Effective eMail Tips

Learn how to create an effective email campaign.

Advertising agencies and publicity firms do not understand fully how to help pr clientsemail marketing with their email marketing. That’s because they have not taken the time to learn the new rules of cyber marketing. Anyone can send an email. And yes, I am sure you get a lot of junk mail. It is estimated that business people receive over 300 emails per week (a low average I would guess), and of that, 62% is junk email.

PR Clients should understand that potential customers could open their messages as well as existing customers when the proper use of email marketing is performed. Several topics exist on this subject. And if you Google the term “email marketing”, you will get 415 million results to search through. Instead of struggling through all this, you can start with a company called Elite Marketing. I don’t know this company personally, but know of them. The company’s site offers a lot of great information to point your email campaign in the right direction.

Publicity is everywhere, that’s what I profess all the time. Email is part of publicity. If you are a pr client, or a publicity company creating pr campaigns, be sure to use the proper ways to implement an effective email program.

A few tips for a successful eMail Campaign. These and more tips can be found in the Elite Email site.

1- The Subject Line. This is most poorly worded section. Yet, it is the most important because the “subject’ is how people decide if the email has any value to them.

2-Keep it short. Long explanations in the subject are not good. Keep the description short. And to the point.

3- Overly Exaggerated Subjects Doesn’t Fool Anyone. For example, don’t make claims that people know are false, such as “we can make your dreams come true”. Be honest and direct. Your email will have a better chance of being read.

4- Have a call to action. Be sure to give a reason for the reader to contact your company. Sometimes it can be through a “coupon” campaign, or a special offer at the end of the message.

There are dozens of tips you can find on the site mentioned and as well as other sites. So take the time to make sure your subject and the message are well written. Have a pr professional or copywriter help construct the message. Email is part of a pr marketing strategy. Use it wisely and your pr clients will results.

If you need additional help with your pr marketing, we offer FREE advice. Contact George Carson, or visit our web site, Carson Marketing Inc.

When is Publicity Good or Bad?

PR Clients can get bad Publicity, or Good Publicity. Which one is best for your company’s public relations?

To get a better understanding, you need to first know how to react to publicity exposure. Whether you are the pr client who is getting bad publicity, or good publicity, you must have a plan that has positive reactions. Being prepared to answer questions is critical in any pr campaign. Keeping personal feeling aside, and keeping a clear focus on business can alter how the media perceives you, which in turn will be how the consumer reacts to your name. Your response can increase your branding position if handled properly.

Let’s get into the good and bad of publicity. For example, Mattel received a lot of media exposure for their toys that were made innegative publicity China using lead paint. An article in the New York Times describe the situation. As much as this was negative publicity for that pr client, they took too long to respond. In addition, the CEO chose to not accept that Mattel should take responsibility for their non-involvement of the Chinese manufacturer. A positive note would have been to address the issue quickly by mentioning that it is difficult for US companies to keep a strong control over companies in China that you contract to manufacture products. It is known that this country is still in a competitive situation and will switch to cheaper materials even after you contract with them. The lead paint was probably what the manufacturer in China selected after the agreement, because they (the Chinese company) could make a few cents more per toy.

Is this Mattel’s problem? Yes, they should do a check more often of their products. Why? Because the US standards are more rigid and they (Mattel) should become more active with offshore manufacturers. On a positive note, Mattel was quick to provide consumer web sites, and recall centers to avoid any harm to children. That was a positive move. So I ask, was the negative publicity good or bad for Mattel?

Ok, let’s move to Countrywide. As you know, they have been hit hard with the sub-prime loans going “south” in the housing market. Was the publicity bad? Of course. Did it hurt the company? Yes. Is it as forgiven as Mattel’s negative publicity, NO! Why? Because Countrywide had complete control and knew exactly what they were doing and the CEO knew the condition of the market and how they (being the largest in that industry) were actually controlling its outcome. Countrywide within the industry is known to do these poor loans in the past, so it is no surprise by inside industry people and companies. But did Countrywide respond correctly. NO again. They ignored the problem and hoped to be bailed out. That is exactly what B of A and Citibank are doing. Saving their butts. Yet, the CEO, the top executives are all getting their big paychecks, and enjoying life without caring what they have created in the housing market. The company refuses to admit to all the wrong doings, and blame people for the slump. But it is these companies, like Countrywide and all the others who cause the problem, not those who got loans that really should not have been granted loans.

