Robin Samora Inc., a Boston-based branding, promotions and PR firm, is offering an aspiring female student or recent graduate (within the past one year) the opportunity to attend the upcoming “Demand Success 2013” conference presented by Vocus, which will be held in Washington D.C. on June 20 and 21.

 

Robin Samora Inc., a Boston-based branding, promotions and PR firm that works with experts, entrepreneurs and authors, announced today that it is offering a scholarship that will enable an aspiring female student or recent graduate the chance to attend the upcoming “Demand Success 2013” conference presented by Vocus, a leading solutions provider that helps businesses reach and influence customers via social networks, online and media.

Designed to “make results happen in marketing,” the conference, which will be held in Washington D.C. on June 20 and 21, features keynotes by Arianna Huffington, Rohit Bhargava, Jeremiah Owyang and a host of other thought leaders who will share must-have insights and advice on lead generation, online marketing, brand building in the information economy, and more.

While the fee to attend the conference for a non-Vocus customer is $1095, the recipient of Robin Samora Inc.’s scholarship will receive a complimentary ticket — and a remarkable opportunity to connect with experts and influencers, witness the future of marketing and PR, and glean insights and information to advance their career. They will also have the chance to build invaluable relationships that will last for decades.

“Giving back and paying it forward are at the very heart of success, both professionally and personally,” commented Robin Samora, the principal and founder of Robin Samora Inc. “It’s my hope that the deserving woman who receives the scholarship will use this as a springboard to make positive impact in our world, and ultimately, inspire others to do the same.”

Aspiring female students or recent graduates (within the past one year) who are interested in competing for the scholarship are asked to submit an approximately 300 word essay that captures the essence of their professional vision with respect to the following:

• how it will support or in some way benefit other women
• how it will foster a legacy of giving back and paying it forward
• how they envision themselves turning their vision into reality

All essays can be emailed to Robin (at) RobinSamoraInc (dot) com. The application deadline is June 3 at 11:59pm EDT, and the winner will be notified by 5:00pm EDT on June 8.

Selected essays will also be published (either whole or edited) on the Robin Samora Inc., website, and in other digital and print communication material.

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.

Secret #1: Thoughts from the Dressing Room

Become  “media  ready”  by  looking,  feeling,  thinking  and  acting  like  a desirable multi-million dollar brand — even on a shoestring budget

Action Items:   You are your brand, wherever you go. Do you give off an energy of certainty and impression of increase so people will want to know you? Make someone’s life better in some small way, every day. Live life fully. Step into your greatness and your brand.

Secret #2:  Get Your Brand On

Cultivate and position a winning brand image that includes bio, photos, signatures, media kits and more.

Look professional, branded, together and ready for business. The press will feel more confident that you’re a player. You are your brand, so act like one that’s in a successful business.

Action Items: Look at your photo – does it look like you now or your high school picture? Can a prospect recognize you in a crowded room? Do you have a signature on your email? Does it give a description of who you are and what you do? Do you have a bio that includes some fun facts, or a cause you really believe in?  Look at your website with fresh eyes. Is there a headline on your home page with a call to action? Are all the links working?

Secret #3 –  Learn the Lessons Momma never taught you about being social

Are there misspellings? What does your branding say about you as an expert? What does it say to the media?

Leverage the power of social media to reach and impress media partners.

The thought of social media can be daunting if you don’t understand it. You don’t have to be everywhere, and do everything. Which social media tools do you like? Whether it’s Facebook , Twitter or LinkedIn (or others), pick what you’ll use and start engaging your audience. Stop worrying about being perfect. Make an effort every day to promote your business. You can make an impact with 15 minutes twice a day.

Action Item: Every day in some small way take an active role in being an expert, or noted in your field. Need content? Set up a Google alert on your ‘topic’ or ‘expertise’ and collect articles to share. Comment on what’s going on in the news. It’s OK to be a contrarian and have a voice.

Use social media to share your expert opinion so the press, as well as your prospects and clients, can notice you. Share content. Compliment others. Be a part of a caring community. Consistency and frequency count.

Secret #4 – Get on the Inside Track

Be a Publicity Insider — Take advantage of free publicity opportunities from HARO – Help a Reporter Out  www.HelpAReporterOut.com. Help A Reporter out offers quality leads for people in all kinds of industries to get noticed in the media – radio, TV , blogs and articles. It’s published 3 times a day, and it’s easy and free to sign up and get emails in your inbox. Journalists, editors, reporters and producers will post their queries on HARO and you can respond to them and get recognized as an expert.

