Be– Do–Have: Life’s Success Formula

success formulaYou might have heard of the be – do – have cycle.   According to this theory, who you are (being) leads you to do (doing) which then leads you to have (having).

Makes sense, yet, we’re conditioned to believe the exact opposite.

The general formula for how life works goes:

You need to have (power, money, fame, etc.)

So you can do (something),

So you can then be (important, successful, loved, etc.)

It’s a confusing phenomenon.

That inverted formula has become the norm, the accepted theory of how life works – but is a difficult way to lead your life.

We’re taught that unless we have there’s not much we can do, and certainly nothing we can be.

According to that way of thinking, intrinsically we’re not worth much.

In fact that’s really not how life works at all.

be do formulaSo, you wonder what does this have to do with PR or marketing?

Basically the thinking process is the same.

Many people feel that they can’t market until they have reached a certain plateau (have).

They can comfortably market (do),

So they can become successful (be).

As with just about everything else in this article, that thinking is completely backwards.

If you have a good product, a valuable service or have created some amazing work, then the time to market is now.

You already are intrinsically valuable and completely unique (being)

You can now let the world know about you and your company, business, service, product (doing)

Which in turn will bring you sales, clients, customers, wealth, etc. (having)

Give the formula a shot.  You might be surprised.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

Why Placements In Small Media Outlets Can Be Gold

small media outletsNot long ago I had a conversation with a prospective client.  He was confused by some of the media I had suggested targeting for his campaign.  He wanted us to go big, fast.  As he explained, his story was hot, big; we should go directly to USA Today, People, CNN, and the New York Times.  This was a new filmmaker that no one has ever heard of, with a new film that is still in pre-production.  No producers or editors were knocking on his door, still, he was sure they would and he didn’t want to waste his time on smaller outlets.

I did my best to explain the process.  You build a groundswell, start to generate some media interest and go from there.  PR is a cumulative process.  It works, but it takes time to gain momentum.  I walked him through another client’s campaign where it began slowly and then picked up steam.  It began with a small newspaper article, followed by a local NPR story, a larger newspaper then picked it up, that lead to the New Yorker, which caught the eye of the Colbert Report, CBS then became interested.  We then pinched and landed a piece in People magazine.  It was a consistent build.  If we had started by pitching People, chances are they would have passed on the story.  I explained that those first smaller placements are not necessarily important in and of themselves (although they can be), but that they offer us ammunition to help land interviews and stories in larger media outlets.  He listened and nodded and said it made sense and that he understood.

Then after about an hour conversation he said it all made sense but insisted that he not be pitched to smaller outlets because they were beneath him and didn’t have the readership his story demanded.  I told him a story about another client we worked with a few years back.  We initially placed him in a very small regional media outlet.  I then used that story to pitch Oprah and our client’s second media appearance was on Oprah.   I was about to explain the entire process one more time and illustrate why the small media placements are important because they help us land bigger, more mainstream media outlets, but decided not to.  Instead, I thanked him for the meeting and suggested we both think about possible next steps.

His campaign would have never been successful, because he wouldn’t have allowed it to be.  His preconceived ideas of how the campaign should work all but guaranteed that it never would work.  He can teach all of us a powerful lesson.  Whatever endeavor you’re involved in, if you start with a set-in-stone view of how it has to unfold, I guarantee you you’ll stop it from unfolding organically.  You’ll be cheating yourself and will never know just how amazingly successful it could have been.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

Building The Bridge Between Your Art & Your Audience

artist audiencePerhaps the most difficult aspect to working as an artist is to find a path or direction.  It’s not like being a physician, or an attorney.  There is no true roadmap to follow that leads you from school to your basic career track.  Some artists are schooled in their craft, others are self taught.  And for each artist out there, there is an individual career track.  It is a singular individualized process.  There are practical aspects that need to be considered, but a good part of succeeding in the arts is intuitive.  To be honest, a good part of succeeding in any field is intuitive.

