Posts tagged: PR

EDITORIAL AND PRESS RELEASE – P.R. influence through $$

By , October 31, 2013 10:06 am

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PRESS RELEASES BY PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEES lead to content that functions like press releases but are paid-for in so-called NATIVE ADVERTISING. Here are some vital questions to consider:
Is a brand’s PR’s use of mobile media a sign of authenticity?
Will media have explicit editorial surveillance for a press release content that is paid for?
Will editorial content now be dominated by press releases in omni-media and omnicon?

Also, if Native Advertising consists of paid-for deals made between PR committees and a variety of media, how will reward advertising affect authenticity? Will the significant audience care – as long as they are rewarded? (see our July 2013 blog on Native Advertising.) (reward-based advertising rewards consumers for interacting with branded-content in their favorite mobile apps.)

Considering these new forms of PR content, what will editorial content become? Will it lead to an erosion of inconvenient factual positioning found in Brand Marketing Communications?
Will the PR factions of Brand Management actually create “contracts” between Brands and Media? Will the media be receptive to this idea as it changes the role of gatekeeper — to what exactly?

drawing by Art Winters

drawing by Art Winters

Now that we have omni-tweets and facebook updates and e-mail blasts, what will the consumer believe is the real story of the brand’s positioning, its image and meaning? A significant answer to this question is in the changes in marketing communications. We now have so many more methods of messaging and outlets for those messages: e-books, infographics; blogs, social media, email newsletters, webinars, … , not to mention, the traditional media that still exist.

These can be effective especially when they are a creative part of a brand’s PR and marketing campaign strategy. News outlets still need connections with the people and stories behind the brand.

The press release that was, is still useful. However, it is so much changed. What is needed now is relevant content that truly involves the receiver. The receivers of press releases used to be the media gatekeepers – reporters and editors… but this has changed due to the advent of social and mobile media, company websites and blogs. And a serious reality in this new age of PR is that the receivers of press releases are now almost any audience … and the harsh reality that content providers must face is that their press release content might never be read!

The evolution in information exchanges now requires a whole new
Brand Think!!

What do you think???

 

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

Warby Parker talk

By , September 23, 2013 7:58 am

Warby Parker

The Press Release — what works, what doesn’t

By , September 7, 2013 10:15 am

Before a fashion designer (and most start-ups these days) will turn to advertising or other traditional forms of marketing these days, they are most likely to use PR first. Why? Because of the broad reach and cost efficiencies PR is capable of delivering.So for those of you first embarking on a PR campaign, or maybe just starting to send press releases, here’s some do’s and don’t’s.

Don’t – Waste the time of the recipient of the Press Release

Spew of a lot of press releases just to make “noise” – they are not appreciated by editors and will not be read and when you have something that’s really important, guess what?  Straight into the trash.
- Noisy press releases include, so-and-so has just joined the firm as CFO.  If so-and-so isn’t well known, it’s not newsworthy
Meander around and tell a long story with the point, or news nugget, at the very end.
- If I gave an example here, you’d be asleep or gone by the time you hit the third line
Assume the recipient understands your industry’s jargon
- Jargon-type press releases include, The CFO of LIMA is a featured speaker on the USPTO IP panel at FSLV.

Do – Get to the bottom line(s) quickly

Create a catchy, SHORT, newsworthy headline which gives the bottom line in it – like a news story headline.
- LVMH Gives Middle Finger To Hermes, Acquires More Shares Despite Enormous Fine
If you have an existing relationship with an editor, separate their press release from the rest and customize it
- Susan, I think this information will be useful to the article you’re preparing
Make sure to put in quotes from key players in the action – it increases likelihood of the quote and point being picked up
- LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault had this to say about the situation….

For other tips, all necessary to create a powerful press release, and to increase your branding, check out the two links below.

