I love the phrase, “I’m an expert in training!” I heard it before I went on stage at Blogcamp Boston last weekend and asked to use it. Aren’t we all collaborators in the learning process?

Getting more online visibility and PR  is no different. We teach each other.

Here’s a short list to get more online visibility and a bigger bang for your buck!

  1. Be authentic in who you are and in your brand. Be consistent in your look, feel and marketing messaging. You are your brand wherever you go.
  2. Write a blog, share your expertise and do it often. I write a Robin’s Rainmaker once a week, but also write for PayItForwardRetreats.com, which is very important to me. Getting your name and brand out there for what you know and believe in will help raise your visibility.
  3. Share your content on all social media platforms. Don’t know the latest on Periscope? Don’t have a nervous breakdown about it. Use the tools you know and what works for your target audience. Are you in B2B? Then LinkedIn is a good choice and offers more than you can ever imagine. Does your crowd hang on Facebook? That’s the place to be.  Go where your market is.
  4. Create graphics and get them for free – or for a buck ($1.00) at www.Canva.com.  It doesn’t cost a fortune to be creative and compelling. It’s a must for marketing and PR, and honestly, Canva is easy to use.  Every business can benefit from this cool tool. Sit yourself down and try it.
  5. Reach out to influencers and align with their brands. Did your mother ever tell you, “Birds of a feather flock together?” Same thing here. Get noticed by influencers you admire by connecting with them and commenting on their work. Build relationships online, but in person too. It’s amazing who you can meet on twitter and how you can stay in touch.  A compliment goes a long way.
  6. Be a resource to reporters. OK. Don’t overthink this. If you’re writing about your expertise and reaching out to influencers, and doing it often enough, do you think you’ll go unnoticed? Only if you don’t do this! Use this super cool resource to find reporters in your target industry. If you pass this by, you’ve wasted an enormous tip!
  7. And lastly, Podcast Heaven. Use this cool tool to find podcasts in your industry and pitch yourself as a guest on one, several or tons. Get the recording, ask if you can transcribe it, and create multiple blogs. Don’t forget to use all of your keywords for SEO Juice! Check it out!

Start using these tips and you’re on your way to getting more visibility. Which will you implement today?

PR, Promotions and Publicity aren’t a one size fit all strategy to get you noticed.  And, that’s a good thing.  Variety is the spice of life! In creating a PR roadmap, you want to customize the outreach experience and connect the dots from where a client is now – to where they want to go to be seen, heard and remembered. So the road less traveled is not the journey of choice!

For a handful of our Fortune 500 corporate clients, Partner Promotions is the go-to source for Brand Ambassador work in Boston. Companies like Comcast and CBS hire our marketing teams to promote their brands and actively engage with prospects and customers — to showcase new services, demonstrate products and turn loyal followers into raving fans.

After 15 years of hiring Brand Ambassadors, I’ve concluded that for me, hiring is primarily intuition based. Is the Brand Ambassador believable or not? Do I trust him/her? Would I give them the keys to my car? Eye contact is important too, or lack thereof, and I can’t discount appearance.  If my gut tells me to move forward, I almost always do, followed by a reference check (gut usually wins).

So, how does an eager and responsible college student or professional of any age — who wants to make extra cash get into the Brand Ambassador business?

