Monthly Archives: July 2013

Twenty Great Reasons to Write and Publish a News Release

By: Caryn Starr-Gates
Caryn Starr-Gates

 

 

It’s not easy to step back and gain some outsider perspective on our businesses, and this includes determining what really is newsworthy enough to issue a press release as discussed in a previous post. However, there are many great reasons that pop up throughout the year to communicate with the press, whether print, broadcast, or digital journalists.

A press release (or news release as some prefer) can be about a lot of matters related to your company or practice; the key is that they should resonate with prospective readers, viewers, or listeners.

Aside from announcing a new product or service you offer that has real merit to your audience, here are twenty reasons to put out a news release about your company that are about your business or industry/field, community service, and feel-good announcements:

1  Results or findings of a new study or research in your industry or field.
2.  Useful tips related to your product or service (without being overtly self-promotional).
3.  Forecasts about your industry or upcoming changes in your field that will affect consumers.
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4.  Comments on current events or trends that relate to your industry
5. An offer of a free downloadable white paper or e-book that benefits your audience; people love free information.
6. Announcing your new company website or significant upgrades to your existing website–and how they help your customers.
7. Announce a re-organization or a renaming of your business.
8. Somewhat related, announcing the rebranding of your business. This could be a renaming and corresponding marketing overhaul, or a periodic rebranding to refresh and renew how customers see you.
9. You landed a big-name client or inked a big deal (make sure this is OK with the client to announce publicly).
10. Presenting at an industry conference, exhibiting at a trade show, or sponsoring a program.
11. Reputation management/crisis communications – sometimes stuff happens that results in negative press about your company, product, or service, and you have to respond to it. Putting out a press release to manage your reputation with your public is one of those “where the rubber meets the road” situations in public relations.
12. Making an appearance on a talk show or participating in an expert panel, from internet radio to television interviews to business interviews in the newspaper. All good.

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13. Major financial or structural changes in your company– merger or acquisition, going public, expanding overseas.
14.  Involvement with charity work; community service earns press and positive relations with the public.
15. Someone received an award — this can be an employee, manager, owner, or the company. Share the good news!
16. Adding new employees or opening a new office/location.
17. Saying goodbye to long-term employees who are retiring — nice reason to craft a feature release.
18. Your office is hosting a special event or educational webinar or seminar.
19. Community events your company is sponsoring, from high school fundraisers to Little League teams to social action endeavors.
20. Marking a milestone anniversary for your business (great way to include a retrospective of important business accomplishments or contributions over the years).

What are some of the reasons why your business has issued a press release? Feel free to share them with us.

How to be a great Brand!!

Three Keys to Great Brands: Consistency, Consistency, Consistency

 
Kenneth C. Bator, MBA   BTC Small Business
Ken Bator

Ken Bator

 

 

 

 

 

Travelling around the country, I like to keep some of my same routines.  One of them is my morning coffee.  It’s a comfort to know my venti coffee at Starbucks will taste the same in Chicago as it does in Los Angeles or New York or Dothan, AL.   That venti is almost always delivered with the same level of service.  The same is true with my McDoubles at McDonald’s and my six-inch turkey sandwich on wheat at Subway.  Although I’m eating more of the latter after my last cholesterol test.
What makes these brands and many others great?  One word:
Consistency
Consistency in Product – Whether your business is a single shop or has multiple locations, customers expect to receive the same level of quality regardless of how many transactions they do with your company – much like my venti coffee.
Consistency in Service – Customers expect to receive the same level of service at all of your locations.  Discipline in reinforcing service standards plays a big role here.  For example, Subway has a service standard that the customer is to be greeted within seconds of entering the store.
Consistency in Experience – Every interaction with the customer should be the same, or at least very similar.  Every trip to McDonald’s should be fast, inexpensive, and tasty.  The transaction that a customer is allowed to do at the Citibank branch in Long Beach should also be acceptable at the Citibank branch in Anaheim.  A call to Zappos should be a similar experience on Friday when I speak to Sally as it was on Tuesday when I was speaking with John.
Consistency in product, service, and experience – the last aspect probably being the most important – is what creates customer and brand loyalty.  Not every business achieves a high degree of loyalty because it takes great discipline, throughout every level of the organization, to reach the standards of consistency that are necessary.  Sounds similar to the discipline I am going to need to lower my cholesterol.  Goodbye McDoubles.  You were my favorite.

How do they talk about you?

This month we are going to talk about the importance of understanding your competitors.  To develop a good strategy for your marketing, it is important to be able to very clearly articulate your remarkable difference, your WOW.  You can’t do this until you really get what your competition offers, how they talk about themselves and how they talk about you. I suggest that you look at your top 5 competitors.  No one is the only game in town.  Look back at lost sales, who did you lose to.  Take a look at them even if you don’t think you are in competition with them, your ideal client did.

So, let’s break this down.

What do they offer? – The very best way to get this information is to go to their website and look at products and services.  Do they sell the same thing but package it differently?  Do they sell exactly the same thing?  Another way to get this information is to ask your prospect if you can see the other proposals that they are getting for your products and services.

How do they talk about themselves? – Again, the best way to figure this out is their website.  Look at what they say that makes them different.  What do they say are their strengths?  Look at their testimonials, what are their customers saying makes them great.

How do they talk about you? – Here’s a good place to use social media.  Use Google Alerts.  This is a free tool provided by Google that you can set up to inform you whenever a phrase, business name, persons name is mentioned on the internet.  Using twitter, you can find out what anyone is saying about youcompetition1 or your company.  If your competition is pigeon-holing you, you will need to push out positive marketing proving that what they are saying isn’t true.

Why should you spend any time on this?  Well,  one of the most interesting things that you will discover is that you all sound the same.  How can a potential customer make a choice of who to contact if you all have great service (does anyone say the have bad customer service), are the most knowledgeable in your industry (how can you prove that), or have been in business the longest (you may have only been working with 3 customers the whole time).

I did this with a client once and we thought that we looked at all of his competitors.  He was actually changing his business name and his value proposition.  We spent two months coming up with what we thought was truly unique, and changed his name.  Only then did an unknown competitor surface and we had to go back and do the work all over again!

If you have spent the time to interview your clients and worked on your value proposition, now you have to make sure that it is really a unique difference.  If what you have worked on is not, go back to the drawing board armed with the surveys and the competitive information and create something truly unique. If it is, run with it all over your home page and any marketing tactics you are currently doing or want to do.

As always if you need help, contact me , Laura Lorenz, at llorenz@leadingresults.com or pick up the phone and call at 484-313-4646.

Marketing Evangelist

Marketing Evangelist

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