Take the initiative and put yourself out there.

Action Item: Sign up for a free HelpAReporter account and take the time to respond to their emails. Create a one page template to answer press requests. Don’t be annoyed by the press inquiries, think of them as your assistant sending you opportunities to build your business and your brand.

Secret #5 – Be a media magnet, first. Darling next.

Tell your story often and clearly to gain media attention. Practice makes perfect.

Create and launch media releases that tell a powerful, memorable story that demands attention and generates results. Look at what you’re doing in your business. What’s press worthy? Are you speaking? Have a new product or service? Create a media release and send to industry publications, local media, and established contacts. It’s the who, what, when and why of what you’re doing – and can be as simple as a new office location, workshop, product or service, or being featured as a guest expert. Be clear and brief in all interviews and press opportunities and offer ‘soundbite’ quotes. Reporters have limited time – so make sure you grab their attention.

Make it easy for the press to find you and keep your PR engine going. When journalists and bloggers begin to see you showing up in the news, they’ll be more apt to follow you.

Action Items: Make a list of 5 things that you or your company could write a media release about. Have video footage? Even better! You don’t have to win the Nobel Peace prize to be recognized.

Secret # 6 –  Pitch Don’t Bitch

Stop complaining about the lack of press and do something about it. Pitch your story idea to newspapers, radio and TV stations, industry magazines, niche newsletters and blogs. They’re always in need of material. It can be an idea you have tied to a holiday or special event, tips on how a new product or service is helping customers, a community service project you’re involved with or a local event.

When pitching the media, be brief, concise and to the point. Make your headline interesting. You never know who’ll pick up your story and where it may go. Even if it’s controversial, it’s still news! And news fades fast, so keep the momentum going. Be mindfully persistent, not a pest.

Action Items: Create a bucket of ideas to pitch. Make them short and sweet. Are you a newly published author? (Hint, an e-book counts). Are you a guest panelist at a prestigious event? Do you have a new way of doing XYZ that will make a difference to more than just you? Learn to pitch with perfection.

Secret #7 –  The Press are friends you haven’ t  met  yet

Relationships that matter take time. Identify key press contacts and build mutually rewarding relationships that last.

Make it a point to do your homework and keep your eyes and ears open to top reporters in your region or area of expertise. Press contacts move around a bit, so try to stay connected via social media and keep email addresses current. A savvy admin can help with this task, but ultimately, you’ll be the one to decide who you’d like to watch and follow.

Action Items: A stranger is a stranger till the first hello. Make friends with reporters you find interesting. Follow them on Twitter, and learn the fine art of retweeting. Introduce yourself at industry functions. Send a note that you liked their article and you’re a fan, even if you disagreed with their view point. Send a lead their way. Start the process of ‘getting yourself known’.

Getting noticed by the press is a journey not a destination, and every step and mention gets your name out there. You’ll get recognized as an expert if you promote your brand often enough, everywhere you’ll go. It all starts with a decision to confidently stand out from the crowd.

 

Traveling across the country as a consultant, mentor, student and friend, has taught me to be a great observer and naturally notice fellow business warriors (or angels) who have a certain air about them — call it their personal brand or executive presence. You might think first class travelers always have it — but that’s not necessarily so. It’s a confident aura or energy that can be spotted across a crowded room.

Studies show that executive presence plays a key role in career advancement – how you present yourself to the world that you’re leadership material. Typically it’s based on how you look, how you speak, and how you behave.

Want to know if you’ve got it?

Here are 7 Signs of Executive Presence:

  • Look attractive, but not sexy. Sexy is a feeling and attitude. Save sexy for after work, and out of your business inner circle.
  • Learn the rules of engagement. Speak with intention, make your messages brief and to the point. Pay attention in meetings– texting and checking emails is often disrespectful.
  • Develop grace under fire. Stay calm and be less reactive. Be honest with yourself. What pushes your buttons?
  • Be able to size up a room, quickly. Who are the people you need to meet and connect with?
  • How’s your Emotional IQ? Are you sensitive to what others need? Do you take time to listen, really listen those you interact with, in business and in the community?
  • Are you a visionary? A leader needs to see a bigger picture, and have a plan so others will follow.
  • Does your reputation help you, or hinder your personal brand. Everything you and others see or hear about you — reflects your reputation. You’ve just got one, so protect it.

