finance or pharmaceuticals. 

The partnership allows for Malteez and Integrated Media Strategies to connect with clients as Africans, yet function effectively in guiding those clients to success in the US marketplace.  Integrated Media Strategies has a deep contact list of people and organizations with which it can partner and recommend, making for a seamless transition for African-based companies.  With its experience in working on projects with state government, higher education, the biopharmaceutical industry sector, advanced manufacturing, other regulated sectors, numerous startups, small business and on federally-funded projects in the the U.S. and in Canada, it can help make entry to the US market as painless as possible.

 

 

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