It’s news. It’s a sales tool. It’s content for your website, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – It’s a press release!

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The most undervalued and most important tool in your marketing arsenal is the press release. This one or two page piece is the center of the marketing world. This is where the facts, the news and the relevance come together and are approved by management.

Now that you have this document in your hands – it’s time to fly!press release

    That news release now becomes the center of everything you need to communicate and sell.

- It is a tool your sales team can use to give customers the inside story
– Put it up on your website under “News” and stimulate SEO
– It is your latest blog
– Link the blog to LinkedIn
– Choose a visual, and the headline and make it a Facebook entry with a link to your website
– Pin the visual to Pintrest
– The first paragraph, if written in AP style, should be a perfect Tweet
– Consider having a quick video made of the topic and you are now up on YouTube

And absolutely send it to the media.

If you also put it out on a wire service like BusinessWire you will land on hundreds of news sites internationally too and further impact your campaign’s credibility. And BusinessWire also assures it will be picked up on the all important mobile devices.

A press release is at the heart of marketing – maximize it and realize that it is your best tool.

No matter where else you might begin a marketing campaign you are going to need the facts, the story, the visuals, quotes from leadership and approvals of the message you are using – in other words a well-crafted press release.

Never underestimate the importance of the writer of the release and their ability to wordsmith, spell, use proper grammar and pay attention to detail. After all where you start makes all the difference in where you go.

The 5 Definitive Rules to Media Relations in 2014

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bennettaboutmarketing:

As a very long time customer of BusinessWire, I value their keen insight and wanted to share this with you – take note if we all focus on just these 5 ideas, we will continue to be successful. Thank you BusinessWire for this insightful piece of tips and tricks!

Originally posted on BusinessWired - Business Wire Blog:

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media

Earlier this year, Business Wire released their 2014 Media Survey in which we asked 300 reporters, journalists, editors, bloggers and freelancers a wide range of questions related to how they cover company news.  Their answers provide a very clear road map to media relations best practices in 2014.  In this post, we look at the top five questions that make up the new rules for media relations in 2014.

1. Reporters have to meet metrics too With 44 percent of media survey respondents now writing for online publications, the metrics in which the success of an article is based upon have changed. Thanks to unprecedented speed and reach of news enjoyed by the world today, story views have replaced print sales, social shares replacing water cooler discussions.

Media Moving Online

Tweet this statistic now!

As we have discussed many times, one of the easiest ways to…

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A Marketing Manifesto – 4 Truths

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At some point (maybe even today) you will say to yourself “how can I ever keep up with all the changes going on” and then the second truth will hit you “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Which leads me to the Marketing Manifesto and these 4 truths:Manifesto

#1 – Marketing is communications pure and simple. The latest term for this is “H to H”, Human to Human.

#2 – The absolute best communication is a conversation.

#3 – Matching the audience, with the right conversation via the most effective and open communication vehicle is the challenge of a marketing pro. Indeed it is what divides the best from all the rest.

#4 – At the end of any day, anywhere, the consumer just wants to know they are getting value, their lives will be even slightly improved if they spend their hard earned money, and yes this seller of products or services might care about them.

And thus it was, and thus it is – and you can count on this being a truth as long as there are humans.

The 911 – What The Best Event Planners Have In Their “Just in Case” Box

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Do you have a box in your car that is “just in case”? Well the best event planners do too and over the years we have accumulated the best of the best … sharing with you.chip clip

  1. A photographer brings potato chip bag clamps – one day when hotel drapes would not close and she needed the sun to be blocked for a special photo – she pulled out her  potato chip bag clamp, brought the drapes together to block the sun temporarily and the photo turned out perfectly.
  2. A can of WD-40 eliminates squeaky chairs, especially if they are on a podium with miked speakers!  Says one convention services planner.
  3. A business meeting planner brings the essentials – at least they are to him – 3 m sticky notes in a large size and sharpies … when the presentation fails to show or fails to play – here is an option that could save the day.
  4. A wedding planner in California includes shoe laces in her go-to kit.  Not for shoes but for all the other things that need to be open, closed or tied.  An entrance door that will not stay open – those shoelaces do the trick (she brings extra-long ones) and they are easy to untie too.’
  5. Have you ever picked up your event signs and the directional arrows were the wrong way?  Or counted on a facility to provide the signage and they were wrong? Pack a small chalkboard or two and colored chalk and you’ll get guests where they need to go.
  6. Extra cell phone chargers (including for your cell), an extension cord and granola bars – the first two are obvious but the planner who offered this tip said the granola bars are the most important part of the trio because if you have a cell phone about to die, you want a client who is ready to handle what comes next. chalkboard 2
  7. Gaffer’s or duct tape, push pins, eyeglass cleaner and lipstick remover were other great ideas.
  8. Phone numbers of the support team, cash to tip valet parkers, and extra business cards are mandatory “must haves” too.

