How to INCREASE your brand awareness without increasing your budget

When the economy worsens it seems companies, pr clients as well, always cut back on everything, and that includes advertising. If you want to increase your brand awareness without increasing your ad budget–and actually reduce your budget, then read on. This approach works great for local pr clients and national pr clients.

In today’s tough economic times, the companies that will survive are the ones who continue increase brand awarenesstheir marketing and brand awareness. You can do this by spending less money than your current ad budget! How? With a creative publicity campaign. Being a publicity professional since 1980, I recommend starting an aggressive local publicity campaign. This should be a series of publicity releases and submission of articles to the media, etc. Then continue with a social media network campaign and a web marketing/publicity campaign. Those are the main elements. To be successful during these difficult times, you need to be consistent. Other things smart publicity professionals would recommend would be your blog site. Start making your blogs work closely with your web site.

Did you realize that I haven’t said to “spend any media money”? Rather than spending media money (print, TV, radio, banners, keywords), allocate 50% of your advertising budget for publicity. Don’t get caught up in buying keywords, or key phrases either. The money you allocate to the local publicity or regional publicity campaign will generate more awareness than the media budget. That’s smart marketing. Impelmenting this will get your pr clients web site listed in all the major search engines. And in return that will create traffic and increase sales. Knowing how to put this all together could be a challenge. In the long run, even if you hire a professional publicity company, like Carson Marketing, Inc., the costs will be much, much less than the media money you would spend just to get “limited” awareness. A well-designed publicity campaign will garner many months of awareness while building your brand. Then as the economy improves, your company will be the one customers will remember and continue purchasing from.

How To Write A Press Release For Publishing

There can never be enough said about writing a good press release.

Most pr clients, pr agencies, and publicity professionals try to overwrite press releases. By that I mean, they want press release writingto produce dozens of press releases to justify their existence and their fees. Without a series of press releases, most publicity professionals, and pr agencies will not survive. I don’t believe in writing just to write for the sake of a retainer fee. It is best to have a solid pr plan that includes a lot of other publicity activities, but that’s another topic.

Let’s get into writing good press releases that will get published.

1- The trap most press releases fall into is no relevance. Too often they do not have information that relates to any specific industry, or the information is a sales pitch. Keep away for phrases such as “out-of-this-world”, “amazing”, “wild”, etc. When writing, try to see it through a journalistic view. How would a reporter, or editor react to your release?

2- What’s important to the consumer or market? Give factual information that will explain why your product or service will have to help the consumer, or improve a situation in the market. Write for your audience.

3- Provide all the necessary contact information. This should include all the people that an editor, or reporter can contact should they want more information, or to follow up.

4- The HEADLINE. Make sure it is not storytelling. It should create interest without being too creative

5- Main paragraph. This is important. It needs to quickly explain and tell– who–what–where–and why of your press release. Most editors will only read the first or second paragraph, so make sure all the important information is in this part.

6- Main body. Now you can further explain with support data about the product or service.

7- Summary. It is ok to repeat some of the information that you had in the first paragraph. Just don’t repeat every word. Always close with the name, address and phone number of the company the press release is about.

Finally, keep the press release short. Some publicity professionals feel they get paid for each word. So they tend to write 2 or 3 or more pages. If the information is that technical, or requires a lot of explaining, then create a short version to get the attention of an editor to contact you for further information. Remember, editors get thousands of releases and if you make it difficult to read, or too long to say what is important, your release becomes recycle paper. I suggest you keep a press release down to 400 and no more than 500 words. Fewer than 400 is best. If you need more help go to this site, which provides information on press release formatting:

Publicity helps new search engine get noticed.

If you haven’t already heard, there is another new search engine, called “Cuil“. It is an Irish word meaning, Knowledge. PR Clients, as well as all publicity professionals, public relations agencies, even local orange county publicity professionals should keep an eye on this new SEO. Why? Because this could be a publicity opportunity for pr clients to gain recognition as this new SEO gets more attention.

Ok, let’s look at this new search engine to get a better understanding. The company was started by former Google engineers. Top notch people, not the sub-level engineers. eWeek article tells more about engine marketing

Cuil feels they have listened to the users of search and decided to provide a better indexing of pages. Here is the catch. There are over 120 billion web pages. That’s a lot of pages to try and create a better search platform. Anyway, these engineers have the support of investors who poured over $33 million into the development. Already, since launch day on July 28, the site has had unexpected traffic causing it to lock up for a time.

