How to make more dollars in a tough economy

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.

How Are Your Communication Skills?

One in a series for publicity tips

Knowing how to write a press release, or an article for publication is in itself a talent, a skill. But do you know how to communicate your pr client to the media? Oh yeah, that’s right, you’re a pr professional, so how can you not know! Well, don’t be surprised, but many of the new people in the industry are just not "listening" to their pr clients. This is alos true of companies that have in-house publicity departments who are probably experiencing this same problem…no one is really listening.

This is a skill that seems to be lacking within the publicity industry. Everyone wants to be heard, but no one wants to take the time to really listen.

Listening is much different than hearing.

For example:

  • When we are asleep, we still "hear" things. That is how we wakeup to an alarm clock, or a dog barking.
  • Listening is when you are understanding to what someone is saying

This is the main difference. We are seeing that young publicity professionals are too busy THINKING of what to say in response to the person talking. That holds true with pr people not completely listening to clients about the new product or service they want to promote.

This skill is very important when communicating to the media. The way you speak to a reporter, how you "hear" and Listen" to what they are asking, can make a big difference in getting a story, or a press release published.

Look into getting a refresher course, or ask for help from professional pr people who know how to communicate. There are a lot of sources, courses and books. Make yourself be a good listener, it can only help you communicate better.

See Also

How To Improve Your Publicity Skills

One in a series

publicity skillsPublicity can be taught in school. It can also be learned being an intern at a publicity firm. What we are now facing are "poor" publicity skills.

I am not referring to the vocabulary or grammar that is used when you are communicating. Those are called the hard skills, like math. These are the soft skills that are not taught in schools or at any job.

Here is an example.
When you type someone an email you probably:

  • Do not use capitalizations
  • Or you type in all caps
  • Your sentences are combined without punctuation
  • Your signoff is your first name

Everyone is guilty of this, including pr professionals, who should be very communication sensitive. We are seeing more poor publicity skills when contacting publishers, pitching stories, or sending press releases, all through email. It is becoming habit and we are always in a rush, so who cares about publicity skills?

But if this were a typed letter, you would make sure the structure of the letter and the wording make smart business sense.

You can improve your pr skills by:

  • Learning when and how to use style and "tone of voice"
  • Knowing how to acknowledge, respond and signing off
  • Knowing good practice guidelines for delivering your email service
  • Developing practical skills for responding to emails

These are simple tips but seem to be forgotten when we communicate through email as we contact the media. Professionalism will always rank higher and gain more respect than those who think casual or informal communication is the key to favorable publicity.

See Also

Marketing a Business with Publicity

Staying ahead of the competition

It is an on-going struggle to keep a business profitable. For that reason alone, you need to make sure you have a plan that includes all the marketing tools and publicity programs available. Whether you are a publicity agency, a pr client, or a marketing company, you need to implement some of these suggestions:

  • Keep in touch with clients. Sounds simple. How many times this year have you contacted a client just to see how things are? One suggestion is to draft a letter that can be sent to all customers. Ask if your company can be of further service, or if they have any questions about a recent order you sent to them. This can be generic, but the intro and the addressee should be personalized.
  • Flyers or Postcards. Another excellent way to stay in touch. Use flyers or postcards to let your prospects and existing clients know about any new products or services you are offering. Unlike a letter that is more formal, these get read faster and can generate more immediate responses.
  • Internet marketing. Use email to keep them informed. You can convert a postcard or create a flyer that can be sent as an email. Don’t forget about your web site. Make sure it is informative. What, you don’t have a site! And if you do, when was the last time it was updated? Keeping content fresh is important in today’s web marketing.

These are just a few ideas that should help you get back on track. Communication is important. This is another reason why a publicity campaign should be part of your overall media mix.

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Talk, Talk, Talk

Know what you’re saying

Communication. That’s what Advertising and Publicity are all about.

The better you can communicate, will improve your chances of getting your message in front of reporters. Communication, as you know, is how you use words. It is in the writing, and in the speaking.

Although reporters like to write their own stories, they are more receptive to someone who has presented their story in a well-prepared manner.

That’s why you should never think you know it all. As long as you are alive, be willing to learn from others. I’m sure we can all improve our communication skills.

Reading books, or listening to tapes on "How-To" will help guide you. It is the actual doing that makes your talents sharper. Learning these skills will also improve your image.

After writing your release, or story, or articles have someone other than a co-worker read it. Listen to their comments. See if what they say makes sense and “consider” making changes to your article.

This type of input can provide you valuable insight to improve your writing. Don’t be afraid to make changes. And don’t get caught up in the creative side of your writings. Remember, you are writing for the readers, not for yourself.

These few tips should be helpful. If you need more guidance and want help in writing your first series of releases, or an article, give me a call. And together we can get your company noticed!

See Also