Monday, July 31, 2006

Dean Schmidt Drives Manufacturing Association PR Program

Author: Thomas Cutler

Manufacturer neglect, prompted the development and launch of the intensive Manufacturing PR Media Blitz' program, a 90—day program allowing even very small manufacturers to tiptoe into the public relations arena driving quantifiable and measurable impacts.

""Manufacturers spent the past fifteen years becoming lean, efficient, and highly competitive while completely ignoring their marketing and public relations efforts,"" according to Thomas R. Cutler, the nation's leading manufacturing journalist and CEO of TR Cutler, Inc. (www.trcutlerinc.com) based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

According to Dean Schmidt, Vice President of the Affinity Program for TR Cutler, Inc., ""We had to find a way for manufacturers to rapidly experience ROI from an aggressive PR campaign. 45 press releases in 90 days generates extraordinary traffic to manufacturers' websites and optimizes search engine rankings."" Schmidt acknowledged that new website traffic from potential customers often helps to quickly identify missing ""call-to-action"" messages and results in revised or updated websites.

Schmidt also noted, ""With almost nine out of ten manufacturers employing less than fifty employees, tight margins, global competitiveness, and enticing spending alternatives, PR is often relegated to the ""back burner.""

Cutler developed the PR Advantage Affinity program for manufacturing associations' members. TR Cutler suggested that, ""Due to our leadership role in the manufacturing public relations arena, we have decided to introduce a program that will allow manufacturing associations to offer their members deeply discounted PR services starting in September 2005. There is no cost for the manufacturing associations to participate in the program and offer these deeply discounted PR services to their members.""

In early Q3, Cutler conducted the largest North American manufacturer survey about anticipated marketing budgets in 2006. Statistically significant findings indicated that nearly two-thirds (64%) of the manufacturers surveyed anticipate a dramatic increase in PR budgets of 50% above 2005 levels; travel, print advertising, tradeshow exhibiting, and direct mail each revealed a 30% decrease in 2006 marketing versus 2005.

TR Cutler 954-486-7562 www.trcutlerinc.com trcutler@trcutlerinc.com

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About the author: Professional Marketing Firm

A Great Press Release Can Really Get Your Business Noticed

Author: Alvin Apple

Getting a new business off the ground is a daunting prospect. There are so many things to consider: office space, equipment, personnel, and the all important advertising. Money is always tight in the beginning, and quite often by the time that last dollar is spent getting things up and running, the advertising budget just isn't there. Not to worry. There are many great ways of getting the word out about your business without spending a fortune. In particular, press releases have long been an effective way of letting the public know that your business exists.

Now a press release is not an ad, and any press release structured like an ad will be deleted in a second. The job of a press release is simply to alert the media to something newsworthy about your business. It's a bit like fishing. Whether or not the editor takes your bait depends on how you present your business, or even what kind of day the editor is having. In the end, it is entirely up to the individual editors whether or not they use your story.

When writing your press release, make it sound newsy. Don't start off with sales language. You can save the blatant commercial stuff for the end of the release. Choose something interesting about your business and create a headline. ""New Innovations in Gardening Produce Beautiful Crop of Strawberries,"" is much more likely to be read than, ""Johnson's Nursery Grand Opening Special: 50% off on Strawberries."" Get the picture?

After you've got a great headline, fill out your story with interesting facts about your business. Give a brief history of what led you to what you're doing now. Mention how the needs of the market are changing and how your business is a result of those changes. Try using quotes. Whatever you do, make it interesting, and stay away from blatant sales language or specific offers.

Once you've got your release written, submit it to as many media outlets as possible. You can find media databases and lists of editors all over the web. One that I've had particularly great luck with is Gebbie.com., try them, and also do a search to see what you can come up with on your own. Submit to all of your local papers, radio stations and TV stations as well. Too often people doing business online forget about local media, and sometimes they can be your biggest champions.

Linking your release to a popular story in the news can also get an editor's attention. If a specific topic is already on the tips of people's tongues, a related release is much more likely to be picked up. Media people tend to think that a typical audience can only stay interested in a few topics at a time, so if you can tie your story in to something that's already getting buzz you'll have a much better chance. If you don't get picked up right away, keep trying. What an editor ignores today may sound like a great story next month. Don't give up.

The time at which you submit your release is crucial as well. You will always have a better chance of being noticed if the editor receives your story before 3pm. Late afternoon is deadline ""crunch"" time for newspapers, past the prime news times of radio, and getting into last minute preparation time for TV news. Keep that in mind and don't get lost in the shuffle.

If you do it right, submitting a press release can be a great way of getting the word out about your business. There's money to be made out there if you just know how to do it.

About the author: Alvin Apple helps everyday people start businesses they will enjoy. Then he teaches them how to succeed. Read all his helpful strategies, including his latest article ""How to Use Signature Files to Give Your E-mail The Personal Touch That SELLS,"" at http://AlvinApple.com Reach Alvin at 801-328-9006 or alvin@drnunley.com.

A Great Press Release Can Really Get Your Business Noticed

Author: Alvin Apple

Getting a new business off the ground is a daunting prospect. There are so many things to consider: office space, equipment, personnel, and the all important advertising. Money is always tight in the beginning, and quite often by the time that last dollar is spent getting things up and running, the advertising budget just isn't there. Not to worry. There are many great ways of getting the word out about your business without spending a fortune. In particular, press releases have long been an effective way of letting the public know that your business exists.

Now a press release is not an ad, and any press release structured like an ad will be deleted in a second. The job of a press release is simply to alert the media to something newsworthy about your business. It's a bit like fishing. Whether or not the editor takes your bait depends on how you present your business, or even what kind of day the editor is having. In the end, it is entirely up to the individual editors whether or not they use your story.

When writing your press release, make it sound newsy. Don't start off with sales language. You can save the blatant commercial stuff for the end of the release. Choose something interesting about your business and create a headline. ""New Innovations in Gardening Produce Beautiful Crop of Strawberries,"" is much more likely to be read than, ""Johnson's Nursery Grand Opening Special: 50% off on Strawberries."" Get the picture?

After you've got a great headline, fill out your story with interesting facts about your business. Give a brief history of what led you to what you're doing now. Mention how the needs of the market are changing and how your business is a result of those changes. Try using quotes. Whatever you do, make it interesting, and stay away from blatant sales language or specific offers.

Once you've got your release written, submit it to as many media outlets as possible. You can find media databases and lists of editors all over the web. One that I've had particularly great luck with is Gebbie.com., try them, and also do a search to see what you can come up with on your own. Submit to all of your local papers, radio stations and TV stations as well. Too often people doing business online forget about local media, and sometimes they can be your biggest champions.

Linking your release to a popular story in the news can also get an editor's attention. If a specific topic is already on the tips of people's tongues, a related release is much more likely to be picked up. Media people tend to think that a typical audience can only stay interested in a few topics at a time, so if you can tie your story in to something that's already getting buzz you'll have a much better chance. If you don't get picked up right away, keep trying. What an editor ignores today may sound like a great story next month. Don't give up.

The time at which you submit your release is crucial as well. You will always have a better chance of being noticed if the editor receives your story before 3pm. Late afternoon is deadline ""crunch"" time for newspapers, past the prime news times of radio, and getting into last minute preparation time for TV news. Keep that in mind and don't get lost in the shuffle.

If you do it right, submitting a press release can be a great way of getting the word out about your business. There's money to be made out there if you just know how to do it.

About the author: Alvin Apple helps everyday people start businesses they will enjoy. Then he teaches them how to succeed. Read all his helpful strategies, including his latest article ""How to Use Signature Files to Give Your E-mail The Personal Touch That SELLS,"" at http://AlvinApple.com Reach Alvin at 801-328-9006 or alvin@drnunley.com.

Press Release

Author: Ajay Prasad

Global Marketing Resources , LLC launches turnkey package for Transcription Service Providers

- Global Marketing Resources, LLC is offering turnkey business opportunity to transcription service providers who want to significantly scale their business. - Its turnkey transcription-website and marketing program; combined with affordable setup and monthly fee enables any transcriptionist to convert their skill to a successful home-based business.

Irvine, CA, January 27, 2006...Global Marketing Resources, LLC (GMR), a Irvine, CA based website design, web management and website marketing company launched a turnkey website for transcription business. This is GMR's first vertical market product.

As part of the package, customers would get a turnkey transcription website that enables any digital file to be uploaded by transcription-service-provider's clients and downloaded by transcriptionists for transcribing the file. Transcriptionists can upload the transcribed files in client's area remotely. Given that most of transcriptionists operate from home, this transcription website allows a transcription company to manage transcriptionists spread anywhere in the world.