What makes this search engine different…Cuil provides tabs to better clarify subjects, they organize the features better so that images are identified by topics with a search refining suggestion area. Is this a better mouse trap? Possibly, but it takes some time learning how to get the most use of this new search. TechCrunch states it is an overrated site and may not live up to what the former Google staffers think it really is.

In any case, publicity professionals should include this search engine as part of their pr clients marketing and publicity program. If you are unable to keep up with all the new search engine changes and need to get noticed, or ranked in the top, then give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400. Carson Marketing, Inc is a solid web marketing company that knows how to get your company noticed. Call today for a free consultation, and just maybe you will learn the secrets to being a top ranked web site.

How to get more publicity from your web site

PR Clients should use their web sites more often as a publicity tool. If you are a pr client and you have a publicity agency, then be sure to include web marketing into your pr marketing strategy campaign.

Why do publicity professionals choose to not use a pr clients web site in their publicity strategy just doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe publicity professionals are not secure withweb marketing cyber marketing. Or they feel more in control doing traditional publicity such as press releases, articles, press conferences, or other promotions. These are great, but if a pr client has a web site, why not include that as part of the pr marketing strategy? Yes, it does take a lot of work, planning and coordinating the web marketing of a web site. But then again, like I said, many pr companies, or publicity professionals rather not go into areas unfamiliar because it takes more work than they want to do.

I’m not saying that all publicity firms do this or ignore a pr clients web site. It just seems common business sense to me to include cyber marketing to drive traffic to a site. This in turn will build awareness, increase sales, and will build branding for any pr client.

Ok, let’s get to some things you can easily do to market your web site as part of your publicity campaign.

First, are you a local company, such as a local Orange County, or Chicago business? If so, you can target regional customers by using Google’s “geographic box”. The Google algorithm has the smarts to determine the query calls for results that are local. If you have several locations across the US, this works for each area you have a location. An example would be if you type the words “Orange County Publicity Agency“, or “Chicago gyms”, you will see at least 10 results with maps showing these businesses.

Second would be do a series of press releases to reach specific local areas. This sounds like more work to write a main release, then custom tailor it to fit different geographic regions, but it works.

These are just two ways to do web marketing. There are many others, including, business blogging, article submissions, offering webinars on your web site, and more. Try these, if your publicity professional just isn’t ready to make this work for you, call me, George Carson. I’ll make sure you get noticed! Carson Marketing, Inc, 949-477-9400.

Does your pr client need a “tagline”?

I’m sure all of you know what a “tagline” is, right? Well, if you are not sure, then visit Wikipedia for their true definition.

A good tagline is one that is used with a company name, or logo. PR Clients are constantly searching for the right tagline that meets their philosophy, or helps set them apart from the competition. Companiestaglines for publicity clients that succeed in finding the right tagline are usually copied. For example the Nike tagline, or slogan as it is sometimes referred to, is “Just Do It”. What about the milk tagline, know what that one is? Right, “Got Milk“. But is seems that pr clients get tired of these and feel a need to change it every few years. That is something all advertising agencies and publicity professionals need to consider. If your pr client feels it is time to change, be sure you do your homework. Do they really need to do this? Are their customers thinking of them as an old company, or stale in their products/service because of the tagline? If so then maybe it is time to change.

An article in marketing pros discussed this in brief. The article mentioned Tate Linden, author of Stokefire blog, said many companies are not quite sure what a tagline is supposed to do. If that is the case, then maybe they don’t need or shouldn’t have one.

Just like those successful taglines, Just Do It, and Got Milk. Everyone was placing their logo, or name with these tags. Another person, Spike Jones says “never pick a tagline that just anyone can use” He goes on to say if you can easily place the tagline with another company logo, then it isn’t a good tagline.

I agree in most cases, but if you are able to conquer the market with a generic tagline like Just Do It, everyone knows you stole that from Nike.

Taglines are not just for pr clients and their companies. Look at TV shows, like The X-Files. Their tagline was “The truth is out there”. The shorter the tagline, the easier it is to remember.

So does your pr client need a tagline? Or do they already have one but are not using it wisely, or are they not including it in all their pr marketing strategies? If that is the case, maybe you need to promote the tagline with their name. As publicity professionals, and marketing agencies, it is up to you to guide yourr pr clients in making the right decision. If not, then someone else might take away that business from you. Need help, give me, George Carson a call. I’ll make sure you keep that pr client with taglines that work for them.

