Do Public Relations This Way

Your Public Relations ImageWhat is more believable, an article or an advertisement? Michael Levine, well known Hollywood publicist and author of the bestselling book Guerilla P.R. describes the value of public relations this way. “Depending upon how you measure and monitor, an article is between 10 times and 100 times more valuable than an advertisement.”

Today we’re going to be talking with another public relations expert about how to unlock that value in an ever changing world of ways to communicate.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM RICK MILLER, CEO OF RICK MILLER COMMUNICATIONS

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES DOES SMALL BUSINESS HAVE FOR GENERATING PRESS?  (1:18 in)

In Rick’s words –   Find out where customers and prospects get their information. The opportunity to tell your story in an earned media way or to have a story written about you is actually shrinking.

Tip – Do some homework to identify where people you want to reach hang out. Identify which communication channels are most effective for you to generate your own press.

WHAT’S THOUGHT LEADERSHIP? (3:15 in)

In Rick’s words –   A thought leader can clearly espouse a point of view about a product category, a trend, a legislative or legal issue and share it with others.

Tip – Determine whether there could be value in becoming an expert or authority upon your industry or a niche sector of the industry. In a highly competitive business, the ability to make yourself into a thought leader separates you from your competitors and is likely to attract more customers.

HOW IMPORTANT IS EXECUTIVE BRANDING? (5:05 in)

In Rick’s words –   It sets a tone for the organization. There’s a symbiotic relationship between strong executive leadership and communication externally and internally.  

Tip – Effort to brand yourself reinforces the company brand. Studies have shown how doing this well improves internal recruiting, teamwork and employee retention.

IS BAD PRESS BETTER THAN NO PRESS AT ALL? (7:33 in)

In Rick’s words –   There are two schools of thought. Any press is good press or you want to avoid bad press.

Tip – While a single bad response is not likely to hurt you, remember that with the internet, there is a permanent record that won’t go away. Be transparent and correct misinformation.

WHAT METHODS CAN COMPANIES USE TO GET NEWS OUT ABOUT THEMSELVES? (12:04 in)

In Rick’s words –   You have to take the news into your own hands. Find the tools you can manage well, stay on top of and use every day to ensure you’re getting the maximum return.

Tip – Don’t undervalue email. It is still a preferred message delivery method with informative information, not sales pitches. Facebook is a prime example.

HAS THE PRESS RELEASE OUTLIVED ITS USEFULLNESS? (14:25 in)

In Rick’s words –   Yes and no. In the past it used to be the only way to share news and information about what you were doing to the news media. Today it can become an SMS feed or something where people sign up to get information about your organization.

Tip – Press releases placed on your website let people know what is going on in your company and may improve your visibility in Google search.

HOW SHOULD YOU MEASURE THE VALUE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS? (16:16 in)

In Rick’s words –   There is not a direct cause and effect to what you are doing. Track the kind of feedback you get from friends, family, colleagues.

Tip – Put a link in your press release, Facebook or Twitter post for example that tracks back to your website. Measure entrance to the website from those sources.

HOW SHOULD YOU EVALUATE A PUBLIC RELATIONS AGENCY? (18:25 in)

In Rick’s words –   Do they have the ability to provide counsel and strategy. Do they understand media, messaging and have a strong understanding of social media.

Tip – Know what you want to accomplish and establish your goals. This will make it easier for you to evaluate a public relations agency.

How a Business Turnaround Happens

Business TurnaroundPerhaps the only thing constant in business today is change. As a famous inventor reminds us – “when you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” Ironically this prophetic statement comes from Ben Franklin, not someone in need of a business turnaround today.

Change has impacted the printing industry dramatically. Yet Corporate Document Solutions has grown its business despite the hurricane going on around it. Listen to what Mary Percy, the company’s president says about the business turnaround it made. She offers some recommendations to others who face similar issues in their industries.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM MARY PERCY, PRESIDENT OF CORPORATE DOCUMENT SOLUTIONS.

IS IT TRUE THAT YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE LOOKING FOR YOU TO FULFILL THEIR NEEDS DIFFERENTLY?  (5:06 in)

In Mary’s words –   They need a very efficient way to process orders. They have to have storefronts where multiple employees can go online and order.