The transcription business package includes the website and proven marketing programs to kick start a new transcription business. This package of transcription website and marketing program is priced such that anyone can start home-based transcription service business with a very modest investment. It takes only few weeks to setup and start the business.

This is the first vertical market project from Global Marketing Resources, LLC.

Speaking about the development, Mr. Ajay Prasad , Founder and President, Global Marketing Resources, LLC said, ""I am pleased to offer an affordable business solution for the transcription service industry. We know that our website features and marketing support can help transcription service companies a mean to grow their business and add transcriptionists from any part of the world in its team. On the other hand, this package enables a transcriptionist to work from home, spend fewer hours, and still make the equivalent amount of money they are currently making.""

""Since we get transcription jobs from all over the world and our panel of transcriptionists are spread across from US, India, UK and Australia; the added features of the transcription website will dramatically help us manage our business. I am not a big fan of his low price turnkey option for transcriptionists because it will increase my competition, but I wish Ajay all the best for this new product,"" said Shreekant, VP Operations of Gmrtranscription.com, an established transcription business that uses GMR designed transcription website & marketing programs.

Global Marketing Resources, LLC would manage websites for a low monthly fee and keep on updating features of the transcription-website as required by the changing transcription business.

About Global Marketing Resources, LLC Global Marketing Resources, LLC is marketing-focused company, actively involved in website designing, web marketing, and website maintenance. Global Marketing Resources has been focused on helping small businesses market their products since its inception in 2001. The company started to focus on the website needs of small businesses in 2003 and designs turnkey websites, manages it, and offers web marketing support at lower rates that allows good returns on website presence investment by small companies.

Headquartered in Irvine, CA, Global Marketing Resources has a development & marketing team of over 40 employees based in Hyderabad, India.

For details or clarifications write to us at info@gmrwebteam.com or visit us at www.gmrwebteam.com

About the author: Ajay is the President of Global Marketing Resources , the marketing consulting and fulfillment firm in US. Prior to GMR, Ajay had over 17 years of marketing & business management experience at senior executive positions in marketing at large, medium size, and start-up companies. Ajay has been quoted in major newspapers (Dallas Morning News, San Jose Mercury News, The Wall Street Journal, etc.) about his views on car navigation.

Managers Who Spend PR $$ Wisely

Author: Robert A. Kelly

Managers Who Spend PR $$ Wisely

If you are a department, division or subsidiary manager, your budget is a precious possession whether you work for a business, a non-profit or an association. So why stand by while your public relations team spends too much time and treasure on tactics like press releases, column mentions and brochures? Especially when you could be using an aggressive PR blueprint to persuade your most important outside audiences to your way of thinking, then move them to take actions that lead to your success?

The good news is, that aggressive blueprint shines the PR spotlight directly on those outside groups of people who have a large say in how successful you’re going to be – namely, on your key external target audiences. It reads this way: people act on their own perception of the facts before them, which leads to predictable behaviors about which something can be done. When we create, change or reinforce that opinion by reaching, persuading and moving-to-desired-action the very people whose behaviors affect the organization the most, the public relations mission is accomplished.

Look at the kinds of behaviors that are possible using such a blueprint. A big jump up in capital contributions, increased membership queries, new prospects showing up, more current buying and even repeat purchases occurring, and even new proposals for joint ventures.

Spending your PR $$ wisely implies that you are getting serious about your public relations by changing the emphasis from communications tactics to a workable plan for reaching those outside groups of people with a large say about how successful you will be. I refer, of course, to those key external target audiences of yours.

What do they think of you, anyway? Ask your PR staff why they believe that’s important to you? Hopefully, they’ll agree that target audience perceptions usually do lead to behaviors that can help or hinder you in achieving your operating objectives. In other words, is your PR team guided by solid fundamentals rather than mechanics like special events and communications tactics?

Next, decide together, then prioritize exactly which external audiences have the most impact on your operation, and let’s do some work on the audience at the top of that list.

Since you must monitor perceptions by interacting with members of that audience, you can elect to join your PR folks as they ask some penetrating questions: “Do you know anything about us? How do you feel about our services and/or products? Have you had any contact with our people? Did it work out to your satisfaction?”

Remember that you can also employ a professional survey firm to interact with members of your target audience. Only drawback here is the considerable cost involved in taking this route versus using your own PR folks who, as we know, are already in the perception and behavior business.

Either way, while the perception monitoring effort is proceeding, all questioners must stay alert to misconceptions about your unit, as well as inaccuracies, exaggerations, rumors or false assumptions. And keep an eye out for evasive and hesitant responses to your queries.

Once all the answers are in-hand, you’re ready to establish your public relations goal, thus fixing what needs correcting the most. And that may well be to clear up a potentially damaging misconception, shoot down a hurtful rumor, or clarify that misleading exaggeration.

Now, how do you reach that new goal? The right strategy is what you need and that means one of these: create perception where there may be none at all, change that offensive opinion/perception, or reinforce an existing perception. But make sure the strategy you pick fits naturally with your PR goal.

You still need a message that will correct/alter the negative perception turned up during your monitoring activity among members of your target audience. It must be a compelling message, one that is completely believable and one that explains why the offending perception is either untrue or unfair. The message must be clearly presented because you want to alter what people believe in a way that leads to the target audience behaviors you need to achieve your unit objectives.

Fortunately, delivering the message to those who need to hear it and read it is a simple matter. You have a real variety of communications tactics to help you from speeches, luncheon presentations, media interviews and emails to newsletters, facility tours, brochures and electronic magazines. Just be certain the tactics you use have a good record of reaching people similar to those who make up your target audience. So as not to call too much attention to the original misperception, your PR team may wish to deliver the corrective message as part of various presentations to target audience members rather than risk a high profile, news release transmission.

Now, to demonstrate program progress, you and your team must once again monitor perceptions among your target audience watching carefully for indications that your message and tactics have moved those perceptions towards your views.

Of course, to speed up the process, you can always add new communications tactics to the mix and increase their frequencies.

Finally, at this point you should be reassured that your new public relations effort has (1) persuaded your most important outside audiences to your way of thinking, (2) moved them to take actions leading to your success, thus (3) helping achieve your department, division or subsidiary objectives.

end

About the author: Bob Kelly counsels, writes and speaks to managers about using the fundamental premise of public relations to achieve their operating objectives. He has been DPR, Pepsi-Cola Co.; AGM-PR, Texaco Inc.; VP-PR, Olin Corp.; VP-PR, Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.; director of communications, U.S. Department of the Interior,and deputy assistant press secretary, The White House. mailto:bobkelly@TNI.net Visit:http://www.prcommentary.com

How Real PR Works

Author: Robert A. Kelly

How Real PR Works

For some, public relations works well when their news release or special event winds up in the newspaper or on the radio.

For others, public relations works best when it does something positive about the behaviors of outside audiences that affect their operations the most. I like this approach because a business, non-profit or association manager can use the fundamental premise of public relations to deliver key stakeholder behavior change – the kind that leads directly to achieving a manager’s objectives.

What fundamental premise of public relations am I talking about here, and how can you put it to good use persuading those important outside folks to your way of thinking, then move them to take actions that help your department, division or subsidiary succeed?

“People act on their own perception of the facts before them, which leads to predictable behaviors about which something can be done. When we create, change or reinforce that opinion by reaching, persuading and moving-to-desired-action the very people whose behaviors affect the organization the most, the public relations mission is accomplished.”

A simple plan that gets everyone working towards the same external audience behaviors insuring that your public relations effort stays on track.

By the way, I’m talking about changes in behavior like welcome bounces in showroom visits, community leaders beginning to seek you out; membership applications on the rise, customers starting to make repeat purchases; organizations proposing strategic alliances and joint ventures; waves of prospects starting to do business with you; new inquiries about strategic alliances; politicians and legislators starting to view you as a key member of the business, non-profit or association communities; higher employee retention rates and even capital givers or specifying sources beginning to look your way.

Meet with your PR team and take the time to list those outside audiences of yours who behave in ways that help or hinder you in achieving your objectives. Then prioritize them by how badly they impact you, and start working with the target audience that heads your list.

First challenge? You’re not certain just how most members of that key outside audience perceive your organization.

Because there’s a good chance you can’t afford professional survey work, you and your PR colleagues (don’t worry, they’ll be quite familiar with perception and behavior matters) must monitor those perceptions yourself.

Ask members of that outside audience questions like “Have you ever had contact with anyone from our organization? Was it a satisfactory experience? Are you familiar with our services or products?” Stay alert to negative statements, especially evasive or hesitant replies, and especially for false assumptions, untruths, misconceptions, inaccuracies and potentially damaging rumors. Because experience shows they usually lead to negative behaviors, the objective is to correct any of the above you encounter.

