2015 Predictions Worth Reading

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.


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?

How Bing and Google can get your website listed on page one

Social media has become a staple in the world of communication. The proof is the new battle between Bing, and Google who both recently announced deals withsearch engines bing and google Twitter and Facebook. So how does this affect your web site? A lot, and in a positive way! This shows that SEO and social media are partners in your pr marketing strategies success. Be sure your public relations campaign includes these updates.

Since both SEO’s like content, and a lot of it, then your Twitter and Facebook can become major sources to be recognized by these SEO’s. But remember as I mentioned in my recent posts about Twitter, you need to have good content in those limited words. Don’t make sales pitches, give content.

Use keywords in your tweets and Facebook sites. And important are the links you use in the content. One tip, don’t have your feeds cross back and forth from your tweets and Facebook, turn it off, if the messages are the same on both. This may affect Bing from picking up your feeds if the are the same. Make them each unique, and you are good to go.

This is just another change in the war of search engines struggling to become the choice of consumers. Keeping informed of these types of changes is a full time job. So keep following this blog and we will do our best to help you be current so that your public relations campaign and pr marketing strategy is a success

Millennials. Do you know the interactive marketing rules to reach this group?

Is your publicity or ad campaign for your pr client reaching the millennial generation?

If you don’t know who this group is, here is a definition I found on a Florida University site. It reads: “Millennial is the first generation to grow up with computers at home.the millennial generation Sometimes called Generation Y, Millennial generation experienced high pressure to succeed and is the most watched and tolerated generation in history. ”

This group is more sophisticated than previous generations about marketing and internet marketing. To reach them, you need to follow their rules. A typical public relations service campaign is not going to work. PR clients need to learn their rules and only then will corporations be able to get their products into the hands of the “millennials”.

So what are these rules? I saw an article in iMedia Connection by Krisserin Canary who explains the rule. And she should know, being a millennial herself. These are a short summary of her article. Read the entire story to get the full insight.

1- Get their attention. This group since birth has been told they are “special” and “unique”. This created a generation of “needy” and “entitled” humans. That means they are centered on themselves. So to get their attention, you need to make the pr marketing strategy be focused on what is relevant to them.

Non-intrusive interaction. Advertising needs to be interactive, or at best advertise “with” them, not “to” them. Millennials do not like things getting in their way, such as when listening to music, watching a video, or reading a blog or texting.

2- Get them interested. The ad banner, or ad that appears on the internet page must be direct and tells who and what you are. Flashing your logo is not going to work. Explain who and what you are and invite the reader to your site.

3- Take the lead. When they become comfortable with you, take the millennial to places they wouldn’t have gone before and introduce them to your new content. Basically, keep them updated, give them feedback, and speak in their language.

Although all this sounds simple and basic, it has been difficult for pr clients and public relations firms to understand this generation. If you need to hire a company to help you create a publicity campaign or an advertising campaign to reach this generation, contact us. We can make things happen for your company.

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.

Funny or Offended, you decide!

It seems that some people still think that only sex, or young women make ads more appealing, what do you think?

I read an article in 101PublicRelations.com that expressed the readers”shock” when he saw an auto ad for a Ford Mustang showing a father and son in a dark parking lot. Then it shows the son driving and pulling out fast, he peels out, then stops and the dad says, “That’s what I’m talking about. This is not a toy! Want to go again?”

The writer was concerned about moms who have had their children be hit by careless drivers, young, old, etc. Yes, I agree with this part that it might be harsh, but it is an ad for a Mustang that was designed to convey power and performance. Later the author says the best way to attract attention would have been to follow the “rules” that were once done as a study by a psychological and marketing group. This group profess that women (young and not too sexy) would have been a better choice. Or at least he is offering the study’s results that attractive mid 20’s women are good choices for ads to gain attention.

You can view the Mustang ad here and make your own decision.

Is it? I believe you can use many different images to get your point across. You don’t need to always use sex in an ad. Even though the study isn’t saying to be sexy, it does still in fact suggest it when it says to use young women.Building wealth

I like humor. It can convey what you want. It can be memorable, it can get people invloved and it is not offending. That is unless you make a offensive remark in your ad campaign. Just like the example shown, we created this ad to attract attention to the clients solution to building one’s wealth. It is memorable, non-offensive and informative.

So again I ask, would you be offended by that Mustang ad, or would you prefer a young woman only in the ad?

Web Site Marketing and Publicity

These two can be powerful when used properly

web site marketing and publicityIf you are a pr client, or a publicity agency, you know the power of pr. But have you combined any of that power with your web site? Probably not. Beacuse most publicity experts and pr clients think these two should stay separate in different departments. If that is your thinking then you are not providing your company, or pr client the full experience they can have when you use these tools properly.

Let’s accept the fact that you are a savvy publicity person. And that you have media contacts, a good copywriter to do press releases and articles for the company. Now what about the web site.

