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20 questions

Dear PR folks… before you send me or other reporters, editors, bloggers your press release(s), answer these questions honestly…

1. Have you ever read anything that the reporter, editor or blogger has written?  If so, have they ever written anything about the topic/subject of your press release?

2. Is this breaking news, a really interesting story or something your client wants to tell others and you don’t have the nerve or knowledge or expertise to tell them that this is not newsworthy?

3.  Do you know if your client’s competitors have written on this topic ? If so, what angle did they take on it?  If not, why not?

4. Is the copy longer than 300-400 words? Can you make it shorter?

5. Are there any typos, grammatical or spelling errors?

6. Have you fact-checked all statistics and confirmed quotes?

7. Do you know how the reporter, editor or blogger prefers to be pitched?  Are you following their preferences?

8. Have you personalized the story/pitch to each reporter, editor or blogger?

9. Do you follow the reporter, editor or blogger on Twitter and know what they like to discuss so you can pitch them intelligently?

10. Is your pitch a sales pitch, advertising or news?  Do you know the difference?

11. Is the reporter, editor or blogger male or female?  Does that matter in how you approach them?

12. Have you included a phone number with your pitch in case the reporter, editor or blogger wants to talk to you?

13. Are you sending attachments with the press release?

14. Do you follow-up with the press release with numerous emails and phone calls?

15. Are the links accessible without having to register or subscribe to a website?

16. How is your timing?  Do you know the reporter, editor or blogger’s deadline?

17. Does your press release/pitch have an intriguing title/subject matter ?

18. Can you sum up the pitch/story message in ONE sentence/ or 30 seconds?

19. Is your message controversial, timely and/or a different take on a subject and adds to the topic/subject?

20. What is your client’s expertise about this topic?

Risky business: tips to starting a biz

Millions of people say they want to start a business. Some go ahead and do it. Others are all talk and no action. Why? Starting a business after you’ve been an employee all of your life can seem very scary. Fulfilling your dream can be thrilling, exciting and seem death defying. In this economy, many people have felt that they did not have a choice. Start a business or be permanently unemployed.

Below are some tips on how to take a few baby steps and maybe even get your baby business off the ground.

Risk-Averse Entrepreneur’s Guide to Startup Success

7 steps on how to launch a business…

“If you decide to go for it and start a business, be committed to it. If you’re not passionate about what you’re trying to do, you probably won’t stick out the inevitable bumps in the road.”

http://www.entrepreneur.com/blog/223215

Benefits of business: Tax write-offs

http://www.ehow.com/list_6747730_things-taxes-starting-new-business.html

Top Five Reasons To Establish Business Credit and Separate Personal From Business Credit
Even in these tough economic times establishing business credit can increase the chances that your business will stay afloat and help you beat the odds.

http://www.smallbusinessbrief.com/articles/creditmoney/002150.html

1000 Ways to Start a Business with $1,000 or Less

18. Create a newsletter that educates others

19. Create a Social Media following on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Digg, Reddit, Pinterest or elsewhere

(Note: Crucial to building a network of potential and actual customers/clients and getting the word out about your business)

45. Turn your job into a business. If you have a job now, see how you can turn your job skills into a business. If you keep the accounts accurate for your employer, you could start hiring your accounting and financial consulting services to other businesses in the area.

53. Decorate homes for the holidays. Everyone wants to have a pretty home for the holidays – lend a hand and earn some extra money doing it.

54. Decorate yards for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries.

55. Start a dog walker, pet sitter, pooper scooper business (Only if you love dogs!)

56. Start a Renovation Company. Are you an auto mechanic or computer geek? Then you probably have all the skills necessary to buy and sell used and renovated cars or computers.

57. Start a tutoring business! Teach another language, musical instrument, computer, cooking, chemistry, whatever you have to offer.

58. Start a massage business

59. Start an aromatherapy business

60. Start an intuitive counseling business

Note: Thanks to CeliaSue Hecht for contributing ideas #53-60. Learn more from her and email to get her E-Guide to getting cold hard cash in your wallet  

http://www.squidoo.com/1000-ways-to-start-a-business-with-1-000-or-less

How to use social media to promote your events 

http://www.slideshare.net/crainssocial/use-social-media-to-promote-your-events

If you want to learn how to create Buzz about your Book, Events, Business, give me a ring at 702-225-8206.

