It was my birthday yesterday, and what a beautiful day it was!  I was whisked away on a mystery trip, the weather was unseasonably warm and there was a day of surprises planned — including dinner on Federal Hill. Delightful all the way around!

When I travel and am in relaxation mode, I can’t help but notice – and perhaps you do too – marketing messages that are simple, clever and well placed… and sometimes surprising. (Can you tell I like surprises?)

Kudos to the Marriot Courtyard in downtown Providence for setting an outstanding example. I’ve traveled all over the country (and many parts of the world) and haven’t seen an elevator pitch like this (yet).  Unexpected marketing and PR that made me smile. A full door ad for ‘Game On’ which featured the hotel’s football events at the bar – not to be seen till the door closed. Now that’s an elevator pitch!

There’s a learning lessons here. Wasted space is a matter of opinion and any marketer can take advantage of this opportunity. One printing company I was particularly fond of had advertising on the roofs of their delivery vehicles, so clients in tall buildings could be reminded of their brand. Heinz Ketchup uses space on their labels for cause related marketing and to raise awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project. Pockets of space in the right place can have promotional value, but we have to be willing to go beyond what we first see as possibilities.

There are hundreds of examples of clever and functional promotional space opportunities that go unnoticed every day. Up next, branded tissues with ads for cough drops? Something to sneeze at?

YOUR TURN

What have you seen as clever places for advertising?

Are you using non-traditional branding opportunities that work for your niche service or product?

Do you feel invaded by ‘spot promotional advertising’ or enjoy the clever approach?

Love that we can express ourselves through creativity.  In my world there’s no such thing as crazy. Sometimes a variation of that works!

Wishing you the best, and thanks for all the Birthday love,

Robin

Every month we’re featuring a guest blogger who writes on a topic I think you’d be interested in as a small business owner, entrepreneur or professional who wants to increase their company’s recognition, awareness level or leadership position – and maximize their marketing and PR dollars for promotional ROI.

Today’s blog article is from my client, Robert Rebholz, Co-founder of www.WeSellVisibility.com and industry insider who sells promotional products with ‘zing’ for not that much ‘ca-ching’.

Robert uses his talent for writing and takes advantage of that in his branding to keep in touch with customers, tell a story and make it entertaining.  You definitely want to check out his ‘Pick of the Week’, especially if you buy promo products and hate the SOSO (same old same old) — or any mistakes!

The ABC’s of Buying Promotional Products – by Robert Rebholz  

Promotional products, (also called swag, giveaways, tchotchkes, bling, premiums,) can be a very effective and cost efficient way to advertise and promote your business. And here’s why:

  • 80% of consumers own between 1 and 10 promotional products
  • 60% keep them for up to 2 years
  • 53% use a promotional product at least once a week or more often
  • 88% of people who have received a promo item recalled the advertiser for up to 12 months after receiving the item
  • 62% of these people recalled the advertiser’s message

Studies show only 71% of people can recall an ad they saw in a newspaper or magazine from the week before!

Here’s the point I want you to take away:  this stuff works, people hang onto it, and they use it.

A promotional item does not have to be expensive to be effective. It does need to be useful. Useful items are retained, and that’s what you want as an advertiser.

But, what’s useful? Well, that depends on where you want to be remembered.

Do you want to be remembered in the office? Then think about items like notebooks, sticky pads, pens, desk accessories, wall calendars.

Do you want to be remembered in the home? Then you would consider things like kitchen utensils, magnetic memo boards for the fridge, tote bags, coasters, BBQ tools.

Interested in items that can work anywhere? Think about cell phone chargers, USB drives, water bottles, umbrellas, caps and T-shirts. (Note) Notebooks and sticky notes work everywhere.

Think about who you are going to give this stuff to and what they would find useful.

Alright, you’ve thought about all of the above. You’ve decided you can use promotional products to advertise your business. Here’s what you need to know about buying these items:

  • All items will have a minimum purchase quantity. On less expensive items that minimum might be 100 to 250 pieces. Sometimes you can buy less than the minimum but you’ll be surcharged.
  • All items will have a maximum imprint area. That’s the largest available area for imprinting your logo. The point is — don’t try to print everything about your company on the side of a pen. It won’t work.

