In her latest article, PR, branding and prootions expert Robin Samora shares proven and practical tips that can help entrepreneurs and other professionals get free publicity on HARO — which can in turn boost their credibility, generate leads and create sales.

Entrepreneurs, business owners, experts, gurus and authors who want to benefit from the best kind of good publicity there is – i.e. the kind that doesn’t cost a cent – can now read Boston-based PR expert Robin Samora’s latest article, and discover proven and practical tips for getting free publicity on HARO (Help a Reporter Out).

“Being picked up by HARO is a huge win that could lead to increased credibility, mind share, competitive advantage, website traffic, quality leads and, of course, sales, sales and more sales,” commented Samora, who is Principal of Robin Samora Inc., a Boston PR, branding and promotions firm that works with corporations, authors, entrepreneurs and experts nationwide.

Samora, who is featured in a success story on Blogging PRWeb‘s website, advises entrepreneurs and others who want to reap the rewards of free publicity to have an action plan that consists of five pieces:

1. Start with a strong media response that lists name, position, website address and company description in the first paragraph. Don’t bury this down below.

2. Keep the pitch short and to the point, and answer questions directly. Reporters, journalists and producers are looking for substance – not fluff.

3. Provide a link to important material and don’t include attachments. Due to malware and virus threats, they won’t be opened and the pitch won’t be read.

4. Use a standard press response template for every media inquiry — but be sure to customize the main message for each query.

5. Use the word HARO in the subject line and include the query title.

Samora also lays out her ‘rules of the road,’ which consists of essential Do’s and Don’ts regarding media etiquette. Some of these include:
* Communicate politely and professionally at all times
* Offer great content
* Be clear and concise
* Move quickly – time is of the essence.
* Stay on message
* Offer a strong, authoritative opinion

Samora further advises that over-delivering in an interview is a wise strategy, and that building a database of reporters is a must. She also emphasizes that respecting the relationship with reporters, journalists, producers and the other professionals who are on the other side of HARO is vital.

“No matter what,” concludes Samora, “respect the connection and the relationship as you would with a trusted colleague or your very best customer.”

Samora’s full article, which features a deeper look at her free publicity action plan and HARO `rules of the road,’ is available her firm’s website at: http://www.robinsamorainc.com/2013/03/proven-tips-for-getting-free-publicity-on-haro-help-a-reporter-out/

For more information or media inquiries, contact Robin Samora at (617) 921-3448 or Robin (at) RobinSamoraInc (dot) com.

About Robin Samora Inc.
Telling a story is personal. Sharing it is an art. Technology makes it global. Robin Samora Inc., a Boston based PR, branding and promotions firm blends all three to take its clients’ businesses and brands to the next level. With clients like Comcast, WBZ-TV and Blue Man Group, and a roster of authors, entrepreneurs and experts nationwide, the firm prides itself on being a “Promotional GPS” that takes its clients’ brands where they want to go to be seen, heard, engaged and remembered. With over two decades of experience, the firm is as comfortable on major media highways as it is on out-of-the-way niche back roads.

Complimentary 30-minute PR assessment sessions from Boston-based marketing, PR and communications company Robin Samora Inc. provides professionals with clarifying insights into where their brand is now and where it’s headed tomorrow.  The sessions are offered for a limited time and available on a “first come, first served” basis.

Robin Samora Inc., a Boston-based marketing, PR and communications company that has partnered with Fortune 500 corporations, entrepreneurs, business owners, experts and authors for over 20 years, is now offering complimentary PR assessment sessions for a limited time.

The 30-minute telephone assessment sessions, which are offered on a “first come, first served” basis, are personally led by Robin Samora, who is a recognized authority on creating fresh and engaging marketing and PR campaigns that connect brands, consumers and the media. It’s all part of a campaign to mark the recent incorporation of Samora’s two companies, Partner Promotions and Let’s Make You Shine, respectively, as divisions within the Robin Samora Inc. brand.