Now you decide, is the publicity and handling the reaction to the negative publicity good or bad for Countrywide. My guess, it is bad. Few will want to do business with them, unlike Mattel; people will forgive them and buy their toys in the near future.

How To Create A Media List

Build a solid database for reporters and other media

Do you have a customized media list to distribute your press releases? Are you using a public relations agency, or do you submit your press releases through a PR distribution service?

It doesn’t matter what method you use, what matters is yourmedia list publicity release or article reaches the reporters or editors that relate best to your industry. You need to target the right media. Using a general, catch-all list will not help your publicity campaign move forward. So what is the solution to reaching the right media?

I read an article called “Guide to Creating a Media List for Your PR” that has many of the answers.

If you don’t get a chance to read the article, I’ll give you a short review of what that author suggests.

1- Purchase a list.  There are companies that provide media lists for sale. You can start looking at Bulldog Reporter’s Media Base, or PR Essentials Company. Another well-known name in publicity services is BurrellesLuce.

2- Distribution Service. Several companies provide distribution of press releases. A few of them are: PRWeb, although a free service, to get full distribution, you will need to subscribe or upgrade from free to fee. eReleases and Advanced-PR are two other companies to consider. Each charges a fee. Another public relations service for distribution is 24-7 Press Release. They also have a fee.

3- Create your own custom list. This is good for pr clients or small pr firms that need to distribute locally, or in limited industries. Try NewsDirectory.com, or Yahoo! News Directory.

If you want to really get noticed, then you need to do more than just send out a press release or two. It requires an on-going effort. It requires hiring a public relations service company who can develop, write and distribute a full campaign. Did I mention that’s what we do? We are here to help you meet your publicity goals. Call George Carson today. He’ll get you noticed!

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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The Social Media Is B2B

Ignoring this media can hurt your company with negative publicity

A good article by another blog writer discusses the area of "social blogs". I have mentioned this as well, trying to wake up the Business Community that this new media is not going away. Instead, it is building.

Social mediaIf handled properly, you can monitor these social blogs to get an insight to the thinking and buying habits of potential customers. Pr clients and publicity agencies should also monitor these activities. It will give you a better understanding of your market. PR and Marketing need to interact more often. Rather than doing their own "thing’ to show corporate their greatness, it’s time to blend these resources and become more effective for doing business with B2B.

The article I saw was posted Nov. 1, and it is titled

"Social Media, Blogs, Message Boards…It’s Not Just a B2C Thing". The writer gives some indepth perspective to the fact that each are, PR and Marketing each feel it is the others responsibility to monitor. This type of thinking can cause your company to fall behind and not clearly recognize when tends move on or how your product might be viewed.

One of the comments in the article is direct and makes a solid point. It says "In the B2B world, internet users are using online communities to make their voices heard — sharing their experiences and opinions. Sure, consumers are more engaged in social media, but business users are increasingly using it, and I am confident it will become the norm over the next few years."

If you want to check some of the social web sites, here are a few to view:

There are several others, but this will give you an idea and a few places to start your monitoring.

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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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Social Networking Is Changing How We Search

SEO’s Conference says change is happening

It was long when I told you that the next major area of Internet Search was going to be in the "social search’. This was recently discussed as being true at  "The Search Evolution: How Social Search is Changing All the Rules" conference in New York.

social searchesA lot was mentioned on how this social search will affect the SEO’s and the users of search. One statement was made that  "social search is simply an extension of social media as we know it today".  The article went on to say "Today’s method of matching interest to action and the content includes weighing link popularity of websites and determining a relative ranking of said content".

This means that pr clients, ad agencies, pr professions and all publicity needs to take a serious look as to how this change can affect their markets and how it will also affect their pr programs.

