Creating The Perfect Holiday PR Pitch: Tapping Into The Billion $ Spending Season

The holiday season represents a huge opportunity when in comes to selling your product or service.  According to the National Retail Federation, “in 2010, holiday sales increased 5.2% to $452.9 billion, which was a significant improvement from the -0.4% decrease in 2009. On average, holiday sales have increased 2.6% per year for the last 10 years.  For some retailers, the holiday season can represent anywhere between 25-40% of annual sales. In 2010, holiday sales represented 19.4% of total retail industry sales.”

And that’s just retail.  Just about any business or service can utilize the holidays to boost sales.  We generally think of the season boosting sales of clothing, jewelry or electronics, which is does, but those are just the obvious ones.  Think about it, if you’re a florist, what better way to make the holidays cheerier.  If you’re a psychotherapist, there is help for the holiday blues.  If hairstylist, cosmetic surgeon or make up artist, you can help create a new look for the new year.  If you’re a restaurateur you can offer the perfect holiday meal. If you’re a marketer or business advisor, there is no better time to prepare for the new year, you get the idea.  If you’re in the FBI or CIA, the pitch might be a bit more troublesome, but overall, generally there is going to be a way that you can pitch your business, product or service during the holiday season.

I realize that you might feel that the commercialization of the holiday season has gone too far (and you’re right), still the last quarter of the year presents unique opportunities to get your story out to the media, your customers and your prospects.   The holiday season is a time when people loosen their purse strings and spend money.  It’s a time when people spend on others and themselves.  It’s also a time when the media is looking for story ideas with holiday themed gift guides and a stories having to do with holiday gifts, gadgets and products.

What you need to do is drill down and develop story ideas that speak to the needs of the various media outlets.  Remember during this time you need to tie your media angle and pitch to the holidays and you need to keep the needs of the various media outlets you’re pitching in mind.  TV is a visual medium, so you want to pitch them a visual hook.  If you have a product that you can bring on and show, that helps, or if you do a quick makeover that that could work.  Print needs a strong story.  If you can tie your product in with a cause, charity or local angle, that can give you a step up.

My next, and final, holiday-oriented PR article will review some specific pitch ideas you can create and use to garner press coverage during the holiday season.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2011

A Guest Post by Ann Convery: Can You Remember Why You Started Your Business?

Before the GO BIG! Online Telesummit ends, I wanted to let you TopStoryPR Readers/ Entrepreneurs/ Business Owners know about this really cool event still going the next 2 weeks.

You’re invited to the event of the season…

Join Lisa Cherney, Nancy Marmolejo, Carolyn Herfurth,  Michele PW and 34 others… (including me!)

At the GO BIG! Online Telesummit.

When: Monday, October 24th through Friday, November 4, 2011

What you’ll hear: 38 handpicked experts in sales, copywriting, marketing, teleseminars, info products, video, public speaking, networking, organizing and  outsourcing.  Resonate with One.   Resonate with Many.

What you’ll receive: Rememberable “ah-ha” takeaways, step-by-step same day action how-to’s,  access to bonuses galore.

Cost: $0.00

Grab your phone or rev-up your computer to GO  BIG! and get your passion back, grow your business, and find the balance you desire.

Click Here to RSVP Now!

Join 38 Unique Global Experts as they Reveal  Cutting-Edge Systems so YOU Can Go Big & Enjoy  the Reason You Started Your Business in the First Place.

>> Click Here to find out more

These experts are the absolute BEST in their industries, and they are just as committed as I am to helping you spread your message and grow your business!

See you there!

Ann

Copyright © Ann Convery 2011

From Guest Blogger, Ann Convery–>More Clients Secrets: Take the Sting out of Client Objections Forever

Here’s how to take the sting out of an objection.

(If you like this secret, join us for a lot more – below.)

So…how do you take the sting out of an objection?

Agree with the objection.

When a potential client says,   “I can’t afford your fee,” – it looks like an objection.

It’s not.  It’s really a plea for more help and information.

If your future client says your price is too high, she doesn’t get your value yet.

She doesn’t have enough information to make a decision – so she’s objecting.

Say you’re a business coach. Agree with her.

Tell her, “So, our objective is to make more money in your business at a fee you can afford, right?”

(Always put the transformation you deliver into your question.)

Your future client will say, “Yes, that’s right.”

  1.  This turns the conversation in a positive direction.
  2.  She’s agreeing with you.
  3.  And you can nail down her real concern (she’s afraid she won’t get enough value for her hard-earned money.)

