publicity publicity Archives - CarsonPR

So why do we make predictions when we cannot even predict the weather correctly, and we try to do that using very sophisticated equipment?  That being said, as a public relations expert, I will challenge technology using only my brain and tell you what I see happening for 2015.

It's going to be a great year, I think!

It’s going to be a great year, I think!

And in 2015 . . . .

Business and the Economy

Yes, things are looking brighter, but where is the growth coming from next year to continue this bright outlook?  I predict far more “franchise” businesses will be started because it is an easy way to enter the business sector without the old fear beset trial and error methods.

The second area I see growing is on-line businesses. This is the least costly way for entrepreneurs to try their hand at starting a business. I see a 30 to 40% increase in new online businesses.

Overall Economy

People will be spending about the same amount of money next year, but the fact some things are less costly (such as fuel for cars and basic food stuff) people will spend the same amount of money, just in more places.

Software

This industry has been growing steadily for the past four years and will continue. What I see now are new areas of technology on how we will continue to interact using our smart phones and other devices like smart glasses and other wearable items. The “cloud” is opening up new areas on how we store our data and will become a way we can store our conversations so we do not exceed email and texting limits on our devices.

Trust me.  At least 50% of those of my predictions this year will be 50% right. Are there any other pubic relations agencies or other professionals in the public relations industry willing to take this challenge and make their predictions?

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!”

It is almost impossible in today’s competitive environment to keep our daily activities organized in one place.Calendars are good to know what to do that day, but you probably have other “reminder” systems in place to coordinate all your daily activities. If your business is large enough, your secretary or assistant might be that organizer for you. But not always is that person at your fingertips.

Time Management System

Organizing Business Activities

I came across a few APPS that could help you organize your activities all in one place, making life just a little simpler. I am sure there are other apps being developed during this writing, maybe even something completely different will become available making all these apps obsolete. So for now, lets look at these 5 apps.

Recently Google launched an app called Google Keep. Like many of Google’s products, the “Keep” will sync your notes with Siri (iPhone users) and Google Drive. It will color-code them for easy retrieval, construct to-do lists, compile photos, and archive notes for later viewing. If you have used Evernote, then you will most likely want to try Keep. Google is constantly improving this app to become the choice for people on the go.

Jumpchart is slightly different. For example if you are redesigning your website, Jumpchart helps you plan your website layout, view the most recent content revisions, and a lot more, all in real time. Although this app is free, the more advanced features are at a cost up to $50, but worth it if that’s what you need to help keep things organized.

For those who are concerned about accounting and billing might want to look at Harvest app. This is a time tracking app program that will help you see where your staff is spending their hours, based on time spent on each task. If you use QuickBooks, you can export these reports into that program to keep real-time reports for billable hours. Another feature of Harvest, you can create invoices with your company logo and offer clients to pay invoices online.

Here is something that many active social media people will find useful. Hootsuite. This app helps you manage all your social networks, such as Linkedin, Twitter, Google+, Foursquare, MySpace, WordPress, Facebook and Mixi accounts. It’s a great way to track your brand mentions and analyze your social traffic.

What's next?

What to do next?

If you are truly a busy entrepreneur who just cannot remember to take your iPhone charger with you, or pick up your cleaning, or need to locate a restaurant for a client lunch meeting, then look no further than WunWun. This is not free. It’s a concierge service to make sure all your needs are met and on-time. WunWun is a 24/7 service that cost $2.50 for every 5 minutes of service, or you can choose $20 flat fee for deliveries.

I am still trying to find an app that just lets me be alone for a while. Seems our lives are so packed with things to do we just cannot tear ourselves away from not knowing what is happening in the world, or what our competitors are doing next. If I find an app that lets our devices all fall asleep at the same time, I’ll pass that along to you. For now, keep organizing.

If you want to learn how to make your business more productive, then call George Carson at Carson Marketing, Inc. 949-477-9400

 

Our company was appointed as the publicity agency for the recent 61st California RV Show in Pomona at the Fairplex. The goal was to increase attendance from previous years, which was about 20,000 people. We analyzed what the show had done in the past and made recommendations. This was a challenge because the show runs 10 days.

One of the first items on our list for this PR Client was to generate a lot of news media attention, which was not done in previous RV shows. Another element was to establish a partnership with a charity, we choose the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Orange County. I now wanted the event to have a personality who is an RVer and is a diabetic. This lead me to contact Bret Michaels. Bret is a Type 1 diabetic, and last summer had a successful show called “Rock My RV”. What a perfect match! After contacting Bret Michaels and telling him of our goal to help raise money for the ADA, he immediately wanted to participate.

George Carson and Bret Michaels

The California RV Show, our PR Client still needed other “attractions” to keep people coming all 10 days of the show. Having unique RVs on display would give the consumers something to see while shopping for their favorite RV to purchase. I contacted three of the Rock My RV owners from the show whose RVs were completely re-built. The three RVs included Tapout, Gypsy RV and the Luxury RV. Now we had a foundation for the publicity.

