How to Retain Customers and Increase Business

Publicity is Everywhere Series- “Follow-ups”

Almost all companies, including PR Clients, advertising agencies and  major manufacturers do not make follow-up calls to exisitng customers. Why? Because sales people are too busyincrease business making calls to “potential”, or new customers. Usually it is considered a sure account when a customer is already buying from your company.

That type of thinking is what causes PR Clients to fall and loose profits. Stop for a minute and think about that. If you, as a pr client, or any company has the sales team always calling “new and potential” customers, who are they calling? It is your competitors customers, right? Well, then wouldn’t you think they (competitors) are calling YOUR customers as well! Why not have your sales team use some pr marketing strategies and other publicity tactics that are a sure fire winner. One of those tactics is called “follow-up calls”. Simple, isn’t it? Consider yourself being the customer. Or better yet, isn’t it great when a vendor calls just to see if everything they are doing is working for you.

Makes you feel good about them because they took the time to be interested in your company. This simple form of publicity can gain you favorable and positive rewards with clients. We try to remind our pr clients that they can increase sales by staying in close communication with existing customers. Why wait until you get a letter of cancelation from them to make a call. Or find out later that your competitor is gaining a tight relationship with the new buyer.

If you don’t believe me, then go to an expert in the communication field who speaks of this exact topic. His name is Ari Galper. His company is called Unlock The Game. Ari has many different topics to help companies look beyond their traditional work habits and change their thinking to be more proactive.

After you listen to a few of his topics, then give us a call. We can then help you with the marketing, publicity and promotional programs to make great things happen for your company.

Azzurro Wheels goes with Carson PR

Publicity in Orange County doesn’t really get as much recognition for those pr agencies, pr clients as it should. For example, we recently were awarded the complete publicity, marketing and advertising for Azzurro Wheels based in St Charles, Illinois. The company, not being a major consumer product, makes Publicity in Orange County for our company limited to only pr clients that are national in the sense of name recognition, not national in scope.

The new client, which sells to the go-kart industry, manufactures different racing wheels for indoor and outside tracks for go-karts. Not a big impact for the general awareness, but big enough in the karting industry.

go-kart wheel manufacturerWe began the campaign by developing a theme “Simply The Finest. Period.” with a new fractional page ad. This is being enhanced with a web marketing plan to get more customers to visit the web site. We also created the company’s web site. In addition, we will be doing press releases, publicity press kits, negotiate pr articles, and will be responsible for all the marketing and advertising materials for the company.

When someone mentions the words “Publicity in Orange County” you think of only a few companies. That’s even true with Ad Agencies. Why? Those few get press becasue they may work with a larger, nationally known branded company.  Yet, many successful publicity and advertising agencies are in Orange County. There are different organizations and clubs that pr clients, pr agencies, and ad agencies can join. One for example is the OC Ad Club. Another, for those in publicity in Orange County you can join the Orange County Public Relations Society of America (OCPRSA).

Choose Your Words Wisely For Web Sites

Writing for Publicity and Web Sites is different

Writing press releases and brochure textYes, this may seem obvious. Yet is it a common mistake all pr clients and writing professionals make. When you write a press release, or a web page the text should be written differently. After saying this, will you agree that writing for a brochure is also different than writing for a web site or web page?

Pr clients and professional agencies sometimes think writing is all the same and anyone can do it. Wrong! It takes a different style, and discipline of writing for brochures, ads, sales materials, press kits, articles and web pages, even blogs. Let me give you an example.

People who pick up a publication will probably read an entire article, especially if it is of interest. The same is true for a company brochure. When you open a web page about that same company, you will most likely pick up snippets of information, glance over images and subheads, just to get a brief understanding of the company.

That is why every word is important on a web site. Clients want to always “say” and "sell everything" on their site. "Tell the customer all they need to know", is what one client told me. Well, that won’t close the deal, nor get them interested in contacting you any further!

Always provide the reader the benefits of your product or service at the beginning of your text. Then move into how your company can improve or help them.

