George Carson presents Power Listening soft skills to colleges

It is hard to believe that a year ago I made a presentation to the California Community Colleges on  “Job Behavior” as the first soft skills lesson. This year our company produced another lesson onpresnetation on soft skills Power Listening. Although many people, including pr clients, ad agencies, even many publicity professionals think this isn’t that important, or a soft skill. Well it is. In fact listening is the most important soft skill a person can learn.

Check out these facts:

Over 75% of what we learn is from listening. And get this, a person can only speak about 180 words per minute, but we hear over 500 words per minute. That means we get bored when people are talking, and therefore loose interest and miss what is said. So if you are a pr client, publicity professional, start listening, not hearing, but listen to what is being said.

It was a great presentation and many of the professors and other administrators at this conference for the community colleges were very pleased with the presentation. Several people commented that they learned a lot and will begin using this Power Listening lesson in their classes immediately.

My other point why I am telling you about this, it is an excellent publicity vehicle. Our company was well received by the 109 community colleges throughout California. This is one of the many ways a pr client can gain exposure for their company, or themselves. Give lectures; speak on topics that you know, or about trends in your industry. A few helpful hints:

• Contact your local Chamber Of Commerce to give a lecture

• Contact any local, or regional associations in your industry and give a talk

• Send an article to your local newspaper to the business editor and ask them to publish your article. Make sure the article is newsworthy and talks about a specific topic in your industry

These are just a few suggestions. To learn more about making presentations, or “how to listen”, give George Carson a call. He knows how to listen, and can show you how to gain favorable publicity when using this soft skill. Contact George at 949-477-9400.

PR Marketing Strategies. Learn How To Use MySpace Correctly.

Today’s topic follows yesterdays with a little more input on reaching this social network.

Listen up pr clients and all of those public relations agencies who think it is still a fad that is going to disappear, social media is stronger than ever, and it’s growing. Until another type of media in cyberspace is developed, social media should be part of your public relations services. If your pr agency cannot provide this service, then go outside and hire a company that can. All pr strategies must now include some type of social media in their overall publicity campaigns.We all know and have heard good and bad things about MySpace. But what a publicity agency needs to do for their pr clients, is to better understand this type of media in order to gain favorable publicity for clients.

Let’s look at how to use social media correctly. For example, a BusinessWeek article by Kerry Miller asked several experts what they think are tips for social media, specifically MySpace. I like to refer to these as rules. The author lists them as 8 tips. Here are a few:

  • Forget the Hard Sell. This means it is time to give than receive. Offer the visitors, and viewers of MySpace something. Whether it is a receipe, a newsletter but give them something, don’t do the hard sell.
  • Focus on Quality Over Quantity. One of the experts, named Key, says to provide useful information to the community, that will develop into friends, which will give you better publicity.
  • Think Long Term. Just like any other pr marketing plan, or publicity event, you need to think in long terms, not immediate.Too many pr clients want “instant” ROI’s, and forget this is a network of people. You need to “give them something” in order to build a relationship. That takes time.

As I have said before, you need to plan this type of publicity activity. It should be part of your overall pr marketing strategy, not a one-shot approach.

The words you choose can help or hurt your press release

How important is PR in your company?

To create a press release, an article or even a web site, requires writing. This in turn means knowing the right words to use.

If a company is concerned about getting favorable publicity, then you better make sure the words you have your pr agency, or in-house pr staff write, are carefully selected. Why? Because it is the words, the phrases and the order these are placed that can make a big difference in getting noticed and published.

Public Relations companies tend to be wordsmith’s. But they too can fall into the "template" of writing and not choose the words that are best suited for each company. If an in-house staff is doing a public relations service for your company, they can also get caught in choosing words that fill space and not benefit the company.  Sometimes you need to look outside of your industry to get a clearer picture so that your approach is different.

But just being different isn’t the solution. It is again, the choice of words you use. Words must be relevant, just as they should when building your web site and optimizing it. The structure is also important.