Now, you’re ready to select the specific perception to be altered, and that becomes your public relations goal.

Of course a PR goal without a strategy to show you HOW to reach it, is like a cheeseburger without the ketchup. That’s why you now pick one of three strategies designed to create perception or opinion where there may be none, or change existing perception, or reinforce it. The challenge here (a small one) is to insure that the goal and its strategy match each other. You wouldn’t want to select “change existing perception” when current perception is just right suggesting a “reinforce” strategy.

Flexing your PR muscle, it’s your writer’s turn to prepare a compelling message carefully designed to alter your key target audience’s perception, as called for by your public relations goal.

Remember that it may be advisable to blend in your corrective message with a presentation, or a newsworthy announcement of a new product, service or employee, which may lend more credibility by not overemphasizing the correction.

Clarity is the watchword with regard to what perception needs clarification or correction, and why. Your facts must be truthful and your position must be logically explained and believable if it is to hold the attention of members of that target audience, and actually move perception in your direction. In other words, your message must be compelling.

Now you select your communications tactics, the “beasts of burden” you will harness to carry your persuasive new thoughts to the attention of your outside target audience.

Your potential tactics list is ample, to say the least. It includes letters-to-the-editor, brochures, press releases and speeches. Or, you might select radio and newspaper interviews, personal contacts, facility tours or customer briefings. There are scores available with the only selection requirement being that those you choose have a record of reaching people just like your target audience members.

Before long, questions will be raised as to how much progress is being made. By which time, you’ll be hard at work remonitoring target audience member perceptions. Using questions similar to those used during your earlier monitoring session, you will now look carefully for indications that audience perceptions are beginning to move in the direction you have in mind.

By adding more communications tactics, increasing their frequencies or fine tuning your message, you can always move things along at a faster clip.

Leaving tactics to do what they do best, carry messages, what should come first is an aggressive public relations plan like that outlined above that targets key stakeholder behavior change leading directly to achieving your department, division or subsidiary objectives.

end

About the author: Bob Kelly counsels, writes and speaks to managers about using the fundamental premise of public relations to achieve their operating objectives. He has been DPR, Pepsi-Cola Co.; AGM-PR, Texaco Inc.; VP-PR, Olin Corp.; VP-PR, Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.; director of communications, U.S. Department of the Interior, and deputy assistant press secretary, The White House. mailto:bobkelly@TNI.net Visit:http://www.prcommentary.com

PR Works! 15 Ways To Make Your Press Release Stand Out From the Crowd

Author: Julia Hyde

PR Works!

15 Ways to Make Your Press Release Stand Out From the Crowd!

Do editors of newspapers, magazines and online news sites really use press releases? Too right they do. In fact, the press release is one of the most effective forms of publicity. But many businesses, both online and off, underestimate the power the press has to promote their business and get their product or service noticed by potential customers.

There are no figures that show how many news stories are generated by press releases but my guess is that it runs into the hundreds and thousands, if not more. Many will be published word for word. Others will be paraphrased. But, either way the stories generate free, credible publicity for you, and your business.

So how do you convince reporters and editors to sit up and take notice of your company’s news? Write a press release that’s newsworthy, factual, topical, and then send it to the right people. It’s not as simple as it sounds, though, because the press is bombarded with information everyday and their priorities are not necessarily yours.

Have no fear. Here are 15 tips to help you write a press release that will impress reporters, and increase your chances of publication.

1. Don’t waste the reporters’ time submitting something that isn’t news. Find an interesting angle or a new twist and you’re almost guaranteed success. If you make your story sound dull it will probably end up in the trash. The best source for ideas is the magazines and newspapers themselves. Not the front page headlines but the one or two paragraph items on page three or page 10. Play close attention to these because they often suggest something bigger is afoot. If that something can tie into your product or service you’re on to a sure-fire winner.

2. Your headline should summarize your story in ten words or less. It tells the editor, at a glance, if your story is newsworthy or not. Avoid adjectives like “amazing” and “exciting’. It’s a turn off for journalists. A simple title such as,“MarketingBiz.com Announces Launch of Newsletter Service” is better than, “MarketingBiz.com to Launch Exciting and Interesting New Service.” Remember, this is news, not advertising.

3. Make sure your lead sentence contains all the main points of your story. It should tell the reader who has done what, where, why and when. Try not to let this sentence ramble on. Make sure it’s straight to the point and contains only essential information.

4. Include all the benefits of your product or service. If your product is 20% cheaper, say so. If your service can help make your client, healthier or wealthier, say so. Concentrate on the advantages to the consumer because no one cares about the advantages the product has to you.

5. Add detail to your story. In the body of your release add extra information in order of importance. But beware, editors delete paragraphs from the end so make sure you include vital information early.

6. If possible include one or two quotes from reliable or expert sources. Quotes give a point of view, reflect the personality of the speaker and add a human element.

7. Keep the length to a single page if possible. Definitely no more than two. Anything over that becomes a chore for the editor. If you must go to two pages put “more” at the bottom of page one so the editor knows there is more to your story. At the end of your release put either the word “Ends” or ### or –30-. This lets the editor know your release is over.

8. If you’re sending photos with your release, always include a caption listing the names of people in the photo. Include sources, contacts and the release date.

9. Avoid embargoes unless they are absolutely necessary. They are often used to make a story look more important than it actually is. Editors will rarely be fooled and you may find it’s counter-productive.

10. Sending your release to the right people and to enough publications will increase your chances of getting your story printed. There are literally thousands of newspapers, magazines and online publications for trade and the consumer. Find the right ones by:

? Checking listings in a media directory. You can find them at your local library. ? Using an online service such as PR Web, that offers free distribution, or a paid service like PR Newswire. ? Sending the release to trade publications related to your business ? Contacting local and national TV and Radio

11. The more press releases you issue, the more will get printed. Ensure you issue at least one story a month. But don’t send out a release for the sake of it.

12. If you’re sending your release via email, avoid sending file attachments. Editors are wary of viruses and most will immediately delete your release.

13. Avoid fancy letterheads and gimmicks. What you say is more important.

14. Include contact name(s), telephone number(s) including cell phone numbers and an email address. This may sound obvious, but a surprising number of releases are submitted with this essential information missing.

15. Make your grammar and spelling perfect. A poorly written, grammatically incorrect press release tells the editor one thing…that your company does not have professional standards. Proofread your release several times before you submit it. Don’t just rely on a spell-checker.

About the author: Julia is an independent copywriter and consultant specializing in search engine marketing and copywriting, direct mail, press releases and other marketing materials businesses need to increase sales. Learn more about how Julia can help boost your profits by visiting www.juliahyde.com. Or email info@juliahyde.com. She'll get back to you right away.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Is This the PR You Thought You Were Getting?

Author: Robert A. Kelly

You know, where you do something positive about the behaviors of those outside audiences that MOST affect your organization? And where you do so by persuading those important external folks to your way of thinking, then move them to take actions that help your department, division or subsidiary succeed?

Yes, that’s right, it’s where you use the fundamental premise of public relations to produce external stakeholder behavior change – the kind that leads directly to achieving your managerial objectives.

What it boils down to is (1) your public relations effort must involve more than special events, brochures and news releases if you really want to get your money’s worth, and (2), the right PR really CAN alter individual perception and lead to changed behaviors that help you succeed!

You can do it when you bring that fundamental premise of PR mentioned above, into play. It goes like this: people act on their own perception of the facts before them, which leads to predictable behaviors about which something can be done. When we create, change or reinforce that opinion by reaching, persuading and moving-to-desired-action the very people whose behaviors affect the organization the most, the public relations mission is accomplished.

What kind of results can you, as a business, non-profit or association manager, expect from such an approach? Well, for starters, improved relations with government agencies and legislative bodies, stronger relationships with the educational, labor, financial and healthcare communities; prospects starting to work with you; customers making repeat purchases; and even capital givers or specifying sources looking your way

And that’s not all. You also could see progress in the form of membership applications on the rise; new proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures; rebounds in showroom visits; enhanced activist group relations, and expanded feedback channels; as well as community service and sponsorship opportunities; not to mention new thoughtleader and special event contacts.

Yes, that’s promising quite a bit but that’s what this approach to public relations is capable of delivering.

Of course the PR people supporting you as a manager – agency or staff – must be real team members and committed to you, as the senior project manager, to the PR blueprint and its implementation, starting with target audience perception monitoring.

