Public Relations Service Public Relations Service Archives - CarsonPR

When the economy took a nose-dive a few years ago, it affected your business as well. Some of you may have witnessed the closings of divisions, departments, and cutbacks on your services/products. If you were some of the few to survive this period, today you should be seeing an improvement. Now is the time to do an evaluation of your business. Maybe the earlier cutbacks have actually improved your overall operation. But how do you know if that actually made a positive difference? There are several methods, and formulas available to “do the math.” One in particular is a “short form” available at MSN Money. The site has a simplified calculation you can do. This shouldn’t be your final approach to see how the company stands, but it will give you a chance to begin an evaluation process for your business.

business valuation

business valuation

So the question is: How do you increase the value of your company? Besides increasing sales, which is not an easy task, you should consider doing things that are in your control. One suggestion is to create an awareness campaign about your company. People and other businesses like to work with companies that “appear” to be successful. Keeping your company name in front of your potential and current customers will improve your brand and it could generate more sales.

An awareness campaign can be as simple as a series of press releases. To really get the awareness going, I recommend including a community program. Look for events that are in your area and see how you could be involved. It doesn’t always cost money to become a sponsor, or to participate in a local, or regional event. Maybe your company has a product(s) or services that the event could use in exchange for paying to become a sponsor. Use this opportunity to let the media (press) know about your activity. If you have an in-house publicity person, (or an outside pr firm) be sure they know of the company’s involvement. If the event warrants, hold a press conference and be visible at the event. Don’t just add your logo as part of the signage. Take an active role and get your employees to participate at the event. If your business is in a position to make a donation to a charity, this too is newsworthy. These are a few suggestions to get more visibility.
It is important to not do a one-shot announcement, or press release. Having an on-going campaign is important. This will establish your company as being solid. Reporters will take you more seriously when they see consistent activity.

Before jumping into an awareness campaign, develop a plan. This will be your guide. It can and will probably change as you become more active. That’s fine. Be sure to consult with your publicity staff or pr firm as things develop so that you continue on the path outlined in your overall plan.

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?

Everyday we are challenged to find better methods to increase revenue for our businesses no matter the situation of the economy. If you are an out-of-the-box thinking executive, then you already are on the right path to increased profits.

Social and soft skills

Using your soft skills with social media are powerful tools

So you might ask, what is the secret, or winning formula to be successful in this economy? Actually, there isn’t a secret or magic bullet. What you have today are many excellent marketing tools that did not exist 5 or 6 years ago. Some of these tools are being used by your competitors, and too often they are not savvy enough to fully understand how to utilize them to their advantage. Incorporating these tools into your publicity campaign is a must.

What I am referring to is a combination of soft skills and  social media. No, not just the kind of social media that says by creating a Facebook business page, or writing a company blog you will reach your customers. Also, having a website doesn’t mean that your business will automatically increase sales. Social media goes much deeper. It needs to be incorporated into a company’s corporate culture. It needs to be an active part of your business plan, marketing plan, and your publicity plan. That’s where the soft skills (social skills), when combined with social media, can explode a company into profitability when you understand how to incorporate these powerful tools.

Social media is the general term used today to describe a wide range of different methods to “communicate” to your customers. Whether you are a B2B company, or B2C or both, using the social media tools correctly (just like buying the correct print/broadcast or online media) can change how your business will grow, or fail. Every company likes to think that they are current with social media, because they are either online or have a social presence. Businesses fail mainly because they do not have a long-term commitment when implementing these forms of communication into their

Corporate Culture and Social networking

Social Media Tools

marketing/publicity strategy. A teenager can probably do a better job of communicating to your customers using the vast forms of social media because that is part of their culture. Soft skills are the other half to creating a successful business. Knowing how to listen to your customers, how to write proper business emails and knowing the how to handle customers (this is more than being a sales rep) are just a few of the many soft skills that are lacking at most businesses today.

Smart executives will accept their weaknesses and find the solutions to improve a company’s performance. If you are one of those people, then re-evaluate your business and be objective or you too won’t see nor understand why your company is slipping into the red while your competitors are moving forward, passing you along the way. Need help in getting to that next level, or just want to know how to increase your company’s bottom line? Give George Carson a call. It’s free and do it before your company gets passed by. Call him at 949-477-9400.