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/15014.aspx?goback=.gde_64854_member_266792579#

http://www.nwcphp.org/communications/news/the-nine-components-of-a-press-release

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

Good Advice

By , June 15, 2013 9:27 am

PR is always good…you can never start too early!

http://www.flacksrevenge.com/2013/06/splash-of-good-pr-helps-startups-swim-with-sharks-and-get-funded.html

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

Don’t Create Your Own Missed Opportunities

By , June 8, 2013 9:58 am

I just saw Janet Falk’s blog on how she managed a placement for one of her clients and it made me mad and sad.  Not about Janet.  She does a great job.  But about a company that I ran into a few years back that has an amazing story  and results from a new kind of toothpaste. I’ve used the product (the company was smart enough to hand out, nicely packaged I might add, samples at a bootcamp/pitch fest).  The “toothpaste” stops bleeding gums, actually heals gums, and stops all other kinds of gum and related ills.  So why has no one ever heard of it?  Because senior management of the company doesn’t believe in marketing or PR. Marketing directors come and go but can’t get senior management to invest in their own success.  So many startups don’t understand the $$$ ROI power of marketing and PR.  And if they manage to stay on the market at all, it’s because of a tiny amount of traction they’ve built. Most companies fold.  Companies with good ideas and great products, like this toothpaste. Make sure you’re not one of them.

http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c87b80819a244b029786430f7&id=42f8a35dee&e=eddcb40635

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

10 Trends for Better Marketing and Results in 2013

By , March 23, 2013 10:08 am

Everyone loves top 10 lists.

So now that we’re ending the first quarter of the year…here’s some helpful directions to focus on in your marketing and business (they are in no particular order of importance)

1.       Integrate your marketing
As much as everyone would really love “the answer” and that it be just one thing…social media is the “one” at the moment…that’s just not how marketing works. Marketing is an eco-system that includes social, PR, collateral, branding etc.

2.       Put in a call to action in every piece of marketing you do
This may sound self-serving but it actually helps direct the customer to the key next steps in order to buy your product or otherwise engage with you.

3.       Create content that is valuable to your customers
This includes helpful tips and case histories that will help move the prospective forward to become a customer.

4.       Communicate
Tweet, blog, get your voice out there and heard.  I posted a jobs graph from another source a while back and suddenly it’s been “Pinned” by dozens of people on Pinterest. Who knew?

5.       Do primary research with your customers
Ask them open-ended questions about what’s important to them about your product or service and what will drive them to buy it.

6.       Listen to your customers’ answers
The information may be different from what you expected. Welcome the face that you do not know it all and keep your ego out of it.

7.       Follow-up after the sale
Thank your customers. If they have feedback (which you should solicit) listen to it and if something is wrong, make changes or otherwise implement their feedback.
Follow-up again.

8.       Identify your influencers
Build a relationship with them either on-line or in person.

9.       Brand yourself, your product, your company
Remember, you are your brand.  Use experiences and stories to help with brand identification. Your customers will also help you create your brand.

10.     Write better subject lines
It’s a crowded, competitive world out there…make sure your communications are opened.

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

Digital Storytelling – Tell the Right Story to the Right People.

By , January 5, 2013 9:23 am
Image provided by Shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com

Image provided by Shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com

The transition from analog to digital has enabled the reach and focus of PR and marketing messaging exponentially. These transitions are nicely described by Lucy Siegel (http://bridgebuzz.bridgeny.com/). With these new powers, it’s important to make sure that your storytelling is aligned with your branding and that both have been influenced in some way by your audience (let’s call it customer-focused storytelling). This not only strengthens your story, but your brand as well.

Even the new technology has a new wrinkle, as Janet Falk (http://www.janetlfalk.com/) tells us. It’s crowd sourcing and user-generated content — when companies actively solicit input from target audiences. She provides a familiar example: The 1995 campaign to select the next color of M&Ms is now a contest for user-generated video commercials. Contestants are rewarded with seeing their work displayed on the company website, inevitably shared among a like-minded audience and often voted upon. The grand prize winner gets monetary compensation and digital fame. In the process, consumer packaged goods companies relinquish a measure of control and yield reliability of authoritative sources to the unknown contestants, whose agendas may or may not align with specific corporate goals beyond increasing brand awareness.

The benefits of digital storytelling come with more responsibility, in the form of having to monitor both the effect your story is having, as well as your audiences’ reactions to the story (for instance, bloggers without journalist credentials and audiences with agendas).

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

Saying It Right, Makes Customers Experience It Right

By , December 8, 2012 8:12 am
Image provided by Shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com

Image provided by Shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com

Everyone is stressed this holiday season.  The opportunity is ripe for both shoppers and store personnel to be rude and abusive (particularly when stores hire part time or seasonal help who haven’t been properly trained).  But there’s a very simple way to break out of this cycle and turn a potentially bad experience into a memorable one – which is something we all want. Michael Hess has a great post on CBS News Moneywatch about how you say something during the holiday season being crucial to creating a good customer experience.  Here’s one example he gives:

Say this: “Let me help you with that” or “How can I help you?”
Not this: “You need help?”