Here’s An Insider’s Look – How to Get a Brand Ambassador Job at Any Age  

  1. Google Brand Ambassador companies in your area and check Facebook Groups or Craig’s List for event/gig postings; Better yet, make a connection with other Brand Ambassadors and get WOM (word of mouth) referrals.  They’re worth their weight in gold.
  2. Apply online with a headshot and resume. If you don’t have a headshot, use an attractive and recent photo of yourself — with no arms or plants sticking out of your head. Please don’t be half naked unless you’re looking for a swimsuit model job. No experience? Highlight your sales, marketing and customer service skills.
  3. Score an interview by writing a clear, concise and friendly email. Use proper English and provide contact information. This is not the time to be lazy or sloppy in your writing or coy in your contact details. Impressions count to those reading your email and hundreds of others. Trust me. Delete is an easy key to reach.
  4. Meet in person ASAP.  Be early, well dressed and groomed. Bonus points for confirming your appointment by email and text. Remember to mention a personal referral if you have one and highlight that connection. You really could earn thousands of dollars from this one meeting.  Make it count!
  5. You are unique so accentuate the positive. Have an awesome smile? Flaunt it! But, you’re not on stage giving a one person show. Be mindful that if you’re hired, you’re representing not only the client who considers you a reflection of their brand — but the Brand Ambassador company too. It’s OK to stand out, but not like a sore thumb.
  6. Highlight your experience and own it. Why would a company want to pay you double minimum wage or more?  Not sure? Make a list. You’re outgoing, friendly, worked in sales and marketing, love people, sold credit card upgrades – plus you’re flexible. State the facts, show your resume, hold eye contact and be genuine. You can be sincere and still own your power.
  7. Don’t force a square peg in a round hole.  If there’s not a connection with the hiring manager or if you don’t like the brand, let it go. There are better opportunities out there. Follow your gut to see if the fit is right. If integrity is one of your core values, honor it. You’ll be a lousy Brand Ambassador if you’re not all in.
  8. When you’re hired, give thanks. Thank your hiring manager with an email. Read the study guides or marketing materials more than once. Follow directions. Check in frequently to show you’re interested, but not needy. Get more experience, rinse and repeat.
  9. Build a referral network so you can take a team with you. Want to make life easier for a hiring manager? Bring an established team with you to your next assignment. You’ll save your boss time and aggravation, plus be a shining star. There’s also negotiating power here as a manager, which is paid at a higher rate.
  10. Keep business business and personal personal. Don’t overlap the two. News travels fast and not always to the right places.

Side note: My kids, their friends, friends of friends, strangers and people from every walk of life have helped with the many clients and Brand Ambassador positions we’ve had over the last 20 years and counting. PR, Promotions and marketing isn’t just for entrepreneurs and small business owners – it’s for anyone with a message to share.

Share a message in your voice. That’s what makes it authentic.

You know what happens when news becomes NEWS. People talk about it. Then they share. “Watch this” they quickly post and soon, everyone has an opinion. It’s pretty powerful when news goes viral or when a news story gets picked up – almost as if it takes a life of its own. Web traffic spikes and someone, somewhere is getting their 15 minutes of fame.

Big and little brands would do just about anything for the opportunity to be in front of so many viewers/eyeballs/prospects. Who wouldn’t want traffic like that to their website? Not to inform of course, but to promote their products or services (aka sell).

So, what’s a business — small or large — to do?

Why, Newsjack!

I’m sure you’ve seen it and bet you have your own thoughts.  You either hate it or love it. Opinions are divided, and often it’s about the subject material.

Here’s a recent article on newsjacking that’s more positive than negative, which is a nice change from what I’ve been reading lately.

In How To Boost Your Content Creation Strategy With Newsjacking, author Amanda Webb of Agora Pulse describes one major benefit of newsjacking:

“Newsjacking is a gift to content marketers. Events and news can give us the trigger we need to create good interesting, on topic content.”

She goes on to list 10 examples of recent newsjacking that you’ll definitely want to check out.

Next up is ‘Newsjacking Gone Wrong’ by SpinSucks. It’s a ‘caution up ahead’ article by Gina Dietrich and provides links to newsjacking which in fact, has gone wrong. Gina quotes the ‘daddy of newsjacking’, Meerman Scott by going over his four rules.

Meerman Scott’s four simple rules (of newsjacking):

  1. Be dignified and statesmanlike.
  2. Be upbeat and positive, never mean or vindictive.
  3. Write articulate text in full sentences, without chatty slang, industry jargon, corporate gobbledgook or social media shorthand.
  4. Don’t get too cute or clever—especially where human suffering is involved.