It’s also good to know about industry terms and what they mean:

Artwork (that’s what the industry calls your logo or whatever design you’re going to put on your promo item), needs to be in the proper format. The universal format for promo items is what’s called “vector art.” It’s too complicated to go into it here but vector art is a high resolution file that won’t distort and will print clearly. Jpeg, tiff and giff files won’t work. If your logo isn’t in “vector art,” spend the money to get it created in this format.

Colors There are “spot” colors (think of one or two distinct colors on a T-shirt design), and there is “full color process” (think of a refrigerator magnet that looks like a full color photo). When you see the catalog price for an item it includes the first color. Every color you add is going to cost extra.

Set up is the charge to prepare your artwork for whatever process is being used to imprint your item.

Time One of the problems with technology is that we’ve all become accustomed to instant everything.

The problem is that this is a manufacturing process and it takes time. Most products will take somewhere between 7 to 10 business days to produce. Add to that the shipping time. Many of the industry suppliers are located in California and that’s 5 days by ground to the East coast or less, depending on where your business is located. Allow yourself a good 2 to 3 weeks to have your order produced and shipped.

Proof  A proof is a virtual representation of what your design is going to look like on your product. Always insist on a proof and always go over it with a fine toothed comb. The last thing you want is for your 1,000 pens to arrive with a typo!

What can go wrong?  Everything!

The two areas where a project can go wrong are artwork and time. Have your logo (in several  versions) in the proper format before you start your order. Give yourself enough time to deal with any glitches that might come up.

And now, a quick word or two about pricing.

You can get pretty much any promotional product through an on-line distributor. Their prices are often lower than what a local distributor might be able to show you. They work on huge volumes and small margins. If you know exactly what you want and don’t need any help, this might be the way to go. If you need advice and guidance you should go with a local distributor. As someone famous once said, “you get what you pay for.”

You now know:

  • Promotional products work as a way to advertise and brand your company.
  • Pick something that’ s useful to your target audience
  • Have your logo (in several acceptable to you versions) prepared in the proper format well before you begin the ordering.
  • Give yourself enough time

If you stick to these guidelines you will have a successful promotional product campaign.

Thanks to Robert for sharing this mini course on premiums and promotional products. With over 30 years’ experience as a marketer and helping businesses ‘getting noticed’, you’ll always get solid advice and be in good hands! 

It was an exciting week presenting my new workshop, 5 Ways Social Media Can Get You More Sales, Customers and Profits, at the Small Business Expo in Boston. Thank you to all who attended and followed up personally. It’s an exciting time for Social PR and it’s critical to a company’s branding and success – whether you’re a solo business owner, or the biggest fish in any pond!

I love sharing great articles by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs and giving credit where credit is due. The article How to Create an Elevator Pitch That Will Get You Funded by Steve Blank gives detailed information and some great tips on how to perfect your elevator pitch (or speech). Whether you’re looking to get funding or need to promote your consulting services, perfecting your elevator pitch is one of the most important things you’ll want to accomplish this week. Get a few great ‘how to’ tips here from Entrepreneur.com.

You may be familiar with HARO, but do you know about their parent company, Vocus? They’ve got an active and well-read blog that hits the in boxes of industry insiders, experts and small business owners around the globe. I liked this article 9 Things You Should Consider in Your PR Plan by Jim Dougherty because it lays out a PR Plan, clearly step by step. Work on one, three or all nine to improve your current PR plan. (And, if you don’t have a plan, we have to talk!)

Lastly, we’re featuring The Power of Testimonials (and How We Get Great Ones) written by Alex Turnbull.  This is a MUST read for anyone in business. Here’s one little snippet we’ve highlighted, but take a minute to click on the link to learn more.