Of course, being a tad sophisticated, confident, polished and having a sense of humor would also be included in the bucket of ‘executive presence’. Add to that being authentic, having charisma and being physically fit — not ripped, just healthy.

Like sexiness, executive presence is an attitude. A way that you hold and respect yourself.

You’ve worked so hard to get where you are. Flaunt it, in your own special way.

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.

Publicity is good. Free publicity is even better. And it’s also easier to get than you think, provided that you know where to start, have an action plan, and grasp the “rules of the road.”

Where to Start

This part is simple. Start at HARO (Help a Reporter Out) at www.helpareporter.com. Three times a day, HARO sends its subscribers no-cost media opportunities in selected fields, such as healthcare, business and finance, education, entertainment and media.  It’s an essential PR resource every entrepreneur, business owner, expert and author should know about.

HARO is one of my favorite sources — and not because I’ll be featured on their website in an upcoming success story. It’s because HARO provides a media-rich collection of publicity opportunities for experts across the world, as well as a fast-paced forum for journalists looking for source experts (a.k.a. you).

Without question, for an entrepreneur, author or guru of any kind, being “picked up by HARO” is a huge win. It could easily lead to being quoted in an article or report, or featured in a story, blog or book. It could also lead to radio and TV interviews – which means more credibility, mind share, competitive advantage, a rush of traffic to your website, your phone ringing off the hook, your email bursting with inquiries, and most importantly: sales, sales and more sales.

Your Action Plan

There are five pieces of a successful HARO action plan:

  1. Start your media response strong. List your name, position, website address and company description in the first paragraph.
  2. Keep your pitch short and sweet, and answer questions directly. If a journalist or producer is interested in your story, he/she will email you back.
  3. Provide a link to important material in your email – don’t include attachments (more on this below).
  4. Create a standard Press Response template that you can use for every media inquiry. Use the same intro and conclusion/call to action for most responses, and customize the main message for each query.
  5. In the subject line, use the word HARO and include the query title (e.g. HARO: Why HARO users have a PR Advantage).

“Rules of the Road”

Knowing the “rules of the road” will make or break your HARO efforts. There’s a fairly strict code of media etiquette, and playing by the rules is important.  Here’s a snapshot of what to do – and what not to do.

Do’s:

  • Do communicate in a polite, respectful and focused manner. Reporters will respond in-kind.
  • Do provide great content. Reporters get hundreds of pitches daily. Make it easy for them to say “yes.”
  • Do ensure that the body of your copy is clear, concise and concentrated.
  • Do move quickly if a reporter wants your help. Time is of the essence.
  • Do stay on-message. As with any marketing, this is the only way to go to reach your audience.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t include an attachment, because of malware and virus threats.
  • Don’t beat around the bush. State your opinion (more on this below).
  • Don’t bother with a “catchy” headline. Save that for your media releases.
  • Don’t try and negotiate deadlines – they’re firm at HARO and there’s no wiggle room.

Standing Out in the HARO Crowd

Once you get the hang of HARO and follow the “rules of the road,” interest from reporters should follow. But then you’re faced with another challenge: how do you stand out in the HARO crowd, and become a sought-after source? Here are some bonus tips that can truly put you over the top:

  • Without going off-message, over-deliver in your interview. You’re being consulted for your expertise and experiences. This is the time to share what you know.
  • Reporters need and want sound bites and opinion. So while it’s fine to be reflective and fair, you aren’t being asked to describe an issue or a trend. Reporters can figure that part out themselves. They want your opinion. So have one, and be prepared to share it.
  • Build a database of reporters by being friendly, helpful and to the point.

And most importantly…

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

 

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.

This week, there were two networking sessions on my calendar; the first, an Open Mixer for Boston World Partnerships, and the second, an all-day conference, Promote Your Passion, where entrepreneurs and a series of experts met to talk about building stronger businesses through innovative marketing, sales, networking and charismatic relationships.

The theme of the conference was clear.  Connectivity is today’s new currency. Without relationships there are no sales, and without sales, there is no business.

