George Carson, Author at CarsonPR - Page 2 of 34 (2) George Carson, Author at CarsonPR - Page 2 of 34

George Carson

So why do we make predictions when we cannot even predict the weather correctly, and we try to do that using very sophisticated equipment?  That being said, as a public relations expert, I will challenge technology using only my brain and tell you what I see happening for 2015.

It's going to be a great year, I think!

It’s going to be a great year, I think!

And in 2015 . . . .

Business and the Economy

Yes, things are looking brighter, but where is the growth coming from next year to continue this bright outlook?  I predict far more “franchise” businesses will be started because it is an easy way to enter the business sector without the old fear beset trial and error methods.

The second area I see growing is on-line businesses. This is the least costly way for entrepreneurs to try their hand at starting a business. I see a 30 to 40% increase in new online businesses.

Overall Economy

People will be spending about the same amount of money next year, but the fact some things are less costly (such as fuel for cars and basic food stuff) people will spend the same amount of money, just in more places.

Software

This industry has been growing steadily for the past four years and will continue. What I see now are new areas of technology on how we will continue to interact using our smart phones and other devices like smart glasses and other wearable items. The “cloud” is opening up new areas on how we store our data and will become a way we can store our conversations so we do not exceed email and texting limits on our devices.

Trust me.  At least 50% of those of my predictions this year will be 50% right. Are there any other pubic relations agencies or other professionals in the public relations industry willing to take this challenge and make their predictions?

If you answered yes, then maybe you never considered blogging as a vital component to the digital world we live in. Or maybe you feel that blogging is for people, not business. If that’s the case, you are ignoring something that can increase your company’s visibility and traffic, which could lead to an increase in sales. It is still amazing how many PR Clients do not understand the power of blogging.To Blog or Not

So why am I asking such a question if the simple answer is to say, “blogging is important and not something of the past.” Well, glad you asked. There are different approaches to blogging and where your blog is located. No, not a geographical location, but where your blogs are posted. For example, is it part of your website, or just hanging out there? Blog posts are usually more powerful if directly linked (part of) to your website. PR Clients should have an on-going blog program.

Another reason to keep blogging is to stay in touch with your customers, and to build credibility with potential customers. Unlike having a Facebook (business) or Pinterest, or Instagram accounts (which I feel are all still powerful when incorporated properly into your pr marketing plan), blogs allow you to express an opinion, talk about market conditions and have customers make comments. It’s a way to keep in touch with your market and get feedback as well. Hey, this is a better way to know about your customers than having it become a negative review on Yelp.

Blogs should not be a sales pitch, nor be a bragging area about your company. The big difference from other social media where you would show and tell about a new service and products, blogs should be more informative. Talk about your industry and what might help improve it. You can mention that your new product has helped shaped a market or industry, but don’t go into a sales pitch. The content you write is important and using links to credible sites help re-enforce a statement. Make sure your content is relevant to your industry, and not political.

Another reason to blog, it can give your business an identity, a personality. People like to know that a company has “people” running the business and not robots. And of course, blogging does improve your search engine rankings.

Lastly, how often should you blog? If you are just starting out, I would recommend the first 4 months you blog at least twice a week. Then, after that, cut to once per week. If you have the time to blog more often, go for it.

So I ask, will you be blogging anytime soon, or are you still in the mindset that this too will pass?

Need help with your blog program, or how to make a social media campaign successful? Then stop reading this blog and give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400.

We all know or have heard in social media that content is king. This was to my knowledge challenged recently asking if it is still true. Well, in my opinion, it still is. Besides content in your blog, or on your website, we now are finding how to effectively use content as a marketing strategy as another form of pr marketing strategies.

Simply put, a content marketing strategy actually refers to the power of the content and Social engineering conceptunderstanding how you create the appropriate content strategy. Confused yet?  Ok, let me give an example.  In social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest you probably tell people, followers and sometimes even customers about your products or services. Take this PR one step further by now creating a “two-way” conversation.  Make your pr content be shareable, work to make it trigger a discussion to encourage your social network to continue the conversation within their social circle.

In order to be effective with a content strategy you should have a clear understanding of your objective before you begin making any statements, or starting up a conversation. This type of content is designed to build viable web content that will engage your target customers as well as search engines.  This can also help increase your visibility with the search engine rankings.

When you create conversations (content) it will usually increase your online business and generate maximum web visibility to build a strong reputation. Therefore be sure to always provide enough quality content for customers to talk about with others. This is an effective way to expand your pr marketing strategy.