Last but not least, here’s one more direct link to an article with three additional (not so well thought out) examples. 3 Newsjacking Fails That’ll Make You Facepalm

Use these to understand what went wrong and why audiences became so upset. Use this to set your own standard and ‘rules’ for newsjacking if you decide to use this technique for content creation.

Just remember to be ‘tasteful, on time, different and relevant’.

Today, I’ll be the keynote speaker at Fresno State in California to kick off #GoBrandYourself week. I’m excited to teach personal branding tips and strategies to a college audience who are eager to jump in, get experience and find a job in the communications industry.

With unemployment in Fresno hovering near 9%, my goal is to help these students stand out from a crowd, define their personal brand, use social media platforms powerfully and expand their networks. So they can ROCK IT!

At some point after the keynote, I’ll share my talk. But, before that happens, I wanted to give you a few personal branding tips you can implement right now.

Before you do anything else, I encourage you to create a personal brand statement. This article by Jörgen Sundberg explains that first, you need to know the answers to these three questions:

• What value you provide (what problem do you solve)
• How you do it uniquely (your USPs – unique selling points)
• Whom you do it for (your target audience)

In our second article, Jim Joseph states for Entrepreneur magazine that “each of our personal brands began at birth. When Mom and Dad gave us a name, they unknowingly launched a new brand, the first of a lifetime of personal decisions that makes us each uniquely our own being — or brand. From that day forward, we spend our lives living up to our given name.” I’ve really never thought of it this way – but it is so true!

Jim says (and I couldn’t agree more): “A personal brand, like any good brand, needs to be consciously managed and controlled throughout our lives.

Once you know what it means to have and create a personal brand, and you know what you stand for, take a look at our third article from Inc Magazine that walks you through 7 steps to build an awesome personal brand. By looking at each of these steps, you can take the appropriate action to #GoBrandYourself.

I hope you will #GoBrandYourself by being who you really are, not who you think you should be.

Believe me, it’s a work in progress! Tweak, Tweet and Retweet!

As a Brand Ambassador and Promotions Expert who works with big and small brands, the question “what does branding really mean?” comes up often. Being on-brand, online branding, off line branding, brand awareness. One thing I’m very aware of is the money spent to see that it’s done right!

Brand it right or brand it wrong, being focused and on target with your messaging is important and key to establishing a look and feel — as well as a social identity for your product or service, and the revenue that it will generate.

This week, I’d like to share a few branding articles I hope you’ll find interesting;

First up, let’s look at 3 ways brands are marketing nostalgia in the age of throwback Thursday from Entrepreneur.com. “As millennials become increasingly important as customers, brands have started heaping on the nostalgia to woo them over.” If your target audience includes millennials, or any other older generation, take a look at this article on how to ‘reel them in’ using nostalgia!  (Remember Reading Rainbow?)

Next I’d like to share a video which is actually a Google Hangout On Air about ‘Branding for Small Businesses’. In this video, Lauren Zirilli, Vistaprint’s Director of Global Brand Strategy, talks about how small business can build their own brand. See what you think!

In Content Lessons From Three Brands That Kept Their Brand Promise (and Three That Didn’t) by Marketing Profs, we learn  that “content marketing has the power to help companies articulate and communicate the brand promise—which goes beyond a corporate mission statement. Marketers can craft content that shows what they really stand for.” One of the three brands highlighted is Subway, with their lifestyle campaign, ‘Eat Fresh.’

How is your brand standing out online and is your brand message consistent with your marketing message?

As seen on BusinessTips.com

This year, I was awarded a promotions recruiting assignment for a Fortune 500 company to help find marketing reps for their car share program in Boston. Since I’ve interviewed hundreds of candidates over the last 13 years for brands like Comcast and CBS, it seemed easy to do, except for one caveat – most of my recruiting had to be done via Skype and not in person.

Having to go online to research someone’s background and variety of social profiles gives a recruiter an opportunity to see what a candidate’s personal brand is really about – and the ability to not just rely on testimonials from past employers and an ‘above the waist ‘ interview, playing nice for the video camera.

