Author Archives: thebradwayblog
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.
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.
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.
Three Keys to Great Brands: Consistency, Consistency, ConsistencyKenneth C. Bator, MBA BTC Small Business
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 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.
In the movie, “The Other Guys” starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, Ferrell plays the role of a police officer who is also a forensic accountant. Sounds exciting, right? A forensic accountant cop – who knew they really existed?
When people see or hear the word “forensic” they almost immediately think of C.S.I. (Miami, New York, LA – take your pick). The thought of cops probing through various evidentiary materials, using their fingerprint kits, and effortlessly solving the “big case” rush through your mind. Exciting, cool, suave – you get the picture.
When you hear or read the words forensic accountant do you have the same thoughts?…probably not. You might think boring, mundane, and monotonous. But, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Forensic accountants have been described as part investigator, part auditor, part attorney, and part accountant. Just like the C.S.I. guys, forensic accountants dig deep into cases, looking at financial fingerprints, and unraveling mysteries.
Forensic accountants are often Certified Public Accountants with additional certifications such as CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) or CFF (Certified in Financial Forensics). This is a profession where knowledge, training, and experience are vital for the success of the professional and client.
When do I know that I need to hire a forensic accountant? In some cases, it’s fairly evident such as in situations where you think there may be fraud or embezzlement. But, there are other instances like divorce, bankruptcy, and mergers when a forensic accountant should be involved.
If you ever think you may need a forensic accountant be sure to do your homework – A forensic accountant should have a strong knowledge of accounting and financial analysis, curiosity, discretion, sound professional judgment and an ability to listen effectively and communicate clearly. They should be able to consider alternatives, scrutinize the fine details and at the same time see the big picture.
Remember, some of the most famous crimes were solved by forensic accountants – Al Capone, Bernie Madoff, Enron, Tyco, WorldCom – the list goes on. I can see it now…CPA CSI on CBS.
Business Development Director
Morey, Nee, Buck & Oswald, LLC
Great Expectations can be a Drag – Don’t Let Them be a Drag on Your BrandBy Kenneth C. Bator, MBA – Owner, BTC Small Business
At its core the primary tenet of any brand is perception – much like the old saying “perception is reality”. With perception comes expectations. When those expectations are continually exceeded it has some wonderful effects on the brand. When expectations continually fall short, it can be devastating.
The subject of expectations was a central point of a discussion I had with a colleague about a year ago. My wife and I did business with a company I met through one of my networking groups. This particular business regularly received accolades from other members of the group. Unfortunately, our experience was quite different from the reviews I heard and read. After a series of interactions that was quite less than positive, I made my displeasure known. I give my colleague, the marketing manager of this business, a lot of credit for addressing the problems head on.
He and I discussed our experience for over an hour. He explained how our experience was an exception and not the norm but was obviously irrelevant to our current perception. We also had a long conversation on how perception is reality in relation to the brand. Given his professionalism, he was truly concerned about learning the details of our experience. This was a sincere attempt to prevent these issues from happening again in order to preserve the company’s brand and reputation.
When closing our conversation, we discussed the key takeaways from our meeting. One of those key takeaways was setting the proper expectations. I explained that in our situation, the sales rep while professional set very high expectations for our experience. She continually commented on how easy our transactions were going to be. In reality they were just the opposite. Everything that could possibly go wrong did. In essence we were promised a beautiful tasty fudge sundae and what we received instead was a melted cup of frozen yogurt with a moldy piece of fruit at the bottom. Nothing hurts a brand more than broken promises and expectations that fall short.
My colleague and I agreed that any sales professional wants to earn the business. Painting a bleak picture of everything that could possibly go wrong would probably be contrary to closing the deal. Here are a few ways to maintain professionalism and the integrity of the brand while also setting realistic expectations:
Certainly paint a picture of the positive effects of using your product or service but also point out possible pitfalls. Instead of saying “This is going to be so easy for you” state “This is normally very straightforward. Every now and then we do hit a snag but we know how to rectify it if an unlikely event occurs.”
