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achievement

Unique is Not Good enough

What authors need to do to achieve success

Unique is not good enough.

What an author needs to achieve success might include one or more of the following:

Galvanizing
Uncommonly and relentlessly helpful
Magical
Transcends
Irresistible
Remarkable
Revolutionary
Game-Changing
Life-saving
Enlightening
Superbly crafted
Captivating
Pure Gold
Brilliant
True Stand Out
Exceeds All Expectations
Red Hot Imagination
Mesmerizing
Spellbinding
Rich treat
Catapults You Beyond
Brilliantly Plotted
Un-put-downable
Amazing
Perfectly Paced
Engrossing
Fiercely poetic
Lush exquisitely detailed
Gorgeous
Resolute
Page turning
Infectious
Vivid eloquence
Shocking clarity
Rich and intricate
Enthralling
Deeply satisfying
Surprising revelations
Masterful journey

Content messaging: Broad or narrow – which ROI is better?

Content messaging: Broad or narrow - which is better?

What did you say today? What did you sell today?

Look at your messaging. Is it aimed broad or is it aimed at a specific niche. Which sells best depends on where and how the ROI is returned?

If ten broad content posts produces a 0.02 percent ROI (in terms of dollars) and the ROTI (return on time invested) and you can get a 2 percent ROI off ten niche posts at the same ROI, then you get 100 times the ROI from your niche posts.

I personally observe in my clients and have experienced myself that broad content also carries a much higher risk of producing a negative ROI, if it produces “energy vultures”. These are people who simply become a time and money wasting drain which reduces and undermines the ROI you get from real prospects and customers.

Traffic does not always equate with profit. Sometimes, there is an investment required to to turn a cold call or inquiry into a hot prospect and paying client.

This is why I train my clients to go where your people are and learn how to turn them on. Usually that means teaching them something they didn’t know before.

But it’s not always niche content that does the trick. I have many clients who are superb generalists. They can be witty, hilarious, and make all sorts of people laugh, cry, cringe in horror or squeal with delight. Hey a half naked man or woman with six pack abs always gets heads to turn.

But when and if you get up close and personal, they turn you off. Their niche communications are too pushy, too impersonal, too demanding, and don’t deliver on the promise or expectations.

The lesson is that you have to develop whatever messaging you use carefully and test it till it gets the action you want. You have to study, analyze and improve every step in the funnel – every communications touch point and the overall process.

If you fail to track, then you lose the ability to know what is really happening. The trick is to take actions that can be tracked and use metrics that matter, so you can manage what you do effectively.

If you do something that helps, do more of it. If it doesn’t work, stop and do something else.

In fact, if you practice and test and improve your messaging so you do this really well, you will make them realize that hiring you (or buying whatever it is you are selling) is simply the best action they can take.

Are you ready to publish? Knowing when you are done.

Are you ready to publish? Knowing when you are done.

Each year I work with hundreds of authors and publishing companies. Very few of them ask enough strangers to give them feedback as part of their book creation process.

What I recommend people do is go slow. Start with family, friends, colleagues, employees and expand the circle till you reach strangers. Show and tell one on one. It’s possible to learn how to sell. That’s the miracle of the microcosm. If you learn what you need to say to people in your little neck of the woods, chances are you can then say the same thing anywhere and everywhere you go and you’ll be equally successful selling your products wherever you go.

But you need to learn those magic words first.You have to write to sell, and the job of writing isn’t done until the book sells. This is where most self-publishers go astray. They publish their book without verifying it was really ready for market. Many don’t even get the help of an editor!

You have to test your ideas and test your product and test your mar-com (marketing communications) on real live people. STRANGERS! You need to identify your end users and the people who will buy the book for your users. Then you need to learn what to say to get these people to take the action you want.

Write to sell and test, test, test. Do this in small doses till you get the right buy signals. Reliably. Not just once or twice, but repeatedly and reliably.

Do 25 to 50 POD versions and test it with these important people.