If you’re creating art for art’s sake, that’s fine, but if you want to make a career out of your art and to be both financially and artistically successful, you need to approach your career realistically.

 

grunge brushes. isolatedAs an artist you need to define:

your art,

your market,

your direction,

your marketing,

your media.

You need to view marketing and PR as a part of your career description.  You need to view marketing as an art form, one you can refine and tailor it specifically to your art, your personality, your market and your message.  Get excited about your marketing.  Play with it.  Have fun with it.  View it as a creative challenge.  It is the road that can lead you to a successful career; the bridge between your art and your audience.  Give it the care and respect it deserves

Turn your marketing into an art.  Have fun with it and give it the respect it deserves

Intention leads to inspiration.

Prepare:  Practice signing your autograph.  I know.  It sounds silly, but do it.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

The Art of Music Marketing

music marketingBack when I was still managing musicians you could take a cassette to an A&R rep, drag him or her down to see a band perform and if they struck the right chord (so to speak) the label could take over from there.  Times have changed.

Truth is even if a label does get excited about an act or a singer; now a days they’re as much in the dark about how to launch a new artist as anyone else.  Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating it a bit.  The labels still have some clout.  But you basically follow my drift.

The bad news is there is no longer that huge well oiled machine that can take a band, run them through the process, and pop out a potential mega star.  Although, truth be told that machine was not always a benevolent one and quite a few artists lost their sound, persona and soul while being run through the process.

The good news is more artists have a shot at getting their music out there.  Production costs are miniscule compared to what they used to cost.  More and more artists are able to control the process and more albums, CDs, Downloads (whatever) are being produced.

The really tricky part now is how, without the help of a label, artists can get their music heard.  It’s tricky but not impossible.  Musicians that realize that marketing is now a part of their job description can take their fate into their own hands.  Yes, the music is the thing, but musicians who focus on their look, image, PR, guerrilla marketing, social media outreach can still reach a formidable market.

It takes work time and dedication, but not that long ago this type of individualized outreach was not possible.  Without a label there was little chance of finding a real market.  Times have changed.  Chances are no A&R rep is going to make you into the next rock superstar, but you now have the control box in your hands.  Use it!

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

PR Tip of the Day: Brainstorming & Outlining your PR Objective

why-social-learning-benefits-your-business-e638abeebfBefore you launch a PR, social media or marketing campaign, you want to make sure that you’ve outlined your objectives and thoroughly mined your stories.  One of the best ways to do this is to set up a marketing brainstorming session.  To start, sit down and make a list of objectives that you want to achieve before starting the process.  You don’t want to limit your ideas, but you do want to define objectives you’re setting out to accomplish.  When it comes to PR and marketing brainstorming, your goal is to come up with a list of the most important story ideas including new business concepts, the unique value you offer, important information you can give your, and anecdotal stories that illustrate how you  work.  Also spend some time focusing on how and why you can present yourself as an expert in your overall field.  The media needs experts and talking heads to explain various fields.  Present yourself as that expert.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

 

 

How to Increase Your Chances of Press Coverage

wall-street-journalComing up with your story ideas, developing your pitches, building your media lists, defining your target market, and writing your initial press release are some of the steps you need to take when launching your public relations campaign.  But those are only the initial, basic steps.  Whereas many people think that coming up with pitch ideas and sending out press releases is all it takes to launch a media relations or publicity campaign, those are simply the initial steps.

Whereas many people think that sending out press releases is how you launch a media relations or publicity campaign, it’s simply one step.  Press releases are important, but generally they’re overrated.  Too many people are under the impression that once they write and send out a release or place a release on one of the paid wire services such as PR Newswire that the media will then come to them.  Truth be told the media is inundated with so many press releases on a daily, even hourly basis that they largely tend to be ignored.  We’re in the information overload era and that’s only going to get worse.  The media is now being pitched via mail, email, social media, phone, etc.  Having worked as a journalist and as a magazine editor, I can tell you from experience, that being in the media; it’s difficult not to feel assaulted by the number of releases and pitches that are sent.