Publicity doesn’t just happen. A successful campaign requires planning. From press releases that are strategically scheduled for distribution to specific articles submitted to selected media all are part of how to create a successful publicity campaign that will gain media exposure.

Increase Awareness With Publicity

Before you begin contacting reporters it is important to prepare yourself and the company by knowing the specific elements in the plan. A few of the key publicity campaign elements are:

PRESS KIT. A digital press kit will help provide reporters information about your company, products and the services you offer. Included in this kit should be references to any published articles on your company, bios on key personnel, photos of products and executive staff, online brochures, etc. A Fact Sheet is a quick reference page that provides a summary of your company location, philosophy/mission statement, product listing, and contact person. Keep this kit updated. Create a special area on your website for PRESS ROOM.

PRESS RELEASES and ARTICLES. When writing publicity releases for your pr client, keep the information limited to the facts and do not use sell copy. Put yourself in the reporters position. If you receive a well-written article filled with facts, and benefits for customers, you would be more likely to publish the release. Even more so, you might call the company to get more background and information. Limit your press release to one page if possible.

PR Clients usually to want include everything making the release a 4 or 5 page document. You should also optimize your press release. If you are writing a release or article for a local company, consider the local media and reporters. You can distribute the release nationally, but always work with local reporters so they get to know about your company and products.

MEDIA LIST. Very important and critical to any distribution. Your list should be updated on a regular basis. Have different categories for the types of reporters and media.

OFF-THE-RECORD. Never say this to a reporter and then tell them something you did not want published. There is no such thing as off-the-record.

SOCIAL NETWORKING. If you have not included social media in your list of distribution, then do so. This includes bloggers, online publications, Google News, and so on. Businesses should use their Linkedin and Facebook accounts to let their network of people know what the company has been doing. It is an ideal way to spread the word quickly and get immediate feedback. Even Twitter can have links to your website or published articles.

These are only a few of the many things you should be doing to increase awareness for your company. If you want to know more, just call George Carson at 949-477-9400. The free consultation could help improve your company’s image and make prospects more aware of your company. Visit us at Carson Marketing, Inc.

How difficult can it be to send a press release to the Wall Street Journal, or get your company featured on a national TV news show, like Diane Sawyer? Actually, it is very difficult. Sending the release alone is easy. Getting the reporters to take serious notice of what you sent, that’s difficult. And harder yet, is to make your company be newsworthy in their eyes.

National and Local Publicity

Getting any reporters attention requires relationships. A good public relations agency has developed strong relationships with the media. This doesn’t happen overnight. Unless you have a world changing product, or a unique service, it may be a challenge to just get any media to listen to what you have to say. With all the world politics today, disasters, and 3rd world revolutions, getting your 15 minutes of fame may not be as easy as you expect. PR Clients tend to believe they have the best product, best story, or the best new widget and the world needs to know this. Well, as true as this might be, if the presentation to the media isn’t as exciting, then you just lost that pr opportunity.

Packaging (presenting) your story is critical, as is the timing. Putting fluff into your release or story is not a good idea. Keep the facts real, keep the information short and don’t SELL your story using sales pitch language. Remember, reporters are people. They do not want to be sold to or told that you are the greatest at what you do. Explain why your product or service will help others, or solve a specific problem. That is just one way to get the attention of the media.

If you want to get local publicity, you need to do the same thing as a national publicity story. A good local publicity agency will have a good relationship with the local media, and they will know how to package your story to the selected reporters that best meets your pr marketing strategy.

Learn more about getting national or local publicity from Carson Marketing, Inc. Call for a NO COST consultation meeting to discuss how your company can be in the news. Contact George Carson at 949-477-9400.

Social media has become a staple in the world of communication. The proof is the new battle between Bing, and Google who both recently announced deals withsearch engines bing and google Twitter and Facebook. So how does this affect your web site? A lot, and in a positive way! This shows that SEO and social media are partners in your pr marketing strategies success. Be sure your public relations campaign includes these updates.

Since both SEO’s like content, and a lot of it, then your Twitter and Facebook can become major sources to be recognized by these SEO’s. But remember as I mentioned in my recent posts about Twitter, you need to have good content in those limited words. Don’t make sales pitches, give content.

