PR and marketing power doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, but it does cost you some time and effort. There are no magic wands to wave over your head or chants to the PR and Media gods. Just focus, clarity, intention and strategy – and understanding the ins and outs of what you’re doing and being able to change on a dime. You know of course, that you can’t quit three feet from gold, but you don’t want to waste your time where your target market isn’t hanging out either, or quite possibly, never intends to go.

Here’s a graphic I love to use as an example of marketing and the four types of media to get PR Power on a budget, compliments of Gini Dietrich of Spinsucks.com.

Copyright Spinsucks.com

Personally, I tend to focus on earned, owned and shared media.  Writing, free publicity, speaking and a host of other tactics fall into these categories.  But, I recommend without hesitation, paid media, including social media advertising (particularly Facebook for niche audiences) as well as super targeted industry publications which have worked out tremendously well for some of my clients. Sometimes you have to pay to play, but it’s not always 100% spot on, and there is some trial and error you’ll have to endure. That’s where knowing your target audience and the many places they hang out is important.

Getting noticed in all four media clovers, scheduled and ongoing, builds your reputation and credibility, which eventually leads to sales.

  1. Do you know your audience? It’s important to know who you’re pitching and what they want. Don’t sell ice to an Eskimo living in Hawaii unless they own an ice making business! What’s your big vision and does it fit with who’s buying?  Think it through on paper and make sure it works!
  2. Are you passionate about your idea? Passion makes a big difference in presenting a concept and often, enthusiasm is lost if there’s a publicist or hired gun doing the talking. If you’re the presenter, make sure you have positive energy and communicate with a high vibration. It shows not only in the voice, but also in the body. Twinkling eyes are a bonus!
  3. How professional are you? Professionalism is critical not just in writing, but in delivering. For Good Morning America, Tory needs to know without a doubt that the company presenting is totally operational and can deliver great customer service – even if the company is tiny! Talk the talk and believe it yourself!
  4. Are you prepared? Many entrepreneurs want ‘it’ to happen, but aren’t ready and launch discussions prematurely. If you’re overly excited and not ready with all the facts and figures, there’s a chance you may lose an opportunity and be passed over by someone who’s got their ducks in a row. When you speak up – be ready!
  5. Will you leave a positive or negative impression? Often negative impressions are longer lasting than positive ones. Make it a point to practice your pitch not only in front of a mirror, but test it with people who’ll give you honest feedback. If the feedback is similar from all parties – it doesn’t mean you’re bad, it just means that you need to tweak your pitch!
  6. Are you crystal clear? When it’s your moment to shine, be crystal clear about who you are and what you’re offering. A confused mind never buys and certainly won’t put you on Good Morning America. Again, clarity comes from practice.  At our last SBANE meeting (Smaller Business Association of New England), we talked about this article from Forbes on public speaking lessons from the world’s greatest Ted Talks. It’s worth reading.
  7. How about your confidence? Competence and confidence go hand in hand. Sometimes, we get nervous when there’s a big opportunity and ask for what we want. Frankly, it’s silly because we KNOW OUR STUFF. You might get lucky and who you pitch may be gentle and work it out of you, but that’s not always the case. Go for it. Be confident or you may lose the opportunity if you’re weak in your presentation.
  8. Are you concise and to the point? Tory told the audience she has three minutes on-air to sell five products. So, a thirty minute lunch for her with a prospective entrepreneur is out of the question. She suggests networking and practicing your elevator pitch for brevity – so others can repeat it in a sentence.

You might not know it, but you pitch on a daily basis. Keep it simple. Practice passionately. And, deliver from your heart.

Twinkling is a bonus, especially this time of year.

Happy February, friends! Even though Valentine’s Day has passed, it’s still the month of love and relationships — so let’s keep that theme for this week’s Rainmaker.

In business relationships, much like personal relationships, communication is a key component to growth and success. How are you communicating with your prospects, your team and your clients?

First up, I recommend this read, ‘Three meetings you need to schedule right now’ by Jonah Engler via Everything PR. By following his advice and scheduling a few important meetings, he promises we’ll grow our business. Who will you be meeting with this week?

Next up is actionable advice from Cathy Miller, ‘Business Communication Shouts Action’. This is the first in a year-long journey through the alphabet. I’m looking forward to reading the next few letters. “C” for yourself!

Lastly, ‘How to write better emails and make them work for you’ by Alex Strike for B2Community highlights the importance of academic vs. business writing, words to kill and clarity in your message.  How many times have you read an email that could be shortened to a few sentences? Or, you were left wondering, huh?