“Good testimonials aren’t fluffy; they communicate very specifically the type of person the testimonial writer is and the type of problem they’ve been able to overcome. This helps readers put themselves in the storyteller’s shoes.”

And that’s a wrap for this week’s edition of Robin’s Rainmakers! If you ever have a suggestion for a great article to feature, please send me an email. I’d love to include it here.

RSI ComplainI’m constantly amazed at how much people complain. Not just small business owners and entrepreneurs telling their woes of not enough business, working too hard, or having enough time. Everyone is complaining and it’s almost an epidemic!

It’s not that I don’t sympathize. I do, to a certain degree. But when people are in a whining state, they’re not in the state they should be – the present, thinking about what their campaign of action is going to be.

Collectively, I’ve listened to problems in every phase of a company’s growth or demise. Heartfelt and game changing discussions have been over coffee, tequila, candle light celebrations, and more than a campfire or two.

Ultimately, successful people are accountable to themselves. They don’t have to be in PR, marketing, or branding. They decide when enough is enough. Complaining offers an easy way to avoid that. Campaigning is about putting action steps into place. I believe it’s always better to campaign than complain. And, here’s why:

3 Reasons Why it’s Better to Campaign than Complain

  1. It’s boring to hear the same complaints day after day. If you want to be engaging, you need to switch up the story and come from a higher place. No woo woo here. Just the facts. Change the vibration, and the attitude. You’ll see amazing results and not be stuck in the past. Think boo hoo, get boo hoo.
  2. Everyone wants to work with a winner. Seriously, do you want to work with a loser? If so, please unsubscribe me from your list and life. I want to associate with the best of the best to learn and grow. Sad sacks aren’t on my prospect list. Show your best stuff and then give it. It always works out.
  3. Winning is contagious. Winning not only builds self-confidence, but a portfolio of success stories. Stories and testimonials which build credibility and trust – which in turn increases recognition, expert status, leadership position, revenue opportunities. Call me if you want to talk about how winning helps grow a business. I’d like to connect a voice with a name.

A campaign has intention, a goal and spirit. A campaign is a string of action items to help you realize your dreams. Create a campaign and you won’t feel-the-pain.

YOUR TURN

What has to happen to take you from being a complainer to a campaigner?

How do you keep winning contagious? Do you have secrets you’d like to share?

If you had 3 best practices for letting clients know you were a winner, what would they be?

Right now, I’m campaigning for my new client who’s hopeful of a Grammy® nomination this year – and who believes in world peace, Divine Love, and humanity.

What are you campaigning for? Share your answers below…

 

I have this imaginary client whose name is Jane, and she’s an expert. I love working with her because she plays full out and though she’s scared of jumping out of her comfort zone, she does – letting me know how she feels along the way, alternating silent screams and more verbal phrases, many of which you already know.

I’m writing about Jane, because I’m working with 10 Jane’s and about 5 Bob’s right now – who are actively taking the steps necessary to ‘own their greatness.’ Here’s what they’re learning:

5 Ways to Own Your Greatness

  1. Acknowledge that your greatness is a gift and everyone is gifted in some way. Some gifts are talents, some are lessons that have been earned or learned. I believe that every gift has a message inside. You either open the gift or don’t. My suggestion is to open the gift because what you see can amaze you.
  2. Pony up to the fact that you are great, despite what your family, friends or colleagues may tell you. Eleanor Roosevelt said “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” When you were born, chances are your Mom and a whole lot of other people thought you were great – perhaps even more. Remind yourself daily of your greatness and soon you’ll believe it again.
  3. Give yourself permission to be different from everyone else. That’s part of your Promotional DNA which developed gives you your Unique Competitive Advantage (UCA). Find words, feelings and images to describe your UCA and think it, feel it, write it, and speak it. It will be your branding on the inside and on the outside, for the world to see.
  4. Share your message boldly, one step at a time – then by quantum leaps. Make an impression not only at in-person meetings but on social media, events, industry presentations, speaking engagements, and with prospects and clients. One of my favorite sayings is “Freedom Lies in Bold Actions.” Experience has taught me it’s true. You may want to see that for yourself.
  5. Remember you’re great but also who gave you your greatness. Chances are that you were sent here with a mission to accomplish something bigger than you – and if you’ve figured that out the hard way or it was delivered to you gently, on a silver platter, it doesn’t matter. When you acknowledge what you’re here to do and take action, there’s a certain peace involved, and with that peace and acceptance, the flood gates open.