“Through our Partner Promotions Inc. and Let’s Make You Shine divisions, we can now offer our clients – whether they’re Fortune 500 enterprises, success-minded business owners or expert authors — the best of both worlds,” commented Robin Samora. “With Partner Promotions, we help them achieve a deeper engagement with their audience, and with Let’s Make You Shine, we make their brands more visible. It’s complete, comprehensive support and leadership that helps our clients boost their credibility, mind share, competitive advantage, volume of quality leads and, of course, revenues, sales and profits.”

Professionals who take advantage of the PR assessment sessions will be provided with “straight talk” that helps them identify where they are now, where they want to go, and why they want to get there.

“The assessment sessions are a bit like a hot seat call, and so professionals should be prepared to be frank and take plenty of notes,” added Samora. “At the same time, it’s interactive, progressive and fun. I see my role as a PR light bulb that flicks on for 30 minutes, and illuminates the landscape so that they can see new PR opportunities – and potential threats – with renewed clarity.”

Professionals can request their complimentary 30-minute PR assessment session by sending an inquiry via the Robin Samora Inc. website at: http://www.robinsamorainc.com/pr-assessment/

For more information or media inquiries, contact Robin Samora at (617) 921-3448 or Robin(at)RobinSamoraInc(dot)com.

About Robin Samora Inc.

Telling a story is personal. Sharing it is an art. Technology makes it global. Robin Samora Inc., a Boston based PR, branding and promotions firm blends all three to take its clients’ businesses and brands to the next level. With clients like Comcast, WBZ-TV and Blue Man Group, and a roster of authors, entrepreneurs and experts nationwide, the firm prides itself on being a “Promotional GPS” that takes its clients’ brands where they want to go to be seen, heard, engaged and remembered. With over two decades of experience, the firm is as comfortable on major media highways as it is on out-of-the-way niche back roads.

I’ve discovered that one of the easiest and most fulfilling ways to bring business in the door, and feel like I’m making a difference is through donating gift certificates to charities and organizations that need to raise money for a good cause.

Choosing the right organizations that align with my brand and core values is important, and knowing who the audience is gives me an opportunity to target my message and customize it for the cause.

In my Goodness Campaign, all branding materials and collateral have a ‘look’ that is consistent with the way I want to be seen — in my community, to my colleagues and clients, and to the world. My gift certificates are well designed, include my signature photo, and key information about my business – so anyone bidding on an auction item or not, can contact me.

My time and PR and promotions services are valuable, so I also make it a point to give at least a $500 gift certificate and ask that at least half of the money is collected for the cause. Return promotion is a given.

If you want a million dollar brand, you want to look like a million, and feel like a million. Giving opens the heart and allows prosperity to flow.

Go with the flow. Make time to make a difference.

If you haven’t already, start a Bio (biography) for your Press Kit. What’s your background and expertise? What have you been most proud of? What are some off- beat things people don’t know about you that make you interesting? Start writing and share your greatness with your favorite 8 x 10. Ideas are just words that can always be tweaked later. You may like what you write!

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the MED (Minority Enterprise Development) Day in Boston, learning more about the benefits of being a WBE (Women’s Business Enterprise) in the state of Massachusetts. I was thrilled to be certified to develop coaching and branding strategies, and find additional ways to grow my business!

At the convention, I met a radio producer who interviewed me about a year ago. His show was called Radio Entrepreneurs, and we talked about setting up a time to discuss Let’s Make You Shine.

Knowing I would be on-air as soon as next week, I revised a list of Radio Interview Do’s and Don’ts that may be useful for your own media training:

Easy Guidelines for Creating A Powerful Radio Interview

  • A picture is worth a thousand words, but your listener can’t “see”. Speak in terms of vibrant images and make sure to use details. Think of ways to describe what you’re talking about so your audience can “see” for themselves.
  • Start with a bang! Talk about something you find interesting, so your listeners will too! Don’t build your talk brick by brick, start strong. Making a positive impression straight from the gate can be a deciding factor in whether the listener tunes in, or out. You want them tuned in and tuned on!
  • Don’t fib. Today’s audience can tell when you aren’t being authentic. A sensitive subject? Learn to sway gracefully, but still hold integrity.
  • Please don’t bore your audience to death. Stand up when you talk – put your game face on and enjoy your time on stage as an expert. If you’re sleep talking, they’ll be walking. They snooze, you lose.
  • Have an important conflict and afraid reschedule? Think twice. If you’re feeling OFF, you’ll most likely come across that way. Better to be 100% IN than 60% OFF. Be media ready.
  • Do some R & D on the station where you’ll be featured. What’s the format? The host’s style? Make it a point to know the culture of the station as best as possible, before your interview.
  • Put yourself in the listener’s shoes. What makes you an expert? What’s happened in your life that can be used as example? What challenges have you overcome and what can you teach others? What’s your story and why would someone want to listen? Be memorable.
  • Don’t be intimidated by the radio host; in truth, they’re just like you and me, with a different job. Not crazy about a question they ask? Learn about the Art of Transition in Radio, and how to get from one sensitive subject to the next without being rude or self-centered. (Interested? Email me for a few subject transition tips).

And finally, be yourself when you’re on air. That’s all you are, have been and ever will be. If you’re an entrepreneur or professional looking to get more visibility and the media knocks on your door (or you boldy seek it xo), be prepared. Go for it. Chances are you’ve got everything to gain, and not a darn thing to lose.

Many of you know that I am traveling with my family this week, to the “Big Easy”, New Orleans, to see my youngest daughter graduate from Tulane.  How exciting it is to be with both of my daughters who make me so proud!

With expanding your brand so important to growing a business, I decided to devote this week’s newsletter to using Twitter, to make an impression and get noticed in a crowded marketplace. As part of a professional network that I’m involved with, I’d like to share this article: Five Tips for Twitter, written by Grace Lavigne, from PRnewsire.com.

It’s informative, and straight  from the Experts.

Let me know what you think!

Five Tips for Twitter
By Grace Lavigne, PRNewswire.com

Your Twitter Bio: The Chance to Stand Out

“The bio for an individual should be ‘pro-fersonal,'” says Kelly Lux, the online communication and relationship manager for the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. “Basically a mix of professional and personal.”

“People generally want to know what you do for a living or where you go to school, and what you’re passionate about,” Lux continues. “Strike an air of business acumen and friendliness, especially if you are job-searching.”

“Try to say as much about yourself with as few words as possible,” says Michael P. Grace, founder of Virallock, a social media monitoring and management service. “Be witty and creative without being corny or cliché. This is your chance to stand out.”

Maybe include some fun facts, suggests David Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision. “We had a technology firm and one of the many things they included in their bio was that nobody who worked there was taller than 5’5″. People actually mentioned seeing that when they contacted the company.”

“If your bio says something to the effect of ‘father, coffee lover and social media addict,’ that doesn’t really set you apart from the crowd,” says Lux. Stay away from words like guru, ninja, rockstar, etc.

“Browse around and see how others describe themselves,” advises Grace. “Don’t copy others, but pay attention to users who have had a Twitter account for a longer timeframe.”

Hashtags, Handles, Links

“Use hashtags in your bio so people with similar interests can find you,” says Lux.

Jonathan Rick, digital and social media director at Levick Strategic Communications, says that if you want to be publicly associated with your employer, don’t write: Director at Levick Strategic Communications. Instead, write: Director at @Levick.

And if multiple people manage a company account, call them out either by their full handles or their initials, says Rick. For example:

  • @Poynter‘s bio lists handles: School for journalism & democracy, with tweets by @juliemmoos, @myersnews, @mallarytenore, @jeffsonderman, @abeaujon
  • @AmericanExpress‘ bio lists initials: Follow Amex’s Mona Hamouly (MLH), Matt Burton (MB) & Amy Tokarski (AT) for insider news, offers & more. Chk out our Favorites page to turn Tweets into savings!

Also, definitely include a link — not in your bio — but as part of your profile, says Lux. “Many people link to their personal website or blog, or LinkedIn profile.” The link allows people to find out more about you than they can from the 160 characters allowed in the Twitter bio.

