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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.

Don’t sell the book

Don't sell the book

Don’t just say, I wrote a book. Please buy my new book.

Do your best and make a really good impression.

Let your book go. Go beyond the book. Give people news. Educate. Entertain. Explain. Exhort them to take action.

Do your best at whatever you do.

if you are a comedian, make people laugh.

If you are a teacher, teach them something new, and make them realize the importance of that knowledge in a way that changes their lives, for the better, forever.

If you are an auto mechanic, help them with a problem and solve it easier and fatser than they ever imagined.

If you are a children’s book author, make the children smile.

If you are a health and fitness expert, help people lose a few pounds and enjoy it.

If you are a financial expert, take the mystery out of an important money making or cost producing event or happening and make it easy for them to find out more if they want to.

If you are a fiction author, tell a really good story. Make people interested in your genre by sharing something fascinating and intersting about the story you wrote or the history and facts upon which your story is based, or the characters and what they represent to you.

Help the people you can help the most. Do what you are best at. Be exceptional.

And do it in 30 seconds.

If you do that, they will remember you, and they will share you, your ideas, and your products or your services with others.

Erykah Badu walking naked in the streets of Dallas video – publicity stunt, art, or just sad, shocking music video promo

Erykah Badu walking naked in the streets of Dallas video - publicity stunt, art, or just sad, shocking music video promo

Singer Erykah Badu has released an uncut video of her walking through the Dallas square where President John F. Kennedy shot disrobing one piece of clothing at a time right down to her bare naked skin all while she croons her latest song. The uncut video was shot in plain view and parents with children were visibly shocked and surprised while it happened. It was up on You Tube freely visible for the world to see for a while but now has been taken down do to apparent copyright violation issues.

Is this art? Is this permissible expression protected by the First Amendment?

Is it just a publicity stunt?

While it may be all the above, one really has to simply wonder if this is the image she really wants people to have of her.

Will she promote her image as a celebrity?

Will it sell more of her music and get her name out all across the country so she makes oodles of money?

Or is it simply rude, crude, tasteless and demeaning? Does her statement have absolutely no redeeming social, artistic or cultural value at all?

Here’s my spin on this:

Was this really done with real forethought and planning of the real consequences? Is it really a positive statement and does it really show confidence, freedom, and identify and spirit and all these positive traits?

She walks through a controversial location, sings and strips, and pretends she gets shot.

The video quality is OK, but is it art?

Or is it just an easy thing to do to do on a sunny day with a video cam and the Internet is so readily available as a vehicle for dissemination of information.

And it’s pretty clear that videos of pretty naked women undressing will go viral.

But did they really plan this out? They apparently didn’t notify anyone at the City of Dallas or get a permit for the filming. So it’s questionable this was done with much real planning and professional video or film making.

She may think she’s sharing her art, but she’s not making a very good impression on the neighbors. The impression she makes produces a negative visceral reaction that won’t promote her personal or professional brand. She didn’t go for a positive impression. She seems to be simply offending most people everywhere instead.

She’s not being polite or even mildly sensitive or sensible about her decision to do her thing at this location, or what sort of consequences she may have tomorrow and the next day. Does she really think this 15 seconds of transient national attention like this will propel her to fame and fortune? It’s sad. She’s demeaned and insulted so many people.

She doesn’t elevate herself and others as a person to look up to emulate. The impression given instead is that she has resigned herself and lowered herself in everyone’s eyes to a position of personal disgrace and uncaring insensitivity.

To me as a publicist, it’s simply bad publicity decision-making, bad promotion without thinking about the future. Artistically she shot herself, her image, and her profits in the foot. She’s made lots of people angry all over the world.

It is sad that this is what some otherwise talented and creative people resort to when trying to make a name for themselves and get our attention.

Smart, Intelligent, and Broke… and What to do about it

Tactics for creating a writing or services business that makes money and helps the people you can help the most

I’m a copywriter and a publicist and an author so I guess I do make a living writing. I’m happy to share with you what I’ve done and what I’ve learned.

I wrote my first news release in 1977. I went online with my first website in 1993. I’ve built up my copy writing and publicity services company at home and online over the past 15 years.

You can read the story about how I created my business in the book “Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul” published by Health Communications in November 2006. It’s titled `Ripples’. Fun story.
If you want to see it click here Ripples

The marketing I do is pretty nominal but it is consistent, and I take baby steps to keep it going nearly every day.

I’m of the belief that if people and companies have employees doing work that you can do and have more work that you can do than they have employees available to do that work, then getting paid is easy.

Can you do it?

Yes you can!

You just need to present them with a very desirable alternative turnkey to hiring you as an employee. Make it attractive and make it easy and it’s a done deal.