What does this have to do with PR, marketing, sales and communicating? Everything. Your greatness is your message and your magic.

It’s time. The world is ready for you.

YOUR TURN

Where do you hold your greatness?

Are you the world’s best kept secret?

What’s keeping you from being ‘great’ and who is that serving? Better yet, why?

Please share your answers below.

All I have to do is look out my window and see a garden that is full of potential, without much help from yard workers. You see, left in its natural state, a flower will bloom without much encouragement as long as the environment is cooperative, and it’s not held back.

So are we, full of life and potential until we’re held back – by what we think are outside forces, but are actually inside forces – fear, doubt and worry. “I’m not good enough, smart enough, I don’t have the time to do it right, what will others think of me”, and on and on the list goes.

Today, we’re weeding early in the season so there will be nothing holding the flowers or you back from your beauty or greatness. Because in truth, we all are great and have unique gifts to share. No one flower is the same, and how boring would it be if every bouquet were the same!

I once took offense to being different, and carried on as a teenager when my BFF told me ‘when they made you, they threw away the mold.” I felt as if something were wrong with me, rather than celebrating my uniqueness. Now I know better so I can help others and share with you:

3 Ways to Blossom So You’re Awesome

1) IDGAF – It’s an acronym for ‘I don’t give a &^%&’. One of my dearest mentors taught me this, and although I was a little shocked hearing it come out of his mouth, I got it. What I find more interesting is that far wiser people than me have coined it, IDGAF, which tells me that they have the courage to be themselves and live their truth. When you live someone else’s truth, you forget who you are. IDGAF has color and personality and can be expressed appropriately in multiple ways in your personal and business life – kindly, boldly, passionately and quietly. When it pops up, take notice then decide how to communicate. Use IDGAF as a meter.

2) It’s wonderful that you’re blessed, but are you a blessing? I heard this on the radio as I woke up this morning. Somewhat groggy, I tuned in a little more closely. It’s fantastic that the world has given you so much and you are grateful. The question is, are you sharing that (your gift) not only in your work, but in your everyday life? Start the habit and watch not only your personal work blossom, but your career too. Don’t be surprised when opportunities seem to come to you more readily. Remember how the floodgates open.

3) Use your gut. We are so conditioned to use our head to make big decisions that we don’t listen to our intuition, one of the most guiding indicators of if we’re on track or not. My thought is that when we check in with what’s right, we’ll never go wrong. Perhaps it’s that I’ve lived a full life, had my share of ups and downs and can see things more clearly. When I reflect upon those tumultuous times when I didn’t use my gut, things didn’t turn out so well. We wait, when sometimes we should run. Listen to your inner music.

Blossoming will happen when you marry your inner most with your outer most. Your intentions with your desires. It’s a natural expression of who you are and a DNA-able blend of your greatness. If you like yourself, fantastic. If you love yourself, even better. Loving yourself is the first step in having others love you!

In business, PR, marketing, sales or any field where you share your thoughts, ideas and strategy, it’s the blossoming of your personal brand – who you are, your message, and clarity. Are you vibrant and growing, or is your season done?

Everyone wants to work with someone awesome – why wouldn’t it be you?

YOUR TURN

If ‘IDGAF’ had a color, what would yours be?

Do you prefer random acts of kindness, or are you strategic in your blessings?

My gut has saved my life. Has yours? Do tell!

RSI Shower PRIf you’re in sales, PR, business or a field where you have to communicate and influence someone, there’s a common problem we all have — the ability to share our story without losing someone’s interest. Ever think it’s possible to shower your personal and business brand without getting someone wet?

