Press Releases or Pitches — What Works Better for Attracting the “Big Ink and Air?”

Be Heard, Event Promotion, PR Beyond the Backyard No Comments

Doesn’t this question capture your interest?  It sure captures mine.  And I’ve been giving this question a fair amount of consideration as I prepare to turn the page to 2009.   Right about this time of year, I reflect on the big stories I helped earn for my clients.  Then, I think back to the tools I used to earn the “ink and air” to get a clearer sense of the tactics and strategies that deliver the best results with the greatest ease and impact for all.

One of my favorite and best clients is Seattle Chocolate Company. When we started working together about a year ago, I asked the client to specify the media placements that would represent the biggest “win” for their company.   Then, I went about the business of inviting that media attention.  Today, some of the “big media wins” are reflected in the company’s online press room in a “as seen in” section.  Among the top placements include O and More magazine — which are fabulous media venues for chocolate loving women across America.

Oh, by the way, the company also earned a fabulous placement in the debut issue of Success magazine and the December issue of Essence.  We also had conversations with reporters from the New York Times and Time magazine this year.   We’ve been thinking big and making some magic happen in the media.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Would it surprise you to learn that I didn’t send a single press release to any of these magazines?  It’s true.  In every case, I responded to a specific media query that I saw on ProfNet or HARO or initiated contact with a media decision maker I read about in Gift List Media. Those services are worth their weight in gold because they identify the decision maker, the contact information, the submission deadline, and exactly the kinds of stories, products, or angles each is pursuing.  Then, it is my task to reply with a fabulous, on target pitch that delivers the goods.   This is an approach that is working quite well.

I read the media queries carefully and make certain to reply to them specifically, powerfully, and with both impact and brevity.  To be of optimal service to the decision maker, I offer active links to images of the company’s beautiful, exquisitely packaged chocolates.  I offer active links to the company’s online press room to make it easy for the decision maker to learn more.  And, I offer engaging quotes that demonstrate personality and insight, while also making clear that my client and her products are the perfect fit for the publication at hand.

Busy editorial decision makers can find everything they are looking for with ease, and that makes it that much more likely that my client will earn their consideration.  And, my client does earn their consideration.

Press releases still have a place in the media relations toolbox.   There is no doubt about that.   In the next few days, I’ll be sharing points of view from publicists from across the nation about how to use a press release to earn quality media results in today’s digital age.   I’ll share a few anecdotes and approaches of my own, as well.

There is no doubt about it.  Earning the “ink and air” can be daunting in today’s digital age because the media are changing so dramatically.  What I know for sure is that no matter how things change, the big idea remains essentially the same.  The best way to earn the “ink and air” is to lead with a great story.

Be sure to tune in to this Thursday’s 10 a.m. (PST) teleconference about making the most of your press releases with PR Leads Founder Dan Janal and me.  Here is the link to ensure your place on the call.  And, we’ll be recording the call so you can listen in at your 24/7 convenience — provided you sign up.

“See” you on the call.  And invite your publicity seeking business owner friends to join us, too.

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Publici-Tea™ Graduate Earns the Ink, While Sharing Valuable Tips to Help You Navigate the Season

Publici-Tea™ Graduate Success Story No Comments

I was happy to connect with Publici-Tea™ Graduate Craig Sigl last week to answer some of his questions about earning the ink this holiday season.   The good news is that he followed the advice I shared to the letter.  Now, his latest article about navigating the holiday season with the right attitude has successfully earned the ink in The Kirkland Reporter, which is the community newspaper from his local trading area.  If you could benefit from tips such as these, visit this link to read Craig’s article.  Craig said our time together packed a powerful punch.  Here is what he had to say:

“Hi Nancy, I just want to tell you that I was blown away by all the info you gave me on our one-hour call the other day. I’ve already started implementing it and am very excited! After learning from the Publici-Tea™ workshop, I got an article published in the Kirkland Reporter and the editor talked about “frequency” of my contributions!  That would have never happened without your ideas of how to pitch to the media. The way you helped me zero in my campaign for maximum effectiveness RIGHT NOW is invaluable. Ok, I’ve got to get to work on all those notes I took from our session and look forward to our next call.”