I’ve found that if they have employees doing something, then outsourcing to you is often a very attractive option. You can normally charge four to six times the hourly rate of pay that they pay full time employees to do exactly the same work, but without them having to carry the overhead that they have to carry for an employee. So if top technical or professional employees are making $50 an hour, then you can charge $200 an hour. Most companies will not bat an eye at these rates these days. You can run the numbers and see, at these rates, it’s not hard to bill over $100,000 a year and do it part-time from home. The Internet and email can be a wonderful place.

So no matter what the employees or you do, you can create a short menu of options and fees that break both the services you will provides (just like an employee performs, or the deliverables they create), and format this into a short list of the fee based time or product deliverables that you can perform or deliver on demand or by schedule.

So instead of a resume, create a one page brochure that says “menu of options”. Then itemize options so people can hire you in bite size chunks of payable time or for products or services by known typical units of performance (by the hour, by the day, by the week, by the page, by the document, or whatever).

This menu allows you and the client to select what you do and price it in advance, and build this into a one page contract or an email or even a phone call.

I’ve found that the best marketing tactics that work in this business are ones that allow you to leverage professional branding with your target audience. You should not waste time, effort and money unless it brings a professional branding message in front of someone who will potentially be amenable to doing business with you.

So I recommend you experiment, test and most importantly and track and analyze what you do, to identify how you are getting clients and where the biggest income streams come from. Then apply the basic rules of systematic continuous improvement to what you are doing. Simply put, if it works, do more of it, and if it doesn’t stop and do something else.

You can use my business as an example. To this day, I get most of my new business by:

* meeting people at conferences at which I exhibit, and giving short but personal consults on the fly, and once I hear what they are all about giving them recommendations that help them a little and indicate what they can get by involving me more.

* writing and publishing articles (problem solving tips articles) in magazines, to demonstrate skills, expertise, ability, knowledge and wisdom, and create desire once they realize they want more of what I can offer.

* posting articles and responding to posted questions in newsgroups and on discussion lists, to do the same.

* adding more free articles and free downloads to an extensive highly educational and focused website, to educate and motivate people to do more themselves, or hire me if they can’t do it themselves.

* adding more success stories and testimonials to my portfolio, to again demonstrate and affirm.

* sending really value added email introductions to prospects, to supply them with a plan of action that leads them to hire me.

* doing 30 minute consultations by phone, learning what clients need and delivering strategic advice and one page action plan proposals by email.

* answering prospect questions as though I was already working for them.

* carefully cultivating word of mouth off prior exceptional performance.

* speaking engagements, giving workshops and training sessions for free and for fee, but only to the right targeted company or audience.

* meeting people for lunch and listening to their project needs or dreams.

* sending them one page email proposals.

* building off referrals, and speaking engagements, and seeking to leverage host beneficiary relationships.

This last one is perhaps the most crucial. As you satisfy clients, of course, you can get repeat business. If you do work for a headquarters or a home office of a company with lots of offices all over the country, your host contact can lead you directly to many other prospects. You then get to pitch them all or better still, the headquarters contact shares you and everyone in that business network then contacts you. This situation can be phenomenally beneficial. Lucrative in fact. Same thing can happen with speaking engagements at associations. The local speech or workshop travels up to the headquarters.

Once every few years I create an innovative post card and do a mailing. My most recent mailer was a one pager back-to-back. If you want to see my most recent one, send me an email message request and I’ll send you the pdf file. I was using US Mail for mailings until two years ago. Now we participate in coop mailings and use email.

Nowadays I also use a show off business card. It has a picture of me fishing. It’s a memorable experience to look at and to hold. It brands me as a distinctive writer.

I use email, short letters and one page business proposals extensively to close deals by email and phone. In fact, I have a rule which basically says that you never have a conversation with a prospect without making a customized personal proposal. It works very well.

I actually don’t need or use formal contracts at all. I just take credit cards and bill them at the time of performance. I take very few checks and only in advance if the client insists upon paying that way. Client satisfaction with this arrangement is nearly 100 percent for many years now.

I spend NO money on advertising at all and do not care about search engine placement or ad words. Clients who call me have either heard about me or find me online through research or referral. They basically have decided to hire me before they call me so I actually do very little selling.

I’ve actually found that in my business, the people who search using search engines aren’t the clients I seek to work with. Most of them don’t have the products or businesses that I enjoy and can be successful with. The people who find my site online rarely are quality clients. So search engine ranking and placement mean very little to me. I can be found very quickly if people search for me nonetheless. In fact, search on my name and you’ll see thousands of links going back 15 years.

I’ve also found that the decision to hire is based on people having convinced themselves that you offer needed value that can be acquired no where else at the costs that you present. What you need to do is just learn how to make the product or service you give remarkable and personal, unique, and phenomenally effective. You also need to learn how to communicate this to them quickly.