Here’s my take on it:

Talk yourself or your business up, but know when to stop. If you’re at a theatre and paying for a monologue performance, you know what to expect – one person carrying the show. That’s not the way it works anymore, or has for some time. We’ve been taught to be polite, but honestly – it’s boring, irritating and alienates conversation and opportunity for connection. It’s a two way street in life, love and business, and if you’re not getting that message, you’ll get it in ways that don’t serve you. Give room for dialogue, not monologue.

Engage, Express, Excite. PR, business building, networking, sales and even dating should follow the ‘3 Big E’s‘ strategy — Engage, Express and Excite. Communication involves the give and take of engagement, expression and excitement. Naturally, there are other factors, but when we can engage an audience, tell our story, and excite them, we’ve got a willing audience who wants to hear more. Ever go on a date with someone who doesn’t engage you, express themselves, or excite you, at least with their words? We’re not going anywhere else with this. B O R I N G .

Be consistent in your desires, but don’t be too overzealous. Your over-desire will fight you all the way. Ask and you shall receive, yes. But ask too much, want too much, or demand too much fights a basic universal law, the Law of Paradoxical Intent. Sandra Anne Taylor, who’s a great author and prosperity expert talks about how if you’re desperate to make something happen, you’ll push it away and turn your original intention into failure instead of success.

I’m an advocate about mindful and purposeful promotion and self-promotion, where there’s a benefit to all sides, and there most often is – otherwise we wouldn’t have business.

I’m also an advocate of getting out there, sharing your gifts and strutting your stuff, in a cool way, because if you don’t, you’re doing a disservice to the people who need you.

I’m not into too much blah blah that I didn’t ask for or a monologue I didn’t pay for. But that’s just me.

Next time someone’s showering you with their brand and getting you wet, you have the choice –to take out your umbrella, or move. Remember, you have the control to let what you want in – or out – of your space or head.

YOUR TURN

What are your tactics for exiting when someone is carrying on with their monologue?

Besides engage, express and excite, what other words would you use when we talk about communicating?

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you turned it away?

Please share your answers below.

RSI-EatPRLoveThis month, I’m dedicating all of my blogs to love – not that I don’t pay special attention to it year round, but showing love to those you care for has the power to change the energy within and around you, and transform your life.

Love also has the uncanny ability to make you feel more attractive, bolder and have a stronger sense of self and confidence – all of which are important in the mindset of PR and branding. Blame it on your hormones, the butterflies in your stomach, or just being happy — love works to accentuate the positive.

5 Ways that PR and Love Make a Perfect Couple

  1.  It’s so much easier to talk about, promote, and share thoughts on something or someone you love. Granted, there are a million kinds of love – and they’re not all following in the footsteps of Romeo and Juliet. There’s love of an idea, a service and even love of an underdog, who’s finally being recognized. ‘Like’ can be bumped up to love, when you make the decision to love.  When love meets PR and makes a commitment, anything is possible.
  2. If you’re an expert or entrepreneur and marry PR with love, you’re positioning yourself for success in the most authentic and transparent way. Like love, PR is about sharing someone’s ‘best’ – whether it be their qualities, features and/or services.  Love has a magic all of its own – and positive PR is always welcome on stage.
  3. Love, like PR, requires time to deepen relationships. Rarely does a one-night stand turn into a long term love affair, though it can be steamy for sure! With PR we want to build relationships for better understanding and to foster communication. Just as when we fall in love, we want to like, know and trust the other person. The same holds true with a brand. Ten years from now, we’d like to still be in love — and still be holding hands.
  4. PR is about the Art of Engagement with a variety of audiences, day after day, and year after year.  Engaging our partners in the workplace with integrity, kindness and respect is equally as important with our loved ones. If you engage others with loving kindness, do you believe you’ll receive it in return?
  5. And lastly, when you make love a part of your life, it will become a natural expression of who you are. Every day that you use PR as a positive light and part of your business strategy – even in a small way – you can highlight your expertise, share your story, be part of a community who needs you, and up-level your personal or business brand ping by ping, tweet by tweet and post by post – to make this a better world.