When something goes wrong be the advocate. The last thing a customer wants to hear is “This wasn’t our fault.” Even if it wasn’t, state “That’s unfortunate but it happens from time to time. We’re on it and we’ll make sure to work with you until this gets fixed to your satisfaction.” The former makes the client feel like he’s out on a limb by himself which creates nothing but animosity. The latter paints a picture that you are on that branch with the client helping both of you to get down safely.
Remember the old cliché in that problems really can be opportunities. It’s not uncommon for a customer to feel greater brand loyalty after a problem has been handled perfectly than if the transaction went according to plan.
Expectations are the essence of perception. Exceeding them consistently creates great brands. Teach staff to strive to create positive experiences in every situation to make your brand outshine that of your competition.
Main Number: 714-681-BTC1
Direct Line: 630-854-6380
How to Create Your WOW (your unique difference in the market place)
In my last installment I discussed understanding your ideal client . This month let’s talk about your WOW! What makes you unique and different from your competition.
What people really buy?
Your unique product/service
Your unique process
Your unique experience
Your unique people
Your unique guarantee
Your unique packaging/delivery
…..Against a problem
So when you are looking to differentiate yourself or trying to find your WOW it is not ;
The quality of your service – No one ever differentiates on bad service. Giving good service is something every business strives for
The depth of your knowledge with a product – When people are first out there looking for someone to work with, they have no way of experiencing your knowledge
Your longevity in business – While this may be important, it is not a differentiator. You could have been working with the same 5 clients for the last several years.
So the key to finding your WOW is to select one or more of these concepts
Do something that nobody in our industry is doing
Solve the greatest frustration of our ideal customers
Create an obvious innovation in our industry
Explore unique ways to package, price or deliver our products and services
Create a totally unique customer experience
Go back to the surveys you did with your existing ideal clients. Use that information along with the concept from above that you have chosen and create a description of your company.
Here’s what we have put together for Leading Results, use this as an example. :
Leading Results helps businesses stop wasting money on marketing and improve their business development results by putting POWER in their WOW. Your WOW is why you are different. The POWER is the Processes, Organizational Support, Why (you do what you do), Expertise and Refer-ability.
We work with both individual businesses and businesses related to a larger ecosystem, in helping you to be more effective and profitable. Our specialty is helping business-to-business product and services companies rediscover their WOW and then put the elements of POWER in place. You get strategy, tactics and execution.
Our client engagements are of two distinct styles. Corporate engagements; where we are working directly with you, the business stakeholder, to improve your business results. Or we are working with an ecosystem / network – working with a distributor or licensor to assist in improving the “last mile” results of their business partners.
In corporate engagements we work with you to support, refine and manage your business development efforts so your focus remains on running a profitable business and providing outstanding customer service.
For network engagements, we become an extension of the “home” office, helping the marketing team see improved results from programs and assets they have developed for partner use.
Leading Results is your marketing team. We are a passionate group that wants to help entrepreneurs and business owners be successful.
Our offices are in Charlotte, Boston, Philadelphia and Southern California and our clients are around the globe. For more information visit our website at http://www.LeadingResults.com.
You will want to take this 250 word description and pare it down to a 150 word description, a 400 character description and a 200 character description. Now you have great content to describe how you do things differently then your competitors.
You can use the larger description for your home page and the rest in different social media descriptions, etc.
Test them out on your ideal clients and friends. Amend as you need.
As always if you need help, contact me at email@example.com or pick up the phone and call at 484-313-4646.
Most salespeople will tell you that the only recognition they want is more commissions; a bigger paycheck. Truth be told, they care more about recognition than they do about the money in a lot of cases. Successful sales people make more than they need. That’s one way to know if you are a success …..
But we don’t go the extra mile for the money. That we do for pride. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s not always about the money.