Tips to Maximize Your Publicity

Good advice from the Wealthy Bag Lady, Linda Hollander… 
  • Give surprising answers and new information. People love media guests who bust traditional myths and offer new insights.
  • Bring gifts for the interviewer and their team. If you have a book, this would be perfect.
  • Send a thank you right away.
  • Take a photo of you and the on-air talent
  • Put your media interviews on Social Media including YouTube.
  • Use celebrity photos, media and publicity on your web site, marketing materials, even your sponsor proposal.

Linda Hollander is the Author of  Bags to Riches and the founder of the Women’s Small Business Expo.

http://www.WealthyBagLady.com

if you would like assistance with your PR, feel free to contact me at prmatchmaker  at yahoo.com

Write a Book

Want the Best Business Card Ever?

Write a Book

Nearly every day, someone asks my advice on the best way to promote their business or themselves. I get the question at speaking engagements, at the office and, yes, sometimes at home. I don’t mind at all, because I’ve always got a good answer:

Write a book.

“A book?” some say — with obvious horror. “I’ve never written a book!”

Precisely my point. But let me back up a bit.

When I started EMSI 22 years ago, I soon realized the clients who got the attention of the media most quickly were those who’d written a book. Not just any book, mind you, but one that aligned with what they were promoting. The apple salesmen who wrote about apples were far more successful getting media coverage than those who wrote about oranges – and those who hadn’t written anything at all.

Why? Because yesterday’s business cards are today’s books. They give their authors immediate credibility, establishing them as experts in their fields. Credibility opens the door to journalists, talk show hosts, bloggers and anyone else creating content for hungry audiences. Who will they turn to as an expert source of information when a mysterious apple worm is destroying orchards? Johnny Appleseed, author of Red All Over – The Core of the Apple Industry.

There are some caveats. A poorly conceived, poorly designed, poorly written or poorly promoted book is worse than no book at all. Your book must capably and professionally represent your unique message – and you.

Not a writer? Not a problem. There are talented freelance writers and editors out there  who can help.  (Note: contact CeliaSue Hecht to discuss)…

 

 

The first step is planning, and that’s up to you whether or not you will actually do the writing.  

• Decide on your book’s main idea. The central focus will be what drives the entire project, so it must match the message you want to convey and it must excite you. If you’re bored from the get-go, you’ll likely never see your project through to the end. A great way to test ideas is by running them through these five questions:

1. What message am I enthusiastic about that I want to convey?
2. Who can benefit from it?
3. How will it help them?
4. Why am I the one bringing this idea to them?
5. How can I make my points unique and different from what has already been said on the topic?

• Pay attention to your own reactions as you test-drive your ideas. Which idea makes you smile? Which excites you creatively? Which hits the essence of what you’re about – what you enjoy, think about and create every day? It may be an idea you never even realized inspired such passion in you.

• Consider what you really want to achieve by promoting yourself or your business. Business owners obviously want to grow their business and see it flourish; some people want to build careers as speakers. But often, there’s something deeper driving us and we may not even be aware of it. Taking the time to do some soul-searching to identify your real motivation can help you clarify your message and find your book’s focus.

A real-life example: When I sat down to write Celebritize Yourself, I planned a how-to book on commonly asked publicity questions.  But, when I ran that idea through the five-question test, I had trouble with No. 5.  So, I asked myself, “What do I most enjoy about my professional life?” The answer was easy: helping people identify and value what’s unique about them and their message.  In writing a book about how to get publicity, I realized I needed to explain why everyone has an expertise that should be shared.

It’s never too late to write your book. I know it seems daunting, but remember, the first time you do anything, it’s often a challenge. Remember how hard it was wobbling down the sidewalk on your first bicycle? You may have crashed a few times, skinned your knees and bumped your head, but you got back on and kept trying.

Call on that brave 6-year-old you and start planning your book!

 

About Marsha Friedman

Marsha Friedman is a 22-year veteran of the public relations industry. She is the CEO of EMSI Public Relations (www.emsincorporated.com), a national firm that provides PR strategy and publicity services to corporations, entertainers, authors and professional firms. She also co-hosts “The News and Experts Radio Show with Alex and Marsha” on Sirius/XM Channel 131 on Saturdays at 5:00 PM EST.