Most of these helpful items will fit in a shoe box and might be something you consider having at your ready … and if you don’t have a 911 box – start one now and keep updating it!

Share with us your smart ideas, cannot wait to hear them!

The Right to “Free Speech” But Only If The Words Are Your Own

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The role of unbiased journalism has never been more important, nor more confusing. First Amendment Free Speech

Just what is a “journalist”? When anyone can start a blog or report on events with cell phone images and Tweet-sized reports – we need consumers to know the difference. We must have news resources that do not interject personal opinion, who do view all sides of an issue and report professionally.

Informed consumers, and communities, come from quality reporting. In the article below Caroline Little, talks about the role the law plays in keeping content from being reused without permission. Caroline’s article is offered here verbatim, with no changes to her copy.

Ultimately journalism must be profitable so news organizations can spend money on smart reporters, topic experts, news photographers and news video. As marketers we must support the protection of the right of the news media to own their content.

This is a topic about accountability, credibility and the future of honest and fair reporting – something our companies and organizations depend on.


Strong Copyright Law supports journalism and informed communities
By Caroline Little, Newspaper Association of America, president & CEO

Every day, city hall reporters at local newspapers distill hours of city council meetings into cogent stories that inform readers about how their elected officials are spending their tax dollars. Sports reporters document the successes of the high school team. Investigative reporters dig through thousands of pages of documents to expose government corruption, waste or ineffectiveness.

This journalism plays a vital role in local communities and in our nation’s democracy. But it also costs money: newspapers continue to invest more than $5 billion a year in journalism, far more than any other medium in the United States. Newspapers deliver news and information when and where readers want it, in print, digital and mobile platforms.

To do that, we must have fair copyright laws to enable newspapers to receive fair compensation in support of this journalism.

This year, the House Judiciary Committee, the Commerce Department, the Copyright Office and others are looking at potential changes to the Copyright Act. The newspaper industry applauds these efforts to ensure that copyright law is best suited for the digital age. We hope that any changes to the Copyright Act will continue to ensure that content creators – including those who invest in journalism – receive fair compensation.

This continued protection is particularly important today because some companies exist solely to aggregate content from the websites of original publishers for the sole purpose of selling this content to business users at a considerable profit.

Newspapers’ concern in this area is not the personal use of newspaper-generated content but rather its use by businesses that benefit financially through the unlicensed monetization of that content. By taking newspaper content without paying for it, these companies undercut the fundamental economic model that supports journalism that is so important to our communities.

As an example of the importance of copyright protection, consider a case last year that was decided by a federal judge in New York. The case involved Meltwater, a for-profit service, which scraped Associated Press articles from the Internet and resold verbatim excerpts to subscribers.

The AP sued the news service for copyright infringement, and the court properly found that Meltwater’s customers viewed the service as a substitute for reading the original articles. The court found that the re-publication of these articles was not “fair use,” a defense that provides a limited exception from the general rule that content users must receive permission from copyright holders to use their content. This case demonstrates that the Copyright Act’s fair use test is flexible enough to allow courts to reach the right decision.

While targeted enforcement actions focusing on business ventures that take and resell our content may continue to be necessary, the newspaper industry is also determined to find business solutions rather than legal remedies. Ultimately, the best approach for fairly compensating newspapers and other publishers is through the licensing of news content for business purposes.
The most convenient way to request permission to copy and distribute material is by contacting the publisher of that content. In addition, clearinghouses exist, like Copyright Clearance Center and Burrelles Luce’s Compliance Article Program, which provide an easy way for business users of content to obtain redistribution rights.

Since our nation’s founding, newspapers have played a central role in sustaining a well-informed public and healthy democracy. We are confident that licensing arrangements and fair and strong copyright protection will ensure our ability to continue to play this role for centuries to come.
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With sincere thanks to the Newspaper Association of America for sharing this editorial for blogger use.

Demotivation? This ‘new’ word has a lot to say about marketing

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OK Marketers — our job really is to motivate isn’t it?  Motivate to consider or try or buy – without motivation, our companies could be in big trouble.  Thus my head-snap when I recently read a piece about consumers becoming ‘demotivated’.motivations illustration

Let’s take a closer look at why a consumer can become demotivated and that should give us clues on how to reverse the trend back to motivation.