How are your communication skills? Could you use a refresher?

Let’s chat!

September always seems to bring a new energy to work, and if you’re like me, the pace has really picked up!

The Partner Promotions event team has been promoting the Xfinity brand at 125 events over the last three weeks, we’re gearing up for the IBM sponsored Women’s Tool Box Conference on 9/15,  Mara Glazer’s BizCon14 event in Silver Springs, MD 9/18 – 21, and my workshop and booth at the Small Business Expo in Boston on October 2. Sometimes, it’s fast and furious – and we run with it.

That said, what are you doing with your business over the next month?

Are you thinking about how to get press coverage for your business, product or service – and ways to  pitch the media and other JV partners?

Here are 5 Important Tips on How To Pitch so you won’t give up or go crazy thinking it’s too hard: 

  1. When pitching, make sure you have the right person you want to approach.  Do your homework and research.  Look at the magazine, newspaper or blog where you’d like to be featured and notice their style. How would ‘you’ fit in?
  2. You’ve heard it a million times, and I’ll tell you again. Make your pitch short.  One PR mentor told me to make my pitch 50 words.  Yikes – that’s hard, but putting information through the funnel gives your messaging clarity.
  3. Editors, journalists and reporters WANT to be pitched and are looking for a solution to a problem. Your pitch should include a way you can help their viewers/readers.  They’re looking for the HOW. That’s where you share – your story, best tips, ways to overcome, fix, increase, and help their AUDIENCE with their problem – on air, in an interview, on camera and so on.
  4. Don’t forget to tell your media contact who you are, why you’re the best candidate for the job, and a link to your website, plus contact information.  No attachments please!
  5. But, make sure above all, that you always KISS – Keep It Simple and Sensational!

Ditch the old pitch, and energize with the new!

YOUR TURN

Have you noticed a pattern with certain reporters in the way that they like to be pitched?

What’s your favorite success story from a pitch?

Have you pitched via Twitter or Facebook with great results?  Do tell!

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 SlamdunkMarch Madness in basketball doesn’t have to mean madness in your own self-promotion or in your business. In fact, madness with the right intention and mindset can become a positive energy to get things done in a quick and efficient way, especially if you have a plan. Your plan  doesn’t have to be complicated or color coded, but there is one secret – you have to get off the sideline, and make a move.

Here’s my take on March Madness and How to Slam Dunk Your PR:

  1. Keep your eye on the ball. Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. It’s distracting and throws you off guard. Think about the big picture and your role to ‘get er’ done. During times of madness (the crazy kind) we lose our vision and clarity. Stay in the moment and be the best you can be.
  2. Stop Dribbling. If you want to get somewhere, you’ll need a road map for sure, but there’s no time like now to take bold action. There’s plenty of time for course correction along the way. The go for it, pause, go for it, pause tempo gives you action and an opportunity for reflection. Liken the pauses to a short time out!
  3. Motivation to succeed is an inside job. You can hear it, you can feel it, but it’s only you who can make the decision to take action. Success is the result of getting off the couch or from behind the computer and doing what you hate to do, but need to do. A mentor of mine tells me (often) to do what I hate first thing in the morning.  Once it’s done, there’s relief.  Procrastination is a silent killer.
  4. The tallest person isn’t always the best player. Each one of us is blessed with a set of skills, and none of us are fantastic at everything. (Sorry, honey) Share the blessings of your collective team and make the most of it. I don’t know many who won’t offer their best game, when it’s their best skill. If they’re not playing full out, blow the whistle. You want everyone on board if you’re going places.
  5. You have to be in it to win it. Want to score? You have to be in the game, ready for action. That’s not to say you have to be ‘in it’ 24/7. But, when the iron’s hot, the iron’s hot. Work like the dickens, and then dance like there’s no tomorrow.

YOUR TURN

How do you keep your eye on the ball with madness all around you? Take a walk in the morning to clear your head? Work from a quiet restaurant in the middle of the day?

What’s your best tempo for work? Calendaring your time? Setting a timer?

Have you developed a reward system for yourself after a job well done? Do tell!

Boston-based communications and PR Firm Robin Samora Inc.’s new RSI MediaReady Program is an interactive, one-on-one program that helps clients become “media-ready” within hours, and to create a turn-key audio product to feature on their website or send to prospects. Clients who sign-up for the program via the Robin Samora Inc. website by May 31, 2013 will also receive private coaching on how to successfully respond to H.A.R.O. (“Help a Reporter Out”) and Profnet Reporter requests – a $199 value.