13 Most Annoying Client Comments

 From a PR professionals perspective…

If you do not know why the comments below are unreasonable/insane, you do not understand the news business/cycle / media… and it would behoove you to LEARN. You could ask your PR professional to teach you, ask questions, take classes, educate yourself.

But the gist of this is that it is NOT up to PR professionals whether an article/story gets into the news / media or not no matter how hard they try or want or desire or beg. Bottom line, even if your PR professional does a Fantastic job, ultimately, the Editor/Newspaper Boss decides what goes into print. And if your PR Professional follows the RULES, does NOT send the media ads or advertorial copy disguised as news, has great contacts, and is persistent eventually their hard work will PAY OFF in lots of media coverage… AND it takes TIME, ENERGY and being in the WRITE Place at the Write Time…

Most people want to succeed, do a good job and make money, WIN WIN WIN… so STOP, LOOK, LISTEN and LEARN…

I wrote a few additional comments in parentheses…at the end of some…

http://www.72point.com/blog/our-top-13-most-annoying-client-comments

Ah clients….

They pay us the lovely money so we can’t be too mean about them…but sometimes they make us want to saw our heads off.

Here is our list of the most common, idiotic and maddening client comments we hear on a regular basis – and what we would LOVE to answer them with – if they didn’t pay us the lovely money…

1. “We really need this to make” – Oh, OK thanks for telling us because before you mentioned it, we weren’t planning on trying very hard.

2. ‘“Which papers are going to use the story?” – Um – whichever papers decide it’s OK and that they’ll use it?

3. “Do you know what the news agenda is like for June?” – Hang on a second *looks into crystal ball for updates on future murders, natural disasters etc*

4. “Sorry but the release can’t be sent unless the brand name is in the intro paragraph” – OK fine, let’s get absolutely no coverage for you whatsoever. Not any. Not even a Sun Spot.

5. “Do you guarantee coverage?” – Um, No. If you want guaranteed coverage – pay for an advert.

6. “Can you give me a reason WHY the story didn’t make?” Not unless I call every national news desk in the country and ask them directly, which will make us both look like complete tools.

7. “How many papers will the story make it into? – Hang on a second *looks deeply into crystal ball for updates on future murders, natural disasters etc*

8. “It’s what the brand people want, the story has to stay like that” – Grow a pair and tell them it’s crap – and then do your job by telling them how it’s actually going to work.

9. “Can we send the journalist a free gift to coincide with the story being distributed?” – Are you insane?  (sending a journalist a free gift/bribing an editor, is a good way to get BLACKLISTED)…

10. “Can you send this picture of the product out along with the story? –Are you COMPLETELY insane?   (NO Attachments unless reporter ASKS for one)

11. We need more information in the story about where you can buy the product? – Have you lost every single one of your marbles?  (Consider yourself LUCKY if the media prints your website link page or a phone number)

12. “We need to make sure we get page leads with this one” – Oh, OK – could you just hand me that silver wand?

13. At 4pm: “are you able to send this story out to the nationals today?” –Are you in an entirely different time zone?

http://www.aquiziam.com/quizzes/body_language_short.php

Happy New Year !

One  of the most important things for people who say they want to obtain publicity for their book or biz is knowing the who, what, where, when, why and how of pitching the media.

 

For the New Year, you might consider doing some coaching to set your New Year UP for Success.

 

You might learn a few things such as who are the best media contacts for YOU, when and how to approach them specifically and customized/personally, and what the benefits will do FOR YOU.

 

Just saying.

 

Now, I am listed as a freelance journalist on Cision (used to be Bacon’s) and every day I receive pitches from people just like you, who would like me to write about their book, product and/or service business and/or interview them.  Many of the pitches, too many, even from PR companies, unfortunately miss the mark.

 

Here’s an example, from a CEO who has an interesting product. And her pitch was for the upcoming New Year’s EVE holiday. I bought her pitch and immediately responded to the pitch (within half an hour). Too bad she was NOT at all READY nor prepared to receive a YES, all systems are GO. She wrote back to me saying that since her staff was gone for the holidays, she would have to send me a sample of the product AFTER the New Year. Anybody see the Problem here? Instead of OVERNIGHTING the product to me, she LOST out on an opportunity to get her product written about BEFORE New Year’s Eve. No PR, no sales.  If she sells her product to me via a pitch and then DOES NOT DELIVER, how does that bode for her customers and her business? Not good news.