Use keywords in your tweets and Facebook sites. And important are the links you use in the content. One tip, don’t have your feeds cross back and forth from your tweets and Facebook, turn it off, if the messages are the same on both. This may affect Bing from picking up your feeds if the are the same. Make them each unique, and you are good to go.

This is just another change in the war of search engines struggling to become the choice of consumers. Keeping informed of these types of changes is a full time job. So keep following this blog and we will do our best to help you be current so that your public relations campaign and pr marketing strategy is a success

Is your publicity or ad campaign for your pr client reaching the millennial generation?

If you don’t know who this group is, here is a definition I found on a Florida University site. It reads: “Millennial is the first generation to grow up with computers at home.the millennial generation Sometimes called Generation Y, Millennial generation experienced high pressure to succeed and is the most watched and tolerated generation in history. ”

This group is more sophisticated than previous generations about marketing and internet marketing. To reach them, you need to follow their rules. A typical public relations service campaign is not going to work. PR clients need to learn their rules and only then will corporations be able to get their products into the hands of the “millennials”.

So what are these rules? I saw an article in iMedia Connection by Krisserin Canary who explains the rule. And she should know, being a millennial herself. These are a short summary of her article. Read the entire story to get the full insight.

1- Get their attention. This group since birth has been told they are “special” and “unique”. This created a generation of “needy” and “entitled” humans. That means they are centered on themselves. So to get their attention, you need to make the pr marketing strategy be focused on what is relevant to them.

Non-intrusive interaction. Advertising needs to be interactive, or at best advertise “with” them, not “to” them. Millennials do not like things getting in their way, such as when listening to music, watching a video, or reading a blog or texting.

2- Get them interested. The ad banner, or ad that appears on the internet page must be direct and tells who and what you are. Flashing your logo is not going to work. Explain who and what you are and invite the reader to your site.

3- Take the lead. When they become comfortable with you, take the millennial to places they wouldn’t have gone before and introduce them to your new content. Basically, keep them updated, give them feedback, and speak in their language.

Although all this sounds simple and basic, it has been difficult for pr clients and public relations firms to understand this generation. If you need to hire a company to help you create a publicity campaign or an advertising campaign to reach this generation, contact us. We can make things happen for your company.

Learn how to create an effective email campaign.

Advertising agencies and publicity firms do not understand fully how to help pr clientsemail marketing with their email marketing. That’s because they have not taken the time to learn the new rules of cyber marketing. Anyone can send an email. And yes, I am sure you get a lot of junk mail. It is estimated that business people receive over 300 emails per week (a low average I would guess), and of that, 62% is junk email.

PR Clients should understand that potential customers could open their messages as well as existing customers when the proper use of email marketing is performed. Several topics exist on this subject. And if you Google the term “email marketing”, you will get 415 million results to search through. Instead of struggling through all this, you can start with a company called Elite Marketing. I don’t know this company personally, but know of them. The company’s site offers a lot of great information to point your email campaign in the right direction.

Publicity is everywhere, that’s what I profess all the time. Email is part of publicity. If you are a pr client, or a publicity company creating pr campaigns, be sure to use the proper ways to implement an effective email program.

A few tips for a successful eMail Campaign. These and more tips can be found in the Elite Email site.

1- The Subject Line. This is most poorly worded section. Yet, it is the most important because the “subject’ is how people decide if the email has any value to them.

2-Keep it short. Long explanations in the subject are not good. Keep the description short. And to the point.

3- Overly Exaggerated Subjects Doesn’t Fool Anyone. For example, don’t make claims that people know are false, such as “we can make your dreams come true”. Be honest and direct. Your email will have a better chance of being read.

4- Have a call to action. Be sure to give a reason for the reader to contact your company. Sometimes it can be through a “coupon” campaign, or a special offer at the end of the message.

There are dozens of tips you can find on the site mentioned and as well as other sites. So take the time to make sure your subject and the message are well written. Have a pr professional or copywriter help construct the message. Email is part of a pr marketing strategy. Use it wisely and your pr clients will results.