 

Entrepreneurs, experts, authors, coaches and other success-minded business professionals who wish they could be “media-ready” within hours, and who want to easily create a turn-key audio product to feature on their website or send to prospects, can now sign up for PR and communications firm Robin Samora Inc.’s innovative new program, RSI MediaReady.

RSI MediaReady is an interactive, one-on-one coaching program that features:

• Interview preparation and training for clarity, focus, practice and ‘ready-to-go’ promotion
• Q + A review of 15 initial questions, with feedback and comments for review
• Review of answers for sound bite quality and content-specific goals
• Etiquette and media training for on-air and pre-recorded shows and programs
• A recorded mp3 file of the interview questions for future editing
• A recorded mp3 file of the 45-minute interview (“pod cast”), which can be posted, edited or referred to for messaging

Clients who sign-up for RSI MediaReady will also receive a number of special bonuses, including:

• A sample Pitch Letter to a Radio Producer
• A sample Media Release announcing their guest appearance to the press
• A customized list of up to 10 radio shows/hosts who they can contact immediately
• 3 selections of intro and outro music on a separate mp3
• A Special Report: “10 Ways to use Audio to Boost your Brand”

“Across the country, media professionals and potential clients are very interested in booking coaches, entrepreneurs, experts, authors and other professionals for speaking engagements, article and broadcast interviews, or hiring them as consultants,” commented Robin Samora Inc.’s founder Robin Samora, a widely recognized PR and media relations expert who leads each session. “But if these talented professionals are stuck being the `best kept secret’ in their industry, how can they be found? They won’t. And that’s where RSI MediaReady comes to the rescue. It rapidly helps professionals clarify their message and communicate their brand through the media, so that they reach new and better clients – and ultimately, boost sales and profits.”

Added Samora: “In addition to numerous other business benefits that clients will reap, which include improved SEO/SEM, and the ability to rapidly create a media kit and re-purpose content for their other marketing collateral, there’s also a very important personal element to the program, too. RSI MediaReady will turn just about anyone from an anxious media-newbie into a self-assured media superstar, and unleash a level of self-confidence that will elevate every aspect of their life.”

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 come to think that we’re a visually obsessed society, focusing on how things look.

In business, it’s much the same, and I’m as guilty as the next. How we present our image is a critical part of our branding.

Our websites, logos, business cards, blogs and other marketing tools and collateral incorporate visual elements as well as the written word to tell a story.

To tell your story.

“A picture is worth a thousand words”, and words describe pictures – but what words or images are created by our voice, the clarity of our message, our ‘recorded word’?

Can others visualize our brand by the enthusiasm of our voice, our willingness to share, by the valuable advice and expertise we offer — when we speak, are interviewed or someone hears us on a podcast?

What does your brand sound like?

I gave this some thought yesterday, preparing for a radio interview with Les Wolff, of www.SmartMarketingMoves.com. We recorded two shows last night, one on the Power of PR, and the other on a new program I’m developing to help Experts and Authors ‘Get Media Ready’ , clarify their message, Q + A, and audio branding.

I believe we’ve been trained to put our voices on paper. Why not use our ‘recorded word’ to share a message, serve others and make an impact — not just to build our businesses and brands, but also to make a difference?

You know how emails can be judged, as harsh, blunt or cold?

With the ‘recorded word’, your voice is in HD.

Transparent. Bold. Uniquely you.

Light someone up with your voice today.

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.

The act of writing down my vision for my business and life has brought me great clarity and almost a step-by-step map (if I follow it) to fulfill my greatest dreams — acknowledging, of course, the potential for adventure and a sense of humor in a plan bigger than my own, and an automatic course correction lever that is sometimes out of my reach, like a 7th shift on a manual transmission. (Little did I know until yesterday, that race cars have these shifts on the steering wheel!)

When you have a plan and create a road map before you start, you can work with speed. Just be open to the journey and accept surprises along the way. When you’ve mastered the trick of enjoying life’s attractions and distractions with curiosity, you can keep the momentum going — towards success as you define it.

My passion as a business and PR strategist is to help you be more in tune with where you want to go and to act as your business GPS to uncover the most productive way to get there, even if we sometimes find ourselves “recalculating” the route.

My ultimate goal for you is always the same — to make more money, get recognized in the marketplace and stand out in the crowd in a career built on your passion. By doing this, you can lead a bigger and bolder life, and ultimately, give back, big time. Not just helping one, but helping thousands.

My map is worn and torn, but serves me well.

What does your map look like?