Agreeing with objections is a lot easier than trying to overcome them.

Try it – it works!

Would you like more where that came from? These secrets are unusual. They are rooted in the Unconscious.

And they always work. Because the Unconscious rules you and me.  Work with it and you can get just about anything you want.

Check out our upcoming blog posts on:

  1. Why people’s first unconscious response to you is “NO” and
    what you MUST do to reverse that  “No”… with your first 10 words. 
    (Neglect this and you could be losing half the prospects you’re trying to attract.)
  2. How to show your prospects you’re one of their tribe,
    so they immediately accept you.  (Use this secret and
    your future clients can’t wait to do business with you.)
  3.   How to arouse emotion – unconsciously – using the 5 senses,
    so your prospects want ONLY YOU – without knowing why.
    (This is THE most powerful marketing tool in the world.)
  4.  How to RE-POSITION – not lower – your fees, so you are
    not losing potential clients due to “Old Brain Buying Pain.”
    (Miss this and you could lose clients who “freeze” at your
    fees.)
  5. How to reverse-engineered questions bring in more clients - 
    verbally and online.  (It’s easy and it can make you a lot more money.)
  6. Your Home Page – is it about You or Them?
    (If it’s about You, you could be losing a LOT of customers.)

And More!

These techniques work, this science is new, and I want
you to have more business in the next 3 months.

It may be a new year and a new economy.

But the 450,000 brain hasn’t budged.

Engage it, and you can bring in more business and income within weeks.

Ignore it, and you can butt your head against the wall for another 12 months
and never know why.

Copyright © Ann Convery 2011

The Steve Jobs Approach to PR Magic

By branding yourself as well as your business, you set up a two-pronged marketing campaign.  By establishing yourself as an expert in your field, you become the authority, the go-to person in your particular arena.  This type of validation will then extend to your product or service.  People buy what they trust.  Establish yourself as an expert and you won’t need to sell your clients or customers, they will come to you.   People will look to you not only for your product or service but also for you advice, your savvy, your expertise.

That is what made Steve Jobs so immensely valuable to Apple.  Love him or hate him, people saw him as the innovator, as the one who changed the field, the one who came up with the most interesting and exciting products.   The one they could trust. Whenever Steve jobs presented a new product, be it the Mac, iPhone or iPad, it wasn’t just a presentation, it was an event; it was an experience.  Journalists would fall over one another to cover it. And it wasn’t simply a tech story; it was a pop culture event.  It would be covered on every type of media outlet from Wired, to the Wall Street Journal, to CNN, to Extra.

Okay, so you’re not Steve Jobs.  But you get my idea.  An effective PR approach is to establish and brand yourself as you brand your business; and branding is perhaps the main function of a successful media relations campaign.  Yes, you want to reach prospective customers and clients, but you also want to establish who and what you and your business are.  Remember you’re not selling a product or service, you’re building a brand that establishes your value in the marketplace.  That is precisely why you need to view PR as a long term process.  It’s impossible to establish a brand in a few months.  It is a cumulative process.  You need to be consistent.  You need to stay on course, particularly during the first six months, which are generally the toughest.

Building a brand comes down to creating a strong narrative, building a strong story that people relate to.  That’s where Jobs understood the process more than most.  The Apple brand came to be an ongoing story with new chapters being added with the launch of each new product.  Jobs established himself first as a wunderkind, then as a visionary, then as a shrewd business leader who could turn a business model on its head and open new markets.  But that legend didn’t simply happen on its own.  It was a well crafted, strategically organized public relations campaign.

As an entrepreneur or business owner, take a page from one of the shrewdest marketers we’ve seen in ages.  Brand yourself as you brand your business.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2011

Demonstrating Your Value to Your Prospects

You know what your company’s value is.  You understand why your products or service are so important to your target market.  You understand what makes you unique, what separates you from the others in your field.  You can explain exactly what makes you and your company so amazing.  The sad truth is that your customers don’t really care about your bio, how great you are, how long you’ve been around, etc.  What your clients and customers care about is what you can do for them; how you can make their life easier, how you can save them time, money, help grow their business.  What they want to know is how they’ll be better off by buying your product, or using your service, or working with your company.