This is great advice not only for the holidays but every day.  And this practice can be used in writing business documents, such as business plans as well.  For instance,

Don’t say this:  “Our sales goal was to increase business 40% this year but we only made it to 15%”.
Say this:  “We increased business 15% this year and are working towards a 40% sales goal.”

The second phrasing puts a positive spin on the situation. Just as importantly, it tells the reader that you are in control of your business or situation.  The reader, particularly an investor, is going to look more favorably upon this positively stated situation.
In the long run, this kind of speaking can change the way you think towards a more positive outlook in general.

For other examples, check out the link to the blog.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505143_162-57556281/good-service-language-makes-for-happier-holidays/?tag=nl.e857&s_cid=e857

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

 

So you think running with the pack is going to get you business? Think again.

By , November 17, 2012 8:11 am

The two shining examples of running with the pack come from the pharma world (just look at all those ads with happy smiling faces…the only thing that differentiates the ad and product category is the demographic of the happy smiling face).

A short while back, I did some primary research into about 50 law firms in the metro NY area – each firm had about 60 attorneys.  Almost half the firms I looked at, had bought the exact same website template – or one so close that differentiation was essentially non-existent.  And that’s before I got to the messaging – which was almost identical. The graphics were equally ho-hum.

As many of you have figured out by now, I’m a crusader for customer-focused market research and marketing.  Almost all legal websites talk about what’s important to the law firm and NOT what’s important to the potential client. It’s all about features and the benefits are almost never there.  Well, chest-beating does wonders for the ego, but does it bring in business?  In this environment, it doesn’t.  With so many me-toos (and very cheap off-shore solutions knocking on your customers’ doors), the only way to differentiate yourself from a myriad of other lawyers and law firms is to do primary research – that’s right – ask your customers’ what they want in a lawyer or law firm.  Listen to their answers.  And only then, with a trusted marketing or PR resource, should you start your website, and other messaging.

Fashion falls into its own category however the same rules of differentiation apply. Why look like everyone else when you can make yourself and your brand just as memorable as the product you’re selling?

It’s such a simple solution that it’s a wonder no one does it.  Of course, the result will separate you from the pack. Which is what you want. Because when you stand out, business finds its way to your door. However, standing out like this takes courage.  Every single company that has used customer-focused market research (my methodology is called Rapid Development http://www.holtzmancom.com/Rade/rade.php and the market research session itself is called OpenMind® http://www.holtzmancom.com/teamwork_openmind.php has had remarkable results. From Fortune 500 clients  to startups to the sole practitioner – in every sector. From pharma companies, to nano-tech companies to a Rabbi (yes a Rabbi  http://www.rabbibleefeld.com/).   Oh yes, attorneys and law firms as well.

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

What I learned from judging a $250K business plan contest… that might help you write yours.

By , October 20, 2012 11:21 am

This past summer I had the great pleasure of being a judge for the Chase Manhattan and Living Social “Mission Small Business” contest.  During that one week, I (and other judges each) reviewed about 600 business plan concepts. (About 70,000 responded.) There were 12 winners each receiving $250K.

First, almost all the plans fell into the middle range meaning they were good solid plans but didn’t stand out in some special way.  There were a few that were just plain confusing so much so that in some cases the name of the business was never mentioned, or I was left guessing what exactly the business was/did.

The ones that stood out, however, made sure that they answered all the questions asked in the entry information.  One of the key points that separated the winners was their passion which came across into the written word.  Another was their story…storytelling is very important because it draws the reader into your world and let’s them experience it.  Also important, and part of their stories, was how they overcame or were overcoming obstacles and their strength and tenacity to keep going no matter what.  One of the requirements was how the business contributed to the betterment of their community…and by that I mean not just writing a check to the local charity but actually having a positive impact on their local community. This included  job creation, another  very important factor.  Each of the 12 winners had all of these elements.

A word of caution…no funder wants to hear that your use of proceeds will go to retiring debt.  Unfortunately, no one cares about your past…they are funding your future.

When you’re asked or tasked with submitting a business plan, make sure to include all these aspects – they will help you stand out from the pack.

For details of the plan, names of the winners, and interviews with two final judges, one of whom was a sponsor, please visit the links below.

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11669958/1/chase-and-livingsocial-award-12-small-businesses-250000-grants-totalling-3m-through-the-mission-small-business-program.html

http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/news/story.jhtml?id=389700003

 

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

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