Adding links helps describe and reinforce who you are, and drives traffic between all of your social media vehicles, agrees Grace.

Expert/Company Bios of the People Quoted in This Article:

Here is the text from the Twitter bios of the experts (or their companies) included in this article (links not included):

  • @LevickLevick Strategic Communications is the world’s leading crisis communications firm. We are unparalleled in building brand equity and protecting reputations.
  • @KellyLux#CMGR & SM Strategist @iSchoolSU / Borg Queen of #NEXIS / Co-founder #CMGRchat / Opinionated Wine Connoisseur and +1 Dog Lover / Instagram Fanatic
  • @VirallockVirallock evaluates, optimizes and monitors social media profiles to help students and young professionals avoid negative perceptions to their personal brand.
  • @StratCommunCommunication consultant. Marketer. Social media explorer. HR/management coach. Teacher. Golfer. Reader.
  • @DavidJohnsonSVCEO of Strategic Vision PR Professional Republican consultant Facebook: DavidJohnsonSV

Profile Picture: Say Cheese!

The profile picture is probably the most important component of your Twitter presence, says Lux. Your profile picture should be YOU — not a cartoon avatar; not a picture of your dog or the San Francisco skyline; and not a picture of you with your kids, spouse, pet, etc.

“You need to appear approachable, which, in this sense, means: smiling,” says Lux. The picture should be distinctive enough that people recognize it as they scroll by it in the stream.

“You want your Twitter avatar to reflect you as you write about yourself in the bio,” adds Lux. For example, unless you are a business consultant, stay away from the suit-and-tie look.

Johnson once worked with a romance author who wanted to be known as the “Queen of Naughty and Nice.” “She wanted to use a professional headshot from her Wall Street days, but we told her that her photo needed to convey the image she wanted branded in her book,” he says. “So we added a more racy photo.”

The picture should also remain fairly stable, says Lux. Don’t change it as often as your Facebook profile picture, but do change it often enough that the picture still actually looks like you (i.e., more than once every decade!).

Linda Pophal, CEO of Strategic Communications, notes that if a Twitter account is for an organization, rather than a person, then the company logo works well as the profile picture. For example: @ProfNet

Wallpaper: Keep It Simple

Trying to establish a perfect Twitter background shouldn’t be the main focus of designing your profile, says Grace.

“I don’t believe the Twitter background is all that important; I’ve never made a decision on who to follow or not follow based on their Twitter background,” agrees Lux.

“That being said, you don’t want to make it look like you’re selling too hard!” she continues. “If your Twitter background is a bunch of pictures of you, your latest book, your Facebook page, etc. — you’re trying too hard.”

“Use a consistent pattern that is not distracting,” says Grace. “Twitter provides a handful of design options that are decent, but feel free to explore colors, patterns and textures that may create a more pleasing aesthetic to viewers.”

Make sure that your wallpaper is consistent with all aspects of branding, like color schemes, adds Johnson.

Rick lists four approaches to wallpaper designs:

  • The Visual Way: employs big pictures that immediately communicate the brand, a la @Disney@Staples or @WWF
  • The Logo Way: uses the company logo as the background, a la @Ford or@LinkedIn
  • The Informative Way: lists contact info and links to other social channels in the wallpaper itself, a la @Intel or @mashable
  • The Product Way: displays Photoshopped pictures of the company’s key wares, a la @Pepsi (can of Pepsi) or @LAYS (bag of Lay’s potato chips)

Overall Look and Feel: Be Consistent

Your Twitter profile should be designed for the audience you are trying to reach and the image you are attempting to convey to them, says Johnson.

Profiles should reflect the individual or organization’s brand identity and communication strategy, agrees Pophal.

Approach the profile from the standpoint of crafting an “elevator speech,” Pophal continues. What is it that you do that represents value to your target audience?

“Every profile on Twitter has a voice,” concludes Grace. “Always consider how you want your voice to be represented to those who haven’t met you, and let your personality shine through as much as possible.”

