While most businesses continued to thrive this past year, many did not, and it begs the question why that is. In today’s world where everyone has access to information, know how from experts is shared openly and freely, why doesn’t every startup and small business take advantage of this to build a digital marketing strategy that can not only sustain but also build a business? Maybe it’s that the plethora of information out there is just too overwhelming and finding, rather ma
This is a topic that has been on mind for several years and I haven’t been 100% on whether I should, or how I would, address it. Finally, inspired by the article in Entrepreneur “It’s Time to Talk About Startup Scam Artists” it’s clear that the problem is widespread and really hurting people. I have dealt with a similar issue in the marketing world, and especially public relations, for years. People may really have the best intentions but going about it all wrong, while othe
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
Thanks to the world of the Internet almost anyone can paint the picture of whom they would like to be, but really aren't. A flashy website full of catchy key phrases coupled with impressive experience. Sadly, we continue to hear stories about "PR pros" who have taken advantage of businesses, in a variety of ways, but mostly making a lot of promises they knew they couldn't fulfill just to get the client to sign a tight, inflexible contract that would, results or no, assure tho
Working on behalf of business owners, entrepreneurs, and startup founders everywhere, Cascade Communications has a passion for brand stories, news and marketing. We’re a distinctive public relations and marketing communications agency, building a brand around your story using our client-centric, outcome-driven program – Communicate. Engage. Participate. Since 2001, Cascade has worked with Fortune 1000s, multinationals, mid-market companies and become a leading public relation
I am often asked the question "why should we go with PR?" The answers are quite simple: 1. Public relations is a more affordable alternative for small businesses - vs. an aggressive advertising or direct mail campaign 2. PR is the process in which media provide endorsements for your business 3. Media endorsements create credibility in the minds of consumers/customers 3. You can actually see the return on your PR investment - some of my clients see immediate sales and growth w
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
Every business is concerned with SEO. Any why shouldn’t they be? Where you rank on search engines can determine how well your business succeeds. Large companies can’t help but invest a lot of money into SEO because they can’t afford to let their competitors get an edge. However, there are a lot of small companies that don’t have this luxury and need to maximize their marketing dollar. This blog post will give you the best approach for increasing your search visibility. Many
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
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.
Small business owners ask me this same thing almost on a regular basis - "I can't afford to hire a professional to manage public relations for me. What can I do on my own to market my business?" My first response is always that you haven't met a PR/marketing professional who focuses on small businesses and even smaller budgets.
When it comes to marketing small businesses you must think outside of the box. Yes, that term has been used ad nauseum since the 1980’s, but it's tr
When you're a small business owner you wear every hat from accounts receivable and manager to new business/sales and marketing. It can be a daunting task to look at that laundry list everyday. What you need to do is determine the most efficient route to accomplish it all and grow your business. Determining how to generate public relations for your business can be narrowed down to three things - what is your story, why is it meaningful to people and who is your audience. Knowi
(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
The practice of public relations seems to be an intangible to many. Why? Because unlike advertising where you pay someone to develop and place an end product (tangible), PR is not such a sure thing. Practitioners, like myself, focus on writing press materials for your business (every business needs a press kit), generating strong story ideas and pitching to media. However, I can't predict if media are going to be 100% interested or even if they'll run the story right now. PR
(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
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