Do that and your business will grow consistently with everything you do. The key to enjoying yourself along the way is to simply focus on helping the people you can help the most. You also need to know when to say no to a project that is problematic and where you know won’t be able to satisfy yourself or the client. The rule should be `no unhappy clients’.

I learned this business model by studying a variety of other consultants and copywriters. This model is actually very easy to operate and fairly low cost. I incorporated a few years ago as a full C Corp to take advantage of the tax structure since the business bills over six figures a year. I pay myself a salary. I also just use QuickBooks Pro to do the day to day bookkeeping myself but do hire a professional accountant to do the taxes each year. I use the merchant credit card services offered with Quicken and it does the bookkeeping entries as it processes the credit card authorizations.

The skills I acquired to conduct my business the way I do is mostly out of books. I am a voracious reader. This is in addition to reading or skimming all the client books that come to me (Fed Ex and UPS stop here nearly every day Monday through Friday). I read at the health club, I read during the day and at night, and in front of the TV. I basically am reading (or searching and surfing the Internet) if I am not writing or on the phone.

My house is totally wireless and there are two computers on plus two laptops available for use by me and the rest of the family at all times.

I can even take my cell phone and my wireless laptop in my boat and take client calls and work while fishing along the Columbia River because of the many hot spots and homes with unsecured wireless routers along the river. It’s amazing! The technology really is wonderful these days. That makes for some very pleasant days working (yes really working) while catching salmon, steelhead and walleye! If you’ve ever called me during the day you may hear me tell you that if I get a fish on I’ll have to get off really quick, but I’ll call you back! OK, enough bragging.

I just looked over my library and I highly recommend you basically commit to reading most every business, sales and marketing book published and get whatever you can out of each and every one of them. I still probably spend $100 to $200 a month on books in this area and have for years. My wife says it takes more to keep me well read than it does to keep me well fed. I have a 25 year collection and I still refer back to them constantly.

My favorite book authors and the books I can point you to for the best answers to this question the most are:

* Harry Beckwith (everything he writes is golden including: Selling the Invisible, What Clients Love, The Invisible Touch, and his new one, You, Inc.)

* Bob Bly (again, anything he writes is worth owning. The Copywriter’s Handbook, Secrets of a Freelance Writer, How to Promote Your Own Business, and Write More, Sell More, which is still one of the best books ever written on running a writing business).

* Ralph G. Riley (The One Page Business Proposal is perhaps one of the most important books you’ll ever find. It has made me tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars).

* Dan Kennedy (The Ultimate and No B.S. series)

* Seth Godin (Purple Cow, Free Prize Inside, and Unleashing the Idea Virus)

* Mark Stephens (Your Marketing Sucks)

* Jay Abraham (Getting Everything You Can Out of All You Got)

* Dr. Jeffrey Lant (this dates me! No More Cold Calls, Cash Copy, The Unabashed Self-Promoter’s Guide, and Money Making Marketing. Good luck finding these but if you do, consider yourself lucky)

* Jeffrey Fox (How to Become a Rainmaker and How to Become a Marketing Superstar).

If you need attitude adjustment to get into the right frame of mind for running a business, then I highly recommend:

* Jack Canfield (The Success Principles)

* Napoleon Hill (Law of Success)

* Steven Scott (Mentored by a Millionaire)

* Brian Tracy (Maximum Achievement and many others)

* Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul (Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Bud Gardner)

The real trick to reading is that you have to create a written plan with the ideas that come to you.

Reading and not writing simply isn’t productive. Writing a plan of action turns the idea into something tangible. You must add in the tasks and place dates and performance measures so that you know that you have completed the task.

Knowledge is valuable but to turn a fantasy into reality you must take action and try, try, try till you actually succeed.

You need to create two independent processes:

The first is the process for creating quality work (writing) that you can get paid for.

The second is the sales process that you use to get customers and get money.

Once you create these success processes for yourself then you apply technology to get more of each done in less time, with less effort and expense.

In fact, if you do both of these enough, it all becomes second nature, much like riding a bicycle or a car.

At some point, it can even get boring. To avoid losing faith and being unhappy, you have to find your happiness in delivering whatever happiness and help you can to others.

And that is my belief in what life is all about. .It’s my definition of success:

You achieve happiness and success when you help the people you can help the most and get rich at the same time.

The bottom line is that I believe that the opportunities to be a well paid writer right now are simply phenomenal. You can specialize and focus on any one or more of hundreds of markets. The country is huge. There are 300 million people in the US. There are 30,000 towns. There are simply millions of companies all of whom can be helped again and again.