Here are some takeaways you may like to add as Insider Secrets:

  • At your next networking event, meet 5 people, and connect with each of them for 5 minutes. The key people are: the Speaker; the Organizer; and 3 yappers. Yappers are always talking to people, have a crowd around them, and never talk to other yappers.
  • Don’t bring business cards to networking sessions. Just bring a sharpie. Write one of two notes; Dud (in code) or *. Follow up with the stars and ask how you can help them (by asking the right questions). Make a coffee date and begin a relationship. Don’t ask for business, just ask how you can help.
  • Buy from network marketers, instead of Target for items you need (and are available by those same network marketers). In fact, buy one item from each marketer who sells the item you need, because each of those marketers know hundreds of people.
  • Find out which Facebook groups those marketers are in, and join those groups. With each new contact, there are hundreds of prospective customers.
  • If you’re in business, use your phone message as a branded marketing opportunity. One of my colleagues has a company that “brings back desire” in relationships. If she added a weekly intimacy tip to her voice mail, and promoted it on Facebook and Twitter, she might double her mailing list. In fact, her phone might ring off the hook.
  • And lastly, be creative with your marketing. You know all those pre-paid envelopes that come in the mail? (Love this), send your marketing material back in the same envelope, and ask the recipient to pass it on.  Why not, right?

Loving the ideas from the 33rd floor and hope you do too!

Special Thanks to Casey Eberhart who shared this information. 

It’s been a busy week here in Los Angeles, where I’ve been at a four day meeting for the “Millions Within.”

A couple hundred entrepreneurs, with businesses ranging from just the idea stage to seven figures got together to learn about being marketable and what’s stopping us from our greatest success. It was a powerhouse opportunity to learn, be humbled by our innermost desires and fears, inspired by passion, and the longing for great change.

It’s always enlightening to re-visit some of the roadblocks we have to becoming our greatest selves in business, and our highest selves to serve our life purpose. I am continually amazed at the high level of energy, commitment and intensity of entrepreneurs who want to make a difference – and find it fascinating to see who will give up when it becomes uncomfortable, and who will welcome being uncomfortable (or bring it on) because they know it’s the only way to grow. No “if’s”, “ands” or “but’s.”

For myself, growth is only possible by stretching beyond my greatest fears and limits, and facing what’s known as the “terror barrier,” an invisible stop sign that’s there to keep me safe. It’s a must to go beyond, and I cringe when I see or feel it coming. And before each breakthrough, there seems to be another roadblock, to keep me at my same level. No choice but to bust through.

Having a coach helps you get through these challenges and obstacles, and keeps you focused, in line with where you want to go, even if it’s terrifying, and you want to give up in the worst way. Trust me, I’ve been there.

The good news is you’ll know you have success when you have a result. It doesn’t have to be the end result. It’s the journey, not the destination, because in all reality, there is no finish line. It’s invisible. We make it up so we’ll feel better.

My circumstances and successes may be different than yours, but they’re no less important. My results are directly proportionate to my efforts, as are yours.

Think of that next time you want to give up because you’re tired, or frustrated, or angry because you need to alter your course – because success isn’t always easy.

Make your action count with a plan. Get the help you need, and don’t stop.

Success is right in front of you.

One of the best pieces of advice in PR and getting noticed was to send your info/product/ideas to the CEO of a company via Fed X. Why? It gets noticed. Whether it’s a big company where your package is logged in,or a small firm–overnight deliveries make a bigger impact to decision makers. They cause a second look. Then, it’s up to you to follow up.

If I ever need to make a splash, I send materials Fed X.  And fun ones! Ever send a pineapple? People are intrigued and chances are you will be remembered!

This tip was featured at The Entreprenette Gazette’s Best PR Tips

I am excited to announce that Partner Promotions will be representing Ovation TV at the Shakespeare on the Boston Common Friday, July 29 – Sunday, August 14th.

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s annual free Shakespeare on the Common production will be All’s Well That Ends Well, at the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common, in partnership with the City of Boston and Mayor Menino.

This is the 16th year of Shakespeare on the Common, and All’s Well That Ends Well is a Shakespearean comedy and globe-trotting adventure of how far one woman will go to win the heart of her beloved.

Helena loves Bertram, but marriage is the last thing on Bertram’s mind. With boundless wit and tenacity, Helena pursues Bertram from Paris to Florence and through a maze of obstacles thrown at her by chance, circumstance, and her fiancé’s recalcitrance, finally emerging victorious.

The program, which has become a beloved civic institution, will draw an estimated 75,000 people over 16 performances.

I hope you can join us!