Ask yourself how important it is that your most important outside audiences really perceive your operations, products or services in a positive light? Then assure yourself that your PR staff buys into that notion wholeheartedly. Be especially careful that they accept the reality that perceptions almost always lead to behaviors that can help or hurt your unit.

Review the PR blueprint in detail with your team, especially the plan for monitoring and gathering perceptions by questioning members of your most important outside audiences. Use questions like these: how much do you know about our organization? How much do you know about our services or products and employees? Have you had prior contact with us and were you pleased with the interchange? Have you experienced problems with our people or procedures?

The perception monitoring phases of your program obviously can be handled by professional survey people, IF the budget is available. But keep in mind that your PR people are also in the perception and behavior business and can pursue the same objective: identify untruths, false assumptions, unfounded rumors, inaccuracies, misconceptions and any other negative perception that might translate into hurtful behaviors.

Clearly, you will need a well-defined goal, one that responds to the aberrations that appeared during your key audience perception monitoring. As a flexible goal, it could call for straightening out that dangerous misconception, or correcting that gross inaccuracy, or doing something about that damaging rumor.

Inevitably, a goal needs a strategy to show you how to get there. And here, you have three strategic choices for handling a perception or opinion challenge: create perception where there may be none, change the perception, or reinforce it. Unfortunately, a bad strategy pick will taste like fudge sauce on your spareribs, so be sure the new strategy fits well with your new public relations goal. For instance, you don’t want to select “change” when the facts dictate a “reinforce” strategy.

Changing people’s minds to your way of thinking is a tough assignment, so your PR team must set down the needed corrective language. Words that are compelling, persuasive and believable AND clear and factual. You must do this if you are to correct a perception by shifting opinion towards your point of view, leading to the desired behaviors.

Sit down again with your communications specialists and review your message for impact and persuasiveness. Then, select the communications tactics most likely to carry your words to the attention of your target audience. You can pick from dozens that are available. From speeches, facility tours, emails and brochures to consumer briefings, media interviews, newsletters, personal meetings and many others. But be sure that the tactics you pick are known to reach folks just like your audience members.

Because the credibility of a message can occasionally depend on its delivery method, you might introduce it to smaller gatherings rather than using higher-profile tactics such as news releases or talk show appearances. One good thing about doing progress reports for clients or bosses is that they sound the alert for you and your PR folks to return to the field for a second perception monitoring session with members of your external audience. Using many of the same questions used in the first benchmark session, you must now stay alert for signs that the bad news perception is being altered in your direction.

If impatience shows up, you can always accelerate things with more communications tactics and increased frequencies.

It should be an irresistable premise for any manager! Do something positive about the behaviors of those outside audiences that MOST affect your organization. And do so by persuading those important external folks to your way of thinking, then move them to take actions that help your department, division or subsidiary succeed.

Wow!

end

About the author: Bob Kelly counsels managers about using the fundamental premise of public relations to achieve their operating objectives. He has been DPR, Pepsi-Cola Co.; AGM-PR, Texaco Inc.; VP-PR, Olin Corp.; VP-PR, Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.; director of communi- cations, U.S. Department of the Interior, and deputy assistant press secretary, The White House. mailto:bobkelly@TNI.net Visit:http://www.prcommentary.com

Secret To Using Press Release To Generate Huge Traffic

Author: Daegan Smith

Are you getting ready to introduce a new service or product? Have you used or are you familiar with press releases? An interesting and newsworthy press release can create a lot of search visibility, media exposure and web site traffic.

People are more interested to narrative news than an advertisement. Through a press release, you can get your story successfully published. Doing a story regarding your website as well as products that is offered and having it published by the media is equivalent to getting an endorsement. Most significantly, giving off a press release is so much cheaper compared to buying an ad.

A press release is a narrative news regarding your business which you will distribute or submit to several media including the internet. Keep in mind that it will not sound as an advertisement. Each time that you offer a new product, a service or anything new that is taking place in your website, you can write a press release about it.

This can be distributed by way of a service such as prweb.com or Press-Release-Writing.com and this can be viewed by thousands of individuals in just weeks as well as be picked up or chosen by several web sites for publication.

An effective press release would need you to describe your website with the viewpoint and assessment of news. Deal with the curiosity of your targeted readers and give emphasis on why customers should look and read your story.

Guidelines in writing your press release:

1. Inverted pyramid lay-out. This format places not so important data and facts down in your release, permitting you to revise your story more easily to fit the available space that you have. If you have to cut short your story, you can start leaving out certain details beginning at the lowermost portion of the story then working upwards.

2. Be exact to the point. Your release must be well defined; this can be stated in your title. Concentrate on the main concept of your story; ask what, where, why and when to help you focus your story.

3. Create a clever title. A catchy title is an effective way to attract attention.

4. Limit your content length. Keep it with an average of 350 to 500 words. The shorter your release, the better; too much explanation and reasoning in a very small room will decrease your storyís efficiency.

5. Format your story in block, with no indentation on paragraphs.

6. Re-examine your story, making certain that it will not appear to be an essay; it must be educational yet appealing.

7. Proofread. Check and double check your story. Read it aloud to yourself and walk away for a while so that you can come back on it and examine it with a clear mind and fresh eyes.

What to write in your press release:

1. Use brief sentences and the lines should be double spaced.

2. Create an attention grabbing header.

3. Refer to and state your product, business or service in your story.

4. Write a press release when you have new products to offer.

5. Make a press release regarding the outcome of online poll or surveys that you have just completed.

6. When you are hosting a seminar or trade show, you can write a press release about it.

7. Make a press release when you are opening a new web site.

8. When your business has achieved an online award, create an informative story about it.

9. When you are publishing a free e-zine, it is good reason for a press release.

10. When you are offering or giving away free products, let your customers know through a press release.

After writing your press release, do the following:

1. Send your press release. There are many online press release distribution sources (some free and others charge a fee) that you can send your press release to. Be resourceful and search the internet to find the best one for you.

One is 24-7PressRelease.com offers free press release submission and distribution service providing customers with the choice to donate finances for a much higher detection, placement and recognition.

2. Wait. Check with the media and make sure your release is appearing on a certain that it is planned or scheduled. If it does appear in the newspaper, clip it and place it on your site; Newspaper clippings can also represent an endorsement.

3. Look how your traffic go sky high! Seat back and watch a big flow in your web siteís traffic.

Press releases are worth trying and pursuing, as long as one does it right. Take it into consideration and act on it, then success will not be far behind.

About the author: Daegan Smith the owner of Net MLM Articles and the leader of the fastest growing team of successful home business enterpernuers on the net. Find out how we're creating financial freedom all across the globe and how to get in on the action FREE => http://www.comlev.com

PR tips - should we issue a press release?

Author: Jo Chipchase

Question: Why should your business issue a press release? Answer: because you have something to say, you want to say it in public and a press release encourages the press to say it for you. And because you want to show your business in a favourable light from the outset and begin the longer-term process of building awareness and understanding of your product or service.

There’s plenty of research to show that young companies – weighed down by the business of simply running a new business – pay scant attention to PR, yet that’s exactly what they should be doing from the very start to get their names and products known. For most businesses, PR isn’t about spin or the abstract maintaining of “good relations” with the press and public; it’s simply about telling people that you and your products or services are there and letting them know why they should be interested. It’s about getting column inches in newspapers and magazines and fulfilling the adage that an inch of good editorial is worth a page of advertising. It’s about making your sales easier.

Issuing press releases is a mainstay of basic PR. It’s how you start the ball rolling with the press. The good news is, if approached in the right way (whether you do it yourself or use an affordable professional, this activity need not cost the earth).

But do remember that you’re presenting your business to the public. A release that’s poorly written, with grammatical or spelling mistakes, or full of jargon, or long-winded and unfocused, can do you more harm than good. Given the importance of PR, there’s something to be said in favour of paying for professional writing skills. PR writers don’t just turn out good English: they know how to structure a press release and present facts in a way that appeals to busy journalists and grabs their attention.

The next question is: “When should I issue a press release?” Certainly, issuing releases willy-nilly, at whim, is no good. The time to make a business announcement is when you have something topical and newsworthy to say (but remember: what you consider topical might not be of interest to the wider world or to journalists). All releases need a strong ‘hook’ – in other words, an angle that will appeal to editors and give your story a good chance of gaining coverage.

So, what would be considered newsworthy? For starters, perhaps you’re launching a new product or service? Or opening a new branch? Or you’re launching a spin-off venture from scratch? Whatever it is, it should be presented as offering something reasonably new and interesting, not just as a “me too”.