You’ll know by their behavior and response whether you are really ready to publish the book.

If you can’t get people to even look at it, then you’re not done.

If they look at it and put it down, then you still have work to do.

If people look at it and grab it, you might be done. It depends what happens when they then pick it up and peruse it. If they put it down, then you’re not done.

If you get good comments that say “OMG you turned me on” – capture it, and do more of it.

If you get negative feedback that says “YUCHHH!”, take it out or fix it. Get rid of it.

Improve with the CACA process. Create — Ask — Create Again — Ask Again.

Yes it can be pretty s****. You may choke on your pride and wake up after a sleepless night. You have to have the guts and fortitude to redesign and re-write it till you know you are done because it sings to people. You have to work with your prospective audience to get real feedback, and you must listen to what people say and address the issues you receive.

This may take a lot of reiterations. But one thing is for certain, there is a point that you will reach when you know that you are done. It’s a wonderful thing when you get to this point and know it.

So this is my bottom line advice: Write to sell. Don’t stop writing and re-writing till you know it sells, and sells easily and continuously.

Prove it with small test POD numbers. Use the technology that is available to all of us wisely. Then move it up through the publishing and promotion chain level by level.

In most cases, the author thinks the book should excite and grab people. But it doesn’t always happen that way.

So to me, they still have work to do. But they can’t speculate about what’s wrong, they need real data.

This is what I tell people to do – get the data. Figure out what you need to say and do to produce action that will satisfy your stated goals and objectives:

Go ask your candidate customers. Ask until you are blue in the face and get the hard difficult data and feedback you need to redesign and redo your project.

Which content has more impact? Niche or generic?

Content is King. How do you identify the right content for you?

I’ve studied this intensely as a publicist. My experience is that it depends on how you make your income and what you do and say that turns your people on and gets them to take the action you want them to take (sales, fundraising, votes, participation, whatever). Whatever you do best is where you will shine the most. You have to make light that outshine your competition. and you have to be able to communicate to YOUR people wherever you find them. So what do they read, watch or listen to, particularly when they are receptive to taking action? What can YOU say that fits in those circumstances. Prove the message first, then select the technology and format the message to the culture. For many professionals, the problem solving tips article or Q & A is the best professional branding tactic. For others, it’s a educational photo feature.

So many people struggle to figure out the right words to use to turn people on. I believe you can learn what to say that turns people on one person at a time. You just have to keep talking to people and pay attention to what you said when it happens.

I call this the miracle of the microcosm because I’ve found people can do this anywhere and everywhere. It doesn’t matter where they are at all. And once you do figure out the magic words, then you can apply the numerous outreach technologies as a force multiplier to repeat the results.

Here’s a link that goes to my Magic in a Message slide show presentation.

http://www.slideshare.net/PaulKrupin1/magic-in-a-message-120613-pdf

Being a force multiplier is where I get my kicks

Being a force multiplier is where I get my kicks

I read with a pen in my hand at all times. The real trick is to not only underline the good ideas and passages, but open up a notebook and write down the idea and develop an action, identify who else needs to be brought in, identify a completion date and deploy the action plan to turn the idea into a reality with benefits. Even if it is inspirational, fiction or non-business related, identify the good stuff and share it with someone. Sharing and caring someone else’s life’s work can bring joy to the world. Being a force multiplier is where I get my kicks.

Publicizing Clients Before or After PR Success

Ethics and tactics of publicizing clients before and after PR success

A question came up in the Small-PR Firm group at Yahoo, about whether and how to best leverage the fact that you got a new client. Some comments said it’s OK to do so, while others indicated they had concerns about doing so. Here’s my opinion on the ethics of doing so and the proper and best way to leverage one’s PR achievements.

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We are in the business of doing PR for clients and ethically, how they do their marketing is critical and sensitive business intelligence that we do not have the right to share freely. I feel that the very fact they have hired a PR firm or specialist is a privileged piece of marketing information and it is very poor professional conduct to share that without client permission to other people in the industry.