That said, I’d like to share my thoughts for preparing for an online interview using common sense and social media savvy.

5 Tips to Remember Before a Skype Interview

1) Just because you’re not interviewing in person, doesn’t mean you should cut corners. Think about who you’re talking to and take more than five minutes to find out their role in the company. Are they the VP of Marketing, a National Sales Director or a HR Manager who may be overworked, underpaid and generally sporting a bad disposition? A few minutes on Google or social media may give you a big ‘heads up’ on their attitude and mindset. This kind of intelligence in my work is mandatory and especially helpful if you’re intuitive. Information in hand is always a plus.

2) Think about the profile picture you’ll use as your icon. Like Facebook or LinkedIn, most social media profiles have an opportunity to present your image, real or not. Men, please don’t take a selfie of yourself without a shirt and use it as a profile picture, or ladies – in an outfit you’d wear to the beach. I had to interview a candidate last minute for an important sales position via Skype and it was difficult to take him seriously staring at his half naked body icon before the call. I wondered what kind of judgment he had to represent himself that way. Lucky, in real time on camera he showed up in a shirt and tie. Phew!

3) Be mindful of the videos you share on social media. It’s fine to share funny videos from YouTube and other sites, but when you’re looking for a job, consider deleting videos that are degrading or off-color. Politically correct still applies in Corporate America, and although we all may joke in private, beware of what you’re sharing in the public’s eye. Remember that a company is looking to you as their next Brand Ambassador and if you’re ranking on society in any way, you’ll lose rank in the hiring process. Mindful does matter and the Delete Button can be your friend.

4) Consider deleting personal comments that would make your mother blush. I had the privilege recently of checking out a highly recommended referral for a full-time marketing job only to see his twitter feed filled with inappropriate comments and profanity. Sadly, this wasn’t the image my Fortune 100 client was looking for to represent their company. Sadly, he didn’t get the job. Professional does count – online, all the time.

5) Be light, bright and polite. Be as gracious online as offline, even if you don’t agree with a concept or comment. It’s ok to share your voice, but there’s always a right way to do it, especially on an interview. If something negative comes up, learn to say thank you for the feedback. As a recruiter, employer, and entrepreneur, I want gracious people on my team. It’s easy to pass someone by who isn’t.

Start positioning yourself now as a top candidate for the job, internship or alliance you’re looking for – whether or not you’ll be using Skype.

Remember, you are your brand wherever you go.

Your Turn

What are your favorite tips for a smooth and easy presentation or interview on Skype?
Is there a favorite background you prefer, or lighting?
How much time do you allow for technology and signing in? And, what happens if Skype ‘goes wrong’?

The Web’s Best PR, Marketing & Social Media Wisdom

If you’re tight on time, but want to stay up to speed on our industry’s latest news, stories and ideas, I hope you’ll like the articles we picked this week to feature on Robin’s Rainmakers – The Web’s Best PR, Marketing & Social Media Wisdom.

Our goal, as always, is to provide you with a variety of content on PR, Marketing & Social Media to gain more visibility, revenue opportunities and expert status.

Here are this week’s picks for Robin’s Rainmakers:

PR Is The New SEO by Uwe Schmidt for PR Insider

There was a time where you could ‘game’ the system by only buying SEO services. That’s now over. Long live unique, user-oriented content and be sure to eliminate this…

Brands Under Fire by Rosanne Mottola for PRSAY®

Take a look at five brands that have come under fire for ill-advised ideas or mistakes. Read who they are (you may be surprised), see what they did (or didn’t do) to make this list and learn from their mistakes, like Malaysia Airlines…

7 Types of Content Reporters Want in a Press Release by Serena Ehrlich for PR Insider

The Business Wire 2014 media survey asked reporters what types of news they want to see in a press release. Besides the obvious — breaking news — here are six more. Keep this on your desk when you’re writing and make sure to include…

Hope you enjoy these articles, and feel free to share with a friend!