We first focused on the new RVs having Gayle Anderson from KTLA do interviews with various manufacturers reps from Fleetwood, Winnebago, Airstream, Diablo Toy Haulers to describe their products. We also had interviews arranged with the owners of the Rock My RVs and did an entire segment on Glamping. That’s a new term used to describe “Glamours Camping.” Other media coverage include CBS chief meteorologist Josh Rubenstein who did interviews while reporting the weather during his morning segments. ABC did an interview with the director, Tom Gaither, and we had the Hispanic news media, Que Buena radio and Telemundo TV do an interview with the first Hispanic owned manufacturer of RVs, Pablo Carmona of Genesis Supreme in Perris, California.

Bret and Punkass from Tapout throwing T-Shirts

TV news media coverage began 5 days before the show opened. Other news coverage in print and radio also began early and continued throughout the week of the show. Our publicity enhanced all the ad placement resulting in a 39% attendance increase over last year. Having a plan and knowing how and when to implement that plan is critical to getting maximum news media coverage.

If your business or event needs a boost, contact George Carson at 949-477-9400 before your competition does!

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 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.

Publicity doesn’t just happen. A successful campaign requires planning. From press releases that are strategically scheduled for distribution to specific articles submitted to selected media all are part of how to create a successful publicity campaign that will gain media exposure.

Increase Awareness With Publicity

Before you begin contacting reporters it is important to prepare yourself and the company by knowing the specific elements in the plan. A few of the key publicity campaign elements are:

PRESS KIT. A digital press kit will help provide reporters information about your company, products and the services you offer. Included in this kit should be references to any published articles on your company, bios on key personnel, photos of products and executive staff, online brochures, etc. A Fact Sheet is a quick reference page that provides a summary of your company location, philosophy/mission statement, product listing, and contact person. Keep this kit updated. Create a special area on your website for PRESS ROOM.

PRESS RELEASES and ARTICLES. When writing publicity releases for your pr client, keep the information limited to the facts and do not use sell copy. Put yourself in the reporters position. If you receive a well-written article filled with facts, and benefits for customers, you would be more likely to publish the release. Even more so, you might call the company to get more background and information. Limit your press release to one page if possible.

PR Clients usually to want include everything making the release a 4 or 5 page document. You should also optimize your press release. If you are writing a release or article for a local company, consider the local media and reporters. You can distribute the release nationally, but always work with local reporters so they get to know about your company and products.

MEDIA LIST. Very important and critical to any distribution. Your list should be updated on a regular basis. Have different categories for the types of reporters and media.

OFF-THE-RECORD. Never say this to a reporter and then tell them something you did not want published. There is no such thing as off-the-record.

SOCIAL NETWORKING. If you have not included social media in your list of distribution, then do so. This includes bloggers, online publications, Google News, and so on. Businesses should use their Linkedin and Facebook accounts to let their network of people know what the company has been doing. It is an ideal way to spread the word quickly and get immediate feedback. Even Twitter can have links to your website or published articles.

These are only a few of the many things you should be doing to increase awareness for your company. If you want to know more, just call George Carson at 949-477-9400. The free consultation could help improve your company’s image and make prospects more aware of your company. Visit us at Carson Marketing, Inc.

How difficult can it be to send a press release to the Wall Street Journal, or get your company featured on a national TV news show, like Diane Sawyer? Actually, it is very difficult. Sending the release alone is easy. Getting the reporters to take serious notice of what you sent, that’s difficult. And harder yet, is to make your company be newsworthy in their eyes.

National and Local Publicity

Getting any reporters attention requires relationships. A good public relations agency has developed strong relationships with the media. This doesn’t happen overnight. Unless you have a world changing product, or a unique service, it may be a challenge to just get any media to listen to what you have to say. With all the world politics today, disasters, and 3rd world revolutions, getting your 15 minutes of fame may not be as easy as you expect. PR Clients tend to believe they have the best product, best story, or the best new widget and the world needs to know this. Well, as true as this might be, if the presentation to the media isn’t as exciting, then you just lost that pr opportunity.

Packaging (presenting) your story is critical, as is the timing. Putting fluff into your release or story is not a good idea. Keep the facts real, keep the information short and don’t SELL your story using sales pitch language. Remember, reporters are people. They do not want to be sold to or told that you are the greatest at what you do. Explain why your product or service will help others, or solve a specific problem. That is just one way to get the attention of the media.

If you want to get local publicity, you need to do the same thing as a national publicity story. A good local publicity agency will have a good relationship with the local media, and they will know how to package your story to the selected reporters that best meets your pr marketing strategy.

Learn more about getting national or local publicity from Carson Marketing, Inc. Call for a NO COST consultation meeting to discuss how your company can be in the news. Contact George Carson at 949-477-9400.