Craig Sigl, Kirkland, www.hypnosiswest.com

Is it any wonder how much I enjoy these one-hour telecoaching sessions about the nitty-gritty details of DIY publicity?   If you need some nitty-gritty advice from a PR expert just in time to make some noise this holiday season or beyond, consider Renting My PR Brain by the hour. Rates on on sale through 12-31-08, and the value for the money — given Craig’s experience — is well worth it!

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Save Dec. 4 for a Free Teleseminar about How to Get the Most from Every Press Release You Write

Media Savvy 101 No Comments

If you want the answer to this question and many more about press releases in today’s digital age, sign up now for this free teleseminar hosted by PR Leads Founder Dan Janal with yours truly as his special guest expert.  The call takes place December 4 at 10 a.m. PST.  Here is the link to sign up. Seats are limited, so claim yours now.  “See” you on the call!

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“The N List” Debuts at the DIY Publicity Blog to Help You Make the Right PR Moves

Just for Fun No Comments

I’ve had the good fortune to benefit from some fabulous professional services and products while running my PR and DIY publicity information products business through the years.  Today, I proudly debut “The N List” — which notes a few of the products and services I think are just great.

If you are wondering the best resources to learn about free publicity, how to figure out your unique selling proposition, discover if tips booklets are the right approach to sharing your expertise with the world, need a fabulous media query service that makes “more publicity success with greater ease” as easy as opening and replying to email, or want to learn how to invite Oprah’s attention in your products, services or cause, you’ll want to check out this list.  I’ve already tested out these services and found them to be extraordinary in many ways.  Your own “wins” with each are yours for the taking.

This list also includes two of my favorite products — Affirmawraps from Affirmagy and Zook Hook purse  hangers.  I’ve been fortunate to assist with the media pitching and storytelling about these two fine companies, and I just love their products and use them every day.

Speaking of which, allow me to offer this important tip.  If your publicist isn’t passionate about your products or services, look elsewhere for the storytelling you need.  With the ever changing nature of the media, the last thing you need is a complacent publicist!

Kristen Marie Schuerlein, founder of Affirmagy, will appear on QVC on December 2 within the 7 – 10 p.m. time window to share her personal affirmation blankets with the world.  If you’ve been looking for the perfect “comfort and joy” gift items to share with others, be sure to tune in and get just about all your holiday shopping done right then and there.

And Zook Hooks are the perfect hostess gift or stocking stuffer to add just the right amount of “bling” for any purse, while protecting your investment from dirt, germs, and other ills.  You can even use them to hold up your holiday stockings over the mantle!  So fabulous.  So affordable.  That’s a great recipe for success right about now.

Enjoy these recommendations.  Use them to your advantage.  Enjoy more success with greater ease, sooner versus later.

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Check Out BizBrag.com to Share Your Good News – It’s Simple and Free!

Be Heard, Cause Related Marketing 1 Comment

This just in, thanks to my free and fabulous Help a Reporter Out subscription.

So, your small business has just launched a new product, or your business has just landed a huge client, or your business has anything at all to tell the world! Great. Um… Now what? Now you get to BizBrag.com. This site provides small businesses the platform that they need to get their news to the world.  It is simple and free. Register your business, login to build your business profile, and then begin communicating all of your business news to the world. Features include BizFolio (Biz profiles), BizContactz (your Biz Rolodex), BizBlastz (unique email feature) and BizLinkz (Your Biz Network). BizBrag.com gives your business the look and feel of a major news outlet structure, fused with many tools that will put your biz on the map!

This news certainly got me into action.  I logged on, posted my profile, and — within moments — my latest news was proudly posted.   Minutes later, someone even posted a lovely reply to congratulate me on my new fundraising initiative.  Building the buzz with the power of free publicity  doesn’t get much easier than this.  Try it and see.  And report back to me about your success.

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Need a New Bio to Make Social Networking Deliver for You? Here are Two Ways to Get the Mission Accomplished

Be Heard, Event Promotion No Comments

When people “Google” your name, what comes up in the search?

If you haven’t yet created a winning bio that makes clear why, how, and what you do in a compelling way, you are missing out on a powerful way to share your message — on your website, your blog, and at all the social networks to which you belong.  Better than 90% of consumers first visit the Internet to research products and services they want to buy.  If, when they search for you, they don’t find a compelling message, they just may move on to the next alternative that offers the compelling message they seek.

Whether you want to sign up for one of my upcoming Winning Bio Writing Workshops or work with me privately, I am happy to help get your bio in great shape to invite winning results for your growing business.

