No one is going to buy your product or services if they don’t know it exists and this is particularly true in tough economic times. As counter intuitive as it might seem, the slow times are the times that you can’t afford to cut back in your marketing efforts. It has been documented that companies that increase their marketing efforts during a recession can improve their market share as well as their return on investment at lower costs than they can during good economic times. While the competition is out of sight and out of mind, you should be front and center.
There is perhaps no bigger a myth than the one that states all publicity is good publicity. Sure, Lady Gaga would not be where she is without pushing the envelope. But there is press that she wouldn’t want. And how many business owners and professionals want to foster that particular image? If you do, great, take off the gloves and go for it. But if you’re looking to build a different type of image and create a strong lasting brand, perhaps consider a different approach. When it comes to traditional media, think long and hard about your stories and how you want you and your company to be perceived.
You’ve decided to give your PR campaign a real shot. If you’re not in a position to hire a public relations firm or media consultant and are giving it a stab on your own, learn the ropes before moving forward. It’s important to develop your story, write your press release, build your media list and send your release out to the appropriate media. But at that point media follow up calls might be in order. The following are media follow up tips to review before making your calls.
Ever wonder what it’s like in the middle of a PR meeting with a client who just doesn’t get it? The following is a retelling of a client who didn’t understand the public relations process and really didn’t want to try and figure it out. It’s by no means what most meetings are like, but it’s real and there are some lessons to be learned.
Whether you want to launch a PR campaign for your company or not, you owe it to your business, so do it. If you’re going to spend time, money, blood sweat and tears launching your service or your product, it makes no sense not to do everything you can to effectively market your company and reach your target market. If you’re running a small business, you don’t have the marketing arm of an Apple, or IBM or GM to do your promotional work for you. You’re either trying to handle your marketing in house, or you’ve brought on a PR firm or media relations consultant to handle your marketing for you. However you’re approaching it, you need to be truly media savvy to be effective and reach your customers, prospects and clients.
It’s said that you can’t find the right answers until you ask the right questions. So with that in mind if you are thinking of hiring a public relations firm or of launching a media relations campaign for yourself, the following is a list of how to points to ask yourself before moving forward. Done correctly a PR campaign can establish your brand and build your business and establish you as an expert in your field. It’s the most powerful marketing tool out there, so give it a shot, but first do your homework and review the checklist.
The biggest problem that most small business owners have with PR is that they don’t fully understand the process or how it can help build their business or establish their brand. Most think that public relations is only for large corporations or those in the entertainment world and that it has to do with stunts and smoke and mirrors. None of those perceptions are correct. Why should entrepreneurs and small business owners use PR? Because it can build a business and establish a company’s brand. Because it works!
Times are changing; Oprah is gone as are many of the daytime soap operas. TV’s 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daytime slots are shifting dramatically. If you’re looking to pitch yourself as a guest on a talk show, never fear, although Oprah is gone, there are a myriad shows out there and more are on the way.
After you’ve sent out your releases, give the media a day or two to read them, but don’t make the mistake of waiting for weeks, hoping for a call. Keep in mind you are going to have to make follow-up calls in order to launch an effective campaign, without them, PR and media placement is a shot in the dark.
Your business is unique because you’re the one who is rerunning it and you’re the only you that there is. How can your business reflect your uniqueness? By integrating who you are with what you do. To accomplish this, you need to understand how to capitalize on your unique abilities and perspective in order to organically grow your business and differentiate it from your competitors. Once you’ve accomplished those objectives, you’ll be ready for center stage; ready to take your story to the public and bring your dreams fully to reality.
The trouble is that although most business owners and entrepreneurs know that blogging and social media are essential marketing tools, that’s often where things stop. In this and upcoming articles, I’ll be doing a quick overview of points to consider when implementing a social media campaign. The first thing to keep in mind is that any social media campaign is greatly enhanced with the addition of a strategic, well targeted public relations effort. Appearing in the media gives you, your business, and/or your product and validation and credibility of being featured in the news, and gives you interesting topics to post, Tweet and share. Each site is different and has a unique focus and audience. For now let’s look at Twitter.