It’s important to know what your prospective client’s needs are and how you can meet them.  Focus on how you can solve their problems not on singing the praises of your company.  This sounds easy, but it can be tricky.  The confusing part is that your prospects aren’t always exactly sure what they want.  Often if you don’t ask, they won’t tell you.  If you misjudge their needs you might give a great pitch but it will fall on deaf ears.  Your job is to determine what your prospects needs and wants are and then illustrate how you can meet those.  As I mentioned, this can be a bit of a mind field.  If you’re giving a one-on-one pitch, you have the luxury of asking specific questions, but in your marketing, advertising or public relations efforts, you need to make sure you are addressing the specific needs of your target market.  Often a company can address several needs or issues, and different clients will be looking for solutions to different individual needs.

Each business meets different needs.  There are times when a business is meeting needs that the business owner is not even aware of.  For example you might think you’re selling someone a car as a means of transportation.  In fact transportation could just be an afterthought, what some clients are buying is style, or comfort, or security.  Let’s take my business for example.  Our focus is PR, media relations, blogging and social media.   Clients come to us for various reasons.

Through a PR campaign, they want to:

1. Reach their target market via the press and the media.

2. Sell more products.

3. Land more clients and/or business opportunities.

4. Position themselves via the media in front of investors

5. Introduce a new product or service to the marketplace.

6. Establish themselves as experts in their field.

7. Establish themselves as a professional at the top of their field.

8. Gain credibility and validation by being featured in the news.

9. Save marketing and advertising dollars via a PR campaign.

Those are the main reasons clients come to us, but each client has his or her main reason.  One might be focused on building sales, another might be looking to entice investors, and still another might be looking strictly to position herself as an expert in her field.  For some clients the bottom line is the primary issue, for others it’s the credibility and validation factors.  These are all values, but what is valuable to one client, might not be that important to another.  We’ve worked with clients who can’t possibly take more clients for months.  That is not their concern.  But they do want to be viewed as the best in their field and being featured in top tier media can accomplish that aim.  We work with others who want to build their business, sell more products, and land more clients.  Those are their primary goals and that is the value we offer to them.

So, make a list of the value that you offer your clients.  Make this a stretching exercise.  Move a bit beyond your comfort zone.  Are there emotional values you offer that you’ve never considered?  Once you’ve developed your list, take a look at your marketing, PR and advertising efforts.  Does your marketing address your accomplishments or your client’s needs? Once you answer that question, you’ll know what changes you need to make.  Focus on your clients, and you’ll never go wrong.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2010

Free PR & the Truth about Successful Media Campaigns

The biggest problem with PR is that few give it a real shot.  I’m not saying that public relations companies don’t sometimes drop the ball, certainly some campaigns fail because of poor story ideas and improper execution; but often media campaigns don’t succeed because they’re never given a chance.  If you’re looking to launch a successful PR campaign in a month, you might as well throw your money out the window.  Whether you launch a campaign yourself or hire a firm to launch one for you, you need to give it time to grow; you need to contact the right people, be consistent, tenacious, develop new story ideas and allow the process to take its course.  Once you start landing articles or TV coverage, you then need to maximize your media.  It’s important  to use that media to garner more media, but you also have to learn how to utilize your media coverage on the Internet, in your advertising, marketing and promotion and marketing your business to business dealings.

 

A PR campaign is not a business fire sale or a fly-by-night marketing approach.  It is a consistent, systematic approach to reaching your target market, building your brand, establishing your expertise and gaining validation and credibility.  Offers that focus on free PR, or how to do PR at no cost whatsoever certainly sound enticing, but as with most things in this world, you get what you pay for.  If you want to learn how to launch your own campaign you have to pay in time and make at least some investment in buying information that will teach you the media relations  basics; if you’re able to hire a professional firm, you’re going to invest more financially, but will be buying expertise, media contacts and industry know how.  Whatever your approach, if you understand the nature of the process, use some creativity and give your campaign time to build and grow, you’ll find that launching an effective public relations campaign is more than worth the investment. 

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2008

Why “Selling” Never Works

Forget about selling when entering the PR world.  The media’s not interested in being sold; it’s interested in finding new, unique and compelling stories – that meet their specific needs.  That is something most companies and, to be honest, PR firms, generally forget.  Actually that’s something I have to remind myself on a daily basis.  When I worked as a journalist or as a magazine editor, it was always obvious that what I wanted was a good story.  When a company or PR rep would call and pitch me an idea, they (at times) had interesting stories, but generally not stories that interested my readers.  So, nine-times-out-of-ten, my response would be a (hopefully polite) no.