Hopefully, your product or service has particular benefits and applications that will appeal to your market segment and generate interest. If whatever you’re launching is technically innovative or it’s being marketed in an unusual or high profile way, you could have the basis of a release. In this case, make sure you don’t fill your release with unnecessary jargon or marketing-speak that could alienate journalists, such as “the cost effective, integrated, seamless, one-stop-shop solution to meet all your business needs.” Tell people what it is you’re actually offering. The above example is full of hype but what’s the product? An accountancy service? A stationers? An abattoir?

Other company activities could be newsworthy. Have you appointed any new members of senior staff who have a reputation in your industry? Won a large contract or client? Become involved in a sponsorship deal? Have you received an accolade or won an industry award? If so, the trade press might be interested.

Forthcoming events can provide ideal material for announcements. Are you holding any open days, speakers’ panels, rallies or debates? Charity events or donations from your organisation to good causes are worth highlighting, as are initiatives that benefit the wider community. If celebrities or public figures are involved, your newsworthiness will increase. The level of interest will relate to the stature of your company and the nature of your event. If a famous chocolate factory held an open day with lots of freebies, it would be of national press interest. If Bloggs the Grocers held a similar event, the local paper would be the main target.

When you’re seeking newsworthy stories, don’t forget one of your best assets – your personnel. Have any employees been recognised for outstanding achievements? Do they have unusual hobbies? Have they received any unusual requests or orders from customers that your company has fulfilled? The local press might opt for a quirky human-interest story.

Whatever the reason for your announcement, remember this rule of thumb: yet another pizzeria on a high street full of pizzerias will not gain many column inches, no matter how good the pizzas. But a pizzeria offering the hottest jalapenos in the UK, singing waiters, Italian cocktails with every meal or three for the price of two (or something!) just might. Sometimes it’s even worth coming up with an offer of some sort (particularly in retailing) simply to garner press interest.

Remember to monitor the news for events to hook into. Can you associate your company with upcoming holidays, public projects, or fads? Statements that might seem controversial, such as stating your organisation's stance on a volatile public issue, might gain coverage. Have you conducted research that gives you statistics you could release?

Finally, if you’re targeting different press sectors with the same story, write multiple releases rather than issuing one generic release. An announcement focusing on the metallurgy used to create your new range of stainless steel cooking pans would be of interest to the trade press. However, it wouldn’t be considered too thrilling by the lifestyle press and women’s magazines.

You need to think carefully about what you’re announcing and who it’s aimed at, rather than using the ‘scattergun’ approach and sending untargeted releases to whichever journalists you happen to find. Professional PR distributors retain up-to-date lists of all the journalists in each industrial sector and geographical region, and take a great deal of care to target the right journalists with the right releases. If you’re distributing your release yourself, a few hours’ homework can pay enormous dividends.

About the author: Editorial director Press Dispensary www.pressdispensary.co.uk

How to write more powerfully for PR, offline and online

Author: Suzan St Maur

Years ago when my Dad owned a group of local newspapers I spent my school and college vacations working in the editorial office. We used to amuse ourselves over our sandwiches at lunchtime looking through and trashing the endless press releases that would arrive in the mail each day, all beautifully produced with glossy photographs (this was in pre-internet days).

We trashed them because all but the odd one or two were ill-considered, highly subjective, barely camouflaged advertising copy that had about as much editorial news value as last week’s shopping list.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because despite the fact that this happened many years ago, it’s still happening today. Both offline and now online editors continue to laugh sardonically at the self-promoting garbage they receive from corporate sources exactly as my Dad and I laughed umpty-dump years ago. I salivate just thinking about how I could spend the fortunes wasted on those releases and photographs over so many years.

And why does this continue to happen? I believe it is because the organizations who send out this stuff – particularly their financial managers – just can’t get their heads around the difference in culture between what they want to say, and what editors need to deliver to their audiences.

Good PR advisers try hard to compensate, but ultimately it’s the client who pays their fees, and if the client insists on issuing garbage there’s not much a PR adviser can do other than resign the business.

Time after time after time I’m called into companies and asked to comment on why the PR coverage they get in the media is so poor. 99 times out of a 100 it’s because they’ve issued press releases that are only of interest to themselves and their bosses. And yet when I point this out to them they can’t understand it.

“But our development team worked 14 hours a day for three years to win that contract!” they shout indignantly. “And the CEO had to cut short his vacation in Turks & Caicos just so he could sign the documents by the deadline! I mean, it’s the most important thing to have happened to us in the history of the company!”

“I know,” I croon soothingly, “but those points aren’t of much interest to the readers of your regional business press, or your trade press for that matter.”

“Well, maybe not,” they reply. “But they are very relevant to us, and to our shareholders. That’s why we made such an elaborate issue of those points in the press release.”

Ah, I think to myself as I gaze out of the window to see if my creatively-parked car is going to attract the attention of passing traffic policepersons. Here is another problem we encounter with press releases.

It’s called “when is a press release not a press release?” The answer is, when a press release is to be used to impress all sorts of people who are not members of the press. Only we want them to think that this is what the press will write about us, so we put it in a press release. That would be okay as long as that’s as far as it goes.

But the awful truth is the same document (paper or electronic) really does get sent out to the press. And quite rightly they ignore it, once again because it is of no interest to the readership of the publication concerned.

For Heaven’s sake, you folks who do this sort of thing, please grow up and face reality. If you want to promote your achievements to your share/stockholders or staff or suppliers or whoever, then just go ahead and do it and dress it up in “press release” costume if you must, although I don’t think that fools anybody.

But whatever you do, don’t send it to the press – and don’t kid yourself or anyone else that to use the same document for both purposes is a way to economize. It’s a sure way to shoot yourself through the foot and indirectly could cost you a fortune.

If you want to get coverage in the media then you must forget all elements of self-congratulation. Whatever information you send out has to have something “in it for them” (the audience) - something new, interesting and relevant. It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering, just worth reading.

If your organisation has done something brilliant and you’re proud of it, by all means say so; just be sure to emphasise what’s great about it for the audience and/or the rest of the world, not merely for yourselves. Let the facts tell the story. If your organisation genuinely deserves to be congratulated, it will be.

And you don’t simply have the audience to consider in this case, because unlike the forms of communication you control, with media coverage the decision of whether or not to transmit your message rests with someone else – usually the editor. Editors and journalists are either very busy or very lazy or both (and don’t chastise me for admitting that, guys. I’ve been there, done it, got the T shirt and drank too much in the brasserie at lunchtime too.)

If you supply them with material they can see is relevant to their readers and preferably is usable with the minimum of editing, they will warm to it a lot faster than something that may hold a grain of interest but will take someone a whole evening to rewrite and several phone calls or e-mails to check for accuracy.

Try to match the style and writing approach of the publication. If you’re sending a release out to several publications that circulate among the same readership, then one release should be relevant to all. But if you’re aiming at different press groups – say the trade journals and the business pages of the regional dailies – you will need to rework the approach of your press release according to the different audiences.

You’ll usually find that the basic core of a press release can remain pretty well the same across all media groups, because it consists (or should consist) of the pure facts – the old journalist’s formula of who, what, how, where, when and why.

What changes is the angle, and particularly the lead-in. That means the headline, which should be short and attention-grabbing, and then the first two or three sentences that support the headline and set up the whole story. Often it’s worth trying to work in a clever bit of word-play with headlines, but be very careful – a pun or play on the words that doesn’t work is worse than writing the headline straight.

By far the best guidance you’ll get, though, comes from studying the audience – the people who read the publications. What in your story is going to interest them?

·Readers of a trade journal will be interested in what’s new and different about your new product and how it could improve the way they do business.

·Readers of local or regional business sections will be interested more in how your new product’s manufacturing and distribution, say, will impact on the local business community and economy.

·Local general newspapers and other media will be interested in the human side, i.e. how many new jobs the factory producing the new product will create.

·…etc.

And one last tip on how to get the best from press releases – use “quotes” from the key people involved in the story.

Not those awful, meaningless corporate-babble quotes you so often see in company press releases … “We are delighted to be able to announce the new contract at this moment in time and we have every confidence that our latest investment will be of significant benefit to our…” you know the type of thing. These are usually the first elements that get chopped out by the editor.

It’s perfectly OK to write quotes for your senior people, by the way. They very rarely give real quotes for anything other than TV or radio interviews but don’t seem to mind quotes being written for them, provided they’re given the opportunity to check them before they’re issued.

So, write them quotes that – far from being beatific banalities – actually are telling important parts of the story. This is good for two reasons:

1.It makes your senior exec look intelligent and aware of what’s going on in the organization, which is 100% more than the banality-quote will do for him/her.