Marketers and pr clients need to think beyond the search box. It is falling back to branding, the building of your brand.

Just as I have said before, the YouTube and other blog sites are shaping this social network and it is now changing how all people view things and clients products. Publicity is not a stand alone item. Neither is marketing, or web site marketing. All of these must work together in order to become successful and to build a brand.

If you don’t want to believe this, then sit and wait. As you begin to see your market share slip, and competitors move ahead of you because you thought this was another fad, then start looking for another job or career.

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Get Better Page Ranking

It’s Good PR when done correctly

page rankingAre you caught up in trying to get higher rankings with search engines? Have you found the secret? Did you or are you hiring SEO professionals to get to the top?

If you are a pr client or a publicity agency, look no more. The secret to higher rankings is not a science. In a few simple words, it’s making your site easy for the robots to crawl around your site.

Wow, you’re thinking this isn’t any news. Well, it is. Because publicity and page ranking are based on the same principles of keep it simple and easy to read.

Remember that a search engine is like an editor or publisher. The main function is to provide its users good information. This means your site should have good content, just like a press release. And just like a pr release, your site should have better content than your competitors to make it easy for the robots to crawl the site.

Let’s carry this pr and SEO stuff deeper in comparison.

• When you write a press release, the headline is important. If it doesn’t tell the reader what you are about to announce, they will pass you by. That’s the same for your web pages. The "titles" should reflect your keywords and what that page is about.

• Now about those keywords you are buying, or trying to place into the site. Would you only write "keywords" in a release? No, you write sentences. So why settle for a keyword. People type phrases when looking for something, right? That proves to you that key phrases are more important than single keywords.

These web marketing tips are at the same time publicity tips. Why? Because publicity is everywhere.

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Why Your Press Releases Are Not Getting Published

As a PR Client you need to follow the rules

Publicity agencies and pr clients sometimes loose sight of how to write a press release for the media.

Get your pr release noticed by editorsWhen you submit a release to a publisher, editor, or a freelance writer, it is important to follow the basic rules when writing "newsworthy" releases.

All releases should follow these simple rules:

Keep in mind WHO the publication’s audience is when writing. Sometimes it is necessary to modify a release if the audience varies even slightly.

Know WHY it is an important release. The product or service may be important to you, but what about the readers and your industry. Make it important to them and the editors will then not toss your release into the trash.

If the press release has a location, such as an event, seminar, or announcement of the unveiling, be sure to mention this. Otherwise, pr clients need to list the location as their main office, or headquarters. Publicity agencies need to also list the pr clients location, not theirs.

Finally, put the contact info for the pr client. The publicity agency should also include their contact info as the focal point. Be sure the person listed is available to respond in a timely manner.

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Tips To Getting More Web Traffic

Get Visitors To trust You

Get more traffic and trustSounds like a great idea to get visitors to trust you and your company, right? Not as easy as you might think. But when you see the list to getting trust, you will think, "hey, I already know this stuff". If so, then why haven’t you incorporated that into your publicity campaign, your web site and all the means of communication you now do for your company.

Pr Clients, public relations specialists know and use trust in the campaigns they develop. Now it’s time you implement these tips. Before you toss out the "easy tips" make sure you add those you are not already using.

1– Do you have a phone and contact info on the web site?
Right, you already have that, but is it easy for customers to find the contact info?

2- If you are doing any consumer marketing, consider registering the site with BBB and TrustE.org. These are recognizable non-profit organizations that can give your company that seal of approval in customers eyes.

3- Is your ABOUT US page current? Not everyone thinks of updating their site, especially this page. It is the first place most potential customers will visit to learn about you.

4- Press Room. Make sure you write press releases and place them into your press room on the web site. This also means anything of importance like, new people in the company, or civic events that your company helps to sponsor, etc.

5- Offer Refunds, and guarantees. Most people may not use these even if someting isn’t what they want, but it gives your site credibility and that feeling of TRUST.

These are but a few tips to make your web site more trustworthy by customers. To learn how your site can get more consumer friendly, give us a call.

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