If you understand the habits of people when they use different materials to collect information, then you can become a better writer, and more than likely, you might just pick up another client.

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Build a Brand

Branding is now more important than ever

Before you say anything, like "Oh no, not another branding article"…let me explain.

The term Branding is getting more recognition than ever. No matter whom you speak to (in business), or what publications you read, the term BRANDING pops up. That isn’t the reason why I am again talking about branding, it’s because today this is definitely something you need to do to stay competitive.

BUILDING A BRAND is not just slapping your logo on a bunch of envelopes, or on brochures. A real branding program starts within a company.

From the CEO, to the company president to the person answering the phone. It includes your tag line, or slogan; it is how customers, clients and consumers perceive you. When conducting internal business meetings to sending internal messages, they all should reflect the branding image.

All industries are getting more competitive and to stand out you need to build a solid brand image. This is not something that will happen overnight. That’s another good reason to start now, if you haven’t already implemented a program. Be sure your pr agency or pr client understands how to create a branding program.

Branding should be part of all your publicity activities and in all your advertising materials and ad print campaign. Press kits to the media should quickly identify the brand you are developing, as well as any correspondence with the media, such as editors, writers and publishers. You should immediately implement a signature for your emails using your company’s branded image. It is time to make this be an on-going part of your daily business activity. In the long run, it will give your company the competitive edge.

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Who Is Getting Your Press Kits?

Do you know the right person?

Sending out press releases or press kits to editors, publishers take more than addressing a label. You need to make sure the person receiving your media kit, or article is the right person.

Depending on the industry you are in, it can be a guessing game. And if you are sending to the trade media, or consumer media make sure that person is still working at the publication or broadcast station.

Finding The Media
There are many sources to locate the right publication and get the name(s) of the individuals responsible to receive your information. You can go to the public library, buy an SRDS (the cost for the subscription is costly), or do some surfing on the web. Another source is Gebbie Press.

Once you find the right person, make sure you spell their name correctly, and then call to verify that reporter, or editor is still working there.

If you are interested in getting TV or radio exposure, you can call your local affiliates. Many times, they will direct you to the proper producer who is in charge of programming.

Again, be sure to write the name of the person, their phone number and email correctly.

After all that research, you need to contact these people and ask if the story is one that will fit their station. It is always a good idea to have someone in the company, or ask your pr client who would be best suited for an interview.

Follow Through
You can send the reporters or producer a letter, which is probably best in the beginning. Then follow-up in about a week to see if they received your request.

A good public relations service is having the media right people in your contact file. Otherwise, it is time wasted for you and your pr client. 

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Are You Ready for Show Season?

Prepare your materials now

Every industry is preparing for the new selling season and trade shows are the way most companies present their new products and services.

No matter the industry you serve, your trade shows season is coming soon. Whether you can afford to travel to the different shows this year, you need to evaluate the sales materials and publicity kits that can be used to distribute to potential customers and the media.

Having outdated, or last years materials handed out at shows is a sign of a non-productive company. Don’t let your competition steal your market share or customers by them having better sales materials. That is also true for the press kit and any publicity materials.

It can cost you more in potential sales to not invest in developing new materials.

If you are introducing a new product, make sure the package design fits your target audience. And make sure that you have a press release in the Press Room. Better yet a complete Press Kit about the new item(s) and the information about your company, etc. in the kit.

Be prepared to "meet with the press". Make sure you have selected a spokesperson and they are educated on your products and the company’s philosophy, mission statement, etc. You would be surprised how many companies think they know a lot about their company and the products until a reporter asks questions. Remember, you DON"T sell to reporters at trade shows (or anytime for that matter), they want facts. Don’t make the mistake of explaining the product/service as if the reporter was a buyer. That will turn them off.

We have prepared materials for all different clients trade shows, and have prepared them to meet the media for press conferences to announcements of a new product introduction.

Make your time at the show be productive in all areas of marketing and publicity.

And if you cannot attend, we have a program to reach your potential customers and the media so that you don’t miss out on the selling season for your industry.

Call us; we are ready to make good things happen for your company!

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