2.Because it’s an important part of the story and contains useful facts, the publication’s staff will be far less likely to edit it out.

Possibly you’re beginning to feel that in order to get press coverage you’ll have to turn yourself, your product and your entire board inside out and upside down. You could be right, but that’s PR. Remember that press coverage is not advertising**. Yes, it’s free and that’s wonderful, but as always there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Editors will only put your stuff in, for free, if it is genuinely good for their publication and their readers, not for you. They do not care about your sales figures. They care about their own sales figures. Successful PR people and writers of press releases always, always bear these points in mind; in fact that’s why they’re successful.

**An exception to this is what’s known (in the UK at least) as “advertorial.” In case you don’t already know this is advertising copy written in editorial style, but the space it occupies is really an advertisement you pay for. If you’re obliged to write it, please just try to make it as honest as you can. Not easy.

Online tips

Nearly all the theory pertaining to offline PR is relevant to the online equivalent – especially in terms of what content is of interest to publishers and what isn’t.

Online publishing of relevance to organizations usually falls into one of two pretty obvious groups; one, websites, portals etc that are totally independent and uniquely on the web, and two, those which are the online alter egos of offline publications.

In either group if you want the publications to take your releases or submissions seriously, it’s very important that you follow the format and structure of articles that appear on the websites concerned. Whatever you do don’t make the mistake of submitting a general press release to these organizations, even though you do it by e-mail.

Check first how long the teaser paragraph is that appears on the home or section page, and check how they lay out the full articles. Then submit material that fits perfectly, both in style and in word counts. Here’s why:

1.You will be saving them the trouble of reworking your piece which makes it attractive in the first place

2.Because it fits so perfectly you will discourage them from changing anything, which is also a huge advantage for you.

The other point I would make about online press work is don’t assume that just because you submit a release to the offline publication (and even if they run it) it will be forwarded automatically to the publication’s website. It won’t. At least not necessarily. And I’ve found that one out the hard way, believe me.

Treat offline and online versions as entirely separate entities; find out who the movers and shakers are on each, and often you’ll see that the online version is run by an entirely different group of people.

About the author: Canadian-born Suzan St Maur is an international business writer and author based in the United Kingdom. Read more - and check out her free biweekly business writing tips eZine, Tipz from Suze , - at her website, SuzanStMaur.com © Suzan St Maur 2003-2005

Friday, July 28, 2006

Is PR Right for You? 6 Questions to Ask

Author: Michele Pariza Wacek

When most people think about marketing, they think advertising. While advertising is a part of marketing, marketing is much bigger than advertising. There are lots of different marketing methods floating around out there, and the challenge as a business owner is figuring out when it's appropriate to use each one and the best way to use it.

Public relations, or PR, is the art of getting someone else to write or talk about you or your business. Preferably in a favorable manner. Traditionally, ""someone else"" was the media. In this day and age however, someone else can also be a blogger, a freelance writer, an e-zine publisher or even an owner of a big Web site. For purposes of this article, I'm using the word ""media"" to refer to all of those folks.

PR is also being able to get yourself on a big talk show to talk about yourself or your business, or writing your own article that's published in a desired outlet. (Not your own newsletter or Web site.)

PR is one of my favorite marketing methods, but it can also be one of the more frustrating ones. Even when you do everything right, you still might not get the publicity you want. Or for that matter, ANY publicity at all. When a PR campaign doesn't work, you can find yourself wanting to pull out all your hair in frustration.

Even with that in mind, I do believe most if not all businesses can benefit from some type of PR campaign. But before you launch into something that could end with you becoming hairless (and investing in a sizeable hat collection) ask yourself the following questions.

1. Do I need to see results right away? If you do, better pull out your wallet and pay for some advertising. PR takes time. And it's not guaranteed. You might not see your article for weeks, months or ever, and there isn't a darn thing you can do about it. If it's immediate gratification you want, don't look for it in a public relations campaign.

2. Do I have the time to consistently devote to a public relations campaign? We're back to the time issue. PR not only takes time to see results, but you also have to take time to make it happen. Either you have to do it or you have to pay someone else to do it. If you do it yourself, you'll have the potential of garnering the equivalent of thousands of dollars of advertising for little or no money. But it will cost you some time. If you pay someone else, you'll save time (which is a good thing, I'm a big believer in outsourcing) but it can get expensive. Worse yet, you STILL might not get any coverage for your money.

3. Do I have enough perseverance to run a PR campaign? PR is about follow-up. It's about sending story idea after story idea to the same reporter before one finally connects (and maybe it's the tenth one). It's about sending a little note or letter to the same editor for as long as several years before you get a bite. It's about reminding your contacts you're out there until one day they realize they need you.

If you're willing to court the media, develop relationships and do whatever you can to make their lives easier, the rewards can be huge.

4. Do I have newsworthy events happening at my business? (Newsworthy is something media personnel feel would interest their readers.) Or, if I don't, can I create them?

I'm not talking about making things up here. But there are things you can be doing to make your business more newsworthy. For example, you can do a survey and publish the results. You can tie a feature of your product or service to something that's currently happening in the news. You can hold an event. You can research a newly published study that relates to your product or service. There are countless ways you can transform aspects of your business into newsworthy story items -- the creativity exercise below can help you come up with your ideas.

5. Do I want to build my credibility? Develop my status as an expert? Then get that PR campaign off the ground. Nothing builds your credibility or expert status faster than having other people say you know what you're talking about.

6. Do I want to augment my other marketing efforts? Public relations definitely plays nicely with the other marketing methods. You can be building your long-term expert campaign with PR and building short-term customers with advertising. Or you can turn your community relations strategies into PR campaigns. It's a great way to get the most bang out of your marketing time and dollar.

Creativity Exercise -- How can you use PR in your business?

Grab some sheets of paper and pen (I like the fun gel pens myself) and get ready for some brainstorming.

Start by listing everything you do or sell. Then write out all the features or descriptions of your products or services. For instance, if you have a book, what is your book about? What does it offer people?

Now see if you can turn those features into something newsworthy. Is there a time of year when people are interested in your services? (Accounting and tax season). Are there any studies you can dig up? Is there something in the news that ties into your product? Can you turn an aspect of your business into a human interest story? (Something like fitness tips for busy people or parenting tips for single parents, etc.) Write everything down that comes into your head, even if it's silly. See if you can come up with 50 story ideas.

Now look at what you wrote. Can you find a few in there that you think would interest the media? Congratulations -- you just came up with a PR campaign.

About the author: Michele Pariza Wacek is the author of ""Got Ideas? Unleash Your Creativity and Make More Money."" She offers two free e-zines that help subscribers combine their creativity with hard-hitting marketing and copywriting principles to become more successful at attracting new clients, selling products and services and boosting business. She can be reached at http://www.TheArtistSoul.com. Copyright 2005 Michele Pariza Wacek

Write a Power Press Release and Get a Feature Story-Seven Times as Valuable as Advertising

Author: Judy Cullins

Do you send out press releases? Have they brought you financial rewards? If not, you may want to rethink how to write a good one-one that editors pay attention to. If editors noticeand love your press release, they will want to interview you for a feature story. The feature story not only gets you valuable attention, it also brings credibility to you, your products, and your services. It is seven times more valuable than advertising.

For example, in a large city daily newspaper, your feature story can get editorial space worth anywhere from $1500 to over $5000 in ""free advertising."" This space is worth seven times as much as an ad because it implies the newspaper endorses you.

You have only seven seconds to impress, so be sure your news release has an outrageous heading that includes a benefit. Then, be able to prove it. What do you think of these? ""Design Every Part of Your Book as a Selling Tool,"" ""Double, even Triple your Online Sales Through Outrageous Headlines,"" from which I created this one my Web site: ""Double, even Quadruple your Web Sales Through Opt-in Ezines""

Market Yourself Through the Media Interview

Always ask the interviewer is there any problem with mentioning your phone number or Web site address. What good is a feature if your audience can't get in touch with you? They usually say yes.

The San Diego Union-Tribune responded to my press release with the headline ""Seven Sure-Fire Ways to Sell More Books Than You Ever Dreamed Of"" by giving me space that would have cost $3000 if I had placed an ad. Funny, they didn't even interview me.

The columnist created her own story.She used this heading: ""Workshop Guides Novice Book Authors."" One of her highlights said, ""seminar participants might be the next John Grisham.""

My phone rang off the hook for over a week. I hired an assistant and we took over 100 calls and collected over 60-email address. To each of the latter I sent my monthly eNewsletter ""The Book Coach Says..."" and got four new book-coaching clients worth thousands of dollars over the next six months. At the same time, my assistants sold 25 books and kits at the back of the room.