Click on this link to read about the workshop and what people say about it.  I see five business owners during a half-day session, and everyone leaves with a bio that makes them beam with pride.  Then, they can post that new bio to their website or blog and also post it to all their social networking profiles so their stories are always told in a favorable, compelling, inviting way.

Here is what Pam Blanton, founder of Calliope’s Garden, had to say about her Winning Bio Writing Workshop experience just last Monday:

“Nancy is dynamic, creative, and inspirational.  Her gift of storytelling is clearly her passion, and her love of her work is evident.  Thank goodness I crossed her path.  I have learned so much already.  She is a ‘must have’ partner for any business looking for ways to increase visibility.  Thank you Nancy!!”

The cool thing about the group workshop is you get to network with other buzz seeking business owners and will likely connect with great people with whom you with want to do business with — and vice versa.

If you would rather skip the group and just get the bio written with me as your able scribe and guide, we simply book two hours of Nancy’s Rent-a-Brain time.  And we’ll get the bio done in short order.  It takes two hours because I have to connect with you by phone to quickly get to know you and ask lots of questions. Then, I invest time on my own to take the quality information you provide and turn it into a bio that makes you proud.  It truly is a collaborative process because you know your story inside and out, and I may be connecting with you for the first time.  I promise you will beam with pride about your new bio and breathe a sigh of relief that this essential task is now complete, just in time to turn the page on the New Year.  My rates are on sale between now and 12-31-08, so get what you want at fabulous value when you engage between now and then.

If you are not satisfied with the “Google” search about your name or company name, here are two alternatives to address that right now.  Are you ready to get into action?  Remember, along the continuum of intertia and momentum, more great things happen when you are in action.  Action is always the key.

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New Website Offers Interior Designers a Fabulous Venue to Show Their Best Work

Media Savvy 101 1 Comment

Check out this newly launched site called Varvana. Fred Albert is the creator for this new site, and here is what he has to say about it:

“Varvana will take the idea of the design magazine and expand it for the digital age, offering readers the opportunity to peruse thousands of interiors culled from the portfolios of the nation’s top designers and architects–all free and in one location. It’s as if you picked up a copy of House Beautiful, except instead of finding eight houses inside, you found 800.  Projects will be categorized by style and location, so readers can use Varvana to locate a designer or architect in their area. We’ll also have articles, interviews, product information, and tours of exclusive trade shows and show houses. It’s our hope that we end up with the single greatest collection of high-end residential design in the country. What’s especially cool about Varvana is that we’re NOT charging designers to post their projects on the site. Every photo will be accompanied by the designer’s name and a link to his or her Web site. And it’s OK if the project has already been published (a great way for designers to get extra exposure for something that’s already been seen in print.) Of course, there are a couple of rules: All the projects have to be professionally photographed. And we won’t be accepting everything that’s submitted, in order to maintain the site’s quality. But if designers already have their portfolios on their own Web sites, they can post them on Varvana, too, and get a lot more traffic for no money and little effort. Marketing doesn’t get much easier than that.”
I shared this information yesterday with an appreciative audience of 100 designers at a keynote at the Third Thursday professional development meeting at the Seattle Design Center, and every single person in the room took note of this new website and agreed to visit and explore ways to contribute.
What a fun presentation yesterday to an appreciative audience of buzz worthy and buzz seeking business owners.   I can’t wait to receive additional invitations to speak to equally enthusiastic audiences in 2009.  If you make those decisions or know people who do, I welcome your calls and inquiries at 425-641-5214.   With the economy giving everyone a run for the money, the timing could not be better to empower others with the tips, resources, inspiration, and ideas to deploy the power of do-it-yourself publicity to their advantage.
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Fun, Fashionable and Functional Special Offer for Publici-Tea-TO-GO! Gift Bundle Buyers

Special Savings No Comments

Alexis Meisel, founder of Zook Hooks Inc., is so delighted that her publicity success story is featured in the Publici-Tea™-TO-GO! Gift Bundle CD that she has offered 100 Zook Hook purse hangers as special bonus gifts for the next 100 people to make the Publici-Tea™-TO-GO! Gift Bundle their own.

If you’ve been wanting one of these fun, fashionable, and functional items that keep your purse off the ground and safe from germs and other ills, while adding a welcome bit of bling at the same time, now is the time to get yours as part of your  Publici-Tea-TO-GO! Gift Bundle purchase for yourself or a buzz seeking business owner you know.

