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Miss CA 2015

Miss CA 2015

Steve Garvey

Steve Garvey–LA Dodgers

Eric Dickerson

Eric Dickerson, NFL Hall of Famer

As pr professionals we are given the task of promoting a pr clients event, but then sometimes asked how can we get more people to attend the event from previous years. This year we worked on a local RV Show that is sponsored by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) at the Fairplex in Pomona, CA. As in the past few years working with this consumer event, we looked at having some sports legends meet and greet visitors. Knowing that many RVers enjoy different sports, and a lot of them will park their RV at the stadiums the night before, we decided to bring some of the greats in Baseball and Football. Our local publicity plan for the 63rd RVIA California RV Show included having the opening weekend (Oct.9) of the 10-day be kicked off with Miss California USA doing the opening. Then on Saturday and Sunday we had Steve Garvey (LA Dodgers), Jim Abbott (Angels) with sports host Roger Lodge, and an NFL Hall Famer, Eric Dickerson draw a large crowd for the first three days. Also, we had lots of media cover the event a couple of days prior to the opening. This week we had other media attend that included a Chinese TV station. The coming weekend we are having another local TV station plus two radio stations (including Vic the Brick) doing live broadcast. And to make the final weekend of the show be successful, we have Rick Harrison (TV reality star on Pawn Stars) do a meet and greet. We did keep the focus on the introduction of the 2016 model RVs from over 45 manufacturers so visitors who attended the show would know what new features they can expect to see at the show. The sports legends gave people another reason to see their favorite athlete while shopping for their new RV.

There are many ways to give some “punch” to an event, and if you understand the audience that will be attending, it is best to tie-in something that will attract them to the show. Publicity is more than sending out press releases, or having a press conference, we look at publicity as a means to communicate a message to a client’s customer. Keeping this in mind should open your creative juices to find that “hook” to give your next event the punch it needs.

If your company is planning an event, give George Carson a call. There’s a good chance you will be pleased to see what he can do to make it more exciting and eventful for your customers. Call him at 949-477-9400

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.

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.

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.

PR Clients always want the best visible coverage from the media. So how do you get this coverage?

Getting Television and Print Coverage

Getting Television and Print Coverage

First you need to plan your publicity campaign. That means you need to establish what is newsworthy, set a target date to make this announcement (press release), be prepared to follow up to all the news media the release was submitted, and have a spokesperson(s) be ready to meet the press. Sounds simple, but this is not an easy task. Knowing the reporters and the media is very critical in getting a story published or aired on broadcast television. PR Clients must rely on their pr agency to direct how and when such a story will be presented. It is the agency’s expertise that will make this happen. Many times pr clients feel that their point of view about their product or service is superior to the competition and cannot understand why “they” are not getting the media or reporters to take notice. For this reason alone, it is important for pr clients to trust the direction, recommendations of the pr agency, if not, it is possible the pr client could create a negative impression to the media and nothing will happen.

We recently had two pr clients that wanted major media coverage. One was for the California RV Show that recently happened at the Fairplex in Pomona on Oct. 11 through 20. The other was Grande Bakery whose 50+ years in business was forced to close due to the city of Santa Ana using eminent domain to take their property for road expansion. We established a strong pr campaign that highlighted the objectives we developed for each pr client. The results were excellent.

The California RV Show had a full week of coverage from KTLA’s Gayle Anderson, plus CBS chief meteorologist Josh Rubenstein, Telemundo TV, various print media and several bloggers writing about the event. You can read more about this publicity campaign in my blog dated October 22.

Grande Bakery required a different type of approach. Knowing this decision by the city was going to impact the lives of the Gallegos family who owned the bakery for over 50 years, and the employees (many who worked there for over 30+ years) and how it was going to have an effect on the community who supported and relied on their goods for over three generations, was our focus. Our timeline was short. We only had three weeks before the city was to take possession of the property so we had to move fast and smart. Our first article appeared in the OC Register with interviews by Tony Gallegos and Ralph Gallegos. This was followed up a few days later with NBC and Telemundo doing interviews. Less than a week later a follow up story with OC Register, NBC TV, plus Telemundo and Excélsior Newspaper created more media attention that generated many calls to the office of Loretta Sanchez. Everyday another media will pickup the article and do their story angle as did OC Weekly’s Gustavo Arellano in today’s online news.

Having a solid campaign that gets your message to your audience is how to get the attention of the media. Knowing when, how and what to do is the pr agency’s responsibility. Give your pr agency the freedom to create the campaign you need and trust their decisions will help you gain the awareness you desire. If your company, event or product needs more visibility, consider a solid publicity campaign. If you need help developing the campaign then give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400. We know how to “make things happen!”