Demotivation does NOT come from lack of interest; nothing has changed in that department.  Consumers still love new clothes, sporting events, and so many other things we spend our money on.

Demotivation DOES come from a lack of reasons.  Start by asking yourself “why should a consumer buy our product or service”?  sports fans watching TV

Consider this:  Why go to a movie when you can rent one? The movie is the same, quality about the same but a big ticket price cannot win over convenience and comfort.  Thus the value proposition is to stay home to watch a movie. No commercials, no rude audiences, even the popcorn you can get from Orville Redenbacher (or your new Williams-Sonoma popping machine you bought online) is superior.

Consider this too:  Sporting venues and promoters have not kept up with what fans want.  Small seats, long lines at the bathrooms and concessions, inconvenient parking are all reasons to NOT go to a sporting venue.  Big screen TV’s at home or sports bars beat the venue experience in most cases.  Oh did I mention ticket prices?  You can buy a new big screen TV for the cost of a couple of tickets and an afternoon at the game!  And there is near panic these days on the college level and some team owners that they are losing ticket sales, logo item sales, concessions, parking and more revenue… why?  Demotivation at work here too.

So what cool ideas are others using to MOTIVATE the consumer to get up and have a live experience!ski valet

  •  – Ski Valets to assure lugging all that equipment doesn’t mar your downhill
  •  – Sports cars for use at upscale hotels
  •  – Vending machines with intuitive touch screens, face recognition and custom wraps to match interior décor
  •  – Bank lobbies open after “business hours”
  •  – Brand advocates who learn a customer’s wants, needs and styles

Doctors who know your name – just hopeful on the last one, but you get the idea.  It’s all about not only understanding the consumer, but truly knowing what they value.  If you can add being able to know when the customer wants your product or service or new idea – well then we all win.  Win big too.

So how do you motivate and stop the demotivation?  Well it really is frighteningly simple:  you ask.

Be ready to listen because the consumer is happy to tell you.

You too need to be motivated; motivated to change, be flexible and hear what the consumer is asking you for.  So get motivated and put all that technology to work.  Use email, social media sites, events, survey intercepts and even the US Post Office and start the conversation!

What is a PSA? If you do know; read on. If you don’t; definitely read on

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PSA stands for Public Service Announcement and they are about to be back in a big way.  All of us want to be smart and informed consumers, and corporations want to engages us, connect with us, and sell to us!  If a multi-platform campaign gives us an education and reasons to buy a product; all the better for everyone.

The selection of messages “in the public service” is 100% the responsibility of the leadership and the PR team of any organization.  Some smart pros couple that with a budget and a supportive ad and social media campaign, just like L’Oreal is doing in a well -timed campaign to kick off for summer 2014.

Yes it is OK to tie your brand message to a public service message.  Add a compelling story and you have the perfect marketing cocktail.Public service

The story at L’Oreal is a personal one; their VP of Communications was diagnosed with melanoma when a mole examination turned out to be melanoma, aka skin cancer.

Her research showed that melanoma is the #3 and rising cause of death from cancer – and from here a smart and compelling marketing campaign was born.

Promoting a L’Oreal product that included sun screen was a perfect tie in too.  They decided to base their campaign on educating women, especially young women, about the benefits of protecting their skin.  The campaign is called “It’s THAT Worth It” and features not only actress Eva Longoria but the L’Oreal executive as well.  Smart, credible, personal.

Here are the tie-ins that cross platforms, demographics and will get this L’Oreal public service message out in a big-big way:

-          PR, advertising, crowdsourcing, merchandising, events, social media all come together

-          Twitter hashtag #itsthatworthit

-          Celebrity endorsement, Eva Longoria

-          Outreach to Hispanic community too with Longoria as a Latina spokeswoman

-          Diane Keaton to reach an older demographic and Lea Michele are also involved in the campaign

-          Credible story, L’Oreal executive with melanoma (now in remission thankfully)

-          Tie in with nonprofit Melanoma Research Alliance

-          Selection of May 20 as kick off day (great summer timing)

-          Initial large donation to the Melanoma Research Alliance, with an event

-          Ongoing donations to the Alliance for each product purchase or crowdsourcing sign up

The primary goal is to educate consumers that protecting your skin is seriously important.  The L’Oreal sales will be small, and possibly grow, but the image enhancement is brilliant.

It starts with a story, has a very real core message and yes it is a public service.

Congratulations L’Oreal team – and to my readers watch out PSA’s are about to be a big part of your lives too!