Aron Agius a well-known person in the field who has helped online marketing campaigns become successful made this statement:

“The importance of content marketing strategy cannot be underestimated. Content is the foundation of any successful online marketing campaign. A great strategy is needed in order to fuel social media activity, to create high converting landing pages for pay per click marketing, and to power increases in search engine rankings for target keywords.” He continued saying, “businesses of all sizes can benefit from implementing a solid content marketing strategy. Small businesses have just as much opportunity as big business to reach an increased audience trough content marketing – the key element that needs to be monitored is consistency. Consistent content creation and marketing is what sets apart businesses from the many similar businesses jumping on the content marketing bandwagon.”

I do not think I could have said it any better.

And if you are not sure how to implement this strategy, Aron has these 5 steps that you can follow:

1) Focus your plan around being able to consistently create high quality content.

2) Ensure your content strategy covers a wide range of different content types. Text blog posts, advanced guides, info-graphics, images, video — the more types of media you create the greater the potentially reach and the number of different distribution channels you can use to get eyeballs on your content.

3) If need be outsource your content creation, but only do so once you have developed strict guidelines around tone, style, voice, and the core messages that you want your content to speak towards.

4) Identify the problems in your industry, the questions people are asking and focus on being a resource that creates content that solves problems and puts you in a position of authority within your industry.

5) Don’t forget the marketing in content marketing. This is the most important point. People are now creating endless amounts of content and thinking they are doing content marketing. You should be spending as much time in marketing the content as you are creating the content on the first place.

Now go and start some conversations to engage your customers.

How do you make the 62nd California RV Show successful?

Being the 62nd annual show makes it a real challenge to get existing customers excited about something they have known about for this many years. And finding new customers isn’t easy.

First you need to understand the audience, what it is that will create their interest to attend the RV Show and what can you do to make it more of an event than just a typical RV show. After knowing these critical facts youLogo--CA Show then build around these findings to create a successful California RV Show. It is important for the media and publicity teams to work together by exchanging information to develop a campaign that will have the greatest impact. The PR Client in this particular case is the RVIA (Recreational Vehicle Industry Association). Unlike other RV shows, this is produced by the manufacturers association, not the dealers. The RV dealers are represented by displaying the manufacturers new RVs for 2015. Interested customers can talk directly to the manufacturers representatives to learn about the RVs, while the purchasing must go through the dealers.

This year’s show had several challenges. Among them was the size: over 1200 new RVs with 21 dealers that counted for 800,000 sq ft of space. To create some excitement we wanted the customers to know more about

Gayle Anderson and George Carson

Gayle Anderson and George Carson

what to expect at the show to create the “desire” to attend. To do this we worked with Gayle Anderson at KTLA, channel 5. Her solid following of viewers and her personality to make things interesting gave the show the needed publicity exposure prior to the opening. We presented to Gayle what is different. Things like Genesis Supreme RV building a 19 foot Toy Hauler at the show, a slalom challenge by Airstream, retro RVs like Winnebago’s Brave, and how roomy a Mercedes Class B Van is with a murphy bed. The local publicity helped many RV companies create the interest among potential RV buyers as well as those who might not have considered RVing but now see how much fun it can be.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tom Gaither and Josh

A few days later we had KCAL 9/CBS chief meteorologist Josh Rubenstein report the weather live from the California RV Show. Josh was great. He interviewed Tom Gaither, director of the show and many different manufacturers from Fleetwood, Leisure Travel Vans, to 5th wheel manufacturers. Josh even went inside a custom class A motor home built by Show Hauler.

AC Green and George Carson

AC Green and George Carson

To give the show added enjoyment we had former baseball greats like Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Chuck Finley and Randy Jones do a meet and greet sessions on different days. AC Green, former Lakers player, also known as Iron Man was there on Sunday to sign autographs with fans. And to rock the show, Bret Michaels the lead rock star in the band Poison gave the crowd a fun time signing his name on most anything his fans handed him.

This is one way to create a publicity campaign and make it successful.

There are a lot of conversations (noise) in social media. If you just try to follow only a few like Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, you will get drowned in all the conversations. So if this is overwhelming to you, then lets look at how to make people listen.

bigstock-Businesswoman-With-Big-Ears-10623491First of all, building a social media network is very important for pr clients. Before starting any social dialogue, these are some of the questions you need to ask when doing your conversations. Does it stimulate your customers to do the action you desire? Is it building brand loyalty? Are you creating any dialogue for people to interact with your conversation?