The release of this type of contracting information can be damaging to the client no matter what type of publicist or professional service provider you are. The client gets hurt because you may be good or you may be not so good. Either way, the competition gets to know what your client is doing and can counter that move in the marketplace.

You can get hurt if you promote the client if: 1. They don’t want you to and they get upset if you do; and 2. If you then fail to produce the expected PR performance. Either way, your reputation is tarnished with the client, and possibly in the marketplace if it gets out that you can’t be trusted. You won’t get referrals this way.

That said, the publicity achievements we get for the client are fair game. That information is far better to use in our PR promotions anyway, since it reveals and showcases the ROI we are capable of.

You can share PR achievements in lots of highly visual, colorful and impressive ways:

* Using a series of links to media posts, clips, or audio clips in an email (four or five links to top media with client names or project or news release headlines)

* Take photos of the paper coverage or of the best moments in a TV clips.

* Post ongoing PR successes each day to a “Clients in the News” page on your web site or a similar dedicated Facebook page with photo imagery and links each time you get something noteworthy. You can just send the FB link to prospective clients. You can place a link on your web page that goes here too.

* Do the same on a blog. Post the achievements and tell PR success stories with photos and links. Make these posts keyword rich and it will improve your search engine placement.

* Create a Portfolio or Experience page on your web site, and place the Portfolio button on your navigation bar so people can see it. Get your programmer to create a web form that allows to add posts with photos and dates. Over time these client lists can get lengthy and will be quite impressive.

. Create Slide shows from Powerpoint presentations and even Word docs showing the PR success visually. Then turn these into videos you can post or send. This is the type of “Project” you can post to LinkedIn. You can also post them on your website and use them in all your other marketing communications.

. You can use prior performance and your creative works to build and formalize your own referral network. Every now and then, you contact your clients and ask them to celebrate you or something you have done, you’ve created, or are doing. This way, you create something superbly helpful and you ask your clients to give it to people who might benefit from the type of problem solving answer you have offered.

I highly recommend you just forget about posting news releases about your own company to the online news release distribution services. With the Google algorithm changes, the only media coverage that really counts is “earned media” with truly educational and helpful content. You can read all about this here:
http://blog.directcontactpr.com/2013/09/google-changes-to-the-world-of-news-release-distribution/ or http://goo.gl/rf8yLQ

You want to use the very same tactics we use for clients to improve and enhance your own professional branding. Write problem articles, get them published or posted on industry sites. Write a regular book even a series of mini-books and use them as calling cards to get clients to know you are the best. Every time a client asks a technical question, create a really good answer. Save these Q & A’s and build up an arsenal of them. Post them to your blog and again, turn them into a multitude of useful marcom and use them in all the prospect interactions you have appropriately.

Hope this helps.

Tell Me a Story! Five essential elements for being on the front page of your target media

Five essential elements for being on the front page of your target media

More than anything, your audience seeks a story containing knowledge of success and a happy experience. Let me share with you an example.

I was on an airplane to Los Angeles wondering what I was going to say at a conference where i was speaking, when I had a breakthrough in understanding media. I had stared at the cover of USA Today and I glanced from story to story and there it was. The common elements of news on the front page again and again. Then i went to the magazines one right after another. Same elements. Everywhere! I just wrote down what I saw. Five simple elements, which I made into an acronym for easy storage and ease of use.

DPAA+H

I’ll share this with you now.

You are in the driver’s seat when it comes to selecting what you will tell people.

If you want attention that drives people to you, you have be engaging and you have to bring it on quick.

If you want to take your connections to a new level, tell people a story and make it:

DRAMATIC

PERSONAL

ACHIEVEMENT in the Face of

ADVERSITY

and add in a little HUMOR if you can.

Look around and you’ll see that these five elements are the most common things that are featured in both successful media coverage and in marketing communications.

DPAA+H

Study the top media. Look at he headlines and read the lead sentence and the first paragraph.