 

It’s not enough that the story you’re pitching is interesting, it has to fit the needs of the publication or TV show, or radio segment that you’re targeting.  That’s where the brainstorming comes in.  You have to think like an editor or a producer in order to find the story that works.  And once you’ve found your primary story, you need to drill down and come up with more targeted story ideas.  For example if you’re pitching a product, your primary story will most likely be around the product and how it helps your customer.  But it has to be told with a narrative, as a story, not as a hard sell.  Once you’ve figured that out, you then have to uncover you’re other stories.  Is there a human interest angle, is there an entrepreneurial angle, what other story ideas can you come up with to meet the needs of the various media outlets?   Your stories hold the key to your success, so focus on finding them and presenting them to the media in the most interesting way possible – and forget about the selling.      

 

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2009

 

 

A PR Journey & Why Success Depends on the Story

success-blogI’ve written several articles about how PR really comes down to telling a good story.   In a nutshell that’s really what it’s all about.  It’s not about the hype or the flash, or the hard sell. It’s not about the fast-talking publicist who loves to name drop, go to parties and play as though he or she is the star.  It’s about finding a client’s story and being able to tell it in an interesting and compelling manner.

 

Ironically, it’s story telling that brought me to the PR world.  I started off thinking I would make my living as a novelist; then somewhere along the line I figured out that I also wanted to eat and pay my rent, so I continued to write fiction, but segued into journalism.  Most of my journalism career was in the music and entertainment world, but I also did some political, news and pop culture reporting.  I then became the editor-in-chief of two magazines and learned that writing often comes down to the editing.  What you cut or don’t say is as important as what stays on the page.  As an editor, I was daily pitched by PR consultants and also got to learn what made for a successful pitch.

 

That was the journey that eventually led me into the PR world.  My first company Phillips and Mora Entertainment specialized in entertainment-oriented PR.  We also offered personal management and produced videos and feature films.  In 1990, I launched Anthony Mora Communications, Inc., a much more eclectic public relations firm; we offer media relations, image development, branding, media training and a relatively new unique PR-social media approach to marketing.  The firm represents a wide range of clients including small and mid-sized businesses, entrepreneurs, attorneys, physicians, authors, entertainers, and other clients.  Although finding and developing the story is really just stage one of an effective public relations campaign, without a good story, there really is no campaign.

 

Why PR Is The Most Effective Branding & Marketing Tool

Let’s say you read an ad for an attorney in your local newspaper.  The ad tells you how wonderful the attorney is, what she specializes in, what services she offers, and how to contact her.  Now let’s say you read an article about that same attorney.  The article profiles her and tells you about a case she just won and the impact that case had.  Both pieces you read are in the newspaper.  Both have to do with the same attorney, but which one would impress you the most, which would you pay more attention to, the ad or the article?    My bet is the article.

 

Why?  The ad is informative, but it’s paid for by the attorney.  So, do we completely trust the information?  We are aware that whatever the ad says was either written by the attorney or someone hired by the law firm and the informaiton is being controlled.  The article is a news story.  It is a third person account.  It has been vetted by a writer and an editor.  That doesn’t necessarily make the article more factually accurate than the ad, but it is perceived differently.   The media’s job is to tell a story and to give the reader information, whereas the ad is meant to sell.

 

For that reason the article offers the attorney more validation and credibility.  People tend to trust an expert who has been featured in the media more than one they see in an ad or a commercial.  In a nutshell it’s the ability to offer that credibility to give the reader that sense of trust that makes PR is the most effective form of marketing and branding available. 

Surprising Ways PR Can Build Your Business

What makes public relations so fascinating is the unexpected. Once you get the story out there, you never know who is going to see, hear or read it. It can result in totally surprising and unanticipated results.

I always start a campaign with certain objectives in mind. I have a target market I want to reach and I have some objective that I want to achieve. But because of the powerful nature of the media, I have witnessed some amazing results that neither I nor my clients envisioned. I have seen companies and careers built in record time, have had clients offered their own radio and TV shows after having been seen on the media. I’ve had clients offered positions in other companies, larger companies have offered buy-outs or mergers, and one client was offered complete financing on a new business venture after appearing on one talk show.

One client was getting ready to self publish a book, but the media we garnered help catch the eye of a major publisher. A deal was struck and the book was published.

I’d love to say that I had intentionally masterminded all of these results, but I’m generally as surprised as my clients when these offers and proposals come in. That’s what makes it so fascinating. When you start a campaign, you have your objectives, your target markets and your benchmarks, but, you never know who’s watching or listening, and you never know where that last story or interview will lead you.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2009

 

 

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