Major brands are using “conversations” to further build their pr visibility and brand. Companies like Coke, Pepsi, Microsoft, Apple among many others are aggressively “talking” to their consumers. But are their customers really listening? Some of these brands use Facebook and Twitter to get people to participate in contests, or engage them into a discussion. These pr marketing strategies are good, if understood. Sometimes the results are very small when you look at the overall numbers these social media have in comparison to those people responding. Does this mean they should not continue their publicity campaign? Of course not. You need to have a plan, just like a marketing plan, or media plan, you need to develop a publicity strategy of where, when and the topics you want to start. Just because the immediate followers or those responding might be small, you are developing a massive exposure about you and your brand. And the same is true when you ran a print or TV campaign. The exposure is always greater than those directly involved in your message. This is part of building a brand.

I read a recent article by Barry Levine that sums it up  “ Social media conversations are a whisper not a shout.”

That means you need to know who are your customers, know what they like on social media, what they enjoy Social meida-penguinsdoing and how often do they engage in the social media that you want to connect with them. Seems like a lot of research, and it is. But once you have learned this about your customer, then you can begin the “conversation.” With that said, it is important to have a true conversation, not a sales pitch, nor how great your company or brand is. Just like you would discuss a topic with a friend, keep your conversations friendly, and point out the good and bad about something. Get people to interact. That’s why so many brands use contests. Unfortunately, that is now getting overused and should be done on a limited basis, not become your main reason to have the conversations.

In summary, are conversations being heard? They can be if you are active in conversation with your customers and start topics that they would like to discuss. Remember, postings are good in social media, but that isn’t building a brand unless you get people involved in conversations. Then the word will spread beyond the social platforms, that’s how to create the buzz in the industry.

If you are ready to continue the conversation, give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400.

As a business entrepreneur, it is very difficult to know if you are making good or bad decisions. Or if you chose the right type of business. So how did you get started, and how do you avoid any of these mistakes?angry-boss1

Starting a business in your mid 40’s or 50’s can be fulfilling, but has its risks if you don’t have any guidelines, especially if this is your first venture. To help you avoid being one of the 80% of businesses that fail in their first three years, review these mistakes that many businesses have made over the years.

1-    Start with a passion and keep it going. When you started the business you might have thought you had clarity and direction. Try to not get caught up in the “BUT” excuses. For example, if you are not a super salesperson or know how to generate sales leads, don say “I don’t know how to do this”, rather seek help and do some research to find how to improve your sales approach. Don’t make excuses for not knowing how things get done.

2-    Are you undercapitalized? Don’t rely on banks or other financial institutions lending you money because you have a great product/service. Banks are not in the business of loaning money to new businesses, it’s just a fact in life. So make sure you have enough capital to keep your business afloat for several months to a year before jumping in.

Before starting, estimate the overhead to run the business, consult with friends or colleagues who have their own business and ask questions on how they managed their first year and what expenses they did not expect. There are a few organizations available to help such as SCORE who can provide guidance and direction.

3-    Build it and they will come. If you want to start a business based on the fact you have a unique product and people are just waiting to buy, think again. People have developed buying habits and the only way to break into that habit is to let people know you exist and have a great product. Offer compelling reasons why they should switch to your product.

bigstock-Businessman-Circling-Success-41064631Do your homework. Identify who your customers are, and then develop a plan how to sell to them. The two simple reasons people buy are to avoid pain and gain pleasure. Not just aches, but the pain of not liking something, such as their kitchen, their clothes, or poor skin or hair.

4-    Know when to quit. This is about an exit strategy. Even though you are just starting out, knowing how you plan to leave the business will help you develop a plan to grow the business. Sounds weird, but this will help give you some clarity to building up the business.

Keeping track of your investment and what you plan to get out of it puts things in focus. Did you know that 90% of businesses that go up for sale never get sold? So have an exit strategy.

5-    Support from those you know, especially family. Starting a business is a commitment, and that will put a lot of stress on a family. In the beginning most of your time will be dedicated to building the business, and that should be clearly understood when you take this giant leap. After you get a foothold and the business becomes profitable then you need to take time off. If you are married and have children, you need to take a break from work. Vacations, even short, two day camping trips will re-energize you and keep the family supportive.

To sum all this up:                                                                                                                                 Keep the Passion, Have Clarity and Continue To Learn From Others

Give George Carson a call when you need to build more traffic to your business. A solid publicity campaign and marketing strategy can keep your passion alive! Call: 949-477-9400 today.

7 tips you need to know!

Career Bridge

You are the only person responsible for how your career turns out. Excuses are not going to change anything, if you think otherwise, then you are starting in the wrong direction to improve your career. Follow these 7 tips and you could be the next CEO.

1-    Choose a career you like. Sounds simple, but many people get into a field or career because of the money or it was their first job. If you like it great, but if you don’t then start thinking of a career change. You cannot move forward if you have a mindset that your job is only a place to collect a paycheck.