You Have What Editors Need

Media editors and radio/TB talk show producers want and need human interest, and newsworthy stories. You have what they need-solutions to problems their particular audiences have.

About the author: Judy Cullins: author, publisher, book coach _Ten Non-techie Ways to Market Your Book Online_ _Write Your eBook or Other Short Book-Fast!_ http://www.bookcoaching.com/teleclasses.shtml Subscribe to FREE ezine ""The Book Coach Says..."" Email: Judy@bookcoaching.com 619/466-0622

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Marketing Operations Elevates Communications & PR Pros

Author: Gary Katz

Is your marketing department taking advantage of MOM and MRM? Do you have BAM and DAM systems in place? Do you know how to measure NPV? Do you even know what I'm talking about?

If so, you may not be a ""Quant"" (a marketing scientist or specialist in marketing analytics) but you're certainly ready to seize a leadership role and spur your company into the new world of Marketing Operations.

Marketing Operations (AKA MOM or Marketing Operations Management) seeks to improve performance and measure ROI through sustainable processes, best practices and clearly-defined metrics. Admired technology companies (like Intel, IBM and Adobe) are hiring VP or director-level individuals to refine and fine-tune their marketing organizations to run with an operational focus. Market research firms like Gartner and Forrester are also rolling out new research services with a heavy focus on Marketing Operations. And the first U.S. conference on Marketing Operations was held in New York this past May.

Marketing operations tackles:

(1) measuring the performance of marketing effectiveness; (2) ensuring appropriate marketing organization; (3) deploying marketing processes, tools and infrastructure; (4) managing marketing skill development; and (5) building a sense of community across the marketing discipline.

Why should you care?

For starters, Marketing Operations is a great vehicle for becoming more strategic and less buried in task. It equips you to talk the language that C-level executives appreciate, take control of your destiny and ultimately become more valuable to your organizations. Best of all, you can address head-on the issues that affect you directly and also represent corporate America's biggest challenges, including how to:

• define meaningful success metrics from which performance can be measured (one type of measure, NPV or Net Present Value, calculates the present value of an investment's future net cash flows minus the initial investment); • optimally leverage resources in increasingly thinner marketing departments (MRM or Marketing Resource Management focuses on workflow, role definition, project management, planning, budgeting and other resource allocation strategies); • more effectively manage shared knowledge so insight is retained even after key employees move on, enabling more informed decision-making (knowledge management strategies include BAM or Brand Asset Management, and DAM or Digital Asset Management); and perhaps most importantly • replicate successful marketing programs so marketing best practices are institutionalized (and you aren't).

About the author: Gary M. Katz, APR, is president and CEO of CommPros Group (www.commprosgroup.com), a Santa-Clara, Calif.-based firm that provides marketing operations services to help companies leverage their marketing investment, plus a variety of outsourced marketing program management services to support lean marketing departments.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Any PR Is Good PR

Author: Dan Brown

- your press release should sound like news, not an ad

- you should only send your press release to the media related to the topic of your press release - keep your press release one page in length

- your header, contact information and release date should be at the top of your press release - use short sentences and double space in between sentences

- your header and first few sentences should capture the readers attention

- you should tell a story and briefly mention your business, product or service in the body of the press release

- proofread your press release many times. Look for grammar and spelling mistakes. Another reason entrepreneurs ignore promoting their online business with press releases is because they don't know what's newsworthy. Here are 16 online business press release ideas:

- new products or services you're offering on your web site. - the results of an online survey or poll you've completed - a virtual trade show or seminar you're hosting. - a free chat room class you're teaching

- your opening of a new web site

- an online award your business or web site has won

- a free e-mail newsletter you're publishing - new online products or services you're giving away - an online business association or club you're starting - a famous person that's endorsing your business - a major joint venture you're doing with another business - a new book or e-book you wrote - an expert or celebrity who's speaking in your chat room - a fundraising event you're doing at your web site - a new contest or sweepstakes you're having at your site - major sponsorships you're doing online You can get other press release writing tips and ideas by reading other businesses press releases, reading how to publications, talking to experts and visiting other media web sites. I hope this article persuades and helps you to promote your business through press releases.

About the author: Author Dan Brown has been active in internet marketing for the past 4 years. Dan currently is working with the Zabang search engine introducing their new affiliate program which is due out Nov, 2005. http://www.zabangaffiliate.com/

Managers: Are You PR-Fit?

Author: Robert A. Kelly

Managers: Are You PR-Fit?

Can you honestly say that your business, non-profit or association’s key outside audiences behave in ways that help lead to your success on-the-job?

Or, have you pretty much ignored the reality that target audience behaviors can help or hinder you in achieving your department, division or subsidiary’s operating objectives?

Truth is, your unit’s public relations effort can never be truly fit until the primary focus of the PR people assigned to you is shifted from tactical concerns to a more comprehensive public relations action blueprint like this: people act on their own perception of the facts before them, which leads to predictable behaviors about which something can be done. When we create, change or reinforce that opinion by reaching, persuading and moving- to-desired-action the very people whose behaviors affect the organization the most, the public relations mission is accomplished.

What such a foundation gives you is the ability to help persuade those important external stakeholders to your way of thinking. Which can cause them to take actions that lead to your success as a manager.

Any idea how to make that happen?

First, tell your public relations team that you’re serious about nailing down what those outside audiences with the behaviors that affect your unit the most, really think about your organization. After you list the external stakeholders, prioritize them so we’re certain we’re working on one of your key target audiences.

Next, you and your PR team must interact with members of that audience by asking a number of questions aimed at finding out how you’re perceived. Look for inaccurate beliefs, troublesome misconceptions, potentially dangerous rumors, and any other negativities that might translate into target audience behaviors that could hurt you.

Of course, you could hire a professional survey firm to interact with members of your target audience and gather the perception data you need. But that can get expensive indicating, at least to me, that the alternative use of your own PR staff to handle this chore, is the better choice.

Question now, how to achieve that public relations goal? Obviously, you need the right strategy to show you how to do it. Luckily, where opinion/perception is concerned, there are really only three strategy choices: create perception/opinion where none exists, change existing perception, or reinforce it. And be certain the strategic choice you made clearly fits your new public relations goal.

Now, remember that the message you use to communicate your corrective message to members of your target audience is not only crucially important to the program’s success, but a real writing challenge for you and your public relations team. The message must be clearly written as to why the offending perception really needs to be clarified. Supporting facts must be above challenge and believable if your message is to be persuasive. And, it should be compelling.

Delivering your message, perhaps surprisingly, is not a complex assignment because you have a long list of communications tactics to help you do the job. They range from media interviews, emails, personal contacts and newsletters to facility tours, press releases, brochures, consumer meetings and many others. The only caution here is to check and double-check that those you choose are known to reach people like those who make up your target audience.

Sooner rather than later, you will need to determine how much progress you’re making in altering the damaging perception and its equally damaging follow-on behavior. This is also not a complex challenge.

Here, you and your public relations people must once again interact with members of your target audience and ask questions similar to those used in the earlier benchmark monitoring drill.

The big difference this time around? You’ll be alert to change. In other words, you want to see clear indications that the damaging perception is actually undergoing alteration in your direction.

You can always add more communications tactics, increase their frequencies and sharpen your message to move things along at a faster clip.

The result for you as a business, non-profit or association manager, will be a workable department, division or subsidiary public relations blueprint that succeeds in creating key outside audience behaviors that help lead you to success on-the-job.

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About the author: Bob Kelly counsels, writes and speaks to managers about using the fundamental premise of public relations to achieve their operating objectives. He has been DPR, Pepsi-Cola Co.; AGM-PR, Texaco Inc.; VP-PR, Olin Corp.; VP-PR, Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.; director of communications, U.S. Department of the Interior, and deputy assistant press secretary, The White House. mailto:bobkelly@TNI.net Visit:http://www.prcommentary.com

Industrial, Manufacturing, and Distribution Associations to Offer PR Services by TR Cutler, Inc.

Author: Thomas Cutler

Manufacturer neglect, prompted the firm's development and launch of the intensive Manufacturing PR Media Blitz' program, a 90—day program allowing even very small manufacturers to tiptoe into the public relations arena driving quantifiable and measurable impacts.

""Manufacturers spent the past fifteen years becoming lean, efficient, and highly competitive while completely ignoring their marketing and public relations efforts,"" according to Thomas R. Cutler, the nation's leading manufacturing journalist and CEO of TR Cutler, Inc. (www.trcutlerinc.com) based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

According to Dean Schmidt, Vice President of the Affinity Program for TR Cutler, Inc., ""We had to find a way for manufacturers to rapidly experience ROI from an aggressive PR campaign. 45 press releases in 90 days generates extraordinary traffic to manufacturers' websites and optimizes search engine rankings."" Schmidt acknowledged that new website traffic from potential customers often helps to quickly identify missing ""call-to-action"" messages and results in revised or updated websites.