Don’t be shy. This isn’t that hard to do and you’ve got the skills. Focus and go for it.

BTW, here’s the link for the pdf file containing the story `Ripples’ from Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul, or if you want the latest flyer I used in my mailings, just send me an email request. I’ll send you the pdf files.

Hope this helps. Questions welcome!

Paul J. Krupin – Direct Contact PR
Reach the Right Media in the Right Market with the Right Message
800-457-8746 509-545-2707
Paul@DirectContactPR.com

President Obama knows one of the real secrets of publicity and marketing success

President Obama knows the real secret of publicity and marketing success

Connecting in a caring way.

You can write an email. You can write an article. You can write a news release. You can create a script for an interview.

You can now send it out and try to get people to pay attention to you.

You can post it on web sites and make it available to millions of people who are searching using key words. That’s the idea. They search and they find you.

Will anyone pay any attention to you?

Not unless you care and they realize it.

There 20,000 people posting on blogs every hour. There are millions of people and businesses updating their web sites every day.

There are millions of people twittering away merrily with their little snippets of ‘wassup’ messages.

Are they connecting with you in a caring way?

Which ones actually get through to you? Which ones do you pay attention to?

Our newly elected President Barrack Obama knows how to connect.

I just signed up to be a follower on his Twitter account.

Within minutes I received the following email message:

“Hi, pjkrupin (pjkrupin).

Barack Obama (BarackObama) is now following your updates on Twitter.

Check out Barack Obama’s profile here:

http://twitter.com/BarackObama

Best,

Twitter

Can you believe it? The President of the United States is following my updates on Twitter.

In fact as of today, he’s following more people than are following him.

He’s following 166,088 people, and he has 144,000 followers.

He (or someone on his staff) is listening to more people than there are people listening to him, at least on Twitter.

This is amazing to me. This gives me a unique online experience.

He’s connected with me and he says he cares.

Try it yourself. Sing up at http://twitter.com/BarackObama

See how you feel when you get that message that says, “Barack Obama (BarackObama) is now following your updates on Twitter.”

What an example to emulate.

Andy Andrews asks “what’s the smartest thing your dad ever did?”

Andy Andrews asks "what's the smartest thing your dad ever did?"

Andy Andrews, camera in hand, asked a number of people “what’s the smartest thing your dad ever did?”

The answers he got were quite remark-able. In this short but incredible video, you’ll meet some truly normal people and a few well known celebrities as well.

Andy points out the value of having a mentor. Mentors do more than just offer advice. They invest in the outcome. They participate in the development personally. They make sure that some steps are taken and some expereinces and results are achieved.

We could all use and benefit from having a mentor or two. Quality advice and strong active supporters makes a whole lot of difference in a scary world filled with challenges and risk of disaster.

The real question then becomes is what do you do when you receive guidance and help from a mentor.

So the next question I wish Andy would ask of people, is this:

What the smartest thing you ever learned from your dad?

I know my dad would love to hear the answer. Even though I’m in my mid-fifites, he might be really surprised and happy to hear me share this with him.

Andy Andrews — the power of vision and commitment

Andy explains the importance of vision and commitment to the achievement of your goals

If you have never really questioned yourself about where you are going and asked yourself how committed to what you are doing you really are, then this little video may rock you to the core.

Andy Andrews is a NY Times best selling author, a world class humorist, radio and TV personality and corporate speaker. He has headlined for Joan Rivers and Kenny Rogers and has spoken at the request of four United States Presidents and the CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies around the world. He has written over 20 books, many of which are best sellers. Two are being made into movies. In Andy’s early days he was voted “comedian of the year” several years in a row by colleges around the country. He has been hailed as the modern day “Will Rogers”. At the request of the Joint Chiefs, he was recently flown by F16 to the Middle East to speak to the troops and field commanders.

There are many reasons why people like working with Andy. He has a direct, no nonsense, win/win attitude. He is personable and has an upbeat personality. He offers a steady stream of humor, helpful and provocative ideas and engaging stories about his life and the lives of people he has met or studied. He will share many compelling stories and crucial ideas about what people really need to do to achieve personal success.

You can learn a lot from Andy. he’s one of the few people I know who can make you laugh, cry and experience profound wisdom in the same breath.

Andy Andrews new book new book Mastering the Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success may be one of the most important books you read.

Andy explains the importance of vision and commitment to the achievement of your goals by sharing the story of Hernando Cortez quest for gold and the conquest of the Incas.

The next time you embark on a goal — remember to

    Burn The Boats!

John Maxwell on Making the Right Decisions

Leadership expert and author John Maxwell talks about making the right decisions

John Maxwell offers insights into why the things you do today matters. In this seven minute video he talks about identifying how to choose what’s important.