 

If/when you send out press releases and/or pitches to the media, bloggers, reporters, editors and so on, BE PREPARED and READY TO GO. Otherwise, you are spinning your wheels and wasting people’s time. And busy bloggers, reporters and editors DO NOT like having their time wasted.

 

Just saying.

 

Call or email me if you’d like to do some PR coaching to Set UP your New Year for Success.  Good reasons to Celebrate.

 

 

 

gobble up these turkeys

there are badly written press releases and there are worse than bad, here are 25 turkeys … press releases my dog would not even eat up… would not touch with a 10 foot pole… (and she will eat anything and everything)…

Here are seven reasons why these news releases fail:

  • No news – totally lacking in “news” value for readers or audiences.
  • Headline sucks – without a great headline, your news release is headed to the waste basket fast.
  • Crammed with corporate-speak – your CEO may like his quote but if it sounds silly, it is!
  • Filled with marketing-speak – a news release is not a marketing brochure.
  • Poorly written, badly edited, terrible grammar – remember, you’re pitching people who write and deliver news for a living.
  • Loaded with techno-babble – geek-speak reeks.
  • Did I mention “no news?”

http://www.theprcoach.com/bad-news-releases-25-press-release-turkeys/

This one features a too long first sentence and the headline is blah blah blah… if you do not know what a Target of Opportunity is you are gone. This book is supposed to be Action Packed Thriller… So write the Press Release the same way, with SHORT exciting sentences, duh…  Plus, this PR person sent me eight other press releases all in the same day. Don’t email blast me all of your press releases no matter the subject matter. Consider what the reporter/editor writes about. Otherwise, BIG FAT WASTE OF TIME. I’d NEVER read a book like this nor write a review of one. And the other releases range in subject matter from Uncle Al Capone to small business tips, Big Medicine and Family Court and party planning. Hello, is anybody discerning?  I DO NOT write about all of those topics. Nor will I interview all of those ‘experts.’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Just When You Think It Can’t Get Deadlier – Another Radical Force Joins The Assault On Targets of Opportunity in the U.S.

Greenwich, CT, November 23, 2011 – In Targets of Deception, which suspense master Robert K. Tanenbaum called “a fast-paced thriller,” we were introduced to CIA agent Jordan Sandor in a story praised by bestselling author Steve Alten as “terrific.”  Now Sandor is back in Jeffrey S. Stephens’s riveting Targets of Opportunity (Gallery Books; August 30, 2011; $24.00), playing for bigger stakes and facing deadlier challenges.

Whisked from his Manhattan townhouse to a gabled CIA safe house in Virginia, Sandor faces off with a top terrorist agent from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. In exchange for protection from his own side, Ahmad Jaber is offering the CIA explosive information: word of a secret, unholy alliance forged among operatives in the Middle East, a ruthless South American, and Kim Jong-II’s North Korea. Jaber claims not to know specific details, only that the strike will target the heart of America.

the dog is having a snooze fest… no doubt dreaming of eating turkey…

Contrast the above turkey to this one from another PR…  I would shorten the title but the rest tells me all I need to know. The book also is NOT something that I’d read nor write about though.

 

18 stories by top romance authors celebrating

the heroic men of the Navy SEALs

 

Honor, courage, loyalty and passion combine in these suspenseful, romantic and sentimental tales about the SEALs and the women who love them.

 

Honor, duty, courage, passion . . . the men of the Navy SEALs are a special breed of hero, and in these stories by eighteen top romance authors these heroes are celebrated not only as symbols of devoted service to their country but as the kind of man every woman wants to love. They’ll rescue a damsel in distress and her lap dog, too. They’ll battle hometown dramas and international bad guys. When it comes to giving away their hearts, they’ll risk everything.

All proceeds from sales of SEAL of My Dreamsgoes to the Veterans Research Corporation, a non-profit fundraiser for veterans’ medical research.

Purchase a copy for yourself or your friend here!