How many times a day, or a week have you or your pr clients used search engines? And of those times, how many were repeated searches, such as the weather, traffic, places to eat, sports results of your favorite teams, currency exchange, etc?

If this has frustrated you by re-doing these searches, even bookmarks are not reliable, because you need to go through all those bookmarks to find what you want, then read on!

Google’s Next Big Thing

Google is now “leading the pack” again with something they call Google NOW. This unique tool is the future that Google hopes to one day replace search engines, or at least that’s what they would hope for. Why? To put their competition out of business, of course.

If you are a publicity firm, or a pr client, then this could be an asset for you when doing all those searches. For example let’s look at traffic. It will automatically update in real time, the traffic situation by giving you alternate routes on the spot! You need to let Google NOW know your route, which is one of the many things you need to input into their database. Some concerns are the privacy of Google knowing your habits, your likes, and places you frequent. Well, stop worrying, they have been collecting this for years. Same is true with Yahoo, MSN and any other searches you have done over the past 10 years.

So take hold of these new innovations that keep changing our lives by learning how to use them to your benefit. Remember, change is the only constant in our lives, so trying to fight change can be a waste of time and energy. And if you want to know what else Google has planned, well it is called Google Glass. Check it out and see what is planned for the near future.

You can read more on this topic and the viewpoint from other reporters like Cris Crum who has a good perspective on how Google NOW may change your way of using Google in the near future.

Want to learn how to use street smart marketing and web marketing through publicity, then give George Carson a call. He can get your company going in the right direction.

First we must ask ourselves is social networking for everyone, and is it right for my business? That may depend on your knowledge of this expanding media. Not knowing the benefits of the different networks or how they can help you could be critical when making a decision. Just because many businesses are using some of the popular networks such as Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, you need to determine if these are the right pr marketing strategies for your business.

It can IMPROVE your business

So how do you know if your business is ready for social media publicity program? How do you get started? And most important, which social networks will work for your business?

To answer these questions, you need to look at your industry, know your competition and what social networks relate to your market. Not an easy task, nor should it be. Too often companies will jump in because they don’t want to be left behind. The same is true about companies who get into social media, but after a few weeks, push it aside because it requires more work to maintain than they anticipated. It doesn’t matter if you are a local business or a national company, a social networks program can improve your business. This is a good form of communication that has powerful results, just like a publicity campaign.

Below are a few guidelines to help you decide on a social network program.

1- Does your business offer a service or sell product(s) that appeals to a limited market?If yes, determine the size of your potential market. Or, if your business provides the service/product to a broader spectrum, start with the top 2 or 3 markets that are the most profitable.

2- Do you have a sales team? Whether it is one salesperson (outside of yourself) or a dozen sales teams, choose a region to target. This can consist of an area such as the 7 western states in America, or a smaller region such as one specific state. You can grow the area after you have implemented the social network program.

3- Do you have the support staff that can dedicate the proper time to develop and maintain a social network program? If not, you can hire an outside firm.

 4- Does your business rely on walk-in customers, or online sales, or both?

5- Is your business B2B, or a B2C?

6- Are your business goals and objectives to increase sales, or increase profitability?

7- Do you have an advertising or publicity budget? Is it realistic with your sales projections?

8- Are you a start-up, or an established business (been around for at least 3+ years)?

Most businesses can benefit from a well-planned social network program. If you are prepared to take on the task of implementing a social network program, it is now time to see what is available. Here is a short list of other social networks to consider (these are in addition to those mentioned earlier):

Bebo—an AOL network that consumers can share photos, communicate and express themselves. A longer version of Twitter and similar to Facebook.

Focus—this is a B2B network mainly geared for the high tech industry. Companies can get experts to answer or solve their business questions.

MeetTheBoss—a great international network for business and financial industries. Consists of Fortune 500 CEO’s who discuss Leadership, Sales, Innovation, Technology, Marketing, Strategy, Human Capital and Governance.

Ning—You can create your own custom network, and community website.

TalkBizNow—This is a comprehensive interactive business network that allows users the ability to network, advertise their business, etc.

Tumblr—Similar to Twitter that started in 2007.

EONS.com—For the Baby Boomers (40+) Internet users.

Athlinks—For the sports enthusiasts who enjoy swimming and running.

Ryze—Looking to find other new entrepreneurs? This is the place.

Other networks and productive tools to consider are: Ogoing, Pinterest, Dropbox, Twitxr, StumbleUpon. If you use social networks properly, you can reduce your marketing costs while increasing your profits. For example, did you know that Twitter has a search tool to find companies or related businesses that you can follow? Ok, now it’s time to plan a social network program that will meet your company’s goals and objectives.

If you need help, contact George Carson for a FREE Consultation at 949-477-9400.