I have spoken about organic search engine listings before, and this part of the "SEO TIPS" is based on getting organic listings. In case you do not understand what Organic listings are, let me give you a very brief explanation. Keywords are either purchased and/or placed into your web site so that people can find your site. Organic listings are thosse that are not "paid" listings. The paid listings, you have seen them before. It is where Google, and Yahoo have web sites listed on the right side, or at the very top. Notice above those lists the words "sponsored links". That means these are paid positions. The other sites listed are non-paid, also called Organic Listings.

Here are some tips about SEO basics. I use these and found other professional SEO’s use them as well. You can more of these at the Target Marketing web article.

  • Look for synonyms when doing keyword searches
  • Get links to your site, make sure these are quality links
  • Have a site map
  • Create a press room
  • Keep the site fresh, modify pages every 10 to 12 weeks

These are basic, but important. If you want to get into the heart of using marketing with publicity give us a call. We’ll make sure you are getting noticed!

See Also

Do You Need An Idea For A Story?

Get creative and break out of the publicity box

Whether you are a pr client or a publicity agency looking for a new slant on an article, try re-thinking how you approach a topic or subject.

We all tend to get into this hole of doing the same type od releases, articles for pr clients. Everyone wants publicity people to be creative, think of a new angle or invent a story for the media. Well, that isn’t always the best way to gain favorable publicity.

articles and stories for publicationWe need to think outside of the publicity box. A good article that addresses this issue is called "How to get Free publicity for small businesses". The author has some good tips to help you think outside of that box. For example, ask your customers (in a survey) that include some controversial questions. This can spark a topic of interest for your industry to get your company an article published.

A few other tips include:

  • Create a top 10 list within your industry. If you have a bakery, or food manufacturer, do a "Top 10 of the most wildest food items made"
  • Offer surprising facts about your industry or business. For instance, if you’re a recruitment firm write an article titled, "The Average Starting Salary of An MBA Graduate is 40 percent Higher Than Their Pre-MBA Earnings."
  • Be first to offer something that no one else has in your industry. Such as a 200% double your money back guarantee. Make sure your product or service is really good.
  • Do you participate in any local charities, or events. Try closing your office for the entire day and have everyone work for that charity. This can be a great headline "Local Print Shop Closed Doors to Help the Needy".

Ok, now you try it, get creative, break out of the rut.

See Also

10 Tips To Get Reporters Familiar With You

Basic but important

It seems that publicity firms, pr people and some publicity professionals fear calling the media unless they have something to give to them, like a story.

Helpful tips on publicityI’m not saying to just call them and talk about the weather. I feel that publicity people need to contact the press more often to know what they are looking for. Each writer, reporter and publisher of a magazine, has particular interests. Knowing this can further your relationship to have a public relations campaign get more exposure for your pr clients.

Use these 10 tips to get to know the media better:
1- Explain new trends that your pr client is experiencing and how it relates to the industry
2- Inquire about the types of subjects THEY prefer to write about
3- Get to know them, ask what they do during off hours, their hobbies, etc
4- Be sure to give a reporter all your contact information, office number, cell number, email address, even your home number if it is a reporter that might need to contact you during off business hours
5- Don’t be afraid to ask them how else you can be of help to them
6- Always send them a thank you note when something gets published
7- Provide names of people in your company that can be available to answer questions in your absence
8- It is ok to submit stories, but first make sure it is the type of stories they like to publish
9- Become an expert..or get your pr client to be a resource expert by offering them for information
10- Read these again. Then visit the Publicity Hound that adds a few more to this list.

See Also


Are you Multiplatform with your brand?

Branding a product or licensing a product can be a big step for any company. When developing a branding program for a pr client, or your own company, you might want to look at how your product branding, or company branding is marketed.

Today, we are seeing multiplatform branding by major companies. This can be applied to any size company when implemented correctly.

First let’s back up a step. When branding your company, or product is not an overnight campaign. It usually takes several months and in some cases years to build a solid brand image.

Ok, back to multiplatform branding. Why is this new catch phrase important to publicity and public relation campaigns. Because if you are not watching how the consumer, or your customers are reacting to today’s activities, then you are missing out on how to reach them.

Multiplatform brands make use of the different forms of what consumers, like kids, are doing. They are multitasking!

We are all multitasking. It has become a way we do business, how we have business relationships, how we interact with families, and how we buy goods.

It is necessary for you to identify the market you are in, research your audience and then identify what multi-markets, or multi-activities those potential customers are involved in.

This is one way to keep your brand awareness high with potential, and existing customers. Customers will now see your brand in all the places they visit and are multitasking.

Your publicity program can then gain extended exposure with reporters, editors, and various media. How? Because you are reaching out into those customers other markets they are multitasking in. So get your media together and have the pr people start a multiplatform branding program for your company.

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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. 

See Also