Publicity Professionals Know How Important Social Networking Is, Or Do They?

Are professional publicity firms and their staff really using social networks for their pr clients? Or are the pr clients telling their publicity professionals and pr agencies to look into getting more involved with social networking. If you are a publicity professional, you will say yes. Ask a pr client, and you might get a complex answer, or just plain “no”.

If you have a pr marketing strategy plan, or a publicity plan, then include marketing to the social networks. It is more than asocial networking group of kids connecting. There are a bunch of different networks on the Internet today. If you recall from my article titled “Social Media keeps growing…” you will learn about the different types of networks. Including those that reach seniors.

Today I read an article, front page of the business section, in the LA Times. It was all about MySpace and how it is now keeping up with Facebook. At one point Facebook took the lead with the social networks. Now, the owners of MySpace, News Corp, has hired hundreds of programmers who speak to this audience to create a slew of new features to compete with Facebook. Good article. In more than just how the two are competing. It is telling publicity professionals that social networking is a mainstay and you need to make your pr marketing strategies part of the overall campaign for pr clients.

It doesn’t matter if you are a local publicity company in Orange County, or a national publicity agency, you need social media networking. I spoke about other types of business networking such as linkedIn. These are geared to business professionals, but soon you will start seeing “business networks” similar to MySpace where companies of all sizes will share their thoughts, strategies, and business philosophy. So get going and get into social media networks. Not sure how to do that? Then give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400. He can get you noticed!

What is a Business Blog?

People are asking me to help define or give them examples of what is a business blog. When I wrote the previous “Business Blogging is Great PR” blog, I figured by now most pr clients and publicity professionals as well as advertising agencies know the difference between a personal blog site and a company or business blog site.

First, you do know what a blog is, right? Ok, let’s move. There are basically two types of blog sites: “personal blogs” and “business blogs”. The personal blog is where anybusiness blogging, blog sites individual can write about any topic, such as the weather, their favorite pet, their life experiences, or whatever they wish. Yes, sometimes it is a gripe about their job, or a problem they had with a manufacturer’s product. But that is one person voicing their thoughts. These personal blogs are set up by the individual.

A Business Blog can be similar, meaning it is one person’s opinion, or thoughts, but it relates to an actual product, or a company. You need to know that there are two types of business blogs. One is on the Internet that anyone can read and see. The other is internal blog sites set up at companies. Usually these are created by large corporations. The blogs are usually intended for employees to voice their comments internally, within a company, not readable to the outside world.

To help illustrate a business blog, look at these site. I saw them referenced at


Google Blog

Jupiter Research Shop Blog

You will see that each is different but they are all business related. One may do a review on a product, while another tells people about their store and what it offers. Sometimes a blog is written by the company for anyone to read to attract employees or make people feel good about the company. A couple of examples of these blog sites would be Google Blog, and GM’s FastLane Blog.

Learn how to start using a business blog. PR Clients and all publicity professionals need to get ahold of this powerful media and make it work for them. For additional tips, visit the site “to improve your blog“. It has a few more helpful suggestions. If you need help to build a company blog, or want to learn more, call George Carson at 949-477-9400, or visit our Carson marketing, Inc. web site.

Using Videos For Publicity

How to get the word out!

Branding is still a hot issue with companies. And if you haven’t yet implemented a branding program, you should do it now. The Internet has helped launch many companies by building images of national and international brands. Publicity firms and pr clients should rethink the tools they use when spreading the word. As the Internet continues to reach new levels of marketing, publicity professionals and pr clients can take advantage of these new and exciting tools for branding.

Using videos for publicityNow you can do it with videos. Broadband videos are hot. These clips now can be produced by production companies to showcase a pr clients products or service, just like they would in a TV spot. Unlike TV commercials, these can be longer in time, or cut apart into smaller shorts to create more interest.

Alan Schulman wrote an article describing "How To Build Your Brand With Video". He gives several good tips, 5 in all.
For example, if you are looking to attract sports people, make sure your clips are geared to that audience. Another tip that publicity professionals and marketers should include is: Make the Videos Interactive. Get your audience to click onto a video that reveals a promotion or tells a message about your pr clients product or service.

These are just a few suggestions and reasons why Broadband Videos can jumpstart a publicity campaign for your company or pr client. If you need help in understanding this new marketing tool, contact us or find a company that has the street smarts to get your company noticed.

See Also

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