Speaking of buzz seeking business owners, Alexis has earned some good press for her products recently and just posted her new online press room to her site to make it easy for others to see.  Now, her favorable news coverage can appear “new” forever and help others easily get to a “yes” buying decision, while also making the task of reporting about her product easier for bloggers, holiday gift guide reporters, and other interested writers who come to call.

I have received a couple of glowing testimonials about these gift items from business owners who treated themselves to the Publici-Tea™-TO-GO! Gift Bundle, and their comments make me smile.

“The Publici-Tea™ Gift Bundle is so much more valuable than I imagined when I ordered it. Besides the beautiful packaging, the sheer number of ‘use it right now!’ tips, techniques, ideas, and information was amazing. I started listening to the CD like I do most others (while multi-tasking) and had to stop and get out paper and pen and start taking notes. It’s like getting a brain-full of PR real world guidance in a pretty little package with chocolate, a cookie and a tea cup. And you get to support a great cause at the same time . Relax and enjoy the tea while you listen to the CD but keep a notebook and pen handy.”

— Lora Canary, MHA,
Owner,
www.EverydayOasis.com

“I got my Publici-Tea™-To Go gift bundle in the mail yesterday. Wow, it is full of great stuff! I loved listening to the CD and was inspired to start writing. Thanks Nancy. Oh, and the Seattle Chocolate was fabulous! All of it! Just ask my thighs!”

Cindy Loughran

Ten percent of net profits from the year-round sale of these items benefits Northwest Hope and Healing, a non profit organization that delivers healing baskets full of lotions, teddy bears, and treats to encourage women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.  This really is a remarkable organization that is making a huge difference in the lives of others.  I am proud to support it, and I hope you will too with your Publici-Tea™-TO-GO! Gift Bundle purchases this holiday season and beyond.  I’d be thrilled if you helped me spread the good news.  Thank you.

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Creating a Healthy & Prosperous Business – Tips From Marcia Brixey

Business Success No Comments

I was fortunate to hear an inspiring keynote presentation by Marcia Brixey a few weeks ago, and her key points about creating a healthy and prosperous business seem very timely to share. Marcia is founder of Money Wise Women and the author of The Money Therapist. Here are Marcia’s top 12 tips:

1. Have a dream, vision and passion

2. Determine and write a business plan

3. Stretch outside your comfort zone

4. Surround yourself with people who support you

5. Determine your rates and don’t forget to negotiate

6. Network, network, network

7. Professional development

8. Stay focused

9. Be generous; support others and build relationships

10. Set healthy boundaries

11. Hire professionals to do the things you don’t love

12. Think BIG!

And here is a photo of me and Marketing Consultant Robbin Block taken at this event. Both of us were breakout session leaders. Robbin spoke about social networking, and I spoke about DIY publicity. (Don’t you just love my sassy, vintage jacket? )

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Training Dates for 2009 Publici-Tea™ and Winning Bio Writing Workshops are Posted!

Event Promotion No Comments

Professional development/training is a great way to energize your plans to grow the buzz about your business in the New Year.   The 2009 training dates for Publici-Tea™ Half-Day Workshops and Winning Bio Writing Workshops have been posted at the live links noted to make it easy for you to make your plans.

I’ll be hosting Publici-Tea™ Workshops at The Village Bellevue from 12:30 – 5 p.m. on the following four Fridays in 2009:  January 9, March 13, May 15, and September 11.

I’ll be hosting Winning Bio Writing Workshops at The Village Bellevue from 12:30 – 5 p.m. on the following four Fridays in 2009:  February 20, April 24, June 12, and October 16.

To encourage “continui-tea” and “accountabili-tea,” I am offering the Publici-Tea and Winning Bio Writing Workshops on alternate months so event guests can move quickly along their DIY publicity path with me as their guide.  Why not put one or both of these workshops on your holiday list so you can be happily surprised to receive what you crave from the generous, supportive gift givers in your life?

And, if you would like these workshops to travel to your city to serve a group of buzz-seeking business owners, get in touch and let’s talk about it!

Just curious, who among the readers would like to be able to purchase an MP3 file of the full-length Publici-Tea™ event so they can listen at their 24/7 convenience while getting in shape on their exercise bike, stairmaster, or treadmill without having to leave their home or office?  I’d love to hear from you!

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