-1That’s why it’s important not to rely solely on releases. .The following are some related activities you can try to stay in the news.

  • Hold a press conference.  But only do this if it’s really warranted.  Remember that media may not show up unless you have something or someone compelling to show them. Make the call to action very, very clear.
  • Contact journalists via social media outlets.  Don’t just pitch them, communicate with them.
  • Send product samples to key journalists.
  • Develop “champions”- high-profile individuals benefiting from your product or service.
  • Monitor the press for opportunities to respond to reported issues that allow you to talk about your own business.
  • Watch what your competitors are doing in the press.  If their ideas are working for them, follow their lead.
  • Monitor speaker opportunities and other editorial/seminar opportunities.  Once you land some, you can then use them to generate more PR opportunities.

Keep in mind when sending out press releases that you need to make sure to follow up with a phone call.  I know, journalists hate follow up phone calls.  To be honest, when I was a journalist I hated follow up phone calls, but when launching a media relations campaign, that’s the only way to make sure that the media received and actually read your release.

The above lists a few different approaches you can use. Now add some of your own ideas.  Get creative.   Have fun and keep coming up with new angles and pitches.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

PR Tip of the day: 3 Various Ways to Present Your PR Pitch

what-is-the-future-of-pr-find-out-at-mashable-connect-1730ec194fWhen launching your PR or media relations campaign, review and breakdown the various ways you can present a topic.  Make a list of how you can present your expertise in different ways.   How can you refine your pitch to target different markets and age groups?  How does the topic you’re discussing impacts women, men, children, seniors, etc.?  For example, if you’re a skincare expert, chances are you could come up with a number of different pitches targeted various target markets. You could develop a traditional beauty pitch for the women’s magazines, a story on men’s skincare for the male-oriented media outlets, a pitch on aging skin for the baby boomers and a pitch on protecting children’s skin from sun and wind damage.    When developing your public relations pitches, work on how you can present the topic in different ways and to different audiences.  You’ll have a much greater opportunity to garner media coverage as an expert in your field.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

PR Mapping, Brainstorming and Media Success

beautiful-dreams-dreams-come-true-feithful-fotografia-Favim.com-254548Developing and launching a PR campaign can be an interesting, exhilarating and exciting process.  I’d say that if it’s not, you’re approaching it the wrong way.  The most important thing to keep in mind is that it is a process, a cumulative process.  It begins with mapping out your stories, pitches, strategies, and timeline.  I generally begin every campaign with a brainstorming and PR mapping process.  Here I ask the client to tell me everything about their life, company product, hopes, dreams, etc.  This is where we gather the ideas and information to build the campaign.  I ask that the clients not censor themselves or only tell me information that they think is relevant or important.  Often what the client finds boring or inconsequential can be the basis for a fascinating pitch or story.  Generally the client is too close to his or her story to be the best judge of which pitches will or won’t work.

As I suggest to prospective clients, it’s important that you too go through a brainstorming session before moving forward on launching a campaign.  This is the process in which the stories and ideas for the public relations campaign are developed.  In fact these stand alone consultation sessions can redefine a direction and create a roadmap to success that had not been initially considered.  In a true sense, they have become a cornerstone of our business.

Once the PR roadmap is developed it’s important to focus on your primary goals and objectives.  Keep in mind that media exposure is the vehicle, not the end game.  You want to garner media in order to get you and your business exposure, but that’s not your ultimate objective. In other words, garnering media coverage is the avenue not the destination.  For a public relations campaign to be truly effective, the media exposure needs to lead you somewhere.  Which means before you launch you want to come up with a game plan; in essence you want a PR and business roadmap that will keep you on track towards your goal and objectives.