2-    Knowledge is king. If your field of work requires more education to advance, then be proactive. Do some research to find classes to help you become a better person, or to learn a skill in your field that will help you. For example, if you lack presentation skills and your company does a lot of presentations to new customers, then take classes to learn PowerPoint, or how to conduct meetings, or join Toastmasters to improve your speaking skills.

3-    You’re not alone, only if you choose to be. Networking in person is an excellent way to get outside advice and a different perspective. Surrounding yourself with people in similar fields can improve your career advancement by letting others know of your goals and what interests you. Get familiar with people outside your company; make friends with people who work for competitors. You may learn about a new position to advance your career.

4-    Make a location change. Sometimes you need to sit back and decide if you are a big city person, or prefer the small town atmosphere. This can hamper you if for some reason you cannot stand the fast pace in a large city. Jobs are not always available in every career in big and small cities, so this is important to decide before you to stick with a career.

5-    Moving on. When you got your first job, money might have not been as important until you wanted to buy a new car, or a house, or live in a more expensive neighborhood. If you feel making more money is just as important as the career you choose, then maybe it’s time to move on. That means changing careers, not just location. As you explore new options you will eventually find the career path that meets your needs.

6-    Get online in a social way. Another form of networking is through social media. Get connected with LinkedIn and build a network of people in your career, or a career you are seeking to enter. If you have a resume, post it on sites like CareerBuilder, or Monster and The Ladders to name a few. Remember, things just don’t always happen, you need to make it happen, and becoming involved with social media can improve your career opportunities.

7-    Have good people skills. You probably hear this all the time that some people just do not work well together. Or they are not good communicators. What about those who just don’t listen closely to what you are saying and ask the same question over again. These are soft skills, or people skills. Improve these skills and you can advance your career no matter the field or location. Examples of skills to help your career would be knowing how to write proper business emails, and how to treat customers. These are just two important skills needed in business today.

Google and Yahoo are constantly competing with each other to prove they are the better choice. They are continually changing their algorithms and it affects the way companies are listed. Well, this has also created a lot of issues and complaints. Because just when you think all is figured out, they change it again. So now is the time to re-think your PR Marketing Strategy.web-optimizing

Ok, so what’s the secret? Actually, there isn’t a secret. Knowing the basics to search engine optimization and using these tactics can improve your rankings. Let me give you few tips to improve your website rankings:

1- Forget Keywords! Yes, that’s right. Keywords placed in meta tags, etc. are a waste and can actually cause your website to fall lower on the listings. In the last couple of years, SEO’s have decided this is no longer a valid way to rank sites. One reason (among others), many so-called web optimizers would “stuff” words and often they didn’t even relate to a company’s industry. So don’t let anyone tell you that using keywords in your meta’s is the way to go.

Ok, now that I crushed your SEO marketing strategy, let’s see how to effectively use keywords. Place keywords in your content. The website should include several of the keywords, but do not overuse them. That can also result in lower listings.

2- Titles are Key. One critical area that is always overlooked is the title of your pages. Web designers are becoming more aware of how important this is, but you should make sure that your titles are using keyword(s) to further improve your rankings. SEO’s look for titles that relate to your pages.

3- Content is Still King. Keep your content fresh. This doesn’t mean to always change your text. It means adding a blog section to your site. Be sure to keep this active. Have someone in your company blog at least twice or three times per week. And submit these posts to Google.

4- Backlinks. This still remains a positive way to show the SEO’s that your site is recognized by others. How do you get credible back links? Begin with a PR Campaign. This can be a series of press releases submitted to all the digital media in your market and submitted to Google, Yahoo, and MSN and sent through newsworthy online distributors. In addition, create a social media campaign. This should include Google+, a LinkedIn profile of your business, and a Facebook business page. These three social media combined with a pr campaign can give you the backlinks and awareness you need to get higher rankings.

The last thing on the list is a good, clean design. Why? Because as I said earlier, those little bots used by SEO’s are very sophisticated and can “see” if the site is ugly, hard to read, has poor grammar, or has too much color. The site should be easy to navigate and your home page should be clearly understood as to what services and products your company offers. If you need an SEO tune up to get more traffic and higher rankings, give George Carson a call. He will make sure you have a site to be proud of because it will get you results! Call today: 949-477-9400.

When you ask a friend if they use social media, they first think of Facebook, or Twitter. Ask if they use these social media for business and the answer is “no.”