You see love and PR have a lot more in common than you may have ever had thought. When you put love out there – or PR for that matter—the rewards can be overwhelming.

YOUR TURN:

“When love meets PR and makes a commitment, anything is possible.” What would you like to be possible?

If you could bump up a ‘like’ to a ‘love’ in one area of your life, what would it be?

How do you include love as part of your daily life, and how do you carry it over into the business world to share?

RSI promote eventDeciding to host an event and share your expertise is a bold decision, and one that takes guts – so BRAVO if you’ve got an event slated for 2014!

Creating an event is one of the quickest ways to showcase your expertise to a group who may want to learn more about you, invest in your products or services now or down the road, or have an interest in ‘what you’re up to’, for their own professional growth. Well done, an event provides an opportunity to tell your story, up-level your brand and – let’s be honest, capitalize on your knowledge.

That said, you’ll want not just a boatload of people at your event, (whether it’s live or online) but a boatload of your target audience. They’ll resonate with your message and brand more than anyone else, and you’ll have multiple opportunities to make an impression and suggest that they become raving fans!

Here are7 Ways to Promote an Event in 2014  

1. Get Talking

Step away from the keyboard, and call friends and other people in your network who may be interested in attending your event. Even if your invitation is politely refused (i.e. due to a prior engagement or something to that effect), this is a prime opportunity to make a personal connection that could pay dividends down the road. It’s also ideal for reaching people who you don’t know, since you’re offering them something. Make it an easy, no-stress phone call with no end game in mind.

2. Get Visual

Create flyers and graphics for your event, and post them in an area frequented by your target audience. You can also send these in the mail (yes, the old fashioned way with stamps) to your targeted audience with a personalized post-it note.  Make sure that your graphics have a consistent look, and that the artwork can be re-purposed for invitations, banner ads, and social media.  This saves time, money, and gives your branding efforts maximum exposure.

3. Get Newsworthy

Submit media releases about your event to local news stations, magazines, newspapers and industry publications, as well as on-line blogs and distribution channels.  Be sure to be crisp and clear in your delivery, and include contact information for the press. If you have video, use it here as well. Above all, be media ready to capitalize on the publicity and opportunity for maximum exposure.

4. Get Dialed In

Find local radio stations and targeted blog radio networks that may be interested in an interview. Make your story compelling and be a fun and entertaining guest.  By following these simple guidelines, you’ll build a loyal following, get recognized for your expertise and be able to use the recorded interview in your own promotional strategy. And you’ll probably be invited back!

5. Get Social

Use the power of social media to your advantage.  Post targeted messages to your database and audience on a frequent (though not too-frequent) basis, using various platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube. You can also make a list of groups who might benefit from the event, and target them on-line. Keep in mind that it typically takes multiple impressions (a.k.a. touchpoints) before people notice a message and take action. As the best sales professionals advise: be persistent, but never pushy.

6. Get Wordy

Blog about your event, and ask others to do the same.  If you’ve been a guest blogger, ask your colleagues to give you a mention and share it with their list, and do the same with your social media contacts. This not only extends the life of your promotion, but it allows you to reach beyond your traditional target audience.

7. Get Hooked-Up

If you have a room that needs to be filled, consider asking fellow colleagues who are in a complementary — but not competing – business to publicize your event to their list.  Before presenting this type of opportunity, be sure that you have all the details outlined. Make it easy for your partners to promote you by providing pre-launch copy and emails, and copy for social media postings. Always strive to be a good partner, because your reputation will follow-you long after the event is over.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, if you apply some or all of the strategies above, you’ll:

  • Ensure that your event isn’t a “best kept secret”
  • Provide some valuable help by sharing your wisdom
  • Potentially fill the room with great new customers and clients
  • Have fun doing what you love!

YOUR TURN

What is the most challenging part of promoting a live event?

How do the promotional tactics differ from promoting a live event vs an on-line event?   