The people who are having a hard time making enough money to feed their families and pay their mortgage will tell you “it’s all about the buck” but they are not the successful few at the top of your list. They are not the 20% doing 80% of the business if you follow. We need to talk about motivating them and we will but first let’s talk about how to recognize your top players and motivate them to greater heights. Great salespeople are true competitors and love to win and to be recognized for it. Recognition Remuneration, Rewards and Respect all play a part in keeping top players happy and productive.
The great thing about recognizing top salespeople is that informal recognition can be just as powerful as formal recognition and it creates a connection you can’t get any other way.
Call your top players one at a time. Reward them in private. Show them all the respect you can muster and give them tangible rewards like paid vacations just to say thanks. Don’t hold them up in front of the rest of the team like a donkey eating a carrot. They wont like it and neither will the rest of the team.
Mentioning a big win in a team email or a team conference call goes a long way towards motivating the typical salesperson but your top players are not typical at all.
They are different for a reason and they don’t want to be confused with the rest. They are past looking for money they can make that anywhere. What they look for is respect, recognition, remuneration and rewards and often in that order.
If they are way out in front of the pack then talking to them one on one is one way to show respect. Rewarding them privately is another. Keeping it between the two of you is one more. There are lots of ways to motivate the masses but when it comes to your top players you need to see them in a different light, treat them differently and reward them according to the job they have done for you.
I just got back from Jamaica. Everywhere I went the staff was giving me the knuckle-bump and looking me in the eyes and saying “respect”! I smiled every time it happened thinking,” they get it!”
I met lots of great people there and had a ton of fun but what I liked most was the respect. I took a two-hour tour of the gardens with a fellow the others call Respect. He has been giving that tour for a long time. He knows his stuff and that’s why they call him Respect. I enjoyed showing him respect.
It was a great trip. There was food and drink everywhere.
Our all-inclusive Jamaica resort featured six bars, dozens of great people serving drinks and their signature concoctions, ” the Gem of the Day”. They come in a variety of colors and flavors but my favorite drink was the ….well I had a lot of favorites. Even the beer was good. They drink Red Stripe and it is good beer.
The breakfast at the Coral Restaurant was amazing. I had fruit and cold smoked salmon cheese and crackers. It was delicious. Michael, the chef there invited me back for lunch but the burgers at the pool were so good I had to have one every day and I never did see what Mike served up for lunch.
I had a Swedish massage, the first time ever. It was the best experience of the whole trip. If you are reading this Andrea, Monica and the girls I want to say thank you again and let you know I have recommended you to the world.
I didn’t just have one massage. After the first I had to have a second but cheep as I am I didn’t want to reach into my pocket to pay for the second. So I had a meeting with the Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa management and posing as a motivational speaker, I managed to meet all the girls, talk some shop and motivate my way in for a second massage, hot rocks and all. I left with a beautiful robe they gave me as a gift and I glory in it every day I put it on after a shower. This gift is priceless. I could never buy the feeling it gives me. You understand?
That photo at the top of the page is me sailing my Kite on the beach. I love to sail my kite in a good wind and they had that every day. I would go back any time. I loved it there.
We were at The Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa. What a wonderful place. It’s Jamaica’s premium, all-inclusive resort for adults and let me tell you, it is not too big, not too small, it’s just the right size to make you feel great. Sitting on acres of beach front property The Jewel is one of the most exotic locations in the world. That’s the kind of place to take your top players.
My business is helping you build yours so if you are getting together with the best of your team and need to fill another seat on the plane give me a call. I’m in!
I want to invite you to join me in building a community of independant business people who get their offer in front of more potential customers, close more business and make more money than anyone in their industry.
It all starts when you join us at Local Ad News. Membership is FREE.
Put up a profile and tell us who you are what you have to offer.
I manage advertising campaigns for well over 100 customers. I’ve been in the business of taking products to market for about 40 years now.
As you sit among family and friends today, eating, playing outdoor games, and talking and laughing, take a moment to remember why we celebrate Memorial Day. All the fallen soldiers deserve a heroes recognition for their selfless, honorable sacrifice they accepted in order to keep us all safe.