This is even true with articles and your web site. Your web site becomes the salesperson and only those words are what potential customers will read. These words will describe to them who you are.

Now you can better understand that words placed correctly, and key phrases used properly can increase your chances in getting publicity. Remember to look at your web site to make sure it has the words you need.

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Do You Need An Idea For A Story?

Get creative and break out of the publicity box

Whether you are a pr client or a publicity agency looking for a new slant on an article, try re-thinking how you approach a topic or subject.

We all tend to get into this hole of doing the same type od releases, articles for pr clients. Everyone wants publicity people to be creative, think of a new angle or invent a story for the media. Well, that isn’t always the best way to gain favorable publicity.

articles and stories for publicationWe need to think outside of the publicity box. A good article that addresses this issue is called "How to get Free publicity for small businesses". The author has some good tips to help you think outside of that box. For example, ask your customers (in a survey) that include some controversial questions. This can spark a topic of interest for your industry to get your company an article published.

A few other tips include:

  • Create a top 10 list within your industry. If you have a bakery, or food manufacturer, do a "Top 10 of the most wildest food items made"
  • Offer surprising facts about your industry or business. For instance, if you’re a recruitment firm write an article titled, "The Average Starting Salary of An MBA Graduate is 40 percent Higher Than Their Pre-MBA Earnings."
  • Be first to offer something that no one else has in your industry. Such as a 200% double your money back guarantee. Make sure your product or service is really good.
  • Do you participate in any local charities, or events. Try closing your office for the entire day and have everyone work for that charity. This can be a great headline "Local Print Shop Closed Doors to Help the Needy".

Ok, now you try it, get creative, break out of the rut.

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New PR Client Shifts To CarsonPR

We Get Clients Noticed

We are very pleased to annouce that our company has recently added a new client, Extreme Karting. The industry of go-kart racing has matured over the past few years as the sport has attracted all ages.

go kart racing pr clientToday the sport is known as the premier driving experience for those who want to continue their racing careers into other motor sports like Drag Racing, NASCAR, and Oval Track Racing.

One of the reasons why Carson and Company and its pr division, CarsonPR, was chosen to handle the account was for their ability to get to the core of a company’s business and show how to improve profitability without a major increase in spending. In some cases, using the same budget, by re-directing the money to get higher returns.

George Carson, president of the agency, has handled other  "auto racing" pr clients for over 30 years and knows the sport. His ability to use "smart street marketing" has helped companies find their strengths while increasing the bottom line.

“Knowing how to use a budget wisely”, commented Carson, “is one of our business approaches for a successful program”. Our company uses all the different resources and media available to gain favorable publicity. With over 30 years experience in this industry, the agency knows all the different media as well as how to best negotiate for placement of articles and press releases. 

To help you get your next campaign race ready, give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400, before he is contracted by your competition.

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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.

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Public Speaking for Better PR

Improve your publicity opportunities as an expert

I told you the other day that one of the best methods to build recognition for yourself and your company is to do public speaking engagements, seminars, or lectures.

I practice what I preach.

Last month I made a presentation to 109 Community Colleges in Northern California about a subject I firmly support, that is “Soft Skills”.

Rather than give you my presentation, I am showing you that by speaking on a subject that you believe, or support, or a topic that relates to your industry, is a great way to gain favorable publicity.

Soft Skills is a topic that I support. I am on the BESAC committee for the community colleges in California, and the presentation was on why we need this curriculum in our school system. It was based on research within the business community and the facts proved a need for this program.

The amount of positive return was great. The subject matter was close to the hearts of these educators, and I showed how it would help students to get better jobs while making businesses increase productivity by incorporating this program.

Finding a subject or topic to speak about should not be difficult. Especially if you are active within your industry. Whether you attend trade shows, or are a member of an association, or belong to the chamber of commerce, a topic should be easy to find and write about. Make yourself known to reporters that you have this experience, or subject that can benefit others in your industry, or community.

The rewards are plentiful. Both for your company and for yourself.
So get out there. Use this form of publicity for your pr clients, or for your own company.

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