Gracie

Click Here to listen to listen in on Enterprise Radio host Eric Dye & guest Robin Samora discuss the following:

  • Who is Robin Samora and what qualifies you as a Business and PR strategist ?
  • Who needs your services?  How does a client work with you?
  • Can you give us an example where you’re especially proud of the success of one of your clients because it shows a direct result from your counseling?
  • Name the symptoms experienced by someone who needs to embolden their lives by strategizing with you?
  • Why can’t people sort this out themselves…what does strategizing with you provide them that they can’t do on their own?

TIP: You are your own brand and you need to market yourself with that in mind.  Identify who you are and what your company stands for before hitting the road with the latest PR gimmick. What good is it if the world sees or hears you and thinks of fuzzy kittens on your YouTube video, but you’re selling hardware? You need to develop a strategy for your self-promotion that just doesn’t get you out there, but instead gets you out there with meaning, with creativity, and that’s consistent with your business mission. You need to be able to stand out in a crowd.

Robin Samora is a business and PR strategist who helps entrepreneurs take a leap of faith to make more money and get recognized in a crowded marketplace.  Her passion is coaching professionals to expand their limits to get the business and attention they deserve – so they can share their gifts and profits with the world.  With a background in business and marketing, Robin not only drives clients to uncover their personal profit centers, but she goes one step farther – she works with her clients to uncover unique strategies to bring their messages to the masses. Robin is a life-long entrepreneur, idea-generator and the founder of the Let’s Make You Shine Fund, which empowers young women to advance their education and use their special gifts to help others.

I’m often amazed at business owners who are too busy to spend one on one quality time with their clients. They’re running all over the place, getting things done, and checking items off their list, but often are forgetting one thing – that a company or client hires us, and they keep us in business. Without clients, we have no business.

Every relationship needs some face time and TLC. And, it doesn’t matter if it’s your sweetheart or your biggest client who helps pay your mortgage.

My short Make Money Money thought today is this:

  • Make it a priority to spend time with your client.
  • Ask what they need.
  • Listen with both ears.
  • Assess their request and promise to respond on it, in a timely fashion.
  • Do what you can to act on it – if it works. For you, for the relationship, or for growth opportunities.
  • I like dinner because it’s a time to unwind, and forces me to leave the office, to get out from behind the computer and see the world. And, what a lovely world it is.

I’m putting in a hyperlink here, for dinner at Fleming’s Steak House, where you spend $50 and get a $25 credit. I hope it works. You have to make a reservation in advance and on line, and my understanding is that you can use it as often as you like till December 30, 2011. Please read the fine print, and don’t get mad if there’s a snafu. I’m trying to help you grow your business.

This offer has ended

Don’t forget as well to look for other deals online, or to use Groupon, Living Social, and your city’s local coupon opportunities; they’re everywhere. They sit in a folder on my computer so I won’t be tempted by every bargain that passes my eye.

Enjoy dinner. Enjoy your client. And remember, you are your business, so make it who you truly are.

I hope that you’ll agree with me that Mondays are good for making millions as well as looking like a million.

How do I know? Jess Zaino, Style Expert and Chic Cheap Shopping Fashionista, recently told listeners on my Let’s Make You Shine Interview series

about CyberMonday, www.cybermonday.com and the great fashion deals that are available there.

Not sure what it is? Think of a special website you can go to on Monday (or any other day) from the comfort of your home/office and get deals – 40 – 60% off, as well as free shipping and other goodies.

Tempted by the thought, I went to see if I could find Nordstrom’s, one of my favorite stores. While I was looking, I also saw deals from Saks, Lord & Taylor, and much to my surprise, other vendors for office supplies, electronics, and travel. And, the list went on.

It was a surprise visit, so I disciplined myself to come back at a later time – when I really needed a special outfit to make that Million Dollar Impression.

I’m expecting the best so that should be coming up soon.

In case you know about www.cybermonday.com spread the word. In case you don’t, there’s no harm in checking out the goods, or saving money — especially if you’re growing your business or, planning early for the Holidays.

Free shipping, no parking, weekly specials and one less tank of gas?

Sounds like good financial advice to me.

You?