Media relations is a unique form of marketing.  Unlike advertising or direct marketing, with public relations you can’t pick and choose specific outlets and dates that your story or segment will run – that is the challenge of PR.  Yet, on the other hand, when a news story does run on you or your business, you are positioned in a unique and powerful way.  You gain the credibility and validation of being featured as a news story.  Your story is not an ad or a commercial.  It’s a news story.  A feature in a magazine or newspaper or a segment on TV or radio positions you as an expert and positions your company or product as one of the tops in the field.  With PR you reach your target market and build your brand via the media.

Still, as I mentioned before, the media coverage in and of itself is not the final objective.  Effectively utilizing your PR is what will build your brand and help bring you clients, customers and sales.  That’s why it’s important to define your objectives and your PR blueprint before you launch a campaign.  Do you want to establish your brand, sell more products, land more clients, and establish yourself as an expert in your field?  All of those objectives are valid, but which are your main objectives?  That’s where the brainstorming sessions can be of such value.  Once you develop a PR roadmap, you can set a course to reach your media and marketing destination.  I’ll be writing more about the value of brainstorming and PR mapping sessions in upcoming articles.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

Hassler, Christine. “Dream it. Wish it. Do it.” Photo. Christine Hassler. 15 Nov. 2012. 25 Jan 2012. <http://www.christinehassler.com/2012/11/wondering-if-your-dreams-will-ever-come-true/&gt;

How to Find Your Public Relations Target Market

HiResBefore launching a PR or marketing campaign, take the time to learn exactly who your target market is.  This might seem obvious, but studying your market can save you a lot of grief in the long run.  Assuming you know and understand your market can set you on the wrong course, needlessly costing you time, money and effort.

Who is your market?  Who are your customers? For example, is your target mass market or a special niche audience?  And if it is indeed a niche audience, how is it defined: age, gender, and geographical demographics?  What is your customer profile?  Is it mainly male or female, urban or rural?

These are all important questions that you want to answer before launching a media relations, social media, or any type of marketing, campaign.  Here is where it pays to do your homework. Study your product or service.  What inspired you to develop it?  What customers or clients did you have in mind?  Now study your competition.  How do they market?  Where do they market? Who do they market to?  If they’re successful, you want to know why and you want to know who they’re selling to.  If you have a relatively new product or are carving out a new market, you still need to figure out who your customers are.  You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg doing demographic testing or studies, but you do want to make sure that before you launch your marketing or public relations campaign that you’re headed in the right direction.  Your first job is to get rid of any preconceived ideas you have.  Often entrepreneurs approach a business from an unrealistic perspective.  Instead of looking at your business from the inside, step outside and look at your business not as an owner, but as a potential customer or client.

Although there is much to be said for listening to your gut feelings, keep in mind that your gut sometimes needs a reality check.  Be realistic, be cautions, get feedback from others, weigh all of the possibilities, and then make your decisions.

iStock_000016947133XSmallFor example, let’s say you’ve developed a new children’s toy. Okay, who is your target market? Kids are who are going to play with your toys, but generally they won’t be the ones buying your product.  Your target is going to be parents, and primarily mothers. Right off the bat, I’d say you could write off auto racing and scuba diving-oriented publications as your primary media targets.

Now your job is to figure out where you reach mothers. The most obvious would be parent and child-oriented publications (of which there are many), talk shows, local magazines, newspapers, TV and radio programs, and women’s magazines. But here too you need to limit your focus.  Are you targeting mothers who have infants, pre- teens, teens, what is the specific age range of the children you’re looking to reach?  Study the various women’s magazines.  If you’re looking to reach mothers of pre-teens, study the media outlets that cater to that demographic.