If you need additional help with your pr marketing, we offer FREE advice. Contact George Carson, or visit our web site, Carson Marketing Inc.

PR Clients can get bad Publicity, or Good Publicity. Which one is best for your company’s public relations?

To get a better understanding, you need to first know how to react to publicity exposure. Whether you are the pr client who is getting bad publicity, or good publicity, you must have a plan that has positive reactions. Being prepared to answer questions is critical in any pr campaign. Keeping personal feeling aside, and keeping a clear focus on business can alter how the media perceives you, which in turn will be how the consumer reacts to your name. Your response can increase your branding position if handled properly.

Let’s get into the good and bad of publicity. For example, Mattel received a lot of media exposure for their toys that were made innegative publicity China using lead paint. An article in the New York Times describe the situation. As much as this was negative publicity for that pr client, they took too long to respond. In addition, the CEO chose to not accept that Mattel should take responsibility for their non-involvement of the Chinese manufacturer. A positive note would have been to address the issue quickly by mentioning that it is difficult for US companies to keep a strong control over companies in China that you contract to manufacture products. It is known that this country is still in a competitive situation and will switch to cheaper materials even after you contract with them. The lead paint was probably what the manufacturer in China selected after the agreement, because they (the Chinese company) could make a few cents more per toy.

Is this Mattel’s problem? Yes, they should do a check more often of their products. Why? Because the US standards are more rigid and they (Mattel) should become more active with offshore manufacturers. On a positive note, Mattel was quick to provide consumer web sites, and recall centers to avoid any harm to children. That was a positive move. So I ask, was the negative publicity good or bad for Mattel?

Ok, let’s move to Countrywide. As you know, they have been hit hard with the sub-prime loans going “south” in the housing market. Was the publicity bad? Of course. Did it hurt the company? Yes. Is it as forgiven as Mattel’s negative publicity, NO! Why? Because Countrywide had complete control and knew exactly what they were doing and the CEO knew the condition of the market and how they (being the largest in that industry) were actually controlling its outcome. Countrywide within the industry is known to do these poor loans in the past, so it is no surprise by inside industry people and companies. But did Countrywide respond correctly. NO again. They ignored the problem and hoped to be bailed out. That is exactly what B of A and Citibank are doing. Saving their butts. Yet, the CEO, the top executives are all getting their big paychecks, and enjoying life without caring what they have created in the housing market. The company refuses to admit to all the wrong doings, and blame people for the slump. But it is these companies, like Countrywide and all the others who cause the problem, not those who got loans that really should not have been granted loans.

Now you decide, is the publicity and handling the reaction to the negative publicity good or bad for Countrywide. My guess, it is bad. Few will want to do business with them, unlike Mattel; people will forgive them and buy their toys in the near future.

Build a solid database for reporters and other media

Do you have a customized media list to distribute your press releases? Are you using a public relations agency, or do you submit your press releases through a PR distribution service?

It doesn’t matter what method you use, what matters is yourmedia list publicity release or article reaches the reporters or editors that relate best to your industry. You need to target the right media. Using a general, catch-all list will not help your publicity campaign move forward. So what is the solution to reaching the right media?

I read an article called “Guide to Creating a Media List for Your PR” that has many of the answers.

If you don’t get a chance to read the article, I’ll give you a short review of what that author suggests.

1- Purchase a list.  There are companies that provide media lists for sale. You can start looking at Bulldog Reporter’s Media Base, or PR Essentials Company. Another well-known name in publicity services is BurrellesLuce.

2- Distribution Service. Several companies provide distribution of press releases. A few of them are: PRWeb, although a free service, to get full distribution, you will need to subscribe or upgrade from free to fee. eReleases and Advanced-PR are two other companies to consider. Each charges a fee. Another public relations service for distribution is 24-7 Press Release. They also have a fee.

3- Create your own custom list. This is good for pr clients or small pr firms that need to distribute locally, or in limited industries. Try NewsDirectory.com, or Yahoo! News Directory.

If you want to really get noticed, then you need to do more than just send out a press release or two. It requires an on-going effort. It requires hiring a public relations service company who can develop, write and distribute a full campaign. Did I mention that’s what we do? We are here to help you meet your publicity goals. Call George Carson today. He’ll get you noticed!