Do you typically have a team of people to help with the event? What are their primary roles?  

Let us know your thoughts — and KUDOS to those who dare to dream big, hosting their own event (live or online)!

Best of luck this year, and always!

RSI Press KitIf you’ve taken the leap to become press worthy, first of all, Congratulations! It’s essential that you’re prepared to showcase who you are and your accomplishments, as well as be armed to present your expertise and story in a way that is professional, organized and interesting.

Every reporter has an audience they are catering to, and your expertise may be just what they’re looking for. It’s important that they know you’re the real deal!

A press or media kit (electronic or otherwise) can be as simple or as complicated as you choose. Content can also vary depending upon your industry, the type and amount of press you’ve had, where you’d like to be featured as an expert and how much information you’d like to share.

Electronic press kits, which are typically the most common, can be designed to incorporate the look and feel of your brand. Most often, they are located as a tab or link on a website, and that link can be shared when the press contacts you, as well as when you reach out to be interviewed. A media kit can also be saved as a PDF file, to be used as an attachment.

A media kit isn’t built overnight, so getting publicity and published articles should be part of continuous PR and promotions plan. Whether you start with a strong media portfolio, or are building one from scratch, the basics are important. Typically, experts aren’t featured on CNN or NBC from the get-go. They build their profile, just as they have built their expertise, taking advantage of every opportunity.

Here are 5 Essential Components of a Press Kit

1) A professional headshot is an important part of your media kit. Your photo should be recent — within the last three years — and it should look like you! If it doesn’t, there’s a potential trust factor at risk.

Presenting your photo to the world is part of the integrity of who you are. Look like you say you do. Your headshots should be used everywhere you brand yourself professionally, so make it a point to invest in them wisely. Depending upon your industry, lifestyle photos can also be added to your press kit. They add another dimension to your profile – your personality, which gives your image a life of it’s own.

2) You’ll also want to make sure you have an updated short and long bio. A bio should be written to not only say who you are and what you’ve done (aka a human do-ing) but also portray a picture of your essence. A reporter wants to know that you’re not only accomplished, but also human. Add some personal and fun facts to your bio. I have mentioned at different times that I was a beekeeper, had a dog Lucy, loved to travel and Greek meatballs were my specialty. Not all at once, mind you. The media is looking for a human interest side to stories.

3) For credibility, it’s important to also include examples of published articles, links to past media experiences, speaking engagements, and so on. If you’ve been interviewed in the media, or written about, include the link. It’s proof you’ve ‘been there and done that’. As you grow your media profile, you can edit your portfolio to include more powerful and recognizable brands. If you have none, start getting noticed with responding to HelpAReporterOut.com requests. I’m happy to share with you a format that works, time and time again.

4) Show that you’re connected on social media. The media loves to share. By providing working links to your LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Facebook page (if appropriate), you’re showing that you’re part of several networks with millions of viewers.

Make sure that your profiles are media ready and fine-tuned for the discerning eye. Whether you’ll be interviewed for the press or not, it’s important that your branding is consistent on all platforms. Take the time to complete on-line profiles, update missing information and delete any ‘offbeat’postings. Use this time wisely for a PR check-up.

5) Provide clear contact information. Make sure that you give the press an easy way to reach you. Typically, reporters respond by email, but if there’s a deadline or more information is needed, they’ll contact you by phone. Make sure they have your cell phone number and that your voice mail message, as with all social platforms, are ‘brand on.’

There are, of course, additional items that can and should be added to a media kit depending on the expert, what their specialty is, and where they want to be featured. Other items might include interview questions and answers, testimonials, speaker profiles, press releases, background sheets, credentials and so on. What’s important is that when you’re contacted, you deliver the same expertise and deliverables as in your press kit. There’s a learning curve for sure, but with practice you’ll be a pro in no time.

YOUR TURN

What does your photo say about you? Need an update?

If you were a reporter checking you out, what would be their impression?

What fun or interesting facts would you add to your bio that shows your personality and human-ness?

Thoughts? Share below.