Your first step is to define your message once that’s done, you want to define your market, or various markets and narrow your target audience.  Make those your two priority steps when preparing to launch your marketing and PR outreach. Once you’ve defined your message and your market, you’re ready to successfully use the reach, impact, credibility and validation of an effective public relations campaign to reach you clients and customers.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

The PR & Distribution Connection for Indie Films

film distribution & prThere are two primary areas where most independent films run into roadblocks, the first is marketing/PR and the second is distribution.  That has pretty much always been the case, but now, with the film industry in such flux and more competitive than ever, it’s becoming even more of a challenge. Marketing, public relations and media exposure do not only create a buzz and help establish your brand, but these strategies can also solidify distribution interest, and interest film festivals.  Distribution gives your film a way to reach your audience

At Anthony Mora Communications, Inc. we’ve been promoting major and independent feature films and documentaries for years.  Having worked as a screenwriter and indie film producer, I know the hazards and pitfalls of getting a film from concept to the market. With that in mind, we’ve developed a unique PR and distribution outreach designed to publicize and market films  as well as secure distribution.

Our firm specializes in media placement, media training and image development.  We have placed clients in a wide range of local, national and international media venues including:  Time, Newsweek, The Today Show, 60 Minutes, CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News, People, US, Entertainment Tonight, Premiere, Fox News, USA Today, CNN, MSNBC, 20/20, Oprah, The London Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and various other media outlets.

Making a film can be a magical experience, but many filmmakers get so immersed in the making of their film that they forget about focusing on the next steps, specifically marketing and securing distribution.  Too many filmmakers forget to ask themselves what they are going to do once their film is completed. How are they going to get their film, promoted, marketed, and distributed?  What is their gameplan for building that bridge between the finished product and the audience?

What we’ve developed are unique PR and distribution film packages with the independent filmmaker in mind. The approach is to actively PR and market a film while pursuing distribution through a number of channels including theatrical, DVD, VOD/Pay TV, and Online/Streaming.

We deal directly with distributors to make sure your film get the best deal and secure the widest release possible.  By coupling our distribution efforts with a simultaneous specialized publicity campaign, we increase your film’s exposure both during the process of securing distribution, and during your film’s release.

If you have a completed independent film and are seeking distribution and publicity we can help. We have worked with a wide array of movies.  Each film is unique and there are an almost infinite number of different strategies we can utilize depending on the needs of each project. Your primary objectives are to have your film find its audience and to make your project profitable.  Public relations and distribution are the two keys that can help you reach your goals.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012

The Surprising Benefits of PR

I’ve written several articles on how to launch a campaign and why PR should be a major part of your marketing plan, but what about why you should launch a public relations campaign.  What are the main upsides?  There are the obvious benefits that come from launching a successful PR campaign.

For example, via a strong media outreach you can:

  • Reach your target market
  • Gain the validation and legitimacy of being featured in the news
  • Establish yourself as an expert in your field
  • Land more customers
  • Sell more products
  • Build and establish your brand
  • Enhance your reputation

These are some of the primary benefits that come from launching a media relations campaign, but in the two decades I’ve run a PR agency, I’ve seen some surprising, unexpected benefits come from PR outreaches.  The following is a list of some of the more remarkable opportunities that have come to clients from their PR campaigns:

  • A client who was going to self publish a book received (and accepted) an offer from a major publisher
  • Another writer did self publish his book and then had it picked up by a major publisher
  • A client was able to secure national and international distribution for his product
  • A film producer landed a distribution deal for his film
  • An artist was offered work with a major film company
  • A medical expert was offered his own health show.
  • A client was offered a semi regular spot on a morning TV show
  • A client landed a national commercial.
  • A client was offered a regular role on a reality TV show
  • A singer was offered a record contract
  • An actress was offered a role in a major feature film.

These are just some of the benefits that have come to clients from their PR campaigns.  That’s not to say that every public relations campaign is going to result in similar opportunities, but one of the most exciting aspects of PR is that you never know.  Let’s say a campaign brings you more clients, establishes you in your field and helps build your business, that’s time and money well spent.   But, as the above list illustrates, once you start to establish yourself, your brand your products, your business, your service, your book, your art, your film, or whatever it is your promoting through the media, magic really can happen.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012

 

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