I came across the following article that touched my heart and reminded me exactly why we celebrate Memorial Day! I hope you will take a moment to read it!
A father remembers his son, a Marine who died in Afghanistan nearly a year ago.
Then on July 23 came the awful news: Cpl. Nicholas Xiarhos, 21, had died of injuries from an improvised explosive device that had detonated beneath his Humvee.
There had been a reassignment of vehicles, and the MRAP had been needed elsewhere in the convoy.
The Marine driving the Humvee was killed instantly. The gunner’s leg was blown off, a Navy corpsman was injured. Xiarhos, initially trapped inside the wreckage, was airlifted to a field hospital.
“He fought on and fought on and fought on and never gave up,” his father said. “But three hours later he was gone.”
The week leading to this first Memorial Day since his son’s death was difficult for Steven Xiarhos and his family. Memories of that premonition at Camp Lejeune are mixed with torturous speculation about what would have happened if the vehicles had not been switched.
But those things will not be uppermost in Xiarhos’ mind Monday as he addresses a Memorial Day gathering in Yarmouth, Mass., where he is a police lieutenant.
“I want to remind people that when they see a veteran, they should go shake his hand or buy him a cup of coffee,” Xiarhos said. “And when the national anthem is played at the ballgame, stand up and put your hand on your heart: Never forget that people have died for you and for that flag.”
The months since Nicholas Xiarhos’ death have been a blur for the family: an emotional memorial service for 13 Marines killed during the deployment, a chance meeting in Boston with a surgeon who was at the field hospital when Xiarhos was rushed in, a private meeting with President Obama.
“We have no anger against anyone or any thing,” said Steven Xiarhos, his voice breaking slightly. “Just sadness and pride.”
Nicholas Xiarhos had served in Iraq with the 1st Battalion, 9th Regiment, and narrowly missed being killed in 2008 when a suicide truck laden with explosives tried to crash into the Marine compound in Ramadi.
Two Marines standing post refused to budge and let loose a blast of gunfire. Both were killed in the explosion when the driver loosened his grip on the “dead man’s switch.” Dozens of Marines and Iraqi soldiers were saved.
The heroic example of Marines protecting other Marines was not lost on Xiarhos. When he returned home and learned a buddy in another unit was deploying to Afghanistan, he applied for a transfer.
After weeks of persistence, Xiarhos was granted his transfer to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Regiment headed for Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold. Other Marines had requested a similar transfer but had been rejected.
“Nick felt he had really lucked out,” his father said.
His first weeks in Afghanistan were upbeat. His father recalled, “He told his mother, ‘Don’t worry, Mom. I’m living the dream.’ “
That motto is now on his gravestone.
The History and Origin of Memorial Day in Waterloo, New York
Henry C. Welles General John G. Murray
On May 5, 1866, the Village was decorated with flags at half mast, draped with evergreens and mourning black. Veterans, civic societies and residents, led by General Murray, marched to the strains of martial music to the three village cemeteries. There impressive ceremonies were held and soldiers’ graves decorated. One year later, on May 5, 1867, the ceremonies were repeated. In 1868, Waterloo joined with other communities in holding their observance on May 30th, in accordance with General Logan’s orders. It has been held annually ever since.
Waterloo held the first formal, village wide, annual observance of a day dedicated to honoring the war dead. On March 7, 1966, the State of New York recognized Waterloo by a proclamation signed by Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. This was followed by recognition from Congress of the United States when the House of Representatives and the Senate unanimously passed House Concurrent Resolution 587 on May 17th and May 19th, 1966 respectively. This reads in part as follows: “Resolved that the Congress of the United States, in recognition of the patriotic tradition set in motion one hundred years ago in the Village of Waterloo, NY, does hereby officially recognize Waterloo, New York as the birthplace of Memorial Day…”
On May 26, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson, signed a Presidential Proclamation recognizing Waterloo as the Birthplace of Memorial Day