Schmidt also noted, ""With almost nine out of ten manufacturers employing less than fifty employees, tight margins, global competitiveness, and enticing spending alternatives, PR is often relegated to the ""back burner.""

Cutler developed the PR Advantage Affinity program for manufacturing associations' members. TR Cutler suggested that, ""Due to our leadership role in the manufacturing public relations arena, we have decided to introduce a program that will allow manufacturing associations to offer their members deeply discounted PR services starting in September 2005. There is no cost for the manufacturing associations to participate in the program and offer these deeply discounted PR services to their members.""

In early Q3, Cutler conducted the largest North American manufacturer survey about anticipated marketing budgets in 2006. Statistically significant findings indicated that nearly two-thirds (64%) of the manufacturers surveyed anticipate a dramatic increase in PR budgets of 50% above 2005 levels; travel, print advertising, tradeshow exhibiting, and direct mail each revealed a 30% decrease in 2006 marketing versus 2005.

TR Cutler 954-486-7562 www.trcutlerinc.com trcutler@trcutlerinc.com

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About the author: Professional Marketing Firm

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Managers Who Leave PR to Others

Author: Robert A. Kelly

Managers Who Leave PR to Others

You’re a business, non-profit or association manager who needs to achieve your organizational objectives on schedule. Since public relations should be helping you do just that, why leave it wholly in the hands of others?

In your own best interest, get personally involved in your public relations effort and ask the PR team servicing your department, division or subsidiary a few questions.

Are they focused on a workable, comprehensive plan for producing those key external audience behaviors like customers coming back for repeat purchases; new prospects starting to sniff around; capital donors asking for more information, and others deciding to specify your services or products, and similar good stuff?

Ask the PR folks how they feel about using the fundamental premise of public relations as a guide to the PR work they are doing for you. For that matter, what do you think about these two sentences? People act on their own perception of the facts before them, which leads to predictable behaviors about which something can be done. When we create, change or reinforce that opinion by reaching, persuading and moving- to-desired-action the very people whose behaviors affect the organization the most, the public relations mission is accomplished.

The nice thing about that premise is that it shines the PR spotlight directly on those outside groups of people with a large say about how successful you’re going to be – namely, on your key external target audiences.

Then ask your PR team how they feel about using these tools to capture the perceptions, and thus behaviors of your most important outside audiences.

For example, do you and your PR people really know how your organization is perceived by those target audiences, and are you all really aware of the behaviors that flow from those perceptions?

Because that’s where the rubber meets the road – target audience behaviors that help or hinder you in achieving your operating objectives.

To find out what target audience members think about your organ- ization, you and your PR team must interact with them and ask a lot of questions. The alternative is to spend considerable money on professional survey work, but let’s assume that’s not really an alternative at this point in the budget cycle.

At any rate, we’re talking about questions like “What do you think of us? Have you had dealings with us? Were they satisfactory?” Stay alert to negativities such as misconceptions, inaccuracies, false assumptions and rumors.

With such data in hand, you’re ready to establish your public relations goal. Often, it can be expressed in a few words: clear up that misconception, correct that inaccuracy, or clarify that false assumption.

But no PR goal is ready for battle without a sound strategy to tell you how to reach it. In matters dealing with perception and opinion, there are just three strategies from which to choose: reinforce existing perception, create perception where there is none, or change it. A word here, make certain the strategy you choose is a good fit with your public relations goal.

Clearly, the most challenging aspect of the PR problem-solving sequence is preparing the message that will do the heavy lifting – altering individual perception within your target audience pop ulation. It can do so only if it’s both persuasive and compelling. As the PR team’s “client manager,” you must also be involved in message preparation. Is it clear as to what perception needs to be altered, and is your rationale believable and persuasive?

Next, hitch up your “beasts of burden,” the communications tactics you need to carry that message to the eyes and ears of your key target audience. Fortunately, you and your PR team have a long list of such tactics available ranging from press releases, media briefings, newsletters and facility tours to radio and newspaper interviews, brochures and face-to-face meetings. Just be sure that the tactics chosen have a record of actually reaching folks like those in your target audience, and that the budget can accommodate the type and frequency of communications tactics required to do the job.

Pretty quick-like, you will wonder just how much progress towards your public relations goal you are really making. Which is the signal to re-monitor perceptions of those members of your target audience. Same questions, but a new objective: watch closely for signs that perceptions are actually being altered.

You can always apply more pressure to the effort by adding new communications tactics to the battle, AND bumping up some of their frequencies.

By keeping a managerial eye on your public relations program – and satisfying yourself that it is focused on helping you achieve your operating objectives – you can be certain your PR dollars are being spent on that workable, comprehensive plan for producing those key audience behaviors that impact your operation the most.

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About the author: Bob Kelly counsels, writes and speaks about the fundamental premise of public relations. He has been DPR, Pepsi-Cola Co.; AGM-PR, Texaco Inc.; VP-PR, Olin Corp.; VP-PR, Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.; director of communications, U.S. Department of the Interior, and deputy assistant press secretary, The White House. mailto:bobkelly@TNI.net Visit:http://www.prcommentary.com

Successful Small Businesses Use PR

Author: Robert A. Kelly

Successful Small Businesses Use PR

It’s obvious when a small business has accepted the fact that its most important outside audiences need lots of care and feeding. They do something about it.

There’s a sense of urgency and a recognition that those “key target publics” have behaviors that really impact the business, and that they had BETTER do something about it!

What about you? Are you ready to follow the winners and get public relations working for your small business?

The payoff can be significant – key audience behaviors that directly support your business objectives and make the difference between failure and success.

But, as always, there’s some work connected to reaching that pot of gold, but it’s really worth the effort.

If you’re willing, begin by listing those most important outsiders in a priority ranking. Probably, customers and prospects will take #1 and #2 positions. But others rate a spot on that list depending on how crucial they are to the success of your business. In fact, an audience only makes the list if, left unattended, its perceptions and behaviors actually can hurt your business.

You’re at a disadvantage when you don’t know what those important external audiences think of you and your small business. And the only affordable way to find out is for you and your colleagues to talk to members of that key audience by interacting with them. Ask questions about what they think of you, your business and its products or services. Especially watch for any negativity, misconceptions, inaccuracies, wrong-headed beliefs, or rumors. And monitor local print and broadcast media, especially local talk shows and newspaper pages, for similarly negative signs.

The responses you gather help you set your public relations goal. For instance, correct that wrong-headed belief; fix that inaccuracy; or straighten-out that misconception. The goal, by the way, will also become your behavior modification marker against which progress can be tracked.

But how do you get there? You select a strategy from the three available to you: create perception/opinion where none may exist, change existing perception/opinion, or reinforce it. The public relations goal you just set will lead you directly to the right choice of strategies.

The message you send to your target audience is crucial, and writing it can be hard work because it must alter the negativity you found when you interviewed audience members.

Above all, it must be persuasive while clearly presenting the facts. It must be credible, believable and timely as it explains truthfully what is at issue at that moment. In short, your message must be compelling.

Getting that finished message to the right eyes and ears is your next challenge. And that means selecting the right communi- cations tactics, and you have dozens of them available to you. Speeches, press releases, emails, meetings, radio and newspaper interviews, action alerts, brochures, newsletters and so many others.

Before long, you’ll be looking for indications that your new public relations program is making progress.

After the communications effort has had six or eight weeks to take effect, it seems obvious that the best way to determine that is to go back to members of your key target audience, interact with them again and ask more questions. The difference this time, however, is that you are looking for signs that your carefully prepared message is really altering the negativity you discovered during your interviews with those target audience members. And once again, keep an eye and ear on local media for similar signs that your message has been heard.

If you’re anxious to speed up the process, boost the number and variety of the communications tactics you’re using, as well as their frequencies.

What you want is for your second monitoring go-around to show marked perception change which tells you clearly that the behaviors you really want are on the way.

In the PR business, that creates success.

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About the author: Bob Kelly counsels, writes and speaks about the fundamental premise of public relations. He has been DPR, Pepsi-Cola Co.; AGM-PR, Texaco Inc.; VP-PR, Olin Corp.; VP-PR, Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.; director of communications, U.S. Department of the Interior, and deputy assistant press secretary, The White House. mailto:bobkelly@TNI.net Visit: http://www.prcommentary.com