You can do it, too.

Kickstarter Success Story

Kickstarter Success Story

One of my newest clients is Ms. Erin Faulk, who just conducted a successful Kickstarter campaign.

She raised more than $24,000 to fund an independent film adventure where she goes cross country, meets, interviews, and films 140 “characters” she only knew previously through Twitter.

The PR campaign resulted in numerous articles and radio and TV interviews which contributed to her going over her $15,000 goal.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1020889969/follow-friday-the-film?ref=category

She did an interview with the Cision Navigator in which she offers tips on building online relationships.

http://blog.us.cision.com/2012/06/building-online-relationships-tips-from-follow-friday-the-film/

Two days ago, icing on the cake. Audi USA donated her the use of a brand new Audi for the 8,000 mile cross country tour.

http://followfridaythefilm.com/

Dealing with Media Rejection – How to Turn a No Into a Yes

How to turn a rejection from media into an acceptance and feature story media coverage

OK, you send out a news release.

You asked for a review, a feature story or an interview. You gave them options, incentives, access to data, photos, people.

They said NO! Is it all over? Is that all there is? Has the door to opportunity slammed in your face?

I don’t think so.

No rarely means No. It usually means not now. It means maybe later.

But it is up to you to figure out what do do.

And what you do is simple: You make another proposal. You offer to send another idea. You say, how about i call you back in two hours (after your deadline has passed).

Always pitch back another idea for something else. Never let the conversation stop. Take the action and get them to say yes to something that keeps the conversation going.

Media people have a job to do. Maybe your proposed idea just didn’t fit in with their needs or maybe they think it will take more time and effort than they can give. As them “Is there something I/We can do to make this more attractive? Is there more information we can send to you.”

If they still say no, ask them “How about something totally different? What about this idea instead?”

Ask them “What would you like to see us present to you?”

Find out what the media wants. Then give them what they need and make it easy for them to work with you.

That’s how you’ll get respect from media for being a valued contributor and a working professional they can trust and rely upon to help them do their job.

That’s how you’ll close more deals and get more of what you want, too.

Publicity success story – Self-published author makes the Wall Street Journal

Self-published author makes the Wall Street Journal

Mini brag and congratulations to client Glen R. Sontag, author of Anything Other Than Naked, for being featured in a half page article on Wall Street Journal on Thursday July 14, 2011.

Read the article here: http://snipurl.com/13e54f

He made p. 2 in the Personal Journal section in the On Style column. The print version of the article takes up ½ page and includes 5 books on fashion which are reviewed. His book is the most prominently displayed in the full color photo.

ANYTHING OTHER THAN NAKED
is a small, illustrated 86-page book with separate chapters on how to evaluate, select, and wear each item of clothing—from suits, shirts, ties, and trousers to sweaters, belts, shoes, and outerwear.

The best quote from the article highlights why other men should trust his advice:

“Gentlemen might ask: Why take style advice from Glen R. Sondag, a former financial adviser and U.S. Air Force captain? Well, for one thing, because his mother sewed and he helped her, so he knows his way around wool, cotton and silk. More to the point, Mr. Sondag has been working outside the fashion world for 35 years. His slim volume, “Anything Other Than Naked,” is full of practical, direct advice.”

I love it. He helped his mother sew.

I worked on the project with Jim and Lynda O’Connor. We created a two page problem solving tips article for his outreach effort and made some phone calls. We sent out the news release twice a two week period in March 2011. So the time between news release transmittal and media publication was four months. The custom media list we developed targeted fashion, clothes, men’s interest, and work/life. The WSJ was one of over 80 media requests or review copies acquired as a result of the outreach effort. The WSJ has an audited circulation of 2,117,796.

🙂 Glen’s author website http://anythingotherthannaked.com is worthy of inspection as a masterpiece of simplicity and beautiful design that matches his style and elegance. It is a great example of letting people see and know exactly who you are.

Kudos to Glen.