Social meida-penguinsNow if you ask a business owner, such as a pr client, what is social media, they will answer, “people who use Facebook and Twitter to gossip about their lives.” Is that what social media is to you? Is there something wrong here? Yes, businesses still have not learned how to ride this powerful media wave to their advantage. B2B are very slow in accepting that social media can become their best source for increased revenue. If social media is not part of your publicity campaign, then it’s time to re-think your plan.

You already know about Linkedin. But did you know this is one of the best forms of social media for any business. So are Google+ and Twitter. Facebook is slowly becoming a business source and that is affecting Facebook’s core customers, individuals. Many people have moved on to other social media, like Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare and a host of others. PR clients can really benefit from a well-planned social media campign.social-media-ages

I saw an article by Amber Mac who identified 5 simple tips for B2B to become successful using social media. Amber’s tips:

1-  Invest in a strategic plan. Have an objective, goals laid out before taking the social leap. And be consistent, this is a Mon-Fri assignment, not a on- shot project assignment.

2-  Build the right team. It is necessary to have reliable people, or person do the postings. They should know your overall plan to be effective.

3-  Select the right tools. This is where you need to learn about Linkedin and how to make the best of it. Also, look into Instrgram, which can be a plus for your business. And Google+ will help increase your rankings and visibility.

4-  Include content marketing. These are blogs, photos, videos and other content to educate your potential customer.

5-  Embrace partner amplification. Whether your partner is an outside vendor, or internal staff, engage in their social media. Share posts, photos, leave comments.

Keep in mind that social media is a digital form of face-to-face conversations. Done correctly you can take advantage of using these large networks to increase visibility, increase customers, and increase profits. The tips mentioned above can be applied to any social media.

Use these 4 guidelines to target prospects:

• Current and intended customers. Know the company types, and specific names.

• Job titles are important. Be sure you know all the variations such as “VP”, and vice-president.

• Industries. Know what industries you want to approach. Don’t go after too many, target only two in the beginning, then expand your target.

• Know the location you want to reach. Meaning, local, national, or international.

As I mentioned earlier, Linkedin should be on top of your business social media list. Once you master that network, the other social media will be much easier to implement a campaign. If you need help in creating a social media campaign, give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400.

Maybe the question should be: If you are not actively involved with your customers (whether they are B2B or B2C) on a daily basis, do you know if they will continue to buy your product or service next year? 

Social networking is powerful

Face it; social media isn’t a fad that will go away anytime soon. You can only ignore progress for a certain amount of time. Then you need to either accept the realities of how to make social media be your partner to succeed, or you wake up one morning wondering how your business suddenly is loosing sales. If you have a solid PR Marketing Strategy, it should include social media.

I’m sure you heard this lecture before, but now is the time for PR Clients to become very active with this media. Before you jump up and down saying, “show me the secret to social media success!” first lets look at some current statistics.

Over 30% of US adults get their news updates from social media. Of those people, 66% use their smartphone or tablet to access the news. If your target audience is 18 – 29 year olds, 71% of them use the Internet as their main source for information. To put this into perspective, a consumer will talk to others (using various social media like Twitter, Facebook, personal blogs, Instagram, yelp, etc.) about their experiences. Over 90% will use some sort of social media while 27% will talk to an actual person, usually on the phone about their experience. Also, social media is a quick and instant method of making people aware of what they like, or hate. This is another reason why your PR Marketing Strategies need to be current with today’s forms of communication.

Email is an early form of social media. Today businesses cannot think of how to communicate without using email. Savvy PR Clients know that Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin are quickly

Publicity is part of social media

becoming the choice for businesses to stay in touch with their customers and end users. You get immediate feedback on your products and services when using social media. This allows a company to make the adjustments needed to maintain a good position in the market. No longer do we need to do a focus group, only to then wait about a month to get all the data and then act accordingly. That process is too time-consuming, and becomes “old news” very quickly.  If you rely on that form of testing, then you might go out of business before you know it.

With the upcoming holiday shopping season, retailers are pushing hard with their social media to get customers to buy from them. Case in point, Walmart uses Twitter to talk about how their competitors are not stocking certain items, and they publish (re-Tweet) complaints by people about other retailers. Some refer to this as Twitter hijacking. It isn’t. It’s just smart marketing and knowing how to use social media to your business advantage. Facebook is another social media that Walmart has profited from. Other retailers are using this strategy to cut through all the clutter this season.

As you can see, social media can improve sales, create positive awareness, build your brand, and all this can be done quickly (as compared to a print media campaign). Don’t spend valuable time learning how to use this powerful media, instead interview companies that specialize in this media and hire the one that best fits your needs. If you are open minded and willing to embrace social media correctly, then what are you waiting for, your competitors to jump ahead of you?

Better yet, get the jump on your competitors, call George Carson today at 949-477-9400.