If you’re tight on time, but want to stay up to speed on our industry’s latest news, stories and ideas, I hope you’ll like the articles we picked this week to feature on Robin’s Rainmakers – The Web’s Best PR, Marketing & Social Media Wisdom.

Our goal, as always, is to provide you with a variety of content on PR, Marketing & Social Media to gain more visibility, revenue opportunities and expert status.

Here are this week’s picks for Robin’s Rainmakers:

PR Is The New SEO by Uwe Schmidt for PR Insider

There was a time where you could ‘game’ the system by only buying SEO services. That’s now over. Long live unique, user-oriented content and be sure to eliminate this…

Brands Under Fire by Rosanne Mottola for PRSAY®

Take a look at five brands that have come under fire for ill-advised ideas or mistakes. Read who they are (you may be surprised), see what they did (or didn’t do) to make this list and learn from their mistakes, like Malaysia Airlines…

7 Types of Content Reporters Want in a Press Release by Serena Ehrlich for PR Insider

The Business Wire 2014 media survey asked reporters what types of news they want to see in a press release. Besides the obvious — breaking news — here are six more. Keep this on your desk when you’re writing and make sure to include…

Hope you enjoy these articles, and feel free to share with a friend!

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.

[contentbox width=”650″ borderwidth=”1″ borderstyle=”solid” bordercolor=”000000″ dropshadow=”0″ backgroundcolor=”FFFFFF” radius=”0″]Thanks to a new retail partnership created by PR firm Robin Samora Inc., students of all ages in the Boston area who sign-up for any of Comcast’s Fall Rush Offers — which include Blast Internet, Showtime, HBO, StreamPix, HD and other extras — will receive a complimentary brick oven gourmet pizza from Boston’s award-winning Ecco Pizzeria. The promotion runs from August 30 through September 8, 2013 and is available while supplies last.[/contentbox]

Students of all ages in the Boston area who want to save big on blazingly fast broadband Internet speeds and get more HD channels than they can keep track of, can now satisfy their hunger pangs along with their digital cravings thanks to a new retail partnership created by PR firm Robin Samora Inc. on behalf of its longtime client Comcast.

 

From August 30 through September 8, 2013 and while supplies last, students who sign-up for any of Comcast’s Fall Rush Offers — which include Blast Internet, Showtime, HBO, StreamPix, HD and other extras — will receive a complimentary brick oven gourmet pizza from Boston’s award-winning Ecco Pizzeria.

 

To take advantage of the promotion, students must sign-up for an eligible Comcast offer through Robin Samora Inc.’s authorized retail team, either on-site at Ecco Pizzeria (1147 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston; www.EccoPizzeria.com), or by calling Robin Samora at 617-921-3448. Once installation is complete, students will receive a gift card by mail.

 

“We’ve worked closely with Comcast for over a decade to promote their innovative broadband products and services and to deepen their audience engagement,” commented Robin Samora, the principal and founder of Robin Samora Inc. “We feel that connecting Comcast to Ecco Pizzeria through this new retail partnership is a perfect fit for all involved, and a clear benefit for students who will enjoy the most aggressive prices that Comcast has ever offered for its cable and Internet packages. They’ll also love using Comcast’s amazing apps to find mobile hotspots, schedule DVR and more.”

 

Samora also noted that geography played a key factor in her company’s decision to choose Ecco Pizzeria from a pool of other strong potential retail partners.

 

“Aside from having what me and many others feel is the best gourmet pizza in Boston, Ecco Pizzeria’s location is perfect to reach the student market,” added Samora. “It’s just past Boston University, and near both Boston College and legendary Harvard Street, which puts it the middle of thousands of students, apartments, and on Boston’s famous Green Line.”

 

“We’re very pleased to partner with Robin Samora Inc. and her client Comcast,” commented Steve Silverman, the owner of Ecco Pizzeria. “It’s a great opportunity for students to get a great deal on their Comcast services and enjoy some of the best pizza in town. Students are always hungry, and they love to eat — so it’s a win-win!”

 

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 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.

Learn more at http://www.RobinSamoraInc.com.