Tip – Examine your customer’s needs from their perspective. Seek to make it easier and better to do business with you.

HAS YOUR VISION OF THE BUSINESS CHANGED?  (7:06 in)

In Mary’s words –   We’ve clarified our mission over the years as our strengths have been revealed through experience.

Tip – Achieve clarity by understanding what the customer wants and what you can deliver.

HOW HAS CLARITY OF VISION AFFECTED THE WAY YOU OPERATE?  (7:44 in)

In Mary’s words –   We’ve invested in system management software.

Tip – Evaluate whether updated technology can improve productivity and increase profitability.

HOW HAVE THESE CHANGES AFFECTED THE WAY YOU SELL?  (10:08 in)

In Mary’s words –   We analyzed which industries were continuing to need print products for legal, technical, or logistical reasons and focused on selling to those markets.

Tip – Target sales where the opportunity exists. Accounts are won by reducing costs and improving processes.

WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR TOUGHEST CHALLENGES?  (14:57 in)

In Mary’s words –   We had to streamline efficiencies.

Tip – The quicker you can satisfy your customer’s needs, the stronger your relationship will be.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER BUSINESSES EXPERIENCING DRAMATIC CHANGE?  (16:30 in)

In Mary’s words –   Have a proactive mindset. Analyze trends and rates of consumption. Seek out new business opportunities in that business industry. Ask your customers what they want.

Tip – By examining objectively the totality of the business process from beginning to end, clarity is possible to move forward instead of backward.

 

What’s Your 2017 Small Business Marketing Strategy?

Marketing StrategyAs the new year begins, are you thinking about how to market your business? Developing a small business marketing strategy requires an introspective look into your current customers. How did you attract them? Does does that apply to new customer acquisition?

According to a Borrell Associates survey of nearly 4 thousand local advertisers, the top six ways to attract new customers are a blend of online and offline activities. So let’s hear from an expert in small business marketing strategy about how to attract this year’s customers.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM CHARLENE BURKE, OWNER SEARCH BY BURKE

WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN A MARKETING STRATEGY?  (1:27 in)

In Charlene’s words –   Most small business owners think a marketing strategy is all around how much money am I going to be spending this year to make more money. It isn’t the bulk of your strategy.

Tip – Identify how you get your business today. Is it through referrals, your website, social media, advertising, email, events, or all of the above? It is always easier and less expensive to generate business from existing customers instead of new customers.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE IN MARKETING THROUGH A SMARTPHONE VERSUS A PERSONAL COMPUTER OR TABLET? (4:10 in)

In Charlene’s words –   Think about what the user is doing.

Tip – The size of the device, the environment in which it is used, and the nature of the user’s activity is important. Size of text, size of buttons, speed of playback, length of content, interactive functions, and simplicity of navigation are key.

WHAT SHOULD I REMEMBER ABOUT MY WEBSITE? (7:00 in)

In Charlene’s words –   Please make it mobile ready. Add a click to call option.

Tip – You can use your website as a research tool to figure out whether a new product can be sold successfully. Dig into your analytics to discover how people are using your website. This data can be extremely useful in creating your marketing strategy.

WILL BUSINESS CONTINUE TO BUY ADVERTISING ON SOCIAL MEDIA? (10:45 in)

In Charlene’s words –   Yes, they can get in front of their ideal customer. If you want to get your message in front of a buying customer, you are going to have to pay for it.

Tip – Know where your customers hang out on social media.

HOW CAN YOU GET NOTICED THROUGH PUBLISHING CONTENT? (12:43 in)

In Charlene’s words –   If you want to make money with your efforts online, go back to what we used to call education marketing. Write something that is useful to the user.

Tip – Narrow your focus. Don’t write for everybody. Solve their problems. Give them something they value.

WHAT IS A MASTERMIND GROUP?  (14:30 in)

In Charlene’s words –   Members helping members. It’s peer to peer. Business or personal issues. It’s people talking about ways to get your business on focus again, on track. You leave with some solid ideas you can put to use.

Tip – Regardless of the size of your business, consider joining some kind of peer group to get feedback, advice and counsel from others who can see you’re your business, your marketing strategy or personal situation in a way you can’t.