Like all small businesses, my work email finds its way onto many lists. My junk email box is a menagerie for everything from VC offers to bank loans, opportunities to advertise my business, companies selling me their services and the occasional random millionaire in Nigeria. This morning, I received one that I almost deleted until reading the first line available in preview, and it really got my goat. “Successful businesses must send press releases on a regular and consistent
As a startup, you are the Believer. The one who holds the candle of Faith. Who pushes through the barriers with Determination, Persistence and a Plan. However, because you're in the weeds of your business day-to-day, it can be difficult to see your company story. The real one that will attract media and be the foundation of your marketing. What you think your story is, may not be your story I have spent nearly two decades as a journalist, integrated marketing and PR professio
I see it all of the time. A press release that reads like more of an informational brochure than an actual compelling news story; a boring corporate-type release that never quite says why the announcement is important. And, companies pay thousands to their PR agencies to push it out and hundreds of dollars to post said release on wire services just because “that’s the way it’s always been done”. In truth, few media will see it. This kind of press release is everywhere and it
(As originally written for and published on NBCChicago.com's Inc. Well) Most companies understand the power of a press release as a tool in their PR campaign toolbox to deliver news and information to media. The problem is most don’t understand how to use a press release effectively, especially today. We hear it all the time, “we’d like you to send out at least one press release per month as part of the strategy.” That’s great and happy to do it, but is there enough news to
(As originally published on NBCChicago.com's Inc. Well) PR Stunts. Everyone wants to do them and hopes they trigger massive media attention. From the World's Largest Roll of Toilet Paper to tying small promotional banners to flies and setting them loose in a crowd, PR Stunts are becoming a more and more desired avenue for small business. Why? Because a little creativity doesn't cost much. While your creativity can pay off dividends with media exposure, some are good, some ar
There’s nothing worse than being interviewed by a journalist only to forget who you’re speaking to and that everything you say is “on the record”, unless you say otherwise, and then seeing a quote or story that completely took what you said out of context. These kinds of snafus by political figures, celebrities and some business people quickly become fodder for “The Daily Show” and late night comics. Although most media don’t seek out the opportunity to “turn your words aroun
Public relations has many arms and legs beyond just a press release and pitching a story. There are a variety of strategies that fuel opportunities for ongoing, long-term public relations. The most important is expert positioning. Do you ever wonder how certain people become regular contributors on morning news? Do you see someone in your industry giving tips and advice in the media and think "I can totally do that, in fact, I have new thoughts and ideas to shares." Becoming
For small businesses DIYing PR there are three things that they have to learn to do well so be successful: 1. Tell their story – in effect, writing a strong press release 2. Effectively pitching media 3. Following up with media with respect The last of these seems to be the one that most DIYers miss. A majority still believe that if they distribute their press release online and email an effective pitch to media that those two things will do the trick alone in garnering publi
The DIY craze has been around for years. Thanks to the cable television, the Internet and the whole "information at your finger tips" you can learn to do most anything from changing your oil to renovating your bathroom. Personally, I love it. Taking on a task normally I would pay for feels like so much of a personal accomplishment, however, my cobbler and plumber will always get my business. In recent years, the DIY movement has become even more prevalent due to the economy.
I am always looking for ways to share with entrepreneurs the best practices for conducting public relations for their business. DIY PR can take time, but it can also be very worth it. Here, I join several experts in a round up of our best tips for writing and distributing successful press releases that help you attract media attention. Check out my advice at #18! However, it's important to remember that just because you send out the press release or distribute it on a wire li
Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, getting in front of an interacting with media has become easier than before, the problem is this: Is the person running the Twitter account actually a journalist who will do something with your pitch? Probably not. That's why I've come up with some tips for Twitter, specifically: 1. Follow the journalist, not the just publication or outlet: Most journalists have their own social media accounts giving you a better shot at getting your message
(As originally posted to NBCChicago.com's Inc Well) Sometimes I feel like a doctor. It never fails that whenever someone asks what I do and they hear “public relations” they suddenly say “I want to be on TV”. “Really? What’s your story?” They give me a quizzical look. “What is the story you have to tell?” Now, blank stare. Everyone wants to be on TV or see their name in ink or on a blog, but the truth is that public relations isn’t the best marketing avenue for every busi
(As originally written for and published on NBCChicago.com's Inc. Well) As an entrepreneur, the most precious commodity you have is time. There never seems to be enough of it for you to fill every role you play every day. It's enough just to be CEO, accounts receivable/payable, secretary and janitor, but throw in public relations efforts and it feels as if one ball must fall in order to keep a new one in the air. Truth is that in the beginning stages you most likely don't
Generating positive public relations is all about THE STORY. What is your story and why are you unique in the industry or amongst your competition.
When I sit down to learn about a new business I often listen for key things:
1. What is your direct competition in the market like? How unique are you?
2. What made you decide to go into this industry? Is there a personal story here? 3. Why did you develop this product of service? What problems will it solve for customers?
Here's a question for you: Are you interested in running your business or growing your business? When you first start your business you more than likely don't have much of a marketing budget in place. But, if you're smart you are beginning to sock some away, because you know how important marketing is to building a successful business. Here's the great, thing: It doesn't have to be a lot upfront. There are many ways to market your business or organization on your own to keep
I'm really amazed at the number of new, small businesses that have come to me recently with a real commitment to community and understand the importance of giving back. And, today's startups are taking their social responsibility to new heights. We all know that you have to keep the balance of things and you can't get without giving.
Today, we see so many large corporations that have become so out of touch with their community. There was a time when corporate responsibilit
There are a number of ways a business can attract the attention of media. Some good, some bad, some really bad. For those seeking media to help launch a product or company, it is really all about your story. For example, in one of my workshops was the Founder of AutoTray. It's a simple idea - a nonslip tray you can use in the car for those on the road quick meals. As part of my workshop I invite attendees to send me their press release for review, and hers was not unlike
Most people think it's bad luck to consider the worst possible effect their service, product or business might have on a customer. But truth be told it's always best to plan for any potential crisis your business might experience. Most restaurants and major corporations have a plan and revise it annually, so why shouldn't a small business also plan ahead. Over the years, looking at some of the worst PR crisis of our time I can tell you one thing: Lack of an immediate response
By Anna Dizon on November 9, 2017 | Marketing, Press Releases Public relations has evolved from being just a sales strategy to an art form. Most small businesses may not have the means to hire a PR firm or PR specialist, but that doesn’t mean their public engagement should be lackluster. I was excited to be included in this great article helping small businesses, startups learn how to conduct successful public relations for their growing business. 19. Great Businesses Know Ho
One of the first things I do when speaking to a potential new client is uncover what makes them unique; what is the story that consumers will be interested in. The reason? Because this is exactly what journalists are looking for when they consider including a company, product or expert in a story. Here are some things, from a journalist's point of view, that you should consider about your company or product that will help you achieve positive public relations: 1. Is there a c